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A Timeline History of the Norton Family in Virginia

Cast of Characters.

Thomas Norton b. 1751
William Norton b.1755
John Norton b.1756
Sarah Norton
b 1757
James Norton
David Norton b.1763
Elizabeth Norton b.1767
Milly Norton b.1774

Christopher Norton and wife Mary Norton - no info
Jacob Norton - no info

Born in
Fluvanna, VA

The Norton's in Virginia IN 2002, Mike O'Shea discovered David Norton's Revolutionary War record at the Virginia Library and Archives in Richmond. This unusual discovery reveals a wealth of information, not only about David Norton, but serves as a foundation document for the Norton Family in Virginia.

From the Revolutionary Army, Volume 1, Register 23 vol 1, Positive photostat made of original volume in the Archives Division on March 3, 1955 Division No. 3 is titled "A Register and Description of Non-Commissioned Officers and Privates at Chesterfield Court House, Powhatan Court House, Carters Ferry, Albemarle Old Court House, and at Winchester Barracks -- Enlisted at different times from 1777 to 1783. I was able to gather the following data:
(David Norton aged 17 was 5 foot 4 and 1/2 inches tall. He had dark hair, Blue eyes and a Fair completion. He had a scar on the left side of his jaw. His occupation was given as a "Planter" from Virginia, Fluvana County. He was born in Virginia, Fluvana County and was a substitute for a man in Amherst County. He entered the service on the 18th of May 1780 and served 1 Year and 6 months.)

David Norton was born in Fluvanna county 1763. Fluvanna was created in 1777 our of Ablemarle county. So far this is the earliest date for this family in America. It's interesting to note the two references to the first location of this family in America. There's the Sellers history from South Carolina that says they settled first near Alexandria, Va. The second is from the Elias Poston History which says that they settled either in Virginia or on the North shore of Ablemarle sound North Carolina. WE don't yet have the original sources of the Poston history but it's interesting to speculate that "Ablemarle" might have been the county rather than "Ablemarle sound".

1767 Elizabeth Norton is born in Virginia. (from her granddaughter Trimble)
1774 Milly Norton is born in Virginia. (all sorts of records)

Nov 19

On November 19, 1775 Sarah Norton, the oldest sister of David Norton married William Farney in Orange county, Virginia.* Orange county is just north of Ablemarle, VA again placing the Norton's in this area. William Farney was a very wealthy man. His estate in 1782 was 30,000 pounds.

* (the marriage bond gives her name as Sarah Morton)

Oct 1

There are 2 mentions of the Norton surname in Fluvanna Deed Book 1.

The first is on page 37. That deed, dated October 1, 1777, is from George Haggard to Abner Barnard. The land sold is on the south side of Mechuck Creek and the land is bounded by Norton's line.

The second mention is on page 222. The deed, dated July 12, 1779, is from Giles Allegre to Drummond Smithson. The land is on Horsepen Ck. Christopher Norton is listed as a Witness with John Glaspy.

May 15
Thomas Norton buys land in Rockingham, VA
1779 Christopher Norton witnesses deed Fluvanna VA (from deeds book) Page 222 Fluvanna DB 1. The deed, dated July 12, 1779, is from Giles Allegre to Drummond Smithson. The land is on Horsepen Ck. Christopher Norton is listed as a Witness with John Glaspy.

James Norton joins the Revolutionary Army from Fluvanna and later Rockingham counties.

All of the histories mention that the five sons of this Norton family served in the American Revolution.

The oldest son, Thomas Norton probably joined the Revolution very early. He was a Corporal in the Virginia Line and died on a prison hulk in Charlestown Harbor around 1781 after being captured by the British.

William Norton was about 21 in 1776 and also served . There are mentions of a William Norton serving from Cumberland county (boarders Fluvanna) South to the border of North Carolina. There is also a record of a William Norton serving in the Vifginia Line. William settled in Horry county, South Carolina.

John Norton's revolutionary record hasn't been found yet. His brother James Norton notes in a court document that John Norton served with John Black, the husband of Milly Norton (youngest sister) and was at the battle of Yorktown.

James Norton enlists when he is 17 years old in 1779. His war record is here. There is one very interesting discrepancy with his pension application. In all the histories of this family, James Norton is mentioned as serving as an orderly sargent in George Washington's honor guard. Certainly this story is handed down through is decendants. However, Jjames neglects to mention anything about it in his pension application.

