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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Carmichaels Revisited Part III

Francis and Elizabeth Keillor Carmichael were m. c. 1794 in Aberlour, Scotland, according to the above researcher (see part II). They had 9 children:

          *Thomson (1796-1861) m. in 1826 Elizabeth Barbara Hubley (1806-1881)                     – 15 children
           David (1799-?)
           Mary Ann (1799-1874) m. William McCabe (1799-1876)
           Robert (1800-?)
           Isobel (1801-1864) m. Robert Murray (1792-1884) (s/o the above Isobel                                 Carmichael and James Murray) – 8 children
           James (1803-?)
           Elizabeth Catherine (1804-1877) m. in 1829 William Mahy (1801-1873)
           John (1806-?)
           Isaac (1808-1887) m. in 1831 Jane Hamilton (1818-?)- 10 children

In attempting to follow some of the people in these families, I either found too many people with the same name and in the same approximate time line or I didn’t find anything at all. In the case of David, I found many by that name but no other defining information to help determine David’s parents. I’ve included only the ones I have found verifiable info on. Since *Thomson is the eldest and the line I am following, I will leave him till the end of this generation.

·       David (1799-?) Closest possibilities were Spouse – Elizabeth Unknown and 2 sons: Robert W. (1850-1867) and David (1848-1868) Info from Toney River, Pictou, NS
·       Mary Ann Carmichael m. William McCabe; their daughter, also Mary Ann (no dates) m. Alexander Ross in 1858 in Loch Broom, Pictou Co. , NS  No further info
·       Robert (1800-?) Found little info on any Robert
·       Isobel Carmichael m. Robert Murray. Most of their children were b. in Merigomish, NS. Robert is the s/o James Murray who m. Isobel Carmichael, d/o William, making this Isobel and Robert 1st cousins.
·       James (1803-?) Name too common to determine any relationship
·       Elizabeth Catherine Carmichael m. William Mahy. A son, James, was b. in 1839 in Fisher’s Grant, Pictou Co., NS
·       John (1806-?)There are a great many men named John. I found several ‘John Thomson’s’ but not enough additional info to provide any further research.
·       Isaac Carmichael m. Jane (Jenette) Hamilton; children: Sarah Jane m. Kenneth MacLeod; Mary B. m. David Dow; John Robert m. Margaret Raymond; David W. m. Cassie Fraser; Isabel m. Robert Douglas; James H. m. Elizabeth Mullins; George Henry m. Christy Ann Mullins; Isaac and Alexander – no info on these last two children.

Now, back to *Thomson

*Thomson and Barbara had 15 children:
          Henry Edward (1827- bef 1850)
          Frederick Hubley (1830-1911) m. Jane Faulds (c. 1833-1921) –                                                        12 children
          John George (1831- by 1871) m. in 1869 Teressa Shaw (1850-?); John                                            was a mariner, a Captain
          James Thomson (1832-1881) m. in 1862 Susan Roberts (1832-1913) –                         6 children
          William (1833-1852) No further info
          Alexander Francis (1835-1927) m. in1867 Ellon Dillon – 7 children This                          family moved to CA
          Daniel (1837-?) No further info
          Charles (1839-1846) No further info
          Christina Isabella (1841-1920) m. in 1870 Robert Gordon (1841-1882)                           Moved to Revere, MA
          Hannah C. (1845-1937) m. in 1872 Thomas Gordon (1842-1840) b/o                                                Robert, above; Moved to Somerville, MA
          Mary Jane (1847-1894) m. in 1875 Thomas D. Hardy (1849-1916) –                                                5 children. They remained in the Jordan River, Shelburne, NS area.
          Barbara (1849-?) A possibility that she married a Jones; insufficient                               evidence for proof
          *Henry Gordon (1850-1910) m. Mary Ellen Scarr ( - ) – 8 children – my                                             branch of this family which will follow in another segment
          Elizabeth (1851-?) – Possibly married an Isnor; insufficient                                                               evidence for proof
          Andrew (1852-?) – Can find no reference to this name; possibly a middle                       name

Siblings: Captain John George Carmichael and Mary Jane Carmichael Hardy

I find, as I go along, that more material comes to light. To do justice to the Nova Scotia Carmichaels, I want to do more than just list names. So to continue, I’m going to present Francis again, but in an expanded form. Then I’ll do the same for Thomson and finally for Henry Gordon, my gt. grandfather. This blog has taken on a life of its own. I never intended for it to become so huge, but there is ample information available that will make these people so much more than names on a paper. At this point, I’ve added the references I’ve used in all three parts so far presented.

