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Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Reynolds Connection

First, I must apologize for the lack of credit on the Mulley’s Cove photo in my last post. I didn’t realize the credit wasn’t attached to the photo until AFTER I’d posted the blog. So to correct that, the photo was taken by Ron Thistle in 2002. There is a site for Thistle family members to check out if they wish.

Cecil Reynolds wrote a series of letters in the 1990s, while he was in his 90’s, concerning the families of Mulley’s Cove and many of the marriages and intermarriages that took place. These letters are a wealth of information, much of it about the life and times of growing up in Newfoundland. He had researched the Reynolds (also recorded as Rennolls) family and what he wrote about astounded me. This is what I learned.

James Reynolds (1749-1834) was born in Rockbeare, Devon, the 2nd son of the churchwarden. His older brother inherited the Devon lands and James was in need of an occupation. He became a bootmaker apprentice of the Lacey’s of Mulley’s Cove, in 1769. It is said that the Lacey’s made boots for the fishermen, boots similar to the type worn by the fishermen of the West Country, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall. James’ apprenticeship was to last for seven years and during this time he was to live with the family and had to remain unmarried. By the time his term was over, the American Revolution had begun.

Boats were hauled in and out of Mulley's Cove from this old wench. Photo provided by Jim and Glenda Thistle

Newfoundland did not have a sustainable agricultural economy. They depended on the colonies to supplies them with foods they couldn’t grow. With the War came the British blockades of the American ports, so very few supplies were reaching Newfoundland. James found that the Lacey’s were well supplied with items from Devon, so he signed on for another seven years. The fact that the Lacey’s were well connected in Devon and made boots similar to those of that region, suggests, but doesn’t prove that they may have originated in Devon.

So it was that James, finally a man on his own at the age of 33/34, was finally able to marry and settle down. Cecil Reynolds in his letters, says he found that James married a teenager named Elizabeth Kennedy and they had at least 4 children: Elizabeth who married John Slade; James Jr., who married an Elizabeth; Lot, who married a Hannah and John, no wife found yet.

James Jr. was the father of Esther Reynolds who married John Lacy/Lacey. This James, a fisherman, had 4 daughters and one son, but he doesn’t appear in records after his son was born. There seems to be no death record or grave, so it seems he might have been lost at sea. The children were Elizabeth, who married William King; Esther (above); Sarah Ann married James Thistle; Mary who may have died young; and James 3rd who married Jane King.

‘So now we have all these additional names to tackle: Kennedy, Slade, Thistle and King.  There’s Devon, Dorset and Cornwall to check out to see who might be connected to where. Then there’s always the interesting family tale that there were two branches of the Pye family who settled in Newfoundland – one from Herefordshire and the other from  - you guessed it – Devon and Cornwall.

And I thought my gt. grandmother was a brick wall. Well, knocking down that wall has opened up many more avenues that need to be pursued.  Have my pick, have my shovel – off I go!

Friday, December 20, 2013

One Brick Wall Down

A few months ago, I posted several names that were solid brick walls in my research. One of them was Elizabeth Rachel Lacy, my gt. grandmother. I had been unable to find any documentation for her for many years. I finally decided to go back to what my cousin, Pete, had originally said about her. My reasoning was that he had been the first born grandson of Jesse Pye, who was the son of my elusive Elizabeth. He had spent many years listening to Jesse talk about his relatives and life in Newfoundland and Labrador. Just because I couldn’t find anything to prove what he had written didn’t mean some or all of it was not true.

So, I started off at square one, as they say. Elizabeth, who went by her middle name, as seems to be the way in NFLD, which was Rachel. It was always a given that her name was Lacy and not Lacey. But for my search purposes, I looked at every, Elizabeth and/or Rachel who had a Lacy/Lacey last name. Now the next thing Pete had recorded was that her parents were known as John Lacy and his wife Esther Reynolds. Off I went to connect the dots or so I hoped.

To begin with, The Grand Banks site for NFLD has added quite a few more searchable records. This was an enormous help. I was able to extend my search to places I hadn’t been able to check on before. I was looking for a Murray Cove near Carbonear. But with more records, I stumbled upon Mulley’s Cove and hit the jackpot. Over the years, the location’s name had become corrupted in our family’s version of the story, so my searching was in the wrong place. As Dick Eastman suggested in a recent newsletter, family history can be lost in just three generations. In this case, thankfully, it wasn’t lost, but some definite distortions had occurred.  But here I found that John Lacey had married Esther Reynolds on Nov 13 1839. Then I went into the census and found my gt. grandmother, Elizabeth Rachel Lacey, b. Jul 27 1843 in Mulley’s Cove. Finally I had validation of who her parents were and that she had 10 siblings. I also discovered that her name was spelled Lacey in all the records, contrary to every thing our family tale reported. Long ago I had discovered that one needed to look for every variation of the spelling, so this didn’t surprise me much. The Lacy ‘tale’ was based on John Lacy having been born in Belfast and that he was of the Irish Lacy family.

Now I realized that earlier records were also on line and to my surprise and delight, I found John Lacey was actually born in St. John’s, NFLD on Nov 13 1812, not in Ireland. His father was Robert Lacey and his mother was Rachel Thistle (nee) who married at St. John’s Congregational Church, May 6 1809. In 1817 Robert was a shoemaker but in later documents he became a fisherman. Robert’s father was John Lacey, also a shoemaker. So far I’ve found four children for Robert and Rachel: Daniel, John, William and Mary Ann. But now a new mystery presents itself, where was John Lacy/Lacey born?

I have discovered that, my Newfoundland ancestors were the hardiest, toughest people. They had large families and many of the children died young. As Darwin suggested in his Origin of the Species, these folks were “better designed for an immediate, local environment.”

Interestingly, while following some history on the Reynolds family, I discovered that this Lacy/Lacey family may have come from Devon, England and not from Ireland at all. The Reynolds history also suggested that the Thistle family came from the Channel Islands.

I was very satisfied with this session of research. Not only did I find my gt. grandmother, but I found her parents and her grandparents as well.

