Notes on the Tuttle Name & The Early American Lines

Notes on the Name and the Early American Lines

"Tuttle & Tuthill Lines in America"
by Alva M. Tuttle, 1968

There seems little doubt that this family name originated in the British Isles, probably in several different instances. That is, I doubt that all of the name stem from a single first ancestor bearing this family name. Likewise there seems no doubt that it, like numerous other surnames, originated as a "place name" -- in this case from a hill for observation or look out -- a Tot-Hill, Thot-Hill, Tut-Hill, or Tuat-Hill, etc., said by some to come from the old Saxon word "teotan" meaning "to look out". There were numerous places in England called Tothill or Tuthill, etc., as early as the 10th or 11th centuries. Tuthill, near Thetford, Northfolkshire is said in London Notes and Queries to have been so-called in A.D. 871.

As with names and ordinary words, the spelling varied greatly in the British Isles in the early centuries and indeed in America during the colonial period. It had only begun to standardize mainly to TUTTLE or TUTHILL in the later decades of the 18th century in America, although well into the first half of the 19th century in the United States I have found in census and other contemporary public records numerous instances of the change of TOOTLE, TOOTTELL, TOOTHILL and TUTHILL to TUTTLE, in some line or lines. See, e.g., Absalom c1755- 65, Amos c1755-75, Elizabeth c1841, Stewart 1795 and Thomas c1819. There are a considerable number of other cases, some not shown herein. Also a tendency in early records has been noted to spell names of persons who definitely were TUTTLE as TURTLE, but TURTLE is a family name in its own right and most TURTLE records have been omitted.

As many as 40 spellings of what seems to be this place-derived family name are said to exist in early British records. In modern times it has mainly standard- ized to TUTHILL, TOTHILL or TUTTLE, the latter being most common.

Several male branches emigrated to America during the colonial period and a number of late-comers came in the 19th Century, several from Ireland. The following notes outline briefly the various Colonial American lines of which I have any considerable knowledge, although I suspect there may have been some others, so much more obscure that I omit them here, but some data on them will be found in the alphabetical listing.

A - The "Planter" TUTTLES

This is taken verbatim from Ref (77) ["Hale, House, and Related Families", Jacobus & Waterman, 1952] except for my note of correction:

Among those who embarked 2 April 1635 on the "Planter" were: A Mercer Jo: Tuttell 39, Joan Tuttell 42, John Lawrence 17, Wm Lawrence 12, Marie Lawrence 9, Abigail Tuttell 6, Symon Tuttell 4, Sara Tuttell 2, Jo: Tuttell 1, Joan Antrobuss 65, Husbandman Geo. Giddins 25, Jane Giddins 20; And among "more for the Planter": Husbandman Richard Tuttell 42, Ann Tuttell 41, Anna Tuttell 12, Jo. Tuttell 10, Rebecca Tuttell 6, Isbell Tuttell 70, Marie Tolhouston 30; Husbandman Willm Tuttell 26, Elizabeth Tuttell 23, Jo. Tuttell 3-1/2, Ann Tuttell 2-1/2, Tho. Tuttell 3 mo., Sycillie Clark 16, Marie Bill 11.

It will presently appear that the three Tuttle heads of families who migrated together were two brothers, Richard and William, accompanied by their mother, Isabel (Wells) Tuttle; and their first cousin, John, accompanied by his wife, her children by her former Lawrence husband, and her mother, Joan (Arnold) Antrobus. About 1910 a remarkable manuscript family history was prepared by the late Alain C. White, Esq.; many of these pedigrees were carried back in England through the interest of Mr. White's brother-in-law, Mr. P. C. Morris, a London barrister, and the cooperation of the late Henry Farnham Burke. The English lines were approved by the College of Arms and include the ancestry of William Tuttle. Through the kindness of Gen. John Ross Delafield, a photostatic copy of the Tuttle Pedigree has been made available to the present compilers. The following account is based largely on this pedigree, with some data added from American sources.

