The word Tuthill, meaning a conical hill, is a common place name in England, of remote antiquity. From one or more places named Tuthill the surname Tuthill or Tuttle is derived, after a prevalent custom in the twelfth century and later when surnames came into use in England. The family had been especially prominent in Devonshire, England.
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There came to America in 1635, in the ship “Planter,” three families of this name from the parish of St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England. John, William, and Richard Tuttle, the heads of these families, were doubtless brothers. John Tuttle, mercer, aged thirty-nine, according to the passenger list, in 1635, settled at Ipswich, Massachusetts; was in Ireland in 1654, and probably fell sick there, for his wife went to Carrickfergus, Ireland, and wrote April 6, 1657, that he died there, December 30, 1656. Richard Tuttle, aged forty-two, settled in Boston, where he died May 8, 1640. Henry Tuttle was in Hingham, Massachusetts, in 1635, coming with his brother John; Henry removed to Southold, Long Island, John returned to England, and settled at Weybread, Suffolk county. Still another John Tuttle came in the ship “Angel Gabriel” and settled in Dover, New Hampshire.
(I) William Tuttle, immigrant ancestor, came from St. Albans parish, Hertfordshire, England, on the ship “Planter,” in April, 1635, with his brothers John and Richard and their families. He stated his age as twenty-six. His wife Elizabeth, aged twenty-three, and children, – John, aged three and a half, and Thomas, aged three months, – came at the same time. His occupation was given as husbandman. His wife joined the church at Boston, August 14, 1636. As early as 1639 he was granted liberty to build a windmill at Charlestown, and was a proprietor of that town in 1636. His wife was dismissed to the church in Ipswich, September 8, 1639, and they doubtless lived there for a time. He was part owner of the ketch “Zebulon,” of Ipswich, and was associated to some extent in business with John Tuttle, of Ipswich. He and John owned land deeded them by George Griggs for debt, and the same George Griggs gave him a mortgage of house and land on Beacon street, Boston, October 8, 1650, after Tuttle had moved to New Haven. About 1639 Tuttle moved to Quinnipiac, later called New Haven. In 1641 he was the owner of the home lot of Edward Hopkins, who had removed to Hartford. This lot was on the square bounded by Grove, State, Elm and Church streets. In 1656 Tuttle bought of Joshua Atwater his original allotment, mansion house and barn, with other lands. He made his home there until his death, and his widow after him until her death, a period of twenty-eight years. At the time of his death it was appraised at X120. He shared in the division of common lands in 1640 and afterward. William Tuttle and Mr. Gregson were the first owners of land at East Haven, Connecticut, and Mr. Tuttle surveyed and laid out the road from the ferry at Red Rock to Stony River. His land there was bounded by a line running from the old ferry (where the new bridge over the Quinnipiac now (1910) is) eastward to a spring where issues the small stream called Tuttle’s Brook, thence south along this brook to Gregson’s land at Solitary Cove, thence west to a point on the New Haven Harbor near the chemical works and Fort Hale, thence north along the harbor to the point of beginning. It included Tuttle’s Hill. In 1699 he became owner of land at North Haven. He sold or conveyed to his children most of his property before he died. Judging from the seat he was assigned in the meeting house, he was among the foremost men of New Haven as early as 1646-47. He was interested in the projected settlement from New Haven on the Delaware, which failed on account of the opposition of the Dutch in New Netherlands. He filled many positions of trust and responsibility in the colony; was commissioner to decide on an equivalent to those who received inferior meadow lands in the first allotment; was fence viewer in 1644; road commissioner in 1646; commissioner to settle the dispute as to boundary between New Haven and Branford in 1669, and to fix the bounds of New Haven. Milford, Branford. and Wallingford in 1672. He was often a juror and arbitrator; was constable in 1666-67. He died early in June, 1673. His inventory was dated June 6, 1673. His wife died December 30, 1684, aged seventy-two years. She had been living with her youngest son, Nathaniel, who presented her will, but the other children objected and it was not allowed. The inventory of her estate is dated February 3, 1685. Her gravestone was removed with the others in 1821 from the Old Green to the Gove street cemetery, and it now (1910) stands in a row along the north wall of the cemetery, but part of the inscription is gone. Children: John, born in England, 1631 ; Hannah, born in England, 1632-33; Thomas, born in England, 1634-35; Jonathan, baptized in Charlestown, Massachusetts, April 7, 1658; David, baptized in Charlestown, April 7. 1659; Joseph, baptized in New Haven, November 22, 1640; Sarah, baptized April, 1642; Elizabeth, November 9, 1645; Simon, March 28, 1647; Benjamin, October 29, 1648; Mercy, April 27, 1650; Nathaniel, February 29, 1652.