Our West Virginia Neighbors, The Nutters

In 1966, my family was on the move again.  My father, a civil engineer for Michael Baker, Jr., was transferred to the Baker office in Charleston, West Virginia to work on the design for the New River Gorge Bridge in Fayette County, WV. We settled in the small hamlet of Cross Lanes, WV, into a subdivision known as Westgate.  This was an actively growing community, with new houses popping up and the subdivision increasing in size.  We then became acquainted with our next-door neighbors, the Nutters.  Carl D. Nutter, his wife Carol and their children, Lynda, Debbie, Donna and David.  We spent time with the Nutter kids and got to know them well.  When I entered fourth grade at Point Harmony Elementary School, Carol Nutter was my English teacher. 

I recently got back in touch with Lynda (Nutter) Biron to ask if it would be alright for me to write about her family.  She gave me the go ahead, so now I am ready to give the Nutter family an insight into their ancestors and where they come from, and how they might or might not be related to my wife’s Nutter family. 

I’ll begin with Carl Donally Nutter (1932-2019).  Carl Nutter was born 18 Dec., 1932 to Robert Gethbert Nutter and Clara Wilson Nutter: 

Courtesy of Ancestry© 

Here is Carl with his family in the 1940 Census in Buffalo District, Clay Co., WV: 

Courtesy of Ancestry© 

Now, for the first time in one of my posts, I am able to present the 1950 Census, so here is Carl and family in Dunbar, Kanawha Co., WV: 

Courtesy of Ancestry© 

Here I show the rest of the columns to give you an idea of what the 1950 Census held in regards to other information about the people being recorded: 

Courtesy of Ancestry© 

Robert Gethbert Nutter (1913-1986), the father of Carl D. Nutter 

The West Virginia Birth Index for Robert G. Nutter: 

Courtesy of Ancestry© 

Here is Robert with his family in the 1920 Census, Buffalo District, Clay Co., WV: 

Courtesy of Ancestry© 
Here is Robert with his family in the 1930 Census, Buffalo District, Clay Co., WV: 
Courtesy of Ancestry© 

The marriage index record for Robert Nutter: 

Courtesy of Ancestry© 

The Social Security Death Index for Robert Nutter: 

Courtesy of Ancestry© 

Roy Edgar Nutter (1894-1937), grandfather of Carl D. Nutter 

The 1900 Census for Roy and his family in the Buffalo District, Clay Co., WV: 

Courtesy of Ancestry© 

The 1910 Census for Roy and his family in the Buffalo District, Clay Co., WV: 

Courtesy of Ancestry© 

Next, we have the marriage record for Roy E. Nutter to Daisy Fockler in 1912: 

Courtesy of Ancestry© 

The other censuses for Roy were above in the 1920 and 1930 Censuses. 

The next record I found is one that I do not enjoy finding.  The lower right portion of the information pretty much spells out what happened.  It’s unfortunate that I have to come across the record of someone that has decided to end their own life, but I have learned in genealogy that you should always just “tell, not dwell”: 

Courtesy of West Virginia Culture Vital Records 

Courtesy of West Virginia Culture Vital Records 

George W. Nutter (1863- 1932), great-grandfather of Carl D. Nutter 

The 1870 Census for George W. Nutter in Buffalo District, Clay Co., WV: 

Courtesy of Ancestry© 

As you can see, George W. Nutter’s parents are Thomas and Elizabeth Nutter. 

The 1880 Census for George W. Nutter in Buffalo District, Clay Co., WV: 

Courtesy of Ancestry© 

The death index record for George W. Nutter, 15 May 1932: 

Courtesy of Ancestry© 

Thomas Nutter (1824-aft. 1880) – great-great grandfather of Carl D. Nutter 

The 1850 Census for Thomas Nutter, Nicholas Co., WV: 

Courtesy of Ancestry© 

Now we have arrived at a part of the story that needs some explanation.  At first, I was not finding out much about Thomas Nutter, but then I came across a story regarding a Hannah Nutter and Jonathan Dunbar and that they were the parents of Thomas.  Here is what I found: 

The following is the research of J. Skelton on www.rootsweb.com 

Hannah was not married and named all of her children with her maiden name. It is believed that all of her children are the children of Jonathan Dunbar. A Will was found on Jonathan Dunbar leaving his possessions and real estate to her children namely David S. Nutter. 
Note: Info from Nicholas County West Virginia History 1985. 

 
Hannah had three sons and two daughters according to the 1820 census records. The family “closet talk” passed down through the generations contends that these “blue hen’s chicks” were all the off-spring of a man named Dunbar. As hard as it is to accept, the legend persists that they did not marry because she refused to marry in the Catholic Church and he refused to marry outside the church! 