I. THOMAS TOTEHYLL, of Woodford, co Northampton, England, born about 1506. He was assessed for the subsidy there, 10 Nov 1544. He was a witness to the wills of Robert Crosse, 1524, Robert Pashler, 1538, Sir William Longe, 1541, Elizabeth Whitbred, 1552 and Richard Lyncoln, 1545. Probably father of:

II. RICHARD TOOTILL, of Woodford, co Northampton, born say 1530; married Elizabeth ______, who was co-executrix of his will in 1589. He was supervisor of the will of Robert Beare of Woodford, 3 Nov 1579, and a witness to the will of Elizabeth Lyncoln, 1556. His own will was proved 11 Mar 1589/90 at Peter- borough, and named the following children: i. Symon, b say 1560 ii. Anthony, co-exectuor of his father's will iii. Elizabeth iv. Ellen v. Mary vi. Frances vii. Thomas

III. SYMON TOOTILL or TOWTILLS of Ringstead, co Northampton, born say 1560, buried at Ringstead, 15 June 1630; married ISABEL WELLS, born about 1565, daughter of John Wells of Ringstead, who mentioned her in his will in 1618. Symon was men- tioned in his father's will in 1589 and in that of his father-in-law in 1618. The will of John Wells also named all four of his Tuttell grandsons. Symon was super- visor of the will of Matthew Harris of Woodford, 5 Nov 1600. His own will was proved 1630 at Northampton. His widow accompanied her sons on the "Planter" in 1635, but no record of her has been seen in this country, and probably she did not long survive. Children:

i. Richard, b abt 1593; d at Boston, Mass, 8 May 1640; m at Branwell St. Andrew, co Northampton, 19 Jun 1622, Anne Taylor, b abt 1594. He was church- warden at Ringstead, 1626 and 1629; came with his wife, three children, and mother, on the "Planter", 1635. She m (2) before 1648, Edward Holyoke (Holyoke Family, #1). Children: 1. Anna, b abt 1623 2. John, b abt 1625; d in 1687; will dated 8 Nov 1686, proved 31 Mar 1687; m 10 Feb 1646/7, Mary Holyoke (Holyoke Family #1, vi), b (say 1624), dau of Edward and Prudence (Stockton) Holyoke. 3. Rebecaa, b abt 1629

ii. Thomas

iii. Simon, of Burton Latimer, co Northampton, where he was buried 14 Dec 1630; m (1) by licence (Peterborough) dated 1 Mar 1616/17, Alice James, bapt at Burton Latimer, 30 Jan 1591/2, bur there 1 Jan 1623/4, dau of William James; m (2) at Burton Latimer, 26 June 1624, Katherine Brabrooke, dau of Richard and Joan Brabrooke of Burton Latimer. Children by both wives.

iv. William, b abt 1609, d in 1673.

III. THOMAS TOOTILL, brother of Symon, and uncle of William Tuttle of New Haven, lived in Holcot and afterwards in Woodford, both in co Northampton; m ANNE _____. His will, dated 14 June 1639, proved 12 Dec 1640 at Northampton, named his three sons, and made his wife and son Robert co-executors. Children:

i. John, bapt at Holcot, 4 June 1596. His age agrees with that of the John Tuttell who came on the "Planter", 1635, aged 39, with Richard and William, and since they had no brother John, this identification would make him their first cousin. It is worthy of note that Thomas made his second son a co-executor of his will, a choice which is explained if John, the eldest son, had already emigrated. It is also significant that John the immigrant had a son Simon, a family name in this group of Tuttles. However, the chart prepared by the College of Arms fails to set forth this identification as established. The immigrant lived some years in St. Albans, co Hertford, where he m Joan (Antrobus) Lawrence, bapt at St. Albans, 25 June 1592, d after 1659, dau of Walter and Joan (Arnold) Antrobus, and widow of Thomas Lawrence. In 1635 he came with the other Tuttles on the "Planter", bringing his wife, her mother, hew Lawrence children, and their four Tuttle children. The family settled in Ipswich, Mass, but in 1651 John Tuttle returned to England and established himself in Carrickfergus, Ireland, where he d 30 Dec 1656. Children:

1. Abigail, bapt 24 Nov 1628; d young, after 1635 (Note: This is definitely wrong, See her rec in alphabetical list, AMT) 2. Simon, bapt 10 Jan 1630/1; bur at Ipswich, Mass, 11 Jan 1691/2; m Sarah Cogswell, b abt 1645, d at Ipswich, 24 Jan 1731/2 ae 86. 3. Sarah, bapt 4 Sept 1632; m at Boston 1 Feb 1653/4, Richard Martin. 4. John, bapt 21 Mar 1633/4; d after Apr 1657, probably s. p. 5. Hannah, b (say 1636); m in England.

ii. Robert, bapt at Holcot, 18 Mar 1598/9

iii. Symon

IV. WILLIAM TUTTLE, born in England, about 1609, died at New Haven, Conn, in 1673; married ELIZABETH ______, born in England, about 1609-12, died at New Haven, 30 Dec 1684, or 31 Dec 1684, aged 76 (gravestone). With his wife and three children, he came from Ringstead, co Northampton, England, on the "Planter" in 1635.

