In Search of BARNABAS HORTON cover


From English Baker to Long Island Proprietor, 1600–1680


This book explores the life and times of Barnabas Horton, a baker from Leicestershire, England who crossed the Atlantic Ocean for New England and eventually put down roots in Southold, New York. Traditional myths collapse under historical evidence as the author traces Barnabas’s life through church records, legal documents, and social histories.
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The author introduces readers to the Horton ancestors in Leicestershire who shaped Barnabas’s life, and paints a vivid picture of the grueling routine and frustrations of a common baker in late-medieval England. Readers get to know his wife Mary Langton, and the role her family played in his decision to emigrate. As a micro-history, In Search of Barnabas Horton also sheds light on the rough-and-tumble beginnings of a so-called Puritan settlement on the East End of Long Island. How Reverend John Youngs’s dream to establish a model Puritan theocracy became mired by frontier realities of death, social rivals, and independent-minded merchants. Yet the final blow—Southold’s submission to secular Connecticut Colony—came from within as second-generation sons and daughters refused the spiritual path forged by their fathers. Readers will better understand Southold’s long-standing culture of self-determination and self-reliance by following the town’s bumpy transition from an outcrop of English wigwams to defiant settlement in the face of callous government policies.

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Jacqueline Dinan

about the author

Jacqueline Dinan was born in Westchester County, New York, the middle child of second- generation immigrants. She spent her early professional life in the nonprofit sector, first promoting international education (at CIEE), then serving communities (at the YMCA). Following the release of her first book, Jackie expanded her research interests beyond the Horton family to focus on stories of traditionally neglected families and individuals on eastern Long Island. The subject of her most recent book is one such neglected individual. She is an active contributor to the "Forgetting to Remember" Project and affiliated Plain Sight Project. She believes revisionist history can be a positive and instructive force in society when based on a thorough and honest examination of original records.

Reader Comments

  • Bill Roe says

    I am a direct descendant of Barnabas Horton on Caleb’s line. There is a hard copy of book on Barnabas and his descendants that I inherited and which is available as an eBook for free. Check out the following link.

    It was PUBLISHED BY THE HOME CIRCLE PUBLISHING CO. in 1876 and COMPILED BY GEO. F. HORTON, M.D. There are some descendant photos included as well. I haven’t seen the in search of book published more recently, so am interested if there are any photos or sketches included.

    posted on: 5-1-2024
  • Solomon Vimal says

    Dear all,

    So glad to e-meet all of you! I’m Dr. Solomon Vimal, a scientist working at Cornell University. I’m interested in re-discovering the work by a Hydrologist named Robert Elmer Horton who lived in the period 1875-1945. I am curating his bibliography of hydrologic science papers, reports and books. This work is of great importance in contemporary hydrologic science related to water and energy (hydro-power) security.

    Robert Elmer Horton was born in Parma, Michigan to Van Rensselaer Waugh Horton and Rowena Spencer Rafter and lived most of his life in New York (Albany and Voorheesville) and early part of his life in Michigan (Parma and Albion). Two of his three siblings, Minerva Inez Horton (1866-1952) and Carlton Horton (1872-1926), presumably had children who may be visiting this site at some point. His full family tree is here – You can read more about his scientific contributions here ( and here (,_Robert_Elmer).

    For our research work, we consulted with a dozen libraries and the National Archives in Maryland. Together with some other American and British scientists, we are examining Horton’s 300 books (!!) worth of research notes including his published and unpublished works. Our early findings indicate that it is a treasure trove of scientific papers far ahead of its time. Before this work, scientists only had access to ~80 of Horton’s works. Via my archival research, I was able to gather 200+ scientific publications (most of them in the recent few months). We recently presented this work in an international conference in Berlin (July 14, 2023).

    My ask: if you come across this message and happen to know about him, please drop me an email ( I wish to get a photo of him and also ask about what happened to his library called “Robert Horton Library of Pure and Applied Physics”. I would be happy to share more details about some of the fascinating findings from our work. Please email me if you know anything about him or wish to learn more about our project.

