According to the source listed below, James had three wives; Anna, Mary King and Phebe Page. He had children with each wife. The AF has all the children linked to one wife.
Source: "A Genealogy of The Cutler Family of Lexington, Massachusetts James and some of his Descendants 1634-1964" National Genealogical Society. FHL #929.273 C973b
202 NEHGS NEXUS Vol. XV, No. 6
COLUMNS GREAT MIGRATION DIARY
by, Melinde Lutz Sanborn, F.A.S.C.
Just WHEN I THOUGHT it was safe to ignore the A-C sketches, RCA brings back the last three "C"s for Some detail work. James Cutler, Richard Cutting and William Cutting are all old friends: I met them all in the Same place, as a matter of fact, as James and Richard were featured in the first volume of The Ancestry of Eva Belle Kempton. (William just falls off the face of the earth, so he is fairly easy to handle.) Richard Cutting is a curious person. RCA wants some comment about why he waited until he was seventy before he joined the church, became a freeman, and served as a Watertown selectman. Fortunately, the minister quoted from Corinthians in his sermon, Unfortunately, the Corinthians quotation does not make any sense in this context. After a few minutes, it occurs to me that it needn't be l Corinthians. lt must be ll Corinthians, which describes a man who comes to an understanding of God before he becomes a member of the church. That leaves James Cutler, who really ought to be a snap but isn't. Everybody has worked on James Cutler: Mary Walton Ferris and J. Gardner Bartlett, to name but two. The problem is, they all come to the same conclusions. It should be safe to agree with them, but it turns out not to be.
I HAVE ALWAYS THOUGHT Cutler had too many daughters named Mary but the more I look at it, the more suspicious the whole farmily group looks. Jarnes Cutler had three wives and, by conventional wisdom, twelve children. The trick is to reconcile his will with what is known about the family from other records. After three days of working on a vague hunch - and looking at vital and probate records, deeds, town histories, compiled genealogies, and court records-it still does not add up. Finally, I decide to chuck everything and start from scratch. I hunker down with James's will and Torrey's New England Marriages Before 1700 and suddenly things start to happen. Cutler wrote his will in 1684 when he was 78 years old. He took care of his three eldest sons first, then said "the rest of my children, including with them the two children of my wife formerly the widow of Thomas King," were to have the rest of the estate divided between them. I list the people who got shares of the estate: John Coller, Richard Parks' wife, the wife of John Parmenter, Sarah Waite, Mary Johnson, Hannah Winter, Johanna Russell, Jemima [Cutler], and Thomas, John, and Samuel Cutler. Since they all got equal shares, I assume that all these people were children and not grandchildren representing deceased children. Given that, we can look for the two children of the second wife, Mary King. Clearly they were daughters, as none of the sons was named King. Torrey's index says that John Coller married first Hannah and second Mary Cutler. I tangled with John Coller's family in the Kempton book, and could never understand why the earlier genealogists picked Mary as John's wife when I could never find any evidence of another wife than Hannah. Sigh. I leave this blank, reserving room for John Coller's wife but not naming her.
Richard Parks' wife is another problem. There is little evidence of who she might be, although there is a deed in which she was called Mary. There is a birth record in Watertown for Mary Cutler in 1643. I go back to Mary Walton Ferris's analysis. Strangely enough, she did not connect Richard Parks' wife to the Cutler family. I assumed earlier that she believed that Richard's wife was one of the King girls. This is not right, either, and the Torrey entry reflects the confusion. Since there were three Richard Parkes alive at the time in question, someone chose the wrong Richard to connect to the Cutler and King families, asserting that a much too young Richard married a Sarah "King not Cutler."
I KNOW THE WIFE of John Parmenter was Elizabeth Cutler because they got into a little trouble before marriage, and James Cutler had to post bond for her. Sarah Waite was the wife of Thomas, She deposed in 1678 and died in 1743/44, so her age works out to make her a Cutler daughter of James's marriage to Mary King. Mary Johnson (another Mary!) was called Mary King when she married John Johnson. One King daughter down. Unless both King daughters were named Mary, the wife of Richard Parks must be Mary Cutler. This means Mary Cutler was not John Coller's wife. Hannah Winter. There is a birth record in Watertown for Hannah Cutler, She was the first daughter of james and first wife. It would be easy to match them up but I am suspicious now. If John Coller was not married to Mary Cutler, then his known wife Hannah could be Hannah King or Hannah Cutler. How to choose? I set the problem aside for the moment.
NEHGS NEXUS, Vol. XV, No.6 p. 203
Johanna Russell was born in 1661, based on an exact age at death, and was therefore necessarily a daughter of James' third wife, Phebe Page. Jemima was unmarried in 1684, but married soon after and had children. To be of childbearing age when Jemima Snow had her last recorded child, she must be the youngest of the Cutler daughters and a child of James and Phebe.
WHERE DOES THIS ALL LEAVE US? Clearly the King daughters were born before James married the widow King, so only the oldest girls could possibly provide the identity of the second King daughter. The only daughter old enough and mysterious enough is Hannah. The final clue lies in the phrasing of the will. When speaking of each of his daughters, James Cutler said "to my daughter," but in the case of Mary Johnson and Hannah Winter, merely said "I have already given to," never actually calling them his daughters. The order in which the daughters were named in the will also appears to proceed from eldest to youngest, given what else is known about them. This interpretation would mean that Hannah Cutler was the wife of John Coller; that Hannah King was the posthumous daughter of Thomas King and became the wife of John Winter; that Mary Cutler did not marry John Coller but was the wife of Richard Parks; and that Sarah Parks, wife of one of the other Richard Parkses, was neither a King nor a Cutler. PHEW! All of the pieces were there, they just needed some shulffling. This means five new Torrey entries and lots of new ancestry for many Cutler and King descendants. (Of course, it does not begin to address the curious situation of the woman James Cutler called "my daughter Phebe," who was undoubtedly not a Cutler at all, but rather a daughter of the notorious Phebe Page by a previous liaison; see The Great Migration, second series.) Just one final problem. It seems that the last time I struggled with the identity of John Coller's wife I agreed with the previous genealogists who married him to Hannah___and then Mary Cutler. I did not just privately agree with them: I did so in print in The Ancestry of Warren Francis Kempton, complete with color frontispiece, autographs, photographs of gravestones, and transcriptions of documents. How to tell the author of this hook, one Dean Crawford Smith, that his editor is fallible? Oh, well, maybe he reads "Great Migration Diary" in NEXUS....
Melinde Lutz Sanborn, F.A.S.G., joined NEXUS as a Consulting Editor with the September-October issue, and "Great Migration Diary" will appear henceforth in each issue of the magazine. Ms. Sanborn is co-author - with Robert Charles Anderson, C.G., F.A.S.G., and George Freeman Sanborn Jr., F.A.S.G. - of The Great Migration, second series.