David Norton, the youngest son also enlists when he is 17.

April 19
James Norton's 1st Tour Fluvanna James pension record states he served his 1st Tour from April to September 1779. He joined under Col. George Thompson, Capt William Smith, Leuftenant Ben Smith in Fluvanna County, Virginia. (James 1st Pension app said he started from Rockingham, but his 2nd says he was wrong and started from Fluvanna) He marched from Fluvanna to Albermarle barracks. Then to Richmond and Petersburg. From there to Portsmouth and Norfolk. From Norfolk he returned to Albermarle County till his tour of 6 months was fulfilled. He states he was drafted for this tour.
James 2nd Tour was for 3 months starting in Sept 1779 in Albermarle County under Col. Hamilton, Capt Lamb. He marched to barracks in Winchester and conveyed prisoners there. He then returned to Albemarle county till his 3 month tour was up in December 1779.
March 12
James 3rd Tour James substituted for John Shannon beginning March 12 1780 from Albemarle, Virginia which constituted his 3rd tour. John Shannon furnished him with suitable clothes and everything except a gun which he drew from the Gochland Court House. This was a rifle company. Several of his company were killed during action on Chesapeake Bay and the south branch of the Potomac in Hampshire County. This tour saw considerable sickness in his camp. From the mouth of the James River he marched to Camel Court House through Pittsylvania County VA and here received his discharge about September 1780.
May 18
David Norton enlists in Virginia Line from Fluvanna and served 18 months.

James 4th Tour After being discharged he returned to Rockingham County till he was called up in the Spring of 1781 under Col Harrison and Capt Leonard Thompson. In July or August he was marched down within a few miles of Richmond and connected with maj Bunting and General Layfette. General Chois, a Frenchman took command of the army just before the surrender at Yorktown. James remained with the army during the whole seige of Yorktown. He guarded some prisoners to Winchester where he remained til the last of December 1781 when he was discharged.

Oct 19
Yorktown surrenders October 19, 1781 James guards prisoners til Dec 1781. Discharged at Winchester, VA.
Nov 26

John Norton is appointed executor of William Farney's estate in Rockingham, VA valued 30,000 pounds. John will also be appointed guardian of John Farney. William Farney is the husband of Sarah Norton, John's sister. This appears to be John Norton later of Bourbon, KY. He signs with an "x".

Thomas Norton deceased and children bound out in Rockingham. On the ___? of Peter Nun_men that the church wardens bind ou Sarah Norton daughter of Thomas Norton who has left his wife & family _________ of the m_________ _______ to Jsales? Velnemon? until she comes of age being now 4 1/2 years of age.

March 25
The Farney estate is settled and recored. Rockingham.
Aug 19
James at the "Battle of Blue Licks" in August 19, 1782 Kentucky. James nust have started for Kentucky almost immediately after his discharge from the army in December of 1781.
Sept 10
Christopher Norton received a Land Office Treasury Warrant from Patrick Henry, the Gov. of the Commonwealth on September 10, 1782. He and his wife "Mary" sold that land to a man named John Furbush in September 1788. This Christopher Norton has not been identified, but he seems to be the only Norton in Fluvanna, VA that owns land. He is the only Norton on the Tax Rolls.
March 28
Rockingham The court named John Norton, brother of Sarah Farney, as guardian of her child John.
John Norton marries Sarah Spencer in Fayette KY 1787 No Documentation
1788 James Norton married Jean Bybee in Fluvanna, VA. We have no documentation of this. It is from James family, but there were Bybee's in Fluvanna at this time.
Christopher Norton sells land in Fluvanna, VA. It appears that Christopher is dead because Mary is questioned as to the validity of the deed.
Aug 26
Harris vs Norton &c. Canc. Oh hearing bill answer it is decreed by the court that the said Norton, guardian &c do deliver possession of the tract of land in the bill mentioned to the Comp't and that the said Farney Inf't do at the age of twenty one years make sufficient deeds of conveyance in fee simple to the said Comp. and that the Def't Norton do pay the costs of this suit out of the estate of the instestate Farney in his hads to be administered. Sarah Norton Farney moved with the family to Bourbon, KY and remarried March 5, 1792 to Adam Baker in Bourbon, KY. James Norton signs the wedding bonds and mentions that she is his sister. James signs with and X. William Farney would be about 12 by this time.