The Family History of Rensselear Tuttle

Weston, Clark County, Wisconsin

Written & researched by Janet Schwarze.

 

The Family Crest

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Rensselear Tuttle, nicknamed "Rancy" lived a long life of ninety years, ten months and twenty-eight days.  He drew his first breath in the summer heat of Plymouth, Litchfield County, Connecticut, August 18, 1789.  The product of young love, he was the first child of twenty year old Luany and her twenty-one year old husband, Bostwick Tuttle.

 

In England, the word "Tuthill" once referred to a cone shaped hill.  Place names were later used in connection with given names to describe a particular individual with a common name.  "William from Tuthill" eventually was shortened and  the family name was the result.  The family ancestors of our Tuttles probably lived in the village of Tothill, Toothill or Tuthill in Great Britain. Some believe "Toot Hill" was a place where the alarms were sounded for a village and those who sounded the horn "Tootles" and the forefathers of our "Tuttles".  The first name on the roll of the "Battle Abbey" (1066) is Toteles. The family also claims a very ancient descent in Ireland, long before the Christian era, in the well-known clan of O'Toole.

 

Rensselear's heritage has been well documented to his fourth great grandparents, William and Elizabeth (Mathews) Tuttle. They were Puritans who came to America from the parish of St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England in April of 1635 on a ship aptly dubbed, "The Planter."  William's brothers, John and Richard and their families, were also on board. The passengers brought certificates from the Justice of the Peace and minister of the parish that they were: "Comformable to the orders of ye church of England, and no subsidy men, having taken the oarth of supreacie and allegeance."  Some of the immigrants went because they were simply adventurous, but the majority wanted to escape the religious persecution imposed by Charles I, Archbishop Laud.  His insistence regarding church rituals was extremely offensive to the faithful Puritans who did not believe it was respectful to God.  Their ministers were persecuted for their preaching against it and a new life in America seemed like the best opportunity for freer worship. 

 

According to the ship's records, William was a twenty-six year old farmer and his wife Elizabeth was twenty-three.  Their three and a half year old son, John, and their three month old baby, Thomas would grow tall in America where a better life could be lived.  The boys would not remember England or the family who waved goodbye as their ship was launched on the unpredictable ocean.  It was about the size of the Mayflower and literally stuffed with 125 passengers.  Eating and sleeping arrangements weren't just uncomfortable, they were torturous. A bucket was the only sanitary convenience provided and it served as both shower and toilet.  The foul smells could not be avoided and keeping a small baby clean was not an easy task. Passengers wanted to take as much as they could pack and heaped their belongings into the extremely limited space.  Deciding what could be left behind with friends and relatives called for heart wrenching decisions. Obviously space had to be found for clothing, tools, seeds and enough food to last the trip.  Some possessions had to be sold to help cover their expenses, but perhaps a few things could be sent to them once they were settled.


About the first of July, with some10 weeks of sailing and bobbing on the sea behind them, the ship arrived at the Boston, Massachusetts harbor.  During his first year of residence, William was granted liberty to build a windmill at Charlestown and by 1636, he was a proprietor of the town.  He was part owner of a ketch with Zebulon Tuttle and also did business with John Tuttle, who both lived in Ipswich.  He and John owned land deeded to them by George Griggs because of incurred debt.  Oct. 8. 1650, George Griggs also gave William a mortgage for a house and some land on Beacon street in Boston.  At that time, the Tuttle family had already moved to a new home in New Haven, Connecticut where William was one of the 16 original proprietors when the town was formed in 1638-39. 

 

He was also a member of the Eaton company of Quinnepiac which was located there.  But, he was primarily a merchant whose house and lot (originally owned by Edward Hopkins) consisted of ten acres in the first division of the Yorkshire Quarter.  This lot was on the town square and was bordered by Grove, State, Elm and Church Streets.  For many years, it was known as "The Tuttle homestead."  This property was eventually the first land owned by Yale College and was the only property owned by Yale College for over thirty years. On this very spot, where William and Elizabeth resided over twenty-eight years, their great-grandson, Jonathan Edwards, later studied and taught predestination. 

