Tuesday, August 16, 2011


[Ancestral Link: Lura Minnie Parker (Stagge), daughter of Minnie May Elmer (Parker), daughter of Mark Alfred Elmer, son of Hannah Polina Child (Elmer), daughter of Alfred Bosworth Child, son of Mark Anthony Child, son of Increase Child, son of Mary Lyon (Child), daughter of Joseph Lyon, son of Joseph Lyon, son of Sarah Ruggles (Lyon), daughter of Thomas Ruggles.]

The Nazing Colony
The Nazing Colony in Roxbury included the brothers, John and Philip Eliot, William Curtis, uncle of Sarah Ruggles, and many familiar names. The "Nazing Christians" were distinguished for their devoted piety. John (5) Ruggles of Nazing, who died in Roxbury, November 16 1644, was eldest son of Thomas (4) Ruggles [Thomas (3), Nicholas (2), Thomas (1) of Sudbury, county Suffolk]. He was descended from William de Ruggele of Staffordshire, time of King Edward I. John Ruggles' will, dated November 9, 1644, makes bequest to daughter Sarah.
found on ancestry.com

Thomas Ruggles
Born: 1584 – Sudbury, Suffolk, England
Immigrated: 1637
Died: November 16, 1644 – Roxbury, Suffolk, Massachusetts
Buried: Roxbury, Suffolk, Massachusetts

Thomas Ruggles was born in 1584 in Sudbury, Suffolk, England. He was the eldest son of Thomas Ruggles (about 1558-1647) and Margery Dandridge (1552-unknown). He is known to have had at least one brother named John. He grew up in Nazeing, Essex, England, but little is known of Thomas Ruggles’ youth.

On November 1, 1620, in Nazeing, Thomas, then age 36, married Mary Curtis, age 34. These were somewhat advanced ages for a first marriage, suggesting that it may have been a second marriage for both of them. However, there is no evidence of earlier marriages. Mary Curtis was born (possibly baptized) in March 1589 in Nazeing. She was the second of six children born to Thomas Curtis (1560-1631) and Mary Camp (1563-1594). Mary’s siblings were Martha (1588), Elizabeth (1590), Philip (1591), William (1592) and Thomas (1594).

Between 1621 and 1629, Thomas and Mary had four children; Thomas (1621), John (1625), Samuel (1628) and Sarah (1629). All the children were born in Nazeing.

Thomas and Mary Ruggles, with their two youngest children, Samuel and Sarah, immigrated to America in 1637, settling in Roxbury where they would live out their lives. They followed Mary’s brother, William Curtis, who came to America with his family in 1632. Records show that all of Mary’s siblings immigrated to America during their lifetimes, but William was apparently the first. Thomas and Mary’s first son, Thomas, had died in early 1637, which might have had something to do with their decision to follow William to America. Their second son, John, did not accompany them to America in 1637, but followed the following year as a servant in the employ of Phillip Elliott.

The Ruggles and Curtis families were part of the "Nazeing" colony of Roxbury. Nazeing families first started immigrating to New England in 1631. The Nazeing families were generally distinguished by their devoted piety.

According to church records, Thomas Ruggles became deathly ill the first year after his immigration, but survived. He did, however, die seven years later, of "consumption" (probably pneumonia) at age 60, on November 15, 1644, and was buried the following day. Thomas’ wife, Mary, survived her husband by nearly 30 years, dying at about age 85 on February 14, 1674. There is some evidence that she remarried to a man name "Route", but this is not certain.

A few days prior to his death and knowing he was probably dying, Thomas Ruggles, according to the custom at the time, wrote his will. To John, his eldest son, he gave a "lot which lyeth beyond the Great Pond (Jamaica) which was his last division ... containing sixteen acres, more or less." To son Samuel, "I give my lot butting upon the lot of Philip Eliot, east; Arthur Gary on the north; of seven acres, more or less; also my land at Dedham containing 12 acres, more or less." These were given to John and Samuel, subject to the provision of certain supplies for his wife's comfort while she lived. To his daughter, Sarah, he gave three pounds and "all the rest of my land and house I give to my wife during the time of her natural life, and after her death, the land and house to be divided, my son John to enter upon one half and Samuel and Sarah the other." The household articles were divided equally among the three children. Thomas Ruggles' will was witnessed by Philip Eliot and John Ruggles, the brother of Thomas.

In 1646, following Thomas Ruggles' death, the records describing the real estates of the men of Roxbury, their measurements and situations, were destroyed by fire, whereupon the town voted to make a new "transcript." They chose a committee to "do their best endeavour to set down each man's land given them by the town, or that may belong to them other ways, and make return unto the town, within three months.'' The committee members were: John Johnson, William Parke, Isack Morrill, Edward Dennison and Griffin Craft. The result was the locations of the land of 57 persons were given, and as now printed, a paragraph is given to each in the Book of Possessions. But at the commencement of these are a few entries "in different handwriting" and style, which seem to show them to be a part of the original records not destroyed by the fire. Among these entries is a section or paragraph on page [i] given, among four others, to a description of Thomas Ruggles' lands. The whole page follows, in the quaint style of its language and spelling.

