Charles Thornton Libby.

The Libby family in America,1602-1881 online

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Genealogy is so generally called useless, that the producers of gen-
ealogical books most always feel called upon to defend themselves. I
wish to state here simply my own opinions in the matter. T fully believe
that carelessness of the past almost always accompanies carelessness of
the future, and an interest in the past, thoughtfulness for the future.
To see the truth most plainly, compai-e the extremes of society. On the
one hand, the great body of criminals, who indulge in present pleasures
without a thought of the consequences to themselves or others — what
do or can they care for the memory of father and grandfather? On the
other hand — those whose aim it is to lead useful and noble lives, who
are ready to give up present pleasure for future advantage, who conduct
their daily actions with a view to future results — how can such fail to
have an interest in the causes which have preceded present results?
Only those who live for the present alone, and are careless of the inheri-
tance they leave their offspring, can consistently be indifferent to the
lives of the ancestors from whom they inherited their own characters.

To the question so often asked, "What good will it do?" I say, when I
speak plainly, "Make it personal." And when it is then asked, " What
good will it do 9rte .? " I reply, "If you take no more interest in it than
you do now, it will do you no good. Like everything else, no benefit
can be derived from it until it is appropriated. If you scoff at it, as
some others scoff at the sciences, music, and painting, you will gain no
more benefit from the one than they do from the other. But if you cul-
tivate the spirit of the antiquary, and study cause and effect in the past,
with a view to imitating the good and avoiding the bad, you will possess
yourself of one of the most ennobling influences that exists outside of

This volume I do not offer as a subject, but only as a means, of genealog-
ical study, chiefly for the benefit of those members of future generations
who may wish to take lessons from the past, who might be unable, had
not this work been done now, even to learn who their forefathers were.
To those who wish to reap the true benefits of genealogy, this book will
be (like a dictionary in other studies) but an aid to their search into the
inner lives of their forefathers.


My own interest in genealogy, although I am naturally inclined to
such things, did not become very manifest until the winter of 1878-9.
In a record book which my great-grandfather, Samnel Tompson, kept
of his doings as trial justice, was recorded an account of his de-
scent, through a long line of Harvard graduates and "Orthodox" cler-
gymen, from the original Tompson immigrant, the first minister of
Braiutree, Mass. This book came into my hands at the time mentioned,
and I conceived the idea of tracing all my ancestors back to their immi-
gration. I had heard of family trees, and thought to reverse it so as to
hold all my ancestors, who, of course, doubled in number each genera-
tion that I traced back. However, I found that the tree would not an-
swer the purpose very well, and finally conceived the " cai'twheel," a
number of concentric circles of which the inner was intended for my
own name; the next outer divided into two parts, for my parents; the
next into four, for my grandparents, and so on. I have since found that
this contrivance has been in use many years. In my own chart, when
made, I filled in the single pedigree then in ray possession, and at once
went to Avork, with the zeal that such a pastime always creates, to fill it
out. My mother's ancestorage had been thoroughly worked out by one
of her brothers, my father's mother was a daughter of Samuel Tompson,
Esq., mentioned above, and the only quarter of my chart in which my
research was original, was that belonging to the ancestors of my lineal
gi-andfather, Storer Libby. I traced his pedigree to his gi-eat-grandfather,
Lieut. Andrew Libby, and then came to a standstill. I despaired of ever
learning his parentage, and began to trace the generations of his descend-
ants, being all of the Libby family that I knew to be related to me. I
had not proceeded far, however, when I learned from a source unknown
before, that Lieut. Andrew Libby was a son of Matthew Libby, who was
a son of John Libby, the first of the name in this country, and from whom
I supposed all of the name descended. So I began to collect records of the
whole family, with the thought that I might some day publish them. In
July, 1879, shortly after ray graduation from the High School, I called at
the law office of Charles F. Libby, Es(i., of my own city, at that time a
stranger to me, and proposed that he should pay my expenses in visiting
the towns of Alfred, Me., and Exeter, IS". H., where are deposited the
probate recoi'ds, records of deeds, and court records, for the towns in
which the early generations of the family had resided ; and that I should
take special pains to trace his pedigree. Much to my satisfaction, and
somewhat to my surprise, (I was then not eighteen years old), Mr. Libby
accepted my proposition, and at his expense I spent several weeks in the
places named, and in visiting various aged members of the family. The
result of this search was the strong conviction that a few years would
make it impossible to trace the genealogy of the family, and the thought
of the family's becoming a great number of Individuals, impossible to
connect with their early ancestors and with each other, first suggested


the idea of staying from college a year, and devoting my time to collect-
ing the records of the family. I trace thus fully the origin of the book
for the satisfaction of the curious.

