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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.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Brodericks enter the 20th century

Matthew and Bridget Broderick established themselves in Lynn and raised their family there. Lynn was a growing manufacturing city on the North Shore, noted for, at one time, the production of shoes. The Boston, Revere Beach and Lynn RR brought workers to Lynn from points south, providing a critical service to the economy. It also provided a connection to Boston and its shopping district. Winthrop became a summer resort town and Revere Beach was a huge attraction with its wide beaches, dance halls and amusement park. The railroad provided the transportation to all the communities along its route whether for work or a day at the beach.

My grandfather, Patrick John Broderick, (aka Jack) started as a baggage master on the train when he was about 18 years old. It was on the railroad that Jack met Alvina Chambers as she traveled to and from East Boston to visit relatives. They married, built a house in Winthrop, on Locust St. and raised a family of two girls and one boy. He was very active in the social life of the railroad employees, helping to organize dances, picnics and other activities. He would work for the railroad for 40 years, spending the last 20 or more, as a conductor.

                                                         Jack Broderick about 1912

Jack’s sister, Mary, remained in Lynn, married Larry Keating and had 2 daughters. Larry was a shoe salesman. He died at the age of 45 from TB. Their first daughter died before her 1st birthday, while the youngest daughter, Lillian, lived a long life and was a steadfast friend and cousin to my mother. Mary died in 1930, at the age of 48, of a ruptured appendix.

Jack’s brother, Lawrence, never married and lived his life with virtually no contact with the remainder of his family.

Now, I’ll open the closet door and let the skeleton out. My grandfather was Irish Catholic, raised in a parochial school, observing all the holy days and special days of the church. He was supposed to marry a nice Irish Catholic girl and settle down. But my grandmother was a Baptist. Today we would look at this as no problem to speak of. But at that time it was considered a sin to marry outside the Catholic religion and would, for sure, send you directly to hell. Jack’s mother would have nothing to do with this. Although she had lost her first two sons, she turned her back on her oldest surviving son and never spoke to him again. She made it clear that no one else in the family was to have any contact with him or they would feel her wrath. This must have been difficult for everyone and it must have left raw open wounds. When Jack’s mother died 12 years later, a policeman came to the house to inform them of her death. My mother was already in school when this happened and to her surprise, she now had a grandfather, an aunt, two uncles and a cousin. The family, except for Lawrence, was reunited and spent many happy years together. Lawrence died in 1958, living as a boarder in a rooming house.

Because of this rift, it was difficult to find much information to use as a starting point. We all thought my grandfather was the oldest child and we knew he had two siblings, but there was scarcely anything else. When his mother disowned him, he stopped talking about his family. Researching Irish families is daunting enough as it is, without having the added burden of a family rift.  However, what has been found has revealed a family that none of us knew. Since I was less than a year old when my grandfather died, I now feel as though I know him in a way even my mother never knew.

                                                      Jack Broderick about 1912