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William Rublier ‘Presumed’ Descendants Updated

Cindy Walcott, on behalf of those researching the Roblee family, has updated her earlier work on the presumed descendants of William Rublier and Abigail Brush.  The report is available for downloading from the link below.  Here’s Cindy’s introduction to the report:

This report is named the “Presumed” Descendants of William Rublier and Abigail Brush because we don’t know with certainty that the children listed below really are their children.  William and Abigail lived and had children in Huntington, Long Island, New York at the same time as Andrew Rublier and his two wives, the first named Hannah Brush and the second Abigail Hawkins.   There are a number of baptisms recorded between 1729 and 1740, but the parents of the individuals baptized are not given.  Researchers of these families have assigned children to each couple based on the best information available, but we could be wrong.  This report focuses on those families we believe are the children of William and Abigail.  Among the children we assume to be Andrew’s were John and Thomas Robblee.  Both were Loyalists and settled in Nova Scotia.  Bob Robblee is the primary researcher of their descendants and is expected to post a report on them.

Beyond this first generation, there are also some family connections made on the basis of an educated guess. If that is so, I have clearly indicated I also include “questions to myself” that reflect my thinking.  For instance: I ask myself “Was Lucia possibly a Benson?” based on the placement of her gravestone in the Jericho Center, VT cemetery.  I have tried to identify questions, speculations, and theories by using a red font, but I may have missed some.

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 of the individuals in their own families, locations and historical context.

Note: The document is no longer available as it has been superceded by five reports available in the fall of 2018. See the Resources page of this web site.

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Developing Resources Bibliography and Publications Listing

We have developed a general bibliography that will help researchers place their ancestors in a historical context, and am soliciting comments and additions for this. See the Publications and Resources pages on this site.

For example, my first suggested resources include the following:

Gehring, Charles T.  “Privatizing Colonization: The Patroonship of Rensselaerswijck.” Annals of New Netherland, 2000.  Gehring was Director of the New Netherland Project (though now retired). This paper is based on a talk before the Delaware County Historical Association at SUNY Delhi on September 24, 1994. Available at: http://www.nnp.org/nni/Annals/

Jacobs, Jaap. The Colony of New Netherland: A Dutch Settlement in Seventeenth-Century America. (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2009), paper edition.  A modern scholarly study, with translations of Dutch records, of the Dutch colonization of New Netherland.

Panetta, Roger (ed.). Dutch New York: The Roots of Hudson Valley Culture. (Yonkers: Hudson River Museum, Fordham University Press, 2009), paper. A look at the Dutch role in America’s origins and in creating habits, styles and practices of New York. Panetta of the Hudson River Collection of the Hudson River Museum. The book includes 13 original essays.

Comments and suggested additions will be incorporated into the resulting page available on this web site.  In no way are these first suggested items meant to imply a Dutch background for our Roblee ancestors.  In fact, the Dutch encouraged settlement without regard to the ancestry of those who came to New Netherland.

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The new home of the Roblee researchers

Welcome to the new home of the Roblee researchers web site.  Materials from our old site will be available shortly.

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Overview of our Family History

One of our principal researchers, Cindy Walcott, whose family link is a spelling variation, has prepared this brief overview to aid first time visitors to this site. Once more postings are made, this page will be converted permanent page on our site.

The names Robblee, Roblee and Rublee (at least) are all variations of the same surname. We have been able to trace our origins with some certainty back to Huntington, Long Island, New York.

Huntington, Long Island, New York, USA

The Huntington records, circa 1730, use the spelling variation Rublier, Rublear, Rublere and Rubleer. Rublear is the variation used in church records; other variations appear in land and other records at fair frequency. Andrew appears in the land records as early as 1730 and William in 1732. The most helpful information we have from Huntington is from the Records of the First Church in Huntington, Long Island. 1723-1779. Printed for Moses Scudder, Huntington, New York, 1899, as follows:

Marriages

21 December, 1727     William Rublear and Abigail Brush, both of Huntington
20 July, 1730     Andrew Rublear and Hannah Brush, both of Huntington
30 July, 1733       Andrew Rublear, widower, and Abigail Hawkins, both of Huntington

Baptisms

13 April, 1729     Abigail Rublear
21 January, 1732/3     William Rublear
10 May, 1734     Hannah Rublear
18 May, 1735     Thomas Rublear
11 April, 1736     Andrew Rublear
26 March, 1739     Reuben Rublear
9 March, 1739/40     John Rublear

The church records do not list the parents of children baptized, so we cannot organize these children into families with any certainty. This family disappears from the Huntington records by 1742 at the latest.

