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Charting the Descendants of
MILES RIGGS circa1535-1583
of Roydon, Essex
These include his probable grandson:
9 times greatgrandfather of  MAMIE GENEVA DOUD
wife of DWIGHT D EISENHOWER, 34th US President

and probably 7 times greatgrandfather of
WARREN G HARDING, 29th US President
Generation 1 This page Generation 3 Edward of Roxbury Notes Sources
Return to Home Page THE  SECOND  GENERATION Go to next Section
Map of England

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Return to Top RICHARD  of  ROYDON   (MILES's  son  ?) Go to next Section



The Parish Register for Roydon, Essex commences in 1567 and thus show no record of Richard's christening.

Richard "RIDGES" married at Roydon, Essex on 05SEP1575 to Elizabeth CHAMBERLYN. Her surname in the parish register is partially faint, and it was initially thought to be CHAMBERS on the microfilm: however, the senior archivist at Essex Record Office exceptionally produced the original register for me to scrutinise and close examination shows the surname was probably CHAMBERLYN.[S1].

Elizabeth RIGGS, wife of Richard, was buried at Roydon, Essex on 25MCH1603.[S1] No record has been found in the Roydon Parish Register for Richard's death but, by inference (since Elizabeth when buried was described as his wife and not as a widow), he was still alive in March 1603.

In 1589, Richard "RIGGES" was a juror for the half-hundred of Harlow at the Petty Sessions court held there on 01OCT1589. He and his fellow jurors reported that an inhabitant of Roydon "keeps an alehouse and there sells bread and ale without licence, contrary to the form of the Statute", but that "in all other vill(age)s and hamlets, all is well".[S13]

The Roydon Parish Register shows the christenings and burials for the sons and daughters of Richard, as follows:


"Mary ye daughter of Richard MYLES" was baptised at Roydon, Essex on 30JLY1576.[S1] However, I believe that this entry refers to the baptism of 'Mary the daughter of Richard the son of MILES [RIGGS]':-
bullet A Mary RIGGS married a ROBERT CAMP at Roydon, Essex on 12JNE1603, some 27 years after this baptism.[S1]
bullet No other baptism of a Mary Rigg(e)s, Mary Rygg(e)s, or even Mary Ridge(s), can be found in the Roydon Parish Registers, nor has one been found in those of the adjoining parishes.
bullet No other reference to the surname of Miles or Myles has been found in the Roydon Parish Registers or those of the adjoining parishes (except for the baptism of "Richard the sonne of Richard MILES" referred to below).

bullet Mary the daughter of Richard "Myles" (sic) was baptised 11 months after Richard Riggs was married.

The process of having a permanent, hereditary surname, instead of using a "byname" to describe and differentiate between individuals, occurred later in some rural areas than it did in towns. I believe the process was still in a transitional phase in Roydon at the end of the sixteenth century: a man who had a 'patronymic byname' would use his father's Christian name, and that is how the vicar described Richard when Mary was baptised.


Elizabeth was baptised at Roydon, Essex on 22OCT1578 as the daughter of Richard "RIDGES".[S1]

Elizabeth "RIDGE" was buried at Roydon, Essex on 16NOV1581. She is entered in the Register as the daughter of William Ridge and, if this were correct, then William might have been another son of Miles. However there are no further entries referring to a William Ridge(s) or Rigg(e)s in the Register. It is probable that a name has been confused/transposed in some of the other entries (in particular the entries for Alce GOUDGE and Dorcas RIGGES, referred to as part of the Third Generation). I therefore believe that the Elizabeth who was buried on 16NOV1581 was Richard's daughter, who had been baptised three years earlier.


"Richard the sonne of Richard MILES" was baptised at Roydon, Essex on 24SEP1581.[S1] However, I believe that he was the son of Richard the son of MILES RIGGS. As in the case of Mary Riggs above, the vicar attributed to Richard his father's Christian name (Miles) as a 'patronymic byname'.

No entry has been found of his burial or marriage, or of the baptisms of any children of his.


"Frauncis" was baptised at Roydon, Essex on 17APR1583 as the son of Richard "RIGGES".[S1]


"Ralphe" was baptised at Roydon, Essex on 19JNE1586 as the son of Richard "RIGGES".[S1]

He was buried, as "Rallph RIGGES" son of Richard, at Roydon, Essex on 8OCT1586.[S1]


Another son of Richard's was baptised at Roydon, Essex on 30MCH1589. This is undoubtedly EDWARD of NAZEING, who migrated to America in 1633 to become EDWARD OF ROXBURY.

copy of the entry for Edward's baptism

Although the above entry in the Parish Register says merely "The sonne of Richard Riggs",[S1] I base this conclusion on the following facts:
bullet Roydon parish is "next door" to Nazeing parish, sharing a common boundary;
bullet The other adjacent parishes have been searched for this time period and none of their Registers contain a baptism for Edward, nor were any other entries for a Riggs/Rigges found;
bullet As will be seen, Edward's wife Elizabeth Holmes was baptised at Nazeing 21 months later, in December 1590 [S3][S4], and therefore the timing of this baptism in March 1589 is appropriate;
bullet As will also be seen, two of Edward and Elizabeth's daughters were named Mary and Lydia. These were the names of Edward's sister Mary and his sister-in-law Lydia (the wife of his brother Francis). [Another of their daughters was named Elizabeth but, as Edward's sister Elizabeth died in infancy before he was born, this daughter was more probably named after his wife.]


There is an entry in the Register at Roydon, Essex on 8NOV1586 for the burial of "Miles RIGGES nurse child".[S1]

A nurse child was one who was being suckled by a wet nurse rather than by the mother. Miles himself (Richard's father) had been buried on 7SEP1583 and Miles's wife on 26MCH1579 (almost 8 years before this burial). So this entry probably does not refer to a 'nurse child of Miles Rigges', but rather to a 'Miles Rigges who was a nurse child'.

Ralph was born on 19JNE1586 (and was buried on 8OCT1586, a month before 'Miles Rigges nurse child'). Miles could therefore have been another child of Richard's, named after Richard's father, born after Francis but before Ralph. If so, Richard's wife would probably have been unable to cope with continuing to suckle Miles as well as suckling Ralph, especially if Ralph was a weak and/or sickly baby who needed extra attention, which may have been the case as he died when less than 4 months old.

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This page was last updated: 13th July 2007
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