Genealogical and Family History
STATE OF MAINE
Compiled under the editorial supervision of George Thomas Little, A. M., Litt. D.
LEWIS HISTORICAL PUBLISHING COMPANY
[Please see Index page for full citation.]
[Transcribed by Coralynn Brown]
[Many families included in these genealogical records had their beginnings in Massachusetts.]
The derivation of this name is a matter of conjecture, but Hon. Henry John Roby, M. P., from Manchester, England, gives reason for thinking that the name is taken from the hamlet of Roby, in the parish of Huyton, five or six miles east of Liverpool. Since 1403 the residence of the Robies can be distinctly traced at Castle Donington, a small town in the northern edge of Leicestershire, England, which lies between the counties of Derby and Nottingham. The name is variously spelled Robie, Roby, Robey, Robay, Robye, and Rooby, but was spelled Robie by Thomas, the father of Henry, the immigrant. Disconnected statements in the records of Castle Doninton between 1402 and 1512 show the existence of the family at that place between those dates. In Sept., 1402-1403, John Roby was possessed of a copy hold in the manor of Castle Donington.
(I) John Roby, with whom the connected history of the family begins, took part in the court proceedings of Castle Donington, in Oct., 1512. In March, 1513, he was admitted tenant of two burgages. In June, 1513, he was named at a court in which William Roby and three others were admitted to three curtilages. He died shortly before Christmas, 1515.
Thomas and Emmot.
(II) Thomas, son of John Roby, was born at Castle Donington, 1501, and May 6, 1516, he was admitted as son and heir of John Roby, to a taft, a croft, and one yard of land and moiety of meadow, at a rent of twenty shillings a year. In 1526 Emmot Roby was admitted to a cottage, to the use of his brother Thomas, who in turn each of the years 1527-32-36 was on the homage. In 1538-40 he was mentioned in the court proceedings. In 1542 he defended a suit in chancery, and in 1547 was on the homage.
He married Elizabeth ____. He was buried at Castle Donington, Dec. 5, 1552, and his wife was also buried there Feb. 22, 1565.
Robert, John, Thomas, Edmond, William, Bartholomew, Michael and Marie.
(III) Thomas (2), third child of Thomas (1) and Elizabeth Roby, yeoman, was engaged in litigation concerning land in Donington Manor, in 1560-83-87, and mentioned in the proceedings of the Manor Court in 1559-60-66, and 1586.
He married (first) Nov. 25, 1569, at Castle Donington, Joane Cowley, who was buried at Castle Donington Oct. 10, 1579. He married (second) April 22, 1583, at Castle Donington, Mary Gatley. By his first wife he had a son Thomas; by the second wife a daughter Elizabeth. He was buried at Castle Donington, April 12, 1588. In his will dated April 10, 1588, proved at Leicester, Sept. 12 of the same year, he speaks of his wife Mary and his children Thomas and Elizabeth (both under age), his brother John and his nephew John (under age), son of William, and makes bequests to John Gatley and Dorothy Gatley.
(IV) Thomas (3) Robye (or Robie or Roby), only son of Thomas (2) and Joane (Cowley) Roby, was under age April, 1588. he was on the homage of the Manor Court in 1637-46, and probably other years. He died March 27, 1653. His will, dated March 24, 1652, was proved at Westminster, Sept. 20, 1653.
He married Oct. 6, 1606, Mary Coxon, born April 20, 1586, and buried at Castle Donington April 26, 1641. She was the daughter of John Coxon.
Robert, Mary, Thomas, John, William, Henry, Edward, Samuel.