(end of quote from (77))

NOTE: The researchers who did the research in Northamptonshire wills described in (77), as copied above, seem for some strange reason to have neglected to study the will of Symon TOOTILL b c 1560 (see above) although they did study the will of John WELLS, Symon's father-in-law, which does, as they say, mention his grandsons "Richard, Thomas, Simon and William TOOTELL". Also Thomas TOOTELL, bro of Symon, had a will which the researchers quoted in (77) seem to have overlooked. Miss Della Gay TUTTLE, 1928, qv, of Salt Lake City, spent many hours studying the microfilm of these Northamptonshire wills which are available at the Genealogical Society of The Latter Day Saints in Salt Lake City. These wills, even if in good and clearly legible penmanship (which they are not) would be difficult enough to read in their archaic Old English with the very variable spelling of not only names but of ordinary words which prevailed in those days. Miss Della G. TUTTLE was kind enough to furnish me photocopies of these wills and that of John WELLS and typewritten copies of her carefully developed translations or deciphering of these wills, and I am greatly indebted to her for this very important information.

I am practically certain that the John TUTTELL who came to Boston, Mass on the PLANTER was a brother and not a first cousin of Richard and William TUTTELL who came with him on the same voyage and I have shown him as such with a "probably" to indicate a very slight degree of doubt. In my opinion and also that of Miss Della TUTTLE, John of the Planter was omitted from the will of his grandfather John WELLS because of the grandfather's disapproval of John's marriage to the widow Joanna (ANTROBUS) LAWRENCE who was four years older than John and had four LAWRENCE children.

The will of Symon TUTTELL (in his will) or TOOTILL and TOOTELL (in John WELLS will and other documents) was dated 19 Dec 1627 and names FIVE sons: Richard, John "my second sonne", Thomas (who was deceased when will was drawn), Simon and William. Also an addition has been squeezed in the will in a finer penmanship, obviously made by a different scribe at a later date (Abigail was born about two years before Symon's will was proved in 1630) leaves "to my sunn John, his Daughter Abigail, five pounds at the age of fifteene yeares".

The will of Thomas TUTTELL or TOOTELL was dated 14 June 1639 (over four years after the Planter had taken the three TUTTELLs to Boston, Mass) and proved in 1640, leaves to "John my eldest sonn". The nature of the bequests and other points in this will indicates that this John, who was bp 4 June 1596 at Holcot, Northamptonshire was a farmer (John who came on the Planter was a mercer) and strongly implies that he was in England on land neighboring that of his father Thomas in 1640 when Thomas' will was proved in Northamptonshire. Other items in early Mass. records and writings also imply that the Planter TUTTELLs were "three brothers" and I am quite convinced that this is correct. Clearly there were two John TUTTELLs, first cousins, and both born c1596.

All the three Planter TUTTLEs had, and still have, numerous male lines of descendants in America. Here for the first time is published a very considerable account of most of the male lines from Richard and John. More on the early generations from Richard is given in Refs (1) and (2). (TF) is for the most part an account (with several serious and minor errors) of descendants of William. All correct data in (TF) on male lines is contained herein also with a great deal of additional material.

-- Alva M. Tuttle, 1968
Columbus, Ohio


(TF)- "The Tuttle Family, Descendants of William & Elizabeth", by George Frederick Tuttle, Tutle & Co., Rutland, Vt, 1883; references apply to the complete volume of 49 plus 754 pages, not the samller volumes omitting most of the first 49 pages and most of the Appendix and Addenda, several of which were made and sold

(1) - "History of Revere, Mass", Shurtleff, 1937

(2) - "History of Chelsea, Mass", Chamberlin, 1908

(77)- "Hale, House and Related Families", Jacobus & Waterman, 1952

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