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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Towers in New Brunswick

My apologies for the error on Benjamin Tower’s birth year in the former post. As many times as I checked, rechecked and double checked, I still missed that incorrect entry. It has been corrected in this post.

We left Judith in New Brunswick with her children having lost her husband, Joseph, to the sea. It may have been this loss that set the family on the journey to NB, since Joseph Sr. was a grantee of land there but never took possession of it. Very little is known about Judith after they arrived in NB. There is controversy over when and where the youngest daughter was born. However there are some things that are known and prove that at least some of the family remained and thrived in their new location.

Joseph and Judith Briggs Tower
Their children were:

          *A. Benjamin (1744-1804 Sackville NB) m. 1766 Ann Finney (1747                                Rehoboth MA - c. 1804 Sackville, NB)
          B. Joseph (1746-1822 Ira, VT) m. 1768 Ellen Mason (1748-?)
          C. Nathaniel (1748-1836 Lennox PA) m. 1774 Lucy Tingley (1758-?)
          D. Joshua (1750-1753)
          E. Lucy (1752-1822) m. 1770 Gideon Smith (1748 Providence RI-1784)
          F. William (1755-1783)
          G. Nancy (c.1761-?) m. 1778 Gershom Maxwell (1758-1828)

Judith was a widow and as was the case for many in that era, she did marry again. It has been suggested that her 2nd husband was her son Benjamin’s father-in-law, Nathaniel Finney. I have been unable to determine if this is accurate, although I do have information that says she married a man named Finney. If she did marry Nathaniel, that could be the reason why she is so hard to find. Nathaniel Finney eventually left Sackville and moved back to the states, settling in Machias, ME, where he died in 1809. The Finney family deserves an entire blog, so I won’t go into any great detail here. The family seems to consider itself as three different branches. The splinter that went to and stayed on Cape Cod, spell their name Phinney.  The group in Swansea MA and the group in RI use the spelling, Finney. The family site maintains that it’s all the same family. I’ll come back to this family at a later date.

We know that Benjamin, Lucy and Nancy remained in NB, married and had families. Joseph married a Mason girl and lived in Ira VT, the same place James Cole and his wife, nee Mason, lived. The younger Nathaniel set out for PA and I have not tried to follow his line as yet. Joshua died as a toddler and William was lost at sea, unmarried. Therefore, it can be said that it is highly probable that Benjamin and Anne Finney were the progenitors of all the Towers located in the Sackville NB area.

The following are the three Tower children of Joseph and Judith Briggs Tower who remained in the Sackville/Dorchester NB area and most likely have descendants who still there.

Benjamin Tower (1744-1804 Sackville NB) m. 1766 Ann Finney (1747 Rehoboth MA - c. 1804 Sackville, NB).  They had 10 children:

          1. Joshua (1768-?)
          2. Benjamin (1770-?) m. 1795 Mehitable Unknown – 6 children
          3. George (1772-?) m. 1797 Sarah Unknown – 10 children
          4. Nathaniel (1774-?)
          5. William (1776-c. 1804)
          *6. Phoebe Elizabeth (1777-1822) m. 1792 Edward Buck (1763 England- 1826 NB) 
– 7 children
          7. Ann (c. 1780-?) m. 1805 Charles Delesdernier (1780-1860)
          8. Joseph (c 1784-1857) m. 1808 Sarah Maxwell (1788-?) – 7 children
          9. Gideon (1786-?) m. 1815 Catherine MacFarlane
          10. Ruth (1787-?) m. 1807 Israel Thornton (1787-1885) – 1 child

Lucy Tower (1752-1822) m. 1770 Gideon Smith (1748-1816)

          1. Ruth (1772-?)
          2. Zilpha (1773-?)
          3. Jotham (1775-?)
          4. Gideon (1777-?)
          5. Joseph (1781-?)
          6. Henry (1781-?)
          7. Stephen (1783-?) m. Sarah Peck – 2 children

This Gideon Smith family was part of the Planter Migration Group who left the Providence RI area in the 1760’s and settled in Sackville NB. Gideon Smith’s father, also Gideon Smith (Sr.) arrived with at least some of his family. This elder Smith died in 1784. It appears that Joseph and Henry may have been twins, but as can be seen I have not followed the Smith line since it isn’t a direct line for me.
The same applies to the following Maxwell family.

Nancy Tower (c.1761-?) m. 1778 Gershom Maxwell (1758-1828)

          1. Dolly (1779-?)
          2. Mary (1782-?)
          3. Lucy (1786-?)
          4. Sarah (1788-)
          5. Ruth (1792-?)
          6. Zilpha (1795-?)
          7. Gideon (1797-?)
          8. James (1800-?)
          9. Gershom (1804-?)

                                            Looking from Sackville across the Bay of Fundy toward Dorchester.

For an interesting and informative newsletter on the area where the Towers lived you might enjoy:

The 2nd article is most intriguing!!

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