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 RICHARD NORTON (1701-1741)

(Last Updated: August 28, 2012)


The Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) was incorporated in 1670.  HBC posts were established on Hudson Bay, at the mouths of the Nelson River in 1670 (Port Nelson, later York Factory), Moose River in 1673, Albany River in 1683 (Albany Factory), and Severn River in 1685. The land around the Bay was the ancestral land of the Swampy Cree Indians. (Rupert River, established before 1685, later Rupert's House)


Hudson Bay Forts

Map base from Yahoo Maps (Modifications by Gary Still)


Richard NORTON was born in 1701 in England. In 1714 he was just a youngster (around 13 years old) when he began his employ with the HBC as an Apprentice at York Factory. ** MORE ABOUT RICHARD NORTON in DCBO


For those of us who are interested in Red River ancestry, our main target is Norton’s great granddaughter, NAHOVWAY who married William SINCLAIR, ancestors of countless Red River descendants, many of which will be featured on this website. Fortunately Norton’s biography is fairly well documented (I have provided only a few links). On this page I will simply present a brief summary with emphasis on genealogy of our Red River descendants.


Nahovway Book Cover


Much of the genealogy that follows is based upon the work of Donna G Sutherland in her book, NAHOVWAY, A Distant Voice, published in 2008. Donna is herself a descendant of NAHOVWAY. On page 27 of her book, Donna provides us with a chart captioned ‘Nahovway’s potential family tree’, based upon her extensive research and the skilful piecing together the puzzle that has existed for years.


In 1730 Richard NORTON sailed from Churchill back to England where he married Elizabeth McCLIESH, daughter of Thomas McCLIESH. ** MORE ABOUT THOMAS McCLIESH in DCBO


Richard NORTON becomes Chief Factor at Fort Prince of Wales


In 1731 NORTON returned again to Hudson Bay as Chief Factor and commander at Fort Prince of Wales, which was now independent “of the Governor of any other Factory.”


Fort Prince of Wales

Fort Prince of Wales (Still standing today)
Construction of this stone fort began with the first stones laid on Jun 3, 1732
The walls of the original ramparts were completed in 1739
Richard NORTON moved to the new site in 1740


Richard NORTON remained at Churchill until 1741 when, due to illness, he returned to England and died on Nov 9, 1741. He was succeeded by James ISHAM (c1716-1761).


During his stay in the Churchill area, NORTON fathered at least three children by a Cree woman as shown below. Richard’s son, Moses NORTON (c1728-1773), is also of particular interest. His daughter, Mary (Polly) NORTON became the wife of Samuel HEARNE (1745-1792), the famous explorer. ** MORE ABOUT SAMUEL HEARNE in DCBO


============================ Family Details ============================


Children of  Richard NORTON & a Cree Woman:
1. 1726 MESSENOBENOE (m. Ferdinand JACOBS)

** Grandparents of NAHOVWAY **

** Red River Descendants continued – MORE ABOUT FERDINAND JACOBS

2. 1728 MOSES NORTON (Cree Wife)
3. c1732 MEO-SEE-TA-KA-POW