Arthur Cotten & Mary Elizabeth Rutland

Sally’s great-great-great-great-great- Grandparents:

Arthur Cotten 1716 – 1789 | his parents
& ca 1741 Mary Elizabeth Rutland ca 1724 – 1779 | her parents
Of Mulberry Grove, Hertford Co NC


This is my working hypothesis. The way I see it as of this moment!!


at the time of Arthur Cotten the house was a story and a half 18th-century style building.
his great-grandson Dr. G. C. Moore had the house remodeled in the 1830’s.

9 Sept 1716 – Arthur Cotten, son of John Cotten and his wife Martha Godwin, is born in South Quay, VA.
(The year from a deposition made by Arthur in a court case.)
1719 – the John Cotten family moves to what is now Hertford County, NC and settles on the Potacasi Creek as neighbors of Frederick Jones.
1728 – father John Cotten dies in “Bertie” County.
1731 – mother Martha Godwin Cotten marries William Green.
1732 – Thomas Bryant and Wm. Bennett made guardians of Arthur, Priscilla, James and Thomas Cotten.
12 Feb 1733/4 Bertie Ct Records: page 112 Arthur Cotton, Orphan to John Cotton, deceased came into Court and chose Samuel Cotton his Guardian,
[his brother James chose Alexander Cotton as his guardian at the same time.]
Aug 11, 1740. William Barefield to Thomas Cowman Wit: Arthur Cotton, William Hobby, John Olephant. Proved Nov. Ct 1740. BERTIE CO. DEEDS: F page 160
ca 1741 – Arthur Cotten married Mary Elizabeth Rutland
ca 1742 – son Cullen Cotten is born
Feb 1743 William Cotten & Arthur Cotton witness a deed at NH Co Ct.
Aug Ct 1745 Arthur Cotton bought land.
ca 1745 – daughter Marina Cotten is born
[she later married James Moore] ca 1747
– daughter [Sarah] Cotten is born
[she later married Lawrence Moore and then Sam Bell]
ca 1750 – daughter Helen Cotten is born
July 19, 1750, James Rutland of Northampton Co to Arthur Cotten 12£ for 100 acres on Wattom Swamp adj. Peter West. Part of a patent of 300 acres to Thomas Jones dated Sep 22 1730. Wit: Charles Horne, Benjamin Wynns. Proved Feb Ct 1750/1 Samuel Ormes C/C BERTIE CO. DEEDS: G page 343 1752
– daughter Silvia Cotten is born 8 Aug 1752
Alex Cotton and Arthur Cotton [Lord Granville]
warrant to William Churton to survey all the Vacant land in Chowan County on the East side of Chowan at the mouth of Muddy Creek.
Joining Benjamin Blanchard, the Pecoson, and the sd Creek entered at Edenton 21 February 1752 signed Fras. Corbin.
Back of the document reads: “Surveyed 10 August 1752.
Grant Issued 27 February 1761.
” Note in file reads:
“[to] Mr. Thomas Child Special Agent
my Brother Alex Cotten should take That Deed out in his Name as I Cant Come Down at present
signed Arthur Cotten 25 February 1761
By the Care of my Brother Thomas Cotten.”
Abstract by Margaret M Hofmann of the Granville Dist. papers

Nov 20, 1752, William Beverly of Craven Co. to Arthur Cotten of Northampton Co.
100£ for 300 acres Land on the north side Ahotskey Swamp
“being a certain Piece of Land that was given to him . . by will by his said Grandfather John Beverly, Sen
as per patent it being half of the patent formerly granted to Mr. John Beverly. . .”
Wit: William Rutland, Edward Rutland, John Cotten.
N C Court April 20, 1753. G page 472

(1754) Muster 0f Officers Northampton Reg
Col. John Dawson, Lt. Col. John Edwards, Maj. James Manney, dead,
Capt John Moore, dead, Capt Samuel Cottin, Lt Arthur Cottin,
Ensign Thomas Cottin
(Arthur Cotten is not listed on an earlier list (after 1748) of Sam Cotten’s company.) COL SOLDIERS OF THE SOUTH 1732-1774 p 733

