Son of Robert Dible|
Father of Ebenezer Dibble the older
Thomas Deebell has a lot of variants of his name! He was born in England, probably the West Country. It is not known where, or when, but there are some theories (see Robert Deeble's page). Thomas and his sister Frances travelled to America in 1635, following their father who had settled in Dorchester two years earlier. Almost immediately, Thomas left to go to Windsor, Connecticut, where he stayed until he died.
The name Dibble has many spelling variants. Below I have tried to use the spelling in the record given. I hope this is not too confusing!
Dates in this period are confusing. See discussion on dates.
Original texts and relevant websites
Photos taken by John and Celia Dibblee
Settlement of Massachusetts Bay
Move to Connecticut
Places in Connecticut connected with Dibblees
Wars connected with the Dibblee family
Freemen in Massachusetts and Connecticut
Passenger list of an unnamed ship - 1635
Freemen in Massachusetts and Connecticut
Winthrop's entries about move to Connecticut
Entries in Matthew Grant's Old Church Record
Maps of Ancient Windsor
Case of Israel Dibble & Deborah Bartlett
Wills connected with Thomas Dibble
|c.1613||Thomas Dible born somewhere in the West Country, England.||Passenger list|
|31 Mar 1633||Robert Dible, Thomas' father, travels from Weymouth, England, to Dorchester, Mass.||Passenger list|
|20 Mar 1635||Thomas Dible (22) and his sister Frances Dible (24) leave Weymouth for New England. Nothing more is known of Frances.||Passenger list|
|17 Dec 1635||Land grants to Robert and his son Thomas Deeble in Dorchester. This is important, as it establishes that Thomas is the son of Robert.||Dorchester Town Record|
|4 Jan 1636||Another land grant to Robert and his son (unnamed).||Dorchester Town Record|
|23 Aug 1636||The church in Dorchester is re-established as "a great part of the old one being gone to Connecticut". Robert Deeble signs this Church covenant but Thomas does not.||Winthrop's journal|
Dorchester Church record
|c.1636||Thomas Deble and his wife are on a list of those members of the church in Dorchester and came to Windsor with Mr Warham.||Old Church Record|
|17 May 1637||Thomas Dible is made Freemen at the General Court of Massachesetts.||Freemen records|
|9 Apr 1640||Thomas Dyblie made Freeman of Windsor at a Court of Election at Hartford.||Freemen records|
|1641||Samuel Deble buried (presumably son of Thomas and an infant death).||Old Church Record|
|29 Aug 1637||Israel Deble, son of Thomas (senior), born in Windsor.||Old Church Record|
|26 Sep 1641||Ebenezer Deble, son of Thomas (senior), born in Windsor.||Old Church Record|
|25 Dec 1642||Hephsiba Deble, daughter of Thomas (senior), born and baptised in Windsor church.||Old Church Record|
|19 Feb 1644||Samuel Deble, son of Thomas (senior), born in Windsor.||Old Church Record|
|7 Dec 1645||Meriam Deble, daughter of Thomas (senior), born and baptised in Windsor church.||Old Church Record|
|3 Sep 1647||Thomas Debel, son of Thomas (senior), born and baptised in Windsor church.||Old Church Record|
|1 Mar 1669||Thomas' son Israel Dibble is accused of adultery with Deborah Bartlet.||Case of Israel Dibble and Deborah Barlet|
|1669, 1674, 1681||Thomas Dibble (senior) witnesses several wills.||Connecticut probate 1635-1700|
|6 Dec 1675||Ebenezer Dibble, son of Thomas (senior) died in the Great Swamp Fight.||King Philip letter|
|14 May 1681||Thomas Dibble's wife died.||Old Church Record|
|14 May 1681||Thomas Dible marries Elizabeth Hensdell.||Windsor Marriages|
|11 Dec 1689||Israel Dibble died||internet genealogists|
|17 Feb 1700||Thomas Dibble (senior) writes his will. It describes Wakefield Dibble as his grandson.|
Thomas Dibble's will is proved in 13 Nov 1700.
Thomas must have been 87 years old when he died - a good age!
