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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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 77 of 103)
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year other lands of Joseph, John, and Gibbons Mace, of Gossport, X. EL ; this last
was deeded to Abraham Townsend and Robert Edgecomb. Judith, wife of Abraham
Townsend, was the daughter of Robert Edgecomb; she had brothers, Robert and
Thomas, in 1733. Abraham, as above, died in 1746, and left his two sons, "Nathaniel
of Lynn, blacksmith," and "Abraham of Biddeford," and several sisters, one of
whom, Massie, was the second wife of Magnus Redlon. In the division of Abra-
ham Townsend's property Judith was styled "mother-in-law," consequently was
a second wife. Nathaniel Townsend, of Biddeford, son of Abraham, made his will
Sept. 29, 1778, and names "wife Margaret," " Bethesda, wife of Jeremy Ridlou,"
and " Lucretia, wife of Thomas Deering." This will was witnessed by Rev. John
Fairfield, Josiah Fairfield, m. d., and Samuel Edgecomb. Nathaniel Townsend, sou
of Abraham, 2d, married Judith Redlon, a daughter of Matthias Redlon, 1st, and
Sarah Townsend. sister of Nathaniel, married to Jacob Redlon, who was a brother
of Nathaniel's wife. Isaac Townsend, of Hollis, married Polly, a daughter of
Magnus Ridlou, the blacksmith, a sister of Magnus Ridlou, blacksmith, of Parsons-
field, of the Damariscotta branch of Redlons. Abraham Townsend, brother of
Nathaniel, last mentioned, emigrated to Ohio and settled near Cincinnati. There
was a Jacob Townsend and Isaac Townsend, brothers of Nathaniel, and one Daniel
Townsend sometime of Hollis, Me.

* The author resided in Saco about two years during his work on this book, and
frequently visited the place where our ancestor spent the most of his days, and
walked along the rocky shore of the river where he and his sons had moved so many
years before. I there found a small off-shoot of an old apple-tree, growing in the
edge of the bushes, — near where the house of Magnus Redlon stood, — that was
laden with small, tart fruit, of which I ate, and I have no doubt the original tree
was one planted by our ancestor, and from which he ate apples more than a hun-
dred years ago. Rendezvous Point is a high promontory of land extending into
Saco River, and partly covered with old, scrubby pines and small hardwood growth.
Upon a rocky bluff, having almost perpendicular sides descending to the water,
stood the block-house, built during the Indian wars, and the remains of its founda-
tion could be distinctly seen in 1876, although overgrown with bushes, briars, and
rank weeds. This point commands a wide and extended view of the river up and
down, and, as the land recedes in the rear, of the inland country. In a little bay,
not far above, was the old ship-yard of Collin & Deering, where many of the early
Redlons worked. While reposing in the shade of some large oaks, during my visit
there in 1880, I saw fishermen plying their craft in boats, just as the Redlons had
done on this river a hundred years ago.


the early generations of the Redlon family. In his will he mentions six
sons, two of whom had deceased. (See will and inventory in this book.)
The universal tradition of the family has made Magnus Redlon the father
of seven sons, but no daughter was ever mentioned or known to the grand-
children of our ancestor; there was, however, one daughter, her mother's
namesake, who died in York, and was buried there. The same tradition
represented Magnus as settled first in Saco, and Massie Townsend as the
mother of his seven sons. Documentary evidence proves these state-
ments incorrect. Being reared among seamen, and used to the ocean from
childhood, he seemed to love the seashore ever afterwards.

He was a noted scout in the Indian wars along the New England coast.
He owned boats and spent much of his time in fishing. During the au-
tumn and winter months he followed hunting and trapping. He also fur-
nished many fine masts to the English, which were shipped to England.
He was supposed to be small of stature, from the fact that the name "little
Scotchman" was handed down from father to son in all branches of the
family. It was also said that the Indians called him the " white scout
with yellow hair"; hence 1 presume his complexion, like all his country-
men, was light. He was a stranger to fear, and his adventures would fur-
nish materials for a volume. He must have been a man of mai-ked traits
of character, for he has transmitted eccentric qualities to all his posterity,
since known as "Ridlon oddity."

