Genealogy, The Women Who Married The Orcutt Men

Chapter 1 Mary Martha Lane

By Judy Orcutt Holy

Mary Martha Lane

The first Orcutt to America (actually 2nd since the first was William Orcutt’s purported sister Susannah Orcutt Edson, who immigrated with her husband Samuel Edson in 1638) bearing the Orcutt name (or a version of it!): William Orcutt, who married Mary Martha Lane, January 24, 1663/64

Background to their marriage:

William Orcutt appears to have emigrated from England (baptismal record from Fillongley, Warwickshire, England, 6 December, 1618 in the name William Orchar, son of William Orchar, a name supposedly modified from the Scottish Urchard/Urquhart) and arrived in this country prior to this marriage date.  Some sources say he came in 1660, arrived in Weymouth, MA, moved to Scituate/Marshfield.   One tradition from the John line (Helen G. Judson) says he was a cabin boy on the second ship to Plymouth [this would make sense if the “second ship” refers to a “Mayflower fleet” in 1630, but this needs to be confirmed; it couldn’t be the 1621 ship, since he would have been 3-4 years old at that time; JOH], and later became a seaman; this view could account for few records or any land purchase/grant between 1664 (or earlier) and the family’s move to Bridgewater apparently after October 7, 1683 — the year daughter Deborah was baptised in 2nd Church Scituate, also the year William purchased property in Bridgewater — or shortly thereafter, since last child of 12, daughter Susannah, was born in Bridgewater in 1685.

Earlier tradition:  according to research and records obtained and compiled in 1968 by Helen Judson, an Orcutt family genealogist for the John line, members of the Scots family Urquhart–sons of Thomas Urquhart of Cromarty who died in 1557–migrated to England from Scotland.  [JOH:  This may have occurred possibly following the 1547 Battle of Pinkie (during which 7 of the supposedly 25 sons of Thomas Urquhart of Cromarty died; interestingly, the Earl of Warwick, John Dudley, commanded the 4,000 English cavalry during the Battle of Pinkie; 1,500 prisoners were taken) or during Mary Tudor’s (“Bloody Mary”) reign, 1553-1558.] According to the famous Sir Thomas Urquhart, some Urquharts settled in Carlisle (and became mayors there) just south of the Scotland border, one settled in Devonshire; so possibly one or more settled in Warwickshire, where Fillongley is located.  Edson family genealogists (see below) remark that Susannah (William’s sister, born February, 1618) Orcutt’s family had “long been in Warwickshire”in 1638 (Carroll Edson, Vol. I, p. 28).  The Earl of Warwick, Robert Rich, had promoted colonization in Massachusetts Bay through his aid to the New England Company.  Consequently, many young people from the rural districts of Warwickshire became interested in emigrating, Samuel Edson with his wife Susannah Orcutt Edson among them.  Some have supposed William Orcutt accompanied them, but no record of William Orcutt has been located in Salem between 1638 and 1651 when the Edsons moved to Bridgewater.   It is Elijah Hayward (Edson descendent) who, in writing an account of the Edson family of Bridgewater, states that Susanna Orcutt is “supposed to have been a sister of William Orcutt who came from Scituate and settled in Bridgewater” (2 sources for this information: Elijah Hayward’s 1853 handwritten “Account of the Edson family”, first page, found by JOH in Edson file in Old


Bridgewater Historical Society records; also on p. 4 of A Genealogical Account of the Edsons, Early Settled in Bridgewater, with Appendices by the Rev. Theodore Edson and Elijah Hayward, printed in 1864).

Mary Martha Lane, daughter of Andrew and Tryphena (_____) Lane, was born in 1640, baptized in Hingham, MA, on Aug. 16, 1646 together with two of her siblings. [Many earlier and current genealogists mistakenly give Mary’s birthdate as August 16, 1646; however, the three siblings baptised that day were not triplets.  For Mary’s birthyear 1640, see Lane Genealogies by James Hill Fitts, Vol II, 1897, p. 10; this is source for much of the information on the Lane family; dates and birth places for William Lane’s children comes from a document “Descendants of William Lane” produced by Janice M. Castleman, obtained 8/29/00 over the Internet:–M-Castleman/GENE4-1110.html]

Her father, Andrew Lane was born in England and emigrated to America in 1635, becoming an original proprietor in Hingham, Mass.

Andrew Lane’s father was William Lane [some Lane researchers say born 1580 in Dorset, England], a resident of Dorchester, Mass. as early as 1635. [Fitts gives no information about William Lane’s wife; some researchers speak of 2 wives, Mary Killoway about 1609; Agnes Farnsworth, m. 1618 in England; others refer only to Farnsworth.   There are no records referring to a living wife of William Lane in America.]  Several grants of land were assigned to William Lane in 1637.  His mark (X) as a proprietor is on a document dated 1641, relinquishing some land on Thomson’s Island to the town of Dorchester for the maintenance of a Free School.  According to Fitts Lane Genealogies, vol. II,  p. 2: “This ancestor of a numerous posterity was a person of competent property, a freeman, a virtuous and good citizen who evidently had the esteem and confidence of the people.”  His daughter Mary was the widow of Joseph Long, and he lived with her several years and died apparently in 1654 (his will is given in Fitts, vol. II, pp. 2-3.).

Children of William Lane in the order mentioned in his will:

I. Elizabeth, b. Norfolk, England about 1615, m. Thomas Rider, who came to America in ship Hercules, 1634; a “caulker” by trade, residing in Dorchester and Boston.  They received by her father’s will, “my new dwelling house in Dorchester, etc.”  Their daughter Hannah was b. Boston, 7 Mar., 1655/56.

II.  Mary, b. Norfolk, England about 1620, m. first, Joseph Long, who lived and died in England, leaving two sons who came with their mother and grandfather Lane to Dorchester.  She m. second, Joseph Farnsworth, of Dorchester, a widower with four children.  They received by her father’s will the Great Lot estimated 24 acres, and personal estate.  He was a freeman Mar. 14, 1639; selectman, 1647; and died 12 June 1660.  She was living a widow in 1690.

Her children by Joseph Long: 1. Joseph, Senior, res. Dorchester, m. 3 Feb. 1662, Mary, and d. 26 Aug., 1676.  Children Mary, Sarah, Joseph, Hannah, Alwen.  2.  Thomas, res. Roxbury, Mass. and had Thomas. Her children by Joseph Farnsworth [related to William Lane’s second wife?]: 1.  Joseph; 2.  Samuel (who had children by 2 wives, Mary, Joseph); 3.  Esther; 4.  Elizabeth.

III.  Annis, b. England about 1610, m. there about 1630 Thomas Lincoln, and came to Hingham, Mass., about 1635, where both were members of the first church.  She died 1682-83.  Thomas Lincoln, the “cooper” and “malster,” [??] was granted 5 acres land in 1636; he was freeman 1638, was allotted 1680-81, a sitting “in the seate under ye pulpit,” and Mrs. Lincoln was assigned to “the second seate next ye pew.” He died 28 Sept., 1691.  His will dated July 13, 1688 mentions three sons and one daughter.  Their children:

1.  Child b. and d. in England; 2.  Sarah, b. England, d. soon after their arrival; 3.  Thomas, bap. Hingham 1638 who m. 1st Mary Chubbuck, 2nd Lydia Hobart (dau. of Rev. Peter Hobart), he was “carpenter”, constable, 1671, freeman 1672, selectman, 1684, 1688, 1691, ensign, lieutenant and captain, d. 1708, children Lydia, Mary, Thomas, Lydia, Josiah; 4.  Joseph, bapt. 1640, who m. 1st Prudence Ford, 2nd Sarah Bisbee Hopestill, he died 1716, children Joseph, Israel, Nehemiah and Elisha, all by first marriage; 5. Benjamin, bapt. 1643, m. Sarah Fearing, he was a “malster,” d. 1700, children John, Margaret, Benjamin (who was father of Col. Benjamin Lincoln, the personal friend of George Washington), Thomas, Jeremiah, Jonathan; 6.  Deborah, bapt. 1645, m. Samuel Thaxter (his 2nd wife), she d. 1694, children Deborah, Samuel, Abigail; 7.  Sarah, bapt. 1650, d.1658.

IV.  George, born in England about 1613, an original proprietor of Hingham.  (Rev. Peter Hobart and his colonists erected the plantation in July, 1635, when Hobart and 29 others drew houselots for themselves.)  Was a “shoemaker.”  He was assigned 1681/82 to “the seate under ye pulpit” and his wife to a sitting “in the fore-seate for the women in the body of the meeting house.”  Married Sarah Harris.  He died 1698, she 1694/95.  Their children:
1.  Sarah, bapt. 1637-38, m. Lieut. James Lewis who came to America in 1633, resided in Scituate where he united with the church in 1635, admitted freeman 1648, removed to Barnstable, Mass., where he was lieutenant and selectman, 1660, 1679, 1681, he d. 1713, children John, Samuel, Sarah, James, Susanna, Ebenezer, Mary, George, Hannah, Joseph.
2.  Hannah, bapt. 1638-39, m. Thomas Humphrey of Dover, NH, children George, William, Ebenezer, Joseph.
3.  Josiah, bapt. 1641, m. 1st Mary ____, 2nd, Deborah Gill.
4.  Susannah, bapt. 1644, m. 1665 (by Capt. Joshua Hobart) William Robbarts, child
5.  Elizabeth, b. 1646, m. Walter Poor, children Walter, Elizabeth.
6.  John, b. 1647-48, m. Mehitable Hobart and Sarah Briggs.
7.  Ebenezer, bapt. 1650, m. Hannah Hersey.
8.  Mary, bapt. 1656, m. Mr. Ellis.


9.  Peter, bapt. 1656.  In King Phillip’s war he was on the roll of Capt. Samuel Moseley’s co. of Dorchester, at Dedham, 9 Xber [December], 1675 and again Dec. 10, 1675; enlisted in Capt. John Robertson’s co. of New England troops stationed at Annapolis Royal, Oct.10, 1710, and died Feb. 6, 1711; time of service 118 days.

V.  Sarah, b. England about 1611, wife of Nathaniel Baker, original settler in Hingham, and brother of Rev. Nicholas Baker, of Hingham and Scituate, Mass.; he was “farmer,” constable, 1668, selectman, 1661 and 1676, in active service in Philips’ War, 1675, died 1686 (will gave legacies to 2 Indian servants, grandchildren, and children of his deceased brother Nicholas, late of Scituate), she d. 1695; only 1 child: Mary, bapt. 1639, m. John Loring who came to Dorchester in America 1634 and settled in Hull, freeman 1673, representative 1692, she died 1679, he had 10 children with 2nd wife Mrs. Rachel Buchland.

VI.  ANDREW LANE, born in England about 1613, and became an original proprietor of Hingham, Mass. as did brother George.  He drew on Sept. 18, 1635, house-lot of five acres, “No. 26 from the cove on the north side of the road to Fort Hill.”  This was further described as being located on Town (North) Street, Hingham as was the property of brother George.  Andrew Lane also had 10 acres granted him at Nutty Hill, and 6 shares of the common lands in subsequent divisions of the town.  On April 6, 1648, he purchased of Aaron Ludkin of Charlestown, a house-lot in Hingham containing 5 acres with a dwelling and buildings thereon, and bounded by land of George Lane.  He also bought lands at Pleasant Hill, at the Great Lots, at Weir River, at Squirrel Hill, at the Plain Neck and at Broad cove.   He was described as a feltmaker and farmer, an industrious, worthy citizen.

Andrew Lane died 4 May, 1675, and his estate was appraised at 235 pounds, 3 shillings.  Triphena Lane and son Andrew Lane were administrators of his estate.  The inventory included dwelling house, barn, 8 acres home lot, salt meadow and other lands; four oxen, four cows, two yearlings, 2 calves, swine, piggs, bedding, wearing apparell, household goods, farming tools.

Andrew Lane’s wife’s surname is unknown.  She survived him (a Hingham record specifies the pew seat of Tripheny Lane as widow of Andrew Lane in the new meeting house, Jan. 5, 1681/82) and died in Hingham on 2 January, 1706/07 aged about 95 years.  (Thus born about 1612.)

The Lanes had 9 children, all baptised in Hingham [the minister may have been the first minister of Hingham, Peter Hobart]; birth dates here from Fitts do not always agree with records researched by Frederic Scott Orcutt:

1.  MARY, b. 1640, bap. 8/16/1646, m. 1/24/1663/64 William Orcutt, residence Weymouth, Scituate, and Bridgewater, Mass.  He d. about 1694.  Their twelve children were: William b. Weymouth, 1664, Andrew, b. 1666, d. 18 Aug., 1695, John b. Scituate 1669, m. four times, constable 1712, original member of second church, Hingham, 1721, d. Sept. 1753, Martha b. 1671, Joseph b. 1672, Mary and Hannah (twins) b. 1674 [FSO: 1675], Thomas b. 1675 [FSO


1677], Benjamin, b. 1679 [FSO 1680], Elizabeth, b. 1682, Deborah b. 1683, Susanna, b. Bridgewater, 1685.

2.  Abigail, b. 8/11/1642, bap. 8/16/1646 m. 12/27/1665 (by Capt. Joshua Hobart) Daniel Stodder who became a selectman for Hingham, and died at the very advanced age of 103 years, 5 months and 9 days.  She d. 1707, age 61 years.  Eleven children: Daniel, Abigail, Sarah, Deborah, Rebecca, Josiah, Lydia, Joseph and Jael (twins), Ruth, Lydia (born and died same year as 1st Lydia).