 

Signature and photo of Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)

View the Edwards' Home

 

Jonathan was the son of William's daughter, Elizabeth who married Richard Edwards of Harford.  He was a respected theologian who was known as "The Divine", because of his Calvinistic preaching methods. He was a strict Presbyterian minister, both loved and hated by his congregations.  He alienated many in his church because of his beliefs and fiery manner.   Known for his extreme, great intelligence, some declared him the greatest intelligence in the entire Western Hemisphere.  At the age of thirteen, he entered Yale University and graduated as the head of the class at seventeen.  He was the third president of Princeton, succeeding his son-in-law, Aaron Burr, Sr.  Many of his descendants were influential ministers, college presidents, financiers, surgeons and judges.

 

The great grandson of Elizabeth and Richard was the American Politian and Revolutionary hero, Aaron Burr.  He served as vice-president under Thomas Jefferson from 1801-05.  As a boy of twelve, Rensselear must have followed that particular election with peeked interest.

 

In 1656, William Tuttle bought the property of Joshua Atwater which was appraised at one hundred and twenty pounds.  That same year, he and Mr. Gregson became the very first property owners at East Haven, Connecticut.  In fact, William actually surveyed and laid out the roadway from the Red Rock Ferry to the Stony river.  A small stream in that area was dubbed Tuttle's brook and nearby it is Tuttle's hill.  In 1659 William also purchased land at North Haven.


The seat allotted William in the meeting house at New Haven was an indication that he was among the foremost men of the community as early as 1646-47.  He held many positions of trust and responsibility in the colony and is mentioned numerous times in the historic annals of New Haven.  An especially interesting incident was recorded in 1646 when he serving as "fence sitter" to alert the community of any impending dangers. He and Jeremy Watts were called to account and chastised because William fell asleep while on duty at the watch house and was fined by the town authorities.  He also served as road commissioner in 1646 and the commissioner to settle boundary disputes between New Haven and Branford in 1669, and to fix the bounds of New Haven, Millford, Branford and Wallingford in 1672.  He was often an arbitrator and a juror.  Then from 1666-67, he served as constable.


William died in June, 1673 and was buried beneath "The Old Green".  His wife died eleven years later, December 30, 1684 and she too was buried under the Green, but her tombstone, along with others was moved to the north wall of the cemetery which is now located in the basement of the church in 1821.  Part of the inscription is gone, but some of it can still be read.  At the time of her death, she was living with the youngest of her twelve children, Nathaniel.  At a court held in New Haven, July 28 1685, he presented his mother's will, but the older children objected and the court would not allow it.  Nathaniel is Rensselear's 3rd great grandfather.

 

"The Nine Squares"

From a copy of the Brockett map of 1641.  The original has been lost.

The First Building of Yale College was built on the original Tuttle Homestead.

 

At the time of his death, William's estate was recorded along with his home and property.  His personal possessions included: 1 Ox worth 6 pounds, 15 shillings and 0 pence, as well as cattle, calves, horses and sows. A large number of warlike weapons, a fowling piece worth 2 shillings, 2 matchlocks worth ditto. bandoleers, sword, cutlass, powder horn, shot mould and bullets; sheets, table cloths, 1 chamber pot listed at 6 shillings, twice the value of the sword and cutlass. Also recorded was one hat worth 10 shillings, 2 cloaks valued at 2 pounds, 3 long coats at 2 pounds, 10 shillings, A red waistcoat and homespun jacket and 1 hood valued at 1 pound (worth considerably more than the chamber pot!), 3 pr. breeches and 1 pair of new drawers worth 1 pound, 1 doz. alchemy spoons at 6 shillings, 1 silver spoon at 5 shillings and such items as feather beds, kettles, skillets, whiffletrees, and one Wimble (a tool used when boring holes).

William and Elizabeth had the following children:

