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

. (page 78 of 103)
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 78 of 103)
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in town for grinding corn, and it was to them that Robert Martin carried
his corn on a raft, after bringing it all the way from Saco Falls the same
day on his shoulders. Like nearly all of the old Ridlons, Matthias was
very ingenious, and could build almost anything from a "pare of shose "
to a "sleaup" or "skuner," as he spelled the names of vessels upon which
he worked at Saco. Shoe-making was his principal business during his
residence in Saco and Buxton ; but he and his sons were employed several
weeks every year in the ship-yard of Coffin & Deering, at Saco Ferry.
Rachel Edgecomb informed me when 95 years of age, but possessing an
accurate memory, that when a girl she was hired to cook for the ship-
builders, and "Old Berthias" and "Young Berthias" were often at the
table. Mr. Redlon was of medium height; had broad shoulders and a
very short, thick neck; his cheek-bones were high; nose large and fleshy;
mouth and chin broad ; upper-lip wide and full ; hair and beard sandy; eyes
gray and deep-set; brows thick, long, and outstanding; forehead broad, jet-
ting, and wrinkled. He was considerably bowed over in old age. In dis-
position quiet and serious, but possessing a quick temper. He was firm
and determined when his convictions were once settled. Several of his
grandchildren remember him as resembling Matthias Ridlon, late of Swe-
den, Oxford County, Me., only that he was a larger man. The exact date
of Mr. Redlon's death cannot be ascertained, but it was probably about
the year 1810. He was then living in his house at Moderation Falls, and
had a shingle-camp down the river, just back of the homestead of Robert
Carl. While making shingles there he took a violent cold, was seized
with colic, and started for home ; he was in such distress when he reached
the house of Mr. Vaughan, who then lived on the mill-brow, that he was
obliged to stop. Mrs. Vaughan administered some stimulants, and he
was enabled to reach his own home. His sons and daughters were imme-
diately summoned to his bedside, and that evening the patriarch passed
away. He was buried on a high knoll between the river-bank and the
homestead of the late Nathaniel Haley, now in the pasture of Martin
Foss, Esq., and I think upon his own land? which became the property of
his daughter Judith, who married Nathaniel Townsend, after her father's
decease. Mrs. Redlon went across the river and lived with her youngest
son, Jacob, after her husband's death; she probably survived him many
years and must have been a very aged woman. Her great-grandchildren
can remember of her crossing the river in a boat to visit her sons and
daughters in Hollis, and say she was called " Old Gramy Redlon," to dis-
tinoTish her from the wife of her son Thomas, whom they called "Grand-
marm Ridlon." Old Mrs. Redlon died at the house of her son in Buxton,
and was buried by the side of her husband on Hollis side of the Saco
River. She was more than 90 years of age. There were eleven children in
this family, and the records of their births are recorded in an old account-
book, by their father's hand. The descendants of Matthias Redlon and
Rachel Edgecomb, his wife, have numbered more than five hundred.

Daniel Redlon' 2 (1), fourth son of Magnus 1 (1), was born in York, —
then in the Province of Massachusetts Bay, — York County, Me., May 4,
1730, and was carried to Biddeford by his parents the same year. He