In May 1702, Samll Dibble, Thomas Dibble and Miriam Gillett contest their father's will.
Miriam continues to contest it in May 1703.
|See Thomas' will|
We can assume that Thomas Doble was not married when he travelled from Wymouth, England to Dorchester, Mass. The passenger list of the boat is a complete one, listing wives and even small children. There is Thomas and his sister Frances but no-one else in his family.
In the Old Church Record of Matthew Grant, both Thomas Deble senr and Tho. Debls wife are on "A list of those members of the church that were in Dorchester and came up here with Mr Warham and still are of us". There is also a reference, dated Dec 21, 1677, to both Thomas and "Sister Deble" among those in communion during the move to Windsor (see Social standing below for what this means). Unfortunately, this does not give the name of Thomas' wife, or in fact even when they were married. You could read the list either either "Thomas and his wife came to Windsor together" or "Thomas Deble and Mrs. Deble both came to Windsor, but of course they were not married at that point". The Old Church Record also says "The wife of Thomas Deble sen. died May 14, 1681".
There is one refence to Thomas Dible's wife in Windsor Marriages (First Book) 1638-1704 but this is to a later wife: "Thomas Dible Senr of Windsor and Elizabeth Hensdell of Hadly were married June 25th 1683". There is no reference to her in his will, so presumably she died before he did (in 1700).
|Children||born/baptised||spouse (from Windsor Marriages) and when married|
|Israel||29 Aug 1637 (Morman DB)||Elizabeth Hull (28 Nov 61)|
|Samuel||buried 1641 (Old Church Record)|
|Ebenezer||26 Sep 1641 (Morman DB)||see Ebenezer's page|
|Hephsiba||25 Dec 1642 (Morman DB)||? Samuel Gibbs (15 Apr 1664)|
|Samuel||19 Feb 1644 (Morman DB)||Hephzibah Bartlet (21 Jan 1668/9), then Francis Cranton of Gilford (25 Mar 1703/4)|
|Meriam||7 Dec 1645 (Old Church Record)||Jonathan Gillet Junr (14 Dec 1676)|
|Thomas||3 Sep 1647 (Old Church Record)||Mary Tucker (10 Oct 1676)|
Matthew Grant's Old Church Record says that at August 1677 Thomas Deble had 6 children "so far as I am able to find out". This would be Thomas senior, as Thomas junior had only just got married. Samuel Deble (presumably son of Thomas) was buried in 1641 and this would be an infant death, so got overlooked by Matthew Grant in his count. The name Samuel got resused for Samuel Deble, born in 1644.
The Old Church Record also says that Isrell Deble has 4 children, Ebenezer Deble has 5 and Samuel Deble 5. I am not researching Thomas' children's children. For more on Ebenezer's children, see Ebenezer's page.
Thomas' will (see below) describes the family that was alive at the time (presumably). The will is dated 17 Feb 1700. It mentions "my son Samuel and his wife", "my son Thomas Dibble and his wife", "my daughter Miriam Gillett", "son-in-law Samuel Gibbs", "grand daughter, Eliza: Gibbs", "grandsons Josiah Dibble and Wakefield Dibble." His sons Israel and Ebenezer were dead by then.
Then there is son-in-law Samuel Gibbs. Which daughter of Thomas did he marry? Various internet genealogists seem to think that Samuel Gibbs' wife was Hephzibah Dibble, married in 15 Apr 1664, and that she died in 22 Feb 1698. This fits well enough. So Hephzibah Dibble marries Samuel Gibbs in 1664, and Samuel Dibble marries Hephzibah Bartlet in 1668. We have two lots of "Samuel and Hephsiba"s. It's bad enough when the children are named after the parents, but in-laws with the same name!
From Henry Stiles' Ancient Windsor, Connecticut Vol I (history) page 154:
[See Discussion on area for an explanation of rods.]
Click here for the complete large maps.
