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Robert Ruffin (abt. 1720 - 1777)

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Colonel Robert Ruffin
Born about in "Richneck", Surry County, Virginia Colonymap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married in Brunswick County, VAmap
Descendants descendants
Died in "Sweet Hall," King William County, Virginia, United Statesmap
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Profile last modified | Created 2 Jan 2011
This page has been accessed 1,404 times.

Categories: House of Burgesses, Virginia Colony | Virginia Slave Owners.



Colonel Robert Ruffin (John,Robert,Robert,William)[1]


Robert was born ca 1720 at "Richneck", Surry County, Virginia[citation needed]. He was a son of John Ruffin and Martha Hamlin[2].


Robert married 6 September 1751 at Brunswick County, Virginia, as her second, to Mary Elizabeth (Clack) Lightfoot,[3][4][5] widow of Col. John Lightfoot of the Sandy Point Lightfoots.[2] She was described as a very beautiful woman who had consumption for fifty years.[2]

Children of Robert and Mary Elizabeth:

  1. John Ruffin[1][2]
  2. Mary Ruffin
  3. Lucy Ruffin
  4. William Ruffin( -1856)[1] or William (1785-1825)[2]
  5. James B. Ruffin[1] d. 1802 m. Mary Roane[2]
  6. Martha Ruffin - Patsy m. William Bulwer Claiborne[1] or just Buller Claiborne[2]
  7. Sterling Clack Ruffin (1767-1822)[1][2]

Note According to some sources[2] besides Patsy, another daughter married a Claiborne (William, Herbert, ?), but claims there are only six children.

"The English Ancestry of the Herbert Family" The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record. Vol 26. p 38 (Jan 1895) lists the children of Col. Augustine Claiborne and wife Mary Herbert Claiborne. Among others were Herbert, married Mary d/o Robert Ruffin of "Sweet Hall"; William married a daughter of Robert Ruffin of "Sweet Hall"; and Buller, a major in the Revolution, married Patsy, a daughter of Edward Ruffin of Sussex County.


Robert lived at "Mayfield," Dinwiddie County, Virginia. After his daughters had married Clairbornes, he removed to "Sweet Hall" on the Pamunkey river in King William County, Virginia. Another nearby property he owned Turcoman, was later owned by his son Sterling.[2]

Robert and Mary were in King William County by 15 January 1771 when they sold 525 acres she had inherited from her father to Britain Peebles.[citation needed]

Robert Ruffin, Esq. offered "Sweet Hall" for sale in 1773, a plantation of 400 acres.[citation needed]

Surveyor of Boundaries

With Sterling Thornton, Ruffin processioned the boundaries of farms from Indian Town Run to the parish line in 1763. His walking partner was Roger Atkinson in 1767.[citation needed]

Virginia House of Burgesses

Robert represented Dinwiddie County in the Virginia House of Burgesses (1758-61)[6]

Revolutionary War

Robert was a minute man, a Col. on the Carolina Expedition 1776, part of the Virginia Militia[7] This source says he died 1778.

Death and Legacy

Robert died in 1777 at "Sweet Hall," King William County, Virginia.[citation needed]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Bond, Octavia Zollicoffer. The family chronicle and kinship book of Maclin, Clack, Cocke, Carter, Taylor, Cross, Gordon, and other related American lineages. Nashville: McDaniel printing co., 1928. (p. 624)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 "Ruffin Family" The William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 18, No. 4 (Apr., 1910), pp. 251-258, Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, Web accessed August 10, 2014
  3. Brunswick Marriages
  4. "Clack Family" William and Mary Quarterly p 110
  5. Moore, May C., "Letter from May Carlton Moore to Olie Garrett," June 25, 1961, Private property of Pat Iverson
  6. Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography, Under the Editorial Supervision of Lyon Gardiner Tyler, Volume 1 (Google eBook). Virginia: Lewis historical publishing Company, 1915
  7. SAR Application of Walter Granville Jordan. U.S., Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications, 1889-1970 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011. Original data: Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications, 1889-1970. Louisville, Kentucky: National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. Microfilm, 508 rolls.

See also:

  • Mississippi Daughters and Their Ancestors, p. 215
  • Bond, O. Z., The Family Chronicles and Kinship Book p 604. Name, marriage date, birth & death places

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No known carriers of Robert's Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests.

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On 3 Oct 2016 at 03:08 GMT Lorna Henderson wrote:

Removed spouse of Dorothea Stewart, dates simply did not compute

On 5 Jun 2015 at 01:26 GMT Greg Hays wrote:

Category: Slave-owner: Virginia is listed under misnamed categories. Shouldn't it be Category: Virginia Slave Owners instead?

On 1 Nov 2014 at 04:15 GMT Anne B wrote:

Hi, I've added inline citations, where I had access to the sources, but for many of these statements i cannot find sourcing (on the internet). Perhaps you could finish adding them. Also, everything I read said the couple had six children Patsy and the daughter who married William Claiborn and then the four sons you listed. You seem to have an extra daughter?

On 10 Aug 2014 at 16:42 GMT Cynthia (Billups) B wrote:

Ruffin-10 and Ruffin-455 appear to represent the same person because: same marriage, same death place

Robert is 21 degrees from Rosa Parks, 21 degrees from Anne Tichborne and 15 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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