The lack of records in the early generations, which is very obvious
when compared with genealogies of Massachusetts families, is a common
defect in Maine genealogies. No record of the birth or deatli of any
member of the family was made, so far as is now known, until after the
rise of the eighteenth century. No deaths, and only four births, oc-
curring in the seventeenth century, are found recorded.

A large portion of the family has been inclined to ask the question
alluded to above, " What good will it do?" and almost all of the errors
and omissions in the later generations are due to the carelessness or neg-
ligence of those immediately concerned. I hope the offspring of those
persons, when, in future years, they are vexed at these defects, will look
twice at this last sentence before attributing them to me.

Yet I by no means wish to complain of a lack of support. All mem-
bers of the family have given me what information they could when
called upon by me in person, and a large portion has replied, with more
or less promptness and care, to my inquiries by mail. I used an origi-
nal version of Abraham Lincoln's boyhood ballad, "If at first you
don't succeed, write, write again," and very few have per.sisted in
refusing my appeals. In a financial point of view, my support has been
still better. The family is so numerous, and so many of its members
have subscribed for the book, that there is the prospect of an anoma-
1 y — that of a family history, thoroughly prepared, paying not only its
cost, but fair compensation for the compiler's time. Those who have
contributed or subscribed twenty-five dollars and upward, are the follow-

Mr. Arthur A. Libby of Chicago, 111., $150.00

Charles F. Libby, Esq., of Portland, Me., .50.00

Mr. H. J. Libby of Portland, Me., 50.00

Dr. H. W. Libbey of Boston, Mass., 50.00

Mr. William P. Libby of Brooklyn, N. Y., * 50.00

Mr. William H. Libby of Augusta, Me., and brothers, 50.00

Hon. Artemas Libbey of Augusta, Me., 25.00

Mr. Joseph Libbey of Georgetown, D. C, 25.00

Mr. James B. Libby of Portland, Me., 25.00

Mr. Augustus F. Libby of New York, N. Y., 25.00

Mr. John Henry Smith of Salt Lake City, Utah, 25.00

The spelling of the name has been a matter of constant vexation to me.

Starting with the intention of following the usual plan of spelling the

name of each individual as he himself spelt it, I was met at the outset by

the fact that many of the early generations left nothing to show how

they spelled their own names, and that many, in different documents,

spelled their names in different ways with seeming indifference. Also


in the later generations, and especially in the present day, the most un-
warranted freedom has been used in adopting whatever spelling strikes
the individual fancy. Many are so careless as not to adopt any particu-
lar spelling, and use one one year, and another the next, while frequent-
ly, in writing t) me, persons have spelled their name in two ways in one
letter. To have carried out my original plan would have demanded an
almost endless amount of search and inquiry, and the result, to a great
extent, must have consisted of guess-work. I have, therefore, used the
true spelling of the name throughout the book, giving in the introduc-
tion such an account as I can of the general drift of the spelling in the
different families and localities.

The method of numbering grew out of my manner of arranging the
records during the compilation. The same method may have been
xised by others, but not to my knowledge. I am aware that in introduc-
ing an unusual method I lay myself open to criticism, and I fear that I
shall be most severely criticised by those who take the least troulde to
master the plan. To myself its only disadvantage is that a special number
cannot be found quite so readily as in some other methods, but it affords
many satisfactions which they do not. I believe that all who make
themselves familiar with it will find it equally satisfactory. It has the
further advantage of saving fully one-tenth part of the space, which, in a
book of this sort, is an important feature.

