This doesn’t pretend to be anything like a definitive genealogy of the Heaton family. It is mainly interested in the direct line ending with GRACE HEATON (1667-1708) who married THOMAS STACKHOUSE in 1688. However, information about Grace’s siblings and nephews has come to my attention and has been included. I would be very interested in gathering additional information about individuals named herein, or for help in researching the family earlier in England. If you have more information or corrections, please contact me via e mail at .
This page is still under construction. Is family history ever finished? Sources can be seen by clicking on the small bracketted numbers. See an explanation of the numbering system used on this web page.
Our line can be traced back to Robert HeatonA who was born about 1595 and died sometime after 1667. But thus far I have found no other informaton about him.
Robert Heaton1, son of Robert, was baptised in the Anglican church on 25 March 1642 in Wharf, Clapham Parish, in the West Riding of Yorkshire. He died about 1717 in Pennsylvania. He was married to Alice Ricroft.
Robert and Alice became convinced of the faith of Friends (also known as Quakers) sometime before 1668 when the birth of their daughter, Grace, was recorded by Settle Monthly Meeting. In 1670 and 1671 Robert suffered distraint of goods as punishment for attending Friends meetings for worship.
Robert and Alice and their five children decided to immigrate to Pennsylvania to try to make a better life for their children. Friends were not encouraged to flee persecution, but the economic motive for emigrating was quite acceptable (and remains a major motive for moving to the U.S.A.). With a certificate of removal from Settle Monthly Meeting they sailed on the Lamb out of Liverpool. They arrived in Pennsylvania on 22 October 1682.
The family settled in Bucks County, but Robert did not buy any land until May 1686 when he purchased from Robert HOLGATE, planter of Sussex County, 250 acres on the Neshaminy Creek in Middletown. Robert’s name appears on the 1687 Thomas Holme’s map, lumped in a bloc between Middletown and Newtown with “Walter BRIDGMAN, Thomas CONSTABLE, Widow Crosdal [sic: CROASDALE], Robert HOLDGATE, Alexander GILES, widdow BOND, and Thomas STACKHOUSE”. In 1693 his property was valued at only £20, the lowest assessment of any freeholder in the township.
Robert and Alice were active members of Middletown Meeting from its beginning, and meetings for worship were held in the Heaton home in rotation before the first meeting house was built. Robert served on committees six times to ascertain the clearness of specific men to marry. He was appointed to committees to help arbitrate disputes ("differences") between two Friends. He was named 5 Fourth Month [June] 1690 to the committee that set out and fenced the burial ground. He was appointed to receive contributions for the meeting house, graveyard, and so on, 1 Fourth Month [June] 1693. During the Keithian controversy, Robert Heaton and Nicholas WALN were asked on 5 Eighth Month [October] 1692 to speak with John SWIFT, who had become disaffected from the meeting. Robert contributed 5 shillings to the meeting house fund 2 Eighth Month [October] 1690. See an explanation of Quaker and Old Style (before 1752) dating system.
Alice was perhaps even more active in the Women’s Meeting. She served on marriage clearness committees at least 15 times. Twice she was asked to serve on a committee to meet with women whose behavior gave the meeting cause for concern. During the Keithian controversy she was asked to speak with those women who had “fallen away”. Alice was appointed to “oversee” the meeting, a forerunner of the more formal office of overseer.
Robert also participated in the affairs of the township and county. In 1686 he was named a fence viewer, and later an overseer of highways. He frequently served on juriesat least twenty times between 1686 and 1708. In 1686 and 1697 he was appointed to a committee to lay out a road. In 1698 and 1700 he was elected to the Pennsylvania Assembly, where he played a “minimal role”, serving on one committee to audit claims of creditors against the government of Pennsylvania. He was also asked to serve as a messenger a few times. Not a bad public career for a man who was illiterate.
Robert's illiteracy did not prevent him from receiving, in turn, books that the meeting rotated among families. It is probable that other members of Robert’s family, namely his children, could read. When Alice witnessed the will of Anne CLARKE, widow, 1 December 1682, she signed with a mark, while her daughter Grace was able to write her own name.