30 Oct 1754 – son Jesse Cotten is born from Jesse Cotten Bible

1755 Arthur Cotten is called a house carpenter in an apprentice bond binding his four yr old orphaned nephew Thomas Beeney to him. [note could this be his cousin?]

ca 1758 – “Capt” Arthur Cotten built Mulberry Grove
(reputed to be the first brick home in Hertford County.)
1761, 3 Feb – son Godwin Cotten was born.
Aug 1762 – daughter Caroline Cotten was born.
ca 1765 – daughter Helen Cotten married Lewis Powell
1767 – daughter Caroline dies.
1770 – Elizabeth Cotten mentions her grandchildren having whooping cough in a letter.
1770 – daughter Silvia Cotten Usher died and buried by family at Mulberry Grove.
1777 – son Jesse Cotten married Martha Whitehead
23 April 1778 – NC House Journal – Mr. Arthur Cotton, one of the members for Hertford County, appeared, was qualified and took his seat accordingly.
8 August 1778 – House Journal – Arthur Cotton appeared and took his seat.
[Arthur was present at the May session in 1779]
from the Colonial Records compiled by Saunders Vol 12 p 697, 817

ca 1778/9 – Godwin Cotten married Sarah Brown.
10 Feb 1779 Elizabeth Rutland Cotten dies at Mulberry Grove.
ca 1780 – daughter Helen marries 2nd Moses Tyler
1782 – the Kehukee [Baptist] Association held its annual session at Mulberry Grove at Arthur Cotten’s invitation after Robert Sumner would not let them use St. Johns Chapel for their meeting.
[Lemuel Burkitt was his neighbor, but Arthur Cotten was a lifelong Episcopalian and a member of the vestry at St. Johns]

20 May 1789 Arthur Cotten died and buried by family at Mulberry Grove beside his wife.
Elizabeth Rutland, daughter of James Rutland and his wife [Esther?], was born ca 1720.
She died 10 Feb 1779 at Mulberry Grove.

Children of Arthur Cotten and Elizabeth Rutland:

1. Cullen Cotten Feb 1742 – 1811
[rem. to Edgefield, SC, had left Hertford Co, NC bef. 1790]
[the Wills of Cullen Cotton and his wife Helen’s father Aaron Moore were both set aside on Feb 7, 1812, Deed Book 31 p77 see] (on 1779 & 1784 Tax Lists Hertford Co)
Cullen and Helen Cotten witnessed a conveyance by Arthur Cotten of Hertford to John Cotton of Northampton on April 7, 1764, NH Co Deed Book #3 p. 312–B B Hayes
married Helen Moore dau. of Aaron Moore
1a. Arthur Cotten Jr (Is he identical with Cullen or is he another son? Or cousin or grandson? – One of the John Cotten’s had a son Arthur. Bertie Co Deed Book I page 391 5 Jun 1759 Wit: Arthur Cotten, Elizabeth Cotten, Arthur Cotten, Jr. Proved Jan Ct 1760. C/C Benjn Wynns..

2. Marina Cotten ca 1745 —
married James Moore 1732- aft 1805

3. Helen Cotten ca 1747
married ca 1763 1st Lewis Powell ca 1743 – 1778
“in his 36th year” son of Kader [Cader] Powell
23 Jan 1778 Lewis Powell & his wife Helen of Hertford Co sold to Whitmell Hill of Martin Co 100 acres joining George Pollock for 7000£. Wit: Arthur Cotton, Shadrach Rutland, Proved Aug Ct 1782. Stevens Gray C/C

married 2nd ca 1782 Moses Tyler died 16 Nov 1788
son of John Tyler 1728 – and Susannah Perry

4. Sarah Cotten ca 1749
married 1st Lawrence Moore died bef 1779 tax list
married 2nd Samuel Bell died 1793
20 Feb 1761 Deed Book K p 60 Arthur and Elizabeth Cotten sell 100 acres to Thomas Coggins, Wittnesses were Sarah Cotten, Merene Cotten and William Pickett. I think these women were the oldest daughters of Arthur and Elizabeth whose names have been elusive.