1.  John (1631-1683)
2.  Hannah/Anne (1633-1696)
3.  Thomas (1634-1710)
4.  Jonathan (1637-1705)
5.  David (Non Compos Mentis/Insane). Born before 7 Apr 1639 in Boston, Suffolk Co., MA. When he was a year old, David was baptized in Charlestown, Middlesex Co., MA, on 7 Apr 1639. David died in New Haven, New Haven Co., CT, in 1693; he was 53.
6.  Joseph (1640-1690)
7.  Sarah (1642-1676)
8.  Elizabeth (1645-?)
9.  Simon (1647-1719)
10. Benjamin. Born before 29 Oct 1648 in New Haven, New Haven Co., CT. When he was a year old, Benjamin was baptized in New Haven, New Haven Co., CT, on 29 Oct 1648. Benjamin died in New Haven, New Haven Co., CT, on 13 Jun 1677; he was 28.
11. Mercy (Non Compos Mentis/Insane) (1650-1695)
12. Nathaniel (1652-1721 @69 yrs.) fathered Ephraim (1683-1753 @70 yrs.) whose son was Ezekiel (1717-1799 @82 yrs. Revolutionary War) who was the father of Samuel (22 Feb 1742/43-1825? @84 Revolutionary War;  pdf file) whose son was Bostwick (1768-1830? @ appx. 62 yrs.) who was the father of Rensselear (1789-1880 @90 yrs.)

 

*Rensselear was a direct descendant of William and Elizabeth's youngest son and twelfth child, Nathaniel Tuttle.  We have proof of this lineage through our family's land document collection. 

 

Document 1--Ezekiel Tuttle of Woodbury CT conveyed his property to his beloved son, Samuel (3 Apr. 1783).

Document 2--Samuel Tuttle of Woodbury, CT sold all of his Watertown, CT properties to Amos Braughton of Woodbury Co., CT for 80 pounds (4 Sept. 1783).

Document 3--Samuel Tuttle's 1792 Watertown Land Transaction.

Document 4--Ezekiel Tuttle's (Ezekiel #1's grandson) purchase of twelve acres of land situated between Watertown and Bethlehem, CT from Joseph Atwood of Watertown, CT for 70 pounds (11 Feb. 1799).

Document 5--Ezekiel Tuttle's (Ezekiel #1's grandson) sale of his twelve acres between Watertown and Bethlehem, CT (see document 3) to Sampson Stoddard for 65 pounds (26 August 1799).

Document 6--Bostwick Tuttle of Plymouth Co, CT purchased eleven acres and seventeen rods of land from Joel Hickox of Watertown, CT for **$129.00 (1 Jan. 1803).  It is notable that this transaction was done in United States Dollars whereas all of the previous ones used pounds.  The "Connecticut Pound" was the local currency until 1793. Initially, the British pound and other foreign currencies were used. Local paper money was also used from 1709, but was denominated in pounds, shillings and pence.  It was worth less than sterling, with 1 Connecticut shilling equal to 9 pence sterling.

Document 7--Bostwick and Luany (Judd) Tuttle of Plymouth, CT awarded the Estate of her mother, Esther Judd, by Aner Bradley for a $6.00 consideration.  This property was called "Long Swamp" and was situated in part in Watertown and part in Waterbury, New Haven Co., CT (13 Mar. 1805).  This document was administered with Rensselear, the son of Luany and Bostwick Tuttle, serving as witness.  His name was later improperly transcribed as "Ronsley Tuttle."  This same document also yielded the name of Luany's mother, Esther, satisfying a long lasting mystery for Tuttle genealogists.  It is also interesting that Luany apparently could not read or write as she signed with her mark, an "X".

Document 8--Bostwick Tuttle of Plymouth, CT sale of land to Levi Markham who was also from Plymouth for $160 (31 March 1809).  This document was witnessed by Lake (Justice of the Peace) and his wife, Lois Potter.

Document 9--Samuel Tuttle (Jr. or Sr.?) to John A. Thompson (1837).  We are uncertain if this was the father of Bostwick or his brother.

 

Tuttle Family Wills [William] [Nathaniel] [Ephraim] [Ezekiel]

 

Old Windham, NY Map and additional information about Samuel Tuttle (grandfather of Rensselear) and his son Bostwick (father of Rensselear) who made their home there after leaving Connecticut.

[Children of Bostwick & Luanne (Judd) Tuttle]

 

The Move West

 

Bostwick and Luania were listed on the Connecticut Census records through 1800, but by 1810 they appeared on the records for Green County, New York.  At that time Rancy was twenty-one years old and about 1813, he married Clarissa Crozier who was a native of Peru, Bershire, MA and born July 23, 1797 (eight years younger than he was).  Their first child, Sherman B. was born June 6, 1816 in Utica, Oneida County, NY and apparently just eight months later, William S. was born January 2, 1817.  About 1825 John Wesley was born in the Catskill region of Green Co., New York and around 1829, Wesley joined the family.  Following the birth of their youngest son, Albert, May 12, 1830, they moved to Euclid, OH where their first daughter, Charlotte Melisse was born February 10, 1836.  When Charlotte turned three, the family moved to Licking Co., Ohio.  There, her younger sister, Ellen Marie, was born.  She must have been quite a surprise addition to the family because Clarissa celebrated her forty-seventh birthday that year.  [More Tuttle-Crozier Children?]

