HISTORY OF THE DIBBLE FAMILY
By VanBuren Lamb, Jr.
Summit, New York
Line of JosephDibble of Columbia Co. and Schoharie Co., N.Y.
Robert Deeble was the first of this namein New England. He and his wife wereearly settlers of Dorchester, Mass. Thefirst records of this town have been lost, but it is recorded that he was madefreeman 6 May 1635. Robert and his wife(known only as goody deeble) evidently became members of the DorchesterCongregation which was formed in 1629 at the New Hospital in Plymouth,Eng. Some members of this congregationsailed from Plymouth and some from Weymouth, Eng.
The ship in which Robert and his wife cameto these shores is not known, but possibly they arrived 24 June 1633 with 78other members of this Congregation, for the names of these passengers are notrecorded. His son Thomas Deble age 22with Frances Debel age 24 sorer(sister) did sail from Weymouth, Eng. on 20 Mar.1635. A Robert Dabyn age 28 arrived in New Englandthe same year and was listed as a servant to Joseph Hall. There were probably other brothers andsisters during the Indian uprisings and massacares Abraham Dibol (of Haddam andlater of Simsbury, Conn.), John Deble’s family of Springfield, Mass., and anEbenezer Deble appear in Windsor, Conn. In close association with Thomas Deble.
One record says Robert Deeble was a nativeof Somersetshire, Eng. but I can find no proof of this statement. However he is definitely from the WestCounties of England where there are thousands of references to the family(withmany variations of spelling)in the church records of Devon, Dorset, Somerset,and Cornwall. There were hundreds ofDibble wills preserved in the Bishop of Exeters files before War II, which Ifeel sure would have given our ancestry in England back to 1400, but they wereall destroyed in the “Blitz”.
There seems to have been a DibbleCoat-of-Arms though it is not recorded in the College of Heralds. Arthur J. Jewers in his Heraldic ChurchNotes of Cornwall, gives on page 58 the description of the arms of Deeble as:“Purpure(purple)shield, Three beansetters argent(silver), crest a dibbleor(gold)”. The arms are pictured,quartered with those of Wolsden, show the beansetter to have been of thestirrup variety. Reverend Samuel Dibbleburied in Charles Church Yard, Plymouth, Eng. in 1750 had these arms engravedon his tombstone, but this also was destroyed in the “blitz”. In old English dictionaries the word nowspelled dibble was spelled deeble. Ifind no foundation for the statement by some that the name is of French origin(diable meaning devil) though some facetious clerks both in Eng. and America sospelled it in the early records.
We have few records of Robert and ThomasDeeble in Mass. The First Land recordis for 4 Jan.1635 when Thomas Deeble was to receive 30 acres of land in thedivisions of the hill between Roxbury and Dorchester. In Mar. 1638 Robert was appointed baliff(tax collector) forDorchester Church and continued in that post until 1641. The records for the Dorchester Church for 28Feb.1642 list Robert Deeble and goody deeble as original members. I have found no further record of them inNew England, so it may be possible that they returned to England with otherdissatisfied members of the Congregation, after their leader and many of theirfriends had removed to Windsor, Conn.
Robert Deeble’s signature appears on theflyleaf of the History of Dorchestor, Mass. in a list of originalproprietors. This and the fact that hewas appointed bailiff is fair proof that he was a little better educated thansome of the early colonists.