John Tuttle

John TUTTLE (1618 – 1663) was Alex’s 10th Great Grandfather, one of 2,048  in this generation of the Shaw line. His farm, Tuttle’s Red Barn, is the oldest continually operating family farm in the United States, having passed down through 11 generations.

Tuttle’s Red Barn 2007 Choice ‘Publisher’s Weekly’ Children’s Picture Book

Since July 25, 2010, the Tuttle Farm and Tuttles Red Barn have been listed for sale.  Will Tuttle, the Tuttle Farm’s current owner, cites exhaustion, his age (he is currently in his sixties) and the lack of a younger generation of Tuttle showing interest in taking over the Tuttle Farm as his reasons for offering the farm for sale.

John Tuttle was born 1618,  in Devon England. His parents were Richard TOTHILL and Elizabeth ATTWELL.  He sailed from Bristol, England in the Angel Gabriel in 1635.   The day after John and his fellow passengers disembarked, it  was caught at anchor and destroyed  by the Great Colonial Hurricane of 1635.   The ship sank along with all of the passengers’ worldly goods, and taking the lives of several crew members who were attempting to save the vessel.  John first came to Ipswich, Massachusetts, and by 1640, to Dover, New Hampshire.  He married  Dorothy ERNST on 1641 in Dover, NH.   John died Jun 1663 in Dover, Strafford, New Hampshire.

John Tuttle was shipwrecked off the coast of Pemaquid, Maine. Photo is a diorama depicting examples of early structures excavated along the coastline of Pemaquid, ME displayed at Colonial Pemaquid State Park.

Dorothy Ernst  was born 1620 in England. She died after 30 Jun 1663.

Children of John and Dorothy:

Name Born Married Departed
1. Elizabeth Tuttle 1642 in Dover, NH Capt. Phillip CROMWELL
before 1633
Dover, NH
1670 in Dover, NH
2. Thomas Tuttle 1644
Dover, NH
Accidentally killed when a young lad by falling from a tree.
5 Mar 1654
Dover, NH
3. Judge John Tuttle 1646 Mary [__?__]
1668 Dover, NH
Jun 1720
Dover, NH
4. Dorothy Tuttle 1648
Dover NH
Samuel Tibbets
1 Sep 1686
Dover, NH
9 Dec 1738
Dover, NH

The English spelling is Tuthill and Tothill, but in this line the American families since the first few generations have spelt the surname Tuttle.

The Angel Gabrielwas a 240 ton English passenger galleon. She was commissioned for Sir Walter Raleigh’s last expedition to America in 1617. She sank in a storm off Pemaquid Point, near the newly established town of Bristol, Maine, on August 15, 1635. The sinking occurred during the middle of the Great Migration.

The Angel Gabriel anchored at the village of Pemaquid. Most of the passengers and crew got off the ship before nightfall to rest on land as guests of the villagers. That night, August 14-15, a storm later known as “The Great Colonial Hurricane” struck the area and the Angel Gabriel was torn from her anchors and destroyed.

In the mid 1970s efforts were made to locate the wreck in Pemaquid Harbor with divers and a magnatometer and sideccan sonar but no artifacts form the ship were ever located.  The Angel Gabriel was very similar to the Mayflower but eighteen feet longer and bearing four more gun ports per side.

Pemaquid Point Maine

The ship was initially built as the Starre in 1615 and renamed the Jason by Sir Walter Raleigh for use in his second expedition to Guiana (then under control of the Spanish) in 1617. Following Raleigh’s return it was seized and became a merchant ship, renamed the Angel Gabriel.

A stout ship designed and built to cope with combat, even as a merchant ship the Angel Gabriel was involved in many further skirmishes between 1618 and 1635, including a notable engagement in 1627 off Cales where it was boarded several times but was able to clear its decks each time and eventually beat off three Spanish ships. This was possible because the defenders were able to retreat into the forecastle and sterncastle which had reinforced bulkheads fitted with gunports for small cannon and shoulder weapons.

A plaque commemorating the shipwreck was placed at Colonial Pemaquid in 2010.

