William Orcutt II & Jane Washburn, Hannah Smith, Hannah Newton


WILLIAM 2 ORCUTT was born in Hingham or Weymouth, Massachusetts, about 1664.  At a young age (prior to March 24, 1666/67), his parents moved to Marshfield (South Scituate), Massachusetts, in Plymouth Colony, where William became the eldest sibling of a growing family.  Around age 20, by 1684 or 1685, the family moved again to Bridgewater, Massachusetts, and William went with them, locating in the area that would become his lifelong home.

William 2 and Jane Washburn

William Orcutt married JANE WASHBURN in 1694 in Bridgewater.(1)   Jane was the daughter of JOHN WASHBURN and ELIZABETH MITCHELL, born “in Bridgewater before 1672 and possibly about 1670 (if age 20 at marriage.”(2)

William and Jane’s first daughter was JOANNA ORCUTT. Researchers typically list Joanna’s birth date as 1694 (although some have placed it as late as 1698,) based on the wedding date of her parents and of her marriage to BENJAMIN EDSON on July 14, 1715, a firm date provided to us in Bridgewater’s vital records.(3)

ELIZABETH ORCUTT was likely their second daughter.  No birth record has been found for Elizabeth.  “Evidence of her parentage is found in the division of the estate of her father, William Orcutt, dated 11 June 1739, naming his daughter Elizabeth French. The will of Ebenezer French of Taunton, dated 22 May 1725, proved 15 July 1725, mentions his wife Elizabeth.”  Elizabeth’s birth date is usually listed as 1696-1699, so, if she were very young at the time of her marriage, it is possible that she is the daughter of William and his second wife HANNAH SMITH.(2)  Vital records confirm her marriage to EBENEZER FRENCH in Bridgewater on January 31, 1716/17.(4)

It is possible, although not usually accepted by researchers, that others in the list of children of Hannah Orcutt, shown below, may have been born to Jane Washburn Orcutt.

Jane Washburn Orcutt passed away sometime before September 21, 1698, the date of William’s second marriage. She left at least one, and very possibly two–or even more–very young children without a mother.

The Washburn Family–Mayflower Descendants

Francis Cooke (Photo from www.findagrave)

Francis Cooke
(Photo from http://www.findagrave)

Jane Washburn Orcutt’s maternal great-grandfather was FRANCIS COOKE, who came to America on the Mayflower.  He was probably born in England.  However, he was living in Leiden, Holland, on June 30, 1603, when he married HESTER MATHIEU, probably the daughter of JACQUES and JENNE/JEANNE MATHIEU, Walloon refugees from the area around Lille (now in France.) (2)

In 1620, “the Pilgrims were mostly still living in the city of Leiden, in the Netherlands.  They hired a ship called the Speedwell to take them from Delfshaven, the Netherlands, to Southampton, England, to meet up with the Mayflower.  The two ships planned to sail together to Northern Virginia.  The Speedwell departed Delfthaven on July 22, and arrived at Southampton, where they found the Mayflower waiting for them.  The Speedwell had been leaking on her voyage from the Netherlands to England though, so they spent the next week patching her up.” (5) 37-year old Francis Cooke and his 10-year-old son John were on that voyage of the Speedwell from Holland to England. (2)

“On August 5, the two ships finally set sail for America.  But the Speedwell began leaking again, so they pulled into the town of Dartmouth for repairs, arriving there about August 12.  The Speedwell was patched up again, and the two ships again set sail for America about August 21.  After the two ships had sailed about 300 miles out to sea, the Speedwell again began to leak.  Frustrated with the enormous amount of time lost, and their inability to fix the Mayflower clip art 001Speedwell so that it could be sea-worthy, they returned to Plymouth, England, and made the decision to leave the Speedwell behind.  The Mayflower would go to America alone…”(5)  At some point, Francis and son John were transferred to the Mayflower, which finally departed from Plymouth, England, on September 6, “and headed for America.  By the time the Pilgrims had left England, they had already been living onboard the ships for nearly a month and a half.  The voyage itself across the Atlantic Ocean took 66 days, from their departure on September 6, until Cape Cod was sighted on 9 November 1620.”(5)  Francis Cooke signed the Mayflower Compact in November 1620.

Francis’ wife Hester and their children, other than John, followed in the Anne in August 1623.

Among those children was JANE COOKE.  In Francis Cooke of the Mayflower, Ralph V. Wood, Jr. suggests that Jane was born in 1604 in Leiden, the eldest child of Francis and Hester Cooke, named after her mother’s mother. (2) Jane Cooke married EXPERIENCE MITCHELL in Plymouth soon after 22 May 1627.  He also had arrived in America on the Anne in August 1623.  The eldest child of Experience and Jane Mitchell was ELIZABETH MITCHELL, born in Plymouth about 1628.

