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Thomas Stebbins

Thomas Stebbins was born about 1620 in England and immigrated with his parents at the age of 14 in 1634 to Roxbury, Massachusetts. The family left Roxbury for the new settlement of Springfield in 1639. On 16 November of 1645 he married Hannah Wright in Springfield. The book the marriages were recorded in still exists and a copy of the entry for their marriage can be seen here. The primary occupation of Thomas was a tailor and he had many business dealings with John Pynchon, a wealthy merchant in Springfield and friend of his father Rowland. The records of John Pynchon that were kept of his business dealings show that Thomas opened an account with him in August of 1652. This record shows that Thomas purchased cloth from Pynchon. Thomas was given credit by taking that cloth and making it into 12 waist coats, 10 dozen caps, 11 dozen and 9 waist coats 3 dozen plus 1 coat, and one dozen stockings. On this same credit transaction he was also given credit on his account with Pynchon for 2 days of tailoring, mending Pynchon's clothes, and 4 days of work harvesting. In addition to his work as a tailor, Thomas was also a surveyor. These job skills proved valueable to Thomas as well as Massachusetts when Thomas along with Benjamin Cooley and Samuel Marshfield made a trade of clothes they made for land with a local Indian Chief named Umpanchela. This land became the town of Hadley.

Life in Springfield

On December 24, 1640 Thomas was awarded 2 lots for meadow ground totalling two and a half acres. Shortly after he was given 2 more acres on the other side of the river. Part of the land owned by Thomas Stebbins and Francis Ball was desired by the town for expansion of the meeting house property and to be used for a burying ground and training field. The town negotiated with them for this land and came upon a settlement. By 1646 Thomas was taxed on his property which had grown to a total of 34 acres of land.

Thomas was active in arrangements to settle towns around Springfield, including Northampton, Westfield, and Enfield. The records indicate that he made plans to settle in each of them, but Springfield did not want to lose him so they offered him more land to remain in Springfield on the condition that he remain in Springfield for a period of 5 years. Thomas was very active in Springfield. He held the positions of selectman, town treasurer, juryman and held posts in many committees. Because of this, his name appears frequently in the records of Springfield. He was also active in the local militia. The records of Springfield show he held the military titles of Sergeant and later Lieutenant. Lieutenant Stebbins participated in the Battle at Turner's Falls. This was a key battle that occurred on May 19, 1676 led by Captain William Turner and 145 of his troops. Captain Turner died in this conflict.

Thomas Stebbins died in Springfield, Massachusetts on 9 September 1683 at the age of 63. A notation of his death from the record books of Springfield can be seen here.


The sources for the information on the Stebbins pages are listed below.

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