(1) James Britton,
probably came in the ship Increase
from London in 1637, when he was 27 year sold. He subscribed to the town
orders of Woburn, Massachusetts, in 1640, when the settlement of that town
was planned at Charlestown, and soon after settled in Woburn. His name
appears in the first recorded tax list of Woburn, 1645, and he died there
3 May 1655, leaving a widow, Jane,
who subsequently married Isaac Cole, with whom she went to live in Charlestown,
taking with her sons Peter and William.
She died 10 March 1687. They
were probably the parents of:
(2) William Britton,
probably a younger son of James and Jane Britton, married Mary,
eldest daughter of James
and Mary Palmer
of Westerly, Rhode Island, and probably resided in that vicinity. Capt.
James Pendleton was a son of Major Brian
a distinguished citizen of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and a large landholder
in Maine. Before the government of Maine was officially incorporated,
Pendleton served as acting Governor of the territory.
(3) William Britton, son of William and Mary Britton, married 26 October 1698, in Taunton, Massachusetts, Lydia Leonard, born 10 March 1679, daughter of Capt. James Leonard and his wife Lydia Gulliver, both of whom are buried in Neck-O-Land Cemetery, on Summer Street in Taunton, Bristol Co., Massachusetts. Lydia Britton was among the petitioners at the Taunton church meeting on 7 October 1731 for an independent church at Raynham, Bristol Co., Massachusetts. She died 20 May 1735, according to one record, while another places her death on 13 March 1773, aged 94 years. William probably died on 1732.
(4) Ebenezer Britton,
fourth son of William and Lydia Britton, was born 1 June 1715 in Raynham,
Bristol Co., Massachusetts, where he lived about 55 years, died 21 January
1788 in Westmoreland, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire, where he is buried in
North Cemetery. He was in Boston for about a year and went to Westmoreland,
New Hampshire, in 1771. He bought one hundred acres of land there July
6 of that year, and also purchased a grist and saw mill with twelve acres
-- the first mills built in that town. The grantor was James Minot, of
Putney, "province of New York," the jurisdiction of Vermont then being
in dispute. Putney is on the opposite side of the Connecticut River from
Ebenezer Britton was a warm patriot in revolutionary days and signed the "association test." When his neighbors were troubled about the depreciation of continental money, he said: "
"I am not afraid of continental money; it will be redeemed in good time; redeemed or not redeemed, no soldier who has fought under George Washington shall go hungry while I have corn to feed him!"Several of his sons were enlisted in the army. He was active in church and town matters, serving as deacon and many times as selectman, and was representative in 1776, 1777 and 1778, and member of the Continental Congress 1777-1778. He died at Westmoreland 21 January 1788. He married first 20 May 1735 Tabitha, daughter of Seth Leonard, his cousin, who died in 1749. On 20 February 1749/1750 in Raynham or in Providence, Rhode Island, he married Sarah H. Bullock, born 12 September 1731 in Rehoboth, Bristol County, Massachusetts, died 19 September 1790 in Westmoreland where she is also buried in the North Cemetery.
Children of Ebenezer Britton and Sarah Bullock:
(5) Job Britton
was born 20 February 1755 in Raynham, Bristol County, Massachusetts, died
15 December 1804 in Westmoreland, Cheshire County, New Hampshire where
he is also buried. On 3 February 1774, in Westmoreland, he married Abigail
born after 1756 in Westmoreland, died after 23 April 1846 in Chili, Monroe
County, New York. She is known to have been aged 88 years in 1844.
Job's Revolutionary War record indicates that he served under Col. James Reed. He enlisted in Westmoreland, New Hampshire, his residence, in 1775. For one year he served in Capt. Jacob Hind's company of Col. James Reed's regiment. He was wounded in his right shoulder at the famous Battle of Bunker Hill and was under a surgeon's care until December. He then marched to Canada and was ill with smallpox during Col. Bedel's affair at the Cedars. He returned home in October 1776. In the spring of 1777 he substituted for his brother, Samuel, who was ill and served four months. On 13 January 1783 he substituted for his brother-in-law, Ephraim Stone, in Capt. Ellis' company for six months.
On 19 June 1838, Abigail Britton applied for a widow's pension (New York Widow’s file #17338, Rev. War), thus indicating that Job was dead by that time. Her residence at the date of application was Rochester, Monroe County, New York, and her claim was allowed. She reported her age in 1844 as 88 years.
