Who Was William Ripley's Unknown Daughter?
On the 26th of April, 1638, the ship "Diligent" of Ipswich, England, set sail from the mouth of the Thames, east of London and about 46 miles south of Wramplingham, birthplace of the Ripley clan. On board the Diligent was nineteen families and six or eight single persons, totalling one hundred and thirty three people. They had all embarked for the purpose of joining a colony settled in Hingham of the Massachusetts Colony.
This new party landed in New England at Boston, on August 10, 1638. They immediately set out for their destination , about fourteen miles southeast of Boston to Hingham.
According to records, William Ripley arrived with his wife whose name has been lost, two daughters and two sons. The sons have been accepted as being Abraham, about age 14 and John, about age 16. One daughter was Sarah, about age 11, who went on to marry Jeremiah Beal. Another daughter of William was Mary, born September 6, 1616, in Wymondham, England, who apparently stayed behind in England, probably having already married. If one Ripley girl stayed behind, but still two came to New England, then who was the missing girl?
Probably the first written genealogy of the Ripley line was published by H. W. Ripley, in 1867. In his book, H. W. Ripley lists the missing Ripley girl as, "A daughter, we have not been able to find her name." Other records show her birthdate as "February 3, 1618/19," but with no name.
While doing research on related families, I came across the following and realized it had to be the missing daughter.
In the family of Phinney/Finney, it shows a Robert Finney, married Phebe Ripley, September 1, 1641. It listed her birthdate only as 1619, but it also states that "she died October 9, 1710, in her 92d yr." There were no known children from this marriage.
The Finney Genealogy says only that the Finneys, Mother and three children, "appeared to have come from England, before 1639, and consisted of a mother, a daughter, Catherine and two sons, Robert and John." This genealogy also makes it clear that Robert was unmarried when he arrived in this country. The genealogy further states, "Having no issue, (Children) he willed his property to his two Nephews, Robert and Josiah, the sons of his brother, John." John was called, "John the Pilgrim." Robert and Phebe resided in Plymouth.
While the connecting evidence is very slim indeed, using only the birth year, and the fact that no other Ripleys are recorded as arriving at this time, one must say that Phebe is quite probably Williams missing daughter.