Higbee / Higby Picnic Association Higbee / Higby Picnic Association

Shown below is the genealogical treatise of the Higbee / Higby family beginning with Edward Higby, the first Higby to arrive in New England from England in about 1646, and ending with John William Higbee whose decendants initiated the Higbee / Higby Picnic Association in 1933 (see history page).  The following is taken from two different sources: the treatise abount John William Higbee written by Tressa Coop Wilson, and the accompanying photo was provided by Jane Miller from Scott City, Kansas.  The rest was taken from the book "Edward Higby and his Descendants" by Clinton David Higby, Ph. D. Copyright, 1927.

Click here to go directly to the John William Higbee treatise.

"There is nothing that more divides civilized from semicivilized man than to be conscious of our forefathers as they really were, and bit by bit to reconstruct the mosiac of the long-forgotten past"
--George Macauley Trevelyan--

EDWARD HIGBY, the first of the Family to come to America, was born in the parish of Ivinghoe, co. Bucks, Eng., and was baptized there in the parish church 2 Feb. 1615/6, as shown by the record of baptisms kept in the parish register.  The records begin with the year 1601, but the entries for the year 1608 are now illegible, and the following years are missing, that is, 1610, 1611, 1614, 1617 and 1627.  The first Higbys found in the register of the parish are Elizabeth and Johanna, two daughters of Richard Higbed; they were baptized respectively 13 Sept. 1607 and 17 Jan. 1612/3.  The next shown by the register are the five sons of John Higbed, this Edward who came to New England in 1646, if not earlier, being the second son.  Following the children of John Higbed, the next are the baptismal entries of the children of Michael Higbed: Jane, who was baptized 13 June 1622; Michael, baptized 19 Oct. 1623, who died young; Anna, baptized 27 Mar. 1625; and another Michael, baptized ll Apr. 1631.

The Church of St. Mary, where these baptisms were performed, is a fine cruciform building, mainly of the thirteenth-century type, but with windows and doorways of the fourteenth century.  It consists of chancel, clestoried nave and transepts, aisles, north and south porches and a central embattled tower with spire, containing a clock and six bells.  The tenor bed, dated 1628, is inscribed, "Sacra manet Christi plebisque religio vana."  The north and south porches have ball-flower moldings. The carved-oak roof is a particularly handsome specimen of the late Decorated Period with figures of angels, monks and carved bosses.  The present clerestory is perpendicular, but traces of the original sexfoil windows of the old clerestory may still be seen in the nave, while those in both the transepts are copies of the original windows.  Some of the benches have tall poppy heads.  In the chancel there is a table-tomb with recumbent effigy, vested as conjectured to represent priest Peter de Chaseport, rector of the church 1241-54.  The pulpit is a richly carved and ancient piece of cinquecento workmanship.  It is of oak and retains its hourglass stand.  The chancel screen is of carved oak in the style of the fourteenth century, and has on the pediment figures of Our Savior, St. Michael and St. Gabriel.  The baptistery has oak parquet floor and a triptych representing the Incarnation, flanked by two cherubim, after Fra Angelico.  The floor of the sanctuary is laid with mosaic.  There are 468 sittings.

Edward Higby was born of yeoman stock, and probably grew to manhood in the parish of Ivinghoe.  His father was altogether likely a tenant farmer, holding his land under the lord of the manor by copyhold.  This method of holding land had become by this time similar to our estates in fee simple.  The farmers of Ivinghoe sent their cattle and farm products to the London market.  The beef cattle were driven to London the same as the farmers here drove their cattle to market one hundred years ago.  Some of the Higbys dealt in cattle, and one was a butcher in London; and young men of this section went down to London for employment.  The section in which the Higbys lived, about twenty miles wide, extended to within about fifteen miles of London; and now all this country up nearly as far as Ivinghoe, being in part hilly and wooded, is the playground of London.

When Thomas Skidmore, who is believed to be one of the Skidmores of this section, came to assist John Winthrop the Younger in getting Englishmen to make the settlement at Pequot Harbor, it was only natural that he should get people from his home section; and later when they came to give the place a name of their own choosing, instead of continuing the Indian name Naumeag, it was likewise natural that they should call it New London.

Thomas Skidmore, whose daughter Edward Higby married, came to New England before Edward Higby did; he sailed from England in Apr. 1635, with John Winthrop the Younger and his company, and the following autumn assisted Winthrop the Younger in building a fort at Saybrook, Conn., preparatory to making a settlement there for Lord Say, Lord Brooke and others.  Winthrop the Younger made no other settlement for them; but he made one for himself ten years later at the mouth of the Thames River, and Thomas Skidmore assisted him in making this settlement.

When Skidmore first came over he settled at Newtowne1, and bought "one dwelling house with about half a rood of land in the town."  It was situated on the west side of Brighton Street, north of Mt. Auburn Street2.  The land is now a part of Harvard Square.  He sent back to England in 1640 for his wife Ellen and his children.  The Skidmore Genealogy says he was living in the parish of Westerleigh, co. Gloucester.  There were Skidmores there at the time Thomas Skidmore came to New England; and I also found Skidmores in the section from which Edward Higby came.  I searched for Thomas Skidmore in the parish of Westerleigh, but did not find him.  I would expect to find him near the home of the men he associated with, or that he formerly lived there.

Winthrop the Younger had to make some effort to get Englishmen to join with him in making the settlement at Pequot Harbor3.  He returned to England, sailing 3 Aug. 1641, "to exert personal influence with friends in England in aid of his various enterprises."  A number of the people who came were from the section the Higbys lived in; Carey Latham, who was next-door neighbor to Edward Higby at New London, came from the parish of Aldenham, co. Herts, near where several Higbys lived, and only a short way from Ivinghoe.  In fact, most of the settlers came from the parish of Ivinghoe and adjoining parishes.

I made an extended search to find just when Edward Higby came to New England.  I did not find his name in the lists of passengers on ships coming to America.  Only a few such lists are available.  Nor did I find that he came in 1640 with Thomas Skidmore's wife and children.  At that time he was a young man grown, and some mention would have been made of him in connection with the Skidmore family if he had come with them. I think he was acquainted with Thomas Skidmore and his family.  In fact, their families may have been neighbors in England; and I believe that Edward Higby's acquaintance with the Skidmore's had much to do with his coming to New England.  No Higby or other relative came with him, that I have found; and I have not found him closely associated with any other settlers of New London.  All I have found of him has been in association with Thomas Skidmore, whose daughter Jedidah he married soon after his arrival.

Thomas Skidmore and his family dwelt at Cambridge until 1646, when he sold his home there to Henry Deemster, and removed to the new settlement at Pequot Harbor. It is probable that Edward Higby arrived shortly before this time, and he may have gone from Cambridge to the new settlement with them.  The settlers went there in 1646, but the house-lots were not granted until 1647.  Thirty-two lots were granted, lot 13 to Thomas Skidmore, and lot 23 to Edward Higby4, as the record shows.  As house-lots were probably granted only to heads of families, I take it that Edward Higby and Thomas Skidmore's daughter Jedidah were either married, or about to be, at the time the lots were granted.  She was of marriageable age, for according to the best information she was born in 1624. Higby built a house on his lot, as two years later when he sold the lot to Jarvis Mudge the deed recites that the property sold consisted of "a house and six acres of land."  The house was probably only a hut of branches and turf, of wattle and clay, or of slabs set vertically in the ground, for the Swedes on the Delaware River were the only settlers in America who built cabins of logs at that time.  In fact, it was the Swedes who taught the early settlers in America to build log houses.

For the first few years the settlement at Pequot Harbor did not flourish. In the latter part of 1647, and in 1648, some of the families left the settlement.  Ten lots were marked as forfeited and the grants cancelled, Higby's among them; but some of the settlers came back, notably Mudge and Chappell.  Higby did not return; he sold his lot to Jarvis Mudge.  A facsimile of the deed is said to be given on page 30 of the Mudge Genealogy.  Inspection of the deed as there given shows that it was written, signatures and all, by the same person.  Higby and one witness are said to have signed by mark, but no marks appear; hence I take the facsimile to be of the record, and not of the original deed.  The facsimile of the record reads as follows:

"A Bill of Alianation brought in to be recorded for Goodman Madge 19 March 1650-51:
September 7th, Anno 1649.

Be it known unto all men by these presents that I Edward Higbee have sold to Jarvis Mudge a house and six acres of land be it more or less, on the East buting on the Highway, on the south a lot laid out to the Minister, on the west and north Karie Latham, John Lewis and Robert Readell.  And to free it from all claims or demands of any other to the said Jarvis Mudge upon consideration of five bushels of wheat to be paid mee and a Dog.  And this to stand in full force and virtue.
witness my hand and seal this 7th September 1649.

