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William Orcutt (2nd)

William Orcutt (2nd)

Posted: 6 Mar 2008 4:57PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Orcutt Smith Bellows Larkin Newton
As many Orcutt researchers well know, William Orcutt (s. of William and Mary/Martha (Lane) Orcutt) has mostly been listed as having three wives - Jane Washburn, Hannah Smith, and Hannah Newton. The marriages of William to Jane and the first Hannah are pretty well documented (see Savage, Mitchell, the John Smith land transfer in Taunton). However, the only reference to the marriage to Hannah Newton I have been able to find (outside of undocumented web sites) is in the History of the Town Marlboro by Hudson. Unluckily, Hudson does not follow the Sarah Newton/William Orcutt line another generation.

Having said this, I still have my doubts about the validity of this marriage. I wil try to summarize my evidence/doubts and hope that someone can dissuade me from doubting the marriage.

1) Marlboro is over 50 miles from Bridgewater. I find no evidence Moses Newton (Hannah's father) and the family lived other than Marlboro. Given the condition of roads and the need to travel on horseback, even the best of horses would take half a day to get to Marlboro and then half a day back - leaving little time for "courting" especially for a farmer who needed to tend his fields.

2) Bridgewater Epitaphs (by Latham) shows Hannah Orcutt, relict of William, died Oct. 7, 1751 at the age of 72 years - placing her birth year in 1679 - the same year Hannah Smith was born.

3) Hannah Newton was born 1673 (see above).

4) Various web sites (mostly undocumented) say that Hannah Newton, daughter of Moses and Joahanna (Larkin) Newton (see History of the Town of Marlboro for the marriage of this Hannah to William) actually married John Bellows of Marlboro.

5) Latham (History of Marlboro) shows John Bellows marrying Hannah ? who died in 1719, aged 46 - placing her birth year 1673, the same year Hannah Newton was born.

6) John Bellows and Hannah (?) (see Latham) named one of their children Moses, possibly after his grandfather, Moses Newton.

7) The History of Marlboro links the Newtons and Bellows in a number of instances, most notably assigning the Newtons to the Bellows garison in times of trouble - possibly indicating a family link.

8) Lastly (and only a weak indicator), the connection between the Bellows and Newtons continues as John and Hannah's daughter Hepzibah married Edward Larkin, probably a close relative through Moses Newton's wife, Johannah Larkin.

If my assumptions are correct, this would make the first three children of William Orcutt (younger) children of his wife Jane and the last 6 children arriving via his second wife Hannah (Smith) Orcutt.

I would appreciate any further insight anyone might have (along with possible sources for any information given and/or reasoning behind the assumption). Thanks for reading this far.

Re: William Orcutt (2nd)

Posted: 20 Mar 2008 12:23AM GMT
Classification: Query
A very well-reasoned analysis! I too have been perplexed over the uncertainties about whether William 1 Orcutt had 2 or 3 wives, the second two both named Hannah.

In addition to your Hudson citation, I did find one further (non-internet) reference to the marriage of William (2) to Hannah Newton. It's in a footnote on page 49 of Manning Leonard's "Memorial of Solomon Leonard, 1637, of Bridgewater", 1896, stating that the marriage occurred on April 10, 1706. Charles Hudson's Marlborough history gives the date one year earlier, April 10, 1705.

There is also a Newton-Leonard/Lenard marriage, also in 1705 in Hudson's account: Marcy Newton (sister to Hannah) married Moses Lenard. I see no indication of Leonard's source for that specific date. Nor is there one given in Hudson, to my awareness. This Newton-Leonard/Lenard marriage would show a 2nd Marlboro-Bridgewater connection, which is why the Leonard book is so interesting.

A puzzlement about another matter had me wondering, though, whether William 2's mother may have had some sort of falling-out with this eldest son, whether if so it could have related to another marriage she didn't approve of. Before her 1712 death, she had moved to Weymouth to live with either Andrew 2 or Benjamin 2 and family, where she died. I've wondered why she didn't continue to live in Bridgewater with William 2, which would have been somewhat more typical? Youngest daughter Susannah was still unmarried and living with her in Bridgewater as a minor when William I's estate was divided. William 2 was co-administrator with his mother for his father's estate. That piece of circumstantial-only evidence even led me briefly to speculate whether William 2 had divorced Hannah Smith to marry Hannah Newton, and his mother disapproved! But there is no hint whatsoever of a divorce, or a pre-1705/6 death of Hannah Smith Orcutt. So that episode about why widow Orcutt moved from Bridgewater to Weymouth remains a mystery.

