The Hooton (Or Hooten) Page

The Hooton family lived in Moorestown and Mount laurel NJ.
Strawbridge Lake was until at least the late 30's named Hooten's Creek.
Prior to that it was called Hooten's Mill Stream after the Hooton's saw-mill which stood a little east of Church Street, or as it was then called the Marlton Road.
It was a very old mill when it was taken down about 1850.
The three known Hooton farmstead homes were "Hooton Hall" on South Church Street in Moorestown, located just south of State Hwy No. 38., and "Sunnyside" and "Paulsdale" each located on Hooten Road off Church Street in Mount Laurel. Hooton Hall was demolished around 2001. "Paulsdale" was the house in which Alice Stokes Paul was born.

Thomas Hooton, tallow chandler, of the Parish of St. Ann, Blackfriars, England seems to have been the first of the Hooton family to emigrate to America. In 1676, he purchased one share of land in West Jersey from William Penn. They were sold to members of the Society of Friends (Quakers) interested in migrating to the colony. He is thought to have never have lived in New Jersey but to have settled in Philadelphia. However he willed parcels of this land to his descendents.

The Burlington County branch of the family is descended from Thomas Hooton, nephew of the Thomas who settled in Philadelphia. He arrived in Burlington on the ship "Martha" early in the fall of 1677 and on August 29th of that year wrote this letter to his wife in England:
Thomas Hooten to his wife, dated 29th 8th month, 1677:
"My dear,
I am this present at the town called Burlington, where our land is; it is ordered to be a town for the ten Yorkshire and ten London proprietors. I like the place well; our lot is the second next the water side: It's like to be a healthful place, and very pleasant to live in. I came hither yesterday, being the 28th of October, with some friends that were going to New-York. I am to be at Thomas Olive's house, 'till I can provide better for myself: I intend to build a house, and get some corn into the ground: And I know not how to write concerning thy coming, or not coming hither; the place I like very well, and I believe that we may live here very well: But if it be not made free, I mean as to the customs and government, then it will not be so well, and may hinder many that have desires to come: But if those two things be cleared, thou may take thy opportunity of coming this summer."


Thomas Hooton Sr. settled on the Rancocas Creek in 1682. Thomas the younger settled south of Moorestown soon after.

From a 1688 deed-
"100 acres of land on Rancocas Creek and 500 acres backwards. The first between old Thomas Hooton and John Hollinshead and the other between John Rodman, John Hollinshead and Thomas Rodman."
The latter tract lay south and southeast of Moorestown and remained in the Hooton family until quite recent times.

I haven't extensively researched the Hooton genealogy or lands but here is a segment of the "Moorestown And Her Neighbors" book which has Hooton family information-
Hooton Family on this page

I believe Thomas the younger was a nephew not son of the older Thomas and that his son Thomas would be the grandson of the first. He I believe was father of Benjamin, Joseph, Isaac (a source has), and William.

The William Hooton Family of Moorestown/ Mount Laurel-

The following information was obtained from the book "Leading Citizens- Burlington and Camden County" published by the Biographical Review Publishing Co., printed in 1897.

The Hooton family is of English ancestry and were strict Quakers and pioneer settlers of Burlington County. William Hooton's great grandfather was a native of England and his grandfather was Thomas Hooton, one of the earliest settlers of Evesham.

Thomas Hooton's wife's Christian name was Atlantic, her mother being born upon the ocean. Thomas had three sons- Benjamin, Joseph, and William.

William Sr., the third son of Thomas, was born in Evesham township, Sept. 2, 1784. He inherited a portion of his father's property which he farmed and he added to the land, at one time having two hundred acres. He died Nov. 14, 1853. He was a member of the Society of Friends, and a Republican in politics. He married Elizabeth West and had four children: Sarah, Mary Ann, Atlantic B., and William.

William Hooton Jr. was born on February 28, 1828, the son of William and Elizabeth (West) Hooton. He grew to manhood on the homestead farm. He attended Franklin Park Boarding School and several other educational institutions. He returned home and took charge over the family farm in 1852 and then inherited it after his father's death. He was a Republican and served on the Chester Township Committee.

