Thomas Deebbell/Dible/Deeble/Dyblie (senior)

Son of Robert Dible
Father of Ebenezer Dibble the older

Thomas Deebell has a lot of variants of his name! He was born in England, probably the West Country. It is not known where, or when, but there are some theories (see Robert Deeble's page). Thomas and his sister Frances travelled to America in 1635, following their father who had settled in Dorchester two years earlier. Almost immediately, Thomas left to go to Windsor, Connecticut, where he stayed until he died.

The name Dibble has many spelling variants. Below I have tried to use the spelling in the record given. I hope this is not too confusing!

Dates in this period are confusing. See discussion on dates.

Social standing
See also:
Original texts and relevant websites
Photos taken by John and Celia Dibblee
Settlement of Massachusetts Bay
Move to Connecticut
Places in Connecticut connected with Dibblees
Wars connected with the Dibblee family
Freemen in Massachusetts and Connecticut
Passenger list of an unnamed ship - 1635
Freemen in Massachusetts and Connecticut
Winthrop's entries about move to Connecticut
Entries in Matthew Grant's Old Church Record
Maps of Ancient Windsor
Case of Israel Dibble & Deborah Bartlett
Wills connected with Thomas Dibble

Modern dateTimelineEvidence
c.1613Thomas Dible born somewhere in the West Country, England.Passenger list
31 Mar 1633Robert Dible, Thomas' father, travels from Weymouth, England, to Dorchester, Mass.Passenger list
20 Mar 1635Thomas Dible (22) and his sister Frances Dible (24) leave Weymouth for New England. Nothing more is known of Frances.Passenger list
17 Dec 1635Land grants to Robert and his son Thomas Deeble in Dorchester. This is important, as it establishes that Thomas is the son of Robert. Dorchester Town Record
4 Jan 1636Another land grant to Robert and his son (unnamed).Dorchester Town Record
23 Aug 1636The church in Dorchester is re-established as "a great part of the old one being gone to Connecticut". Robert Deeble signs this Church covenant but Thomas does not.Winthrop's journal
Dorchester Church record
c.1636Thomas Deble and his wife are on a list of those members of the church in Dorchester and came to Windsor with Mr Warham.Old Church Record
17 May 1637Thomas Dible is made Freemen at the General Court of Massachesetts.Freemen records
9 Apr 1640Thomas Dyblie made Freeman of Windsor at a Court of Election at Hartford.Freemen records
1641Samuel Deble buried (presumably son of Thomas and an infant death).Old Church Record
29 Aug 1637Israel Deble, son of Thomas (senior), born in Windsor.Old Church Record
26 Sep 1641 Ebenezer Deble, son of Thomas (senior), born in Windsor.Old Church Record
25 Dec 1642Hephsiba Deble, daughter of Thomas (senior), born and baptised in Windsor church.Old Church Record
19 Feb 1644Samuel Deble, son of Thomas (senior), born in Windsor.Old Church Record
7 Dec 1645Meriam Deble, daughter of Thomas (senior), born and baptised in Windsor church.Old Church Record
3 Sep 1647Thomas Debel, son of Thomas (senior), born and baptised in Windsor church.Old Church Record
1 Mar 1669Thomas' son Israel Dibble is accused of adultery with Deborah Bartlet.Case of Israel Dibble and Deborah Barlet
1669, 1674, 1681Thomas Dibble (senior) witnesses several wills.Connecticut probate 1635-1700
6 Dec 1675Ebenezer Dibble, son of Thomas (senior) died in the Great Swamp Fight.King Philip letter
14 May 1681Thomas Dibble's wife died.Old Church Record
14 May 1681Thomas Dible marries Elizabeth Hensdell.Windsor Marriages
11 Dec 1689Israel Dibble diedinternet genealogists
17 Feb 1700Thomas Dibble (senior) writes his will. It describes Wakefield Dibble as his grandson.
Thomas Dibble's will is proved in 13 Nov 1700.
Thomas must have been 87 years old when he died - a good age!
In May 1702, Samll Dibble, Thomas Dibble and Miriam Gillett contest their father's will.
Miriam continues to contest it in May 1703.
See Thomas' will

Wife of Thomas Dibble (senior)

We can assume that Thomas Doble was not married when he travelled from Wymouth, England to Dorchester, Mass. The passenger list of the boat is a complete one, listing wives and even small children. There is Thomas and his sister Frances but no-one else in his family.

