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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Lawton

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[This information is from Vol. II, pp. 607-610 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

The early records of the Lawtons do not show the date of arrival of the emigrant ancestor nor from whence he came. Both Savage [James Savage, A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England] and Austin give as the first of record George Lawton, who with a brother Thomas was of Portsmouth, Rhode Island. The first record, probably that of the emigrant, as no earlier Lawton can be found.

(I) George Lawton in 1638 was admitted an inhabitant to the island of Aquidneck. In 1639 he signed a compact with twenty-eight others acknowledging themselves loyal subjects of King Charles. In 1648 had a grant of forty acres of land "near his brother Thomas;" in 1648 he was made member of the court of trials; 1655 became a freeman; 1665-72-75-76-19 was deputy to the general court. From 1671 to 1678 the settlement was greatly disturbed by Indian troubles in which George Lawton is frequently mentioned in various responsibilities, 1680-81-82-83-84-85-86-89-90. He was assistant to the governor. He owned land and followed farming as an occupation. He was a member of the Society of Friends as were following generations. He died October 5, 1693, and was buried in his orchard at Portsmouth, Rhode Island. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas and Martha Hazard, of Portsmouth. Children:

  1. Isabel, married Samuel Albro; four children.
  2. John, married Mary Boomer, one son.
  3. Mary, married John Babcock, ten children.
  4. George (2), see forward.
  5. Robert, married Mary Woodell, four children.
  6. Susanna, married Thomas Cornell, three children.
  7. Ruth, married William Woodell, no issue.
  8. Mercy, married James Tripp, no issue.
  9. Job, unmarried.
  10. Elizabeth, married Robert Carr, two children.

Thomas Lawton, brother of George Lawton, married (second) Grace Bailey, and had five children: Elizabeth, had fourteen children; Daniel, twelve children; Ann, two children; Sarah, eleven children; Isaac, had three wives and eleven children, all by first wife. There was also a John Lawton admitted an inhabitant of Aquidneck (Portsmouth) who may have been a brother of George and Thomas.

(II) George (2), son of George (1) and Elizabeth (Hazard) Lawton, died at Portsmouth, Rhode Island, September 11, 1697. He was a wealthy farmer. His will proved September 24, 1697, leaves lands, money, stock, slaves and personal property to be divided equally between his four children and his wife. He married, January 17, 1677, Naomi, daughter of Bartholomew and Ann Hunt, who bore him four children. She survived her husband and became the third wife of his cousin, Isaac, son of Thomas Lawton. Children:

  1. Elizabeth, born November 15, 1678;
  2. George, see forward;
  3. Robert, October 14, 1688;
  4. Job, January 22, 1692.

(III) George (3), son of George (2) and Naomi (Hunt) Lawton, was born at Aquidneck, April 30, 1683, died April 11, 1740. He inherited lands and property under his father's will and spent his life as a husbandman. He was of the family faith in religion, as his father before him. He married, February 26, 1707, Mary Gould, born November 29, 1688, and had issue.

(IV) Robert, son of George (3) and Mary (Gould) Lawton, was born February 4, 1708, in the same house as his father and grandfather at Portsmouth, Rhode Island. He married, November 11, 1748, at the same town and place, Mary Hall, born March 3, 1721. He was "a man just and upright in all his acts," "A man who dearly loves justice."

(V) William, son of Robert and Mary (Hall) Lawton, was born in the old homestead, December 26, 1755. He was a farmer, and served in the revolutionary war as a private in spite of his Quaker ancestry and principles. He was commissioner of the Rhode Island militia, May 7, 1796, was made captain, and in June, 1803, promoted major of the First Regiment of Rhode Island militia. He married, April 24, 1778, Sarah Barker, born January 28, 1758, and had twelve children. Sarah Barker was the daughter of Peter and Ruth (Lawton) Barker. Ruth Lawton was the fourth in line from Thomas Lawton, the immigrant brother of George Lawton.

(VI) George (4), second child of Major William and Sarah (Barker) Lawton, was born August 31, 1799, died September 18, 1824. He lived in Providence, Rhode Island, and was a mechanic. He married Maria E. Baker, born November 26, 1802, died January 13, 1858, at Troy, New York.