On December 6, 1645, Elizabeth married JOHN WASHBURN, who arrived in Boston in 1635, at age 14, on the ship Elizabeth and Anne with 11 year-old brother Philip and mother Mrs. Marjorie (Moore) Washburn, aged 49, of Evesham, County Worcester.  Marjorie’s husband, also named John Washburn, had arrived earlier in 1632.(6)

John and Elizabeth (Mitchell) Washburn lived in Duxbury and later Bridgewater, Massachusetts.  Several children were born to them, including Jane Washburn, who married our William 2 Orcutt.  See above.

Second Wife Hannah Smith & Her Background

Rev. Keith's House Photo by B. Sugden, 2013

Rev. Keith’s House
Photo by B. Sugden, 2013

William Urrohart married HANNAH SMITH in Bridgewater on September 21, 1698.(7)  Most researchers are certain that William Urrohart is William Orcutt, with his name spelled in the Scottish tradition by the Reverend James Keith, who was a Scotsman, educated at Aberdeen, and came to Boston about 1662. He was introduced to the church in Bridgewater by Dr. Increase Mather, settled February 18, 1664, and served as the first minister of the first church in the West Parish.(8) Some believe that, by using this spelling, Rev. Keith was indicating William Orcutt’s Scottish connection to the Urquhart Clan.  (Since William Orcutt appears to have been illiterate, since he used a mark rather than a signature on documents, he would not have questioned this alteration, perhaps meant as a closeness by the Rev. Keith to a fellow countryman.)

Hannah/Hanna/Hana was born to JOHN SMITH, SR. and JAEL PARKER/PACKARD in nearby Taunton, Massachusetts, on March 22, 1678.(9)  Jael Packard/Parker was John Smith’s second wife, so Hannah was one of the younger children born into a blended family.

Young Hannah’s life was not an easy one.  Sometime before the age of 12, she was sent to work in the home of Richard Burt, probably Richard 3 Burt, the grandson of an early settler of Taunton.  Richard 3 married Eunice Leonard on February 18, 1685-6.(4)

As holder of the Leonard family papers, Walter K. Watkins, writing in 1905 about Hannah states, “John Smith lost his life in the expedition against Quebec in 1690.  ‘Sarah Woodward aged 89 years or thereabouts testifieth & saith that John Smith senior formerly of Taunton about a month before he went out a souldier against Canada he the sd Smith & myselfe Sarah Woodward discourced about this girle hannah Smith & he then told me that when he first put her to Richard Birt he thought she would be better used than he saw she was & Further told me that he had given them or him warning that she should be (treated) better & that if ever he did come whom (sic) again yt he would take her away from them & further he the sd Smith told me the reasons first because she was kept too nastie & that they had not performed their promise to her which was to teach her to read & write & sow & knit & trim &c which thing hath bin neglected: but she hath bin hardly used & therefor if he came not whom anymore he desired me that I the sd Sarah Woodward would declare his mind to those that should take her away: for said he the sd Smith had neither given them any deed of gift of the child nor yet bound her to them by any Indenture nor yet ever would & further saith not.  Sworn before me Thomas Leonard Associate Taunton Sept 11 1691.'”(10)

Hannah’s father, John Smith, was the son of HENRY SMITH of Dedham, Massachusetts.(11)  John married first LYDIA ELIOT, born June 12, 1631, to PHILIP ELIOT and ELIZABETH SYBTHROPE ELIOT in Nazeing, Essex, England.  Lydia came to America on the Hopewell when she was 4 years old along with her mother and 2-year-old brother Philip.(6) Children born to John and Lydia follow:

ELIZABETH SMITH born October 18, 1658, in Dedham, Massachusetts, and died young.(11)

LYDIA SMITH born April 10, 1663.(11)

ELIZABETH SMITH born in Taunton September 7, 1663.(9)

HENRY SMITH born May 27, 1666.(9)

Lydia died July 21, 1672, at Taunton,(11) and John Smith married JAEL PACKARD later that year.(12)  Jael was the daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth Packard, who came from Windham, England, in the ship Diligent of Ipswich, to Higham, Massachusetts.  They relocated to West Bridgewater in 1638.(8) 

Jael brought to the marriage an illegitimate son, NICHOLAS JONES,(13) aka Nicholas Smith.(14)  Children born to John and Jael follow:

DEBORAH SMITH born in Taunton March 7, 1676.(9)

HANNAH SMITH born March 22, 1678. (9)  Married our William 2 Orcutt.

