Brick Wall Busters (2010)
At our first meeting of the 2010–2011 season, held on 28 September 2010, we had our first ever "Brick Wall Busters" session. We asked members to submit their Brick Wall Queries. Ten of those queries, five from local members and five from members outside of the area, would be selected for our President, Dr. Allan Marble, C.G.(C) and Virginia "Ginny" Clark, C.G.(C) to make some suggestions how these members might be able to further their research and, hopefully, break down their Brick Wall. This obviously struck a very responsive chord, judging by the number of queries received and the excellent turnout at the meeting. As promised, we are posting the ten selected queries, five local and five from "away", here on our website.
Additional Queries (not selected in initial group)
Responders:Virginia "Ginny" Clark, C.G.(C)
Allan E. Marble, C.G.(C)
Michael McGRATH born 4 Sep 1839, Rocky Bay, Isle Madame, Cape Breton, last found in the 1871 census age 32 living at home. What happened to him from here?
Michael's father, James McGrath (b. abt 1808 in Ireland, d.29 Nov 1890) lived on a lot in Rocky Bay in 1824. Michael was the first of fourteen children born (1839) in their Rocky Bay home. I have researched and recorded all of the children except Michael. I have applied all the internet services available: NS Vital Stats, 1838 – 1911 census data, Antigonish church records, Ancestry.com family search, Arichat/D'Escousse and area Church records, etc. I have also searched land grants and probate records at the Archives. Michael McGrath's born in 1839 have showed up on shipping records and Massachusetts records but I have been unable to connect them to my quest. Michael's mother was Mary ‘Kitty’ Kenny. Any help appreciated.
I have searched for years to find the marriage record of my paternal grandparents. John Evans "Johnny" Feetham (1876-1945) and Margaret Ella "Etzie" Phelan (1876-1918). John worked for the CNR.
The family story is that the marriage date was June 1896 at St. Joseph's RC Halifax. This is because of a date on the bottom of a wedding gift and the belief it had to be Catholic. However I know it is my aunt's writing on the statue not something original. There is a wedding photo with no date taken at the studio of W.D. O'Donnell 117 Barrington St. Halifax.
I have searched St. Joseph's, St. Pats and St. Mary's Records with no luck. There are other marriages at St. Joseph's for that time frame questioning the argument that the records were lost in the Halifax Explosion. The NSVS site shows nothing. They are both present in the 1891 census but I can't find them in 1901 but do in 1911. John is found in McAlpine's City Directories and in the 1897-98 one seems to now be in his own house.
Back to Top
From Holly Gunn [Contact] re William TURNER (1794-1934) Annapolis County, NS
Background: I am compiling a genealogy of descendants of William Turner, born June 16, 1794 at Pells Farm House in Kingsdown in the County of Kent, twenty-one miles from London. He married Hannah Catherine Hiltz 24 November 1818 in Lunenburg, N.S. The marriage certificate states that William is a farmer from Murdoch's Point. William Turner died 24 April 1834 at the age of 40.
Brick Wall Question: Why and how did this William Turner come to Nova Scotia? Was he the same William Turner that received a military land grant in Dalhousie in 1817? Was he a disbanded soldier or Chelsea out pensioner who received a land grant in Dalhousie and left Dalhousie?.
William Turner and Hannah Catherine Hiltz: The William Turner that married Hannah Catherine Hiltz seems to have appeared out of nowhere. (Dalhousie??) There were no Turner families in the Gold River area at that time. The William Turner that married Hannah Catherine Hiltz did not own land in Lunenburg County although and his children were born there. His children were born in either (Murdoch's Point) Martin's River or Chester Grant, and most of these children settled in the New Ross area. The William Turner from Dalhousie has no children born in that area. In fact, he seems to have disappeared. Many of the early settlers from Dalhousie left. Many of the men married women in the St. Stephen's Parish in Chester.