Some years after Job's death, his widow Abigail fortunately had to supply a great deal of information in order to qualify for her pension of $20 per annum. Their story is best told by the several depositions found in the revolutionary pension records of the State of New Hampshire, of which the following are excerpts:
March 3, 1838
Stephen Britton and Gaius Hall certify to the fact that Job Britton was wounded at Bunker Hill and drew a pension while living ... before William Britton, Justice of the Peace, who also certified that he was personally acquainted with Job Britton, and has seen a scar on his arm or shoulder which he understood to be from a wound he received at Bunker Hill.March 9, 1838William Hutchins of Westmoreland testified that Britton served with him in 1775 for one month under Captain Isaac Butterfield and then both of them enlisted for eight months under Captain Jacob Hinds; and in the fall of 1776, Britton and himself were detached and served two months under Captain Joseph Burt at Ticonderoga; that in 1777, immediately after the Battle of Hubbardton, Britton and himself were marched to Rutland under Captain John Cole, where they served a month, etc.A copy of the record of service of Job, David and William Britton in Capt. Cole’s Company in 1777 lies in the New Hampshire State Archives. The record shows Job with rank, 30; giving four hours of engagement; disscharge at 5, for which he was paid 1 pound 11 shillings and 8 pence. Similar service was recorded for David and William Britton. The record reads:“It is the Pay Roll of Capt. John Cole’s Company in Col. Ashley’s Regiment Melitia which Company marched from Westmoreland on the alarm June 28, 1777 within five miles of Otter Creek when they were met by an expert from Col. Bellows advising that the Enemy had retired, and that it was best for the melitia to return which we did as far as the lower part of number 4 where we were overtaken by an expert from the Gen. forwarded by Col. Bellows requiring us to come forward, Immediately which we did and marched three miles beyond Col. Heads where we met the army in their retreat . . . time of engagement June 29, 1777.”March 20, 1838Larkin Baker town clerk of Westmoreland, certified that on the books of the town is a record of the marriage on 13 February 1774 by Ebenezer Bailey of Job Britton and Abigail Chamberlain.
Memorandum filed showing that in American State Papers, Class 9, page 159, Job Britton’s name is recorded as entitled to 1/3 pension for wound received at Bunker Hill and so reported to House of Representatives by Secretary of War, 28 February 1795. Claim allowed September 4, 1838.June 3, 1838Hinds Chamberlain of LeRoy, New York, aged 73 or 74 years, testified to acquaintance with Job Britton from childhood, that when he was about ten years old his sister, Abigail Chamberlain, was married to Job Britton, both of whom lived in Westmoreland, New Hampshire, at the time; that the next year Britton enlisted, went to Cambridge under Captain Jacob Hinds, and came home wounded; and he and others said the wound was received at the Battle of Bunker Hill; that Britton was out in the service a number of times after that; and in March 1783, when deponent was serving as a substitute for a man who was on furlough, he saw Britton at Washington's winter quarters near Newburgh, New York, and they were discharged at the same time, after peace was declared, and came home together.June 19, 1838Abigail Britton of Rochester, New York, deposed that she is the widow of Job Britton, a private in militia under Captain Jacob Hines of Chesterfield, New Hampshire, Col. James Reed; that her husband was residing in Westmoreland, New Hampshire preceding the Revolution, and in May preceding the Battle of Bunker Hill he enlisted for one year; went with his company soon afterwards to Cambridge, Mass. where he joined the army; was wounded at the Battle of Bunker Hill by a ball in his right shoulder which disabled him until the following spring, the ball remaining in his shoulder for a long time afterwards, that the following spring he joined his company in New York and went with them to Canada where he was taken with smallpox and did not return home until the following autumn, that during the whole period of the Revolutionary War her husband was frequently called into service, somtimes as a substitute and sometimes as a minuteman, but she cannot remember the particulars until the last six months of the war. Then he enlisted as substitute for Sergeant Ephraim Stow in Captain Ellis' company and lay in winter quarters under General Washington near Newburgh, New York, until peace was declared, when he returned to his family in Westmoreland; that her husband served in all at least three years, but cannot recollect of his being in any regular engagement, except Bunker Hill, although he was in several skirmishes. He was not wounded again, and the papers he had, showing service, were destroyed by fire; that she was married to him February 3, 1774, the year before his enlistment under Captain Hines; and that he died at Westmoreland in December 1804, and she has remained a widow ever since.January 15, 1841Abigail Britton testified that she gave her certificate to her son, Job Britton, Jr., (Joab), who took it to an attorney to get her pension, but that when she applied for it, search was made and it could not be found, and asks for a new certificate. The attorney certified to the same effect and new certificate was issued.June 27, 1844Abigail Britton, aged 88 years, applied for increase of pension and gave more details of service, viz: that in 1775 he enlisted at the meetinghouse in the center of Westmoreland . . . that the musket ball lodged in his bone at the Battle of Bunker Hill was “cut at by the surgeons until it was moved out of the bone into the fleshy part of his arm and afterwards worked outwards so that it could be seen, and remained there two years and upwards until Hinds Chamberlain, her brother, in jumping off a fence catched her husband by the shoulder and undesignedly extracted the ball.”
