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 85 of 103)
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cannot learn anything about her family.

* The author of this book visited Samuel Ridlen at Webb's Prairie in 1873, and
remembers with pleasure the hours spent with his kindred while there. In com-
pany with a kinsman, Alpheus G. Ridlon of Norwood, Ohio, he had stopped over
night at Tamaroy, on the Illinois Central Railroad. Morning dawned bright and
beautiful. We hired a team and started on our way across the rolling, blossoming
prairies ; the air was warm, but clear and invigorating. At noon we reached Ben-
ton, a neat little village, where we took dinner with a Mr. Nailor, who kept the
hotel there. Then away through groves and wheat-fields till about 3 o'clock, p. M.,
when we asked a boy by the roadside how far it was to Webb's Prairie. " Why
you are there now,'" was his quick reply. We asked if there were families named
Ridlon in the neighborhood. "Just over that swell, sir; that's where they live,
sir," answered the lad. But before we had passed the "swell" I discovered a ven-
erable man sitting on the porch of a respectable cabin, and as we drew nearer I
called the attention of my companion, by saying, "There, see that old man; that
must be Uncle Samuel, for I see he looks like my grandfather." We stopped before
the gate, and I walked along the path to the house. He heard my step as I ap-
proached, and in reply to my question, " Is this Mr. Ridlen ? " said, " Yes, sir, that 's
my name ; and pray tell me who you are." When he learned I was his kinsman from
the East, he shouted with all his powers for his daughter, Mrs. Aiken, who was at
that moment in her garden ; she came in with haste, supposing something had hap-
pened to the old man, but to her surprise he cried out, " Good heavens ! Jane, here
is Mr. Ridlon from my old home in Massachusetts, and another Mr. Ridlon; do
have their horse put up and get them some dinner." Taking a seat by my side he
felt of my hands, arms, and shoulders, to see — as he said — if I was built like the
Ridlon family. We sang a hymn — " Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Chris-
tian love, " etc., — and knelt iu prayer. How that dear old man shouted praise to
God ! He was a Methodist of the primitive stamp, converted at a camp-meeting,
and loved to relate his " experience " ; he would describe all the circumstances in
detail, and with considerable composure, till he reached that point where he found
"peace in believing," and then he would shout as only an old-fashioned Methodist
could. We had been at his daughter's of an evening, and on our return to his
other daughter's (Mrs. Sarah Alexander), we called at his son's, on the way.
The old man had gone to his bed in the cabin-chamber, but hearing us singing, he


Abraham Ridlen 4 (4), fourth son of Abraham 8 (2), was born in Phil-
lipsburgh, Mass., — now Hollis, Me., — Feb. 26, 1799, and was about one
year old when carried by his parents to Ohio. He married, May 9, 1822,
Annis Ballard, by whom he had five children. His first wife died in Free-
stone County, Tex., Oct. 6, 1849, and he married, secondly, Phebe Van
Camp, by whom he had three children, of whom (with those of first wife)
hereafter. He was in the war of 1812; enlisted as a musician at Spring-
field, O., Aug. 25, 1814, under Capt. Martin Shea, of the State militia, but
afterwards served as a private soldier. He was stationed at Fort Win-
chester, at the mouth of the Clare, which empties into the Maume River,
but was discharged at Fort Mary, Feb. 26, 1815. He was a carpenter and
cabinet-maker by trade, and a Missionary Baptist preacher by profession.
Mr. Ridlen was about medium height, and in old age became very stoop-
shouldered and bald. Resembled his father more than either of his broth-
ers. He visited his brothers and relatives a short time before his death,
and bade them all a last farewell, telling them he should see them no more
on earth. He was a man of 'eminent piety and very useful, and when he
died at Bourbon, Douglas County, 111., Feb. 29, 1872, he was sincerely la-
mented by a large number of his acquaintances.

Rachel Ridlen 4 (4), fourth daughter of Abraham 8 (2), was born in
Ohio (near Cincinnati), Sept. 20, 1801 ; was married to Peter Teitsort,
and in 1873 was living at Little York, Ind., near her brother John's farm.
She is a large woman, and resembles the Tibbetts family more than the
Ridlons. Her portrait, finished in India-ink, hangs in my house.