There are some references to Thomas Dibble's land in Early Connecticut probate records Vol 1 1635-1700:
Matthew Grant's will (1681) describes some land that he is leaving to "my son John, with whome I have lived some time, I doe give to hime all my meadow land in the great meadow; also I give to hime my pasture land lyeinge belowe the hill agaynst Thomas Dibles home lott and my owne."
Jonathan Gillett's will (1698) says "I give to my son Jonathan all my Houseing and Lands at Windsor (except those given to son William), and also the Land I bought and am to have of Father Dibble, he to enter upon ½ of sd. houseing and Lands at 21 years of age, and the other half after the decease of my wife."
Samuel Gibbs' will (1720) mentions "the woodlott lying near Two-Mile Tree by Thomas Thrall, which was my father Dibble's" (see various wills). Samuel Gibbs was Thomas Dibble's son-in-law - see Thomas' will below.
Signature of Thomas Deebell Senior
from Henry Reed Stiles' Ancient Windsor, Connecticut Vol I (history) page 132
In 17 May 1637 Thomas Dible was made Freeman of Massachusetts. In 9 Apr 1640, Thomas Dyblie is made Freeman of Connecticut. It is reasonable to assume that these are the same person. Click here for more information on Freemen.
In Matthew Grant's Old Church Record, "Thomas Debles sen" and "Sister Deble" (his wife) are listed as "yet living that came from Dorchester in full communion". This means that they are full members of the church, able to take communion and to vote. Thomas Deble also paid 3 shillings and sixpence as a levy to Deacon Moore, apparently for the wine for communion. Ebenezer Dibble, his son, was not in full communion - see Ebenezer's page.
From Henry Stiles' Ancient Windsor, Connecticut Vol I (history) page 178:
January 18, 1659-60. "A note [was] taken what dwelling houses are in the town, that the owners of them have paid seats in the Meeting house, and how much and by whom. For those that have been placed in the two rows of long seats were first seated bu five in a seat, and were made to pay to William Buel 3s a person, or 6s for a man and his wife; and that made up his pay when he had finished them with doors. Also, those that were placed in the short seats, at the first were to pay 3s a person, as they were in the long seats; but it was agreed that those seats should be raised higher for more convenient hearing, they were to pay Wm. Buel 6s [should be 6d - meaning pence] a person more, so that for a man and his wife 7s.
Those that were placed in the short seats, what they have paid ... Thomas Deble 3s
[I think he owes William Buel six pence! See Discussion on money for an explanation of shillings and pence.]
While in Windsor, Thomas Dibble obviously had a certain amount of social standing, either because of his age, or as one of the first settlers at Windsor. For example, from Early Connecticut probate records Vol 1 1635-1700, we can see that he witnesses several wills, such as Denslow, Elizabeth (1669), Bygatt Eglestone (1674) and Matthew Grant (1681). In 1669, Capt. Benj Newbery, Matthew Grant and Thom Dibble senior value the estate of Mrs. Margaret Witchfield.
Mrs. Mary Drake, wife of Jacob Drake, wrote in her will (1689) "That share of Estate which is due of my Mother Drake I give one half to Thomas Dibble and the other half to Sarah Hutchins, my Maid."
Jacob Drake's will (1689) says "I give to Thomas Deble the Lott that I purchased of Prior, at the age of 21 years."
One problem with these Drake wills is that I'm not quite sure which Thomas we are talking about here. Both are well over 21 at this point! Perhaps it is a third generation.
On 1 Mar 1669, the son of Thomas Dibble, Israel Dibble was accused of adultery with Deborah Barlet by her husband Benjamin Bartlet. Evidence was given against Israel and Deborah by Samuel Dibble (his brother) and his wife, Hepsibah. Thomas Dibble senior posted bail of £100 for his son to appear, which is a large sum of money. It seems that Samuel and Hephsiba were later persuaded to adjust their evidence slightly, and Thomas Dibble senior, Ebenezer Dibble, Thomas Dibble junior and Mirriam Dibble give evidence supporting Israel Dibble. It seems likely this was all organised by Thomas Dibble senior! We do not know the verdict, but Israel and Deborah seem to have stayed with their partners and carried on having children, so presumably people patched things up. It did not seem to affect the standing of the Dibble family. In 1672, Ebenezer Dibble was made bailiff of Windsor. Click here for more about the case of Israel Dibble and Deborah Barlet.