was the youngest son of the first wife of Magnus Redlon, and his name
with date of birth on the records of York was spelled Readlan. He mar-
ried Patience Sands in 1751, then of Biddeford, and settled on a part of
his father's land at Saco Ferry, where he lived the remainder of his days.
He owned fishing-boats, and like all of the early families at Saco spent
much of his time on the water. In his father's will, dated 1766, he be-
queaths " unto my beloved son, Daniel Redlon, about twenty acres of
marsh and land, it being a part of my homestead farm, beginning at the
north-west end of my new field, and running back from thence the whole
length of my land over Goosefair River, including all my salt-marsh on
both sides of said river." On Dec. 9, 1789, Daniel Redlon conveyed to
Amos Chase and John Chase, then of Pepperellborough, about twenty
acres of marsh, " being the same land owned by Elizabeth Odel's hon-
oured father, late of Pepperellborough." Nov. 8, 1792, James-Odel El-
well conveyed to Daniel Redlon, of Pepperellborough, twenty acres of
land, " being part of a lot lately owned by Elizabeth Odel, late of said
town." Mr. Redlon died in Saco, April 29, 1804, aged 74 years, and was
buried in an old cemetery at Saco Ferry. His widow lived till July 7,
1817. Mrs. Redlon was born in England, and was a little girl when the
British captured Quebec. She was a very large, fleshy woman. Peter
Ridlon, of Gardner, Kan., says "the Sands Ridlons were short, compact,
and had light complexions, while the Townsend Ridlons were tall, spare
men." He has reference to the descendants of this Daniel and his half-
brother Jeremiah, who married a Townsend. Some of the old members
of the family in Hollis believed this Daniel Redlon lived in Limerick
during his last days, but it was his eldest son of the same name. Mr.
Redlon was about medium height, broad, and somewhat corpulent in old
age; he had sandy hair, gray eyes, and ruddy complexion; was serious
and cool, moderate in motion, but at times, especially when he had a glass
of grog, jocose and sarcastic. His name stands on his brother's account-
book, and the old Ridlons in Hollis remember of his coming to visit his
brother Matthias there.

Abraham Redlon 2 (1), fifth son of Magnus 1 (1), was born in Pep-
perellborough (now Saco), Me., Aug. 10, 1733, and was never married.
I can learn but little about this son except from family tradition. He
was named for his grandfather, Abraham Townsend ; said to be a seaman
and fisherman ; hunted and trapped in winter ; frequently visited his
brothers and relatives in Buxton and Hollis. Was very odd and eccentric;
loved to tell stories about his adventures by sea and land. He was ap-
pointed administrator of the estate of his brother, John Redlon, of Bux-
ton, in 1761. His relatives always called him "Old Uncle Abram," to
distinguish him from his nephew of the same name, who emigrated to
Ohio. He died in 1798, aged 65 years.

Jeremiah Redloil 2 (1), sixth son of Magnus 1 (1), was born in Pep-
perellborough (now Saco), Me., Nov. 4, 1736, married March 2, 1760,
Bethesda, daughter of Nathaniel and Margaret Townsend, of Biddeford,
and settled on a part of his father's homestead, occupying the house on
Rendezvous Point. His father in his will dated 1766, after giving his
other sons a portion of his lands, bequeaths unto " my beloved son, Jere-
miah Redlon, the remainder of my homestead farm, both land and marsh,
with all the buildings standing thereon, excepting twelve acres on the
north-east end of my farm, lying next to the middle line of the patent."
His father also appoints him his executor. His name occurs in many old


documents in Saco, and in his brother's papers and accounts. He was
tall, spare, and stoop-shouldered; had dark hair, inclined to curl; gray,
deep-set eyes, regular features, and ruddy cheeks. Those who remem-
bered him say he was moderate, of quiet, gentle disposition, honest, relig-
ious, and respected by all his townspeople. He died June 25, 181(5,
aged 80 years and 7 months, and his widow Feb. 25, 1821 ; they had nine
children, but his descendants are nearly all dead.

