An American Family History

The Alton Family

  also spelled Allton  
American colonists continued to use British monetary units, namely the pound, shilling and pence for which £1 (or li) equalled 20s and 1s equalled 12d. In 1792 the dollar was established as the basic unit of currency.
Essex County, Massachusetts was created on May 10, 1643 by the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, when it ordered "that the whole plantation within this jurisdiction be divided into four sheires."

William Alton married Mercy Eliot on December 16, 1719 in Marblehead.

Mercy and William's children included:
John Alton (about 1720, married Elizabeth Hosmer),
William Alton (about 1723, married Sarah Cummings),
Joseph Alton (about 1725)
David Alton (about 1724, married Rebecca Gould), and
Benjamin Alton (about 1730, married Susannah Blood).

There may have been other children who were not named in the will.

William and Mercy lived in Marblehead until 1738 when they moved to Thompson, Winham County, Connecticut.

In 1742, William bought land in Southbridge, Worcester County, Massachusetts.

He bought 66 acres in Oxford, Worcester County, Massachusetts on April 10, 1747. In 1751 he bought another 20 acres.

In 1754, William headed a petition to have the town of Oxford divided to form the new town of Charlton. In 1755 he was the treasurer of that town.

William died about 1778 in Charlton. He was buried with Mercy on the family farm.

Formerly could be seen two brown field stones marking the heads of the graves of William and Mary [Mercy?] Alton, buried there probably about the time of the Revolutionary war. . .

His real estate was appraised at 900£, his personal property at 132£.

On May 10, 1796, the heirs of William Alton, which included Benjamin, Moses, Amasa, Susannah, Miriam and Silence Alton sold the homefarm of 130½ acres to the Ammidowns.

Children of Sarah Collins
and Joseph Eliot
  • Mercy Eliot Alton

  • Children of Crispus Richards
    and Sarah Collins
  • Joseph Richards
  • Esther Richards Estey
  • John Richards
  • Mary Richards
  • Crispus Richards
  • Sarah Richards Ingalls
  • Hannah Richards Stocker
  • Richard Richards
  • Some Puritans gave their children hortatory names (from the Latin for “encourage”) like Thankful, hoping that the children would live up to them. The names were used for several generations.

    Women played an essential role in American society as mothers and homemakers.

    Connecticut's first European settlers were Dutch.




    Historical Collections by Holmes Ammidown

    Located on the farm now in the north-east part of Southbridge, originally owned by William Alton, the first settler there. He came with the Dresser family from Thompson, Connecticut.

    Formerly could be seen two brown field stones marking the heads of the graves of William and Mary Alton, buried there probably about the time of the Revolutionary war. These graves were on the south side of the road, about fifty to seventy rods west of the house and barn, as they now stand, but the stones have been removed, and as last seen by this writer, about two years since, were a part of the stone wall at a distance in the lot, fifty to sixty feet north-east from where they formerly were placed about a hundred years since.

    The Alton farm was purchased by Luther and Calvin Ammidown May 10, 1796, 1301; acres.

    Old Style Calendar
    Before 1752 the year began on Lady Day, March 25th,. Dates between January 1st and March 24th were at the end of the year. Old Style (O.S.) and New Style (N.S.) are used to indicate whether the year has been adjusted. Often both dates are used.

    The rod or perch or pole is a surveyor's tool equal to 5 1⁄2 yards.


    Boston was founded in 1630 by Puritan settlers from England.

    Historical Collections: Sturbridge. Charlton. Southbridge by Holmes Ammidown

    April 10, 1747. Richard Williams, of Boston, one of the heirs of Capt. Papillon, to William Alton, of Thompson, Connecticut, 6.0 acres of land in Oxford.

    April 10, 1747. Ebenezer Scott, of Oxford, to William Alton, of Thompson, 60 acres, £138, bounded N. on Brown lot, south on Holmes Ammidown’s own land, and west on Kitchen’s land.

    May 27, 1751. Martha Williams, wife of the late Richard Williams, of Boston, to William Alton, 20 acres; b. 31, p. 182.

    This William Alton was one of the principal men in the west part of Oxford, and headed the petition for setting off this part of Oxford, which became Charlton in 1754. . .

    May 10, 1796. The heirs of William Alton, to wit, Benjamin, Moses, Amasa, Susannah, Miriam and Silence Alton, sold to Luther and Calvin Ammidown, 130½ acres, this homefarm, when it passed from the Altons to the Ammidowns.

    Personal property can be called personalty (personality), goods, chattels, articles, or movable property. It includes both animate or inanimate property.
    Marblehead, Essex County, Massachusetts was first settled in 1629 and incorporated in 1649. It was originally a fishing village. Before the Revolution it was home base for privateers who plundered European ships.

    Historic Homes and Institutions, Volume 3 by Ellery Bicknell Crane

    William Alton... settled at Marblehead late in the seventeenth century and was later located at Charlton, Massachusetts. His will mentions his sons: John, William, Joseph, David, Benjamin.

    John Alton, son of William Alton (1), was born in Marblehead, Massachusetts, 1720. He married Elizabeth Hosmer. He died in 1780; she died in 1816, at the age of ninety-four years. They had ten children, among whom were: John, the eldest surviving son, married Anna Babcock and settled in Woodstock, Connecticut; Thomas, settled in Thompson, where he was born, one of the youngest; Jesse, born in Thompson, one of the youngest, settled in Thompson; two daughters who married and removed to Vermont.

    William Alton, son of William Alton (1), was the head of the other family of Altons in Thompson, Connecticut. He married Sarah Cummins, December 19, 1744, and settled in Thompson. He died in 1787; she died in 1818, aged ninety-six years. They had nine children, among whom were:
    William, Daniel, born 1800;
    Joseph 2d, married Zerviah Lyon, of Woodstock, Connecticut, and had a son Joseph;
    David 2d, married Rebecca Gould, and they had children:
    Asa, married Priscilla Jefferds, December 21, 1774. was a soldier in the revolutionary war;
    David, Jr., married Keziah Davis, May 17, 1775.

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    ©Roberta Tuller 2023
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