1635 voyage

From England to Massachusetts in a fleet of five ships, the Angel Gabriel, our ancestor Capt. Robert ANDREWS, Master, joined the James, the Elizabeth (Bess), the Mary and the Diligence. As they approached New England, an unusually powerful early season hurricane struck, known as the “Great Colonial Hurricane of 1635“, and the James and the Angel Gabriel were forced to ride it out just off the coast of modern day Hampton, New Hampshire. According to the ship’s log and the journal of Increase Mather whose father Richard Mather and family was on the James, the following was recorded;

“At this moment,… their lives were given up for lost; but then, in an instant of time, God turned the wind about, which carried them from the rocks of death before their eyes. …her (James) sails rent in sunder, and split in pieces, as if they had been rotten ragges…”

They tried to stand down during the storm just outside the Isles of Shoals, but the James lost all three anchors, as no canvas or rope would hold, but on Aug 13, 1635, torn to pieces, and not one death, all one hundred plus passengers aboard the James managed to make it to Boston Harbor two days later.

The Angel Gabriel was wrecked off the coast of Maine, but the smaller, faster ships, the Mary, the Bess, and the Diligence outran the storm, and landed in Newfoundland on August 15, 1635

A plaque commemorating the loss was dedicated August 8, 1965 at Pemaquid Point, Maine. Some of the passengers survived the sinking.

John, Richard and William Tuttle, with their families, all came in the ship “Planter,” in 1635, to New England. William settled in New Haven, Richard in Boston, and John in Ipswich. What connection these three brothers were to John Tuttle of Dover, New Hampshire, who came over probably a few years earlier, is unknown.

John Tuttle signed the protest of 1640 against uniting the little republic at Dover with the Massachusetts Bay Colony. His home was then on the east side of Dover Neck, the river on the east, the lot of Thomas Bearde on the south, and the Great High street on the west. It was about forty rods south-southeast of the First Church

The Tuttle Farm of Dover, New Hampshire, is the oldest continually operating family farm in the United States, having passed down through 11 generations from father to son since the 1630’s when John Tuttle arrived in the New World bearing a land grant from King Charles II.

John eventually made his way from Pemaquid to Dover Point, and joined the settlement there.  His land grant was several miles north of the settlement, so he and the other settlers would walk north along the “High Road” (Dover Point Road) to clear the land and begin to tame the soil until it was suitable for growing crops and  sustaining livestock, returning each night to the settlement for community and safety.  The first two generations of Tuttles lived this way until a log cabin was eventually built for the third generation Tuttle on the actual land grant.

Several generations lived in this cabin until the 1780’s, when the present farmhouse was built to accommodate the growing number of family members.  During these years, Tuttles grew or hunted and fished for whatever they needed to sustain themselves, bartering and trading with neighbors, and selling any surplus to “townsfolk”.  It has been said that the only food they had to buy was salt.  Everything else came from the land, their animals, or from the abundance of wildlife in the surrounding area.  Lobsters, clams, and oysters were used to fertilize the fields, and manure was “locally produced” by their own animals.

Family Business Struggles With Passing the Torch
Staff Reporter of The Wall Street Journal.
From The Wall Street Journal Online

DOVER, N.H. — Here along Dover Point Road, where housing developments and strip malls line this two-lane highway, sits a survivor. It’s the 240-acre Tuttle Farm, which has a gourmet food store housed in an oversize red barn, buffered by fields of corn and pumpkins.

The Tuttle Farm is one of the oldest businesses in America, stretching back more than 350 years and 11 generations of Tuttles. Today it faces a question about its future: Will anyone from the 12th generation want to inherit the farm and run it?

The Tuttles have lived on the very same plot of land for more than three centuries, and over time they have managed to change not just with the times but ahead of them — accurately predicting America’s changing tastes for food. Back in the mid-19th century, William Penn Tuttle built the first greenhouse in the area, growing tomatoes and flowers to sell to neighbors.

In the 1950s, the era of meat-and-potatoes America, Hugh Tuttle, now 78 years old, started pushing asparagus. His battle cry: “I’m going to make salad eaters out of those Yankees.” In the 1970s, when European cheeses were found only in urbane specialty stores, the Tuttles were hawking fine fromage to rural New Englanders.

“It’s lasted as long as it has because each generation has been able to put its own mark on it and accommodate interests,” says 54-year-old Lucy Tuttle, who encouraged her family to sell gourmet goods after she returned from Paris, where she lived for seven years. Today, she and her 52-year-old brother, Will, run the business.

Dates and real-estate records this old are sketchy, but Tuttle Farm may have been founded between 1635 and 1638. There are few other contenders for the oldest continuing business in America. One is the Shirley Plantation, located along the James River in Charles City, Va., and believed to have started up between 1622 and 1638. It grows wheat, corn, cotton and soybeans on 275 acres, although most of the family’s income comes from tourists who visit the mansion and its grounds.