Jacob Redlon 2 (1), youngest son of Magnus 1 (1) and his second wife,
was born in Pepperellborough (Saco), Me., May 14, 1740; married Eliz-
abeth, daughter of Ebenezer Young, of York, Me. (she was born May 14,
1741, and was a cousin of her husband), in August, 1762, and settled in
Saco. He was drowned in Saco River, near his father's house, April 25,
1765, at the age of 25 years. After his death his widow returned to her
relatives in York, and was married Nov. 23, 1773, to Joseph Barker of
that town. I know but little of this young man, except that he was
named for Jacob Tovvnsend, his mother's brother, and what is recorded
in his brother's papers. His father, in his will dated 1776, ?nentions "my
son, Jacob Redlon, deceased," and bequeaths unto " my beloved daughter-
in-law, Elizabeth Redlon, the sum of six pounds and thirteen shillings and
four pence to be paid to her within one year after my decease." The name
of Jacob Redlon was signed to a call for a Proprietors' Meeting to be
held at the house of Capt. Joseph Woodman, of Narraganset No. 1, in
1761, but he is styled " non proprietor." His relatives in Hollis and
Buxton always called him " Old IJncle Jacob," to distinguish him from
his nephew and namesake. Tradition represents him as a man of medium
height, light complexion, and ruddy face. He left one daughter, of whom


David Redloil 3 (1), eldest son of Ebenezer 2 (1), was born in the Nar-
raganset township No. 1, — now Buxton, Me., — Dec. 10, 1756; married
Mary, daughter of Capt. Daniel Lane, March 27, 1784, and settled in his
native town, near Salmon Falls Village. He was a soldier of the Revolu-
tion ; enlisted in Capt. Daniel Lane's company, of Col. Ichabod Alden's
regiment, Massachusetts Volunteers, Feb. 8, 1777. He was at the battle
of Cherry Valley, where his colonel was killed, and Colonel Brooks suc-
ceeded to the regimental command. He was also in the expedition under
General Sullivan against the New York Indians, and suffered extremely
from hunger, cold, and long marches. Discharged at West Point after
serving three years. He removed to the town of Windsor about 1810-15,
where Robert Hutchinson, his son-in-law, lived, and died in that town
June 2, 1838, aged 82 years. In 1823 he applied for a pension, and the
records at Washington show that at that date the immediate members of
his family were Hannah Ridley, aged 62 years, and Hannah Palmer, aged
13 years. In the same application he mentions selling a horse in 1819 to
Mark Ridley ; also uses the name of Isaac Ridley. I suppose these were
descendants of the Ridley family of Harpswell, Me., and no relation to

The family traditions respecting David Redlon were numerous and con-
flicting. Rev. Ebenezer Redlon, formerly of Pierceville, Ind., wrote me
as follows : " Uncle David settled east of the Kennebec River, changed
his name to Ridley, and married a second wife there." Mrs. Deborah
Decker, of Hollis, sometime wife of David's son Isaac, said to me, "Old
David Ridley came back to Buxton and died near Salmon Falls." In a


letter from Sewall Hutchinson, a grandson of David Redlon, now before
me, he writes: "David Ridley married Mary Lane, and never had any
other wife; she survived him many years and died at the age of ninety-six."
He had three children, all born and married in Buxton, as appears by the
records of the town and church there. There were no children born
afterwards. Who, then, were the "Hannah Ridley" and "Hannah
Palmer" mentioned in the Pension Records as "the immediate members
of his family" in 1832? There is some obscurity enshrouding the history
of this man in his last days. He was of medium height, heavy built
(weighing about one hundred and eighty pounds), very erect, and had
light hair, gray eyes, bald crown, and long, outstanding brows. His hair
turned white when he was in middle life. He was very eccentric and loved
ardent spirits when young; when under the influence of drink sometimes
became quarrelsome and combative. Some of the old Ridlons of Hollis
remember him as he visited their father's homes when they were children,
and talked over his adventures in the war of the Revolution. He was
ready for any bacchanalian enjoyment, and said to be a "high-flyer."