1861, 1871, 1881, 1891 Canadian Censuses

1880, 1900, 1910, 1920 US Federal Censuses

The Carmichael Clan Association

The Ordnance Gazetteer

Carmichael: A History of the Parish and its People Vol. 1 and 2

Kathryn Heaton Wells

Life of James William Carmichael and some Tales of the Sea

Find a Grave

Birth and death certificates

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Carmichaels Revisited Part II

I have found James Carmichael, parents unknown, born c. 1690, in Blairshannoch, Aberlour, Banff, Scotland. He married Elspeth Harper, parents unknown, c. 1717, in Aberlour. I have found five children for them, all born in Aberlour.

*James and Elspeth Harper Carmichael had children:
          *William, b. 1717, d. Jul 29 1780, m. Dec 12 1749 in Mortlach, Scot. to                          Isobel Thomson, b. Mar 10 1725, d. aft. Oct 4 1774
           ^Peter, b. Apr 1, 1719, d. Jan 1, 1792, m. Jan 3 1782 in Inveravon, Banff,                               to Mary Stronach, b. 1702, d. Jun 20 1802. Their son James,                               (1752-1836) m. Jean Anderson (1761-1838)
           Margaret, b. Nov 25, 1723, d. bef. Mar 1725
           Margaret, b. bef. Mar 19 1725, d. ?
           John, b. bef. Mar 24 1728, d. 1746, Culloden, Scot.
^I found the name Peter to be used interchangeably with the name Patrick. It isn’t clear if the name was Peter Patrick, Patrick Peter, or whether one was a nickname for the other. Or there could be other reasons not yet understood by me.

To follow this line, I will proceed with *William. He and his spouse, Isobel Thomson had 10 children:
          Elizabeth (1750-?)
          John (1750-?) m. in 1776 Elspet Hepburn – 4 children
          Elspet (1753-?)
          James (1755-1836) m. in 1771 Ann McKenzie (1748-1830) – 5 children
          Isabel (1757-?) m. in 1778 James Murray (1747-?)– 8 children
          William (1759-?)
          Alexander (1761-?) m. in 1787 Margaret Achoindach+
          *Francis (1764-1838) m. in 1794 Elizabeth Keillor (1778-1838) – 9 children
          Mary (1771-?)
          Mallie (1772-1834)
+ There is a location in Scotland called Achindach
  • ·       John and Elspet Hepburn Carmichael had at least 4 children: John, William, Isobel and Alexander, all born in Banff, Scotland.
  • ·       James and Ann McKenzie Carmichael had at least 5 children. James and Ann immigrated c. 1778 to Pictou County, Nova Scotia. James is credited with being one of the founders of New Glasgow, NS. Their children were: Isabella, James, William, Ann and an unknown child.
  • ·       Isabel and James Murray had 8 children, all born in Banff, Scot. They were: John, Isabel, Margaret, Mary, Alexander and James (twins), Robert and Francis. All were born in Aberlour, Banff, Scot. Robert is found in Nova Scotia later on. He marries another Isabel  Carmichael, dau. of Francis. This Robert and Isabel were 1st cousins. He died there in 1884 at Fraser’s Mount, New Glasgow, NS. Other of this family may have also immigrated to NS, but I haven’t tracked them. From three fairly large gaps in the birth years of the children, it’s likely there were more children in this family.
  • ·       Alexander and Margaret Achoindach Carmichael – no further information
  • ·       Francis and Elizabeth Keillor Carmichael immigrated to Nova Scotia around 1798, when their son Thomson was about 2 years old.