Here on the banks of the beautiful river Saco, the Shetlander spent a
quiet and religious life after his wanderings were over ; here he gathered
his grandchildren around him and told them the story of his early adven-
tures after leaving the land of his childhood ; here, when the day's
work was finished, he sat down and thought of his native land, and
the dear ones left there whom he would never see again. He acquired
extensive and valuable tracts of land, which he divided amongst his
sons. Could he have lived till the present day he could have counted
nearly fourteen hundred descendants on the paternal side, who have borne
the Redlon, Ridlon, or Ridley surname, and probably as many more on
the maternal side, — children of daughters whose names were changed by


It may seem a little singular, but our ancestor was the only man known
among the early settlers of New England Christian-named Magnus, — with
the exception of some of his own descendants named in his honor, —
and we hope this grand old Norman name, derived from the ancient kings
whose subjects our remote ancestors were, may be perpetuated in our fam-
ily so long as there is one who bears the surname of our common progen-
itor. While visiting the burial-place of Magnus Redlon in 1881, the sen-
timents were awakened now embodied in the following simple lines : —

" Far from ancestral graves, and his own dear native land,
Beneath the waving pines on old ocean's rugged strand,
By the Saco's verdant shore,
Near his humble cabin door,
The exiled Northman found his earthly rest.
The music of the waters floating on the evening breeze,
Mingles with the song of zephyrs heard among the trees,
And as requiems are chanted for the dead.
The wild flowers always bloom
Round our Father's lowly tomb,
While the silent stars are watching o'er his bed.
But his spirit took its flight to the world of peace and light,
Where no ocean rolls between the kindred baud,


Where no scene of earthly night will leave a shadowed blight
On the hearts of those who reach that heavenly land."

Will of Magnus Redlon.

"In the name of God, Amen, this Tenth day of December, anno Domini 1766 I
Magnus Redlon of the district of Pepperellborough in the county of York and Pro-
vince of Massachusetts Bay in New England yeoman being advanced in age but of
discerning mind and memory and knowing that it is appointed unto all meu once to
die do make and ordain this my last Will and Testament that is to say principally
and first of all I give and recommend my soul into the hands of God who gave it
and my Body I recommend to the earth to be burried in decent Christian burrial at
the discretion of my Executor hereafter named and as touching the Worldly Estate
wherewith it hath pleased God to Bless me in this life I give demise and dispose of
the same in the following manner and form.

" Imprimis. I give aud Bequeath unto my beloved son Matthias Redlin his Heirs
and Assigns about fourteen acres of Land more or less it being a part of my home-
stead Farm in Pepperellborough aforesaid beginning at the South West end of what
he has already improved and running back North East the whole wedth of my Land
till it comes to my new Field so called.

"Item. I give aud bequeath unto my son Ebenezer Ridlou the sum of five shil-
lings Lawfull Money.

"Item. I give and bequeath unto my beloved son Daniel Redlon his Heirs or
Assigns about twenty acres of Land and Marsh being also a part of my homestead
farm beginning at the North West end of my new Field and running back from
thence the whole wedth of my land over Goosefair River, including all my Salt
Marsh on each side of said River.

" Item. I give and bequeath unto my beloved sou Jeremiah Redlon his Heirs aud
Assigns the remainder of my Homestead Farm both Land and Marsh with all the
Buildings standing thereon excepting twelve acres at the North East end of my
said Farm lying next to the middle line of the Patent.

" Item. I give and bequeath unto the children of my beloved sou John Redlon
deceased, the sum of Five Pounds lawfull money to be equally divided betwixt them
and to be paid by my Executor within two years after my dicease.

