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Marriages of Hezekiah & Susannah Strutton

Analysis of the information available on the marriages and children of Hezekiah and Susannah Strutton.

Marriages of Hezekiah and Susannah Strutton
By Shirley Strutton Dalton
January 18, 2007

During my research on the Strutton/Stratton family, I have found that most family researchers believe that Hezekiah and Susannah Strutton were married only once and to each other. There is no hard evidence to support this marriage; it is all circumstantial. No marriage records have been found. No records of the birth or death of Hezekiah and Susannah have been found. I live in California and due to age and health problems, I am unable to travel to locations where I might be able to find relevant information. My research is limited to the internet, mail, and information shared with me by other researchers. However, using these limited resources, I have come to believe that the generally accepted theories about Hezekiah and Susannah are incomplete. The purpose of this article is to present my alternative conclusions for your consideration.
The genealogical history of the Strutton/Stratton families of North Carolina and Tennessee is a tangled web, complicated by frequent changes in the spelling of the surname such as Stratton, Streeton, or Strutt and the common usage of family first names. My examination of census records, marriage records, and land transactions available on the internet indicates there is only one extended Strutton family in Wilkes and Burke Counties, North Carolina from 1790 through the 1850's B the descendants of Hezekiah Strutton and Susannah Strutton.
Most Strutton/Stratton researchers believe Hezekiah and Susannah Strutton came from Virginia to Burke Co., North Carolina, married about 1773, and had several children (the number varies). Children usually attributed to them are Absalom, Nancy, Elizabeth Leona (Oney), Salley, Suky, Joel, Reuben, and Rhoda. Other researchers include sons Abraham, Solomon, and Isaac and another daughter, Mourning. I have found no evidence for including Abraham, Solomon or Isaac as members of this family. It is possible that Mourning is one of the unnamed daughters of Hezekiah and Susannah discussed below.
The earliest written references to a Strutton in North Carolina are on 29 Dec 1778 — a land transfer of 200 acres in Burke Co. to Zadicaha Strutton and a warrant issued to Zadecaha Strutton on the same date for another 100 acres adjoining the first parcel. Zadecaha (perhaps the Biblical name, Zedekiah is meant) Strutton is not Hezekiah. Could he be Hezekiah's father, or an older brother?
On 14 Sep 1787, Kiah Strutton and Ezekiel Strutton gave depositions in a court case (Gatewood vs. Thomas Stevens, Burke Co. Court Records). Kiah could be Hezekiah. I have nothing further on Ezekiel — perhaps again, Hezekiah's father, older brother or other relative. Neither Zadicaha nor Ezekiel appears on the 1790 Federal Census for Burke Co. or Wilkes Co.

I know nothing of Hezekiah=s birth date or birthplace and no record has been found of any marriage. An estimate of his birth date can be established using census records available for Burke County for 1790, 1800 and 1810. The earliest census records do not list individual family members= names other than AHead of Family,@ nor do they give the year of birth or actual age of family members; only age brackets of varying lengths are used. One purpose for the 1790 Federal Census (the first such census taken) was to identify adult males of military age. Thus, the ages for males are broken down into Aunder 16 years@ and A16 years and upwards.@ There is no age breakdown for females. The census forms for 1800 and 1810 added more age brackets for both males and females.
Hezekiah Streeton (or Struton) appears on the 1790 Federal Census for Burke Co., North Carolina. There are three females and one male of sixteen years and upwards (himself) in his household. The three females are probably a wife and two daughters. If Hezekiah is married and has two daughters, he must be older than 16. He is probably closer to 26 and this gives us our first possible birth year of 1764 (1790 – 26 = 1764).
Hezekiah Strutton appears next on the 1800 Federal Census for Wilkes Co., North Carolina in the age bracket for "Males of 26 and under 45." He is at least 26 years old (birth year 1774) and no older than 44 (birth year 1746). On the 1810 Federal Census for Wilkes County, Hezekiah is again listed in the age bracket for "Males of 26 and under 45." The range of birth years for this census would be 1766 to 1784.
Our best guess is a birth year of 1766. Hezekiah would have been age 24 in 1790, 34 in 1800 and 44 in 1810. He has not been located on the 1820 Federal Census and his last recorded land transaction took place October 1812. It is therefore likely that Hezekiah was born about 1766 and died between 1812 and 1820.