Robert was also asked to serve as attorney in real estate deals, for example 9 Eighth Month [October] 1686 by Jedidiah ALLEN. On 17 First Month [March] 1689/90 he served in this capacity for Henry FLOWER of Philadelphia.
Robert and three prominent men posted bond for £212 so that two of them, William and John CROASDALE, would administer the estate of their late mother, Agnes. With two others Robert was bound for £523 so that Thomas LANGHORNE could administer the estate of Arthur BORDALE, late of Kirkbride in Cumberland (12 Fourth Month 1687), in England.
His name and mark appeared fairly frequently in court records when he witnessed agreements, as on 20 Twelfth Month [February] 1693; and on 10 Sixth Month [August] 1695; 9 Eighth Month [October] 1697; 20 Twelfth Month [February] 1698/9; 2 June 1702; 12 December 1705; and 1 First Month [March] 1705/6. If nothing else, this indicates that first, he was accustomed to be present on court days, and second, that his neighbors trusted his honesty.
Beginning in 1697 Robert became very active in the real estate market. One might call him a speculator, as in the course of a decade he purchased about 3,950 acres in Bucks and Philadelphia Counties, most of which he eventually sold. His over 1,400 acres in Philadelphia he sold for very little profit. But that was mainly because he conveyed 600 acres to his son-in-law at about his purchase price, and 200 acres to his youngest son Ephraim for 5 shillings. Robert made a substantial profit on most of his Bucks County real estate dealings. He bought something over 2,500 acres for £813 and sold all but 250 acres for £1,747. He sold about 590 acres to his sons: 440 to Robert and the rest to James at cost or for a nominal price. Usually, though, Robert made shrewd bargains, buying property from executors of estates who were anxious to liquify the assets in order to settle the estates. He often sold large tracts to non-residents who may not have understood the low prices of land in Bucks County.
On 8 June 1706 Robert sold to his son Robert Heaton, Jr. and son-in-law Thomas STACKHOUSE land for building a mill in Middletown township between the Neshaminy Creek on the south, and Core Creek on the north. The agreement included the power (meaning legal permission) to dam Core Creek. The Heaton grist mill at Bridgetown, was up and running by about 1709.
In his later years Robert became increasingly troublesome and cantankerous. Beginning in 1694 his involvement in Middletown Meeting “alternated between duty and contention.” That year he had a dispute with Quakers in Newtown over the location of a road. In 1696 he refused for seven months to acknowledge any wrong in permitting his son James to marry in a disorderly manner. When he finally did offer an acceptable paper of acknowledgment and condemnation, it included an apology for “intemperate discourse” towards Friends.
In 1699 Robert created “great dissatisfaction” when he managed to obtain legal guardianship of an orphan without waiting for the meeting’s permission. Thomas TROHAIT had asked the meeting’s advice as to whether Robert Heaton should be his guardian. Without waiting for the meeting to investigate and reach a conclusion, Robert went ahead. Apparently he borrowed money from the boy’s estate. Eventually, after pressure from the meeting, he promised in Orphans’ Court to repay it with interest.
Robert had a series of disputes with other Friends over money between 1698 and 1713. One altercation with Joseph KIRKBRIDE lasted two years and almost resulted in Robert’s disownment as exasperated Friends were frustrated in their attempts to resolve it. But even so, during this time he continued to be named to the small committees through which the meeting’s business was accomplished. Between 1698 and 1704 he was paid a small stipend for cleaning the meeting house, and making sure the fire was laid and wood furnished for it. The meeting house was built on his land, and on 1 December 1704 he sold to the meeting’s trustees for 5 shillings the two acres on which it was located.]
Perhaps the most serious difficulty he got in was the accusation that he committed adultery with a female servant. The case dragged on in meeting for eight months before his acknowledgement was accepted by Bucks Quarterly Meeting, to which he had appealed.
His contentiousness wasn’t limited to the meeting. In 1703 he was in trouble with the court when Hugo, the man he enslaved, was found guilty of fornication and begetting a bastard child. In 1704 William BILES sued Robert for debt. That year he was also fined for fencing a part of the king’s road. In 1710 he had to post bond for his son James who was accused of stealing a hog. In 1712 and 1713 he was involved in three more legal disputes. He was a plaintiff against Thomas CUTLER, and a defendant against Joshua HOOPES, and the estate of Edward SHIPPEN.