    Many thanks and best wishes,
    Dr. Solomon Vimal
    More about me is here –

    posted on: 7-23-2023
  • Amy Folk (Southold Town Historian) says

    Hi, Jackie. My serious genealogy researcher asked me…to thank you for writing your Horton book. He said he never would have made the connections between Horton and Benjamin without your research. And he wanted to send his sincere thanks and appreciation on your researching and publishing!

    posted on: 4-13-2022
  • Gary Harris says


    Just finished the book. Really well done, than you for the work you put in doing the research and putting history (and Horton family corrections) together in a great read.

    I am descended from Barnabas – Caleb – Barnabas – Caleb – Richard – Nathan Port – Rebecca who married into my more direct Barnett line. Five generations of Barnetts leads to my mother who married a Harris (nee Avronidakis).

    posted on: 7-16-2021
  • Will Horton says

    My father always told me that our descendants built a lighthouse out in Montauk Point. That was about all I knew, I am very grateful I came upon this site and cannot wait to purchase and read the book! Thank you very much for the work and research you have done. I come from a long line of William Hortons, as my father was William, his father before him and so on, I don’t know if there is any significance to that but I am proud to bare my fathers name who died 2016, RIP Dad.

    posted on: 12-8-2020

    I am really looking forward to getting a copy of this book. I am related to Barnabas through my mother whose mother was a Horton (Florine Little Horton) and was the daughter of Jonathon Decatur Horton and thus back to Barnabas. I have spent a number of years researching my lineage and look forward to confirming and/or correcting my findings. My findings have taken me back to the 600’s and a Horton from the North Carolina SAR has told me, he thinks there are links back to the Vikings.

    Thank you for all the work you put into this book.

    posted on: 9-8-2020
  • Louvenia Horton (now Brauer) says

    I just found out about this book about 10 minutes ago and am so eager to get it and find out more about my relative Barnabas Horton. I am a direct descendent of Barnabas through his first son Joseph. I am planning a trip to Southold so I can go to the Horton Lighthouse and see all the surrounding where Barnabas and the group settled. I have done the Ancestry DNA and would love to be in touch with any of my relatives. Can hardly wait to get the book.

    posted on: 5-31-2020
  • Jon Bell says

    I am a descendent on Caleb’s side. My 4th great grandmother was Abigail (Horton) Stringham (Mother of Commodore Silas Horton Stringham) daught of Silas Horton and Experience Vail. She is a descendant of three of the 13 original settlers. She rests at Johnson buriel grounds in Coxville, Indiana about an hour drive from me. I try to visit her at least once a year and clean up around her grave. Her husband, Daniel Stringham was a wagonboy for Horatio gates at the battle of Burgoyne.

    posted on: 5-31-2020
  • Joyce Nutaitis says

    My grand aunt was the keeper of family history, she spoke of Barnabas Horton frequently. She would take out her book on Horton in America and explain to us where he came in and go through the family , she and my sister add to the area wear the book left off . I now have that copy of Horton’s in America and passed it on to the next generation. I am looking forward to read this book about Barnabas.

    posted on: 2-21-2020
  • Christopher Horton says

    I just found out that Barnabas Horton was my 11th Great Grandfather. I live in the northern part of South Carolina near the Charlotte, NC border. I look forward to learning more and my descendants and I thank you for writing this book. To my many relatives that have commented, What’s up Fam?!

    posted on: 1-15-2020
  • Eric Horton says

    Soon we fly to New York wirh a plan to spend 2 days in Southold in order to visit Barnabas Hortons Grave and to walk the land he once walked. A couple months ago my wife bought your book and surprised me with this gift. I truly enjoyed the book and feel I have a better and more realalistic understanding of the man. Thank you for bringing him to life through your research and analysis. I am a decendent of 1st son Joseph.

