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William Huston, my 2nd great-grandfather, was born in County Londonderry, Ireland. His son John, my great-grandfather, was born 1811 in the Townland of Tamnymore, Civil Parish of Errigal, Barony of Coleraine, County Londonderry, Province of Ulster, Ireland. He emigrated with his wife and three children from Ireland to the United States in May 1850.

There was a close relationship among the families of Huston, Wilson, Dunlop, Woodburn, Young and Boice in County Londonderry.
Below is a brief summary of the first known individual in each of these lines.

Following these summaries is a Book on the Hustons. As information is so hard to come by in Ireland in the early to mid 19th Century, the Book includes excerpts from a number of letters, some poignant, written by members of the family.

Following the Houston Book is an Interne Tree listing the 249 individuals in the above six lines. No living individual is included. After reading the summaries following , you may want to review first the Interne Tree as it contains (1) a master index listing all of the individuals on the web-site, and (2) a descendant tree that contains some brief information on each individual. This will facilitate your review of the Book and the Genealogy Reports. Also a GEDCOM tree on Robert Gilmore.

WILLIAM HUSTON married Hannah Woodburn, daughter of Robert Woodburn, August 4, 1809 in First Garvagh Presbyterian Church. Witnesses were Robert Woodburn and Martha Dripps. William's son, John married Isabella Wilson of Ballyagan, Civil Parish of Desertoghill, Barony of Coleraine, daughter of John Wilson and Mary Woodburn, in Ireland. They immigrated to the United States with their three children, arriving Port of New York from Liverpool, May 14, 1850, on the ship William Rathbone. They settled in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.

Accompanying John and Isabella on the William Rathbone were Isabella's sister (1) Martha, born June 16, 1830 in Ballyagan, and her husband Hugh Young of Spittle Hill, born May 12, 1826 in Ireland, and (2) Mary J. Young, a sister of Hugh Young, and her husband Hugh Boice and their five children. They also settled in Pittsburgh.

JAMES WILSON was born about 1760 County Londonderry. His son John Wilson of Ballyagan married Mary Woodburn, daughter of Matthew Woodburn and Isabella Gilmour, March 12, 1810 in First Garvagh Presbyterian Church. Witnesses were A. Smyth and Matthew Woodburn. Matthew Woodburn, who had two known brothers, James and Alexander (born 1747, died 1791), was the son of William Woodburn who lived in Ballintemple, County Londonderry.

ANDREW DUNLOP was born 1778 in County Londonderry. His son Hugh married Nancy Wilson, daughter of John Wilson and Mary Woodburn, a sister of Isabella and Martha. Hugh's son, James Wilson Dunlap, married Ellen Jane Huston, daughter of John Huston and Isabella Wilson.

A WOODBURN, first name unknown, was born before 1689 and is of Scottish descent. His grandson Matthew married Isabella Gilmore. Their daughter Mary married John Wilson, March 12, 1818, in First Garvagh Presbyterian Church. His 5th great-grandson is Reverend Matthew Woodburn of Ballywillan Presbyterian Church. See Woodburn Link below.

HUGH YOUNG of County Londonderry had a daughter Nancy who married William Wilson and a son Hugh who maried Martha Wilson, childen of John Wilson and Mary Woodburn. Another daughter, Mary J., married Hugh Boice.

HUGH BOICE, born 1812 in County Londonderry, married Mary J. Young, sister of Nancy and Hugh Young. Hugh and Mary J., and their five children immigrated to the United States, arriving May 14, 1850.

* * * * *

John Huston died May 19, 1858 and Isabella Wilson Huston died February 4, 1878, in Pittsburgh. They are buried at Union Dale Cemetery, Pittsburgh, along with four of their children; Hannah, died November 1850, age 8 years; Robert M, died October 1860, age 2 years; William John, January 1874, age 22, and Ellen Jane.
The Houstons of County Londonderry and Pittsburgh
Updated October 27, 2012

