Thomas Outten

The first Outten born in America, according to the records now extant, was the subject of this memoir. His birth is recorded at Princess Anne, in the oldest record book that is now in the archives of Somerset County, Maryland.

“Thomas Outten, son of John Outten and born of Mary, his wife the eleventh day of October, Anno Domini, One Thousand six hundred and eighty-four.”

Thomas was the eldest son of John Outten, the lawyer, but nothing whatever is known of his childhood. He was twenty-five years old when his father died, and he at once took possession of his share of his father’s estate. In his father’s will we find this bequest”

Imprimis – I give and bequeath to my loving son Thomas Outten my dwelling plantation to be made out 200 acres of land and marsh to be bounded by the inlett adjoining next to William Selby and not to go over into that marsh formerly belonging to John Bishop called tansie for any part of said 200 A.”

The will referred to was made Jan. 20, 1708. At that time Thomas Outten had no children and he was probably unmarried, as there was some solicitude in his father’s will as to whether or not he might die “without lawful issue begotten of his own body.” And in the event that Thomas should die without children, then Samuel is to “enjoy my dwelling plantation at (B?) Pocoternorton, with all the lands marshes and privileges.”

Thomas Outten married Sabro (Sebrine or Sabora?) Jones, perhaps soon after his father’s death or about the year 1710. Sabro was the daughter of John Jones of Mattapenny, Somerset Co. On April 6, 1719, her father made his will, leaving his property to his children. His son John received 100 A and personalty. The other children, viz.; Giles, Grace, Elizabeth, Mary Walton, Margaret Cydolet, Sarah Walton, and Sabro Outten receiFmarrved 12d each. Wife was executrix and residuary legatee. Thomas and Sabro were the parents of five children: Thomas, Samuel, John, Elizabeth and Abraham.

It is not likely that Thomas Outten ever owned any real estate except what was left to him in his father’s will. The writer was unable to find any deeds of property that was purchased by him, and his will, which was made January 3, 1725, refers only to what he had received from his father’s estate. The will is recorded in the office of the Register of Wills at Annapolis, Maryland.

Thomas Outten probably died in Nov., 1726, as his will was probated and sworn to on the 19th day of that month. He was therefore only 42 years old. His eldest son, Thomas, was about 14 or 15 years of age, but he could not secure possession of any of his father’s estate until he was 18 years old. Then, according to a codicil of the will, he was to share half of the estate that was left to his mother. Judging from what the testator expressed in his last will and testament, he probably anticipated, with no degree of pleasure, that his wife would marry again, but we do not know whether she did or not. Like other fond husbands, Thomas seemed to think that there would be a demand for Sabro after he was gone.

On Dec. 4, 1726, the inventory of goods and chattels of Thomas Outten was taken by Abraham Smith and John Pope. George Truitt signed as next of kin to the deceased, and as a creditor. We do not know how it was that George Truitt was next of kin to Thomas Outten, as he certainly had two brothers living at that time, but George Truitt may have been either a brother or brother in law to Sabora, wife of Thomas Outten.

On June 20, 1727, came Sabro Outten (widow of Thomas Outten) and made oath that the inventory was a just and perfect inventory of the personal estate of Thomas Outten that had come to her hands. Abraham Outten is also mentioned (brother to Thomas) as the next kin to William Selby, the greatest creditor. It is difficult to understand these statements, but it was no doubt all done to satisfy the creditors and protect the orphan children.

There are no other historical facts recorded concerning the first Thomas Outten except the fact that he testified to the will of Job Pope, Somerset Co., in 1720, and all the writer knows of him has been stated in this memoir. But the casual reader may wonder what kind of a character he was. It is not likely that he had ever enjoyed very extensive educational advantages, but the sentiments and affectionate regard for his wife and little children will bear the commendation of all good people. There is no way by which to determine his political tendencies nor his moral inclinations, but his piety and faith are substantially stated in the first paragraph of his will, “I do commit my soul to God that gave it and my body to the earth to be decently buried and I hope to be saved through the merits of the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, and at the day of resurrection rise to life eternal.”

It is always a serious experience for any man, knowing that he is approaching the end of his earthly pilgrimage, to make his last will and testament, to be recorded in the archives of the county. Who would dare question the honesty and sincerity of one who swears to the contents of his will in the presence of witnesses? It would, therefore, be blasphemy for a wicked or profane man to express such lofty aspirations in his last will and testament. Thomas Outten, like his father, John Outten, was doubtless a Christian man, a church member, and a believer in the doctrines of the Holy Scriptures. He therefore graphically expressed the moral and religious sentiments of the entire Outten family when he said, “I hope to be saved through the merits of the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, and at the day of resurrection rise to life eternal.” So may it be!

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