(VII) George Franklin, son of George (4) and Maria E. (Baker) Lawton, was born September 8, 1824, died March 24, 1902. He was a hat manufacturer of Providence, Rhode Island, owning and operating his own factory. In 1869 he removed to Troy, New York, where he continued in the same business as manager of the hat factory of E. W. Boughton. He continued in this position for about twenty years, when he again began manufacturing in his own factory, where he continued in successful business until 1889, when he retired. He enlisted October 10, 1862, as first lieutenant of Company F, Twelfth Regiment Rhode Island Volunteer Infantry, and was in the most bloody battle of the war, Fredericksburg. He was severely wounded in the first battle fought there, receiving a piece of shell over the left eye and after a long illness recovered, but had lost the sight of that eye. Prior to going to the front he was appointed recruiting officer by Governor Sprague of Rhode Island, August 14, 1862, and after serving two months was commissioned lieutenant and went to the front with his regiment. He was an active member of the Grand Army of the Republic, and a Republican. He married (first) October 27, 1844, Mary E., born August 19, 1824, died October 6, 1857, daughter of Thomas J. and Abigail (Snow) Earl. He married (second) January 25, 1859, Mrs. Marah A. (Marsh) Doane, born August 12, 1826, died April 24, 1895, daughter of John C. Marsh, born July 9, 1800, died December 23, 1870, farmer and blacksmith of Leverett, Massachusetts, who married Elcipha Marsh, born February 6, 1802, died February 5, 1859. John C. Marsh was a descendant of John Marsh, of Hartford, 1636. Coming down through Samuel (3) Ebenezer, (4) Enos, (5) Joshua, (6) John C. Children of first wife, Mary E. Earl:

  1. Lucy M., married (first) Cyril B. Manchester, June 4, 1867; married (second) Frank G. Spencer, September 20, 1876; children: Gertrude Lawton, Frank G. (2).
  2. George Franklin (2), born August 15, 1848; married Ruby A. Balkem, November 22, 1871; children: Frank E., Kenneth E., Ethel.
  3. Thomas Earl, born March 18, 1853; married (first) November 26, 1879, Elizabeth Franklin, born January 26, 1853, died May 21, 1883, and left a child Elizabeth; married (second) April 25, 1887, Josephine Evans; children:
    1. Earl E., born August 29, 1889;
    2. Vivian, January 31, 1894;
    3. Kenneth Van Zandt, October 12, 1900.

Children of second wife, Marah A. Doane:

  1. William M., born November 12, 1859, now of the Lake Erie Nail & Supply Company, Cleveland, Ohio; married, September 22, 1886, Millie Woodward; no children.
  2. Edward Parker, see forward.
  3. Mary Elizabeth, married, September 21, 1892, Charles D. Wiswall, of Watervliet, New York, veterinarian dentist; children: Charles L., Frank L.
  4. Eva Florence, born March 16, 1869, died in infancy.

(VIII) Edward Parker, youngest son of George Franklin and Marah A. (Marsh-Doane) Lawton, was born in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, November 25, 1863. He was six years of age when his father removed to Troy, New York, where he was educated in the public schools of that city, and of Green Island. He began his business career as cashier in the shoe store of C. E. Sheffer, of Troy, where he remained three years. For a short time he was bookkeeper for a Providence, Rhode Island firm, then returned to Troy where he was assistant to the postmaster at Green Island. He next engaged with Neher & Calder, later Neher & Carpenter, insurance and bankers, as bookkeeper and cashier. December 15, 1886, he entered the employ of the Troy Savings Bank, where he now (1910) occupies the position of receiving teller. He is a member of the Baptist church and a Republican. He is a member of the Masonic order, belonging to Lodge, Chapter, Commandery and Shrine. He is a member of the Sons of the Revolution, through the patriotic services of his great-grandfather, Major William Lawton, of Rhode Island. He married, October 11, 1893, Sarah W. May, of Troy, daughter of George and Amelia Eaton (Chapin) May; children:

  1. Edward Parker (2), born July 22, 1894; graduate of Troy high school, class of 1911.
  2. Katherine May, born September 24, 1899, died June 8, 1905.
  3. Allan, born January 22, 1907.

(The Chapin Line)

Mrs. Amelia Eaton (Chapin) May, mother of Mrs. Sarah W. (May) Lawton, is a lineal descendant in the seventh generation of Deacon Samuel Chapin, who took the freeman's oath in Boston, June 2, 1640. He is believed to be the progenitor of all the Chapins of early ancestry in New England. Tradition and evidence would indicate that he was of Welsh parentage. He removed with his family to Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1642. He was a magistrate and much employed in the public business. He was a deacon of the Springfield church and of highest repute. He married Cisely ————; eight children.

