An earlier version of this article was published as "The Genealogy of Noah Webb, U.E.", in The Canadian - American Genealogical Digest 3:2 (November/December 1996). It has subsequently been revised and expanded.
This document is part of the Webb Page.
Noah Webb was born 29 November, 1754 in Stamford Township, Fairfield County, Connecticut to Richard and Abigail (HOYT) Webb. No further information is available on his early years. It is reasonable to assume that he was not very well educated as he was apparently illiterate -- both his claim to the Loyalist commission and a deed from 1798 were both signed with "His X Mark".
Probably sometime in the late 1770's, he married a Phoebe MARTIEL (ca. 1754 - 1831). No biographical details are known about Pheobe. In the 1790 census of the United States, the MARTIEL family is only found in the town of Litchfield, Connecticut; located not too far from the border with New York State. It seems plausible that Pheobe came from that community, and they may have married there.
Despite the absence of documentary evidence, there is a persistent local tradition that Noah and Pheobe had a large number of children. For example:
They [Noah and Phoebe] had thirteen children. A number of the children married and settled in other parts of Cumberland Co., i.e., Westchester, Sutherland's Lake, Greenville, to name a few.
While it is possible (albeit unlikely) that they had multiple children before immigrating to Nova Scotia, I have been unable to locate any solid evidence of this. Only the following four children have been positively identified: Ebenezer, Phoebe, Samuel, and Nathaniel. In a census of the Westchester Loyalists in October 1784, Noah's household consisted of one man, one woman, and three children.
A through search of all available Cumberland County records has yet to reveal any children other than those listed above. Until about the 1880's, all Webb persons residing in the County can be identified as direct descendants of either Ebenezer or Samuel.
Noah was possibly a farmer while in New York; he later took up that occupation when he settled in Nova Scotia. No Webb's appear on the list of freeholders in Westchester County for 1763 -- which would indicate that there were none who actually owned their land, nor is Noah numbered among those "freeholders and inhabitants of Westchester County [who] assembled at the White Plains [to] declare their support for the King and Constitution" in April, 1775.
It is not particularly clear exactly when Noah moved to Westchester County, New York. Noah's older brother Sylvanius (b. 5 October, 1745) was a "Revolutionary soldier, a non-commissioned officer, 1783, in Captain Lyon's Company, Second Regiment, Westchester County, New York, Militia". He later moved to Bristol Hill.
There is a family tradition that Noah Webb lived in Rye Township, located in southern Westchester County, but I have not been able to find conclusive proof of this assertion. The standard community history -- Chronicle of a Border Town: History of Rye -- does not include any references to the Webb family.
Noah's later memorial to the Loyalist Claims Commission stated that he was from New York and an almost illegible place name that appears to be "Braenorth Witnys". In about 1779, there was a Noah Webb serving in the (New York) Dutchess County Militia, Third Regiment. This may have been the same person.
There is also a very strong possibility that Noah first served in a Colonial militia unit in Connecticut before becoming a Loyalist:
WEBB, NOAH A private in Captain David Hait's Company, Colonel John Mead's Regiment to New York from 13 August to 2 September 1776. Reenlisted on 15 November to 27 December 1776 under Captain Charles Smith in same Regiment. Noah Webb was born 29 November 1754 to Richard and Abagail Webb. December 1776 Noah sold property at Stanwich (Greenwich) to John Ferris of North Castle, Westchester County, N.Y. No further record appears of Noah.
In June 1781, Noah joined Captain Henry Purdy's "Corps of West Chester Refugees and Militia", and served with them until the evacuation of New York. This was an irregular, paramilitary unit that raided Patriot-controlled territory. A key function was seizing enemy supplies, especially cattle, to feed the Loyalist inhabitants of New York City. For this reason, the unit is often called the Westchester or Delancy's "Cowboys".
Noah departed New York with his family, on June 5, 1783 as part of the Second Fleet. Together with several hundred fellow refugees, Noah arrived at Fort Cumberland, Nova Scotia a month later on July 5, 1783. His whereabouts for the next two years are not clear.
Noah's initial grant of land was enacted on June 16, 1785. He received "100 acres on the River Remsheg" as part of a larger grant of 20 to 30 thousand acres at the "Harbour of Remsheg and Tatamagouche" made to 106 "West Chester Loyalists" led by Isaac ACKLEY, Jr. It appears that this grant was (probably) settled by Noah for a brief time, for a deed dated August 26, 1785 was executed by a Noah Webb "of Remsheg" to John BRISBANE "of the same" in which he sold a 109 acre lot of land in return for £13 (Halifax currency). On December 2, 1812 Noah, jointly with his son Samuel, and several others, received another grant of land "near Pugwash". Noah received 300 acres, and Samuel received 250 acres. It is probable he did not occupy this land, as it was sold to John BLACK, Esq. of River Philip for £20 in 1814.
On April 6, 1786, Noah presented his memorial and claim to the Loyalist Claims Commission. The memorial was dated at "Colchester" (possibly Londonderry). It was for the value of £30 for three horses "lost in service". The claim was rejected on April 18, 1786; probably due to insufficient evidence. Unfortunately for his descendants, Noah provided no absolutely details of how he came to lose those horses -- whether valiantly in battle or through drunken negligance.
Noah's financial status seems to have been moderately high, as illustrated by the fact that he paid a poll tax of five shillings in the assessment of 1791; the usual rate of tax was just one shilling.
Sometime before 1791, Noah appears to have moved to Londonderry Township, Colchester County. The above-mentioned poll tax lists for that year place him there and a deed from March, 1798 refers to "Noah Webb of Londonderry". In this deed he sold 250 acres of "settled and improved" land in Westchester township to James SUTHERLAND for £25 "current money of Nova Scotia".
By 1800, he had finally settled at Westchester, Cumberland County, where he presumably remained until his death on January 18, 1832. In 1809, Noah was appointed the pound keeper for Westchester. This meant he was responsible for caring for stray livestock wandering the community. In 1820, he contributed the very substantial sum of 20 shillings for the improvements of the roads in and around Westchester.
One source indicates he died at Wallace, but I have been unable to find a cemetery record (e.g. a headstone) for him. In the Fall of 1960, Georgina YANKEE (a descendent) was undertaking research into the family history, and she was also unable to locate Noah's grave in the Westchester area. His will, if it ever existed, has not survived.
Noah had known issue as follows:
i. Ebenezer Webb b. 1783
ii. Phoebe Webb b. ca. 1784 = John RUSHTON Aug. 29, 1812 at Westchester
iii. Samuel Webb b. ca. 1785
iv. Nathaniel Webb b. 1807, Westchster
On January 21, 1802, Ebenezer married Mary Anne CRAWFORD. He died at Westchester in about 1880.
Samuel married Jane RUSHTON on October 6, 1802 at Fort Larwence. He died April 8, 1828, and he is buried in the Eagle Hill Cemetary, Westchester.
Nathaniel was a farmer. In March, 1827, he signed a road petition at Westchester. At the time of the 1861 census, his household consisted of two adult males. He died July 5, 1867 at Westchester, of apoplexy; without known issue.
Last Modified: June 21, 2015