William TUTTLE

Male 1607 - 1673  (65 years)


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  • Name William TUTTLE  [2, 3
    • "Connecticut Ancestry": William Tuttle and his young family signed on to the list of passengers on the "Planter", Mr. Nicholas Travice (Travis), master, bound from London to the New England in the spring of 1635, leaving Gravesend on 2 April, 1635, bound for Boston.

      "William Tuttell, husbandman 26 (abt. 1609)
      Elizabeth Tuttell 23 (abt. 1612)
      John Tuttell 3 1/2 (abt. 1632)
      Ann Tuttell 2 1/4 (abt. 1633)
      Thonas Tuttell 3 months (b. 1635)

      The overall list of names of passengers on the "Planter" is extremely important in that it contains the names of the other related Tuttle families as well as such other well-known early connecticut settlers as William Wilcockson and William Beardsley, and (Mrs.) Eglin Hanford and her daughters Margaret and Elizabeth Hanford, mother and sisters of the Rev. Thomas Hanford later to become the first pastor of the settlement at Norwalk, Connecticut. This was indeed a handsome passenger list and the potential connections between and among these people is typical of Great Migration settlers who migrated together to New England and were associated in various ways thereafter.

      William Tuttle settled in Charlestown, Massachusetts, while his brother Richard went to Boston proper and John went on to Ipswich. During his first year at Charlestown, William Tuttle was given permission to build a windmill there, and his wife joined the Boston Church shortly afterward on 24 July 1636, as did many other Charlestown families.

      His incentive for joining with the Davenport - Eaton group in the founding of New Haven is not known. For whatever reason, however, he moved with his family to New Haven sometime between his son David's baptism at Boston on 7 April 1639, and 4 June 1639 when his name appeared as a signer of the Fundamental Agreement of the first planters of New Haven.

      "Will Touttle" was listed in a place of importance (5th on the list even though his estate was not among the highest in value) on New Haven's comprehensive grand list of planters and heir properties and tax rates in late 1640. This list tells us that there were 7 persons in William Tuttle's household at that time. Bob Anderson used this fact, couples with the fact that an additional child was baptized on 22 November 1640, to determine one boundary of the time of making this otherwise undated list.

      With other colonial interests beginning to contend for rights in the Long Island Sound region, the New Haven Colony demanded an Oath of Fidelity be taken by its residents in the summer of 1644 (and afterward until the Colony was absorbed by Connecticut in 1662). William Tuttle was among 28 planters taking that oath on 5 August 1644.

      There are several good printed summaries of William Tuttle's numerous records in New Haven, and they will not need to be repeated here. Of these, the most comprehensive are the Tuttle Genealogy itself, Paul Prindle's Gillespie Ancestry (178-90), Branch of Simon (85-105), and Moore Genealogy (532-47). From these records most researchers have concluded that William Tuttle was held in high regard for his judgment and fairness; that he was regularly assigned prominent seating positions in the church sanctuary, also indicating high regard in the community (and solid support for the church); and that he often held positions of responsibility having to do wit boundaries and personal disputes, but did not seek or fulfill any major elected offices.

      He owned a considerable amount of property throughout the greater New Haven area, described in detail in many of the same references just cited. After his death and that of his widow, his homestead property at the corner of College and Chapel Streets in New Haven was sold out of the family by its administrators and in 1717 became the site of the newly organized Yale College, later yale University. "The Tuttle homestead was the only land owned by the college for nearly 30 years. It was the first of a long series of purchases (by the college) extending through a period of more than a century, which finally bought the whole of the College Square into its possession. In these transfers, descendants of Wm. Tuttle, who at one time or another owned a considerable part of the square, appear as grantors, either directly to the college or to intermediate holders."

      I have not been able to find a concrete reason why three of the Tuttle children married into families from Stamford Although Stamford was originally part of the New Haven Colony, it was quite well separated by distance, and the towns of Norwalk, Fairfield and Stratford, all part of the Connecticut Colony, lay between Stamford and the nearest New Haven Colony Settlement at Milford. Jonathan married Rebecca Bell who had been born in Stamford, Sarah married John Slason who had been born in Stamford, and many of their brother John's children moved to Norwalk and Stamford as well, so his wife Catherine Lane may have been a Stamford girl. Since William Tuttle's brothers both settled in other parts of New England, it may have been Elizabeth (?) Tuttle William's wife, who was one who had the Stamford associations. Until her identity can be determined, this curious connection with Stamford families will have to remain a mystery.

      William and Elizabeth Tuttle had to deal with more than their share of problems in their children's lives. This heavy dose of family difficulty was glossed over and generally not even mentioned by the 1883 Tuttle Genealogy, probably out of a desire to spare many descendants fro embarrassment. Later writers, however, notably Prindle and DeForest, have felt it more appropriate to document these serious problems along with their genealogies, providing readers with a more complete understanding of what we would now call the "family history."