In the Old Church Record of Matthew Grant, both Thomas Deble senr and Tho. Debls wife are on "A list of those members of the church that were in Dorchester and came up here with Mr Warham and still are of us". There is also a reference, dated Dec 21, 1677, to both Thomas and "Sister Deble" among those in communion during the move to Windsor (see Social standing below for what this means). Unfortunately, this does not give the name of Thomas' wife, or in fact even when they were married. You could read the list either either "Thomas and his wife came to Windsor together" or "Thomas Deble and Mrs. Deble both came to Windsor, but of course they were not married at that point". The Old Church Record also says "The wife of Thomas Deble sen. died May 14, 1681".

There is one refence to Thomas Dible's wife in Windsor Marriages (First Book) 1638-1704 but this is to a later wife: "Thomas Dible Senr of Windsor and Elizabeth Hensdell of Hadly were married June 25th 1683". There is no reference to her in his will, so presumably she died before he did (in 1700).

Children of Thomas Dibble (senior)

Childrenborn/baptisedspouse (from Windsor Marriages) and when married
Israel29 Aug 1637 (Morman DB)Elizabeth Hull (28 Nov 61)
Samuelburied 1641 (Old Church Record)
Ebenezer26 Sep 1641 (Morman DB)see Ebenezer's page
Hephsiba25 Dec 1642 (Morman DB)? Samuel Gibbs (15 Apr 1664)
Samuel19 Feb 1644 (Morman DB)Hephzibah Bartlet (21 Jan 1668/9), then Francis Cranton of Gilford (25 Mar 1703/4)
Meriam7 Dec 1645 (Old Church Record)Jonathan Gillet Junr (14 Dec 1676)
Thomas3 Sep 1647 (Old Church Record)Mary Tucker (10 Oct 1676)

Matthew Grant's Old Church Record says that at August 1677 Thomas Deble had 6 children "so far as I am able to find out". This would be Thomas senior, as Thomas junior had only just got married. Samuel Deble (presumably son of Thomas) was buried in 1641 and this would be an infant death, so got overlooked by Matthew Grant in his count. The name Samuel got resused for Samuel Deble, born in 1644.

The Old Church Record also says that Isrell Deble has 4 children, Ebenezer Deble has 5 and Samuel Deble 5. I am not researching Thomas' children's children. For more on Ebenezer's children, see Ebenezer's page.

Thomas' will (see below) describes the family that was alive at the time (presumably). The will is dated 17 Feb 1700. It mentions "my son Samuel and his wife", "my son Thomas Dibble and his wife", "my daughter Miriam Gillett", "son-in-law Samuel Gibbs", "grand daughter, Eliza: Gibbs", "grandsons Josiah Dibble and Wakefield Dibble." His sons Israel and Ebenezer were dead by then.

Then there is son-in-law Samuel Gibbs. Which daughter of Thomas did he marry? Various internet genealogists seem to think that Samuel Gibbs' wife was Hephzibah Dibble, married in 15 Apr 1664, and that she died in 22 Feb 1698. This fits well enough. So Hephzibah Dibble marries Samuel Gibbs in 1664, and Samuel Dibble marries Hephzibah Bartlet in 1668. We have two lots of "Samuel and Hephsiba"s. It's bad enough when the children are named after the parents, but in-laws with the same name!

small map of Windsor Palisade 1654


From Henry Stiles' Ancient Windsor, Connecticut Vol I (history) page 154:
Dibble, Thomas, lot granted 5 rods wide, next below corner ferry-road upon which he built and sold to Robert Watson, and he to Anth'y Hawkins, who added the lot N. of it, about 1650 and sold them together, 1656, to Jacob Drake and he Sa. Gibbs. Dibble bought the Wm Hubbard plot in the Palisade, next S. Grant, where he was residing 1654.

[See Discussion on area for an explanation of rods.]

Click here for the complete large maps.

small map of Ancient Windsor

There are some references to Thomas Dibble's land in Early Connecticut probate records Vol 1 1635-1700:
Matthew Grant's will (1681) describes some land that he is leaving to "my son John, with whome I have lived some time, I doe give to hime all my meadow land in the great meadow; also I give to hime my pasture land lyeinge belowe the hill agaynst Thomas Dibles home lott and my owne."
Jonathan Gillett's will (1698) says "I give to my son Jonathan all my Houseing and Lands at Windsor (except those given to son William), and also the Land I bought and am to have of Father Dibble, he to enter upon of sd. houseing and Lands at 21 years of age, and the other half after the decease of my wife."
Samuel Gibbs' will (1720) mentions "the woodlott lying near Two-Mile Tree by Thomas Thrall, which was my father Dibble's" (see various wills). Samuel Gibbs was Thomas Dibble's son-in-law - see Thomas' will below.

