ISAAC NORTON II was the son of ISAAC NORTON I (1763-1846) and ANNE GRIFFIN (1768-1812). He born in Suffolk County, Long Island, New York on Mar. 14, 1790. Isaac I and Anne had six children in all, of whom, according to family records, Erastus (our ancestor) was the fifth; this means there is one child of whom we have no record. Their first four children were born on Long Island, the remainder in Herkimer County, New York:

----------ISAAC NORTON II (1790-1879)
----------Bartlett Norton (1791-1845)
----------David Norton (1798-1822)
----------Unknown (1800*- )
----------Erastus Norton (1803-1887)
----------Eliza Norton (c.1805-1874)

About 1800, ISAAC II moved with his parents from Long Island to Norway Township, Herkimer County, New York, and there he married Sybil Wright in 1809. He served as a Captain of Volunteers (19th New York Infantry) during the War of 1812. In 1821 they moved from Herkimer County to Oneida County, New York. The couple had the following children while they lived in New York – Hamilton, Perry, Isaac Wright, Mary, Galen Griffin, David and Ann. All of their children would move out to Illinois by the time of the 1850 Ogle County Census.

ISAAC II's 2nd son Perry was the first of the Nortons to settle in Illinois. In partnership with Jared Sanford he claimed some land near Byron in 1835 and built cabins on it; he purchased two sections of land in Ogle County on June 6, 1842. The settlement was originally named Fairview, later changed to Bloomingville, then Byron. Perry found in 1836 when he returned to his claim that others had arrived from Ohio, including his brother Hamilton, his grandfather Isaac I, and his uncle Erastus with his wife and children. Isaac W. Norton came in 1837. Perry lived most of his life in the same area, only moving slightly west in later life. According to a book entitled Reflections, published in 1976 about Byron, Illinois:

"Early in the spring of 1837 Perry Norton invited the Methodists among the settlers to meet at his home to organize a church. Among the 16 who responded were Perry, Erastus, Isaac and Hamilton Norton, Minor York, Hiram Wilder, Dr. Hurd and Rev. Alexander Irvine. Services were held in the homes for a number of years. In 1852, the church secured land at the corner of Second and Washington Streets. Three years later the members, led by Perry Norton and the minister Rev. Barton Cartwright, started building their first church. It was of native limestone and was finished and dedicated in 1855."

According to the 1850 Census, Perry and his wife Almira (McKee) Norton were farming in Ogle County. Living with them was James McKee, who was about 20 years older than Perry. He may have been either Almira's father or an uncle. A man who claimed to be Perry Norton's "direct descendant", Stewart Norton, was Mayor of Byron from 1968 to 1973 – but neither the 1850 nor the 1870 Census shows Perry and Almira with any children.

ISAAC II's sons Isaac W. and Hamilton Norton formed a partnership in 1837 and built a general store in Byron, Illinois which operated for many years as Wilbur & Norton. Isaac W. bought public land in Ogle County (Section 20) on May 6, 1850. Hamilton purchased land in secton 16 of Ogle County on Aug. 2, 1844, and an additional Section 30 on May 5, 1845.

Isaac W. married Anny (or Anna) Bentley on Oct. 6, 1836 in Jo Daviess County, Illinois. His oldest son, Joseph, was born Apr. 26, 1842 in Galena, Jo Daviess County, Illinois. His other children were – Julius (b.c. 1843), Virginia (b.c. 1846), Emma (b.c. 1847), Ernestine (b.c. 1851) and Lena (b.c. 1854).

According to the 1850 Census, although they were not all in the same household, Isaac W. and Anna were living in Byron Township, Illinois on the same piece of land as his brother Perry and his father ISAAC II.

By the 1880 Census, Isaac W.'s son Joseph Norton was a bridge builder living in Boone, Hamilton County, Iowa, with his wife, Eliza, and their 2 sons – Walter and Bertie.