Robert’s will was dated 16 April 1716, and it was probated 16 July 1717. He gave 5 shillings to each of his three sons and two sons-in-law. To his “Dear and Well Beloved wife Alice” he left the residue, and named her executrix, with the help of his son Robert and son-in-law Henry COMLY.
Children of Robert and Alice (__) Heaton:i. Grace Heaton2, b. 11/1m/1667; bur. 8/8m/1708; m. 14/1m/1688 Thomas STACKHOUSE; 9 children.
ii. Robert Heaton, b. 3 Aug. 1671 (or b. 3/6m/1661 according to Middletown MM rec, p. 125) in Wharf, Clapham Parish, West Riding of Yorkshire; d. 1743; m(1) 3m/8/1700 Grace Pearson or PIERSON, m(2) 1720 Susannah GRIFFITH (CARTER). He was elected to the Penna. Assembly in 1709 and 1711. Grace was the daughter of Thomas and Grace (VIPONT) Pierson, b. 31/3m/1680, d. 30/2m/1719.
iii. James Heaton, b. 25/12m/1674; d. 1709; m. Ann GRIFFITH.
iv. Agnes Heaton, b. in Eng., 12/9m/1677; m. 8m/1695 Henry COMLY.
v. Ephraim Heaton, b. 17/6m/1679;
Grace Heaton2, the daughter of Robert1 and Alice, was born in England 11 First Month [March] 1667. Her birth was recorded by Settle Monthly Meeting in the West Riding of Yorkshire. She immigrated to Middletown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania with her parents and siblings in 1682.
Grace and Thomas STACKHOUSE “the younger” brought their marriage intentions to Middletown Meeting on 5 Fifth Month [July] 1688. As usual, a clearness committee was appointed, which reported back favorably to the next meeting, held on 2 Sixth Month 1688. They were married in a meeting for worship held 27 Seventh Month [September] 1688.
Grace served on two marriage clearness committees for the Middletown Women’s Meeting, and one committee to speak with an erring Friend. 
Thomas served as a collector of money granted to the Proprietary in 1704. He was a justice of the peace from 1711 to 1715, and elected to the Pennsylvania Assembly from 1711 to 1713.
Grace Stackhouse was buried in Middletown Meeting graveyard on 8 Eighth Month [October] 1708. Her widower went on to marry two additional wives, and had a total of fourteen children.
Children of Thomas and Grace (Heaton) Stackhouse:i. Samuel Stackhouse, b. 17/8m/1689; m. Eleanor CLARK; no children. Inherited £10 from his father. Eleanor does not appear in the Women’s Meeting minutes.
ii. John Stackhouse, b. 27/3m/1691; d. 4/2m/1714.
iii. Robert Stackhouse, b. 8/9m/1692; d. 1788; m. Margaret STONE; had 8 children. He inherited from his father £5, and the land adjacent to Pigeon Swamp, to be divided with his brother Thomas. Robert was disowned from Middletown MM for horse racing. Margaret does not appear in the Women’s minutes.
iv. Henry Stackhouse, b. 7/10m/1694; m. Jane __??
v. Grace Stackhouse, b. 7/11m/1696/7; d. 5/6m/1777; m. 31/1/1719 David WILLSON.
vi. Alice Stackhouse, b. 1/2m/1699; m. 8/1m/1715 Euclydus LONGSHORE, who received a bequest of £5 from Alice’s father.
vii. Thomas Stackhouse, b. 2/2m/1701; m. Elizabeth __. Like his older brother Robert, Thomas inherited £5 and a part of the land adjacent to Richard BIDGOOD that was to be divided with Robert.
viii. Joseph Stackhouse, b. 20/5m/1703; d. 1774; m. 3m/1725 Sarah COPELAND; had 6 children including sons Caleb and Joshua. Joseph inherited land adjacent to William PAXSON plus an additional 60 acres, and was to pay his son Caleb £2, and $10 to his brother Benjamin’s son Benjamin. Joseph was moderately active in Middletown MM.
ix. Benjamin Stackhouse, b. 25/10m/1705; m. 10/8m/1728 Sarah GILBERT; had at least two children, Benjamin and Grace. He inherited the residue of his father’s estate which in time was to go 2/3 to Benjamin and 1/3 to Grace. His son Benjamin also received a lot in Bristol.
