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THE BRITTON FAMILY

submitted by Debbie Barrett


Nathaniel and Rebecca Chadwick (Housler) Britton

Nathaniel Britton was born September 15, 1817 in Trenton, Mercer Co., NJ, son of Joseph and Nancy (?) Britton.  His wife Rebecca was born July 1, 1819 in what is now Emporium, Cameron Co., PA, daughter of John and Catherine (Chadwick) Housler.  Nathaniel's family moved to Emporium in 1829, his father having bought the land there prior to 1822, coming every summer to clear and homestead the property.  Rebecca's family arrived in Emporium in 1811.  Her parents were married in 1817.

Nathaniel and Rebecca married in 1844/1845 in Emporium.  Rebecca's eldest son from a previous relationship, William Allen Freeman, born in 1838, joined Company G of the 84th PA Volunteers in October 1861 to fight for the Union.  He lost his life from fever February 10, 1862 at Paw Paw, West Virginia and is buried in Emporium, PA.  At the close of the civil war, Nathaniel and Rebecca decided to move to Davenport, Iowa.  They took the train, leaving Emporium on April 11, 1865 and arrived in Iowa on April 14, 1865, the night Lincoln was shot at the Ford Theater. The family spent 2 years in Iowa, but did not like the flat plain country, being used to the hills of the Allegheny's in PA.  They then decided to move to northwestern Wisconsin.

The family settled in the area of Cady Creek, Pierce County.  Polly (Britton) Webb's obituary gives the following account of their arrival in Wisconsin:  "The family came from Iowa by covered wagon.  When they arrived at Cady Creek on June 11, 1867, it was wide and deep.  Polly, age 16,  had to carry her mother, then an invalid across the swollen stream. "  They homesteaded the property in the summer of 1867 and received the deed for their land in December, 1873. The log cabin built by Nathaniel is long gone, but the original house built in the 1880's remains, still resided in by a descendant of  Nathaniel and Rebecca.  They were farmers and planted crops and orchards which is still what the land is used for today.

Nathaniel and Rebecca were members of the Cady Creek Baptist Church.  They had the following children:  Theodore Aleman, born January 22, 1845; Mary Lewis b. 1850 d. 1853 (also buried in PA); Polly J., born June 11, 1851; Augustine St. Claire, born  November 1853; Sylvenus Freeman, my gr.grandfather, born June 29, 1856 and Lucy, born ca. 1860.  Polly married James Webb in 1867 and had 10 children, Sylvenus married Mary Ellen Yates December 9, 1876 and had 6 children, one of whom is still living today; Augustine married Elizabeth Bartholomew and had 6 children, Lucy married John Haller and had at least 2 children, Theodore married 3 times and had several children by each wife, several who died young.  

Nathaniel died February 1894 and Rebecca May 3, 1907.  The Britton family has a large plot in the Spring Lake Cemetery and many of the people mentioned here are buried there. 


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