William Turner in Dalhousie The William Turner from Dalhousie was described as one of the "late Soldiers of the Regiments of Infantry". "Unto William Turner the tract marked 21S." (Dalhousie Land Grant.) In May, 1821 William Turner's name was included on the petition of military settlers located at Dalhousie, who having complied with the requested Regulations are entitled to grants of land: 21S William Turner 100 acres. (RG 1. VOl. 230. Reel 15333). I have traced this land through the Annapolis Land Records, and it was mortgaged for sale in 1829. It is now Bowaters' land.
Allan's Comments: Turner
Why and how did William Turner come to Nova Scotia?
Back to Top
We are looking for any piece of information that will resolve the following question:
Is William Wilson of Gays River (1775-1858) one and the same as the William Wilson baptized May 1775 s/o William Wilson & Frances Clarke of Windsor Road?
The William Wilson of Gays River
The William Wilson of Windsor Road
SOURCES: William Wilson Sr.
SOURCES: William Wilson Jr.
Allan's Comments: WilsonBack to Top
Was William Wilson of Gay's River the same person as William Wilson Jr. of the Windsor Road, the latter being the son of William Wilson Sr.?
William Wilson of Gay's River: We know his wife's name, his occupation (farmer and mechanic), the names of three of his eight children, and the date he died. He is listed in the 1838 and 1851 census records for Gay's River.
William Wilson Jr. of Windsor Road: He was baptized in 1795, his occupation was carpenter, and he worked in Halifax in 1807 and in 1830. He sold land on the Windsor Road in 1841. Nothing more is known about him!
From David Horne [Contact] re: George Joseph Horne (b. abt. 1791)
I (David Alexander Horne) can trace my genealogy through Reginald Frederick Horne (1910 - 2007), Hugh Edward Horne (1875 - 1932), George Horne (1829 - 1910, married to Sarah Frost), to George Horne (abt. 1791 - ?, married to Maria).
Jacob Horn arrived in Halifax aboard the ship "Gale" in 1751, one of the Foreign Protestants. He married Francoise Savary in 1756, spent some time in Quebec and eventually settled in Eastern Passage where a son George Joseph was born in 1765.
From census data and the wills of George Joseph Horne (dated May 15, 1848) and George Horne (married to Maria, dated January 23, 1884) one could infer that George Horne (married to Maria) was the son of George Joseph Horne. The problem is, the only record of marriage for George Joseph Horne is to Rachel (Rogers) Cook on May 23, 1805. George Horne (married to Maria) is reported to have been born about 1791. However George Joseph Horne is also recorded to have had two daughters, Mary Ann (b. 1802) and Elizabeth (b. 1804), both of whom would have been born before George's marriage to Rachel. Could George Joseph Horne have been previously married and from that marriage have produced George (married to Maria), Mary Ann and Elizabeth. I have not been able to find any records to confirm such a marriage and would be grateful if I could be pointed in the right direction to find such evidence.
One other fact of interest is that I had my DNA analyzed several years ago and found a good match with Robert Horne of Eastern Passage who has traced his lineage directly to Jacob Horn through George Joseph Horne.
Ginny's Comments: Horne - Eastern Passage
Jacob [Horn] & Francoise [Savary]
George Joseph 1765-1848 md ? [md 1805 Rachel Rogers Cook]
Where did Abraham Rhodes come from and where did he go?
My ancestor was Abraham Rhodes, also written Abram Rhoades, Rhoads and Rodes. He was a discharged soldier of the 40th British Regiment and on the muster rolls of "Discharged Officers and Disbanded Soldiers and Loyalists", taken in the County of Annapolis between the 18th and 29th day of June, 1784. He is found in the Grantee Index as Rhoades, Area 7 Greywood showing he received a land grant in Clements Township, Map 21 (Annapolis and Digby Counties), Annapolis Township.