[1]. The First day of the Fowerth moneth Comonly Called June 1639, this booke was bought (by the Seaven men then imployed in the Towne affairs) for the entrying of the Towne Lands and other weighty businesses being fully Agreed upon which may concerne the Inhabitants of then Towne of Rocksbury and payed, for the booke Fewer Shillings.

"Edward Bugbie 8 Accres for a great Lott, lying upon the hill bejond the great Pond upon the lands of Phillip Elliott abutting."

"Jasper Gunn 5 Accres, &c., &c"

Arthor Gary seaven Accres and a halfe for a great Lott, at the great Pond lying next to Edward Bugbie towards the Dedham path one end of it abutting to the railes of Phillip Elliott and also fower accres and a halfe at muddy river abutting to John Perry his highway to his meade.

"Thomas Ruggles seaven Accres and a halfe for a Lott, abutting upon Arthor Gary and one end to Phillip Elliott's railes, thether side to the Comon Dedham path going through the same, and Fowr accres and a halfe at Muddy River in two p'ts, three Accres want [*] pole betweene two p'cells of ground given to Thomas Griggis and one Accre and a halfe and 7 poles abutting to Arthor Gary and Robert Prentice."

The above were dated 1639, two years after Thomas' coming here.

Under the Committees Report:

[27.] *5. Philip Eliot his house, Barne and home lott three accres more or lesse, upon Stoney river east, . . . and thirty-three accres more or lesse, upon the great pond North, upon M'. John Elliot east, upon a highway south, and upon the head of Thomas Ruggles heirs west.

[52.] *30. John Ruggles Junior the soon of Thomas Ruggles deceased; his dwelling house with outhousing, orchyard and backside being about three accres more or lesse, upon Samuell Ruggles west, upon John Pieropoynt south, upon the high way North, and upon Wm. Lyon east and fifteen accres more or lesse lately- the land of William Curtiss called hurtlebury hill, abutting upon John totman west, upon William Curtiss south, upon William Curtis and Robert Seauer east, and upon a highway north, and in the thousand accres neare Deddam eight accres, and two accres meadow and upland more or lesse lately the land of William Curtiss abutting upon stoney river south, and upon Daniell Ainsworth north and halfe of foure accres more or lesse, lately the land of Philip Elliot being part meadow and part upland abutting upon stoney ricer south and upon John Weld north. And eighteen acres of land more or lesse bought of Jeames Morgan, being the twelfe lott, lying in the third deuission . . .

[53.] *31. Samuell Ruggles, two accres and three roodes more or lesse upon the pond hill lately the land of William Lion, abutting upon the land of William Gary east and north, and upon Abraham Newell junior west, and upon the land lately Lorrence Whittamoores south, and a quarter of the orchyard adjoyning to the house of William Lion, abutting upon saved house and the orchyard of William Lion north, and east, and upon Samuel Finch west, and upon the highway south; and an accre of errable land given to him by his father Thomas Ruggles deceased being in the home lott, abutting upon John Ruggles east, upon John Pieropoynt west and south, and upon the highway north, and three accres and three roods of land given to him by his sayd Father, lying beyond the great pond, abutting upon the land of Arthur Gary north, upon the heires of John Perry south, and upon William Lion west and east, and in the thousand accres neare Deddam twelve accres given to him by his father; and the halfe of foure accres more or lesse, of upland and meadow lately the land of Phillip Elliot abutting upon stoney river south, and upon the land of John Weld north.

Widdow Ruggles lately the wife of Thomas Ruggles deceased, foure accres of land more or lesse lying neare muddy River given unto her by her sayd husband abutting upon Robert Prentiss east, upon the land of the heires of Thomas Griggs south and west, and upon the highway north, and an accre and a halfe lying in the home lott given her by her afooresayd husband, abutting upon the land of John Dane east, upon John Pieropoynt south, and upon her sonne John Ruggles west and North.

[98.] *77. William Lion (whom Sarah daughter of Thomas Ruggles). The house he dwells in with the orchard and yard containing by estimation three roods more or lesse he paying unto his Mother in law thirty shillings p yeare as by lease to his sayd mother in law bearing date the sixteenth of Febru: 1647. Also Samuell Ruggles is to haue part of the lands, its now staked out. this apeares by a deed from John Ruggles for halfe the sayd house and land. And one accre and a halfe of land neare the meeting house lately the land of Gowen Anderson. And fine accres more or lesse being part of eight accres lately the land of Samuell Ruggles, abutting upon Samuell Ruggles east, upon John Ruggles north, and upon John Griggs south. And one accre and three roodes more or lesse lying near the meeting house, butting upon the Widdow Ruggles land southwest upon John Ruggles west, upon the highway north, the sayd William Lyon to maintaine a sufficient fence for ever betweene the land of the sayd John Ruggles, and this land; sold by the sayd John Ruggles unto the sayd William Lyon. And foure accres more or lesse, late the land of Phillipp Eliot part of his lott called the pond plaine, abutting upon the same land of the said Phillip Eliot towards the east and south, upon Samuell Rugles towards the west and upon Arthur Gary North-west.

Here it may be said, these small parcels of land situated in widely different positions and distances from each other, characterized the possessions of nearly all of the townsmen at this early period; the exceptions were the few who had means to buy larger measures of land at first, and to soon purchase and add adjoining lots at early dates.

A great indistinctness in the bounderies of these lands follows from the want of references to names of streets or roads.
found on ancestry.com

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