       Home of another James Carmichael, grandson of James and Ann, New Glasgow, NS

                    From Researcher: Kathryn Heaton Wells:
                    Fisher's Grant cemetery;  Francis was granted 200 acres of land in                                        1792 {NS Land Petitions}   Francis Carmichael, b. July 13, 1764 in                                           Mortlach, Banffshire, Scotland; d. Nov 16, 1838 in Fisher's Grant,                                           Nova Scotia.  He was the son of William Carmichael and Isobelle                                           Thomson.  He m. Elizabeth Keillor.
                    Elizabeth Keillor, b. c. 1778 in Mortlach or Aberlour, Banff, Scotland; d. Nov 23,                     1838 in Pictou, Nova Scotia.
          Notes for Francis Carmichael:
                    BURIED:   Fisher's Grant Cemetery, Nova Scotia
                    OCCUPATION:    Farmer
                    NOTES:  Mortlach has one of the oldest churches in Scotland, established in                         566 A.D. by the missionary Saint Molaug, a Culdee  Christian from the isle of                         Lismore and a contemporary of Saint Columba from the isle of Iona.
                    According to info. sent to me, Francis & Eliz. Keillor Carmichael moved to Nova                     Scotia about 1798 when son Thomson was only 2 yrs. Francis brother James                       was one of the founders of Pictou, Nova Scotia.  Sgt. James of the 82                                     Regiment, (or Hamilton Regiment) was given a land grant in Merigomish in                             1785 containing 200 acres of land.  Many of the regimentals had been                                   stationed at Halifax, with the exception of an expedition to Casco Bay, Maine.                        There was a contingent who were employed in the Southern States. The                     worst event to befall the reg't was the shipwreck of a transport on the coast,                           near New York when of 300 men aboard the ship, only 18 were saved. They                         were taken off of the rigging to which they had clung for a long time. The                                regiment was disbanded at Halifax at the end of the war. A large tract of land                          was set aside for them in Pictou, mainly the grants of Fisher and others, which                     had just been escheated, in spite of the efforts of Wentworth who tried to                                maintain the titles of the old grantees, but only succeeded in upholding his                              own. It included Fisher's Grant, Chance Harbour, Little Harbour, and                                      Merigomish. It was said to contain 26,030 acres in all.  
                    PROOF: I viewed Aberlour Parish Records to confirm Birth & Marriage                                    Records; Cemetery records at Hector Center, Pictou, Nova Scotia;  More                               information about this is written in the book "The history of Pictou County".                             Also see: " Loyalist and Land Settlements in Nova Scotia".   
                    Notes for Elizabeth Keillor:
                    BURIED:   Probably at Bridgewater Cemetery, Bridgewater, Nova Scotia

Elizabeth Keillor is a brick wall. Days of research have given me only clues and  theories. One article I read stated that Keillor was a sept of the MacKellar clan, but I found nothing to confirm this. I found many Keillors in Angus, Scotland and Australia, but nothing that would shed any light on Elizabeth. I did locate a place called Inverkeillor in Angus. So far all things seem to point to this name being a corruption of Kellar.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Carmichael revisited Part I

According to The Carmichael Clan Association there is only one source of the name “Carmichael” and that is territorial or geographical in origin from the northern edge of the southern Uplands in Scotland.

In the year 1058, Queen Margaret chose an ancient hill fort or ‘caer’, in a prominent location close to the main route from the border, for the site of one of her first six churches to be established in the see of Glasgow. She dedicated the church to St. Michel and the district and its people became ‘of Caermichel’ when surnames became necessary in the 13th century.

In the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries, Carmichaels traveled widely. Some went to Galloway where they became kinsmen of the Stewarts of Galloway. Later they moved northward to Lismore and Appin and became kinsmen of the Stewarts of Appin and the McDougals. Further movements brought them to Ireland, the Americas, European countries and Australia. In 1997, the world-wide Carmichael population was estimated at over 42,000 with half the residents in the USA, a quarter in the UK, 10% in Canada and the remaining in Australia/Asia, Europe, and also South Africa.

The Ordnance Gazetteer for Scotland, published well over one hundred years ago, described Carmichael as a hamlet and a parish of south central Lanarkshire. It was also described as 4 ¾ miles from N to S and covering more  than 11,000 acres, of which 50 ½ are water.

From Carmichael: A History of the Parish and its People Vol. 1, there is a variety of spellings, including Carmychell (1374), Carmychale (1410), Carmichel (1470 & 1518), Cayrmichel and Cayrmychell (1474), Carmychel (1485), Carmichell (1494), Kermychell (1497), Carmechele (1517), Carmychall (1575), Carmighell (1590), Carmigell (1646), Carmichaill (1672), and Carmichaell (1684). There are also undated spellings of Karemigel, Kermikel and Kermighel. Universally, spelling wasn’t standardized until the mid-to late 1800’s. Many early documents show that even common words were spelled in various ways within the same paragraph. Once spelling became standardized, surnames soon followed and today, the family name is now accepted as Carmichael.

The lands of Carmichael were once held by Sir James de Douglas in 1321, by a Charter of Robert I. William de Carmichael, as a vassal under the Lords of Douglas, is mentioned in a charter in 1350 and his son, John de Carmychell had a charter of Carmychell lands, from William, Earl of Douglas, between 1374 and 1384. This John became the 1st Baron of Carmichael. John died before 1410 and his brother William succeeded him. Carmichael is considered a Cadet of the Douglas Clan. Generally, Cadet refers to relationships through female lines. There have been many marriages between the two families over the last 900 years or so, that would definitely give credence to this claim.

To continue with William (from above), who had a son John, who married Lady Mary Douglas, daughter of Earl George Douglas. John fought with the French against the English and died in 1436 leaving three sons, William, Robert and John. From William, descend the Carmichaels of Meadowflat and from John, descend the Carmichaels of Balmedie, Fife. Other sources also indicates that Robert possessed land in the county of Fife.

