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Proving the Parents, Grandparents and Great Grandfathers of Lewis Houston

For my BCG renewal portfolio, I am reporting on the research I have conducted for my 2nd great grandfather, Lewis Houston, who died after being wounded in the Battle of Antietam. In the course of that report, I considered what prompted Lewis, a 31-year-old father of three, to volunteer to fight in the Civil War at the very beginning of the War. One of the considerations was the possibility that there was a strong family tradition of military service or service in a cause. I looked at his ancestors to see if any of them had previous military service, and found that at least two of his great-grandfathers had been soldiers in the Revolutionary War. I needed to prove that those men were in fact that ancestors of Lewis Houston.

The following graphic shows the direct line ancestors of Lewis Houston. Documents cited below the graphic prove the relationship of Lewis Houston to his parents, grandparents and great-grandparents.



Beginning with Lewis Houston:

Lewis Houston’s birth and the marriage record for Lewis Houston and Mary Matilda Harris are recorded in loose pages from a family Bible. The pages were submitted as part of a pension application made by his widow, Mary (Harris) Houston, and by his father, Joseph W. Houston, as guardian for the three minor children of Lewis:

Houston Bible Records, 1830-1865, loose “Family Records” pages from unknown Bible; digital image of pages included in widow’s pension application number 12098, certificate number 2762, filed 5 February 1863. The Bible appears to be the Bible of Lewis and Mary (Harris) Houston. In a document included in the pension file, Joseph Houston, father of Lewis Houston, references the Bible records and states that some of the entries are in the handwriting of his son, Lewis Houston. Deposition of Claimant, 5 February 1863, Mary M. Houston, widow’s pension application no. 12098, certificate no. 543,796 and Deposition of Claimant, 2 May 1864, minor’s pension application no. 50,848, certificate no. 124,912; service of Lewis Houston (Pvt., Co. H, 14th Indiana Vol., Civil War); Civil War and later Pension Files; Record Group 15: Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs; National Archives, Washington, D.C.

Lewis Houston married Mary Matilda Harris, on 1 September 1853 in Monroe County, Indiana:

Monroe County, Indiana, Marriage Book 3: 47, Lewis Houston and Mary M. Harris, 1853, recorded return; Monroe County History Center, Bloomington.

Joseph Houston, father of Lewis Houston:

Joseph Houston died intestate; his probate file names his widow, Lucinda; his deceased son Lewis Houston and Lewis’ children (Joseph W. Houston, Mary S. Houston, and Harriet E. Houston), and Joseph Houston’s other children, the sister and brother of Lewis Houston--Nancy (Houston) Gilman, John W. Houston:

Monroe County, Indiana, Joseph Houston probate box P29, folder 1, Clerk of Court; Monroe County History Center, Bloomington.

Lucinda (Putnam) Houston, mother of Lewis Houston:

Lucinda Putnam married Joseph Houston in Monroe County, Indiana, on 7 March 1827:

Monroe County, Indiana, Marriage Book A: 56, Joseph Houston and Lucinda Putnam, 1827, recorded return; County Clerk’s Office, Bloomington.

Joseph and Lucinda (Putnam) Houston are shown as a household with Lewis Houston and his siblings in the 1850 U.S. census record:

1850 U.S. census, Monroe County, Indiana, population schedule, Bean Blossom Township, p. 266 (stamped) 531 penned), dwelling 634, family 634, Joseph Houston; image, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 8 July 2020); citing National Archives, microfilm publication M432, roll 161. Family relationships are not indicated in the 1850 U.S. census but may be inferred as parents and children, based on surnames and ages. One son, James M. Houston, died in 1845 at age 14; citing Houston Cemetery (Monroe County, Indiana; 9 miles NW of Bloomington, off of Prather Road, in Section 10, Bean Blossom Township), James M. Houston marker, photographed by author, September 2006 [“James M. Son of J. & L Houston, Died June 11, 1845, aged 14 years”]. “ “John W. Houston,” Biographical Sketches, Bean Blossom Township, Charles Blanchard, ed., Counties of Morgan, Monroe and Brown, Indiana: Historical and Biographical (Chicago: F. A. Battey & Co., 1884), 617. Sketch states John W. Houston is the youngest of the eight children of Joseph and Lucinda (Putman) Houston. Based on birthdates of six known children, it is believed that two children died in childhood and were not recorded in census records or located in cemetery records; deaths were not recorded officially in Monroe County, Indiana, until 1882.

Lucinda Houston filed suit for divorce against her husband, Joseph Houston, in November 1852 in Monroe County, Indiana. The divorce was granted in the May term of the 1853 Court:

Monroe County, Indiana, Circuit Court, divorce file box 8, file 3 (1853), Lucinda Houston v. Joseph Houston, original filing through final decree; Monroe County History Center, Bloomington.

