Britton Research from
Early generations from Somersetshire, England
By Elmer Garfield Van Name, J.D., LL.D., 1970.
p.1 Picture of Britton silver spoons -- owned by Catharine Bodine Britten (see p.19)
p.2 Table of Contents, continued on p.3
p.3 Foreword -- (in part) "The Britton, Britaine, Britten family is thought to have been derived from the ancient Norman French family of Le Britone, members of which went to England with William, the Conqueror (WJ). Heretofore, it has been supposed that because Rev. Richard Britton served the parish of Bisley in Gloucestershire, England, this was his ancestral home. But the ascertainment of the name and residence in England of his father, likewise named Richard Britton, of Batcombe, in Somersetshire, represents a welcome accession. This sheds new light on the ancestry of the Brittons of Staten Island, N.Y., and should terminate speculation respecting the domicile in England. With regard to the Britton family of Staten Island, many have struggled with its genealogical problems; and a certain consensus of findings and opinions has developed. Nonetheless, by this study, some new material is offered, several errors have been corrected, and a few doubts have been resolved."
p.4 Richard Britton of Batcombe, Somersetshire, England and his son Nathaniel Britton (1610s/1620s-1684) (Generation 1) who married Anne Stillwell, eldest daughter of Lieutenant Nicholas Stillwell and Anne his wife. On this page, Van Name lists the Jesse Britton ancestor, William, as "believed to be a son" of Richard Britton of Batcombe (WJ 1-1; PR 121; SG 4:119; SIH 27:17). This William Britton married Maria/Mary Stillwell, younger sister to Anne Stillwell. [William's descendancy is then detailed in the second half of the book, pages 28-33.].
p.4 Richard's son Nathaniel Britton (Generation 1), p.5, p.6 (continued)
p.6 Judge Nathaniel Britton (1666-1729) (Generation 2), p.7, p.8, p.9 (continued).
p.9 Captain Nathaniel Britton (~1688-1747) (Generation 3), son of Nathaniel, p.10 (continued)
p.10 Abraham Britton (1690s?-<1729) (Generation 3) son of Nathaniel and Nathaniel Britten (?-1792) (Generation 4) son of Abraham Britton, p.11 p.13 (Nathaniel, continued).
p.12 (interpreted) map of Castleton, Staten Island NY properties, circa 1770s (also at right)
|interpretive map of Castleton, Staten Island, NY circa 1770s -- p.12, click on map for larger view -- Note Peter Housman family next door to Britten (see p.13)|
p.13 Abraham Britten (~1710s-~1791) (Generation 5) son of Nathaniel Britten, p.14 (continued)
p.14 Cornelius Britten (1778-1832) (Generation 6) son of Abraham Britten, and Abraham Britton (1803-1866) (Generation 7) son of Cornelius Britten, p.15 (Abraham continued)
p.15 Jasper Britten (1809-?) (Generation 7) son of Cornelious, Benjamin Britten (1837-1912) (Generation 8) son of Jasper, Edwin Britten (1859-1942) (Generation 9) son of Benjamin, Carence Britten (1882-?) (Generation 10) son of Edwin, and Nathaniel Britton (1755-1843) (Generation 5) son of Nathaniel, p.16 (Nathaniel coninued)
p.16 Deborah Brtton (1782-1840) (Generation 6) daughter of Nathaniel, Cornelius (1785-1867) (Generation 6) son of Nathaniel, and Abraham Britton (1787-1866) (Generation 6) son of Nathaniel, p.17 (Abraham continued)
p.17 Mary Ann Britton (?-?) (Generation 7) daughter of Abraham, Nathaniel Britton Jr (1793-1841) (Generation 6) son of Nathaniel, p.18 (Nathaniel continued)
p.18 Jasper Britton (1811-1882) (Generation 6) son of Nathaniel, Dr. Nathaniel Britton (1859-1934) (Generation 7) son of Jasper, Catharine Britten (1759-1838) (Generation 5) daughter of Nathaniel, p.19, p.20 (Catharine continued).
p.20 Mary Bodin (1779-1839) (Generation 6) daughter of Catharine
p.21 Alletta Lake (1818-1877) (Generation 7) daughter of Mary, Clarence Van Name (1858-1927) (Generation 8) son of Alletta, Alletta Van Name (1886-1969) (Generation 9) daughter of Clarence, Herbert Marshall (1923-?) (Generation 10) son of Alletta, and LeRoy Marshall (1926-?) (Generation 10) son of Alletta, p.22 (LeRoy continued)
p.22 Elmer Van Name (1858-?) (Generation 9) son of Clarence, David Van Name (1917-?) (Generation 10) son of Elmer, Dennis Van Name (1946-?) (Generation 11) son of David, Martha Van Name (1894-?) (Generation 9) daughter of Clarence, John Bodine Jr (1781-1831) (Generation 6) son of Catharine Britton, p.23 (John continued)
p.23 Jacob Bodine (?-1845) (Generation 6) son of Catherine Britton, Mary Bodine (1817-?) (Generation 7), p.24 (Mary continued)
p.24 Vincent Bodine (?-1862) (Generation 6) son of John, Nathaniel Bodine (?-1830) (Generation 6) son of John, Phebe Bodine (1800-1884) (Generation 6) daughter of John, p.25 (Phebe continued)
p.25 Alice Britton (1705-1766) (Generation 3) daughter of Nathaniel, Deliverance Coward (1737-1787) (Generation 4) daughter of Alice, Jonathan Coward (1748-1833) (Generation 4) son of Alice, p.26 (Jonathan continued).
