The History of the Jetton Family  
G. Edward Neal


Home Peter I  

Peter Jetton II  

    1. Peter Jetton II was born circa 1720s probably in Staten Island New York. His father, Peter I bequeathed "all the residue of my estate both real and personal" to his son Peter II and named him as the executor of his will which was dated and recorded in 1774. 

    On August 15, 1767, Peter Jeton of St. Georges Hd, yeoman, and his wife Martha sold 60 acres 115 perches on Quaker Neck to David Thomas for £295. This was part of 130 acres that Peter Jeton had recently purchased on June 15, 1767. 

    Peter Jeton II's wife Martha apparently died prior to 1782 and Peter II married Ann Matthews sometime between April 1782 and July 1783. 

    When Peter Jetton II died intestate in 1795, his wife Ann became the administratrix of his estate. In the estate papers of Ann Jetton there is a petition or citation, by Abraham Eves, the grandson of Peter Jetton I, that clearly establishes that the Peter Jetton who married Ann Matthews, was Peter Jetton II and not his son Peter Jetton III.

    Based primarily on the records of the Orphan's Court, Ann Matthews is believed to have been the widow of James Matthews. James' brother Robert became the guardian of James' children. Robert was also the executor of his father, John Matthews' will. When Robert died intestate, Ann Matthews and a Samuel Smith became administrators of Robert's estate, and later Peter Jeton was included in this case when he became Ann's husband.

    On March 12, 1779, Thomas Matthews chose Capt. Samuel Smith as his guardian after his uncle Robert Matthews died. Capt. Samuel Smith may have been just a friend to Ann Matthews but it seems more likely that she was a close relative and may have been his sister.  

    Peter Jetton II died intestate in 1795. His widow Ann Jeton, and a Cornelius Armstrong posted a $1600 bond to administer Peter's estate on December 15, 1795. A final accounting and distribution of the remaining balance in his estate was not completed until November of 1830. 

    On May 19, 1801, Ann Jeton petitioned the Orphan's Court to allow her to sell a 3 acres 60 perches lot on Augustine Creek that Peter Jeton had bought from Thomas and Margaret Sawyer. This lot was not near the other lands of Peter Jeton's and Ann needed the money to pay taxes and other diverse debts due Peter's estate. The court allowed her to sell the lot, or "parcel of marsh". At his death, Peter owned a plantation with 220 acres.

    The above petition by Ann Jeton to the Orphan's Court indicates that there were minors involved in Peter Jeton's estate. 

     Ann Jeton's will was written June 24, 1823 and recorded in New Castle County in 1826.   Ann's will names her grandson, Isaac Woods, son of Isaac Woods; Lewis Jetton [grandson], son of Thomas Jetton deceased; Liston Jetton [grandson]; Mary Hessey [daughter]; Martha Rothwell [daughter] and Charity Ann, Martha and Margaret [granddaughters] daughters of Thomas Jetton deceased.

     When the administration of Peter Jetton II's personal estate was finally completed in 1830 there was $28.53 remaining in the estate. Peter Rothwell received half of this amount, or $14.26, probably in right of his wife Martha Jetton as the last surviving child of Peter Jetton II in 1830. The remaining half was divided equally, $2.85 each, to Peter II's grandchildren, Martha, Margaret, Mary, Liston and Lewis Jetton, [all children of Peter II's son Thomas Jetton]. 

     According to a petition filed in 1835 to the Orphans Court by William Hudson, husband to Peter II's granddaughter Martha, Peter Jetton II's real estate descended to his son Thomas and daughter Martha, who married Peter Rothwell, in equal half parts.

      The petition states that Peter Rothwell and his wife Martha [Jetton] Rothwell conveyed their share of the land to William Hudson and his wife Martha [Peter II's granddaughter] and that Thomas Jetton was since deceased. The petition request the land be divided in one fourth shares among the heirs of Thomas Jetton. To wit: Martha Jetton, now the wife of William Hudson; Margaret Jetton, now the wife of Hezekiah Biddle; Liston Jetton and Mary Jetton, both minors. Thomas Jetton also had a son named Lewis but he was not mentioned and is presumed to have died between 1830, when he was named in Peter Jetton II's estate, and 1835.     

