NORTHERN NEW YORK
Genealogical and family history of northern New York: a record of the achievements of her people and the making of a commonwealth and the founding of a nation.
New York: Lewis Historical Pub. Co. 1910.
Transcribed by Coralynn Brown
The family name of Peebles was prominent in Scotland before 1296. The family name was taken from the town where the family had its seat, Pebbles or Peebleshire, Scotland. Several of the family appeared on the famous Ragman's Roll, the first list of Scottish nobility that has been preserved. The term "Ragman's Roll" had its origin, says Hanna, in good-humored banter, and far from being intended in any way to wound Scottish susceptibility, was a merry allusion to what, in the middle ages, was a famous diversion of the ladies. Ragman, or King Ragman, was a game much affected in Anglo-Norman society in the thirteenth century - a number of characters, good, bad and indifferent, were written in couplets onsecutively on a sheet of parchment. To each character a string was attached, having a piece of wax or metal at the tip. This sheet when rolled up was called a Ragman's Roll; each person playing, drew a character by pulling a string which he or she maintained for the remainder of the evening. When the Scottish baronage swore fealty to Edward I, of England, at Berwick in 1291, their names were written down in French by Edward's Norman scribes, and the seals of such as had them were attached by small strips of parchment. The rolls containing the signatures, when made up with a mass of seals dependant from them, had each much the appearance of this game of Ragman; and that name having probably been given it jokingly by some of the young courtiers in attendance, has stuck to this important state paper ever since. By far the greater number of signatures was obtained on the occasion of Edward's progress through Scotland in 1296. Among the signers were Frere Thomas, master de la meson de la Seinte Croice de Peebles, Peebleshire. (Brother Thomas of the House of the Holy Cross of Peebles); John visaire del Eglise de Peebles; La Communaute de Peebles.
The family has been prominent not only in the early Roman Catholic church before the reformation, but later in the Scottish Presbyerian church. Dr. Robert Peebles was canon of Glasgow in 1322 and lord great chamberlain of Scotland. John Peebles was archdeacon of St. Andrews; in 1377 lord chancellor of Scotland. William Peebles, of Peebles, was a member of the Scottish parliament in 1468; William Peebles, of Pendor, Lanarkshire, in 1544, and Oliver Peebles, of Perthshire, in 1572-90-97. In 1322 Lord William of Peebles, prior to the Monastery of Melrose, Scotland, was killed by the English, and his body cast forth upon the high altar.
The first of the name to go from Scotand to Ireland, and the probable ancestor of the American family of Peebles, mentioned below, was Rev. Thomas Peebles or Pebbles, who before 1642 was chaplain or minister to the Scottish regiment of Colonel Egleston, and went with the regiment to Ireland. In 1641 twenty thousand English Protestants and a hundred thousand Scots had been settled and granted confiscated lands in Ulster Province, Ireland. Many English emigrated to Ireland from 1610 to 1640 and came to New England, and a century later their grandsons and descendants furnished the second great body of emigrants to the American colonies after the famous siege of Londonderry.
Thomas Peebles was one of the leaders in the Scottish Presbyterian church in Ireland. When the first presbytery was formed with only five ministers and four ruling elders, June 10, 1642, he was electecd clerk and held the position until his death, thirty years later. He was probably born as early as 1600. In 1646 he became the minister of Dundonald and Holyrood. This presbytery grew rapidly. When the tables were turned and his sect was persecuted, Rev. Thomas Peebles, of Dundonald, Presbytery of Downs, was on the list of ejected ministers in Ulster in 1661. In the same list appears the name of Rev. Hugh Peebles, of Lifford, possibly his son. Nine of the name were grantees of land or holders of land in Ireland. In 1890 the name seemed to have disappeared from Ireland, though the name Peoples, a family of which lives in Donegal, is probably a corrupt spelling of this surname. The spelling in the early records varies widely, some of the forms given by ingenious clerks are: Peebles, Pebbles, Pebbels, Peibols, Paybols, Pibbles, Peabole and as many more.