5. Silvia Cotten 1752 – 5 July 1770
married ca 1769 Dr. William Usher died 1780 buried beside Silvia.

6. Jesse Cotten 30 Oct 1754 – 12 Dec 1802
married 25 June 1777 Martha Whitehead 13 Sept 1758 – 22 Dec 1838 daughter of William Whitehead and wife Abby of Halifax Co, NC

7. Godwin Cotten 3 Feb 1761 – 5 June 1830
married 1778/79 Sarah Brown 1762 – 1833

8. Carolina Cotten August 1762 – 6 Feb 1767
“Here lyes body (Caroli)na Cotton Daughter of Arthur Cotton who died February 6th 1767 Aged 4 Years and 6 Months”

Bertie Ct Records: 12 Feb 1733/4 page 112 Arthur Cotton, Orphan to John Cotton, deced. came into Court and chose Samuel Cotton his Guardian, which the Court approved of and Ordered that Letters of Tueation Issue the sd Samuel Cotton giving two Securitys in the Sum of 1000£ Upon &tc. Wm. Whitfield & John Cotton Secuty.

James Cotton Orphan to John Cotton Deced. came into Court & Chose Alexander Cotton his Guardian which the Court approved of and Ordd the Letters of Tuetion Issue the sd. Allexr. Cotton giving two Secty in the Sum of 1000£ Upon &tc. .. Ordd that James Moore, Ep. Moor (crossed out), Jno. Edwards, Samll. Wilson (crossed out) Saml. Wms. & John Jones Sen (crossed out) Jno Dawson or any three do Divide the Estates of Arthur Cotton & James Cotton seperate from the Estate of ye other Orphans of John Cotton Deced. & Deliver Arthur Cottons part to Samll. Cotton and James Cottons Estate to Allexr. Cotton, Guardians.

BERTIE COUNTY DEEDS: F page 160 Aug 11, 1740. William Barefield to Thomas Cowman Wit: Arthur Cotton, William Hobby, John Olephant. Proved Nov. Ct 1740.

JW Moore: V1 p49. Capt. Arthur Cotton was for long years vestryman at the old Episcopal chapel (St. John’s).
Until about 1750 (he) made voyages as commander of a ship that plied between the colony and the mother country.
In his old age he built the first brick house ever erected in Hertford county. and died in affluence.
Though a vestryman in the church, this ancient mariner was celebrated for his quick temper. . Captain Cotton lived at Mulberry Grove where three generations of Beverlys had preceded him in its occupancy. . .His punch bowl of cut glass, yet in the hands of his descendants, is not only elaborate in gilded ornamentations but of ample proportions.
Note: “The Lady Alice Lisle’s daughter married a Cotton. However, they had no children. In the 1870’s a character named Ballis showed up in Richmond claiming he was looking for heirs to the Lisle-Cotton estate. He is supposed to have visited [about 1875] Dr. Moore at Mulberry Grove.
According to Tom Parramore [and others before him including my father SMK], he was a confidence man. It was about this time that Uncle Will’s daughter was named “Alice Lisle” and that the longstanding practice of spelling the family name “Cotten” suddenly rolled over to “Cotton”. E-mail from James.
For example -JWMoore wrote in Jan 1877 “Arthur Cotton . . .was no great admirer of Kings and had bitter cause for resentment. His father’s kinswoman, the gentle and lovely Alice Lisle had suffered death at the hands of the inhuman Judge Jeffreys in the Bloody Assize. . .”

