Rowland Stebbins

These are items collected relating to the history of Rowland Stebbins or Rowland Stebbing who immigrated to America in 1634 and is regarded to be the ancestor of the majority of Stebbins in the United States.

In general, records suggest that Rowland Stebbins was born in Stebbing (Parish of Bocking), Essex County, England and baptised on 5 November of 1592 at St. Mary’s Parish. In the baptism register his name was recorded as Rowlandus. On 30th of November, 1618 Rowland Stebing married Sarah Whiting. A record of this was found in the same parish register as “1618 Rowlandus Stebbing & Sara Whiting nupti 30 November.”

Please add or correct this information with citations in the comments section.

-Michael Stebbins

Confirmed Sources


Number 124, Volume 31, No. 4; starting at page 193, dated October 1955 by John Insley Coddington, F.A.S.C., of Washington DC published the following quoted in its entirety:


Reference is made to five accounts of the four above-named members of the Stebbing family of Essex, England, who settled in New England in the 1630’s. These accounts are, first, the large and excellent work by Ralph Stebbins Greenlee and Robert Lemuel Greenlee, THE STEBBINS GENEALOGY, 2 Vols., Chicago, 1904; 2) the account of Rowland Stebbing (or Stebbins) in Frank Farnsworth Starr, VARIOUS ANCESTRAL LINES OF JAMES GOODWIN AND LUCY (MORGAN) GOODWIN OF HARTFORD, CT, 2 Vols, Hartford, 1915, Vol 2, pp 21-28; 3) the (very brief) account of Editha (Stebbing) (Day) (Maynard) Holyoke in Charles Edwin Booth, ONE BRANCH OF THE BOOTH FAMILY, New York, 1910, p 181; 4) the much better and more complete biography of the said Editha and of her husbands, Robert Day (1), John Maynard (1) and Elizure Holyoke (2) in Donald Lines Jacobus and Edgard Francis Waterman, HALE, HOUSE AND RELATED FAMILIES, Hartford, 1952, pp 509-511 and 644-645;  and 5) the articles, “The Family of Frances (Tough) (Chester) (Smith) Stebbing, Wife of Edward Stebbing, of Hartford, Connecticut,” in THE AMERICAN GENEALOGIST, ante, Vol 30, pp 193-204.

Most of THE STEBBINS GENEALOGY is concerned with the descendents of Rowland Stebbing or Stebbins, who came to America with his wife Sarah on the ship FRANCIS of Ipswich, county Suffolk, which sailed from Ipswich “the last of April” 1634. Rowland Stebbing settle briefly at Roxbury, MA., then at Springfield, MA., and later removed to Northampton, MA where he died 14 Dec 1671, leaving four children, from whom the majority of those who bear the name of Stebbins in America are descended. But THE STEBBINS GENEALOGY also contains (Vol 2, pp 1117-1119) a section of Martin Stebbins, who settled at Roxbury, MA by 1639, later moved to Boston, and died there about October 1659; and a section (vol 2 pp 1005-1014) on Edward Stebbing, who came to New England before 29 March 1632, settled at “New Town” (later Cambridge), moved in 1636 to Hartford, served as deacon of the church there, and died there, in 1668. THE STEBBINS GENEALOGY also includes (vol 1, pp 13-50) a section entitled “Stebbins in England,” in which there are many interesting and valuable items, such as an outline of the history of the parish of Stebbing in Hinkford Hundred, county Essex, from which the family undoubtedly derived its surname; pedigrees of the gentry families that successively held the manor of Stebbing; Stebbing, Stubbing and Stybbing, extracts from the Parish Registers of several parishes in Essex, Suffolk and London; full copies of the wills of four Stebbing residents of Essex and abstracts of the wills of thirteen Stebbing residents of Suffolk, and the like. But the compilers of this fine genealogy were not so fortunate as to discover the parishes in which Rowland, Martin, Edward and Editha Stebbing were baptised.

