G. T. (Gideon Tibbetts) Ridlon.

History of the ancient Ryedales, and their descendants in Normandy, Great Britain, Ireland, and America, from 860 to 1884 online

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school-teacher in Maiden.

Samuel Ridler 4 (3), second son of Samuel 3 (2), was born in Boston,
Mass., in 1844, and was single in 1873 ; teamster.

Parker Ridler 4 (1), third son of Samuel 3 (2), was born in Boston,
Mass., in June, 1850 ; unmarried in 1873 ; clerk in silver-ware store, Bos-
ton, in 1884.

Ella Ridler 4 (1), eldest daughter of Samuel 3 (2), was born in 1852.

Irving Ridler 4 (1), youngest son of Samuel 3 (2), died in 1864, aged
8 years.

Anna Ridler 4 (1), eldest daughter of George 3 (1), was born May 15,



Alice Ridler 4 (1), second daughter of George 3 (1), was born Aug. 6,
1854.

George Ridler 4 (2), eldest son of George 3 (1), was born March 7, 1861.
Eugene Ridler 4 (1), second son of George 3 (1), was born July 26, 1863.



RHDDDLAN AND RIDLAND FAMILIES.



RHUDDLAN AND RIDLAND FAMILIES.



EARLY ANCESTRY.



The Rhuddlan, Ridland, and Redlon families, now so numerously
scattered throughout Europe and America, are descended from an ancient
Norman warrior named Robert d'Avranches, who, with a kinsman, Hugh
d'Avranches, followed by the Normans who had settled in Chester, on the
other side of the River Dee, invested Flintshire and conquered the Welsh
in the twelfth century. This Robert d'Avranches fixed his residence at
Rhuddlan, rebuilt and greatly strengthened the castle, and changed his
original French local name to the new one of de Rhuddlan. His subse-
quent history is somewhat enshrouded in obscurity, but he founded a
family in Wales surnamed Rhuddlan or Rydland, and his descendants are
now scattered in various parts of the world under changed surnames, as
will be seen by the perusal of this book.

A member of this family, supposed to have been a native of Wales,

* Rhuddlan Castle and an ancient town of the same name, situated on the
River Chwyd, in the County of Flint, Wales, derives its name from the red sand-
stone which abounds along the bank of the river, from which the town and castle
were constructed. This castle and town have a very remote and interesting history.
It is not known how early the original foundations were laid, but Rhuddlan or
Rhydlan, — as the name is sometimes spelt, — was a place of considerable importance
in the eighth century, and a plaintive air is still sung in North Wales, which com-
memorates a dreadful battle fought at " Rhuddlan Marsh," between the Britons and
Saxons in the year 795, in which the Welsh were defeated and their king and leaders
slain upon the bloody held. In 1283 King Edward I assembled a parliament at
Rhuddlan, and divided Wales into counties ; he also repealed many ancient aud
obnoxious laws, instituting a new code called the "Statute of Rhuddlan,'* which
secured to the people greater advantages than they had previously enjoyed. In
1854 the town was "decayed and insignificant," but the ancient building called the
"Parliament House," in which King Edward held his court, was standing, and
formed part of a private residence. Rhuddlan Castle formed a square, externally,
the walls being flanked by six round towers, three of which were nearly entire in
1854. The fosse around the castle walls was very wide and deep, both sides of the
excavation being faced with stone ; and the steep escarpment on the river side was
secured by high walls and square bastions, one of which is still standing. During
the civil wars the castle was garrisoned for the king ; was taken in 1646, and by
parliament ordered to be dismantled ; from this date the ancient fortress has re-
mained in a ruinous condition, but its bold towers and picturesque walls present a
striking and beautiful appearance when approached from the river, which is navi-
gable by small vessels as far as the village of Rhuddlan. The author has a photo-
graphic view of the castle, and a very flne cut representing the old fortress may
be seen in a work entitled " Picturesque Europe."



