Update on Descendants of Reuben Robblee and Phebe Austin

Once again, our fellow researcher Cindy Walcott has updated her family history on the descendants of Reuben Robblee and his wife Phebe Austin. In sharing the results of her most recent compilation, Cindy shared the following:

In the early days of the collaboration among Robblee/Roblee/Rublee cousins, it felt like each bit of information was so hard won. A breakthrough was finding George W. Carpenter’s manuscript on the Robblee family. This I obtained when I asked a cousin, Marianne Conlee, who lived near Salt Lake City, to see if she could obtain it from the Family History Library. Marianne’s husband was a Rublee descendant. What a thrill it was to receive it though the US Mail! Over the years that followed, several versions of this manuscript surfaced; I think I have three versions. George Wayland Carpenter (1901-1976) was a descendant of Reuben Robblee, his grandmother being Cynthia Amelia (Roblee) Carr. He was missionary to the (then) Belgian Congo. He did not marry. After he retired to Brant Lake, NY, he apparently became interested in genealogy, to our benefit. His work contains a few mistakes, but by and large is remarkably accurate. We have also benefitted from other family-generated manuscripts, notably one by Lenore Roblee (1869-1955). A few Bible records have emerged too!

For many years, we had a very active Rootsweb mailing list. We eagerly shared each little bit of information we found. We shared our theories, our speculations. We even gathered in person one year, in Bennington, VT. From there, some of us made a pilgrimage over to Granville, NY. A couple of years before that, I met cousin Jim Roblee – whom I had never met in person – in Granville. We visited graveyards, the Washington Co. Archives, the Granville Historian, and the Truthville Baptist church. We used the US mail to share copies of documents we found. Yes, I still have hard copies in folders.

Fast forward many years — I began the update on the descendants of Reuben Robblee a little over a month ago, thinking I would just breeze through, feeling that my last update, in 2018, was pretty comprehensive.

But Reuben left so many descendants! And the internet keeps burgeoning! A few things that have happened in the last several years that have been helpful in adding to the store of knowledge about Reuben’s descendants.

• New York Vital Records from about 1880 have become publicly available;

• New York Probate Records are more available on-line;

• Several free and paid newspapers sites have added many, many New York newspapers, and newspapers from other states of interest.

So yes, this is a significant update. Many, many obituaries and other details have been added. I hope that cousins – known and unknown – will find some benefit. Please be in touch if you find errors or have something to add. I look forward to hearing from you.

And don’t forget, all of those direct line male descendants out there, consider participating in our YDNA study. We have a definite brick wall in Huntington, Long Island in the 1730s. I’d love to break through that in my lifetime. Time marches on. . . .

The Descendants of Reuben Robblee and his wife Phebe Austin of Dutchess Co., NY, Lanesborough, MA and Granville, NY
(September 2021 revision, Adobe PDF – 3.62 MB)

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Updated Family History for William Robblee and Keturah Baker

Cindy Walcott has revised her family history for William Robblee and Keturah Baker of Lanesborough, Massachusetts. In a message to Roblee Researchers, she wrote:

In the spring of 2021, I realized that it had been nearly 3 years since I updated the Register reports on our web page robleesonline.org.  I decided to start with the document titled The Descendants of William Robblee and Keturah Baker of Lanesborough, MA because that is my own line.

I never really take a full break from researching families with the surnames Robblee, Rublee, Roblee, Roblyer  – and the several other variations. Really, this has been my life’s work, genealogically speaking. I have a Google alert set so that I get informed about web content containing these surname. That helps me to keep up with recent marriages and deaths. In recent years, I have come to value newspaper content. In particular, small town newspaper contain a wealth of personal information about residents and former residents. Personal information was published in the 1800s and early 1900s that would never be published today.