The renown American genealogist, Frank Farnsworth Starr, while working for the late James J Goodwin of Hartford, found the records of the baptisms of Rowland and Martin Stebbing in the gragmentary Parish Registers of St. Mary’s Church, Bocking, Essex County. The Bocking Registers also contained references to the Fitch and Goodwin families who settled in Connecticut, showing that a number of residents of Bocking joined the Puritan emigration to New England in the 1630’s. Mr. Starr subsequently edited the Parish Registers of Bocking and they were printed in a very small edition at Mr. Goodwin’s expense. After pointing out that the existing Registers are sadly lacking in continuity (the Baptisms began in July 1561, with gaps from March 1571 to May 1583, from April 1588 to October 1592, from October 1599 to October 1602, and from
1639 to 1655; the Burials began in November 1558, with gaps from August 1580 to September 1583 and from 1627 to 1655), he lists the following seven Stebbing records:

1561 Gulielmus Stebinge sepultus [buried?] est 28 May
1592 Rowlandus Stebing filius [son] Thomae baptizatus 5 November
1594 Marinus Stebing filius Thomae baptizamus 28 April
1603 Johannes Leavens et Elizabetha Stebbin nupti [married]16 June
1618 Rowlandus Stebbing & Sara Whiting nupti 30 November
1624 Gulielmus Stebbing filius [son] Martini Stebbing sepultus [buried] est 3 September
1625 Elizabetha Stebbing filia [daughter] Rowlandi Stebbing sepultus [buried] est 15 June [Rowland had a second daughter named Elisabeth who went with him to America]

The parish of Bocking is bounded on the south by that of Braintree. In this parish, Mr. Thomas Hooker, the future founder of Hartford, Connecticut, often preached during his ministry in Essex, and among the inhabitants of Braintree were Mr. William Wadsworth, Mr. John Talcott, and the families, who came to New England on the LION in the summer of 1632, and accompanied Mr. Thomas Hooker to Hartford in 1636. The parish Registers of St. Michael’s Church at Braintree prior to 1660 have unfortunately been lost, but, as will be seen below, there were also members of the Stebbing family in Braintree in the 1620’s.

Mr. Frank Farnsworth Starr also compiled for Mr. James J Goodwin the ENGLISH GOODWIN FAMILY PAPERS, 3 vols., Harford, 1921, which consist of a mass of English records collected by Mr. Starr in the course of his search for the ancestry of William and Osias Goodwin, of Bocking, who also came to New England in 1632, and settled at Hartford in 1636. Here we find the following references:

Vol 2, p 1148 : Braintree Vestry Book Abstracts, 6 Sept 1619 : Notice given to William Stebbing of a wench intertained at John Beckwiths dwelling on Cursing greene that is supposed to have a greate belly which the Constables have warning to look after.

Vol 2, p 1166 : Braintree Vestry Book, 18 Apr 1625 : The sidesmen of the parish include Edward Stebbing and William Wadsworth. Vol 2, p 1169 : Braintree Manor Rolls, Easter Monday 1628 : Homage includes Ed(wa)r(d)us Stebbing.

Immediately to the south of Braintree is the parish of Black Notley, and adjoining the latter to the southeast is the parish of White Notely. The late C. A. Hoppin once confided to Dr. Arthur Adams that he was sure that Edward Stebbing, the Hartford settler, was born in one of the two Notleys.   Accordingly, I commissioned Miss Helen Thacker of London to examine the parish Registers of both Notleys and abstract all Stebbing records. Miss Thacker found that the Registers of White Notley, which began in 1541, contained no Stebbing entries whatever. But those of SS. Peter and Paul’s Church, Black Notley, which commence in 1570 and were examined through 1640, contained the following records :

