THE NAME AND FAMILY OF CHOATE
The names of CHOATE and CHUTE are believed to have been of common
origin and derived from the residence of their first bearers at a place called
Chute in Wiltshire, England. Certain historians, however, state that the
name of Choate was of Dutch origin and was taken by its first bearers from
their, residence at a place of that name in the Netherlands. According to
this theory the name was originally found in the form of Van Choate. Since
definite proof cannot be obtained for either of these assertions, it is more
generally assumed that the first theory is correct and that Choate is a
corrupted form of Chute. These names are found in ancient British and
early American records in the various spellings of Choat, Chote, Chott,
Chotte, Chewt, Chewte, Chutt, Chutte, Choote, Choot, Chut, Chute,
Choate, and numerous others, of which the last two forms mentioned are
those most generally accepted in America today.
Families bearing these names were to be found at early dates in the
English Counties of Somerset, Essex, Kent, Suffolk, Norfolk, Hants,
Surrey, and London. They were, for the most part, of the landed gentry
and yeomanry of Great Britain.
One of the earliest records of the Chute family of England is that of one
Alexander Chewte or Chute of Somersetshire about the year 1268, who
was the father of a son named John and probably of another named
Richard. John married Jane Bromfield and was the father by her of
Edward who was the father by his wife Christiana Chiddock of Phillip,
James, and Anthony, of whom the first married a daughter of Sir John
Brittan and had issue by her of George and Jane. George became the
father by his wife, a Miss Faril whom he married about 1344, of a son
Ambrose, who married Amabel Chittester and was the father of Edward
and Christian, of whom the first was married about 1379 to Dionis by whom
he had issue of Henry, William, and Anthony.
Of these, it is known that William died without issue; that Anthony married
a daughter of Sir John Clifton and became the father of Christopher and
Robert, of whom the first made his home in Hertfordshire and probably left
issue there; and that Henry (eldest son of Edward and Dionis) married. a
Miss Hasherfield and was the father by her of a son named Robert. The
latter became the father by his wife, Alice Bartley, of Charles, who was the
father by his wife (a Miss Chang) of a son named Edmond, who was the
father of Robert, who married Jane Lucas and was the father of Oliver,
Charles, and William, of whom Charles married a Miss Crips and was the
father of Anthony and Phillip.
Of these last two brothers, Phillip married a Miss Coolpepper or Culpepper
and had issue of George, Edward, and Anthony, of whom the first is known
to have settled in County Kent. Anthony (the elder brother of Phillip)
married a Miss Gee and had issue of Anthony, William, Christopher, and
Lionel, of whom the last married a Miss Greene and had issue of Lionel,
George, Charles, and Judith, of whom the first emigrated to America about
1635 and will be mentioned again later.
Of the name of Choate in England only a few records have been found and
these are fragmentary. Among them, however, are those of a Choate who
was a church warden .in Essex County about 1500; those of John Choate
of County Suffolk about the middle of the sixteenth century,. who is thought
to have had a daughter named Elizabeth in 1569; those of John Choat of
Essex County in the early seventeenth century, who was the father by his
wife Susanna in the year 1621 of a don named John, and in 1625 of a son
named Edmund; those of Richard Choat, who was the father in Essex
County in the early seventeenth century of Annie and Henry; those of
Joseph and John (son of Edward) Choat of County Essex in 1632; those of
the brothers Joseph and Matthew Choat of County Essex in 1635 and
those of Robert Choate of County Essex about the same time , who was
the father by his wife Sarah of Elizabeth, and Marie, of whom the first was
baptised in 1624 and is believed by some historians to have been the
emigrant John Choate who came to America in 1643.
While it is not entirely clear in every case from which of the numerous lines
of the family in Great Britain the first emigrants of the name to America
traced their descent.- It appears from old records that the Choates and
Chutes were among the earliest settlers in colonial America.
The before-mentioned emigrant Lionel Chute, who came from England to
America in 1635, or shortly thereafter, settled at Ipswich, Mass. According
to records, he was the ancestor of most of the Chutes who are living in
America today. By his wife, Rose Baker, he had a son named James, who
was born in England and came with his parents to America. This James
married a Miss Epes and became ,the father by her of an only son, named
James, who removed to Rowley and was married in 1673 to Mary Wood.
By her he was the father of Elizabeth, Ann, Lionel, James, Thomas, Mary,
Martha, Ruth, and Hannah.
The emigrant John Choate, who came from England to America about
1643 at the age of nineteen, settled at Ipswich, Mass., and Is believed to
have been the ancestor of the majority of the Choates of America. By his
wife Anne or Ann he was the father of John, Margaret, Samuel, May,
Thomas, Sarah, Joseph, and Benjamin.
John, eldest son of the-emigrant John Choate, married four times. By his
first wife, Elizabeth Graves, whom he married in 1684, he was the father of
John, Anne, and Sarah; by his second wife, the widow Elizabeth
Giddiness, whom he married in 1690, he had further issue of Robert,
Samuel Ebenezer, Nehemiah, Benjamin, and Humphrey. By his third wife,
the widow Sarah Perkins, whom he married in 1723, and his fourth wife,
the widow Prudence (nee Woodward) Marshall, whom he married in 1728,
he had no further children.
