John Ogle was born on September 30, 1649, at Berwick Upon Tweed, Northumberland, England to John Ogle of the same place. The elder John was from Eglingham, and in 1650 received a commission as captain of militia for the four northern counties, and the next year he was under the commonwealth a commissioner and also commanding a troop of horse in Scotland. According to Mormon Church which deals in genealogy, John was a direct descendant of King Edward the First. The Ogle?s had their own castle in Northumberland.
Young John Ogle early became aware of the difficulties which his family were likely to experience after the Restoration, and he undoubtedly had heard tales of adventures in the New World; and so when the opportunity was presented to him, John Ogle joined Colonel Nicolls’ expedition, bound for America. He was a scant 14 when he joined Nicholl?s ranks.
In March 1664, the whole of the territory in America occupied by the Dutch on the Atlantic seaboard was granted by Charles II to his brother, the Duke of York, on the plea that it was British soil by right of discovery. On 25 May 1664, Colonel Nicolls, with four ships, 300 soldiers and 450 men, sailed from Portsmouth. The expedition arrived at New Amsterdam, and without firing a shot, Governor Stuyvesant surrendered the town on 29 August and promptly changed the name to New York.
Delaware had been originally settled by Swedes, who quarreled with the Dutch, who built Fort Casimir 6 miles from the Swedish Fort Christiana. In 1654 Governor Rising brought a large number of colonists from Sweden; he took Fort Casimir, renaming it Fort of the Holy Trinity, in honor of the day of capture. Governor Stuyvesant, who later came down from New Amsterdam and recaptured the fort, renamed it New Amstel.
John Ogle, who had served under Captain Carr in Delaware, became a permanent resident of White Clay Creek Hundred, named from the deposits of white clay found along its banks. John Ogle first resided at New Castle, where he was a large land-buyer; he afterwards lived at various sites on his extensive holdings. He commenced acquiring land at an early date, probably as soon as the confusion of the conquest and the settlement of Indian troubles permitted it.
The first grant that John Ogle received was in February 1666, from Governor Nicolls, who had empowered the officers of Delaware to dispose of ‘implanted’ land there for the best advantage of the inhabitants. This tract was 800 or 1000 acres total, including a 300 acre tract known as “Muscle Cripple”. The original document omits the exact acreage, but it requires a yearly quitrent of 8 bushels of wheat, the standard being 1 bushel for each hundred acres per year. Later records record him owning 1,000 acres in Christiana, although it is unknown if it was all from the original grant or a combination of lands. The following is the wording in the Duke of York?s grant of this land:
“A Confirmation granted unto Sergeant Thomas Wollaston, John Ogle, John Hendrick, and Hermann Johnston, for a certain parcel of land in White Clay kill in Delaware River
Richard Nicholls, Esqr. &c Whereas there is a certain piece or parcel of land lying and being in White Clay kill near unto Christeen kill in Delaware River bounded to the E. with Hans Bones Plantation to the South with James Crawford’s, to the North and West by a fresh creek or Run of water at the head of Bread and Cheese Island containing about (blank) acres of woodland, as also a piece of valley or meadow ground known by the name of Muscle Cripple running up the kill about (blank) of a mile which said piece or parcel of land was by the officers of Delaware who were empowered by my commission to dispose of implanted land there for the best advantage of the inhabitants granted unto Sergeant Thomas Wollaston, John Ogle, John Hendrick, and Herman Johnson, the said grant bearing date (blank) day of February 1666. Now for a confirmation unto them the said Thomas Wollaston, John Ogle, John Hendrick, and Herman Johnston, in their possession and enjoyment of the premises. Know yee that by virtue of the commission and authority to me given, I have given ratified confirmed and granted unto the said Thomas Wollaston &c. the afore recited parcels of land and premises, &c., yielding and paying therefore yearly and every year unto his Majesties use eight bushels of Wheat as a Quit Rent when it shall be demanded, by such person or persons in authority as his majesty shall please to establish and empower in Delaware River and the parts and plantations adjacent. Given under my hand and seal, at Fort James, in New York, on the Island Manhattan, the first day of August, in the 20th year of his Majesty’s reign, Anno Domini, 1668.”
