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      Rubottom Reminiscin'

      By Dr. Danene Brown Vincent
      © 1999

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      Chapter Three

      THOMAS RUBOTTOM--A WELSH IMMIGRANT

      Around 1763 a young Welshman is said to have arrived in a port on the Delaware River in America. That young man was Thomas Rubottom, the first of that name in a long line of families who can be found across the United States today. One source stated that he probably came to this country from an English port as a stow-a-way. 1 Another source stated that Thomas Rubottom was born in Wales, and came with his uncle to the colonies. 2 While his specific circumstances have not yet been confirmed, it is believed that for a time he settled in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-New Castle County, Delaware area. From there he joined the southern migration, which included the Society of Friends (Quakers), through the Shenandoah Valley into the North Carolina Colony. Thomas Rubottom settled in what was at that time Orange County, North Carolina, near where the town of Siler City in Chatham County is located today. 3 (No confirming evidence has been found to indicate that Thomas Rubottom was himself a Quaker; however, it is known for certain that his wife was Quaker. Some early Quaker records, however, have been lost or inadvertently destroyed. So the possibility exists that he, too, belonged to the Society of Friends.)
      Thomas met and married Phebe Dixon, daughter of George and Ann (Chandler) Dixon. The Dixon and Chandler families were Quakers from Ireland. George Dixon's father was William Dixon, 4 son of Henry and Rose Dixon from County Armagh, Ireland. 5 The Dixons had migrated from Scotland to Ireland due to the religious persecutions in Scotland under the Scotch king. While in Ireland they had been members of the Lurgan Meeting of the Society of Friends. 6 At least a part of the Dixon family came to Delaware from northern Ireland in the 1680s. 7 One source stated that Henry Dixon was an innkeeper at New Castle, but it has been difficult to find any record substantiating the fact that either Henry or Rose Dixon ever came to Delaware. It does appear that three of their children, William, Dinah, and Rose, settled in New Castle County and were a part of the Newark Meeting of the Society of Friends. 8
      William Dixon was born around 1662 in the Parish of Sego, County Armagh, Ireland. 9 On May 4, 1683, William was married to Isabelle Rea, also from Parish of Sego, County Armagh, Ireland. 10 Among those who signed the marriage certificate were Henry Dixon, Rose Dixon, Thomas Harlan, and Isabelle Logan. Isabelle (Rea) Dixon probably did not live to come to Delaware. 11 William Dixon married second to Ann Gregg, daughter of William Gregg, by about 1690. 12 The Greggs seem to have come from Ireland, but had a Scottish background. In 1685 William Gregg acquired a tract of 400 acres of land in Christiana Hundred, New Castle County13 in the area of Delaware that, in more recent times, has become the center of the du Pont powdermaking industry. 14
      William Dixon attended Centre Meeting in Delaware following his marriage to Ann Gregg. 15 Several of their children seem to have moved west to Mill Creek Hundred and became the founding members of Hockessin Meeting. 16 William was a weaver by trade and settled on Red Clay Creek, in Christiana Hundred, New Castle County. 17 He made a will January 31, 1708, which was probated on September 20, 1708. He mentions his wife Ann, and appoints his brothers, Michael Harlan and John Gregg, administrators. 18 Following William Dixon's death in 1708, his widow Ann (Gregg) Dixon married John Houghton. The Houghtons had three daughters. 19
      William and Ann (Gregg) Dixon's son George Dixon, was born in 1706 in New Castle. 20 He and his wife Ann (Chandler) Dixon, daughter of Swithin and Ann Chandler, 21 were the parents of at least five children: Enoch, Caleb, Phebe, Joshua, and George. 22 It is possible they had a sixth child named Dinah (b. 12- -1729 and d. 8-20-1743). Dinah was listed with the other five children in the Concord Monthly Meeting records, but their parents were not identified. 23 George and Ann (Chandler) Dixon with some of their children moved from Delaware to Orange County, North Carolina Colony around 1767. 24
      The marriage record of Thomas and Phebe (Dixon) Rubottom has not been found, so it is not known if they married in Delaware or North Carolina. They were the parents of at least nine children: Simon, Ezekiel, and seven girls (names unknown).

