John D. Bridgers M.D.
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Chapter 3 - The Whichard ancestors II

George Sutton came from Kent, England on the ship Hercules and settled at Scituate in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1634.

His descendants in successive generations moved southward, first to New Jersey and then to Lenoir County, North Carolina next door to Pitt County.

Along the way in this lineage William Isler married Hester Williams.

Hester Williams was a descendent of Thomas Savage, one of the two survivors of the original Jamestown settlement who left a posterity in America.

William Isler was the son of Christian Isler, secretary to the Palatine Colony sponsored by Baron von Graffenfeld in 1710 which founded New Bern, N.C.

Ferebee Isler, the daughter of William and Hester Isler married John Sutton, Jr., and they were the parents of Hugh A. Sutton, father of our grandmother, Henrietta Sutton Whichard.

Hugh Sutton, raised in Lenoir County moved to Greenville and married Betty Perkins, a direct descendant of David Parkins, an early inhabitant of Pitt County and very much an activist during the American Revolution and the formative days of the nation.


Hugh A. and Bettie Perkins Sutton lived on a small road which crossed Evans Street just two blocks north of where their daughter and son-in-law would later live.

This was originally called Sutton's Lane and later designated Seventh Street, a small thoroughfare which had been essentially obliterated by street changes since World War II.

Hugh and Bettie Sutton had three daughters.

Betty Perkins Sutton was their first and she married Professor William A. Ragsdale, and educator, and first Superintendent of Schools in Pitt County.

The Ragsdales had three sons, Hugh, Sherwood and Jennings; and two daughters, Hennie Sutton and Willie.

The third daughter of Hugh and Bettie Sutton was Estelle, called both "Sis," "Stelle" and "Essie."

She married Henry Sheppard and they had two sons. Hugh and Henry Jr., called "H."

Henry Sheppard was also from an old Pitt County family and was known by all in the Whichard family as "Brother Henry."

Both of these sisters of Henrietta Sutton Whichard died when their daughters were young and at various times and in various combinations these nieces and nephews lived in the Whichard home.

Hugh Sutton died in 1904 and Bettie Sutton also lived with her daughter and son-in-law until her death three years later.

These are the sundry folk to whom our uncle, David Julian Whichard referred when he said, "Someone was always living with us when we were kids."

Is is obvious that David felt somewhat ambivalent about his grandmother, her intrusions into his mother's management of the home, and particularly her strictness.

For instance he said that each evening when the clock struck eight she would say, "All right Hennie, it's time the children get to bed -- it's going on nine o'clock.


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John D. Bridgers M.D. by Carl Bridgers is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Copyright ©