p.26 William Britton (1723-1804) (Generation 3) son of Nathaniel, Zeboath Brittain (1746-1790) (Genration 4) son of William, Joseph Brittain (1771-1821) (Generation 5) son of Zeboath, p.27 (Joseph continued)
p.27 Zebulon Brittain (1794-1851) (Generation 6) son of Joseph, Margaret Anne Brittain (1837-1900) (Generation 7) daughter of Zebulon, Lula Crawford (1867-1939) (Generation 8) daughter of Margaret, Charles Lord (1895-?) (Generation 9) son of Lula, p.28 (Charles continued)
p.28-p.29 William Britton (~1630s?-1683) (Generation 1) married Maria (or Mary) Stillwell, born about 1645 (SHGM 1:152; PR 121), daughter of Nicholas Stillwell and Anne, his wife (SIH 27:17). William Britton, an Englishman, was living at Mespat (Newtown), Long Island,as early as February 12, 1661/2 (SIP 2:870; PR 121). Before coming to Staten Island, William Britton and Nicholas Stillwell had taken part in non-conformist religious services on Long Island (SIP 1:432). The English having taken over the country in 1664, William was on Staten Island by 1676. His wife, Maria, and seven children were baptised by the minister from the Flatlands Dutch Church on July 14, 1678. Nathaniel Britton was a witness (WJ 103,104; SG 3:18;SIP 1:431; Holland Society Year Book 1898). In 1676, Nathaniel Britton brought a law suit against William Britton and Nathan Whitman for pulling up part of the common fence of the Town of Dover, Staten Island, and removing it for their own use, which the court ordered replaced (WJ 104). In 1678 and 1679, William Britton was Constable of Staten Island. In 1680, William was a defendant in a law suit in which Thomas Walton claimed to have lost his crop of "Indigo" corn, by William's unruly horses, thru failure of William to maintain his own fences (SG 4:123). William Britton died intestate, and an inventory of his estate was taken Dec. 31, 1683 (SG 4:123). In 1685, Mary Britton acquired a patent for 180 acres at Old Town, near Arrochar (SIP 1:136; 2:869). On Feb. 29, 1685/6, Mary Britton, widow, made a deed to her son, Nathaniel, (for the value of a bond due by her son to Paulie Richardes, Merchant, of New York), for land adjoining Sarah Whitman's land. It was witnessed by Thomas Lovelace and Thomas Waltone (RD B:220; SIH 19:10; SG 4:123). On May 4, 1897, Mary Britton, widow, sold to Thomas Dongan, Capt. General and Governor of N.Y., 180 acres (4 lots), at Old Town, reserving 30 acres "now in the actual possession Nathaniell Britton," adjoining the land of Sarah Seidmore (RD B:59; SIH 19:2,5; SG 4:123). Children:
1. William, born 1663 (more p.29);
2. Nathaniel, born 1665, died (circa) Nov. 19, 1702 (more p.30);
3. Richard, born 1667, who went to N.J. (NJA 23:61, 30:61);
4. Joseph, born 1669, had son Jeames, baptized at Dutch Church April 23, 1707;
5. Benjamin, born 1671 (more p.32);
6. Jan (John) born 1673;
7. Daniel, born January 1676/7, died 1733 (more p.32); and
8. Nicholas, bap. Oct 17, 1680, Colonel (SIP 1:431) (more p.33).
p.29-p.30 William Britton (1663-<1704) (Generation 2) son of William
p.30-p.31 William Britton (1685-1766) (Generation 3) son of William, Nathaniel Britton (1665-1702) (Generation 2) son of William
p.31-p.32 Nathaniel Britton (1688-1760) (Generation 3) son of Nathaniel
p.32-p.33 Benjamin Britton (1671-?) (Generation 2) son of William, and Daniel Britton (1677-1733) (Generation 2) son of William
p.33 Col. Nicklas Britten (1680-1740/1) (Generation 2) son of William
Index of names: p.38-p.39-p.40.
References and bibliography: p.41 (includes: (PR-Pre-Revolutionary Dutch Houses and Families in Northern NJ and Southern NY; RD-Richmond County Deeds; SG-Stillwell Genealogy; SHGM-Stillwell's Historical and Genealogical Miscellany; SIH-The Staten Island Historian; SIP-Staten Island and Its People; WJ-Wilson and Allied Families)
William's sixth child above, John, was Jesse Britton's ancestor, and there is no further information in this book about this specific line (see pp.28-29).
The reader will often see English dates prior to 1751 using a dual-year notation (e.g., 1676/7). This notation tries to specify the difference between the (old) Julian calendar and the (new) Gregorian calendar. The English Calendar Act of 1751 addressed two major issues:
1-the Julian calendar was eleven days ahead of the earth's actual position due to its lack of Leap Years (11 days were dropped -- Sep. 3-13, 1751; the calendar went Sep 1-2-14-15...), and 2-the beginning of the year was changed from March 15, as used by the government for legal purposes, to the popular date of January 1, which was used by the populace and many other nations. Different countries made the change at different times; it was first adopted by Pope Gregory XIII in October of 1582, but many Protestant countries refused to follow suit for 200 more years.