I started www.NortonFamily.net in 1998 to aggregate all of the storys and research that I had picked up. Over the years we lost some relatives we thought we had and gained others. Let's salute the hundreds of relatives and researchers who have peered at musty old records and passed down family storys to give us clues to our heritage. While I am writing this history, many, many people have contributed.

The Norton Family of Fluvanna, Virginia
Robert Norden, Rev of Warbleton, East Sussex, UK
The Norden and Nordan Family of Wake, North Carolina
The Norden Family of South Carolina and Alabama


Nimrod Norton

The Norton Family of Fluvanna, Virginia

Important Update March 2014. This update adds a new generation and rearranges the family originating in Fluvanna, VA.
We have found the link to John Norton b. 1738 New Kent, Virginia, father of John, James and David. There is a birth record for Christopher Norden and Anne in 1737 New Kent, VA. It appears that Christopher was married once when young to Anne in New Kent and then later to Mary Emmerson.

As a result we have assigned most of the children attributed to Chrisotpher Norton to his son, John Norton b.1738 New Kent, VA.

Also to John Norton we have assigned 2 additional children, Thomas Norden b.1765 of SC and later Alabama and an unknown son b.1762 that would have died on a prison ship in Charleston Harbor, SC during the REvolutionary War.

Overview of Sources
Simple Pedigree for the Norton/Norden family of Fluvanna, VA
DNA research and our first Norton (or Norden)
DNA results
The Reverend Robert Norden

Photo Essay of the descendants of Christopher Norden/Norton


Robert Norden, Rev
b.abt. 1650, East Sussex, England  
d.1726, Isle of Wight, Virginia
m. Jann (Ann)
--- Robert Norden (child died) 29 May 1691 in Waldron, E Sussex, England
--- Sarah Norden b.abt 1690 m. Arthur Bridger - b.abt 1788 d.after 1759
--- Charles Norden b. abt 1686 England d.1724 (will no children)
--- unknown Norden b.abt 1694 wife Catherine Layless (Lillis) Isle of Wight. VA (will witnessed by Robert Norden)

unknown Norden
b.abt 1694
m. Catherine Layless (Lillis) Isle of Wight. VA
--- Charles Norden (speculative) purchases land from John Sutton in Johnston, Co, NC 1757.
--- Robert Norden b.abt.1706
--- Christopher Norden / Norton b. abt.1714
Christopher Norden “The Commodore”
d.abt.1787, Fluvanna, Virginia
m 1st Anna unknown abt 1737
--- John Norton (b. 1738 New Kent, Virginia   d.abt.1787, Bourbon, Kentucky)

m 2nd Mary Emmerson abt.1752
-- Thomas Norton b.1753 Fluvanna, VA
-- William Norton b.June 13, 1754 Fluvanna, VA
-- Margaret Norton b. Oct 28, 1758 Fluvanna, VA (proably died young)
John Norton ( son of Christopher and Anne)
b. 1738 New Kent, Virginia   
d.abt.1787, Bourbon, Kentucky
m. Mary 9unknown
--- Sarah Norton b.1758
--- John Norton b. 1759
--- James Norton b. 1761
--- unknown Norton b. abt 1762 (Probaby captured in SC during the Revolution and died on a prison ship in Charleston Harbor)
--- David Norton b. 1763 Fluvanna, VA
--- Thomas Norden b. 1765 (Possibly captured in SC during the Revolution and settled in SC, later moving to AL)
--- Elizabeth Norton b.1769 Fluvanna, VA
--- Milly Norton b.1774 Fluvanna, VA
          Sarah Norton
        DNA John Norton 
b. 1759 , VA
d. Mar 14, 1814 Bourbon, KY
m. Sarah Spencer 1784
--- Polly Norton b. 1787 Fayette, KY
--- James Norton b. 1788 Fayette, KY
--- Nancy Norton b. 15 May 1791 Bourbon, KY
--- Peggy (Margaret) Norton b. 25 Oct 1793 Bourbon, KY
--- Patsy Norton b. Bourbon, KY
--- Hiram Norton b. 6 Jun 1795 Bourbon, KY
--- Catherine Norton b. Bourbon, KY
--- Sarah Norton b. Bourbon, KY
--- Betsy Norton b. Bourbon, KY
--- John Norton b. 1800 Bourbon, KY
--- Spencer Norton b. Bourbon, KY 
        DNA James Norton
b. 1761
          unknown Norton (possibly William)
b. abt 1762

(Probaby captured in SC during the Revolution and died on a prison ship in Charleston Harbor)

David Norton
b. 1763 Fluvanna, VA
d. 1814 Pendlton, KY
M. Sophia Fancher b. abt.1764 d.1823, Grant, KY
--- Samuel Norton b. 1785 Sevier, TN m. Nancy Jones, Bourbon, KY, 1808 d.1819
--- John N. Norton b. 1785, Sevier, TN m.Mary (Polly) Benefield 1805 Ohio
--- Mary Norton b. 1788 Sevier, TN
--- Sophia Norton b. 1790Sevier, TN
--- Henry Norton. DNA b. 1791 Bourbon, KY m.Betsy Ann Wright, Pendleton,KY 1812. died in 1831
--- Sally Norton b.1793; Ohio, m. Jacob Ashcraft in Pendleton 1817.
--- Rachel Norton b. 1795
--- David Norton Jr. DNA b. 29 Oct 1796 Pendleton, KY married Elizabeth Benefield 1820 in Fayette, IN.
--- Girl Norton b. 1799 Ohio, This child shows in 1810 census.
--- Girl Norton b. 1801 Ohio, This child shows in 1810 census.
--- Hiram Norton DNA b. 1803 Ohio, married Lydia Ashcraft in Pendleton 1833.
--- James Norton b.8 Oct, 1808 Pendleton, KY, This child shows in 1810 census.