(II) Henry, son of Deacon Samuel and Cisely Chapin, died August 15, 1718. He was a seafaring man and made several voyages between London and Boston in command of a merchant ship. He was a prominent man of Springfield, and a deputy. He married, December 5, 1664, Bethia Cooley; five children.

(III) Henry (2), son of Captain Henry (1) Chapin, was born March 19, 1679, died September 15, 1754. He married (first) February 19, 1702, Mary Gurnsey, of Milford, Massachusetts; four children. He married (second) May 10, 1716, Esther Bliss; seven children.

(IV) William, son of Henry (2) and Esther (Bliss) Chapin, was born April 19, 1729, died November 10, 1777. He married, February 21, 1754, Martha, daughter of Japhet and Thankful Chapin, died May 10, 1775; eight children.

(V) Japhet, son of William and Martha (Chapin) Chapin, was born August 8, 1760, died October 6, 1822. He was a lumber manufacturer and dealer, also a farmer of Chicopee Centre, Massachusetts. He married Lovinia Wright, of Wilbraham; ten children.

(VI) Whitfield, son of Japhet and Lovinia (Wright) Chapin, was born May 4, 1787, died May 11, 1833. He was a lumber dealer and inspector of Springfield, Massachusetts. He married (first) November 31 [sic], 1809, Luna Chapin; (second) Melia Chapin, daughter of Colonel Silas Chapin. Mrs. Luna Chapin died March 6, 1819, leaving three children: Frances Julia, George Whitfield and Samuel Lyman. Mrs. Melia Chapin died May 5, 1849, aged fifty-four years; children:

  1. Elizabeth Luna, born July 3, 1823;
  2. Charles Otis, April 19, 1825;
  3. Henry Sheldon, March 12, 1828;
  4. Sarah Jane, twin of Henry Sheldon;
  5. Amelia Eaton, see forward.

(VII) Amelia Eaton, daughter of Whitfield and Melia (Chapin) Chapin, was born September 6, 1830, died September 9, 1883. She married, George May, born in Cleveland, Ohio, where they resided after marriage.

(VIII) Sarah W., daughter of George and Amelia Eaton (Chapin) May, married, October 11, 1893, Edward Parker Lawton (see Lawton VIII).

(The May Line)

George May is a lineal descendant of John May, immigrant ancestor, who settled in Roxbury, Massachusetts, 1640. He was a member of Rev. Elliot's church. His first wife is not recorded; he married (second) Sarah ————.

(II) John, son of George May, was born in England, 1631, died September 11, 1671. He married, November 9, 1656, Mrs. Sarah (Brewer) Bruce, daughter of Daniel and Joanna Brewer; eight children.

(III) John (2), son of John (1) and Sarah (Brewer-Bruce) May, was born May 19, 1663, died February 24, 1730. He married Prudence Bridges, born January 11, 1664, died September 26, 1723; eleven children.

(IV) Eleazer, son of John (2) and Prudence (Bridges) May, born July 9, 1705, died February 19, 1783; removed to Pomfret. He inherited property from his father. He married (first) Dorothy Davis, born November 24, 1710, died April 12, 1750; married (second) Abigail Sumner; eight children.

(V) William, son of Eleazer and Dorothy (Davis) May, was born October 21, 1740. He removed to Monson, Massachusetts, thence to Cherry Valley, Otsego county, New York. He had four children.

(VI) Luke, son of William May, was a resident of Cherry Valley, New York. He often told his sons that he was in the war of the revolution, but he must have been very young to have done aught but a boy's work in the latter years of the war. He married Lucy Kimball; ten children.

(VII) Thomas Payne, son of Luke and Lucy (Kimball) May, born 1783, died 1847, was a trader in Cherry Valley, New York, his birthplace. Later he was in business in Cleveland, Ohio. He married Jeannette Judd, born in Cincinnati, 1793, died December 19, 1870; children: William J., Kate and George.

(VIII) George, son of Thomas Payne and Jeanette (Judd) May, was born in Cleveland, Ohio, November 22, 1828; died February 4, 1871. He married Amelia Eaton Chapin, and had a daughter, Sarah W. May, married Edward Parker Lawton (see Lawton VIII).

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