Samuel Cutchens was born in Isle of Wight County, Virginia. Some time between 1820 and 1830, he moved to Davidson County, TN. He wrote his will 12 December 1829 in Davidson County, TN. The will was recorded 09 November 1830, so we have to assume that Samuel Cutchens died sometime between December 1829 and November 1830 in Davidson County, TN. According to an online family history*, by the time Samuel died in 1830, Thomas Cutchin, his son had already died and was not able to receive his portion of his father’s estate. Thomas’s sons, William and Samuel were next to receive the property in Davidson County, TN, but Samuel was dead and William was very sick and living in VA. In 1832, the 19th General Assembly of TN decided they would pay $100 to bring William to TN It took two years to probate this estate.
This is where Family Narrative has to meet facts. Family Narrative is often the family lore passed down from generation to generation, but it can also be the shared research of another genealogist. In this case, the Family Narrative states hat Thomas Cutchin has already died, when in fact, once we read the will, we see that William Cutchen is the son that has already died and it is his sons, Samuel and William (named in the will) that are to receive property from their grandfather. In our next post, we will show that when Mourning Cutchin wrote her will in 1839 (next week’s post), she leaves her slave Dinah to her son, Thomas to share with his sister, Elzalina, so Thomas obviously was not dead at that time.
In an effort to make the Family Narrative match the sources, or prove mistakes in the Family Narrative, we must do an exhaustive search of the primary documents of our ancestor. In this case, however, we need look no further than Samuel’s will below to see that it was son William who has died, and his portion of the estate to be divided amongst his two sons, William and Samuel Cutchens. It is true that the General Assembly of TN did pass a bill to bring William Cutchen to TN, and that the probate of Samuel’s estate took two years. My guess is the author of our online source merely made a mistake and confused Thomas and William when recording his information in Family Tree Maker. Because other information is accurate, we can use this online source as a good Family Narrative of the Cutchen’s family.
*Thomas Cutchen Family History (note clicking on this link will download a PDF to your computer)
Samuel Cutchen deceased Will Recorded November 9th 1830
In the name of God amen- I Samuel Cutchens of the county of Davidson and State of Tennessee now being in a bad state of health but thanks be to God of sound disposbale mind and taking into consideration it is once appointed for all men to die and having a disposition to disposed of my worldly goods it hath pleased God to bless me with do make constitute and ordain this my last will and Testament in the manner and form following revoking all others- First I devise all my just debts to be paid and my body to be buried in a decent manner at the expense of my estate. Secondly I loan to my beloved wife Morning Cutchen my dwelling house and thirty six acres of land on the west end of my land whereone I now live and one field of about eight acres near to where my son Thomas Cutchens now lives as her dower during her natural life time and give and bequeath to my beloved wife Morning Cutchens her heirs and assigns forever one negro woman by the name of Diner also one bed and furniture bedsteard and cord one horse beast the choice of my stock of horses one side saddle and bridle one cow and calf two years and lambs one cotton wheel one pair cards one flax wheel one sugar chest one large iron kettle one dutch oven and hooks two smoothing irons one case of bottles one table one tub one bread tray six pewter plates one pewter dish one butter pot three chairs loom and gear one ? and one years provision be allotted off to her and family from and after my decease of such as are on hands or growing.
Thirdly I give and bequeath to my son Thomas Cutchens the land and plantations whereon I now live all except the dower of my wife and I also at ther death give the dower with all the Tract containing one hundred and thirty acres be the same more or less to him the said Thomas Cutchens his heirs and assigns forever
Fourthly I give and bequeath to my daughter Elzaline Carper the bed and furniture goods and chattles and the negroes girl I loaned to her by the name of Cherry to her and her heirs and assigns forever in full of her part of my estate hereafter.
Fifthly all the residue of my property be it of what kind or quality so ever it may be not herein disposed of my desire is that it be sold or turned into money, and divided into five separate lots equally in value alike and I give and bequeath the first of the Above named lotts to my four grandchildren Lemuel R. Cutchen, Olive Hamilton, Catherine Thompson, and Susan Cutchens to be equally divided between them for share and share alike to them their heirs and assigns forever.
Sixthly I give and bequeath unto my daughter Sarah Prockter her heirs and assigns forever one of the above described lots
Seventh I give and bequeath unto my two grandsons William and Samuel Cutchens sons of William Cutchens deceased one of the above described Lots to be equally divided between the said William and Samuel Cutchens their heirs and assigns forever-
eightley I give and bequeath unto my daughter Martha Stevens her heirs and assigns forever one of the above described Lotts
Ninthly I give and bequeath unto my daughter Elizabeth Fly her heirs and Assigns forever one of the above described Lotts And lastly I nominate and appoint my son Thomas Cutchens and Benajah Gray my executors to carry this my last will and Testament into effect agreeable to the true and intent and meaning thereof given under my hand and seal this 12th day of December 1829 Samuel Cutchens (Seal)
Samuel Cutchens: will (12 Dec 1829). Davidson County, TN Will Book 9, Page 400. Viewed online on 09 Dec 2016 at http://www.familysearch.org. Microfilmed copy of original record can be found in Davidson County, TN, Will Books 8-9 (1821-1832), Roll 0429, Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville TN.