Two Southern U.S. Dutton Families Find Their Y-DNA Roots, Part 1: Samuel Dutton of Lawrence County, Alabama, and the Duttons of Blount County, Alabama

Since the time I began my research on the Dutton family about twenty-five years ago, there have been multiple Dutton families here in the southern U.S. and even in my region of North Alabama that contradicted my notion that “with a name like Dutton, they all must be related.” Two families in particular have been here in the midst of my Zachariah Dutton family all this time, yet by all appearances were not related: the family of Henry G. Dutton (born about 1829 in Georgia, died 1911 in Morgan County, Alabama), and the family of Samuel Dutton (born perhaps about 1780 in Pennsylvania, died 1822 in Lawrence County, Alabama) and his brother Aaron Dutton (born about 1785 in Pennsylvania, died after 1850 in Jefferson County, Alabama). Who they did relate to has largely been a mystery, until last year when I was able to conduct Y-DNA tests on both of them. The fascinating answers I discovered renewed my original assertion, that maybe with a name like Dutton, they are all related.

Continue reading “Two Southern U.S. Dutton Families Find Their Y-DNA Roots, Part 1: Samuel Dutton of Lawrence County, Alabama, and the Duttons of Blount County, Alabama”

The Ancestry of James Matlock Kitchens

The grave of James Matlock Kitchens, Kitchens-Brown Cemetery, west of Jasper, Alabama, from a 1930s photo. The grave is no longer identifiable.

Full research report:
The Ancestry of James Matlock Kitchens

A little while ago, I made a research trip to Walker County, Alabama, and I shared with you here the Civil War letter of James Matlock Kitchens. James Matlock Kitchens (1796–1868) was a neighbor and friend to our early Duttons in Basham’s Gap, Alabama, a fellow Baptist with Stephen Penn and Edmond Dutton (he vouched for Stephen Penn in his Revolutionary pension application in 1832) and later became a Baptist preacher himself. He is the ancestor of a couple of branches of Duttons: his daughter Elizabeth Kitchens married Thomas Dutton, and his daughter Mary Kitchens married Harvey W. Hamilton, whose son Christopher Columbus Hamilton married Elizabeth Ann Dutton. There are lots of other family connections as well, as James Kitchens moved with the Duttons, Sparks, Hogans, and many other Basham’s Gap families down to Walker County. The Kitchens family ties in mainly to the family of John Dutton (b. 1778), son of Zachariah Dutton, whose family will be the subject of my next Dutton volume.

Anyway, that trip and that letter reignited my interest in the Kitchens family, and with Mary Kay Coker, a Kitchens descendant, I’ve been doing some research in DNA and records to determine James Matlock Kitchens’ origins and ancestry. For quite a number of years, online trees have attributed to James Matlock Kitchens the father “Christopher Kitchens” — based on the assumption that an old man named Christopher, age 80, listed in James Kitchens’ household on the 1850 census was James’s father.

1850 federal census, Walker County, Alabama, James Kitchens household.
1850 Federal Census, Walker County, Alabama, household of James Kitchens.

But there was no trace anywhere in records, in Alabama, Tennessee, or Virginia, of anyone named Christopher Kitchens. Mary Kay was convinced even long before I was that there was no such person as Christopher Kitchens — that this person on the census was someone else entirely, namely Christopher Acuff, who appeared in other records with James Kitchens and the Kitchens family in Alabama and Tennessee, and was more than likely James’s uncle.

Few things spur me to greater research more than incorrect assumptions that are accepted as fact, especially those based not on research but on copying other people’s trees. So we determined to find the true origins of James Matlock Kitchens. Using a collection of well-placed DNA tests, and some outstanding archival research by Mary Kay Coker, we very soon found the trail.

Continue reading “The Ancestry of James Matlock Kitchens”