GODFREY NORTON 1832 - 1878 & HIRAM NORTON 1848 - 1931
Contributed by Edward Norton
April 03, 2007
GODFREY NORTON, b. 1832; d. 14 Sept., 1878; m. MARY ANN WALLACE, 7 Jan., 1856
Godfrey Norton at the time of his death was seized and possessed of a body of
land composed of several tracts all in the County and State aforesaid on Big
Beaver Dam Creek. First tract, known as the 'Home tract' is bounded by the lands
of Charles Malloy and Darling Norton and contains fifty acres, more or less.
Second tract, is bounded by the first tract and the lands of Hugh McLaurin and
contains fourteen acres, more or less. Third tract, is bounded by the lands of
Wm. Snead, Hugh McLaurin and the heirs of Elijah Norton and contains ninety acres,
more or less. Fourth tract, is bounded by the fifth tract hereinafter mentioned,
the lands of William Snead & Darling Norton and contains 23 acres, more or less.
Fifth tract, is bounded by aforementioned tract, the lands of Darling Norton, Wm.
Snead & James Rachels and contains forty acres, more or less.
(Godfrey Norton's Estate Settlement - Richmond County, NC - Myrtle Bridges)
According to his death certificate the parents of Walter A. Wallace (9 July, 1874-1
Oct., 1939) were Winnie Wallace and Godfrey Norton. This is particularly interesting
because her sister, Mary Wallace, was married to Daniel Norton.(Source: Bill Wallace)
FOUL MURDER IN RICHMOND COUNTY.---
On Saturday afternoon about 5 o'clock, a murder most foul was committed near Old Hundred, on
the Carolina Central Railway, in Richmond County, by Hiram Norton's shooting and instantly
killing Godfrey Norton. The weapon used was a shotgun, from which sixteen buckshot were discharged
and entered the side of the deceased. The murderer made his escape, and although diligent efforts
had been made to capture him, when the eastern bound train passed at one o'clock Sunday morning he
was still at large. Our informant could not gather any of the particulars, as the train just merely
stopped at the station.
Wednesday, September 18, 1878, Raleigh, NC "Observer"
Hiram Norton, charged with the killing of Godfrey Norton, was brought to this place last Thursday
and imprisoned in our county jail. Norton makes three that is in our jail from Richmond co. charged
with murder. Source: Wed., Apr. 2, 1879 Issue of "Pee Dee Herald" Wadesboro, Anson Co., NC
From Richmond County Court Records in 1879:
State vs. Hiram Norton page 305
The following Jury being duly chosen and empowered to try this item between the state and the
Prisoner at the Bar, Hiram Norton to wit.
1. Gilbert Snead 7. Daniel McKenzie
2. M. R. McDonald 8. E. D. Long
3. Elijah Norton 9. R. Y. Kelly
4. W. N. Garland 10. W. M. Butler
5. A. S. McNeill 11. M. K. Gibson
6. S. W. Pate 12. M. S. Talbert
Norman Stuart, Juror excused.
Which Jury being asked if they have agreed they say they have, and being asked who shall speak
for them, they answer A. S. McNeill, Foreman. Who says for their verdict that they find the
Prisoner at the Bar not guilty, thereupon it is ordered that the Prisoner at the Bar be discharged.
ROCKINGHAM, June 19, 1879
EDITOR OBSERVER---There is not much at this term of Richmond Superior Court. Judge McKoy and
Solicitor McIver have had a long siege, this being, I believe, the longest circuit in the State.
This is the last court of this Spring circuit, and I have no doubt but that his Honor and the
Solicitor are heartily rejoiced that they can now play for awhile.
The criminal docket showed four murder cases with quite a full docket for minor offences. The
homicide cases are Hiram Norton, charged with killing Godfrey Norton;---Oglesby for the homicide
of D. I. Williams. Jim Green and Mack Cross, both colored, each got away with another colored
brother, for which, twelve men will say whether they are guilty or not of murder. The cases of
Oglesby and Jim Green have been removed to the county of Anson.
Hiram Norton's case was called this morning, a large part of the day being spent in procuring a
jury. Late in the evening the case was given to the jury, who were out until 10 p.m., when they
returned a verdict of not guilty.
Obit of HIRAM NORTON from the Friday 16 January, 1931 edition of the
News Journal, Raeford, NC:
Mr. Hiram Norton Died Last Friday
He was a highly respected citizen of Blue Springs Township - moved to
this county in 1904, was 82 yrs. and 11 months old. Mr. Hiram Norton
a highly respected citizen of Blue Springs Township died at his home
last Friday. His death being due to high blood pressure and kidney
trouble. He was 82 yrs., 11 months, & 9 days old. He had been sick
about 3 months. Mr. Norton was a native of Scotland Co.(then Richmond
County) and moved to this county (Hoke) in 1904, he was an exceptionally
good farmer and had accumulated a sizeable estate during his active
days. Owning at the time of this death some of the best farms in this
county. Surviving are one brother Silas Norton of Scotland County, two
sons Manley and Emmett, three daughters Della, Mary Eliza, and Carrie,
all of this county. His wife who before marriage was Mrs. Martha Ann
Norton preceded him to the grave about 8 yrs. ago. Funeral Services were conducted from the
home Saturday at 3:00pm by pastor Rev. W.F. Trawick and the interment was made in Raeford
Cemetery.Active pallbearers were W.F. Jackson, W. M. Norton, Onslow Morgan, E. L. Norton,
D. J. Love, and Dan Wilkes.
Hiram Norton was my Great-Grandfather. He was born in Laurel Hill, NC on 30 Jan, 1848 on the farm of
his Grandparents, Elijah and Eliza Walker Norton. His childhood was his apprenticeship in farming. In the
1870s he helped on the farm of his Cousin, Godfrey Norton, as a "wagoner", thus following in the footsteps
of his Grandfather Elijah. He married his first cousin once removed, Martha Ann Norton, on February 13, 1873.