Have you checked land transaction records for the Marlboro area? If by some remote chance William 2 had land interest there, that would buttress the Hannah Newton marriage possibility fairly strongly. The lack of it could be another item to add to your list. Further work could be done in the Leonard family records, following that Leonard/Lenard-Newton marriage Hudson gives.

I recall land transactions in William 2's name from the index of land records at Plymouth during research there some years back (clearly his, not his father's, since they postdated 1693), but unfortunately didn't copy them since I was researching land records for William 1 and Thomas 2 Orcutt. That probably wouldn't be much help, though -- wife's name would be Hannah in either case. (The deed for William 1's May 27, 1670 purchase of the Bridgewater property from Edward Gray of New Plymouth is there -- prompting me to wonder WHY he didn't move there from Marshfield until the early 1680s? That's just to suggest how intriguing information comes from the land records. Also learned from deeds that Thomas 2 Orcutt was married twice -- he, not his son Thomas 3 married 2nd Margaret Ray Sutton -- clear because earlier records listed Jane [Emerson] as his wife, later, Margaret; while Thomas 3's land transactions continue to be with wife Thankful even after Thomas 2 was married to Margaret Ray Sutton. So land records can help with names of wives -- but two Hannahs are a lot harder to sort out!)

William 2 Orcutt's estate administration is somewhat puzzling. Certain specified items go to the unnamed widow (bed and some furniture, 2 pair of sheets, other cloth, including 7 3/4 yards of cloth "which was Procured for a Riding hood for her in her Husband's Life time", and a couple of other items (hard to read). Though the penmanship is difficult to read and blotchy, there seems no indication where she lived after his 1739 death. That doesn't give her the fairly common widow's homestead provision. She inherited no real estate property, so it seems most likely she lived with one of the children. In the administration of William 2's estate, the widow, Benjamin and "Joanna" Edson, Joshua and Jane Warren, Joseph and Deliverence Washburn, Solomon and Martha Washburn, Elizabeth French (husband Ebenezer had died in 1725) all receive property -- Moses Orcutt and Caleb Orcutt "who have received their part" are excepted.

So where did Hannah Smith(/Newton?) Orcutt live after William 2 died? She died in Bridgewater in 1751. If Joanna and Elizabeth are Jane Washburn's daughters as many believe (though the Mayflower Society says they are considered questionable in the line of Francis Cooke, lacking birthdate documentation and clear lineage through Jane Washburn), then the candidates are the remaining five are all possible candidates as Hannah's children (and perhaps Joanna and Elizabeth shouldn't be fully excluded, since some think they too could be Hannah Smith's children). There's no question but what William 2 Orcutt maintained very close ties with the Washburn family well after Jane Washburn Orcutt's death -- his brothers-and-sisters-in-law -- was witness to their wills (always with his mark), and deeds. So perhaps Hannah Smith Orcutt did as well. (And, interestingly, Susannah 2 Orcutt, William 2's youngest sister, married Benjamin Washburn.)

What do you think?

Judy Orcutt Holy

Re: William Orcutt (2nd)

Posted: 18 Nov 2008 8:53PM GMT
Classification: Query
Always fun to reply to your own post, but I think I have found the answer to the William Orcutt^2 puzzle. I have now been convinced that Hannah Newton was not William Orcutt, Jr.'s third wife and that William Orcutt. Jr., did not in fact have a third wife.

The Internet openlibrary has a copy of the Newton genealogy on-line and the documents in the genealogy pretty much agree with my original post. The author of the genealogy, Ermina Newton Leonard, (published in 1915) does us a favor by quoting Moses Newton's will - in it, Moses first gives his son-in-law John Bellows 5 shillings. This ties John Bellows in with this family as other web sites had speculated. This does not, however, cinch the matter. Two paragraphs later in the will, however, Moses Newton gives to the children of his daughters Hannah Bellows and Mercy Leonard one shilling. This links Hannah Newton, daughter of Moses and Joanna (Larkin) Newton as wife of John Bellows.

Ms. Newton later says that even though there is no record of the marriage (I wonder if the Vital Records transcription is muddled) that the will provides surety that the marriage did take place. And further says that many had thought she married William Orcutt, Jr.

Moses' brother Joseph had a daughter Hannah, but she married Simon Maynard and they both died in 1747/48, eliminating her as a possibility. Daniel and Isaac Newton, last two brothers of Moses, had no known daughter Hannah,

While I haven't checked the third generation, Given the birth years of the children in the second generation, I think too much would have passed to make a marriage between William Orcutt and a third generation daughter (probably born 30 years after William) probably.
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