574 BHUDDLAN AND MIDLAND FAMILIES.

took up his abode in the Orkney Islands alongside of his own national con-
nections, — the Scandinavians, — who had previously settled there, but
married a widow named Moar, and soon removed to Shetland, not far dis-
tant, sat down in the parish of Sandsting, Westerskeld, and became the
progenitor of the families of Ridland since living there. The families of
Shetland hold the tradition that their common ancestor changed his name
at the time of his settlement at Orkney. The Ridlands have been a pro-
lific family, as are the Shetlanders generally, but as nearly all the male
members followed the sea, many were ship-wrecked and lost on the ocean, a
circumstance that accounts for the predominace of females in that country.
Nearly every family of Ridlands reside in the parish of Sandsting, neigh-
bors to their kinspeople the Moars, who descended from the wife of Adam
Ridland, the first to settle there. Like nearly all their countrymen, the
families own small farms, consisting of from four to forty acres, which are
mostly cultivated by the women and boys, while the men spend their time
in fishing or on board the whale-ships; many of the name have gone
on foreign voyages and were never afterwards heard from by their fam-
ilies in the north. The families now living in Shetland are in moderate
circumstances and called " crofters." Some have engaged in ship-build-
ing. Many have lived to a great age, and from a comparison of photo-
graphs of typical members of the Shetland family with the aged repre-
sentatives of the Redlon and Ridlon family in the United States, a marked
resemblance may be observed. Sub-branches of the Shetland stock have
been planted in England, Scotland, Australia, and America, but they are
not numerous, with the exception of the Ridlon descent.

William Ridlon, of Boston, Mass., and Jerome Ridland who came from
Shetland to that city about fifteen years ago, met in the freight-office of
the Boston and Maine Railway station, and each instantly recognized the
family resemblance, and by clasping hands reunited a kindred chain that
had been separated across seas for six generations.

So far as I have been able to learn, the Ridland family, once resident in
or near London, Eng., is now extinct in the male line. The family
early settled in Charlestown, Mass., although well provided with sons, was
lost sight of in two generations, and no descendant can now be found.

The descendants of Magnus Ridland, who came from Shetland in 1717,
— children born by his surname, — have reached the great number of four-
teen hundred on the paternal side. No branch of the Shetland family has
any record, and their only history is traditionary. I have forwarded
many letters of inquiry to clergymen, parish-clerks, schoolmasters, and
others, and although many promises were made that copious notes would
be furnished, they have not reached me up to this hour. Two or three
links are missing from the family chain between the earliest known an-
cestor and his next descendant as now recorded on the following pages.



GENEALOGY AND BIOGRAPHY.



RIDLANDS OF SANDSTING, SHETLAND.*

Adam Ridlaild 1 (1), supposed to have been born in Wales and de-
scended from an ancient Norman family, surnamed de Rhuddlan or Rhyd-
lan, sat down first in the Orkney Islands, and is said to have changed the