        DNA Thomas Norden
b.1765 Fluvanna, VA
(Possibly captured in SC during the Revolution and settled in SC, later moving to AL)
          Elizabeth Norton
b.1769 Fluvanna, VA
          Milly Norton
b.1774 Fluvanna, VA
        Thomas Norton (son of Christopher and Mary Emmerson)
b.abt 1753 Goochland, VA
d. 1781 
m. Elizabeth Hawk? abt 1776 
--- Sarah Norton b. May 1777 Rockingham, VA
--- Moses Norton b. 1779 Rockingham, VA, d.July 4, 1833
--- James Norton b. 1780 Rockingham, VA
--- Elizabeth Norton b. 1781 Rockingham, VA
        William Norton  (son of Christopher and Mary Emmerson)
b. 13 Jun, 1754 Goochland, VA
m. Milly Taylor. 5 January 1775 in Orange VA
        Margaret Norton (daughter of Christopher and Mary Emmerson)
b. Oct 28, 1758 Fluvanna, VA
d. Seems to have died young.

Overview of Sources
This Norton family came out of Fluvanna, Virginia and emigrated into the counties of Bourbon, Pendleton and Greenup Kentucky about 1784. There were five brothers who fought in the Revolutionary War. John, James, unknown, David and Thomas.

The search for John Norton, the father of this line has been actively going on for 150 years. It was thought that his name was John Norton and that he might have lived near Alexandria, Virginia as well as Fluvanna, Virginia. In the course of researching, we have from time to time identified our first Norton as Capt William Norton, brother of Fletcher Norton in England. This was wrong. Then because the only Norton in Fluvanna was Christopher Norton we tried to tie into a sailor named Christopher Norton who was was tied up at Norfolk, Virginia in 1760. This was very promising, but he died at sea and was buried in Halifax. Along the way we found references to John Norton in Orange county Virginia and while we haven't definititively identified these, they appear to belong to the John Hatley Norton family of York county.

Finally one big source of mis-information comes from the "History of Marion County South Carolina" by WW Sellers. It seems one of our ancestors named Nimrod Norton and a John W. Norton of Marion, South Carolina met up at Richmond in 1864 towards the end of the Civil War and compared notes on their family history. They evidently decided they were from the same family and John W Norton went home to contribute a family history to the Sellers history.

How did the history of the Nortons of Marion, SC and the Nortons of Bourbon, Kentucky get mixed up?
The source of the Sellers Norton history is John W. Norton, a grandson of William Norton that married the widow Miller. In addition Sellers daughter was married to a son of John W. Norton, the Hon. James Norton, a US Congressman.
The source of the Bourbon, KY Norton history is Nimrod Norton. A son of Hiram Norton of Nicolas, KY and grandson of Christopher Norton that came with his sons to Bourbon , KY in 1784.

It turns out these two were in the same vicinity of Richmond during the Civil War for 10 months in 1864-1865.

When war broke out John W. Norton and his three sons joined up in August of 1861 and were immediately shipped to The Army of Northern Virginia. They were in every campaign. In addition John W Norton had served with Robert E. Lee and many other Confederate officers in the War with Mexico as a Quartermaster and was familiar with them. John and his sons were defending Richmond during the seige of 1864-1865.

Nimrod Norton was the son of a wealthy family in Kentucky. He was trained in military academys in New York and Kentucky. When the Civil War broke out he was in Missouri and was the first to raise a Confederate regiment in that state. He was elected to the last Confederate Legislature that met in Richmond from May 1864 to March 1865.

This is apparently where these two men met and compared family history.

WW Sellers History of Marion County South Carolina
"The first of this family came from England to New England, at a very remote period in the past, about the first of the seventeenth century; that his name was John that he or one of his descendants, named John, afterwards came down to Virginia and settled near what is now Alexandria, Va.

This Virginia John had five sons, all of whom were soldiers in the Revolutionary War; one of them, James, served in Washington's guard as a Sergeant; another one of then was taken prisoner and died in a prison ship, in Charleston harbor, in 1780 or 1781. Their names were William, James, John, David and Solomon.After the Revolution, the old man and two of his Sons James and John went to Kentucky; two others of then came to South Carolina. William went to Georgetown, and the other went to Beaufort."

Nimrod's version comes to us from the Poston History and from Nimrod himself.

Poston History
"... a Commodore Norton resigned from the British Navy and settled either in Virginia or on the shore of Albemarle Sound, N. Carolina, "shortly before" the beginning of the Revolutionary War. That "shortly before" is indefinite. Whatever the time, he was in America, and definitely in Virginia, long enough to feel himself American rather than British when the War began. His first name; is believed to have been David.

The tradition goes on: that he had five sons, all of whom served in Virginia units under George Washington; that one son, David, was taken prisoner and died on a British prison ship in Charleston harbor; that after the Revolution, the two older sons, William and Thomas (or--one account says--Solomon, not Thomas settled in South Carolina; and the two younger sons, John and James, came to Kentucky with their father, and settled near Lexington."

Here's one of Nimrod's versions:

"Colonel N. L. Norton of Austin, was born near Carlisle, Nicholas county, KY, April 18, 1830, son of Hiram Norton, a successful business man, whose brother, Capt James Norton, fell at the battle of Tippecanoe, while serving under General Harrison. His grandfather was John Norton son of a retired British Naval officer who had settled in Virginia before the Revolution, and gave five sons to the Continental army. One of these died on an English prison ship in Charleston harbor; another was a sergeant in Washington's bodyguard, was present at the surrender of Cornwalis..."

A forth source we call the "Pirate Story". It was written by Eliza Trimble living at Ballard, Washington in 1906. Eliza is a granddaughter of John Norton (b.1738 New Kent, VA) through his daughter Elizabeth Norton who married William Benefiel. It's significant to note that John's wife, Mary lived with Elizabeth until her death about 1819. Eliza Benefiel Trimble was born in 1816 and had direct access to family storys.
"My grandmother, Elizabeth (Norton) Benefiel, was the daughter of John Norton and was born May 1, 1769. Her father, John Norton, was born in England in the time of trouble with sea pirates. He went to sea at the age of twelve and was 40 years on the sea. There was one noted pirate that did such havoc to the merchant vessels that England fitted out a vessel expressly to capture him. My grandfather Norton was on the English vessel that followed the pirate five years and finally came on it in a heavy fog in speaking distance. When spoken to they hoisted a black flag. The pirates had two vessels - one very small and tams - the idea was with the English that they would cripple the small vessel first. They shot into it and it sank like a lump of lead. They then attacked the other vessel and had a hard fight with them - finally overpowered them and took them to England. But most all the treasure was on the little vessel. Grandfather said that the money that was on the big vessel was divided among the men and there was a hatful to each man. All treasure was on the little vessel. I did know the names of the two captives and of both the English and pirate vessels which I have often heard my grandfather relate. I don’t doubt it is in the libraries as England fitted out the vessel expressly for the capture of the noted pirate, the event would no doubt be on record. Grandfather Norton lived to be old and died in Virginia. I think Grandmother Norton died in Kentucky at the age of 104 years."