(I) Robert Peebles, immigrant, was born in Ulster Province, north of Ireland, about 1680. He came with his wife and several children among the first Scottish Presbyterians who accepted the invitation of Governor Shute to come to New England. Of the first hunderd families which came in the fall of 1718 many settled in Worcester. Robert Peebles was one of the leading men in 1722 and there is every reason to think he was among the pioneers in this remarkable emigration. These Scottish settlers at first worshipped in the old garrison house at the north end of Worcester. When they attempted to build a church, a mob tore it down, to the disgrace of the town. But on better acquaintance, the Scots affiliated with their English neighbors, and Robert Peebles, with others, attended the Old South Church. In 1724 he was assigned the fifth seat in the meeting house under the right of Palmer (from whom he bought his farm). He was prominent in town affairs; was hogreeve in 1722, fenceviewer in 1723-24, tythingman in 1725; all important offices in the pioneer days. In 1725 he was in such favor that he served on a committee to prevent cattle and horses not belonging to land-owners from being brought to town. He was highway surveyor in 1726 and field driver 1726-27, declined the office of constable in 1728-29, but accepted it in 1732-36-37. As constable he had the duty of "warning" out of town all newcomers, a rather disgraceful method of keeping out possible paupers and those of other religious opinions. When the meeting house was seated May 30, 1733, Robert Peebles was placed up among the leaders and pillars of the church in the second seat in the body of the church, while his two grown sons, Patrick and John, were given seats in the second pew of the long gallery. It is evident that the clan feeling was not all gone, however, for most of the prominent Scots were together in the second pew, also in the third and fifth, while the English were mostly in pews by themselves. Not entirely, however, for many of the Scots had already married into the English families.
A road was built by his farm and from the Rutland road to the county road, Feb. 14, 1733-34. He bought his homestead March 7, 1722-23, but the deed was not acknowledged until May 12, 1726, from Elisha Bruce, of Marlborough, Mass. in the eastern part of Worcester, thirty-seven acres adjoining land of Ephraim Curtis on the county road to James Taylor's farm. He probably moved in 1728 to a farm containing sixty-eight acres that he bought April 17, 1728, on North Pond brook, land laid out to Isaac Miller, but purchased by James Gleason of Marlborough. In 1731 he became a proprietor of the town, buying the right ("tens" they were called ten-acre rights) of Palmer Goulding. But he gave a farm of fifty-five acres to his "well-beloved son, John Pibles, for love and affection" dated Feb. 28, 1731-32. A plan of this farm is recorded in the Worcester deeds. John's farm was north of Robert's and was bounded by common land and land of John Waldo. The farm was sold to Cornelius Waldo in 1739, when Peebles was preparing to leave town. He was a blacksmith by trade, and evidently prosperous.
He bought thirty acres of the south part of the original right of Ephraim Curtis, Sept. 11, 1727; forty-seven acres of John Hubbard, of Worcester; undivided land and a four-acre house lot granted to Isaac Wheeler, deed dated March 13, 1727-28. He also bought the twenty-acre house lot granted to William Pain, of Boston, from James Dunlap, of Canterbury, Conn., Nov., 1736, the land being on the road to Lake Quinsigamond. His son John deeded his farm back to his father in 1739-49 for some reason but April 18, 1741, Robert Peebles, then of Lisbon, now Pelham, Mass., proprietor, deeded this place, fifty-five acres on both sides of North Pond brook, back to his son John.
Robert Peebles and James Thornton, of Worcester, were the founders of Pelham, Mass. These two Scotsmen bought a trct of land three and one-half miles wide by seven and three-quarters in length, the present site of Pelham, containing sixteen thousand six hundred and eighty-six and one-half acres of land, of Colonel Stoddard, of Northampton, Mass. Stoddard bought it of the state of Connecticut, the title of which was given to Connecticut by Massachusetts, though jurisdiction was retained. The lands were called Equivalent Lands, because they were given to compensate Conn. for the towns of Woodstock, Somers, Enfield and Suffield, then held by Mass., despite the fact that by some mistake the grants had been made south of what was afterward fixed as the Mass. line. The two purchasers agreed to settle forty families within two years. They were all ready, however, for the deed to the proprietors was made Feb., 1738-39, naming the settlers. It was called the Lisbon, Lisborn, or Lysburn propriety, and the first five meetings held in Worcester, the fifth April 10, 1740. The sixth meeting was the first in the new settlement, held Aug. 6, 1740. He was on the committee, May 19, 1741, to raise the new meeting house, and Nov. 3, 1741, when they began to have service he was appointed to keep the minister at twelve shillings a week. He led the movement to incorporate as a town and the bill was signed by the governor, Jan. 15, 1742. Robert Peebles was directed to call the first town meeting for April 1, 1743, and a fac-simile of this call, drawn and signed by him, is reproduced in the Pelham town history.
Lisbirn, or New Lisborn, the name of the propriety, was changed to Pelham. Lisborn is the name of a town on the river Lagan in Antrim county, Ireland.
