Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Ruggles Lines That Came To America - Who are we?

In my families search to discover our past, to "Know Who We Are", the Father's have a straight path back to their origins. Through my Grandmother Nellie May Ruggles, her Father's line is obvious, the Ruggles came from England. Well, Yes and No!

The Ruggles name is originated from a small town in France. Rugles is a commune in the Eure department in Haute-Normandie in northern France. The people who originated from this commune and went to England were part of an historical battle.

In 885 a Viking Chief by the name of Rollo the Walker, was part of a Viking fleet that was attacking France. Rollow was a huge man and too heavy for a horse to carry, so he earned his name by walking instead of riding. In the late 770's to around 800, Rollo was part of a Viking fleet under Sigfred, the King of Denmark, that attacked Paris. In 885, 700 Viking ships carrying about 30,000 Viking men commanded by Rollo and other Viking Chiefs left Norway.

They sailed to the mouth of the Seine (San) River to capture the city of Paris, France. While the Viking ships sailed up the six mile long river, Rollo stopped at a city near the mouth of the River called Rouen (ro-on'). Advised by the Bishop of the town to be peaceful, Rollo took possession of the city and was very kind to the people. Then he went up the river to join the other ships so they could capture Paris.

The city of Paris was advised by their warrior- Count  Eudes (Ude), to build two walls with strong gates around Paris. The Vikings had a time trying to take the city of Paris. They built a high tower and rolled it up to the wall. Having filled it with their men, the Vikings were met with the people within the city shooting hundreds of arrows at them. The people of Paris threw down rocks, or poured boiling oil and pitch upon the Vikings. For thirteen months the Vikings made camp around the city of Paris, hoping to starve them out.
On a dark and stormy night, the Count of Eudes rode out to his King for help. The King Charles gathered his army and went off to the city of Paris. The Vikings, not wanting a battle, gave up the siege on Paris and left for the Duchy of Burgundy, part of the Kingdom of the Franks. Once arriving, the Vikings began to plunder the towns and farms.

Having enough of this, King Charles, also called Charles the Simple and Charles the Senseless, sent a message to Rollo to talk peace. Rollo requested the King allow his people to live in the land of Franks and in return the Vikings would be a vassal or servant to the King. Agreeing to this, King Charles commanded Rollo should show his allegiance by kissing the King's foot. Refusing, Rollo was persuaded and had one of his own men kiss the King's foot instead. Rollo was then granted part of Normandy.

The land granted to Vassals (servants), were called "feuds" and this plan of holding lands was called the Feudal System, which was established all over Europe in the Middle Ages. The poorest people were called, "serfs". They were almost slaves doing all the work and could never leave the estate they belonged too. Rollo was determined his people would no longer be thieves and began changing the habits of the people. He established strict laws and hung robbers. His duchy became one of the safest places in Europe.
Rollo's descendants would become the Duke's of Normandy. 150 years after Rollo, Duke of William would get the support of his people to take on the King of England for the crown he was promised and be forever known as William the Conqueror.

Duke William of Normandy was the illegitimate son of Robert the Magnificent, who was the Duke of Normandy from 1027 until his death. In 1066, King Edward of England died. Duke William claimed he had been promised to be the next heir and King of England after King Edward, the Dukes distant cousin's death. However, Harold, Earl of Wessex was crowned king.

This infuriated the Duke and he set out to take his crown by force. He gathered the support of his people and on 28 September 1066, established a camp near Hastings. He had promised them that if they helped the Duke win this fight and obtain the crown of England, he would reward them each with land in England.
Harold, the now King of England, traveled north to fight another invader, Harold Hardrada, King of Norway and defeated him at Stamford Bridge near York. He marched south as quickly as he could and on 14 October, his army met William's. The battle lasted all day, but Harold was killed and his army collapsed. William was victorious and on Christmas Day 1066, he was crowned king in Westminster Abbey. A Norman aristocracy became the new governing class and many members of the native English elite, including bishops, were replaced with Normans.

Having kept his promise to his people, all those who fought alongside the Duke William of Normandy, received their reward. The Norman conquest of England was the 11th-century invasion and occupation of England by an army of Norman, Breton, and French soldiers led by Duke William II of Normandy, later William the Conqueror.