He and Martha Ann had three daughters: Della, Mary Eliza and Carrie, followed by two sons: Joseph Manley,
my Grandfather, and Emmett Welcome Norton, the only child of the Hiram Nortons that lived to see me and my
other cousins. Hiram and his children were involved in farming cotton. On her death certificate, Aunt Eliza
was listed as a "farmerette". Of the five children, only Joseph Manley Norton and Harriet Shaw Smith Norton
had children: Zane Grey Norton, Doris Lee Norton and Alexander Smith Norton. Easy genealogy! Not really.
When Hiram Norton disapproved of the formation of Scotland County (1899) he shortly thereafter moved to the
Blue Springs Township in 1904. His clapboard home there was one of the first in that community to have
indoor plumbing, a telephone and electricity. Martha Ann Norton died of the flu on 29 Mar, 1922. Hiram
Norton lived to see all of his Grandchildren and died on 9 Jan 1931.
Hiram Norton had three siblings. Rebecca Beasley Norton, his Sister, married her first cousin once removed,
Darling Norton, who was Martha Ann Norton's brother, in 1870 and as far as we know, Rebecca and Darling had
at least 10 children: Henry, William L., Eli L., Eliza, Annie R., Martha J., Hattie, Minnie M., and Bexley
M. over a 20 year period, 1871-1891. Darling was like Hiram, a cotton farmer. Between May 30, 1891 and
Dec 31, 1899, Rebecca Beasley Norton died. Darling then became a sweeper in the cotton mill. At several
points he met my Dad, as did his son, Eli L. Norton, who was a pall bearer in Hiram Norton's Jan 1931 funeral.
Darling Norton died on 04 Jan 1932 and is buried with his family in the Huckabee Grove Cemetery in downtown
Laurel Hill, NC.
Silas Norton was born in Laurel Hill, NC at his Grandparents' home on 26 Aug, 1856 and also had a childhood
apprenticeship in farming. Silas worked for William T. and Sarah C. Norton in the 1870s. He witnessed the
wedding of his Brother on February 13, 1873 at the home of Eli and Rachel Lindsay Norton with Martha Ann's
older brother, Wiley Norton also witnessing. In the 1880s he partnered Margaret Catherine Gibson and they
married in 1886 and had 6 children, 5 of whom survived: John, Rae, Bertie Gibson, Francis Jewett and Hattie
Lorena Norton, between May, 1880 and March, 1898. My Cousin Myra Kaye Midgett always says that first baby
can come at any time! Margaret Catherine Norton contracted throat cancer and died 22 Jul 1925. Silas
witnessed the deaths of all of his siblings and died on 5 Nov 1934 and was buried beside Margaret Catherine
in King Cemetery, Laurel Hill. Their grave markers were probably wood and have deteriorated along with 360
others in that cemetery per Beauchamp McDougald.
Eliza Jane Norton was born in Laurel Hill, NC at her Grandparents' home in May, 1861.
She lived with her Grandparents and Mother and met William James Peele, whom she married on 26 Feb 1880 in
Boonville in Williamsons, NC. William James was also a cotton farmer and he and Eliza Jane had 12 children
between 1881 and 1900 and, per the 1900 US Census, 6 survived: David J., Rebecca Jane, Nettie, William
Freeman, Lillie Mae and Eva J. William James Peele died on 12 Jun 1924 and Eliza Jane died in 1929. They
are buried in Peele Cemetery. Their Grandson by William Freeman, Lloyd Peele, was a genealogist who
conferred with Mrs. Marcus (Nancy) Norton, Horace Peele and Marvin Peele, who have shared their memories
of Lloyd with me. It is truly sad that Lloyd Peele died in 2001 before I began learning about my family.
The major question in your minds must now be "How are WE related to YOU?" I will tell you about this and
briefly about my process of Norton research. I located the death certificate of Silas Norton, prompted to
do so by Hiram Norton's obituary in the Raeford, NC newspaper. Many online genealogies state that Hiram
was a son of Elijah Norton. I was quite surprised to see "Emaline Norton" listed as his Mother on his
death certificate. I hopped in my Toyota Corolla and headed to Rockingham, NC, where I was pleased to
meet Mrs. Pat McDonald, who put Hiram Norton's and Eliza Jane Norton's Marriage Liscenses in my hands.
Both reveal Emeline Norton to be the Mother. Emeline was a Daughter of Elijah and Eliza Walker Norton,
who grew up in Laurel Hill, NC, lived in Stewartsville (Laurinburg) in the late 1850s and early 1860s
with her Sister, Eliza Ann Norton. Emeline returned to Williamsons and boarded with Rebecca, Darling
and their family. She died on 2 Mar 1886 and was buried in Huckabee Grove Cemetery in downtown Laurel
Hill, where she is surrounded by the graves of her Grandchildren by Rebecca and Darling. Rebecca, Darling
and their son Eli's graves are unmarked.
My Sister-in-Law, Trish Buckley Norton, put the pressure on me in 2005 to get the Norton genealogy on paper
so my 3 Nephews and Niece could know something of their family history. If you see or hear anything on
Emeline Norton, Rebecca Beasley Norton, Silas Norton or Eliza Jane Norton, please feel free to contact me
and pass along the information, photographs, newspaper articles or anything you might locate. It has been
my pleasure getting to know more about the Nortons. Source: Edward Norton
See John Calvin & Daniel Norton Photos
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