Ebenezer Kedloil 3 (2), second son of Ebenezer 2 (1), was born in Nar-
raganset township No. 1, now Buxton, Me., County of York, Nov. 4,
1757; married Feb. 17, 1780, Sarah, daughter of Issac Hancock,* of Bux-
ton, and settled on a farm near the Duck Pond in the latter town. He
was a shoe-maker by trade, and is said to have served his time with his
uncle, Matthias Redlon, while he lived in town. He was a soldier of the
Revolution in the company of Capt. Jabez Lane, and in the Sixth Mas-
sachusetts Regiment, under Col. Thomas Nixon ; was at Boston, Cam-
bridge, Connecticut, Long Island, and with the Northern Department of
the Colonial Army, at Ticonderoga, and West Point under Gen. Alexan-
der McDougall. In the book of accounts kept with his company by
Captain Lane "Ebenezer Ridley" is charged with one " shurt." Mr.
Redlon developed many of the eccentricities so common in the family.
He was once in a store at Salmon Falls on a rainy day, where many of
the farmers had gathered, — as was then a custom on such days, —
among them some of the members of Parson Coffin's society, profession-
ally very pious people. In those days the grog flowed freely and church
members did not abstain, when they could frame an excuse for drinking.
On this occasion one drank because he had a " bad cold " ; another for a
" pain in his back"; another for "rheumatism." Ebenezer understood
their hypocrisy, and when all had taken a drink he walked to the counter
and said, "Nothin' ails me, but I want a glass of grog because I love it"
At one time Parson Coffin reprimanded " Uncle Ned " because he did not
attend church, ami demanded a reason. The rough old fellow looked the
parson in the eye, and putting on a serious expression, replied, "I have n't
any sixpenny to get me a Sabba-day-hock at Mann Garland's." This wo-
man then kept a tavern near the parson's church, and between the servi-
ces, while the preacher was at dinner, some of the church-members would
go there and take their drinks, which they called " Sabba-day-hocks."
He was not tall, but well-formed ; his shoulders were square in early life,
but considerably stooping in later years ; his hair was brown, eyes gray,
brows long, thick, and outstanding ; his features coarse, and cheeks flushed.

* She was aunt to Mercy Hancock, who married Isaac Ridlon, of Baldwin
(widow of Joseph Ridlon), and Hannah Hancock, sister of Mercy, who married
Nicholas Ridlon, of Hollis, who died in Casco, Me.


His widow died in Buxton, Me., Dec. 26, 1856, aged 100 years. She was
the mother of eleven children, and her descendants numbered two hun-
dred and seventy-three at the time of her death.

Jonathan Redloil 3 (1), third son of Ebenezer 2 (1), was baptized in
Buxton, Me., by Rev. Paul Coffin, April 16, 1857, and died when a young
man at his father's house.

Susan Redlon 3 (1), eldest daughter of Ebenezer 2 (1), was born in
Buxton, Me., May 15, 1759, and was married May 22, 1776, to Abraham
Bickford, of Falmouth.

Sarah Redloil 3 (1), second daughter of Ebenezer 2 (1), was born in
Buxton, Me., Aug. 6, 1761, and lived a single woman with her maiden-
sister on the old homestead at the " Hains Meadow."

Jeremiah Redloil 3 (2), fourth son of Ebenezer 2 (1), was born in Bux-
ton, Me., June 20, 1764, and lived on the homestead farm at the " Hains
Meadow " with his two maiden-sisters ; never married. He sustained an
injury when a child, which caused his neck to become rigid, and hecould
not turn his head without moving the whole body. He was an incorri-
gibly odd old fellow, who had a " way of his own " that he took pride in.
There were days when he would not speak to any person. He seemed almost
destitute of the social element, and lived as independent as any man
could with his circumstances. Everybody knew " TJnclc Jerry," and all
the Ridlons of Hollis and the north part of Buxton called to see him and
his maiden-sisters when going to and from Saco Falls. Men delighted to
plague the old man, and sometimes called him from his bed while passing
on cold nights, to inform him that the elevation of his house was favorable
to the draining of his cellar ; on these occasions he was wild with anger
and would scream for an axe to kill his tormentors with. Mr. Redlon
was peculiar in dress : he caught a raccoon, and made him a cap from the
skin, which he woi*e, — with the tail hanging down behind, — so many
winters that nearly all the fur came off and gave him a ludicrous appear-
ance. The buttons on his outside o-arments were made of sole-leather.
He died Dec. 30, 1840, aged 76 years"

Anna Redlon 3 (1), fourth daughter of Ebenezer 2 (1), was born in
Buxton, Me., Oct. 10, 1766 ; baptized by Rev. Paul Coffin, Feb. 29, 1766;
lived with her unmarried brother and maiden-sister after the death of her
parents, a single woman. She was very old at the time of her death.