At the first meeting he was elected selectman and re-elected in 1744, perhaps served later. He protested against the meeting of 1751. He was moderator in 1744. The town took steps May 26, 1743, to call a minister and Robert Peebles was on the committee for that purpose. Rev. Robert Abercrombie was settled, but in 1747 trouble had developed over the minister. Mr. Peebles continued to board the ministers; in 1755 he was paid for ten weeks' board and for entertaining the presbytery. In 1756 for keep of minister and horse five weeks and next seventeen weeks. He had three shares in each division and became a large land owner. He lived on lot sixteen of the first division. He died about 1760. As late as 1757-59 his son was called "Jr."
He married Sarah _____.
1. Patrick, mentioned below.
2. John, mentioned below.
3. James, mentioned below.
4. Sarah, born May 29, 1719, in Worcester; married Feb. 10, 1755, at Pelham, Alexander McCulloch.
5. Mary, Oct. 12, 1722, in Worcester; married April 26, 1757, David Histon.
6. Robert, mentioned below.
7. Ann, May 25, 1726, in Worcester; married Nov. 17, 1757, Rev. John Huston.
8. Archibald, mentioned in administration of brother John.
(II) Patrick, son of Robert Peebles, was born in Ireland about 1710-11. He had a seat in the Old South meeting house, Worcester, and was a field drive there in 1732. He was one of the proprietors of Lisbon when the first division was made, having a one-sixtieth share. He was the only son who was a proprietor. He drew lot No. 7 in 1739. He signed the applications for the first town meeting; went to Hadley to post notice of the first meeting. July 9, 1762, he owned three shares, probably inheriting two from his father. He was town supervisor in 1743, school committeeman in 1751, selectman in 1752, collector 1757. In 1766 he and John Peebles occupied pew No. 2.
He was a blacksmith by trade, doubtless succeeding his father at Pelham.
He married (first) Frances _____; and (second) March 8, 1757, at Pelham, Margaret Taylor.
son, born April 14, 1737; probably John.
Patrick, selectman, 1796, resided in Pelham.
daughter, born May 22, 1752.
Children of second wife:
Daughter, born May 20, 1759.
Son, April 20, 1760.
(II) John, son of Robert Peebles, was born about 1715 in Ireland, died in 1756.
He married Nov. 7, 1740, Dorothea, daughter of Rev. John Harvey Jr.
He had a farm at Worcester, near North Pond brook, but left about the time his father died. He was a school teacher, and seems to have lived at Palmer, Brimfield, Granville, Pelham, Mass., and Middlefield, Connecticut, where he died. Administration was granted to John Harvey of Peterboro, New Hampshire, his father-in-law, Sept. 15, 1756. He had one right at Pequoige, Rutland District (now Barre), sold later to Samuel Reed. He was a proprietor of Worcester in 1732, having three tens or shares, and was chariman for surverying lots in the third division of the common land. He was tythingman in 1762 and seems to have been living on his father's homestead, through which a road was cut in 1755.
Two of his children were baptized by his wife's father at Palmer, Mass:
1. John Harvey, born Nov. 9, 1745; baptized Dec. 5, 1745.
2. Jean, Sept. 15, 1748.
He seems to have married second in Pelham in 1752 (intention May 2) Sarah Conkey, and had a child:
3. Daughter, June 11, 1754.
(II) James, son of Robert Peebles, was born about 1717, probably in Worcester, died Oct. 3, 1752, in Pelham.
Children (according to best evidence at hand):
James, mentioned below.
John, born about 1748; married March 17, 1770 (intentions) Anne Shaw; was selectman in 1784; blacksmith in Pelham, 1768, and revolutionary soldier from Chesterfield, Mass., in same compnay with his brother John.
(II) Robert (2), son of Robert (1) Peebles, was born about 1725; married (intentions Jan. 30, 1761), Elizabeth Cone; was in a company of horse under Captain Robert Lotheridge, Colonel Israel Billings' regiment in 1757, and in the same war was in Colonel William Williams' regiment, Captain Salah Barnard's company.
(III) James (2), son of James (1) Peebles, was born in Pelham about 1740. He was a soldier in the revolution in Captain David Cowden's company, Fourth Hampshire regiment, at the battle of Bennington, August, 1777. His brother John Jr. (probably called junior to distinguish him from an older man of the same name, son of Patrick Peebles) was in the same company. Both settled at Chesterfield.
James was later of New Salem. The census shows that he was living three in 1790.
1. James, born about 1760; died 1860, said to be nearly a hundred years old, at Oxford, New Hampshire; settled for a time at New Salem, Mass.; soldier in the revolution; married Martha Haskell, who was born at New Salem; children: James, John, Seth, Robert, May and Mahala, of Plymouth, N.H.