Witnesses:"Edward Higbee's mark was at the bill
Thomas Burnam, his mark was at this bill.
Thomas Skidmore, his hand."

Edward Higby and Thomas Skidmore left the Pequot settlement, probably in 1648, as the "History of Stratford, Conn.," says of Thomas Skidmore: "He was early in Stratford with his son-in-law Edward Higbye, probably before 1649, when he had a suit in law tried before the court at Hartford."  Stratford was in the jurisdiction of New Haven.  This lawsuit must have been begun while Skidmore and Higby were living at New London, as New London was in the jurisdiction of Hartford.  They were both named as defendants.  Before this, in the spring of 1648, Edward Higby was plaintiff in a suit against James Whatiy.  The court gave a verdict requiring Higby to pay the record costs, but gave the defendant no costs.  The second suit was against both Higby and Skidmore for slander, a cause of action rather common in those days.  It seems that, if there was bad feeling between persons and either of them was imprudent enough to condemn the other liberally, he was immediately taken into court.  The plaintiff's name in the slander suit is given as James Wakely, but he was probably the same person as James Whatly with whom Higby had the suit a short time before.  The jury gave Wakely a verdict, but it was so small that it shows the trivial nature of the case.  It was, "The Jury findes for the plt, damages 2d, and costs of the Courte, which the Courte allowes to bee 9s:8d."  This case was decided 6 Sept. 1649, and may have had something to do with Higby's selling his house and lot the next day and wholly withdrawing from the jurisdiction of the Hartford court.

Both Higby and Skidmore were active in trading along the coast.  Skidmore had been along the coast, as he was one of the men sent in November 1635 to prepare for the settlement of Saybrook, and was acquainted with the coast even farther west.  Some other members of the New London settlement seem to have been trading along the coast also.  William Bartlett, and his brother probably, and Higby with them had trouble over a pig which they killed on the coast at Branford Harbor, near New Haven, as the record shows:

"At a meeting of the particular court in a private way the 6th of October 1649, Thomas Whitway of Totoket5 charged 3 men, viz. the two Bartlets & on Hegbe, a young man, that they lying at Totoket or nere thereaboute with ther boate to mend it as they said, did shoote at and kill one of his the said Thorn Whitwayes swine, which came downe to feed at ye watter side.  They confessed that they had so done, but said they was in want of provision and did it to supply ther neede, though that appeared not, because they had Indian Corne aboarde & some cheese.   The court considered that they could not judg it any less than plaine theft, & therefore ordered that the two Bartlets & this Hegbe pay to Thomas Whitway double for the hogg, wt was by him, & they owned it, vallewed at 23s, that they allso pay Thomas Whitwayes charges which he saith is 5s, and yt they pay to ye marshall for his time & trouble aboute ye business 3s: 4d, & if Thomas Whitway should refuse to take the other 23s for himselfe, yet he must take it and give it to ye poore of that towne, and so be accountable for it."  (New Haven Colonial Records p. 493, sec. 253.)

In the list of the first inhabitants of Stratford and their houselots, given in Orcutt's "History of Stratford," Edward Higby is named as owner of lot 23, on Main Street; and by record made before 1651 Thomas Skidmore is mentioned as having to build in the old field 12 rds. 3 ft. of fence."  But Edward Higby did not remain long at Stratford.  It was too early yet to make a living by tilling the soil, and he and his father-in-law were active in trading along the coast, and were frequently at landing places on Long Island.  Southport was settled by Connecticut colonists.  All that part of Long Island east of a line from the western part of Oyster Bay, extending south to the sea, was a part of Connecticut at this time, and settlers from the mainland of Connecticut frequented Long Island.  Higby had a lawsuit about a boat which he bought on Long Island, and the case was tried at New Haven before a court held by the magistrates l8 Oct. 1654:

"Goodman Higby of Stratford informed the Court that he bought a boate of the wife of Jonas Wood of Southampton [Long Island] and had it in possession, and coming to Southhold [Long Island] he met with Jonas Wood who attached the boate, and by order from the constable there had it delivered to him, Jonas Wood being bound to prosecute his attachment at this Court, for which cause Goodman Higby now appeared, but Jonas Wood appeared not, nor any for him.  But to prove he bought the boate, he presented a bill of sale dated July the 28th 1654, also a testimony of Henry Easton upon oath before Goodman Grove of Stratford, to prove that Wood's wife had formerly told her husband that she would sell the boate, and he contradicted it not, and that she sould a paire of ezen in his absence wth other goods, & received paye, Sac. Richard Mills of Stratford, now in Court, testyfieth upon oath, that he had bought of the wife of Jonas Wood, called Halifax Jonas6, several goods in her husbands absence, which her husband hath aloud of and received of him for them, also he hath bought goods of the said Jonas and in his absence, upon her demand, hee hath paide her for them, which he hath alowed also.

As Jonas Wood was not present the case was postponed.  It was again taken up in May 1655.  Wood not being prepared to proceed, Higby agreed to a further postponement on Wood's giving bond for £30 as security.  The case was again taken up 28 Sept. 1655, and both parties to the suit put in all their evidence; but as the court found, and stated in the record, "in ye pleading ye case both plaintiff and defendant saw themselves defective in dealing the case, whereupon they both consented to issue the matter betwixt themselves."  In bringing the parties to an amicable settlement the court no doubt did right.  Whether Higby and Wood actually gained the knowledge of court practice which the court so happily discovered at this point is a question.  However, Higby and Wood talked the matter over and settled the case.  It is probable that Higby either got his boat back, or the money was refunded.  Higby was in business later with a Jonas Wood, but it was not this "Halifax Jonas."

Edward Higby did more than frequent the harbors of Long Island.  His name appears in the list of the first inhabitants and landowners of Cow Harbor, in the town of Huntington.  This was probably as early as 1655.  The Dutch Council Minutes, Long Island, give an order, made 4 June 1655 as follows: "On petition of Gysbert Opdyke, praying that an attachment which he made on goods of Edward Hickby be declared valid; must prove that he appealed in time, and that copy of the judgment and costs was refused him, — petition refused him."  Richard Holbrook, Robert Williams and Daniel Whitehead bought land here from the Indians as early as 3 Apr. 1653; and a Jonas Wood made a purchase here 30 July 1656.  Higby's land was probably near where Centerport now is.  Two years later he is given as an inhabitant of Cold Spring Harbor, about eight miles farther west.  It is evident that Edward Higby was in business in this section prior to 1658 from the following affidavit, made for the purpose of showing that Capt. Thomas Matthews, Higby's cousin, was not a partner with Higby and Wood.  The statement curiously enough was sworn to before Jonas Wood, "Halifax Jonas," and a Jonas Wood was party to the matter:

"The deposition of Mark Mags [Meggs7] taken before Jonas Wood, the deponent sayeth that about Agust in the yere 58 [1658] or when we ware a weding Indian Corn Thomas mather came to this deponent and desired hem to hellp abord a but of rum and a pip or 2 of windes that jonas Wood and Edward highbie had bought of his cosen and this deponent went to mr. mathues house and he desired him to help in with a pipe of rum and a pip or 2 of windes which jonas wood and Edward higbe had bought of hem and so this deponent did go and hepe in with them then this deponent asked mr. mathers if he had done and mr. Mathers answered stay he could not tell and this deponent and jonas wood and Mathews sete downe and Mr. Mathewes sayd to Edward higbe corm helpe and they 2 went to sid that is to say Mr. Mathers and Edward higbe and we sate together and take a pipe of tobackow so when Mr. mathers and Edward higbe had ended theyr discourse they had then hoyst in the rest of the wine and this deponent further sayeth that he undarstood no partnarship betwixt them three but only that Ead higbe and jonas wood had boute a pip of rum and a pip or 2 of sacke and that without reference to any partnarship with Mr. mathues." (Huntington Court Records, Matthews & Wood, p. 13.)

It is evident from this affidavit that Higby and Wood, at least, were associated in business; but in the record of a matter before the court of Huntington 29 July 1662, when Thomas Matthews brought an action against Joanna (Strickland) Wood, widow and administratrix of the estate of Jonas Wood, deceased, it appears from the books of account of Capt. Matthews that "six pipes of wine and pipe of rum were delivered aboad the boate upon account of Edward higbe, jonas wood" and himself.  It seems that they were trading with the West Indies, carrying barrel staves thither and bringing back rum, sack and other goods.