JOHN SMITH born December 6, 1680.(9)

Did William 2 Orcutt have a 3rd wife, Hannah Newton? 

A record in Marlborough, Massachusetts, about 50 miles from Bridgewater, shows a William Orcut marrying Hannah Newton on April 10, 1706.(3)  The Solomon Leonard Memorial (17) states that HANNAH NEWTON, born December 20, 1673, married William Orcutt of Bridgewater on April 10, 1706.  She was the daughter of MOSES NEWTON and JOANNA LARKIN of Marlborough.

Moses Newton, born in 1648, was the son of RICHARD NEWTON and first wife ANNE.  Richard was born in England about 1601, and came to Sudbury by 1640.  He died August 24, 1701, “aged about 100 years.”(17)

Moses Newton and Joanna Larkin’s family consisted of the following children born to them:

MOSES NEWTON, born February 28, 1669; married SARAH HOWE December 11, 1695.(17)

DAVID NEWTON, born 1672; married HANNAH LEONARD 1697.(17)

HANNAH NEWTON, born December 20, 1673; married William Orcutt April 10, 1705.(17)

EDWARD NEWTON, born March 23, 1676; married MARY LEONARD in 1700.(17)

JONATHAN NEWTON, born September 30, 1679; married BETHIAH RICE October 28, 1708.(17)

JACOB NEWTON, born January 24, 1681.(17)

JAMES NEWTON, born January 15, 1683; married MARY JOSLIN October 5, 1709, and 2nd RACHEL GREELY September 8, 1712.(17)

MERCY NEWTON, born February 16, 1685; married MOSES LEONARD in 1705; died in 1715.(17)

JOSIAH NEWTON, born November 19, 1688; married 1st ELIZABETH; married 2nd RUHAMAH about 1730.(17)

ANDREW NEWTON, died 1691.(17)

EBENEZER NEWTON, born July 26, 1692; married JOHANNA LARKIN October 25, 1722.(17)

Was the marriage to Hannah Newton the third marriage for our William, or were there others with the name of William Orcutt in the area?  No record has been found showing the death or divorce of Hannah Smith Orcutt.  The Bridgewater death record–as well as the tombstone–for Hannah Orcutt, widow of William, shows a date of death of October 7, 1751, with death occurring at age 72.(18) This perfectly matches the age of Hannah Smith.  Hannah Newton would have been 77 years old.  Determining whether there was one Hannah or two is an all-important question for the descendants of William and Hannah, and more research is required here.

Life Together for William and Hannah Orcutt

The following children (order uncertain) were born to William and one or two Hannahs:

MOSES ORCUTT, who married MERCY ALLEN on May 30, 1739.(11)



DELIVERANCE ORCUTT, 1712-1790, who married JOSEPH WASHBURN and 2nd …PACKARD.(11)

MARTHA ORCUTT, who married SOLOMON WASHBURN on January 13, 1732.(11)

DAVID ORCUTT of Bridgewater and Stafford, Ct, who married SUSANNA PACKARD on January 16, 1733.(11)

A section of an early map of Bridgewater shows the location of William Orcutt’s home.

Bridgewater May 1716 section001

Approximate area of old Orcutt Homesite Photo by B. Sugden, 2013

Approximate area of old Orcutt Homesite
Photo by B. Sugden, 2013


Here’s how the area of the homesite looks today.





Its location near Carver Pond makes it easy to locate.

Carver Pond Photo by B. Sugden, 2013

Carver Pond
Photo by B. Sugden, 2013

Entrance to Carver Pond Photo by B. Sugden, 2013

Entrance to Carver Pond
Photo by B. Sugden, 2013







Just down the street is the First Parish Church of Bridgewater, organized in 1716.  In the New England Puritan tradition, a meeting house was used not only for worship, but for all official town meetings. William Orcutt’s brother-in-law, Jane Washburn Orcutt’s brother, John Washburn, gave two acres for the construction of the meeting house and for the adjacent burying ground.  Sadly, his wife Rebecca was the first person to be laid to rest in the new graveyard in 1717.(15)

First Parish Church Bridgewater, Massachusetts Photo by B. Sugden, 2013

First Parish Church
Bridgewater, Massachusetts
Photo by B. Sugden, 2013

First Parish Church Today Photo by R. Vargason, 2013

First Parish Church Today
Photo by R. Vargason, 2013










This also became the final resting place for William and Hannah Orcutt.  William died April 10, 1739, at age 75. Hannah died October 7, 1751, at age 72.