Robert Heaton, Jr.2 was born in 1671 (or perhaps 1661, as recorded in the Middletown MM records) although this is probably a typographical error. He may have been apprenticed at the age of 11 or 12, and thus remained behind in England when his parents immigrated to Pennsylvania. Robert joined them with a certificate of removal from Settle Monthly Meeting dated 5 Second Month [April] 1699. It stated that he was unmarried and in good standing among Friends. In order to marry, Robert requested and received a certificate from Middletown Meeting to Philadelphia Monthly Meeting. It was accepted by the latter Second month 4, 1700. He married Grace Pearson or Pierson 3 Eighth Month [October] 1700. Grace was the daughter of Thomas and Grace (Vipont) Pierson, born 31 Third Month [May] 1680, and died 30 Second Month [April] 1719.
Robert served on a petit jury.[33a]
Robert married for a second time Susanna Carter in Eighth Month [October] 1720, who had joined Friends a few months earlier. However, six months later Susanna gave birth to a child that appeared to be full term. The Middletown Women’s Meeting minuted that thisis causing grief to friends that she should give occation of so publick a scandal upon our profession which she was but lately joyned to be a paper brought in to this meeting, a few months before her marriage. Two women were appointed to speak with her, with the full understanding that “if she doe not clear the truth speedely of the reproach she hath brought upon it that friends must disown her.” At the monthly meeting 1 Fourth Month 1721, with the approbation of the Men’s Meeting, two women were appointed to draw up a paper to disown Susanna, and also her husband. Friends Meeting minutes are intended to record only the sense of what the group discerns as God’s will in the particular instance. Therefore they do not include details of who said what, nor do they list the various opinions on a topic. It seems, though, that there was a bit of a a gentle contest between the Women’s and Men’s meetings, over which group should have the final power over membership. The next month Women minuted that the Men’s Meeting drew up a paper that included Susanna and her husband, but it hadn’t yet been signed. On 3 Sixth Month a paper against Robert Heaton and his wife was read, approved, and signed by the clerks of the Men’s and Women’s Meetings, but for reasons not stated, its publication was deferred. The reason, most likely, was that behind the scenes Friends were laboring with Robert and Susanna to acknowledge and condemn their “outgoing” so that that Truth could be cleared and they could be retained in membership. At the meeting for business 7 Tenth Month [December] 1721 Susanna brought a paper that was accepted by the Women’s Meeting. She was ordered to “publish” it. The next month it was reported that her paper had been read at a public meeting (probably after a meeting for worship).
In time the incident was sufficiently behind them, and Susanna’s subsequent behavior caused no discomfort to Friends, so that she began to be named to committees. Over the next years she was named to nine committees to ascertain if a woman was clear to remove to another location, seven committees to see if a woman was clear to marry, and four committees to attend weddings to see that they were accomplished in an orderly manner (and perhaps to help with arrangements as needed).
Children of Robert and Grace (Pierson) Heaton (may be incomplete):i. Sarah Heaton3, b. 28/6m/1701; d. 8m/1768; m. 18/10m/1722 Joseph WALKER and had 7 children.
James Heaton2, was born 25 Twelfth Month [February] 1674 in Yorkshire. At the age of nine he immigrated with his family to Pennsylvania. He married Ann GRIFFTTH 7 Fifth Month [July] 1696.
James was not the stereotypical well-behaved Quaker. He had an affair with Mary SCAIFE (born 10 August 1678, died before 1738), daughter of Jonathan Scaife, Justice of the Peace and Coroner (1697 and 1699). Both James and Mary were convicted of bastardy in 1695 in the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and fined, although Mary’s fine was later forgiven by William MARKHAM, Governor of Pennsylvania. Middletown Monthly Meeting also condemned James Heaton for having a child out of wedlock. Heaton denied it, as he also did in court. James and Mary Scaife never married, although numerous internet postings erroneously claim they did.