" Item. I give and bequeath unto my beloved daughter-in-law Elizabeth Redlon
widow of my beloved son Jacob Redlon deceased the sum of Six Pounds, thirteen
Shillings and four pence to be paid her by my Executor within one year after my

"Item. I give aud bequeath unto my beloved graudaughter Elizabeth Redlon
daughter of my son Jacob Redlon deceased the Sum of thirteen pounds six shillings
and eight pence lawfull money to be paid her by my Executor when she shall arrive
at the age of eighteen years.

"Item. I give and bequeath unto my beloved grandson Magnus Redlon son of
my son John Redlon deceased the whole sum that is due to me from the Estate of
his Father the aforesaid John Redlon deceased.

"Item. My will is aud I order and direct that there be a road of one Rod in
wedth on the South East side of my land from the highway as far as the Land which
I have given to my son Daniel that my sons may have convenieucy of passing and
repassing thro Gates or Bars as they shall have occasion.

"Item. My will is and I order aud appoint that all my just debts and funeral
charges, also the charge of settling my Estate and the legasys herein given to the
children of my son John Redlon be paid by my Executor out of my personal Estates
and that the remainder be equelly devided among all my Sons excepting my son
Ebenezer, and my will is that the other legasys herein mentioned be paid by my
Executor out of what is herein given to him.

" Item. My will is that if any of the Lands herein given to my Executor be
taken from him by due course of law that then he shall be oblidged to pay no more
of the legasys herein given to the widow of my sou Jacob Redlon than in propor-
tion to what of the land hereing given to him he shall finally have and enjoy.

" Lastly. I constitute aud appoint my beloved son Jeremiah Redlon Sole Execu-
tor of this my last Will and Testament hereby revoking all other Wills or Executors
by me heretofore made or named, ratifying and continuing this and no other to be
my last Will aud Testament.


" In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and Seal the day and year be-

" MAGNUS -M.-REDLON (seal)

" Signed Sealed Declared and Pronounced by the said Magnus Redlon as his last
Will and Testament in presence of us —
" Amos Chase,
" Chase Parker,
"John Patterson, Jr."

Inventory of Magnus Redlon's Estate, 1773.

"A warrant issued in common form to Thomas Cutts, Esq., Amos Chase, and
Chase Parker to take an Inventory of the Estate of Magnus Redlon who made re-
turn as follows, viz. : — A true inventory of all the goods, rights, credits, Lands &
Chattels of Magnus Redlon late of Pepperellborough, Yeoman deceased taken by us
who were appointed by the Honble. Jonathan Say ward, Esq., Judge of Probate for
the county of York, so far as they have been shewn to us by the Executor accord-
ing to the best of our Judgement this 16th day of September 1773, Viz. —

£. s. d.

" The Homestead Land with Buildings 120

"One Bed and Bolster, Pillow, pr Blankets, 1 sheet & Bed-

sted 70-0, Wearing apparrell 80-0 7 10

" 1 Chest 6-8, 1 pr old Tongs & Shovell 4-0, 1 Iron Pot 1-6, 12 2

" 141b. old Pewter 14-0, 1 Glass Bottle & Candlestick 1-0,

1 Cow 66-8 4 18

"Thomas Cutts,
" Amos Chase,
" Chase Parker."

£132 3 10


Susanna Redlon'' (1), only daughter of Magnus 1 (1), was born in
York, Me. (then in the Province of Massachusetts), March 4, 1721, and
lived but six weeks. Her mother's namesake.