Susan Ridlen 4 (2), youngest daughter of Abraham 3 (2), was born in
Ohio in 1803; married Jeremiah Mann; died in Park County, Ind., in 1870.

came down the ladder, saying as he descended, "Good heavens! do you suppose I
can stay up here when ye sing like that? " We were sitting on the porch of Mrs.
Alexander's house one hot afternoon, when on looking across the fields I saw the
old patriarch approaching on horse-back, his long, white beard blowing back over
his shoulders. A little granddaughter was leading the horse and chatting pleas-
antly with the old sire, while he sat erect, cooling himself with a large palm-leaf
fan, which he carried with him everywhere. He was soon sitting at our side, tell-
ing his " experience " again ; and it was indeed a rich treat every time, especially
when he commenced the description of his sensations when he was converted, and
interspersed his story with "Glory hallelujah !" and "Glory to God!" He was
also enthusiastic in his descriptions of his fine stock of cattle, and no language at
his command seemed strong enough to delineate their matchless beauty. His
stories respecting his hardships in the army were painfully interesting. His beard
was snowy white, with the exception of a black stripe running from his chin,
which gave him a peculiar appearance. I was very ill while at the house of his
daughter, and for a few hours it was thought I should never return to my home.
The tender care bestowed by these relatives will never be forgotten by me. The
last time I saw " Uncle Samuel " was on the morning of our departure. He had
come to the home of his daughter, Mrs. Aiken, where we were to take a public con-
veyance for McLeansburgh. We had all knelt in prayer, the parting hand had been
given, and as we stood a moment at the gate we saw his son leading him down the
orchard-path toward his own home; all at once the old man stopped, raised his
broad-brimmed hat from his head, and while his white hair and beard were streaming
in the breeze, he raised himself to his greatest height, and with a wave of his hand
said, "Farewell, my dear kindred, farewell; we shall meet no more on earth; meet
me in heaven." As he spoke these words the tears fell like rain from his blind eyes,
and his trembling voice evinced how full was his heart. My last view of him was
through a window of the coach, as he was passing under the garden trees leaning
on the arm of his noble son, and the scene was truly patriarchal and impressive, —
that of weakness leaning on strength, and old age upon vigorous manhood. I af-
terwards received a local newspaper which contained his obituary.


John Ridlen 4 (8), fifth son of Abraham 8 (2), was born in Ohio, March
31, 1806; married, Oct. 9, 1828, Margaret, daughter of George and Eliz-
abeth Robinson, and lives at Little York, Washington County, Ind. His
first wife having died, he married a Widow Sullivan for his second wife.
Mr. Ridlen is a farmer and cooper by occupation. He is of medium height
and build; has thick, bushy, white hair; long, flowing, silvery beard, and
deep-set eyes. His portrait now in my possession shows him to resemble
the Tibbetts family. He had issue ten children, all by his first wife, of
whom hereafter.

Nicholas P. Ridlen 4 (2), youngest son of Abraham 3 (2), was born in
Ohio, July 8, 1808 ; married, June 5, 1828, Hannah Bellville (she was born
March 10, 1808, and died April 30, 1869), by whom he had issue nine chil-
dren, of whom hereafter. He married, secondly, June 22, 1871, Elvira
Wooten (she was born July 23, 1825), with whom he was living at Davis-
ville, Shelby County, Ind., in 1875. His farm is near the line of the Cin-
cinnati and Indianapolis Railroad. Farmer and cooper. He is a broad-
shouldered, heavy man, with white, bushy hair, and favors in gen-
eral facial appearance his mother's family. Samuel Ridlen, his brother,
of Illinois, estimated his weight at three hundred pounds, but I think
that was too high.

Joseph Ridlon 4 (2), eldest son of Jacob 3 (2), was born in Buxton,
Me., in 1790 ; married Massie, daughter of William and Elizabeth (Leav-
ett) Hancock, by whom he had two children, of whom hereafter. He
was a millman, and lived in a house near the present mansion-house of
Oliver Dow, and on the same lot now owned by Hon. Charles E. Weld,
at West Buxton. He died in 1824, and requested his wife to marry
his brother.

