John Outten

The subject of this sketch was the second son of John Outten, the Lawyer, and Mary, his wife, and he was born on the plantation called Pocotemarton. The date of his birth is recorded in the oldest record book in the Archives of Somerset County, Maryland, as follows:” John Outten, son of John Outten and born of Mary his wife the 23rd day of May Anno Domini One Thousand six hundred and eighty seven.”

Nothing whatever is known of his childhood, until his father made his will Jan. 29. 1708, which made him heir to a part of the property. The following bequest is made in the Will:

“I give and bequeath unto my well beloved son John Outten all my lands and marsh belonging to me lying upon Moromscoe Creek in the Neck called Condocus only excepted 50 A sould to Peter Kersie as after will be mentioned.” “And in case my son John Outten should depart this natural life without lawful begotten issue of his own body then those lands and marshes bequeathed to him at Moromscoe to be the right of my son Thomas.”

John Outten was 22 years old when his father died in 1709, and he at once took possession of his share of the estate. His eldest brother Thomas received the larger share of the real Estate, but John, Samuel, and Abraham each received about an equal portion of the remainder. John Outten married Sarah Purnell, oldest child of Thomas Purnell, Sr., and Director Purnell, his wife. She had two brothers, Thomas Jr., and John Purnell, and one sister Elizabeth, who married John Nutter.

John Outten and Sarah were married about the year 1712, and they were the parents of eight childred, four boys and four girls, as follows: John, Purnell, Mary, who married Daniel Sturgis; Director who married Abraham Harris; Abraham who married Sallie; Obed who married Sarah; Tabitha who married Zacharias Harris; and Edeth.

Besides the property which was left to him by his father, John Outten purchased Real Estate, the deeds of which are recorded in full at Princess Anne, the County Seat of Somerset County, Maryland.

John Outten made his Last Will and Testament August 29, 1733, and it is recorded both at Princess Anne and at Annapolis, Maryland.

March 2, 1736, Then came Sarah Outten widow of John Outten and made her election to within Will and desired that both real and personal estate should be transferred to her.

John Outten probably died in Feb. 1736, in the 49th year of his age. He and Sarah had been married 24 years and some of their childred were grown. Mary was married to Daniel Sturgis before the Will was made Aug. 29, 1733, but none of the other children were married at that time.

They had a son named Outten Sturgis, who assisted in appraising the property of William Outten in 1759. He was a magistrate or Judge in Worcester County.

John being his eldest son had bequeathed to him the home plantation, but he did not share in the personal property with the other children. Sarah according to the Will was to hold one-third of all the property during her widowhood.

On April 29, 1736, an inventory was made by “Daniel Sturgis and John Outten as nearest of kin,” and on June 4th of the same year, “came Sarah Outten and made oath that it was a just inventory of the property that had belonged to John Outten.” Judging by the property he owned and the Will he left, John Outten was a man of some wealth and standing in the community where he lived.

Like all the other Outtens of that age, he was an owner of slaves, and perhaps one of the leading farmers of the Eastern Shore, but it seems probable that he never enjoyed perfect health. His brother Thomas died at the age of 42, and when John made his will he was only 46 years old, but he was then “very sick of body but of perfect mind and memory.” His father seemed to have some fears lest he should “depart this natural life without lawful issue of his own body.”

The writer of this sketch has added the word Senior to the name of this John Outten, because so far as we know now he was the first John Outten that was born in America.

The sons of John Outten, the Lawyer, did not live to be old men, but they were probably all moral and useful men. Abraham outlived all the others, but died at the age of 54. Sarah is only mentioned twice after the death of John Outten, March 2, and June 4, 1736. She probably died soon after. John and Sarah both died and were probably buried on the home plantation.

Written by Rev. John Perry Outten converted to Hypertext by Karen Stephens