That he was brought from Canada while sick with the smallpox in baggage wagons to the headquarters of the army, and that Henry and Ebenezer Chamberlain, of the same company, took care of him ” . . . that in the spring following he joined the army again as a substitute for his brother James Britton, now deceased, and served five or six months . . .”
“That March 28th of the year following he served four months for his brother, Samuel Britton, who enlisted for the war, came home sick on a furlough, prevailed on his brother to take his place; is now dead . . . that she recollects the day because it was about one hour after the birth of one of her sons; and that four months before the 3rd of January preceding the close of the war (which date she recollects by the birth of a son on January 13) her husband again joined the army as a substitute for his brother-in-law Ephraim Stone, and served until the close of the war; that in the last service he did a sergeant’s duty and brought home a discharge which was left with Asa Britton of Westmoreland, and is now lost.”
Children:Hinds Chamberlain of Le Roy, New York, aged 78 years, testified in more detail than before and mentions that his brother, Henry Chamberlain, served with Job Britton at Lake Champlain; that deponent was examined and passed by Baron von Steuben at the time of his joining that army at Newburgh aforesaid; that James and Samuel Britton, Ebenezer Chamberlain and Ephraim Stone are all now dead.”
(6) Otis Britton,
son of Job and Abigail Britton, was born 6 October 1775, in Westmoreland,
Cheshire Co., New Hampshire, died 1814, Brownville, Jefferson County, New
In the year 1800, Charles Welch and Otis Britton made their decision to become pioneers, and followed what was to become an increasingly popular trail from New Hampshire to Remsen, Herkimer County, New York. From there, they headed for the “North Country” where Jacob Brown and his bride, the former Pamelia Williams, had settled earlier the same year.
Charles and Otis took a job chopping out a road from a point on the river at Brownville to the ferry at Chaumont -- a distance of ten miles. They began this work in November, but before it was completed a heavy snowfall came. Their shoes were worn out, but they could get no others, and so they were obliged to finish their work and travel back to Herkimer County, a distance of more than 80 miles, in their bare feet. Before leaving, however, they assisted Samuel Britton, an uncle of Otis, in erecting the body of a log house. By some mishap, Otis had his leg broken, and was drawn on an ox sled to Floyd, Charles preceding the team with his axe to clear the road.
The following fall, Charles Welch married Eunice, daughter of Moses Cole of Newport, settling in Brownville, and keeping house in the little log cabin built by the Browns and used for a smoke-house. Nathan, twin brother of Charles, joined them, and they took up a farm in the Parish neighborhood, where a son was born to Charles and Eunice, the first white child born in the new town north of the Black River. By this marriage, Charles Welch and Otis Britton became brothers-in-law, for Otis had earlier married in 1795 Moses Cole’s daughter, Diadema. She had been born 18 November 1775 in Swansea, Bristol County, Massachusetts, and she died 28 June 1845 in Cape Vincent, Jefferson County, where she is buried in Taylor Cemetery. Together they had six children.
A search of the probate records in Jefferson County (Box B-55) shows that Otis Britton was the administrator of the estate of Lanson (probably Alanson) Britton, “late of the town of Brownville.” Calvin Britton and Moses Cole were the appraisers and the inventory was taken 18 December 1809.
The War of 1812, which was devastating along the northern frontier, seems to have swallowed up Otis Britton, who enlisted in Captain Luther Britton’s Company of the New York Militia, General Jacob Brown commanding. The next and last mention we have of Otis is the inventory of his estate, dated 6 March 1816. The administrators were Diadema Britton and Moses Cole, Jr., her brother. Diadema stated she was “of the town of Brownville.”
In the Taylor Cemetery, Cape Vincent, is a stone with the following inscription: “Diadema Britton, wife of Otis Britton, d. June 28, 1845, aged 70 years.”
(7) Lyman Britton
was born on 16 December 1801 in Brownville, Jefferson Co., New York, died
1882, and very early in life joined his great-uncle Brigadier-General Calvin
Britton (successor to Gen. Jacob Brown) in the lumber business, cutting
the tallest pine trees, tying them into rafts, and shipping them down the
St. Lawrence River to Montreal. In those days, Canton was the headquarters
The cemetery at Mullett Creek was first started by Lyman and Calvin Britton. When they were in that area cutting pine with a large crew of lumberman, an epidemic of smallpox broke out. Many of the lumberman died and were the earliest burials in this cemetery. Since no stones were used to mark the graves, and no records were kept, gravediggers in later years would occasionally encounter the loggers' remains.