Thomas Skidmore removed to this section of Long Island about the time Edward Higby did.  He was clerk of the town of Huntington, and represented this town and other towns along the north shore of Long Island in the General Assembly of Connecticut.  This was before 1664.  He acted as attorney for Jonas Wood, "Halifax Jonas," in a lawsuit at Southampton, Long Island, in 1669.  It is the first lawsuit recorded there, and is in book, "Sessions No. I," the first entry in the book, now kept at Riverhead, Long Island.  Skidmore and this Wood were among the corporators of the town of Huntington under the jurisdiction of New York in 1666; and Skidmore remained in the town until 1682.  Then he returned to Connecticut, dwelling at Fairfield where he died two years later, leaving property there to his grandson John Higby.  Skidmore was married three times.  Ellen, his first wife, bore all his children - Thomas, Dorothy, Jedidah, John, Grace and Joseph; his second wife was Joanna, widow of Daniel Baldwin; his third wife, Sarah, widow of Edward Treadwell who died at Huntington, Long Island, in 1660.

Edward Higby continued to reside at Cold Spring Harbor; but in 1659 he failed to return from one of his trading voyages.  He was gone much longer than usual and no word coming from him he was thought to be lost at sea, as shown by the action taken by the court at Huntington:

"The 12th of May [1660] it was agreed by the Corte to demand the will out of Jonas wood his hand which will belonged to Edward higbee8, it was also agreed by the same corte that Thomas Weeks, Edward Treadwell and John Titus shall take an inventary of the estate which is egtent belonging to Edward Higbee which inventory is to be taken the next second day being the 14 of May in this year 1660.  It was also agreed by the same corte that thos that are to prize the estate of Edward higbee that they shall leve sufficient unprized as to leve his wife on seut of clothes for Lordes dayes and allso that which is convenient to cloth the children that is to say to paralel with thar mothar it was also ordered by the sam corte that Thomas Skidmore junear wase to have the disposing of Edward Higbee's 4 children tell they are of age to provide for them selves, in case theyr father by his coming se not case to allter what the cort has don."

Fortunately he was not lost at sea.  He lived to return to his family, but I have not found the exact date.  It is related as a bit of history of the event that he arrived home on Sunday, and not finding his wife and children there, he made inquiry, and borrowed a horse and rode to the place where they were staying.  On his arrival his wife rushed out to meet him, and as he dismounted he embraced and kissed her.  It was Sabbath!  For a husband to kiss his wife on the Sabbath was against the law.  And the story goes that he was arrested and fined.  This must have been while Long Island was yet under Connecticut law9.  There is evidence, however, that he returned soon after his will was probated; for on 17 Oct. 1660 Thomas Skodar (Scudder) brought suit against him "in action of defamcion to the damage of £ioo."  The record continues, "Plaintive declaimeth that Edward higbe hase charged hem that he and his wife are both in fere of thur lives10."  It seems that the defendant admitted using certain language, and the court required him to " give publick satisfackcion " or pay a fine.  The record does not state which he did, but this case seems to have led to another:

"Thomas Skodar plaintive against Eadward higbe, — in ackcon of slander to damag of twenti pound, the plaintiv declameth that the defendan charged hem with houlding of hem by the throt hallf an oure, the deposition of Good[man] Laten he deposed that good[man] higbe sed that thomas skoddar tok hem by the throt and helld him hallf an ouar or tharabout and all most throtelled hem. the corte finds for the plat that the defendat shall give publick satisfac or pay 20 shilling."

It is the father Edward Higby here referred to, as the son Edward was not yet ten years old; hence, he must have returned to Huntington before the date of the first of these two cases.

It is believed that his wife Jedidah died shortly afterwards.  He married secondly Lydia————, probably not later than 1662.  Dr. D. W. Patterson, a prominent genealogist, whose father's sister Ann married Anson Higby states in his manuscript notes on the Higby Family that the church records of Middletown, Conn., give John Higbe (which, he says, "must be a clerical error for Edward") and Lydia Higbe as "constituent members of that church, 4 Nov. 1663."  There is some error here, for Lydia did not become a member of the Middletown church until 20 Sept. 1674, when she was transferred to that church from "a ch. of X1 in Heartford," Conn.  I have searched for her name in the church records of Hartford, but have not found it.  I called in the assistance of Dr. Arthur Adams11, who knows the history of the Hartford churches and who is also an able genealogist and particularly interested in the early history of the Higby Family, as Abigail Adams of his Family married Edward, the son of the first Edward Higby; but he was not able to find Lydia's name in the church records of Hartford, or the date of her marriage with Edward Higby.

It is not doubted that Edward Higby removed to Middletown as early as 1663, for shortly thereafter he bought a tract of land near Middletown, as shown by the following record:

"Deed made 15 October, 1664: Know all men by these presents that I Scankeet Indian (abiding in and about Hartford, Conn.) Sachem, owner a true proprietor of a large tract of land in the woods toward New Haven at and about the land now in possession of Mr. Jonathan Gilbert, entitled and known by the name of Meriden, do sell Edward Higby one parcell of land adjoining to the lands of Jonathan Gilbert12 aforesaid, hills, rocks, brooks, swamps, and all other appurtenances, bounded and conformably delivered by marked trees and by land of the sayd Jonathan Gilbert and Pilgrims Harbor or River, all which sayd parcell of land with prerogatives, privileges and any kind of appurtenances thereon and thereunto belonging.  It shall be lawful for the sayd Edward Higby, his heirs and assigns, to improve, possess, enjoy and that forever, as fully and freely as the sayd Scankeet ever did or might have done.

In witness whereof by these presents I bind myself, my heirs and assigns quietly and peaceably to leave in full possession of all the premises the sayd Edward Higby never to be molested by me the sayd Scankeet, my heirs, or any other Indian or Indians whatsoever, and so subscribe my name.

In presence and witness ofthe mark of Scankeet.
Bryan Rosseter
Mary Gilbord13("History of Wallingford," p. 22.)

This land is just west of Middletown.  Higby Mountain, on which is located the reservoir of the water system of Middletown, is a part of this purchase.  Besides buying the land from Scankeet, Higby petitioned the General Court of Connecticut, held at Hartford 6 July 1665, to set off to him this tract of land; and the Court appointed Nathaniel White, Samuel Stocking and Samuel Bowman "to view a tract of land that Goodman Higbe hath petitioned for to the Court, and to make report to ye Court at October Sessions on what they find it to be."  On 12 Oct. 1665 the General Court granted, as shown by Colonial Records of Connecticut, vol. n, page 25, "300 acres of land of that which was viewed" to Edward Higby.

The following year the General Court granted him exoneration of "country rates for two years for making and maintaining the way over Pilgrim's Harbor [Harbor Brook] passable for man and horse" during that time; and Middletown voted 12 Feb. 1667, although his farm was about five miles away, to receive him as an inhabitant, as shown by the action taken:

"That they shall warn him to all the town meetings if the townsmen have opportunity to send him word by anyone going that way to the farm, but not being bound to send anyone of Purpose to warn him, as also they agree with the said Higby to make a comfortable horse and foot way, half way to the farm in Meriden, hee making the other half next on to the farme and at the West River to make and maintain a comfortable foot way over that river and also the towne and hee hathe agreed to take in his own farm granted him by the Court, as belonging to the towne."

And 8 May 1667 Edward Higby took the freeman's oath before a court of election at Hartford with 29 others, thus becoming fully qualified as a citizen.

The first church record I find after he removed to Middletown is of the baptism of his son Samuel.  This entry was made 12 Mar. 1671:

"Being the Lords Day, Samuel Higby son of Edward Higby of Meriden Hill received ye Initiatory seal of ye covenant Baptism by virtue of communion of chs. ye Mother being a member of and in full Communion with the church of Christ in Heartford." (Middletown Church Records.)

And Edward's son William was also baptized, as this entry was made 4 Mar. 1673:

"Being ye Lord's day, William Higby (by virtue of communion of ye Mother a member of a ch. of Xt in Heartford) received ye Initiatory seal of ye covent.  (Middletown Church Records.)

It is probable that Samuel and William were his youngest children, and that his other children were baptized elsewhere.  It may be that Nathaniel and Sarah were also born at Middletown.  It is rather to be believed that his daughter Lydia was his first child by his second wife.  I feel that Patience was the last child by Jedidah, and she was perhaps born shortly after the father's will was called out of the hand of Jonas Wood, for at that time Edward had only four children.

On 14 Oct. 1677, when Edward and Lydia were about to remove from Middletown to Jamaica, Long Island, this church record was made:

"Our Sister Higby at her desire with her six children Nathan'11, Sam'11, William, Patience, Sarah, Lydia, were dismist by consent of ye brethern to ye church of Xt at Jamaica on Long Island."  (Middletown Church Records.)

