Houghton History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the Houghton family brought their name to England in the wave of migration after the Norman Conquest of 1066. They lived in Haughton, Cheshire. The name of this place derives from the Old English word halh, which means nook or recess, and tun, which means village or settlement. [1]

Early Origins of the Houghton family

The surname Houghton was first found in Cheshire at Haughton (or Haughton Moss), a village and civil parish. This village is by far the largest of the listings of the place name in England. Looking back further, there are at least three listings of the place name Haughton in the Domesday Book in its earliest forms: Hoctum in Nottinghamshire; Haustone in Shropshire; and Halstone or Haltone in Staffordshire. [2]

Today Haughton Castle is a privately owned country mansion near the village of Humshaugh, Northumberland and dates back to the 13th century when it was a tower house. It was enlarged and fortified in the 14th century. By the 16th century, the castle had fallen into ruin, but by the early 19th century the ruins were converted into the mansion it is today. Houghton Hall is a country house in Norfolk, England built for British Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole.

Another early branch of the family was found at Hooton, again in Cheshire. "This place, in the Domesday Book, is included in the possessions of Richard de Vernon, the Norman Baron of Shipbrook, under whom it was held by a family named Hotone, which became extinct in the male line in the reign of Richard I. It then passed by marriage to Randle Walensis or Welshman, after which alliance, his family occasionally assumed the name of Hotone." [3]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed John de Haleghton, Yorkshire; and Alexander de Houhton, Cambridgeshire. [4]

The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls included: Matilda de Halghton, huswyf, webster, 1370; and Willelmus de Halghton, 1379. [4]

The Assize Rolls of Staffordshire included: Robert de Haleghton in 1242. [5]

Adam de Houghton or Houtone (d. 1389), was Bishop of St. David's and Chancellor of England, "born at Caerforiog in the parish of Whitchurch, near St. David's, but his name clearly shows that his family was of English or Norman origin. Foss's conjecture that he was a son of John de Houghton, Baron of the Exchequer in 1347, seems untenable. Adam de Houghton was educated at Oxford, where he took the degree of doctor of laws. " [6]

Early History of the Houghton family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Houghton research. Another 206 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1114, 1130, 1621, 1647, 1642, 1663, 1488, 1535, 1488, 1548, 1624, 1548, 1605, 1604, 1597, 1705, 1691, 1720 and 1720 are included under the topic Early Houghton History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Houghton Spelling Variations

A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Haughton, Houghton, Hoctor, Hector and others.

Early Notables of the Houghton family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Houghton (1488?-1535), English prior of the London Charterhouse, born in Essex of honourable parents in or about 1488, studied at Cambridge, and took the degrees of B.A. and LL.B. "His parents then wished him to marry, but as he had resolved to embrace the ecclesiastical life, he left them and dwelt in concealment with a devout priest until he could himself take holy orders. " [6] Sir Robert Houghton (1548-1624), was an English judge, son of John Houghton of Gunthorpe, Norfolk and was born at Gunthorpe on 3...
Another 95 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Houghton Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Houghton family to Ireland

Some of the Houghton family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 105 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Houghton migration to the United States +

Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Houghton or a variant listed above:

Houghton Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Jo Houghton, aged 4, who landed in New England in 1635 [7]
  • Joh Houghton, aged 4, who arrived in New England in 1635 [7]
  • John Houghton, who landed in Massachusetts in 1635 [7]
  • Chri Houghton, aged 19, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [7]
  • Robert Houghton, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Houghton Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Robert Houghton, who landed in Lancaster, Massachusetts in 1703 [7]
  • Henry Houghton, who landed in Lancaster, Massachusetts in 1703 [7]
  • Jacob Houghton, who landed in Lancaster, Massachusetts in 1703 [7]
  • Jonas Houghton, who landed in Lancaster, Massachusetts in 1703 [7]
  • Joseph Houghton, who arrived in Lancaster, Massachusetts in 1703 [7]
Houghton Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Houghton, who landed in New York, NY in 1817 [7]
  • Thomas Houghton, who arrived in New York in 1822 [7]
  • Richard Houghton, who arrived in New York in 1822 [7]
  • James Houghton, who landed in New York in 1832 [7]
  • Samuel Houghton, who landed in Mississippi in 1857 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Houghton migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Houghton Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Geo Houghton, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Jacob Houghton, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
Houghton Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Houghton, (b. 1820), aged 35, Cornish miller departing from Falmouth destined for Quebec, Canada aboard the ship "Barque John" on 3rd May 1855 which sank after striking the reef, he died in the sinking [8]

