52 Ancestors, Week 36: George Sutton

Quaker Persecution Book

“George Sutton (age 21) sailed on the ship, Hercules, in 1634 from Sandwich, Kent, England. He was a servant in the party of Nathaniel Tilden of Tenterden, Kent, England.” (1)

“An indentured servant would sign a contract agreeing to serve for a specific number of years, typically five or seven. Many immigrants to the colonies came as indentured servants, with someone else paying their passage to the Colonies in return for a promise of service. 

At the end of his service, according to the contract, the indentured servant (male or female) usually would be granted a sum of money, a new suit of clothes, land, or perhaps passage back to England.  

Once a man was made a freeman, and was no longer considered a common, he could, and usually would, become a member of the church, and he could own land.” (2)

Within two years of settling at Scituate, Massachusetts he married Sarah, the daughter of Nathaniel Tilden.” (1) “Sutton lived on Greenfield Lane where he built the forty-third house by 1636.” (3)

George and Sarah had 9 children:

  1. Joseph (1637)
  2. Daniel (1639)
  3. William (1641)
  4. John (1642)
  5. Mary (1642
  6. Nathaniel (1643) * our ancestor
  7. Lydia (1646)
  8. Sarah (1650)
  9. Elizabeth (1653)

George and Sarah were puritans, but at some point "converted to the Quaker faith. (3)  So, I wondered, what was the difference between the two religions?

“The Puritans viewed humanity as hopelessly sinful, while the Quakers believed God lives inside everyone. 

The Puritans believed in predestination, the theory that most people were destined for eternal damnation, but some were chosen by God for salvation. These few, called the "elect," had to undergo a conversion process, including a personal testimony about how God had changed them. Sanctification, or holy behavior, was expected to follow conversion. 

The Quakers' belief in the "inner light" that leads a person to God influenced them to adopt a more positive view of humanity. They believed everyone could hear the voice of God and favored a gentler approach in dealing with people. “(4)

The Plymouth Colony puritans enacted penal laws against the Quakers,

“About 1668, George Sutton emigrated to North Carolina with most of his family to escape religious persecution. He died (on 12 Apr which was his 56th birthday) in 1669 in what is now Perquimans County, North Carolina within a year of leaving Massachusetts.” (1)


  1. http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~colonialfamiliestonewjersey/sutton/d0/i0000624.htm 
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freeman_(Colonial)
  3. http://scituatehistoricalsociety.org/early-scituate-families/
  4. http://classroom.synonym.com/basic-differences-between-quakers-beliefs-those-held-puritans-8612.htmlface
  5. The Suttons of Caroline County, VA by T. Dix Sutton
  6. “History of Perquimans Co” by. Mrs. Watson Winslow


  1. The cruelty outlined in the "Declaration" document above sounds more like the barbarity of the Spanish Inquisition than anything originally Christian. The Puritans sound like Pure Evil. History seems to have so many examples of religions perverting and metastasizing to their diametric opposite. George and his family were lucky to have left.


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