2. John, mentioned below.
(IV) John, son of James (2) Peebles, was born at New Salem, Mass., Dec. 31, 1764. Like his father he was a blacksmith by trade, this trade having been passed down for many generations from father to son. When John was only ten or twelve years old, his father being away on military duty, he was called upon to shoe his first horse, and from that time he followed the trade almost continuously as long as he lived.
He removed to Salem, N.Y., in 1789, and his name appears among the heads of families reported in the first federal census of 1790 as having one male over sixteen, one under sixteen and one female in his family. His father had only three females and himself at that time at New Salem, Mass., and his brother James appears to have been absent from home, for his wife Martha is given as head of the family. He may have been in New Hampshire as early as 1790, preparing for his new home. In 1804 John came to Lewis county and made his home at Martinsburg . He was the first blacksmith to follow his trade there. He received a hundred acres of heavy timber land for erecting the first sawmill in Martinsburg.
In 1805 he brought his family to Martinsburg and his sons cleared the farm while he toiled at the anvil. He was a prosperous farmer and blacksmith, thanks to his sturdy physique and thrifty Scottish management of his business.
In religion he was a Presbyterian. He was an earnest, upright man, of exemplary character, having the respect and confidence of all who knew him. He died August, 1834.
He married, at Salem, Washington county, New York, April 7, 1789, Deborah Safford (by Rev. John Warford). His wife was born in Stonington, Conn., April 20, 1771, died 1825.
Children born at Salem, N.Y.:
William, Feb. 3, 1790.
John Jr., Nov. 10, 1791, mentioned below.
Sanford S., Aug. 18, 1793.
Miner, Nov. 21, 1795.
Catherine, April 28, 1797.
Samuel S., March 30, 1799.
Henry, April 24, 1801.
Ann, May 5, 1805.
Born at Martinsburg:
Chillus Doty, 1807.
Charles E., March 8, 1809, mentioned below.
Edward Savage, Jan. 11, 1812.
Sally D., Feb. 6, 1815.
(V) John (2), son of John (1) Peebles, was born at Salem, N.Y. Nov. 10, 1791. When a lad of fourteen he came with his fathers' family to Martinsburg, N.Y., where he was brought up on a frontier farm and educated in the district schools. He was a shrewd and successful farmer, accumulated a large property, and at the time of his death owned several large farms.
He was a Republican in his later years. He belonged to the Union Church of Martinsburg.
He married Mary Bunce, born April 11, 1795; died Nov. 7, 1829.
Susan, born Dec. 22, 1817; married Charles Shepherd lee.
Betsey; married Alfred Arthur.
Charles, mentioned below.
Venando, downed in 1834 in Black river.
(VI) Charles, son of John (2) Peebles, was born at Martinsburg, May 18, 1821. He was educated there in the public schools. He worked on his father's farm in his native town until he came of age, when he settled on another farm owned by his father in that town. He made a specialty of his dairy and was one of the most successful in this department of any of the farmers of this section.
He was a member of the Union Church of Martinsburg. In politics he was a Republican and active in town affairs. He was supervisor of Martinsburg for a number of years. He died there April 14, 1864.
He married, Dec. 14, 1843, Permelia Arthur, born at Martinsburg Aug. 20, 1820, daughter of Levi and Sally Arthur. She died Dec. 23, 1896.
1. Furman F., born Sept. 22, 1844; married (first) Caroline Richardson and had a son John; (second) Julia Bush.
2. Venando F., Jan. 9, 1846; resided at Port Leyden; married (first) Ellen Williams; (second) Sarah Williams.
3. Elizabeth, March 2, 1847; married Aug. 6, 1873, Dr. M.H. Waters of Terra Haute, Indiana, and has one son, Arthur.
4. Edna A., Jan. 2, 1851; resides on the homestead.
5. Mary I., March 22, 1856; died April 9, 1899; married, Sept. 28, 1877, W. H. Smith of Watertown, N.Y., and has a daughter, Bertha.
6. Ruhamah, Nov. 22, 1857; died June 10, 1899; married, Oct., 1886, Rev. F.E. Arthur; children: Irving, Frank, Boyd, Robert, Maud and Lincoln.
7. Elmer E., mentioned below.
(VII) Elmer E., son of Charles Peebles, was born Jan. 27, 1862. He was brought up on the farm, and educated in the public schools and Lowville Academy. He succeeded to the homestead and has one of the finest dairy farms in Lewis County. The farm is near the East Martinsburg station on the Black River division of the New York Central & Hudson River Railroad. His buildings are commodious and well adapted to the modern methods of dairy farming and he keeps pace with the progress in this branch of farming, adopting new methods and devices for the increase of the product and the saving of labor. He is one of the most progressive and successful farmers in the county, and held in high esteem. His sister Edna A. resides with him on the homestead.
