Edward was the son of John Higby and Ursula Blacknell. Immigrated to New York, in the 1640s; married Jedidah Skidmore; 1647 at Piquot Harbor, Long Island, New York.
Jedidah was born in 1624 in Mayshill, Westerleigh, Gloucestershire, England. She was 23 years old when she married Edward, who was 31. She was the daughter of Thomas Skidmore and Ellen Whitehead.
Edward and Jedidah moved several times during the early years of their marriage, as their children were born in Connecticut and New York.
EDWARD HIGBY, the first of the Family to come to America, was born in the parish of Ivinghoe, co. Bucks, Eng., and was baptized there in the parish church 2 Feb. 1615/6, as shown by the record of baptisms kept in the parish register. The records begin with the year 1601, but the entries for the year 1608 are now illegible, and the following years are missing, that is, 1610, 1611, 1614, 1617 and 1627. The first Higbys found in the register of the parish are Elizabeth and Johanna, two daughters of Richard Higbed; they were baptized respectively 13 Sept. 1607 and 17 Jan. 1612/3. The next shown by the register are the five sons of John Higbed, this Edward who came to New England in 1646, if not earlier, being the second son. Following the children of John Higbed, the next are the baptismal entries of the children of Michael Higbed: Jane, who was baptized 13 June 1622; Michael, baptized 19 Oct. 1623, who died young; Anna, baptized 27 Mar. 1625; and another Michael, baptized ll Apr. 1631.
The Church of St. Mary, where these baptisms were performed, is a fine cruciform building, mainly of the thirteenth-century type, but with windows and doorways of the fourteenth century. It consists of chancel, clestoried nave and transepts, aisles, north and south porches and a central embattled tower with spire, containing a clock and six bells. The tenor bed, dated 1628, is inscribed, "Sacra manet Christi plebisque religio vana." The north and south porches have ball-flower moldings. The carved-oak roof is a particularly handsome specimen of the late Decorated Period with figures of angels, monks and carved bosses. The present clerestory is perpendicular, but traces of the original sexfoil windows of the old clerestory may still be seen in the nave, while those in both the transepts are copies of the original windows. Some of the benches have tall poppy heads. In the chancel there is a table-tomb with recumbent effigy, vested as conjectured to represent priest Peter de Chaseport, rector of the church 1241-54. The pulpit is a richly carved and ancient piece of cinquecento workmanship. It is of oak and retains its hourglass stand. The chancel screen is of carved oak in the style of the fourteenth century, and has on the pediment figures of Our Savior, St. Michael and St. Gabriel. The baptistery has oak parquet floor and a triptych representing the Incarnation, flanked by two cherubim, after Fra Angelico. The floor of the sanctuary is laid with mosaic. There are 468 sittings.
Edward Higby was born of yeoman stock, and probably grew to manhood in the parish of Ivinghoe. His father was altogether likely a tenant farmer, holding his land under the lord of the manor by copyhold. This method of holding land had become by this time similar to our estates in fee simple. The farmers of Ivinghoe sent their cattle and farm products to the London market. The beef cattle were driven to London the same as the farmers here drove their cattle to market one hundred years ago. Some of the Higbys dealt in cattle, and one was a butcher in London; and young men of this section went down to London for employment. The section in which the Higbys lived, about twenty miles wide, extended to within about fifteen miles of London; and now all this country up nearly as far as Ivinghoe, being in part hilly and wooded, is the playground of London.
Bef. 1647 immigrated to Pequot Harbor, Conn. 1647: Pequot Harbor, Conn. Lot #13 was for Thomas Skidmore (Father-in-law of Edward Higby). Lot #23 was for Edward Higby and his family. Edward built a house on lot #23, but 2 years [later] he sold the house and 6 acres of land. House was probably only a hut of branches and turf. For the first few years, the settlement of Pequot Harbor did not flourish. Edward Higby and Thomas Skidmore left Pequot ca 1648. 1649: Stratford, Connecticut. Edward Higby owned Lot #23 on Main street; He didn't stay long in Stratford. He and Thomas Skidmore were active in trading along the coast and were often at landing places along Long Island, NY. 1653: Huntington, Long Island. His land was located probably near where Centerport is now. Two years later he moved to Cold Spring Harbor, 8 miles to the West. He had trading business with West Indies - shipping barrel states to the West Indies and returning with rum, sac, and other (Huntington was under jurisdiction of New York, 1666). In 1659, Edward failed to return from one of his trading voyages. He was thought to be lost at sea. However, he returned eventually and arrived home on a Sunday. He searched for his wife who was staying with friends, and when he found his family, he embraced and kissed his wife, which was against the law to kiss his wife on the Sabbath. The story goes that he was arrested and paid a fine. 1662: Married 2nd wife Lydia and moved west of Middleton to Higby Mountain 1663. 1677: Lived Jamaica, Long Island until his death a few days before Swpt 23, 1699. (Edward Higby and His Descendants; Clinton David Higby, PHD; 1927; TR Marvin & Son, Boston, MA; no pg #s given)
Note: From the book "Edward Higby and His Descendants" by Clinton David Higby, Ph.D., published in 1929 .
"When Edward Higby came to New England, his progenitors were living in the parish of Ivanhoe Co., Bucks, about thirty five miles northwest of London. It seems from all I can gather that they had been living in that immediate region of England for several hundred years, probably from the days of Offa, the Mercian King. The family is unique, both in its name and in being restricted to this one known region of England."
