George was born about March 4, 1826 in the District of Columbia. There are many online trees that list him as a son of Michael Caton, a printer in the district, however I have not discovered evidence to support this theory. It is likely that George had a brother, James Caton, who later married Martha Taylor of the same Molers Cross Roads vicinity in which George lived for most of his life.
July 20, 1850 Census
Molers Cross Roads
On July 20, 1850, a 22-year-old George Caton was enumerated in the household of Samuel Knott among many other young men. While an occupation for George is not listed, it is likely George was employed by Samuel Knott.
July 24, 1850 Marriage
On July 24, 1850, George Caton married Miss Margaret Ann Hunter in Shepherdstown. Rev. Daniel George Bragonier officiated the marriage. Margaret and her family lived six doors down from Samuel Knott, George's employer.
April 20, 1851 Birth of Child
Molers Cross Roads
On about April 20, 1851, George and Margaret’s first child, Mary Ellen Caton was born. Mary was probably named after Margaret’s mother, Mary Hunter.
December 20, 1853 Birth of Child
On December 20, 1853, George and Margaret’s second child and daughter, Angelina [Angelica] was born.
February 12, 1856 Birth of Child
On February 12, 1856, George and Margaret’s third child and first son, John William Caton, was born.
1857 Death of Child
In 1857, George lost his second-born child, cause unknown. No death record has currently been found. Four-year-old Angelina [Angelica] was laid to rest in Elmwood Cemetery in Shepherdstown.
October 6, 1859 Birth of Child
Molers Cross Roads
In the fall of 1859, George's wife gave birth to their fourth child, their daughter, Sarah Virginia.
June 29, 1860 Census
By 1860, the couple living in a home with three children. 26-year-old George states that he was born in the District of Columbia and that he cannot read or write. Enumerated alongside him was his wife, 25-year-old Margaret A., his daughters 10-year-old Mary E., and 1-year-old Sarah V., and son, 6-year-old John W. Mary E. is currently attending school. Also residing with the Caton family was George's mother-in-law, 67-year-old Mary Hunter, and brother-in-law, 19-year-old William Hunter. Both George Caton and William Hunter were working as boatmen, probably for the Knott and Flanagan families. George lists the value of his personal estate at $400. George’s mother-in-law, Mary Hunter, lists the value of her real estate at $100, leading me to believe she likely owned the home that they were living in.
1861 Birth of Child
In about November of 1861, George and Margaret's son, Edward Lee, was born. Edward was the couple's fifth child and George's second son.
January 4, 1862 Death of Child
At only two months old, George and Margaret lost their infant son, Edward.
August 11, 1863 Birth of Child
George and Margaret's daughter, Ida Lee Caton, was born. Ida was the couple's sixth child.
August 14, 1863 Prisoner of War
April 5, 1866 Birth of Child
George and Margaret's daughter, Nannie T., was born. Nannie was the couple's seventh child.
1868 Birth of Child
In April of 1868, Margaret gave birth to George's daughter, Cora Mae. Cora was the couple's eighth child.
August 23, 1870 Census
George and his family were enumerated in the 1870 Federal census on August 23, 1870 in the “Shepherd Township”, or Shepherdstown, West Virginia. As the head of household, 47-year-old George W. Caton lists his occupation as farmer, with the value of his real estate $1,000 and the value of his personal estate at $1,000. He also states that he cannot read, nor can he write. His wife, 39-year-old Margaret, lists her birthplace as West Virginia. Five of their children are currently living at home: Sarah V, 13; John W., 14; Ida J., 8; Nannie T., 5; and Cora M, 2. Sarah, John, and Ida all attended school during the year. Surrounding the family lived the Knott family, Loudoun family, and Moler family.
October 25, 1871 Birth of Child
George and Margaret's youngest son, George Walter Caton (Jr.) was born in Shepherdstown. On his birth record, George notes that he is currently a farmer in trade. George Walter was the couple's ninth child.
June 9, 1880 Census
On the 9th day of June 1880, George and his family were enumerated in the Shepherd district of Jefferson County, West Virginia. 59-year-old George lists his occupation as farmer, while 49-year-old Margaret keeps house. Five of the couple’s children remain at home. 24-year-old John is working as a laborer, most likely for the Knott family. 16-year-old Ida, 15-year-old Nannie, 12-year-old Cora, and 9-year-old Walter were all attending school. In this census, George does not list himself as being unable to read or write.
March 8, 1884 Death of Family Member
Molers Cross Roads
Mr. William Freeze died at George's residence. It is unclear if Mr. Freeze was simply visiting George and his family or if he was somehow related to the Caton family.
December 25, 1898 Death
George died on Christmas day at his home near Molers Crossroads at 73 years old. His obituary suggests that his health had been failing for some time, suffering from "dropsy" and heart conditions. His official cause of death is listed as "droopery". His obituary speaks highly of both his character and contributions during the civil war.
A chronological listing of historical events which may have affected the lives of residents in eastern Jefferson County and surrounding areas.
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