     In a biography of Peter Jetton II's grandson, William L. Jetton, it states that Peter's children were Peter, Thomas and Martha. The records also show, however, that there was another daughter named Mary that married a Hessey, and possibly one other daughter that married Isaac Woods. 


The children of Peter Jetton II and Martha

  1. Peter Jetton III was probably born in the 1740s or 1750s in New Castle Co., Delaware. 

    Peter Jetton IIs brother-in-law, William See whose will was written November 6, 1794, mentioned "Peter Jetun the eldest son of my brother-in-law Peter Jetun" in his will.

    There is little else known about Peter Jetton III except that he was not an heir in the estate papers of Peter Jetton II in 1830 so he was apparently deceased at this time. There is also no evidence to substantiate that he was the son of Peter II's wife Martha, however, based on William See's will he was obviously of age in 1794 and therefore could not have been a son of       Ann Matthews, whom Peter II married circa 1782.


The children of Peter Jetton II and Ann Matthews

2. Martha Jetton was born in 1783 in New Castle Co., Delaware. Martha married Peter H. Rothwell who was named as an heir in the estate of Martha's father Peter Jetton II in 1830. Martha Rothwell received one third of the remainder of her mother Ann's estate in 1826.

     Martha received one half of her father's real estate and later conveyed the land to her niece Martha and her husband, William Hudson. 

     During the 1850 census, Martha is living with her son Alexander Rothwell, age 24, and his wife, or perhaps his sister, Matilda, age 18, in Cecil Co., Maryland.



 3. Thomas Jetton was born in 1785 in New Castle Co., Delaware. He married Rebecca Thomas, daughter of James Thomas and Charity Reece or Rees, daughter of David Reece/Rees whose will was recorded November 19, 1762 in New Castle Co.

     In his will, David Rees named his sons Jehu and David and daughters Margaret, Charity and Mary. Moris Williams [Thomas Jetton's uncle] was the executor of the will.

     In 1810, in a division of the real estate of David Reece to the heirs of James Thomas and Charity, the following children of James Thomas and Charity are named; James Bird, son of Thomas Bird and wife Mary Thomas; David Thomas; William Liston and wife Margaret Thomas; Thomas Jeton and wife Rebecca Thomas; Samuel McDonough and wife Elizabeth Thomas.

     According to the above record, James Thomas had purchased 43 acres 9 perches from David Reece and this land was assigned to James Thomas' heirs as their two thirds parts of David Reece's land. 

    The Orphans Court records of 1827 show that Thomas Jetton's heirs were entitled to 160 acres in St. Georges Hundred. The exact location of the land was not noted but in evaluating the worth of the land it was described as "a farm or plantation of about 160 acres with a large two story brick house, a kitchen in very bad repair, a brick smoke house without a roof or door, a grainery and corncrib in bad repair, no orchard and little timber of any kind, fencing in bad repair" etc.  The land was evaluated as $160 per year. 

   Thomas Jetton died in 1821 and Rebecca in 1827. Both died intestate.

     In Ann Jetton's will, she named three daughters of Thomas Jetton, deceased, as Charity Ann, Martha and Margaret and Thomas' sons Liston [William Liston Jetton] and Lewis Jetton.

     In 1810, Thomas Jetton belonged to the 1st Troop of Horse, 1st Brigade and was a member of a courts marshal held to investigate absenteeism among the troops. He was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant on 13 July 1812 and was again at a courts marshal hearing on 30 January 1813.

    There are a number of records that identify Thomas Jetton's children. One of which is a biography of Thomas' son William L. Jetton. In writing of William's father it states that Thomas was born, reared and married in the Blue Hen state. Thomas' wife was Rebecca Thomas and their children were, Charity, Martha, Margaret, Mary, Lewis, William L. and a twin who died in infancy. 

