retired British naval officer settled in Virginia before the Revolution.
In addition we have a third family history also referred to in the Poston History from another source that confirms that the father of the family was a retired British naval officer that settled in Virginia.
Finally we have the record of Eliza Benefiel, a great grand daughter of Christopher Norton. Her history recounts one of his exploits in the navy. (However, she names him as "John" confusing him with John Norton who was the head of the family in Kentucky.)
mother of this family was Mary Emmerson who was married Christopher
That she is the daughter of Thomas Emmerson is confirmed in the will of Thomas Emmerson.
The birth of her 2nd son as recorded in the Douglas register also confirms that she is the daughter of Emmerson and married to Christopher Norden. A later entry records the birth of a daughter Martha, but Mary's husband's name is transcribed incorrectly in the printed index. Sometime after 1757 Christopher and Mary began using Norton instead of Norden.
Mary Norton also witnesses a land transfer in Albemarle county on land that borders Emmerson family land.
Christopher and Mary Norton received a Land Office Treasury Warrant from Patrick Henry, the Gov. of the Commonwealth on 2 Dec 1785. Mary Norton sold this land to a man named John Furbush in September 1788.
Norden was in Norfolk - James City area from 1747.
Of course the birth records from the Douglas Register above confirm that Christopher Norden was married to Mary Emmerson by 1754 when William Norton was born.
evidence conclusiviely links Norden and Norton
There is an legal entry in 1752 for a land transaction in Sussex county Virginia where the original Robert Norden lived. It was between Robert Norden and George Lathbury. This was settled in James Cittie in 1760 and was settled by Richard Norden. This Robert and Richard Norden are possibly sons of the original Robert Norden who came to Virginia in 1714 and died 1725.
1776 to 1784 this Norton family lived in Fluvanna, Virginia.
David's record in particular says he was born in Fluvanna, VA in 1763 while James records that he left from Fluvanna for two of his tours of duty during the Revolution.
The only Norton land in Fluvanna or Albemarle counties of Virginia was owned by Christopher Norton since before 1777. There are 3 records of Christopher Norton in the land record books of Fluvanna, VA. .
children and grandchildren name their children Christopher and Mary.
Samuel Norton, a son of David (son of Christopher) named one of his sons Christopher.
For the most part, Christopher is left out as a family name. In the historys that came from Springfield, IL and Texas he is referred to only as the "Commodore".
1) David Norton Jr, a grandson of Christopher Norton joined the Mormon church in 1831 and moved to Utah. This family produced several versions of a family history with John Norton as the father, but without any documentation.
2) A second source is Seller's history of Marion County, South Carolina. Although this history plainly refers to the Norton family that went to Kentucky, we know from DNA that the Nortons referred to in Sellers history are unrelated to the Nortons of Fluvanna, VA.
John Wesley Norton of the Marion, SC Nortons prepared the Norton history for Sellers. It is thought that Nimrod Norton from the Kentucky family met John W Norton in Richmond while he was a member of the Confederate legislature and John W Norton and his sons from Marion SC were serving in the Confederate Army. They were all in the same area for 10months. Perhaps they compared family notes and decided that the William Norton in Marion/Horry was their relation. DNA has proved that there is no connection. But John Wesley included the Kentucky story in his information to Sellers.
3) A third source of the tradition and the only incidence of John Norton being referred to directly as the father of this family is from Eliza Trimble's history.
Eliza Trimble was born 28 years after Christopher Norton died and may have remembered the name of her grandmother Elizabeth's brother, John Norton. This John Norton apparently inherited from his father Christopher and was the principal Norton land owner of Bourbon, KY.
This John Norton signed on the 1792 marriage bonds of Milly Norton to John Black in Bourbon, KY. This is almost certainly Millys brother John. Milly's mother, Mary Norton gives permission for the marriage. It is doubtful that Mary Norton would have had to sign permission if her husband was still alive. John Norton also served with Milly's husband in the Revolution. Mary Norton's signature