The History of the Jetton Family  
  G. Edward Neal


Home The Voyage out of France  

Lewis Gitton

     Lewis Gitton was born probably in La Voulte France circa 1664. He was the son of _____ Gitton and Magdalen Cotten.  As a Huguenot, Lewis fled France with his mother Magdalen, his brother Pierre and his sister Judith in the winter of 1684. See "The Voyage out of France" for more details on this journey. Lewis' father was deceased prior to 1684 and his mother died from a fever sometime after they left England in 1685 while on the ship. After being stranded in Bermuda for eight months the family arrived in what is now South Carolina sometime in January of 1686. Lewis' brother Pierre Gitton died of a fever 18 months after their arrival in Carolina and his sister Judith married Noé Royer and Pierre Manigault and remained in South Carolina.

     Exactly when Lewis Gitton left Carolina is not known but he and his brother-in-law Noé Royer were witnesses on a document in South Carolina on February 2, 1692, and in 1695 he was listed as a practicing Chirurgeon in New York City. Lewis Gitton became a Freeman of New York City as a Chirurgeon on December 24, 1695, and he may have been the Louis Gelon who was granted Denization papers on 23 December 1695 in New York City. On March 7, 1715 Lewis was on a list of foreign born individuals who had taken the oath in the Richmond Co. Court and was thereby naturalized according to an Act of Assembly and recorded in the Book of Records. A René Rezeau, who had also been in Carolina, was on the list with Lewis Gitton. In 1723, Lewis was a witness on the will of René Rezeau's son Peter so Lewis and the Rezeau family seem to be closely associated and possibly left Carolina together.

     In April of 1699 Lewis Giton was selected to be a Constable of the West Division of Staten Island. During this era, Constables were also members of the militia and Lewis was a member of the South Company Militia

      On 18 January 1703, Lewis acquired 89 and a half acres on Staten Island from Johannes Garrison for £110 (Liber B, page 476-477). On 10 March 1712, Lewis and three others recorded a receipt from a Thomas Byerley for 132 bushels of wheat for quit rent of 320 acres (Liber B, page 583).

     On a census of Staten Island thought to have been compiled circa 1706, there is a Lewes Seton age 24, and a Jane, in the women's column, whose last name was apparently undecipherable. Listed on the same page in the "under sixteen column", is a Lewes Jeton, Peter Jeton and Jane Jeton. It seems probable that the Lewes Seton on the census was actually Lewis Jeton and that the age was probably 42 and not 24. It may also have been 44 but we cannot be certain of the age or of the actual date of the census.

     The Lewis Geton who wrote his will on February 18, 1732 in New Castle County Delaware, listed his children as Lewis Geton, Peter Geton, Jean Bellew, Mary Vandegrift and Sary Jeton. Regardless of the questionable date of the Staten Island census, I believe the names in the census and in the will of Lewis Geton clearly establishes that the Lewis Giton of Staten Island and the Lewis Geton of Delaware, as the same individual.

     In a biography of Lewis I's gg-grandson, William Liston Jetton, it states that William's paternal grandfather [off by a couple of generations] came from France and settled on the Delaware River in the state of Delaware where he followed the calling of a medical practitioner for many years and that he also owned a large farm in New Castle Co. It also stated that he was married after coming to this country which is consistent with what we know about Lewis Gitton I.

     We do not know exactly when Lewis I moved to Delaware but it would have been after October 8, 1723, when he was a witness on the will of Peter Rezeau [son of René Rezeau] in Staten Island. Deed records show that Lewis I's son, Lewis II, was in New Castle Co prior to 1726.

     Although we do not know the name of Lewis' father, I have designated him, as the first American of this line, as Lewis the first. When Lewis Geton I wrote his will in 1732, he did not name his wife so it is assumed that she was deceased at this time. As stated, Lewis I did name his children and bequeathed his French Bible to his son Lewis who will be referred to hereafter as Lewis II. Lewis Geton I's will was recorded and certified as "proved" on April 12, 1748. Lewis Geton II died circa 1740 before his father died and it is assumed that the French Bible was passed on to Lewis II's brother, Peter Geton.



  1.  Lewis Gitton II

 2.  Peter Gitton

 3.  Jane Gitton

 4.  Mary Gitton

 5.  Sarah Gitton  was a minor when her father Lewis I wrote his will in 1732, so she was born circa 1725 or later. She may have been a late in life birth or perhaps from a second marriage. Lewis I did not name a wife in his will so it seems likely that Sarah's mother may have died in childbirth or soon after. There is no evidence to support it but it's possible that Sarah married her sister Mary's husband, Leonard Vandegrift, after Mary died.



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