Here's what we can gleen from all these sources.
1) John Norton was the father of five sons who fought in the Revolutionary War.
2) John Norton and two of his sons (John and James) came to Bourbon, KY after the Revolution ended.
3) One son died on a British prison ship in Charleston Harbor, SC
4) Two other sons moved south rather than go to Kentucky.
5) There is a Norton who was involved with either the British Navy or Maritime.

Here's what the records show.
1) There is a John Norton who was born in 1738 New Kent, VA to Christopher Norden/Norton and Anne.
2) John Norton was the father of John, James who came to Bourbon, Kentucky after the Revolutionary War.
3) DNA has connected David Norton b.1763 who moved to Pigeon Forge, TN and later to Bourbon, KY to John and James.
4) DNA has connected Thomas Norden b.1765 who appeears in South Carolina and later moved to Alabama to the Norton/Norden family.
5) Christopher Norden/Norton fits as being involved with Marintime in Virginia.

DNA research gave us the clue to the identity of our first Norton,
or perhaps first Norden.

DNA results
DNA testing has proven that this pedigree does not link to any Norton pedigree in the world. It seems that the only family in the world that matches our Norton family DNA are the decendants of the Reverend Robert Norden.

The way this works is that a certain part of the Y chromosome is passed from father to sons. So if a male Norton from this pedigree gets a Y-dna test it will match what his father's father's father's... You get the idea. So if we have five brothers who fought in the Revolution and we test the living descendants of these five brothers they should match. If they match, we know what their fathers DNA signature is. In this case we tested descendants of John b.1759, James b.1761 and David b.1763. They all matched.

But these tests also matched the descendants of Melchezidek Norden of North Carolina who is a descendant of the Revernd Robert Norden and the father of all the Norden, Nordan and Nordin's in the Southern United States.

Once we had a clue our surname might be Norden instead of Norton, the records began appearing and now we have a pretty good picture of our pedigree back to East Sussex, England.

The Reverend Robert Norden.
In 1714, a small group of early Baptists in Virignia petitioned the Baptist Convention in England for a minister. Robert Norden was chosen as the first Baptist minister sent to Virginia and the first Baptist minister sent from England to the colonies. He traveled to Virginia in 1714 with the Matthew Marks family and lived on the Marks plantation in the county of Ille of Wight, Virginia roughly near Richmond on the south side of the James River and there established a small congregation at a place called Burliegh which was probably near the Marks plantation.

The Church of England was the official church of Virginia. This meant that all Virginians were taxed to support the ministers and everyone was expected to attend.

The first nine Acts of 1661 provided for the support of the State Church; in each parish a church edifice was to be built out of the public treasury, together with a parsonage house and the purchase of a globe for the minister's use. He was to receive a salary of ,80 sterling, a provision subsequently changed to 16,000 pounds of tobacco, to be levied on the parish and collected like other taxes. Each minister must be ordained by a Bishop in England, all other preachers were to be banished; every person who wilfully avoided attendance on the parish Church for one Sunday was to be fined fifty pounds of tobacco; every Non-conformist was to be fined ,20 for a month's absence, and if he failed to attend for a year he must be apprehended and give security for his good behavior, or remain in prison till he was willing to attend Church. source

In 1691 this little group of Baptists were called before a magistrate to expain why they weren't at church.

At a court held at Westopher, 22nd June 1691. Jno Moore, Mathew Markes, Tho Potts, Sam Easly, and Rich'd Was then presented by the grand jury upon information of Capt. Nicho Wyat for not coming to church. Sheriff to summon said delinquents to next court to answer.
Source: Benjamin B Weisiger III, compiler, Charles City County, Virginia,
Court Orders 1687-1695: With a Fragment of a Court Order Book for the Year 1680 (Richmond, Virginia: Weisiger, 1980).

Some English Baptists must have begun moving into southeastern Virginia in the early 1700s and they communicated with the Kentish Baptist Association to send a minister. The Kentish Baptists chose two men, Robert Norden and Thomas White. In May 1714 the General Assembly of the General Baptist churches in England appointed and approved the two men to go to Virginia to propogate the Gospell of truth. They wanted them to go with all Conveniant Speed. They were sent as messengers but in effect they were missionaries and even church planters as Virginia was viewed as a mission field.

Official permission was required to follow a different religion and eventually they got permission to have a preacher. But Robert Norden was required to appear in court and swear allegience to the King of England.

I, Robert Norden do sincerely promise and Solemnly Declare before God and the World that I will be true and faithful to his Majesty King George, and I do Solemnly promise and Declare, that I do from my heart abhor,detest and renounce as Impious and Hereticall that Damnable Doctrine and Position that Princes Excommunicated or Deprived by the Pope or any Authority of the See of Rome may be deposed or Murthered by their subjects or any other whatsoever, and I do Declare that no foreign Prince, Person, Prelate, State or Potentate hath or ought to have any power, Jurisdiction Superiority, Preheminence or Authority, Ecclesiasticall or Spiritual withen his Realm.