* Shetland consists of about one hundred islands, islets, and rocks, twenty-
three of which are now inhabited. These lie between the Atlantic and the North
Sea, about twenty-five leagues northeast from Orkney, and forty-four west of Nor-
way. The largest island, called the mainland, is sixty miles long by ten broad in
the widest part. Lerwick, the capital, is a tine town, with custom-house, law
courts, and other public offices ; it has a fine natural harbor. No wood grows in
Shetland. Almost all small tenants practise spade cultivation. Nearly all the houses
are of the same form, — these are called "crofters' houses," — being built of stone,
with two small rooms, and covered with thatch. The cooking is done over a fire
built in the centre of the common room, upon a hearth elevated above the floor,
and the kettles are suspended over the fire from chains connected with the roof
above. Sometimes the best room is provided with a rude chimney and fire-place.
Nearly every house has its quern or hand-mill for grinding corn. Carts are not
common, but the ponies numerous and very useful to the Shetlanders ; these, with
their fine-wooled sheep, run at large, and have registered ear-marks. The people of
Shetland display many peculiarities which mark their Scandinavian origin and dis-
tinguish them from their Celtic and Saxon fellow-subjects. They are low in stature,
small-featured, unrobust, symmetrically formed, light, sprightly, and almost always
fair-haired. They possess much hardihood and power of physical endurance ; and
they are aggregately versatile and lively, fond of alternate excitement and repose.
Their deportment, whether at home or among strangers, is mild, and their mode of
address always modest and respectful. They are fond of music and dancing, and
have many evening parties of pleasure ; their songs generally Scottish, and the
violin their instrument. Their dress is of woolen, homespun, their feet clad in
wooden clogs, shoes of untanned leather, or boots of neat-skin. They wear a
worsted head-dress, shaped like the Scottish night-cap, usually of many colors. The
Shetland dialect is a soft and pleasant English, but contains many of the-ancient
Norse words. Many of the people eat their fish only wind-dried and slightly tainted.
Oatmeal furnishes a considerable part of their food. Nearly all keep poultry, and
eggs are plenty and cheap. All drink tea. Shetland is noted for its hand-knitted
woolens, which are of great beauty and fineness of workmanship. No people in
the known world can dress wool, and manufacture by hand, goods of equal beauty
and delicacy. The women and girls spend nearly all their time in knitting. If a
party is on their way to town they will be seen knitting as they walk, or ride their
ponies ; if they visit a neighbor they knit every step of the way ; if they are guid-
ing their ponies as they go to and from the peat-bogs, to bring their winter's fuel,
they will knit on the road as they walk by their side. This note is given space in
this connection, to show how our ancestors and kindred passed their lives in Shet-
land, — a country and people of which but little has been written until within a few
years.



576 BIDLANDS OF SANDSTING, SHETLAND.

orthography of his name in consequence of some unlawful transaction
with which he had heen identified previous to his settlement in the north.

lie married a widow named Moar, and soon removed to Shetland, not
tar off, and established himself at Esterskeld, in the parish of Sandsting,
where the descendants of his own body, with those of his wife named
Moar, have ever since been domiciled.

THIRD GENERATION.

Thomas Ridland 3 (1), a descendant of Adam 1 (1), was horn in the
parish of Sandsting, Shetland, and had issue one son (probably others), of
whom hereafter.

FOURTH GENERATION.

James Ridland 4 (1), a son of Thomas 3 (1), was born in the parish of

Sandsting, Shetland, and lived on a small property there ; he had issue as
follows : —

FIFTH GENERATION.

Lawrence Ridland 5 (1), a son of James 4 (1), was born in the parish
of Sandsting, Shetland, and had issue a numerous family.

Thomas Ridland 5 (2), a son of James 4 (1), was born in the parish of
Sandsting, Shetland, and married twice; first wife's name unknown;
second wife, Barbary Charleson. Had issue three sons, — perhaps other
issue.

Andrew Ridland 5 (1), a son of James 4 (1), was a native of Sandsting
parish, Shetland; died unmarried.

Janet Ridland 5 (1), a daughter of James 4 (1), married William
Dowall, a ship-carpenter of Scarvester, Shetland, and has issue.

Catherine Ridland 5 (1), a daughter of James 4 (1), was married to
Lawrence Ridland, son of John Ridland (still living at the age of 90, in
1879) ; no children.

Ann Ridland 5 (1), a daughter of James 4 (1), was born in the parish
of Sandsting, Shetland, and married to Lawrence Kay, a shipmaster, of
Westerkeld ; four children.

SIXTH GENERATION.

Andrew Ridland (2), a son of Thomas 5 (2) by first wife, was born
in the parish of Sandsting, Shetland, and died at sea when a young man,
unmarried.

James Ridlaud r ' (2), a son of Thomas' 1 (2) by first wife, was born in
Sandsting, and settled in New South Wales, Australia. Post-office, Syd-
ney.