Previously, Abraham was on the list of payrolls of the 40th British Regiment, dated "Philadelphia 15th March 1778" and apparently served during the Battle of Germantown (Pennsylvania) on October 4, 1777. A previous muster roll taken on May 5, 1777 shows him at Perth Amboy (New Jersey); and, earlier still he was at Staten Island on July 14, 1776. The 40th Regiment of Foot was sent to East Florida in November 1778 while six companies were sent to Antigua in July 1779; the remainder went to Barbados. They departed in 1781 for Great Britain.
The Old Granville Township Book shows his marriage to Mary Barton on November 25, 1785. Mary was probably widowed at the time of her marriage to Abraham Rhodes, as three children were baptized at Granville in 1790: Elizabeth, the daughter of Mary Rhodes, along with John & Thomas, sons of Mary and Abraham Rhodes. According to the Old Granville Township Book, Elizabeth Rhodes was born May 6, 1784 and listed as the daughter of Mary Rhodes. Abraham was not listed as her father and most likely was Mary's daughter by a previous marriage.
The FOSTER GENEALOGY by Reginald Foster, published in 1899, gives Ezekiel Foster's wife as Elizabeth Dring; however, the New Granville Township Bookindicates Ezekiel's marriage was to Elizabeth Rhodes. In another source, Ezekiel Foster's wife is listed as Mary Elizabeth Dring, daughter of Joseph. Also noted, Calnek's HISTORY OF ANNAPOLIS gives Ezekiel's wife as Elizabeth Bacon, daughter of Joseph Dring.
On March 5, 1820 land in Annapolis Co. was transferred (sold) by Abraham Roads to his son, John, for the sum of Five Pounds. Further, son John Rhoads (1825): Petitioner is a native of Granville, Annapolis Co., is upwards of thirty years old, married, and has four children. He asks for a certain lot in River Philip, Cumberland Co. This lot was formerly laid off for John Baret who left the province two years ago.
John Rhodes & Others (1828): Included in petition is John McColla of River Philip, asking for grant of land on which he is settled. Draft grant includes 900 acres near River Philip - grantees include: John Rhodes (200 acres), John McColla (200 acres), Nathan Benett (200 acres), James Rhodes (100 acres) & John McDonald (200 acres). John's brother, James Rhodes was married to Abigail Bacon who is buried at Upper Canard, Kings County. John McColla was married to John's sister, Ruth Rhodes.
The National Archives in Ottawa was unable to provide further information such as where Abraham might have enlisted, and I have been unable to find any records showing what happened to him after he turned land over to his son in 1820.
Abraham Rhodes was the great-grandfather of Nova Scotia Premier Edgar Nelson Rhodes (1876-1942). In an address by W. H. Chase at the opening ceremonies of the Public Archives of Nova Scotia on January 14, 1931, it is written "Premier Rhodes referred to the crying need of this province for an Archives building." The author goes on to say "I would beg to state my indebtedness to my friend Premier Rhodes, for the suggestion of thought; it is he who has taken upon himself the burden of the work in getting suitable plans". In view of his desire and need for a building, it puzzles me he didn't deposit his own family history.
Allan's Comments: Rhodes
Abraham Rhodes, discharged soldier of the 40th Regiment, land in Clements Twp, 1784
Where did he come from and where did he go?
Back to Top
From Sandy Loughman [Contact] re Parentage of John Benjamin b 1810 NS
There are 4 Nova Scotia Benjamin males who are born in the early 1800's without parentage including my 2nd G Grandfather, John Benjamin B 1810 NS, married to Mary "Edith" Nichols, B 1812, Macaan, Southampton, NS. John and Mary married in 1832 at the Methodist Church in Parrsboro. Their marriage certifiated states John was "late of Horton, Kings County". They migrated after their marriage to Brighton Parish, New Brunswick and then on to Aroostock County, Maine, where John is listed as an early pioneer. The theory is that John, and these 3 other Benjamin males, might be brothers and the sons of Ebenezer Benjamin B 1785, son of Caleb, son of Obadiah, one of the early planters of Gaspereau Valley, Kings County, NS.