Lucinda Houston and Joseph Houston remarried just days after the divorce decree on 9 June 1853:

Monroe County, Indiana, Marriage Book 3: 35, Joseph Houston and Lucinda Houston, 1853, recorded return; County Clerk’s Office, Bloomington.

Lucinda (Putnam) Houston is identified as his daughter in the will of her father, James Putnam:

Monroe County, Indiana, Will Book B: 57-58, James Putnam, 1854; Monroe County History Center, Bloomington.

James Madison Houston, paternal grandfather of Lewis Houston:

James Madison Houston died intestate. His children, heirs of James Houston, requested the sale of “our fathers rail [sic-real] estate.” The request is signed by Joseph Houston, Purnell Houston, Benjamin Houston, Alfred Houston, Nancy Houston, Robert Houston, Polly Cooter. Benjamin Putman was appointed guardian of the minor heirs Nancy Houston, William Houston and Sarah Francis Houston:

Monroe County, Indiana, James Houston probate box P28, folder 26, Clerk of Court; Monroe County History Center, Bloomington.

Sarah Elsie (Kendrick) Houston, paternal grandmother of Lewis Houston:

Sarah Kendrick and James Houston were married in Bourbon County, Kentucky, 1 September 1805:

Bourbon County, Kentucky, Marriage Record Book, 2: 24, James Houston and Sarah Kendrick, 1805, recorded bond and license (with original signatures); County Clerk’s Office, Paris.

Sarah is named in the will of her father, Benjamin Kendrick, as Sarah Houston:

Bourbon County, Kentucky, Will Book H:397-398, Benjamin Kendrick, 1830; County Clerk’s Office, Paris.

James Putnam, maternal grandfather of Lewis Houston:

James Putnam married Elizabeth Kendrick on 16 August 1799 in Bourbon County, Kentucky. Elizabeth Kendrick is the sister of Sarah Kendrick who married James Houston. This makes Lewis Houston’s parents, Joseph Houston and Lucinda Putnam, first cousins who share a common set of grandparents:

Bourbon County, Kentucky. Bourbon County, Kentucky, Marriage Records # 6, unnumbered loose pages, James Putnam and Betsey Kendrick, 1799, recorded bond and return; Bourbon County Clerk’s Office, Paris.

James Putnam’s will names Lucinda (Putnam) Houston, wife of Joseph Houston, as his daughter:

Monroe County, Indiana, Will Book B: 57-58, James Putnam, 1854; Monroe County History Center, Bloomington.

James Putnam is identified as the heir and child of Henry Putnam, deceased, in a deed record in Mason County, Kentucky, in 1828:

Mason County, Kentucky, Deed Book 32: 125, James Putnam to Daniel Wood, 5 May 1828; County Clerk’s Office, Maysville.

Elizabeth Kendrick, maternal grandmother of Lewis Houston:

Elizabeth Kendrick married James Putnam on 16 August 1799 in Bourbon County, Kentucky:

Bourbon County, Kentucky, Marriage Records #6m unnumbered loose pages, James Putnam and Betsey Kendrick, 1799, recorded bond and return; Bourbon County Clerk’s Office, Paris.

Elizabeth Kendrick is named in the will of her father, Benjamin Kendrick, along with her sister, Sarah (Kendrick) Houston who married James Madison Houston:

Bourbon County, Kentucky, Will Book H: 397-398, Benjamin Kendrick, 1830; County Clerk’s Office, Paris.

Elizabeth (Kendrick) Putnam is named in the will of her husband, James Putnam who also names their daughter, Lucinda (Putnam) Houston in the will:

Monroe County, Indiana, Will Book B: 57-58, James Putnam, 1854; Monroe County History Center, Bloomington.

Purnell Houston, paternal great grandfather of Lewis Houston:

Purnell Houston is named as the father of James Houston in a court case in Monongalia County, Virginia (now West Virginia) in 1802. James Houston, son of “Pernal” Houston, was charged with fathering a child out of wedlock. James Houston left the state; his father and his sister were called into court to testify as to his whereabouts and stated that James Houston had provided for the child prior to leaving the state to settle in Kentucky:

Monongalia County, Virginia, County Court Cases, September 1802, case 122-B, un-paginated, September Term 1802, Shockley v. Hamilton & Howston [sic-Houston]; West Virginia University, Morgantown.

Benjamin Kendrick, maternal great grandfather of Lewis Houston:

Benjamin Kendrick names his children, including his daughters, Sarah (Kendrick) Houston and Elizabeth (Kendrick) Putnam, in his will dated 20 January 1830 and recorded 6 September 1830 :

Bourbon County, Kentucky, Will Book H: 397-398, Benjamin Kendrick, 1830; County Clerk’s Office, Paris.

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