Ebenezer Redlon 2 (1), eldest son of Magnus 1 (1), was born in York,
Me. (then in the Province of Massachusetts), Feb. 13, 1723; married
Aug. 8, 1751, Sarah Young (she was presumably his own cousin and
sister of the Roland Young who was captured by the Indians and car-
ried to Canada), of York, or Pepperellborough (Saco), and settled imme-
diately on land in Narraganset No. 1, now Buxton, Me. His descendants
have universally spelled their names Redlon, a practice which should have
been followed by all branches of the family. In the year 1762, Nathaniel
Ayer, John White, Martha White, widow, Martha White, Jr., and Lydia
Ayer, wife of Nathaniel, conveyed to "Ebenezer Ridley" of Narraganset
No. 1, in consideration of fourteen pounds, thirteen shillings, lawful
money, Lot 19, of Range D, in the First Division of the township lands.
This same land was conveyed in 1768 to John Kimball of Narraganset.
Mr. Redlon then purchased land at the " Hains Meadow," and established
a permanent home there. His house stood on the east side of the road
leading from Buxton Lower Corner to West Buxton Village, and a little
above the house since owned by Capt. Lew Goodwin. According to a table
found in "Goodwin's Narraganset" I find "1798, the house of Ebenezer
Redlon at Haines Meadow, is not half finished ; it had six windows that
comprised eighteen square feet of glass; the house covered eight hundred
and ninety feet of ground, and was one story high." It was then valued
at "two hundred and twenty-five dollars." The foundation of the chim-


ney could be seen as we passed the place in 1882, and the large and grace-
ful elm-tree planted by his son is still standing near; but, sad to write,
some one has recently cut down the old apple-tree which stood near the
door of the old Kedlon house, and which was bearing fruit in 1880, be-
ing one of the oldest apple-trees in the town. A man once called at Mr.
Redlon's in the night, while on the way from Saco to Moderation Falls,
and asked for a drink of cider. On being informed that there was none
in the house, he pointed toward this large apple-tree and said, "I saw you
had a big orchard and supposed you made cider." That tree was ever
after called "Redlon's Orchard " and was a grand old land-mark that
should have been carefully preserved. The barn stood on the opposite
side of the road from the house. The father in his will mentions Ebenezer
Redlon, and bequeaths to him "the sum of five shillings, lawful money,"
but does not bestow upon him any part of his lands. It may be that this
son, being the oldest, had received his part of the patrimony, but it is a
little singular that in the will the word " beloved" does not stand with
the name of Ebenezer as it does with the others. Mr. Redlon enlisted
Feb. 28, 1777, in the company of Capt. Daniel Lane, in Col. Ichabod
Alden's regiment "for ye service of ye Massachusetts Bay during ye war,"
but died from exhaustion and fatigue while in the army, — the place of his
burial is not known, — May 5, 1777, aged 55 years. Tradition says that
when Ebenezer went into the first battle and the shells whistled around
him, "he ran like a quarter horse" some twenty rods, stopped short, ran
back to the ranks, and fought like a tiger through the remainder of the bat-
tle. Some of his nephews were in the same enlargement and that nitdit
said, "Uncle Ned, what in the world started you off? We thought the
devil would n't scare you." The old man straightened up and replied,
"Well, y-e-o-u s-e-e, them shells went to which-on-em, to which-on-em, to
which-on-em, and I thought they meant me, so I got out o' the way."
He stammered when excited. Mr. Redlon was quite tall, broad-shouldered,
and muscular ; hail light hair, gray eyes, and ruddy complexion. He had
issue eight children, and his widow survived him many years, living on
the old homestead with her maiden daughters.

John Redloil" (1), second son of Magnus 1 (1), was born in York, Me.,
then in the Province of Massachusetts Bay, March 21, 1726; removed to
Biddeford with his parents when a child ; married Oct. 9, 1749, Sarah,
daughter of Robert and Sarah (Roberts) Brooks, then of Biddeford, and
settled in Narraganset No. 1, now Buxton, Me., May 1, 1756. He bought
of the heirs of John Brown, Lot 24, in Range D, of the First Division of
the Narraganset township lands; also, at the same time, "half of the
common and undivided lands belonging to the right of John Brown."
He settled on these lands and continued there during the rest of his days.
Administration on the estate of John Redlon was granted to Abraham
Redlon, of Biddeford (John's younger brother), in 1761, and he is sup-
posed to have died that year. His father, in his will dated 1766, men-
tions "my son John Redlon deceased," and "the children of my son
John." I find the name of "John RedLone" on a call for a Proprietors'
Meeting in the township of Narraganset No. 1, in 1749, hence I suppose
he was dwelling there previous to his marriage. The name of "John
Radlon " stands on a petition to the Proprietors' clerk of Narraganset
No. 1, in 1751. "John Redlon " signed a call for a Proprietors' Meeting
in 1758. The name "John Ridlinsc" is found in "Goodwin's Narranan-
sett." On the muster-roll of Capt. Joseph Woodman, his name is spelled