      Prindle introduced the subject by discussing a Connecticut State Law that provides for sterilization of individuals who might "produce children with an inherited tendency to crime, insanity, feeble-mindedness, idiocy, or imbecility...", the implication being that William Tuttle's family was somewhat formally considered to be an example of the inheritance of undesirable character traits. Prindle then added (without personal commentary) the observation that William Tuttle also shared blood lines with many highly regarded persons, including the Rev. Timothy Edwards and Sir Winston Churchill, and pointed out that the Tuttle Genealogy had estimated that "at least four hundred, or one in twenty-five (graduates of yale University) are known to be of this lineage or affinity, and so of its professional schools (including two Yale Presidents)."

      Writing a generation earlier than Prindle, Donald L. Jacobus had mentioned William Tuttle's family as an example in a chapter titled, "Genealogy and Eugenics." Jacobus presented evidence that so-called "defective" persons could produce offspring that were perfectly responsible and desirable citizens, and that well-meaning attempts at selective breeding among humans(eugenics) could therefore potentially do as much damage as good. He cautioned that, "There may be the risk that in eliminating an undesirable trait, a desirable trait linked with it may also "bred out'", and also offered the comforting thought that "I have concluded fro my own studies that in the long run nature eliminates the most degenerate human strains."

      Our immediate interest is in the daughter Sarah, born in 1642 at new Haven. In 1660 (when she was 18 and still unmarried) she was called into New Haven court for "imodest, uncivell, wanton, lascivious manner" in her speech and behavior. Actually, all she was accused of was kissing another man in public (which she denied) and having some fresh words for a newly married couple about what they would do that night (which she did not deny). But she was found guilty and fined 20 shillings, the sentence later reduced by half at the request of her father.

      Except for this questionable instance in New Haven, we have no evidence that Sarah Tuttle could have been considered unsociable or otherwise degenerate in any way. She married John Slason of Stamford in November 1663, moved back to Stamford with him and began her own family with four children being born to them by 1672. On 17 November 1676, Sarah's younger brother Benjamin Tuttle, age about 28 years, unmarried and living in the Slason household, went berserk about an hour and a half after dark and brutally murdered his sister with an ax in front of her own hearth and in full view of the Slason children. Benjamin confessed to the crime, was found guilty, and was executed by hanging at New Haven on 13 June 1677. the jury who made the original inquest at Stamford the night of the crime consisted of twelve respected male citizens of Stamford, including (at least) two other ancestors of William Weed: Henry Smith and Daniel Scofield. Writing to his friend the Rev. Increase Mather in April 1677, Stamford's pastor the Rev. John bishop reported, "An horrid murther committed among us, here at Stamford. A brother killing his own dear sister, "a very good woman that loved him dearly",...It was one Benjamin Tuttle...." [1]
    Born 24 Dec 1607  Ringstead, Northamptonshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Gender Male 
    Died Jun 1673  New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Person ID I57905  Main Tree
    Last Modified 17 Aug 2012 

    Father Symon TOOTILL,   b. Abt 1560, Ringstead, Northamptonshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1630, Ringstead, Northamptonshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 70 years) 
    Mother Isabel WELLS,   b. Abt 1565, Ringstead, Northamptonshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married Abt 1592  [4
    Family ID F27840  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Elizabeth MATHEWS,   b. Between 1608 and 1609, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 30 Dec 1684, New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 76 years) 
    Children 
     1. John TUTTLE,   b. Bef 08 Dec 1631, Ringstead, Northamptonshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 12 Nov 1683, New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 51 years)  [Birth]
     2. Anna TUTTLE,   c. 20 Jun 1632/33, Ringstead, Northamptonshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 9 Aug 1683, Hartford, Hartford Co., Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 50 years)  [Birth]
     3. Thomas TUTTLE,   b. Bef 16 Dec 1634, Ringstead, Northamptonshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 Oct 1710, New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age > 75 years)
     4. Jonathan TUTTLE,   b. Bef 02 Jul 1637, Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1705, New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age > 67 years)
     5. David TUTTLE,   b. Bef 07 Apr 1639, Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1693, New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age > 53 years)
    +6. Joseph TUTTLE,   b. Bef 22 Nov 1640, New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Sep 1690, New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age > 49 years)
     7. Sarah TUTTLE,   b. Bef 16 Apr 1642, New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 17 Nov 1676, Milford, New Haven, Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age > 34 years)  [Birth]
     8. Elizabeth TUTTLE,   b. Bef 09 Nov 1645, New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 1691  (Age > 47 years)  [Birth]
     9. Simon TUTTLE,   c. 28 Mar 1647, New Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 Apr 1719, Wallingford, New Haven Co., Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 72 years)
     10. Benjamin TUTTLE,   b. Bef 29 Oct 1648, New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 13 Jun 1677, New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age > 28 years)
     11. Mercy TUTTLE,   b. 27 Apr 1650, New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 1695  (Age > 46 years)
     12. Nathaniel TUTTLE,   b. 24 Feb 1652/53, New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 Aug 1721, Woodbury, Litchfield, Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 68 years)
    Last Modified 17 Aug 2012 
    Family ID F07648  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Sources 
    1. [S4920] Connecticut Ancestry 2008 August Vol. 51 No. 1 .

    2. [S02422] History and Genealogy of the Families of Old Fairfield, Vol. l by genealogy.com.

    3. [S01765] Ancestry.com: Families of Early Hartford, Connecticut.

    4. [S02963] Register Report - TUTTLE by Sam Behling.