On 20 Feb. 1673 Edward Higby exchanged a large part of his Meriden farm with Henry Cole and Mary Cole, his wife, for lands in Middletown, ten pieces including a ten-acre lot on the corner of Main and Washington Streets which is now occupied by Berkeley Divinity School.  He conveyed to his "son Thomas Higby of Middletown," 16 Aug. 1675, a piece of land, 134 acres, near Boggy Meadow (Newfield), being a strip two miles and a quarter long, and valued at £30 sterling; and 30 Mar. 1676 he conveyed to his daughter Mary and her husband Edward Burrows 43 acres of land "near land sold to Henry Cole and Jonathan Gilbert's property."  In 1673 his estate in Middletown was valued at £124 os. Iod.  The next year he was chosen ordinary keeper in Middletown. And, finally, 29 Sept. 1677 he traded "all the lands & Buildings & Edifices" he owned in Middletown to Abraham Smith of Jamaica, Long Island, for land there, conveyed by deed dated and recorded 29 Sept. 1677 which grants a "house and lot abutting on highway south, ten acres abutting on highway south, and sixteen acres of Meadow land adjoining Capt. Newton's land."  (Book 5, page 61, at Albany, N. Y.) In addition to these pieces of land he received from Abraham Smith thirteen head of cattle.  This exchange of property with Smith closed out all of Higby's lands at Middletown, except six acres of upland in Westfield Society and a piece of meadow land adjoining it, which land was bounded on the south by "land of Thomas Higbe his son."  He sold it 9 Aug. 1681 to Robert Coe.

A grant by letters patent, dated 17 May 1686, and recorded in book 5, page 432, at Jamaica, was received from the State of New York by Edward Higby and others in confirmation of the territory of the town of Jamaica.  He and his wife Lydia continued to reside in the town of Jamaica until his death, which occurred probably just a few days before 23 Sept. 1699, as on this date his will was probated.  It is recorded at Jamaica in deed book A, page 145, reversed.  Diligent search was made there in 1921 for the will itself, but none of the county officials was able to find the original instrument.  Wills in the early days after being registered were returned to the owners.  It may be taken that the record shows all of the textual features of the will.  A copy of the record as officially made and certified is here given:

In the name of God Amen:

I, Edward Higby of the town of Jamaica on Long Island takeing into consideration brvity of this transitory life with the certainty of death & being in sound perfect memory do make and ordain, publish & declare this as my last will & testament making null & void all former wills, Impri:

I bequeath my soul into the hands of my Creator that gave it hoping for Salvation through the meritts death & passion of my Saviour & Redeemer of Jesus Christ and I bequeath my body to the earth my mother to be decently buried at the discretion of my Executors aftenamed and for my worldly estate it hath pleased God to indewe me with I do bequeath as follows, viz: Item,

I give & bequeath unto my son Thomas Higby all that my right property & interest in the hill division of land as is already laid out in Jamaica being as a legacy & for to end all former debates or differences whatsoever. Item,

I give unto my son Edward Higbey the sum of Five Shillings money to be paid by my executors within one year after my decease. Item,

I give unto my dauther Mary Burrows wife of Edward Burrows the sum of five Shillings money to be paid by my executors as afors'd. Item,

I give unto my son in law Joseph Phillips in respect of my Dauter the Five Shillings to be paid as before expressed. Item,

I give unto Rebecca Higbie the relict of John Higbie the sum of Twelve Shillings money to be paid as aforesaid, &c. Item,

I give unto my daughter Leidiah Higbey a feather bed and boulster with one yewlam desiring my loving wife to make up her portion out of what I shall bequeath her &c. Item,

I give unto my son Samuel the sum of Five Shillings money besides what I have formerly give him by deed of gift & other waise &c. Item,

I give & bequeath unto my son Nathaniell Higbie my house barn orchard & home lott WHERE I now live with all the priviledges & appurtenances thereunto belonging together with all the out lands undivided by proportion of meadow not already formerly disposed of by any deed of gift & to be after my decease & my will & meaning is that if my said son Nathaniel should die without issue meale & that lawfully begotten then the estate shall decend unto the next at law being my son Samuel provided allways that my wife Lidey enjoy the one-half of it that is after my decease & during her naturall life. Item,

I give unto my sd son Nathaniel my horsis & plow tackling yt is after my decease only reserving one horse to my loving wife which she shall best like.

Lastly I give & bequeath unto my loving wife Lidey Higbey all my goods & chattels not already disposed of by this my will after my decease & my legasies & tunerall charges paid by within executrix together with my son Nathaniell executors of this my last will & testament &c.  And I desire my loving friends Will Creed & Jonas Wood is to be overseers of this my——& desire them opon all accaisons to be aiding & assisting therein

In testimony whereof I have set my hand & afixed my seal hereunto the twenty-seventh day of October 1694 & in the sixth year of their Majesties reigne King William and Queen Mary.

Signed, sealed & delivered before us.Edward Higbey L.S.
William Creed
Anthony Waters
Peter Chocke

Queens County SS: At a Court of Comon Pleas held at Jamaica in the County aforesaid on the 21st of September being the next day after the termination of the Court of Sessions held at Jamaica aforesaid in the County aforesaid, on the third Tuesday in September in the eleventh year of the reigne of our soverign Lord William the Third by the Grace of God of England, Scotland, France & Ireland King Defender of the faith &c. Annog Dom. 1699.

Present John Coe Es. Judge.
James Edsall
John Smith

The within written last will & testament of the within mentioned Edward Higby was proved by the oaths of William Creed & Peter Chocke two of the witnesses hereunto subscribed & the sd. Court do allow & aprove of the said will & ordereth the same to be entered upon record & certificate thereof to be given to the Executors therein named.
Per Curiam
Per Curiam
Andrew Cibb Cler.
Entered the 23rd day of September 1699
By Andrew Gibb Cler

The widow Lydia and son Nathaniel were authorized and empowered by the court to act as joint executors.  The date of the death of Lydia is unknown. Nathaniel and Samuel were evidently not married at time their father's will was made, and as no mention is made of the son William it may be that he was deceased.  The order and age of the children can only be conjectured from all the circumstances.

Children by first wife, first three born probably at Stratford, last two in town of Huntington:

  1. THOMAS, b. about 1649.
  2. EDWARD, b. about 1652.
  3. MARY, b. about 1655; m. (i) about 1676 Edward Burrows of Jamaica, L.I. who d. in town of Jamaica before 27 Mar. 1705, date of probate of his will; m. (2) 15 Sept. 1705 Thomas Oakley of Jamaica.  Children by first husband, b. in town of Jamaica:
    1. Thomas, who removed probably after majority to Hopewell, N. J.
    2. Stephen, a saddler, who remained at Jamaica, and d. there in 1713, ae. about 33 yrs.
    3. Rachel, m. (i) probably about 1700 (surely before 1713, as shown by her father's will) ————Strand; m. (2) ———— Higgins.
    4. Eden, who settled at Middletown. N. J.
    5. Hannah, m. before 1713, as shown by her father's will, ———— Henman (? Newman).
    6. John, d. before 1713, as shown by his father's will, leaving children "in New England."
    7. Edward, who probably is the "Edward Burrows, late of ye County of Salem [N. J.].  Dyed infested having while he fived & at ye time of his death goods, rights & credites in divers places within ye Province," and on whose estate Letters of Administration were issued in the county of Salem, 18 Feb. 1729/30, to "Persellow Burrows" by John Roife, Surrogate, upon Rrisolla Burrows' filing bond in "two hundred Pounds lawful! money of America" with John Ogden as surety. Priscilla m. (2) 3 May 1730 Ebenezer Bower.
    8. Eunice, m., family tradition says, 25 Apr. 1740 Nathaniel Lyons.
  4. JOHN, b. in 1658.
  5. PATIENCE, b. about 1660; m. Joseph Phfflrps; d. before 27 Oct. 1694, date of her father's will.
  6. LYDIA, b. about 1662; m. before I Mar. 1682 Richard White of town of Huntington, as she is mentioned on that date as dau. of Edward Higby and wife of Richard White, in giving testimony. She had sons Peter and James, and probably other children.  These sons are mentioned in deed for land. dated 21 May 1706, given by them by virtue of their father Richard White's will & testament.
  7. NATHANIEL, b. about 1663.
  8. SARAH, b. about 1665; m. about 1687 Josiah Raynor, a mariner of Southold, L. I., b. about 1660, s. of Joseph and Mary————.  He inherited his father's property at Southold. Children, b. at Southampton:
    1. Deborah b. 28 Apr. 1600; d. at Southold 27 June 1703.
    2. Uriah, b. about 1692. This son is shown by a legal paper signed by his parents while they were living at Lyme, Conn., between 1703 and 1710. His father was a merchant at Lyme. and returned to Southold later.
    3. Josiah, b. about 1695; m. Sarah————, and had five children.
  9. SAMUEL, b. in 1667.
  10. WILLIAM, bapt. at Middletown, Conn., 4 Mar. 1673; not mentioned in his father's will, and probably deceased at that time (27 Oct. 1694).