The Carmichaels who came to Nova Scotia in the 1790’s were from Aberlour and other places in Banffshire. Since I had not been able to connect them to the Lanarkshire Carmichaels with any certainty, I sent a quick query to the Carmichael Clan office to see if they knew of a connection and could point me to some information to research. I received a very nice reply from Clan Chief Richard, himself, which said: “Your Aberlour Carmichaels are (I think) still there in Banffshire. Check out the Carmichael worldwide database for more details. From memory they are descended from the Carmichaels of Balmedie in Fife and were in Banffshire before 1650.”

And so started my journey.  I have gone over records from Fife and Banff dating back to 1600 but, as yet, have found no solid connection to the Carmichaels my family claims to be theirs. So rather than hold up the completion of this blog I will put in what I have found but will continue to search for more information. However, this blog has become extremely long so I will break it into pieces making it more manageable for all.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Chambers Family Revisited


Robert Chambers is referred to as The Old Soldier and is apparently the immigrant from Scotland. Some say the name was originally Chalmers, but I have not found a reliable source that verifies this claim. His wife’s name was Margaret but her maiden name remains a mystery. It is believed they had several children, some of whom were born in Scotland. Some older written histories indicate Robert was from Lanarkshire, another bit of unverified information. However it does give a place to start more intensive research and I have found families of Chambers in Peebles, a small town in Lanarkshire. All of what follows in this blog is based on data found in Nova Scotia, Tatamagouche, Wallace, Wallace Bridge, Sand Point and other communities in Colchester County.

Another important point to reference is that, as far as can be determined, this Chambers family is not connected to the Chambers family who migrated here from Newport RI. That group of colonists left RI when many others left New England to take advantage of the free land given away by King George. They settled in a very different part of Nova Scotia. In the History of Tatamagouche, by Frank H. Patterson, LL.B., Robert Chambers arrived in NS in the early 1800’s and by 1802, it was recorded that he held 430 acres, 230 at Brule Harbor and 230 at Chambers Point. By1806 he had received a deed to land.  He was the first person in Tatamagouche to receive a free hold title rather than a lease. Another theory that appears to have no solid evidence is that Chambers was related to Joseph Frederick Wallet DesBarres, who was a land holder and governor of PEI and Cape Breton. In one of his biographies, it is stated that James Chalmers was his son-in-law. At this point of my research, I have found no connection between Robert Chambers and James Chalmers. The time line of this doesn’t really match either. But something could still show up as more records are found and shared. However, the histories do state that Robert was a good friend of DesBarres and this may be why he received the first free hold title of land. It could also indicate they were related, but still there is no verification. I also have to consider that a Scotsman might have pronounced his name is such a way that it ‘sounded like’ Chalmers. If we take out the ‘a’ sound in Chambers and substitute it with an ‘aw’ sound or something similar, we could easily come up with a name that sounds like Chalmers but is actually spelled Chambers.                                   

                          The Chambers land was along the shore on the north side.

The sons of Robert Chambers and his wife, Margaret, were Samuel and James. No daughters or other sons have surfaced yet. James left for New Brunswick where he died, unmarried. It is quite possible that he is the James Chambers who is accredited with building the first ship in Tatamagouche, a small schooner of 16 tons, called the “Fish Hawk” in May 1818. His brother Samuel was born in 1783 in Scotland and may have been the eldest child. I will elaborate more on Samuel Chambers, even though I still have many blanks. He married Sarah Jane McBurnie (aka MacBurnie) c. 1803, most likely in Tatamagouche, NS. Sarah was b. 1786 and died at Sand Point, Colchester Co., NS in 1872. Samuel died in 1873 and he and Sarah are both buried at Sand Point Cem. Their children were:
          *Robert (c. 1805-1873) m. Catherine Millar (Millard) (c. 1808- bef. 1881)
          James (1807-?) m. Annie Patriquin (1821- ?)
          Samuel (1813-1896) m. Margaret Armstrong (1814 in Eng. - ?)
          Daniel Duncan (1815-1881) m. Catherine Unknown (1814-1850)
          David (1820-?) m. Nancy Agnes Foster (? - ?)
          Edward (1821-1894) m. Mary Ann Simpton (1822-1912)
          William (1821-?) m. Ruth Millman (1827-?)
          Catherine (1822-?) m. Benjamin Douglass (? - ?)
          John (1823-1904) m. Elizabeth Thompson (1821- 1911)
          Thomas (1830-?) m. Mary Ann Hingley (1829 - ?)