 

By the 1850 Census, Rancy was a sixty-one year old senior citizen and Clarissa was fifty-four.  Only nineteen year old Albert, thirteen year old Charlotte and six year old Emma/Ellen were still living at home.  In 1850, we found "Ranson" and Clarissa living with their son William S. in Auburn Twp., Fondulac Co., WI.  He was seventy years old and she was sixty-six.  Their son William was a man of much worth and influence who held many public offices, and represented his district in the Wisconsin State Legislature of 1858.  While in office, it is said he introduced the first lien law ever enacted in the State.

 

December 4, 1863, Albert was enlisted by E. Hyman with Co. A of Wisconsin 19th Infantry in Baraboo.  His military records show he was a surveyor who stood just five foot, five inches high.  His eyes were blue, his hair was brown and he had a light complexion.  He was mustered out in Madison, January 9, 1864.

 

When the 1870 Census was recorded, they were living with their youngest son, Albert, in Wrightsville, Brown Co., WI.  Shortly after that census was taken, Albert and his family moved to a wild tract of land in the township of Weston, Clark County, Wisconsin along with his sister Charlotte and her husband Eben Delos Raymond and their family.  At the time of their arrival, there was only a foot path to their land and the Indians were numerous in the vicinity.  The Tuttles and the Raymonds attended the Methodist Church in Christie and were active members.

 

March 27, 1877, Clarissa died at the age of seventy-nine in Weston, Clark County, WI.  Rensselear died July 15, 1880, shortly after the Federal Census was taken.  Both "Clarisy", as she was affectionately called, and "Rancy" lived the last years of their lives as paupers who resided at varying times with both Albert and their daughter Charlotte who had married Eben Delos Raymond.  Both of these families were awarded $2.00 per week from Weston Township for their care.  In those pre-social security days, long lived individuals often needed pubic assistance.  We cannot be absolutely certain where Rensselear and Clarissa were buried, but we believe they were laid to rest in the East Weston cemetery along with many other members of their extended family.  Their son Albert's land abutted that burial ground and it has always been under the umbrella of the township which was supporting them both at the time of their death.  There are some unmarked lots surrounded by close family members and they were likely buried there with only a wooden cross to mark their graves.  We do know Rensselear's funeral was held in the nearby Hyslip School and it is extremely unlikely his body would have been shipped anywhere else, due to the expense and the fact that they had resided in Ohio for the greater share of their lives and none of their children lived there anymore.  We have searched the cemeteries in both Brown and Fond du Lac counties and did not find them buried in there. 

 

It would be fascinating to hear Rensselear describe what he saw in his ninety plus years of life.  The Revolutionary war had ended just six years before he was born and America was being governed by the Continental Congress.  He was born the year George Washington was elected to the first of his two terms as President.  He was just turning three when Congress acted on Hamilton's recommendations in the Coinage Act of 1792, and the Dollar Bill was established as the basic unit of account for the United States.  His family were early pioneers of Wisconsin and saw it into statehood.  When the pine forests of Wisconsin were converted to farmland, he helped load logs, develop roadways and plow fields.  When Samuel F. B. Morse's electric telegraph united the country in the 1840s, he witnessed it.  And, he helped hold down the home front as his sons William, John Wesley and Albert went off to the Civil War to fight for a united country and freedom of slaves.  Rensselear may not have been a wealthy man, but he experienced lots of American history, had a long marriage and people who loved him.  His body may be buried in a grave which is no longer marked, but his life has not been forgotten.