James married Ann GRIFFITH (daughter of John Griffith [d. 1713]) on 7 Fifth Month 1696 without his father’s blessing and not under the care of the meeting. He was disciplined 1 Eighth Month 1696 for disorderly marriage. He later acknowledged to marrying out of meeting in 1697, but continued to deny that he begat a child with Mary Scaifedespite his court conviction for it.
James was involved in a complaint of scandal mongering with William PAXSON, Jr. 3 Eighth Month 1700. In 1710 James’s father had to post bond for him when James was accused of stealing a hog, although since James was a married man living in New Jersey by this time, it is possible this might have been some other James? Or perhaps that is why his father appeared in court in his place?
James operated a mill and ferry in Hopewell Township, Burlington County. In 1716 he was executor for the will of John PLUMLEY.
Child of James Heaton and Mary Scaife:i. John Heaton3, b. 1690; d. Sept. 1762; m(1) Sarah ROBERTS; m(2) Mary BANNING.
There is apparently no definitively proved list of the children of James and Ann (Griffith) Heaton, but Dean Heaton feels these are likely:
John Heaton3, born in 1690, died in September 1762 in Hardwick, Sussex County, New Jersey. John’s mother was Mary, the daughter of Jonathan SCAIFE. Although his father is not named in the DAR record, John was the illegitimate child of James Heaton, noted in the Middletown Meeting minutes. Jonathan Scaife raised his grandson John Heaton.
Eight years later the Middletown Monthly Meeting records minute that Mary Scaife brought her first intentions to marry John RUMFORD 6 Fifth Month 1698. His certificate of removal identifying him as “of Bucherstath, from the monthly meeting at Hartshaw, county of Lankashire”, dated six months earlier, was minuted the following month, on 4 Sixth Month 1698. That month Mary did not come to meeting to give her second intentions, presumably allowing time for the men to accept John as a member in good standing, with no entanglements back in England. The following month the Women minuted that she “condemned what she said to the women appointed to talk with her” and they cleared her to marry. Did the women remind her of the bastard born eight years earlier? Suggest it was a very hasty courtship? Raise the possibility of pregnancy? The record is silent, except for the clear implication that Mary had intemperate words with them. The marriage between Mary Scaife and John Rumford took place on the 27th day of 6th month, 1699. Only 26 weeks afterwards Mary gave birth. Women were appointed to speak with her, and at the monthly meeting of 2 Third Month [May] 1700 it was reported that she acknowledged that “shee had done amiss”. The committee was asked to see if she “will own her fault”, but the following month they reported that she was not repentant and seemed to be turning her back on Friends. Two months later, there still not being a satisfactory acknowledgment and condemnation of fornicating before marriage with the man whom she then married, in August two Friends were appointed to ask Mary to come to the next meeting for business. She did, but there was still no resolution to the situation and they asked her to come again. Finally at the meeting on 5 Tenth Month [December] 1700 Mary told Friends she was clear, the women’s meeting minuted that it was not clear, and they unanimously decided to send the whole thing on to Quarterly Meeting for further discernment in the matter. The men’s meeting had similar difficulties with John, minuting on 2 Eleventh Month 1700/1 “John Rumford’s matter having been several times discussed, and he and his father-in-law, Jona: Scaife, having pretty much endeavored to make the meeting believe the child was abortively born, this meeting (and the womans meeting) find him guilty and will lay the matter before the Quarterly meeting.”. I have not yet been able to check the Quarterly Meeting minutes, but the assumption is that John was reconciled with Friends, at least by 1712. On 3 Second Month that year he requested a certificate of removal for himself and his family to go to Philadelphia. John signed his will 26 Tenth Month 1737, describing himself as a weaver of Plymouth, Philadelphia County [now Montgomery County]. It was proved 3 February 1738. In it he lists children John [b. 31st day of 10th month, 1701], Jonathan [11th day of 11th month, 1705], Sarah (Bell) [b. 25th day of 1st month, 1699], Martha, Hannah, Thomas, and “Mirriam” [another daughter, Rebecca Rumford b. 18th day of 10th month, 1703, had apparently died by then], and grandson: Jonathan Davies. Executors were his son Thomas and daughter Mirriam Rumford. Witnesses were Henry BELL (his mark), Michael THOMAS, and Edward DAVIES. Earlier, on 11 Nov, 1725, Mary had witnessed the will of Henry BELL of Amity Township. Presumably Mary died before her husband, as she was not mentioned in his will.