In 1824 Jean LaFarge secured the title to most of the land in the town of Orleans. Wishing to add “class” to his name, he somehow slipped in the “de” with the resultant ring of nobility. All of this region had been cleared by the Brittons, and many persons had settled and built homes. After Jean de LaFarge had obtained the services of the settlers in the building of his famous mansion, now in ruins except for one wing, and after he had made them prepare his soil for cultivation, he drove them out, conveniently forgetting the land titles he had promised them. They were not to forget his indignity, and the de LaFarge family in their home at Perch Lake were plagued by stray shots through their windows for years.
On 31 January 1830, Lyman married a Canadian girl, Eliza Banford, born 6 October 1811, died 1863, Jefferson County, and they had seven children.
About 1837, Lyman Britton suffered his first financial reverses. He was clearing an area north of Montreal when the great business depression hit. There was no market for his timber and he lost heavily. To make matters worse, Canada was practically in a state of civil war, what with the William Lyon Mackenzie uprising, and British troops pouring in to restore order. The border situation was tense, with Americans naturally sympathizing with the rebels. Clearly this was not a good time for someone whose business straddled both sides of the river.
To help pay off his debts, Lyman and Eliza began selling some of the family's land holdings in the town of Alexandria. For example, on 28 October 1842, he and Eliza sold fifty acres on lots #180 and #185 to Lyman's brother Warren Britton, for $500. Eventually, however, it became obvious to Lyman that his timber-cutting business was finished and there was no hope of retrieving his fortune. So he left town . . . . In the Jefferson County Clerk’s records, Liber 90-103:
From this entry it is clear that Lyman and Eliza were divorced by 1847. Eliza was left to herself to support a family of five children. In a deed registered in 1847, some of Lyman's siblings, including brother Warren Britton, gave up their claims to Lyman's property to Eliza.“1847. For consideration of one dollar paid by Eliza Briton, late wife of Lyman Britton, but now divorced from him, Eldridge G. Merrick quit-claimed to Eliza Britton 100 acres of land in the town of Alexandria which was held for her, having been conveyed by Lyman Britton as alimony, and Merrick released Eliza Britton from any lein, etc., in his favor or in his name against said Lyman Britton.”
Liber 111-224. Jan. 5, 1853. Eliza Britton of the Town of Alexandria to Lorenzo Douw, 50 acres on lots 180 and 185, in the Town of Alexandria....
Liber 120-147. Dec. 19, 1854. Eliza Britton of the Town of Orleans to Reuben Hinman of the Town of Alexandria, $900, land in Alexandria....
Liber 149-381. July 1, 1862. Eliza Britton of the Town of Orleans to Otis Britton of the same, Land in the Town of Orleans. $800.
Around this same time, Lyman was re-establishing himself with a new home and a new family in Canada. In 1850, he purchased a 200-acre property in Plympton township, Lambton County, Ontario, from Edward Thomas, (lot 12, Concession XI, about 12 miles east of present-day Sarnia). Plympton and Sarnia lie at the extreme southwestern tip of Ontario province and, togerther with the neighboring Michigan state line, form the southern border of Lake Huron. He sold parts of lot 12 between 1854 and 1864, but in 1865 and 1867 he purchased parts of adjoining lots 10 and 11.
In 1871, Lyman removed to Hesperia, Town of Denver, Newaygo Co., Michigan, where in 1880 his name was published in the County Atlas as a subscribing patron. His occupation was listed as farmer. There, in 1874, he and his wife Mary sold all of their property in Ontario to their son Melzor Britton. A year later, Melzor sold the property and the record of sale indicates that he too was by then a resident of Denver, Michigan.
In the 1880 census of Denver, Newaygo Co., Michigan, "Lymon" is enumerated as a farmer of age 78 years, with wife Mary A. Britton, age 56, housekeeper; with them are two children, Hiram, age 22, born in Canada, and Adia age 18, also born in Canada, both to parents born in New York.
According to the Michigan Genealogical Death Index (in which his name is misspelled as "Symon") Lyman died in the Town of Denver on 31 March 1882, age 81 years, 7 months of "old age."S
On 11 August 1933, a reunion of his descendants was held in Jefferson Co., New York, which was publicized in the local newspaper, Watertown Times.
George S. Britton
The inscription on the back of this photo says "Always known as Colonel Britton."
The inscription on the back of this photo says "Aunt Celestine Britton."
These photos received as gifts in February 2002 from Dr. Maynard H. Mires, Jr.
Children of Lyman & Mary Britton (presumably all born in Canada; this list is likely not comprehensive):
to the LEGENDS
Note: Special thanks to Don Miller of California and to Maynard H. Mires, M.D., of Delaware, whose research forms the bulk of the preceeding narrative.