 
It has also been said that Jonathan Dunbar took the name of Dunbar from a white interpreter to the Indians. It has been said that Hannah Nutter married a full blooded Indian.  

From Ricky Dent’s files: My grandmother Betty Jean “Nutter” Dent told me that Hannah Nutter was not the child of David Nutter & Ruth Cottle. They took her in as their very own after her real parents were killed. Her parents were both Indians. 

 
She meet Jonathan Dunbar Sr and fell in love after his wife Sally Campbell had died. There was no affair between Jonathan Dunbar and Hannah Nutter. They did not get married because he was a catholic and she was an Indian. 

 
Here are the censuses for Hannah Nutter and her children: 

1820 Nicholas Co., Census 
Hannah Nutter 
2 males 0-10 
1 female 0-10 
1 Female18-26 
Below her name is David Nutter’s name 

Courtesy of Ancestry© 
__________ 
1830 Nicholas Co., VA Census 
Hannah Nutter 
1 male 0-5 
1 male 5-10 
1 male10-20 
1 female 0-5 
1 female 20-30 
1 female40-50 

Courtesy of Ancestry© 
 

__________ 
1850 Nicholas Co. VA Census 
John J. Williams 24 Farmer 
Elizabeth Williams 21 
Rebecca Williams 1 
Hannah Nutter 58 

Courtesy of Ancestry© 

___________ 
1860 Clay Co., VA 
Louis Ramsey 33 Farmer 
Ruth Ramsey 30 
Franklin Ramsey 5 
Anthony Ramsey 3 
John L. Ramsey 1 
Hannan Nutter 70 

Courtesy of Ancestry© 
 

So, no matter what, if Carl D. Nutter’s line descends from Jonathan Dunbar and Hannah Nutter, it’s very possible that there may not even be an actual Nutter connection here because, if the story above is true that Hannah was taken in by the Nutters after her parents were killed, then it would be very difficult to say whose family Hannah belonged to.  DNA tests would probably help to get some kind of verification of Hannah’s family, or at least point us in the right direction. 

There are other family trees that do indicate that Hannah Nutter was the daughter of David Nutter and Ruth Cottle, which in turn would mean that Carl D. Nutter’s family would be related to my wife.  My wife’s Nutter ancestor was Rachel Nutter, who was the daughter of David Nutter and Ruth Cottle.  At this point, I cannot say one way or the other what is true because I simply do not have all the records I would need to prove what has been passed down by word of mouth. 

Remember that family stories need documentation to back them up.  So get in there and start digging…you might just find what you are looking for. 

It has been my privilege to share this information with the Nutter family.  

Sources: 

Ancestry© 

West Virginia Culture Vital Records 

Featured image of Clay County, WV courtesy of Mygenealogyhound.com 

Acknowledgements: 

Special thanks to Lynda (Nutter) Biron for allowing me to make these discoveries. 

My wife Cheryl…your love makes my world go around. 

In memory of… 

4 thoughts on “Our West Virginia Neighbors, The Nutters

  1. I’m thru Ruth H. Nutter, daughter of David Nutter and Ruth Cottle.
    I have Rachel Nutter as daughter of David Nutter and his 2nd wife Christine O’Dell.
    Here are some comments from 2 years ago about Hannah that I came across on ancestry.com.
    1] I doubt the credibility of this story for two reasons: first I read another account where it was claimed that Hannah Nutter was the daughter of David Nutter and that it was in fact, Dunbar, who was the native American. The story states that he was employed as a scout in the Army. And they never married because he was already married. Secondly I have 46 DNA matches (to date) from descendants of Hannah Nutter, if her parents were Indian, her descendants would show no kinship to me through DNA. David Nutter is my direct ancestor, consequently Hannah must be his daughter.
    2] I doubt the story is true either. I have found no proof of it and my DNA matches are through David also. I also match people from David’s second wife, so this is further proof that Hannah Nutter is the natural daughter of David Nutter.
    3] If the DNA matches are accurate (which I don’t dispute) then my DNA should also verify that truth. My great grandfather was David S. Nutter. Thanks for the information. I had not been aware of the overwhelming DNA evidence.

    Like

    • Hello TJ,
      My wife also descends through Rachel Nutter, so you and my wife would be cousins. Thank you for presenting your information. It always adds to the likelihood of the truth being on one sode or the other. Native American ancestry has always proven to be difficult to verify and for the most part, the DNA typically shows that. Thanks for reading!

      Like

      • We are related thru 3 lines that I know of, Willis, Morris, & Nutter. Willis being the closest thru Perry Willis & Amy Collins.

        Like

      • TJ, You and my wife share a lot of ancestry…besides Nutter, she descends from Henry Morris and Mary Byrd and also Perry Willis and Amy Collins.

        Like

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