On an 1810 petition for land on College Lake in Antigonish, Ebenezer Benjamin (And others) was listed as having a "wife and 2 children". In 1811, this land was sold to Samuel Cunard (Shipping magnate) and Ebenezer's wife on the land deed was listed as Latrasia (Tracy nickname). No maiden name was indicated for her. From 1811 until 1823 Ebenezer married Elizabeth Pineo, B 1786, by a Methodist minister on Nov 1823, Wilmot, there is no information available for Ebenezer Sr during these 13 years. (Note: Many records have listed Elizbeth as dying on Nov 1823, but recent census information places her living in Springfield, NS when she was over 80 years old)
Family descendants of the 3 other Benjamin males born in Nova Scotia have been contacted via email or met together on my many trips to this beautiful province. The three other Nova Scotia males missing parentage in the early 1800's are:
George "Nelson" Benjamin B 1813 Shubenacadie, NS married Caroline Porter Lived in Scots Bay most of his life My cousin's 37 marker YDNA is a match with this family line Descendants don't know parentage or burial place. I've met them in June 2010
William Henry Benjamin B 1814 Possibly Shubenacadie or Annapolis County married Elizabeth Woods - Migrated to Gardner's Creek NB - about 1836 (Same time period as John Benjamin) Descendants have been searching for parentage about 18 yrs. Buried near Gardner's Creek in the family cemetary
Joseph Benjamin B between 1815-1820 - Migrated with William to NB and then Maine - Bachelor - Buried with William in the family cemetary near Gardner's Creek, NB No parentage listed. Joseph may be his middle name.
Census, migration, and given names point, again, to the line of Caleb Benjamin B 1759, son of Obadiah, and Ebenezer Benjamin, B 1785, Gaspereau Valley/Mountain, NS.
Allan's Comments: BenjaminBack to Top
Four men named Benjamin born in Nova Scotia between 1810 and 1820
Who were their fathers? One would expect the father or fathers to have been born during the period 1760 to 1800
Five Benjamins who could be the father or the fathers are:
Barbara Northan [Contact] re Deborah (Pierce) Wynn b 1816 Nova Scotia
My brick wall is my 2g-grandmother. We believe her to be Deborah Pierce, born 28 October 1816 per the 1901 census. Earlier census records indicate birth between 1817 - 1824. She may have been born in Earltown, Colchester County.
She married Matthew Johnston Wynn of Wallace, Cumberland County (no marriage record found). Their first known child was born in 1837. She was a widow in 1871. She is not listed in the 1907-1908 directory or 1911 census, so died between 1901 and 1907.
Their children were John Pierce, Mary Ann, Bethia, Rachel A., Margaret Jane Berry, Peter, Matthew William, Robert James Harrison, Deborah Rebecca Harrison, and Joseph Pierce.
John Pierce was baptized in St. James Anglican Church, Pictou; most of the others were Methodist, baptized in Wallace.
Allan's Comments: Wynn
Deborah Pierce, wife of Matthew Johnston Wynn, born 28 October 1816
When did she die?Check:
Was her last name Pierce?Check:
I am trying to prove a Mayflower descent. Using the Silver Books and the Liverpool Township books I can get from Stephen Hopkins to Mary Foster who married a Charles Atkins, probably in Liverpool in 1818. I can also prove that my 2g-grandparents were Charles and Eloise (Burke) Atkins. What I have not been able to demonstrate is the relationship between the two Charles Atkins.
Charles Atkins Senr (died 22 Nov 1879, aged 85 years)
Mary wife of Charles Atkins (died 10 Mar 1856, aged 58 years)
Charles Atkins Jr (died 17 May 1852, aged 28 years)
Ellowisa wife of Charles Atkins Jr (died 21 Feb 1854, aged 27 years)
All of the above are buried in the Port Medway Cemetery. Also a note that a possible daughter of Charles and Eloise (Burke) Atkins, Cecilia, is listed in the 1871 census living with Charles and Deborah Atkins. Charles is 77 in the census. The Atkins were Baptists which limits the church records available
Ginny's Comments: Atkins Liverpool, NS
Is Charles the son of Charles?
