Nicholas and Elizabeth Norton are another of my 9X great grandparents who settled on Martha’s Vineyard.
Nicholas was born c1610, probably in or near Whitelackington, Somersetshire, England, the son of Nicholas Norton and an unknown wife. Church records are no longer in existence, but a chancery suit apparently provided the names of Nicholas Senior and several of his children.
Nicholas the emigrant to Massachusetts first lived in Weymouth, Norfolk, Massachusetts, where he settled by 1637. He may have been a member of Reverend John Hull’s congregation that arrived in the colony in 1635. Nicholas, born c1610, undoubtedly married wife Elizabeth in, or near, Weymouth, where they lived for about 20 years. Elizabeth was born c1619, if she was just 21 when she married c1640.
Nicholas was identified as the constable of Weymouth as late as 1657, but appears in the records of Edgartown in 1659. Within that two year span, the family removed to its final home.
Nicholas was somewhat litigious, based on the short bio of him in Banks’ History of Martha’s Vineyard. He also must not have liked some government, as he was convicted in the 1673 “Dutch Rebellion,” but Banks doesn’t include details of what that rebelliion entailed, just that it failed.
Both Nicholas and Elizabeth Norton left wills, filed in Dukes County, Massachusetts. Both are found in Court Records, Vol. 1, 1690.
The last will and testament of me Nicolas Norton Being very weak in body but of perfect understanding and Souend memory After my death and desent Christian burial: I give and bequest my worly good as foloeth:–
Irimes: I give my Son Izak Norton on half Comminig as also fouer Small Shares of medow
Secondly I give my Son Benjamin Norton all my medow at Saniacantick as also my medow at Morthals neck beah from the Crick dug into the Great pon westward as also my now dwelling houes and all my land aioyning to my Sayd houes after the decs of my wife Elizabeth Norton as also my lots at quompasha with all my devided land elsewhere: provided my Sayd Son Beniamin deliver up his now dweling houes to my now wife Elizabeth Norton with the land aioyning to the Sayd houes: to be at my sayd wifes sold will and pleseuer to dispose of at or before her desese. as also all that medow I have from a Creek to Izak Norton Medow
thirdly. I give Moses Cleveland the Remaynder of the Sayd medow to joyne with Weeks medow also on halfe commonidg with all prevleges belonging there untoo
fourthly I give my Son in law Thomas Wolling one halfe Commonidg with all prevelidges belonging to it with a pese of medow from Izak Norton’s medow to the Creeke abofe named.
fifthly I give my Son Joseph Norton a tract of land lying at Saniacantacket joyning to the mill Creke which I bought of Mr Sam.
Sixtly I give that whole Commonidg which was Arys to my aforeSayd Son Beniamin Norton
Seventhly I give to Elizabeth Norton my wife all my Catle Coues oxen Steeres & Sheepe also all my hors kind and furder I give my Sayd wife Elizabeth Norton all my houeshold goods Beding pewter bras Iron tin wood wood as Chestts trunks tables Chayers and all other things not named, also all plowes Carts Chayns yoks and all other untensells with all lumber; furder I leve my Sayd wife to give my dafter pese and my dafter wil (Wollong or Williams) and my dafter Stanbridg & my dafter Butler Something to Every one of them as much as shee sese cause: as also my dafter huxford to her my wife knows my mind
Eithly. my medow at the neck Caueled the Manado I leve to my wife Elizabeth Norton
Ninthly I doe apoynt my Sayd wife Elizabeth Norton to be my Sole Execitor and to performe my will as abof whritin.
Nicklis (N) Norton
Nicholas and Elizabeth Norton died within months of each other, as his will was dated 17 April 1690 and hers on 8 June 1690, proved in court on 8 October 1690.
The Last will and testament of me Elizabeth Norton widow I doe give to my fouer dafters named in my husbons will, five Shillins to Each of them.
I give that houes & land to Ester Huxford that my Son benjamin Norton lives in and to be delevered before his Entering into mine I dwell in acording to my Said husbons will & mind he left with me to performe & I give my Sd dafter Ester huxford that pese of medow laying between Izak Nortons meadow and the medow of Moses Cleveland nere Mortols Neck. Then my will is after my death Christian buryall & funerall Rights be performed
first I give that pese or parsoll of medow laying at a place Caueled Manadoo to my Son Joseph Norton
Secondly I give to all and Every on of my gran-Children on Shillin in money to Every one of them and to be payd wthin ten days after my buriall
thirdly I give all my lands houeses medows fences Commons Cattle Sheep horses and horskind & monys with all my household goods as beding & bed furnyture with all my Chests trunks tables Chayers with all my pewter bras Iron and tin vesels with all my plews Carts Chayns yoks wedges Siths with all other things and goods that is mine to all my Sons and dafters to be Equally devided amongst them to Every on alick Equall portion and sher
fourthly I doe apoynt my Son Joseph Norton to be Execitor to this my will to pay all my depts and delever out all my legasys treuly and faythfully acording to this my mind and will.
fifthly I doe Request Richard Sarson to be overser to see this my will performed soe far as he is able: and in witnes to this my will I have put too my hand and Sele the day and yere abof whritin
Sixtly I doe Request my beloved son Izak Norton to be overser with Richard Sarson to this my will
Elizabeth (U) Norton
Witness here untoo
Johnnathan (X) danham
- Isaac, born 3 May 1641, Weymouth, Norfolk, Massachusetts; died 1723; married Ruth Bayes, c1663
- Jacob, born 1 March 1643, Weymouth, Norfolk, Massachusetts
- Elizabeth, born c1645; married James Pease, by 1664
- Sarah; married John Stanbridge, by 1673; he was of Newport, Rhode Island.
- Priscilla, born c1651; married John Butler, by 1671
- Joseph, born c1653; died c1741; married Mary Bayes, c1673
- Ruth, born c1655; married Moses Cleveland, 4 October 1676, Woburn, Massachusetts/Southold, Long Island, New York
- Mary; married Thomas Woollen, by 1686
- Benjamin, born c1659; married Hannah (Bolter?), by 1685
- Esther, born c1662; married Samuel Huxford, by 1683
With references to Southold, Long Island, New York, the Norton family seems to have spent some time there. The dates I’ve included come from Torrey’s New England Marriages to 1700.
Birth dates for these children are just estimates, as the marriage dates are “by,” which could mean they married much earlier.
My line of descent:
- Nicholas Norton & Elizabeth (MNU)
- Mary Bayes & Joseph Norton
- John Norton & Mary Torrey
- Rachel Norton & Joseph Coleman
- Joseph Coleman & Ruth Spur
- Thomas Coleman & Mary Elizabeth Astle
- William Coleman & Sarah Moriah Crouse
- Hartwell Thomas Coleman & Anna Elisabeth Jensen
- Hazel Ethel Coleman & Vernon Tarbox Adams
- Doris Priscilla Adams & George Michael Sabo
- Linda Anne Sabo Stufflebean – me!