Susannah's maiden name, birth date and birthplace are unknown. No record has been found of any marriage. She first appears by name as Head of Family "Susana Streetton" (Strutton) on the 1790 Federal Census Burke Co., North Carolina. Please note that she is not in Hezekiah's household, but rather is listed under her own name thirteen lines after the entry for Hezekiah.
In her household are five females, 2 males under 16 and one male 16 years of age or older. Since Susannah is listed as Head of Family, the male age 16 or over cannot be a husband and is probably her son. Susannah is one of the females; the other four are probably daughters. A female head of household in 1790 indicates she is unmarried, divorced or widowed. With children in the home and divorce rare at this time, Susannah is probably a widow. I will discuss her marriages later. For now, I want to determine a possible year of birth for her.
The census record indicates Susannah has seven children, three sons and four daughters. If her oldest child is a 16-year-old son and Susannah married when she was 16, she would be about 33 years old in 1790 (married age 16, 1st child born age 17).That indicates a possible birth year of 1757. Of course, she could have been older when she married which would give an earlier birth year.
Susannah does not appear under her own name on any later census record. For reasons that will be discussed later, I am assuming that by 1800, Hezekiah and Susannah were married and she is living in his household. The1800 Federal Census Wilkes Co., NC, lists one female in Hezekiah's household aged at least 26 and under 45. If this is Susannah, this gives a birth year range of 1756 to 1774. The 1810 Federal Census lists one female over age 45, so a birth year of 1765 or earlier. My best guess is Susannah was born in 1756. She would have been age 34 in 1790, 44 in 1800 and 54 in 1810. These dates give the best fit with the available census records.
No record has been found of Susannah after 1810. Some time after the census of 1810, Hezekiah moved to Hawkins Co., TN, where he was living in 1812 when he sold the last of his land in Wilkes Co., NC. I do not know if Susannah was with him or not. I must assume she died between 1810 and 1820.
First Marriage – Hezekiah
By 1790, Hezekiah is married, has two daughters, and owns 100 acres of land in Wilkes Co., NC. Who is his wife? I have been unable to find any record of Hezekiah's marriage or the name of this wife.
Our Hezekiah is sometimes confused with Hezekiah Stratton of Massachusetts who married Eunice Heywood. She is supposed by some to have been our Hezekiah=s first (or second) wife. However, I checked that theory out and found it to be totally impossible. Hezekiah and Eunice Stratton lived all their married lives in Massachusetts and Maine. The family of Eunice Heywood Stratton is well researched since she is a descendant of Zimri Heywood, a Revolutionary War patriot. Several lineages in the books of the Daughters of the American Revolution trace from her.
Other researchers have suggested Susan (Susannah) Lenoir, daughter of William Lenoir of Wilkes Co., NC, as Hezekiah's wife. However, I have found no evidence that this William Lenoir had a daughter named Susan. She is not named in his will. Only four daughters are named — Ann Westmoreland, Betty Lattemore, Leah Whitaker, and Mary Perry.
Unfortunately, Hezekiah's first wife must remain unknown unless, or until, someone locates more information.
The 1790 census includes two more females that I have assumed to be his daughters. Five or six daughters are usually attributed to Hezekiah and Susannah. They are Nancy, Elizabeth Leona (Oney), Susannah (Suky), Sarah (Sally), Rhoda, and, sometimes, Mourning. Which of these are the two in Hezekiah's household?
• Nancy married Reuben Giddens 4 Nov 1797. She was probably at least 16 years old when she married (b 1781) and her birth date is generally estimated as 1776. Since Hezekiah would have been just 10 years old in 1776 and 15 years old in 1781, she is not his daughter.
• Elizabeth Leona (Oney) married John Sisk, Jr. 14 Apr 1798. On the 1860 Federal Census, she is living with David and Elizabeth Barnett, son and daughter-in-law of David Barnett, Leona's third husband. Her age is given as 87 for a birth year of 1773. Hezekiah would have been 7 years old when she was born. Leona is not his daughter. (I have calculated elsewhere that Leona was born about 1778, but she would still be too old to be Hezekiah's daughter.)
• Susannah (Suky) married Britton Sims 1 Jun 1801. If Suky was at least 16 years old when she married, she would have been born about 1785. Hezekiah would have been 19 years old. If he married at about age 18, it is possible Suky was one of his daughters.
• Sarah (Sally) married William Mills II 30 Jun 1802. Assuming she was at least 16 years old when she married, that would give a birth year of 1786. Hezekiah would have been 20 years old. Hezekiah Strutt is listed as bondsman on the marriage bond for William Mills and Sally Strutton. Sally could have been his daughter.
• Rhoda is generally said to be the daughter of Hezekiah and Susannah. I think she was a granddaughter of Susannah, daughter of Absalom. According to the census records, Rhoda was born in 1806. She married George Adam Goble 2 Nov 1827. There are several unnamed daughters listed on the census records for Hezekiah and/or Susannah (discussed below). The youngest of them appears to have been born about 1796. Rhoda would have been born 10 years later, when Susannah was 50 years old. Not totally impossible, but highly unlikely. I don’t think Rhoda was a daughter of either Hezekiah or Susannah.
• Mourning is said to have been born between 1770 and 1780. She is supposed to have married Robert Sisk about 1800. (Other researchers state that Robert Sisk's wife was Mourning Wilkey. This issue has yet to be resolved to my satisfaction.) Assuming at least age 16 when she married, her birth year would be about 1784. Hezekiah would have been 18 years old. It is possible she was Hezekiah's daughter. As of the date of this writing, I have found no evidence linking Mourning with either Hezekiah or Susannah. But I will keep looking.