Moses Redlon 3 (1), the youngest (?) son of Ebenezer 2 (1), was born
in Buxton, Me., about 1768-1772. I have several traditionary accounts
concerning this man, but his name appears but once on the records. He
was taxed "two shillings and sixpence" in Class No. 2, of Narraganset
No. 1, in 1789 ; if he was not a minor at this date he must have been born
as early as 1768. It is a little singular that his name cannot be found in
the church-records of Rev. Paul Coffin, where those of his brothers and
sisters were found. Some of the family think he entered the army of the
Revolution with his brothers and never returned, but this is not consis-
tent w r ith his age at the time, and his name would have been on the roll.
Some say he was deformed and died at the old homestead at the " Hains
Meadow." When my grandfather, Thomas Ridlon, 2d, of Hollis, was
nearly ninety years old, he asked me if I kneAv anything about "Old Moses
Redlon of Buxton." When I answered in the negative, he said, "There
was such a man when I was a boy." But why should he call this Moses
Redlon "old," when he was about fourteen at the time of Thomas Ridlon's
birth in 1781 ? His history is enshrouded in obscurity, but my con-


elusions are that he died at home, unmarried, soon after attaining to his
majority; that, as so long a time had passed since Thomas Ridlon knew
him, and having forgotten his death, he styled him "old."

Mary Kedloil 5 (1), youngest daughter of Ebenezer 2 (1), was born in
Buxton, Me., June 2, 1770, and was married March 17, 1793, to Jacob
Stevens, of Buxton.

Robert Rcdloil 3 (1), eldest son of John' 2 (1), was born in Narra-
ganset No. 1 (now Buxton, York County, Me.), May 2, 1751; married
Mary Rollins, of Newcastle, or Damariscotta, in 1771, and had issue by that
lady seven children, of whom hereafter. He married, secondly, Betsey
Knowlton, who also predeceased him, childless. These women were both
sisters of the husbands of Mr. Redlon's sisters, as will hereafter appear.
Robert was named for his grandfather Brooks, and after his father's death
in 1761, he went to Saco and lived a few years with his grandfather, the
ancestor of the family. When quite young he made a journey to Dama-
riscotta, or Nobleborough, Lincoln County, and learned the blacksmith's
trade there of Ichabod Austin, who was a half-brother of Robert's father.
(See note on the Austin family.) After acquiring proficiency in his chosen
occupation, he purchased land in the town of Newcastle, on the west side
of the Damariscotta River, cleared a nice farm, built a blacksmith-shop,
and established a permanent home there. His house was situated on a
hill, — the highest elevation in the neighborhood, — overlooking the river
upon which his land bordered, and about a mile above the " Scotta Bridge."