*Robert married Catherine ^Millar (Millard)
          Robert and Catherine do not appear on any of the available census records that I’ve been able to access. They had at least 8 children, all of whom were born in, around or near Tatamagouche, NS. On the land that his grandfather, Robert, received from DesBarres in 1806, he raised his family. Another stumbling block is not being able to discover any death or burial information on this couple.
{^There is a controversy on Catherine’s name. I’ve read as many sources as I can find and have discovered that Millar came from Scotland and Millard came with the Montbeliard immigration. Both spellings have been applied to Catherine but I haven’t determined her parentage yet, therefore, I also haven’t been able to determine whether the spelling is a clerical error, transcription error or  - is the incorrect spelling being applied as her surname. There is a land transaction, in 1854, where Edward Chambers (s/o Robert and Catherine) sold land in Barrasois to Peter Millard. Based on that, I’m leaning toward the name being Millard rather than Millar.

The children of Robert and Catherine were:
          Edward (1826-1918) m. in 1852 Rockland ME, Eliza Leggett (1826                                England – 1884)
          *James  (1830-1913) m. in 1852 Point Brule, NS, Sarah McPherson                                                 (1831- 1913)
          George (1832- ?)
          Elizabeth (1835- ?)
          Margaret (1836 - ?)
          John (1838 - ?)
          Sarah (1841 - ?)
          Robert (1845-1891) m. in 1870, Bridget Delahunt (c 1854 – 1891)

Edward’s occupation was listed as Shipwright and he is found in the USA Fed. census of 1850 in Bath ME. At that time, Bath had a huge ship building industry. When the work on the home front slowed down, there was always work to be had building ships in Bath ME. The men lived in boarding houses which lined the streets parallel to the Kennebec River. At one time there were over 200 shipyards, actively building ships. In 1852, he married Eliza Leggett who was b. in 1826 in Saxmundham, Suffolk, England. They were married in Rockland ME but were living in Memramcook, NB, by 1853 where their oldest child, Lorenzo, was born. A second child followed soon thereafter, George, b. 1855. However it appears as though George died as a young child, as he does not appear in the 1861 or 1871 Canadian census reports. Herbert Smith Chambers was the third child born. Then followed Matilda, Florence, Caroline (Carrie), Cynthia, Emma and Bessie. Catherine Chambers, mother of Edward is living with the family in the 1871 Canadian census. This could mean that Robert had died, which makes the death date of 1873 for him incorrect. I have been unable to locate a death record for him. In the Chignecto Post, Sackville, NB, Nov. 15 1883, it is recorded that Edward Chambers has sold his house and land to Capt. Erwin Buck and removed to Truro, NS. By 1881, Catherine has died, as she no longer appears in any census reports. Then in 1884, Eliza Chambers died. I haven’t been able to place Edward again until 1911 when he appears in the census, living with his oldest son, Lorenzo. Edward died in 1918 and is buried in Dorchester NB.

Edward and Eliza’s children:
          Lorenzo (1853 - ?) m. c 1875, Mary McKelvie (1852 - ?) – 15 children
          George (1855 - ?)
          Herbert S. (1858 – 1926 Vancouver BC) He was a diabetic amputee.                                                m. 1882, Sophia Gertrude Dixon (1863 - ?) – 4 children
          Matilda Sarah (1860 - ?) m. in 1878, John W. Smith (1849 - ?) -7 children
          Florence (1861 – bef 1911) m. in 1881, George Bishop ((1850 - ?)                                                    – 8 children
          Caroline (Carrie) (1864 – bef 1918) m. in 1883, David Crowe (1859 - ?)                         lived in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. – 2 children
          Cynthia (1867 - ?) {My note – Cynthia and Emma could be the same person, one                             being the first name and the other being a middle name. Or they could have                           been twins.}
          Emma (1867 - ?) m. in 1885, William Wade (1860 – aft 1922) – 2 children
          Bessie (1870- ?) m. in 1887, Frederick Forrest (1861 - ?) – 2 children

*James was also a ship builder and can be found in the 1850 Federal census for Bath ME along with his brother Edward. He returned to NS by 1852 when he married Sarah Jane McPherson at Point Brule, NS.