At this point, I feel that I know these people! Exploring genealogy led me to exploring history. To truly understand why families stayed in one place, or moved on to another, one has to understand the history of the time. In the case of the Robblee/Rublee/Roblee family, the American Revolution was a seminal event.  The family was split – some supported the cause of the Revolution and others did not.  The result was the two Robblees ended up in the Maritime Provinces in Canada after their land in New York was confiscated. Two others (at least) remained in what became the United States. I wonder how many generations it took before the knowledge of that reality was forgotten, if ever. Did William and Keturah’s children know they had cousins in Nova Scotia?

Our families’ origins are still a mystery. We have the record of baptisms in Huntington, Long Island, New York. But, because no parents’ names are not given for the children, we cannot with certainty sort the children into their proper families. This has been frustrating in the extreme. And there is our brick wall. Who were these Rubliers/Rublears (etc) who lived in Huntington? Where did they come from?

When I started researching this family way back when, it was not too long before I ran into the theory that we are descended from Joris Jansen Rapelje and his wife Catalyntje Trico. It is so very tempting to think that this interesting couple, early settlers of New Amsterdam, are our immigrant ancestors. Finally, I started a serious attempt to trace their descendants into the early 1700s.  I could not make any connection to the Huntington, Long Island families. In my own mind, I have 95% rejected this theory. I hope that during my lifetime, DNA research help us to settle this issue once and for all.

Recently, my husband and I moved from the house in which we raised our family.  We are now living quite nearby to the gravesite of Keturah (Baker) (Robblee) Haight in New Haven, VT.  The following is carved upon her gravestone: “The deceased was formerly married to William Rublee of Lanesborough, Mass, by whom she had 12 children. She lived to see the fifth generation and left at her death more than 300 descendants”. I go to visit her now and then.

The revised report is:

The Descendants of William Robblee and Keturah Baker of Lanesborough, MA
 (Adobe PDF – 2.87 MB) – Revised July 2021

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Family Research DNA Project Started

The surnames of Robblee / Roblee / Rublee/ Rublier or similar are not common names and many descend from the same few immigrant ancestors.  Since the spelling of family names often change over time, this study includes anyone with names that sound similar to Robblee.

The purpose of this DNA project is to:

  1. Determine the relationships between the early Robblee / Roblee / Rublee/ Rublier ancestors.  Of particular interest are the families who arrived in the American Colonies prior to the American Revolution.
  2. Determine if the early Robblee / Roblee / Rublee/ Rublier ancestors were related to the Rapalje family.  There are many old theories that the Robblee/ Rublee/ Rublier families were really descended from Joris Rapalje of New York.  Paper documentation does not support this theory, but YDNA could prove it conclusively.
  3. Determine the origins of the Robblee / Roblee / Rublee/ Rublier ancestors before they arrived in America.  This will require participation of men from counties outside of America. 

The complete description is available here.

To join the Robblee Family DNA project:

  1. Go to the website for FamilyTreeDNA https://www.familytreedna.com/
  2. Select the type of DNA kit that you want to test.
  3. YDNA: If you are taking the YDNA test, there are several levels.  The higher the level, the more “markers” that are tested and the higher the cost.  We highly recommend taking at least the 67-marker YDNA test.  The highest level of testing is the BigY700 test.  The 67-marker kit can give very general information on if two men are distantly related.  The BigY700 level measures 700-markers and helps us to get into details of how closely two or more family lines are related and how many generations back in time do the two men share a common ancestor. 
  4. FTDNA company offers frequent sales on their DNA tests.  These are usually around holidays, like Father’s Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, New Years, and others. 
  5. Once you return your kit to FTDNA, you can go online to the website and register your kit.  That will give you your own webpage.  Once your DNA has been analyzed by the company (this can take several months), your own webpage is where you’ll find your results.  This is where you’ll find information on your DNA matches.  This is also where you can join projects, so please be sure to join the Robblee DNA project.  We are accepting members for all types of DNA including YDNA, mtDNA, and aDNA.  Please also enter you family tree information including at least your Robblee / Roblee / Rublee/ Rublier or Rapalje family lines.
  6. If you have any questions, please contact the project administrator (Lynda K McGinnis; descendant of William Robblee of Lanesboro MA):  McGinnisLK@gmail.com
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New Mailing List Established