Reminder to self – do not shelve family history stories until they can be proven wrong!!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Thanksgiving Thoughts

As Thanksgiving approaches, I am often drawn to memories of my childhood in New England. The colder, dreary month of November on the coast of Massachusetts was memorable in its own way. The air smelled heavily of salt water, the dampness was chilling even for youngsters and the early darkness of each day drove us all home, to the welcome and warm smells of supper cooking. To be among familiar objects and family gathered around the dining room table, was to find a secure barrier against the wicked elements that could blow in off the mighty North Atlantic. It was an insulation against the unknown, a safe haven from the boogey man and a cheery cocoon for young minds with over active imaginations. It was Fall in Winthrop. We had raked leaves into huge piles, jumped into them a gazillion times and, yes, burned them in the gutters. I still miss the smell of burning leaves. We had made sure the storm windows were in place. This was no easy task as they had to be taken off and put on from the outside, on ladders. They were separate from the window frames and had spent the summer stored in the cellar awaiting the first cold blasts of approaching winter.  It was time to get out the hats, mittens, scarves, boots, warm jackets and leggings. How I hated the leggings!! Nothing like today's warm, nearly water proof outdoor gear, these leggings would be wet soon after the first snow angel.  We spent November getting ready for winter. Sometimes, winter hit with huge Nor'eastahs, dumping snow up to my chin, long before we were truly ready. But most of the time, November was just cold and gray. There was much to look forward to in November with lots of days off from school. We always had election day off, then Veteran's Day and then the two days for Thanksgiving. My older sisters were very into high school football. I went to many of the games too, with kids my own age. We spent weeks, before Thanksgiving, cutting up newspapers into strips and then into small squares, our very own home grown confetti. It was extra special when we could add the Sunday comics to the mix. All this was for the Thanksgiving football game, the last of the season, with a rival high school team. I didn't care a bit about the game. I was there to cheer with the cheerleaders, yell at the top of my lungs and throw confetti. It was glorious! The game was in the morning so by the time we got home, there was the heaven sent aroma of a turkey roasting in the oven. Our dinner was probably very traditional.  I'm not sure I ever asked any of my friends what they had for their dinners. I guess I thought everyone had what we had. This was before the day of frozen turkeys so ours was fresh and needed to be dunked in a sink full of cold water to clean it all out. My father made the onion stuffing with stale bread. He always stuffed the turkey the night before and we never got sick once!!!!  My mother and grandmother had made pies and fresh cranberry orange relish. I never did acquire a taste for this relish but still love canned cranberry sauce. My grandmother insisted on having mince meat pies, another item my taste buds never quite got used to. There was mashed potato, sweet potato, boiled onions, Hubbard squash, stuffing, turkey and gravy. It was a feast fit for royalty. Sometimes we had relatives join us, swelling our ranks to 10 or more at the table. Warm pies, including pumpkin, would be served with real whipped cream. After clean up, the dining room table would be turned into a giant card table as we all gathered around to play Up The River. Out came the cards and the betting chips; let the games begin. I don't remember if I ever won or lost.  I just remember it being the most fun. The room was full of laughter and silliness. The only thing you could win was chips - no cash value. So we just played and laughed and enjoyed.  Each Thanksgiving I am so grateful for these memories. As I relive them, I am once again with my parents, grandmother, sisters and other family. I'm visiting my beloved childhood home and touching a time that was saner, safer and happier than what we have today.  

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Anthony Henry Pye 1590-1656 Cornwall, England

Anthony Henry Pye 1590-1656
Anthony Henry Pye, the son of Anthony Pye and Constance Pound m. Elizabeth Trethewey, 1614, in St. Stephen’s, Brannell. Since Anthony Henry was supposed to have been born in 1590, the following information probably refers to his father:
An Anthony Pye is listed in A2A in Parishes of St. Austell, St. Ewe and St. Mewan under the Edgecombe family and concerned with MINING, dated May 17 1590.
It will be noted that later dates of 1632, still have this Pye family connected to the Edgecombe’s.
I have been able to find five children for this couple:
Henry (c.1616 - c.1655) – Unk. Wife – a son, Henry
William (c. 1617 - ?)
John (c. 1619 - ?)
Jane (c. 1621- ?)
Robert (Bapt. Mar. 21 1623 – burial Aug. 17 1700)
Trying to read the Registers for all the different areas in Cornwall has been most unsuccessful. The handwriting is so indecipherable that I, at first, thought it was written in Latin. Possibly some of it is. I was only able to distinguish a few given names such as Elizabeth, John (Johannes), Jone and Walter. I finally gave up on the surnames. I didn’t see anything even approaching a similarity with Pye/Pie/Opie/Apie, which are all spelling variations. The last two variants are the closest to ap Hugh, where in Wales the ‘u’ is pronounced ‘y’ or long ‘i’.
So I will continue with the information I have on this family and as time permits will try to decipher the handwriting in the Cornwall Registers.
Using the Archives on line, A2A, housed in London, this information was found but it is uncertain if this is the same Anthony (paraphrased):
Possibly the Anthony who paid 5 yrs rent to Sir Richard Edgcumbe for land in Hewas Francis, on Apr 23 1632.
A2A LEASES Manor of Bodrugan File ref. ME/1289 date 23 Apr 1632 Scope and Content: Receipt by Sir Richard Edgcumbe for 2s. 6d. for five years high rent due from Anthony Pye for land in Hewas Francis; signature
Since Anthony Henry’s father died in 1627, it’s likely this statement is about him and not his father. There are a couple more Anthony’s in Cornwall but they don’t fit the timeline for 1632. So unless another Anthony shows up, I believe this Anthony to be the one mentioned in the 1632 Scope and Content.
Anthony Henry’s son, William, is said to have been born in Bodinnick. Without proof, I can only say that he was born in Cornwall. There is no known wife for him, but he had three known children:
Elizabeth m. Roger Crewes
John m. Jone (Unknown) – 3 children
Anthony of Grampound m. Phillipa Andrew Sep 8 1684 – 1 child
There is little more information on this Pye line. Serious efforts have been made to connect this family line with the Pyes who eventually settled in Newfoundland. However, although repeating names suggest family connections, no records have been discovered to verify any of it. Perhaps in time more information will become available.
Carew’s Survey of Cornwall.pdf