Isaac Ridlon 4 (3), second son of Jacob 3 (2), was born in Buxton,
Me., July 30, 1797 ; married July 3, 1828, to Massie (Hancock) Ridlon,
widow of his brother, before mentioned, and settled on a farm among the
hills, in Baldwin, Cumberland County. He was above the medium
height, and quite heavy. His head was high and bald, hair dark brown,
eyes small and gray, and face ruddy. Resembled the Townsend family
about the eyes and nose. He was a good-natured, honest man, and lived
in peace with all the world. Died at West Baldwin, Feb. 15, 1880, aged
82 years and 6 months. His wife has deceased.

Judith Ridlon 4 (3), eldest daughter of Jacob 3 (2), was born in Bux-
ton, Me., in 1799, and died in 1814, unmarried.

Betsey Ridlon 4 (3), second daughter of Jacob 3 (2), was born in Bux-
ton, Me., Nov. 17, 1802; was married Sept. 4, 1831, to Daniel Wiggin, of
Baldwin, whose first wife was Lydia Ridlon, her cousin. She died when
aged, in Baldwin, where she had lived many years ; an excellent woman.
Her portrait in India-ink is in my possession.

Mary Ridlon 4 (5), third daughter of Jacob 3 (2), was born in Buxton,
Me., March 10, 1807 ; was married May 10, 1840 (?), to William Davis, of
Gorham, and lives near " White Rock." She is supposed to be living
(1883), but the family will not reply to any of my communications.

Daniel Ridlon 4 (4), eldest son of Daniel 3 (2), was born in Ossipee,
Mass. (now Limington, Me.), Nov. 11, 1778 ; baptized by Rev. John
Fairfield, of Saco, March 12, 1780 ; married Dolly, daughter of Levi
Dyer, of Limington, Nov. 21, 1799, and had issue six children, of whom


hereafter. He lived some time in Limington or Limerick, but finally-
settled in Porter, Oxford County, where he owned a farm. He died in
Porter, March 24, 1868, aged 90 years ; his wife predeceased him Oct. 30,
1854, aged 67 years ; they were buried in a small yard near his home.
Mr. Ridlon was known as a very honest and pious man. He originally
spelt his name Ridley or Ridlea, but changed back to Ridlon. His por-
trait, taken when aged, may be seen in the author's home.

Jemima Ridlon 4 (1), eldest daughter of Daniel 3 (2), was born in Lim-
ington, York County, Me., in 1782 ; was married to Benjamin Haines, of
Buxton, Nov. 12, 1804, and this is all I can learn respecting her. The
Haines family of Saco have no knowledge of such a woman.

Priscilla Ridlon 4 (2), second daughter of Daniel 3 (2), was born in
Limerick (presumably), in 1784 ; was married to Pelatiah Brown, of that
town, and lived on a farm. Her aged parents lived in her family during
their last days. No record of her death.

John Ridlon 4 (9), second son of Daniel 3 (2), was born in Limerick,
Me., April 4, 1786 (?) ; married his cousin, Mary Holmes, in 1801, and had
issue five children, of whom hereafter. He married secondly, Tamar
Wales, who survived him and was living in 1880. Mr. Ridlon owned a
farm in Porter, Me., near his brother Daniel's homestead. He was of
dark complexion, of medium height, compactly built, and had coarse
features. Was considered a very strong man physically. Honest, quiet,
and unobtrusive. He died April 4, 1849. I think there is an error either
in date of birth or marriage.

Ezra Ridlon 4 (1), third son of Daniel 3 (2), was born in Limerick, Me.,
in 1788; married Rebecca Hutchins in 1807, and had issue six children,
of whom hereafter. He resided on a small farm in Woodstock, Oxford
County, many years, — say forty, — but had previously lived in Limerick
or Porter. He was a remarkable man for one of his age. I saw him
when between eighty and ninety, and he was then a hale, well-preserved,
fresh-looking man. He was short, very bi*oad across his shoulders, and com-
pact in build ; his neck thick, head large, complexion sandy, eyes gray, brows
long and outstanding. He was quiet and sedate generally, and of the same
eccentric, odd disposition so common with the old members of the family.
Died July 23, 1881, aged 93 years. His widow died April 23, 1882.