    Best regards
    Eric Horton

    posted on: 7-26-2019
  • Patti Moore says

    My name is patti moore..I was adopted in mother was annetta horton..her dad was harold horton and her mother was alyce kennedy horton..I was born in elmira,n.y. now live in jersey shore,pa..I found my mom in 2018 and she lives in petersburg, have 4 brothers 2 uncle is william horton.
    I really want to get this book

    posted on: 7-12-2019
  • Michelle L Horton says

    I never knew just how LARGE my family was/is until I hopped on and started researching my Horton family line. If my math is correct, Barnabas would be my 10x great grandfather, and is my direct ancestor in the male line. I would love to get to know more of my distant cousins who have left comments on this site as well as you, the author, since your husband is a descendant making him and your daughters distant cousins.

    posted on: 8-16-2018
  • Diana Medina says

    I am excited to order this book also, I also descend from Barnabas (9th great grandfather) through Caleb and down through Jonathan. Greetings from Texas.
    My grandfather carried the Horton name proudly.

    posted on: 7-2-2018
  • Will Haines says

    Thank you for compiling this great work. Thoroughly enjoyed reading about many of my Southold ancestors here. I appreciate the way you put their lives in a historical context, and made sound and sensible genealogical interpretations while reconstructing their lives. Your work was a pleasure to read, and a keepsake.

    posted on: 4-7-2018
  • Harry Horton says

    I am a descendant of Barnabas Horton> I live in Chatham County North Carolina in the county seat of Pittsboro. My great uncle Wilkins Horton was lieutenant governor of North Carolina 1937-1941. And the Chatham Hortons also were slave owners of George Moses Horton, the first black poet living in the US. George Moses Horton published in 1829 an anti slavery book of poems called On Hope of Liberty. A second book of poetry around 1845. And a third book of poems in 1865 called Naked Genius. A recent book called The Remarkable life of George Moses Horton written by Don Tate was published in the 1990s and gives a thorough documentation of George Moses Horton’s life. .George Moses Horton traveled to Chapel Hill and wrote love poems for the students who were amazed at his poetical abilities. A professors wife taught him how to read and lent him books on Shakespeare, Plato and other authors.
    Also the Horton Abraham Horton of Chatham married Adithia Clark a relative of the Clark of Lewis and Clark. I was interested to find out that in medieval England the Hortons of West Yorkshire lived in close proximity to the Houghtons. Also the Hortons of Northampton County England lived right next to the Houghtons there durign early medieval times. Northampton COunty thus is also a second area of Horton – Houghton relationship. William Shakespeare was a resident of Houghton Towers of Lancashire during his adolescence and early adulthood most likely. And thus might as well have been a resident of the Hortons while at Houghton Towers in a removed sense since the Houghtons and Hortons inter married most likely during the medieval centuries of England. Also other famous Americans who carry the Horton genes: William Bradford, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abigail Adams, James Madison, —-Benjamin Harrisons’ mother was a Horton. A lot of these Hortons could be direct descendants of Barnabas Horton. Also Albert Howells Horton Chief supreme court Justice of the Kansas supreme court in the second half of the nineteenth century. The golden age of the Kansas supreme court that time was.

    posted on: 4-1-2018
  • Crystal Horton Jaques says

    Am planning on ordering this book since I am also descendant of Barnabas and would like to learn more. My grandma Horton and I had started searching our “roots” 1980’s and for reasons I discontinued. Now my grandma is gone and my son is interested in learning so I am once again on the search. So before I even read the book Thank You

    posted on: 10-16-2017
  • Julie S. says

    I have to say “Thank you” for such an impressive work. This took a tremendous amount of time, effort and energy. It was a smart move to “follow the money.” You have moved the genealogical and historical research forward by decades with this work. What a wonderful gift to future generations!!!

    posted on: 5-1-2017
  • Launie Myers, Grants Pass Oregon says

    So excited to have this book – amazing work. My dear cousin Peggy McConnell researched and completed our grandfather, George Horton Brown’s, genealogy all the way back to 200 AD. It is amazingly complete, especially from before 1000 AD.

    George Horton Brown was born in Logan Iowa in 1883. He is my Mother’s father. I came from the most wonderful family and am so excited to learn more about this branch of family.

    posted on: 1-18-2017
  • Elizabeth H. says


    I am so impressed with In Search of Barnabas Horton. I’m thrilled to learn that I am indeed a descendant of Barnabas Horton through his daughter Hannah Horton Hildreth. I was amazed that I enjoyed learning about the social and economic history of the English Midlands in the 1600s and of Puritan New England. I learned a lot. I was impressed with the amount of research you’ve done and with how well the research is documented. I have read parts of the book so many times that the book is literally falling apart from overuse. Congratulations and thank you!