On October 23, 1861, William Hooton Jr. married Mary M. Hugg of Evesham. The Hugg family were originally Quaker pioneers but were now Episcopalians. William Hooton was a member of the Trinity Episcopal Church at Main and Church Streets in Moorestown. William and Mary (Hugg) Hooton had four children: William A., George H., Elizabeth P., and Mary M.

"Hooton Hall" was were William Hooton Sr. and Jr. lived. It had a plaque on the wall out front which said "Hooton Hall 1917". William Hooton witnessed the Episcopal Church built in 1837 and retired and moved to Main and High streets then died in 1907. How can this be?

Horace Roberts' second marriage was to Elizabeth P. Hooton, the daughter of William Jr., and he bought his father-in-law's old farm (William was now dead) and named the house "Hooton Hall" in 1917 out of respect for the Hooton family. He built the cement wall and put the plaque up and modernized the house.

William Hooton's daughter Elizabeth married Horace Roberts. His daughter Mary married James M. Stokes who was interviewed by the Moorestown Historical Society on May 24, 1978 as part of their Oral History program. Below is a segment-

C: That's five generations as I remember it. All in Moorestown. Well that's a wonderful record. You were married in Moorestown?

S: I was married to Mary M. Hooten whose father, William Hooten, was a farmer on the South Church Road. Had a beautiful farm out there which he sold and moved into number 2 East Main St. right across from Glen Hopkins house on High Street, now a filling station in front of it. I forget who lives there now.

C: Betty Powers.

S: Betty Powers, yes.

C: Was Mary's home out on Church Street known as Hooten Hall at that time?

S: Yes. Elizabeth and Mary Hooten both lived out there.

C: When were you married, Jim?

S: I was married on the sixth of October, 1908. And I was making $25 a week.

C: You were doing all right.

Three Noteworthy Hooton Facts

Thomas Hooton along with the John and Sarah Roberts and William Matlack etc... were the founders of the original Friends Meeting House that stood were the Friends cemetery now is at Main Street and Chester Avenue in Moorestown. During the Revolutionary War when the British were nearing Moorestown, Hooton rang a bell and warned the people of Moorestown. The bell was later owned by the Roberts family. Another rememberance as to what kind of people the early Hootons were (Quakers) was a book now in the possession of the Moorestown Historical Society signed inside the cover by Thomas Hooton. It is a book written by the Quaker abolitionist preacher of Mount Holly, John Woolman.

Hooton Hall

It was a large plantation style mansion with a large rear addition which was a separate house. There were two large barns, one of which I think had animal feeding troughs. There was also another smaller building maybe used in the past for storing milk. There was no street address number, you would just address your mail envelope to "Hooton Hall" on "South Church Street".

Mrs. Mary Hooton

This is from a booklet called "Trinity Church An Anniversary History 1837 to 1987"-

The daughter of Richard Hugg, one of Trinity's original Vestrymen, Mrs. Hooton taught Sunday School for many years under her maiden name, Mary M. Hugg. The Hugg- Hooton connection is interesting as an indication of the tightly- knit character of the church community of that era. Mrs. Hooton's husband, William, was a Vestryman from 1859 until his death in 1907. Her brother Charles Hugg, served on the Vestry for forty-six years. Both were known and admired for their devotion to Trinity and their attention to every detail about the church property- so much so that Dr. McKay called them the "church carpenters." Mr. Hugg was buried in Trinity churchyard beside his wife, Florence Weld Hugg, a daughter of the former Rector.

Mary Roberts Calhoun, a granddaughter of the Hootons, recalled her grandmother in her memoir of life on a farm in Moorestown from about 1906 to 1916, Memories of the Home Farm:
The Hooton family had originally been Quakers but had somewhere "married out of meeting" and been disowned. They were staunch Epicopalians. There were brass plaques on the wall of the lovely little Episcopal Church at the top of Church Street, commemorating the activities of various Huggs. My Grandmother was a Hugg, Mary Morgan Huggs. Morgan, Hugg, and Hooton are all Welsh names...

It was from Grandmother Hooton that we all inherited our red hair, although her hair was white when I knew her.... She was dignified, correct, stood very straight, and had a beautiful voice....

Grandmother never hurried or rushed. Her life had great order and dignity.

