How many times in your research have you searched and searched for that one piece of the puzzle? If you knew that little bit of information relationships would fall into place, questions would be answered and all would be right in the genealogy world. I know you have! I am sharing with you today that ‘Aha!’ moment from about 40 years ago.
My dear great-grandmother, Frances Barber Linton Montgomery, as I have mentioned many times, was the genealogist in the family during the first 40 decades of the twentieth century. She wrote letters to cousins, had information handed down for generations, old tax receipts, etc. But the biggest mistake she made was in Captain John Linton’s father and grandfather. According to Frances, William de Linton I and II were these persons. In the respect of William II, he married Susannah Monroe, who, after William II’s death, married Charles Tyler, then Benjamin Grayson. In those first years of research I found nothing about William de Linton – I or II! There was a William Linton who married Susannah Monroe, then Charles Tyler and Benjamin Grayson, but this William Linton’s son, named John, was born in 1730 and died in 1775 – couldn’t be my Captain John.
In the Release of Rights dated January 30, 1775, in Loudoun County (earlier Prince William and Stafford counties), Virginia, John Linton releases any rights to his father’s estate (Moses Linton), or the right of any estate from his mother Susanna, to his stepfather, John Berkeley, for the sum of 300 pounds current money of Virginia. The estate was given up ‘in consideration of my education and maintenance by John Berkeley’. Okay, this information gives the name of Captain John’s father – Moses. The William Linton mentioned above was the son of John Linton and Ann Barton. In addition to son William, sons Moses and John are listed in his will. The only other Moses Linton listed in Prince William or the surrounding counties at that time was the elder John Linton’s brother – who married Margaret Barton, sister to Ann. This led me to conclude that Moses Linton, son of John Linton and Ann Barton, was father to my Captain John. How about his mother?
Moses Linton was married twice – first to Susanna Harrison, with whom he had at least two sons, William and Thomas Linton. After the death of Moses, these sons were given to the guardianship of their uncle, Burr Harrison. Unfortunately nothing further is heard of the two boys, and it is assumed they died before 1775, the date of release of rights by Captain John Linton, since he is considered ‘the only surviving son and heir at law to my father, Moses Linton.’
Moses Linton married as his second wife Susannah, with whom he had three children – Catharine Jennings Linton, my John Linton and Moses Linton. Moses, who was quite a bit older than Susannah, died in 1752, just after the birth of his son Moses. Susannah, a young widow of about 22 years, quickly married John Berkeley, he being a widower (his first wife was Elizabeth Longworth) and also the father of young children, John Longworth Berkeley and George Berkeley.
But who was Susannah, mother of Captain John Linton? In my wonderful correspondence with Dorothy Thrawley in the years before my marriage, and afterwards, she gave me that important piece of the puzzle – the one that made everything fit together. Dorothy’s ancestor was Catherine Jennings Linton – Captain John Linton’s sister. Catherine married William Joseph Lewis, the son of Vincent Lewis and Ann Longworth – hm, that name sounds familiar – as in sister to Elizabeth Longworth, first wife of John Berkeley? Shall I just say this is a tangled family? Anyway, Catherine Linton and Joseph Lewis had a daughter Susan Lewis, who married her cousin, Daniel Lewis. Susan Lewis had the wonderful foresight to purchase a bible and write down not only the information for the children she had with hubby Daniel Lewis, but information about her ancestors. And in that bible is a note that reads, ‘Catherine Linton’s mother before marriage, Susan Hancock.’ Finally, finally we know the name of Captain John Linton’s mother – Susannah Hancock, second wife of Moses Linton. In the photo this information is underlined in red. Sorry the copy is not the best.
And the final question – who is Susannah Hancock? Moses Linton owned land adjoining his friend Scarlett Hancock. Scarlett died at the young age of thirty in 1740. He was the son of John Hancock and Catherine Smith. He was given the name Scarlett for his step-great-grandfather, Martin Scarlett, who married his widowed great-grandmother, Ann, Mrs. William Green. His grandmother was Lettice Green who married Edward Smith. Susannah Hancock is his younger sister, who lived with Scarlett after the death of her parents, John Hancock and Catherine Smith.
Ann Barton, wife of the elder John Linton, parents of Moses Linton, was the daughter of Edward Barton and Ann Green – sister to Lettice Green who married Edward Smith. We have come complete circle. Moses Linton and Susannah Hancock both descend from William and Ann Green, coming down the line from different daughters.
Is anyone confused? It’s certainly a crazy patchwork quilt of genealogy, with intermarrying families and more than one marriage on most lines. But it has been a fascinating ride – and I will always be indebted to my dear friend Dorothy Thrawley, without whose help I could not have come to this conclusion. This is why it is so important to share genealogy information, and my purpose exactly for this blog! Have a wonderful day!