James Outten of Concord

In presenting the genealogy of the Outten family in Delaware, the subject of this chapter must occupy an important position. He was born in Broad Creek Hundred, Sussex County, Delaware, August 29, 1809; being the eldest son of John Outten and Sarah Baker, his wife, of Broad Creek Hundred.

James Outten was a ship-carpenter by trade, and at the age of twenty-two, he was the chief mechanic at Col. George Green’s shipyard. He worked at the shipyards near Seaford, Middleford and Shad Point. A sloop called the “Maggie and Louisa,” which was built by him was well known on the Nanticoke River and Chesapeake Bay for many years. His last vessel was built at Shad Point in 1864, and was called the “William- James,” being named for William Wheatley and James Outten. Nicholas, his son, was captain and part owner of this vessel.

He was married on March 22, 1831, to Mary L. Outten, daughter of Abraham Outten and Sophia Spicer, his wife, of Nanticoke Hundred, and they began housekeeping in Seaford. They moved from Seaford to the Old Meadow Farm near Middleford. While here he bought twenty acres of land near Concord, where he moved in 1840, and here he spent the remainder of his life. He carried the mail from Concord and Middleford to the post-office and railroad station of Seaford for many years. He also kept store at Concord. His children were: – Maggie, Hester, Nicholas, Ezekiel, John Francis, Mary James, Mattie Elizabeth, and George Maddox.

John Outten, the father of James, was born in Broad Creek Hundred, November 8, 1787, and was a ship carpenter by trade. He married Sarah Baker, daughter of the Reverend Daniel Baker and Magdalen Magee, his first wife. Sarah was born March 21, 1789, and was a half-sister of Obed Outten Baker, the father of Henry White Baker. John and Sarah were married July 17, 1808, and were the parents of six children, as follows: – James, Wilson, Sallie Reed, Daniel Wilson, John R. and Elizabeth. The father of these children died October 16, 1824, aged 36 years, 11 months, and 2 days.

The subject of this narrative had three brothers and two sisters. Wilson, son of John and Sarah Outten, was born August 4, 1912, and died July 8, 1817, nearly five years old. Sallie Reed Outten was born October 6, 1817. She married Capt. James Boyce of Concord, March 24, 1840, and they are the parents of five children. Daniel Wilson Outten was born March 6, 1822. He was a ship carpenter by trade, and moved to Wilmington when he was a young man to work in the shipyards. He attended Scott Methodist Episcopal Church. His wife’s name was Mary Ann. They had four children. Elizabeth Outten, daughter of John and Sarah Baker, was born April 1, 1820. She married Seth Outten, a son of Abraham and Sophia of Nanticoke Hundred. They were the parents of two children. John R. Outten was born Sept. 23, 1824. He was a ship carpenter, and went to Wilmington with his brother Daniel to work in the shipyard; he also attended Scott Church. He married Margaret Cannon, an aunt to the wife of Nicholas Outten, being a sister of her mother. They were the parents of three children.

Mary Lingo Outten, the wife of James Outten of Concord, was the daughter of Abraham Outten and Sophia Spicer, his wife, and was born in Nanticoke Hundred, November 8, 1809. She was married to James Outten March 22, 1831, and the old family record, now in possession of Henry White Baker states that they were cousins. They were the parents of eight children, four boys and four girls, all of whom lived to be grown and married.

Capt. Ezekiel Outten was born April 5, 1835. He began life as a sailor, and became a sea captain. He married his cousin, Anna Elizabeth Boyce, daughter of Capt. James Boyce of Concord. They were the parents of six children.

Capt. Nicholas Adam Outten, son of James, was born October 11, 1836. He married Anna M. Cannon, born November 7, 1842, and died January 28, 1925; she was the niece to the wife of his uncle, John R. Outten. They were the parents of three children.

Capt. John Francis Outten, another son of James and Mary was born in 1839. He shipped as a cabin boy, and spent most of his life on the water. He married Mary Haley, and they were the parents of two children.

George Maddux Outten, the youngest son of James and Mary, was born at Concord in 1850. He married Alice Rawlins, daughter of William Rawlins and Susan Ann Osburn, his wife, and granddaughter of Lot Rawlins. They are the parents of nine children.

The daughters of James and Mary Outten were as follows:

Maggie A. was born April 20, 1832. She married Littleton Smith, and they were the parents of five children.

Mary J., born March 27, 1843, married William W. Phillips March 2, 1859. Mary J. and William were the parents of eight children.

Sophia Hester Outten was called Hester. She married Burton Lingo, and was the mother of one child that died. Hester died a young woman.

The career of Martha Outten, commonly called Mattie, is most interesting on account of her matrimonial experiences. Mattie was married four times.

In closing this imperfect record of James and Mary Outten, my feelings would prompt me to pronounce an eulogy upon their character and life, but, unfortunately, I was only a child when I knew them, while they were both advanced in years, and suffering the infirmities of old age. “Uncle Jimmie,” as he was familiarly called by all who knew him, was honored and respected by his large circle of friends. The writer can never forget Old Bob, the horse with which he carried the mail for many years, and the beautifully spotted coach dog, but the face and features of those old people were also indelibly impressed upon the tablets of my memory. While my recollection of them is most vivid, and my regard for them is unbiased by the lapse of years, yet I regret exceedingly my inability to portray their character, and exemplify their usefulness. James, as I remember him, was of medium size, and wore a fringe of gray whiskers about his face in the good old-fashioned style, but his features had been formed in the purest Outten mold.

James and Mary lived faithfully together for more than 51 years. They were devout members of the Concord Methodist Episcopal Church, of which he was a trustee for many years. Their house was the home of the Methodist itinerant preacher. In these early days, there were several appointments on a charge, and two or three preachers, who either walked or rode on horseback. When any of them went to Concord to preach, they always knew that they would find an open house and a hearty welcome here. They came often and sometimes two came together. Mary died July 2, 1882, aged 72 years, 7 months and 24 days. Rev. Philip H. Rawlins preached the funeral sermon, and she was buried in the Concord Churchyard. After the death of Mary, James was married to Nancy Outten, his wife’s sister. It is said that Mary, while on her death bed, called them both to her and exacted a promise that they would marry.

Nancy Outten was born May 28, 1814, and in early life she was a professional nurse. She lived for years in the house of Dr. McFarren, near Bridgeville, and went about nursing his patients. She also lived at the home of Josie Collins, but she always made the home of her sister Mary her headquarters. She did not marry till she was 68 years old, and although James was 74, she made him a good wife, for she was a good woman; always affectionate towards the members of her family, and very spiritual in her religious life. She prayed well in public, her Christian testimony in a Methodist class-meeting was often uttered with great power, and her method of appeal to those who made no profession of religion, sometimes seemed almost irresistible. She died January 2, 1894, aged 79 years, 7 months, and 5 days. The funeral sermon was preached by the Rev. Philip H. Rawlins, a life-long friend of the family. The epitaph on her tombstone reads, “Her last words were
Jesus can made a dying bed
Feel soft as downy pillows are;
While on His breast I lean my head,
And breathe my life out sweetly there.”

James Outten died May 22, 1889, age 79 years, 8 months, and 23 days. He was buried in the family lot by the side of Mary. The epitaph on his tombstone reads, “He was a consistent member of the Concord Methodist Church 56 years. Ripe for the Harvest, Gathered in sunshine, Safe in the garner of the Lord.”

There have been more than 100 descendant of James and Mary Outten, but the perpetuation of the family name in that branch of the Outten family will depend henceforth upon the sons of George Maddux, and Elmer Outten.

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