"John Redlin," in 1756. On many old documents his name was spelled
"EMlon" and "Ridlen." These variations of spelling were undoubtedly
errors of those who did the writing. In a manuscript-book, once the
property of his brother Matthias, I find the following, which is a verbatim
copy: " Narragansett No. 1, 1768, June ye 17th. Michael Woodsum
deter to Matthias Redlon for a resate that I gave him for a haror that be-
longs to John Redlon's estate." His brother Matthias also charges the
estate for work " fencing," in 1762. The farm was sold by his son Robert
and Andrew Knowlton, in the year 1783, both being of Damariscotta,
County of Lincoln, Me. This was the farm now owned by Mr. Steele,
on the east side of the road leading from Buxton Centre to Moderation
Village, and just south of the Benjamin Hutchinson farm. It was con-
veyed by the heirs of John Redlon to Joseph Leavett. Family tradition
represents Mr. Redlon as tall and broad-shouldered, having brown hair
and eyes, and a ruddy complexion. He had a family of four children,
three of whom married ami have left numerous descendants. He was
considered "well-off," and the following inventory will show the low esti-
mate of property at that time.

Inventory of John Redlon's Estate.

" A true Inventory of all and Singular the real and personal Estate of John Red-
lon late of Narraganset No. one, Deed as was exhibited to us the Subscribers by
the Admiuistr on said Estate as follows viz : —

£. s. d.

Tempi. To 20 acres of Land call'd Home Lot 36 13 4

To 20 acres of Land in a second Division 6 13 4, uate

To an half Right of undivided Land v ro6ably about

To 3d part of a Right of undivided Land. . . . moderation Falls, and

of $&* — '54 '

,0! ==

To 1 pr Breeches 16. To 1 Bed with Bidding 66-8 ... 428
To 1 Bedsted 5-4. To 1 Platter and f. - Plates 12 ... . 17 4
To sundry spoons 3-4. To Sundrie t s of Old Pewter 6 . . 9 4
To 1 Teapot & cups 1-4. To Sund'Hry knives & Forks 2 . . 3 4
To 1 Box & Heaters 5. To Tin W /are 2. 1 Toast-iron 3-4 . 10 4
To 1 pr Shears 8cl. 1 Gun 13-4.e, • 1 Ring & Staple 3-4 .. . 17 4
To 1 Frying Pan 8. 2 Old Sc#h ches & Tacklings 2-8 1 Froe 1-6 4 10
To Half an Harrow 3-4. Olc*? a Iron 2-8. Wooden ware 1 . . 70
To 2 Pots & 1 Kettle 12. 1 Cb .Vain 9-4. To 3d of Cross cut saw 13-4 1 14 8
To 1 Cow 60. To 1 Old m "-'are 16. 2 Heifers 40. 1 Wheel 3 . 5 19
To 1 Old Saddle 6. 4 Okian Chains 2-8. 1 Knife 8d. Eathern Scl 9 8
To 8 Skeins Linnen y e rvarn 7. To 1 Old ax 2-8 9

/*"' £18 13 6

9' Tm. Jordan,

ne Isaac Whitney,

"Biddeford, De/liye. 17, 1761." Timothy Hasseltine.