(V) Henry, sixth child and fifth son of Thomas (3) and Mary (Coxon) Robie, born at Castle Donington Feb. 12, 1619, died April 22, 1688, in Hampton, New Hampshire, aged sixty-nine. Early in 1639 he came to Dorchester, Mass. Bay Colony. Soon after he went to Exeter, New Hampshire, which was founded by Rev. John Wheelwright the year before. This seems to have been his objective point. At that time there was no constituted authorities over the patent of New Hampshire, and the Exeters, as the Plymouth colonists before them had done, formed a voluntary combination for governmental purposes, and this agreement, dated July 4, 1639, bears the signature of Henry Robie. In May, 1643, he joined in the petition of the inhabitants of Exeter to the genearl court of Mass., praying that their territory might be received within the jurisdiction of Mass. Bay Colony. Jan. 16, 1644, he received from the town a grant of ten acres of land, and Feb. 10, 1648, a further life grant of twenty acres; and April 22, 1649, he and others were granted a mill site at Little river. In 1649-50 he was selectman, and March 21, 1650, received a further grant of ten acres of land. On May 13, 1650, as one of the committee of the town, he signed the contract engaging Rev. Samuel Dudley as minister. Nov. 24, 1650, he was given permission to enlarge his garden out of the highway, and on Jan. 2, 1651, he received a further grant of sixty acres of land from the town, and on the same day with John Gilman, dissented from the vote of the town, releasing the Rev. Samuel Dudley from payment of certain rentals due the town, and on Feb. 19, 1651, the town authorized Henry Robie and two other townsmen "to vindicate the credit and the reputation of (Rev.) Mr. Dudley, against the reproachful speeches and caluminiation of John Garland, by proceeding against him in law, according to the dermerit of his offense."
Soon after 1651 he removed into the present adjoining town of Hampton. He was selectman of Hampton for the years 1656-60-65-81, and in 1660 was a member of the committee of regulate the seating of the people in the meeting house. On Jan. 1, 1661, he was named as one of a commission to lay out the road, from the Academy green to the Landing, and in 1667 to settle the bounds of the highway between Hampton and Salisbury. On. Oct. 12, 1669, at the session of the court, Henry Robie was allowed to keep an ordinary in the town, and the court licensed him "to sell beere and wine and strong waters by retaile, and ye sd Robie doth binde himself, in ye sum of 40 pounds, on condition not to suffer any townsmen, men's chidlren and servants to be tipling in his house." He kept the ordinary for about ten years, his license being renewed from year to year. On Oct. 18, 1669, he was attorney for the town, in a matter before the court in Boston. In 1677 he was sent out to flank the Indians, who were beseiging the Hampton settlers.
His name and that of his wife were recorded as members of the town church on Sept. 18, 1671. A royal decree, made Sept. 8, 1679, having ordered that thereafter the Mass. Bay Colony should have no further jurisdiction over the towns of Dover, Portsmouth, Exeter and Hampton, it became necessary to establish a new government for the Province of New Hampshire, to accomplish which Mr. Robie was named as one of the electors from his town. July 13, 1680, he was foreman of the grand jury, and the same year one of the committee appointed to prosecute persons stealing lumber from the town. In 1683, with other residents of Hampton, he petitioned the colonial governor to be freed from head-money, and the same year was elected a member of the council from his town. He was a justice of the peace for many years, and Feb. 6, 1683, with three other justices, signed the committment of Rev. Joshua Moody, pastor of the church in Portsmouth, for six months for refusing to administer the sacrament in accordance of the laws of Great Britain. He was a standing juryman in the trials of Mason against Richard Walderne and other persons in N. H. for holding lands which Mason claimed as proprietor of the province.
His first wife, Ruth, died May 5, 1673, and he married (second) Jan. 19, 1674, Widow Elizabeth Garland, daughter of Thomas Philbrick, who had previously been the wife of Thomas Chase, and of John Garland. She died Feb. 11, 1677. His third wife, Sarah, died Jan. 23, 1703.
His children were:
Thomas, John, Judith, Ruth, Deliverance, Samuel and Ichabod by the first wife.
Sarah by the third wife..
Two other children, Joanna and Mary, may have been born to him.
(VI) John, second child of Henry and Ruth Robie, born at Exeter, Feb. 2, 1649, was killed June 16, 1691. He removed to Haverhill in Jan., 1675, and lived in that part of the town which fell into New Hampshire at the establishment of the "Mitchell line." In a list made Feb. 1, 1677, of houses erected in Haverhill since Jan. 25, 1675, is mentioned that of John Robie. He lived in what is now Atkinson.
His wife died a few days before June 16, 1691, and on that day he was removing his family, consisting of seven children, the eldest not yet eleven years old, to a place of refuge in the North Parish. When they reached a spot opposite a burying ground desceibed as "near Jesse Clements," Mr. Robie was shot by Indians and killed.
(VII) Colonel Ichabod (probably the eldest) son of John and (Corlis) Robie, born in 1680, died between Oct. 10, 1752, and Sept. 26, 1753. He was taken captive by the Indians at the time his father was killed June 16, 1691, and carried away. There are two traditions with respect to his return home. One is that he was ransomed; and the other that by the aid of a friendly Indian he escaped and returned home.