“The two oldest continuous businesses in the United States happen to be family businesses,” says William O’Hara, executive director of the Institute for Family Enterprise at Bryant College in Smithfield, R.I. “They are probably Tuttle and Shirley.”

The Tuttles have a long streak of risk-taking and survival. In 1632, Welshman John Tuttle wanted to escape the dead-end job of apprentice barrel maker. So he received a land grant from Britain’s King Charles I, who was trying to populate his American colonies. Off to America Mr. Tuttle went.

The trip wasn’t smooth. The Angel Gabriel, the boat carrying John Tuttle, along with his wife, Dorothy, and their four-year-old daughter, was shipwrecked off the coast of Maine — “burst in pieces and cast away in this storm,” wrote eyewitness Richard Mather in 1635. So the family, all their possessions lost in the wreck, walked all the way to what is now New Hampshire and carved out 30 acres amid virgin forest.

They and a handful of other settlers lived off the land, learning from the Penacook tribes how to grow corn and squash, fertilizing the ground with dead fish. There was no mill in the area until the early 1700s, so the first generations of Tuttles ground their grain by hand, using a mortar and pestle.

Getting along with the neighbors was crucial then. “You didn’t need money,” says Hugh Tuttle, a wiry, deeply tanned man. “It was all barter system. It sure made for being neighborly.” Fellow farmers traded food and services, like blacksmithing for barrel making. The barter economy lasted through the 19th century, when Hugh Tuttle’s grandfather lived.

“If you needed a pair of shoes, you waited until the traveling shoemaker came along,” says Hugh Tuttle, of life in his grandfather’s time. “He’d live with you for a week, and make the shoes out of the hides from the family’s cows.”

In the early years, as many as 10 Tuttles lived in a one-room log cabin. Then, in 1780, Elijah Tuttle built the sprawling wooden farmhouse Will Tuttle lives in today, among pewter dishes and candlesticks that have been in the family for seven generations.

The farmhouse hasn’t sheltered just Tuttles. As devout Quakers and abolitionists, they let their home serve as a stop on the Underground Railroad, housing slaves making their way up to Canada. A trap door off the master-bedroom closet hid freedom seekers.

Some Tuttles were entrepreneurs, trying to buck the barter economy. In the mid-19th century, William Tuttle built the region’s first greenhouse, where he grew flowers to sell to neighbors. He also created a cranberry bog, a vineyard and a cider factory on the farm. But there turned out to be little demand for grapes, cranberries, cider or flowers, and all four experiments failed. Lucky for the thrice-married William, his wives’ wealthy families bailed him out.

By the early 20th century, the Tuttles had better luck selling their vegetables to local grocers, hauling produce to town in a horse and buggy. In 1915, as one of the first driving families in Dover, they switched to a hand-cranked truck.

By the 1950s, with the development of agribusiness, supermarkets began shunning the local, seasonal farmer in favor of giants in California and Florida that could provide year-round produce. “Uniform mediocrity at the lowest possible price,” scoffs Hugh Tuttle. “So we said, ‘To heck with you guys, we’ll go into competition with them.’ ” The Tuttles converted one of their old dairy barns into a farmstand, selling their own squash, beans, peas and other produce.

“When I was growing up,” remembers Hugh Tuttle, “my father would say that the only thing on our dinner table not produced on the farm is the salt and the pepper. We ate our own meat, milk, butter and vegetables that we’d can or freeze in winter. He’d even drink his own hard cider bottled out of a barrel in our cellar.”

All that has changed. During Will and Lucy Tuttle’s lifetime, the tiny farmstand has grown into a 9,000-square-foot enterprise and adjacent nursery that sells gourmet foods, exotic plants and gift items like painted picture frames and scented candles. On average, 1,000 customers a day shop at Tuttle Farm, filling the asphalt parking lot with a sea of New England license plates.

“It’s kind of a hike,” says Carol Robinson, a teacher from Rye, N.H., a half-hour away. “But I come here for the quality. I have a friend who refers to it as Trump Farm. It’s expensive. It has everything.”

Indeed, the retail business now eclipses the farming operation. Less than 10% of what they sell in the store is their own produce — seasonal corn, string beans, lettuce and pumpkins. Like a farmer, Will Tuttle still rises at 2:30 a.m., but does so to drive an hour or so to a wholesale produce market in Massachusetts, where he buys other farmers’ fruits and vegetables to sell at his store.