He was baptised in Ivanhoe England on Feb. 2, 1615/16. He came to America in 1649. He was the first of the family to come to America. There were five children by his first wife. There were five children by his second wife Lydia, the first three born probably in Jamaica, Long Island, NY, and the last two in Middletown, Conn.
Edward was born of yeoman stock, and probably grew to manhood in the parish of Ivinghoe. His father was a tenant farmer. Some of the Higbys dealt in cattle, and one was a butcher in London. Thomas Skidmore, also of Ivinghoe, came to New England before Edward, sailing in April of 1635. With John Winthrop, the Younger and his company, he assisted in making at least two settlements at Saybrook and New London, CT. When Skidmore first arrived he settled in Newtowne (now Cambridge) and in 1640 sent for his wife and children. They lived in Cambridge until 1646 when they moved to the new settlement at Pequot Harbor. Edward had arrived by that time and probably moved with them. House lots were granted in 1647, Skidmore being granted Lot #13 and Edward Lot #23. House lots were only granted to heads of family, therefore Edward and Jedidah were either married at the time or about to be. Edward built a house on his six acre lot and sold it two years later to Jarvis Mudge for five bushels of wheat and a dog. The settlement did not flourish and in the later part of 1647 and 1648 some familys left including Edward and Thomas Skidmore. They moved to Stratford and became active in trading along the coast. Edward owned lot 23 but lived in Stratford for only six years from 1649 to 1655 during which time Joseph Hawley was Town Recorder.
Little is known about the stay of Thomas Skidmore in Stratford except that he was required to build "in the old field 12 rds.3 ft.of fence". He therefore was a resident for at least some period of time. Edward and Thomas frequented landing places on Long Island during their trading. Edwards name appears as one of the early inhabitants and land owners of Cow Harbor in the town of Huntington and then a short time later he is given as an inhabitant of Cold Springs Harbor about eight miles west.
It appears that Edward was in business with a Jonas Wood, carrying barrel staves to the West Indies and bringing back rum, sack, and other goods. In 1659 he failed to return from one of his voyages and was thought to be lost at sea and Thomas Skidmore Jr. served as guardian of his children. However, he did return from his voyage arriving on a Sunday. He immediately returned home and embraced and kissed his wife. On the Sabath! For breaking the law he was arrested and fined!
It appears that about 1663 Edward moved to Middletown, CT. His first wife, Jedidah died and he married Lydia, probably not later than 1662. A record in the clerks office records his purchase of a tract of land from Scankeet, an Indian on 15 Oct 1664. This land was just west of the town of Middletown on which was "Higby Mountain" which contained the reservoir of the town water supply. The church records in Middletown record that the Higbys joined the church on 20 Sept. 1674. On May 8, 1667 Edward took the freeman's oath in Hartford thus becoming fully qualified as a citizen. It is known by church records that Edward and Lydia moved to Jamaica, LI after 14 Oct 1677 when the church released them.
He traded his land and buildings in Middletown to Abraham Smith and acquired from him 26 acres of land and 13 head of cattle in Jamaica. He resided there until his death just before 23 Sept 1699, the date his will was probated The widow Lydia and son Nathaniel were authorized and empowered by the court to act as Joint executors. The date of Lydias death is unknown.
It is interesting to note that Edward, having outlived his son John by 11 years, leaves his daughter-in-law, Rebecca (John's widow) the same share as he left his other sons.
From Edward Higbee and His Descendants. Immigrated to America and in l649 was living in Stratford, CT. Will was probated 23 Sept. l699 Deed Book A p l45.
Lived at abt. 1660 Stratford, Fairfield Co.
Edward Higby & His Descendants by C.D. Higby (1927):
The Refugees of 1776 from Long Island to Connecticut, Mather, 1972, page 398:
Founders of Early American Families, Immigrants from Europe 1607-1657, 1975:
A Genealogical and Biographical Record of the Pioneer Thomas Skidmore (Scudamore), by Emily C. Hawley, 1911, page 30:
From Harry Braddock, 4923 W. Rosewood Drive, Glendale, Arizona 85304, letter dated 5 June, 1997:
H-1a-1 1647: Pequot Harbor, Conn. Lot #13 was for Thomas Skidmore (Father-in-Law of Edward Higby) Lot #23 was for Edward Higby and his family. Edward built a house on lot #23, but 2 years later he sold the house and 6 acres of land. House was probably only a hut of branches and turf. For first few years the settlement of Pequot Harbor did not flourish. Edward Higby and Thomas Skidmore left Pequot ca. 1648.
1649: Stratford, Connecticut. Edward Higby owned Lot #23 on Main street; He didn't stay long in Stratford. He and Thomas Skidmore were active in trading along the coast and were often at landing places along Long Island, NY.
1653: Huntington, Long Island. His land was located probably near where Centerport is now. Two years later he moved to Cold Spring Harbor, 8 miles to the West. He had trading business with West Indies - shipping barrel staves to the West Indies and returning with rum, sac, and other. (Huntington was under jurisdiction of New York, 1666). In 1659 Edward failed to return from one of his trading voyages. He was thought to be lost at sea. However, he returned eventually and arrived home on a Sunday. He searched for his wife who was staying with friends, and when he found his family, he embraced and kissed his wife which was against the law to kiss his wife on the Sabbath. The story goes that he was arrested and paid a fine.
1667 Middletown, CT, admitted to the town of Middleton, CT at a town meeting
Edward Higbed was baptised on 02 Feb 1615/16 in Ivinghoe, Buckinghamshire, England. Father named as John Higbed. Citation also taken from "Edward Higby & His Descendants by C.D. Higby (1927), no page given.
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