      [AUTHOR'S UPDATE: Three daughters have now been identified: Hannah McSwain Rubottom b. ca 1768 married ca 1801 to Samuel Dowd b. 02-Jun-1775; Leah Rubottom b. ca 1775 d. 1820's married to Charles White b. ca 1770 d. 1847-50; and Sarah "Sally" Rubottom b. ca 1790 married 09-Dec-1819 David Robinson. Hannah and her husband remained in Chatham County, NC all of their lives. Leah and her husband left Chatham County in 1814 and moved to Tennessee. It is believed that Leah's sister Sarah "Sally" migrated to Tennessee with them.]

      Thomas and his brothers-in-law were active in the Regulator Movement prior to the beginning of the Revolutionary War. 25 This organization had petitioned the Governor to have more say in governing their own affairs, but their requests were ignored and their movement suppressed. In the book Chatham County, 1771-1791, by Hadley, Horton, and Stowd, the authors indicated that Thomas Rubottom served in Captain Joab Brooks' Company in the Chatham County Militia in 1772. 26 Two additional sources state that Thomas Rubottom served in the Revolutionary War as a surgeon. 27 No confirming evidence has been located.

      [AUTHOR'S UPDATE: In 1997 the author obtained a certified copy of a Revolutionary War Pay Voucher to Thomas Rubotom from the State of North Carolina. The following information is recorded on the certified form:

      State of North Carolina, Department of Cultural Resources, Division of Archives and History

      This verifies that the following information is recorded in a manuscript volume in the custody of the State Archives titled "Revolutionary Army Accounts" (Volume C, Page 128, Folio -- ):

      Heading: The United State of America To the State of North Carolina Dr for Sundries furnish's and cash paid the Militia of North Carolina Virginia and South Carolina as allow'd by the Auditors of Hillsboro District as [per] Report 84.

      Number: 4239
      To whom issued: Thomas Rubottom
      Number of voucher: 5870
      Amount: 10 pounds, 5 shillings Specie Other information: [Report number 84 is not dated. Report number 83 is dated July 1783 on page 88 and Report number 85 is dated 11th May 1784 on page 136.]

      Raleigh, North Carolina
      February 12, 1997
      J.R. Lankford, Jr.
      Chief, Archives and Records Section]

      In 1790 Thomas Rubottom and his family were enumerated in the Moore County, NC census. 28 They lived in the vicinity of Buffalo and Bear Creeks, probably near the Friendship Church. 29 On June 7, 1790, Thomas sold a tract of land containing 224 acres in Chatham County, North Carolina to James Underwood for 180 pounds. 30 Chatham was a new county that had been formed in 1771 from the southern section (almost half) of Orange County. 31 In 1800 Thomas was included in the Chatham County census. Living with him were three males (one male, age 10 to 16, and, two males under age 10) and 4 females (one, age 26 to 45; one, age 16 to 26; and, two, under age ten). 32 It may be that his first son Simon and some of his grandchildren were residing with him as they could not be located separately in the 1800 U. S. Census.
      Phebe (Dixon) Rubottom is believed to have died in Chatham County, North Carolina in 1795. She was followed in death by her husband Thomas in 1806. They are both buried at the Old Napton Cemetery (Quaker), just south of Siler City, in Chatham County, North Carolina. 33

      [AUTHOR'S UPDATE: The dates of Thomas and Phebe Dixon Rubottom's deaths are still unconfirmed. But, new evidence has been located indicating that Thomas probably preceeded Phebe in death and that Phebe, in fact, migrated to Indiana with her son Simon and his family. Letters written by Charles and Stephen White in 1814 and 1816 respectively both mention Phebe Rubottom. Both of these letters are transcribed below.