EDWARD HIGBEE (Edward), born probably at Stratford, Conn., about 1652, and died, it may be, at Middletown, N. J., as his will was made there 21 Aug. 1716, and proved 10 Apr. 1717.  He was without doubt in Middletown, Conn., with his father in 1673, when his father was called "Edward Higbe Senior."  He married first at Huntington, before 29 Mar. 1684, Abigail Adams, born at Hartford, Conn., in Feb. 1660/1, daughter of John and Abigail (Smith).  Her father died prior to her marriage to Edward, and her mother had some time before married John Betts, as shown by conveyance of land, 29 Mar. 1684, by John Betts and his wife to the young husband by reason of the marriage:

Huntington Land Records, p. 103, state: "For and in consideration of a marriage yt has been made and solemnized between Edward Higby of ye one part and Abigail Adams of ye other part my daughter-in-law [step-daughter], have granted and doe by these presents give and grant and make over from us our heirs Executors Administrators and assigns unto our son-in-law Edward Higby of Huntington Long Island within the county of Suffolk aforesd, husbandman, the southwest end of my home," containing two acres.

Prior to this time Edward had bought land of John Finch, Sr., as shown by proof of Finch's giving possession of it to him, which proof was entered in the office of the town clerk of Huntington.  Livery of seizin, i.e., giving of possession, was then done in this way, but now the passing of the deed suffices:

"At ye request of Edward Higby, the Eighteenth of April 1684 Thomas Whitson and Martha his wife doth declare yt John Finch Sener did sometime in October last goe into his lot then sold vnto Edward Higby, and gave the sd Edward Higby possession by breaking a twig and diging a turfe and delivered ye turfe and twig to ye sd Higby and by vartue of this I give you possession of this my lot and aaa ye meadow and out land belonging to it.
John Jorey Clark.

In 1694 "Edward higbe" paid for two of the "hundred pound rights" in the town, purchases of the Fletcher patent in that year, "yt- belonging to ye Lott yt Edward higbe had of Jon finch, that is to say, he contributed to the purchase of the new patent granted by Governor Benjamin Fletcher 5 Oct. 1694, thus completing his title to the Finch purchase.

Edward Higby and his wife Abigail sold land 4 Apr. 1688, about twelve acers more or less," on the East Neck, Long Island, to Joseph Wood and Stephen Jarvis; and two weeks later he sold his brother Thomas of Huntington eight acres, more or less, on Santepaug Neck.  In 1688 his estate in the town of Huntington was apnsed according to money" at £11 los.  The following receipt was given him by two men who were better versed, let us hope, in topography than in orthography:

"March ye 11, 1693
Svaied by us whose names are under written for Edward Higbee eleven acars and halfe of Land at Coald Spring joyning to oyster bay Loyne Lying on both side ye Cuntrey Rod.
John Ketchum
Thomas Brush.

He sold land in Middletown. Conn.. 9 June 1702. as "Edward Higbee of Huntington, Long Island, Mariner," to Thomas Hart of Farmington, Conn.14, also land in Huntington 7 Jan. 1706/7, as "Edward Higbe of Cold Spring in [town of] Huntington, to his son John Higbee; and also land 13 Sept. 1709, as " Edward Higby Sr. of Huntington, Long Island," to John Conklin.

His first wife was granddaughter of Jeremy Adams, born in England in 1606, one of the original proprietors of Hartford, Conn.  This fact is shown by the following letter of attorney, dated 9 Feb. 1696/7:

"I Jeremiah Adams of Huntington, Long Island, son of John Adams and grandson of Jeremie Adams and nephew of Thomas Greenhill15, make my brother-in-law Edward Higby trustee and attorney." (Probate Records of Conn., vol I p. 268.)

That he married secondly is shown by a deed, dated 24 May 1699, which recites that it is made by "Edward Higbe of Cold Spring in Huntington and Mary his wife."  It conveys land "by estematian two Acars & halfe" to Cornelius Smith.  It is given, but without record evidence, that his second marriage occurred in 1693 and that he had four children by his second wife.

Edward seems to have been associated closely with his brother Thomas, but rather as a farmer than as a mariner, although mentioned as a mariner.  He was with Thomas in going "from huntington to hempsted upon ye Lords day," and signed the public confession of their sin.  He was also credited by the town of Huntington with the killing of a number of wolves, one 2 Dec. and five 3 Dec. 1685, and three 21 Jan. and one 19 Sept. 1686.

He made his will at Middletown, N. J., but it was proved and letters testamentary granted to Hugh Hartshorn and Eden Burrows, his nephew, at the city of New York 10 Apr. 1717.  His wife was probably deceased, as she is not mentioned.  The will is recorded in book A, page 68, office of Secretary of State, Trenton, N. J., and is as follows:

In the name of God, Amen/the twenty-first day of August In the year of our Lord Seventeen Hundred and Sixteen, I Edward Higbee of Middletown, In ye county of Monmouth [N. J.], being very sick of body but of perfect and sound mind and Memory, Thanks be given unto God, therefore calling to mind the mortality of my body knowing that it is appointed for all men to dye.  Doe make & ordain this my last will and testament That is to say principally and first of all I give and Recommend my soul into the hand of God that gave it, and my body I recommend unto ye earth to be buried in a Decent manner at the discretion and as teaching such worldly Estate wherewith it hath pleased God to bless me with in this life.  I give Devise and Dispose of ye same In ye following manner & Form ----

Imprimis, first of all I will that all my Last Debts be paid.  Then I give to my loving sone Edward Higbie all my wearing clothes except my best hatt and one white mare and my long gun and four pounds of money.

Item, I give to my loving daughter Sarah Johnston; one pound and ten shillings.

Item, I give to my loving daughter Marjory Looper Eight pounds in money.

Item, I give to my loving daughter Mary Race one Chest, one brass kettle, Coverlid, two blankets, one tramell one hetcheil, ye old bedd, bolster and two pounds in monie.

Item, I give unto my loving son Joseph Higbee eight pounds in money and my best hatt.

Item, I give to my loving dau. Rebecca Higbee one feather bed & my new Rugg, two new Dutch blankets and bolsters and all ye pillows and all ye rest of my household goods that belong within ye House to Women's affairs, and all ye rest of my goods that is not therein mentioned shall be sold and my will is yt all ye Rest of my Estate is to be equally divided between Obadiah Higbee and George Higbee and my will is that if either of them should die before they should come of age that ye other should have it all.

I do hereby nominate and appoint Eden Bun-owes and Hugh Hartshorn of the same place to be the Executor of this my last Will and Testament, All and Singular my goods and my chattlells by them to be sold and divided of as they shall think fitt for ye payment of ye above legacies & I do hereby annull, Revoke all and every former testament will and executors by me anyways before named or willed, ratifying and confirming it & no other to be my last Will and Testament.

In Witness whereof I hereunto set my hand Sc. Seal ye day and year above mentioned.
Edward Higbee.

It is probable that all of Edward's children were born in the town of Huntington, Suffolk Co., Long Island.

  1. EDWARD, b. about 1685. (by first wife)
  2. JOHN, b. about 1687. (by first wife)
  3. SARAH, b. about 1689 (by first wife); m.————Johnston.
  4. MARGERY, b. about 1691 (by first wife); m.———Looper.
  5. MARY, b. about 1692 (by first wife); m.———— Race.
  6. JOSEPH, b. in 1695. (by second wife)
  7. REBECCA, b. about 1697. (by second wife)
  8. OBADIAH, b. about 1698. (by second wife)
  9. GEORGE, b. about 1700. (by second wife)

JOHN HIGBEE (Edward, Edward),born about 1687 in the town of Huntington, Suffolk Co. Long Island, and was living there 13 Sept. 1709 when he received a conveyance of land from his father, "Edward Higbe of Cold Spring in Huntington."  He married 6 Sept. 1712 Alice Andrews, daughter of Edward and Sarah (Ong, another record says Adkins) of the town of Huntington.  In 1714 he removed to Little Egg Harbor, N.J.16, where he died, probably shortly prior to 5 Nov. 1716, the date of the probate of his will.  He is buried in the friends graveyard at Tuckerton, N.J. His widow married secondly John Mathis, Jr., and left issue by him.

Will of John Higbee, dated 17 April 1715, proved 5 Nov. 1716, book 2, page 76, Burlington Co. N.J.:

"This sevebteenth day of the fourth month in the year of our Lord seventeen hundred fifteen, I, John Higbee, of Little Egg Harbour in the county of Burlington in the Western Division of New Jersey, Yeoman, being now sick and weak of body, but of perfect mind and memory, thanks be given unto God, I therefor, calling unto mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die, I make and ordain this my last Will and Testament that is to say principally and first of all I give and recommend my soul unto the hand of God that gave it & for my body I recommend it to the earth to be buried in a Christian like and decent manner and form.