1593 – Ellin Stebbing the Daughter of Willm Stebbing was baptised the XI day of Nobember 1593.
1594 – Edward Stebbing the sonne of Willm Stebbing was baptised the XXIIII day of February 1594 (1594/5).
1596 – Amy Stebbing the daughter of Willm Stebbing was baptised the 11 day of December 1596.
1598 – Elizabeth Stebbing the daughter of Willm Stebbing was baptised the VII day of May 1598.
1599 – Thomas Stebbing the sonne of Willm Stebbing was baptised the VII day of Marche 1599 (1599/1600).
1603 – Margret Stebinge the daughter of Willm Stebinge was baptised the XVIII day of Marche 1603 (1603/1604).
1583 – John Lawson and Elizabeth Stebbing were maried the X day of September 1583.
1584 – Henry Stebbing and Susan Bacon were maried the XIX day of October 1584.
1587 – Henrie Stebbing and Margett Coppin were married the XXIIII day of March 1587 (1587/1588).
1585 – Susan the wife of Henrie Stebbing was buried the XV day of September 1585.
1590 – Dennis the daughter of Thomas Stebbing was buried the XIX day of November 1590.
1600 – Thomas Stebing was buried the first of September 1600.
1603 – Thomas Stebbyng was buried ye XXI of January 1603 (1603/1604).
1606 – Ellen Stebbinge widdow of Thomas Stebbinge was buried the 26th day of January 1606 (1606/1607).

Miss Thacker reported the following lacunnae in the Black Notley Registers: in the Marriages, the bottom portion of a page cut out after August 1606; marriages began again in November 1606 at top of next page. Owing to this cut there is also a gap ( on the other side of the page) between August 1608 and March 1608/9. Another cut occurs at top of page after September 1632, and entries begin again in May 1633. This cut causes a gap on the other side of the page from February 1635/6 to April 1636. In the Burials, a page covering parts of 1602-3 was defaced and unreadable; there was a part of 1604 that was unreadable and also a part of 1625.

Miss Thacker was further commissioned to search the Feet of Fines in the Public Record Office in London, to try to find a record of disposal of property in Essex by Rowland, Martin or Edward Stebbing at the time of their emigration to New England. Nothing was found. Moreover, no will was found belonging to Thomas Stebbing of Bocking (the father of Rowland and Martin) or to William Stebbing of Black Notley and Braintree (the presumed father of Edward), and there was no record of the Stebbing family in the Lay Subsidies of Hinkford Hundred, Essex, in the reigns of Elizabeth I, James I or Charles I.

Bearing in mind the limitations of our genealogical data, we may venture to set forth these brief summaries concerning Rowland, Martin, Edward and Editha Stebbing:

1. ROWLAND STEBBING, baptised at Bocking, co. Essex, 5 Nov 1592, son of Thomas Stebbing of Bocking and older brother Martin Stebbing. He married at Bocking, 30 Nov. 1618, Sarah Whiting, whose baptism does not appear in the existing Register of Bocking. Their five known children were presumably born and baptised at Bocking, but none of the baptisms and only one burial of a child of a Rowland Stebbins appear in the fragmentary Registers of that parish.

Rowland Stebbing and his family sailed from Ipswich, co. Suffolk, on the Francis, “last of April” 1634. The shipping list gives Rowland’s are as 40, wife Sarah, 43, and children Thomas, 14, Sarah, 11, John, 8, and Elizabeth, 6. On arrival in New England, they settled first in Roxbury.

Rowland Stebbing was one of the early settlers of Springfield, MA., moved there about 1639, and received land in the second division of that town, 24 Dec. 1640. Sarah (Whiting) Stebbing was buried at Springfield 4 Oct. 1649. Rowland had a seat in the meeting-house at Springfield in 1663, and some time after Feb. 1664/5 he moved again, to live with his son John at Northampton, MA., where he died 14 Dec. 1671, leaving a will dated 1 March 1669/70. The inventory of his goods and chattels, taken 2 Jan. 1671/2, amounted to Pounds 9-5-2; the inventory of his lands, taken 11 Jan. amounted to Pounds 75-3-2; and debts amounted to Pounds 46-2-0 were owing to him (Stebbins Genealogy, vol 1, pp 51-59).”