The children of James and Sarah were:
          *Alexander Scott (1855 – 1887) m. in 1878, Rebecca Cole (1854 - 1944)
          Emma Jane (1860 – c. 1913) m. in 1883, Edwin Hicks (1857 – 1906)
          Nancy Lavinia (1863 – 1946) m. in 1882, Beverly Thomas Vincent                                                      (1856 -  ?)
          John (1864 – 1864 ) @ 3 months
          William (1865 – bef 1930 in Jersey City NJ) m. 1890 in Bath ME, Elizabeth                     Blasland (1840 - ?) – 8 children
          James (1867 – 1869) @ 20 months
          George (1870 - ?) m. in 1890 Bath ME, Carrie Varney
          Ella May (1874 – 1946 in Westfield NJ) m1. in 1891 Portsmouth NH,                                                  Percy George Turner, m2. in 1904 NJ, Walter Tavenor

In the 1900 Fed. census for Jersey City NJ, it is stated that Sarah had been the mother of 13 children but only 5 were still living. So far, I’ve only been able to locate the names of eight children. By the 1900 census, I do know that *Alexander, John and James were no longer living. They were married for 3 years before *Alexander was born, which provides an opportunity for a child to have been born before him. Generally speaking, most married couples saw their first born within a year of their marriage.
*Alexander was b. in Nova Scotia but as a young child the family moved to Dorchester, NB where three prominent shipbuilders had busy shipyards. Alexander followed in his father’s foot steps as a shipbuilder/carpenter. At sometime after his marriage, he became a mariner, possibly because his brother-in-law, William E. Buck, was the Captain of various schooners. As the First Mate on the Arabella, they sailed to NY city with cargo and on the return trip, encountered a fierce storm off the Cape Cod coast and all was lost. His daughter, my grandmother, had just turned 7 years old.
Emma Jane married Edwin Hicks, a NB man who had moved to Brooklyn NY to work in the shipyards there. They had three daughters, the youngest being Eva, who died when she was 4. Edwin died in 1906, leaving Emma and the two daughters on their own. The 1910 Fed. census show both girls, Ada and Stella, employed as stenographers and Emma stated she had her own income. As yet, I’ve failed to find any further information of these women.
Nancy Lavinia married Beverly Thomas Vincent. His name has been written as Thomas Beverly, Thomas B. and Beverly T. as well. His occupation was reported as a cabin builder on one of the children’s birth records. This sheds no light on what type of cabins he built. Since they lived in Saint John, NB a cabin could be associated with ships, as opposed to the type built in the more remote rural areas, far from where he lived.
William married Elizabeth Blasland in 1890, Bath, ME. He was a carpenter/shipbuilder and by 1900 had moved on to Jersey City, NJ where there were busy shipyards. By the 1920 census, there were 8 children, all still living at home. The oldest six were all girls and the youngest two were boys. The children were:
          Frederica (Freda) (1893 - ?)
          Ethel (1896 - ?)
          Gertrude (1897 - ?)
          Wilma (1899 - ?)
          Bessie (1900 - ?)
          Ida (1903 - ?)
          Walter (1906 - ?)
          Albert (1913 - ?)

William must have died sometime before the 1930 Fed. census as Elizabeth is found listed as a widow, living with Freda, Walter and Albert. From 1930 on, I’ve been unable to find any factual information about this family.
A George Chambers married a Carried Varney in Bath ME, however it is uncertain if this is the George who was the son of James and Sarah Chambers. Not enough information was given, yet the time lines were appropriate. Carrie’s father owned a lumber mill and it is within the realm of possibility that that a carpenter/shipbuilder would be acquainted with him. Work will continue on George and many of the others whose information is lacking.
Ella May married Percy Turner in Portsmouth, NH in 1891. Two daughters were born before Ella discovered that Percy was a bigamist. By 1900 she is in NJ living with her parents. It is believed that James went there because of the shipbuilding and she and the two girls went along. There, she eventually married Walter Tavenor and had a son, also named Walter.

The Westfield Leader, Jul 16 and Aug 27 1913


Death Certificates: James and Sarah Chambers

Supreme Court Record Truro, NS 1869

History of Tatamagouche, by Frank H. Patterson LL.B

Land Records

Topographical maps

Chignecto Post, Sackville, Nov 15 1883

Canadian Census 1861, 1871,1881, 1891

US Federal census, 1850, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

McPhersons of Nova Scotia

Although I have touched on this family name before, I’d like to revisit it. Over the course of time, more names and more information has come to light and it may help someone looking into the Nova Scotia McPhersons. It might also generate some feed back which will enhance my research, as well.

The earliest Mcpherson I can find in my family tree is Donald. I have found that many of the early records have been lost due to the ravages of time and the elements, so it has been a struggle. From the death certificate of my gt. gt. grandmother, Sarah McPherson Chambers, I was able to learn that her father was named Donald. As luck would have it, the one reporting her death did not know her Sarah’s mother’s name. So with the help of my sister and some of the neat answers she got to her letters of inquiry, I found that Sarah’s mother was Susan Hingley. It appears that Sarah might have been one of the first two or three children born to Susan Hingley and Donald McPherson. They lived in a rather remote area of Colchester Co., Nova Scotia at the mouth of the French and Waugh Rivers, in Tatamagouche, a Mi’kmaq term.