Two of Thomas Dibble's sons, Thomas Dibble junior and Ebenezer Dibble seem to have been involved in making Military equipment for Windsor, and becoming dragoons for for fighting the Indians. Ebenezer Dibble took part in 'King Philip''s war and died in the Great Swamp Fight. Thomas Dibble subsequently gave one shilling and three pence to a voluntary contribution "for the poor in want in other colonies" - see Old Church Record.
The will of Thomas Dibble (senior) is important, as it specifies Wakefield Dibble as his grandson, so confirming the family tree. Thomas' son, Ebenezer Dibble, was dead at the time the will was written. The will does seem a little mean towards Ebenezer's family. When he died, his wife and family were destitute, so apparently the rest of the family refused to look after them. And now, Wakefield Dibble only gets some clothes. Thomas had another son, Israel who seems to have died in 11 Dec 1697 in Windsor (from internet genealogists). The other grandson, Josiah Dibble, may be Israel's son.
From Early Connecticut probate records Vol 2 1700-1729 page 56.
Invt. in Vol VIII, Page 6-7-8.
Dibble, Thomas, Sen., Windsor. Invt. £66-14-01. Taken 1st November, 1700, by Samuel Cross, Nathaniel Gaylord and Alexander Allen. Will dated 17 February, 1699-1700:
I, Thomas Dibble, Sen., of Windsor, doe make this my last will and testament:
A schedule, expressing the form and manner how I would have my household stuffe and other moveables disposed and divided, is as follows :
Court Record, Page 3 — 13 November, 1700: Will proven.
The will of Thomas Dibble seems to have caused problems. From the Public Records of Connecticut 1689-1706:
[page 394 - May 1702]: Allowed to Mr John Elliott and to Mr Samll Gibbs the sume of one pound eighteen shillings and sixe pence for attendance at the court of assistants at Newhaven in Octobr last and at this Generall Assembly, upon the application of Samll Dibble, Thomas Dibble and Miriam Gillett, children of Thomas Dibble late of the town of Windzor deceased ; the said Samll ,Thomas, and Miria, being unsatisfied with the settlment of the estate of their said father according to a will exhibited in court. [Ebenezer Dibble the older, another son of Thomas Dibble, had died by this time.]
[page Page 431 - May 1703]: Miriam Gillett, widdowe, being unsatisfied with the settlment of the estate of her father Thomas Dibble of Windzor decd, made by the court of probates at Hartford Novembr 13, 1701, grounded upon a writing presented in said court of probates as the last will and testament of her said father, petitioned this Assembly for libertie to contest the said will in the court of Assistants in May next. This Court grants her petition.
There is one interesting point. Samuel Gibb's will, written 24 Feb, 1720, describes his daughters:
"deceased daughter Hepsibah Dickinson", "Patience Denslow", "Elizabeth Hayden", "Joannah Loomis", "Experience Huxley" and "Miriam Bissell".
He mentions "father Dibble", so the relationship was close.
Thomas Dibble's (earlier) will bequeaths various household goods to
Hepzibah Dickson, Paticence Denslow, Elizabeth Gibbs, Joanna Loomis, Experience Gibbs and Mirriam Gibbs.
Thomas was certainly literate as we have his signature elsewhere, but he did not sign his will, since there is an X between his names. He was 87 years old, and I wonder if he was very frail by then, perhaps even senile. His second wife had died, and perhaps his daughter Hephsiba Gibbs had taken him in to look after him. It would explain his gifts to the daughters of Samuel Gibbs. But Samuel Gibbs was also one of the executors of the will. It is easy to see why the Dibble family (except for Hephsiba Gibbs) was highly suspicious of Samuel Gibbs! The will directed Samuel Gibbs to pay an outstanding debt to Thomas to his daughter Miriam Gillet instead, and it is Miriam Gillet who is pursuing the settling of the will most vigorously.
© Jo Edkins 2012 - Return to Early Dibblee History index