Jerome Ridland* 5 (1), a son of Thomas 5 (2) by second wife, was born
in the parish of Sandsting, Shetland. He left home in 1870, and came to
Boston, Mass., where he was for some time employed in the freight-office
of the Boston & Maine Railroad Company. He was visited there by
William Ridlon, and both saw a family resemblance at once. Mr. Ridland
has since visited South America and San Francisco, Cal. He has returned
to Boston ; married, and fixed his residence in Charlestown. He is a car-
penter by trade; a man of good education and line intelligence; has seen
much of the world, having been a seaman many years. He is of medium
height, of trim build, and light complexion, — a genial, pleasant gentle-
man.



RIDLANDS OF CHABLESTOWN, MASSACHUSETTS. 577



John Ridland (1) was living in Sandsting in 1879, aged 90 years.
Probably a son of the first Thomas Ridland. I forwarded photographs of
some aged Ridlons of Maine, which are said to resemble this aged man.

Nilliau Ridland (1) was a resident of Sandsting, and was old fifteen
years ago. He had several children, and the sons, very powerful men,
also had families.



RIDLANDS OF CHARLESTOWN, MASSACHUSETTS.

William Ridland 1 (1), was in Charlestown, Mass. ; married Patience
Davis, and died of fever there Dec. 2, 1694, aged sixty or upwards. He
gave testimony concerning land of S. Frothingharn (see Fosket) in 1682,
aged 47 years- made deed of Groton land, 1694; wife, Patience, joined in
a deed with B. Davis, 1685; joined in Groton deed, 1694. He had issue
six children, as follows :

SECOND GENERATION.

William Ridland 2 (2), eldest son of William 1 (1), was born Dec. 21,
1863, probably in Charlestown.

Nathaniel Ridland 2 (1), second son of William 1 (1), was born Dec. 6,
1665, presumably in Charlestown.

Patience Ridland 2 (1), eldest daughter of William 1 (1), was born Jan.
18, 1667, presumably in Charlestown.

Joanna Ridland 2 (1), second daughter of William 1 (1), was born Aug.
15, 1670, presumably in Charlestown.

Mary Ridland 2 (1), third daughter of William 1 (1), was born Jan. 9,
1672, presumably in Charlestown.

Barnabas Ridland 2 (1), third son of William 1 (1), was born June 28,
1579, probably in Charlestown.

[Mary Rydland (2), daughter of William Rydland,' was christened in
St. Dionis' Church, London, Eng., June 19, 1625. This is the only men-
tion of the name on the records of the church.]

Note. — There was a Mr. Thompson in Sandsting, who for a time was my cor-
respondent, whose mother was a daughter of a Lawrence Ridland, but I do not
know of what family.

In 1873 the representatives of Audrew Ridland held at Scarvester, Sandsting,
thirty -five acres of land, worth five pounds per year. James Ridland, of Westers-
keld, had forty-four acres worth three pounds per year. Jerome Ridland had at
Scarvester forty-four acres, worth three pounds per year. Lawrence Ridland, Jr.,
had at Scarvister, Sandsting, fifty-live acres, worth five pounds a year; and
Thomas Ridland, of Conziebreck, Sandwich, Orkney, held five acres, worth three
pounds a year.

Note. — Here were three sons of William Ridland, and yet the family evidently
became extinct in the male line. It is singular if all these sons died issueless.
The mother and children may have left this country soon after the father's death.
The name is not now known in the United States. We must leave them in ob-
scurity. — Author.

37



HISTORY OF THE REDLON AND RIDLON FAMILIES.



RIDLON FAMILY PORTRAITS.



When my genealogical researches commenced, it was hoped that some of the
third generation of the Redlon and Ridlon family had left their portraits in some
form ; but, although several of that generation lived many years after daguerreo-
types and ambrotypes were introduced, they were aged and infirm, and a consider-
able distance from an artist ; moreover, there was a peculiar eccentricity running
through the family, which caused them to have decided objections to sitting for
their likenesses. John Redlon, of Waynesfield, O., who reached the great age of one
hundred and six years, was quite active for many years after daguerreotypes were
taken, and his descendants desired him to visit an artist, but the old patriarch did
not believe in " shadows," and absolutely refused to accede to their wishes. Mag-
nus Ridlon, of Durham, Me., youngest brother of the preceding, was once near an
artist, not long before his death, but it is not known that he ever gave sittings for
his picture.