From the information that has been gathered, Donald was a farmer who was born in Nova Scotia around 1801. He married Susan Hingley sometime before or around 1830. As far as can be determined they had a family of at least eight.  Sarah, my gt. gt. grandmother might be the eldest. Some of my research points to her having a brother, Hugh, born a year after her.
Family Group Sheet for Donald McPherson
Husband: Donald (Daniel) McPherson
Birth: 1801 in Pictou, NS
Death: Aft. 1881 in Waugh's River, Colchester Co., NS
Father: Unknown McPherson
Wife: Susan Hingley
1F        Name: Sarah McPherson
            Birth: 22 Dec 1831 in NS
            Marriage: 1852 in Point Brule, NS
            Death: 20 Aug 1913 in Westfield, NJ
            Burial: 22 Aug 1913 in Fairview Cem., Westfield, NJ
            Spouse: James C. Chambers

2M       Name: Hugh McPherson
            Birth: Jan 1832 in Nova Scotia
            Death: 15 Mar 1917 in Sandville, NS
            Spouse: Amelia Hoeg

3M       Name: Alexander McPherson
            Birth: 01 Jan 1834
            Marriage: 14 Oct 1857
            Death: 25 Jul 1911 in Clinton, MA
            Spouse: Dorcas Seaman

4F        Name: Annie McPherson
            Birth: Abt. 1838

5F        Name: Nancy McPherson
            Birth: 10 Nov 1840
            Death: 30 Jul 1917
            Spouse: James McPherson

6F        Name: Hannah McPherson
            Birth: 19 Oct 1846 in Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia, Canada; Twin
            Burial: 1926 in West Sackville, NB
            Death: 24 Aug 1926 in West Sackville, NB
            Spouse: Roderick McLeod

7F        Name: Margaret McPherson
            Birth: 19 Oct 1846 in Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia, Canada; Twin
            Marriage: 1865
            Death: 19 Jul 1930
            Spouse: William Eagan

8 M      Name: William Roderick McPherson
            Birth: 1849 in Sand Point, NS
            Marriage: 30 Jan 1868 in Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia, Canada
            Death: Aft. 1872
            Spouse: Lilly Jane Tattrie

After some serious confusion over a dozen or more people named Donald McPherson, it cleared itself up with the 1881 Canadian census, where he was listed as Daniel. The people of the Maritime Provinces seem to use their middle names instead of their given names except for legal documents where they used their given names. When a census taker comes along and a head of house isn’t home, the person who gave the info gave the commonly used middle name. A research tip to self – always research both names if they are known.

1F      As indicated, Sarah McPherson Chambers didn’t stay in NS. They went to Wallace Bridge, NS where James was a mariner/ship builder. Their first son, my gt. grandfather, was born there. They moved to Dorchester NB where there were three ship yards. James worked for Hickman’s for about 30 years. Then they moved to Bath ME where the iron ships were being built. The sailing ships were being replaced by steamships. Their youngest daughter married and went to NJ to live. They soon followed and remained there until they both died, in their 80’s about 6 weeks apart. James and Sarah Chambers are buried in the Fairview Cem., in Westfield, NJ. Supposedly she had 13 children, but so far only eight names have been discovered. “The Westfield Leader” on Aug. 27, 1913 reported Sarah's death. She had been ill for two years. It says she was 82 and a native of NS. Their children were: All Chambers surname - Alexander Scott, Emma Jane (Hicks), Nancy Lavinia (Vincent), John, William, James, George, Ella May (Tavenor). Married names in ( ).

2M     Hugh McPherson is seen in the 1871 Canadian Census in Waugh’s River, NS with his wife Amelia (Hoeg) and his son Alexander. In the 1881 census for the same place he is shown with an additional 7 children. In 1891, his son Silas is still living in the household. In 1911, Hugh is living with his son Neil and his wife Lillian (Tattrie) and their 5 children. Hugh’s wife, Amelia is also listed. Their children were: All McPherson surname -  Alexander Scott, Susan, Annie (Mattatall), Neil, Daniel, Sarah, Thomas, Emma, William, Katie, Silas. I’ve been unable to find much more information about the children in this family. The possibility is that they immigrated to the States. This family is still a work in progress.

