Levi Outten

While Bible names were usual in the Outten family from the beginning of their sojourn to the American Continent, the subject of this chapter is the only one so far as the writer knows who was known by the name of Levi (sometimes written Levin). He was the son of Thomas and Ann Outten, the grandson of Thomas and Sabro Outten and the great grandson of John and Mary Outten.

Levi was born about the year 1744, so was about twenty-four yr. of age when his father died. He was left an equal share of his father’s personal property with his brothers and sisters, while his mother left him with one shilling sterling. Levi Outten had three brothers; Thomas, Matthias and Samuel and six sisters; Molley, Esther, Betty, Leah, Nanny and Sarah.

In the Archives of Maryland, volume 16, page 351–Journal of the Council of Maryland, August 30, 1777, Levi Outten’s name is among those listed as receiving commissions. . . .Levin, Outten, Ensign. . . .belonging to the Wicomico Battalion of Militia in Worcester County. The pay on an ensign was listed as $16.00.

Levi Outten married Hannah about 1776. His son, Thomas Outten was born in 1780. It seems probable that Levi Outten was married twice, if so, his second wife was Sally and it was a contract marriage, she, doubtless being an owner of real estate (see will). Levi Outten owned Outten’s Discovery in Worcester County, Maryland in 1802.

Annapolis Hall of Records – May 14, 1796 – names wife “Hannah” in deed Book 4, p.5. – Deed book X, p.293 – Feb. 14, 1786 – No wife’s name on deed – Bourbon Co., KY Marriage Records – Paris KY, Book 2, p41 – Levi Outten m. Rachel Ru Dec. 15 {illegible}

There were nine children born to Levi Outten Thomas, Charlotte, Matthias, Abram, Ann, Polly, Hetty, Betsy and Sally. These children were all born in Worcester County, Maryland, and some had grown to manhood and womanhood before the family finally decided to emigrate, for Polly Outten was married to John Candry on Jan. 13, 1803. The marriage is recorded at Snow Hill, Md.

In the marriage records of Fayette Co. Book I. page 9 is the following record; Sally Outten m. John Ennis Jan. 2, 1808 and on page 26–Hetty Outten, m–Nicholas Headen March 8, 1814.

It was unusual, even in the early days for a man sixty years of age to emigrate, but Levi and Sally Outten sold their possessions, and joining a caravan composed of friends and neighbors with their negro slaves, they said farewell to Worcester County forever and with their family started on a long and perilous journey. Not withstanding the slow method of traveling and undaunted by the fear of danger, pestilence or famine, their exodus began. With covered wagons loaded with the necessities of life, they started for the land of promise. When did an Outten ever decide to do something and fail because of difficulties? Like our Anglo-Saxon Ancestors, who came to the Eastern Shore, no hardships were too great for them. They had to travel more than a thousand miles over a trackless wilderness, through forests jungle and mountain vastness for their destination was the Blue Grass Region of Kentucky.

A brief statement concerning the conditions that obtained there at that time will reveal the various reasons for so doing. Marvelous stories had been circulated all over the country about the fertility of the soil, and the possibility of obtaining great wealth. It was the first Western State that was formed after the adoption of the Constitution, and the second state in order of admission.

LaSalle discovered Kentucky in 1669 while on his way to the Pacific Ocean. A portion of it was explored as early as 1754 but the Indians were so numerous and hostile that settlement was very difficult.

The fertility of the soil, together with the alluring climate was the primary cause of the great influx of people from the Eastern States. Great trees grew there six feet in diameter with trunks seventy-five feet in length, some of which would make 30,000 feet of lumber. The absence of thick undergrowth enabled the early settlers to drive through the forests without much difficulty, and nearly all the streams could be forded.

The caravan finally reached the center of the Blue Grass Country, where Lexington had been laid out in 1775, being named for the Battle of Lexington. Col. Robert Patterson built the first house there in 1779. When Kentucky became a state, Lexington was considered the capital and the first legislature met there. It is now the County Seat of Fayette County.

Near this town Levi Outten came into possession of a fine farm, and here he resided until his death in 1825. His will is recorded at the Fayette County Court House in Will Book G., page 91. It is dated Nov. 29, 1824.

The will was probated in the March term of Court in 1825, so it is probable that Levi died in Feb or March, 1825, aged 81 years, and according to the custom of the time he was buried in a corner of the back yard of his home. This burying ground is located six miles north of Lexington, on Route 25. The property corners at an overhead bridge, in an S curve and is on the west side of the road.

Levi Outten died Feb. 15, 1825, in Lexington (KY. Gazette.) aged 81 yrs.

All the writer knows of the life and character of Levi Outten is stated in this memoir, but he accumulated quite a bit of property and will always be regarded as one of the pioneers of Kentucky and there his children established homes of their own. It has been little over one hundred years since he died, yet the seventh generations of his descendants are now growing up, and to the honor of their progenitor it may be said that his progeny have been the equal of any branch of the Outten family.

In the Fayette County, Kentucky Index to Deeds are the following:
Levi Outten to Fisher and Stout 4/6/1807 –335 acres on Cane Run.
Charlotte and Ann Outten from Levi Outten, gift 10/10/1810 slaves and personalty.
Levi Outten from Thomas Outten & shff. 3/31/1807 one half of 335 acres.
Levi Outten from Thomas Outten 2/3/1814 personalty.
Levi Outten to Thomas Outten 10/2/1822–335 acres on Cane Run.
Levi Outten from Thomas Outten 9/18/1824 166 acres on Cane Run.

Heads of Families in Worcester Co, Md at the First Census taken 1790
1st Column – Free white males of 16 years upwards
2nd ” ” ” ” under 16 years
3rd ” ” females, including heads of families
4th ” all other free persons
5th ” Slaves
Errata in printed Census books

Bulletin reads Original reads
Outlew, Levi Outten, Levi


Column 1 2 3 4 5
Outten, Levi… …..1…… …….1……. …..9….. …..0….. …..7…..
this would
be Thomas
born 1780