Select Sutton Surname Genealogy

Here are some Sutton stories and accounts over the years:

Hervey de Sutton

Hervey De Sutton was the lord of Sutton upon Trent near Tuxford in Nottinghamshire.  Various origins have been given for the Suttons.  But a deed cited by Dugdale suggests that they are of the Nottingham Suttons.  John, his son who married Margaret de Someri, styled himself Johannes filius Johannis de Sutton super Trent, dominus of Dudley, in 1284.   He had three sons: Robert who died without children; Richard who had one daughter; and Rowland.  The main Sutton line went via this third son Rowland. 

James Henry Mason’s 1987 book The Dudley Genealogies stated: "Hervey de Sutton was a great grandson of Hervey de Sutton, a Saxon tenant of Earl Allan at Sudton or Southtown in 1079."

Sir Robert Sutton and the Arabian Grey

Sir Robert Sutton was the English ambassador to Constantinople in the early 18th century.  He is, however, best known for having introduced the Arabian grey to England.  It wasn’t easy, he said: 

“The difficulty of finding handsome Arab mares is incredible.  The Arabs were all robbers who depended on their mares for their livelihood and these mares were shared among five or six people and valued at most extravagant rates.  When a Frank (European) appears to buy them, the price is always unreasonably enhanced.” 

The Alcocks Arabian was a grey horse imported to England from Constantinople in 1704 by Sir Robert Sutton.  When sold on this stallion was known as the Brownlow or Lordship’s Turk.  The stallion is responsible for the continuous line of greys found in the English thoroughbred breed today.

Clonmines Suttons in County Wexford

There were three main castles at Clonmines, owned by the Suttons, Purcells, and Fitzhenrys.  The Sutton castle was a large structure and this branch of the family, although deprived of their estate, managed somehow to cling onto the old paternal home as tenants to the Annessleys until the late 1840’s.  The last of them was evicted at that time, but not before he had taken down the upper portion of the walls and re-roofed the old tower which he then converted into a dwelling house. 

Many nearby farming families claimed kinship with the Clonmines Suttons and were said to regard their relationship to that family with manifest pride.  The reason was that through the long penal years in Ireland, these Suttons fought the good fight and kept true to the Catholic faith. 

Caesar Sutton of Long Graigue, who had his burial place in the cemetery attached to the old parish church of St. Nicholas's at Clonmines, was of this Clonmines Sutton family.  His branch became Protestants and were therefore more opulent than his Catholic kindred.

William Sutton of New Jersey

William Sutton first appeared at Barnstable on Cape Cod, where in 1666 he was hauled into court and fined for purloining the Bible from the meeting house: "one pound and for telling a lie about the same, ten shillings." His departure from the town was probably expedited by these occurrences, and a few weeks later, at the neighboring settlement of Eastham, he took refuge in matrimony with Damaris Bishop.  They had ten children, the first three born in Eastham and the rest born in Piscataway, New Jersey. 

According to Albert and Arnie Outlaw’s Outlaw Genealogy, the quest of religious freedom was probably the main reason for his move.  At the New Jersey colony he was an influential Quaker.  On or near the Partian river, not far from the present town of New Brunswick, William Sutton settled and prospered.  Known for his fair dealings with the Indians, the wolves in the forest were his only enemies.  In 1682 he was the owner of 249 acres of land and he held the office of freeholder constable and town clerk.  In 1713 he was spoken of as an aged man and he was later buried in the Quaker churchyard in Woodbridge.

Benjamin Sutton, A Quaker at the Time of the Revolutionary War

Benjamin was an ardent and devout Quaker who refused to carry a gun or fight for either side in the Revolution.  The Tories captured him and nearly beat him to death, trying to make him join the militia and then had him thrown into the Sugar House prison in New York. 

When Benjamin was thirty and his wife Jemima twenty eight, they decided to migrate to Vermont.  Family tradition has it that they made the trip through dense forests, over mountain trails and sometimes along game trails, Benjamin walking while Jemima rode their horse.  The story makes no mention of any little children traveling with them.  However, history credits them with fourteen children, from whom descended the Vermont Suttons.

John and James Sutton, Two Brothers from New Jersey

John and James Sutton were the two eldest sons of John and Catherine Sutton of New Brunswick, New Jersey. 

In 1817, John set out for St. Louis.  James followed and, after a prolonged illness while travelling through Ohio, arrived there in 1819. The two brothers set up a blacksmith’s shop at Second and Spruce Street.  They were not only horseshoers, but were also clever iron manufacturers as well.  They made iron nails and induced people to use them instead of wooden peg in the timbers of their houses.  Early customers included William Carr Lane, the first mayor of St. Louis, and Alexander McNair, first Governor of Missouri. 

John Sutton never married and died in 1830. 

James thrived.  He is credited with introducing iron-clad wheels and iron and steel-pointed plows (the Sutton plow).  He married Ann Wells of St. Louis in 1829 and bought land outside the town.  He first built a log cabin there and then, in 1832, the family homestead and a storehouse in an area that was to become known as Maplewood. 

After the county was separated from the city of St. Louis, the first meetings of the fledgling county government were held at the Sutton mansion in Maplewood.  James’ son Henry was appointed as first presiding justice of its county court. 

James and Ann raised eleven children there.  Their home stayed with the Sutton family until the death of their son John in 1909.

Henry Sutton the Australian Inventor

His father Richard founded a music firm in a tent on the Ballarat goldfield in 1854.  Henry grew up interested in science and engineering (he had read all the scientific books in the well-stocked Ballarat Mechanics' Institute by the time he was fourteen).  The models and machines that he developed were ingenious and his drawings revealed great talent.  He won a silver medal and thirty other prizes for drawing at the Ballarat School of Design. 

According to his friend Withers, Sutton designed an electric continuous current dynamo with a practical ring armature as early as 1870.  A year later the Belgian Gramme showed the French Academy of Sciences his own improved version, the Gramme Dynamo, which used the same principles as Sutton's.  When it was found in 1873 that the device was reversible and could be used as an electric motor the rapid development of the electrical industry followed. 

Less than a year after Bell had received his patent in 1876, Sutton had devised and constructed more than twenty different telephones, sixteen of which were patented by others.  Bell visited Ballarat to see a complete telephone system installed by Sutton in the family warehouse. 

In some respects his most interesting work was in the field of what has since become television.  He claimed in the late 1880’s to have designed, but not constructed, an apparatus that would transmit to Ballarat the running of the Melbourne Cup.

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