I have been unsuccessfully searching for Ada Spicer, born 8 April 1858 Falmouth, NS. Baptist. Parents: Amy Lank and Jos. Spicer. Know there are many Spicers in Nova Scotia.
Married at age 15 to Sidney Smith, age 22 on 26 Sept. 1872 Berwick, NS.
Mother of 7 living children: Albert Clifford, known as Cliff (b. 1874-d. Oct. 1956-Boston) ; Mabel Augusta (b. 30 Jul 1876); Florence (b. 1879); Fanny Lu (b. 1881); Cecil (b. 15 Aug. 1885, d. Sept. 1987-Boston); Lester (b. 1893-D. 1971 MA); and Aubrey-older than Lester...no dates known.
Ada disappears after the mysterious death at sea of Sidney in 2/1895. Eldest son, Albert Clifford Smith is by now in Boston, MA and all of the siblings eventually leave NS and go to Boston. Clifford brings up the youngest child, Lester, b. 1893. after age 7. He has made annual trips to Boston with Smith relatives each year before he comes to stay. (Have copies of shipping/passenger records).
Have used every available on line source as well as the New England Genealogical and Historical Society Library in Boston and have consulted with their staff for help. Do have a photo copy of her marriage cert to Sidney. Even tho Sidney was a Presbyterian, it was a Baptist ceremony for the marriage. Family lore is that Sidney was mutinied and thrown over board and that Ada went back to the blanket..i.e back to her people.
I have hopes of eventually visiting Nova Scotia. Joined GANS in hope of finding Ada Spicer...my great great grandmother. I live in East Sandwich, MA on Cape Cod. My Smith line left Newport, RI for NS in May of 1760. My Smiths settled in Hants, NS and married into the Gilmore line. (Rev. Geo Gilmore-Presbyterian)
Ginny's Comments: Spicer/Smith Kings County - what happened to Ada?
*Why would Aubrey bring Lester as small boy to Boston unless Ada was dead?
Maybe she went to Boston and couldn't take care of little ones so left them with her family in NS?
If she went back to her family, then try Falmouth and Berwick records.
Sources for Query #4
Additional Query read at the meeting of 16 October 2010
From Pat SMYTH—Surname: Macdonald or Leggett. He joined Montgomery's Highlanders after father killed at Culloden under Macdonald name but used Leggett in late 1700's in Ireland.A Loyalist, Robert Macdonald/Leggett arrived in Nova Scotia after the American Revolution. He had settled in North Carolina with other Highlanders c 1762 such as flora Macdonald in area near Fayetteville.
He married a Una Stewart ( Stuart) in either Halifax North Carolina or Halifax Nova Scotia.
Some time after arriving in Nova Scotia but maybe before receiving land they boarded a ship intending to return to Scotland. They settled instead in Wicklow/Wexford area of Ireland.
Robert's grandsons John and Robert Leggett emigrated to Leeds County Ontario as Loyalists in 1817.
I have not been able to find the regiment he fought with or any conclusive Revolutionary war information yet.
WHAT I HOPE TO FIND
Note: Another member of the family has proven the Loyalist connection.
Allan's Comments: MacDonald / Leggett
The person submitting the query does not indicate the sources for any of the information given in the query.
If we assume that he/she has sources for the information, one could suggest the following:
If Robert Macdonald/Leggett did live in North Carolina prior to the Revolution, and came to Nova Scotia after the Revolution, he very likely submitted a claim for his losses. Check Loyalist Claims A.O.12 and A.O.13.