Imprimis. I give and bequeath Alice my dearly beloved wife all my personale effects who allso apoint my sole executrix of this my last will and Testament, and order her to bring up my children and to give them learning sufficient for them.

Item. I give to my well beloved son Edward Higbee all and singular my lands whatsoever belongs to me both my dwelling house and the land and also all my Land on Long Island with all my rights therein by him to be freely possessed and to be enjoyed by him and his heirs and assigns forever.

Item. My mind and will is that my son Edward shall pay to my daughter Abigail Higbee the sum of thirty pounds of current silver money and I hereby disallow and all and every wills formerly maid by me and this to be my last will and testament.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this day and year above written.
John Higbee
Edward Higbee
Mordacai X Andrews
Edward Andrews

Children, born at Little Egg Harbor:

  1. Abigail, b. 22 May 1713; m. 1732 Robert Leeds, s. of Japhet of Atlantic Co., N.J. Children: 1 Jonathon. 2 Solomon. 3. Rebecca. 4. Mary.
  2. Edward, b. 4 May 1714.

EDWARD HIGBEE (John, Edward, Edward), born at Little Egg Harbor, N. J., 4 May 1714; married first by license issued by the Governor of New Jersey 4 May 1738 Jemima Risley, born in 1720, daughter of Richard and Esther (————); married secondly 20 May 1781 Sarah Leeds. He settled in Galloway Township, Gloucester Co., N. J., in that part of Gloucester Co. organized as Atlantic Co. in 1837.  It is said that he served as soldier in the Revolutionary War, "toward the close of the war, when all men able to carry a musket were mustered into New Jersey service."  This service is said to be shown by "Revolutionary War Records" in the Adjutant General's office at Trenton; and that he received for this service Certificate No. 212, for depredation of his Continental pay as private in Gloucester County Militia in 1784.  He died in Galloway Township in Sept. 1793.

By terms of his will, dated Oct. 1786, and probated at Woodbury, Gloucester Co., 30 Sept. 1793, and now preserved at Trenton, N.J., book 33-6, page 82, he makes the following bequests, but does not mention his sons John and Edward, nor his daughter Alice:

"I give and bequeath to my beloved wife Sarah Higbee my mare and horse, and two cows, bed and bedding, household furniture, and to have a maintenance out of my effects while she remains my widow. I give and bequeath to my sons Jeremiah and Richard all the land, meadow and cedar swamps at the time of my decease.  I also give and bequeath to my wife Sarah Higbee all my sheep and lambs and one two year old.  It is my will that my sons Jeremiah and Richard do pay unto my servant lad George Simpkins the sum of twenty pounds when he arrives at the age of twenty-one."

The testator signs by mark.

Children by his first wife, born in Galloway Township:

  1. John, b. in 1739.
  2. Edward, b. about 1741; d. at Brooklyn, N.Y., 19 Mar. 1834.  He is said to have served in the Revolutionary War from Gloucester Co. as private; and later served in Coast Guard.  It is family tradition that he served in Capt. Steelman's Company, Third Battalion, N.J. State Troops.
  3. Alice, b. about 1743; m. 28 Nov. 1763 Thomas Land of Burlington, N.J. A descendent of hers says that Alice was b. in 1755; d. in 1835; and that she m. 3 Jan. 1780 Thomas Somers, b. in 1750, d. in 1826, s. of John and Hester (Risley).
  4. Jeremiah, b. 7 May 1751.
  5. Richard, b. about 1753.

JOHN HIGBEE (Edward, John, Edward, Edward), born in Great Egg Harbor (later Galloway) Township, in the part of Gloucester Co. that is now Atlantic Co., N. J., in 1739; married at Great Egg Harbor by license, dated 22 May 1758, Mary Smith, daughter of John, known as "Hunting John," who removed to New Jersey from Long Island prior to 1746, for at a meeting held at the home of Stephen Morris, Great Egg Harbor Township, in 1746 he was chosen assessor, as shown by this entry in the books of the town clerk, " Hunting John Smith was chosen Sessor. — Edward Doghty, Town Clarke."  He died in Galloway Township, probably but a short time before 7 Nov. 1786, as on that date his will was probated.  The will is dated 17 Aug. 1786, and registered in book 28, page 84, and is as follows:

"In the God, amen, I John Higbee of Galloway township. County of Gloucester, and Western Division of the State of New Jersey, blacksmith and husbandman, being weak in body but of sound mind and memory blessed be God do this seventeenth day of Angust One thousand seven hundred and eighty-six make and publish this my last will and Testament in manner and form following, that is to say IMPRIMIS I give and bequeath unto my beloved wife Mary Higbee all my Moveable Estate together with the privilege of the House and place whereon I now live and Fishery along the Great Bay during her widowhood and no longer.

It is my mind and will that my said wife shall not cut, sell, waste or destroy any Timber or other moveables whatsoever belonging to the Estate more than is necessary for necessaries to support her during her widowhood.

Item. It is my will that my sons Edward, Isaac and John Higbee their heirs and assigns shall have their proportion of my real estate where they are now seated contiguous one to another.

Item. lt is my will that my said son John Higbee shall have his part of my real estate where I now live together with the House, Barn, Stable and all other appurtenances thereon for himself and his heirs and assigns forever.  But if my said son John will not improve the place, that is to say, farm it for himself and mother then in that case my sons Edward and Isaac Higbee shall take the said place in possession in order to improve it for my said wife during her widowhood upon such terms as she and they can agree.

Item. I give and bequeath unto my son Absalom Higbee for his part of my real estate that place whereon Mr. Samuel Strickland deceased lived together with that piece of salt meadow which I purchased of Robert Smith Sen. containing eight acres and three fourths.

Item. I give and bequeath unto my son Josiah Higbee for his part of my real estate fourteen acres of Upland on the Home Estate for himself and his heirs and assigns forever.

Item. I give and bequeath unto my sons Samuel, William, Richard, and Charles Higbee their Heirs and Assigns their equal proportion of my real estate but if they or any of them are bound out to trades (which it is my request that they should) then in that case he or they so bound out shall have no more than twenty acres each for his part of my real estate.

Item. I give and bequeath unto my sons Edward, Isaac and John and unto Samuel, William, Richard and Charies (if not bound out as aforesaid) their Heirs and Assigns forever, all the rest of my salt meadows together with the Fishery along the Great Bay after my said wrfe's decease or widowhood.  It is also my will that if any of my said sons should die without Lawful issue that his or their portion of my real estate and whatever else I Bequeath to him or them shall be equally divided among the survivors.

Item. It is my will that all other lands meadows Cedar swamps and Fisheries I shall or may be in possession of at the time of my decease or may be left to me or my heirs that the same shall be divided equally between my sons, Edward, Absalom, Isaac, Josiah, John, Samuel, William, Richard and Charles Higbee their heirs and assigns forever.

Item. It is my will that my sons Edward, Isaac, Josiah, and John Higbee have their respective shares of my real estate run out as soon as may be convenient that each may know his own and that they may not cut and destroy the green timber of their younger brothers, I.E. Samuel William Richard and Charles Higbee's shares of my real estate.

Item. It is my will that my son Absalom Higbee have the privilege of cutting and hauling the old dry timber off that tract of land which lies contiguous to Newberry's for firewood.

Item. I give and bequeath to my son Josiah Higbee all my blacksmith tools and workshop.

Item. It is my will that my mulatto boy Stephen be sold and all debts due to me at my decease shall be for paying off my just Debts and funeral expenses and if then there should not be a sufficiency to pay off the incumbrances on my estate then my said sons Edward, Absolom, Isaac, Josiah, John, Samuel, William, Richard, and Charles and their heirs shall make up the deficiency between them so as to dear the estate of all incumbrances which may be at the time of my decease to be reimbursed what moneys they so expend out of the movable estate after my said wife's decease or widowhood.

Lastly, I nominate, constitute and appoint my beloved wife Mary Higbee Executrix and my son Edward Higbee and John Smith Executors of this my last Will and Testament.  Ratifying and Confirming this to be my last will and Testament and no other.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my Hand and Seal the day and year first above written, 1786.
Witnesses, Robert Leeds.
Enoch Leeds, George Edwards.John Higbee [L.S.]"

The estate of his widow was administered by her son Josiah; the inventory was taken 2 July 1808.