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Alexander Pye 1535-1569

Alexander Pye was the son of John Pye and an unknown wife. He was born in
St. Stephen’s, Brannell, Cornwall, England, about 1535. Again, I will reiterate, there is not one speck of proof that Elizabeth Courtenay was married to John Pye or was the mother of Alexander. In fact, other records show that Elizabeth Courtenay was married to John Trethewey. Granted she could have been married more than once, but nowhere have I found one mention of John Pye being married to Elizabeth Courtenay. Whatever the case, Alexander was not the first born so the naming patterns of the time may not apply. I have found one curious tidbit that I hope to pursue to truth or fiction. The statement indicated that a John Pye had changed his name to Trethewey in order to inherit a certain amount of property. If that should prove true than we could have a Trethewey (Pye)/Courtenay marriage. Even if it is true, it does not mean they were the parents of Alexander. Research on these people has been slow and painful.
However, there have been some interesting finds. Boconnoc, Brannell, Boddinick and Bodmin are all geographically fairly close to each other. They are all near the River Fowey. Bodmin appears on maps to be nearly due north of the river mouth. Boddinick is on the east side of the river, near the mouth, and is known for being the residence of Daphne du Maurier, authoress. Brannell lies to the west in St. Stephen’s parish and Boconnoc lies to the north and east of the river. All four of these locations have been named in documents pertaining to the Pye family over the centuries. The River Fowey supported a large and thriving fishing and boat building community. One of the most interesting things I found was that one of the prominent families of Boddinick was Slade. They had many ships and transported local China clay or imported coal. One of the companies who processed and transported dried Cod from Battle Harbor, Newfoundland, to the Continent was the Slade Co. This was an unexpected find and supports the immigration of Pyes from Cornwall to Newfoundland. Be aware, I said ‘supports,’ I did not say “proves.’
Daphne de Maurier home, on the right. The Old Ferry Inn on the hill behind.
As mentioned in the last post, there was family history of the Pyes being connected to the Carminow’s. A correction is needed here as the lasted post stated incorrectly that the land was in St. Brannel. It should have said St. Stephen in Brannell. In searching geographical locations and their histories I did come upon this interesting statement in The History of Cornwall, by Fortescue Hitchings, Esq., Vo II, p. 612, 1824 …..
"The manor of Bodinneck, which belonged to the Carminows of Boconnoc, passed from this family to the Courtenays. Some considerable time afterwards it was in the family of Pye, by whom it was sold to John Tanner, Esq., M. P. for Grampound. This gentleman made Bodinneck his residence. This is now a farm house, the property of Lord Grenville."

 This shows there was some history of the Pyes owning property that had once belonged to the Carminow’s and Courtenays. There are records to show that some members of the Pye family married Tanners. However, these connections do not contribute anything to the man known as Alexander Pye.
Alexander was apparently not a very noteworthy person in the area that he lived. There is not much mention of him in the history books neither of that location nor in the records and documents of that era. He married Marion Corne (Coryn), who was the daughter of Richard Corne and Elizabeth Vyvyan (Vivian). Richard’s parents were Michael Coryn and (?) Lovedon. Elizabeth’s father was John Vyvyan. Her mother is unknown.
Alexander and Marion had at least 4 children. Incorrecty, I see that I posted Alexander’s name when it should have been Anthony and Constance Pound’s children that were described. As many times as I read over these blogs before posting, I still find these goofy mistakes. Another error, a misspelling, is Margaret Pye married William Catcher (Not Cathcher).
The following children were Alexander’s and Marion’s:
Anthony (c 1559-1627) m. Constance Pound (c 1560-?) – 9 children (These children were discussed in the last blog.)
Male Child
Males Child
Anna (c 1560-?) m. Willmus Tremayne on Aug 13 1579 (The name Tremayne has taken on many spellings since the 1600's. One of them is Trueman.)

Monday, September 23, 2013

John Pye 1495 – 1582

Yet another John Pye comes forth as the son of John Pye and Ann de la Bere. It is said he was of Nansarth (Lansreath), of St. Stephen’s in Brannel, in Cornwall, though it does not appear he was born there. Not much is known about this John, not even the name of his wife. But he does appear in the The Visitations of Cornwall, comprising the Heralds’ visitations of 1530, 1573 and 1620, Lt. Col. J.L. Vivian, p. 287.

Having said that, there is no solid proof this is the same man who is John, s/o John Pye and Ann de la Bere. Every indicator seems to point in the direction of this being true, but lacking is the verification. So this continues to be a work in progress.  According to the pedigree shown in The Visitation, he had three sons, Alexander, John and John. The pedigree concentrates on Alexander, mentioning only that the first John had 2 sons and the second John had one son.  Although it may seem odd to us to have two children with the same name in one family, it wasn’t an uncommon thing in the 14th and 15th centuries. Usually it meant that the older one had died and the next child born was given the name of the diseased sibling, depending on whether male or female, of course. In this case, though, it appears that both men by the name of John lived to adulthood and had children. Most likely they had pet names they used or they used their middle names, which is a custom that shows also up in the Canadian Maritime Provinces in the 1800’s and 1900’s.

It has also been claimed that this John Pye married Elizabeth de Courtenay. Unfortunately, there is not a speck of evidence to support this. To date, the wife of this John is unknown. The story of this John seems to be that he left Herefordshire to claim his inheritance from his mother (de la Bere) in Devon and Cornwall, a much larger territory than what he would have received at the Mynde.  It has been stated, in several different places that land in St. Brannel, Cornwall, originally owned by the Carminow family, came into the hands of the Courtenays. This is quite likely as the two families had intermarried. What seems odd about this, is that later on the Pyes ended up with the land that had been in the hands of the Courtenays. The Pyes eventually sold the land to the Tanner family, which seems normal as there had been several marriages between the Pyes and the Tanners over the years. So we have a connection between the Carminows and the Courtenays and then between the Pyes and the Tanners, but nothing to connect the Pyes with the Courtenays.  This search continues on.

John’s son Alexander married Marion Corne, d/o Robert Corne and his wife Elizabeth Vyvyan (now commonly spelled Vivian). Alexander was the first born son, and I’m sure his name reflects his mother’s family. Through several generations there have been no male Pyes named Alexander. I’m convinced his name is a clue to who his mother or grandfather were, but, again, no proof.

Alexander and Marion’s Anthony married Constance Pownd (Pound), the d/o William Pownd. There is another family, John Pownd, whose daughter, Blanch, married Sir John Trelawny.  So far, I haven’t been able to connect these two Pound families, but the name Blanch is another clue, as it appears with some frequency in the Pye family.