First Cemetery Photo by B. Sugden 2013

First Cemetery
Photo by B. Sugden 2013

Ron Vargason at the Graves of his 6th Great-Grandparents Photo by B. Sugden, 2013

Ron Vargason at the Graves of his 6th Great-Grandparents
Photo by B. Sugden, 2013









"Here lies the body of Mr. William Orcutt, who died April 10, 1739, in the 75th year of his age."(16) Photo by R. Vargason, 2013

“Here lies the body of Mr. William Orcutt, who died April 10, 1739, in the 75th year of his age.”(16)
Photo by R. Vargason, 2013

"In memoryof Mrs. Hannah Orcutt, relict to Mr. William Orcutt, who died October 7th, 1751, in ye 72 year of her age." (16) Photo by R. Vargason, 2013

“In memory of Mrs. Hannah Orcutt, relict to Mr. william Orcutt, who died October 7th, 1751, in ye 72 year of her age.” (16)
Photo by R. Vargason, 2013













(1) New England Marriages Prior to 1700 by Torry, Clarence A., Baltimore, MD, USA: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2004.

(2) Francis Cooke of the Mayflower: The first five generations (Mayflower families through five generations, vol. 12) by Wood, Ralph V., Jr. (Camden, Maine, Picton Press. 1996.)

(3) Vital records of Bridgewater, Massachusetts to the end of the year 1850. Boston, Mass.: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1916.

(4)  Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850, accessed from http://www.americanancestors.org on 12/4/2014.

(5) Caleb Johnson’s Mayflower History.com (www.mayflowerhistory.com accessed 12/31/2014.)

(6) The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633, Volumes I-III. (Online database: AmericanAncestors.org, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2010), (Originally Published as: New England Historic Genealogical Society. Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633, Volumes I-III, 3 vols., 1995.)

(7) Massachusetts Town Marriage Records for Bridgewater (AmericanAncestors.org, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2001-2010.)

(8) Mitchell, Nahum. History of the Early Settlement of Bridgewater in Plymouth County, Massachusetts : including an extensive family register.  Boston, printed for the author by Kidder & Wright, 1840. 

(9) Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850 for Taunton (Online database: AmericanAncestors.org, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2001-2010.)

(10) Walter K. Watkins, The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1871-, Vol. 59, 1905, page 325.

(11) Ancestry.com. Ancestors of Florence Julia Brown : and some of their descendants (database online). Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005.  Original data: Brown, Walter LeRoy.  Ancestors of Florence Julia Brown : and some of their descendants. Albion, N.Y.: Eddy Print. Co., 1940.

(12) Torrey’s New England Marriages Prior to 1700. (Online database. AmericanAncestors.org. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2008.) Originally published as: New England Marriages Prior to 1700. CD-ROM. Boston, Mass.: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2001.

(13) Cook, Dale.  Jael Packard And Her Son, Nicholas Jones.  GenForum, presented by Genealogy.com, post dated January 23, 2008.

(14) The New England Historical and Genealogical Register. Boston, MA : New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1847- . (Onlline database: AmericanAncestors.org, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2001-2013.)

(15)  First Parish Church Unitarian Universalist, http://www.firstparishbridgewater.org/about-our-meeting-house (Accessed 1/6/2015.)

(16) Williams, Latham.  Epitaphs in Old Bridgewater, Massachusetts.  Bridgewater, Mass.: H.T.Pratt, printer, 1882.

(17) Leonard, Manning. Memorial: Genealogical, Historical and Biographical of Solomon Leonard, 1637, of Duxbury and Bridgewater, Massachusetts and Some of his Descendants. Auburn, NY: Knapp, Peck, & Thompson, 1896. (http://archive.org)

(18) Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850, accessed from http://www.americanancestors.org on 6/1/2015.

2 thoughts on “William Orcutt II & Jane Washburn, Hannah Smith, Hannah Newton

  1. It is almost certain that William Orcutt, Jr. did not marry Hannah Newton. Hannah Newton, daughter of Moses and Joanna (Larkin) Newton married John Bellows and died Dec. 14, 1719. John Bellows was still alive at this point (he went on to marry a second wife). The marriage is confirmed in Moses Newton’s will which leaves a legacy to the children of my daughter Hannah Bellows and also mentions his son-in-law John Bellows. The will is dated April 3, 1724. Also, Hannah Bellows had a child in 1713 – 7 years after the marriage entry of Hannah and William Orcutt. (for this, see the Newton genealogy by L.E. Newton, page 40). And practically, I find it hard to believe how William could have “courted” a woman 40 miles away while operating a farm and with a number of young children. The trip alone would have taken close to a day there and a day back.

    Steve Donahue

    • Good information to help solve our puzzle. Thank you so much for posting. I agree that this match seems highly unlikely, but there is that Marlborough marriage record that remains to be sorted out.

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