Thomas Dutton was born 6 October 1623 in Frodsham, Cheshire, England to John Dutton (1598-1693) and Mary Neeld (c1600-) and died 27 August 1684 Billerica, Middlesex County, Massachusetts of unspecified causes. He married Susannah Palmer (1626-1684) 1647 in Billerica, Middlesex County, Massachusetts.


Thomas Dutton, very likely the son of John Dutton, was born in England about 1621. He most likely came to America around 1630 with his father. He probably grew up in Reading, Massachustts. He married Susannah, whose name was possibly Palmer, around 1647 and they settled in Reading, where their first four children were born. In 1659 they removed to Woburn, where five more children were born. They are the ancestors of most of the New England Duttons. In 1669 they moved to Billerica and settled on the south side of Fox Brook. Susanna died in Billerica on Aug. 27, 1684, aged 58 years. She was the mother of all his children. Thomas married second, on Nov. 10, 1684, Ruth Hooper, widow of William Hooper. Thomas himself died on Jan. 22, 1687, in Billerica.

Possibly buried at a cemetery in operation in Billerica from 1663 onwards is the South Burying Ground on Concord Road between French Street and Middlesex Turnpike.

1668 Court Case

Thomas figured in two remarkable court cases. In 1668 he brought suit against Michael Bacon Jr. for slander after Bacon accused him with the theft of a napkin and spoon. Bacon was found guilty and fined 15 pounds. The best men of Reading and Woburn testified to the excellent character of Dutton. "Wee whos Names are under written testyfy that Thomas Dutton having lived amongst us in the Town of Woburne were the space of tenne yeares, has bine very Industrus in his calling and has not to our knowledge bine any way given to steall or to take any thing that is not his owne. Josias Conuars, William Johnson, Mathew Johnson, James Conuars , Samuell Conuars, John Broockes, Thomas Pierce, Samual Walker senyer, John Russell Junior, Henry Broockes, Isack Broockes, Edward Wom, Ricjard Gardner, John Russell Sen, John Carter."

1661 Court Case

In 1661 he was before the court for beating his wife, and was fined, in spite of the denials of both himself and his wife. The evidence against him came entirely from the household of a neighbor, Ensign John Carter. Carter's two teenaged daughters claimed that they both saw Dutton beat his wife with a stick while she had a child in her arms. The following morning, according to Carter's wife Elizabeth and his servant John Neale, there was a great outcry from Dutton's wife. They claimed to have heard her crying out between the blows he was dealing her. That same morning Carter and the Woburn grandjuryman confronted Dutton and found his wife crying and her eyes were swollen. Later on that Monday, September 30, 1661 Goodwife Dutton came to Carter's house and told them she could still feel the blows.

In Dutton's defense two subscriptions were presented to the court. Twenty-one people of Reading testified to his "tender & loving treatment of his wife" and previous next-door neighbors had never heard any evidence of violence. The second came from eleven witnesses to Dutton's "loving and tender carriage to his wife" and claimed that there had been no sound of any abuse "till John Carter had complained against him." There was popular resentment against the Carters who had turned a domestic tiff into a public matter, a resentment which Dutton's wife may well have shared. Dutton's battering of his wife may have been directly provoked by the misbehavior of their daughter Mary, who had run away and hid at the Carter's home."


Offspring of Thomas Dutton and Susannah Palmer (1626-1684)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Thomas Dutton (1648-1737) 14 September 1648 Reading, Middlesex County, Massachusetts 1737 Billerica, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Rebecca Brabooke (1652-1721)
Sarah Convers (1647-1738)
Mary Dutton (1651-1678)
Susannah Dutton (1654-1723)
John Dutton (1656-1735)
Elizabeth Dutton (1659-1698) 28 January 1660 Woburn, Middlesex County, Massachusetts 7 April 1698 Concord, Middlesex County, Massachusetts William Baker (1655-1702)
Joseph Dutton (1661-1734) 25 January 1661 Woburn, Middlesex County, Massachusetts 24 January 1734 East Haddam, Middlesex County, Connecticut Rebecca Merriam (1662-1693)
Mary Cutler (1663-1744)
Sarah Dutton (1662-1757)
James Dutton (1665-1755)
Benjamin Dutton (1669-)


Offspring of John Dutton (1598-1693) and Mary Neeld (c1600-)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Thomas Dutton (1622-1687) 6 October 1623 Frodsham, Cheshire, England 27 August 1684 Billerica, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Susannah Palmer (1626-1684)


Footnotes (including sources)