Dutchess County, New York, USA

The next sign we have of this family is in Dutchess County, New York. Here we see more name variations in the written record. This quote by Helen Wilkinson Reynolds in her article “A Dutchess County Before 1830” in The Quarterly Journal of the New York State Historical Association (Vol. 20, pp. 278-9) may explain of what we are up against:

“The first group of arrivals in Dutchess Co. was in the first quarter of the 18th century were largely of Dutch and Palentine German extraction, but included a few Walloons, French and English. The second, larger group were mostly English, from New England and Long Island, with a strong minority of Dutch from Long Island and New Jersey. From the first, Dutch and English languages competed for supremacy. Dutch began to give way to English in the 1760s. 18th century records are full of puzzling items produced by the phonetic spelling of Dutch words by English speaking people and vice versa.”

During the period 1740 – 1790, we see many name variations of Robblee, Rublee, etc. for men by the names of William, Rubin, Thomas, John, Andrew and Nathaniel in living in Southern Precinct, Nine Partners Patent, Rombout Precinct, Charlotte and Fredericksburg.

Lanesborough, Massachusetts, USA

For some of the family, the next stop was Lanesborough, MA. William and Reuben Robblee (as the name is spelled in the Lanesborough records) were in Lanesborough in 1768 when they both appear on a list of ratable estates. In the spring of that year, a deed for William refers to him as being “of Philips Patent, Dutchess Co., NY”, thus confirming where he came from. Church records reflect baptisms for children of both men.

Loyalists to Nova Scotia

It appears that, like so many families, the American Revolution split this family. A branch of this family supported the King. John and Thomas Robblee went to Nova Scotia at the end of the war. Their descendants live in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island (and other places) to this day.

To New York and Vermont

Four of the sons of William Robblee of Lanesborough–and several of his daughters–settled in Vermont. For reasons unknown, this family chose the name variation Rublee. They first settled in New Haven, VT. There were so many Lanesborough families in New Haven, that one of the main roads in town is still called Lanesborough St. By about 1800, the four brothers–Hiram, Andrew, Francis and John Brush–had moved on to Berkshire, Franklin Co., VT. The daughters remained in New Haven with their husbands and families.

Reuben’s descendants removed to Granville, Washington Co., NY, along with the descendants of one or more Thomas Robblees, all using the spelling Robblee. In just one or two generations, however, the more common spelling was Roblee. By that time, many of the family had ventured west to Orleans Co. and Warren Co., NY and beyond to the territories “west”.

Other Names Possibly Connected

The names Raplee and Roblyer may also be name variations. A history of Yates County, NY tells us that a member of the Roblyer family decided to change the family name to Raplee about 1800.

The name Roblin seems not to be connected. Recently, we have been in touch with a descendant of Christopher Robley of England, who went to Australia. The name Robley has also been mentioned as appearing in Paris, France by our researchers. That connection has not yet been explored.

What about Rapalje and Robilliard?

At least two theories about family origins are currently being explored. The theory that has been around the longest is that the family is descended from Joris Rapalje (sometimes called Joris Jansen de Rapalje and/or anglicized to George), a French/Belgian Huguenot who was among the very earliest of the Dutch settlers of New Amsterdam. Joris Rapalje lived in Brooklyn, NY and vicinity. Much has been written about Joris and his family. This connection has not been proven.

A newly emerged theory is that the name is a derivation of Robilliard and that the family came from the Channel Islands. Again, this has not been proven.

How Will We Find Out?

Our best hope at this point seems to be to link with other researchers, share our knowledge, look for commonalities and new possibilities. If you’re interested in sharing information, please subscribe to this site, and subscribe to our ROBLEE email list at Rootsweb.com (instructions are found on our e-mail page). Or if you need to contact us, please send an e-mail to doug.detling@gmail.com.

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