Tuesday, September 11, 2012

William Tuttle of Germanton, North Carolina

My fourth great grandfather, William Tuttle was born on 13 October 1799 to John and Anna Barbara Elizabeth Fry Tuttle in Germanton, Stokes County, North Carolina. He was the first Tuttle in my line to be born in Stokes County, North Carolina.

His father was a veteran of the Revolutionary War and his mother was a daughter of German Moravians who came to Stokes County from Pennsylvania. William had eleven siblings which included Thomas Jefferson Tuttle, Michael Tuttle, Elizabeth Tuttle Boles, Mary Tuttle Gordon, Anna Tuttle Ebert, Henry Tuttle, John Tuttle, Jr., Peter Tuttle, James Tuttle, Elijah Tuttle and Sarah Tuttle Eason. William was child number 8 of the 12. His widowed mother Anna Barbara lived with William and his family in her last years. She died in Germanton at the age of 85.

William married Elizabeth Martin on 4 February 1826 in Stokes County, North Carolina. It is a mystery how William and Elizabeth met and eventually married. She was born in Virginia, most probably in Botetourt County to Josiah and Mary Rachel Reynolds Martin. Elizabeth’s father, Josiah, owned land in several counties in Virginia including Botetourt and Floyd.

In a letter written by Elizabeth and William on 20 March 1848 to her brother Abram Martin and sister Mary William in Floyd County, Virginia, Elizabeth mentioned that their stepmother, Mary [Polly] Banner Martin, had passed away. It is probable that the step mother was living with William and Elizabeth in Stokes County at the time of her passing.

In the above named letter to her siblings, Elizabeth wrote, "We are still living at the same old place near Germanton. We have eight children four sons and four daughters. Our oldest children are grown up but not married as yet. Our youngest will be four years old next August.” These 8 children were Mary [Polly] Rebecca, Alexander, Annie, Josiah, John William, Sarah, Barbara E. and Thomas Gideon. They would add another daughter Olivia in 1851.

William was the executor of his father John’s will, his brother Thomas’ will and helped his mother apply to the government to receive her widow’s pension for her husband John’s service in the Revolutionary War.

William was very much opposed to the Civil War. His sons Alexander and John W. were both conscripted into Confederate service. Alexander served in the home guard and John W. actually fought in the war. William helped John W. by sending badly needed shoes and probably other items. His daughter Sarah’s [Sallie] husband, John Nelson Browder also served in the Confederacy.

John Nelson Browder went home on a short leave and found his family quarantined with smallpox. So the family waved to John through the window and he returned to service only to be shot and killed. Sarah never remarried..

Two daughters, Barbara and Olivia never married and continued living with their parents. In 1870 William and Elizabeth had living with them their daughters Barbara, Olivia, Sallie and her 3 children, Polly and her 6 children and a boarder—16 in all. William must have been somewhat overwhelmed providing for so many family members.

Elizabeth died in Germanton on 2 February 1872. William outlived 4 of his 9 children dying 12 April 1884 also in Germanton. A will has not been located, but we know his children received land and probably some personal property after his death. 

The posterity of Sallie Browder still own the land the Tuttle family cemetery is located. William’s youngest daughter Olivia left her land to extended family. Barbara claimed she received land from her father at his death and it was divided into 15 acre increments. She filed a will leaving all of her real estate to her nephew William D. Browder as long as she had a home with him in her last years and he treated as he always had.

Only four of William and Elizabeth's nine children married and had children, but they still have a very large posterity--many still living in Stokes County.


  1. Cindy, this is very well done. You have a rare combination of gifts; the ability to dig out facts long buried and then to present them in an interesting way. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Thanks Brad. You keep me going with your favorably comments.

  3. Mrs. Eppich, I am a direct descendant of John and Anna Tuttle. They would be my 7th great grandparents. My grandparents live in what I believe to be the John Tuttle plantation home. John Tuttle was given the land grant where their house sits in 1790. The house was traced back to around 1825, but there is no true record of it being built by John Tuttle. I do know that it was owned by Thomas Tuttle his son. Who then sold it to his son Thomas , which sold it to George Jefferson. The home has only been out of the hands of Tuttle descendants once. In the 1960s. My grandparents bought it in the 1970s. If you have any information of where John Tuttle actually lived it would be much appreciated.

    1. Please email me at ceppich@digis.net.
      I know the Tuttles lived on Muddy Creek close to Bethabara. The land was owned for many years by those of the Moravian faith. Then some of the land was opened to others. That is when Thomas Tuttle purchased the land. John’s wife Anna Barbara Fry and her ancestors were members of the Moravian faith—her family still owning some original land. I can do an extensive land record search if you are interested in that. Let me know by email.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.