Friday, January 13, 2017

Chapter 46 - My Tuthill Ancestors

Considering that it has been around 380 years since my 10th great grandfather, Henry Tuthill, arrived in America around 1637, it is understandable that there is some confusion about his ancestry and about the actual year of his arrival. This confusion seems to have been caused in part by the fact that there were a number of other Tuthill families who arrived in the Boston area during the mid-1630s and it is not entirely clear as to Henry's relationship, if any, with these other Tuthills or whether he may have sailed on the same ship with any of them on their voyage to the New World. There is certainly no lack of speculation by many historians in this regard. As far as we can determine however, Henry Tuthill's name does not appear on any of the passenger lists in the dozens of ships that sailed to New England during the decade of the 1630s although this fact is not uncommon. Anyway, we are getting ahead of ourselves and it is best that we begin our story of our Tuthill ancestors from the begining as we know it.

A= County Norfolkshire, Egland
Henry Tuthill was born in the Parish of Tharston in County Norfolkshire, England in the year 1612. The small rural community of Tharston which even today has a population of under 1,000, is located about ten miles south of Norwich which during this period of English history was probably the second largest city in England behind London. Norwich was noted at the time for its woolen industry and considering the large land holdings of the Tuthill family in rural Tharston, the family was undoubtedly engaged among other things in the raising of sheep and the production of wool. Henry, like his two brothers and two sisters, was baptized in the St. Mary's Church near Thurston which was originally constructed over three centuries earlier and despite years of use and sometimes abuse, it still stands to this day on a hill overlooking the valley of the River Tas.  Henry was named after his father who died in 1618 when Henry was only six and his oldest brother John was only eleven. Their mother's name was Alice Gooch Tuthill. We could not find any record of when she died although she was still alive at the time of Henry Sr's death in 1618 as was her mother. They probably together cared for the children after their father's early death at the age of only 38. Fortunately based on what Henry Sr. left his family in his will, the family was quite well off financially.

There is understandably some controversy among historians about the names of the parents (my 12th great grandparents) of Henry Tuthill (1580-1618). It was afterall a long time ago. A few of the family trees list a Symon Tuttle (died 1630) as Henry's father. This family lived in Ringstead in County Northamptonshire located west of Norfolkshire and about 100 miles from Henry's home in Thurston. This parentage is unlikely not only because of the distance between Ringstread and Tharston but also because Symon Tuttle in his will written in 1630 failed to mention any members of Henry's family and it is hard to imagine that Symon would not have acknowledged any of his grandchildren in his final will. One other confusion worth noting is that Henry and his possible father Symon named some of their sons with the same names. While this would not have been uncommon, some historians have really goofed this up as some list one of the sons of Symon as a William Tuttle who was born in 1607 and died in 1673. On the other hand, some other historians list a William Tuthill as the son of Henry who was also born in 1607 and who also died in 1673.  In both cases these historians claim that the son William Tuthill (Tuttle) emigrated to America in 1635 on the ship "Planter".  The fact that two of Symon's other sons, John and Richard, were also on the ship Planter with their brother William as was their mother Isabel Tuttle, would very strongly suggest that Henry's son William was not the same William onboard the Planter. To make matters even more ridiculous, other historians list Henry Sr's son, Henry Jr (my 10th great grandfather) as also being onboard the Planter with his brother William (who as we just noted was not his brother.). Anyway, bottom line is that Symon Tuttle and his wife Isabel are definitely not the parents of our Henry Tuttle.

St Mary's the Virgin in Saxlingham-Nethergate Parish
A far more likely candidate to be Henry Sr's father and Henry Jr's grandfather (and my 12th great grandfather) was a John Tuthill (1550-1618) who lived and was born in Saxlingham Nethergate in County Norfolkshire located only 6 miles east of Thurston. In researching the Tuthill family in Saxlingham we came across a paragraph in the Saxlingham Nethergate Parish website that mentions our Tuthill family and it is definitely worth repeating:

"During the sixteenth century Saxlingham's 'gentry' seems to have consisted of wealthy yeoman families, one of which was the Tutthills. The Tutthills are mentioned much earlier but by 1550s appear from the records to have been wealthy and charitable."