The system of indexing the christian names of the family, giving the
place of residence, and the blank form for family records, have never
been used before so far as I know. My purpose in forming the index
was to make it jjossible for the most casual acquaintance to find readily
any one of the family, at the same time preserving economy of space.
By this method, all, or nearly all the family are so distinguished in the
index that anyone can readily recognize in the index itself the name he
is in search of. It is recommended that in keeping the family rec-
ords in the blank forms, the system of numbering be continued,
and that greater pains be taken in the future than has been in the
past, to keep an absolutely complete record of all births, marriages,
and deaths.

The gratitude of all that derive any satisfaction from this book is due to
Charles F. Libby, Esq.,* of this city. It was he that gave me my first en-
couragement; it was he that paid my expenses during my first extended
searches ; it was to him that I first mentioned my project of a book, and
he first suggested a method of raising funds; it was from him and
from others at his personal solicitation that the funds were obtained
to pay for the researches in England ; and, finally, it was he that lent
me his name in the contract with the printers, when I, being a minor
under guardianship, would have been put to some trouble to per-

*At this last moment, I have the pleasure of adding to Mr. Libby's record his nomina-
tion by the Republicans for Mayor of Foreland. It is conceded by his opponents that he
will be elected.


feet the contract otherwise. Throughout the work his large influence
has been cast in my favor, and has done much to render the work a
financial success. Without his encouragement I should never have un-
dertaken it. But while Mr. Libby is so intimately connected with the
history of the book, it is due him to say that he has had nothing what-
ever to do with the compilation, arranging, and printing, and that all mis-
takes of judgment and execution in those particulars are chargeable
to myself alone. His action in the matter merits a faultless production,
which I can only regret this falls so far short of being.

I have to acknowledge the assistance of Mrs. Ma'ry B. L Dowst of
Epsom, N. H., Mr. P. Rand Libby of Gilford, N. H., Mr. Henry A Lib-
bey of Machiasport, Me., Mr. Alonzo S. Libbey of Berlin, Yt., Mr. Charles
Libby of Berwick, Me., Mr. Henry F. Libby of Pittsfield, Me., Mr Wm
P. Libby of Brooklyn, N. Y., Mrs. Jane S. Osgood, and others to a great-
er number than I can mention, for special assistance in their own branch-
es, and m some cases in other branches of the family. My work in Rye
K H., was materially lightened by research made while in college by
Mr. Jonas M. Libl?ey of New York. The persons who have furnished me
the most valuable traditional lore are Mrs. Laura McKemiey of Gorham
Rev. Peter Libby of Buxton, and the Misses Eunice and Lois Libby of
Scarborough. I was much aided by a quite complete genealogy of the
families in Kittery, now Eliot, prepared by Mr. William Fogg, and now
in possession of Dr. John S. H. Fogg of South Boston, who kindly fur-
nished me a copy of it. William M. Sargent, Esq., and Mr. S. M. Wat-
son, Librarian of the Public Library, kindly allowed me the use of their
copies of the Scarborough records; the former first called my attention
to the petition given on page 24, and the latter gave me valuable assist-
ance m his position as librarian. I have gained assistance from the col-
lections of the Hon. Joseph Dow of Hampton, N. H., the Hon. Thomas
Moulton of Porter, Me., Mr. Thomas J. Parsons of Rye, K H., and the
Rev. A. H. Quint of Dover, N. H., and have copied freely from all pub-
lished matter. It is a pleasure to me to testify to the almost universal
courtesy I have received at the hands of the custodians of records,
both -public and private, to which I have had need to refer.
_ The portraits have nearly all been furnished at my personal solicita-
tion, and in most cases the expense has been borne wholly by those most
nearly interested.

In closing I must express my indebtedness to the printers, Messrs. B.
Thurston & Co. Besides the mechanical execution of the work, which
will speak for itself, they have corrected a great many defects in the
copy, resulting from my inexperience and other causes, and have re-
sponded nobly to the unusual call made upon them in printing a work
for so poorly qualified a writer.

Portland, Me., Nov. 26, 188L



Index of Surnames other than Libby

Index of Places

General, Index





Muf'H interesting matter has been left out for want of room ;
manj'' persons are but very Ijriefly mentioned for lack of informa-
tion ; many records are defective. It is l)oj)ed that at some fu-
ture day a mnoi\ more full and complete history of tlie family will
V)e published.

Therefore, send in the correction of every mistake you discover;
send in every date of birth, marriage, or death, that you can find
out from time to time; send every additional fact tliat would be
interesting if the history should fill three or four volumes.

