Person:Benjamin Stebbins (1)

Benjamin Stebbins
m. 17 Dec 1657
  1. Samuel Stebbins1658/59 - 1732
  2. Abigail Stebbins1660 - 1748
  3. Thomas Stebbins1662 - 1712
  4. Hannah Stebbins1664 - 1703/04
  5. Mary Stebbins1666 - 1733
  6. Sarah Stebbins1668 -
  7. Joseph Stebbins1669/70 - 1681
  8. Deborah Stebbins1671/72 -
  9. Benjamin Stebbins1674 -
  10. Rebecca Stebbins1675/76 - 1712
  11. Thankful Stebbins1678 - 1744
  • HBenjamin Stebbins1674 -
  • WMary Ashley1681/82 - 1736
m. 21 Dec 1709
  1. Benjamin Stebbins1711 -
  2. Gideon Stebbins1714 - 1734
Facts and Events
Name Benjamin Stebbins
Gender Male
Christening[1] 3 May 1674 Northampton, Hampshire, Massachusetts, United States
Marriage 21 Dec 1709 Westfield, Hampden, Massachusetts, United Statesto Mary Ashley



Confusion about Benjamin's parentage arises due to competing claims of various secondary sources: the son of John as currently shown, or the son Benjamin and grandson of Thomas? (A third Benjamin, son of Joseph and another grandson of Thomas, has his own son Benjamin that is clearly different, but his presence creates additional confusion.)

Source:Greenlee, Ralph Stebbins. Stebbins Genealogy, p. 75, which seems to be pretty good for a secondary source (cites many wills, etc.), shows no son named Benjamin in John's family. However, this may be an mistake by the author, as on p. 82, after the setting off of the widow's thirds, the probate document shows a list of sons, including a Benjamin. If the list is supposed to be in birth order, he is shown before Joseph b. 1671. The only known source for Benjamin's baptismal date found on various websites, so far, is Sheldon's History of Deerfield (Vol. 2, p. 316), which gives a baptism (not birth as reported by many careless researchers) date of 3 May 1674, which was apparently mangled into 3 Mar 1673/74 by the Ancestral File (or perhaps the May date represents a mangling of the church record by Sheldon and the AFN is right?) Northampton church records have not been located online, but the Greenlee book does show a baptism for sister Rebecca, so by all appearances, they were consulted?

In Greenlee's book, Mary Ashley's husband is identified as belonging to a different family, that of Benjamin Stebbins and Abigail Denton on p. 100. On p. 101, this source indicates that the will for that father Benjamin was seen (though unfortunately no transcript is given), and one would suspect that basis for including a son Benjamin has its basis in that will. It appears no other secondary sources include a son Benjamin in this family. However, one could suspect this is a side-effect of another error: many of the older sources (e.g., NEHGR, Vol. 38, p. 158), show Benjamin, the son of Joseph, after his wife Abigail died, to have m. (2) widow Martha Ball and having a son Benjamin in that second marriage, which would typically be expected to rule out a surviving son Benjamin by his first wife Abigail Denton. However, it was a different Benjamin that married widow Martha Ball, and actually Abigail Denton's widowed husband m. (2) widow Mary Ball, by whom he had no children before dying 1698. (Many of the same sources also do not show a daughter Mercy for Benjamin and Abigail either, even though her birth is a matter of record.) If the marriages are placed with their proper husbands, any surviving son named Benjamin would have been by his first wife.

Similarly, neither do many older sources show a son Benjamin for John (e.g., here). Benjamin should be between Deborah and Rebecca if Sheldon's baptism is to be believed. To address these various discrepancies, we need to find as many of the primary sources as available. The text of the will of Benjamin Stebbins who died in 1698 needs to be consulted to see if it actually mentions a son Benjamin. The Northampton church records should be consulted to see what the correct baptism date is, and whether the parents are identified.

At present, however, the primary source that was available were the deeds of Hampden County. There are roughly 75 deeds naming Benjamin Stebbins between 1685 and 1750, generally either a Benjamin of Northampton, or a Benjamin Springfield, or their sons. The Benjamin of Northampton had a couple of deeds that named his wife as Mary (Vol. C, p. 199 in 1716 and Vol. F, p. 167 in 1720), so he is the one whose parentage is desired. One deed in 1714 (Vol. C, p. 196) conveyed land from Samuel Stebbins formerly of Northampton, now of Leicester, to my Brother Benjamin Stebbins of Northampton. Based on what is known of Samuel of Leicester, this identifies Benjamin as the son of John Stebbins and 2nd wife Abigail Bartlett. The other Benjamin prominent in many deeds, "of Springfield", is the son of Joseph, and is the one who married Martha (Blackman) Ball, his wife being named in a couple of deeds. All other Benjamins found in any of the deeds can all be identified, and none correspond to a son of Benjamin Stebbins and Abigail Denton.

It is a shame that this error was made, because the Greenlee book otherwise seems reasonably well-done. And the church records are still needed to determine for sure the correct baptismal date.

Belchertown Land

Originally known as Cold Spring.

Source:Greenlee, Ralph Stebbins. Stebbins Genealogy, makes some slightly incorrect statements about Benjamin's residence in Belchertown.