He learned the art of tanning, and settled in Hampton Falls, and established his home on what has ever since been known as "the Robie farm." He was a member of the "Society for Settling the Chestnut Country," attended the first meeting, and was one of the committee to lay out the lots, and also of the old hundred-acre lots, and also for running the lines. He is often mentioned in the records of Chester, and probably built a house on his home lot No. 116, and spent considerable time in the town, but never permanently lived there.
His will is dated Oct. 10, 1752, and proved Sept. 26, 1753.
He married Jan. 10, 1707, Mary Cass, born in Hampton, Feb. 26, 1687, daughter of Joseph and Mary (Hobbs) Cass.
Anne, Ruth, John, Henry, Samuel, Mary and Sarah.
(VIII) Samuel, fifth child and third son of Ichabod and Mary (Cass) Robie, was born in Hampton, N. H., Oct. 17, 1717. He lived first in Chester (Raymond), on his father's home lot No. 116, He sold his farm, including his tanyard, to John S. Dearborn in 1778, and took his pay in continental money which became worthless on his hands, and he lost all. He then removed to Goffstown.
He married (first) a Miss Perkins, by whom he had:
Sarah, Lydia and Edward.
He married (second) Widow Phebe Butterfield, and had:
Samuel and Polly, who lived at Goffstown.
(IX) Edward, third child of Samuel and ____ (Perkins) Robie, born in Chester, 1746, died Dec. 26, 1837, aged ninety-two. He settled first in Candia, and later removed to Chester. He married in 1771, Sarah Smith, daughter of Colonel Webster's second wife. She died in 1843, aged eighty-nine.
Mary, Asa, John Smith, Edward J., Toppan, Sarah and Thomas Sargent.
(X) Captain Toppan, fourth son and fifth child of Edward and Sarah (Smith) Robie, born in Candia, N. H., Jan. 27, 1782, died in Gorham, Maine, Jan. 14, 1871, aged eighty-nine. He remained with his parents until seventeen years of age and then, having received a practical education, went to Gorham, Maine, where he became a clerk in the store of John Horton, and a few months later went into the employ of Daniel Cressey, then a leading trader of Gorham. In Sept., 1802, while still a minor, he took the quite respectable sum of money which by prudence and economy he had saved from his earnings, and forming a partnership went into business with Sewall Lancaster. In 1815 he and his younger brother, Thomas S., became partners under the style of T. & T. S. Robie, retail merchants, and in the more than twenty year partnership, its members became widely known and popular throughout the states of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, where they were credited with great activity and absolutely square dealing. That was long before the days of railroads, and long lines of loaded sleds and sleighs came from the state of Vermont and Coos county, N. H., through the Notch, on their way to Portland, and a good share of their trade fell to Gorham. Mr. Robie continued in business until 1850, when he retired, having by his energy and strict attention to business accumulated a large fortune. For more than fifty years Toppan Robie was a leading citizen not only of Gorham, but of a region including the various surrounding towns. He filled many local offices, and by his faithful and efficient service in the duties thereof proved his qualifications for higher positions and greater honors.
In politics he was a Whig and an earnest, unswerving adherent of his party. He served six terms as a representative in the general court of Massachusetts, 1813 to 1815, and after the province of Maine was removed from the jurisdiciton of Mass. in 1820, and made a state, he served in the first two legislatures of the new state, 1820-21. In 1837 he was a member of Governor Kent's council. For half a century he was a trustee of Gorham Academy, and for many years its treasurer. His contributions to that efficient school were generous and timely. He was also long the treasurer of the Congregational Parish and of its imisterial fund, to which latter he contributed $9,000.
In the war of 1812 he was captain of a miltia company and with his men marched to Portland in 1814, for the defence of the city. He was always ready to do his part in all public movements and no worthy cause ever sought his aid in vain. Toward the erection of the beautiful soldiers' monument, the first erected in Maine, which adorns the village of Gorham, the generous tribute to the memory of the men who died in order that their country might live, he donated $2,000; and toward the purchase of the town clock $500. In the evening of life he passed his years in that peace and tranquility which are the reward of right living. For seventy years he had resided among the popel in whose midst he died.
