Property in Wills Connects Three Generations

May 1

William Houghton, born 1727, was a schoolmaster of Prescot, Lancashire County, England who left a will in 1811 with property listed including offices, shop and school.

His ancestry was not known prior to the find of another will dated 1734. This new will, dated 1734, was for William Houghton, shoemaker of Prescot. It stated that his property had been acquired from the “freeschool of Prescott” and consisted of buildings to which William had made alterations so that he could rent them out to tenants.

This property was given to his grandson, William Houghton, of Prescot, watchtoolmaker. According to the Prescot church registers, there was only one William Houghton who was a watchtoolmaker living in Prescot at the time this 1734 will was made.

The watchtoolmaker’s inherited property likely automatically descended to his heir since a probate record for the watchtoolmaker had not been found.

The property named in William Houghton, the shoemaker’s will, is very similar to the property listed in William Houghton, the schoolmaster’s will, therefore the conclusion reached was that the correct father of William, the schoolmaster was William the watchtoolmaker of Prescot and the great grandfather for William, the schoolmaster, was William Houghton, the shoemaker, of Prescot.

Thus, because of the careful comparison of two wills, this line was extended three generations.

Apryl Cox was responsible for this research.