BTW- the newspaper article on the right might seem "cold" not to mention his wife's name. That is because on the same page of the newspaper as that article was one on her.
William Hooton
From a 1937 "Moorestown Chronicle" newspaper.

Notes from Daughter of Horace Roberts Sr.

A key person in the development of Maple Shade and Lenola-

From a booklet called "Memories of the Home Farm" by Mary Roberts Calhoun. Published by the Historical Society of Moorestown in 1985.

The Tie-In and relationships-
Horace Roberts Sr. (farmer turned developer) married Elizabeth the daughter of William and Mary Hooton of ancestral home of Hooten Hall.
(I had previously assumed it was Mary because the grandmother and daughter are Marys. Other sources reveal it was Elizabeth he married.)
Horace Roberts Sr.'s farm was in Mount Laurel, near the village of Fellowship and village of Green Tree. He called it the "Home Farm." Later, in 1917, him and his wife moved into Hooton Hall on South Church Street in Moorestown. Horace Roberts and Wife Elizabeth (maiden name Hooton) had these children-
Horace Jr., Mary, Martha, Walter.

This book is written by Mary Roberts Calhoun (Daughter of Horace Roberts Sr.) in her elderly years, took one year to write her jottings down, and presented by her to her children in 1976 telling of her childhood memories.

Here some quotes of special interest to us from Mary:

There was a time when this house, the "Home farm" as Father called it, was the center of tremendous activity. At one time Father actually owned 20 farms. He managed them all himself, paid the farmer and hired men in cash from a great roll of bills that he carried in his pocket, planned what was grown and how it was marketed. But he did not keep more then a few of these farms for long. He bought farms that were run down. When he had built them up, he sold them at a profit. Later he turned a number of them into building lots, built bungalows on them and sold them, taking a mortgage. He kept a gang of carpenters busy for years, as well as necessary plumbers and painters. But this is the story of my early childhood, and a child does not deal in such factual statements.

My relationship to these farms was merely as a passenger in the back of Father's car as he made his rounds and distrubuted the pay roll. Mother sat in front.

I have introduced my Grandmother Roberts, but I have not mentioned my Grandmother Hooton, who lived only three doors away on Main Street in Moorestown. The Hootons had been farmers too and lived on Church Street about a half of mile out of town. Their two sons had both died. One had been dropped by his nurse as an infant and the other died at the age of 21. Elizabeth Hooton was the older daughter. Mary was 14 years younger. The house they had lived in was empty when I first knew it. William Hooton had retired from farming and gone into town. He had been mowing the lawn one hot summer night in 1908 and had sat down to dinner, had a heart attack and dropped dead. I never knew him.

There was a road that cut into the left beyond the Hooton house as you came out of town. This was Hooton Road. The first farm on it belonged to David Roberts. David Roberts was one of the family of Orthodox Friends who was related to the Hootons but not to Father. In 1917 Father bought both the old Hooton farm and the David Roberts farm on Hooton Road, modernized the Hooton house, named it "Hooton Hall," and we moved there. Emmor and Marion Coles Roberts moved into the "Home Farm."

This clipping is from the last week of May, 1928 Moorestown (probably Chronicle) newspaper. Also on the same page is an article about the proposed location of Route 38. That cut through the old Hooton land.
Horace Roberts vacation

Mary's Grandmom Hooton moved from Hooten Hall to house on the south east corner of Main and High Streets in Moorestown. (Old Buzby home, see map on the inside cover of the book "Moorestown and Her Neighbors.") She tells some of some memories of visiting her there although few compared to Roberts family farm life.

Hooton Hall
Here is a photo, from the book, of Hooten Hall when Her Mother lived there with her Grandparents. Later a wrap around front porch and side door was added to the front part. This picture isnt exactly as I remember the place. Back addition is a separate dwelling. (Maybe added further back by 1960s- adding a kitchen to the separate dwelling)

This is the Hooton Page and I don't want to get to much into Horace Roberts here, but here is part of his genealogy-
Emmor Roberts 1831- 1908, married Martha Lippincott 1835- 1918, in 1857.
They lived in Fellowship, NJ and retired to Riverton Rd., North of Moorestown, NJ.
Their children were-
Israel Roberts 1858-1916, Alice Roberts (Williams) 1861- 1934, Horace Roberts 1868- 1937, and Walter Roberts 1871- 1958.

