William Cutter was born 22 February 1649 in Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts to Richard Cutter (1621-1693) and Elizabeth Williams (1620-1662) and died 1 April 1723 Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts of unspecified causes. He married Rebecca Rolfe (1662-1751) 4 December 1679 in South Hadley Woodbridge, South Hadley, Hampshire County, Massachusetts.


William Cutter was born at Cambridge, Massachusetts on 22 February 1649. William married Rebecca Rolfe, daughter of John Rolfe of Cambridge, in 1680. William and Rebecca had eleven children. They lived in the part of Cambridge which formed the district called Menotomy, on the banks of the stream flowing from Lexington through Arlington into the Mystic River.

William was a carpenter (or "house wright") by trade. William was respectfully affluent. William died in 1723 and is buried in Cambridge at the "Old Cambridge Burying-place" and Rebecca died in 1751.

Will and Inventory

Williams will and inventory are curious and interesting documents. The will exhibits good sense and paternal care; the inventory minutely enumerates the pecuniary value of his "moveable estate."

In the name of God Amen this first day of June in the year 1722, I, William Cutter of Cambridge in the County of Mid (Middlesex) in the province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England. Yoeman, being of perfect mind and memory. Praise be to God. Do make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner and form as followeth;

First and principally I do commend my soul into the hands of God Almighty, hoping through the merits death and passion of my Saviour Jesus Christ to obtain full and free pardon of all my sins and to inherit eternall life, and my body I commit to the earth to be buried at the decresion of my executtors hereafter mentioned. And as touching my temporal estate which Almighty God has bestowed upon me I give and despose as followeth.

First, that all my just debts and funeral charges be paid and discharged. Item. I give to by dear and loving wife Rebeckah Cutter the full improvement of a third part of my lands and the Est end of my now dwelling house during her natural life, and a third part of my moveable Estate to be at her own despose forever.

Item, my will is that my four sons Richard Cutter, John Cutter, William Cutter, and Samuel Cutter have all my homelands lying both in Cambridge and Charleston to be equally divided amongst them, according to quantity and quallity; and what I have given by a deed of gift unto my son Richard shall be accounted as part of his proportion of land; and I give to my son Richard my barns, and I give him my dwelling house after the decease of my wife, And my will is that my lands shall be so divided as shall be most commodious and convenient to their houses; and that my son Willliam shall chouse his house plot in my land lying in the bounds of Charleston, and adjoyning to my homeplace. And that all my other lands, uplands and meadows lying in Charleston, Cambridge and Lexington be divided into four parts to each of my above-said sons and to their heirs and assigns forever, they paying the legacies hereafter mentioned and performing the things.

Item. my will is that my houseplot lying in Cambridge that I bought of Cousin Champney (Hephzibah (Corlet) Champney, widow); shall be to my youngest son, viz; Ruhamah Cutter (which with the barning I bestow upon him shall be the full of his portion), which said houseplot I give to him and his assigns forever. And my will is that my executors hereafter named shall provide and at their equal cost aford suitable maintenance for the bringing up of my son Ammi Ruhamah Cutter through the schools of lerning until he take his second degree in Colledge; and I afford or give to him so many books as shall be thought necessary by the president or fellows of the Colledge and I give him a horse fit for riding when he has commenced master or the value thereof out of my personall estate. And I give to my son William Cutter that part of sd meadow which I bought of my brother Ephriam Cutter and the other three acres more or less which was my fathers to be divided among (between) my other three sons, viz. Richard, John, and Samuel, there equal part.

And my will is that my mills still standing on my homestead, together with all the priviledtes and apurtunances and utencills thereto belonging be divided as followeth. I confirm unto my son John Cutter the fourth part which I conveyed unto him by a deed, and it is my will that the other three quatters be divided between my other three sons, to each an equal quatter viz. Richard William and Samuel. Item. I give to my daughter Elizabeth Herrington forty shillings. And I give unto her children fourty eight pounds to be equally divided amongst them and paid by my executors to each wone as he or she shall come of age, which with what I have formerly given shall be the full of her and her heirs portion.

Item. I give to my daughter Hannah Winshipp fifty pounds to be paid at two payments, twenty pounds within a year after my decease and thirty pounds more within three year after my decease, which with what I gave her formerly is her full portion. Item. I give to my son in law Joseph Adams twenty pounds to be paid by my executors two years after my decease, and I give to his children born of my daughter Rebackeh (his first wife now deceast,) thirty pounds to be equally divided and paid to them as they come of age - by my executors - which with what I formerly have given shall be the full of their portion.

Item. I give to my daughter Sarah Cutter eighty pounds to be paid at her marring and sixty pounds more within five years after my decease which shall be her and her heirs full portion.

And my will is that in the divisions of my son's lands they shall have a due respect to each others conveniency, and if any of my sons shall see cause to sell any of their land they shall give the refusal thereof to their brethren and any such son so to do shall forfeit such land or the value thereof. And my will is that if any children or of my sons-in-law shall enter into a course of law to break and make void this my last will and testament, they or any of them shall thereby forfeit all right to any of my estate.

And that my body be decently buried in the burying place in Cambridge. And I do nominate my loving wife Executrix and my sons Richard Cutter, William Cutter and Samuel Cutter executors of this my last will and testament. And do hereby disannull, revoke and make void all other and former wills and Testaments by me made heretofore.

In witness hereof I the said William Cutter have set to my hand and seal the day and year above written being the eighth year of the reign of our sovereign Lord George by the grace of God of Great Britain, France and Ireland King &c.

(Williams signature and seal)

Signed sealed & declared in the presents of us worn In the country service, but t'other 2 sworn he was present Sworn. Andw Bordman Simon Holden John Smith April 29, 1723. Present the widow and all the children (sons) herein named except Richard (the eldest son) John Herrington (who married Elizah) a Daughter present and Jn Will and Sam consent, that their mother shall have her thirds in the movables without any deducting. They consent to the Legacy & all accept their trust. (Initials F.F. F.P.)

Put over on Monday next come senight ye 6th may at 3'clock P.M.

May 6. Came the widow and three sons John, Wm, and Samuel and Ammi Ruhanah, Stayed till past 5 o'clock & John Herrington came not. I declare for the validity of this will as proved & approved and administration granted to the widow and the aforesaid 3 sons and they have exhibited an inventory of the personal estate. The lands are all given away by the will. (Initials F.F. Jd pro.)

Marriage & Family

  1. Elizabeth Cutter (1681-1750)
  2. Richard Cutter (1682-1756)
  3. Samuel Cutter (1686-1687)
  4. Hannah Cutter (1688-1764)
  5. John Cutter (1690-1776)
  6. Rebecca Cutter (1693-1718) - died after birth of first child, her husband remarried and was father of American patriot [[[Roger Sherman (1721-1793)]]
  7. William Cutter (1697-1770)
  8. Samuel Cutter (1700-1737)
  9. Sarah Cutter (1702-1788)
  10. Ammi Ruhamah Cutter (1705-1746)
  11. Mary Cutter (1684-1685)


Offspring of William Cutter and Rebecca Rolfe (1662-1751)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Elizabeth Cutter (1681-1750)
Richard Cutter (1682-1756)
Samuel Cutter (1686-1687)
Hannah Cutter (1688-1764)
John Cutter (1690-1776)
Rebecca Cutter (1693-1718) 18 January 1693 Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts 12 January 1718 Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts William Sherman (1692-1740)
William Cutter (1697-1770)
Samuel Cutter (1700-1737)
Sarah Cutter (1702-1788)
Ammi Ruhamah Cutter (1705-1746)
Mary Cutter (1684-1685)



Footnotes (including sources)