2nd Note: The “Captain” of Arthur Cotten is long-standing family tale that JWMoore elaborates upon – but I have not been able to document whence his title. Perhaps it is to do with the Militia — perhaps he served in the navy during the “Spanish Alarm” [the 1740’s] He was of the age to have done so.
JWMoore writing in 1877 HSHC Ch 31 – “Big weddings were still in vogue, and Hertford had recently witnessed the marriage of Capt. John Jones, of Virginia, to Esther Cotton, the widow of the late James W Moore.
Capt. Jones was the cousin of Willie and Gen. Allen Jones, and was an officer in the Virginia Continentals during the Revolution. He lived at a noble country seat near Lawrencesville in Brunswick county, and had much of the courtliness of his N C kinsmen, Mrs. Jones’ sister, the widow Johnston, had some years before married her cousin Cornelius Moore, of Rich Square.”

in his ch 4 of HSHC JWMoore writing about Arthur Cotten ” Captain Cotten lived at Mulberry Grove, where three generations of Beverly’s had preceded him in its occupancy. He must have appreciated the good things of this life for his punch bowl of cut glass, yet in the hands of his descendants, is not only elaborate in gilded ornamentations , but of ample propertions.
His oldest son, Jesse Cotten, lived and died in Northampton, Cullen in Hertford, and Godwin at the old homestead at Mulberry Grove. His oldest daughter married James Moore, of Virginia, another married Cornelius Moore, of Northampton, another married Dr. James Usher, another Samuel Bell and the youngest Helen married Powell and afterwards Moses Tyler, father of the late Perry C Tyler of Bertie.”
[my great grandfather appears to have been more interested in telling a good story rather than getting all his facts exactly precise. e.g. It was Dr. William Usher who was the son-in-law. Jesse lived in Bertie Co. Cullen was the eldest son, and I think one daughter {Sarah} married Lawrence Moore and had son Cornelius [of Northampton] and after Lawrence died married Sam Bell.]
BERTIE COUNTY DEEDS: G page 343 July 19, 1750 James Rutland of Northampton Co to Arthur Cotten 12¬£ for 100 acres on Wattom Swamp adj. Peter West. Part of patent of 300 acres to Thomas Jones dated Sep 22 1730. Wit: Charles Horne, Benjamin Wynns. Proved Feb Ct 1750/1 Samuel Ormes C/C G page 406 Nov 6, 1751 John Cotton of Northampton Co to Benjamin Cotton. Gift for 230 acres “in consideration of natural love, good will and affection . . .toward my well beloved Brother Benjamin Cotton of the County & Province aforesaid. . .” land at head of “blew Water Swamp” adj. Peter West, Coll. Jones. Land formerly granted by Patent to Anne Jones by date April 6, 1722 “and became due to my father, John Cotton and is now fell due to me by the Death of the said John Cotton my father . . . .” Wit: Charles Horne, Arthur Cotton. Proved Nov. Ct 1751. G page 472 Nov 20, 1752 William Beverly of Craven Co. to Arthur Cotten of Northampton Co. 100¬£ for 300 acres Land on north side Ahotskey Swamp “being a certain Piece of Land that was given to him . . by will by his said Grandfather John Berverly, sen . . .as per patent it being half of the patent formerly granted to Mr John Beverly. . .” Wit: William Rutland, Edward Rutland, John Cotten. N C Court April 20, 1753.

Muster 0f Officers Northampton Reg (1754) Col. John Dawson, Lt. Col. John Edwards, Maj. James Manney dec, Capt John Moore dec, Capt Samuel Cottin, Lt Arthor Cottin, Ensign Thomas Cottin (Arthur Cotten is not listed on an earlier list (after 1748) of Sam Cotten’s company.) COL SOLDIERS OF THE SOUTH 1732-1774 p 733

28 October 1756. Bertie Co Apprentice Bonds:Thomas Beeney, Orphan of Thomas Beeney, about the age of four years bound to Arthur Cotten. House Carpenter. Signers: John Harrell, Arthur Cotten. Witness: Benjn. Wynns. [John Brown was named at the beginning, but John Harrell, signed.] H page 453