After a long and persistent correspondence, and many visits to the localities
where the latest survivors of this generation lived, I am very sure they left no por-
traits. It would have added greatly to the value and interest of this book if a good
likeness of some cadet of this generation could have been engraved for its pages;
but as it is, the rising generation must be contented with such descriptions of their
personal appearance as I have been able to gather from those who were best
acquainted with them.

Believing the younger families, and others now unborn, would have the same
natural desire, as they read of their ancestors, to know how they looked, I deter-
mined to procure the portraits of all living members of the family of the fourth
generation and have them copied in India ink, so they could be permanently pre-
served. This has been accomplished, with but one or two exceptions, at a consid-
erable amount of money and exertion. At my request my father carried my
grandfather to an artist and had his likeness taken when ninety years of age.
After much entreaty, I prevailed upon two sisters of my grandfather to go with
me to the rooms of Dr. Edward Peabody and sit for their pictures, and was suc-
cessful in securing excellent likenesses, though both were then rising ninety years
of age. Two brothers of the preceding also had their pictures made especially
for my use. In the western family I found likenesses of two sons of Abraham
Redlon, and two other sons and three daughters had theirs taken when very aged
for me. A brother and sister, children of Jacob Redlon, had their pictures taken
for my especial use, when very old. As a result of my efforts I have now between
forty and fifty nice portraits, mounted, eight by ten inches each, of the Ridlons of
the fourth generation, all finished in India ink, which will never fade. In one
frame, which measures two feet eight inches by four feet six inches, there are
twenty-one portraits of the sons and daughters of five brothers who were sons of
Matthias Redlon, 1st, second son of Magnus Redlon, the original Scotch ancestor.
Of the children of Matthias Ridlon, 2d, there are portraits of Sally, Mary, Rachel,
and Lydia; of children of James Redlon, there are portraits of Joseph and Robert;
of the children of Thomas Ridlon, there are portraits of seven, viz : Polly, Thomas,



582



RIDLOX FAMILY PORTE AITS.



Judith, William, Eunice, Matthias, and Samuel; of the children of Jacob Ridlon,
there are portraits of Isaac and Betsey (Mrs. Mary (Ridlon) Davis was living a
few years ago in Gorham, Me., but has not consented to have her likeness taken) ;
of the children of Abraham Ridlon, of Ohio, there are portraits of Stephen, Sam-
uel, Ruth, Patience, John, Rachel, and Nicholas. One of these has been taken, —
that of Patience (Ridlon) Wells, — since the frame was made, and when the subject
was ninety-four years old ; this will be placed in a new and larger frame with the
other twenty-one, if three more of the same family-connection can be found to
place with it. This set of portraits cost me about $80.00. The following table
shows the order in which the portraits stand :



1

Polly
Ridlon.
Aged 94.


2

Thomas

Ridlon.

Aged 94.

9
Stephen
Ridlon.
Aged 70.


3
Judith
Ridlon.

Aged 98.


4
Eunice

Ridlon.
Aged 94.


5
William
Ridlon.
Aged 93.


6

Matthias

Ridlon.

Aged 90.

13

Nicholas

Ridlon.

Aged 75.

20

Lydia

Ridlon.

Aged 74.


7

Samuel

Ridlon.

Aged 88.


8
Ruth

Ridlon.
Aged 84.

15

Joseph

Ridlon.

Aged 76.


10

S \MUEL

Ridlon.
Aged 82.


11

John

Ridlon.

Aged 77.


12
Rachel

Ridlon.
Aged 82.


14

Isaac

Ridlon.

Aged 82.


16
Robert
Ridlon.

Aged 78.


17

Sally

Ridlon.

Aged 75.


18

Mary

Ridlon.

Aged 80.


19
Rachel
Ridlon.
Aged 63.


21
Betsei

Ridlon.
Aged 74.