I Robert Norden Profess faith in God the Father and in Jesus Christ his Eternal Son, the true God and in the Holy Spirit, one God Blessed for ever more, and I do acknowledge the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by Divine Inspiration."
Robert Norden

Source :Att a Court held for the County of Prince George on Tuesday the fourteenth of June Anno Dom. 1715

Thomas White served a church at Bessels Green, Kent, which viewed the experiment as the great work of gathering and settling churches in gospel order in Virginia.After some debate over White's possible departure, the church agreed to spare him for a time to perform this good and great work. White died on the ocean journey, but Norden arrived and gathered Baptists into what traditionally is held to be the first Baptist church in Virginia, Burleigh in the Prince George and Isle of Wight area. The churches of the General Assembly sent some financial support for the Virginia mission. In his report to the Kentish Baptists, Norden told of promising prospect to plant the Gospel and reported that he in a little time baptized and settled 18 persons in Gospel order. He described great meetings which attracted people from many miles to hear. The church was established at Burleigh, Ille of Wight county, Virginia. Map The location is on the Mill Swamp road and closest town was Smithfild. There is still a Baptist church on this sight.

Map by Jed Hotchkiss, cartographer for Stonewall Jackson circa 1862
Click on highlighted areas to enlarge

The history of Boonesville is lost. We have only echos, but Daniel Boone often came through these parts. He was captured in Charlottesville, Albemarle county by the British in 1781 as he was attending the Continental Congress. After he was released he was joined by James Norton, a son of Christopher and Mary, on his return trip to Lexington, Kentucky. James Norton and Daniel Boone were side by side at the 'Battle of Blue Licks" fought in Kentucky 1782. It's from James that we get an eye witness account of Daniel's son Israel's death during the battle.

The Revolution changed everything for the Norton family. Maritine commerce was choaked off in Virginia by January of 1777 ruining Christopher's marintime business. This is the time we find Christopher Norton mentioned on land deeds in Fluvanna. Also in 1778 the Norton sons began buying land in Rockingham, Virginia.

The route from Nortonsville to Rockingham was through Brown's Cove. Thomas Norton purchased 300 acres on a branch of the North Mill Creek commonly known as "Wolfs Place" in south-east Rockingham, VA in 1778. Thomas brother John also purchased land in the area. When Sarah Norton married William Farney they also purchased land in Rockingham. Nortonsville may have been sold to purchase land in Rockingham because from this point we find references to Norton land in Fluvanna and Rockingham and not in Albemarle. We know that the land in Fluvanna was not purchased, but was eventually granted to Christopher Norton in 1785 by the Patrick Henry, the governor of Virginia.

Chapter 6
The Revolution of 1776
In March of 1775 Patrick Henry made his famous speech uttering "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!" In April 1775 Paul Revere made his midnight ride before the Minute Men battled the British at Lexington and Concord. In June of 1775, George Washington was named Commander in Chief of the Continental Army.

Thomas Norton and William Norton along with Sarah's husband, William Farney possibly joined with the 7th Virginia Regiment organized in Ablemarle county between February and May of 1776. Thomas Norton would have been 23 and William Norton 22. A third brother John was 17 at this time, but it appears he stayed at home to help manage the plantation.

Here is a link to the history of the 7th Virginia during the Revolutionary War as constituted in Albemarle, Virginia. You have to be careful becasue the 7th was combined with other regiments and another regiment named the 7th.

The 7th Virginia first defended the Chesapeake Bay during 1775. They were on the line at New York when the British routed the Continentals and forced a retreat across New Jersey to Pennsylvania in November of 1776. the 7th was with Washington on Christmas Day, 1776, when he crossed the Delaware River and attacked a garrison of 1600 Hessian troops at Trenton, NJ. They were forced out of Philadelphia by the British and settled in at Valley Forge.

The 7th Virginia regiment entered Valley Forge in the winter of 1777 with 427 assigned and only 46 fit for duty. When they left the following Spring of 1778 they had 376 with 226 fit for duty.

The oldest son, Thomas Norton was a Corporal in the Virginia Continental Line.

There is a strong family tradition that says that James Norton served as an orderly sergant in George Washington's guard. James never mentioned this service in any of his War Pension applications, but I believe the family tradition is correct. James married Jean Bybee whose brother served as an "Aide de Camp" for Washington. The Bybee's had seven sons who served with Washington in important postitions. In addition, George Thompson who posted bonds for James marriage to jean Bybee served in positions close to Washington. William Norton married Mildred Taylor who was a 2nd cousin of President James Madison. The Nortons were well connected at the time of the Revolution and there was ample opportunity for James Norton to be associated with Washington's guard. However since he never mentioned it in hispension applications, I rather suspect he was a young orderly since he was only 15 in 1776.

The Norton family in 1778-1779 consisted of Christopher and Mary about 53 and 46 years old, Thomas 24 (married to Elisabeth Hawke?), William 23 (married to Mildred Taylor), Martha 21, Sarah 20 (married to William Farney), John 19, James 17, David 15, Elizabeth 11 and Milly 4.

It appears that the Norton brother's enlistment was up in the early in the Spring of 1778. In May of 1778 Thomas Norton purchased 300 acres on a branch of the North Mill Creek commonly known as "Wolf's Place" in southeast Rockingham, Virginia. Close by is William Farney who was married to Thomas' sister Sarah. This land is only 40 miles from the family farm in Fluvanna County but just over the Blue Ridge Mountains and served as a "safe" place when the British moved through Albemarle and Fluvanna in 1780. It is apparent that the Norton family located there for safety from the British from the war record of James Norton.

James Norton the 4th son served two tours of duty in the Virginia Militia during 1779. James pension record states he served his 1st Tour from April to September 1779. He joined under Col. George Thompson, Capt William Smith, Leuftenant Ben Smith in Fluvanna County, Virginia. (James 1st Pension app said he started from Rockingham, but his 2nd says he was wrong and started from Fluvanna) He marched from Fluvanna to Albermarle barracks. Then to Richmond and Petersburg. From there to Portsmouth and Norfolk. From Norfolk he returned to Albermarle County til his tour of 6 months was fulfilled. James 2nd Tour was for 3 months starting in Sept 1779 in Albermarle County under Col. Hamilton and Capt Lamb. He marched to barracks in Winchester and conveyed prisoners there. He then returned to Albemarle county till his 3 month tour was up in December 1779.

James Norton substituted for John Shannon beginning March 12 1780 from Albemarle, Virginia which constituted his 3rd tour. John Shannon furnished him with suitable clothes and everything except a gun which he drew from the Gochland Court House. This was a rifle company. Several of his company were killed during action on Chesapeake Bay and the south branch of the Potomac in Hampshire County. This tour saw considerable sickness in his camp. From the mouth of the James River he marched to Camel Court House through Pittsylvania County VA and here received his discharge about September 1780.