The land as platted for Ogle was a long rectangle, lying between the north side of the Christiana Creek and the south side of the White Clay Creek. It encompasses the area currently encompassing the town of Christiana, the Christiana Mall, and the Christiana Hospital Center Complex. It was bounded on the east by Hans Bones, the south by James Crawford, and the southeast by Sergeant John Erskine. The north and west were undeveloped, due to the fact that they were above the head of navigation on the streams.
The parcel known as Muscle Cripple was granted to Sgt Thomas Wollaston, John Ogle, John Hendricks and Herman Johnson. It consisted of a part of 300 acres and was bounded by a creek at the head of Bread and Cheese Island and also by the plantations of Hans Bones and James Crawford. Sgt Wollaston had been a comrade in arms, as had James Crawford of the adjoining plantation. James Crawford, having gained some knowledge of medicine in the army, was known as ‘Doctor’ on the early assessment rolls. His daughter Mary was later to marry into the Ogle family. Crawford was one of the heroes of the Nicolls expedition, his grant specifically stating that it was given ‘in consideration of the good service performed by James Crawford, a soldier’. In addition, John Ogle purchased lands along St. George?s Creek, near the present town of Delaware City. It was on these lands to which some of his sons would later relocate. The story of John Ogle is closely bound up with that of his friends Thomas Wollaston and James Crawford, who took a liking to young Ogle and formed a friendship which continued throughout their lives. In about 1670, Ogle married Elizabeth Petersdotter.
Elizabeth Petersdotter was the daughter of Peter Jochimsson, a settler in New Sweden in the first voyage in 1642. Eshe was born in 1654, moved from her home as a teenager to help in the household of her uncle, Anders Stille, living on Christina River. Here she met and married John Ogle, an English soldier who had participated in the English conquest of the Delaware in 1664. John and Elizabeth Ogle had two sons:
Thomas Ogle, born c. 1672, died 1734 in White Clay Creek Hundred, New Castle County; married  Mary Crawford,  widow Elizabeth Graham., John Ogle, born c. 1674, died 1720 in White Clay Creek Hundred; married widow Elizabeth Harris.
John Ogle and Rev. Jacob Fabritius were indicted in 1675 for inciting the Swedes and Finns to riot in opposition to orders of the New Castle Court to build a dike and road for Hans Block, a Dutchman. The three friends settled on nearby plantations in New Castle County, where their wives survived them. The Records of the Court of Newcastle give a picture of their lives after 1676.
An eye-witness account of the events of June 1675 has revealed something of the character of John Ogle of that period – swashbuckling, rash and reckless, with an amount of courage appropriate to the rough and tumble frontier environment. He was not one to be imposed on, especially by one of the Dutch who certainly did not amount to much in the eyes of His Majesty’s soldiers. Under order of the Governor-General, the magistrates met at New Castle on 4 June 1675, and decided that it would be necessary to build a road across the marsh and to build a dyke in the marsh next to the town. Another dyke across Hans Block’s marsh was also thought necessary, and the inhabitants were ordered to assist in the project by contributing labor or money. The project was strenuously opposed by the settlers because the dyke across Hans Block’s marsh was an improvement to private property. John Ogle was a leader of the objectors and peremptorily informed the magistrates that no dykes at all would be built under any such unfair conditions. His objections stirred the people to great excitement in the church where the public meeting was held; and Ogle was put out of the church. Mathys Smith and the Rev. Jacobus Fabricius took up the cause and as a result Ogle and Fabricius were arrested. They were confined in a boat which was anchored nearby, where they continued their public imprecations. Excitement was high, and they were eventually released. Later Hans Block encountered Ogle on the street and was told that if the Finns had been drunk no good would have come from the incident. It was an affront to constituted authority and called for severe disciplinary measures.
Conditions in New Castle were not good at that time; carousals, fights and robberies were the order of the day, and it wasn’t a safe place for a stranger. William Edmunsdon, ‘a Public Friend’ visiting there, found it difficult to secure lodgings, ‘the inhabitants being chiefly Dutch and Finns addicted to drunkenness’, who refused to take him in, even though he had money.
Special warrants were issued by the Governor against Fabricius and Ogle, who with others had signed a remonstrance. The two chief trouble makers were ordered to appear in the August Court, and the other signers before a later court. Fabricius appeared and the proceedings resulted in the unfrocking of the troublesome person; Ogle, who conveniently fell sick, failed to appear, and no further action was taken against him.