    posted on: 11-15-2016
  • Susan Elizabeth Boslet Lawruk says

    Thank you for researching and writing this book. Am a direct descendant via Caleb and the Pennsylvania Hortons. I stayed at a B and B on land that was once theirs near Mowsley, England and visited the graveyard in Mowsley. One day hope to go to the Long Island site. Am anxious to read your book!

    posted on: 8-4-2016
  • Theresa Schwab says

    Just ordered your book. Barnabas is a legend in our family! He is six times my 10th great grandfather and 3 times my 9th great grandfather throu his sons Jonathan and Caleb. I’ve visited his grave in Southold and patted his impressive tombstone just to let him know that he isn’t forgotten, but I can’t wait to read the story you’ve put together. I’m letting others in our family know about your book. Best wishes

    posted on: 1-23-2016
  • Carol Hall Murray says

    I am anxious to read your book on Barnabas Horton because all my life I have felt he was a member of our family. My grandmother moved east from Colorado and immediately started researching our lineage deriving from Jonathan. Matter of fact Newsday did a large article on my mother, Esther Greenacres Hall in the ’70s since at that time she was 10th generation American. My father Warren J
    Hall wrote a book PAGANS PURITANS and PATRIOTS which gives a detailed history of Southold and is found in most public and university libraries. Since we have a family of.golfers in the fall we have The Barnabas Horton Tournament so Barnabas lives on!

    posted on: 9-4-2015
  • Gerald Jay Horton says

    Can’t wait to get the book! I have an original edition of the Geo. F. Horton Genealogy that I inherited from my grand parents.
    We are direct descendants from Caleb, and I can track the family tree all the way from Barnabas .

    posted on: 9-1-2015
  • David Minster says

    As a descendant of Barnabas and his son Joseph, I was anxious to read about how my family traced back from Central NY, to Northern PA, and Westchester County NY before that. This incredibly detailed and painstakingly researched history of the Hortons was more than I could have hoped for! The book follows the man, his family, their roles and relationships, and knits them with important historic context to make sense of it all! After reading it, I did the DNA test at Ancestry, so the results that my background is fully 75% British makes perfect sense! Only because I read this in advance of the results. I wish Jacqueline was more closely related to my branch of the Horton line! There are many unanswered questions about later Hortons and their military service and migration. Those will be for another book, another time! THIS book is most HIGHLY recommended.

    posted on: 8-3-2015
  • Catherine Rita McLaren says

    Will drive Friday
    from Fredericksbueg, VA to Matti tuck and stay w/cousin for Booksigning! So excited..Grandma was Isabelle Horton on Mom’s side. Thank you ahead. Found out when testing new phone last week and typed in Barnabas Horton…daughter coming too.

    posted on: 8-2-2015
  • Linda Johnson says

    Also down from Caleb: am only about 60 pages in but was blown away in the first ten pages. For a first book this is unbelievably terrific!!! So much detail, so much history and so much research. I keep one bookmark where I am reading and one where the current sources are listed. This is a marvelous book and exciting to find out so much more about my 8th Great Grandparent. Anxious to keep on reading!
    Fabulous work Jacqueline

    posted on: 7-30-2015
  • Barbara Jo says

    Thank you so much for writing this book! Would that your husband were a direct descendant of all my ancestors!
    I very much appreciate all the historical research as well as your careful picking through the records to find the real Barnabas Horton (or our direct one, anyway). Didn’t even know about my connection to Wigston Magna. Will now make it a point to drive through on the way to Mowsley.
    Is your book entered in some of the contests for genealogical books? Should be.
    Sincerely: beautiful job!

    Barbara Jo

    posted on: 7-15-2015
  • Anne Pettavel says

    Jackie, I loved the book! It painted a vivid picture of the world in which Barnabas lived, and brought to life the real person — family man, professional baker, Englishman, and citizen of the New World. Through this story of Barnabas, I saw the story of hundreds of other quiet, tough, and passionate pilgrims who made this perilous journey in those first decades of the “great migration.” Thanks for writing the book I always wanted to read about our immigrant ancestor.

    posted on: 6-30-2015
  • J. Masotti says

    As a descendant of Barnabas (Caleb’s line), I can’t wait to read it!

    posted on: 6-21-2015

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