The Sutphins of Northern Virginia
by JD Ball

It has long been my belief the Sutphins of northern Virginia connect to the Sutphins of southwest Virginia. Proof positive has been elusive, but circumstantial evidence points toward this.

Christopher Sutphin witnessed the codicil to Richard Hall's will. This codicil was filed in Fauquier on 28 Mar 1774 and mentions land in Fauquier which Hall had purchased of Richard and William Hampton. Hall's will of 1 Mar 1774 was proved 25 Jul 1774. Richard Hampton died in 1766. A witness to Hampton's will was Charles Morehead who, along with Christopher Sutphin, also witnessed the codicil mentioned above. Morehead was known to have land adjoining that of Hampton which later was acquired by Hall.

It is not clear what these relationships are or if they are meaningful. Hall was a physician who resided in Richmond and Westmoreland counties. The Hamptons were his relatives through his mother. The land in question was in Leeds Parish and seems to have been around the area of The Plains. It is possible Christopher Sutphin was in the employ of Hall or Morehead, but tax records do not indicate he resided in Fauquier this early.

Existing Loudoun records are sporadic. The earliest extant Loudoun County tax record for Christopher Sutphin indicates he was living in Cameron Parish in 1780. It is also known that he owned a slave girl named Jane in 1785. In 1787 his Loudoun taxes indicate he was responsible for a male in his household who was age 16 to 21. That same year he had 3 horses and 3 cattle. No slaves listed. In 1788 he was responsible only for himself, had 3 slaves under age 16, and 10 horses. In 1789, he was not present in the Loudoun records.

The male indicated in the 1787 tax list would have been born in 1771 or earlier. This is consistent with John Sutphin's census record in Fauquier.

In 1795, both Christopher and John appear on the Fauquier tax rolls, both responsible for their own taxes. In 1796, Christopher commences paying the tithe for his son Christopher Jr. This would indicate Christopher Jr. was born about 1780.

The three men continue on Fauquier tax rolls through 1799. In 1800 only Christopher Junior and Senior appear, Senior still paying Junior's tax. It is not clear as to why John doesn't appear that year, but reappears later.

While it seems clear that Christopher Sutphin had sons John (b. ca 1771) and Christopher Jr. (b. ca 1780), it seems most likely there were two others. William Sutphin is also present in Cameron Parish in 1780 and Hendrick(1) Sutphin is present in 1785. Beyond these dates, no further records have been found of these individuals in Loudoun County. The researcher must be aware though that records are spotty, deteriorated and incomplete. This William would have been born 1764, or earlier. Hendrick would have a birth year of 1769, or earlier.

A William Sutfin married Rachel Owing/Owens in Frederick, Maryland 11 Sep 1783. The marriage was witnessed by Fredrick Theodor Haux. A review of pertinant Maryland records shows no Sutphin as a resident of the county. Given the proximity to Loudoun County Virginia, it seems likely this is the same William Sutphin present in Loudoun County Virginia in 1780.

While speculative, William and Hendrick Sutphin of Loudoun are believed to be the progenitors of the two branches of the Sutphin family in southwest Virginia. The birth year estimates above correspond with census information from southwest Virginia. Further, the disappearance of these men from the Loudoun records corresponds with the appearances in Carroll and Bedford Counties.

From later census records William Sutphin of Bedford and Grayson Counties is known to have "Ailcy" as his wife. It seems to me quite plausable Ailcy was a second marriage. To my knowledge, no marriage record for William and Ailcy has been uncovered. From the 1810 census, the birth years for the older children appear to correspond with the marriage of William and Rachel Owing/Owens.

Meanwhile, Hendrick married Rachel Owen on 20 Dec 1788 in Bedford. Witnessing this event was William Sutphin. This Rachel was the daughter of Owen and Mary Owen. This Owen family is known to have come into the area from Frederick County, Maryland. It seems not a coincidence that two Rachel Owens with ties to Frederick MD became associated with the Sutphin family.

The identity of the Rachel who married William needs to be explored further.

The Sutphin families of southwestern Virginia have been studied in depth by others. These families are not expanded here. Those familiar will immediately recognize a similarity found in the given names of the Sutphin family members of Fauquier Co. Virginia.

From tabular census information it is known John Sutphin of Fauquier had eleven children. Except in a few cases, conclusive proof as to the identities of family members has been elusive. This family however can be reconstructed from all known possibilities and known information. Exhaustive census studies, together with information taken from a letter composed by Jenny Sutphin, daughter of James Sutphin (later of Halifax Co.), make it possible to name nine of eleven children. The two unknowns may not have survived to adulthood.

The northern Virginia Sutphins has been expanded through four generations. While a few unknowns remain, this descendent chart explains migrations into the Halifax, Roanoke and Lynchburg areas of Sutphins who over the years have been confused with the Sutphin branches which earlier had settled in Carroll and Bedford.

Northern Virginia Sutphins

(1) Hopkins gives "Fredrick" which is believed an error in transcription. Another reference gave "__drick" indicating the original record was damaged.

References cited:

Hopkins, Margaret Lail; Index to the Tithables of Loudoun County, Virginia and to Slaveholders and Slaves, 1758-1786; Genealogical Publishing Co.; Baltimore, MD (1991).
Weiser, Frederick Sheely; Frederick, Maryland Luthern Marriages and Burials 1743-1811; National Genealogical Society, Washington, DC (1972).