"He received from Governor Belcher, five hundred acres of land", citing NEHGR, p. 2:178, an article on the History of Belchertown, which merely says he and his brother Samuel were among the first residents without giving any information about acreages. The deeds below show that the original grant was only 300 acres (transaction #6), the other 200 were Samuel's, but were bought up by Benjamin from two different owners (transactions #1 and #2), after Samuel's death, and then, as Greenlee says, the 200 acres (that once belonged to Samuel) were sold to Samuel Bascom (transaction #3).

It is not quite clear when Benjamin moved to Belchertown. The Greenlee book says 1727, but the death of his son and wife were recorded in Northampton in 1734 and 1736, respectively, and his son Benjamin married and had children in Northampton as late as 1739. It may be closer to 1740/41 when father and son, "both of Northampton", jointly bought a parcel of land there, of 150 acres (transaction #4). In 1755 this same parcel was sold by only one Benjamin Stebbins, "of Cold Spring" (transaction #5), which may indicate the father had died by then.

As the only known surviving child of the father, the son Benjamin presumably inherited his father's estate. The probate records would probably be enlightening. Presumably the original 300 acre grant would have been the source of the 107 acre farm which the son gives half of to his own son (grandson of the father) Gideon (transaction #7). The missing parts may have been given to the son's two daughters when they married? No such deeds were found, however. Why Nathaniel Dwight would need to provide a quitclaim is unclear (transaction #8), but without the probate records, etc., potentially key transactions may still be missing.

Bought and Sold #1

1. Vol. F, p. 149 18 Nov 1731: "Joseph Stebbins Living Between Hadley and Brookfield upon the Equivalent land so called at a Place Known by the name of Nine Mile Pond" to "my unckle Benjamin Stebbins of Northampton" one half of 200 acres farm "at the Ponds" "being in Common with my Father Sam'l Stebbins". Mary Stebbins the wife of the said Joseph Stebbins relinquished her rights of dower.

2. Vol. F, p. 303 3 Oct 1732: Jonathan Morton of Hatfield having a deed from Samuel Stebbins Deceased dweller at Nine Mile Pond dated 23 Sep 1729 for 100 acres at Nine Mile Pond in that Tract called the Cold Spring Township between Hadley and Brookfield that he had of Paul Dudley Esq Addington Davenport Esq'r Thomas Fitch Esq'r Jonathan Belcher Esq'r Wm Clarke Esqr John Wainwright Esqr Jonathan Belcher Esq'r as attorney for John Caswall of London and Benjamin Lynde Esq'r sell same to Benjamin Stebbins of Northampton.

3. Vol. I, p. 309 14 May 1733: Benjamin Stebbins of Northampton Gent'n to Samuel Bascom of Northampton Husbandman 200 acres in that tract of Equivalent land so called Known by the name of Cold Spring Township on which my Brother Samuel Stebbins lived selling half to his son Joseph Stebbins, half to Jonathan Morton of Hatfield.

Bought and Sold #2

4. Vol. Y, p. 53 13 Jan 1740/41: Joseph King of Cold Spring Township Yeoman to Benjamin Stebbins Sen'r Gent'n & Benjamin Stebbins Jun'r both of Northampton ["in Equal Share between them"] a parcel of Land in Cold Spring Township on brook called Batcheller, about 150 acres. Mary King the wife of Joseph King relinquished her right of dower.

5. Vol. T, p. 633 19 Apr 1755: Benjamin Stebbins of Cold Spring so Called Husbandman to Nath'll Dwight of Cold Spring Gent'n a parcel in Cold Spring on Batchelor Brook of about 150 acres.

Left to son

6. Vol. D, p. 629 4 Sep 1719: Indenture between Paul Dudley, Addington Davenport, Thomas Fitch & Jonathan Belcher Esqr's, William Clark Merchant, all of Boston, Benjamin Lynde of Salem and John Wainwright of Ipswich, on the one part, and Benjamin Stebbins of Northampton on the other, a piece of three hundred acres of land as a place commonly called the Equivalent landes, lying in the County of Hampshire, between the towns of Hadley and Brookfield ... adJoyning to a spring of water called Cold Spring.

7. Vol. 7, p. 104 10 Sep 1761: Benjamin Stebbins of Belchertown Husbandman "for and in Consideration of the love and affection I bear until my well beloved Son Gideon Stebbins of Said Belchertown Husbandman" half a farm the whole being 107 acres lying on Rusts Brook & Batcheldor Brook.

8. Vol. 7, p. 181 3 Mar 1762: Nath'll Dwight of Belchertown Gent'n quitclaim all right to Benjamin Stebbins of Belchertown Husbandman the parcel which he now liveth on of about 100 acres.

  1. Sheldon, George. A History of Deerfield, Massachusetts: the Times when and the People by whom it was Settled, Unsettled, and Resettled, with a Special Study of the Indian Wars in the Connecticut Valley; with Genealogies. (Greenfield, Mass.: Press of E. A. Hall & Co., 1895-1896)
    Vol. 2, p. 316, 318.

    Children of John Stebbins [#3] and 2nd wife Abigail Bartlett: Benjamin [#13], bp. [father lived in Northampton] 3 May 1674, m. 21 Dec 1709 Mary Ashley. Removed to Belchertown 1741.