The Henry Stratton Family of South Carolina and Tennessee
By Harold L. (Chip) Stratton, Jr.
21 May 1999
Many descendants of Hampton Stratton (born about 1795) have wondered long and hard who his father and mother were, particularly since identifying him would almost certainly link his line to the already well documented families of Revolutionary War era Strattons on the East coast. Those cousins who have had the opportunity to review what is known about these earlier families have suspected a link to Henry Stratton and wife Sarah Hampton of Bedford County, Virginia, based particularly on the concordance of the Hampton name. Unfortunately, convincing evidence of such a link has been lacking.
Sharon Whitney, of Parma, ID, has proposed that Hampton Stratton’s father was Henry Stratton (Jr.), a son of the above-mentioned Henry and Sarah. She has also identified several other probable sons of Henry Stratton (Jr.). Having reviewed results of her research, and developed some evidence of my own, I feel strongly that she is right and wish to present some of these findings here.
Henry Stratton (Sr.) of Bedford County, VA had five known sons:
William, m. Mary Haynes in 1793
John Hampton, m. Mary Ann Turner in 1788
Thomas, m. Elizabeth Leftwich
Archibald, m. Edna Dickinson in 1793
Henry, about whom little was known.
William, John Hampton, Thomas and Archibald all remained settled in Virginia until after 1800, and their offspring appear to be well documented with no mention of a Hampton Stratton. Henry Stratton (Jr.) remains, but there is no information available on his disposition, possible marriage, or offspring. What we do know is that a Henry (Jr.) appeared on a list of Virginia tax payers 1782-1787 in Bedford County, VA alongside his father. We also know that Henry (Jr.) was given a fixed sum of £40 in his father’s will of 1799, while the other sons received equal divisions of the estate. The tax list suggests he had to have been born no later than 1771 to be age 16 by 1787, and the will might suggest that Henry (Jr.) was no longer in Virginia or in close contact with his father by 1799, though presumably still alive. So what happened to him?
It appears that Henry (Jr.) removed to South Carolina sometime before 1790. There is no Stratton household in the 1790, 1800, or 1810 Federal census enumerations of that state, but Sharon Whitney pointed out that there is a ‘Henry Stratham’ in Union County, SC in 1790, and that this could very well be a misspelling of Stratton. (Since this paper was originally researched, the Henry Stratton household has been found in the 1800 Union District, SC census. In the household are two males under age 10, one between 10 and 15, and one between 26 and 44. There are two females under age 10 and one between 26 and 44. In summary a male and female each over 25, and five under age 16. HLS 9/2012)
The surname Stratham does not appear in subsequent South Carolina censuses, and is today an almost nonexistent surname in this country (none show up in a Yahoo People Search on the Internet). Even better evidence for Henry Stratton (Jr.) in SC exists, however. On four occasions between 1793 and 1798, a Henry Stratton appears as a witness in land transactions in Union County, although he is never listed as a principal. (see appendix A). One of the transactions he witnesses involves a ‘James Kennady’ and an ‘Ann Kennady’ (third abstract in Appendix A). I am informed by N. Dale Morgan that one of Henry Stratton (Jr.)’s sisters Ann Stratton married James Kennedy in Bedford County, VA, after which the couple moved to Union County, SC. – and it appears now that Henry went with them.
As a matter of interest, the three transactions where a general location could be easily identified were all in northern Union County west of the Broad River, between it’s tributaries Quinton Branch and Gilky Creek. This area can be covered by a circle of 6 miles in diameter centered at about N35° 00.24' W81° 32.75'. In earlier times this land was part of North Carolina, and even now is less than 12 miles from the NC border. After 1798, other than the date of birth of a couple of probable sons, I have seen no evidence of Henry Stratton in SC. Many residents left the county between 1800 and 1820, when subsistence farming began to decline due to soil exhaustion, and cotton farming with its associated plantation slavery became important. It appears almost certain that the Henry Stratton (Jr.) family did likewise, arriving in Maury County, TN before 1820. Hampton Stratton married Sally Reid on 6 July, 1819 in Maury County, TN, while Sharon Whitney reports that a “Henery Stratten” and a “William Stratten” are found on page 52 of the 1820 Maury County, TN census.
Sons of Henry Stratton (Jr.)
Now that we have established that there was a Henry Stratton in Union County, S.C., and that he almost certainly was the son of Henry Stratton of Bedford County, VA, we still need to identify his children, and hopefully link Hampton to him as a son. Unfortunately, I have seen no direct ‘proof’, but we can support it with a body of strong circumstantial evidence.
