ORCUTT Origins – Daniel Heath Orcutt – Part I

Family surnames are often recognizable as belonging to a particular nationality. When you see the name “Schmidt”, you think German, “Davoust”- French, and Carvaggio -Italian. But what nationality comes to mind when you see “ORCUTT”? According to ancestry.com, the name is English (Staffordshire), but the meaning is unknown. The website geni.com states “Orcutt is a fairly rare name. It seems to be based on location rather than occupation.” There are also variations in the spelling: ORCUTT, ORCUT, ORCOTT, ORCHUTE, URCHARD, URCHAR, URQUHART, ORQUART. The Urquhart spelling is Scottish and linked to both Fife as well as near Loch Ness. A Scottish Clan, Clan Chief, and a castle ruin has such a romantic appeal. I prefer the Scottish heritage origins and since I already have MacDonalds and Beatons from Scotland, Orcutt ties in quite nicely.

Ancestry.com has surname maps where you can discover the meaning and history behind your last name.

  • Meaning and History
  • Where your family lived in the U.S. and U.K.
  • Average life expectancy
  • When your family immigrated to the U.S.
  • Common Occupations

In 1840 Orcutt families in the United States settled in New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.

In 1891 Orcutt families  in England lived primarily in London and in Warwickshire.

The 1841 census of Scotland shows the Urquhart families concentrated in Ross, Cromarty and Aberdeenshire.

The first male Orcutt in America, William,  was either Scottish or English. One theory is that his family fled persecution in Scotland and settled first in Warwickshire, England and then immigrated to America. In 1663 William Orcutt and Mary Martha Lane were married in Hingham, Massachusetts.  For more information about William’s heritage, Myrtle Orcutt has an informative blog: Sugden, B. Orcutt Family History. 

Like William, my Orcutt ancestor’s background is in question. Daniel Heath Orcutt, my 3rd great-grandfather, was born in 1809 in Washington county, New York. Was his father William Orcutt (b. 1776 CT – d. 1859 NY)?  OR Was his father  John (b. 1773 CT – d. c. 1840 NY)? William’s wife is unknown, and John may have married Philinda Heath.

Whoever his parents were Daniel Heath Orcutt carried the adventurous genes of his forebearers, crossing land and sea to fulfill his dreams. In 1836,  27-year old Daniel  bid farewell to the comfort and safety of a familiar home, family, and friends. What motivated Daniel to journey west to Illinois, California, across the isthmus of Panama, through the southern states, and then to Iowa?

© 2015 copyright Kendra Hopp Schmidt. All rights reserved.

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Daniel Heath ORCUTT
Parents: William ORCUTT and unknown wife or John ORCUTT and Philinda HEATH? 
Spouse: Angelina PERKINS
Children: Ann Maria, Nelson, Henry, Clinton, Jennie Martha
Relationship to Kendra: 3rd great grandfather

  1. Daniel Heath ORCUTT
  2. Clinton Delos ORCUTT
  4. Anna Jane BEATON HYDE
  6. Kendra


About treeklimber

An interest in history and travel lends itself to a passion for genealogy. The more I research, the more I realize there is to discover. It is a never-ending puzzle.
This entry was posted in Biographies, My Family Ancestry and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to ORCUTT Origins – Daniel Heath Orcutt – Part I

  1. My daughter married an Orcutt, Greg, here in Raleigh, NC . He has a lovely pic of the castle in their home. I have sent your blog on to him, very interesting. Helen


    • treeklimber says:

      Thanks Helen – I am exploring the land records for NY available on familysearch for Orcutt families to try and find who my Orcutt is related to. I have a theory but no genealogical proof to substantiate it, yet. I keep hoping some other Orcutt will help make the connection.


  2. I have some info on the Orcutt familly from Hamilton county,they are in my grandmothers genology. Wayne Snell Sr. originally from Benson N.Y.


  3. Pingback: Brace of Burglars | trekthrutime

  4. Martin Orcutt says:

    I wonder if all us Orcutt are related either way i don’t think anyone of my orcutts know much of our family history did our ancesters name Orcutt California? I was born in CA but much further north also are we English or Scottish I’ve been told Scott Irish. I really want to trace our ancestry if anyone can help


    • treeklimber says:

      I sent you an email with more information about the origins of the Orcutts in America. Let me know if you have any other questions. Thanks for commenting and reading my blog.


  5. Joel Orcutt says:

    Kendra, Daniel Heath Orcutt was the son of William Orcutt and his wife, Betsy Volintine, as provable by the land records you have, plus the wills of Joseph Volintine, (Betsy’s father), and Daniel Volintine, Daniel Heath Orcutt’s uncle, (eldest son of Joseph Volintine), as the property he bought of Daniel Heath Orcutt he describes in his will, as having bought of the heirs of his sister, Betsy Orcutt. Look in the familysearch probate records for Washington County.Joseph’s will is in Volume III (3), page 247. Daniel’s is vol F, page 342. Let me know if you have any trouble finding the documents. Joel
    Sorry I am having trouble posting.

    I would like to add that Joseph’s will in 1814 was witnessed by Oliver Orcutt, thus lending credence to the probability that this William was the son of William and Ruth Cross. Also, if you are interested, I have some 40 pages of my Orcutt English Origins book from 2006 I tried to post, but it was too long. If you want it let me know. I don’t think the Orcutts in America, nor England, have anything to do with the Urquharts in Scotland, and after 40 years of pursuing Orcutt genealogy have still yet to find one proof for it.
    Kind Regards,


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