Unless I find evidence to the contrary, I am assuming that the daughters in Hezekiah's household in 1790 were Susannah (Suky) and Sarah (Sally).

First Marriage – Susannah
As stated above, Susannah Streetton (Strutton) appears in her own household as Head of Family on the 1790 Federal Census, Burke Co., North Carolina. There is one male at least 16 years old or older in her household. Since he is not listed as Head of Family, I assume he is not Susannah's husband, but probably a son. I assume Susannah is a widow. I can also assume that her deceased husband was a Strutton (Streetton). There are two Strutton's appearing in the records of Burke and Wilkes Counties who are possible candidates for Susannah's husband:

1) Zadicaha (Zadecaha) Strutton who purchased 300 acres of land in Burke County in 1778.
2) Ezekiel Strutton who appears in the Burke County Court Records in 1787.

One possibility is that Zadicaha was the father of both Hezekiah and Ezekiel and that Susannah was married to Ezekiel. There is no evidence to support this — it is speculation only. The use of given names from the Old Testament indicates a possible family relationship, but that's about all I can say.
I have carefully examined the 1790 Federal Census for Burke and Wilkes Counties, NC, and Zadicaha and Ezekiel are not there. They are not listed on any of the Poll Tax lists I have available from 1793 and following and they do not appear on any census in Burke or Wilkes County. Both individuals have either left the area or died before 1790.
The other possibility is that Susannah was married to a Strutton of whom I have found no record. It is possible that he was a brother or other relative of Hezekiah. It was not unknown for a widow to marry her deceased husband's brother. Only extensive on site searching can possibly answer this question and I hope that some family member will be able to locate more information in the future.
All that I can say about Susannah's first husband is that his name was Strutton and she is not married to, or at least not living with, him in 1790.
The 1790 Federal Census, Burke Co., NC, lists seven children for Susannah — one male 16 years old or older, two males under 16, and 4 females. Who are these children?

• Most Strutton family researchers believe that Absalom Strutton, born about 1774 and married to Darcus Shearman, is the oldest son of Hezekiah and/or Susannah. I have determined he is not Hezekiah's son — he is too old and is not in Hezekiah's household in 1790. I have no birth information for Absalom, but his age can be estimated from existing records. In 1790, he was at least 16 years old, indicating a possible birth year of 1774. He first appears by name on the Poll Tax lists in 1799. This list contains those males who are landowners and at least 21 years old and thus eligible to vote. Absalom could have been born no later than 1778. Based on the 1790 census, I will assume a birth year of 1774 for him.
• Another son generally attributed to Susannah is Joel. He is living in his own household on the 1810 Federal Census Wilkes Co., NC. I know nothing about him other than that he was married and had two children, a son and daughter both under 10 years of age. He disappears from the records after 1810. His birth date is estimated as 1785 based on Susannah's two sons under age 16 in 1790, and his marriage and the birth of 2 children by 1810.
• The third son named as Susannah's is Reuben Strutton. He is on the 1810 Federal Census Wilkes Co., NC, living alone and aged 16 to 26.He apparently died about April 1814. John Kerbo was appointed administrator of his estate 3 May 1814. However, there is conflicting evidence that may indicate Reuben was not a son of Hezekiah or Susannah. Another Strutton family researcher, Lucy Brown, sent me some information a few years ago which causes problems. In the Burke Co. Will Book, p 84 dated Aug 1814 is an inventory of the estate of Reuben Strutton. On page 90, dated Jan 1815 is the following: "Power of Attorney – Reuben Strutton to Israel Perkins of Burke County. (Reuben Strutton, now deceased, gave power of attorney to Israel Perkins, a member of House of Representatives, Washington, D.C., to secure money due him as a soldier in Rev. War. He was attached to 10th Reg., enlisted for 18 months." I have been unable to follow this up yet. But if Reuben were indeed a soldier in the Revolutionary War, he would have been too old to be a son of either Hezekiah or Susannah. The census taker in 1810 may have marked Reuben's age in the wrong column. It is possible that Reuben was a brother of Hezekiah. I definitely need more information to resolve this issue.
• Another male sometimes listed as a son of this family is Abraham Stratton (Strutton). The only information I have on him is his involvement in a court case recorded in the October 1797 Session of the Burke County Court Records. Nothing more is known of Abraham and no connection has been found between him and Hezekiah or Susannah.

