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In the Classroom > Course Overview > Unit Overview > Lesson 11

Lesson 11
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.

Their children:

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 father’s land.)

He married (1) May 14, 1646, Mary, widow of Abraham Munden, probably the daughter of Thomas Munson of Hartford. Their children were:

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 Indian House
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.

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