The children of Thomas Jetton and Rebecca Thomas

1. Charity Ann Jetton was born circa 1809 in New Castle Co., Delaware and is believed to have died at a young age. She was bequeathed a remaining one third of her grandmother Ann Jetton's will, dated 1823, to be shared with two of her sisters, Martha and Margaret Jetton. Charity Ann, who was probably named after her grandmother, Charity Ann Rees Thomas, was not named as an heir in her grandfather Peter Jetton II's estate in 1830.

2. Martha Jetton was born circa 1811 in New Castle Co, Delaware. She was bequeathed a remaining one third of her grandmother Ann Jetton's estate, will dated 1823, to be shared with two of her sisters, Charity Ann and Margaret Jetton. In May of 1827, Martha Jetton, a minor orphan child of Thomas Jetton deceased, chose John M. Woods as her guardian. This indicates that Martha was at least 14 but under 18. Martha was named as an heir to her grandfather Peter Jetton II's estate in 1830. Her aunt Martha Rothwell conveyed half of Peter Jetton II's real estate to her and her husband, William Hudson.

3. Margaret Jetton was born circa 1813 in New Castle Co, Delaware and married Hezekiah Biddle in 1835. Hezekiah and Margaret moved to St. Joseph Co., Indiana circa 1845, probably when her brother William L. Jetton moved there. Margaret died sometime after the 1850 census was taken and Hezekiah married Amelia Pierson on March 13, 1854.

Margaret was bequeathed a remaining one third of her grandmother Ann Jetton's estate, will dated 1823, to be shared with two of her sisters, Charity Ann and Martha Jetton. She was also an heir to her grandfather Peter Jetton II's estate in 1830. In March of 1827, probably after her mother Rebecca died, James F. Bird was appointed guardian of Margaret and her brother Liston, both orphan children of Thomas Jetton and both under 14.

The children of Hezekiah Biddle and Margaret Jetton  

1. Thomas Biddle born 1836 in Delaware

2. James Lewis Biddle born 1839 in Delaware

3. Ann Jane Biddle born 1841 in Delaware

4. Hannah M. Biddle born 1844 in Delaware

5. Margaret R. Biddle born 1846 in Indiana

6. Noble Biddle born 1829 in Indiana


4. Mary Jetton was born circa 1815 in New Castle Co., Delaware. She was named as an heir in her grandfather Peter Jetton II's estate in 1830. She was not named in her grandmother Ann's will written in 1823. In a petition to the Orphans Court by John M. Woods, it is stated that Thomas Jetton of St. Georges Hnd died intestate leaving issue four [minor] children, Martha, Margaret, Liston and Mary and that Mary Jetton is under 14 and is entitled to an annual real estate value of $30.

John M. Woods also requested the court to appoint him guardian to Mary and he was so appointed. Mary apparently never married and died in 1845. Her brother, William L. Jetton was the administrator of her estate.


5. Lewis Jetton was born circa 1817 in New Castle Co., Delaware. He was named as an heir in his grandfather Peter Jetton II's estate in 1830. In his grandmother Ann Jetton's will, dated 1823, Lewis was bequeathed a $148 bond, owed to her by John M. Woods. Lewis was not listed with his siblings in the Orphans Court petitions of John M. Woods and James T. Bird. He also does not show up in the index of the court's records for 1742 to 1868. It's possible he had another guardian and the record may have been indexed incorrectly.

Lewis Jetton was last seen in the estate papers of his grandfather Peter Jetton II in 1830. He was not named in a petition filed in the Orphans Court in 1835 that named the children of Thomas Jetton, so he is presumed to have died between 1830 and 1835.


6. William Liston Jetton was born on September 6, 1819 in New Castle Co, Delaware. He was a twin but his twin died in infancy. William was most likely named after his uncle William Liston who married his mother's sister, Margaret Thomas. William L. Jetton married Sarah Jane Derickson, daughter of Zachariah and Deborah Derickson, on January 20, 1845.