Jan 24, 1757 Henry Glisson & wife Charity of Northampton Co to Adam Raby. 4£ 6sh 10 pds for 15 acres at Northeast Branch adj. John Hare. Part of land devised to Charity Glisson by the last will & testament of her brother Patrick OQuin. Wit: Arthur Cotten, Nicholas Perry, John Hare. Oct Court 1757. I page 236

11 Nov 1758. Henry (x) Beverly planter of Johnston Co to Arthur Cotten of Bertie Co. 45¬£ proclamation 300 acres which he had received from the will of his grandfather John Beverly, Sr. as divided between his two grandsons William son of John Beverly Jr & Henry son of Robert Beverly on north side of Ahotskey Swamp. sd land was 1/2 the patent to John Beverly dec’d. Wit: John Cotten, Nicholas Perry, Benjn. Streater. Proved Apr Ct. 1759. C/C Benjn Wynns. I page 391

5 Jun 1759 William (x) Clarke planter & his wife Margaret (x) of Orange Co to Daniel Rogers of Bertie Co. 37¬£ proclamation 133 acres which was 1/2 of land that fell to two of Henry Beverly’s daughter which the younger is married to sd William Clarke sd land having been a patent to John Stone for 266 acres 1 Aug 1723 on east side of Poplar Run Wit: Arthur Cotten, Elizabeth Cotten, Arthur Cotten, Jr. Proved Jan Ct 1760. C/C Benjn Wynns. K page 60

20 Feb 1761 Arthur Cotten of Hertford Co to Thomas Coggins of Bertie Co. 23£ proclamation 100 acres which was part of a 300 acre patent to Thomas Jones gent 22 Sept 1730 on Wartom Meadow joining William Pickett, John Grimes. Also signed by Elizabeth Cotten (margin indicates wife). Wit: Sarah Cotten, Merene Cotten, William (x) Pickett. Proved Apr. Ct 1761. C/C Benja Wynns.

1779 TAX LIST HERTFORD CO NC:
ARTHUR COTTEN; 500 Acres Land 4000; 320 ” ” New Entry 350; 2 Negroes 40-50 800 ; 3 ” under 5 450; 4 ” 10-40 2800; 7 Horses 1400; 22 Cattle 220 ; Money Notes 205; 2 Lotts Winton 20; 266 acres Land Belonging to the orphans of Dan’l Rogers; 11045
CULLEN COTTEN: money & 40; 2 negroes 10-40 1400; 1 ” 5-10 400; 2 Horses 450; 10 Cattle 100; 2390
1782 Tax List Hertford Co NC – District 3 1784 Tax List Hertford Co. NC – Capt Job Yeates/s Company
Cullin Cotten 200 acres Hertford 1-fp 4- bp
Arthur Cotten 724 acres Hertford 1-fp 4-bp
Godwin Cotten 100 acres Hertford 1-fp 4-bp
James Moore 770 acres Hertford 1-fp 10-bp

Arthur Cotton, Nursing sick soldier Rect. 102 42.22 £16: 18. 7 Vol IV Book #G NC REV ARNY ACCOUNTS –SEC OF STATE TREASURER’S & CONTROLLER PAPERS

page 1489 COTTON, Arthur. 29.8.1, p. 9 Claim of GIBSON, DONALDSON, & CO. He died rich in the County of Hertford. His son Goodman COTTEN of same county is his executor. That the estate is solvent may be proved by Col. Hardy MURFREE of the same county. (These reports were prepared about 1800-1803.)NCGSJ May 91, p.101

COTTON, Arthur. 29.8.1 p.16 Claim of GIBSON, DONALDSON, & CO.
Died in the Year 1789. Application has been made to his son, G. COTTON, by a Mr. Fisher of Suffolk for payment. The son knows nothing of the Debt and informs me that he is unable. . .to pay it, if it were just- that the estate of his Father is scattered over the county . . .report of Henry Potter dated Sept 14, 1800 NCGSJ Feb 82, p. 19