Janet Houston Rhein
3010 Dick Wilson Drive
Sarasota, Florida 34240
United States

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Family Photos

  • Graveside Marker Hannah Houston (1842-1850) (49 KB)
    Also brother Robert M. Houston (1858-1860).Union Dale Cemetery, Brighton Road, Pittsburgh.
  • Alfred Everett Houston (1892-1980) (7 KB)
    Graduate of Shady Side Academy in Pittsburgh and Princeton University. Received Master's Degree in Mathemetics, Cornell University. Served in World War I with 28th Infantry Division, American Expeditionary Forces. Participated in the Meuse-Argonne, Champagne-Marne, Aisne-Marne, Oise-Aisne, and Ypres-Lys operations. During the war it took a total of 14,139 casualties (KIA-2,165 ; WIA-11,974). Taught English in Pittsburgh Public School System.
  • John Cunningham (1881-1952) Tasmania (16 KB)
    Furnished by Janice Anne Jordan Standaloft of Cheltenham, Australia.
  • Gravesite Marker Isabella Houston (1815-1878) (48 KB)
    Union Dale Cemetery, Brighton Road, Pittsburgh
  • James Wilson Houston (1849-1920) (12 KB)
    Distinguished alumnus of Duff's College, December 1866. The first mercantile college started in America. Peter Duff, the founder of the College, was a benefactor of James Wilson Houston. Owner James W. Houston & Company, Wholesale Grocers.
  • Second Garvagh Presbyterian Church (12 KB)
    County Londonderry, Ireland. Photo furnished by Janice Anne Jordan Standaloft of Melbourne, Australia.
  • James Garfield Houston (1881-1972) (6 KB)
    Gradaute of University of Pittsburgh and its School of Law. Captain United States Army, American Expeditionary Forces, World War I. Adjunct Professor in the School of Law. Received honorary doctor of law degree of the University of Pittsburgh. President of Allegheny County Bar Association. President of Pittsburgh Board of Education. Partner of the law firm of Blaxter, O'Neill and Houston, Pittsburgh.
  • James Wilson Houston Wholesale Grocers (76 KB)
    Liberty Avenue looking east from 13th Street. Strip District, Pittsburgh, Pa. July 31, 1936. Note the incline to the right which goes to the Hill District.
  • Gravesite Marker Houston Family Plot (39 KB)
    Homewood Cemetery, Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. James Wilson Houston and wife Sarah McCutcheon, John Duff Houston and wife Rosetta Moore, Anne McCutcheon and husband Paul. M Dysart, James Garfield Houston and wife Grace Preston, William Seward Houston and wife Rachel McCormick, Alfred Everett Houston and wife Gertrude Christine Grubbs, Jean Isabelle Houston, and Sarah Louise Houston.
  • East Liberty Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh, Pa. (69 KB)
    Circa 1935 to 1940. The church was completed in 1935. James Garfield Houston was an Elder in the church.
  • World War I (13 KB)
    28th Infantry Divison heading for home. St. Nazaire, France.
  • South Pacific Avenue, Pittsburgh (30 KB)
    Residence of James Wilson Houston family
  • Winchester-Thurston School, Pittsburgh, Pa. (155 KB)
    Winchester Thurston School, shown at its former location at Fifth Avenue and Clyde Street in Pittsburgh's Shadyside neighborhood, was founded in 1887. The preparatory school originally served only young women on their way to higher education and community achievements. Rachel McCormick Houston, wife of William Seward Houston, was Headmistress of the Lower School in the 1930's to the early 1950's. Her father, Samuel Black McCormick, was Chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh from 1904 to 1920.
  • The Webmistress (100 KB)
    This website is a labor of love. I hope you receive as much enjoyment reading it as I did compiling it and it is of help in your research.
  • World War I (13 KB)
    Ordnance Convoy on the "Yosemite". Alfred Everett Houston on top row, left.
  • Chatham University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (589 KB)
    Anne Houston Dysart, Edna McKee Houston and Janet Houston Rhein, the webmistress, are graduates of Chatham University (to honor William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham and namesake of the City of Pittsburgh), formerly Pennsylvania College for Women.
  • James Wilson Gilmore (1848-before 1910) (27 KB)
    Taken at Branch Studio, Post Office Building, Mt. Oliver, Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Furnished by Janice Anne Jordan Standaloft, Cheltenham, Australia.
  • Hugh Boice (1799-1880) (33 KB)
    Sexton Oak Alley Presbyterian Church, Janitor Central High School, both in Pittsburgh.
  • Gravesite Marker John Houston (1811-1858) (46 KB)
    Union Dale Cemetery, Brighton Road, Pittsburgh.
  • Graveside Marker Ellen Houston Dunlap (1847-1925) (43 KB)
    Union Dale Cemetery, Brighton Road, Pittsburgh
  • Garvagh, County Londonderry, Ireland (31 KB)
    The photographer is in Upper Ballyagan looking towards Garvagh. Furnished by John Woods of Christchurch, New Zealand.
  • Reverend Matthew Woodburn (1 KB)
    The Rev Matthew Woodburn –(tenure 1862-1877) Eighth Minister of Ballywillan Presbyterian Church. Five months after Mr Huey’s death his successor, Mr Matthew Woodburn of Ballintemple, Garvagh, was ordained. On Tuesday, 24th June 1862, a congregation of fully 1,000 persons (according to the Chronicle report) assembled at Ballywillan. As it was felt that the church was not large enough to hold all those who wished to attend the ordination service, arrangements were made to hold the service in an adjacent field. Unfortunately June 1862 was a very wet month, and the ordination day was cold and wintry, the foliage on trees and hedgerows, and the verdure of the fields, alone tending to keep up the illusion that it was a summer gale stirred the sea and rustled in the grass’(Chronicle). However a screened platform was provided so that the ministers could conduct the service in comparative comfort. Mr Woodburn lived at Islandmore after his ordination, and the manse must have been built shortly after, as the births of all the Woodburn children are noted in the Baptismal Register as taking place at the manse.
  • Annie nee unknown, wife of John Gilmore 1852-1886 (28 KB)
    Taken in Pittsburgh about 1880 to 1890. Furnished by Janice Anne Jordan Standaloft of Cheltenham, Australia.

Family Tree Maker Reports and Trees


Related Files

  • The Plantation of Ulster (14 KB)
    The forebears listed on this web-site are Scotch-Irish Presbyterians. I have been unable to determine whether they emigrated from Scotland to Ireland during the Planation of Ulster or sometime later. I thought it would be helpful to provide some background on that earlier period.

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