“We couldn’t be here without the retail,” says Will Tuttle. “The farm is not big enough to be the only thing.” Now the Tuttles’ main competitors are large supermarket chains like Shaws and Shop ‘n Save that are setting up specialty food sections, usually with lower prices than those at Tuttle.

The Tuttles are diversifying further, selling harried customers more prepared foods, like roasted chicken or pasta dishes, and even launching mail-order and online catalogs. Their newest venture is an in-store wine shop, managed by a longtime customer with a passion for wine.

As with other farms in the area, the Tuttles have had offers to sell their property, but so far they’ve resisted. “We shoo them all away,” says Will Tuttle. “It’s not something I’d consider unless we couldn’t possibly say no. I can’t imagine what it would do to our collective psyche if we sold the farm.”

By Tuttle family tradition, the farm goes to the youngest son, who has the best chance to live longer and support older generations. But of those in the 12th generation, only Lucy Tuttle’s son, 20-year-old Evan, has expressed interest. His cousins prefer computer science and acting to agriculture.

The Tuttles aren’t holding out for the next generation. “Eleven generations of Tuttles occupied the same position of dirt, but it doesn’t mean there has to be a 12th,” says Will Tuttle. “It’s totally their decision.” All he wants, he says, is to leave behind a thriving business for his children — if they want it. And if they don’t? “It’s not something that keeps me staring at the ceiling at night,” he says.

Lucy Tuttle says she won’t force her son to work in the family enterprise, and she notes there has been a tradition of Tuttles leaving the farm only to come back. She went to Paris and taught English, and her brother went to Campbell Soup Co., working for a time as a sales representative. Even their father, Hugh, left to study biology at Harvard. After three years, he returned home, finishing off his degree at the University of New Hampshire. “I was farmsick,” he explains.

“I’m really torn,” says Evan Hourihan. “I’m in college, and there are so many opportunities. But I feel such a strong connection to this place. I would never want to see the tradition pass out of the family.”

The Wall Street Journal Online

Copyright © 2005 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved
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1. Elizabeth Tuttle (See Capt. Phillip CROMWELL‘s page)

2. Thomas Tuttle

Accidentally killed when a young lad by falling from a tree.

3. Judge John Tuttle

John’s wife Mary [__?__] was born 1648 in York, York, Maine. Mary died 12 Jul 1720 in Dover, Strafford, New Hampshire.

Judge John Tuttle  was appointed in 1695 judge of their Majesties court of common pleas under the administration of Lieutenant Governor Usher. He was selectman of Dover 1686, 1687 and 1688; town clerk 1694 to 1717 inclusive; town treasurer 1705 and many other years; member of the provincial assembly 1698, 1699, 1705, 1706, and 1707; one of the six commissioners sent from Dover to the convention of 1689 to meet the commissioners of other towns in the province “to confer about and resolve upon a method of Government within this province.” He was also a leader in the Dover church. He was at the head of the military forces of the town in 1689, and later and for ten years was almost constantly scouting and hunting for Indians, performing “highly dangerous and very arduous” military duties.

On December 28, 1717 Judge John Tuttle wrote his will.
“Item I will Demise and Bequeth all my Personal Estate that is my House hold Goods & Chattels Bills Bonds Debts Dues which are to be Demaned after the Deceace of my well Beloved wife and not Before to My Three Daughters Equally to be Divided Between Them.” He also directed his son, Ebenezer Tuttle to pay “to his Sister Mary Wallingford the Sum of five Pounds.”

Following John Wallingford’s marriage to the daughter of Judge John Tuttle of Dover, N.H. they lived at Bradford, Mass. In 1702 Colonel Paul Wentworth and Judge John Tuttle became partners in a lumber business on the Salmon Falls River in Dover. Judge Tuttle invited his son-in-law John Wallingford to come to Salmon Falls to help with the operation of the saw mill and lumber business. The family moved to that area later on.

According to the ” History of Dover, N.H. by John Scales, 1923:
John Tuttle ” owned much land, had sawmills, built ships and sent them to foreign ports. He held many offices and was one of the most noted and influential citizens of Dover. He was selectman 1686-87, 88; Representative in 1698; Town Clerk from 1686-1717; Representative in the convention of 1689; Judge of the Court of Common Pleas from 1695-1700. He died in 1720.”