Matthias Re* 1 ,!ll011 2 (1), third son of Magnus 1 (1), was born in York,
Province of Ma* .isachusetts Bay, now in York County, Me., Sept. 19, 1728,
and was namer^i for his uncle or grandfather, Matthias Young. He went
to Biddeford. -^which then included Saco, when a child; married Dec. 29,
1748, RachelW daughter of Robert Edgecomb * of Saco, descended from

. ieii —

* Thf. E^S»gecomb Family. Nicholas Edgecomb came from England and settled
at Blue Peloint in Scarborough, Me., the same year with George Deering, and was
desceriWted from the lordly family of Mount Edgecomb, England, now represented
by -V Earl William-Henry Edgecomb. Nicholas had several sons and daughters bom

in Scarborough during the "twenty years of his residence there. Robert Edgecomb,


a distinguished English family, now represented by Earl Edgecorab,
of Mount Edgecomb, and settled at Saco Ferry on a part of bis father's
homestead, where he remained until the year 1761, when he removed to
Buxton, a distance of seven miles from his first home; his lands in the
latter town consisted of Lots 24, 25, 26, 27, and 28, in Range 1), of the First
Division of Narraganset No. 1. His father, in his will of 1766, bequeaths
"unto my beloved son, Matthias Redlon, about fourteen acres of land
more or less, it being a part of my homestead farm in Pepperellborough
(Saco), beginning at the south-west end of what he has already improved,
and running back north-east the whole width of my land until it comes to
my new field, so called." He conveyed his lands in Buxton, March 16,
1786, to Samuel Scammon, Gent., of Pepperellborough, for the considera-
tion of £240, "it being the homestead farm I, the said Matthias Redlon,
now dwell on," and a four-rod way given by the Proprietors. In the dis-
position of this property he mentions "a house and barn thereon," and
"thirty acres of land previously conveyed to my son Matthias "; this lot
was "situated on the north-easterly side" of his father's land. The Old
Redlon Farm is on the road leading from the present homestead of Lewis
McKenney to Buxton Lower Corner, but I am not acquainted with the
boundaries. Mr. Redlon probably left Buxton soon after disposing of his
farm there, and followed his sons and sons-in-law to Little Falls Plantation,
now Hollis,* where they settled about that time; he was settled in this
plantation in 1787, as proved by charges made on his account-book there.
He purchased a large tract of land bounded by Saco River, and reaching
tie." Moderation Falls down to the homestead of the late Nathaniel Haley,
said " Uncle' ll,'^ house a few rods north of the present buildings of Mr.
r^vll would n't scare"\^ c ^ on lumbering and shoe-making, keeping at the
same time a smau k r ^\y" and groggery store. Mr. Redlon conveyed a
share of a double saw-mill srC. ted Qn Moderation Falls, June 10, 1795,
to one William Walkinshaw, to. twenty-one pounds, lawful money. He
made and shipped to Saco many sn^ d c]apboards and « ma rchan table old
growth shingles, as is proved by ^ charges on his account-book. About
the time Matthias Redlon sold his saW m ^ Moderation Falls he - oined
with his sons and sons-in-law in building- theh , mil]g Qn young's Meadow
Brook, about a half mile up river ; he work * d b these mmg f Qr ^^ ^^


a son, married Rachel, d^^^S^J^^tJeSi <««* his wife Judith, daughter of
John Lewis, one of the original Proprietors of the S. ^ Edgecomb

anuiottuseims, auuouuii T ,... ..nri others so comia,nes Abraham, Gib-

bins, James, Thomas, Jacob, fe £ j J£;, J ^ yj fon in the Redlon

fomiiv for *;pvf*ral venerations. Matthias neiuon ami i>ti\ iu i"""i

t)SS£ter S . Descendants of Robert Edgecomb a*g were first cons-
ins, ana men nivt»oi»^=> f„,„;ii»« livp on bind once owl re Still intermar-

ried with Ridlons at Saco, and both families live on una once ^ ^ ^ ^^ ^





tion name was Little Falls, which was changed ai me imo, , ui..«« y "■■"-.., "«£
to FlnUipsburgh, and subsequently to Hollis. It was at one tune called the 27,^1798,



especially the grist-mill, and when waiting for water to rise in the mill-
pond, worked at a bench, making tubs, pails, and keelers, or shaved shingles,
in a shed near the mill. A granddaughter now living remembers well
that he used to bury her and other children in his shavings when they were
playing in his shingle-camp. "Ridlon's Mills" were probably the earliest

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 77 of 103)