J W Moore: 1768–Cotton’s Ferry, now known as Barfield’s was then on the post route between Suffolk & Wilmington and the post office was at the house of Col. Matthias Brickell, now known as Oak Villa.
Godwin Cotten of Mulberry Grove was then Deputy Surveyer for the county and he laid off and made a plan of the new town (Winton.)
He was the youngest son of Arthur Cotton. This assertion confuses me.
I think perhaps he meant to say Thomas Cotten who lived in the Winton area and was the youngest son of John Cotten was the Surveyer.
Or perhaps the surveyor was Cullen Cotten the oldest son of Arthur.

Paschal quotes from (Major) Mr. J. W. Moore in his manuscript history of North Carolina Baptists: In 1782–Although there were Baptist meeting houses at Potecasi, Meherrin, and Sandy Run, all of which were close by the place of meeting, yet for some reason now unknown the old Episcopal chapel of St. John in Hertford County was selected by Elder Burkitt and others for that purpose. They held that as the house was erected by money collected from the people of the county by taxation and no Episcopal services were then being held therein, that therefore the Baptists who constituted the majority of the people had the right to use the chapel for the session of the Kehukee Association. The invitations consequently went out but when the delegations were about to arrive on the ground, Col. Robert Sumner, who was the Senior Warden of St John’s chapel, interfered his strenuous objections to its being used for any purpose but the regular Episcopal forms. Captain Arthur Cotten was the Junior Warden and as strongly insisted that the chapel should be thrown open to the Baptist people. The dispute was so warm that Elder Burkitt grew doubtful as to whether his brethren should meet at a point so hotly contested by the controlling powers. But Captain Arthur Cotten remedied all difficulty by substituting his own private residence for St. John’s chapel. This offer was accepted and the Association consequently was held at the house of a man who was never a member of a Baptist church. Twelve large mulberry trees formed an archway in front of the house like the vaulted roof of some cathedral, and there beneath the wide-spreading limbs the saints of old met to thank God for their many blessings and to prepare for the future work of the vineyard.

Silvia Cotten d. 5 July 1770 and Dr. William Usher d.1780 had no issue. (He mentions an (unnamed) child by second wife in his Bertie Co. will) (Dr. Usher was a Surgeon and served in the 3rd & 4th Regiment, North Carolina Line during the Revolution.)
“Mrs. Griffin . . .I desiered the Doctr to Bring you a sample of the Rute that I cure the splean with which if you give it as I dericted you it will make a perfect chure of any person . . . I shall be oblige to you if you will send me a Receite to chure the Hooping Couf as my gran: Children has goot it very Bad – I shall Remeain your friend to serve —Elizabeth Cotten I hope you will do the best for my child Sylvia you can.” Letter from Elizabeth Cotten to Mrs Elizabeth Griffin at Doctor Usher’s in Tarborough, NC, 1770 – from Private Collection #21.2, Misc. Papers, at the NC State Archives. NCGSJ May 84 p. 79

mgsilvia

In Cemetery at Mulberry Grove
“Here lies the body of Silvia Ussher wife of Dr. Wm Ussher, who died July 5th anno Domini 1770 in the 18th year of her age. Much lamented by all that was acquainted with her moral Virtues and truly Pious life. Requiesquat (Broken) in Peace.”

2 thoughts on “Arthur Cotten & Mary Elizabeth Rutland”

  1. Thank you so much for doing the research on the families in Bertie & surrounding counties. , as my ggg grandfather was Benjamin Rogers, who died in 1778, but to my knowledge, left few records aside from estate papers, tax records, etc., and had no known land transactions. I am, therefore, again very appreciative to you for providing valuable information on Thomas Pugh (who was either a neighbor & possibly good friend to Benjamin Rogers), Thomas Barker and others in the area. The information on the old Baptist churches in the area was also excellent. I salute you!
    Glenn

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