The new history will not be published for many years, hut now
is the time, while our aged people are yet with us, to perfect oui-
history and records. Remember that even one date is woi-th
sending. Let this notice stay here, so that all that reay,^fc^^-T>.T?dft^««ijy^^



Explanations . .•••.. 13

Intbobuction ........ 15

The Libby Family in England .... 15

Family Characteristics . . . . .16

Spelling of the Name ...... 16

Intermarriage . .'.,... 18

Prolifacy ....... 20

A Table of the Males in the First Four Generations . 21

The Immigrant ........ 21

The Second Generation ...... 26

The Third Generation ....... 35

The Fourth Generation . . . . . . 54

The Fifth Generation ....... 96

The Sixth Generation ...... 205

The Seventh Generation . ..... 434

Five Families whose Pedigrees are Lost . . . 536

Late Immigrations ....... 538

Unconnected Eecords of Marriage .... 541

Additions and Corrections ...... 542

Index of Christian Names of Libbys .... 545

Index of Surnames other than Libby .... 597

Index of Places


General Index .....••• ^^^


The Compilek
Charles F. Libby, Esq.
Mr. Francis O. Libby .
Oapt. Moses Libby
Hon. Richard Libby
Mr. Zenas Libby
Mr. Jaivies B. Libby
Capt. Cyrus Libby
Mr. Samuel Libbey'
Dr. Hosea W. Libbey
Rev. Elias Libby
Mr. William H. Libby
Mr. David S. Libbey
Mr. George Libby

Mb. Arthur A. Libby

Mr. Joseph Libbey, of Georgetown, D. C.

Dea. Joseph Libbey, of Portland, Me.

Rev. Samuel T. Libby

Mr. James S. Libby', of Portland, Me.

Mr. Winfield Scott Libbey

Capt. Dorville Libby .

Mr. Alvah Libby

Rev. Charles E. Libby .

Mr. James S. Libby% of New York

Mr. Harbison J. Libby' .

Hon. Abtemas Libbey

Mr. Matthias Llbby, (page 413)


facing title

. 96
. 120

. 205

. 225

. 259

. 306

. 325

. 401

. 414

. 448

. 467

. 493

. 545


The NUMBERS used here take the place of what is usually given in words
in two lines for each head of a family; it follows that no intelligent use of
this book can be made without first mastering the system of numbering.

The method may be simply stated as follows:

1 The immigrant has no number.

2 The number of each child of the immigrant is the figure which rep-
resents his position in the family. — First child, 1 ; second child, 2, etc.

3 The number of each member of the following generations is formed
by adding to his father's number the number representing his own position
among his father's children. The immigrant' s oldest child's oldest child is
1-1 ; and his second child, 1-2. The immigrant' s ffth child's oldest child is
5-1 ; and his second, 5-2, etc. The numbers of the later generations are
formed in the same way.

To illustrate by the compiler's own pedigree: On page 25 it will be
seen that Matthew Libby was the immigrant's elev^enth son. Turning
over to the second generation, there will be found in large figures in the
middle of the page, the number 11, and under that number will be found
an accovint of Matthew Libby, and a list of his children. It will be seen
that his seventh child was Andrew Libby, and his number must be 11-7.
Turning to the third generation, there will be found on page 52 the num-
ber 11-7, in the middle of the page as before, and under it an account of
Andrew Libby, and a list of his children. The second child was
Joshua Libby, and, in the fourth generation, his name will be found, on
page 90, under the number 11-7-2. An account of Joshua Libby's fourth
son, Matthias, with a list of his children, will be found in the fifth gener-
ation, under his proper number, 11-7-2-4, on page 192. Matthias Libby's
eighth child, Storer Libby, the compiler's grandfather, will be found in
the next generation, on page 412, under his number, 11-7-2-4-8, and in that
place will be found an account of all his children and grandchildren except
the family of the eldest son, who, having grandchildren of his own, is
carried forwarid to the next generation. And so with the other branches
of the family. Any member of the family who does not know his pedi-
gree, will have first to find his own name, by means of the index, and
then, having learned his number, can trace his line either backward,



or, as above, downward. Beside this use of tracing backward and for-
ward, which is all that numbers are usually used for, the numbers in
this case afford other information, as follows :

First. Each number shows the generation of the person to which it
belongs. The number of numbers in the number of each individual is
one less than the number of his generation. Thus Matthew Libby, 11, is
of the second generation; Andrew Libby, 11-7, is of the third generation;
Joshua Libby, 11-7-2, is of the fourth generation, and so on.