For now, I will continue to list as sons of Susannah: Absalom, born about 1774; Joel born about 1785; and Reuben, born about 1787.
Susannah's daughters are more difficult to identify. Of the four daughters listed by most researchers as children of Hezekiah and Susannah — Nancy, Elizabeth Leona (Oney), Suky, and Sally — two, Suky and Sally, have been placed in Hezekiah's household in 1790. That leaves Nancy and Leona. However, the 1790 census includes four females other than Susannah. There is no information available for these other two children. I have found no marriage or death records for Strutton women in Burke or Wilkes County except the four listed above.
Based on marriage records and later census data, Susannah's children in 1790 are:

• Absalom, born about 1774, married Darcus Shearman 25 Oct 1806.
• Nancy, born about 1776, married Reuben Giddens 4 Nov 1797.
• Elizabeth Leona "Oney", born about 1778, married John Sisk, Jr. 14 Apr 1798.
• Unnamed daughter, born about 1780.
• Unnamed daughter, born about 1782.
• Joel, born about 1785, married unknown about 1805.
• Reuben, born about 1787, died 1814 apparently unmarried.

Hezekiah and Susannah Marriage

The 1800 Federal Census Wilkes Co., NC, lists Hezekiah Strutton as Head of Family. His household includes two males between the ages of 26 and 44; two females under the age of 10; two females aged 10 to 16; and one female aged 26 to 44. {If Reuben is not the son of Susannah, but rather a brother or other relative of Hezekiah, he could be the other male over age 26 in the household.)
The 1810 Federal Census Wilkes Co., NC, again lists Hezekiah Strutton as Head of Family with one male aged 26 to 44, one female aged 10 to 15, one female aged 16 to 25 and one female over 45 years old.
Susannah does not appear on any census under her own name after 1790; I assume it is because she and Hezekiah are married before 1800 and she is the oldest female in the household on both census records. However, it is obvious that there are too many daughters.
Nancy and Leona are both married before 1800; they are not in the household. The two unnamed daughters of Susannah on the 1790 census would be too old to be the ones listed in 1800; they have probably also married and left home. Suky, married in 1801, and Sally, married in 1802, are probably the two females aged 10 to 16 in 1800.
Who are the two daughters in 1800 under the age of 10? An interesting record appears in the Burke County Court Records:

Bastardy Bonds of North Carolina

Strutten Susannah p. 128 Burke Co; Presentments April Session 1795
Grand Jurors present the following as mothers of base begotten children
Susannah Strutten (signed by 13 jurors).

This entry indicates that in 1795 Susannah was not married to Hezekiah, or in fact to anyone, but was either pregnant or had borne at least one child prior to April 1795 while unmarried.
If this child was born in 1794, she could be one of the daughters under age 10 on the 1800 census and the daughter on the 1810 census aged 16 to 25. It is likely that Hezekiah and Susannah were also married about this time and had one more daughter, perhaps born about 1796, and she would account for the other daughter under 10 on the 1800 census and the daughter aged 10 to 15 on the 1810 census.

In summary:

Hezekiah Strutton, born about 1765, married unknown about 1783.
Children: Susannah "Suky" born about 1784
Sarah "Sally" born about 1787

Susannah Unknown, born about 1756, married Unknown Strutton about 1773.
Children: Absalom, born about 1774
Nancy, born about 1776
Elizabeth Leona, born about 1778
Unnamed daughter, born about 1780
Unnamed daughter, born about 1782
Joel, born about 1785
Reuben, born about 1787

Hezekiah and Susannah married about 1795.
Children: Unnamed daughter, born about 1794
Unnamed daughter, born about 1796

It is unlikely that I will be able to locate any more information about the four unknown daughters of Hezekiah and Susannah. And the question of whether Reuben was son of Susannah or brother of Hezekiah remains unresolved. Like all good family genealogists, though, I never stop looking for more data.

Owner/SourceShirley Dalton
DateJanuary 2007
Linked toSusannah; Hezekiah Strutton

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