Click to Enlarge and it will be readable
We really do not know much about our Tuthill ancestors from the 15th and 16th centuries other than they all lived in Saxlingham Nathergate and as far back as historians/genealogists have traced the family line, they were all wealthy landowners. In England during this time period very few families had wealth and since there was almost no middle class, the vast majority of everyone living in England was poor. We know that John Tuthill (1550-1618) married a woman named Elizabeth Woolmer, my 12th great grandmother. John's father, was named John Tuthill (1518-1579) and he married my 13th great grandmother Elizabeth Hodkins (1520-1588). The earliest of the known Tuthills living in Saxlingham Nathergate was my 14th great grandfather who was also named John Tuthill (1485-1543). Other than a few church records very little is known about my 14th great grandfather other than he married a woman named Deliverance Kinge and of course from their church records, we know the dates of their baptisms and their deaths.  Hopefully if the comment made in the Saxlingham Nethergate Parish website that we quoted above is correct, besides being wealthy, my Tuthill ancestors were also "charitable." We do know for certain that at the very least my 11th great grandfather, Henry Tuthill (1580-1618) was charitable, for in his last will and testament he writes "I give to the poore people of Tharston aforesaid fortie shillings of lawfull money of England to be paid within one month after my decease."  We suspect that considering the disparity of income in England during this period of history and the importance of religion, donations by the wealthy to the poor was mandatory if one expected to be admitted into heaven. Makes sense. 

The time period in England in which our 10th great grandfather Henry grew up was tumultuous at the very least. Charles 1 became King of England in 1625 when Henry was 13 years old. King Charles 1 believed in an absolute monarchy and in the "divine right of Kings" and considering that he married a Roman Catholic and strongly believed that the Church of England's past Roman Catholic traditions and manners should not be changed, it is not surprising that in 1629 King Charles I dissolved the British Parliament that was composed in large part of Puritans. The Puritans as we know were strongly advocating changing the church. The issues between the two parties were both domestic as well as religious but the dissolving of Parliament and the subsequent arresting of many of the King's opponents in the following months, plus many other radical and unpopular actions by the King, were so unpopular that eleven years later there was a Civil War in England that eventually resulted is the total dissolving of the British Crown and the subsequent execution of King Henry in 1649. In the meantime of course, our great grandfather Henry Tuthill and thousands of other Puritan families left England for other parts of the world.

East Anglia
The largest concentration of Puritans during this time period in British history was in an area loosely defined as East Anglia which included Henry Tuthill's home area of Norfolkshire (Norfolk). It is not surprising therefore, considering that during Henry's and his family's upbringing that they were surrounded by other Puritans, that he soon realized as he reached adulthood that he had no other option if he did not want to be harassed for his religious beliefs but to leave England. Some historians even believe and so state, that both of Henry's brothers and his two sisters left England around the same time as Henry and in some cases they even state the ships on which they departed. While their departure from England is not an unrealistic possibility, the only one of Henry's siblings that we know for certain left England is his older brother John Tuthill and even in his case when and on what ship he departed is not known for certain.

While the records are unclear, it is believed that Henry Tuthill married Bridget Burton in 1634, probably in the St Mary's Church in Tharston, and in 1635 their son John was born. John Tuthill is my 9th great grandfather. The exact date that Henry, Bridget, and their newborn baby boy John departed from England to America is not known for certain. One of the first dependable written records of Henry Tuthill in America is when he became a Freeman in Hingham, Massachusetts in March of 1638 although some historians write that in 1635 he was granted a "planting lot" off Broad Cove (Road) in Hingham and a house lot in Hingham in 1636. We did find Henry's name in the "History of Hingham" published in 1893 listing him as having received a land grant in Hingham as early as 1635 which if correct means that his son John born in 1635 must have either been a new born when he crossed the Atlantic Ocean or he was actually born in America. Incidentally, Henry's name is listed in this history book as "Henry Tuttil".

