Thursday, February 28, 2008

Ruggles Woodbridge/Daniel Stebbins

Williams, Stephen (SJ)
date Thu, Feb 28, 2008 at 5:36 PM
subject Ruggles Woodbridge/Daniel Stebbins


I live in Old Lyme, CT and am seeking information concerning both Ruggles Woodbridge and Daniel Stebbins. They were part of a company called Ruggles Woodbridge Northeast Land Company. It was formed after 1796. Several other Massachusetts families were members as well.

My 4th great-grandfather, James Tenney purchased land from this company. Ruggles Woodbridge Land Company's land was in Randolph County, Virginia (now Upshur County, West Virginia). James left Florida, Massachusetts around 1816 with his wife Thankful Shippee and 11 children. Over 20 families from Vermont, Massachusetts and Connecticut purchased land from the company. They started a community in WV called French Creek. Eventually many of the families that relocated to WV lost their land because someone else had a previous claim. The entire tract was 100,000 acres.

In 1817 Daniel Stebbins actually signed and forwarded 22 bibles to the new settlers of French Creek. In the history of Upshur County it also discusses this migration of Yankees to what was to become West Virginia.

How would I go about finding information concerning this company and its owners? Does your historical society have any information on these gentlemen? I travel to Charlemont, MA area several times a year to look up other information concerning my Tenney and Shippee relatives. I can always stop by on one of my trips and do research if I can be pointed in the right direction.

Ruggles Woodbridge Land Company also advertised in the Northampton and Springfield newspapers between 1796 and 1820. Is there microfilm of these available.

I have a photo copy of a 150 page document in Daniel Stebbins handwriting relating to their meetings from the late 1790's to 1819. I will gladly make a copy and drop it off on one of my trips.

Other owners of the land were:
Ralph Snow
Reuben Moody--born in South Hadley
Patrick Peebles--born in Pelham, MA died in WV
Jonathan Thayer
Isaac Abercrombie
Mathew Brown
Gad Smith--born and died in Whatley, MA
Elam Brooks
Jacob Safford
William Henry
Daniel Whitmore--born in CT died in Sunderland MA
Benjamin Ashley
Gains Lyman
Zedekiah Morgan--born in CT and died in WV
Joel Holkins
Ephraim Chapin-- died in Chicopee, MA
Phinehas Chapin-from Springfield and died in WV
Joseph Griswold

Thank you for your time,

Joe Williams

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