3.  Andrew, bap. 8/16/1646.  m. 12/5/1672 Elizabeth Eames, dau. of Mark and Elizabeth Eames [her grandfather, Lt. Anthony Eames, was the first local commander of Hingham — there is extensive reporting of controversy regarding jurisdiction, authoritative office between the Rev. Peter Hobart and Lt. Eames in Hingham history]. Andrew is included in list of freemen published 23 May 1677, NEG&H Reg.  3:24.  He was a wheelwright, bought houselot from Jeremiah Beal(e?), Sr. and Sarah, his wife in 1674 (the Beals were parents of his brother John’s wife); was a soldier in Philip’s War.

Andrew Lane and wife Elizabeth, of Hingham, testified, Feb. 10, 1708-09, respecting
Mahitable Warren, of Plymouth, that they never heard nor had thought that Euea she
was guilty of the sin of being a witch notwithstanding her many distempers of body.
He died 4 Dec. 1717, and his widow d. 12 Nov., 1727, ae. 83 years.  Three children: John, Elizabeth, Andrew (this 3rd Andrew b. 2/8/1677/78, d. about 1749, was “an Attorney at Law” in Boston; chosen constable March 13, 1726/27, according to Samuel Sewell’s records).

4.  John, b. 1/30/1647/48.  m. 1st, 1/21/1679/80 Sarah Beale, dau. of Lt. Jeremiah and Sarah Beale who d. 12/13/1693; and 2nd, on 4/16/1701 Bethia Lincoln, dau. of Stephen and Elizabeth Lincoln, who d. 3/17/1716/17.  He was a carpenter (emphatically designated to distinguish him from his cousin John Lane, the shoemaker).  He d. 3/12/1729/30.  Five children by  wife Sarah: Sarah, Hannah, Rachel, Susanna, Infant.  Three children by 2nd wife Bethia: Bethia, Mary, Lydia.

5.  Ephraim, b. 2/1649/50. m. 1st, late in life on 2/20/1700/01 Susanna Huit (or Huet) dau. of Ephram and Elizabeth (Foster) Huit, who d. 5/15/1708;  and 2nd, on 12/29/1709 Elizabeth Beal, youngest sister of his brother John’s wife.  She d. 7/30/1716.  He was a wheelwright, soldier in active service under Capt. Joshua Hobart in Philip’s War 1675, and was also on the roll of Capt. Isaac Johnson’s Roxbury Co., which enlisted for the Narraganset campaign of July, 1675.  Was constable of Hingham in 1696. He died 12/1/1715.   Child with 1st wife: Ephraim (b. 7/1703; weaver and husbandman).  Child with 2nd wife: Jeremiah (b. 6/1710).

6.  Deborah, bap. 6/20/1652 m. 12/30/1674 (by Capt. Joshua Hobart) William Sprague res. Hingham and Providence, R.I. His brother Anthony was ancestor of the poet Charles Sprague.  She died 1706/07, 8 children: William, Deborah, Joanna, David, Jonathan, Abiah, John, Benjamin.

7.  Joshua, bap. 8/20/1654. m. (date unknown) Elizabeth _____.  Was living in Boston in 1696.


Was a cordwainer (??) in Boston; earlier served with Captain Turner in 1676 on the Connecticut River, later Falmouth.  He also enlisted under Capt. Samuel Wadsworth of Dorchester, Mass., was in the Sudbury Fight, where Capt. Wadsworth was slain by the Indians 4/21/1676.  He died 11/27/1710 ae. about 57 years (his wife survived him).  Children: child, Elizabeth, John (cordwainer in Hingham), Sarah.

8.  Caleb, bap. 7/17/1657.  Probably unmarried.  Is not listed among the sons and sons-in-law in the inventory agreement regarding his father’s estate (below), so may have died before 1675.

9.  Hannah, bap. 9/30/1658 m. 5/22/1677 (by Capt. Joshua Hobart) Jeremiah Beal, Jr. who was a blacksmith, sexton, Hingham selectman 1690, 92, 96; he d. 1703 aged 48 years; she d. 1719, aged 61 years.  11 children: Jeremiah, Sarah, Hannah, Jael, Andrew, Jedediah, Abraham, Bathsheba, Rebecca, Benjamin, Abigail.
At the time of the 1675 inventory of their father Andrew Lane’s estate, the following document was also recorded:

“The sones & daughters and sons in law of Andrew Lane doe agree and fully consent that their mother Triphenie Lane shall have all the estate left by their abousaid father to improve for her
sufficient maintenance as longe as shee the abousaid mother lives a widow, as witness our hands thereunto.
Andrew Lane
the mark of C  Ephraim Lane
the mark of X William Orcutt
Daniel Stodder
William Sprague
John Lane
Jeremiah Beal.”

[In the NEG&H Reg. 42:149,150: Ebenezer Lane and brother Andrew Lane founded Lane Theological Seminary, Cincinnati, date unknown at this 8/2001 writing.]
Family of William Orcutt and Mary Martha Lane

[Sources: Frederic Scott Orcutt, Sr., Descendants of Thomas Orcutt, 1677 to 1977 plus this writer’s visit 3/2000 to the First Unitarian Church, Norwell, MA, and others as indicated.  Significant information comes from Edson family researchers as referred to on p. 1, descendants of that family with which Orcutts were connected in both England and Massachusetts, including several marriages.]


The baptisms of ten of the twelve children of William Orcutt and Mary Martha Lane are recorded in the records of Second Church, Scituate (now First Unitarian Church, Norwell, MA).  All ten were baptised by the first minister of Second Church, William Witherell, whose ministry extended from 1642 until his death in 1684.  The Rev. Mr. Witherell baptised no less than 608 children (the occasion for the split from First Church Scituate and its minister the Rev. Chauncey was largely over the issue of the method of baptism: The Rev. Mr. Witherell favored sprinkling.)  The early records are apparently written by him (until 1674, when his assistant and successor Thomas Mighill began keeping the records).  Hence, Witherell spelled the surname “Orcott “the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th children.  Mighill spelled the surname “Orcut” for children 6-11 (see below).

William [2] was apparently not baptized by him, and may have been born elsewhere; some researchers say William Jr. born 1664 in Weymouth, Mass.

2.  Andrew Orcott, bap. 3/24/1666/67.
3.  John Orcott, bap. 4/18/1669.
4.  Martha Orcott, bap. 4/23/1671.
5.  Joseph Orcott, bap. 12/9/1672.
6.  Mary &
7.  Hannah Orcut, twins bap. 4/11/1675.
8.  Thomas Orcut, bap. 10/2/1677 (page worn, could have another number in Oct. date).
9.  Benjemin Orcut, bap. 3/7/1679/80.
10. Elizabeth Orcut, bap. 7/16/1682
11. Deborah Orcut, bap. 10/7/1683.

By 1685 William and his wife and family of 9 living children (Elizabeth and Deborah, born 1682 and 1683 and baptized in Scituate had apparently died in infancy) were living in Bridgewater, MA, where:

12th child Susannah Orcutt (note spelling, a third version among the 12 children) was baptised in 1685. [By the Rev. James Keith?  No record of this birth has yet been located.]

William Orcutt is recorded as a purchaser of land on the west side of Bridgewater in a listing dated 24 December, 1683.  He owned one share of the 56 proprietor shares (according to Helen Judson, p. vi, “There has never been found to date (1966) that William (1) Orcutt owned any land anywhere in the Colony before he bought in 1670 “of  Edward Gray of New Plymouth for 30 lbs”:  “He sells to William Orcutt of Marshfield, Massachusetts one share of upland and meadow in Bridgewater, Massachusetts.” It is generally agreed that William Orcutt and his family did not take possession of and settle on his homestead for 13-15 years after the purchase of this land.) Further woodland was added to his holding in 1686.  He died in Bridgewater 14 September, 1693, age 74.  There is no presently known gravestone for either William or his wife.  According to Frederic S. Orcutt, Sr., burial could have been on their own property, and headstones long since disappeared.   However, in the listing regarding son Andrew made by George Walter Chamberlain in Genealogies of the Early Families of Weymouth, Massachusetts (1923), p. 447, t


there is the following sentence: Widow Orcutt, probably the widow of William, died at Weymouth, 30 Apr. 1712.  This is information FSO apparently did not have.  [The Old Graveyard on South Street in West Bridgewater came into use sometime after a grant in 1683.  It appears that Samuel and Susannah Edson were possibly the first or among the first persons buried there, he in 1692, she in 1699, followed by Susannah Edson Keith 1705, Rev. James Keith 1719.  Noting that Samuel Edson died 1692, just one year before William Orcutt died, it should be mentioned that the above-ground tomb also includes wife Susannah’s grave with his, and she died in 1699.  Next to it is that of the Rev. James Keith who died in 1719.  Further note:  9/13/00, visiting the Old Bridgewater Historical Society on Howard Street in West Bridgewater, JOH noted cement marker catty-corner across street on Marlene Howells’ property, commemorating the likely site of the first burial ground in Old Bridgewater.  No gravestones remain currently.  Perhaps this could have been the site where William Orcutt 1 was buried?  His son, William 2, was buried in the Bridgewater cemetery, as was William 2’s wife Hannah — presumably 3rd wife Hannah Newton.]

In that same western section of Bridgewater lived Deacon Samuel Edson and his wife Susannah Orcutt Edson.   Edson family history states that Susannah was born in Fillongley in 1618, married Samuel Edson in 1638, and the two emigrated to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1638, settling first in Salem, then moving to Bridgewater (settled first by Miles Standish and others) in 1651 when Samuel is added to the list of Bridgewater’s original proprietors.  As mentioned earlier, both Edson and Orcutt family traditions state that Susannah and William Orcutt were sister and brother, born in February and December of the same year, 1618, in Fillongley. No birth or baptismal record has been found for Susannah Orcutt in 1618, but Helen Judson reports receiving a letter August 4, 1965 from the Diocesan Archivist of Warwickshire, England that states:
“There was a William, son of William Orchar (the name Orchar being a modification of the name Urchard and probably Anglicized to the name Orcutt later) baptized December 18, 1618 recorded in the parish register (1538-1653) of Fillongley, Warwickshire, England.”

Ms. Judson goes on to say that the register is not indexed and the brief glance at this time did not reveal other children of this William Orchar. [Note: This author possesses a photocopy of the register item, with date of December 6, 1618.  The discrepancy between December 18 and December 6 has not been explained as of this date.  A simply miscopying repeating the last two digits of the year?  See copy of this record following p. 19, Exhibit A.]

Edson Family History and Genealogy, editor Carroll Edson, vol. I, pp. 23-41 gives background information about Samuel Edson and his forbears.  On page 34 of that work, Carroll Edson quotes at length from The Rev. Theodore Edson, an Episcopalian clergyman, including the following depiction of Susannah Orcutt Edson in his A Genealogical Account of the Edsons, Early Settled in Bridgewater, With Appendices published in 1864 and co-written with Elijah Hayward, another Edson descendent:


“Susannah, his (Samuel Edson’s) wife, was one fully worthy of him and the age in which they lived.  Her education and natural abilities were said to be fully equal to his, while in union with an expressive modesty of deportment and unaffected piety gave to her person an elevated position and to her character a high rank among the matrons of the town.  She exhibited a majestic figure, rather above the medium height, and elegant and majestic mien, with a countenance happily combining graceful dignity with cheerful benignity.  Her daughters were of elegant forms, and with all their domestic and retired habits were of easy and pleasing manners.  As the affectionate companion of her husband, she was his prudent and discreet counsellor, and as a true mother, she religiously taught her children the way they should go, and when they were old they did not depart from it; and her descendants through succeeding generations point to the example of this, their maternal ancestor, with sentiments of respect, esteem and reverence.  Such parents as these do not live to themselves nor die to themselves, and their memories will be cherished while virtue and charity shall be practiced, as a valuable example to mankind.”

Carroll Edson points out that in gathering his information, the Rev. Edson likely spoke with individuals who could have known and talked with the grandchildren of Deacon Samuel and Susannah Edson.

This author (JOH) located a handwritten document (on brown paper with string binding) by Judge Elijah Hayward, dated 1853 and titled Account of the Edson Family in the Old Bridgewater Historical Society collection (Edson genealogy packet), with the following description almost verbatim to that above (this is the same source stating Susanna Edson is supposed to be a sister of William Orcutt):

“The wife of his [Samuel Edson] bosom and virtuous partner of his life was worthy of him and of the age in which they lived.  Her natural ability and literary education were said to have been full equal to his, which, in union with an expressive modesty of deportment and unaffected piety, gave to her person an elevated character and high rank among the females and matrons of the town.  She exhibited a majestic figure rather above the medium height an elegant and stately mein and a benign and dignified countenance.

“She succeeded in so training her daughters that they copied most of her virtues.

“As the affectionate companion of her husband she was even his prudent counsellor and as the mother of their offspring she religiously taught them early the way in which they should go, and it may be truly said that when they were old they did not depart from it.  And her descendants through succeeding generations, point to the example of this maternal ancestor, with sentiments of respect, esteem and reverence.  Such parents as Deac. Samuel Edson & his wife do not live to themselves nor die to themselves.  Their memory will be cherished while virtue and Christian charity shall be practised, as a most worthy example to mankind….

[Hayward goes on to speak of Capt. Edson, his forebear, and refers to a book this great grandfather wrote, reflecting his own sources of information.]