The children of Alexander and Constance (Pound) Pye were:

Elizabeth (1579-1626) m. Thomas Burgess of Truro, Cornwall. They had 21           children. Their oldest son, another Thomas, 1601-1684, was b. in Truro           Cornwall, but d. in Sandwich MA. He and his wife (Dorothy Phippen) are    the ancestors of Thornton Burgess, early 1900’s author of children’s     book, i.e.  Old Mother West Wind.
Jane (1581-?) m. Henry Burgess
Margaret (c. 1583-?) m. William Cathcher – 10 children
John (1585-1617) m. Jane Tanner
Anthony II (1590-1656) m. Elizabeth Trethewey – 5 children
Thomas (1589- ?) m.  Grace Cosyn
Otwell (1591-bef. Sep 1683) m. Jane Thomas
Nathaniel (c. 1593-bef. Sep 1669) m. Jennifer
Joan (? -?) m. George Phippen (? – Jul 1650) Parents of Dorothy Phippen

I will leave this Cornwall branch of the Pyes to indulge in some more research. It’s quite possible the Nova Scotia and some of the Newfoundland families all originated in Cornwall. More investigation is necessary.

Visitations of Cornwall  Lt. Col. J. L. Vivian
The Visitation of the County of Cornwall 1620, Henry St. George, Harleian Society

Friday, August 2, 2013

John Pye of The Mynde 1444-1550

I have had great hesitation in writing about this John (there were many by this name over the centuries), simply because he presented such a monumental task of sifting through documented facts and speculation. It is documented that he did live from 1444-1550, to the tune of 106 years. This would be a remarkable feat today, but in the 14th and 15th centuries, it would have been almost incomprehensible. He is buried in Much Dewchurch where an epitaph stated his age, that he had three wives, 42 children and another 26 by ‘other’ women. During the Victorian era, this openly visible account of a less than virtuous man was considered offensive to many so it was removed from sight. It would also seem as though many other pieces of information about him were also removed. I can find no indication of what he did for a living, how he supported all those children and how he traveled to distant places and managed to procreate in a manner more associated with rabbits.

There are papers concerning him but they are in the National Archives in London or in the towns where he and his lands were associated. The papers are too delicate for copying or microfilming so it means a hands on approach. Unfortunately, a trip to London is not in my budget.

I’ll proceed with what information there is and state – up front – the caveat is that not much that is known is documented.

This John Pye was the son of John Tregos Pye (Tregos is the name of a place) and his wife Agnes Andrews. Agnes was the daughter of Roger Andrews ap Ithell, AKA, Roger ap Ithell ap William ap Andrews of Brown's Place, which became the Mynde. It is believed this is how The Mynde came into the possession of the Pye family. Roger’s wife is unknown. John Tregos  and Agnes had at least 7 children, but so far I’ve only discovered one son, John, the subject of this blog.

John married three times. According to birth and death dates of the three women, it would seem likely that Ann de la Bere was his first wife. Ann was the daughter of Sir Richard de la Bere. This family was from Cotentin, in Normandy, and were followers of William the Conqueror. One branch of the family settled in Gloucestershire, while Sir Richard’s branch were associated with Kinnersley  Castle in Herefordshire. Many of this family served as Sheriff’s of the county from Edward III on. Richard was married twice. His first wife Anne (Touchet) Audley, daughter of James Touchet, Lord Audley is the one concerned with here. Richard and Anne had a daughter, Ann, who became the first wife of John Pye of The Mynde.

James Touchet, Lord Audley was a distinguished veteran of the One Hundred Year’s Wars and the opening phases of the War of the Roses. He was also quite well connected. His first wife Margaret Roos was a descendant of the FitzAlan/Arundel family. His 2nd wife was Eleanor de Holland, an illegitimate daughter of Edmund de Holland, 4th Earl of Kent by Constance (Plantagenet) of York, daughter of Edmund of Langley, 1st Duke of York and Infanta Isabella of Castile. James and Eleanor were the parents of Anne (Touchet) Audley, who married Sir Richard de la Bere. Edmund de Holland maternal and paternal grandmothers were Plantagenets. His mother was of the FitzAlan/Arundell family. Eleanor herself was a gt. granddaughter of King Edward III of England. Anne de la Bere was a 3x gt. granddaughter of King Edward III of England, in an illegitimate line of descent..

So John Pye of The Mynde married well when Ann de la Bere became his wife.  

His 2nd wife was Anne Brydges.  The Brydges family was quite prominent in Herefordshire and Gloucestershire in the 1400-1500’s.  I’ve searched about everything I  can find and have only found one Anne Brydges who fits the time line of John Pye. This Anne’s father was Rowland Brugges (one of the ways this name was spelled) and her mother was Margaret Kelom. However, no marriage information is given for her so it cannot be said she is the 2nd wife of John Pye. Every other Anne Brydges (and variant spellings) I could find either did not fit the time line or was married to someone else. So the 2nd wife is inconclusive.
                The Church of St. David, Much Dewchurch, Herefordhire, England

His third wife was Elizabeth Whitney, the daughter of Sir Robert Whitney and his wife Alice Vaughn. Alice was the daughter of Thomas Vaughn and Ellen Gethyn. The Vaughns were a notable family in Wales.  Earlier ancestors of the Whitneys had been followers of William the Conqueror. They received lands in the Marches of Wales and took the name De Whitney of the Wye. The estate included about 2,000 acres and remained in the family until 1893. Sadly, for Elizabeth, her father, Robert, was attainted in 1459 as a Yorkist, for this was the time of The War of the Roses.  The Vaughn family has roots in Wales going back to the 10th century. They were mentioned in the Domesday Book and several other early records of note. They remained in the Marches of Wales, marrying into many of the families  considered to be Marcher Lords.

The engraving on John Pye’s tomb that was removed from public view I given here.

Here lyeth the Bodyof John Pye of Minde
a travayler in far countryes, his life ended
He left behind him Walter, his son, heire of Minde
a hundred and six yeares he was truly
and had sons and daughters two and fourty!