William and Sarah moved to St. Joseph Co., Indiana soon after their marriage in 1845. In 1827, probably after his mother Rebecca died, James Thomas Bird was appointed guardian to Liston and his sister Margaret Jeton, minor orphan children of Thomas Jetton, by the Orphans Court. Both under the age of 14. In 1835 when he was 16, William Liston Jetton chose John M. Woods as his guardian and petitioned the court for his share of his father's estate. The records indicate that he was "out of state" at this time so he may have gone to Indiana and then returned to New Castle where he lived in 1840.

According to his biography, William went to live with a cousin, probably after his mother Rebecca died in 1827, until he was 15 years old. His guardian, James Thomas Bird was the son of James Bird and Mary Thomas, a sister to William's mother Rebecca. James T. Bird would therefore be a cousin to William and most likely the cousin referred to in his biography.

Liston was bequeathed a $147 bond by his grandmother, Ann Jetton in her will, dated 1823, that was due her from James Bird. Ann refers to him as Liston and he is named Liston in his grandfather Peter Jetton II's estate in 1830. During the 1840 census, Liston was living in Christiana Hd. New Castle Co., Delaware age 20-30. Also in the household was a female age 30-40. William L. Jetton was the administrator of his sister Mary Jetton's estate in 1845.

William and Sarah are living alone in Mishawaka, St. Joseph Co.,Indiana during the 1880 census. William L. Jetton died October 3, 1899.

The children of  William L. Jetton and Sarah Jane Derickson

1. Rebecca J. Jetton was born December 23, 1851 in Indiana. She married Eugene W. Baldwin and they had two children, Sarah J. and Ura Baldwin.

2. Thomas Joseph Jetton was born January 1, 1856 in Indiana. He married Lydia Brooker. He remained on his father's farm and did not have any children according to the 1900 census.

3. Christina Jetton born 1858 in Indiana. She was not on the 1870 census so it is presumed that she died as an child. William L. Jeton age 30 and Sarah age 30 are on the 1850 census for Harris township, St. Joseph Co., Indiana. Sarah's mother, Deborah Derickson age 63 is living with them. W. L. Jetun age 40 and Sarah J. age 40 are also on the 1860 census for St. Joseph Co. Both born in Delaware. Also on the census are Rebecca age 8, Joseph T. age 4, Christina age 2 and a Noble Biddle age 11 who is the son of William's sister Margaret who married Hezekiah Biddle. The children are all born in Indiana.




4. Mary Jetton was born circa 1787 in New Castle Co., Delaware. In Ann Jetton's will, Mary was named Mary Hessey and received one third of Ann's estate, as did her sister Martha Rothwell. Mary Hessey purchased several items from her mother's estate sale. Neither Mary or anyone else in her family were named as heirs in Peter Jetton II's personal estate in 1830 and his real estate was divided in half parts to Peter II's son Thomas Jetton and his daughter Martha Rothwell, so Mary was apparently deceased with no descendants.


5. Female Jetton. Ann Jetton bequeathed $30 to her grandson Isaac Woods, son of Isaac Woods, deceased. Isaac Woods [Sr.] was probably a brother to John M. Woods who was guardian to some of Thomas Jetton's minor children in 1827 and was closely associated with the Jetton family.

 In April of 1822, Ann and Isaac Woods, minor children of Isaac Woods chose John M. Woods as their guardian. Christopher Vandegrift was the surety. Ann Jetton's grandson Isaac was not an heir to Peter Jetton II's estate in 1830 nor was his sister Ann, who also was not named in Ann Jetton's will of 1823. They may have been deceased in 1830 or perhaps they were children of one of Ann's daughters by James Matthews. In which case, they would not be heirs to Peter Jetton II's estate.

 We may never know the answer to this but another possibility is that Isaac and Ann Woods were step grandchildren. There are a number of reasons why people are not named, or named with incorrect relationships, in wills and court records and one therefore has to be careful about arriving at any conclusions based solely on these factors.



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