David Norton begins his service about May of 1780. His Revolutionary War record says he served for a year and a half which takes him to the surrender at Yorktown. It also mentions he recieved a scar on his left cheek.

We know that John Norton was also at Yorktown from brother-in-law, John Black's war pension records, but we have no details.

We have no record of where William Norton served or where. Only his pay picked up in 1783.

Thomas Norton must have died shortly after Yorktown because his children are bound out in Rockingham court just 5 weeks after Yorktown surrendered. Sarah Norton's husband is also deceased and the Rockingham court handles her case the same day which suggests that William Farney also died at Yorktown.

Nimrod Norton's history says that one of the brothers was a prisoner on a prison hulk in Charleston harbor and died there. It's known that he mixed history with the Nortons of Marion county, South Carolina. The only brother that died was Thomas and it appears that he died at Yorktown. The prison ship may refer to the Marion, SC Norton history.

The British invade Fluvanna 1781
For Christopher Norton the War for Independance must have been a personal battle. As a former British naval officer with decades of service, he was trained for command and had already lived a life of action at sea. He knew what to expect from the British.

British forces led by turncoat Benedict Arnold and Lord Cornwallis entered the Virginia interior in January of 1781 and Virginia was powerless to defend itself. Most of the Virginia Line and militia had been captured at Charleston, South Carolina.. Only a disorganized and inexperienced force remained to fight for the home cause. Thus, the British arrived unchecked at Richmond, and considerable damage was done to the area.

In June 1781 the "British Legion" commanded by Banastre Tarelton called "The Butcher" for his actions at Charleston was at the very door of the Norton plantation in Fluvanna. In a forced march, Tarelton came right through the Norton plantation in Fluvanna to suprise Charlottesville, almost capturing Thomas Jefferson at Montecello. Jefferson was warned of the attack just in time just in time, and was able to disperse family and visitors to various shelters. He himself fled to safety just as the approaching British arrived within sight.

During this time there are indications that the Norton family had moved to Thomas Norton's land in Rockingham county in the Shenendoah Valley safely away from the British. It appears that all five Norton sons join the Virginia Militia for the final battle at Yorktown. It is possible Thomas Norton and William Farney died at Yorktown.

From James Norton's pension record we learn some of the details.

In July or August James Norton was marched down within a few miles from Richmond and connected with Maj. Bunting and General Layfette. where the Americans had just left.

The only event in particular he now remembers of was during the siege of York and Glocester. One morning about four October, the British broke out and overtook a little battery where the French troops were posted. And the battery repulsed at length with some loss on both sides but the American side suffered most.

This was after as he now remembers Vandenberg, the fight of Pigeon Hill which also took place during the siege. He states that he was not stationed on the York side where the most of the Virginia troops were until the day preceeding the surrender.

He states that he was on the north of York River on the night the British attempted to escape but was punished by the fury of the water. (a storm came up to foil the English escape) He was at Gloucester upon York where the British gave up having crossed over to the other side. This last service he was commanded mostly by French commanders whose names he has mostly forgotten. Gen. Chois, a frenchman, took the command of the Virginia army. This just before the surrender. (On the 3d of October the Sieur de Choisy marched to block up Gloucester, and take a position at three miles distance from that place.) Gen. Chois commanded one division during the siege that he was in.

He was not out on furlough for one day after the British gave up. He went with the Militia and some prisoners to Winchester, he remained till the last of December 1781 and was discharged & received his discharge from Patrick Shannon who was in the barracks.

Our Colonel was authorized to call out men whenever necessary. Being what were called "Minute Men" as we had to be always in readiness so that we could go at less than one hours notice. James Norton remains with the army guarding prisoners until December of 1781.

Sadly the end of 1781 brought the business of taking care of the families and estates of Thomas Norton and William Farney who died just after the Battle of Yorktown. Thomas' brother John Norton was appointed executor of William Farneys estate posting a bond for 30,000 pounds Sterling. He was also appointed guardian of their only son, John Farney.

The children of Thomas Norton are also bound out to wards of the court.

1781, Nov 26 Rockingham
John Norton is appointed executor of William Farney's estate in Rockingham, VA valued 30,000 pounds. John will also be appointed guardian of John Farney. William Farney is the husband of Sarah Norton, John's sister. This appears to be John Norton later of Bourbon, KY. He signs with an "x".
"From Abstracts of Executor, Administrator and
Guardian Bonds of Rockingham Co., VA 1778-1864 by Marguerite B. Priode John Norton the administrator of the estate of William Furnay on Nov. 26, 1781 of 30,000 pounds sterling. The bondsman was Robert Harrison."

November 26, 1781 Thomas Norton Deceased
"On the motion of Peter Vaneman that the church wardens bind out Sarah Norton daughter of Thomas Norton who has left his wife & family destitute of the means of subsistance to Peter Vaneman until she comes of age being now 4 1/2 years of age." Rockingham County, Virginia Minute Book, 1778-1792 Part I 1778-1786.



1 James City County, Mariner, Charles Friend v. Christopher Norden Judgment 1747

Israel Friend had many family members who followed him to the Potomac area, including two siblings. Charles Friend (1699-1751) lived in the area that is now Williamsport, Washington Co., Md.(24) Mary Friend had
been married in1727 in Cecil Co., Maryland to Robert Turner, who is found in Frederick Co., Md. deed records as late as 1769.(25)

Israel's sons had followed their father's example, and had movedto the leading edges of the frontier to find their fortunes. Eldest son Jonas Friend was born circa 1725. He had lived at Friend's Fort, now Elkins, Randolph Co., West Virginia, where he died 15 Nov. 1807.(30) He had married by 1754 to Sarah Skidmore in RockinghamCo., Va., and they had five children. Second son Jacob Friend was born circa 1727. He lived inRockingham, later Pendleton, Co., Va. He died in 1818.(31) He hadmarried in 1756 to Elizabeth Skidmore, sister of Sarah, and they had atleast nine children. It has been said that Jonas and Jacob met their brides inRockingham Co., Va. However Joseph Skidmore (their father) is found inFrederick County, Maryland in 1750.(32) He is also found on the 1766list of debts owing to merchant James Dixon of Frederick, Md. (33) The youngest son Charles Friend was born circa 1730, and died in1816 in Monroe County, (West) Virginia.(34), leaving at least four children.