Using LDS IGI records, Sharon Whitney identified an Archibald Stratton in Rankin County, MS in the 1830’s. This man’s given name is what attracted her attention, as the only other known Archibald Stratton before this time was one of Henry Stratton (Jr.)’s brothers. Sharon also remembered that Calvin Stratton mentioned that his father (John Zacheus Stratton, a great grandson of Hampton Stratton) would laugh and make jest of a branch of the family he called “the Archibalds”, and it was not clear exactly who he was referring to. By looking more closely, the evidence strongly suggests the target. In Rankin County, MS on 4 June 1833, an Archibald M. Stratton married an Eliza Steen. This is important, as Eliza is thought by Steen researchers to be a daughter of a Robert Steen, who was born in Union County, SC and a son of William Steen. A William Steen appears only 6 households away from ‘Henry Stratham’ in the 1790 Union County, SC census. There is a Union County, SC land transaction that involves “John Steen & Robert Steen, sons of William Steen, planter, of Gilkies Creek, Union County….” Which places William Steen in the same part of Union County that Henry Stratton (Jr.) must have lived in. Archibald Stratton is further linked to the SC Steens when he appears as a witness in a 24 December, 1833 Rankin County, MS land transaction involving Robert Steen. There is also a transfer of land on 8 December 1849 from Silas L. Steen to a Henry F. Stratton, and Silas was apparently a brother to Eliza Steen. Was Henry F. Stratton a son of Archibald M. Stratton and Eliza Steen? That isn’t clear since he doesn’t appear in Archibald’s household in the 1850 census.
To summarize, we have a Stratton with the given name of Archibald, the same as one of Henry Stratton (Jr.)’s brothers. He marries a woman whose parents are from the same part of Union County, SC as Henry Stratton (Jr.), and he may have had a son that he named after his father. The fly in the ointment is that Archibald’s state of birth was given as Virginia in the 1850 Rankin County, MS census. He was 45 at the time – one could postulate that Henry (Jr.) and his family had moved back to Virginia by 1805, before heading west again for Tennessee.
Henry Stratton (III?)
There is a Henry Stratton in Hardin County, TN in 1850, who on the Federal census for that year is shown to be 48 years of age, and born in SC. This is probably another son of Henry Stratton (Jr.).
A James Stratton appears in the 1820 Union County, SC census, age being 26-44, with a woman the same age, and three children under 10, two girls and one boy. He doesn’t appear on earlier or subsequent Union County censuses, and I don’t know what happened to him. We can only speculate that he may be a son of Henry (Jr.), and an older brother to Hampton – perhaps the youngster in the ‘Henry Stratham’ household in Union County, SC in 1790.
Although the 1850 Obion County, TN census lists NC as Hampton’s state of birth, it is shown as SC in the 1860 Bollinger County, MO census. In the 1880 Bollinger County, MO census, Hampton’s eldest son Uriah Stratton and his youngest son Thomas Gale Stratton both say their father was born in SC. More evidence of his link to South Carolina comes from his neighbors, (see below) along with clues to the source of his son Hampton House Stratton’s middle name (Hampton b. 1795 may also have carried a middle name of House, but no evidence has come to light to support it).
In 1830, Hampton Stratton was living very near a Samuel Stratton in Henderson County, TN, which suggests that they were related. In the 1850 and 1860 Henderson County, TN Federal censuses, Samuel is shown as having been born in SC (ages 47 and 58 respectively).
In the Henderson County, TN census of 1830, in addition to the above-mentioned Hampton and Samuel Strattons, there is a Martha Stratton, age 50-59. Many have suspected she was the widowed mother of Hampton & Samuel. Only three households away there is a clue in the form of the Henry House household. In the 1830 census, he is shown to be age 40-49. This Henry House appears later in the 1850 Henderson County, TN census with an age of 67 (b. about 1783), and a birth state of SC. Next door to him in 1850 is a probable son, Samuel House, who was born in SC around 1815. They appear on the same 1850 census page as Samuel Stratton (Henry House is ‘next door’ on the census page) and so can be presumed to be living near him. If we go back to the Union County, SC deed abstracts, we see Henry Stratton and an earlier Samuel House both recorded as witnesses in the same land transaction - suggesting that they were neighbors. House families appear on the 1800 and 1810 Union County, SC census indexes, but none are present in 1820. Did they move with Henry Stratton and his family to Tennessee? It appears to me highly likely that the House family was very closely associated with the Henry Stratton (Jr.) family in SC and later in TN, and that the Martha Stratton in the 1830 Henderson County, TN census is Henry Stratton (Jr.)’s widow. She may even be a House herself, and perhaps a sister to this particular Henry House.
Putting all of this together, we can hypothesize the following family group:
Henry Stratton (Jr.) (bef. 1771 – aft. 1820)
m. Martha House (circa 1775 – aft. 1830)
James Stratton (bef. 1790 - ?)
Hampton Stratton (abt. 1795 – aft. 1860)
Henry Stratton (abt. 1802 - ?)
Samuel Stratton (abt. 1803 – 1873)
Archibald M. Stratton (abt. 1805 – 1860 or later)
I don’t by any means consider all of this proved, but rather a framework for further inquiry by all interested parties. Comments and further information, in support or rebuttal are welcomed.
Harold L. (Chip) Stratton, Jr. M.D.
Email: [email protected]
Union County, South Carolina Deed Abstracts Volume I:
Deed Books A-F 1785-1800 [1752-1800] by Brent H.