John Pyeof mynde

sone of Jon. pye, seconde sone of Jon. pye of Sadlebowe, esq
married 3 wiefes

his first wief was Anne, da. to Sr. Richard Delabyre, knight
his second wief was Anne Brigees
and his third wief was alrothes, da. to Sr. Robert Whitney, lord of Whitney
Hee had bye theme 42 children
And hee had by Concubines 22 Children

It is sad to say that with all these children, there are only names for about a half dozen of them. My belief is that most of them moved to other places in England. If you are searching for your Pye ancestors and have hit a brick wall, give a thought to the possibility that your ancestor was a child of John Pye of The Mynde.

Herefordshire biographies
 By John Hutchinson

Genealogical and Personal Memoirs, Vol. III 1908
By William Richard Cutter

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A Bunch of Stuff

Have you ever made queries on message boards or listed your research interests on a web site? I have done this for years. Sometimes it has paid off and sometimes there was no return at all.

Today I want to throw all that together and ask a bunch of questions. Perhaps I will be reaching a far different group of people who may know someone who knows someone, etc. who is researching some of the same names and localities.

So here goes:

My gt. grandmother was Elizabeth Rachel Lacy, b. in Newfoundland in 1838. It is believed she was born in Murray Cove, Blackhead. It has been suggested that her father's name was Philip. I have a problem with that. According to the naming patterns of the day, there should have been a Philip among  her children and there wasn't.  There were plenty of sons, but no Philip. Her first born son was named Henry. Another son was named after her husband, John Charles Pye. I think it's possible that Henry could have been her father's name.  If anyone has a connection to or knowledge of the Lacy's of Newfoundland, I would love to hear from you.

James Pike of Red Bay is another person I have little or no information on. He is reported to be a Metis or part Cree or Innu. He would be my 4x gt. grandfather. This is getting much deeper into the beginnings of some of the settlements on Labrador. It's possible that there just isn't any documentation.

Elizabeth Lacy's father (Henry?, Philip?) was supposedly born in Ireland. There is no indication of where in Ireland they came from. Is anyone researching the Lacy families in Ireland?

Bridget Sheehan, my gt. grandmother, was born in Galway, according to her obituary. I can't 
seem to find many Sheehans in Galway in the 1830's-1840's  Her father was Michael Sheehan and her mother was Hanora. Bridget's death certificate says her mother's maiden name was Sagaton. I have searched for anyone of this name for many years. I haven't found one person with this name. It is thought that the person doing the recording couldn't understand the Irish brogue of my gt. grandfather and wrote down what they thought they had heard. It has been suggested that the name might be Preston or maybe even Sullivan. We know Bridget had at least one sister, Catherine, and that when she first arrived in Boston she was living in Hyde Park with the Daniel Sullivan family. I would love some clues to help solve this riddle.

New Brunswick
My 3x gt. grandmother was Margaret Wade, who was the 2nd wife of Ebenezer Cole. Her gravestone gives her death as 1876 at the age of 93., This would make her birth year around 1783. She married Ebenezer in 1810 and the marriage record states she was from Dorchester NB. My problem with her is that she seems to have no family. I can't find a Wade family who had a daughter Margaret with anything close to her birth year.  Then four years later a Sarah Wade married Jonathan Cole, a son of Ebenezer and his first wife. Is she Margaret's sister, where had she been living, who were her parents? This has been a 30+ year old puzzle for me and I'd love to find some help in solving this mystery.

I have some other brick walls and blind alleys, but these have been my pet peeves for a very long time.  Anyone have any ideas - Please!!!  Chime in.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

My Summer So Far Continued

After a three week learning experience that I am not sure I wanted to learn, I am now home. How does one express the simple joy of being back in familiar surroundings, comforted by my family and all my furry friends? I'm sure my 2 year old cat thought he had been abandoned. He hasn't left my side for 3 days. Velcro-ed to my side, he looks up at me, blinks a few times, purrs louder and nestles in tighter. My little Bichon has become my fierce defender. No bicyclist, runner, walker or stray dog is allowed to cross that territory that runs in front of the house without his loudly protesting the audacity of such actions. Ohhhh, it is so good to be home.

I want to loudly declare my ongoing appreciation to all the staff at United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia NY. From the Emergency Room when I was admitted to the day I left for rehab, I was given the best care I have ever received from all levels of care givers. Then, I wonder, how did I get so lucky to have been put into the care of Dr. Landfried? By US News and Reports, he has been named one of the top 10 sports medicine and orthopedic surgeons in the United States. This decision was reached by peer survey. Wow! If there was anything to be happy about in this whole ordeal, it was that he would be my surgeon.

The LeRoy Village Green in LeRoy NY took my care a step further. Without their ongoing daily sessions with me, I wouldn't have learned balance, upper body strength, wheel chairs and walkers, all necessary to become independent enough to go home. I have learned that being a tri-ped is not fun nor what I want to do, but the coping skills I learned will carry me through. Thanks guys - you challenged me and I learned from it.

After just three weeks, I was at my first Dr. appointment yesterday. All is going well and I am now able to put about 25% pressure on my toes. The Physical Therapist showed me what and how to do all this, so I will be practicing religiously until her next visit. Neural pain can be difficult and intense at times but I know my leg is starting to wake up, reconnect and, hopefully, show signs of healing within. I've only been home for three days, but they have been busy with visits from nurses, physical and occupational therapists. Then I need some rest time for my leg. I hope the next few days will be quieter and that I will be able to return to my real love - genealogy and blogging..

I just want to say thank you to all those who sent me messages. I so appreciate your thoughts and good wishes.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Sir Walter Pye 1571 - Dec. 26 1635 Attorney of the Court of Wards and Liveries

Walter Pye was born at The Mynde, Much Dewchurch, Herefordshire, the oldest 
son of Roger Pye and Bridget Kyrle, of Walford, Herefordshire. He was 
baptised Oct 1 1571. He was educated at Middle Temple and called to the bar 
in 1597. He was a lawyer and a politician. He married Joan Rudhall, Jul 22 
1602, the daughter of William Rudhall of Rudhall, Herefordshire. They had a 
large family of 7 sons and 8 daughters. Three of the sons and one of the 
daughters died without issue (dvp).  Joan died and was buried on Sep 10 
1625. Thereafter he married Hester Ireland, a widow, Oct 31 1628, the 
daughter of John Ireland of London. Hester was the widow of Ellis Crisp, an 
alderman of London. There was no issue from this marriage.

