The long time search the wife of Martin FUTCH named Isabella is thought to now be the daughter of John LAWSON the famed North Carolina surveyor and co-founder along with the Swiss Baron Christopher de Graffenried of the community of New Bern on the Neuse River. Martin FUTCH was the eldest son of Jacob FUTCH who came from Mindersdorf, Germany and was one of the early Palatine settlers brought by the Baron to found New Bern, North Carolina.
In 1738 the mark and brand of Jacob FUTCH were described, recorded and granted. And also recorded August 20, 1746, the sale of 100 acres by Jacob FUTCH and his wife Margaratha, of land bounded by the fork of the Millbank, and the south side of the Trent River and the west side of the east fork of Millbrook for the sum of 400 pounds.
Also Martins’ father Jacob FUTCH and Uncle Daniel FUTCH, thought to have been Jacob's the single brother, signed another petition at Craven County, in the Province of North Carolina. On August 2nd, 1740, they promised to build a house of worship or chapel on the south side of the Trent River for the use of "the High Germans and Church of England".
The first record of the FUTCH family in North Carolina was Jacob FUTCH, a signer of the Palatine petition to the Council of New Bern. In it he asked for the right to own land and permission to take up 400 acres per family at 10 pounds per 1,000 acres, allowing two years to pay. I believe that Jacob changed his name to the more acceptable pronunciation about this time.No record of this spelling of the name is found in England or Germany before this date.
Colonel Pollock objected, so nothing was done until March 29, 1742, when titles were again requested. Jacob FUTCH, at this time living in Craven County, was admitted to the Council at New Bern to prove his rights to the order of taking land.
On May 5, 1742, Jacob FUTCH again appeared before the North Carolina Court at New Bern to prove his right to own land. For the record he stated that he had "eight whites and no blacks in his household". Since Jacob is the first FUTCH to be recorded in America, it is safe to assume that he was the first emigrant.
Also on May 5, 1742, was read the petition of the Palatines, setting forth their agreement with the Baron Christopher de Graffenried and Louis Michel. It stated the articles of agreement between the Baron and the Palatines and their relation to the Germans being transferred to the Province of North Carolina from England. Among the signers was Jacob FUTCH.
Deeds of record in North Carolina show that Jacob bought land on the south side of the Trent River, November 4, 1743. Then on August 2, 1746, he and his wife Margaratha sold 100 acres of their land in North Carolina.
Jacob is thought to have died around the year 1747, as that is when his will was recorded for his wife Margaratha (born about 1686).His name can be found spelled several different ways, such as FUTSCH, FUSCHS, FUTCHE, FOTCH, FUDGE and the correct German spelling of FUCHS.
The last view of the Palatine Colony in North Carolina as a distinct group of people was in 1748, scattered over the Wilmington area and in what are now Craven, Jones, Onslow and Dublin Counties.
I mention all of this to point out that Martin FUTCH lived in New Bern and was there at the same time as Isabella. It is known that Isabella was born 15 Apr 1707 as the only child to John LAWSON and his wife Hannah SMITH and that she married John Chilly when she about 16 years of age. They had one son named Joseph and John died. Isabella married Martin FUTCH at about the age of 35 and is thought to have only had on child named Onesimus FUTCH who married Ann DUKE. Martin FUTCH was born about 1707 in Mindersdorf, Germany.
As stated in a copy of the will of Martin FUTCH in Craven County, N.C. March 17, 1767. "Memorandum of what Martin FOTCH ordered for concerning his estate. First, he desires that his wife Isabella should have all that he has in the world during her widowhood and after her widowhood then Joseph Chilly his son Martin is to have one Negro girl named Cloe forever, and one feather bed to Joseph Chilly forever and then to my Onesamus FUTCH his son Jack have all the remainder of my estate to him and his heirs forever." The Onesamus referred too, is now thought by many to be his only son, Onesimus Sr.There is no recorded evidence to support this idea but the ages seem to match and it is known that Isabella moved and lived for a time with young Onesimus and that seems to lend support to the idea.
In John Lawson's Will in Bath County, North Carolina it states "Dearly beloved" HANNA SMITH - the house I now live in during her life, 2/3 my personal estate in North Carolina. My daughter ISABELLA of Bath County, and the brother & sister, which her mother HANNAH SMITH is with child and "then Every Child of hers by me" - rest of my estate, when they arrive to 21 or marry.
You can learn a lot more about John LAWSON by going to the following
He was an adventure, scout, surveyor, and the author of "Anew Voyage
To Carolina" that can still be found in many bookstores.
It is recorded in published North Carolina papers that Isabella "came
into court and prayed orders for letter of administration with the
Will annexed of said deceased, having given the bond and qualified as
the law directs" Craven County Estates - Martin FUTCH 1767. Inventory
April 18th, 1767 signed by Isabella FUTCH.
It is unknown as to what became of Isabella after her short appearance in court, as no one named FUTCH is found on the tax table list in 1769. This might be because she moved into the home of her only son Onesimus FUTCH and his family then never was listed again as the head of the family.