(Information on Thomas Tibbals compiled by Ethel Tibbals Osborne in the year 1966 A.D.)
This begins with Thomas Tibbals. We find various spellings of the name beginning with Tibbaldes, then Tibbald, Tibalz, Tibbels, Tibbles, etc.
Thomas Tibbals was born in England in 1615, came to America in the company of Zacharia Whitman (who was later ruling Elder of Milford) on the sailing ship "The Truelove", in 1635. This was the final sailing of the year, leaving London on September 19th of that year. Thomas Tibbals is listed as a "person of quality", probably meaning he is distinguished from an "indentured servant" or in other words he was able to pay his way. Passage from England cost twenty pounds (£20).
Thomas is believed to have landed somewhere on the coast of Massachusetts. Our first authentic records finds him in Connecticut, being a member of the troop who fought the Pequots (Indians). While thus serving his adopted country he had seen a beautiful spot with plentiful water; "potable water" as it was called. Later when a group who wanted to found a settlement composed of all church members met, he told the leaders of this spot.
From Nathan Stowe; copied from papers in possession of Kay Tibbals Davenport of 208 Roland Avenue, Jackson, Tennessee.
"Thomas Tibbals is said to have been the first English settler to have seen the Valley of Wapowang (Wepowaug is another spelling), where later the land was purchased from the Indians for a settlement. It was when the Indians, dislodged from their stronghold at Pequot, were in retreat toward the westward, that Thomas Tibbals, one of a party in pursuit, was detached from the main body to insure against any lurking body of the enemy being left to harass the rear of the English forces, and secreted in the neck of land between the Housatonic and Long Island Sound."
"Thomas Tibbals at that time noted the natural features of the locality for a desirable place for settlement having a river of considerable size on the West, and, after the settlement at Quinnipiac, a friendly settlement at the East, and a tribe of friendly natives desiring the protection of the English, who being well-armed, could insure them against attack by the more formidable and hostile tribes that had for so long been exacting tribute from them, and as a mutual protection to both the English and the natives, the hunting instincts of the natives was a guard against a surprise (attack) from the interior."
"Besides this immunity from hostile sources there was the further attraction of a goodly supply of potable water, and a well-sheltered harbour for shipping with plentiful game in the forest, and sea-food in the waters; wood was sufficiently plentiful for fuel and land for cultivation".
"It was yet to be proven the locality was also more than ordinarily healthful as was learned when among 200 or more settlers, no organic disease developed for about six (6) years, the first death being that of little Soloman East from a child's complaint. The next death being that of Mrs. Nicolas Camp in child-bed after giving birth to twins and taking a chill."
"It was probably at the suggestion of Thomas Tibbals that a committee of Hartford men was delegated to view this site, and, if his description etc., were true, and a favorable report made, the committee was empowered to negotiate a purchase."
Nathan Stowe believes this is why "Tomas" Tibbals was given the first of several tracts of land, rather than the mere physical fact of his having led the band of settlers. His first land was lot 53 on the original plot of Milford. It seems a "party of Hereford" were desirous of making "a settlement apart from Mr. Davenport's company" and the purchase resulted. (Mr. Davenport seems to have been a combination of spiritual and civic boss in Hartford and possibly in Wethersfield as well.)
"June 1638 we find these Planters gathered in the barn of Robert Newman for the purpose of coming to an agreement on the government of the Colony". (Think this refers to New Haven. The original articles there seem to have made property possession the basis for the privilege of voting.)
The meeting was not altogether harmonious as other differences came up. The majority favoured recognizing church membership as the basis of eligibility to vote on the affairs of the Colony. And it was so decided but it seems Mr. Davenport thought otherwise. A second meeting was held of those who refused to longer subscribe to the idea of "property ownership" citizenship.
Among these was Thomas Tibbals and he attended both meetings. The meetings seem to have been led by the Rev. Peter Purden. At the second meeting they decided to form a new colony. (The Newman lot was at the foot of the present Hillhouse Ave. in New Haven on which site now stands the New Haven Colony Historical Society Bldg; presented by Henry Fowler English in memory of Governor and in. State Senator, the late Edward English, his father and Caroline Fowler English, his mother a direct descendant of Wm Fowler of Milford, the founder and builder or the First Mill.)
Among these it is reported was "Sergeant Tibbals who had served in the Pequot War, under Capts. Mason, Stoughton and Underhill". Here it appears he "recommended going to the location he had observed and in August 1639 led the group to the Spot."
"In recognition the valuable service ... (words missing) ... imparted by Sergeant Tibbals, he was on two separate occasions granted land in the settlement, a beginning that has come to be the town of Milford".
Going back we learn something more about the ancestor, Thomas Tibbals, from these various sources.
"They immediately fenced in common three tracts of land in which each man received by lot his portion of upland Westfield which was the land lying south of the town, between the turnpike and great meadows, was laid out to those who settled the West end; Eastfield which enclosed Gulf Neck (?)possessed by those who located on the river. `Mill-Neck,' the tract lying between Wharf St., and Bear Neck Lane, was owned by a part or both."
"Each person was further allotted a piece of land (meadow) lying either in the great, or harbour meadows. As the population increased, and as the danger from Indians grew less, the land further from the center was gradually laid out. There were about 54 planters, as they were called, to be `free planters'. They had to be church members in good fellowship which was a regulated qualification in the view of these Colonists to be admitted as such."
"Thomas Tlbbals was one of these planters and is so listed. All were married and considered as an average of four people per family. This would make upwards to 200 persons coming to Millford."
"The body of Planters moved from New Haven to Milford by land following
devious Indian paths, driving their cattle and other domestic animals before
them, while their household utensils and material for the common house
(which was fitted at New Haven), were taken around by water, while Thomas
Tibbals piloted the company through the woods to the place.
He having been there before, for which services the town in 1670 made him two grants of land, in Westfield as a free gift."
So it appears by this date he owned at least 3 pieces of land.
From "Historical Sketches of the Town of Milford", by George Hare Ford
in Hollister's "History of Connecticut". "Memorial Bridge, Northeast end
of bridge, as it appears on the granite stone."
IN CONSIDERATION OF HIS
HELPFULNESS ATT FIRST COM
ING TO MILFORD TO SHOW THE
FIRST COMERS THE PLACE
Buildings were often built at one site, then marked and taken apart for shipment to the permanent location where they were reassembled.
The name Milford was chosen by vote in 1640. The fiscal year began March 25,1640.
From the "Plantation Covenant Historical Schetches", page 8. (The beginning of the sentence is missing) "...from early records that they ever reserved a building for His Palace." Most colonies provided a place of Worship usually called a meeting house.
From the Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England, by James Savage, Vol. 4, we find that various members of the Tibbals family were "propounded for Free Masonry" as early as 1669.
Tibbals-Thomas...was of the first settlers 1639; had embarked on the "Truelove" 1635, the last ship to sail in that year from London, aged 20, and was no doubt, soon after in some port of the river towns of Conneticut. Happy enough for service in the Pequot War in 1637 and among the Free Masons of 1669.
This reference states that one of the tracts given to Thomas Tibbals was for his services in the Pequot War and was of 50 A. in extent.
Reurn to Tibbals family tree
Go to Tibbals home page
Edited by Richard Jacob, August 21, 1999