Thomas Outten

Thomas Outten, the subject of this sketch, was the son of Thomas and Sabro Outten, the grandson of John and Mary Outten. He was born about the year 1712, the eldest of three brothers and one sister, namely Samuel, John, Abraham and Elizabeth. About the year 1735 Thomas was married to Ann (Townsend?). They were the parents of ten children: Thomas, Mollie, Esther, Levi, Betty, Leah, Nancy, Matthias, Samuel and Sarah.

It does not appear that Thomas and Ann Outten purchased any real estate, but they held the plantation he had inherited at his father’s death in 1726. At the age of eighteen he had half control and became the sole owner after his mother’s death (see will of Thomas I).

On March 30, 1768 Thomas II made his will. Thomas Outten died at the age of fifty-six, the will was probated the year it was written, for in 1780 “Came Ann Outten (his widow) and next of kin, Betty and Levi Outten”. Ann was designated executrix.

One fact is noticeable in this will, as in those preceding and that is the law of primogeniture obtained in the American Colonies belonging to England. By this law the eldest son succeeded to the possession of his father’s estate in preference to, and in absolute exclusion of the younger sons and all the daughters often causing incessant difficulties.

It is worthy of notice that John Outten, the lawyer, left to his eldest son, Thomas, a double portion of his real estate, but Thomas left to his eldest son all of his real estate and, also his share of the personal estate with his brothers and sisters, Molley Toadvine excepted.

It is likely that being the eldest child, Molley Toadvine had reason to expect that she would inherit at least a portion of the property. There is an old family tradition, perhaps scarcely worthy of credence, that when Molley discovered that she was practically disowned, she became exceedingly angry and swore revenge. The writer’s father once said that when he was a small boy it was a custom in the Outten family to refer to “Molley” when some one became unmanageable.

On April 7, 1775, Ann Outten widow of Thomas Outten made her will. Ann Outten died soon after the will was made. She outlived her husband seven years.

The eldest son of Thomas and Ann Outten was named Thomas. He was probably born about the year 1738 and after the death of his father in 1768 he continued to live on the home plantation with his mother until her death in 1775. Thomas was never married, and on Nov. 2, 1777 he willed his property to his brothers, Samuel and Mathias and his two unmarried sisters, Leah and Sarah Outten. Thomas died in 1778 in his fortieth year, but we have no historical facts concerning him on record.

Concerning the moral character of Thomas and Ann Outten the writer has not the remotest idea, except what they may have inadvertently revealed in their respective wills. Their educational advantages must have been decidedly limited as schools were few and far apart in those days. Many sent their sons abroad for their education.

Unlike his father and grandfather, Thomas makes no acknowledgment of Providential Blessings, and expresses no hope of a future existence. This laudable custom had probably changed to some extant, but it was rather an evidence of a prevailing skepticism than of superior wisdom. Thomas Outten will only be remembered as a valuable connecting link between two honored men, his father, Thomas and his son Levi.


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