Friday, March 14, 2014

52 Ancestors #10 John Young Houston

I had a hard time this week trying to decide who to write on. In fact, I still hadn't really totally made up my mind even as time was running out to come up with a new post. I've spent this week mostly doing research on different lines, mainly my father's maternal Houston line, so I guess I'm going to write a little bit about them. The line originally starts with John Young Houston who was one of four sons born before 1800 to Scotch-Irish immigrants to South Carolina. Family lore has it his parents were John & Mary Young Houston of County Down, Ireland, although little is known about them. I don't know alot about him. He doesn't appear in the historical record for very long. At some point in his young life, John

Marriage record of John Young Houston
& Elizabeth "Betsey" Rodgers
migrated from South Carolina to MorganCo., GA where he met & married Elizabeth "Betsy" Rodgers (daughter of James & Sarah - Rodgers) on 25 Nov 1809. Before that, he was supposed to have been married to a Miss Bradford with whom he had a son Alfred & a daughter Patsy, but it is believed that they all three died & he moved on.

He should have appeared in the 1830 & 1840 census, but to be honest, I don't usually research the pre-1850 censuses because, especially with very common names, there is no sure way to determine whether or not you have the right person since they are by head of household only & don't list anyone by name & only give general ages for the members of the household (most times, they don't even give a general age for the head of the household themselves). The first & only census John Young Houston appears in is the 1850 census in Dallas Co., AL, but a great deal happened to John in the years after he married Betsey & the time he appears in Dallas Co.

Between, 1810 & 1818, John & Betsey had & raised seven children (the first two of whom are believed to have died young). They had four sons: John Young Jr (who died), William (who also died), Ruben Rodgers & James Russell. They also had three daughters: Caroline, Lucy Ann & Clementine. Nothing is known about where or when Betsey was born, but by 1841, she had died, although it is not known exactly when or where. The children were mostly grown & married off by then. On 2 Feb 1841, we find John marrying Ann Tegner (nee Bailey) in Lowndes Co., AL.

Marriage record of John Young Houston
with third wife Ann Bailey Tegner
Ann was the widow of Lewis Charles Tegner Sr who died before 1840 (Ann is listed as head of household in Lowndes Co., AL on the 1840 census). She is known to have had two sons, Lewis Charles (Jr) & William F., as well as one daughter, Nancy, who never married. Together, John & Ann had six more children: Mary Ann, Elizabeth "Betty", Martha, Margaret (who never married), my 2nd great grandfather John Young (Jr), & Sarah. In 1850, the only child not shown in their household is Sarah who had not been born yet. John Jr, my father's maternal great grandfather, is only a year old. Ann's older daughter Nancy is shown living with them, while her sons are grown & out living on their own in Lowndes County, AL in the Maria Campbell household.

John is believed to have died in 1854 in Prattville, Autauga Co., AL. It is not known where either he or Ann are buried. Ann continued on raising her children after his death. The family was skipped on the census in 1860 as far as can be told, but in 1866, we find Ann having moved & living in Shelby Co., AL where she would live for the rest of her life (presumably, as evidenced by the fact she is still living there in 1870 & 1880). Her sons & all but two of her daughters married & started their own families. The 1890 census was destroyed by fire & by 1900, all traces of this particular branch of the Houston family in AL are gone. It is thought that Ann died by the mid 1880's because her son, John Young Houston (Jr) moved to Milam County, Texas around that time. And that is a story for another time.

"Georgia, County Marriages, 1785-1950," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 15 Mar 2014), John Hughston and Betsey Rodgers, 25 Nov 1809; citing Morgan, Georgia, United States; FHL microfilm 158906.
"Alabama, Marriages, 1816-1957," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 15 Mar 2014), John Haston and Ann Peegner, 02 Feb 1841; citing reference ; FHL microfilm 1293892.
"United States Census, 1850," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 15 Mar 2014), John Houston, Dallas county, Dallas, Alabama, United States; citing family 160, NARA microfilm publication M432.


  1. I am a descendant of John Young Houston, via Rueben Rodgers Houston, and live in Alabama. Would like to exchange information if you are interested. Look forward to hearing from you

    1. Hello Cousin! I would love to exchange information & learn more about the Houstons. I can be reached via e-mail at or Looking forward to hearing from you soon. Thanks!

    2. Hey Bobbie! I live in Alabama too!!! I am a descendant through Caroline Houston.

  2. Hi There! My name is Ashley Allison! I would love to "chat" with you and possibly exchange information! my email