Thomas Ruggles Genealogy
THOMAS RUGGLES of Nasing, Essex, England, and of Roxbury, Mass., was son of
Thomas3 (Nicholas2, Thomas1), of Sudbury,
Suffolk, Eng. He was born in Sudbury in 1584. He married in Nasing Nov. 1, 1620,
Mary Curtis. She was the sister of William Curtis, of Nasing, who came to
Roxbury with his family in 1632. She was born about 1586, as she died according
to Roxbury church records 14th Feb. 1694, aged 88; possibly she was only 85, as
by the Nasing records a Mary Curtis was baptized 1689.
Thomas and Mary came to Roxbury in 1637 with two of their children, Sarah and
Samuel. In the records of the First Church of Roxbury, John Eliot's, which at
the first in point of time contains many entries by his band, and spaces left
for additional remarks after many names to be filled out as occasion called for
or allowed, among others are:
Thomas Ruggles he came to N. E. in the yeare 1637, he was Eldr brothr
to John Ruggles; children of a Godly fathr he joyned to the Church
soone after his coming being as well knowne as his brothr his first
born sone dyed in England his second son John was brought over a servant by
Phillip Eliot; & he brought two othr children wh him:
Sarah & Samuel: he had a great sicknesse the yeare after his coming, but the
Lord recovered him in mercy.
Mary the wife of Thomas Ruggles. she joyned to the Church wh her
husband & approved her selfe a Godly Christian, by a holy, & blamelesse
convation being convted, not long before theire coming from England.
Of Mary Curtis, "the sister of William," the wife of Thomas Ruggles, the records
of Nasing available do not make clear who her parents were. The marriage of
Thomas and Mary is clearly recorded, and also that of William Curtis and Sarah
Eliot; by these marriage relations the close friendship shown by Philip Eliot
towards Thomas and his family' s explained, as Sarah Eliot was a sister of
Philip and Rev. John Eliot. Of the Curtis family, to which Mary belonged,
nothing more can be said at this time.
In the church records we read, by whose hand is not clear, "Month 9 day 15,
1644, Thomas Ruggles, a godly broth, of the church dyed, he dyed of a
consumption." " John Grave, a godly broth, of the church dyed the Month 9 day
t5, 1644. These two brake the knot first of the Nasing Christians. I meane they
first dyed of those Christians y= came fro ye towne in England." The wills of
Thomas Ruggles, John Grave and of John Grave, Jr., are recorded in this order in
immediate succession, in the public records.
It is probable that Mary married again after Thomas's death, and one "goodman"
Route is mentioned as her second husband; but what individual was referred to
does not appear; but whether single or married she lived thirty years after
Thomas Ruggles's death.
The children of Thomas and Mary were:
- THOMAS, b. about 1621-2; d. in England.
- JOHN, bapt. Jan. 6, 1624-5 in
Nasing, Eng. d. in Roxbury, Sept. 16, 1658. He married Abigail Craft.
- SARAH, bapt. in Nasing, Feb. 16, 1627-8; d. Feb. 9, 1688-9. She married
March 17, 1646, William Lyon, Sen., of Roxbury. He came from England in the
"Hopewell," 1635, aged 14, under the care of Elder Isaac Heath, who had his
family with him. William Lyon died 21st May, 1692, four years after his wife
Sarah. Their children were six sons and one daughter. William Lyon while
living and his sons after him were interested in the Woodstock and Pomfret
purchase, and some of them removed there.
Thomas Ruggles died in 1641, seven years after his coming here ; and as "he
had a great sicknesse the yeare after his coming," he could not have gained much
of a footing on this soil for the future prosperity of his children. According
to the custom of the time he left a will, written but a few days before his
death, and a few selections will show how his land, in part, was situated and to
whom he gave it; and these will be a means of describing his situation,
somewhat, as to his neighbors.
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
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 * * * * * * "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 to be divided equally among
the three. This will was witnessed by Philip Eliot and John Ruggles the brother
In 1646, 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," and 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.''-17th 11m 1652.
The committee were:-John Johnson, William Parke, Isack Morrill, Ed: Dennison and
Griffin Craft The result was the locations of the land of S7 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 is here given, in the quaint style of its language and spelling.
. 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
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 riuer 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 riuer 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 giuen 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 giuen 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 twelue
accres giuen 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
riuer 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 Riuer giuen 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 giuen her by her afooresayd husband, abutting upon the land of
John Dane east, upon John Pieropoynt south, and upon her sonne John Ruggles west
[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 euer 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.