More records on Friend
Friend, Wm. -- merchant -- 1678, SR 05762c, p. 24
Friend, zzz -- master of ship: Cartwright -- 1744, SR 00900, p. 1 These refer to Capt Friend of the ship Cartwright
Friend, zzz -- master of ship: Cartwright -- 1744, SR 14692, p. 1

The Friend family were Quakers and the reference to Capt Friend of the ship Cartwright is for carrying letters to Virginia of London Friends meetings.


3 Wm. Douglas Register of marriages in Goochland- Fluvanna, VA.
"Christopher Norden & Mary Emmerson a son named William born Jun 13.1754
[Baptized] 1756 June 26. p. 49" [p. 261 in the Douglas Registry book]

THE DOUGLAS REGISTER, by W. Jones (1928). "Being a detailed record of births, marriages and deaths with other interesting notes as kept by the Rev. Douglas, from
1750 1797." A Goochland Co. Will Index is also included. According to the book, The reverend William Douglas came to St. James northam parish in goochland county, VA, Dover church, on the 12th of October 1750. A memorandum in the register shows that he had charge of St. James northam parish for 27 years: Maniken town (king William parish) for 19 years and ministered to a charge in Buckingham County for 4 years.

"This book is known as the Douglas register for the reason that it not only contains a record of births, christenings, marriages and deaths and funerals in St. James Northam parish and the county of Goochland but in many instances in adjacent counties and other more remote. the record also is not only for the period he was in charge of St. James Northam parish but continues after he left that parish on the 5th of Sept 1777 and went to live in the Louisa County. In fact he kept up the entries in the register until 1797 and thus it covers a period of 92 years.

4 Albemarle Deed Book 3, p. 211
20 Dec 1761 HENRY TILLEY JR. & wife JEAN (JANE) to PHILLIP THURMAN (This is the fellow who is said to have changed spelling to THURMOND) for L30, 294 acres adj. Rich Meadow; CAPT. JOS. MARTIN, HENRY BUNCH. Wit: DAVID THOMSON, CATY THOMSON, MARY NORTON.

5 Christopher Norton received a Land Office Treasury Warrant from Patrick Henry, the Gov. of the Commonwealth on September 10, 1782. He and his wife "Mary" sold that land to a man named John Furbush in September 1788. This grant was unusual for not being assiciated with land bountys granted Revolutionary War vetrans. It seems to be a special grant giving the Nortons ownership of land that they had been farming since at least 1777 when Christopher Norton land is mentioned on deeds bordering it. Several other parcels bordering this land in Fluvanna changed hands at the end of the Revolution suggesting that a Loyalist previously owned the land. Most were purchased in pounds sterling. "Real" money was scarce after the Revolution and paying in pounds sterling was unusual.

6 Christopher Nordens birth may be as early at 1710 and as late as 1725. He married Mary Emmerson in 1754 when she was 19. If he was born in 1725 he would be 29. This age difference is not unusual for a man with a career in the Royal Navy. However if he was born in 1715 and was 39, it begs our imagination to allow it. Also his last child was born in 1774. He was 49 if he was born in 1725 and 59 if he was born in 1715.

Another way of measuring his age is from his naval references. The "Pirate Story" says he was 12 when he went to sea and spent 40 years at sea. 12 years old is the common age for a commission as a midshipman in the Royal Navy. If we count back 40 years from 1777 when we have references for Norton land in Fluvanna and add 12 more we get 1725. It could be that Christopher served the Revolution as a mariner and that could add a few more years to his birth date.

7 Cast of characters associated with the deed Mary Norton witnessed.

Albemarle Deed Book 3, p. 211
20 Dec 1761 HENRY TILLEY JR. & wife JEAN (JANE) to PHILLIP THURMAN (This is the fellow who is said to have changed spelling to THURMOND) for L30, 294 acres adj. Rich Meadow; CAPT. JOS. MARTIN, HENRY BUNCH. Wit: DAVID THOMSON, CATY THOMSON, MARY NORTON.

Richard Meadows listed as "rich meadow". -a location
Capt Joseph Martin - location
Henry Bunch -location
vid Caty Thomson - witness
Mary Norton - witness
Phillip Thurmond - purchaser
Henry Tilly - owner

1) First of all I found the location of the deed.

It's just below Free Union, VA. This deed is right on the road south of Free Union at the joining of Moremans and Mechams creeks. You can see it on the map. It's 7.5 miles from Nortonsville south on the main road.

2) (witness) There is a John Thomson one property east (1759). I have 7 other Thomson properties without a locator to plot them. Any of these could be next to the witness property. William Thomson has land on Moremans creek and close to Woods gap.

3) (location) Rich Meadow west of deed.

4) (location) Joseph Martins land adjoins (barely) north. 1745

5) (location) Henry Bunch adjoins southish. William Bunch has land 1/2 mile from Nortonsville 1739.

6) (seller) Henry Tilley has several properties on the survey I am using but none real close to this property. The records are far from complete.

7) I didn't find any Emmersons in Albemarle, but I misspelled it "Jemmerson" and hit the jackpot.

Adjoing the deed or very near by are 1000 acres owned by the 3 oldest brothers of Mary Emmerson Norton.

Samuel Jemmerson and John Jemmerson (several spellings) have 1000 acres going up the north side of Moreman's creek. This is within 1/4 mile of the witnessed property. The deed dates are 1741-1751. I think Jemmerson is a problem transcribing "J. Emmerson" or combining "Je" for a Capital E. At least they were consistant. I find no Jemmersons on other counties.

There is also a Henry Emmerson in the area but more towards Fluvanna border and of course Thomas Emmerson (deed 1773) within 1/4 mile of Christopher Norton. Thomas Emmerson also has land further down the 3 notched road 1763.
Emmerson is also used as "Thomas Eme'son's". Thomas Emmersons land is mentioned

9) Adjoining Thomas Emmersons property in Christopher/Fluvanna is John Thurmond, Glasby, Joseph Walker, Samuel Davis,Francis Baker, Jno Stranges, John Bybe.