ISAAC II's son Hamilton married Anna Jerusha Allyn of Bennington, Vermont on Oct. 4, 1837 in Ogle County, Illinois. He died Dec. 11, 1878, and Anna died Sept. 27, 1906. While they lived in Byron, Illinois, they had 4 children -- Henry Allyn, Julia A., Edward Webster and Aretus Kent. Apparently, they moved to Polo, Illinois about 1852, where they had 2 more children -- Mary Elizabeth and Gratia (Gracie) Payne.

Hamilton was probably a member of the committee appointed in 1842 to draft a constitution and bylaws for an Ogle County Society. In Polo, Illinois in 1861 he was appointed the city's postmaster, an office he held until 1875. He is buried in Fairmount Cemetery, Polo. Hamilton's granddaughter, Fanny Bartlett married Charles Wallace French; when she joined the DAR in 1937, she was living in LaGrange, Illinois (she said she was born in Rockford, IL). In the 1880 Census records, Hamilton's widow Anna is shown as a living in her own house in Polo with her two younger daughters and a roomer, a local schoolteacher.

ISAAC II's son David married his wife Lucinda in New York, then travelled to Illinois, where their children James and Florence were born. David purchased land in Section 14 of nearby DeKalb County, Illinois on Apr. 12, 1850. In the 1880 Census, David was farming in Shabbona, De Kalb County, Illinois, and both his children, in their 20's, were still living at home.

ISAAC II's son Galen married Julia Frances Ford of Lafayette, Wisconsin on Oct. 24, 1887 in Freeport, Stephenson County, Illinois. They had at least 3 children – Charles Frederick, Adie F. and William Bernard. At the time of the 1880 Census, Galen was working in Freeport as a travelling agent (probably a salesman). Julia died Oct. 24, 1887 and was buried in Freeport. Galen remarried to Mary A. Harvey in 1891. He died 2 years later, on Sept. 25, 1893 in Washington, D.C. and was buried in Freeport.

ISAAC II's youngest child, Ann, married Alfred Freeman from New Jersey in 1839. They settled in Ogle County.

ISAAC II himself was ordained a Congregational minister in 1837, and followed his son Perry to Byron, Illinois that same year. In the 1850 Census, Isaac and Sybil were farming in Ogle County, and 20-year-old Frances Norton (relation unknown) was living with them. During 1852-1853, ISAAC II served as the Supervisor for Byron Township, Illinois. He was a staunch abolitionist, and later an opponent of secret societies. His wife Sybil died Feb. 10, 1857 at the age of 65 and was buried in Byron City Cemetery.

On June 31, 1857, in Kane County, Illinois, ISAAC II remarried to MARY WEBSTER HUNTING, a widow with young children, and they settled in Byron. ISAAC II was 67 years old at this time, and all his children had already left home, while Mary was 46 and brought some of her children from her first marriage to live with them.

ISAAC II died Aug. 14, 1879, age 89, and was buried in Byron City Cemetery (Lot #17). His second wife MARY died in 1883 and is buried in Fairmount Cemetery, Polo, Illinois.

SOURCES for the above:

Research by Stewart Daniel Norton of Byron, Illinois (1983), quoting a Norton genealogy compiled by his grandfather, and 'Joseph M. Norton and Byron, Three Quarters of a Century', 1899, by E.S. Elliott
Family Bible Records of the Long Island Historical Society, Vol. 8, p. 19
Portrait and Biographical Album of Ogle County, Chapman Brothers of Chicago, Publishers, 1886, pp. 560-561
Illinois Public Domain Land Tract Sales Database
Records of DeKalb Genealogical Society, including biography of Erastus Norton
Reflections, Byron, Illinois 1835-1976, "History of Byron Towship 1835-1935", pp. 3-4
Information from Lewis W. and Marjorie Dickson of Oregon, Illinois (1986) regarding the history of Margaret Dickson (Dickerson), Erastus Norton's second wife and providing a plat of Ogle County
Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, 1763–1900
LDS Family Search Online – Byron Cemetery, Byron, Illinois

From Peggy McLaughlin

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