We’replicating the functionality of a group sharing experience similar to an about to be defunct system at Rootsweb/Ancestry. You can subscribe on this page:


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Update on Descendants of Reuben Robblee and Phebe Austin

No sooner had the “ink dried” on work correcting the title of Cindy Walcott’s compilation on the Descendants of Reuben Robblee and Phebe Austin (shared with Roblee researchers via this site), but Cindy decided to update the report again to correct formatting errors and a few others discovered after a few of us had a chance to review it. It is in keeping with the general philosophy that all family histories are works in progress and need frequent, and constant revision.   As an example, Cindy and I exchanged updated information on one of Reuben Robblee’s descendants–my 2nd great-grandfather Norman Roblee (1815-1900), who married Henrietta Adelia Soule.

A publication on the Soule family describes the birth of “Harriet” Adelia Soule (1816-1908) and an unnamed twin daughter.   For many years I belived this simply to be a naming error by the Rev. G. T. Ridlon, author of the 1926 two-volume history of the Soule family (including descendants of Mayflower passenger George Soule). Because I had so many other mysteries in my family (still unsolved example: who were the parents of my 4th great grandfather Nathaniel Winslow, and how are we related–if at all–to the Mayflower passenger Edward Winslow?) I didn’t bother attempting to identify the twin daughter until recently.  And then, when I did discover that Henrietta’s twin was actually named Harriet Adelia (yes, they appear to have been given identical middle names), and identified her family using online cemetery records.  But I neglected to share this with Cindy  (with whom I’ve shared cross-continental electronic correspondence for many years) until  motivated to do so after reading her updated Descendants of Reuben Robblee (and wife Phebe Austin).

Cindy has done a masterful job compiling  (and sourcing) the Robblee/Roblee story in the five reports available on our website.  But, as she points out:

I would ask that anyone using this report not turn “speculation” into “fact” when using the data for his or her own purposes. I welcome any questions, criticisms, confirmations, rebuttals, etc. My interest is in placing all   individuals in their own families, locations and historical context. I welcome documentation that would help me to turn those into fact, or establish that my guesses or estimates were wrong!

There are other additions and revisions to be made in these compilations, and I’m gratefiul for the revisions Cindy has continued to make.  I encourage readers to share comments with Cindy (her e-mail address is shown in the reports).  And, we’ve decided to replace the document listed in a recent post with an updated version, available here:

The Descendants of Reuben Robblee and his wife Phebe Austin of Dutchess Co., NY, Lanesborough, MA and Granville, NY
(Decenber 2018 revision, Adobe PDF – 3.27 MB)

[Note: This document was revised and republished in September 2021.]

Originally we thought we weren’t going to have this ready until early next week (the reason it’s dated December)  but we had good luck finishing up…enjoy the reading.

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Family histories updated – CORRECTED DOCUMENT TITLE

For several years now, readers of this site have had the benefit of certain publications compiled by several Roblee researchers, especially principal compiler Cindy Walcott, Bob Robblee (for work on John Robblee), and others.  These publications have been updated and are listed below.

Individuals using the files should respect these great contributions to the family history, and share the files only after giving credit for this research. As Cindy notes in the publications, they should be used with caution in some instances, and not cited as “fact” when the work is sometimes speculative, however well informed.

Readers will want to start with the document about our Unknown Rublier. This document lays out the possible relationships among the families with the surname Rublier (Rublear, Rublere, Rubleer) living in Huntington, Long Island (Suffolk Co.), New York in the 1730s. From there, you can choose one of the the other documents, each of which treat the descendants of one couple who settled in a different geographic area in the United States or Canada.

These files are fully searchable, and include sources and an index, in order to make them as useful as possible. If you find errors or omissions, please let us know. We are always looking to improve the quality of our research. And, we are always looking for that clue that will help us to identify Unknown Rublier.

