Sutton is one of those names that was acquired through the location of the family in its early history. It is from the Anglo-Saxon words, sudh, meaning "south", and tun, meaning "town". Therefore the name designated "the family of Southtown."
The families of Sutton and Dudley, whose histories are inextricably mingled by intermarriage and relationship, are ancient ones in England, dating before the eleventh century.
In 1251, in the reign of Henry III, Rowland de Sutton married a daughter of the noted family of Lexington. John de Sutton was Lord of Malpas and Shocklech in 1329. There is record of many lands being given to John, son of Richard de Sutton, by Edward III. Isabella de Sutton, after the death of her husband, Sir John de Sutton, in 1359, married Sir Richard de Dudley. Upon her death the estates of the combined families were inherited by her grandson, John Sutton. Among these estates was the famous Dudley Castle.
Other branches of the family were held in high esteem by the people of Holderness in the Province of York, and in Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. The family played a large part in the history of the British Isles.
The center of the Suttons in New England was New Jersey in that section then known as East Jersey, although the descendants of the family have now scattered throughout the United States.
The first of the Suttons of whom record can be found was William Sutton who came to Massachusetts in 1666, but it is believed by many authorities that he was of the second generation of the family to come to the Colonies. He was a Quaker and the holder of large tracts of land. His children were Alice, Thomas, Mary, John, Judah, Richard, Joseph (who died in early youth), Benjamin, Daniel, and Joseph. Many of these children of William Sutton settled in New Jersey. It is generally supposed that William had one or more brothers with him when he emigrated to "The New World", but the family was of such an adventurous disposition that its members seldom stayed in any one location long enough to be on record.
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