Holcomb. SCMAR Columbia, South Carolina 1998.
ISBN 0-913363-31-6 Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 98-61136
C, 354-356: 19 Nov 1793, John Leek to Nicholas Corry, both of Union County, for £80 SC money, tract on Abitons Creek adj. Robert Wilson, 100 acres granted to Jacob Gardner 9 Dec 1771 and by Garner conveyed to Robert Whitley 23 July 1792 and by Robert Whitley to Moses Guiton 6 Dec 1784, thence conveyed by him to John Leek 12 May 1785, said land mortgaged for the payment of £40. John Leek (seal), Wt: Henry Stratton, John Blanton, Eleanor Adkinson. Proved in Union County by the oath of Henry Stratton 1 April 1794 before William McCullock, J.P. Recorded 7 April 1794.
D, 44-46: 10 Feb 1795, Henry Smith of York County, SC, to John Lockard of Union County, for £70 lawful money, tract of 128 acres, originally granted to James Roberson adj. Moses Waters’ land, Lewis Sanders, Joshua Petty. Henry Smith (Seal), Sally Smith (Seal), Wit: Saml House, Henry Stratton, William Morris. Proved in Union County by the oath of William Morris 14 March 1795 before John Jefferies, J.P. Recorded 6 April 1795.
D, 499-500: 17 Sept 1796, James Kennedy of Pinckney District, planter, to William Skales of same, for £10 SC money, tract pattoned to James Kennady 16 June 1785 on Quintons branch, 100 acres, part of 260 acres. James Kennady (Seal), Ann Kennady (X) (Seal), Wit:Ignatius Furly, Isaac Guiton, Henry Stratton. Proved in Union County by the oath of Ignatius Furly 17 Sept 1796 before Nicholas Corry, J.P. Recorded 5 Dec 1796.
F, 97-99: Drury Harington of Union County for £40 to Joseph Dawson of same, 150 acres on a branch of Gilkies Creek, granted to Drury Harrington 6 Nov 1786, dated 28 Nov 1798. Drury Harrington (Seal), Wit: Den’s Sullivan, William Thompson, Henry Stratton. “N.B. I could not correct the Errors.” Rachel Harrington, wife of Drury Harrington, relinquished dower 4 April 1799 before Thos Brandon, J.U.C. Proved in Union County by the oath of Den’s Sullivan 3 Dec 1798 before Nicholas Corry, J.P. Recorded 4 April 1799.
 Stratton, Harriet Russell. 1908. A Book of Strattons Vol. I, New York: The Grafton Press, Genealogical Publishers, page 220
 Ibid., page 221
 John Hampton Stratton did have a son John Hampton Stratton (Jr.), but he was born in 1811, and died in childhood. (Stratton, Harriet Russell. 1918. A Book of Strattons Vol. II. New York: Frederick H. Hitchcock, Genealogical Publisher, page 368.)
 Augusta B. Fothergill and John Mark Naugle . Virginia Tax Payers 1782-87, Other Than Those Published by the United States Census Bureau, page 121
 Stratton, H.R., 1908, page 211
 To be on this list, it would appear that Henry Stratton (Jr.) would have to have been a landowner in Virginia (though I am not 100% certain about this). I am assuming the minimum age for this would be 16, but it might well be 18 or even 21, which would push the latest possible birth year for Henry (Jr.) back to 1769 or 1766.
 Search was performed on 15 May, 1999 by the author.
 Samuel Stratton of Henderson County, TN born about 1803, and Henry Stratton of Hardin County, TN born about 1802.
 This could be the William that was Henry (Jr.)’s brother, or that William’s son.
 Brent H. Holcomb. 1998. Union County, South Carolina Deed Abstracts Volume I: Deed Books A-F 1785-1800 [1752-1800], Columbia, South Carolina: SCMAR, page 81.
 Federal Census 1850 Rankin County, MS A.M. Stratton household
 Federal Census 1850 13th Civil District, Hardin County, TN, dwelling 89, family 89, page 239
 Federal Census 1830 Henderson County, TN, page 103.
 Federal Census 1850 District 1, Henderson County, TN, page 114.
 Federal Census 1860 District 1, Henderson County, TN, page 188
 Federal Census 1830 Henderson County, TN, page 103.
 Federal Census 1850 District 1, Henderson County, TN, page 114.
 Holcomb, 1998. page 150.
 One deed abstract recording a 26 December 1795 transaction discusses land ‘sold to Laurence House now deceased, and Samuel House, the eldest son of said Laurence, having purchased the right of dower his mother Sarah had in said land….’ (Holcomb 1998, page 172) From all of this information, I would propose the following House genealogy: Laurence and Sarah house had a son Samuel, who was a neighbor to Henry Stratton (Jr.) in Union County, S.C. This Samuel had a son or a brother, Henry House, who ended up in Henderson County, TN alongside the Strattons. Henry House had at least two sons, Samuel House and Laurence House, both born in SC and appearing in the same township of Henderson County, TN.
 This is probably a misspelling of Abingdon Creek.. I can find no Abitons Creek in SC.