To Son's Application

Installed: 7 January 2004


Compiled by The Media Research Bureau, Washington DC

The name of Houston or Huston is said to have been of Anglo-Saxon origin and to have been derived from the words hus, meaning house, and tun, meaning farm or garden. It was probably taken by the first bearer of the surname from the name of the place in which he lived at the time of the adoption of surnames in England. It is found on the ancient records of Great Britain in the various forms of Houstoun, Housson, Howston, Hewston, Houston, and Huston, of which the last two are the generally accepted forms of the name today.

Some authorities claim that the name was originally Hugh’s-town and trace their descent from the Hugh de Padvinian who gave that name to his Barony in Renfrewshire, Scotland, before the year 1160 A.D. and at the time of the adoption of surnames assumed the name of Houstoun from the family estate.

Hugo de Padvinian was succeeded in his fortunes in the year 1165 by his eldest son Sir Reginald, who was succeeded by his son Sir Hugh, who had Sir Findlay, who was the ancestor of Sir Patrick Houstoun of the early fifteenth century.

Sir Patrick married Agnes Campbell and was the father by her of Sir John, who had sir Peter, who ws succeeded in 1513 by Sir Patrick, who married Janet Cunningham and was succeeded in 1526 by his son Sir John, who had Sir Patrick, who died in 1605, leaving four sons, John, Patrick, Peter, and James and several daughters.

John , the eldest son of Sir Patrick, married Margaret Sterling and had issue by her of Sir Ludovic, who was the father of Patrick and George Houston of the seventeenth century, the first of whom was the father of Sir Patrick, who was created first Baronet in 1668. By his wife Margaret, daughter of the Marguis of Douglas, Sir Patrick had Sir John, Patrick, William, James, and Archibald, of whom the first was succeeded by his eldest son Sir John, who has Sir James, third son of the emigrant John, died as the results of wounds received in the Revolutionary War and is believed to have died unmarried.

William, fourth son of emigrant John, was married about 1781 to Jane Watson, by whom he had John, David (died young), Polly, David, Patty, Peggy, Jane, Anne, William, and Betsy.

Samuel. youngest son of the emigrant John, married Sarah Hopkins and was the father by her of John, James, Franklin, William, Samuel, Horatio, Sarah, Jane, Martha, Louise, and Matilda.

To return to the line of Sir Patrick, who emigrated to Georgia in 1735, he married Priscilla Dunbar in the following year and has issue by her of Patrick (died unmarried), Sir George (succeeded his brother as Baronet), John, (Governor of Georgia), James, William, and Ann.

Sir George, second son of the emigrant Sir Patrick married Ann Moodie and had George, Patrick, Robert, Jean, Ann, and Priscilla.

Governor John, third son of the emigrant Sir Patrick, married Hannah Bryan but had no issue.

James, fourth son of the emigrant sir Patrick, was married in 1775 to Eliza Cook, by whom he had Mossman, James Edward, James Edmund, Elizabeth, and Jean.

William, youngest son of the emigrant Sir Patrick, married Maria Bayard and was the father by her of at least two children, Elizabeth and Maria, and possibly others.

Another emigrant of the year 1735 was John Houston or Huston, who came to Pennsylvania in that year and shortly after moved to Virginia. The name of his wife is not known, but his children were James (remained in England), Robert, Isabella, Ester, John, Samuel, and Matthew (1).

Robert, son of the emigrant John, married Margaret Davidson and had John, Samuel, and Bettie.

John, son of emigrant John, married Sarah Todd, who gave him nine children, James, John, Samuel, William(2), Robert, Matthew (1), Alice, Margaret, and Esther.


(1) Clayton’s Grandfather, Claude Matthew Houston was named after one of these two Matthews who was Claude’s Great Grandfather. He was more positive that it was the latter one.

(2) Hon. William Churchill Houston of New Jersey, delegate to the convention that framed the Constitution of the United States, 1747-1788;

Samuel, son of emigrant John, was married about 1753 to Elizabeth McCroskey and their children were John, James, Robert, Margaret, William, Matthew, and Elizabeth.

Matthew, youngest son of the emigrant John, married Martha Lyle, by whom he was the father of seven children, John, Samuel, James, Matthew, Robert, Ester, and Margaret.

The descendants of these various branches of the family in America have spread to practically every State of the Union and have aided as much in the growth of the country as any family in the history of our nation. They have been noted for their courage, ambition, energy, piety, will power, resourcefulness, and leadership.

Among those of the family who fought as officers in the War of the revolution were Captains Christopher and James Houston of North Carolina, Captain John Houston of New York, Lieutenant William Houston of Pennsylvania, Lieutenant Alexander Huston of Pennsylvania, and Lieutenant John Huston of Virginia.

John, Samuel, Matthew, Patrick, James, William, George, David, and Robert are some of the Christian named most highly favored by the family male members.

A few of the many members of the family who have distinguished themselves in America at various times are:

Hon. William Churchill Houston of New Jersey, delegate to the convention that framed the Constitution of the United States, 1747-1788;

Sam Houston of Virginia, military officer and statesman, 1796-1863;

Edwin James Houston of Virginia, electrical engineer, 1847-1914; and

David Franklin Houston of North Carolina, United States Secretary of Agriculture, 1866- .

The coat-of-arms of the Houston or Huston family is described as follows”

Arms -- or, a chevron, chequy sable and argent, between three martletts of the second

Crest -- A winged sand-glass proper

Supporter -- On either side a greyhound proper, collared and chained, or

Motto -- In Time

(Arms taken from Burke’s Heraldry, 1844, and Land Gentry 1925)

The above data have been compiled chiefly from the following sources:

Heitman -- Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army, 1914
Burk -- Heraldry, 1844
Burk -- Landed Gentry, 1925
S. R. Houston -- Houston Family, 1882
G. P. Thruston -- Thruston-Phillips Families, 1919
W. H. Craig -- Crain-Houston, 1903
Gentry -- Family Names, 1892
Elliott -- Houston Pedigree, 1887