As is so typical however, when researching our ancestors we find contradicting information. For example, in the book "Founders of New England" written by Samuel G. Drake and published in 1860, he references the writings of one Daniel Cushing who arrived in Hingham back in 1665 and for years was the Town Clerk and a Magistrate. Apparently Mr. Cushing kept extensive records about the early Hingham settlers and in his records he specifically states that Henry "Tuttil" and his wife arrived in 1637. What he failed to mention in the record was that Henry also arrived with at least one child which was an unusual omission considering that he did mention the number of children arriving with their parents for most of the other early settlers. Bottom line is that it does not really matter whether he arrived in 1635 or 1637. What is important is that he, his wife, and his son were our first direct Tuthill ancestors to emigrate to America.

The early arrival of the Henry Tuthill family in Hingham is very interesting for several reasons. First, the Tuthill family is one of a group of early Hingham settlers who are my great grandparents and secondly, my sister Anne and her husband John Fanton are current residents of Hingham, Massachusetts and they live not far from where Henry and his family lived from around 1637 until 1644. Perhaps we should not be surprised to discover that Hingham, Massachusetts is named after Hingham, England where many of the earliest Hingham settlers originated. Perhaps we should also not be surprised to discovered that Hingham in England is located only around 16 miles west of Tharston, Henry's home in Norfolkshire, England. This proximity might certainly suggest why Henry may have selected Hingham in Massachusetts to be his new home in America. He may very well have personally known in England some of these early immigrants. Traveling across a dangerous ocean with friends makes sense and as some historians have suggested, John Tuthill, Henry's older brother, may very well have been on the same ship. While this is speculative, it would make a lot of sense even if John Tuthill did not end up settling with his brother and his new family in Hingham.

We know very little about Henry's life while living in Hingham other than he was listed as a Constable in 1640 and like other couples during this time period, Henry and Bridget had four more children include a daughter Elizabeth who was born shortly after their arrival in Hingham. It is not clear why Henry elected to leave Hingham in 1644 although he may have been dissatisfied with the Puritan leadership and possibly the poor quality of his farm property, for on the 20th of June 1644 it is recorded that he sold his holdings in Hingham and subsequently moved to Southold. Southold which is located at the northeastern tip of Long Island, was founded only four years earlier. As one of the original founders of this new colony was Henry's brother John Tuthill, it is quite possible that John talked his brother into relocating. Unfortunately, the history of Henry's activities in Southold were never recorded nor was the date of his death nor the actual location of his burial.

Old Burying Ground First Presbyterian
It is estimated that Henry Tuthill died around the year 1650 at the very young age of only 38 and that he is buried in the Old Burying Ground of the First Presbyterian Church in Southold. If there ever was a gravestone it has long ago been lost. Not surprisingly, Bridget Tuthill, now with seven children the youngest being only two years old, remarried shortly after Henry's death. Her new husband was a man named William Wells who himself was one of the original settlers of Southold and undoubtedly a family friend particularly of Bridget's brother-in-law, John Tuthill (her late husband's brother.) Unfortunately, tragedy occurred soon after their marriage, as Bridget died suddenly and unexpectedly leaving William Wells with the legal responsibility of caring for all of his late wife's children. At this point my 9th great grandfather, John Tuthill, was around 20 years old and he was probably or would soon be the beneficiary of his father's will following the recent death of his mother. Frankly, we were astonished to discover that young John Tuthill agreed to give up any claims he had on his parents' estates by passing all ownerships over to William Wells. Admittedly my first thoughts were that William Wells was a devious bastard for stealing the inheritances from the young innocent John Tuthill, but subsequently we have come to realize that William had taken on a huge responsibility having to care for his late wife's family and perhaps receiving some financial benefits from the children's late parents was not unrealistic nor deplorable. We truly softened any further negative thoughts against William Wells when we discovered that William was actually another one of our 9th great grandfathers. In his case the tree passes though two of his daughters, Mehitable Wells and Anna Wells, by William's second wife, Maria Young whom he married less than a year after the death of Bridget Tuthill Wells. The daughter, Mehitable Wells (1666-1742), actually married in 1682 her sort of relative, John Tuthill (1658-1754), son of John Tuthill and Deliverance Kinge.