After the excitement of the summer of 1675, Ogle proceeded to acquire more land, and the tract known as Hampton, on the south side of St. George’s Creek, consisting of 300 acres, was confirmed to him by Governor Andross on 5 November 1675.
New Castle court records reveal that in February 1676 Ogle accused one of the Dutch residents of stealing his heifer. As one of the jurymen was Thomas Wollaston, the outcome was predictable.
The above incident marked the beginning of a series of court proceedings which involved John Ogle and James Crawford for the rest of their lives. Ogle was an extensive producer of tobacco, and like other planters he was continually involved in financial and other difficulties. Little ready money changed hands in those days, and the barter system was the common way of doing business.
In 1675 the Governor ordered the construction of highways, and the inhabitants of New Castle and the surrounding area, and on the south side of Christiana Creek were made responsible for constructing a highway from New Castle to Red Lyon between the first of January and the end of February. The highway was to be a good passable one, twelve feet wide, and John Ogle was appointed overseer of the residents around Christiana Creek.
Various deeds of the period after 1678 record transfers of extensive tracts of land to a number of Ogle’s associates; among them, Swart Neuton’s Island was transferred to John Darby of Maryland, and other lands to John Test and to Augustine Dixon.
Ogle was instrumental in the construction of a bridge over the Christiana Creek on his land. “The court at New Castle in 1679 specified that certain roads were to be laid out ten feet wide, under the jurisdiction of an overseer. The inhabitants on the north side of the Christiana were ordered to clear a road to Christina Head and there erect a bridge. The head of tidewater on the Delmarva Peninsula was the preordained site of a town, so at an early date, the little hamlet that was to become Christiana Bridge had sent its roots into the soil. Higher up on the Christiana, John Ogle and the Quaker, Valentine Hollingsworth had each come into possession of 1000 acres. (Weslager 1947:39). “The area that was to become the village was originally part of a tract called “Eagle’s Point” which was surveyed for John Ogle by the government of William Penn in 1683. This parcel of land was located to the north of the present-day intersection of routes 7 and 273, and contained the upland and high ground north of the modern town. Ogle (sic :Ogle’s descendants) sold this parcel in 1731 to Dr. Rees Jones, a “practicioner of Physick”, and a prominent individual in the village, and the land was resurveyed to Jones in 1741″ (Catts 1989:22).
On 25 August 1680, Thomas Wollaston of White Clay Creek wrote a letter to John Briggs of West Jersey which he gave to John Ogle for delivery. Wollaston had a debt of three years standing against Briggs. Ogle made the journey, stopping in New York, where 27 August he made an affidavit concerning the transaction. The affidavit began: ‘John Ogle, aged thirty-two or thereabouts,” The incident itself is not important, but Ogle’s statement of his approximate age has been of crucial importance to ogle genealogy, as without it, it would have been impossible to connect him with absolute certainty to his Northumberland Family.
John Ogle was recorded as owning 400 acres of land near New Castle, and the 1,000 acre plantation in the “Constabulary of North Christina Creek” in 1680 (Records of New Castle, II, pps 80, 83).
In November 1681 Ogle received a court order to take up 200 acres of land for each of his two sons, Thomas and John Ogle, and on 27 December 435 acres, called the ‘Fishing Place’, on Christiana Creek were surveyed on the warrant. On August of the following year, Northampton, a tract of 200 acres in White Clay Creek Hundred was surveyed for Ogle. On 14 October 1683 more acres in Mill Creek Hundred were surveyed for him, and on 8 December Eagles Point in White Clay Creek Hundred was also surveyed. This ended the accumulation of the original Ogle acreage, for in late 1683 John Ogle died.
John Ogle died insolvent in the winter of 1683/4. A clue to the death is found in the will of Ralph Hutchinson, which,. Although written and signed on February 16, 1679, it was not proved until December 31, 1683, and mentions land to go to ?John Ogle?s sons?, suggesting he may have died soon before (Calendar of Delaware Wills, p. 7).