Children, born in Galloway Township, named in order mentioned in will:

  1. EDWARD, b. 28 Dec. 1750.
  2. ISAAC, b. 17 June 1764 (sic), probably 1761.
  3. JOHN; his estate was administered 17 Feb. 1798 by his brother Isaac; the probate record says he "died beyond the seas."
  4. ABSALOM, b. about 1763.
  5. JOSIAH, b. about 1765.
  6. SAMUEL, m. Rebecca Leeds.
  7. WILLIAM, b. about 1768.
  8. RICHARD, mentioned as of Galloway Twp.
  9. CHARLES, sold land in Galloway Twp. 28 May 1799 Matthew Collins.

WILLIAM HIGBEE (John, Edward, John, Edward, Edward), born in Galloway Township, Gloucester (now Atlantic) Co., N.J.,about 1768.  He conveyed his interest in his father's estate 13 Feb. 1789 to his brother Absalom, deed book T. page 183, records at Woodbury, N. J. He married, and it is believed he lived in New Jersey.  Little is found of his family.

Children, born near Leeds Point, N. J., among them:

  1. WILLIAM b. in 1797.

WILLIAM HIGBEE (William, John, Edward, John, Edward, Edward), born near Leeds Point, N. J., m 1797; married there about 1822 Hannah Horn, as stated by members of his family.  They dwelt near Leeds Point until 1836, when they moved to Ohio, buying a farm near Urbana.  He lived there the rest of his life.  He was a successful farmer, Reublican in politics, Methodic in religion, and a man of thrift and good reputation.  He died on his farm near Urbana in 1879, as given by a member of his family.  No records seem to have been kept of the family.

Children, born probably the first ten near Leeds Point, the others near Urbana:

  1. JOHN, b. about 1821; m. Catherine Anstine of Urbana.
  3. SARAH ANN, m. Albert Johnson; lived at Urbana.
  4. SAMUEL, b. 6 Apr. 1827; m. 29 Sept. 1856 Sarah Ellen Gerard, b. at Winchester, W. Va., 6 Dec 1834; Living on farm near Ancona, Ill. in 1898, Methodist in religion and Republican in politics.  Children:
    1. Mary, b. 28 July 1857; d. in 1858.
    2. Charles Theodore, b. 18 July 1858; m. 25 Dec. 1882, lived near Pritchard, Ala., and had three children.
    3. Etta Jane, b. 29 Jan. 1861; m. 24 Nov. 1885 Harry George, and lived at Ellis, Kansas.
    4. Edwin Seaman, b. 16 Oct. 1863.
    5. Samuel Leon, b. 2 May 1866; m. 11 Sept. 1890 Jennie Brumfield, and lived at Ancona.
    6. Jessie Mabel, b. 13 Oct. 1868; m. 12 Feb. 1896 Robert Talbot, and lived at Ancona.
    7. Sarah Luella, b. 14 May 1871.
    8. Anna Belle, b. 25 Apr. 1876.
  5. MARK, m. Mary Coleman, and lived at Urbana.
  6. WILLIAM, m. Sarah Campbell.
  7. JAMES, b. in 1833 - "three years old when his parents removed to Ohio", his son says; m. and lived near Ottawa, Ill., in 1860; d. at Casey, Ill., in 1905.
  8. HANNAH, m. Simon Anstine, and lived at Independence, Ill.
  9. MARY ELIZABETH, m. Benjamin Powell, and lived at Urbana.
  10. DAVID, b. about 1836; m. at Urbana 24 Mar. 1857 (? J.E.) Gerard, b. at Winchester 1 July 1836; removed to Ancona shortly after marriage. Children, among them: I. John W., b. at Ancona 26 June 1860; m. at St. Louis, Mo., 20 Jan. 1891 Belle Carnahan, b. at Mendota, Ill., 31 Oct. 1870; living in Chicago, Ill.,in 1898, salesman for Smith Premier Typewriter Co.
  11. CHARLES, m. ———— Myers, and lived at Ransom, III.
  12. THOMAS, d. young.


  1. The name of this place was changed to Cambridge in 1638.
  2. Paige'a "History of Cambridge," p. 655.
  3. Up to 1629 about 500 came to New England.  From that time to 1640 about 25,500 more came.  Few came after 1640. -Fiske's "Beginnings of New England," p. 137.
  4. History of New London." by F. M. Caulkins. p. 60.
  5. Totoket was purchased from the Indians in 1644, and town government organized, named Branford.
  6. Rev. Richard Denton of Halifax, Eng., came with several families to Watertown, Mass., in 1634, and he and his church members removed to the town of Wethersfield, Conn., the first town organized in Connecticut, in 1635.  They remained there until 1641, removing then to Rippowams (now Stanford). In 1644 Rev. Richard Denton removed with a portion of his congregation to Hempstead, L. I., where he died in 1663.  Jonas Wood and his sons Jonaa and Jeremiah, and his father Edmund, were members of this congregation, and came from Halifax. - Chapin's History of Glastonbury," pp. 31-47.
  7. A noted character who first settled in Massachusetts then removed to Stratford, and later to Huntington.
  8. See Court Record of Huntington, printed in the New York Genealogical Biographical Record for 1911, p. 184.
  9. Long Island became a part of New York in 1664.
  10. Huntington Court Records, p. 20.
  11. In a letter to me, dated 25 Nov. 1912. Dr. Adams says: "The records of the two old churches to Hartford are very incomplete.  There are no records of admissions earlier then 1685, I think The Second Church, usually called the South Church, was established in 1670.  I went through the history of these churches and through the catalogues of their members without finding a clue to the identity of Lydia, who was the second wife of the first Edward Higbee.  I fear her identity will remain a mystery.  I have looked into every other possible source of information I can think of without finding anything.
  12. Jonathan Gilbert b. about 1618; m.(1) 29 Jan.1645 Mary White (John); (2) Mary Wells (Hugh).
  13. Mary(Wells)Gilbert, second wife of Jonathan.
  14. "Privte Controversies" (Conn.). vol vi. p. 271.
  15. Thomus Greenhill was son of Jeremiah Adam's grandmother Rebecca by her first husband Samuel Greenhill.  After the death of Samuel Greenhill, Rebecca married Jeremy Adams.
  16. Leah Blackman's "History of Little Egg Harbor."

This photo of the grave of John William Higbee near Osborne, Kansas, and historical treatise of his life written by Tressa Coop Wilson, was provided by Jane Miller from Scott City, Kansas.

Photo of headstone for John William Higbee

JOHN WILLIAM HIGBEE (William, William, John, Edward, John, Edward, Edward).   The Higbee family came from Ivanhoe, England to New Jersey in 1640.  According to Clinton D. Higbee, who has traced his ancestors back to Edinborough, England abount 1450.  William Higbee, the father of John W. Higbee, moved his family to Urbana, Ohio from New Jersey in 1836.  John W. Higbee married Catherine Anstine who was born near Urbana, Ohio.   He moved his family several times in Ohio, then to McDonough County and Montgomery County, Illinois and then to Wayne County, Iowa.  Catherine died there in 1874 when her youngest son was about five years old. John W. married Phoeba Chamberlain in December, 1877. She died February 17, 1879 when her only child was three days old.  Elnora, 20 years old, cared for the motherless baby boy.  John W. married Mary E. Cosler May 15, 1881.  Their son Clyde M., was born February 24, 1882.  They came to Kansas from Iowa by covered wagon in the fall of 1884 a few months before the birth of Maude, the youngest child of John W. Higbee.  Children who probably came to Kansas with them were Elnora, Edward, George, Michael, Frank, and Clyde.  Simon, the eldest son, moved to Kansas in 1880, to Smith County in 1893 from Clark County, Kansas.  This family moved to Yuma County, Colorado in 1916.  The second son of John W. Higbee, John William, moved his family to Eastonville, Colorado in the spring of 1888, and to Monument, Colorado in 1900.  In 1909 they moved to Greenland, Colorado.  They changed the spelling to Higby.  Hanahette Higbee Williams remained in Iowa as did Sarah Higbee Linthicum.  Samuel, as a young man, located for a time in Kansas then settled in Prowers County, Colorado near Carlton in 1888.  The Linthicum family lived in western Kansas for a time then moved back to Iowa where their family of nine children grew up.

When the John W. Higbee family came to Kansas in 1884, they located on a farm five miles northeast of Osborne, later moving six miles west and two north of Downs.  It is believed that early in life John W. was a member of the United Brethren church.  When he came to Kansas there was no United Brethren church, and he joined the Free Methodist church, and was a member when he died in 1897.  His widow, Mary E. Higbee, united with the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in November, 1902.  The parents of George Higbee's wife, Mary F., were James and Catherine Coop, who homesteaded in Corinth Township in 1872.