“I also often heard my grandmother Hayward, mention her father’s book as she called it, lament its loss, and relate to me of its contents.  On the death of Capt. Edson I have been informed, all his papers came into the hands of his son Col. Josiah Edson, and but a very small portion of them have since been seen.  It was a matter of regret to those who spoke of it that this manuscript work could not be found………Rev. Peres [spelling unclear] Fobes was 20[,] my father 19 years old and my grandmother 49 when Capt. Edson died 1762.  Mr. Fobes d. in 1812 a 70 my father in 1815 a. 74.  And my grandmother in 1800 a 87.  I was born in 1786 [the 6 is not entirely clear, thus a guess].  It was from my recollections of their conversation in relation to that work, and from information of a similar import received of aged inhabitants fifty years ago, that I am indebter for the characters I have described of some of the first generations of those who made early and permanent settlements in the town “…….signed June 2 [not exactly clear] 1853 Elijah Hayward”

The reference to Susannah’s education and natural abilities being fully equal to those of Samuel Edson is of particular note, since her brother William made his mark instead of signing his name, which has been taken to indicate he may have been illiterate.  (Similarly, his son William 2 made a mark for his name as a witness for two different wills as well as to the agreement of settlement for his father’s estate; however, Andrew and John both signed their names to that document, although Joseph made his mark; and Thomas signed his name on a later document on which his wife Jane made her mark.)  Education for their children was a very high priority among Highland Scots families, so perhaps there is another reason the 2 William Orcutt men and Joseph Orcutt made marks for their names? [One Internet Orcutt correspondent says that, when told of Wm. Orcutt 1’s possible illiteracy, her father snorted and said: “The man couldn’t see!”]

Deacon Samuel established the first sawmill and grist mill in Bridgewater.  The stones for the gristmill and its site with millrace are visible today in the lovely Town Park of West Bridgewater, with a plaque commemorating Samuel Edson’s contribution to the Bridgewater community’s self-sufficiency.  For that contribution he was granted an extra land plot.

Deacon Samuel and Susannah Orcutt Edson’s daughter Susannah married the first minister in Bridgewater, the Rev. James Keith, b. 1644 [class of 1657 of Marischal College, located adjacent to Kings College in Aberdeen, as ascertained from Keith family genealogists; the Keiths were hereditary Marischals of Scotland] who emigrated from his home in Aberdeen, Scotland, arriving in Boston in 1662 and coming to Bridgewater in 1664 at the age of 18 under the recommendation of Increase Mather.  Keith had a long ministry in Bridgewater and was much beloved until his death in 1719.  Some Keith researchers claim he and Deacon Samuel were partners in the mill.  Deacon Samuel was also choir director for the church.  (The W. Bridgewater museum displays both a communion set Deacon Samuel donated to the church, as well as his pitchpipe.  He was known to have thrown that pitchpipe at choir members who persisted in being off-key!)


The Rev. James Keith is a key figure providing circumstantial evidence relating immigrant William Orcutt’s family to the Urquharts of Scotland.  In his handwritten record of having performed the marriage of William’s son William to his 2nd wife Hannah Smith September 21, 1698, he spells the groom’s surname as Urxohart, [transcribed records spell this Urrohart; see photocopy of the record following p. 19, Exhibit B] a known variant of Urquhart.  There is current (1999-2001) dispute over whether immigrant William Orcutt is of the Scottish Urquhart clan line (active on Internet genealogical Orcutt family boards, initiated by a Joel Thomas Orcutt — descendent of Joseph 2 Orcutt and living in Oklahoma — who has spent a number of years working on genealogy.  JTO [Joel Thomas Orcutt] claims to have found documentation in Warwickshire that Samuel Edson married Susannah Bickley, not Orcutt, and that Susannah Bickley may have been aunt to William Aucotte in Warwickshire, whom he identifies as William Orcutt).  It is of key significance to this dispute that the Rev. Keith was himself married to Susannah Edson, daughter of Deacon Samuel and Susannah Orcutt Edson, hence an in-law relative to Wm. Orcutt Jr., as well as a member of the Keith family of Aberdeen, Scotland who were linked to the Forbes family which in turn was  linked by shared ancestry to the Urquhart family.  In the small community of Bridgewater in the late 1600s (probably less than 60 families settled there), the Keith, Edson and Orcutt families were interrelated.  The Rev. Keith and all his family were highly educated, according to Keith family researcher, Charles F. Eaton, who confirms that Keith was probably very deliberate in spelling that marriage record; no likelihood of any mistake.

This writer (JOH) believes that the Rev. Keith wrote the name as he did in a deliberate effort to publicly link the family to the Urquharts, since neither immigrant William nor his son William appear to have been literate; both having signed documents of record with their mark instead of spelling their name.  That the educated and respected minister in the community with his own multiple family connections with Orcutts/Urquharts chose to spell the surname as he did in their behalf is of real significance, something JTO has not been able to dispute (other than to cite the name of William Orcutt 2 spelled as Aucott in a deed for his wife’s family land in Taunton from his Smith brother-in-law, but researchers have viewed this particular deed as a misspelling of Orcutt for over a century).  Family historians of William 2’s line from 2nd wife Hannah Smith, as well as George L. and Elizabeth O. Davenport’s The Genealogies of the Families of Cohasset, Mass., p. 321, have no doubts that Urrohart meant Orcutt.

What JTO does claim is that according to [unnamed] Edson researchers, it has been proven that Susannah Orcutt was not Orcutt but Bickley, aunt to William Awcotte/Orcutt, not sister.  This author has been unable as of August 2001 to locate which Edson researchers relate the Bickley connection.  The only clue to connect with a name spelled like Awcotte is a statement in Jarvis Bonesteel Edson’s Edsons in England and America and Genealogy of the Edsons, 1903, pp. 89-90 as follows:

“Samuel Edson, furthermore, saw that his determination to become a colonist of Massachusetts Bay would permit his immediate marriage to Susanna Orcutt, with whom he had plighted troth


before he had given any thought to his going to New England.  The Orcutt family, as the Edson, had long been seated in Warwickshire.  The surname appears to be an etymological modification of the French compound, Orcote, which in England became corrupted into Alcott, Orcutt, Aucott, and Howcote.  Although many descendants of this long-known and highly respected family still reside in several of the parishes adjoining the parish of Fillongley, no trace of Susanna Orcutt’s parents seems now to exist.  The church register in which their baptism and marriage may have been entered is in all probability no longer extant.”

This reference makes no comment regarding a Susannah Bickley, so that must be a recent
discovery.  Jarvis Bonesteel Edson here is certainly simply speculating about the origins of the Orcutt name (appears to be), rather than showing knowledge of the Orcutt name’s history.

Because of this controversy, it may be worth noting here that the introductory portion of the document hand-written by Judge Elijah Hayward in 1853 and found in the Old Bridgewater Historical Society collection states the following:

“Deacon Samuel Edson was born in England 1612 came over early to Massachusetts; resided in Salem 1639 Married Susanna Orcutt about 1649 (supposed to have been a sister of William Orcutt who came from Scituate & settled in Bridgewater before 1682) removed to Bridgewater about 1651 and died July 9th 1692 aged 80 his will dated Jan. 15, 1688/0.  His wife was born in England 1618 and d. Feb. 20 1699 a. 81.”

Given the Edson family sources Judge Hayward cites, which are within a couple of generations of Samuel and Susannah Orcutt Edson, one wonders whether 20th century revisionist genealogists have not undertaken a narrow written paper document proof tack.  Certainly JTO and others do not effectively counter the multiple early and varied documentations and strong clues of Edson/Orcutt/Urquhart connections.  Nor do they utilize the approach of exploring the community history and traditions of the generations in question — including families with whom Orcutts intermarried.  The history is not so long ago as to qualify as pre-history, hence many clues can be found, and good judgment in assessing them all for probability is a worthy route.

In her genealogy following the line of John 2, Helen Judson states: in the absence of definite proof so far it may not be unreasonable to assume that the scion of the Urchards, Urquharts, Orquarts and those that had Anglicized the name to Orcutt was Sir (sic) Thomas Urquhart who died in 1557, for it was some of his sons that settled in England.  Early Orcutt Historians record that it was well understood among the descendants that their Orcutt Ancestors were of Scotch origin.  In fact, old Father William 1, and his sons and grandchildren, had such a Scottish burr in their speech that the clerks, registrars, and army officers had difficulty in spelling the name correctly for the records…. No record has been found of her [Susannah’s] parents under the name of Orcutt in Warwickshire, England.  It is possible that her parents didn’t Anglicize their name from Orchar, Urchard, Urquhart, or Orquart during their lifetime, but that their children changed the spelling when they took up their new life in America.  Records found in America give her birth as 1618, in Filloughley (sic), Warwickshire, England, a small village located about 10 miles


from the river Avon. [Helen Judson also cites Javis Bonesteel Edson’s work, thus is familiar with his speculation regarding the origin of the Orcutt name quoted above.]

Worth mentioning in this connection is the pronunciation of the name Urquhart in those days.  As best as can be ascertained — and written — a Scots pronunciation (depending on where the pronouncer originated in Scotland!) is “AHR-kart” with the accent on the first syllable.  Note how much closer to Orcutt (“ORE-cut”) that sounds, compared to our tendency today to pronounce Urquhart “URK-heart.”  If the two William Orcutts were illiterate and only pronounced the name, the spelling change seems to follow readily.

It may be worth mentioning too that there was soon such a significant Scottish settlement in Bridgewater, Mass. that a section of the town was designated Scotland.  A church (not that of the Rev. James Keith) was named the Scotland Church, and a portion of the cemetery was designated Scotland.  However, it may not be appropriate to cite the Scottish community in Bridgewater as a factor that may have attracted William 1 there, since it appears to have developed after his death, and there seems no causal connection with the Rev. James Keith (though this may bear further exploration and a visit to that church with a records check; the coincidence is a little striking, given the small population of the area).  Interestingly also, only one of William 1’s six sons with his descendants remained in Bridgewater, William 2 (however grandchildren of John and Joseph, possibly others, did return/marry Bridgewater men/women).   But William 2 was active in a church (not the Scotland church), a member of at least three committees established in 1730 to investigate charges against a minister.

Some of the topics JTO mentions concern this writer, too:  that William 1 is age 46 when he marries 24-year-old Mary Martha Lane (JTO thinks she is 18, following that mistaken baptismal year taken as birthyear also); a bit old even for those days of somewhat later marriage, especially for men, though certainly not unheard of.  Another possibility is that he was married earlier, even in England, and possibly emigrated when his first wife died.  Were there prior children?  But men typically didn’t marry until they had land, a homestead to provide.  Maybe he just didn’t get that, not even until Bridgewater.  And he IS a kind of Strom Thurmond, fathering his 12th child at age 67! (Mary Martha was 45 then.)

2nd, there is puzzlement about not being able to write his name, since Scots families, especially Highlanders, have long been so strong for education for their children and was an Urquhart tradition.  Was it difficult for Thomas Urquhart of Cromarty to educate all 25 sons who reached maturity?  Possibly this was a Fillongley issue?  Yet it would seem likely that as an Urquhart he would have remedied it; Samuel and Susannah Orcutt Edson seem to have done just that.

3rd, what in the world was he doing between 1664 and 1683?  Was he a seaman?  But where did that large family live?  With Lane relatives?  But they weren’t in the neighborhood of the 2nd Church, Scituate.  Records aren’t complete, certainly, but they are remarkably good for that era, and there is nothing at all to show land possession until Bridgewater.  This gives more credence to Helen Judson’s belief that he was a seaman; perhaps the family went with him aboard ship


(but so many?!).  There are certainly Urquhart seamen and ship builders, starting in Scotland, and coming to the New World.

A poignant supposition is to note that it is soon after two daughters died, Elizabeth baptized July 16, 1682 and Deborah baptized October 7, 1683 (both appearing to have died in their infancy), that immigrant William Orcutt moves his family to Bridgewater.  Could that situation of the death of two daughters in a row, possibly in two succeeding years, have been related in some way to the father’s career as a seaman, then the desire to change it?   The last daughter, Susannah, is born in Bridgewater in 1685.  William Orcutt, if born in 1618, was 67 when Susannah was born in Bridgewater, and wife Mary Martha was 45.

Immigrant William Orcutt died in Bridgewater September 14, 1693.  The inventory of his estate, translated as best as possible from the handwritten and fragmented 1693 document and retaining as much as is discernible about the spelling, capitalization, is as follows:

“An Inventory of the Effects of William orkat of ye towne of bridgewater in ye County of plimouth in new englend December ye fourteenth of September one thousand six hundred (rest is missing) ___ and ___ which is as followeth

(difficult to read: Imprimis To monoa?  Money?) — 4-3-0

to ___sing cloaths linin woollon and leather(?) 3-5-0
to beddes and furniture ______ 8-0-0
to __ __ pots and ___ 2-5-0
to ___ ___ ___ 2-5-0
to guns and a sword 1-15-0
to ___ ___ and other iron ware 1-16-0
to hoops __ ___ ___ and other lumber 1-5-0
to yarn __ __ and __ __ __ 3-16-0
to __ (lamp?)  and ___ 1-15-0
to ___ __ __ and __ __ 13-0-0
to ___, sheep (?) 1 mare bridle and saddle 22-0-0
to __ dwelling hous, barne and seventy (?) acors 40-0-0
of land joyning heirunto part being improved
to fifti acors of dormund land 2-10-0
to twenty acors more of land 2-0-0
to fifteen acors more 2-0-0
to 2 lots of maddow 2-0-0
to a whole share in ye __ swamp 1-0-0
to swine and tobacko 3-5-0
to things unseen and forgoton 1-10-0

The summ totall if no mistake in casting up is 119 pounds and eleven shillings.