The Presumed Descendants of ____ [Unknown] Rublier of Huntington, Long Island, NY (Adobe PDF – 180 KB)

The Descendants of William Robblee and Keturah Baker of Lanesborough, MA
 (Adobe PDF – 2.87 MB) – Revised July 2021

Some Descendants of Andrew Roblyer of Orange Co., NY (Adobe PDF – 541 KB)

[The title of the document below has been corrected, but the document will be superceded by a new version]

The Descendants of Reuben Robblee and his wife Phebe Austin of Dutchess Co., NY, Lanesborough, MA and Granville, NY
(Download no longer available)

The Descendants of John Robblee, Loyalist, and his wife Susannah Baker of Dutchess Co., NY & Nova Scotia, Canada (Adobe PDF – 1.53 MB)

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Rootsweb Update 4/7/2018

The following was posted on Rootsweb, which is the hosting site for the Roblee mailing list:

“Lists are now available to use, meaning you can now send and receive email on RootsWeb email lists just like you used to in the past. In addition to making the site more secure, we’ve upgraded our backend system to provide an easier-to-use interface to manage your email list subscriptions.

To get started managing your subscriptions, go to Setting Up My New Mailman Login. …

Any email that is sent will go directly into a new archive. We are in the process of importing the old archives into the new archives and due to the massive amount of content, that process will take time. We will continue to update you on the progress when we can.

Thank you for your patience as we continue to bring these features back online.”

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Rootsweb Update 1/16/2018

The following was posted on Rootsweb, which is the hosting site for the Roblee mailing list:

We have been in the process of improving the site throughout 2017, and as a result of an issue we recently became aware of, we have taken the site offline while we work to resolve it. We take the security of our contributors and our viewers seriously. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but protecting our users’ personal information is our top priority.

Update: January 9, 2018

We have spent the last few weeks reviewing the functionality on RootsWeb and have created a plan to bring many of your contributions back online over the next few months. As we stated before, our first priority is security, and ensuring that every part of RootsWeb meets our stringent security standards. Our next priority is getting you, the users of RootsWeb and its services, access to your content.

Right now, the best way for us to meet both goals is to begin bringing portions of RootsWeb back online in a read-only state.

This means you will have access to content, but you will not be able to load new content in these sections. While this may not be ideal, it is the best way for us to protect RootsWeb users while also providing the ability to use the content you value. This is an interim step while we continue to evaluate the potential for bringing more of the RootsWeb services back online in a more complete manner.

Here’s our current plan:

Hosted Web Sites: Soon we will begin bringing Hosted Web Sites back online. We will start with a few hundred and then add more over time, giving us a chance to scan the content.

Family Trees/WorldConnect: Family Trees or WorldConnect allows you to upload a GEDCOM file and publish it for others to see. It is currently being reviewed by our software engineers and security team and we plan on having a read-only, searchable version up in the next few weeks. The ability to upload new GEDCOM files will be available in the coming months.

Mailing Lists: Mailing Lists have been functioning as normal, but the archives have been unavailable. We plan to make the archives available to you once we have WorldConnect available to you in a readable version.

We will be making decisions about other functionality over time.

We appreciate your patience as we bring the different pieces of RootsWeb back online in a secure manner. You, our contributors and viewers, are what has made RootsWeb the vibrant free genealogy community it is.

The RootsWeb Team

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Roblees Online Photos Move to New Location

Shared photo galleries and folders of interest to Roblee researchers have been moved to a new web site due to the previous site being phased out.  The new address for the photo gallery is:


Some shared photographs are already in galleries or albums where no password is required. However, for the time being visitors will need a password to enter any folder or gallery designated using the website address shown above. The password for this folder is: n0_freNch.  This is not an O but a zero.

If you wish to see all other photos intended for general viewing, you can go to: https://douglasdetling.smugmug.com.

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Website Security

Please note that this site is now protected by Secure Socket Layer (SSL) security.  The correct was to access the site is https://www.robleesonline.org.

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