Rev. Ebenezer Dibblee

Son of Wakefield Dibble
Father of Rev. Frederick Dibblee

There are several Ebenezer Dibbles. The oldest is Ebenezer Dibble (senior). His grandson is Rev. Ebenezer Dibblee, Rector of Stamford, and this is his page.

Children and household
American War of Indepedence
See also:
Places in Connecticut connected with Dibblees
The Dibblees and the American War of Independence
Letter by Ebenezer Dibblee, 1783
Wars connected with the Dibblee family
Original texts and relevant websites
Photos taken by John and Celia Dibblee
From Biographical Sketches of the Graduates of Yale College
The Church in Connecticut 1705-1807 - Letters 1762-3
Sketches of church life in colonial Connecticut
From Diocese of Connecticut 1784-1791 - Letters 1788-89
Address in Memory of the Rev. Ebenezer Dibblee
Account of the Rev. Ebenezer Dibblee
Extracts from History of Stamford, Connecticut
W. O. Raymond accounts of Rev. Frederick Dibblee

Modern dateTimelineEvidence
c.1715Ebenezer, son of Wakefield Dibble, born.Yale College sketch
1734Wakefield Dibble, Ebenezer's father, dies.Yale College sketch
1734Ebenezer graduated from Yale College.Yale College sketch
4 Mar 1735He was licensed to preach by the Fairfield East Association of Congregational Ministers.Yale College sketch
1736Ebenezer marries Joanna Bates of Stamford.Yale College sketch
15 Jun 1739His daughter, Joanna Dibblee, was born at Stamford.Mormon DB
18 Jan 1741His son, Fyler Dibblee, was born at Stamford.Mormon DB
5 Jul 1745His son, Ebenezer Dibblee, was born at Stamford.Find-a-grave
Oct 1745He declared for Episcopacy and employed as lay-reader in Stamford.Yale College sketch
Apr 1748He went to England in April, 1748 to obtain ordination.Yale College sketch
25 Oct 1748He returned to Stamford to be rector there for over 50 years.Yale College sketch
15 Jul 1750His daughter, Mary Dibblee, was born at Stamford.Mormon DB
2 Dec 1753His son, Frederick Dibblee, was born at Stamford.Mormon DB
April 1783Fyler Dibble, Ebenezer's son, moves to New Brunswick in CanadaHistory of Stamford
1793Degree of D.D. was conferred on Rev Ebenezer Dibblee by Columbia College.Yale College sketch
?1796Will of Joanna Dibblee, wife of Ebenezer, probated.Stamford probate
9 May 1799Will of Rev. Ebenezer Dibblee probated.Yale College sketch

Wife of Rev. Ebenezer Dibblee

The Biographical Sketches of the Graduates of Yale College says that Rev Ebenezer Dibblee "was married, in 1736, to Joanna, daughter of Jonathan and Joanna (Selleck) Bates, of Stamford".

Children and household of Rev. Ebenezer Dibblee

Joannah15 Jun 1739 (Mormon DB)
Fyler18 Jan 1741 (Mormon DB)Polly Jarvis on 18 June 1763 (Connecticut Marriages)
Ebenezer jnr.5 Jul 1745 (Find-a-grave)
Mary15 Jul 1750 (Mormon DB)
Frederick2 Dec 1753 (Mormon DB)
SarahStamford probate
JaneStamford probate? Hervey (Stamford probate)

An interesting entry in Early Connecticut Marriages gives the marriage of "Cesar & Candace black slaves of Sands Selleck & Mr Dibblee on June 23 1767".


The Yale College sketch of Ebenezer Dibblee gives the outline of his religious life. He graduated from Yale in 1734, and almost immediately he was licensed to preach by the Fairfield East Association of Congregational Ministers. This shows that he had fixed on this as his career. He carried on preaching for ten years, but in 1745, he declared for Episcopacy (which is equivalent to the Church of England) and employed as lay-reader in Stamford. In 1748, Ebenezer went to England to be ordained. This journey was partly paid for part by the churchmen of Stamford and Greenwich.

The Sketches of church life in Colonial Connecticut gives a little more detail. In 1742, the Episcopalians made an appeal to Stamford for a grant of land on which to build a church. This was nearly ready in 1747, so the wardens then wrote to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in London, asking it to help them in their effort to get a clergyman of the Church of England to minister to them (the History of Stamford gives the letter). To go to England in those days was considered extremely perilous, as the voyage was necessarily long, besides the many dangers that might suddenly arise. One man sent out from Stamford was captured by the French, imprisoned by them and finally died of fever in England, while another, had smallpox and also died. Mr. Dibblee was the third to be sent out. Once ordained, Rev. Ebenezer returned to Stamford, in 1748, and became Rector of the church, holding that position fifty-one years. His immediate charge included Greenwich, Bedford, New Canaan, Darien, and Stamford. He was a genuine missionary, however, and made excursions to Rye, White Plains, Peekskill, Northcastle, Salem, Ridgefield, Danbury, Norwalk, Redding, Newtown, Huntington, and as far north as Litchfield, Sharon, and Salisbury.

The History of Stamford says that in 1757, Mr. Dibble reports his parish, united and prosperous. Apparently his parish had borrowed money to build the church and pay for Ebenezer's trip to England, and in 1759, they ask for permission to run a lottery to help repay it! (It was refused.) However, he Congregationalists and Episcopalians seem to get on together all right at this point.

A letter in The Church in Connecticut 1705-1807 from St George Talbot in 1763 says "I desired Mr Dibblee to accompany me to Salem where he preached the first Sunday in Trinity, to a large congregation, notwithstanding it was a very rainy day, too many to be well accommodated in a private House." So the Rev. Ebenezer Dibblee seems to have been a good preacher.

