James and Susanna Lawton were of the 5th generation of Lawtons in America. They were both born in Rhode Island, raised in the Church of Friends (Quakers), and married in the Friends Meeting House in Newport, Rhode Island in 1789. That meeting house, which was built in 1699, still stands today and is located at the corner of Farewell and Marlborough streets.

Click here to view pictures of the Friends Meeting House in Newport, Rhode Island

The original marriage certificate of James and Susannah (Gould) Lawton is now framed and hangs in the home of David Lowell Lawton, (11th generation in America), descended from James. This certificate is entered on Rhode Island Monthly Meeting Records of Marriage Certificates, Book No. 2, page 50, tenth of the first month, 1789. A transcription of the below certificate can also be found on page 54 of the Fall 1998 Lawton Ledger :

"James Lawton, of Portsmouth, in the county of Newport, and the State of Rhode Island, son of Isaac Lawton, of said Portsmouth, in the county and State aforesaid, and Mary his wife, and Susannah Gould, daughter of John Gould, of Middletown, in the county and State aforesaid, and Sarah his wife, having declared their intentions of taking each other in marriage, before several monthly Meetings of the people called Quakers, in the county aforesaid, according to the good order used among them, their proceedings after due enquiry and deliberate consideration thereof, were allowed by the said Meetings; they appearing clear of all others, and having consent of parents and others concerned. Now these are to certify all whom it may concern, that for the full accomplishing of their said intentions, this first day of the first month, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine, they the said James Lawton, and Susannah Gould, appeared at a publick assembly of the aforesaid people and others, in their Meeting house in Newport, in the county and State aforesaid, and the said James Lawton, taking the said Susannah Gould, by the hand, did openly declare as followeth: Friends, I take this my friend Susannah Gould, to be my wife, promising through divine assistance to be unto her a loving and faithful husband, until it shall please the Lord by death to separate us. And the said, Susannah Gould did then and there in like manner declare as followeth: Friends, I take this my Friend James Lawton to be my husband promising through divine assistance to be unto him a loving and faithful wife, untill it shall please the Lord by death to separate us. Or words of the like import. And the said James Lawton, and Susannah Gould, as a further confirmation thereof, have hereunto set their hands: She, after the custom of marriage assuming the name of her husband. And we whose names are hereunto subscribed, being present with others at the consummation of their said marriage, as witnesses thereunto, set our hands the day and year above written."

[Signatures of witnesses:]

Mary Gould_______Clarke Rodman____Elizabeth Thurston_____James Lawton
Abby Anthony_____James Mitchell_____Abigail Rodman_______Susanna Lawton
Abigail Earl_______Benj'n Freeborn____Isaac Lawton Junr
Samson Sherman___Jacob Mott_______Hannah Freeborn______Isaac Lawton
Ruth Sherman_____James Gould______Susanna Lawton_______John Gould
Susan Anthony____Dorcus Earl_______Hannah Gould________James Coggeshall
Rhoda Hopkins____Alice Gould_______Moses Lawton________John Lawton
Anna Lawton_____Anne Gould___________________________David Lawton
____________________________________________________Mary Gould

[Signatures of additional witnesses on back of document:]

Thomas Gould_____Anna Chase_______Elizabeth Hadwen_____Wm. Miller
Jeruma Robinson___Lydia Bull_________Sam Cogshell________Job Chaloner
Elijah Anthony_____Phillip Wanton_____Geo. R. Dauton
George Hathaway__Amy Thurston______Isaac Almy

In 1796, James and Susanna, along with their 3 children and several other families, migrated from Rhode Island to Ohio. Their infant son, Simeon, died along the way, but despite this hardship they arrived in southeastern Ohio in the spring of 1797. They built a homestead near present-day Barlow, Ohio. That original homestead still exists and is still owned and inhabited by Lawtons. Below are excerpts from Lawton Ancestral Lines written by Frederick Brown Lawton of his amazing great-grandparents:

"These early settlers in what was then the great west emigrated to Ohio in 1796-7, when this was a long and hazardous undertaking. The company included James and Susanna and their young family, John Greene and family and Griffin Greene, his mother and sister. They started August 6, 1796. On the way, the Lawtons were delayed by illness at a place in Pennsylvania called Sideling Hill, while the others came on. There the child Simeon died. Later, families of the name of Brown arrived, and with them Great-grandfather and his family proceeded to "headwaters" where winter was spent. Marietta [Ohio] was reached in the spring of 1797.

"It is difficult to realize the hardships and hopes of these our courageous forbears on their notable journey from the Atlantic seaboard in New England to the then western frontier so long ago. A journey now accomplished with the conveniences and luxuries of railroad travel in perhaps a single day, by automobile over smooth and perfect highways in as short a time and by plane in the space of a few hours, in their day the overland route was scarcely charted and the roads along streams and over mountains rough and dangerous. One writer says of the memorable pilgrimage, 'After reaching New York City and gathering together some necessities they shipped for New Jersey, and there collected the teams of oxen and horses and came slowly over the journey.'

"Of their financial resources we know but little. They were, however, young and vigorous, were but little more than 150 years removed from the arrival of ancestors for the first time on American shores, and with the aspirations and indomitable spirit of the pioneer were of the product of the new development of a nation."

"Acquiring a tract of land adjacent to the village of Barlow near Marietta, the James Lawtons first named in this chapter and lately arrived from Rhode Island moved there in 1800. They lived in a log cabin several years, until the building of the present Ohio ancestral Lawton home in 1818. The latter substantial structure still remains, and with its acres has been the home of the builder or his descendants of the name ever since, my father's youngest brother Lewis, with his son Charles and family residing there when this is written. In this beloved home my grandfather, James Lawton Jr. lived his entire lifetime after its erection and before that in the temporary dwelling almost adjoining. In the permanent home my father was born; within its walls my parents began housekeeping before removing to Ironton, Ohio, and some of their children first saw there the light of day."


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