Another Source (Not cited or confirmed) states:

This man was 40 and his wife Sarah [Whiting] was 43 when they sailed in the “FRANCIS” of Ipswich the last of April 1634 with Mr.John CUTTING as Captain of the ship, bound for New England. (cited p.28 in Hotten’s List of Emigrants,also called “THE ORIGINAL LISTS OF PERSONS OF QUALITY” )

On the last day of April, 1634, Rowland STEBBINS embarked for America aboard the Francis, under Captain John CUTTING, from Ipswich, England. With him were his wife Sarah, their children:

* Thomas, aged 14;
* Sarah. aged 11;
* John, aged 8,
* Elizabeth, aged 6.
* An earlier daughter called Elizabeth had been buried on June 15, 1625.
* They also had with them Mary WINCHE, aged 15. It is unknown if she was related to STEBBINS.

The group cleared customs only on November 12, 1634. Rowland STEBBINS settled first in Roxbury near Boston. In 1639 he moved to Springfield (settled only 3 years before by William PYNCHON – Some accounts say Rowland with with Willliam), where he obtained a land settlement. About 1668 he was one of the pioneers of Northampton, MA. Sarah, his wife of 31 years, died in Springfield on October 4, 1649, at the age of 58. Rowland died in Northampton on December 14, 1671, aged 78.

Many pp. of Greenleaf [Greenlee] talk of this family and their desc. who lived in N.Central Mass.

Another source (Not cited or confirmed) says:

Rowland STEBBING, bapt. 5 Nov 1592, Bocking, England; d. 14 Dec 1671, Northampton, MA; m. 30 Nov 1618, Bocking, England.;

Wife: Sarah WHITING, b. 1591; d. Oct 1649 Rowland died 14 December 1671 Sarah was born in Boston, Lincolnshire, England 30 Nov 1591. Sarah was the daughter of John Whiting and Sarah Smith. Sarah died 4 Aug 1649 Springfield, Hampden, MA, at 57 years of age.

Another source (Not cited or confirmed) mentions:

Rowland settled in Roxbury and afterwards removed to Springfield. The families of Stebbins and Pynchon were connected at least by friendship before leaving England, and for that reason Roland chose to join the colony in Springfield in preference to going to Ct. He probably went early to Springfield, for his wife died there, 4 Oct 1649. Her name was Sarah. His death is recorded at Northampton, @@ 77. He removed there from Springfied with is son John. Thomas, the Elder son remained in Springfield.

Rowland joined religion in Puritan.

Other sources (Not cited or confirmed) Report:

ROWLAND STEBBINS, the ancestor of probably the majority of the United States Stebbbins descendants, there is a strong probability that he was born in or near the parish of Stebbins, Essex County, England. While in England he is said to have a friend of William Pynchon, who was born at Springfield, Essex County, England (which is about 10 miles from Stebbing), in 1590, being only four years older than Rowland. William Pynchon came to New England in 1629, and was the principal founder of Roxbury, MA, where Rowland settle upon his arrival in New England in 1634 or 1635. In 1636 William Pynchon purchased Agawam (afterwards named Springfield) from the Indians. From 1636 to 1646 the settlers of Agawam were mostly young unmarried men, yet we find Rowland Stebbins there in 1639 with his family. In his will, “my much honored friend Capt. John Pynchon,” who was a son of William Pynchon, the founder of Springfield, MA.”

SARAH (WHITING) STEBBINS is referred to in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Volume 9, page 171 as having been “buried 4 (8) 1649” Springfield, MA records at Boston, MA. Sarah Stebbins is recorded to have died at Springfield, MA.

Other Sources (Not cited or confirmed) suggest:

The first authentic records we have of Rowland Stebbins and his family are in “The Original Lists of Persons of Quality,” the title page is shown in Greenlee, Volume I, page 52. This book is commonly known as Hotten’s List of Emigrants (page 281) and the records are as follows :

“IPSWICH. A Note of all the names and ages of all those which did not take the oath of allegiance or supremacy, being under age, shipped in our port in the Francis, of Ipswich. Mr. JOHN CUTTING bound for New England, the last day of April, 1634” are as follows:

Thomas Stebing aged 14 years.
Sarah Stebing aged 11,
Eliz. Stebing aged 6,
John Stebing aged 8 and
Mary Winche aged 15.