Signature of Thomas Deebell (Dibble) Senior
Signature of Thomas Deebell Senior
from Henry Reed Stiles' Ancient Windsor, Connecticut Vol I (history) page 132

Social standing

In 17 May 1637 Thomas Dible was made Freeman of Massachusetts. In 9 Apr 1640, Thomas Dyblie is made Freeman of Connecticut. It is reasonable to assume that these are the same person. Click here for more information on Freemen.

In Matthew Grant's Old Church Record, "Thomas Debles sen" and "Sister Deble" (his wife) are listed as "yet living that came from Dorchester in full communion". This means that they are full members of the church, able to take communion and to vote. Thomas Deble also paid 3 shillings and sixpence as a levy to Deacon Moore, apparently for the wine for communion. Ebenezer Dibble, his son, was not in full communion - see Ebenezer's page.

From Henry Stiles' Ancient Windsor, Connecticut Vol I (history) page 178:
January 18, 1659-60. "A note [was] taken what dwelling houses are in the town, that the owners of them have paid seats in the Meeting house, and how much and by whom. For those that have been placed in the two rows of long seats were first seated bu five in a seat, and were made to pay to William Buel 3s a person, or 6s for a man and his wife; and that made up his pay when he had finished them with doors. Also, those that were placed in the short seats, at the first were to pay 3s a person, as they were in the long seats; but it was agreed that those seats should be raised higher for more convenient hearing, they were to pay Wm. Buel 6s [should be 6d - meaning pence] a person more, so that for a man and his wife 7s.
Those that were placed in the short seats, what they have paid ... Thomas Deble 3s
[I think he owes William Buel six pence! See Discussion on money for an explanation of shillings and pence.]

While in Windsor, Thomas Dibble obviously had a certain amount of social standing, either because of his age, or as one of the first settlers at Windsor. For example, from Early Connecticut probate records Vol 1 1635-1700, we can see that he witnesses several wills, such as Denslow, Elizabeth (1669), Bygatt Eglestone (1674) and Matthew Grant (1681). In 1669, Capt. Benj Newbery, Matthew Grant and Thom Dibble senior value the estate of Mrs. Margaret Witchfield.
Mrs. Mary Drake, wife of Jacob Drake, wrote in her will (1689) "That share of Estate which is due of my Mother Drake I give one half to Thomas Dibble and the other half to Sarah Hutchins, my Maid."
Jacob Drake's will (1689) says "I give to Thomas Deble the Lott that I purchased of Prior, at the age of 21 years."
One problem with these Drake wills is that I'm not quite sure which Thomas we are talking about here. Both are well over 21 at this point! Perhaps it is a third generation.

On 1 Mar 1669, the son of Thomas Dibble, Israel Dibble was accused of adultery with Deborah Barlet by her husband Benjamin Bartlet. Evidence was given against Israel and Deborah by Samuel Dibble (his brother) and his wife, Hepsibah. Thomas Dibble senior posted bail of 100 for his son to appear, which is a large sum of money. It seems that Samuel and Hephsiba were later persuaded to adjust their evidence slightly, and Thomas Dibble senior, Ebenezer Dibble, Thomas Dibble junior and Mirriam Dibble give evidence supporting Israel Dibble. It seems likely this was all organised by Thomas Dibble senior! We do not know the verdict, but Israel and Deborah seem to have stayed with their partners and carried on having children, so presumably people patched things up. It did not seem to affect the standing of the Dibble family. In 1672, Ebenezer Dibble was made bailiff of Windsor. Click here for more about the case of Israel Dibble and Deborah Barlet.

Two of Thomas Dibble's sons, Thomas Dibble junior and Ebenezer Dibble seem to have been involved in making Military equipment for Windsor, and becoming dragoons for for fighting the Indians. Ebenezer Dibble took part in 'King Philip''s war and died in the Great Swamp Fight. Thomas Dibble subsequently gave one shilling and three pence to a voluntary contribution "for the poor in want in other colonies" - see Old Church Record.


The will of Thomas Dibble (senior) is important, as it specifies Wakefield Dibble as his grandson, so confirming the family tree. Thomas' son, Ebenezer Dibble, was dead at the time the will was written. The will does seem a little mean towards Ebenezer's family. When he died, his wife and family were destitute, so apparently the rest of the family refused to look after them. And now, Wakefield Dibble only gets some clothes. Thomas had another son, Israel who seems to have died in 11 Dec 1697 in Windsor (from internet genealogists). The other grandson, Josiah Dibble, may be Israel's son.

From Early Connecticut probate records Vol 2 1700-1729 page 56.

Invt. in Vol VIII, Page 6-7-8.