Children of John and Mary:

i. Elizabeth Tuttle b. at Dover Neck, NH; m1. 1695 Dover Neck NH to Samuel Edgerly, son of Thomas Edgerly and Rebecca Ault; m2. John Ambler on 2 July 1725

John Ambler first married Hannah, widow of Robert Watson. Dr. Quint said she was daughter of Thomas Beard, but Hannah is not mentioned in Beard’s will, and in the inventory of Robert Watson’s estate she alludes to “brother Kent.” She was probably daughter of Oliver Kent. Robert Watson, born 1641, was slain in the massacre of 1694, and his wife and son, Joseph, were carried to Canada. Mrs. Hannah (Watson) Ambler died 8 April 1706, as Pike’s Journal says.

John Ambler next married 6 Nov. 1706, Elizabeth Trickey of Newington. He married third 20 July 1725, Elizabeth, widow of Samuel Edgerly and daughter of Capt. John Tuttle. John Ambler lived on a point of land near Ambler’s Islands, on the present farm of Hon. Jeremiah Langley. He was constable in 1708, selectman in 1716, deacon in 1718, and elder in 1721. He was living in Durham 10 June 1739, and is mentioned as deceased 20 Dec. 1748.

4. Dorothy Tuttle

Dorothy’s husband Samuel Tibbets was born 1633 – England. His parents were Henry Tibbets and Elizabeth Austin. Samuel died 9 Dec 1738 – Dover, Strafford, New Hampshire.


ccidentally killed when a young lad by falling from a tree.

Historic homes and places and genealogical and personal memoirs …, Volume 4 edited by William Richard Cutter Page 1542 – 1546

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14 Responses to John Tuttle

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  6. Roxie A. Thibeault says:

    Could you please tell me from what source the information was obtained from in regards to the parents of John being Richard and Elizabeth? I am doing my genealogy tree on the Tuttles in and in all the history books that I have looked at I have not yet seen the name of Elizabeth Atwell. I have seen Richard’s name but which one is it? I have the pedigree from Meyrick’s Heraldic Visitations of Wales, Vol. I., page 183 which lists Richard and Joan Grafton as having a son named Richard. Is this the Richard you are talking about? It does not list a wife’s name. This Richard in the pedigree would be a grandson of William Totyl and Elsbeth Mathew.
    This area in my family tree has given me the most trouble. A lot of the history books that I have reviewed have contradicted each other. I am hoping that you can throw some light on this confusing John Tuttle. Any information would be most appreciated.

    Thanking you in advance.

    Roxie Thibeault

    • markeminer says:

      Hi Roxie,

      Richard Tothill (1604 – 1676) and Elizabeth Attwell (1600 – ) are named in several genealogies, but I don’t see any references. They say John had two brothers: Thomas Tothill (b. 1620) and Robert Tothill (b. 1625)

      Here’s the family history of some other early Tuttle immigrants:

      • Roxie A. Thibeault says:

        Thank you Mark for getting back to me as soon as you did. I am still searching history books, etc., and I still cannot find a connection for John Tuttle, 1618, to Richard Tothill and Elizabeth Attwell. I have seen the pages for the genealogy of the other immigrants. If I had more concrete information with perhaps some references, I would be more inclined to copy the information to which you refer. So, until I find this, I will keep on searching. If I find out anything more positive, I will let you know.

        Thanks again, Mark. Have a great summer.

    • tom tuttle foxboro ma says:

      hello..I have:
      john tuttle (angel gabriel) b.1610 d.1663 dover, nh m. dorothy ?
      son of:
      symon tuttle b.1560 woodford, northhampton d.1630 rangstead
      m. isabel wells
      son of:
      richard toothill b.1530 woodford, northhamptonshire
      d.1589 m. elizabeth lincoln
      son of:
      thomas totahyll b.1506 woodford,northhamptonshire

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  9. Ann Crehore says:

    My grandmother was Sally May Tuttle Woodall. Would love to connect with you!

    • Roxie Thibeault says:

      Ann: I do not know if you have any information about who John Tuttle’s parents were. No one seems to know. I have not seen any concrete information as to who they were. There is a lot of misinformation in family trees in Which family is your grandmother from? My grandfather was a Tuttle from Maine, Saco.

      If you have any information that you could share with me, it would be greatly appreciated.

      Roxie Thibeault

  10. jessica says:

    Could they be in any relations to the tuttles in zanesville ohio

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