The following was published as a news article in the Macon County Times in Tennessee. This is the first of many genealogical sketches to be printed on this SUTTON family.
"THE SUTTON FAMILY
Below is a letter we wrote to Mrs. H.A. Russell, wife of Elder Henry A. Russell, of Murfreesboro, TN, about ten years ago. Since it is already written and as time is limited, we are taking the liberty of publishing it as it was written, for the benefit of others who might be interested in the history of the family, even though there are several personal matters contained in the letter, which is as follows:
Lafayette, Tenn., Aug. 3, 1940
Dear Mrs. Russell:
At last I have found that record I made from information given me by your late father, James M. Sutton, relative to the history of his family. I put down what he told me largely in the form of a diagram and from it, I will give you most of the information I received from him. If any part of it is not plain, please write me and I will do my best to make it all clear. He told me that the first James Sutton of whom he had any knowledge was a native of Wales, coming to North Carolina about 1650. Four brother, names unknown, came with him. This James Sutton had a son, named James, a grandson bearing the same name, a great-grandson named James and a great-great-grandson, James, all in direct line of descent from the first James Sutton. With this great-great-grandson the record becomes a little more detailed. The great-great-grandson, born in 1736, was a second Lieutenant in the Revolutionary War, married Elizabeth Brown, weighed 550 pounds when last weighed and died on Defeated Creek in Smith County in 1836. Three of his brothers are mentioned, although the name of one of them in unknown. He left Tennessee for Scottsville, later moving to Indiana where one of his sons became Governor of that state. Another brother, Will Sutton, settled in Putnam Co., Tennessee. The fourth brother, John Sutton, had two children, George Sutton and Ann, who married a Cooper. This is the entire record I have of the family up to the this point except the family record of the large man, James Sutton, whose date of birth was in 1736. He married Elizabeth Brown, and the record shows that he twice married; but the name of the other wife is not given, nor is the order of the marriages. However, the children of his first marriage appear to have been: Colby, George, Abner, Logan, Jonathan, Joel and Oneida. His children by the second marriage were: Edmund Sutton, James Sutton, Demps Sutton (Note: by Vada Sutton - This Dempsey, father of Anderson Sutton), Mellie and Nellie Sutton.
I have nothing as to the wives or husbands of any of the children of the first marriage except George Sutton, who married a Cartwright, an aunt of Clark Cartwright, a Confederate Soldier who died on the head of Defeated Creek about 25 years ago. George Sutton went to Dade County, GA, where he died a very old man in 1878. He had one son, Leroy Sutton, who married an aunt of Judge Sam Young, for many years a prominent citizen of Dixon Springs. Leroy's children were: Howard Sutton, a Christian preacher; James Sutton; another son whose name is believed to be Will; and a daughter, Harriet.
Logan Sutton never married, but was a bachelor farmer on Peyton's Creek, owning six slaves and 1,000 acres of land. He left home with a drove of horses and was never heard from again. Colby is the only one whose descendants were given to me by your father. He had two children, Wilkerson and Bernettie Sutton. Wilkerson married Barbara Wix, and Bernettie married the father of Aunt Bide Russell. Wilkerson's children were: James, married a daughter of Levi Shoulders; David Colby Sutton, married Celia J. Austin; Jane Sutton, married Sherd Bailey; Mary Sutton, married Sam Shoulders; and one daughter whose name I do not have. The offspring of James Sutton and the Shoulders woman, if any, is unknown to me. David Colby and Delia J. Austin were the parents of Christian, Sallie, Eveline, James D., Clark, Philander and Cora Sutton. Jane became the mother of one son, Matthew Shoulders.
Now back to the children of the second marriage of the old Revolutionary soldier: Edmund, born in 1793, died in 1861, married Lucy Harris. Their children were: John Sutton, who went to Illinois; Susan and Jane, about whom nothing else is known.
Demps Sutton married Betsy Donoho (Note by Vada Sutton - This is Dempsey and Elizabeth Sutton, mother of Anderson Sutton). They moved to Arkansas and became the parents of Anderson and James Sutton. I have nothing else about this line.
Mellie married a Williams. Their children were: Anderson, Betsy, Layton, Fannie, Henderson, Martha, Haywood, Bailey and Eveline Williams.
Nellie Sutton married Spicer Brown. Children: Sidney L., who married Elder Levi A. Smithwick in 1846, and became the mother of three children; Nancy, who married a Stewart; one [child] whose name I do not have; Nelse and Joseph Brown, who married a Miss McDuffee, a relative of mine. Joe Brown was the father of Lee Brown, for many years a resident of Ebenezer. I might add here that I am also related to all the Shoulders mentioned in this sketch.
I now come to the remaining member of the family of children of the Revolutionary giant and his name was James Sutton. He was born on August 25, 1795, (Note by Vada Sutton - This birth year is incorrect. While on vacation in the County where Old James Sutton lived, I found the bible of this James Sutton, giving his birth year as 1794. Our Dempsey was born in 1795.) and died on April 5, 1864. He married Miss Mary F. Cornwell. Their children were: Martha, born February 21, 1820, and died in September, 1883; James Tyrel Sutton, born November 25, 1821, and died April 20, 1869; Mahala, date of birth or death not known; Betsy, no dates given; Johnson, born November 25, 1833, died February 19, 1914; and Campbell Sutton, born May 23, 1845 and died December 23, 1909.
Martha married Barnett Cornwell. Their children were: lee and Mary Cornwell, the latter marrying Silas Smith.
I do not have the name of the wife of James Tyrel Sutton, but it appears that he left Tennessee and went to Coldwater in Wayne Count, MO. His Children: Simpson Clay, married a Cosner; Ben F.; Mary E., married an Oliver; James N.; William Jasper, married a Bennett; Martha Susan; Joel Warren; and Jane, who married a Glover.
Betsy Sutton Kemp was the mother of Marvey, Mary Grissom, Carroll (Tobe), Martha, Minerva, John Head, Ellis, Carey and Leroy Kemp.
Campbell Sutton married Millie Kennedy. Children: Bennie A. and Jeanie.
Johnson Sutton, your grandfather, married an Austin. Their children were: Your father, James M. Sutton, born July 22, 1856; Sarah, born October 20, 1858 and Died November 5, 1878; William T. Sutton, born May 22, 1862 and died April 14, 1907; and Jeff Sutton, born October 11, 1869 and died June 24, 1905.
You know who your father's wife, your mother, was and the children and I do not need to give them. Your aunt Sarah married a Wright first, later a Seagraves. Jeff married Louvella Canter. William T. married a Morrow. They went to Texas. Jeff's sons are Hugh and Tommie Sutton. William T. Sutton's children are: Barnett, Lucy, Ray and Ellen.
I have also the history of the Cornwell family if you need it.
I am sorry to have been so long in getting up these records for your use. Did your father ever note down any of the history of the family so far as you know? I had him in my home one night several years ago and I took the trouble to records the facts I am giving you herewith. I am very, very glad that I did so, for it is possible the record would have been lost if I had not put it down.
I trust you and your reverend husband are both well and that the children are likewise enjoying good health. We are doing very well at present although I have had the three hardest week's work I can call to mind in all my life. Come to see us sometimes.
With the best of wishes for you and your family, I am
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Last modified on: November 22, 1995