Descendants who remained in this area were Elnora Higbee Irey and her son, George F., and wife, Edward, Michael, and Maude Higbee Coop and her sons Glen, Lloyd, and Erwin who lived their lives in Osborne County.  Maude's daughters, Irene Coop Zimmerman and Tressa Coop Wilson; great-grandchildren Milton Zimmerman, Marrida Coop Ribeau, Millie Coop Spears, Lois Wilson Corbett, and Orvin Wilson and their families.  Dorothy Coop Nickel moved to Colorado in 1950 with her family.

Children of John W. and Catherine Anstine were:

  1. Elizabeth, born 1850, Ohio.
  2. Simone Pierce, born January 28, 1852, Champaign County, Ohio; married Sarah Elizabeth Drury, July 4, 1875, Humeston, Iowa; died March 11, 1932, Yuma, Colorado.
  3. John William, born February 17, 1854, Stubenville, Ohio; married Emily M. Briley, January 10, 1877; died February 13, 1916, Greenland, Colorado.
  4. Hanahette, born November 14, 1857, Champaign County, Ohio; married George Williams on March 12, 1878; died October 12, 1932, Corydon, Iowa.
  5. (Ella) Elnora, born February 10, 1859, Pinhook, Illinois, McDonough County; married George W. Irey, January 4, 1894, Osborne Kansas; died November 11, 1940, Osborne, Kansas.
  6. Samuel, born February 25, 1861, McDonough County, Illinois; married Emiley J. Swords, July 5, 1891; married Ola Gleason in 1918; died February 14, 1931 in Carlton, Colorado.
  7. Sarah Delphina, born October 14, 1864, McDonough County, Illinois; married John Linthicum, April 1, 1880, Weldon, Iowa; died March 19, 1946, Orient, Iowa.
  8. Charles Edward, born October 25, 1865, McDonough County, Illinois; died June 30, 1937, Larned, Kansas.
  9. George Calvin, born April 30, 1867, Montgomery County, Illinois; married Mary Frances Coop, September 6, 1891, Downs, Kansas; married Minnie Lorimor, March 13, 1925, Simla, Colorado; died January 14, 1931, Simla, Colorado.
  10. Michael, born June 9, 1869, Wayne County, Iowa; died August 11, 1917, Downs, Kansas.

Children of John W. and Phoeba Chamberlain were:

  1. Frank Elmo, born February 14, 1879, Decatur County, Iowa; married Rosa Donahey in 1900; died June 19, 1940, Fountain, Colorado.

Children of John W. and Mary Eliza Cosler were:

  1. Clyde Marshall, born February 24, 1882, Decatur County, Iowa; married Luella Salter, October 22, 1902, Shelton, Nebraska; died March 2 1939, Portland, Oregon.
  2. Bessie Maude, born November 19, 1884, northeast of Osborne, Kansas; married Moses A. Coop, November 23, 1902, Downs, Kansas; died October 24, 1953, Osborne, Kansas.

This treatise of J. W. Higby was provided by Ramona Higbee at the 83rd annual Higbee / Higby picnic on July 19, 2015. As seen above for the treatise of John William Higbee, J. W. Higby was the third born of John William Higbee. Included in this treatise is a history of the J. W. Higby ranch.

JOHN WILLIAM HIGBY (John, William, William, John, Edward, John, Edward, Edward).   While almost four years have passed since J. W. Higby was called to his final rest, Colorado is still benifiting by business interests which he instituted and for many years he was regarded as one of the most forceful, resourceful and progressive men of his section of the state. He possessed unfaltering enterprise, keen sagacity, laudable ambition and high principles of business integrity. Born in Illinois on the 17th of February 1854, he spent his youthful days upon the home farm with his father and after his schooldays were over began farming on his own account, following that pursuit in Illinois and in Iowa until 1888, when he removed to Eastonville, Colorado.

At that date Mr. Higby secured employment with the Russell-Gates Mercantile Company as a clerk and after six months became one of the partners in the business and for twelve years remained the vice president of the corporation, which at that time operated twelve stores in El Paso, Elbert, and Douglas counties. Successful as he was along mercantile lines, this constituted but one phase of his activities. In 1888 hw homesteded one hundred and sixty acres and also preempted a similar amount of land and secured a timber claim of like size near Calhan, Colorado. His wife occupied the claim for six years in order to prove up on the property, while Mr. Higby remained at Eastonville to conduct the interests of the Russell-Gates Mercantile Company. He remained an active factor in the conduct and successful management of that business until 1900, when he sold his interests and removed to monument, where he establised a mercantile house and, contrary to the predictions of all his friends, he made of it a notable success. He closely studied the wishes and interests of his patrons, as well as the market, ever recognizing the fact that satisfied customers are the best advertisement. He held to the highest standards in the personnel of the house, in the line of goods carried, in the treatment of his customers, and his business showed a rapid and substantial growth. Centering his efforts in a way upon Monument and the district surrounding, he purchased in 1902 sixteen hundred and forty acres of woodland near Monument and erected therea number of sawmills, he which he utilized in furnishing fifty thousand railroad ties for the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad Company. He also cut all the tree tops into cordwood, shipping hundreds of carloads of cordwood into Fort Logan and Denver. Ranching interests also claimed his attention to a still greater degree and in 1910 he purchased the Greenland ranch of sixteen thousand , two hundred and eighty acres at Greenland, Colorado, and up to the time of his death in February, 1915, he spent most of his time upon the ranch, leaving his mercantile interests in charge of compentent and trusted emplyees. The ranch has a capacity of twenty-five hundred head of cattle, with a thousand acres under cultivation and two thousand acres of hay land. After purchasing this property Mr. Higby sold two-fifths interest in the ranch to one of his closest friends, C. C. Henning, of Colorado Springs. The ranch at present is under the management of his two sons Louis and Carl, who carry on the business under the name of J. W. Higby Ranch.

In 1882 Mr. Higby was united in marriage to Miss Marie Emily Briley, of Garden Grove, Iowa, a daughter of Stephen H. and Jane (Hyatt) Briley, the former a minister of the united Brethren church. Mr Higby on his deathbed desired it to be known that to his wife he owned his success in life, saying that any man with a wife like his could do otherwise than win success, for she at all timeswas the guiding spirit of his life, encouraging and assisting him when there were trials and difficulties to be met. Her cooperation and her encouragement were stong elements in his advancement , as he claimed. In other words, theirs was largely an ideal companionship. Each shared in the interests, the ambitions and the projects of the other and their deepest concern was for the welfare and happiness of their six children. Olive May, their eldest, became the wife of James Killin, a ranchman residing near Monument, and they have one child , James Lewis. Louis R. married Jennie Lake, of Colorado Springs, and resides upon the home ranch. Carl M. wedded Dorothy Hulbert, of Logansport, Indiana, by whom he has three children. Marie E., Carl R., and John W., and they too reside upon the home ranch. William Eugene wedded Blanche David, of Marrionville, Missouri, by whom he has two children, William D. and James E., and in his business connections is well known as the manager of the Monument store. Kate is the wife of Fred Noe, living on a ranch near Greenland, and they have five chidren. Willian F., Carl F., Charles L., Campbell, and Catharine. Jack B., who was manager of the mercantile business at Greenland and died of influenza in the early winter of 1918, married Gladys Johnston, of Greenland, and had one son Gladys Jack. The Higby estate comprises three-fifths of an interest in the ranch of sixteen thousand , two hundred and eighty acresand the mercantile enterprises at Greenland and Monument. The business is largely under the management of the children, all of whom are graduates of the East Denver high school, and the daughters are also graduates of the Manuel Trianing school at Denver, Olive graduating from the State Teachers College at Greeley, while the boys pursued a business course at the Modern School of Business in Denver. The family is one of which the mother has every reason to be proud, for her traing and teaching have developed men of high moral principles. None of her sons having ever tasted intoxicants or tobacco, and her daughters are proving to be most efficient in modern scienfific housekeeping. Their course reflects credit upon an untarnished family name, and indicates the wisdom of the traning given by the parents. Mr. Higby counted personal effort or sacrifice on his part too great if it would promote the welfare and happiness of his wife and children. In the career of such a man the broadest spirit of the new twentieth century found expression. The philospher Emerson once said: "An institution is but the lengthened shadow of a man". Judged by this standard, measured by his extensive ranching and comercial interests, Mr. Higby was a great man who owed his success to intense industry and not to special ability. An analyzationof the records of most successful men will indicate that their advancement is due to that quality of intense industry. However his life was never self centered. While he attemped important things and accomplised what he attemped, his success never represented another's lossess, but was built up through constructive effort. He was a dependable man in any relation and sny emergency - one in whom to have confidence. His easy dignity, his frankness and cordiality of address, with a total absence of anything sinister or anything to conceal, indicated him to be a man ready to meet any obligation of life with the confidence and courage that come of conscious personal ability, right conception of things and a habitual regard for what is best in the exercise of human activity.

Higbee / Higby Picnic Association
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