John Tuthill (1635-1717) married young sixteen year old Deliverance Kinge (1641-1689) on the 17th day of February in 1657. Deliverance, my 9th great grandmother, was born in Salem, Massachusetts. After the death of her father William Kinge in 1650, her mother (who was of course my 10th great grandmother) Dorothy Hayne Kings, moved to Southold where obviously her young daughter met and married John Tuthill. Fortunately for John, now 22-years old, his new mother-in-law had inherited money at the death of her husband and John and his new bride Deliverance were granted when they married  "a lot of commonage" in which to raise their new family. Their family eventually consisted of nine children including their oldest son John whom as we mentioned above married Mehitable Kinge. Apparently John Tuthill despite giving up part or all of his inheritance to his "father-in-law," was a highly successful man both financially as well as publically. The following description of my 9th great grandfather is quoted in multiple sites online and is worth repeating. "John Tuthill was a man of great enterprise, energy and will, controlled and guided by strong common sense, honesty of purpose, and religious principle. No man had, perhaps, to so great an extent, the confidence of the community, as the record trusts of Richard Brown and others, bear ample testimony. Tuthill was a trusted public officer, and a worthy private citizen."

Map showing Orient, Long Island
John and Deliverance sold their home in Southold in 1660 that John had purchased earlier in 1656 and they moved with their family out to a new settlement located just east of Southold that was then named Oyster Ponds (now named Orient but originally called Poquatuck after the local Indians who occupied the area and deeded their land to the original English settlers). Their new home was located about one mile from the very northeastern tip of Long Island, New York. The Tuthills are credited with being one of the first five families that originally settled in this area. Samuel King, Deliverance's brother, was one of the other original families. Another early settler was Richard Brown who married Deliverance's sister Hannah. These three closely related families, the Tuthills, the Kings, and the Browns, are reported to have lived adjacent to one another and bought and sold land together in the Oyster Ponds and Southold area for a number of years adding to the wealth of all three families. It is also reported in historical documents that when Richard Brown died in 1688, he trusted his brother-in-law John Tuthill to such an extent that he "entrusted his family and estate solely in the care of John Tuthill." This trust is magnified by the fact that Richard Brown is credited with having been the wealthiest man in the area.

Unfortunately although not uncommonly, my 9th great grandmother, Deliverance Tuthill, died at the fairly young age of 47 years old in the year 1689.  John with still young children to care for, remarried about one year later a woman named Sarah Frost who had also recently lost her husband, Thomas Youngs, son of the Reverend John Youngs the religious leader of the original Southold founders.  John and Sarah are believed to have had one child whom they named Mary although Mary is believed to have died young. John Tuthill, my 9th great grandfather, died at the age of 82 in the year 1717. He is believed to have been buried in the Brown's Hill Burying Ground in Orient although his gravestone not unexpectedly has long ago vanished. As you can see from the photograph on the right, buried along side my Tuthill ancestors are other members of my family tree including the Kings, the Browns, and undoubtedly others including the Vail family who were also my great grandparents (but that is another story.) Obviously we are very proud of our ancestor and my 9th great grandfather, John Tuthill. One final note about John Tuthill that must be mentioned - he died without leaving a last will and testament. As a result of his generosity during his life, near the time each of his two sons married he gave away portions of his land such that at the time of his death there was little reason to write a will as he had already cared for his family. The two older boys including his son John Tuthill (1658-1754), my 8th great grandfather, were required by their agreement with their father to provide for their younger brother Daniel who at the time was only around 12 years old. The daughters were undoubtedly granted a cash dowry by their father probably at the time of their marriage.