This above Inventory was taken by us according to our best understanding this eleventh of october one thousand six hundred ninety and three as witnessed our hands.

John ____ (Arnold?)
John Leonard

(In another penmanship):
William Orcutt, eldest son of the above named William Orcut (deceased?) (made?) oath before William Bradford __ ___ (something judge?) of probate __ ye16th day of December 1693 that ye above written is a true Inventory of goods chattels __ __ __ of __    so far as his ___ and that __ __ ___ to him __ will make it __ (known?).
___ Saml Sprague (?) registrar (?)

This above written Inventory is recorded in ye 186th (?) page of plimouth country Book of __ for wills (?) __ January ye 16th 1693/4 __ Saml Sprague registrar(?)”

The next document is the agreement about the estate of William Orcutt 1:

“This Agreement made Between the widow orcut wife of William Orcut who deceased in the year 1693: Inhabitant in the Town of Bridgewater in the County of New Plimouth in New England: and her children, her Sons and Daughters whose Names Are here in mentioned: About the ___ of the Estat of Sd William Orcutt De__ (Deceased?) is As followeth

Inprimis(?) The widow Martha Orcut is to have the houseing and lands adjoyning __ with the benefit & priviliges there of untill her Son Thomas Orcut Comes of Twenty one years of Age and After Sd Thomas Orcut Come of Age __ widow orcut is To have foure Acres of broken up improfed Land: & her fire wood provided for her & full and free liberty to live in Sd house and improv(__) own ___ __ as she has ocassion Dureing the Time of her widowhood.

And to William Orcutt he is to have fifteen acres of Land being of __ and a five acre lot lying on the North Side of the Towne River and lying westward of a fifty acre lot of John Willis & a lot of ___ (next two lines illegible) William Orcut made over to him (illegible two lines) gift before his Decease.

And to (illegible: appears to be John Orcutt) ___ ___lying to the Northward of John __ house butting on the Easterly side of Sotuckot River: And this with what (land was?) made over to him by the deed of gift by his father William Orcut before his (decease?).

And to Andrew Orcut the land made over to him by Deed of Gift by his (father?) William Orcutt before his Decease: which land sd. Andrew has solde to brother John Orcutt above sd.

And to Joseph Orcut fifty acres of Land lying to the southwestward of ye __ pond the bounds of


which is ___ ___ in the ___ ___ book of Records: And A Third part of A lot of meadow lying __ of Bridgwater in A place known by the Name of the __ meadow and the other two thirds sd Joseph Orcut has bought of his brothers John and Andrew Orcutt.

And to Thomas Orcut half the lands ___ ___ ___ sd widow orcut Now lives: being thirty five acres more or less and halfe the house and barne when sd. Thomas Comes to be of the age of one and twenty years.

And Benjamin Orcutt [2nd t seems occasionally added in this document; interesting that people doing the writing/recording are aware of the two spellings] the other halfe of the Land Adjoyning to sd house Being about thirty five Adres more or less with the other halfe of the house and barne where the sd widow Orcut Now Lives when he comes of the age of one and twenty years or as his Guardian ___ ___ (does Cause?).

And To the Daughters of sd William Orcutt ___ As followeth Martha Orcut six pound
To Mary orcut six pound
To hanah orcut six pound
To Susanna orcut six pound which six pound is delivered in to her brother William orcuts hands to return the principle when sd Susanna Comes of Age or before if she stands in need of it.

This agreement made between the widow (blank space) orcut and her children Sons and Daughters whose Names are ___ above __ __ in Dividing of sd Estat of William__ __ __ Agreement wld(?) binde ourselves our hairs ___ __ __ to stand to: To which __ ___ __ __ __ __ and __ this thirtyth of october one thousand six hundred ninety four.
The widow Martha orcutt her   H mark (seal)
William Orcut his   0 mark (seal)
Andrew Orcut (seal)
John Orcut (seal)
Joseph Orcutt his @ mark (seal)
Martha Orcut her A mark (seal)
hanah orcut her ll mark (seal
Edward Mitchell (?) as __ __ [guardian?] to Thomas and Benjamin Orcutt (seal)
The mark H of Martha Orcut widdow in behalf of Susanna Orcutt (seal)

In the presence of (signatures below)
Ebenezer Allen
Samuel Allin sr. (?) — (whose handwritten appears same for whole document)
Thomas Michell
Jacob Michell

(Next two lines illegible) William Orcut Andrew Orcut John Orcut Joseph Orcut Martha Orcut Mary Orcut Hannah Orcut.  Edward Mitchell Guardian of Thomas and Benjamin Orcut (illegible crossover) And the said Widdow in behalf of Susanna her daughter came off of them personally


before me the subscriber Judge of Probate __ on ye 24 day of November 1694 & acknowledged the within and above written to be their own free acts and final settlement of ye Estate of William Orcut late of Bridgwater ___.
William Bradford

The above and within written agreement is recorded in ye 215th (?) and 216th pages of plymouth County Book of Records for Wills __ __ Saml Sprague Register
December 5th, 1694.”

Mary and/or Martha?

Notes regarding Mary Martha’s dual name: From Helen Judson, p. vii, The name Martha given as the widow of William Orcutt has given rise to the theory that Mary (Lane) Orcutt died early and that Martha Orcutt was his second wife.  This theory would seem to be without foundation for in the above-mentioned agreement she acknowledges all the children as those of her and William.  Also there has been found the Plymouth Probate Court record of the signing of an agreement upon the death of Andrew Lane, father of Mary (Lane) Orcutt and father-in-law of William Orcutt, July 27, 1675, with all the sons and sons-in-law, acquitting to their mother, Tryphena Lane, for her life, the use of the Estate of Andrew Lane.  William Orcutt signed this agreement with his mark O for his wife, Mary (Lane) Orcutt. [JOH: see p. 6 of this document for the text of that agreement.]  This is sufficient proof that Mary (Lane) Orcutt was not deceased in 1675 and that according to records found eight of the children of William and Mary (Lane) Orcutt had already been born.  The reason that Mary (Lane) Orcutt used the name Martha later in life can only be assumed, but there is little doubt that Mary Lane Orcutt and Martha Orcutt are one and same person from the information gathered from the Probate Court records above stated.  Hence, she is continually referred to here as Mary Martha.

The said Widow Orcutt survived her husband for another 19 years.  There were still three minor children to complete raising when William died:  Thomas (16 when his father died), Benjamin 14) and Susanna (8).  How long then did she continue to live in Bridgewater?  Thomas became 21 in 1698; notably, he sold land and a small house near Joseph Alden’s house in 1700 (the year co-heir brother Benjamin became 21), according to Mitchell’s History of Bridgewater, p. 249.  His inheritance, thus his mother’s home?  She must have moved by then by her own choice, possibly with Susanna who was then 15, since the Estate Agreement specified she could continue to live in the house after Thomas came of age as she has occasion during the time of her widowhood.  Thomas was married and settled in Cohasset in 1703; Benjamin married about 1705 and may have moved to Weymouth (both probably owned property in their new locations prior to their marriage, as was then the custom).  The date for Susanna’s marriage to Benjamin Washburn has not yet been identified.

Since Mary Martha Lane Orcutt’s death seems to be recorded at Weymouth as 1712, she may have moved to live with either second son, Andrew (married Francis Ward in 1692, first child Andrew born 1693, daughter Mary born 1699; youngest daughter Remember born about 1706 in


Weymouth) or after an interval her youngest son Benjamin, who himself died in Weymouth in 1770 (Benjamin married Elizabeth Randall about 1705; twins Martha and Silence Orcutt were born in Weymouth in 1719 or 1720; both Andrew and Benjamin had daughters named possibly for their mother).

A side comment is to note here that in Mary Martha’s later years, at least by her 1712 death, she wasn’t living near/with eldest son and co-executor William 2, the only son who remained in Bridgewater for the rest of his life (died there 1739).  There is some question among a few researchers that William 2 and Hannah Smith, married 1698, may have divorced (they had three daughters born between 1700 and 1702) and there is no record of Hannah’s death.  William 2 married 3rd Hannah Newton April 10, 1706 (did Mary Martha disapprove of that marriage?  That marriage produced William’s only sons, David b. about 1708, Moses b. about 1713, and Caleb b. about 1715); some researchers believe William 2 was married only twice, probably confusing the two Hannahs.

But had there been a divorce — something presumably unusual in those days — there surely should be some sort of record; none appears.   It might have created some sort of scandal.

However, William 2 was later a member of several sensitive and important small church committees years later, in July, October, and December of 1730, relating to investigations of the minister Rev. Benjamin Allen which led to Allen’s dismissal.  So he was clearly in good church standing then, 24 years after his 3rd marriage to Hannah Newton.  Still — Mary Martha didn’t go to live with either son William or her married daughters in Bridgewater.  Interesting.
Mary Martha’s Era

Mary Martha Lane Orcutt witnessed the impact of significant events in the history of western civilization.  She was firstborn of a family that immigrated from England only 15 years after the arrival in Plymouth of the Mayflower.  Growing up in the Hingham home of her father Andrew Lane who immigrated in 1635 from England to Massachusetts with his father, Mary Martha probably knew her grandfather William Lane, who died in 1654.  At age 24/25 came her marriage and probably odd and dangerous life with a — to us — mysterious seaman (perhaps) whose family according to tradition descended from the Scottish Urquhart Clan (perhaps).  Then she and the family joined the first generation of settlers in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, related by marriage to the prominent Edson family there.   Her widowhood came in the year of the Glencoe Massacre in Scotland and the aftermath of the Witch Hunt in Salem, Mass. (her younger brother and sister-in-law Andrew and Elizabeth Eames Lane had later publicly defended a woman charged with witchcraft).  The life of Mary Martha Lane Orcutt was definitely that of  a colonial pioneer.

The land of her birth was yet a colony of England (and Scotland wasn’t yet part of  the Great Britain realm — but that came in 1707, five years before Mary Martha’s death), and during her


lifetime Charles I (from the Scottish Stuart family, born in Dumfermline, Fife, Scotland) was executed in 1649 when she was nine. Cromwell’s interregnum republic governed England next (1649-1658 — a relative of her husband’s, Sir Thomas Urquhart, was imprisoned in the Tower of London following the royalist loss of the 1651 Battle of Worcester).  The monarchy was restored in 1660 with Charles II (to the sounds of the laughter of said Sir Thomas Urquhart, which laughter was reputedly the cause of his expiration in the Netherlands where he had moved, presumably a stroke), just four years before she and William Orcutt married in 1664/5.

James VII/II reigned after his brother’s death from 1685 to 1688 as last of the Stuarts who originated in Scotland; in 1689 William (implicated for Scotland’s Glencoe Massacre) and Mary came to the English throne following the defeat/desertion of James.  After they died childless, the throne passed in 1702 to Queen Anne (William’s sister-in-law) during Mary Martha Lane Orcutt’s later years; hers was the reign during which the Treaty of Union between England and Scotland came into effect on May 1, 1707. [And what did the Orcutts think about that?!]

For that matter, what was it like, for Mary Martha Lane to be married to this son of Scotland who was considerably older than herself, herself of English descent?  Whatever the politics, it was clearly preferable for both the Lane family and for William Orcutt to take the risks of making a living in England’s colony in the New World than to do so in the Great Britain developing across the ocean.

Perhaps more can be surmised about Mary Martha, her values and family traditions, than from the sparse information we have about William Orcutt himself.  Her Lane family came to the New World fully a generation before she married William Orcutt.  It is intriguing to imagine what may have been the circumstances of Mary Martha’s and William’s meeting in the Hingham area, as it is about many aspects of their life as a couple and a family.  High family standards of conduct, responsibility and values are very much a part of the family traditions of both the Lanes and the Orcutts, and went far to aid them in their difficult and demanding lives in the 1600s-early 1700s in Massachusetts.  Giving birth to twelve children (including twins, both of whom lived to adulthood) and raising ten of them to adulthood and families of their own; possibly caring for small children during lengthy and dangerous periods at sea with a seaman husband for as many as 20 years; frightened during King Phillip’s War in 1675 (the year of her father’s death) when Hingham and Scituate neighborhoods were terrified by Indians killing whites and burning their homes while their men marched to protect them; nearly a decade later moving many miles away from the vicinity of her family of birth — her mother still living in Hingham until dying at age 95 in 1706 — to the Bridgewater frontier settlement, furthest western settlement at that time in Massachusetts, herself yet grieving the quickly-succeeding infant deaths in 1682 and 1683 of two of her children — such a record is a  tribute to the courage, energy, stamina, and sense of the high importance of family embodied by Mary Martha Lane Orcutt.   She could say, in the early 1700s: “And I’m still here!”

Transcribed by Danielle Mead Skjelver.


Heirloom Stitches

November 1993/Slope News
By Michelle McCormack

Petra Klug can’t tell you how many quilts she’s made in the past 20 years or even in her lifetime of practicing a craft she learned from her mother. “I suppose I could read through my diaries and get a count, but I have too many other things to do,” she says with a laugh.

Petra Klug was 79 years old on July 4, but as one of her friends says, “She has the bounce of an 18 year-old.” Her plans include a lot of future activities – trips to Norway and things she is going to do while she can still get around. But even when she sits, her hands are busy. The end result is an abundance of quilts, for family and friends and for sale.