If this Macdonald/Leggett was with Montgomery's Highlanders (the 77th Regiment, disbanded in 1763) and then joined another Highland Regiment in 1775 (probably the 84th), there could be some record of him in British Army Registers (W.O.25) or in Chelsea Pensioner Records (W.O.97).
Needless to say there are numerous land grants for Macdonalds in Nova Scotia but only three for Leggetts who appear to have settled in Country Harbour, Guyborough County in 1784. Country Harbour was settled by disbanded soldiers from North Carolina in 1784. Check the records of this family to see if they have any connection to Macdonalds.
Check the marriage records for North Carolina for the marriage of Robert Macdonald to Una Stewart/Stuart. There is no such marriage recorded in Nova Scotia records.
Additional Query read at the meeting of 26 October 2010
From Miriam (RUSSELL) FANCEY—Surname: Russell.
Our family has been searching for years to find death, marriage or birth records for Robert RUSSEL / RUSSELL to try to determine his parents and siblings. I would be really grateful if you could point me in another direction to continue my search or let me know if I have overlooked something obvious.
Robert was born in Scotland, married (may have eloped with the daughter of the farm where he worked as a laborer) and had 5 children there. He had a good job as paper maker in Ayton, Berwickshire, Scotland but emigrated in 1831 with his family to Nova Scotia. There is information that he may have come to Nova Scotia with his brothers who were stone masons, to work on the Shubenacadie Canal but it is my understanding that work on the canal had stopped by this time. Robert and his family settled in Glengarry (near Dryden Lake), Pictou County, Nova Scotia. He may have run a mill in the area for a while but was listed as a farmer according census returns.
He lived in Glengarry all his life, was presbyterian and may have been a prominent freemason. He could be buried on the family farm as we cannot find him or his first wife in the local cemeteries. Many earlier family members are buried in the Marshdale Cemetery in Hopewell area.
Over the years we feel we have searched the obvious sources and my father, Rev. Stewart Russell, and I even visited the Chirnside area in Scotland but really just enjoyed the area without finding out any more relevant information.
Thanks for considering this request,Miriam (Russell) Fancey
Allan's Comments: Robert Russell Sr
Find records of his birth, marriage, death, and parents
The person submitting the query did not indicate what sources had been researched except that census records had indicated that Robert Russell was a farmer in Pictou County.
I found a Robert Russell in the 1838 and 1851 census records living in the Middle River district of Pictou County. He was not listed in the 1861 census for Pictou County.
There is no death notice for a Robert Russell in the Presbyterian Witness or in the Colonial Standard newspapers.
There is no cemetery inscription for a Robert Russell in Ritchie's Pictou County cemetery inscriptions.
No Robert Russell petitioned for a grant of land in Nova Scotia but a Robert Russell Sr transferred the deed of land at Middle River, Pictou County, to his sons John and William by his will dated 19 May 1865.
Robert's will on mfm reel 19,936 indicated that he made the will on 23 March 1858 and that the will was proved on 19 May 1865.
Robert's estate papers (mfm reel 19,993) proved to be the most important source because one of the witnesses to his will submitted a letter to the Probate Court in which he stated that Robert Russell Sr. died at Middle River in 1860.
Directions for determining Robert's birth and marriage information:
According to gravestone inscriptions for two of his sons, they were born in Berwickshire, Scotland. Research will have to be done on the Presbyterian church records in Chirnside, Berwickshire and environs to find Robert's birth and marriage records and the names of his parents.
Additional Query read at the meeting of 23 November 2010
From William (Bill) Farquhar—Surname: Grant.
Death of Isabelle (Sabean) GRANT: between 1901 - 1908?
Allan's Comments: Isabelle Grant
What is the date of her death?
Living in Weymouth North in 1901 but her name does not appear in the 1911 Census. No death record in Nova Scotia Vital Statistics for her between 1908 and 1911. According to Mr. Farquhar there is no obituary for Isabelle in the Digby Courier.
Always keep in mind that she may be described as Bell, Bella, Isabel, and Isabella