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Original family immigrant to America. Arrived at New Castle about 1725 and it is believed that our John came to America with his 1st cousin, John Houston, progenitor of the Rockbridge Co., VA line. Our John settled in Pequea Valley, Lancaster Co. , PA (then Chester Co.). Primarily a farmer, he was also a miller. He erected a mill near the Leacock Twp. line at the present intersection of St. Rt. 772 & Hershey Church Rd.
In religion all our Houston lines were Presbyterians and followed either the Associate or Associate Reformed Church (known as Covenanters or Seceders). John was active member of the Pequea Pres. Church in Salisbury Twp., Lancaster Co., PA and on e of its founders. He was opposed to the evangelistic preaching of George Whitfield and William Tennant which resulted in the split of the Presbyterian Church in 1741. While the Church reunited in 1758, John remained an "Old Sider" until his death in 1769. His will provided funds for the Seceder Church at Pequea.
Houstons of Pequea pronounced their name "Howston" and not "Hughston."
JOHN HOUSTON'S WILL
John Houston, August the tenth one thousand seven hundred and sixty nine
Some have his death date as the 10th of August
I being in my ordinary health. Thanks be to God for it. And all his Mercies to me, but considering here I have no abiding or certain time of abiding known by me, but must die, And so as for settling my Worldly affairs, I do it in the manner after ward mentioned
First I allow all my just-debts and funeral charges to be payed by my Executors
2nd I leave to my beloved wife Martha, the place I now live on, until my son William comes of age for to work for the most advantage she can with six horses or mares six cows and twenty head of sheep with all the hogs & all utensils belongin g to me for the carrying on the farming Business and my Negro Friday for to help him to work. For this benefit she must pay to my Executors .one hundred & twenty pounds every year until the expiration of the above time, and keep four children clea r of charges for boarding schooling for the above time, and they must work for the said time. To Wit, William, Ann, Thomas & Samuel.
3rd I leave to my son John two hundred pounds to be payed him in two yearly payments after my debts are all payed off.
4th I leave to my son Daniel and his Heirs all that tract of land where John McGarrey lives known by the name of London Lands. With the one half of my wood land I have on the Octorara hill, to the southern of this farm of which is about thirty acr es, for which he must pay what is coming to Isaac Taylor for part of said land and likewise pay Seven Hundred pounds to Christian Bumbarger, and the Trustees at the College of Philadelphia which I owe them, and for which sums he must keep al l my Children clear of any Charges by non payment.
5th I leave to my Son James the Mill and all the land I had of William Hamilton and William Blythe and that nine acres of land which I bought of Benjamin Blythe, being in the North side of the mill race together with all the water privilege I ha d of the Blythes for conveying the water to said Mill for which he must pay three hundred pounds to Sebastian Droves' heirs which I owe them for which sum he must keep all the rest of the Children clear of any charges on account of nonpayment.
6th I leave to my son William all the place I now live on to him and his Heirs with the incumbrance that his Mother is to have that room we lay in with the back siller opposite to the room and fire wood laid to the door and put on her fire whe n she wants it with all necessary provisions of every kind for her and the Children till they come of age but the Children must work on the place to help him or he must not be at the expense with them, only his Mother. And if they stay with hi s Mother and him to work he must clothe them clear of charges until they come of age and further he must pay out of the place to my daughter Ann four hundred and fifty pounds in the manner after mentioned one hundred pounds to be paid to her whe n she comes to the age of nineteen years and then one hundred pounds after that and then he must pay to my daughter Jean or her heirs two hundred and fifty pounds in two equal payments in two years after Ann gets her two hundred and then he mus t pay to Ann the remaining four hundred and fifty pounds in two yearly payments and further he must pay out of the place two hundred and fifty pounds in two equal payments to my Executors.
7th I leave to my Son Thomas them two places where Moses Beard and William Scott now lives on, to him his Heirs, him to come into it when he comes of age, and to pay at four Equal payments four hundred and fifty pounds to my Executors, and the n to pay to my Son James or his heirs a hundred pounds a year for two years, in all six hundred and fifty pounds.
8th I leave to my Son Samuel that place I had of Benjamin Blythe where son Daniel lives now except about nine acres mentioned to son James above to him his Heirs. Him to come to the benefit of it or rent when he comes to the age of seventeen yea rs, and what land is to deed of said place I allow it to be done of my whole estate. After my debts is paid and what land I have on Octorara hill, Samuel to have the half of it and Daniel is to have the other half as above mentioned. The half co ntaining 30 acres.
9th I allow that track of mountain land that lies on the Welsh Mountain containing 345 Acres which I had of William Clark, one hundred and thirty acres for son James, one hundred and fifty acres for Son William, and sixty five acres for Son Thoma s and if the tract should fall or advance I allow each Son to have less or more as I have divided it.
10th When Son William comes of age I allow that my wife may get a horse or mare, the best bed and furniture in the House and to provide for her as before mentioned but if she should marry then I allow here to get a horse & saddle & bridle and furn iture and two hundred pounds to be payed her by son William in two equal payments the first to be payed in one year after marriage and the other one year after that, and she must leave the place whenever she marrys either before William come s of age or after. All former benefits ceases. Only the two hundred pounds mentioned before and the bed furniture. The remainder of the furniture of the house and what stock of cattle of every kind be divided among my four children to wit: Willi am, Ann, Thomas & Samuel and all the utensils belonging to the farm and the Negro Friday. All to be equally divided in the presence of six men and then be equally divided as mentioned before.
11th I allow that after the debts and legacies above mentioned be paid of my Executors, I leave one hundred pounds of my Estate in my Son James hands that the interest of it may come yearly to support the Gospel in the Congregation at Pequea where of I have been a member or if the Congregation should be vacant then the interest of the above sum should be to pay for supplying this Congregation and then to the minister under the inspection of the Associate Synod of Scotland but should son Jam es or his Heirs should be for leaving this Congregation then let the above money be given to some safe hands in this Congregation that the interest may be paid yearly for the above benefit above mentioned and the money to be taken care of by th e session of the Congregation, and lastly whatever money rises out of my Estate after paying the debts and legacies, above mentioned I order all such sums to be equally divided among my Children for to share & share alike And if any of them shoul d die before they come of age or without lawful heirs then there share to be equally divided among the surviving children or their heirs and I constitute and appoint my sons Daniel and James to be my Executors and this to be my last Will and Testa ment and do revoke all former Wills I ever had.
Signed Sealed and delivered in the presence of: John Bare (mark) Gattarin Artice (mark)
Before signed I order all my stock of every kind to be sold immediately after my decease except what is above mentioned.
John Houston mark