The Attic Quilts

Many of the quilts made by Petra have been commissions, ordered as gifts for weddings, graduations, babies and other special events. She has a small collection of special heirloom quilts, kept in storage for her grandchildren. “They all chose the one they wanted, and I put their names on them,” says Petra. She was particularly touched when her grandson chose a quilt that was one of her first quilting projects as a young girl. Other special quilts include a wild-rose, appliquéd quilt that took, “hours of embroidery stitching,” and a basket quilt with a long history.

“The basket quilt started out as a quilt my mother made, with 20 pieced baskets on it,” says Petra. “When she died, my three sisters and I cut the quilt apart, and we each got five of the baskets.” The baskets are various calicos, and the surrounding white pieces were originally made from sugar sacks. Petra replaced the sugar-sack cloth and added blue squares to alternate with the basket patterns, then quilted the whole thing. It is a quilt that holds many memories for her.

A Natural Talent

When you ask Petra about the mechanics of her craft, it becomes obvious that she has done it for so long, and with such natural talent, that there is not a lot of struggle involved. “I just let the colors tell me where they want to go,” she says. But when it comes to sewing, she is a perfectionist – those corners have to meet!

When her quilt top has been pieced and all the colors are where they should be, the quilting process begins. Petra uses a full-size quilt frame, held up by four chairs. She sits on a tall stool while she stitches. The backing, batting and quilt top are stretched to give the characteristic puffiness around the stitches.

Petra doesn’t use a thimble or leather quilter’s pad, because she says she “needs to feel what’s going on.” She takes two to three stitches at a time, always uses hand-quilting thread and a very short needle.

Quilters Club

Petra is a member of the Bowman Lutheran Church quilters group that makes quilts for the missions. They use scraps of fabric cut from donated old d clothes. They meet every Monday, and various members rip, press and cut the fabric into squares or strips. Petra prefers sewing as her part in this group effort. The quilts are tied rather than hand-quilted. “We’ve made hundreds of quilts together, I’m sure,” says Petra. The group is making plans to produce quilts for all the high-school graduates from their church this spring.

Displayed With Pride

On Petra’s bed and on a quilt rack in her room are various quilts she likes to look at, including her favorite patter, the log cabin. Her quilts are also for sale at the Dakotah Winds Gift Shop in Bowman. “I try to price them reasonably, considering all the hours of work that go into a guilt,” she says. That is especially true of a pieced-and-quilted, rather than tied, quilt. “I can have up to 700 hours of work in one quilt,” Petra says. The end result of all those hours is a beautiful piece of needlework art that can be displayed with pride anywhere.

Transcribed by Danielle Mead Skjelver
Update: Petra Klug is now 101 years old – a living example of how to do life well by finding happiness in adversity, staying connected to loved ones, and using her gifts every day.

Early America, Genealogy, History, The Women Who Married The Orcutt Men, Theology

Danielle Mead Skjelver’s First Novel

Winner, National Historic Research & Preservation Award
Daughters of Colonial Wars
Massacre: Daughter of War


“A master storyteller … The best book I have read in twenty years!”
– Lieutenant Colonel James Munroe, United States Marine Corps

“Never in all my years of reading have I ever enjoyed or been so moved by a book!”
– Susan White McCarvill, Mohawk & French

Cover 4th Prtg

This novel tells the long forgotten story of Hannah Hawks Scott, a woman whom Joseph Anderson called the most afflicted woman in all New England. Born to a soldier in King Philip’s War, Hannah found herself caught in the inevitable clash of two cultures. Yet, she was not alone in her affliction. Drawing on many sources, the author weaves into Hannah’s story the tale of a fictional Pequot boy whose life redefines the word “massacre.” Spanning the 1637 attack on the Pequot Fort to the 1704 raid of Deerfield, Massachusetts, and through Queen Anne’s War, Massacre: Daughter of War delivers a powerful examination of the conflict between Puritan colonists and the First Nations of North America. Follow the lives of Hannah and this young boy as they endure the nightmare of war ~ each struggling for family, each struggling for home.

“We were spellbound!”
– Chaplain Dick Eisemann, United States Air Force, Lt. Col., Ret.

“A must read!”
– Linda F. Skarnulis, Regent, Trumbull-Porter Chapter
National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, Colonial Dames

“A colonial America must-read…”
– Edward Ellis, Author, In This Small Place

“Pervading the page-turner is the finest job I have ever seen to treat with fairness and credibility the viewpoints (including religious) of both the Native American Indians and the English settlers — remarkable! There are lessons for our time in this…. I don’t know when I have been so deeply moved, to the core of my being…. Nor have I read, I don’t recall, such a very satisfying book — one that takes questions that matter so greatly to me, and carries them through so lovingly, so care-fully, to amazingly healing and peaceful places of rest.”
– Judy Holy, Author, The Women Who Married The Orcutt Men

“I could not put it down… Much research went into the writing of that book …. it should be required reading for high school students…”
– Florence Crowell, Author, Images of America: Watertown
President, Watertown Historical Society

“Skjelver writes one helluva remarkable, fine book! … a WONDERFUL BOOK!”
– Richard Morgan, History Department, North Dakota State University, Ret.



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Waters Genealogy

Transcribed from Florence Pluma Waters Orcutt’s Genealogy Notes

Early History

Abner Waters, Sr. (1) (the first Waters of whom we have record) married Lydia Root, at Hebron, Conn.

Abner Waters, Jr. (2) one of their sons, was born in Hebron, Conn. In April, 1755, and moved from Hebron when about 8 years of age to Hartland, Hartford County, Conn.  He was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, enlisting with the Granville, Mass. Company, which is just across the state line from Hartland.  He served in the army 11 mo. 23 da. With the rank of Private, under Capt. Libbins Ball.  This war record was obtained from the Bureau of Pensions at Washington.  After his return from the war he lived at Granville the next few years.  He then lived in Granby, Hartland County, Conn.  We next find him in Otis and Standisfield, Berkshire County, Mass., from which County he emigrated to Ohio in 1810, settling at Gustavus, Trumbull County, Ohio.

He bought 400 acres of land at 15 cents an acre.  At that time the land carried the burden of mighty forests.  Its giant resources were not yet realized and even its boundless extent was not yet known.

When Abner Waters Sr. (1) came to Ohio in 1810 his family consisted of 4 sons and 5 daughters whose names were as follows:

  • Abner Jr.               m. 1st Anna Brewster                 m.  2nd Lucy Manley
  • Laura,                   m. Hon. Joshua R. Giddings
  • Lura,                     m. Frederick Udell
  • Pheba,                  m. Lynus Jones
  • Solomon,              m. Anna Pelton
  • Lester,                   m. Laura Twitchell
  • Hiram,                   m. Esther Houghton
  • Chena,                  m. Luther Simons
  • Aruba,                   m. Elijah Youmans

Two sons of Abner Waters Sr. (Abner Jr. and Lester) were still in Mass., and as an inducement for them to come to Ohio he offered to give them 50 A. of land.

“On Sept. 19, 1813, Abner Waters, Jr. and his wife Lucy Manley Waters, started from Berkshire County, Mass. and arrived at Gustavus, Ohio, Oct. 15th, at his father’s log house.  The next day they went to work and cut down timber and rolled the logs together for a house and in 4 days they moved in, hung up blankets at the doors, and in a few days have a floor laid of hewed logs, and one partition for a bedroom.  They brought their beds and bedding with them; came in a 2 horse covered wagon, and cooked their meals by the roadside.  They would stop a day and do a washing in a stream of water.  When they first came to Ohio they attended church in Wayne (north of Gustavus) but in 5 years the inhabitants of Gustavus built a church and formed a membership of 19 members.  Abner Waters and his wife having two of that number and remaining in the church as faithful members.”  (Quoted from letter written by Aunt Lorena)

1st and 2nd Generations Review 

(1) Abner Waters, Sr.        b. April, 1758        d. Dec. 11, 1838

Lived at Hebron, Hartland Co., Conn., Granville, Mass., Granby, Conn., Berkshire County, Mass., and Gustavus, Ohio.

Soldier and Pioneer

(2) Abner Waters, Jr.        b. Feb. 1, 1782        d. Jan. 28, 1869

Lived at Hebron, Hartland Co., Conn., Berkshire County, Mass., and Gustavus, Trumbull Co., Ohio


(3) Milton Brewster Waters        b. May 12, 1812 at Gustavus        d. Sept. 26, 1882 at Mesopotamia, Ohio

Lived at Gustavus, Mecca, Harsgrove, Middlefield, and Mesopotamia, Ohio

Carpenter and Joiner; Farmer

Married Pluma Moore (whose mother was Alcinda Adams Moore) on Sept. 22, 1835

[There is a note which is obviously incorrect as a marriage date but is perhaps a birthdate for Pluma or a marriage date for Alcinda.  The note is “m. 1-31-1808”.  It is one of Fred Orcutt’s notes. Transcriber’s Note]

Children of Milton B. and Pluma Moore Waters:

  • Philander Milton   b. 7-31-36    m. Maria Reynolds          7-3-67
  • Darwin Whiting     b. 9-9-37      m. Nettie Scott                11-26-68
  • Laura Ann            b. 12-8-39    m. Waite Gardiner           8-15-83
  • Willis Moore        b. 5-4-40      m. Alice Bierce                5-19-64        d. 11-24-64
  • Lucia Lucinda*     b. 11-13-41  m. Orrin Bates                 12-22-64
  • Azilia Julia§         b. 5-1-41      m. Alba B. Martin            9-27-66
  • Robert Bruce        b. 9-3-45      m. Ellen (Nell) Armstrong
  • Orleca**§            b. 9-15-47    m. Orland J. Martin         12-25-72
  • Orpha Amanda     b. 8-4-42      m. Andrew S. Barnes      6-22-70

*Lucia’s middle name is in question from Fred Orcutt’s notes. His notes read: “(?Alcinda?)” and refers to the Waters Family Bible. [Transcriber’s Note]

** Orleca’s name is also in question; Fred Orcutt states that her name appears as “Orlia” in the Waters Bible. [Transcriber’s Note]

§Married Martin brothers, so their children were double cousins of Florence, Elva, and Ralph Waters

(4) Darwin Whiting Waters        b. Sept. 9,1837        d. Feb. 27, 1919 Family Bible says 2-26-19

Lived at Mecca, Middlefield, Huntsburg, Bloomfield, Austinburg, Ohio, and last 8 years of life at Sioux City, Iowa.

Occupation:  Farmer, Salesman (He also fought in the civil war under Generals Grant and Hooker and Sherman.  See 9thgeneration of Scott Family.) 

Married Nettie Scott, daughter of Frederic Scott of Huntsburg   Nov 26, 1868

Children of Darwin W. and Nettie S. Waters:

  • Katherine             b. Jan 15, 1870      d. in infancy
  • Florence Pluma    b. July 28, 1871     d. 9-8-62
  • Elvira Jane*          b. Jan. 10, 1875     d. 11-17-50
  • Calvin John          b. March 26, 1881 d. at 8 mo.
  • Ralph Milton        b. Oct. 9, 1883  (For Ralph’s Story, see 9th Generation of Scott Family.)

*Elvira Jane Waters married Edwin G. Hastings Sept. 16, 1902 at Austinburg, Ohio. (Unclear if Edwin or Elvira) d. 9-29-53 at Orlando.

(5) Florence Pluma Waters (Orcutt)         b. in Huntsburg, Ohio, July 28, 1871

Lived in Huntsburg; Bloomfield; Austinburg, and Cleveland, Ohio; in Holyoke, Mass; Middletown, Conn.; Sioux City, Iowa; Citronella, Ala.; Orlando, Fla.

m. Robert Orcutt Aug. 23, 1900 at Austinburg, Ohio

d. Sept. 8, 1962 (buried Woodlawn west of Orlando, Fla.) Note of her son Fred.

Children of Florence and Robert Orcutt:

  • Dora Janette                   b. Aug. 2, 1903      d. 10-4-47
  • Helen Elizabeth            b. July 3, 1906
  • Fred Scott                     b. Nov. 27, 1907
  • This listing is incomplete to respect living persons. [Transcriber’s Note]

(5) Ralph Milton Waters married Lulu Diehl Oct. 21, 1913 at Cleveland. Lulu was born 1-1-89

Children of Ralph Milton Waters:

  • This listing is incomplete to respect living persons. [Transcriber’s Note]

Orcutt Genealogy

Transcribed from Florence Pluma Waters Orcutt’s Genealogy Notes

William Orcutt and his wife Mary* came from Scotland and settled in Scituate, Massachussets.  With them were 2 children, William and Andrew born in Scotland.  The spelling of his name up to the latter part of the 17th century is given “Urquhart” but it is very probably that all who spell their “Orcutt” are descendants of this William Orcutt.

*Mary Martha Lane Married at Hingham, Mass in 1663-64.

1st Generation in America

William and Mary Orcutt

  • William        b. 1618 in Scotland (This first entry is not clear.  There are side notes indicating:  Fillongley, Warwickshire, England.  Came to America 1664.)
  • Andrew       b. 1666 in Scotland
  • John            b. 1669
  • Martha         b. 1671
  • Joseph         b. 1672
  • Mary AND Hannah (twins) b. 1675
  • Thomas      b. 1677
  • Benjamin      b. 1679
  • Elizabeth      b. 1682
  • Deborah      b. 1683
  • Susannah     b. 1685 (named for Thomas’ wife’s sister, Susannah)

Moved to Bridgewater, Mass 1685

in “Mitchell’s—History of Bridgewater, Mass”

2nd Generation

Thomas m. Jane Emerson and settled in Hingham, Mass.