3M     Alexander McPherson moved to Clinton, MA and appears in the USA Fed census of 1880 living there with his wife Dorcas (Seaman), 4 children and a 16 year old niece, another Sarah McPherson. This Sarah is the right age to be the daughter of Hugh, mentioned above. He is listed as a carpenter. Two of his children and his niece are recorded as being employed at a carpet mill. His eldest child, James Chambers McPherson, has moved to Asheville, NC with his wife Emma (Trafford) and son, Jamie. James C. is listed as a Plumber/gas fitter. The children of Alexander and Dorcas were: All McPherson surname – James C., Susan, Daniel, Sarah, Emma, William, Lizzie Jane aka Jennie (McCracken). Susan apparently never married and was the informant on her father’s death certificate, Sarah died at the age of 3. There is also a birth record for Emma the same year as Sarah. I can find no further records on Emma but there is a death record for Sarah. Without evidence I can’t say they are the same person. However, this may be the use of a middle name rather than the given name. The other possibility is that they are twins. Daniel married and lived in Lynn, MA. He was a blacksmith for the railroad. There are no children listed for them. William stayed in the Worcester, MA area and, with his son, owned a fire Insurance business. Lizzie Jane or Jennie married Alpha MCracken, who was a fireman and they had 5 children.

4F      Annie McPherson is an unknown and may very well belong to a different Donald McPherson, of which there were many. She is still being researched in an effort to positively include her or eliminate her.

5F      Nancy McPherson has a birth year of 1840 and a marriage date of 1864 to James McPherson, a cousin, son of Neal and Margaret Hingley McPherson. According to all the census records found, all of her children were born in Nova Scotia. They were: Alexander, Mary, John (Mary and John were twins), Millie, Sidney, Stewart (Sidney and Stewart were twins), Daniel and Matthew. The family immigrated in 1881 to Bath ME where they remained. James was a carpenter, most likely associated with the ship building industry there. Their eldest son, Alexander, died shortly after they arrived in Bath ME at the age of 15. Their eldest daughter, Mary, never married and lived with a brother in the 1920’s. John stayed in Bath and worked at a foundry. Millie was married, divorced and back living with her parents by 1900. Sidney also stayed in Bath and also worked in a foundry.  Stewart was married and divorced by 1914. Daniel became a brick wall. There seems to be no record of him after arriving in Bath, ME. He doesn’t appear on any census as Daniel or by his middle name Herbert, nor do I find any death record. The last child was Matthew, an iron worker, who married and stayed in  Bath ME. Nancy died in 1917.

6F      Hannah McPherson was born in 1846 and was an identical twin to her sister Margaret. She married Roderic McLeod before 1872 and they had 5 sons. They lived in West Sackville, NB for most of their married life. Their children were: All surnames McLeod: William, Alexander, John, Zabud and Chester.  William was a blacksmith in a forging plant in Sackville, NB, later moving to New Glasgow NS. Alexander went to Vancour, BC where he died in 1950. I could only find the birth info on John and nothing further. Zabud married, had three children and died in 1935 in Sackville, NB. Chester, whose name is really Hazen Chester, married, had three children and died in 1967 in Sackville. Hannah died in 1926 and is buried in West Sackville, NB.

7F      Margaret McPherson, Hannah’s twin, married William Eagan in 1864 in Sackville, NB. They had 4 sons and 2 daughters, all born in NB. In 1892 they were in Bath ME, when one of their daughters married. Sometime during the early 1900’s they resettled in Brockton, MA. All of the children married and settled in the Brockton area, one of them in Needham, MA. According to a news article in my gt. grandmother’s book, the twin sisters hadn’t seen each other for twenty years and a reunion took place at their sister Nancy’s in Bath ME, sometime around 1910. The article said that the two so closely resembled each other that even people who knew them had a hard time telling them apart. Margaret died in 1930 and is buried in Brockton MA.

8M     William Roderic McPherson born in 1849, the youngest child of Donald and Susan. He married Lillian Jane Tattrie in 1868. They had three sons: Roderic, George and John Robert. William died sometime before 1881 when his wife and sons are recorded living with Donald (Daniel) and Susan McPherson at Waugh’s River in NS. I didn’t find a death record for him which leads me to believe he may have been lost at sea. My gt. grandfather was lost at sea and there is no death record listed for him either. Lilly remarried in 1888 to Samuel Buckler who was the son of William and Grizella McBurnie Buckler. Roderic moved to Boston and married in 1894. George was still living in Tatamagouche in 1934 when he was the informant on his mother’s death certificate.

Everyone of Donald’s children, except William, had a son named Alexander Scott. This would seem to indicate that someone of that name held some prominence within the family. For the time being, I am going to use this name as a theory that Donald’s father, the immigrant from Scotland, was named Alexander Scott. Perhaps that will open a few doors to further research and possibly lead to the area of Scotland from whence they came. 

                                      By Jvienneau at English Wikipedia, CC BY 2.5,                                                     

The Westfield Leader, Aug. 27, 1913

Federal Census records 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940

Canadian Census Records 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901

Bath ME, Vital Statistics

Colchester Co. Nova Scotia, Vital Staistics

Automated genealogy

Naturalization Records

Draft Registrations