Walter held many offices throughout his life. He held several different 
Commissioners positions in Herefordshire, Brecon, Monmouthsire, 
Glouscestershire, Wales and others until about 1631. He was the Attorney of 
the Wards from 1621 till his death, a member of Prince Charles's Council by 
1625 and a member of the Council of the duchy of Cornwall.

Walter's ancestors were of Welsh extraction and had been in possession of 
property in Herefordshire by 1433. Although Walter was heir to The Mynde, he
was a practicing barrister and spent much of his time in London. He also 
seems to have enjoyed the patronage of Charles Howard, 1st earl of 
Nottingham. It appears he was highly successful and, for about 20 years, 
added  land and buildings to his estate. One of his purchases was the manor of 
Kilpeck, near the Mynde, which he acquired in 1610.

Walter was closely associated and related to the powerful Scudamore family, 
providing legal advice and London news to Sir John Scudamore. He also 
acted as a trustee for William, 2nd Lord Compton, from whom Roger Pye 
(Walter's father) had leased land in Wiltshire. Other notable connections it is 
said he had include George Villiers, the duke of Buckingham, Robert Devereux, 3rd earl of Essex and the earl of Somerset. 

Pye became the Attorney of the Wards on Feb 2 1620 and was dubbed a 
knight soon thereafter. It's important to distinguish Walter from his brother 
Robert who also sat in the same Parliament. Another caveat is to remember
there were two Sir Walters, the other being his son. The elder Sir Walter died
Christmas morning 1635 at his home in Greyfriars. 

Pye's career was filled with political appointments, giving him access to some 
contracts, deals or other negotiations which were considered less than honest.
After his death, his corruption was long remembered. Sir Richard Hutton paid 
tribute to his ingenuity, ability and learning, although he condemned his greed 
and corruption.  His nephew, John Beale, wrote that he was famous for his 
memory, being able to recite every English gentleman, his ancestors, his 
pedigree, coats of arms, chief mansions and other revenues.


Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Mynde Estate

Back in June, I received an email from a cousin that announced the sale of The Mynde Estate in Much Dewchurch, Herefordshire, England. Since we had all grown up hearing about The Mynde, it was with avid interest that I followed the link I was sent. Little did I expect what I found. Here was a Palatial estate with a secondary home, 7 cottages, a variety of outbuildings including stabling, gardens, a park, a lake, woodland and arable fields for a total of 1180+ acres.

The photos were astounding. That might sound like a strong word to use, but I had seen pictures of The Mynde when it was in total disrepair. The transformation and restoration were nothing short of wonderous and, I might add, expensive. That is probably why the price tag is 15,000,000 POUNDS (sorry haven't figured out how to enter symbols yet on my lap top).

Of course this set off a whole new spate of research for me. I wanted to know more about this amazing ugly duckling that had been turned into a beautiful, shimmering swan. According to the Hereford Times, The Mynde dates back to Norman times. It became home to the Pyes in the 1350's and lasted until about 1709, when it came into the possession of the Duke of Chandos. He added one of the key attractions, the King's Hall. The Duke sold the estate to the Symons family  in 1729 who remained there for the next 200 years. In 1932.  The Symons family sold the estate to the Clive family.  In 1959, the Clives sold it to the father of the current owner. No one lived in the house for about 40 years. It was in the late 80's that my nephew was able to visit The Mynde, while serving in the military. His pictures told a sad tale of a leaking roof and neglect. Restoration began in 1997, lasting about 4 years. The property is currently owned by the Twiston-Davies family, whose daughter, Antonia, was a Goddaughter of Princess Diana. In  2003, the estate hosted the Queen, Prince Philip and 3,000 guests at a picnic on the grounds.

Please check out the sites below. I'm not able to add pictures, at this time, directly to my blog. There are many different pictures on these sites, including the current real estate promotion. I have seen pictures of the Queen when she was at The Mynde, but don't seem to be able to find them on the web at this time.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

My Summer so Far

I have spent the last two weeks on an unintended leave of absence. As I was walking down 3 steps to my back yard I started to lose my balance. Thinking to catch myself, rather than fall and hit my head on the steps, I stepped off. The one patch of ground I landed on was not flat, of course. So I landed one legged, at an angle, and down I went. I knew I was in trouble as I heard the bone break.
Fortunately, I wasn't home alone and had help immediately. So on the ambulance ride to the hospital I'm thinking that I've seen plenty of people with casts on their legs and on crutches. There was no reason to think I wouldn't be home that night suitably adorned with a cast and two extra wooden legs. But it seems I don't do things the easy way. I had a tibia plateau fracture that would need surgery. Oh crap!
So on Jul 1, I was in surgery getting my leg pinned back together. It's a non-weight bearing injury which means NO weight for 6 weeks, maybe longer. Fora full week I was in an acute care facility and then transferred to a chronic care site. I have been here for 5 days.
I now have a lap top to use so can connected with everyone again. I didn't fall off the world, just off a few steps. It will be awhile before I can return to regular blogging. I have no idea when I will be discharged from here. I don't want to write about genealogy topics until I'm home where all my research is. My aim is for accuracy as much as possible.
So in the meantime, I will maybe offer up some vignettes of various things that don't rely on facts, just happy memories.

Now to care repaired so that some day, maybe this fall sometime, I can ride my horse again.

If you would like me to respond by email, please put your email address into a msg. for me.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

William and Isobella Carmichael had 8 children but I have only been able to discover information on three of them. The others are still a work in progress.

I touched briefly on James and Francis in the previous blog, and now want to include one of their sisters, Isabel Carmichael. Isabel was b. 1757 in Aberlour, Scotland and married James Murray from Mortlach, Scotland. They had 8 children. One of their younger sons, Robert Murray, married his first cousin, ^^Isabel Carmichael, d/o Francis and Elizabeth Carmichael in 1823 in Nova Scotia.