10) Thomas Emmersons other Fluvanna Property dates from 1747. 1/4 mile away is David Walker 1739, John Walker Jun. 1739 and Joseph Walker 1750. Thomas Walker also witnessed a deed 1728.

11) Goochland. It turns out that Thomas Emmersons land in Goochland (240 acres) adjoins his land in Fluvanna. The Goochland deed dates from 1763. Next door is John Walkers land (400 acres) dating from 1735. Joseph Walker
is next to John 1735.

8 this land transaction is close to Boonesville and is the location of Gentry church. In 1785, James Gentry, from Louisa County, purchased 400 acres of land in northern Albemarle County near the county line with Orange County. The land was purchased from Thomson and Sarah Walton for 40 pounds of current Virginia money. In 1810, James Gentry purchased 400 acres of land from John Huckstep and his wife, Aggy, just across the Albemarle County line into Orange County. The 400 acres was located on the Lyne (Lynch) River and is now located in Greene County (see map, Figure 2a).

The first nine Acts of 1661 provided for the support of the State Church; in each parish a church edifice was to be built out of the public treasury, together with a parsonage house and the purchase of a globe for the minister's use. He was to receive a salary of ,80 sterling, a provision subsequently changed to 16,000 pounds of tobacco, to be levied on the parish and collected like other taxes. Each minister must be ordained by a Bishop in England, all other preachers were to be banished; every person who wilfully avoided attendance on the parish Church for one Sunday was to be fined fifty pounds of tobacco; every Non-conformist was to be fined ,20 for a month's absence, and if he failed to attend for a year he must be apprehended and give security for his good behavior, or remain in prison till he was willing to attend Church. Much pretense has been made, that because the early settlers of the colony were cavaliers, they were less austere, more polished and of gentler blood than the Puritans of Massachusetts. But the brutal intolerance of the English Court was faithfully copied by them, and no darker or more bloody pages stain English or Massachusetts history than those that defile the early records of Virginia. White tells us of a band of men who were driven from Virginia 'for their religious opinions' in 1634. [Annals of Annapolis, p. 23] Bulk records the revolting barbarities inflicted on Stevenson Reek for the same cause in 1640. He 'stood in the pillory two hours with a label on his back, paid a fine of ,50, and was imprisoned at the pleasure of the Governor,' for simply saying, in a jocular manner, that his majesty was at confession with my lord of Canterbury.' [ Ecc. Hist. of Va., ii, pp. 51-67] Holmes details, at length, that in 1648 four missionaries were sent from Massachusetts to Virginia, Messrs. James, Knollys, Thompson and Harrison. They held a few meetings there in private, but their little congregations were violently broken up and the missionaries banished, while many of their hearers were imprisoned.' [Annals, 289] James Ryland, a member of the House of Burgesses from the Isle of Wight County, prepared a Catechism which was pronounced 'blasphemous' for which he was expelled in 1652; and for some other trivial religious offense a member from Norfolk was expelled in 1663. Virginia had adhered to the king against Cromwell and the Commonwealth, and Dr. Hawks, the eloquent Episcopal historian of Virginia, tells of four of Cromwell's soldiers who were 'rudely hung, as a warning to the remainder' in 1680, for their religions opinions, under the pretense that 'their assemblages' were 'perverted from religious to treasonable purposes', 'these religious assemblages themselves being regarded as a subversion of the government.' [Hist. of Episcopacy in Va., pp. 71-72]

Hening states that the 111th Act of the Grand Assembly of 1661-62 declared that, 'Whereas, Many schismatical persons, out of their averseness to the orthodox established religion, or out of the new-fangled conceits of their own heretical inventions, refuse to have their children baptized; Be it therefore enacted, by the authority aforesaid, that all persons that in contempt of the divine sacrament of baptism, shall refuse when they may carry their child to a lawful minister in that county, to have them baptized, shall be amersed two thousand pounds of tobacco; half to the informer, half to the public.' [Statutes at large, ii, pp. 165-166]

This was a blow dealt at the Quakers, as there seem to have been no Baptists in the colony at that time. Several Acts of the Assembly in 1659, 1662 and 1693 made it a crime for parents to refuse the baptism of their children. Jefferson writes: 'If no execution took place here, as in New England, it was not owing to the moderation of the Church or the spirit of the Legislature, as may be inferred from the law itself, but to historical circumstances which have not been handed down to us.'

When William and Mary came to the throne, in 1689, their accession was signalized by that enactment of Parliament called the ACT OF TOLERATION. Even this, as Dr. Woolsey remarks, 'removed only the harshest restrictions upon Protestant religious worship, and was arbitrary, unequal and unsystematic in its provisions.' Still, it was the entering wedge to religious freedom, and while the Baptists of England gladly availed themselves of it and organized under it in London as a great Association for new work, a hundred and seventeen Churches being represented, the authorities of Virginia thought it inoperative in their colony. It was not until a score of years after the passage of this Act that the colonial Legislature gave to the colonists the meager liberties which it granted to the British subject. When, however, news of this Act reached Virginia, the few individual Baptists then scattered abroad there resolved on their full liberty as British subjects under its provisions. They entreated the London Meeting to send them ministers, an entreaty which was followed by a correspondence running through many years. In 1714 Robert Nordin and Thomas White were sent as ordained ministers to the colony, but White died upon the voyage. Up to this time there seems to have been no organized body of Baptists in Virginia, although there are traces of individuals in North Carolina as early as 1696, who had fled from Virginia to escape her intolerance. Semple finds the first Baptist Church of Virginia organized in association with the labors of Nordin at Burleigh, Isle of Wight County, in 1714, on the south side of the river and opposite Jamestown. Howell thinks that before the coming of Nordin there had been a gathering of citizens there, joined by others from Surry County for consultation, and that they had petitioned the London Baptists to send them help. Be this as it may, Nordin was soon followed by two other ministers, Messrs. Jones and Mintz, and under the labors of these men of God the first Church was formed in that year, and soon after one at Brandon, in the County of Surry. The first is now known as Mill Swamp; it is thought that the Otterdams Church is the second. These were General Baptists, but in a few years they embraced Calvinistic sentiments, and Nordin labored in that region till he died, in 1725. While this movement was in progress in the southern part of Virginia, the influence of the Welsh Baptists, in Pennsylvania and Delaware, began to be felt in Berkeley, London and Rockingham Counties, which were visited by their ministers. Semple thinks that these laborers first readied the colony through Edward Hays and Thomas Yates, members of the Saters Baptist Church, in Maryland, and that Revs. Loveall, Heaton and Gerard soon followed them. Churches were then gathered at Opecon, Mill Creek, Ketocton and other points in rapid succession, which became members of the Philadelphia Association, from which they received the counsel and aid of David Thomas, John Gano and James Miller, which accounts in part for the rapid spread of Baptist principles in North Virginia. They were soon strengthened, also, by the labors of two men of great power, formerly of other denominations, who became Baptists. Shubael Steams, a native of Boston, Mass., was converted under the preaching of George Whitefield, and united himself with the revival party of the Congregationalists, called New Lights, in 1745. He continued with them for six years, when lie became convinced, from an examination of the Scriptures, that infant baptism was a human institution and that it was his duty to confess Christ on his faith.