However, the American War of Independence caused trouble (see below). Apart from anything else, part of Rev. Ebenezer Dibblee's salary came from his position as "Missionary of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts", and this stopped at the end of the war. One of Ebenezer's letters, dated 1788, says "My Church rises but slowly out of its ruins, labours under uncommon obstructions, insufficient for my support". He considers moving to Canada, as two of his sons did, but he has an ill daughter, and feels this is not possible. Ebenezer supports Bishop Seabury strongly, but he is very unhappy with changes to his Church, saying "Poor Athanasius is beheaded, his Creed condemned as heretical." In the final letter, he says "Our new form of Church Government & purification of the Liturgy will take place, but not to the satisfaction of the old English Churchmen" [such as himself] "Sectaries abound Error is multiplied upon Error Division upon Subdivision The Church I fear will become a scene of confusion, discordant forms of worship Inconsistent systems of faith The Lord have mercy upon us." He does not sound happy!

One quote from Ebenezer's letters, dated 1789, is interesting: "I envy not Mr. Moore, Beach, good Mr. Leaming, their deserved honors. The honour which comes from God, my highest ambition is to obtain." In 1793, the degree of D.D. was conferred on Rev. Ebenezer Dibblee by Columbia College. So he did get his honour after all.

The new Episcopalian Prayer Book was adopted in 1789, but Rev. Ebenezer Dibblee, who was one of the oldest clergy in the Diocese by this time, continued to use the English Book for 3 years longer. Even Bishop Seabury wrote to him to try to persuade him (see Address in Memory of the Rev. Ebenezer Dibblee). In 1792, the Parish passed a vote to adopt the new constitution or liturgy of the Church, as agreed upon by the Bishop and clergy of this State, "provided that it is agreeable to Rev. Mr. Dibblee". Yet the Yale College sketch says "When the result [of the American War of Independence] became clear, he accepted the new government loyally, and was faithful to it."

Despite all this (or perhaps because of it?) Rev. Ebenezer Dibblee continued as Rector of Stamford until his death in 1799. The funeral of Dr. Dibblee was attended by a large concourse of people. Ten days before his death the parish met, and placed on record a recognition of "the valuable benefits received through the faithful service and unremitting labours" had not been confined to his own parish. He had been Rector for 51 years, and died aged about 84 years old. (The uncertainty was due to his birth date, as the records of Danbury, where he was born, were destroyed by the British in a raid in 1777.)

For more details of Rev. Ebenezer Dibblee's work with his church, see Extracts from History of Stamford, Connecticut.

American War of Indepedence

Rev. Ebenezer Dibblee was the Rector of Stamford for 51 years, 1748-1799. He was Episcopalian, and loyal to Britain and King George III. The American War of Independence (also known as the American Revolutionary War) was from 1775 to 1783. This obviously caused him problems. Once the new republic was established, Rev. Ebenezer Dibblee decided to stay in Stamford, but his income was affected. He also ran into problems with the new Episcopalian services. Despite all this, he seems to have been popular with his parish, and he continued to serve them until his death at 84 years old.

Two of his sons, Fyler Dibblee and Frederick Dibblee (later Rev.) were not so lucky. They also were loyalist, and eventually moved north into Canada.

Click here for more on the Dibblees and the American War of Independence.

Wills of Rev. Ebenezer Dibblee and Joanna Dibblee, his wife

The Biographical Sketches of the Graduates of Yale College says that Rev. Ebenezer Dibblee "died in Stamford, May, 9, 1799, in his 84th year, of a cancer on the lip. The inventory of his estate amounted to $812, and included 75 volumes of books".

From Abstract of probate records for the district of Stamford by Spencer Percival Mead, page 288

Stamford Probate Records Volume 9 1798

Dibble, Ebenezer, Rev., Rector of St. John's Church, late of Stamford, will dated Sept. 2, 1797, probated Oct. 16, 1799, sets apart a portion of his farm for a burial ground, mentions his children Ebenezer Dibble of North East, Dutchess County, N.Y., Rev. Frederick Dibble, Rector of the Church at Woodstock, St. John's River, New Brunswick, Johannah, Mary, Sarah, and the widow Jane Hervey; bequests to Walter Dibble a son of Fyler Dibble a deceased son of testator in New Brunswick. Executors his daughter Johannah Dibble and Alexander Bishop. Witnesses Abijah Bishop, David Holly Bishop, and Abijah Bishop Jr., and filed Jan. 15, 1800, page 236

Dibble, Joannah, consort of the Rev. Ebenezer Dibble, late of Stamford, will dated Nov. 11, 1790, probated Oct. 15 1799, mentions her children Ebenezer, Joannah, Frederick, Jane Hervey, widow, now living in Sharon, Mary and Sarah; son Fyler now deceased; grandson Walter Dibble a son of said Fyler Dibble, deceased. Executrix Joannah Dibble. Witnesses T. Bell, Abijah Bishop and Alexander Bishop, page 233.
Inventory taken by Abijah Bishop and Samuel Webb, Jr., and filed Jan.15, 1800, page 235.

These records are abstracts, and there must be a mistake in the date of Joannah Dibble's death. The Address in Memory of the Rev. Ebenezer Dibblee says "His wife, Joanna Bates, died 3 years before him." This seems more likely than that they died within two days of each other! The surname is also given as Dibble rather than Dibblee. Ebenezer Dibblee always seemed to use the extra 'e' on the end.