The house in the sketch to the left shows the Old Horton House that was built in 1659 and stood nearby and undoubtedly looked very similar in appearance to the home of John Tuthill Sr. and eventually the home of his oldest son John Tuthill Jr. It is possible that John Tuthill Jr's oldest daughter Mary (1687-1780) may have lived in this house as she married the grandson of the original Horton owner of the home. My 8th great grandfather John Tuthill Jr. (1658-1754) married my 8th great grandmother, Mehitable Wells (1666-1742) around 1682 and together they had eight children including their fourth child and my 7th great grandfather James Tuthill who was born in 1692.  Like her mother-in-law before her, young Mehitable Wells was only sixteen when she married but considering the circumstances during this early part of our country's history, marriage at a young age for women was very common as was having many children. John Tuthill like his father before him was a very successful man in his community. He is credited (not surprisingly) with being a large landowner, a Justice of the Peace, a member of the New York Provincial Assembly (1693-1698), and a sheriff in 1695. He received the nickname of "Chalker John" by his friends when he was hired as a surveyor to help layout and build parts of the "King's Highway" on Long Island which as an early public highway ran from the eastern end of Long Island all the way to the ferry landing in Brooklyn. Parts of this original "highway" obviously followed old Indian trails and undoubtedly John's responsibility with respect to the construction of the King's Highway was limited primarily to the section of the highway that was built on the Orient peninsula. Apparently as a surveyor he commonly carried around chalk and frequently used it, thus earning the name "chalker". We found this note about our great grandfather that was written in the Southold Town Records and is worth repeating: "He was noted for his shrewdness and general business talents, intelligence, and celebrated for his skill in figures and arithmetical calculations."

Old Map of Orient, Long Island
The map above shows the Orient peninsula on Long Island and the various property divisions during the time period in the mid to late 1600s when the Tuthill families lived and owned property in the area. By clicking on the map it will be enlarged, although unfortunately it still remains somewhat difficult to read the various property owners names. The Tuthills apparently lived near the middle northern section of the peninsula although it is apparent based on the map that they also owned other sections of land. The main road down the middle of the peninsula is labeled the King's Highway which is undoubtedly the section of the road surveyed for construction by our 8th great grandfather. John Tuthill grew up during an interesting period of Long Island History. The island was originally divided into two sections with the Dutch controlling the western half and the English controlling the eastern half. In 1664 however, King Charles II of England unilaterally gave all of Long Island to his brother James, the Duke of York, therein ignoring both the Dutch claims to the west as well as the claims of Connecticut over the control of the English area in the eastern half. By 1674, control over all of Long Island was in the English hands. As a result during John Tuthill's life time the population in the area greatly expanded such that the estimated population of Long Island grew to 220,000 by the year 1700 and the Southold area population grew from 180 people in 1650 to 880 by the year 1698. We have to believe that as the population grew so did the value of the land and as a result John Tuthill as well as his friends and neighbors grew very wealthy as they grew older. Older for John Tuthill lasted until his death in 1754 at the age of ninety-six. My 8th great grandmother died a few years earlier in 1742 at the age of seventy-five. We have to believe that based on the standards of the day they both lived wonderful lives.