He married (first) Oct. 8, 1804, Lydia Brown, of Chester, New Hampshire, born Feb. 6, 1782, died Feb. 23, 1811, aged twenty-nine. She was the daughter of Benjamin and Prudence (Kelley) Brown, and sister of the late Francis Brown, D.D., president of Dartmouth College from 1815 to 1820. He married (second) Sept. 17, 1811, Sarah T. Lincoln, who was baptized in Hingham, Mass., May 12, 1793, died April2 3, 1828, daughter of John and Bethia (Thaxter) Lincoln, of Gorham, Maine, and was a descendant from Samuel Lincoln, who came from England, and settled in Hingham, Mass. in 1637. General Benjamin Lincoln, of revolutionary fame, Lieut. Governor Levi Lincoln, of Mass., his sons, Levi, Lincoln, governor of Mass., and Governor Enoch Lincoln of Maine, were descendants of this pioneer; and Abraham Lincoln, president of the U. S., was of the same family.
He married (third) in Nov., 1828, Mrs. Eliza (Stevens) Cross, daughter of William Stevens, of Portland, and widow of Captain William Cross.
Children of 1st wife:,br> Harriet, b. Aug. 9, 1805, married Aug. 29, 1829, Oliver Lincoln, of Boston; died in 1832.
Frances B., b. Aug. 19, 1809, marred March 27, 1838, Martha L. Prince, of North Yarmouth.
Children of 2d wife:
Charles, July 30, 1812, married Sept. 2, 1835, Emily March.
George, b. Oct. 1, 1816, married April 27, 1841, Frances M. Barrett.
Frederick, whose sketch follows.
(XI) Governor Frederick, youngest child of Captain Toppan and Sarah T. (Lincoln) Robie, was born in Gorham Aug. 12, 1822. After completing the usual studies at Gorham Academy, and with private turtors, he entered Bowdoin College in 1837, and was graduated with the class of 1841. After graduating he went south and for a time taught in Georgia academies and in Florida. While there he decided to become a physician, and matriculated at Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, and was graduated from that institutuion in 1844. In April of the same yar he opened an office in Biddeford, where he practiced eleven years. In 1855 he removed to Waldoboro, where he remained three years. In each of these towns his practice was extensive and profitable. Returning to Gorham he resided there until the outbreak of the slaveholder's rebellion. June 1, 1861, he was commissioned by President Lincoln, paymaster of the U. S. Volunteers. He served in the Army of the Potomac until 1863, and was then transferred to Boston as chief paymaster of the Dept. of New England. In 1864 he was sent to the Department of the Gulf of New Orleans, where he paid the troops for a year, or until 1865. At the end of the war he returned to Maine, where he had charge of paying off of the Maine soldiers. His efficient services were recognized and rewarded by the brevet commission of lieutenant-colonel, dated Nov. 24, 1865, he being the first Maine paymaster to receive brevet of that rank. He was honorably mustered out July 20, 1866, and at once returned with energy to the pursuit of peace, his course having been approved by both the government and the people of the state.
In 1866 Colonel Robie was elected to the state senate, and re-elected the following year. He was also appointed in 1866 by William Pitt Fessenden as special agent of the treasury department, in which capacity he served two years. From 1868 to 1873 he was a member of the house of representatives eight years, and in all served ten terms in the Maine legislature. In 1872 and 1876 he was speaker of the house. He is an able parliamentarian, and discharged the duties of his position with a skill born of much experience and a courtesy and grace which were pleasing to all, and contributed in no slight degree to the dispatch of business that distinguished these periods. He was a member of Governor Washburn's executive council in 1866, of that of Governor Davis in 1880, and of that of Governor Plaisted in 1881-82. In 1872 he was a delegate to the Republican National convention which nominated General Grant for a second term. In 1878 he was appointed commissioenr of the Paris Exposition, and traveled extensively in Europe during the year he remained abroad. In 1882, at the meeting of the Republican state convention in Portland, Colonel Robie was nominated for governor. At the ensuing election Colonel Robie received a plurality of about nine thousand votes over the Democratic candidate, Governor Harris M. Plaisted. In 1884 Governor Robie was again nominated and re-elected by a majority of nearly twenty thousand votes, which plainly showed that the firm, intelligent and business-like administration of Governor Robie had the full approval of other parties, who cast their ballots for him. A retrospect shows him to have been one of the most efficient and popular governors the state of Maine has ever had.