  • Emerson     b. Aug. 1, 1713

3rd Generation

Emerson m. Mary Gardiner Apr. 3, 1735.  Settled in Scituate and moved to Abington, Mass. in 1750

  • Elijah         b. June 5, 1737 (84 Abington d. Dec. 1,1871)
  • Hannah        b. 1740
  • Mary           b. 1743
  • Emerson      b. 1746

4th Generation

Elijah m. Prudence Hayden June 4, 1770

  • Mary           b. 1770
  • David          b. 1772
  • Nancy          b. 1775
  • Hannah        b. 1777
  • Emerson     b. September 23, 1779
  • Mehitable     b. 1785
  • Elisha          b. 1788
  • Jane             b. 1791

Elijah Orcutt served in War of Revolution as Private in Capt. Edward Cobb’s Company, Major Carey’s Regiment, which marched July 30, 1780, on the “Rhode Island Alarm.”  He marched from Abington, Mass. To Tiverton, R.I.  (See “Mass. Soldiers and Sailors” Vol. II, pg. 662)  Record upon which Robert W. Orcutt’s membership in Sons of the American Revolution was based.

5th Generation 

Emerson m. Mehitable Vining (See Vining page for extensive research by Judy Orcutt Holy.)

  • Elisha           b. 1805
  • Emerson      b. 1806
  • Diantha        b. 1808
  • Lewis           b. 1812
  • William         b. 1817
  • Oran             b. 1819

Oran  m. Mary Jones       Apr. 8, 1858

m. Melana Winchester     Jan. 1, 69.

Removed to Austinburg, Ohio in Apr., ’58 – this was Edwin (your Grandpa) Orcutt’s uncle in whose shoe shop he worked till he started one in connection with his own shoe store in the brick block in Austinburg.  (See below.)

6th Generation

(William Orcutt Branch)

William m. Esther Daman of Hanover, Mass  Apr. 9th, 1837

  • Rowena (Fred Everson’s mother) m. Otis Everson
  • William Edwin b. Oct. 4, 1841, d. Jan. 8, 1911 (Your Grandpa Orcutt)

m. Anna Shaw – no children.  (Anna Shaw was your Grandpa Orcutt’s step-mother who made his childhood so miserable.)  (Photo of Grandpa William Edwin Orcutt below 7th Generation heading.) 

6th Generation 

(Oran Orcutt Branch)

This is not your branch of the Family but of great interest because Oran Orcutt and his 2nd wife Melana took Edwin into their home after his father died, and he was part of their family till he married.  Brad and Will and Orpha were like brothers and sister to him.  Uncle Oran lived and had his place of business on the corner where later Myron Porter’s store was.  Then Ed Phelps lived there.  It was Orpha who kept house for them and mothered the Boys after their Mother died.

Oran m. Mary Jones

  • Ellen Frances
  • Mary Williams m. E.H. Girney (sp?) (Agnes Pinkerton is her child.)
  • Oran Bradford (Brad)  his wife is Lora who lives in Calif.  Brad died before 1900.  They had 2 children – Mildred and Wade.
  • Joseph Wilson (Will)  His wife was Fanny Guernsey and they had 2 children –  Della who is Principal of a school in Waterloo, Iowa – and Guernsey who is an attorney in Pittsburgh.  Will Orcutt was State Senator in S. Dak. At the time he was killed by a runaway train (I am not certain that “train” is the word.  It could be “team.”) – thus his wife Fanny went back to Osage, Iowa with her 2 children Della and Guernsey.

m.     Melana

  • Edith –  Fred Mills wife
  • Orpha m. Dr. Fred Hart   They had Edith and 2 Sons.

7th Generation 

For Photographs of William Edwin Orcutt, see Orcutt page.

William Edwin m. Deborah (Dora) Cook Jan. 17, 1864.  Dora b. 1848, d. Nov. 17, 1886

  • Edwin Otis (Otis)   b. Feb. 21, 1867, d. 1915          m. Katheryn Smith          Apr. 20, 1892
  • Willard Merton      b. Sept. 9, 1868         m. Lydia Emerson Woolever            Sept. 10, 1894
  • Walter Winfred      b. Apr. 30, 1870        m. Nellie Elizabeth Ochsner             March 25, 1896
  • Robert William    b. Feb. 2, 1874            m. Florence Pluma Waters              August 23, 1900

William Edwin (Grandpa Orcutt and known among his friends in Austinburg as “Ed Orcutt” served in the Cavalry during Civil War.)  

8th Generation 

Edwin Otis m. Kathryn Smith

  • Roger          b. April 13, 1896 – d. April 15, 1896

Willard Merton m. Lydia Woolever

  • Willard Emerson             b. Apr. 22, 1899              m. Gretchen Riemenschneider
  • Edwin Paul (Paul)            b. Oct. 7, 1900                m. Margaret Orr
  • John Bruce (Bruce           b. Apr., 1904                  m. Dessie Ochsner

(Bruce and Dessie had a ranch in Miles City, MT, and wrote poetry.  I remember fond stories about these two families but am fuzzy on details.) 

Walter Winfred      m. Nellie Elizabeth Ochsner

  • Pearl            b. Dec. 22, 1896                                 m. Phillips Austin
  • Clara Mae    b. Jan. 16, 1909                                  m. Anthony Flamer (sp?)

Robert William    m. Florence Waters

Genealogy, The Women Who Married The Orcutt Men

Mehitable Vining – The Women Who Married the Orcutt Men

Compiled by Judy Orcutt Holy

Mehitable Vining

Emerson (5) Orcutt, fifth generation of Orcutts in New England, is to be kept distinguished from his grandfather Emerson (3) Orcutt.  Emerson 5 married Mehitable Vining on March 10, 1804 in Abington, Massachusetts (FSO, p. 62, citing Abington V.R.).

Among their six children (one of whom died before 1 year of age) begins somewhat new naming patterns.  To begin with, as with Prudence Hayden of the prior chapter, little could be found for Mehitable Vining’s family of origin.  The difficulty in Mehitable’s case is due to the fact that almost no records for their home town of Abington are available in genealogical libraries, in contrast to the towns of Scituate, Hingham/Cohasset, the Bridgewaters.  (The same circumstance occurs also for the following two wives, as well:  Esther Damon, married William 6 Orcutt, and Dora Cook, married William Edwin 7 Orcutt.  Although the family names for all three women, Vining, Damon, and Cook, occur frequently in early southeastern Massachusetts history, the difficulty is to find the direct family links to prior generations of each family in the Abington area in order to document each wife’s family line.)

However, naming patterns can provide clues, and this does continue to occur with the oldest son of Emerson 5 and Mehitable Vining Orcutt:  Elisha Vining (6) Orcutt.  Although the given name “Elisha” occurs as a son of Elijah 4 and Prudence Hayden Orcutt, it seems quite probable that Mehitable’s father’s name was Elisha Vining.

Mehitable Vining’s background:

Again, as with Prudence Hayden, a World Family Tree (WFT) record provided a clue leading to the Weymouth area [in the following, as before, generations are added by JOH in brackets]:  A Mehitable Vining [6], born 1783 [no location given], father given as Elisha Vining, born 1714 in Weymouth, Massachusetts [however it is more likely that Elisha, Jr. [5] was Mehitable’s father, since the dates strongly suggest another intervening generation.  Corroboration for this supposition comes from a marriage record in Abington for Elisha Vining, Jr. [5] m. Deborah Fullington, May 2, 1764 (Early Massachusetts Marriages, edited by Rev. Frederick W. Bailey, 1897-1914, reprinted 1968, vol. 2:152); further corroboration comes from the Vining website by Karolyn Roberts at — she gives the following information:  RV172 Elisha Vining b. 1714 Weymouth, Norfolk, MA.  d. 1799 MA (The Vining Families, Chap. 3) m. 12/3/1741 Hingham, MA Mary Leavitt (dau. Israel Leavitt and Mary Bates) b. 6/24/1722, Hingham;  RV1721 Elisha Vining, Jr.  (Hist. of Weymouth, Chamberlain) b. 1742 Abington, Plymouth, MA – d. 3/11/1822 MA (Ancestral Records) m. 5/2/1764 Abington, Plymouth, MA Deborah Fullington (Early MA Marriages of Plymouth Co.) b. MA – d. 12/21/1822 MA.  Elisha of Abington, Private, Capt. Edward Cobb’s Co. of Militia, Col. Edward Mitchell’s Regiment which marched April 20, 1775 in response to the alarm of April 19, 1775 from Abington and Bridgewater to Marshfield; service:  3 days.  (Prominent American Descendants of Dorothea Vining Barnes);   RV17211 Deborah Vining b. 8/7/1766 Abington, Plymouth, MA (VR of Abington) – d. MA (Ancestral Records);  RV172111 Laura Vining b. 8/28/1802 Abington, Plymouth, MA  (VR of Abington)].

Note by JOH:  It is worth pointing out here that Elijah 4 Orcutt also served in Capt. Edward Cobb’s Co. over five years later during a 3-day service from July 30, 1780 to August 1, 1780.  See Chapter Four of this series (on Prudence Hayden), p. 20.  So Emerson 5’s father served in the same company as did his wife’s father, Elisha Vining 5.  See also the note that Elijah 4 Orcutt’s father Emerson 3 had purchased land from an Edward Cobb in 1766, same source/page.

Elisha Vining 4’s father is given in the WFT as George Vining [3], born 1679 in Weymouth, died 27 Mar. 1723 in Weymouth; m. Hannah Judkins, birthdate and place unknown according to this record died 14 Apr. 1720 in Weymouth.  However, in her Vining family chart posted on the Internet ( Joan Vining McGovern states that “257.Hannah Judkins was born on 14 Feb. 1676 in Boston, Suffolk, Ma.  She died on 17 Feb. 1774 in Weymouth, Norfolk, Ma.”

This WFT Vining chart can be corroborated in George Walter Chamberlain’s Genealogies of the Early Families of Weymouth, Massachusetts, republished in 1984, additionally giving George Vining 3’s father as John Vining [2] who was apparently the Vining immigrant ancestor.

Chamberlain’s entire account up to Elisha Vining [4] follows:

“JOHN VINING [2] had five acres of land granted to him by the selectmen of Weymouth, 14 Dec. 1663, in the First Division, and fifteen acres in the Second Division.  (Weymouth Land Grants, 282, 283.)  He or his son of the same name was made a freeman of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, 23 May, 1666 [JOH:  note that these records come, not from Plymouth Colony territory as for the prior four Orcutt wives’ families, but from the Massachusetts Bay Colony; Weymouth was then in Suffolk County].  There is a statement in the Register, 8:162, that he came in 1652 [JOH:  if as some records suggest, William 1 Orcutt arrived in Weymouth in 1660, he would have followed John Vining by around 8 years; would that someone had documented WO’s arrival, as the following account does for John Vining!].   Hilliard Veren, clerk of court at Salem certified under oath that he understood that John Vining from [Wincanton in Somersetshire] “came abord of Mr. Stratton’s ship” with others, sworn to 27 June, 1682.  (Essex Deeds, B.6, p. 168.)  He died at Weymouth, Feb. 1685.  He married (1) at Weymouth, 11 May, 1657, Margaret Read, daughter of William and Avis Read, baptized at Long Sutton, Somersetshire, 20 Jan. 1635-36; she died at Weymouth 6 July, 1659.  He married (2) at Weymouth, 22 Jan. 1659-60, Mary Reed, daughter of Philip and Mary Reed of Weymouth, John Vining was one of the appraizers of the estate of Margaret Snooke of Weymouth, widow of James Snooke, 9 May, 1660.  (Register, 9:338.)  She died at Weymouth, 2 Sept. 1717.   “Being weak of body” he made his will 18 Jan. 1685, proved 17 Feb. 1685, in which he mentions his eldest son John to have the new house which I have lately built, his wife Mary, son George under 21, son Samuel likewise under 21, four daughters, Jane, Sarah, Hannah and Margaret, to each 15 pounds at the age of 20, youngest son Benjamin, wife executrix.  Overseers, my friend Capt. John Holbrook and my kinsman Joseph Dyer. [JOH: probably closed quotes should follow Dyer’s name, concluding the direct quote of John Vining [2]’s will.]  (Suffolk Probate Records, 6:516.)  Inventory, taken 8 Feb. 1685, valued at 468 pounds, 19 shillings [JOH:  a sizeable estate in those days!] (Ibid. 9:259.) John Vining [2], son of Robert Vining [1], was baptized at Wincanton, Somersetshire, 17 Apr. 1636.  (Register, 66:188.)  [JOH:  An internet Vining researcher describes Robert Vining as “Owner of the White Horse Inn, Wincanton, England; another says he was born 1610.  Joan Vining McGovern’s internet site given above also lists Robert Vining as father to John Vining:  “1024 Robert Vining was b. in Wincanton, Somerset, Eng.  He married Mary (Vining); she died on 19 Apr. 1672.”]

Children by second wife [i.e. Mary Reed], born at Weymouth:

  • John 2 [JOH:  3 for our purposes, grandfather Robert being counted as 1], b. 15
    Apr.  1662.
  • Mary [3], b. 18 June, 1664.
  • Thomas [3], b. 30 Oct. 1667.
  • Samuel [3], b. 2 Feb. 1669-70.
  • Jane [3], b. 7 July, 1672; m. 1692, Jacob Turner
  • Margaret [3], b. 19 Mar. 1682
  • Benjamin [3], b. 22 July, 1684.
  • Sarah [3], b. perhaps 1675; m. 19 Nov. 1700, Nicholas Whitman of Bridgewater.
  • George [3], b. perhaps 1679.
  • Hannah, alive 18 Jan. 1685.  [JOH: as mentioned in JV’s will above.]”