As early as December 16, 1684, Elizabeth Ogle was complaining to the Court that her husband had already paid more than the appropriate amount of taxes on their holdings:
“Att a Court held at Newcastle for our Lord ye King & ye Hon?ble Proprietary December ye 16th 1684?Elisabeth Ogle brings in an account in Court that She hath paid many pounds more to her husbands account than the whole Estate of her said late husband did amount to by ye Appraysment (Records of New Castle, II, 93).”
Adding to his widow’s troubles was a 1684 raid by Colonel James Talbot from Maryland which resulted in the destruction of her hay and the building of a Maryland “fort” on her property. Elizabeth Ogle and Anders Stille then sold their property and moved to White Clay Creek. She lived at the “Hopyard,” which had been surveyed for her husband the year before.
The next listings of the taxables in Delaware, recorded in early 1685, early 1686, and 1687 listed Elizabeth Ogle as owning 1,000 acres on the north side of Christiana Creek (Records of New Castle, II, p. 102. 122. 170). However, apparently the question of whether the taxes were paid on the estate continued to plague Mrs. Ogle most of her life. She appeared in court a second time, in March of 1689, wherein it was recorded:
“Came into Court Elisabeth Ogle widdow and Administratrix of John Ogle deceased and made appear by Inventory and other papers and accounts in Court produced, that she hath over and above paid the Value of the Inventory of goods belonging to the said Ogle deceased, and committed to her Administration whereupon the Court grant her a Quieta est and discharge her from paying any more debts of the said John Ogle.”
Unable to pay all of the estate’s debts, Elizabeth Ogle was discharged from all further debts of her husband on 17 June 1690 by the New Castle Court. Meanwhile, her brother Peter Petersson Yocum in 1687 had purchased the “Hopyard” to protect it from creditors.
In 1696, Elizabeth?s son John began to sell off the lands around present day Christiana. A tract of 75 acres was sold by John Ogle to John Latham on March 16th, 1696, for “land at Christina Bridge” (Records of New Castle, II, 224); and on the same day sold ?the upper half of a tract of land at White Clay Creek, three hundred acres (Records of New Castle, II, 225). These land sales suggest that Elisabeth Ogle may have already been deceased by that date.
Elizabeth died before 12 Sept. 1702 when John Hans Steelman and Judith Yocum, as executors of the Yocum estate, sold the property. The family relocated to the area which was to become known as Ogletown, but maintained a wharf in Christiana as late as 1806, when the Orphans Court in the estate of Joseph Ogle recorded ?a Wharf and two old Store houses in Christiana Bridge? (New Castle County Orphans Court, Record I-I-451). However, the passing of Elizabeth Ogle and the division of her lands by her sons finally set the stage for the town of Christiana to be able to be developed.
Smoky Mountain Clans, Donald B. Reagan, 1978, p 128b. ‘The English Origin of John Ogle’,
Francis Hamilton Hibbard, 1967, p 9-14, 16.
Pedigrees of Some of the Emperor Charlemagne’s Descendants, Langston & Buck, 1986, p 199.
‘Ogle & Bothal’, Sir Henry Ogle, 1902, Pedigree XIB.
Calendar of Delaware Wills, New Castle County, 1682-1800. Historical Dames of Delaware, Frederick H. Hitchcock, New York.
Records of the Court of New Castle, Vol. II, 1681-1699. Published by the Colonial Society of Pennsylvania, Meadville, PA, 1935
http://www.colonialswedes.org/Forefathers/Yocum.html John Ogle’s House, formerly at Ogletown, Delaware.
John Ogle (1644 – 1683)
Thomas Ogle (1675 – 1734)
son of John Ogle
Thomas Edward Ogle sr (1721 – 1803)
son of Thomas Ogle
William “Billy” Ogle (1756 – 1803)
son of Thomas Edward Ogle sr
Thomas J Ogle Sr (1784 – 1862)
son of William “Billy” Ogle
Nancy Ogle (1810 – 1844)
daughter of Thomas J Ogle Sr
Richard Reason Reagan (1830 – 1912)
son of Nancy Ogle
Nancy Elizabeth Reagan (1849 – 1931)
daughter of Richard Reason Reagan
Martha Elizabeth Abbott/Whitaker/Goode (1872 – 1911)
daughter of Nancy Elizabeth Reagan
Ben Cates Goode (1909 – 1980)
Son of Charles Key Goode
Evelyn Goode Miller 1939-
Daughter of Ben Cates Goode