I have preserved the maiden-names of the women, and the reader is referred to
the genealogy of the several families for particulars. The ages given above do not
refer to the time the pictures were taken, but the respective ages of the originals
as near as known at the time of death, and of those who still survive (1883).

Since the above-mentioned collection of portraits were finished I have procured
twenty-eight others of Ridlons of Saco, Buxton, Limerick, and eastern Maine,
which an artist is now finishing uniformly in India ink; these will be framed simi-
larly to the others in four rows, seven in each row, and will stand arranged as
follows :



1

Patience

Ridlon.

Aged 80.

8

Alexander

Ridlon.

Aged 75.


o
Daniel
Ridlon.

Aged 90.


3
Sally

Ridlon.

Aged 84.


4

POLLY
RlDLON.

Aged 79.


„ 5
Richard

Ridlon.

Aged 85.


6

Nathaniel

Ridlon.

Aged 75.


7
Edmund
Ridlon.
Aged 76.


9

Peter

Ridlon.

Aged 72.


10
Ruhama

Ridlon.
Aged 78.

17

William
Ridlon.
Aged 70 ?

24

Patience

Ridlon.

Aged 70.


11
Martha
Ridlon.
Aged 76.

18

Jonathan

Ridley.

Aged 83.

25
Olive S.
Ridlon.
Aged 72.


12

Rev.

Ebenezer

Redlon.

Aged 74.


13

Sally

Ridlon.

Aged—.


14

Sarah

Redlon.

Aged S4.


15

Mary

Redlon.

Aged 84.

22

Humphrey

Ridlon.

Aged 75.


16

Jane

Redlon.

Aged 75.

23

John

Ridlon.

Aged 79.


19

Jonathan

Ridlon.

Aged 69.


20
Mary

Ridlon.
Aged 74.

27

James M.

Redlon.

Aged 74.


21

Matthias
Ridley.
Aged 80.

82

S ELECTA

Redlon.
Aged 80.


26

Sarah A.

Ridlon.

Aged 67.



The above were not all of the fourth generation, as will be seen by reference to
the genealogies in this book, but some of them were and are advanced in life, and
I have filled out the spaces in this collection with nineteen of the fifth generation.
I have several hundred additional likenesses of the numerous families of Bedlons,
Ridlons, and Ridleys, and at some future day may have them copied in India ink
for frames. I have also a fine collection of portraits and photographs of the Rid-
ley family in England, some of them copied from paintings made more than three
hundred years ago ; the most ancient of these I have had copied nearly life-size in
crayon for frames for my own home.



HISTORY OF THE REDLON FAMILY.



Universal family tradition, handed down from father to son through
six generations, and held .in every branch of the connection, has presented
our ancestor about as follows : He was born somewhere in Scotland,
went to England when a young man, was pressed on board a man-of-war,
taken to the New England coast, when he deserted and settled in Saco,
where he married, raised his family, and died. This tradition, so far as
proof is known to the contrary, is in the main supposed to be a true out-
line of our ancestor's early history.

Born in an inhospitable country, reared among the rude fishermen
of Shetland, and invested with physical hardihood and courage, this self-
reliant young man leaves the land of his nativity and goes boldly forth
into the great world to seek his fortune amongst strangers. How little
did he anticipate the adventitious experience that awaited him ! The little
stone crofter's cottage of his birth was to be left forever; parents were to
be seen no more ; brothers and sisters with whom he had spent the happy
days of childhood w r ere to be looked upon for the last time, and all the
scenes of his early years never to be seen by him again.

Let the imagination paint the parting scene. The family hive was be-
coming full, and some of the eldest must give place to the increasing
number ; in accordance with universal custom the eldest son must remain
at home as successor to his father, and Magnus was to depend upon his



Online LibraryG. T. (Gideon Tibbetts) RidlonHistory of the ancient Ryedales, and their descendants in Normandy, Great Britain, Ireland, and America, from 860 to 1884 → online text (page 75 of 103)