Chamberlain reports that John [3] Vining [great-uncle to our Mehitable], whom he calls John Vining, Jr., lived and died in Weymouth, leaving son John and daughter Mary who married Ephraim Richards of Weymouth.

Likewise, Samuel [3] Vining married Sarah ___ and “removed to Enfield before 1717.”

It is worth noting in the context of John Vining [2]’s will the reference to “my kinsman Joseph Dyer” as one of the two overseers to the carrying out of John Vining [2]’s will as well as a witness to the will.  This Joseph Dyer appears to have been the son of Deacon Thomas Dyer who settled in Weymouth before 1641 and whose first wife appears to have been Agnes Reed.  According to Chamberlain, “Philip Reed of Weymouth, in his will dated 15 Dec. 1674, called Thomas Dyer his beloved brother.  They may have had one mother, or married sister, or Reed may have married Dyer’s sister, or Dyer may have married Reed’s sister; in any case they would call each other brothers.”  (Chamberlain, p. 209.)  Phillip Reed, of course, was John Vining’s father-in-law.  Another aspect:  according to Joan Vining McGovern, Phillip Reed married Mary Dyer on 26 Oct. 1635 in Long Sutton, Somerset, England; Mary died in Weymouth, Ma.

Next, Chamberlain records the following for Mehitable’s great-grandfather:

“GEORGE [3] VINING was born at Weymouth, near 1679; died there 27 Mar. 1723.  He married at Weymouth, 10 Oct. 1700, Hannah Judkins [4] who was probably the Hannah Vining who died at Weymouth, 14 Apr. 1720.  [JOH:  Joan Vining McGovern’s listing for Hannah Judkins Vining states in contrast that she died 17 Feb. 1774 in Weymouth.]
Children, born at Weymouth:

  • Thomas [4], b. 14 Sept. 1703.
  • Elisha [4], b. near 1714.
  • George [4], b. ____.”

According to Joan Vining McGovern, Hannah Judkins [4]’s father was “Samuel Judkins [3] who was born on 27 Nov. 1638 in Boston, Suffolk, Ma.  He died on 22 Feb. 1676 in Hingham, Ma. [JOH:  another chart states that Samuel Judkins died 22 Feb.1675/76  in Medfield, Norfolk, Ma.] He married Elizabeth Leavitt [2] on 23 Mar. 1667  in Hingham, Ma.  Elizabeth Leavitt was b. on 28 Apr. 1644 in Hingham, Ma.  She died 4 Feb. 1689.  Her father was Dea. John Leavitt [1] b. 1608 [abt. 1602] in Beverly, Norfolk, Eng.  who d. 20 Nov. 1691 in Hingham, Plymouth, Ma.  He m. Mary Lovett [or Levett/Leavitt/Lovit] who was b. 1617 [1615] in Plymouth, Devonshire.  She d. 6 Dec. [4 Jul] 1646 in Hingham, Plymouth [Suffolk], Ma.

An additional chart carries the Judkins’ Leavitt line further back.  John Leavitt [1]’s father was Percival Levett or Leavit, b. 1580 in Beverly, Yorkshire, England, d. 16 Dec. 1646/47; he m. Margaret Linkley in 1607; she b. 1589 in Beverly, Yorkshire, England.   Percival Leavitt’s father was also named Percival Levett (Leavitt), b. 1560 in Yorkshire, England, d. 1625 in York, Yorkshire, England; in 1580 he m. Elizabeth Rotherforth who was b. 1561 in Yorkshire, England.  The first Percival Levett (Leavitt)’s father was William Levett, b. abt. 1528 of Harewood, West Riding, Yorkshire, England, and d. 6 Jul. 1569, having m. 1553 Joan Ynglande (Yuglande) of Harewood, West  Riding, Yorkshire, England.  She d. 6 Jul, 1569.  William Levett’s father was Richard Levett (Leavitt), b. 1506 in Appleton, Yorkshire, England and d. Feb. 1567 there.  He m. in 1529 Mrs. Ellen Levitt who was b. 1508 in Appleton, Yorkshire, England.   Richard Levett (Leavitt)’s father was John Levett, b. 1474 in Bolton Percy, Yorkshire, England, and d. 1526 in the same place, having m. Agnes ____, b. abt. 1478 in the same place.  John Levett’s father was William Levett, b. 1448 in Bolton Percy, Yorkshire, England; he m. Constanlis Wickersly who was b. 1450 in Bolton Percy, Yorkshire, England.

Returning to the Judkins line as recorded by Chamberlain, Mehitable’s great grandfather Samuel Judkins [3]’s father Job Judkins [2] was born in 1606 in West Glasgow, Lanark, Scotland.  He died on 6 Nov. 1672 in Boston, Suffolk, Ma.  He m. Sarah Dudley (who according to the second chart was b. in 1608 in Scotland, m. 1628, and died  26 Nov. 1657 in Boston, Suffolk, Ma.)   Her father Thomas Dudley was b. abt. 1575 in Northhamptonshire, Eng.  He d. on 31 Jul. 1653 in Roxbury, Suffolk, Ma., having m. Dorothy York on 25 April 1603 in England; she d. 27 Dec. 1643 in Roxbury, Ma.

Job Judkins’ [2] father was Joel Judkins or Judson [1] b. on 9 Aug. 1579 in Scotland.  He died before 1606 in Scotland.”  (The second chart says that Joel Judkins d. 1657, and was married before 1606 in Scotland.  His unnamed wife was b. abt. 1582 in Glasgow, Lanark, Scotland.  The second chart also supplies Joel Judkins’ father as Samuel Judkins, b. 10 May 1556  in Scotland, who m. before 1579 his unnamed wife who was b. about 1560 in Glasgow, Lanark, Scotland.)

According to Karolyn Roberts’ Vining website cited above, the grandparents of Mehitable Vining Orcutt would have been Elisha Vining [4], b. 1714 in Weymouth; he died in 1799 in Massachusetts, having married on 12/3/1741 in Hingham Mary Leavitt [10] (daughter of Israel Leavitt [9] and Mary Bates [5]), b. 6/24/1722 in Hingham.  (The second chart gives a lengthy ancestry for Mary Leavitt, of some interest because after Mary Leavitt’s great grandfather Israel Leavitt, it parallels exactly the Leavitt chart for Mehitable’s great grandmother Hannah Judkins’ Leavitt ancestry for her mother, Elizabeth Leavitt who m. Samuel Judkins [3] – see above.  Hence, Mehitable’s great-great grandmother on her father’s father’s side Elizabeth Leavitt, and her grandmother Mary Leavitt’s grandfather (i.e. Mehitable’s great-great grandfather on her father’s mother’s side), Israel Leavitt [8] were brother and sister.   [WHEW!!]   To trace that latter side:  Mary Leavitt [10]’s father Israel Leavitt [9] was b. 1 Aug. 1680 in Hingham, died there 30 May 1757, and m. 18 Oct. 1716 in Hingham Mary Bates [5 – see below], who was b. 26 May, 1693 in Hingham and d. 29 Feb. 1768 in Hingham.  Israel Leavitt [9]’s father was also named Israel Leavitt [8], b. 23 Apr. 1648 in Hingham and d. 26 Dec. 1696 in Hingham, having m. 10 Jan. 1676 in Plymouth, Ma. Lydia Jackson, who was b. 29 Nov. 1658 in Plymouth, and died before 1699 in Ma. Israel Leavitt [8]’s father was John Leavitt [7] b. about 1602 in Norfolk, England, m. 16 Dec. 1646 in Hingham, Mass. Sarah Gilman. [JOH note:  discrepancy here for the Judkins chart, which gives Mary Levett (Leavitt, Lovit) as having m. this John Leavitt 16 Dec. 1646 in Hingham.]   John Leavitt [7]’s father was Percival Levett or Leavit [6] b. 1580 in Beverly, Yorkshire, England, d. 16 Dec. 1646/47 in Hingham, Suffolk, Mass., having m. probably in Beverly, Yorkshire, England in 1607 Margaret Linkley who was b. 1589 in Beverly, Yorkshire, England.   Percival Levett or Leavit [6]’s father was also named Percival Levett (Leavitt) [5], b. 1560 in Yorkshire, England, d. 1625 in York, England, having m. 1580 in Yorkshire, England Elizabeth Rotherforth who was b. 1561 in Yorkshire, England.  Percival Levett (Leavitt) [5]’s father was William Levett [4], b. abt. 1528 in Harewood, West Riding, Yorkshire, England and d. 6 Jul. 1569, having m. in 1553 in York, Joan Yngland (Yuglande), b. 1532 in Harewood, West Riding, Yorkshire, England, d. 6 Jul. 1569 in York, England.  William Levett [4]’s father was Richard Levett (Leavitt) [3], b.1506 in Appleton, Yorkshire, Eng., d. Feb. 1567 in the same place, having m. 1529 in Appleton Ellen ____ who was b. 1508 in Appleton.  Richard Levett (Leavitt) [3]’s father was John Levett [2], b. 1474 in Bolton Percy, Yorkshire, England, and d. 1526 in the same place, having m. Agnes ____, b. abt. 1478 in Bolton Percy also.  John Levett [2]’s father was William Levett [1], b. 1448 in Bolton Percy, Yorkshire, England who m. Constanlis Wikersley who was b. 1450 in Bolton Percy also.)

Another Orcutt family connection for Mehitable comes through her great grandmother Mary Bates [5] who was married to Israel Leavitt [9].  Mary Bates [5]’s great grandfather George Lane was uncle to Mary Martha Lane who married William Orcutt [1].  The relationship is as follows:  Mary Bates [5]’s father was Caleb Bates, b. 30 Mar 1666 in Hingham, d. 15 Aug. 1747 in Hingham, having married 15 Apr. 1691 Mary Lane [4], b. 26 Sep. 1671, d. 9 Oct. 1751 still in Hingham.  Mary Lane [4]’s father was Josiah Lane [3], b. 23 May 1641 in Hingham, d. 26 Mar. 1714 in Hingham, having m. 9 May 1672 in Hingham Deborah Gill who was b. 8 May, 1653 in Hingham, and d. 16 Apr. 1727.  Josiah Lane [3]’s father was the before-mentioned George Lane [2], uncle to Mary Martha  Lane who married William Orcutt [1].   George Lane [2] was b. 1612 probably in Norfolk county, England; he d. 11 June, 1689 in Hingham, Mass., having m. in 1635 in Hingham Sarah Harris who d. 26 Mar. 1694 in Hingham.  George Lane [2]’s father was William Lane [1], b. 1580 probably in Norfolk County, England, and d. 6 Jul. 1654 in Dorchester, Suffolk, Mass.  He m. before 1612 in England, Agnes ____, who was b. 1584, probably in Norfolk County, England.  This second chart says she d. 3 April 1671, but this is likely in error, since there is no mention of a wife in William Lane’s will nor mention of a wife from the time of William Lane’s 1635 arrival in Massachusetts – see chapter One, page 2 where the Lane Genealogies by Fitts considers William Lane’s wife was Agnes Farnsworth, possibly a second wife.)

The next generation following Elisha 4 Vining, then, would be Mehitable’s parents, Elisha Vining Jr. [5].  According to Karolyn Roberts, he was born in 1742 in Abington, Plymouth, MA, and died 3/11/1822 in MA (Ancestral Records).  He married Deborah Fullington on May 2, 1764 in Abington, who was born in Massachusetts and died 12/21/1822 in MA. (Early MA Marriages of Plymouth Co.)

As of this date, 7/2002, no further information has yet been found regarding Mehitable’s mother, Deborah Fullington.  But note the Revolutionary War record for her father, Elisha Vining Jr. [5] on p. 2 above.

It may be of interest to note what may be known of some other relatives, so information from Chamberlain for Mehitable’s great-uncle Thomas [4] also follows, since nothing further was given there for either Elisha [4] or for George [3]:

“Thomas [4] Vining (George, John) was born at Weymouth, 14 Sept. 1703; married at Weymouth, 25 July, 1727, Hannah Randall, daughter of John and Susanna (Benson) Randall of Weymouth.  [JOH:  Another Orcutt family connection here:  Hannah is niece to Elizabeth Randall, b. about 1679, who married Benjamin 2 Orcutt about 1705 in Weymouth.  Elizabeth Randall Orcutt was a younger sister to John Randall, Hannah’s father.]  Hannah Randall was born in Weymouth 4 Jan. 1708.

Children, born at Weymouth:

  • Susanna [5], b. 9 July 7 1728.
  • Josiah, b. 8 Dec. 1729.
  • Hannah, b. 10 Nov. 1731.
  • Mercy, b. 5 Apr. 1734.
  • John Randall, b. 4 July, 1736
  • Benjamin, b. 16 Nov. 1738.
  • Sarah, b. 9 Nov. 1741.
  • Jonah, b. 17 Mar. 1744.
  • Elizabeth, b. 21 Sept. 1746.”

The Vining family move from Weymouth to Abington appears to have occurred directly after the 1741 marriage of Mehitable’s grandfather Elisha [4] and grandmother Mary Leavitt Vining, since her father Elisha [5] Vining was born in Abington in 1742.  The distance is actually negligible:  some writers even refer to Abington as “south Weymouth.”   On a current map, Weymouth center is located about nine miles northwest of Abington center.  North Abington is two miles closer.

