The History of the Jetton Family  

  G. Edward Neal


Home  Voyage out of France Louis I    


     In compiling a family history we quickly discover how difficult it is and that it is close to impossible to do without the help of others. We also discover that we simply cannot account for every single member of the family over several generations and that the history is therefore never totally complete.

     It is also, inevitably, never totally correct. While I have made every attempt to present only data that is based on documented evidence, some data is by necessity based on a "preponderance of evidence" or on educated assumptions. In those cases I have tried to include statements to that affect.

     While what I have presented here is what I believe to be the truth, or at least as close to the truth as one can get, my data should only be used for research purposes and should not be blindly taken as gospel.

     There are a number of individuals that have contributed a great deal of research on the Jettons over the past several years and I for one owe them a great deal of gratitude and thanks. Unfortunately, I cannot name them all here but I would like to give a personal thanks to Kay Jetton of Marissa, Illinois for her research, desire for the truth,  and especially for her help and assistance in compiling this history.




The Name Jetton

      As with most names, Jetton can be found spelled several different ways in early records. For example, the name can be found as Geton, Giton, Gitton, Jeton, etc. Sometimes it appears to be  spelled differently in the same document. 

      The different spellings are often due to how a second party, such as a clerk,  an Attorney, or a census taker spelled the name. If we are not able to view the original document, we are often at the mercy of what the transcriber thought the name should be. It should also be noted that early original documents can sometimes be extremely difficult to decipher. 

     There are also similar names such as Guitton, Guion, Guyton, etc. that can make life even more difficult for Genealogists. One solution to this problem is to research each similar name in an attempt to sort them out. This type of research obviously requires more time and tedious work but doing so in this case enabled me to confidently conclude that Guitton, Guion, Guyon and Guyton are completely different families and came from different areas of France. 

     These names may very well have evolved from the same name at some point in history and if so, then it also appears that they evolved into different families or lines in France and/or in America. In early New York records for this family, we see the name mostly spelled with a "G", although the G and the J seemed to be interchangeable, and in Delaware  the records clearly show the name evolving from Geton into Jeton and finally into Jetton with each subsequent record. It may very well have evolved into Jetton because of the word Jetton which means a token or medalion.

     My conclusion is that it was originally spelled Gitton in France and evolved into Jetton with the American born, English speaking generations, at least with this line.