Small green dot is Brookhaven Hamlet
It should not be surprising to discover that we could find very little about the life of John and Mehitable Tuthill's 4th child and my 7th great grandfather, James Tuthill (1692-1772). He was after all not the main beneficiary of his father's will which typically during these early years primarily benefitted the oldest son who assumed control of both his parents' home and his father's business. In fact, not long after James married Rachel Browne both of whom were around 22-years old, they moved from their home in Orient to a new home in the small hamlet of Brookhaven located down on the south central coast of Long Island about 45 miles southwest of Orient. It was here that James and Rachel lived at their home that sat on a rather long and narrow 15 acre lot south of the Beaver Dam Road (that still exists to this day) and where they raised their eight children born between the years 1715 and 1730 including our 6th great grandfather Daniel Tuthill who was born in the year 1721. We do not know for certain but it is likely that James Tuthill's primary occupation was that of a farmer. My grandmother Rachel Browne apparently died at the age of 45 in 1738 and as far as we could determine her husband James Tuthill never remarried. Then around 1753, James, then 61 years old, followed his sons and their families when they moved from their homes on Long Island to or near the small town of Highland Mills located in what is today Orange County, New York. Their move was a distance of around 110 miles which would have been quite a task in the 1750s. It is not clear why they moved but typically family relocations during this period of American history were common and were often motivated by the need to find available and inexpensive land which was likely quickly disappearing on Long Island. It also appears that the Tuthill families were not alone in their decision to leave Long Island. My 6th great grandfather Daniel Tuthill was in his early 30s, married, and with six children when he followed his father and his siblings to Orange County. His wife's father also left Long Island as did all of Daniel's brothers and their families and their in-laws all of whom moved around the same time and all to Orange County. Their father, James Tuthill, at 61 years old when he moved to Highland Mills lived another twenty years at his new home site. Unfortunately we have learned nothing about his older years. We suspect however, that he may have just retired and just spend the remainder of his life helping out but living under the care of one of his children. Nothing wrong with that and a very common tradition in our country's history.

Orange County, New York
Daniel Tuthill, my 6th great grandfather married Susannah Helme (1722-1803) in 1742 and
together they had seven children including their last child and my 5th great grandmother, Hannah Tuthill who was born in her parent's home in Blooming Grove, Orange County, New York on the 26th day of February in 1759. Unfortunately, Daniel Tuthill died at the relatively young age in the 18th century of 40 years old. His death occurred in the year 1761. We could find nothing significant about his life although he was probably a farmer and lived a relatively simply life. His last will and testament was recorded and saved and lists him as being in the precinct of Goshen in Orange County and leaving everything to his wife as long as she remained unmarried, and then thereafter his land to his two oldest sons and some money to everyone else. My grandmother Hannah who was only around two years when her father died is not mentioned by name in her father's will other than in the phrase "all the rest of my children."  My grandmother Susannah Helme Tuthill apparently never remarried and lived probably under the care of her children until the ripe old age of 81 years old finally dying in Blooming Grove in the year 1803. Surprisingly, we could not locate the burial location of either of our Tuthill 6th great grandparents.

Hannah Tuthill (1759-1818), my 5th great grandmother, married Job Sayre when she was nineteen years old in the year 1779, right during middle of the American Revolution. The Sayre family were also early settlers on Long Island and like the Tuthill family they had emigrated off the island and into Orange County in their case in the late 1740s. Chapter 13 of this Baker Family Tree blog tells the story of my Sayre family ancestors and obviously mentions Hannah Tuthill. Her husband Job Sayre as is noted in Chapter 13 was a soldier during the American Revolution although most of his war activities took place before his and Hannah's marriage. Both Hannah and Job Sayre are buried in Blooming Grove, Orange County, New York. Their son Henry Sayre (1788-1860), my 4th great grandfather, eventually moved to Yates County, New York where a number of generations later my father, Charles A. Baker Sr. was born in an adjacent county in 1916.  The photograph to the right above was taken from a page in an old family bible that was passed down through the generations and ended up in our family's library. Among the names listed is that of Hannah (Tuthill) Sayre and notes her death in the year 1818. And thus ends our story of our wonderful Tuthill ancestors.

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