TUTTLE, Thomas & Hannah (Powell)

Cliff McCarthy, 2016

Thomas Tuttle, third of the troubled Tuttle children, was born in England in 1634. He was three months old when he boarded the Planter with his parents, William & Elizabeth Tuttle, and two siblings for the voyage to America. The family is listed on manifests for the ship. William Tuttle was one of the original settlers of New Haven Colony.

In her landmark study of the Tuttle family’s problems, The Notorious Elizabeth Tuttle, Ava Chamberlain wrote:

“The variety of minor offenses committed by the Tuttle children clearly reveals the presence of a flourishing youth culture in colonial New England. The eldest [son, Thomas] was accused of attending a ‘disorderly’ meeting, where a group of young men drank ‘strong watter,’ smoked tobacco, and were ‘heard to singe filthy corrupting songs.’ Three younger brothers were fined for being ‘inviters and Entertainers’ at a corn husking; one of them was again fined the following year for participating in a ‘disorderly meeting’ of young people ‘at the shop’ of a local craftsman. Sister Sarah’s flirtatious banter earned her a conviction for ‘imodest, uncivell, wanton, lascivious’ behavior at age eighteen. When a local boy snatched her gloves and teased that he would return them only if she kissed him, ‘they sate downe together, his arme being about her, and her arm upon his shoulder or abut his neck, and he kissed her and shee him, or they kissed one another, continuing in this posture about half an houre.’ At the same age, brother Thomas was whipped when he and ‘sundrie youthes’ were convicted of committing ‘much wickedness in a filthy corrupting way one with another.’ Two years later, when again implicated in a scandalous incident involving a servant girl and a young man visiting from nearby Stratford, he avoided whipping only by confessing ‘he spake very sinful words to her’ and showing ‘himself most penitent for his fault.'”

In 1653, Thomas was called before the magistrates: “John Chidsy was complained of for sleeping in his watch: also Thom. Tuttill, who was the sentinel, was asleepe when the Serjant came.” At the following session, Chidsey was fined five shillings and Thomas Tuttle was fined two shillings and six pence.

However, Thomas Tuttle seemingly settled down as he grew older. He married Hannah Powell on May 21, 1661, probably at New Haven, CT. Hannah, daughter of Thomas and Priscilla Powell, was born in 1641. Hannah’s brother, Thomas Powell, Jr., was probably one of the earliest proprietors of Bethpage, NY.

Thomas Tuttle was a cooper, or barrel-maker and he apparently carried on his business in New Haven colony. His home was on what is now College Square. It had been in the Tuttle family for 123 years, until it was sold out of the family in 1780. It was sold to Yale College in 1797 and it now contains some of the ancient buildings of Yale University.

In the spring of 1671, Thomas asked the town for permission “to remove his shop out of his lot into ye townes land, for where it is, is too hot in summer, the orchard keeping off the wind.” Permission was granted. He was listed among the proprietors of New Haven in 1685.

Thomas and Hannah had nine children. Upon the death of his parents, Thomas also took on the responsibility of caring for his brother David who was described as “incompetent.” For his efforts, Thomas acquired David’s property, some of which he conveyed to his son Caleb in 1690. Thomas was involved in several more land conveyances through 1707. He was listed among the proprietors of New Haven in 1685.

Thomas was afflicted with gout which got him excused from defense training in 1689.

In June of 1689, he and Capt. Moses Mansfield appraised and administered the estate of James Davids, who was really Col. John Dixwell, one of the Regicides in America. The Regicides were members of Cromwell’s revolutionary Parliament that had tried and executed King Charles I of England. When the monarchy was restored in the person of Charles II, the king ordered the death of those who had condemned his father — the Regicides. Dixwell, Whalley, and Goffe escaped to America. In Stiles’ History of the Judges, it is reported: “Thomas Tuttle, I have been told, assisted in laying out Mr. Dixwell, and there is reason to believe he was the very person that privately dug Whalley’s grave and assisted at his interment here.” [For one account of William Goffe’s burial, see Matthew GILBERT.]

Thomas Tuttle died on Oct 19, 1710. His wife had died only four days before. His will was proved in November of that year, it naming his youngest son Joshua as executor. His son Caleb inherited his coopering tools.


Children of Thomas & Hannah (Powell) TUTTLE

THOMAS TUTTLE was born Bef. 1 March 1634/35 in Ringstead, Northampton, England, and died 19 October 1710 in New Haven, CT.  He married HANNAH POWELL 21 May 1661 in New Haven, CT, daughter of THOMAS POWELL and PRISCILLA WHITSON.  She was born August 1641 in New Haven, CT, and died 15 October 1710. The Children of THOMAS TUTTLE and HANNAH POWELL are:

i.    HANNAH TUTTLE, b. 24 February 1660/61; d. 17 February 1718/19; m. JOSHUA HOTCHKISS, Abt. 1685; b. 16 September 1651; d. 22 December 1722.
ii.    ABIGAIL TUTTLE, b. 17 January 1663/64.
iii.    MARY TUTTLE, b. 14 January 1665/66; d. 12 August 1683.
iv.    THOMAS TUTTLE, b. 27 October 1667, New Haven, New Haven Co., CT; d. 30 June 1703, New Haven, New Haven Co., CT; m. MARY SANFORD, 28 June 1692, New Haven, CT; b. 16 November 1668, Milford, CT.
v.    JOHN TUTTLE, b. 5 December 1669; m. (1) ABIGAIL HUMISTON; b. 17 May 1661, New Haven, New Haven Co., CT; m. (2) HANNAH HUMISTON; b. 21 July 1680.
vi.    ESTHER TUTTLE, b. 9 April 1672; m. SAMUEL RUSSELL, 27 February 1693/94.
vii.    CALEB TUTTLE, b. 29 August 1674; d. 1751; m. (1) MARY HOTCHKISS, 1 March 1698/99, New Haven, CT; b. 1 January 1679/80, New Haven, CT; d. 12 November 1723, New Haven, New Haven Co., CT; m. (2) HANNAH BUTLER, 17 February 1725/26, New Haven, CT; b. 14 October 1685, Branford, CT; d. 27 October 1748, New Haven, New Haven Co., CT.
viii.    JOSHUA TUTTLE, b. 19 December 1676; m. (1) PHEBE LINES; m. (2) MARY BRADLEY, 26 February 1709/10; b. 13 March 1672/73.
ix.    MARTHA TUTTLE, b. 23 May 1679; d. 25 January 1689/90.



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  • Cutter, William Richard et al., Genealogical and Family History of the State of Connecticut, Vols 1-4,  (Lewis Historical Publishing Co., New York; 1911).
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  • Smith, Sybil, “What Is It With Those Tuttles?”, Ancestry Magazine, May/June 1995
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