Dibble, Thomas, Sen., Windsor. Invt. 66-14-01. Taken 1st November, 1700, by Samuel Cross, Nathaniel Gaylord and Alexander Allen. Will dated 17 February, 1699-1700:

I, Thomas Dibble, Sen., of Windsor, doe make this my last will and testament:
Imprimis : To my son Samuel and his wife I give the north half part of my orchard whereon he liveth, during his natural life, and the remainder to his son Samuel.
To my son Thomas Dibble and his wife I give the other half of my orchard during life, and the remainder to his son Abram.
Item. I give to my daughter Miriam Gillett that two acres of meadow she now possesseth.
Item. To my said daughter Miriam I give, for the use of her son, my best broadcloth coat, hatt and breeches.
All the rest of my apparrel to be divided, two parts to my sons Samuel and Thomas, the other part to be to my grandsons Josiah Dibble and Wakefield Dibble.
I appoint Mr. John Elliot and son-in-law Samuel Gibbs to be executors.

Witness:John Eliot
Alexander Allin.
Thomas X Dibble, Senior.

A schedule, expressing the form and manner how I would have my household stuffe and other moveables disposed and divided, is as follows :
To my daughter Miriam 2 pewter basons, 1 platter, 1 quart pot, two porringers, one saucer, one dram cup, a chafendish, a choping knife, 2 old skilletts, a settle, and the cest (chest) that use to stand by my bedside, five yards of tow cloth and 40 shillings in pay, to be paid by my son-in-law Samuel Gibbs out of that he oweth me.
To my grand daughter, Eliza: Gibbs, the bedstead, feather bed, and all thereto appertaining, which is in the parlour, 1 iron pot and crooks, best table, and box with lock and key, 3 chairs, best brush, 1 square basket, one pressing iron, best shears, one bodkin, pair stillyards.
To Experience Gibbs, 1 iron kettle, 2 chairs, an old chest, the trundle bedstead, bed and green rug, best and worst pillows, 1 little table and a gridiron.
To Mirriam Gibbs, the worst of ye beds and bedstead, 1 blue rug, one of the best pillows, the bolster, 2 blankets, the worst table and a little basket.
To Hepzibah Dickson, a brass candlestick.
To Paticence Denslow, a half pint cup and a corn bowl.
To Joanna Loomis, 2 smoothing irons and a pair of pot hooks.
To the Rev. Mr. Samuel Mather, Senior, my gun and sword and my andirons, tongs and spit.

Witness:John Eliott
Alexander Allin.
Thomas X Dibble, Senior.

Court Record, Page 3 13 November, 1700: Will proven.

The will of Thomas Dibble seems to have caused problems. From the Public Records of Connecticut 1689-1706:

[page 394 - May 1702]: Allowed to Mr John Elliott and to Mr Samll Gibbs the sume of one pound eighteen shillings and sixe pence for attendance at the court of assistants at Newhaven in Octobr last and at this Generall Assembly, upon the application of Samll Dibble, Thomas Dibble and Miriam Gillett, children of Thomas Dibble late of the town of Windzor deceased ; the said Samll ,Thomas, and Miria, being unsatisfied with the settlment of the estate of their said father according to a will exhibited in court. [Ebenezer Dibble the older, another son of Thomas Dibble, had died by this time.]

[page Page 431 - May 1703]: Miriam Gillett, widdowe, being unsatisfied with the settlment of the estate of her father Thomas Dibble of Windzor decd, made by the court of probates at Hartford Novembr 13, 1701, grounded upon a writing presented in said court of probates as the last will and testament of her said father, petitioned this Assembly for libertie to contest the said will in the court of Assistants in May next. This Court grants her petition.

There is one interesting point. Samuel Gibb's will, written 24 Feb, 1720, describes his daughters:
"deceased daughter Hepsibah Dickinson", "Patience Denslow", "Elizabeth Hayden", "Joannah Loomis", "Experience Huxley" and "Miriam Bissell".
He mentions "father Dibble", so the relationship was close.
Thomas Dibble's (earlier) will bequeaths various household goods to
Hepzibah Dickson, Paticence Denslow, Elizabeth Gibbs, Joanna Loomis, Experience Gibbs and Mirriam Gibbs.
Thomas was certainly literate as we have his signature elsewhere, but he did not sign his will, since there is an X between his names. He was 87 years old, and I wonder if he was very frail by then, perhaps even senile. His second wife had died, and perhaps his daughter Hephsiba Gibbs had taken him in to look after him. It would explain his gifts to the daughters of Samuel Gibbs. But Samuel Gibbs was also one of the executors of the will. It is easy to see why the Dibble family (except for Hephsiba Gibbs) was highly suspicious of Samuel Gibbs! The will directed Samuel Gibbs to pay an outstanding debt to Thomas to his daughter Miriam Gillet instead, and it is Miriam Gillet who is pursuing the settling of the will most vigorously.