John Heaton was raised by his grandfather Jonathan SCAIFE, a respected man in Bucks County. Jonathan, his wife Ann, and three children, Mary, Jeremiah and William (the latter born en route 30 Fifth Month [July] 1683, and died 12 Twelfth Month [February] 1683/4) had immigrated on The Friendship, out of Liverpool, arriving in the Delaware River by 21 Ninth Month [November] 1683. “Jonathan Scaife of Idle in the parish of Kalverly, Yorkshire” brought his certificate of removal dated 28 Fourth Month 1683, from “Askwith, Yorkshire”, to Middletown Meeting. Jonathan was buried 1 Fifth Month 1709; his wife Ann on 8 Eighth Month 1723.
As an adult, John removed to Burlington County, New Jersey. (Need to check if he was a member of Crosswicks Meeting.) He married Sarah ROBERTS in about 1718 in Crosswicks. About 1727 they removed to Kingwood in Hunterdon County. (Were they members of Kingwood Meeting?)
Sarah died “the latter end of the year 1731”. John then moved his family to Amwell, Hunterdon County, were he married Mary BENNINGS in early 1734. She was considerably younger than John. In 1743 they moved again, this time to Hardwick in Sussex County, New Jersey. Mary died 10 April 1759, aged about 49 years and 2 months. John died “after a short illness of the Ague for about 17 hours” in September 1762. He was about 72 years old.
Children of John and Sarah (Roberts) Heaton:
i. Mary Heaton4, b. in Crosswicks, ca. 1720; d.y., before 1738 when her half sister was named Mary Jr.?
ii. Jonathan Heaton, b. in Crosswicks Township, Burlington Co., NJ, ca. 1722; d. “about the year 1723 being little more than a year old.”
iii. John Heaton, Jr. b. in Crosswicks, 24 June 1724; d. in Virginia “the latter end of the year 1788. aged about 64 years and 6 months.” m. Abigail PAXSON, daughter of James and Mary of Solebury, Bucks Co.; removed to Loudon Co., Virginia in 1768; had 8 children: William, Benjamin, John, James, Thomas, Jane, Mary, and Samuel.
iv. Benjamin Heaton, b. in Crosswicks Township, Burlington County, New Jersey, on 18 May 1726; died in 1819 in Culpeper County, Virginia. He and Elizabeth JACKSON were married; Benjamin gave his first intentions to Kingwood Meeting 9/8m/1753. [James W. Moore, Records of the Kingwood Monthly Meeting of Friends, Hunterdon County, New Jersey (Flemington, NJ: H. E. Deats, 1900), 10.] They had at least one son: William HEATON, who married Catherine HARFORD (of Culpepper Co, VA & Henry Co, KY), and who were the progenitors of a long line of descendants.
v. Sarah Heaton, Jr., b. 10 July 1728 in Kingwood, Hunterdon Co., NJ; d. in the fall of 1804, aged about 76 years and 4 months; m. Henry COATS and removed to Carolina in 1753.
vi. Susannah Heaton, b. 18 Nov. 1731 in Kingwood; m(1) George PETTIT ca. 1752 and removed to Loudon Co., Va., in 1768; George died and she m(2) Joseph BALDWIN in 1779.
Children of John and Mary (Bennings) Heaton:vii. Imanuel Heaton4, b. in Amwell Township, Hunterdon Co., NJ, 8 or 18 Nov. 1734; d. in 1760, aged about 25 years and 6 months.
Dean Heaton has continued the Heaton line, so I will not include any more here.
33. Albert Cook Myers, Quaker Arrivals at Philadelphia, 1682-1750: Being a List of Certificates of Removal Received at Philadelphia Monthly Meeting of Friends (Philadelphia: Ferris & Leach, 1902), on the web at www.pa-roots.com/~chester/quaker_arrivals_at_phila
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