Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Allen line: Thomas Stebbins about 1619-1683, Immigrant

I've written earlier about Rowland Stebbins, father of Thomas, but Thomas was an immigrant, too, and his story should be told.  He is actually an Allen ancestor twice, which makes him doubly important. 

Thomas was born about 1619 or 1620, presumably in Bocking, Essex, England, which is the town of record of his parents.  He came to New England in 1634 with his parents, Rowland and Sarah Whiting Stebbins, and three siblings, on the ship Francis.  Thomas was listed as 14 at the time. The family possibly stayed in Roxbury, Massachusetts Bay Colony for a short time, with Rowland's younger brother Martin.

The Stebbins family soon moved on to Springfield, however, and that is where Thomas married Hannah Wright, daughter of Deacon Samuel and Margaret Stratton Wright, in November of 1645.  My notes say their first son, Samuel, was born in September of 1646 and then Thomas, two Josephs (one died at about 18 months of age), Sarah, Edward, Benjamin and finally twins Hannah and Rowland, born October 1 and 2nd 1660. Hannah, the mother, died, probably from childbirth complications, two weeks later.  9 children in 15 years, plus the privations of frontier life, was just too much for Hannah to overcome.  Surprisingly, it seems that Thomas stayed single until 1676, when he married Abigail Burt Ball Munn.  Thomas died September 28, 1683 and Abigail lived until 1707. 

We know a few other facts about Thomas.  He was a tailor by trade, and of course had small tracts of farm land.  When his father died, his brother John was given much more of the estate than Thomas was given, for whatever reason.  Thomas was older than John and perhaps John had greater need, or maybe John had done more to care for his father in his father's old age.  He was apparently a man of some standing in the town, as he was a selectman several time.  He was referred to as "sergeant" in 1656 and an overseer of highways in 1667.

 He would have been 56 years old at the time of King Philip's War, but was referred to as a lieutenant then, and was listed in Capt William Turner's company in the Turner Falls massacre.  We don't know for sure that he was on that mission but it seems possible.  (His sons Thomas and Samuel were there, so there is some confusion about whether Thomas Senior was there also).  If he wasn't in the fight, then he was at home or nearby, pulling guard duty and defending his and other families  The massacre or battle, whatever you want to call it, was a two parter.  The colonists massacred natives as they were sleeping, including women and children, and other natives then came to harass and kill the colonists as they made their way back home.  (We have many ancestors, and their siblings) on the lists of the men who were there).

There is apparently a will but I have not yet located it.  It is said to mention his daughters and his widow only.  I would like to find the will and would particularly like to find the inventory.  That would tell us more about the life of Lieutenant Thomas Stebbins. 

One line of descent is:

Thomas Stebbins-Hannah Wright
Edward Stebbins-Sarah Graves
Sarah Stebbins-John Root
Sarah Root-Thomas Noble
Stephen Noble-Ruth Church
Ruth Noble-Martin Root
Ruth Root-Samuel Falley
Claraissa Falley-John Havens Starr
Harriet Starr-John Wilson Knott
Edith Knott-Edward Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants

The second line is

Thomas Stebbins-Hannah Wright
Joseph Stebbins-Sarah Dorchester
Martha Stebbins-Samuel Lamb
Eunice Lamb-Martin Root
Martin Root-Ruth Noble
etc.

This is just one way we are our own cousins!