10 Albemarle County Will Book No. 3 1785-1798, pg. 101 reads, "I will and bequeath to my daughter Mary Morton five shillings...."

However, the Albemarle Wills microfiche (#30212) of the handwritten will clearly reads "Mary Norton": especially when you compare the handwritten "M" in "Mary" to the "N" in "Norton."

11 "Although from this time orders proliferated for roads within present Louisa County, the next order falling within our area of interest occurs in the fall on 10 October 1743 O.S. This order called for a road from the road in Orange that extends to the dividing line between this County and Orange on Linches river to the upper north fork of Buck Mountain creek along the track that leads to Robert Thomson.? Greene County was separated in 1838 from Orange
County, created in 1734, so that the area in question lies on Lynch?s River along that boundary. Although it is not known where Robert Thomson lived, the upper north fork of Buck mountain creek would appear to be those branches of the stream in the Boonesville area, and the road Route 810 from the hollow north of Browns Cove down through the present Boonesville and Nortonsville to Lynchs River and "the road in Orange County that extends to the dividing line."
ALBEMARLE COUNTY ROADS 1725-1816 By Nathaniel Mason Pawlett


The Deeds of Amherst County, Virginia 1761-1807 and Albemarle County, Virginia 1748-1763 by The Rev. Bailey Fulton David, Page 208 13 Aug 1762 DAVID THOMPSON & wife CATY to DAVID MILLS for [pound symbol] 55: 524 acres-250 acres of it pat. 16 Aug 1756; 274 acres pat 10 Aug 1759, Lynch River branches. Wit: NICHL. MERIWETHER, JNO. LEIS JR. (LEWIS) [V Note: Caty is Elizabeth “Caty Ann” Lewis.]

Baptist church in Albemarle near Nortonsville. 1773 Chestnut Grove Baptist church. (formerly Buck Mt. church) George Gentry a member in 1799.




  • 1717 Robert Norden emigrates to Virginia be establish Baptist congregation in Ille of Wigh county.
  • 1725 Robert Norden dies in Virginia.
  • 1747 lawsuit filed in 1747 at James Cittie that names Charles Friend, mariner v. Christopher Norden,
  • 1752 Christopher Norden and Mary Emmerson married in Goochland, VA
  • 1753 Thomas Norton born.
  • 1754 William Norton born Goochland, VA
  • 1756 Martha Norton born Goochland, VA
  • 1757 Sarah Norton born VA
  • 1759 John Norton born VA
  • 1761 James Norton born VA
  • 1762 Mary Norton witness deed in Albemarle, VA
  • 1763 David Norton born Fluvanna, VA
  • 1769 Elizabeth Norton born Fluvanna, Virginia
  • 1769 Elizabeth Norton born Fluvanna, Virginia
  • 1774 Milly Norton born Fluvanna, Virginia
  • 1775 Marriage of William Norton and Mildred Taylor
  • 1775 Marriage of Sarah Norton to William Farney both of Orange, VA
  • 1777 First mention of Christopher Norton in Fluvanna deed books.
  • 1778 Thoams Norton purchases land in Rockingham, VA
  • 1779 Christopher Norton witnesses deed in Fluvanna, VA
  • 1779 James Norton serves his 1st Tour from April to September 1779. in Fluvanna County, Virginia. James 2nd Tour in Sept 1779 in Albermarle County his 3 month tour was up in December 1779.
  • 1780 May, David Norton enlists in Virginia Line.
  • 1780 James serves 3rd Tour from Albemarle, VA.
  • 1780 Thomas Norton captured at Charleston, SC
  • June 1781 the "British Legion" commanded by Banastre Tarelton attack Charlottesville, VA going through Norton plantation.
  • 1781 Estate of Thomas Norton settled.
  • 1781 Oct 18 Yorktown surrenders. James and John Norton are documented as being there.
  • Nov 26 1781 John Norton executor of William Farney estate in Rockingham.
  • August 19, 1782 James at the "Battle of Blue Licks" in Kentucky.
  • September 10, 1782 Christopher Norton received a Land Office Treasury Warrant from Patrick Henry, the Gov. of Virgnia. He and his wife "Mary" sold that land to a man named John Furbush in September 1788.
    Link to map of Norton land in Fluvanna with history of neighbors
  • 1784 John Norton marries Sarah Spencer in Albemarle. Married by Benj. Burger a Baptist minister.

Facebook Pedigree
These are links to facebook Nordan, Norton, Norden, Nordin
Bryan Nordan Facebook ( http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1289310135)
Robert Nordan Facebook ( http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=585016552)
Rick Nordan Facebook ( http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=660623135 )
Cary Nordan facebook ( http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=568609195)
James Nordan Facebook ( http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1043378806)
Rebecca Nordan Facbook ( http://www.facebook.com/rebecca.nordan?bcode=6zYVd)