Creating a Geneology - the Stebbins Family
Rowland Stebbins, born 1594 sailed on the ship
Francis from Ipswich in England in the year 1634. With him
were his wife, four children, and someone named Mary Winch. He settled
in Roxbury and in 1635 removed from there to found a colony, with
William Pynchon, in Springfield. He removed from Springfield about
1656 to Northampton as one of its first settlers.
His wife Sarah died about 1656 , ae 58. He died
December 14, 1671.
Thomas - b. about 1620
Sarah - b. about 1623; m. Jan. 14, 1641. Thomas Merrick of Springfield
John - b. about 1626
Elizabeth - b. about 1628; m. March 2, 1646, John Clark of Springfield
John (1626-1679) was of Roxbury by 1651. In that
year he bought a house in Springfield. He was an original Proprietor
of Pocumtuck (Deerfield) and owned 20 cow commons; he drew lot #13.
If he came to Deerfield, he left no trace, but instead settled in
Northampton. (His son, Benoni (1635-1704) built a house on lot 13
in 1682. Benoni was captured by Indians in 1677 and returned 5 years
later to settle Deerfield on his fathers land.)
He married (1) May 14, 1646, Mary, widow of Abraham
Munden, probably the daughter of Thomas Munson of Hartford. Their
John - (1647-1724)
Thomas - (d.1649)
Ann - (1651-1653)
Edward - (July 1653-October 1653)
Benoni - (1655-1704)
He married (2) November 17, 1657, Abigail, daughter
of Robert Bartlett of Northampton. Their children were:
Samuel - (1658-1752)
Abigail - b. 1660, m.1678
Thomas - (1662-1712)
Hannah - (1664-1704) m. John Sheldon 1679, ae 15, lived in Old
Mary - b. 1666, m. 1683
Sarah - b. 1668, m. 1687
Joseph - (1670 - 1681)
Deborah - b. 1672, m. 1683
Benjamin - bap. 1674, m. 1709 - removed to Belchertown
Rebecca - bap. 1676, m. 1697
Thankful - b. 1678, m. 1700
John Stebbins died March 9, 1679, "in an
unusual manner." There was suspicion of witchcraft and a jury
of inquest was called who found "several hundred spots, small
ones as if they had been shot with a small shot which we scraped
and under them were holes I his body." An investigation was
had, the evidence recorded and laid before the court in Boston,
but no prosecution followed. John Stebbins died intestate and the
courts apportioned his estate.
From the John Stebbins' genealogy, one is able
to "tease out" the life story of one colonial family.
Settlement patterns of families indicate the development of the
frontier. The families varied in size, often depending on circumstances
of the times. Children were assets in a colonial family. The women
sometimes died in childbirth or at least at a young age, followed
by the early remarriage to provide a mother for the children and
a "helpmate". Spacing of children may have been because
of breast feeding, a natural preventative of conception. Children
often died young.
From Benoni's dates we learn that he was killed
in the disastrous Deerfield Raid, February 29, 1704.
Because John Stebbins died in intestate (without
a will), the court devised system provided for the families. An
inventory was made of the assets of the deceased. The widow received
the "widow's third" of the entire estate. The daughters
"of age" were often given the "moveables" (furniture,
textiles), while the sons "of age" were allotted the land.