"The house, standing in 1873, was large on the ground, wide, low-
posted, and high-gabled. The interior was plain, the rooms large and low,
and were warmed by huge fire-places built in a capacious chimney, which
had a very short neck above the ridge-pole of the house. There was a
door in the front, and another in the back side of this dwelling ; from the
latter, which was protected by a picturesque little porch, he reached his shop,
which was a little way in the rear, and near the present carriage-road.
His land reached from the road to the river, and his intervales were beau-
tiful and productive. Mr. Redlon's second wife having died, and being
advanced in life, he conveyed his farm to Enoch Perkins, who provided
for him the remainder of his days ; his death occurred in August, 1824,
at the age of 73. He was buried by the side of his two wives, near his
home, in a field owned in 1873 by a Mr. Elliot, who, notwithstanding the
reservations specified in his deed, has encroached upon this burial-place
with his plough until the last furrow reached one of the headstones of a
grave ; he was warned against another violation of his purchase-contract,
and promised to trespass upon the reserved land no more. The graves
are only a few feet from the track of the Knox and Lincoln Railroad,
once a quiet and secluded spot, chosen by Mr. Redlon when he laid his
.Mary down to rest; he little thought at that day the "iron-horse"
would course across his farm, and go screaming past his place of earthly
rest ; but, alas ! such are the mutations of time. In company with two of
Robert's grandchildren, — Nathan Redlon, of South China, and Hannah
Chapman, of Newcastle, — I visited the old homestead in 1873, and
stood by his grave. We crossed his broad fields and beautiful intervales ;
climbed the hill by the same path from which this family-patriarch once
reached his river-fields ; drank water from the old well by the road-side
near the house, still drawn by "sweep and bucket," and dug from the
ground in a corn-field where Mr. Redlon's smithy once stood, a large


forge-cinder and a piece of iron about a foot in length, both of which
were preserved as memorials. There are no other buildings near, and the
place now has a dreary and lonely appearance. I examined the records
of the town, and found Robert's surname written Redlon, Ridlon, and
Ridley. He was called a good mechanic for his day, and all his sons and
many of his descendants have followed the same trade, he having marked
them with a " smutty nose." Mr. Redlon was quite tall and had dark
hair and eyes. His features were regular, cheeks ruddy, and his head,
when in middle life, was very bald. This history will correct the tradi-
tion that Robert Redlon was a son of Magnus, the Scotchman ; this no
doubt obtained credence in consequence of his having lived in that fam-
ily when a boy, where he was seen by many of the third generation.

Sally Redlon 3 (1), eldest daughter of John' 2 (1), was born in the
town of Buxton, Me., — then Narraganset No. 1, — May 20, 1753, and
was married to Andrew Knowlton, of Nobleborough, Lincoln County,
where she lived and died. Her husband was a brother of Robert Red-
Ion's second wife.

Susanna Redlon 3 (2), second daughter of John 2 (1), was born in
Buxton, Me., — then Narragansett No. 1, — Jan. 20, 1756, and was mar-
ried to Nathaniel Rollins, of Nobleborough, who was a brother of Robert
Redlon's first wife.

Magnus Redlon 3 (2), second son of John 2 (1), was born in Buxton,
Me., — then Narraganset township No. 1, — Aug. 4, 1758, and is sup-
posed to have died when a young man, unmarried. His grandfather, for
whom he was named, in his will of 1776 bequeaths 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 amount
is not mentioned. This child was then but eight years old. His portion
of his father's lands in Buxton, were sold to Joseph Leavett, of that
town, and conveyed by Robert Redlon and Andrew Knowlton, — brother
and brother-in-law of Magnus, — Sept. 2, 1783. He probably died some-
where in the eastern part of the State (most likely with his brother
Robert in Newcastle) just before the sale of his land in Buxton, at which
time he would have been twenty-five years of age. I have found no tradi-
tion in any branch of the family concerning this Magnus.

John Redlon 3 (2), third son of John 2 (1), was born in Buxton, Me.,
May 14, 1760, and died in Saco in 1767.

Matthias Redlon 3 (2), eldest son of Matthias 2 (1) and his wife,
Rachel Edgecomb, was born in Saco, Me., Feb. 4, 1749 ; married by Rev.
John Fairfield, of Saco, Sept. 6, 1772, to Elizabeth Field, daughter of
Daniel Field, and with that lady was styled "of Buxton." He settled
on apart of his father's lands in Saco, — perhaps on the line between
Saco and Buxton, — about one half mile north of the road corner at the
homestead of Lewis McKenney, and I think the old Redlon house was

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 78 of 103)