Francis and Elizabeth Keillor had 9 children:

*Thompson (1796-1861), b. in Banff, d. in Bridgewater, NS, m. 1826 (in Lunenburg NS) Elizabeth Barbara Hubley (1806-1881) – 15 children
Mary (1791-1874) m. Unknown McCabe
David (1799-?)
Robert (1800-?)
^^Isobel (1801-1864) m. c 1823 Robert Murray (1792-1884) – 8 children
James (1803-?)
Elizabeth (1804-1877) m. 1829 William Mahy (1801-1873) – 1 child
John (1806-?)
Isaac (1808-1887) m. 1831 Jane Hamilton (1818-?) – 9 children

*Thompson and Barbara are my gt. gt. grandparents.  Barbara’s grandparents arrived in Nova Scotia from Eppingen, Rhineland, Palatinate in Germany, an area that was once called Prussia. They arrived here in 1751 as passengers on The Pearl. Her parents were Johannes and Anna Maria Kahler Hubley. The Hubley family lived in Lunenburg NS for several generations. Thompson and Barbara were married in Lunenburg in 1826. Earlier research about Barbara Hubley Carmichael has been discredited. The first is that they were from Switzerland, but it has been established that they were from Germany. It has been stated that she was a physician, the first female doctor in Geneva, Switzerland. There is simply no evidence to support this or any evidence that she ever left NS, to study or to live in Switzerland. What is probably more accurate is that she was a mid-wife/nurse.  The only known connection to Switzerland was that Barbara’s grandmother, Anna Barbara Leigh (also spelled Ley) was b. in that country in 1726. Barbara was born in Nova Scotia, a 2nd generation from the immigrant Jacob Ulrich Hubley. She was born at St. Margaret’s Bay, a large bay on the southern shore of NS with its western shore in Lunenburg Co. and it’s eastern shore in Halifax Co.

Elizabeth Barbara Hubley Carmichael 

Thompson and Barbara had 15 children, one who died at the age 7, another who died at 19 and 5 others that seem to have no information available about them. Thompson supported his family by teaching school and held various posts in various places over the years. Often times he was posted in an area where the residents were poor, thus they struggled for survival on a teacher’s salary. In 1860, he petitioned the government for 100 acres of land, stating his long service as a teacher and that he had taught 1600 students during his 27 year teaching career. Thompson died in 1861 in Bridgewater, NS and is buried there in the Bridgewater Cemetery. I have found nothing that states the government awarded him his request or that it was given to the family posthumously. There seems to be no information on Barbara until the 1881 census when she is found living with her daughter, Mary Jane Carmichael Hardy who had married Thomas Hardy in 1875. In the 1881 census, Thomas, Mary and three children are living with them, although the older one is too old to be Mary Jane’s, suggesting that Thomas was married before. Also living with them was his father, Richard Hardy and Mary’s mother Barbara Carmichael.

Thompson and Barbara Carmichael had children:

Henry Edward (1827-bef. 1850)
Frederick Hubley (1830-1911) m. Jane Faulds (1833-1921) – 11 children
John George (1831-?) m. 1869 Terrisa Shaw (1850-?)
James Thomson (1832-1881 in Medway, MA) m. 1862 Susan Roberts (c. 1832-?) – 6        children
William (1833-1852)
Alexander Francis (1835-1927) m. 1867 Ellen Dillon (1841-1922) – 7 children
Daniel (1837-?)
Charles (1839-1846)
Christine Isabella (1842-?) m. 1870 Robert Gordon (1841-1882) – 7 children
Hannah C. (1845-1937) m. 1872 Thomas Gordon (1842-1940) – 4 children
Mary Jane (1847-1894) m. 1875 Thomas Hardy (1849-?)
Barbara (1849-?)
*Henry Gordon (1850-1910) m. 1873 Mary Ellen Scarr (1853-1923) – 8 children
Elizabeth (1851-?)
Andrew (1552-?)

Frederick Hubley Carmichael was a coal miner at a large mine at Springhill, NS. Fred and his family were living near the mine where he and three of his sons were working. Early in Feb. 1891, Fred was injured in a work-related accident leaving him with a broken arm and collarbone. He had been confined to his bed and for this reason he was not in the mine on Feb. 21 1891 when there was an explosion, killing 125 miners, including three of his sons.  Many of the miners were children between the ages of 10 and 13.  Frederick lost his sons, Andrew, William and John, who had a wife and 4 children. Since Frederick couldn’t leave his bed, the coffins were brought to his home, so that he might say good-by to his sons before burial took place.  Frederick and Jane lost a fourth son about three years before this. Their son James, was struck and killed by lightning as he stood in the doorway talking to his mother. It would seem that bad luck followed this ill-fated family. 
                                                                                                      Frederick Hubley Carmichael

John was a sea Captain but there seems to be no information about him, beyond his marriage to Terrisa Shaw.

Capt. John Carmichael

James was a carpenter who moved his family to Medway MA in the 1870’s. Their two youngest children were born there. James died in 1881 of Phthisis or a form of tuberculosis.

Alexander Francis was also a carpenter, having started on that path building ships. He met and married his wife, Ellen Dillon in Nova Scotia, and soon thereafter he also moved to Medway MA. By 1877, he had settled his family in Orr Springs CA. In 1882 they moved to Mendocino CA. Alexander became known as an architect even though he didn’t have the schooling for it. He built many of the Victorian homes in Mendocino and Fort Bragg, CA.

                                 Alexander and Ellen Dillon Carmichael and 5 of their children

Since this has become lengthy, I’m going to make a break here and carry on with the rest of Thompson’s family in the next blog.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Carmichaels, from Banffshire to Nova Scotia

The Carmichael clan has been around for a long time, although for one hundred and sixty three years it was dormant. There was no chief to take over the Clan, therefore, there could be no clan. Today, Carmichael is a Clan all on its own, having been registered in the Lyon Court Record book in 1984, when Sir Richard Carmichael assumed the role of Chief. However, it is also considered a Sept of the Clan Douglas. There is also a Clan Carmichael USA, established in 1991 to promote the Clans’ heritage in the States.

As mentioned earlier, the Carmichaels origins have been obscured by the mists of time. They could have been indigenous Britons, or they could have been transplanted Norman nobles, many of whom became the leading families of Scotland, such as Frasers, Gordons, Hamiltons, Stewarts and Bruces. Whatever the origin might be, the residents have been located in Lanark for approximately 800 years. They took their name from the place where they lived Caer Mychel. In 1068, Queen Margaret established seven churches, one near Tinto Hill and dedicated it to the Archangel Michael. Caer Mychel, meaning church hill, soon became the surname of the people who lived near it.