But there is a difference in counties.  Although Norfolk County was established in Massachusetts in 1643, it was abolished in 1680.  Then in 1793 it was again established as separate from Suffolk County.    The township of Abington became separated from Bridgewater in 1712; in 1727 a part of Abington became Hanover; in 1874, a part of Abington became Rockland; and in 1875 a part of Abington became South Abington.  (The town of Hanson – see Dora Cook chapter 7 – came from Pembroke and was defined in 1820.)

[Further note:  In Chamberlain’s Weymouth book regarding the Vinings, p. 714, notes of the marriages are from Norfolk Probate Records, beginning around 1868.]

Family of Emerson Orcutt and Mehitable Vining

(Source for family chart:  FSO.  Other sources as indicated.)

As described on page 1, Emerson [5] Orcutt and Mehitable Vining were married March 10, 1804 in Abington, Massachusetts.  If her birthdate is correct as 1783, she was then 21, while her husband was 25.  Both appear to have been born and lived their entire lives in Abington, indeed as second full generations in both their respective birth families to do so.   Several of their five surviving children remained in the Abington area as well, but the youngest was  first of this Orcutt line to leave Massachusetts entirely.

Of their six children, five boys and one girl all born in Abington, only the daughter did not survive childhood.  So Emerson and Mehitable (was she nicknamed “Hittie” as were others by that given name?) raised five sons to adulthood, with the eldest, Elisha Vining, fourteen years older than the youngest, Oran.

Elisha Vining [6] Orcutt was born March 17, 1805.  He married Ruth J. Damon of Weymouth, Mass. Nov. 28, 1826.

Emerson [6] Orcutt was born April 14, 1806.  He married first Sarah Leach Sept. 11, 1831; second, Adaline (Beal) Novel Sept. 14, 1842.

Diantha [6] Orcutt was born December 4, 1808, and died the next year, Aug. 12, 1809.

Louis [6] (Lewis according to family records) Orcutt was born March 20, 1812.  He married Mary C. Wade Jan. 1, 1833.

William [6] Orcutt was born April 8, 1817.  He married first Anna Esther Damon (called Esther) of Hanover, Mass. April 9, 1837; second Anna Shaw March 13, 1849.  (See following chapter)

Orren [6] (Oran according to family records) Orcutt was born August 7, 1819.  He married first Mary J. Jones April 8, 1841 (1858 in FSO records); second Melana Winchester Sept. 14, 1861 (Jan. 1, 1859 in FSO records).

This is the first generation for which stories handed down in the family begin to be available in written form.  JOH has stories relating to both Elisha Vining Orcutt and Lewis Orcutt as adults.   The source for these accounts is a “book” written by Agnes Pinkerton Gurney, granddaughter of Oran Orcutt and his first wife Mary Jocelyn Jones through their daughter Mary Williams Orcutt.  This “book” was given to Marion Orcutt Hersey, great granddaughter of Oran Orcutt, by Edith Hart Hathaway, granddaughter of Oran Orcutt through his second wife, Melana Winchester, and their daughter Orpha Orcutt Hart.   Marion Orcutt Hersey kindly passed along the relevant pages to JOH in 2001.

Agnes refers to “Uncle Elijah” and “Aunt Ruth” but this would have been Elisha Vining Orcutt, eldest in the family and married to Ruth Damon (interesting that she has his given name slightly wrong – his speech impediment? – see below).   Lewis Orcutt married Mary C. Wade:  “Uncle Lewis” and “Aunt Mary”.  The stories delightfully reflect a child’s life in Massachusetts:

“Thus far I haven’t said much about my Orcutt relatives, and there is material for interesting stories concerning some of them.

“As I have said, Rockland was once one of the Abingtons, of which there were North, South, East, West, and Center Abingtons; now, of them all, only North Abington is called by its original name.  The others all have been renamed.  Some of my relatives still live in North Abington, and over back of that small town is another locality called the “Thicket”.  There several families lived when I was a child.  First, there was Uncle Elijah Orcutt and his wife, Aunt Ruth.  Uncle Elijah was my Grandfather’s oldest brother, though I couldn’t realize that anyone could be older than my grandfather who died when he was sixty-two, which now seems young to me!

“I once asked Elijah, ‘Are you really older than my grandpa?’  And Uncle Elijah, who stammered, replied, ‘Ye-e-e-es, Agnes, I was the o-o-o-oldest one in the f-f-ffamily and the biggest fool they had!’  I felt so sorry for him.

“Aunt Ruth was very different, very religious.  She interlarded her remarks with pious expressions.  For instance she might say at the table, ‘Please pass the bread, bless the Lord.’  Or, ‘have you got a headache?  Praise His holy name.’  She was an ardent Seventh Day Adventist, and she once showed me her ‘Ascension Robe’ but quickly shut the bottom drawer where it was kept.  It looked like a white night-gown to me.  On several occasions she and like-minded friends went to the dismal, unkempt ‘buryin’ ground’ to meet the Lord when He came for His ‘Second Coming.’  Why they expected him to come to such a desolate spot, I could never understand.

“Aunt Ruth was a great lover of hearty food and a fine cook.  In the fall when winter threatened she would make up her supply of mince meat and bake a large number of pies, putting one on top of another as they froze, until she had a huge pile of them – twenty or more.  The pile would be as tall as I, and was supposed to last throughout the season of freezing weather.  Nights when she couldn’t sleep she would come out of the ‘buttry’ with a piece of mince pie in one hand and a chunk of cold beef in the other.

“I liked to visit at Aunt Ruth’s, for there I could do about as I pleased, while at home I was under considerable restraint.  I once heard my Mother tell a friend that she had to give Agnes a whipping about once every three weeks to keep her in bounds, or words to that effect.  But don’t get the idea that Agnes was in any way mistreated – quite the contrary.  She was a wonderful mother, and I adored her, always.

“Uncle Elijah and Aunt Ruth made Christmas wreaths of the wild holly which grew on their place.  They sold them at the Boston market and so had employment for the cold days as well as a sum of extra cash.

“Up on the hill not far from Uncle Elijah’s lived Uncle Lewis Orcutt and his wife, Aunt Mary, and two motherless granddaughters, Ella and Louisa, who were just the right age to play with me.  They introduced me to the joys of fishing in the big mill pond in behind the house.  We would sit on a rock and see the shining little fish come and jerk at our bent pins, then go gaily away.  But we did manage to catch a few little bullheads occasionally.  Across the road there was a fine huckleberry pasture and what fun it was for us to take our little shiny tin pails and go berrying.  We always thought the most tedious part was getting the bottom covered.  So, soon after we had each located a nice bush and were hard at work, one of us would call to another, ‘Have you got your bottom covered?’  And the answer might come back, ‘Yes,” or ‘No,’ or ‘Not quite.’  Down below the house in the orchard ran a little brook with small waterfalls here and there where we sailed our paper boats made by my mother.  There was no end to the wonderful things to do at Aunt Mary’s.    The nearby woods were full of azaleas in springtime.  To my mind nothing can equal a spring in New England unless it is a spring in Oregon.

“So the years of my childhood passed, with vacations in many delightful spots

“Once, I remember we went to Duxbury to visit at a farm on a hillside above the tide flats a few miles from the ocean.  Miles Standish’s home was near….”

The account soon comes to skipped pages.  Apparently they are determined to be irrelevant to Orcutts.   Uncle Lewis’ and Aunt Mary’s granddaughters can be identified through FSO’s genealogy:  Lewis [6] and Mary Wade Orcutt had three sons, one of whom was Albert Lewis [7] Orcutt, b. Jan. 23, 1835, m. Mary Louise ____ in 1864.  Mary Louise must have died, for her two eldest children were Ella Frances [8] Orcutt b. 1864 and Mary Louise [8] Orcutt, b. 1866.  Hence, Ella and Louisa.     (There were also two boys:  Albert Lewis [8} b. 1868, and Edgar [8] b. 1873, but no further information is available for them.  Did they survive childhood?  Possibly not.)

There was surely at least one more set of relatives who continued to live in the North Abington area.  FSO lists the family of George Brooks [7] Orcutt, son of Elisha Vining [6] and Ruth J. (Damon) Orcutt.  GBO’s son George Webster [8] Orcutt was living in North Abington in 1936 at age 78.

Emerson 5 and Mehitable Vining Orcutt produced  the first generation of this line of Orcutts to move to the Midwest when the Western Reserve territory opened up.  Oran and his family, with 2nd wife Melana Winchester, moved to Austinburg, Ohio in about 1859.   And Oran’s nephew, William Edwin 7 Orcutt, son of Oran’s slightly older brother William 6 Orcutt moved with them (see following chapter 7).

Shoemaking/ bootmaking had become a family profession certainly by this 6th generation of the Orcutt men, and there were many shoe/boot factories in the Abington/Hanover area.  Both William 6 and Oran 6 were shoemakers, as was William’s son Wm. Edwin 7 Orcutt.   Perhaps other Abington relatives, too?
Mehitable’s Era

Once again, we do not know death dates for Emerson 5 or Mehitable Vining Orcutt.  Did they live into and through the American Civil War?  Probably the War of 1812 was of note (son Lewis was born that year), coming just eight years after their marriage; and both were born not long after the onset of the Revolutionary War and before the establishment of the U.S. Constitution.  Perhaps they lived through three major wars in American history; if so, they were the only generation to compass that entire period.  [JOH:  future research in the Abington, Massachusetts area is anticipated for late 2002; perhaps more light can be shed on this question.]

Emerson 5 and Mehitable Vining Orcutt were the 2nd generations in both their families to live in the Abington, Massachusetts area.  This experience is worth noting, since it continues into the following, 6th generation, and indicates a lengthier settledness in one locality not found to that extent for prior or subsequent generations.   They did not move away, so far as we know, from the community where they were born and married.   This is an interesting note in the pattern of settlement in the USA, even though the Orcutts and their wives’ families mostly reflect the generally westward movement of settlement, generation by generation, through the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.

In terms of the nation’s history, Emerson 5 and Mehitable Vining Orcutt as children witnessed the presidencies of George Washington and John Adams, then Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe, since their youngest son Oran was born in 1819 during Monroe’s presidency.   Then perhaps they were aware of the presidencies of John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, James Polk, Zachary Taylor, Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan – might they have lived even all the way to the presidency of Abraham Lincoln?    (Mehitable would have been 78, and Emerson 5 aged 82 in 1861.  Their grandson William Edwin 7 Orcutt was born in 1841 in Hanover, Mass. during the first year of John Tyler’s administration — were they still alive when he and their son, his uncle Oran and family, moved to Ohio around 1859?   If so, Mehitable would have been 76, Emerson 5, aged 80.)

Much earlier in their younger lifetime on the world stage Napoleon had been active, then defeated and exiled with Europe redesigned by the Congress of Vienna in 1815.  The Louisiana Purchase tremendously extended the U.S. territory, destined to include the home settlements of three later generations, grandchildren of their grandson WEO.    (In the year of Mehitable’s birth, 1783, settlement to the west had not passed the Mississippi River.)

In the 1820s the slavery issue was set at rest for a time by the Missouri Compromise.  Railroads were introduced in the 1830s, the telegraph system in 1844.   In Massachusetts writers like Whittier, Longfellow, Hawthorne, and Emerson appeared between 1830 and 1840.    Popular education was improved.   Multi-page city newspapers began to replace the old “blanket-sheet” newspaper, first in New York City in the 1830s.

Speculation grew in the 1820s and 30s, culminating in the panic of 1837.  What did that do to the shoe industry in the Abingtons/Hanover area?

The war against Mexico was declared in 1846, and slavery soon became a burning issue.  Immigration mushroomed in the late 1840s and after, such that over 2 ¼ million persons from abroad settled in the U.S. between 1847 and 1854.   All that impetus helped to push
venturesome people westwards; soon this particular branch of the Orcutt line under study moved well beyond Massachusetts and the Eastern Seaboard.  But that journey remains to be depicted by the next two generations.

Transcribed by Danielle Mead Skjelver.


Florence Pluma Waters Orcutt’s Genealogy Notes – Transcriber’s Comments

Notes on the Genealogies and Lives of the Families

OrcuttWaters, Adams, Scott, Montague, Moore, and Hawks 


Florence Pluma Waters Orcutt with additional notes by her son Fred S. Orcutt, Sr. Blacksburg, Virginia 1974

Florence Pluma Waters Orcutt and Her Daughter Helen Orcutt Wilson

Here Florence holds her daughter Helen, my grandmother.

Florence’s notes were a key source in a novel which won the National Historic Research and Preservation Award from the Daughters of Colonial Wars.

All notes have been transcribed verbatim except where unclear. My notes are in italics.  I apologize for the many typos as this document has been split up and cut and pasted several times. Spacing is different for convenience. Photos of her handwriting are included where possible. All references to “you” were to her children, one of whom is my grandmother. Listings for generations stop with Florence’ generation to protect the privacy of living persons.

I can not attest to the veracity of my great-grandmother’s research. Aside from the Scott and Hawks genealogies, I have not verified it. I know that at the time of her recording it, it was believed to be correct.  However, at least one section of her notes has since been called into question ~ the issue of Drogo de Montacute.

There was much William-Seeking, as I like to call it, in the genelogical references of my great-grandmother’s era. This link was commonly reported as fact, but it seems to have been disproved in recent years.

There still seems to be a lot of William-Seeking in our own generation, though having studied the Normans, I can’t understand why on earth anyone would be proud to be descended from them. Rather nasty folks.