In various business enterprises Governor Robie has been and now is an active and powerful business factor. For many years he was a director of the Portland & Rochester Railroad Company; also a director of the First National Bank, of which he is now and for seventeen years has been president. In 1885 he was president of the Eastern Telegraph Company, and one time he was business manager of the Portland Press Publishing Company. He is also a director of the financial committee of the Mutual Life Insurance Company.
Governor Robie was raised in a community where agricultural influences were predominant, and his interest in the cultivation of the soil and those who carry it has always been hearty and sincere. Not long after the grange movement was started he allied himself with it and still gives it his strong support. He was chosen worthy master of the Maine State Grange in 1881, and continued in that office the ensuing eight years. Naturally he feels a deep and abiding interest in the Grand Army. He became a member of John R. Adams Post at Gorham, and has been one of the foremost to aid in the promotion of many of the wise measures undertaken by that organization. During the year 1899 he was commander of the Department of Maine of the Grand Army of the Republic.
For over nineteen years he has been president of the board of trustees of the Insane Hospital of the state at Augusta. This institution has received much of his attention, and every annual report of the trustees has been written by him. While a member of the legislature the question of the location of the State Normal school came up and he was instrumental in securing its location in Gorham. He has generously contributed to its success and the trustees honored him by calling the handsome new dormitory "Frederick Robie Hall," and that inscription is cut in its grante walls. Similarly, the active and permanent interest of Governor Robie in the public schools of Gorham, manifested in a multitude of ways, promted his fellow townsmen to change the corporation name of one of the Gorham schools to the "Frederick Robie High School." The same high qualities that made his father a leading man in the region about Gorham, have made Governor Robie one of the ablest, most progresive, most influential and most highly esteemed citizens of the commonwealth over whose destinites he has had the honor twice to preside. The strong character he inherits from various lines of worthy ancestors has placed him in the front rank of the patriotic, worthy and leading men of the state, and his unvarying courtesy, kindliness of heart, integrity, liberality, and irreproachable character have made him a myriad of friends whose regard is lifelong. Governor Robie has recently become a member of the Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of Maine, tracing his descent from Richard Warren, one of the passengers of the "Mayflower," a signer of the compact, and a six year resident of Plymouth, Mass.
Frederick Robie married (first) Nov. 12, 1847, Mary Olivia Priest, born in Biddeford, Sept. 23, 1828, died Nov. 5, 1898, daughter of Jonathan and Mary (Emery) Priest, of Biddeford. She was a lady of many accomplishments, unusually proficient as a pianist, and also endowed with those personal graces and social qualities which endear their possessor to all whom they meet.
Harriet, Mary Frederica, Eliza and William P. F.
Harriet, b. Sept. 3, 1848, married Clark H. Barker, one time postmaster of Portland, now (1908) deceased. Two children were born of this marriage: Mary Olivia and Benjamin Barker.
Mary Frederica, b. March 3, 1852, married George F. McQuillan, a prominent lawyer of Portland; one child was born of this marriage, Harriet R.
Eliza, b. Feb., 1856, died Sept. 3, 1863.
William P. F. is mentioned below.
Governor Robie married (second) Jan. 10, 1900, Martha E. Cressey, born in Gorham May 3, 1849, daughter of Alvin and Sarah (Flagg) Cressey. She had always resided on the farm where she was born, and has always been intersted in agriculture and the farm is now carried on under her direction. She is a member of the Congregational church; the Order of the Eastern Star; the Relief Corps, Grand Army of the Republic; and Patrons of Husandry.
(XII) William Pitt Fessenden Robie, youngest child and only son of Governor Frederick and Mary Olivia (Priest) Robie, was born in Dorchester, Mass., Nov. 5, 1863. From the public schools he ent to the preparatory school at Fryeburg, Maine, and graduated from that insitution in 1884. The same year he entered Bowdoin Collge, from which he was graduated with the class of 1889. After leaving college he assisted his father in the management of his farm in Gorham until 1896, when he entered the medical department of the Union Mutual Live Insurance Company of Portland, where he has continued to the present time. He resides in Gorham, Maine.
He married, April 6, 1891, Flora Barton, of Cherryfield, who was born June 4, 1862, daughter of Alonzo and Mary (Pineo) Barton. Five children have been born of this marriage:
Mary Frederica, Frederick, Catherine Carlton, John Waterman and Elizabeth Read.
The information relating to the early history of the Robie family is due to the researches of Hon. Henry J. Roby, Sanerigg, Grasmere, England, and Ruben Edward Robie, Bath, New York.