 

The Children of Rensselear and Clarissa (Crozier) Tuttle

 

1. Sherman B--b. 6 Jun 1816 in Utica, Oneida Co., NY; d. 25 Aug 1892 in Colby, Clark, WI; Married Martha Jane Brown 21 Feb 1843.  She was b. 21 Mar 1824 in Chittendon VT and d. 3 Jan 1907 in Campbellsport, Fond du Lac, WI

2. William S. Tuttle--b. 2 Jan 1816, Family Photo of William and Johanna Tuttle; Photo of  William Tuttle (WI State Legislator); Photo of William and Johanna (Brown) Tuttle. (Johanna "Hannah" was a sister to Sherman Tuttle's wife, Martha Jane Brown.  They were the daughters of Theodore & Ruth (Collins) Brown; Photo of Hannah (Brown) Tuttle.

3. John--b.1825

4. Wesley--abt. 1829

5. Albert--b. 12 May 1830

6. Charlotte Melisse--b. abt. 1836

7. Emma/Ellen Marie--b. 1844

 

Responses

 

Luania Judd--I ran into your listing of Document 7, where Levi Judd and Bostwick and Luanai Tuttle quit claim their share of their Motherís estate. I have found the other children (sisters and brothers to Luania Judd also quit claiming their share, and in the other deeds their Motherís name is given as Elizabeth. Indeed Luania, was the daughter of John Judd, 1733, and his wife Elizabeth Richards, 1734. John Judd and Elizabeth Richards were married at Waterbury (now Watertown), Connecticut on 10 Apr 1755. Their children were:

Levi Judd 16 Mar 1756, died 21 Jul 1756
Levi Judd 21 Oct 1757, died 30 Nov 1810 Watertown, married Eunice Hubbard
Abigail Judd 3 Jul 1760, died 10 Jul 1760.
John Judd 27 Jun 1761, died 3 Apr 1825 Parke County, Indiana (this is my ancestor), married Hannah.
Chandler Judd 30 Apr 1763, died 21 Dec 1791 in Watertown.
Abigail Judd 7 Apr 1765, died 11 Aug 1838 Courtland County, New York, married Asahel Merrills.
Luania Judd 19 Mar 1769, d. ??, married Bostwick Tuttle.
Annah Judd 26 Sep 1772, died 1841, married Stephen Tuttle, son of Jabez Tuttle.
Esther Judd 11 Sep 1775 died 1 May 1857 Lee, Oneida, New York, married Asahel Castle.

All of the children were born in Waterbury (later Watertown).
John Judd, the Father, was born 4 Aug 1733 in Waterbury, and died 23 Dec 1793, son of Samuel Judd and Elizabeth Scott.
Elizabeth Richards was born 25 May 1734 in Waterbury, and died 22 Mar 1779, daughter of Ebenezer Richards and Elizabeth Seymour.

My John Judd, born 1761, as well as Chandler Judd, born in 1763 served in the revolutionary war. I have the quit claim deeds for Asahel Merrills and Abigail, John Judd, Stephen Tuttle and Annah, Esther Judd (not yet married), and of course Levi Judd and Bostwick and Luania Tuttle. Brent Glad brentglad@comcast.net

 

****************

 

I have written a book on my Tuttle family history "That's a Matter of Opinion - Out on a Limb of the Tuttle Family Tree". Now that I have let things set for a year, I am going back and trying to uncover information that eluded me previously. Living in Australia I must do as much as possible via the web, hence this preliminary inquiry.

 

I am trying to uncover the final years of the life of a 4x great uncle Bostwick Tuttle and his wife Luannie (Judd) Tuttle. They last appear in the 1830 USC for Hamburg as being 60-70 yoa and 50-60 yoa along with a number of additional family members... they had 10 children. It is my understanding that the oldest records from the oldest cemetery in Hamburg have been lost in a fire and that there are no extant church records from the 1830-1840 era.
 

My purpose in writing is to confirm the above and determine if there are any relevant land records or wills associated to Bostwick and Luannie. Any assistance/direction would be greatly appreciated.

 

Regards,
 

Jim Tuttle

57 Inkerman St

St Kilda   3182

Victoria, AUSTRALIA

Sources: Schwarze Family Records, legal documents from Bethlehem, CT; Woodbury, CT; New Haven, CT, Waterbury, CT & Watertown, CT; Tuttle Family Histories; Connecticut Town Birth Records pre-1870, the Barbour Collection, citing Woodbury vital records volume LR6, page 2 (birth date for Samuel Tuttle, supplied by Linda Mottonen) , Jim Tuttle Family History, Dorothy Johnson Burgraff's collection (contributed by Sharon Scott).

 

 


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