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 them
came to South Carolina. William went to Georgetown, and the other went to Beaufort. William, the Georgetown one,
went from Georgetown up into what was then called Kingston, now Horry, and took up large bodies of land. One
grant that the writer has seen for 3,300 acres, below what is now called Green Sea, on the Iron Springs Swamp,
just above its confluence with Lake Swamp. William Norton married a widow Miller, maiden name not known, and
she had at the time of their marriage four children-two sons, Nathaniel and Elias Miller, and two daughters,
Rebecca and Martha. Nathaniel Miller gave the land to and was one of the founders of the present Miller Church.
The deed for it was made to Bishop Asbury, and is said to be now in the possession of Rev. Simeon Campbell.
The two Millers lived and died near by, and are buried near where Valentine Martin lives. Of the two Miller
sisters, one, Martha, married old Moses Wise the other, Rebecca, married old William Bryant.
William Norton married the Widow Miller, as above stated, and had by her two sons, William and James, and
three daughters, Ruth, Martha and Mary. William, Jr., married and settled where Green Sea, in Horry, now is,
and was a prominent man down them, and built and was one of the chief founders of a Methodist church there,
then called Norton's Cross Roads, and it was then known as Norton's Church. This was about the first of 1800.
William Norton had two sons, John W. and James, and several daughters. One of the daughters, Ruth, married
Benj. I Sellers, who moved to Mississippi. John W. and James both joined the South Conference. John W. located,
and his family are in Georgia. James was quite prominent as a preacher; he died in 1825, and is buried in Columbia,
Washington Street Church. James Norton, the other brother, settled in Marion District, near his half-brothers,
the two Millers, on Maiden Down. This James Norton was the grand-father of the present Hon. James Norton, of
Mullins; he had two daughters, one of whom, Martha, married John Roberts; the other, Mary, married Gadi Cambell.
James, Sr., had three sisters. Ruth, Martha and Mary. Ruth married Joel Lewis; Martha married Norton Roberts,
grand-father of the late Colonel John Roberts; and Mary married a Flood.
James Norton, Sr., married, first, Jerusha Reaves, and had one son, William, and three daughters, Sarah, Nancy and Martha; his second wife was a Honeycutt and he had by her Mary, Solomon and John. Solomon married, had one son, named John, and died, and his widow married Jack Woods, who overseed for General Evans back in the 40's or 50's for several years. William Norton; son of James, Sr., married Anna Roland, of Camden; by her he had Jerusha, Sarah Ann, Mary, Nancy and Olive, daughters; James and Henry, sons. Jerusha married Anthony Meares. Sarah Ann married William Bryant, of Horry. Mary married Evans Bryant. Nancy married Leonard Cribb. Olive married Lewis Huggins. James married a Miss Moody, went to Alabama and died, Henry married Nancy Carmichael, daughter of Squire Dougald Carmichael, on Maiden Down and Buck Swamp; they had Catharine, Colin Murchison, Milton, Virginia and Sarah. Catherine married S. G. Porter. Colin Murchinson went to Mississippi. Milton married Miss Relda Proctor, and has a family--a son grown, Lonny; and a daughter grown, Bessie, and other children. Virginia married R J. Rogers, and had a large family - a son, Henry, grown, and a daughter, Mary, grown, and other children. Sarah married M. M. Bird; they have a family of children, two grown, Claudius and Mary.
John Norton married twice; first, Nancy Huggins, daughter of Wills Huggins; by this marriage he had John W.,
Mary Elisabeth and Caroline; he married, second time, the widow of Angus Carmichael, whose maiden name was Pensy
Lewis; by this marriage he had Evan, James, Eliza, Martha and Margaret. His son, John W., married, first, Susannah
Carmichael daughter of his second wife, Pensy, by her first husband, Angus, Carmichael; his wife died, leaving
one child a daughter, named Ires, who, when seven or eight years of age, war killed in a cotton gin; John W. Norton
married a second time, the Widow Carmichael, nee Jordan; by this marriage he had only one child, a daughter, Minnie,
who died when about grown-her mother having died before she did; John W. married, a third wife, Sarah Ivey, and by
her he had four children, two sons and two daughters (small); he is now seventy years of age or more; he was
always a modest and retiring sort of man. Away back in the 50's, he went to Mississippi and enlisted in the
regular army of the United States, Second United States Cavalry Regiment, of which Algernon Sydney Johnston
was Colonel; Robert E. Lee, lieutenant Colonel; E. Kirby Smith, Major; and Earle Van Dorn, Senior Captain.
J. W. Norton was in Van Dorn's company, and was promoted to the rank of Quartermaster Sergeant. All these
officers became, in the Confederate army, distinguished and highly distinguished Generals. J, W. Norton served
five years in this regiment, and at the end of his service he was given a three months furlough to visit his
home; at the end of which he went to his regiment, with a view to re-enlist; but just at this time Secession
occurred; his Second Regiment of Cavalry was broken up - its officers being all Southern men and he came back
to South Carolina.
--A History of Marion County, W.W. Sellers (1902)
Excerpt transcribed and contributed by Victoria Proctor, August 2000.
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