Martha Ruggles (Woodbridge) (1658 - 1738)

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Birthplace: Wiltshire, England
Death: Died in Billerica, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States
Managed by: Charles Edward Glendinning
Last Updated:

About Martha Ruggles (Woodbridge)

Martha Woodbridge was the daughter of Rev. John Woodbridge, and granddaughter of Governor Thomas Dudley.

Martha Woodbridge (b. 1660, d. 1738)

Martha Woodbridge (daughter of Rev. John Woodbridge and Mercy Dudley) was born 1660 in England, and died 1738 in Billerica, Massachusetts. She married Samuel Ruggles II (Capt.) on July 8, 1680 in Roxbury, Massachusetts, son of Capt. Samuel Ruggles I and Hannah Fowle.

Notes for Martha Woodbridge:

"Of Mrs. Ruggles, it is worthy of remarks, that not only was her father clergyman, descended from numerous clergymen on both sides (including the famous Rev Robert Parker) but her uncle Benjamin Woodbridge ( the first graduate of Harvard College), three of her brothers; John, Benjamin and Timothy, her husband's brother Thomas, and three of her sons; Samuel, Timothy and Benjamin, also sustained the clerical office and all held an honorable rank in the profession."

-Source: "The History of Hardwick, Mass." by Lucian Robinson Page

Martha died in 1738 at her oldest son's home, in Billerica, Massachusetts. Her son was the Rev. Samuel Ruggles.

Children of Martha Woodbridge and Samuel Ruggles II (Capt.) are:

1. Samuel Ruggles (Rev.), b. December 3, 1681, d. March 1, 1749. 2. Lucy Ruggles, b. September 8, 1683, d. date unknown. 3. Hannah Ruggles, b. April 10, 1688, d. date unknown. 4. Patience Ruggles, b. November 9, 1689, d. date unknown. 5. Martha Ruggles, b. February 1, 1691, d. date unknown. 6. Sarah Ruggles, b. June 18, 1694, d. date unknown. 7. Joseph Ruggles, b. July 21, 1696, d. September 9, 1742, Roxbury. 8. Mary Ruggles, b. September 20, 1698, d. Bef. 1716. 9 . Benjamin Ruggles (Rev.), b. July 4, 1700, Roxbuey, Massachusetts, d. May 12, 1782, New Braintree, Massachusetts.

Martha Woodbridge married Captain Ruggles on July 8, 1680.. Captain Ruggles' father was a prominent citizen of Roxbury, where he was selectman fourteen years, assessor during the same period, and representative for the four critical years succeeding the revolution of 1689.

He was for several years captain of militia, and when Governor Andros and his associates were seized and imprisoned, Joseph Dudley (afterwards governor) was committed to his special charge, while temporarily released from prison.

Samuel Ruggles' preservation from death by lightning on May 25, 1667, was so remarkable that an account of it was entered on the church record by Rev. Samuel Danforth:

"25 (3) 1667. There was a dreadful crack of thunder. Samuel Ruggles happened at that instant to be upon the meetinghouse hill, with oxen and horse, and cart loaded with corn. The horse and one ox were stricken dead with the lightning; the other ox had a little life in it, but died presently. The man was singed and schorched a little on his legs, one shoe torn apieces, and the heel carried away; the man was hurled off from the cart and flung on the off side, but through mercy soon recovered himself and felt little harm. There was a chest in the cart, wherein was pewter and linen; the pewter had small holes melted in it, and the linen some of it singed and burnt." 

Captain Ruggles inherited his father's military spirit and succeeded him in many of his offices; he was assessor, 1694; representative, 1694; captain of militia, 1702; and selectman continuously from 1693 to 1712, except in 1701 and 1704, nineteen years.

His death occurred after a short sickness, February 25, 1715-16, and his funeral is mentioned in Sewall's Diary:

"Feb. 28, 1715-16. Capt. Samuel Ruggles was buried with arms. * * * He is much lamented at Roxbury."

--------------------

Laurel Logan:(http://www.surnameguide.com/ruggles/capt_samuel_ruggles_genealogy1.htm)

The story of a would-be suitor for widow Martha Ruggles follows:

Judge Samuel Sewall, celebrated and remembered among other things by his diary of the events of the colony, socially, of this period, went to Boston from Newbury, Mass., where he was born March 28, 1652; and spent a part of his school days. He married three wives. He became a suitor for widow Martha's hand in the interval after the death of his second wife. We find written in his diary. July, 4, 1721, "I carry my daughter Hannah in the Coach to Brooklin; call'd at Deacon Mayo's Rebekah Morris came out to her. Then I call'd at Mrs. Ruggles', who came out to her, and Hanah thank'd her for her Kindness when she lodg'd at her House.

Saturday July 15 is written:-" Visited my Sons and daters at Brooklin ; Mr. Cooper preaches there tomorrow. Call, and sit a while with Madam Ruggles. She tells me, they had been up all night, her dater, Joseph Ruggle's wife, was brought to bed of a dater. I shew'd my Willingness to renew my old acquaintance (as a suitor); She express'd her inability to be Serviceable. Gave me Cider to drink. I came home."

1721 Thursday Aug. 3d. "Went in the Coach and visited Mrs. Ruggles after Lecture. She seems resolv'd not to move out of that house. Maybe of some use there; None at Boston-till she be carried out; made some Difficulty to accept an Election Sermon, lest it should be an obligation on her. The Coach staying long (going to Boston for a new Fare), I made some excuse for my stay : she said she would be glad to wait on me till midnight, provided I should solicit her no more; or to that effect. I said she was willing to get rid of me. She answr'd That was too sharp. I gave her Mr. Moodey's Election Sermon, Marbled, with her Name written in it. Visited her daughter Ruggles, wished her joy of her little daughter in her Lap ; and left a 2' Bill with Mrs. Ruggles, which she gave to Mrs. Pierpont, the present Nurse, who thank'd me heartily for it just as I came away."

In a letter written some weeks previously to her brother, Rev. Timothy Woodbridge of Hartford, Conn., is written : . " I remember when I was going from school at Newbury, I have sometime met your Sisters Martha and Mary, at the end of Mrs. Noyes's Lane, coming from their Schoole at Chandler's Lane, in their Hanging Sleeves ; and have had the pleasure of Speaking with them : And I 'could find in my heart to speak with Mrs. Martha again, now I my self am reduc'd to my Hanging Sleeves. The truth is, I have little Occasion for a Wife, but for the sake of Modesty, and to cherish me in my advanced years ( I was born March 25, 1652) Methinks I could venture' to lay my Weary head in her Lap, if it might be brought to pass upon Honest Conditions, you know your Sister's Age. and Disposition, and Circumstances better than I doe. I should be glad of your Advice in my Fluctuations."

--Laurel Logan

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Martha Ruggles's Timeline

1658
June 15, 1658
Wiltshire, England
1681
December 3, 1681
Age 23
Roxbury, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States
1683
September 8, 1683
Age 25
Roxbury, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States
1685
November 3, 1685
Age 27
Roxbury (within present Boston), Suffolk County, Massachusetts Bay Colony, (Present USA)
1688
April 10, 1688
Age 29
Roxbury, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States
1689
1689
Age 30
1690
November 7, 1690
Age 32
Roxbury, Suffolk, Ma
1691
February 1, 1691
Age 32
Roxbury, Suffolk, Massachusetts
1694
June 18, 1694
Age 36
Roxbury, Suffolk, Massachusetts
1696
July 21, 1696
Age 38
Roxbury, Suffolk, Massachusetts