DUTTON, Joseph - I27382

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I. THE FAMILY of DUTTON is traced to County Chester, England, Crozier, in his book on heraldic arms of American families, ascribes to John Dutton, of Plymouth, 1598, the arms shown here, described: "Shield: Quarterly argent and gules, in the second and third a fret or. Crest: A lion's head couped or. Motto: Servabo fidem." [1]

The name in America has been honorably associated with the history of various settlements, and men of the name bore conspicuous parts in the early struggles with the Indians, as well as in those efforts which had to do with the more peaceful arts and developments. The Duttons were from County Chester, England, seems indicated by the records of emigrants from that locality, being consigned to members of the family here. [2]

Thomas Dutton

II. Thomas DUTTON, supposed to have been a son of John, was born in England "soon after 1620," says one writer [3], another placing his birth date as 1626. He was among the early residents of Reading Massachusetts, and of Woburn and Billerica, at which latter place on 22 November 1669 be was accepted as an inhabitant. His home at Billerica was on the south side of Fox Brook, doubtless a pioneer "house by the side of the road," for the above writer. says it was on the highway leading to the "great plain” --a road which has since been abandoned. All his children were born before he came to live at Billerica.

He married (1) Susannah PALMER, who was the mother of his recorded children. She died 27 August 1684, and he married (2) 10 November same year, Ruth Hooper, concerning whose identity there is some variance of opinion, some believing she was the widow of William Hooper, of Reading, who died about 1678, and others leaning to the theory that she was the daughter of said Mr. Hooper, who, upon his passing, left both widow and daughter of that name. A clue, which, if followed, might lead to the identity of Susannah, the first wife of Thomas Dutton, is found in Genealogical Gleanings in England, by Henry F. Waters, wherein he refers to the will of one Barbara Palmer, written 13 September 1650, in which is mentioned a Susanna Dutton, "Cousin" of the testator. [4]

Thomas Dutton was living in Billerica 24 August 1688 when a "list of y' Number Males & Rateable estate," taken by "Lieft. Thompson Commssi' & their Selectmen," shows him an inhabitant, together with sons, Thomas, jr., and John. [5] An interesting reference to Thomas Dutton is found in an article on "Old Dorchester," which is as follows:

As early as 1662 a letter was received from Charles II, a tolerable copy of which may be read in Hutchinson's Collection of Original Papers. That the letter was very unacceptable to the colony is set in a clear light by the manner of its reception in a single important town. Copies were sent to all the towns, though we have met with but one of them, and that was sent to Woburn. It was thus directed: "TO YE CONSTABLE OF WOOBERNE WHO IS HEREBY REQUIRED TO PUBLISH OR CAUSE THE SAME TO BE PUBLISHED AT A GENERALL TOUNE MEETING THERE."

How speedily it went from the "Generall Covrt" to Woburn, does not appear, but it was returned with the following endorsement upon it:

"This is to Certify whom it may concern, that I Thomas Dutton of woobovrn do acknowledg, that on reqvest of several inhabitants of the said tovn, did procvre this Letter of the secretary & gaue it to the Cvnstable Isack CoLe who refused it, & so i brought it again this 8 of Desember 62. Thomas Dutten. Witness: Moses Cleveland, John Baker, & william Simons." [6]

CHILDREN of Thomas and Susannah, all born before his arrival in Billerica, the last five at Woburn:

  1. Thomas, born 14 September 1648.
  2. Mary, born 14 September 1651. [7]
  3. Susannah, born 27 February 1653. [8]
  4. John, born 2 March 1656, at Reading. [9] He married (1) in 1681, Sarah, daughter of Daniel Shed, one of the earlier inhabitants of Billerica. She died 27 February 1721, and he married in May following, Ruth, opined to be the widow of Doctor Samuel Frost. She died 18 July 1738. John Dutton lived "on the north side of the Andover road" in Billerica. He died 7 April 1735. Was the father of three daughters and five sons. [10]
  5. Elizabeth, born 1658.NAME</tng>
  6. JOSEPH, born 25 January 1661; married REBECCA (Merriam) FITCH.
  7. Sarah
  8. James
  9. Benjamin, born 1667.


III. Joseph DUTTON was born at Woburn, Massachusetts, 26 January 1661, and with his father removed to Billerica. He is listed as one of the early settlers at Reading. [11] There he married, 19 August 1685, as her second husband, Rebecca, daughter of William and Elizabeth MERRIAM, of Lynn. Reading Vital Records [12] call her Rebecca Fitch. She was born at Lynn, 21 October 1662 [13] , and had married ( I ) , as his second wife, Samuel Fitch, a farmer at Reading, who died there in 1684. Samuel Fitch had married (1) Sarah, daughter of Job and Sarah (Boyce) Lane, of Maiden and Billerica, [14], who died 2 October 1679, and he married (2) 26 July 1681, Rebecca Merriam, as above stated, and died soon after. [15]

Joseph Dutton's wife, Rebecca, died 17 September 1693. [16] He probably soon remarried, probably after his removal to East Haddam, Connecticut, where a number of children are recorded born to him and wife Mary. [17] He died in 1734.

CHILDREN of Joseph and Rebecca:

  1. REBECCA, born 13 August 1686; married DANIEL GATES.
  2. Joseph, born 31 July 1690. [18]
  3. Susannah; married at East Haddam 12 June 1716, to Jeremiah Selby, bore a son William, 5 June 1717, and died 3 May 1718. [19]

CHILDREN of Joseph and Mary:

  1. Ruth, born 14 August 1704.
  2. Samuel, born 13 February 1705/6; married 17 November 1726 to Rachel Cone. Three sons and one daughter are recorded in East Haddam.
  3. Thomas, born 1 March 1707/8. (Did he marry 26 January 1726 Deborah Alden? Middlesex County Returns of Births, Deaths, etc.)

Rebecca DUTTON

IV. Rebecca DUTTON, born at Reading, Massachusetts, 13 August 1686, removed with her father's family to East Haddam, Connecticut, where she married about 1705, Daniel, son of Captain George Gates of that place.

For continuation of this family line please see the GATES biography.

  SOURCE:  The Ancestry & Posterity of Joseph Smith and Emma Hale by Audentia Smith Anderson (1926)


  1. (General Armory, Crozier, 52.)
  2. (New England Historical and Genealogical Register 65: 171.)
  3. (New Hampshire Genealogies, Stearns, 1: 139)
  4. (New England Historical and Genealogical Register 43: 83.)
  5. (Ibid. 31: 304.)
  6. (Ibid. 5: 392.)
  7. (Reading Vital Records to 1850,71.)
  8. (Ibid.)
  9. (Ibid.)
  10. (New Hampshire Genealogies, Stearns, 1: 139.)
  11. (New England Historical and Genealogical Register 2: 46.)
  12. (323, 339)
  13. (New England Historical and Genealogical Register 5: 3 3 9)
  14. (Warren LittleLothrop Lane, etc., Pedigrees of Samuel Putman Avery, 1925, 191)
  15. (New England Historical and Genealogical Register 55: 290.)
  16. (Reading Vital Records to 1850, 513.)
  17. (East Haddam Land Records, Book 1: 5, 6.)
  18. (Reading Vital Records, 71.)
  19. (Ibid.51.)