Patience Ridlon 4 (2), fourth daughter of Daniel 3 (2), was born in
Limerick, Me., June 20, 1788 ; was married to Simon Smith, and resided
in Standish, Cumberland County. She had issue. Died July 29, 1871.
Was she a twin to Ezra? Compare dates.

Sally Ridlon 4 (4), third daughter of Daniel 3 (2), was born in Limer-
ick, Me., in April, 1791 ; married John Sands, of Standish, and probably
lived in that town. She had issue, with one of whom (Mrs. Almon Knee-
land, of Harrison),* she spent a part of her time during her last days, her
husband having deceased. She died May 10, 1875, aged 84 years. I
have her portrait.

Lydia Ridlon 4 (2), fifth daughter of Daniel 3 (2), was born in Lim-
erick, Me., Aug. 25, 1793; was married to Simon Harmon, Dec. 2, 1819,
and had issue. She lived in Cornish. Died Oct. 11, 1839.

* Mr. Kneeland kept a public house at Harrison Village, and Daniel D. Ridlon,
while deputy-sheriff, used to stop there over night, when on his way to Paris to at-
tend court ; when at the table Mrs. Sands always gave him two pieces of pie, and
the other guests but one. Mr. Ridlon asked her the reason for her favors, and she
replied, " I know your name is Ridlon, and claim you as my relative."


Polly Ridloil 4 (4), youngest daughter of Daniel 3 (2), was born in
Limerick, Me., Oct. 12,1798; was married, June 13, 1819, to James Crow-
ley, — he was born April 28, 1793, and died March 7, 1851, — of Cornish,
Me., where she lived many years. Mr. Crowley was a blacksmith. In Sep-
tember, 1853, she was married to William Sargent, and removed from
Cornish to Limington, in the same County. Mr. Sargent died in July,
1873, and the widow went to Ossipee, N. H., and lived with her grand-
daughter, Mrs. Nichols, there, until her death, which occurred July 17,
1877, at the age of 79 years. Her portrait, finished in India-ink, is in the
author's collection. She had all the characteristics and features of the old
Rid Ion stock.

Ruth Ridlon 4 (2), eldest daughter of Ephraim 3 (1), was born in Saco,
Me., Sept. 4, 1785; was married, Jan. 19, 1810, to James Dennet, and
lived in her native town.

Patience Ridloil 4 (3), second daughter of Ephraim 3 (1), was born in

Saco, Me., Oct. 4, 1787, and married Goggins. She had a daughter

who married John McCollock, an Irishman, in Saco. I think Patience
was not married till middle life. She was over 80 years old when she
died. Her portrait is in my collection.

Henry Ridlon 4 (1), eldest son of Ephraim 3 (1), was born in Saco, Me.,
Feb. 15, 1790; married and had issue. He was better known as "Harry."
Some of the family say he died at sea in 1821 ; others, that he died of
hemorrhage, in Saco.

Charles Ridlon 4 (1), second son of Ephraim 3 (1), was born in Saco,
Me., Jan. 15, 1792; married, Oct. 15, 1822, to Mehitable Snow, of Scar-
borough, and settled on a farm in Saco, on the "Ferry Road," so called.
He subsequently moved to the village (now city), where he died June 20,
1843. His widow died at the home of her daughter in Portland, Feb. 17,
1859, aged 75 years. Mr. Ridlon was in the war of 1812, having enlisted
in the Thirty-third Massachusetts Regiment. He was not tall, but very
broad-shouldered and compact in form ; his hair was dark, eyes gray, and
features of the true Scottish type so prevalent in the family. He was
buried in Saco. Had issue three children, of whom hereafter.

Mehitable Ridlon 4 (1), third daughter of Ephraim 3 (1), was born in
Saco, Me., June 17, 1794, and married John Edgecomb, of Saco, Oct. 5,
1816. She lived on the " Ferry Road," so called.