(NOTE: the spelling of the above names is as they were listed in the original documents which we copied exactly as we read them to be.)

“ROWLAND STEBBINS died in Northampton, MA December 14, 1671, but no stone was erected to designate the exact spot of interment. Dr. Daniel Stebbins, about the year 1806, had the early burial ground at Northampton, MA examined to discover the precise spot where the remains of Rowland Stebbins were buried, but, failing in this attempt, in 1840 he caused a granite cenotaph to be erected to his memory, in the center of his family square in the new burying ground, on the east side of which is the following inscription. ROWLAND STEBBINS – The supposed ancestor of all of the name in America, came from the west of England to Springfield with his sons John and Thomas, about 1668 removed to Northampton and there died 1671. DANIEL STEBBINS of the 6 generation from Thomas, was born Apr 2, 1766.” (Greenlee Volume I, page 56)…


LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT of Rowland Stebbins,

Dated the first day of the first month, 1669 “Know all men by these presents, that I Rowland Stebbins of Northampton in Hampshire, in the Colony of Massachusetts: having my perfect memory, through the goodness of GOD, though very weak and sick in body, wayting for my great Change, w’ch I desire the Lord in mercy to fit me for — doe make and ordayne this to be my last will and testament — viz In fe I committ my soule to God, that made it, and to the Lord Jesus Christ that redeemed it, by his most precious blood: and doe hope it shall be united to him forever, and my body to be in comly and decent manner buryed, hoping at the Great Day of the Resurection, the Lord Jesus will change the vile body, and fashion it like to his Glorious body and so shall be forever with the Lord.

Also I do make my beloved Son John Stebbins to be my full and Sole Executor which I hope will be faithful in all things committed to his trust — Also will and desire is that all my Just debts and funeral expenses be satisfyed & paid, and as concerning my outward and worldly Estate, that the Lord in his mercy hath given unto me I dispose of in this manner:

Viz. I give and bequeath unto my beloved Son Thomas Stebbins he several childred twenty Shillings apiece, to be paid within three years after my decease those that be of age, the Sons to be twenty-one years — and daughters Eighteen years. I give and bequeath to my son John’s Children that is to say to John Stebbins his first born an Iron pott, my bed and bed clothes and all that belongs to it. My best Jackett & wascotte, my
old coate and worst paire of gray stockings. I give and bequeath to Benoni Stebbins my best Breeches and new cotton wescotte & twenty shillings — I give and bequeath to my son John’s son Samuel my old Kersey Sute and twenty shillings. I give and bequeath to my son John’s other six Children to be paid unto them when they come to age twenty Shillings apeece. I give and bequeath to my son in Law Merricks three daughters, twenty Shillings apiece, to Sarah, Mary and Hannah to be paid within three years after my decease. I give and bequeath to my beloved Daughter Elizabeth Clarke three pounds to be paid within three years and to her three Children twenty Shillings apeece to be paid within three years after my decease, and to Mary the Bell Metal Skillet. I give and bequath to Mary Maunde ten shillings to be paid within a yeere after my desease. I give and bequeath to my son John Stebbins my Great Brass pott and be best coate, and to my son Johns Wife my best stockings, and as for the rest of my Estate that remaynes my will is, that it should be equally divided between my two beloved sons Thomas Stebbins and John Stebbins.

Also my desire is that my much honored friend Cap’t John Pynchon and my beloved brother Robert Bartlett, would be in the overseers of this my last will and testament. That this is my last will and Testament I declare by setting my hand and Seale the first day of the first month Anno Domini 1669-70. My will is that my son John Stebbins doe keepe this my last will and testament. signum ROWLAND STEBBINS

Signed and Sealed in ye presence of William James, Thomas Hanchett, sen’r.