By VanBuren Lamb, Jr.

Summit, New York


Line of Joseph Dibble of Columbia Co. and Schoharie Co., N.Y.


      Robert Deeble was the first of this name in New England.  He and his wife were early settlers of Dorchester, Mass.  The first records of this town have been lost, but it is recorded that he was made freeman 6 May 1635.  Robert and his wife (known only as goody deeble) evidently became members of the Dorchester Congregation which was formed in 1629 at the New Hospital in Plymouth, Eng.  Some members of this congregation sailed from Plymouth and some from Weymouth, Eng.

      The ship in which Robert and his wife came to these shores is not known, but possibly they arrived 24 June 1633 with 78 other members of this Congregation, for the names of these passengers are not recorded.  His son Thomas Deble age 22 with Frances Debel age 24 sorer(sister) did sail from Weymouth, Eng. on 20 Mar.1635.  A Robert Dabyn age 28 arrived in New England the same year and was listed as a servant to Joseph Hall.  There were probably other brothers and sisters during the Indian uprisings and massacares Abraham Dibol (of Haddam and later of Simsbury, Conn.), John Deble’s family of Springfield, Mass., and an Ebenezer Deble appear in Windsor, Conn. In close association with Thomas Deble.

      One record says Robert Deeble was a native of Somersetshire, Eng. but I can find no proof of this statement.  However he is definitely from the West Counties of England where there are thousands of references to the family(with many variations of spelling)in the church records of Devon, Dorset, Somerset, and Cornwall.  There were hundreds of Dibble wills preserved in the Bishop of Exeters files before War II, which I feel sure would have given our ancestry in England back to 1400, but they were all destroyed in the “Blitz”.

      There seems to have been a Dibble Coat-of-Arms though it is not recorded in the College of Heralds.  Arthur J. Jewers in his Heraldic Church Notes of Cornwall, gives on page 58 the description of the arms of Deeble as: “Purpure(purple)shield, Three beansetters argent(silver), crest a dibble or(gold)”.  The arms are pictured, quartered with those of Wolsden, show the beansetter to have been of the stirrup variety.  Reverend Samuel Dibble buried in Charles Church Yard, Plymouth, Eng. in 1750 had these arms engraved on his tombstone, but this also was destroyed in the “blitz”.  In old English dictionaries the word now spelled dibble was spelled deeble.  I find no foundation for the statement by some that the name is of French origin (diable meaning devil) though some facetious clerks both in Eng. and America so spelled it in the early records.

      We have few records of Robert and Thomas Deeble in Mass.  The First Land record is for 4 Jan.1635 when Thomas Deeble was to receive 30 acres of land in the divisions of the hill between Roxbury and Dorchester.  In Mar. 1638 Robert was appointed baliff(tax collector) for Dorchester Church and continued in that post until 1641.  The records for the Dorchester Church for 28 Feb.1642 list Robert Deeble and goody deeble as original members.  I have found no further record of them in New England, so it may be possible that they returned to England with other dissatisfied members of the Congregation, after their leader and many of their friends had removed to Windsor, Conn.

      Robert Deeble’s signature appears on the flyleaf of the History of Dorchestor, Mass. in a list of original proprietors.  This and the fact that he was appointed bailiff is fair proof that he was a little better educated than some of the early colonists.