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Luten (or Leuten, Luton, Lutten), Thomas

by Mattie Erma E. Parker, 1991

d. ca. March 1731

Thomas Luten (or Leuten, Luton, Lutten), justice of the General Court and Chowan Precinct Court, Assembly member, and provost marshal, was in the North Carolina colony by October 1684. He became justice of Chowan Precinct Court before April 1694 and remained on the court at least through October 1695. Luten sat as justice at a special term of the General Court in the spring of 1698 and was appointed provost marshal that April. He continued as provost marshal through June 1702 or longer. In February 1711/12 he was a member of the Assembly, and from May 1727 through April 1730 he was a justice of the General Court. Throughout most of his career he held military titles, first captain and later major.

From time to time Luten served in other capacities. In May 1701 he was appointed to investigate an alleged assault by Indians, and in the early 1700s he was deputy surveyor for Chowan Precinct. In 1712 he and three others were appointed by the Court of Chancery to hear and determine an appeal from the Court of Admiralty. He was on the vestry of St. Paul's Parish from 1701 until his death.

Luten married Mary Currer, widow of John Currer, in 1684. He lived in Chowan Precinct, where he had extensive landholdings. He was survived by his wife, Mary; four sons—Thomas, William, Constance (or Constant), and Henderson; and five daughters—Christian Luten, Rachel Farlow, Ann Brinn, Sarah Standing, and Mary Haughton. Luten's daughter Mary was married to Jonathan Evans, and had children by him, before her marriage to Haughton. Little more is known of the lives of his daughters.

Thomas Luten, Jr., shared his father's interest in public affairs. He was justice of Chowan Precinct Court from 1717 to 1719 and again in the 1730s and represented Chowan in the Assembly in 1733, 1735, and 1739. He also served on the vestry of St. Paul's Parish. He died about 1766, survived by his wife, Hannah, a daughter, Elizabeth Mathias, and three sons—William, John, and Thomas.

Henderson Luten also represented Chowan in the Assembly in 1735, but little more is known of his life or of the lives of Constance and William. All four brothers appear to have lived in Chowan. Constance died before 12 Feb. 1742/43, Henderson died before 2 July 1740, and William died sometime after October 1745.


Administrators' Bonds, boxes 4, 11, Albemarle Book of Warrants and Surveys, 1681–1706, Albemarle County Papers, 1678–1739, Chowan Precinct Court Minutes, 1715–19, General Court Minutes, 1727–30, Wills of John Curren and Esther Pollack (North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh).

John L. Cheney, Jr., ed., North Carolina Government, 1585–1974 (1974).

J. Bryan Grimes, ed., Abstract of North Carolina Wills (1910).

J. R. B. Hathaway, ed., North Carolina Historical and Genealogical Register, 3 vols. (1900–1903).

Mattie Erma E. Parker, ed., North Carolina Higher-Court Records, 1702–1708 and 1709–1723 (1974, 1977).

William L. Saunders, ed., Colonial Records of North Carolina, vols. 1–4 (1886).

Additional Resources:

The North Carolina Historical and Genealogical Register, Volume 2. (accessed June 18, 2013).