Hooton Hall when Horace Roberts lived there.
Hooton Hall when Horace Roberts lived there.

Other Hooton Houses along Hooten Road

The Joseph Hooton house is still standing, located on Hooton Road, Mount Laurel, down approximately 1/4 mile on the right (coming from Church Street).
This photo is from the book- "Mount Laurel A Centennial History" by Barbara Pickes and Gail Greenberg, 1972.

Joseph Hooton's house

Assuming that information is correct and Joseph died soon after completing "Sunnyside", we then must reconcile the map of Mount Laurel in "JD Scotts 1876 Illustrated Atlas of Burlington County" which has two houses owned by Joseph Horton (obviously a spelling error) on what is now Hooton Road. It would seem reasonable with the trend towards them naming their children after themselves that he possible had a son who owned the houses in 1876.

A third known Hooton house is the house built for Benjamin Hooton sometime before 1849. It also has another historical significance being the birthplace and home of Alice Paul, suffragist and author of the Equal Rights Amendment. Paulsdale is located at 128 Hooton Road, Mount Laurel, down approximately 1/2 mile on the right (coming from Church Street).

Photo courtesy of the Alice Paul Centennial Foundation.

Here are some links about it-
Alice Paul Centennial Foundation Home Page
Mount Laurel Township Historic Information

Hooten's Creek became Strawbridge Lake Park

The story of how during the Depression Hooten's Creek was widened and transformed to become Strawbridge Lake Park can be found in the book-
Moorestown's Third Century:
The Quaker Legacy
by William H. Kingston, 111
Moorestown 1682- 1982
Please read the book for all the details. Below are only excerpts-

Moorestown did not escape the great Depression. Nevertheless, many of those in Moorestown who continued without want in the early 1930's, Quakers being prominent amongst them, went out of their way to enable the less fortunate to get along. In the process the entire community benefitted. Between 1931 and 1938 Hooton's Creek became transformed into Strawbridge Lake, a seventy acre park and recreational area for local residents.

Esther Strawbridge Brophy donated 25 acres of land to the township in order to provide work for the unemployed here. She followed her husband's example, both being devout Friends, of civic concern and contribution.

The Stokes had a swimming pool built at this time in order to create jobs. (Was behind Kmart but down Kings Highway more)

In addition with, with the help of the Moorestown Improvement Association, $7500 was raised to finance the project. The second and larger part of Strawbridge Lake resulted from local reception of federal funds through the Works Progress Administration. (Franklin D. Roosevelt project) His Republican inclinations withstanding, Township Committeeman Benjamin Haines led the way to acquiring Democratic funds from Washington to finish the lake project. As a result, Moorestown gained a stretch of green recreational area for posterity while many local unemployed survived the Depression with their dignity and their family's well-being intact.

Here is a website that mentions the project-
Moorestown Improvement Association

"Hooton" or "Hooten", My Theory Is-

The Hootons spelled their name Hooton. Most other people spelled it as Hooten after its pronounciation. This seemed fine with everyone at least I think so. As time went along some of the Hootons saw that many spelled their name Hooten and started using the name Hooten. Likewise most people later on saw that the Hootons spelled their name Hooton and stopped spelling it Hooten.

Misc. Links-

Here is what a "Tallow Chandler" is-
Chandler webpage
Here is an old deed with alot of names like Hootons and Matlacks etc...
Joshua Borton to Thomas Page 1805

Information Sources-

History of Nova Caesarea
The Colonial History of New Jersey
by Samuel Smith

Moorestown and Her Neighbors
Historical Sketches

Moorestown Old & New
A local Sketch
by James C. Purdy
first published in 1886

Moorestown's Third Century:
The Quaker Legacy
by William H. Kingston, 111
Moorestown 1682- 1982

Memories of the Home Farm
by Mary Roberts Calhoun
Published by the Historical Society of Moorestown in 1985

Chester and Mount Laurel maps in "JD Scotts 1876 Illustrated Atlas of Burlington County"
and the "Moorestown Burlington County New Jersey map of 1885" inside the back of the book "Moorestown Old & New"

Dennis Weaver's Moorestown webpages-
Moorestown Our Neighbor Moorestown Out in the Country books Lenola Central Avenue area Hooton page