Ephraim Ridlon 4 (2), third son of Ephraim 3 (1), was born in Saco,
Me., April 13, 1797 ; married Sept. 16, 1815, Rachel Hanscomb, and had
issue three children, of whom hereafter. He followed the sea and died in
the West Indies of yellow fever. He was not tall, but very broad-shoul-
dered and stout ; hair dark, eyes gray, brows long and outstanding, features
coarse. He resembled his father in disposition and habits ; was eccentric,
jovial, and witty. He loved the ocean from childhood, and became an ex-
cellent seaman.

Elizabeth Ridlon 4 (3), fourth daughter of Ephraim 3 (1), was born in
Saco, Me., Nov. 23, 1799. She was married, but the name of her hus-
band has not reached me. I think she lived with her father at the time
of his death in 1835, but the family traditions do not agree concerning
her last days.

William Ridlon 4 (3), fourth son of Ephraim 3 (1), was born in Saco,
Me., March 2, 1803; married Nov. 20, 1823, Abigail Davis, and died in
Saco, May 12, 1854. He lived on a small farm at the "Ferry," and left


issue four children, of whom hereafter. His widow is still living in 1882,
an active and brilliant old ladv.

Lewis Ridloil 4 (2), eldest son of Lewis 8 (1), was born in Saco, He.,
Jan. 21, 1791; lived with his brother Henry, on the " Ferry Road," a
single man, and died of the ]>alsy in September, 1853. He was on board
the ship "Adams," of the United States Navy, during the war of 1812.
This vessel was blown up on the Penobscot River, near Frankfort, Me.,
to prevent her being seized by the British ; the crew escaped to land and
made their way home.

Olive Ridloil 4 (1), eldest daughter of Lewis 3 (1), was born in Saco,
Me., Jan. 7, 1792. I do not find a record of her marriage, and only know
that she had a son named Enoch Ridlon, drowned at sea near Boston, at
the age of 19 or 20 years.

Jeremiah Ridlon 4 (4), second son of Lewis 3 (1), was born in Saco,
Me., Sept. 23, 1794, and was on board the ship "Adams," during the war
of 1812.

Samuel Ridloil 4 (3), third son of Lewis 3 (1), was born in Saco, Me.,
Aug. 9, 1796, and died Nov. 5, 1817.

Nathaniel Ridlon 4 (3), fourth son of Lewis 3 (1), was bora in Saco,
Me., Aug. 30, 1798 ; married Jan. 26, 1827, Mercy Smith, and second-
ly, Jan. 23, 1832, Phebe Williams. At both weddings he was dressed in
a naval uniform. He was many years a seaman, — twenty-two years, —
during which he suffered severely from exposure and ill-treatment. He
had sailed upon the North and Baltic seas, and passed the Straits of Gib-
raltar ; had been in almost every European port, and passed through
many dangers. At one time, coming upon the coast of Maine during
very cold weather and in a driving storm, when the rigging of the vessel
was clad in ice, his feet were so badly frozen he was obliged to leave the
sea and remain at home all summer. The toes were all lost from one
foot, and he became a cripple for the remainder of his life. " Uncle
Nat " was a genuine sailor and could " spin a yarn " as well as the best
seaman who rode the deck. When speaking of his sufferings with his
frozen feet he delivered himself as follows : " I tell you, mister, I hed an
awful time of it that summer ; them ere toes was tormented sore, you
better believe, and it was all I could do to hobble round on the farm.
Why, sir, them toes got wus and wus, and tormented me day and night.
I tried to hoe some corn, and when I reached the end of my row would
sit on the grass, and with my ole jack-knife dig away at the j'ints of 'em ;
well, sir, I managed to unj'int 'em one by one, leetle by leetle, — gorry,
how it hurt though, — till they was all off out o' my way. Them ole big
fellows was hard 'nough, but when I undertook that little jack o' mine, I
tell you what, sir, that was tough enough to kill. Why, that was so con-
founded tender, with the flesh all gone, and the bones sticking out, 't was
all I could do to cripple round. But I sat down on the grass, pulled off
my sock, took out my old knife, and sed I: 'Now, little jack, you've got
tu cum, enyway.' Ye see, mister, the j'ints would come apart easy
'nough, but the toe held on to this ole foot by a little sinner (sinew), and
by mighty, how that did hang on ! Well, mister, 1 jist put the p'int o' the
knife-blade right in a-twixt the j'int — my foot was on a block o' wood —
and then, grippin' my teeth and shuttin' my eyes, I sed, ' Her'-now ! '
and .with one mighty yank, off it flew, sinner and all ; and good-Lord-a-
marcy, mister, when that sinner snapped I yelled like murder. Don't you