(V) Charles E., son of Jonn (1) Peebles, was born in Martinsburg, March 8, 1809. He attended the public schools of his native town, and learned the trade of blacksmith of his father, following that trade all his active life in the town of Martinsburg. He became on of the leading citizens of the town and was especially active in the temperance movement. He was a member of Sons of Temperance and of the Order of Good Templars. He was a member of the local lodge of Odd Fellows.
In religion he was a Unversalist.
He was constable of the town, court crier for forty years, and deputy sheriff of the county for twelve years. He was in early life a Democrat, but was one of the organizers and an earnest supporter of the Republican party. He died Oct. 27, 1887.
He married, June 27, 1830, Lydia Allen, born June 10, 1810, died July 14, 1891, at Carthage, N.Y., daughter of William R. and Martha (Wood) Allen. Her father was born June 18, 1781, and her mother May 6, 1785.
1. Catherine t., born Dec. 25, 1830.
2. Mary Lavantia, June 1, 1832.
3. Maretta A., Feb. 28, 1834.
4. Lorinda, Aug. 20, 1835.
5. Charles W., Sept. 29, 1841, mentioned below.
6. Lydia O., Aug. 14, 1843.
7. Sarah Ann, June 13, 1846.
8. Savialion C., May 24, 1848.
9. Hortense Arvilla, Jan. 17, 1852.
10. Wallace D., June 17, 1853.
(VI) Charles W., son of Charles E. Peebles, was born in Martinsburg, Sept. 29, 1841, and was educated there in the common schools. He learned the blacksmith trade of his father and was the fourth in direct line in this family to follow this trade. He had a shop in Martinsburg until 1906, except while he was in the service in the civil war. He has been living in his native town since then, retired from active business. He enlisted Aug. 6, 1862, in Company I, Fifth New York Heavy Artillery, and served to the end of the war. He was mustered out of service July 1, 1865, and then returned to follow his trade in Martinsburg.
He is a Prohibitionist in politics and a Methodist in religion.
He is a member of the G.D. Bailey Post, Grand Army of the Republic. For a period of twenty-two years he has been a member of the board of trustees of the cemetery association and president all of that time.
He married, Nov. 2, 1865, Elmira Bradt, born at Martinsburg Jan. 31, 1842, daughter of Volkert Bradt, who came from Montgomery county, N.Y. to Lewis county.
1. Ezra K., born July 9, 1866; died Nov. 24, 1872.
2. Cora L., Sept. 30, 1870.
3. Charles Eugene, Jan. 16, 1874, a plumber at Lowville; married Feb. 1, 1899, Mamie McGlauchlin; chldren: Alice Catherine and Marjory Louise.
4. Agnes L., April 14, 1878; married July 18, 1900, Eugene H. Ferguson, and has a son Charles D.
5. Mary (twin).
6. Merwin V. (twin), May 11, 1881, a paper maker by trade.
(V) Sanford S. Peebles, son of John Peebles IV (q.v.), was born Aug. 18, 1793. He settled at Martinsburgh, New York. He married Sally Bowen.
Woolsey, mentioned below.
Ezra, Julia Ann, Hiram, Deborah, Morris, Duane, Samantha, George, Henry.
(VI) Woolsey, son of Sanford S. Peebles, was born Nov. 21, 1818, at Martinsburg. He died July 2, 1888. He lived at that town and was a farmer. He married Harriet Gould.
Children, born at Martinsburgh:
1. Cyrus J., mentioned below.
2. Duane A., June 4, 1851; married Addie Rose Phillips, in November, 1875.
3. S. Cornelia, Dec. 9, 1855; married Dec. 24, 1879, Norman Greene.
4. Alice M., July 2, 1860; married Judson Damuth; she died Sept. 2, 1892.
(VII) Cyrus J., son of Woolsey Peebles, was born at Martinsburgh, Nov. 28, 1849. He attended the public schools of his native town, the Martins Institute and the Lowville Academy, and afterward for several years taught in the public schools. Eventually he settled on the homestead, however, and has conducted it with notable success to the present (1910) time. "The Maples," as the farm is called, is advantageously situated in the town of Martinsburgh, within a short distance of the railroad station, and is well cultivated and very productive. Mr. Peebles makes his dairy a specialty and devotes his attention to raising Holsteins. He is one of the best known and most successful farmers in this section.
In politics he is a Republican, and a man of influence in party and town affairs. In religion he is a Methodist.
Mr. Peebles married, Sept. 15, 1874, Emma A. Burdick, daughter of Stephen and Margaret (Lonas) Burdick.
Elsie L., born March 25, 1876, died July 7, 1878.
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