Rogyll Ruggles
 b. 1444 Lincolnshire, England -1535

William Ruggles 
b. 1469 in Lincolnshire, England – d. 1560

Thomas Ruggles
b. 1499 in Sudbury, Suffolk, England
d. 21 June, 1547 in Sudbury, Suffolk, England

a.      Nicholas b. 1522 in Sudbury, Suffolk, England - d. 20 Jun 1617 in Sudbury, Suffolk, England
b.      (4.) John Ruggles b. in Stanstead, Suffolk Co., England – d. 19 May 1566 in Suffolk Co., England; his will proved 19 May 1566
c.       (4.) Ann
d.      (4.) Elizabeth

Nicholas Ruggles
  1. Roger Ruggles b. 1548 in Sudbury, Suffolk, England – /m. on 23 Feb. 1573 to Margery Dandye
  2. George Ruggles b. 1558 in Sudbury, Suffolk, England – d. 16 May 1616 - his will proved 16 May 1616, mentions him as of Sudbury/m. on 5 June 1575 to Alice Dandye 
  3. Edward Ruggles b. 1562 in Sudbury, Suffolk, England - /m. & left issue
  4. Margery Ruggles b. 1563 in Sudbury, Suffolk, England  – / m. on 19 Jan 1584 to John Drury
  5. William Ruggles b. 1552 in Sudbury, Suffolk, England  – 1605
  6. Robert Ruggles b. 1561 in Lavenham, Suffolk, England – d. 21 June 1605 / Elizabeth
  7. Thomas Ruggles (SR.) b. 1558 /60 in Sudbury, Suffolk, England – d. 1647 / m. Margaret Dandridge (b. 1562 in England)  – THESE ARE THE IMMIGRANTS: came about 1635.

Thomas Ruggles

  •   Sen.John Ruggles of Roxbury, MA in 1635 (b. 1591 in Sudbury, Suffolk, England – Oct. 6, 1663 in Roxbury, Suffolk, MA) / m. 1663 in England to Wife #1 Barbra Bridge (b. 1605 – d. Nov 1636 – IMMIGRANTS TO AMERICA /m. 1638 to Wife #2 Margaret Hammond (Maid Servant b. in England – d. 6 Dec 1674 in Roxbury, Suffolk, MA)
  • Mary Ruggles b. 13 Feb. 1595; baptized 1595 / 97 – Info given by Henry Stoddard Ruggles, page 453 The History of Peter Parker & Sarah Ruggles of Roxbury, Mass. & Their Ancestors and Descendants”

  • Samuel Ruggles  b. 8 July 1598 in Nazing, Essex, England ; baptized 1598
  • Nathaniel Ruggles born & baptized 1600 - d. 1601 / also a Nathaniel baptized in 1602
  • Florence Ruggles  Oct 1603 in Nazing, Essex, England - d. 1603  
  • Nicholas or Nathaniel Ruggles  b. 1602 or 1605 in Nazing, Essex, England

  • Thomas Ruggles (JR.) of Nazing, Esex, England & Roxbury, MA in 1637 b. 1584 – d. as recorded in the church record - 15 Sept 1644 will dated 9 Nov 1644 a godly brother of the Church died of consumption /m. on 1 Nov 1620 in Nazing, Essex, England to Mary Curtis (b. 1558 in Nazing, Essex, England  –  d. 14 Feb 1674 in Roxbury, Suffolk, England (Parents are Thomas Curtis and Mary Camp / Had a brother named William who married Sarah Eliot (sister of Philip & Rev. John Eliot) – IMMIGRANTS TO AMERICA / This Thomas Ruggles and a John Grave were the first Christians that came from the town in England to die. Mary remarried to “Goodman” Route and lived 30 years after Thomas’ death. (In His Will: “All the rest of my land and house I give to my wife during the time of her natural life, an after her death, the land and house to be divided, my son John to enter upon one half and Samuel and Sarah the other.” The household articles to be divided equally among the three. This will was witnessed by Philip Eliot and John Ruggles, the brother of Thomas.)
In America we have a Ruggles line that has been traced back to England and we were told in 1897 by Henry Stoddard Ruggles in his book: The Family Ruggles that :

"Almost every person in America of this name is descended from one of these immigrants (1630-37 to Boston), and the stock of the Ruggles family is represented in almost every state in the Union. Boston, Roxbury and Braintree (or Quincy) in Massachusetts and Pomfret and New Milford in Connecticut were the locations in which the Ruggles settlers were to be found in the seventeenth century and early in the eighteenth...."

Researchers from my line were on the hunt to see were we fit into this "Historical Family" but soon found questions were not being answered.  See: Southern Ruggles Website
"Recently I got the opportunity to read through Mr. Ruggles' archived correspondence. This make it clear that at the time he published his book he had never heard of the Southern Ruggles and had no idea that Ruggles had settled in Maryland, Virginia and Kentucky before 1800. His files are replete with copies of helpful responses he made to almost everyone who wrote to him asking about their Ruggles Ancestory. The exceptions were letters from Southern Ruggles. His files indicate that he apparently never responded to one such letter!"
...This is where the divide came in...