      The first letter was written by Charles White around 1814 or 1815 from his new home in Tennessee. It was undoubtedly written prior to Simon Rubottom's journey to Indiana as the writer mentions Tomy and Poly White, who were in the Indiana migration. The letter is addressed to "Respected Mother in Law," who is assumed to be Phebe Rubottom. Instructions at the bottom of the letter tell Brother Stephen (White) to read the letter to various person, including Phebe Rubottom. Notice the mention of Samuel and Hanah Dowd, brother-in-law and sister of Leah Rubottom. The following is an exact transcription of the letter. (There is little punctuation, so the sentences appear to run together.)

        Respected Mother in law I hant forgot you my famly is All very well Satisfied And I am beter Satisfied then I Expected to be one thing pleases me that I have A home And Land that will fetch 10 or 12 barrels of corn to the Acre And well watered And Helthy Country Leah Says that if She was in Chatham Again And had as much Mony as would have her Expences She would come hare Again she and All the family Stood the Jurny Cheerfully And is in very high Spirits At this time we want you to Send how your helth is
                Charles White
                Leah White

          NB
            Brother Stephen Read this or Send
            To David Vestal Marry Vestal
              And Children

            Tomy White and his wife Poly
            Pheba Rubottom
            Samuel Dowd Hanah Dowd
            Tomy Andrew Amy Andrews
            Jack Andrews Nancy Andrews

        [AUTHOR'S NOTE: A swirled is sketched across the page about 3/4ths of the way down from the top. Below it is written:]

        _____ Thomas Andrews A considerable time has Elapsed since I have ssen your face or you mine. ____ well in health and so is my family Nine Children all fit and harty four sons and five Daughters. I have Plenty of Common __________ (possessions?) of this life I should Rejoice to see you and your children but the distance being Great will in all Probebility Impease? And Intervene during life you would ____ to ____ worth ____ to favour me with a Line? Which I would Receive friendly? Remember me to Jacob _____ and Peggy my ____ was near _____ _____ Your friend Jesse? White

      The second letter was written in September 1816 by Stephen White, brother of Charles White. Apparently, Stephen White travelled to Indiana to visit friends and relatives. His letter is also transcribed exactly as written. Again, notice the mention of Simon Rubottom's mother.

        Indiana State Orange County September 6th 1816

        Dear Wife and Children
        I arived at Simon Rubottoms the 20th day of my Journey where I am now writing I found Simon his wife mother Joseph and Mahaly not in a good State of health but are Mending Execpt (sic) his mother the complaint they labour under is a Remiting fever As to my own part I could boast of health were it not that I have been troubled with the cholic on the road which together with my mare being foundered has made my Journey tedious notwithstanding at this time I feell reasonably well and my mare is but little worsted having at all times as yet an excelent appetite.
        Thomas and little John Joseph is in good health and Polley is tolerably well. I gave her a dose of Lees pills the night I got to her house and they opperated both as a puke and a purg and has been of great service I believe to her. She is quite cheerful and I hope will do well She has never been confined to her bed but able to do her work. I expect when I rest a few days to day eight or ten to take Thomas with me and go on to the Illinois which is perhaps 200 miles There has two men lately come from that country and has been at Brother Joseph and Susannah Browns. It will not be in my power to come through Tennessee State as Thomy and Polley are so Anxious I should come with them to Chatham. To go by brother Jesse home would be 200 miles out of my way but I am Sorry I cannot See them and know not how to help my self without disoblidging them I wish you to acquiant George Rubottom that I carried the money he commited to my charge Safe Sealed to his father which I thought to be 100 and 28 dollars but there is but 100 and 18 in the letter. This is a mistake between me and George in counting or his father must have droped it the night I gave him the letter. The neighbours are sickly in general hereabout especially new comers. Nathan Wells is dead. It is supposed he had the Epidemic. William Gowdy died with the consumption a day past and Danniel Dawsons daughter also Rachel Dix is married to George Farlow Abraham Holliday and Elizabeth Dix John Sniper and Nancy Crow also.
        Excuse me for short writing. I am in haste but remain yours, most affectionately.

                  Stephen White

        P.S. I expect to return as soon as is consistant with my on ease and that my _____ be resigned as possible.

        End of Author's Update.]

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