There were splits among the Clan members over the years. But probably the biggest split was when they followed the Stewarts of Appin. This Clan is considered the Clan of the Royal Stewarts, where the Stewarts of Galloway are considered to be distant relatives. The reasons for following another Clan are not known. It could have been for politics, power, wealth, marriages or, perhaps, disagreements within the Carmichael Clan.  Whatever the reason was, my ancestors ended up in Banffshire.

The earliest known ancestor that has been found is James Carmichael (1700-1751) who married Elspeth Harper (1696-1751).  James’ parents are unknown and how this branch of the Carmichael Clan was associated with the main branch in Lanark is also unknown. James and Elspeth had 5 children, the oldest being William (1717-1780). The others were: Patrick, Peter, Margaret and John. William m. (1749) in Mortlach, Banffshire, Isobel Thompson (1730-1771). William’s sibling, Patrick (1719-?), m. (1752) Mary Stronach (?-?), but the spouses of the others remain unknown.

William and Isobel had 8 children and possibly a 9th, which is unverified. One of his older sons, James (1755-1836), was b. in Aberlour but had moved to Fisher’s Grant, Pictou Landing, Nova Scotia by 1788 when his son was born. James’ brother, Francis, about 9 years younger, married and had two children in Scotland, but moved to Pictou Landing, NS by 1799 when his third child was born. Francis (1764-1838) m. (1794) Elizabeth Keillor (bef. 1778-1838) in Aberlour, Banffshire. There is a land grant for Francis, dated 1792, so it seems likely that he may have made several trips to and from NS.

                                                      The Carmichael Tartan

James (1755-1836) m. Anne Unknown. They had:

   James B. (1788-1860) m. 1812 Christian McKenzie.  They had:

      James W. (1819-1903) m.1851 Maria Ann McColl (?-1874)
      John Robert (?-?)

The James Carmichael family became prominent in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. The original James was considered one of the founders of the town. They became a well-known and successful ship building family.

                                                       James Carmichael 1819-1903

Francis (James’ younger brother) and Elizabeth Keillor had 9 children:

*Thompson (1796-1861), b. in Banff, d. in Bridgewater, NS, m. 1826 (in Lunenburg NS) Barbara Hubley (1806-1881) – 15 children
Mary (1791-1874) m. Unknown McCabe
David 91799-?)
Robert (1800-?)
Isobel (1801-1864) m. c 18243 Robert Murray (1792-1884) – 8 children
James (1803-?)
Elizabeth (1804-1877) m. 1829 William Mahy (1801-1873) – 1 child
John (1806-?)
Isaac (1808-1887) m. 1831 Jane Hamilton (1818-?) – 9 children

L. Anders Sandberg , “CARMICHAEL, JAMES WILLIAM,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 13, University of Toronto/Universit√© Laval, 2003–, accessed June 17, 2013,

Monday, June 10, 2013

Highland Scot or Lowland Scot?

I have always wondered if there was a line of demarcation to separate the Highland Scot from the Lowland Scot. Not long ago, I came across a map that answered my question and cleared up my misconceptions. My literal interpretation of Highland meant, to me, that those clans lived in the mountainous areas to the north and west of Scotland. Knowing full well that our ancestors moved around with an amazing frequency, my confusion only multiplied as I tried to follow my Scottish ancestors from place to place and then finally to Nova Scotia. The following map shows distinctly where the highland meets the lowland.

The Clan Carmichael has its seat in Lanarkshire, which is situated roughly between Glasgow and Edinburgh and to the south. Here the Carmichaels were known as the Earls of Hyndford. They shared this area and were in close association with the Clan Douglas, from whom they received their lands c. 1374-1384. This location definitely makes them a member of the Lowland Scots.

Lanark was once known as Clydesdale because of the River Clyde and its influence on the area. It is here that Flemish stallions were brought to breed with the local stock mares and the beginnings of a bigger and stronger breed of draft horse had its beginnings. But I get carried away. That is another story for another time.

The Carmichaels are said to have been in Lanark since the 13th century or earlier. It is noted that there were at least two branches of Carmichaels, one was Carmichael of Carmichael and the other was Carmichael of East End and Thankerton.  It is believed there was a separation from the senior line around 1500, when the new branch took up residence at East End. In the 17th century, during the civil wars, Lord Carmichael supported King Charles I, but his family had split loyalties. Two of his sons were Royalists and another two supported the parliamentarians. Sadly, the two sides fought at the Battle of Marston Moor where one of the Royalist Carmichael sons was killed, another John Carmichael, fighting against his older brothers. Clan Chief Richard Carmichael was able to exchange some lands in 1989, adding the East End lands to the Carmichael estate.

                                                                 East End House

My first Carmichael doesn’t come from either of these places but much farther north in Abelour, Banffshire, on the Moray Firth. But before I tackle my direct ancestors, I think it would be interesting to know more about the Clan in it’s earlier years. Sir John de Carmichael received the charter of lands in Lanarkshire from Sir James Douglas, in the late 14th century, as a reward for supporting the Douglas claim to the Scottish throne. This also established him as the 1st Baron of Carmichael. Through other royal charters and acquisitions, the estate grew to about 14,000 acres, at their peak.

One of the Clan’s most notable figures is Sir John Carmichael of Meadowflat, who later became the first Clan Chief of Carmichael. In addition to Carmichaels living at East End and Meadowflat, there were other families of the name living at estates in Balmedie, Ponfeigh, Westraw, Skirling and Mauldslie. This Sir John, different from the paragraph above, was the son of the 2nd Baron Carmichael. Sir John was a knight and a warrior in the Scottish Army who fought with the French against the English, during the Hundred Years’ War. In 1421, Sir John engaged in combat with the Duke of Clarence, brother of King Henry V. He unhorsed the Duke, breaking his spear. With the death of the Duke, the English army fled in leaderless disarray. The French granted Sir John the crest, depicting the broken spear grasped by a gauntlet. The motto is Tout Jour Prest (too zhure pray) which means Always Ready. This badge can be worn with pride by all Carmichaels and by those who bear allegiance to the Clan Chief.

 Cadet families which include Meadowflat in Lanarkshire and Balmedie of Fife, also include Carmichaels who became MacMichaels in Galloway. The Carmichaels in Argyll are the only group who allied with the Appin Stewarts.  Katherine, a daughter of a Meadowflat Carmichael was the mistress of King James V, who bore him a son who was the half brother of Mary Queen of Scots.

Several of the following web sites have photos of the East End house and the Carmichael Estates.