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The Overton family of Long Island
JOHN OVERTON  From the Portrait and Biographical Record

The Long Island Overton family
    Isaac Overton, was the first known ancestor of the Overton family to settle on Long Island, NY.  He is the progenitor of all the Long Island Overtons.  He was born, about 1638 or 1640, no doubt in England.  He is said to have been the son of Maj. General Robert Overton by his second wife, Hannah Elton.  Hannah and her son Isaac were among the erarliset settlers of Southold, NY, which was settled in 1640.  The first records of Southold between 1640 and 1651 are missing, but the records beginning with 1651 include entries regarding John Elton who was Hannah Overton's brother and Isaac's uncle with whom they lived.  There is no record that Isaac's supposed father, Robert, was ever at Southold.  John Elton was one of the original home lot owners of the town.  In 1881 Rev. Epher Whitaker compared all of the known town and church records, deeds, wills, tombstones and other documents and compiled an accurate list of the first settlers of Southold.  This lists 138 inhabitants of the town during the pastorate of the Rev. John Youngs, 1640 to 1672.  John Elton and Isaac Overton are on the list.

Isaac Overton (DOB abt 1683-1744?), "The Giant," second generation

    Isaac Overton was distinguished for his great physical strength;  he was much known in this country, and through this then colony, from 1725 to 1744 at which last date his great-grandson, Mr. Jonathan Overton was quoted as saying he died, aged near sixty.  As a man he was mild, well disposed, and respected.  Very many amusing stories of his feats of strength are told of him.  The following was told by Jaded Griffin; who had from his father, Samuel Griffin; who was a neighbor of Mr. Overton, and an eye witness to the fact.
    The incident took place, at the house of Mr. Robert Griffin, who at the time, 1725, kept an inn at Southold.  At, or near the date noticed, an athletic bull or boxer, as he styled himself, came to Boston, from England.  He gave out that he had never met his equal for strength; or one that he could not easily whip.  Hearing of Overton's powers, he immediately repaired to Southold, to show Overton a "thing ot two," as he said on arriving at Mr. Griffin's.  After partaking of refreshments, he requested Mr. Griffin to send his boy after Mr. Overton; Mr. Griffin did so, but told the stranger that Overton was of retiring habits and rather bashful; and would not notice nor pay any attention to testing his strength in wrestling, or other sports, which he viewed degrading.  Not knowing for what intent he was sent for, Mr. Overton came with the boy.  On being introduced to the stranger, and learning of his errand, he utterly refused to have anything to do with him.  Mr. Overton, the stranger soon learned, eas fond of flip, a beverage in those days made of beer, spirits and sugar.  He was liberally supplied with this stimulus, yet not till a blow with the flat of the hand from the stranger could he be aroused to defend himself.  Then with the quickness of thought, he seized the bully by the seat of the trousers, and the collar of his coat, with his arms at full length, he held him as high as his chin, then walking around the room, crying at the top of his voice, "Mr. Griffin, what shall I do with him?  Mr. Griffin, what shall I do with him?"  And amidst the contortions, and writhings of the stranger, who was held as in a vise, and the roars of laughter of those present, let him fall heavily upon the floor.  The stranger did not trouble Mr. Overton again.  On another  occasion, he lifted and put on a wheel of a loaded cart, which wheel had come off by reason of a loss of a linch pin.  He also shouldered a cannon in New York, which four men ordinarily could not easily handle.  There is not any doubt, but Isaac Overton was one of the most powerful men, as to the bodily strength, this country has ever known.
    Many tales are told of the "Giant's" strength.  At a town meeting he offered to lie on his back and allow any six men to hold him down by his hands and feet.  When all were ready, the Giant gave one spring and brushed them off like so many flies.  He was of so great stature that a large iron bed had been provided for him.  Shortly before his death, he was involved in a discussion with a man of ordinary size.  It was at meal time.  The man spat upon the Giant's plate.  He was enraged at the insult; and reaching across the table, picked up his opponent and threw him out of the window with such force that the frame was broken.  A short time after this, the Giant suddenly died.  It was supposed that he had been poisoned by the man whom he threw out of the window.  In his death struggle, he grasped the top posts of his iron bed and crushed, or broke, them in pieces, saying "I've been a strong man, but death is stronger than I."

Most of the information contained in this file, as well as the paragraphs above, came from the publication by Alvin R. L. Smith entitled "The Overton Genealogy," The Overton family of Long Island, New York 1966.