think that was a'tarnal, all-killin' job, mister? What say?" During this
description he had held his lame foot in his hands on his knee, and with
contortion of body, movement of hand, and facial expression, illustrated
in a forcible manner his rude amputations and sufferings. Men are few
who could undergo such painful operations upon their own flesh, and with
their own hands ; and one must be armed with strong nerves to hear the
old man tell the story unmoved. The bones of his feet were left with
sharp edges and caused him great pain ever after when walking; as the
motions of the foot, and weight of his body, pressed them into the flesh,
keeping it always sore. " Uncle Nat " always loved the sea, and spent
considerable time fishing along the coast of Maine, in after life.* He lived
a while with his uncle, Abraham Ridlon, when young. He was about
medium height, had round shoulders, long jutting eye-brows, gray eyes,
large nose, broad mouth and chin, and short, thick neck. In his prime his
hair was dark-brown. He was eccentric, odd, and willful, but quite con-
versational and humorous. Kind of heart and honest, "Uncle Nat" had
many friends, and the many "sailors' yarns " he used to spin, after he be-
came a "land-lubber," will never be forgotten by those who knew him.
His second wife predeceased him, but I have no record. He lived with
his youngest children during his last years, on his own farm, on the " Ferry
Road," nearly opposite the homestead of his brother Edmund. Died in
1873, and at his request, was buried in the same suit of sailors' clothes he
had been twice married in ; and we may hope he made a safe voyage to
the harbor of eternal rest. He had issue ticelve children, of whom here-
after. I have his portrait.

Edmund Ridlon 4 (1), fifth son of Lewis 3 (1), was born in Saco, Me.,
Sept. 7, 1800 ; married July 15, 1820, Ruth, daughter of Jeremiah and
Mercy Smith, and had issue twelve children, of whom hereafter. He lived
on a farm on the river side of the " Ferry Road," in Saco, nearly opposite
his brother Nathaniel's house, and only a little way down the hill from
the cemetery. He resembled his brother last mentioned : had sandy com-
plexion, Scottish type of features, long, shaggy eye-brows, and a surly,
determined expression of face. His shoulders — unlike nearly all the
Ridlons — were narrow and sloping. His constitution was vigorous till
old age; he enjoyed a good dinner. Eccentric as any member of the clan;
said many queer and witty things, now remembered and told by the
townspeople. His wife predeceased him. Mr. Ridlon died in 1878, aged
78 years. Children now living on the homestead farm. Portrait in my

Henry Ridlon 4 (2), sixth son of Lewis 3 (1), was born in Saco, Me.,
Sept. 4, 1802; married Nancy, daughter of his uncle Gibbins Ridlon, April
11, 1826, and settled on the "Ferry Road," so called. His first wife died
March 20, 1835, leaving four children, of whom hereafter; and Mr. Rid-
lon married, secondly, Feb. 6, 1845, Lucretia T. Edgecomb, of Saco ; she
was born Oct. 29, 1817, and is still living with her children in the city of
Saco. Mr. Ridlon died Feb. 19, 1869, leaving four children by his second
wife. He was a quiet, retiring man, honest and kind to all. Complexion
light, height medium, features Scottish.

* For many years successively, the Ridlons of Hollis and Buxton went to Saco,
and out a-fishing with Uncle Nat Ridlon, the latter always acting as "skipper."
The old "tar" knew the good tishing-places, understood the management of a
boat, and they always took good " fare " when under his directions.

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 85 of 103)