Samuel, second son of the emigrant John, was married in 1688 to Mary
Williams, by whom he had issue of Mary (died young), Samuel, Sarah,
Mary, Stephen, William, Elizabeth, Margaret, and John.
Thomas third son of the emigrant John, was married in 1690 to Mary
Varney, by whom he was the father of Anne, Thomas, Mary, John, Abigail,
Francis, Rachel, Ebenezer, and Sarah. There were no children by his
second wife, the widow Mary Calef, whom he married in 1734, nor by his
third wife the widow Hannan Burnham, whom he married in 1743.
Joseph, fourth son of the emigrant John, had issue by his wife Rebecca
(surname unknown) of Rebecca, Susanna) and Daniel.
Benjamin, fifth and youngest son of the emigrant John, married Abigail
Burnham in 1707, He was the father by her at Kingston, NH, where he
made his home, of Jonathan, Abigail (died in infancy), another Abigail,
Benjamin (died in infancy), another Benjamin, Lucy, Ruhamah, Jeremiah,
Abigail, and Joseph.
Among the others of the names of Chute and Choate who were to be
found at early dates in America, were Chute, who came from London,
England, to Portland, in the early eighteenth century and was the father by
his wife :Mary of Abigail and others; one Humphrey Choate (ancestry
uncertain is held by some family historians to have been the son of a
deserter from a British man-of war and to have resided at Essex, Mass., in
the early seventeenth century, and who was the father there of Thomas
and both of whom left numerous issue; and Samuel Choate (ancestry
unknown) of Charlestown, Mass., before 1759, who was married in that
year to Susanna Pierce, by whom he was the father of Samuel (died
young), James, Susanna (died young), another Samuel, Rebecca, another
Susanna, Polly, Nancy, and Mille.
The descendants of these and other branches of the family in America
have scattered into all parts of the country and have aided as much in the
advancement of American civilization as their forbears did in Its founding
and establishment on this continent. They have been characterized in
general by tenacity, of purpose, energy, and a humanitarian interest in their
fellow men which has led some of the family into the fields of medicine,
literature, and statecraft.
Among those of the names of Chute and Choate who fought in the War of
the Revolution were Captain Daniel and Privates David, James, Josiah or
Joseph, and Thomas Chute, of Massachusetts; Captains Daniel and
Thomas. Lieutenants John, Samuel, and Joseph, Ensign Humphrey,
Sergeants William, Thomas, Isaac, and Jeremiah, Corporal Nehemiah, and
Privates Aaron, Abram, David, Dudley, Eben or Ebenezer, Elnathan,
Ephraim, Francis, Jabez, James, Jonathan, Josiah, Robert, Simeon, and
Solomon Choate, of Massachusetts; and numerous others from the other
New England, Middle, and Southern States.
John, Anthony, Henry, Edward, Robert, Charles, Phillip, Lionel, George,
Edmund, Joseph, James, Thomas, Samuel, Benjamin., Humphrey,
Ebenezer, and William are some of the Christian names most highly
favored by the family-for its male progeny.
A few of the many members of the family who have distinguished
themselves in America in more recent times are the following:
Rufus Choate (1799-1859), of Massachusetts, jurist.
Joseph Hedges Choate (1832-1917), of Massachusetts, lawyer and
Robert Burnett Choate (b. 1898). of Massachusetts, editor.
Charles Lionel Chute (b. 1882), of Massachusetts, social worker.
Arthur Lambert Chute (1869-1934), American surgeon.
One of the most ancient and most frequently used of the coats of arms of
the ancient English family of Chute, from which the majority of the Chutes
and Choates of America trace their descent, is that described as follows
(Burke, General Armory, 1884):
Arms.--"Gules, three swords barways, the points towards the dexter
proper, pomels and hilts or".
Crest.--"A dexter cubit arm In armour, the hand in a gauntlet grasping a
broken sword in bend sinister proper, pomel and hilt or".
Motto.--"Fortune de guerre".
Lower. Dictionary of Family Names. 1860.
Bardsley. English and Welsh Surnames. 1901.
Burke. Landed Gentry. 1875, etc.
Burke. General.Armory. 1884.
New England Historical and Genealogical Register.
Vols. 13 and 15. 1859 and 1861. , Savage-. Genealogical Dictionary
of New England.
Munsell. American Ancestry. 1888, 1890, and 1891.
Jameson. The Choates in America. 1896.
Hammatt. The Early Inhabitants of Ipswich, Mass.
Sheldon. History of Deerfield, Mass. 1896.
Bolton. American Emigrants Between 1700 and 1775.
Coffin. History of Boseawen. 1878.
Wyman. Genealogies and Estates of Charlestown, Mass.
Massachusetts Soldiers of the Revolutionary War.
The Encyclopedia Americana. 1932.