Second. The number of any individual shows the number of each one
of his ancestors. Thus, from the number of Storer Libby, 11-7-2-4-8, it is
evident that his father was 11-7-2-4; his grandfather, 11-7-2; his great-
grandfather, 11-7; his great-great-grandfather, 11; and his great-great-
great-grandfather, the immigrant. So, knowing the number of any indi-
vidual, it is possible to turn directly to his ancestor in any generation.

Third. The number of eacli individual shows his relation, either to
the persons whose records precede or follow, or to any otlier person
whose kinship it is desired to trace. For instance, where two members
of the family intermarry, the relationship between them can be at once
learned from their numbers. The following table will illustrate.

Storer Libby, 11-7-2-4-8. {


Edward Libby, ll-7-2-4-(;. M ""'V'"^'

Joshua Libby, 11-7-2-6-2. \ > cousins.

Andrew Libby, 11-7-8 2-0. fecond-cou-sins.

AmziLil>by, 11-9-5-8-1. [ tlnrd-cousnis.

Elias Libby 5-7-8-1-1. f fourth-CH)Usuis.

Isaac H. Libby, 5-7-8-1-9-8. ""^^^ and nephew.

Moses Libby, .5-7-8-2. !( S>-md-nephcw and great-uncle.

Luther Libby, 5-7-11-3-1. } 1 cousin-unclc and cousin-nephew.

Joshua Libby, 11-7-2. ( second-cousni-grand-ne^pliew, and

•' ' second-cousin-great-uncle.

Fourth. Each branch of the family is distinguished from the others
by the numbers. Thus the numbers of all the offspring of Henry liibby
of Scarborough begin with 5. All the numbers of the offspring of his
son, Lieut. Samuel Libby, begin with 5-2. All the descendants of the
first Nathaniel Libby of Berwick begin their numbers with 11-9. All the
offspring of Dea. Joshua Libby of Scarborough begin their numbers
with 11-7-2. And so of each branch of the family.



The Libby family is unquestionably of humble origin. The earliest
mention of the name that has been found is in the herald's visitation of
Oxfordshire for 1574. It there appears that, "Richard Libbe of Taston,
in Coun. Devon, Gent., marryed Bridgett daughter and one of the heirs

of Justice of Readinge in County Berk., Gent., and by her

had yssue Richard, Mary, married to Robert Fitche of Hasley in Coun.
Warv. and Elizabeth manned to Mnian Coxon, Cittizen of London." The
son Richard married Joane, daughter of John Corker of Checkenden in
Oxfordshire, and settled in that place. He was a young man when the
visitation of 1574 was made. This family was afterward "long settled at
Whitechurch in Oxfordshire, where they were lords of the manor of
Hardwick." Its pedigree has been worked out very thoroughly by Col-
Joseph L. Chester, ll.d., d.c.l., and it is cei'tainthat the American fam-
ily did not spring from that source. The family is mentioned for the
reason that it was the only one that belonged to the landed gentry in early
times, and the pre-eminence of this family seems to have dated only from
the marriage of the first Richard Libbe with the daughter of a justice.
Had the grandfather of Richard Libbe of Checkenden been of the same
social rank as himself, he would not have begun his pedigree with his
own father.

The name seems to have belonged either in Cornwall or Devon. The
Oxfordshire family, the earliest, as has been said, of which mention is
found, evidently sprang from the latter county. According to Col.
Chester, the only wills of the name, deposited at London, beside those
of the Oxfordshire family, are those of William Libbye and Henry
Libby, proved in 1653 and 1655, and both of these men belonged in Corn-
wall, where the name still abounds. The simple circumstances of the
emigration of the originator of the American family make it supposable
that he came from the neighborhood of Devon or Cornwall. The tradi-

Online LibraryCharles Thornton LibbyThe Libby family in America,1602-1881 → online text (page 1 of 75)