December 15, 2013


I am related to the most interesting people. Seriously. For example, take Deborah ASTINE SUTTON, my 7th great grandmother. 

She married my 7th great grandfather, Nathaniel SUTTON, in August 1668. That's some 345 years ago. It's been a while now. 

They married in Nasemond County, Virginia and them moved into Perquimans County, NC. Once here, they became Quakers. They helped organize the very first church in North Carolina and Quakers remained the Carolina Colony's only organized religion until 1701. 

I'm delighted to have Quakers in my family history. I've always admired "Friends" from afar, but never delved much into the faith. History shows they were a peace loving community.

In 1684, two years after Nat died, Deborah received land grants  on the east side of the Perquimans River. I don't know if it was common for women to receive land grants at that time, but she is the very first woman I've happened across who was granted land by the Lords Proprietors.  I'm sure there were others, but probably not many.
Sutton, Deborah, (widow) grt 280a “on E. side of Piquemons River” being the Westermost bounds of another tract to sd Deborah, 1684. And 294a on E side of Perq River, “to ye mouth of Little Creek.” 1684.
In February of 1729, she executed a will at a time when few women had wills. She mentions only her son Richard Whedbee in the will, leaving us to assume she outlived her 7 other children. Can you imagine having to bury SEVEN children before you die? 

She had 4 children from her marriage to Mr. Sutton and 4 children from her marriage to Mr. Whedbee. She lived to the ripe old age of 84, which is remarkable at a time when the average female lifespan was about 45.

It has been said that a woman marries first for love. The second time, she marries for money and position. And the third time, she marries for companionship. This seems to be exactly what Deborah did.  Good for her!

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