Australia Houghton migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Houghton Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Geoffrey Houghton, British Convict who was convicted in Lancaster, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Asia" on 20th July 1837, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [9]
  • Lavinia Houghton, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Henry Porcher" in 1838 [10]
  • David Houghton, who arrived in Glenelg Roads aboard the ship "Pestonjee Bomanjee" in 1838 [11]
  • Mr. William Houghton, (b. 1825), aged 18, British labourer who was convicted in Kirkdale, Liverpool, England for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Asiatic" on 26th May 1843, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land), he died in 1849 [12]
  • James Houghton, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Bolivar" in 1850 [13]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Houghton migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Houghton Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Allan Houghton, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Aurora
  • Francis Houghton, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Aurora
  • George Houghton, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Aurora
  • James H Houghton, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Aurora
  • John Houghton, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Aurora
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Houghton (post 1700) +

  • Alanson Bigelow Houghton (1863-1941), American businessman, politician, and diplomat, United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom (1925-1929), United States Ambassador to Germany (1922-1925)
  • Amory Houghton (1837-1909), American President of the Corning Glass Works, the company founded by his father, Amory Houghton, Sr. in 1851
  • Israel Houghton (b. 1971), American Grammy Award-winning Christian singer and worship leader
  • Henry Oscar Houghton (1823-1895), American publisher and politician, co-founder of Houghton Mifflin, Mayor of Cambridge, Massachusetts (1872-1873)
  • Brigadier-General Junius Henry Houghton (1892-1980), American Commanding Officer Dover Del & Brookley Air Force Base, Alabama (1949-1950) [14]
  • Katharine Houghton (b. 1945), American actress
  • Amory Houghton Jr. (b. 1926), American Republican politician, U.S. Representative from New York, 1987-2003; Delegate to Republican National Convention from New York, 2008 [15]
  • Amory Houghton (1899-1981), American Republican politician, Presidential Elector for New York, 1956; U.S. Ambassador to France, 1957-61; Candidate for Delegate to New York State Constitutional Convention at-large, 1966 [15]
  • Amory Houghton Jr., American Republican politician, Presidential Elector for New York, 1880; Presidential Elector for New York, 1880 [15]
  • Alfred S. Houghton, American politician, Representative from Connecticut 2nd District, 1892 [15]
  • ... (Another 43 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Air New Zealand Flight 901
  • Mr. John Greenleaf Houghton (1940-1979), American associate professor on sabbatical, currently residing in Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand aboard the Air New Zealand Flight 901 for an Antarctic sightseeing flight when it flew into Mount Erebus; he died in the crash [16]
Empress of Ireland
  • Mr. James Houghton, British Trimmer from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and survived the sinking [17]
RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. Thomas Johnson Houghton, American Smoke room Barkeeper from Saratoga Spring, USA, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [18]
  • Dr. James Tilly Houghton, American 1st Class Passenger from Troy, New York, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking by escaping in a collapsible [18]


The Houghton Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Malgre le tort
Motto Translation: Despite the wrong.


Suggested Readings for the name Houghton +

  • 2118 "Houghton Ancestry: With Houghton Family Supplement" by Mabel Tacher R. Washburn.

  1. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  6. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  7. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  8. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/wreck_of_emigrant_ship_john_1855.pdf
  9. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 7th February 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1837
  10. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) HENY PORCHER 1838. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1838HenryPorcher.htm
  11. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The PESTONJEE BOMANJEE 1838. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1838PestonjeeBomanjee.htm
  12. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th July 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/asiatic
  13. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) BOLIVAR 1850. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1850Bolivar.gif
  14. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2012, March 30) Junius Houghton. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Houghton/Junius_Henry/USA.html
  15. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 14) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  16. ^ Mount Erebus, Memorial, Roll of Remembrance (Retrieved 2018, February 21st). Retrieved from http://www.erebus.co.nz/memorialandawards/rollofremembrance.aspx
  17. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html
  18. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/


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