Thursday, February 26, 2015

My Canadian Branches ~ The 3 Wives of Jacob Beck (1850-1938)



The main reason I wanted to talk to first cousin, 2x removed, Virginia Beck Golding in 2000 was to pick her memories of my Smith line. 72 years old back then, she came to our hotel room in Moncton, and told vivid stories of my great grandfather, the Baptist preacher, Wylie Herbert Smith, her Uncle Wylie. She really got my genealogy juices flowing 15 years ago. 

So, naturally, I am returning to her place in my Beck lineage and the information she passed on to me that evening in Moncton and in subsequent correspondence.

True to form, her father, Joseph Alexander Beck, married a Smith, my great grand aunt Estella Angelina Smith, in 1907. And it is with Joseph and Estella's marriage record that the puzzle presents itself.




The marriage record gave Joseph's parents, at the time of his marriage, as "Jacob & Late Charlotte Beck." This told me that Charlotte was deceased by 1907, but I still didn't have her maiden name. It took Joseph's death record to find it.

 

Now I had Charlotte's maiden name. It was Mattix. My cousin, "Mrs. Alden Golding." was the informant of her father's death.

The 1881 Census of Canada shows Jacob's first wife, spelled as "Sharlot," as well as Joseph's three older sisters, Alberta, Anna, and Orpa. Joseph was born two years later in 1883.




Sadly, a 1928 transcription of the graves in the Elgin Baptist Burial Ground, aka the Old Elgin Cemetery, lists Charlotte, wife of Jacob, Jr. d. 1887, ae 27 years. 

Two years later, Jacob married for a second time, this time to Priscilla Capson.



A child was born to Jacob and his second wife in the fall of 1889, and named Lottie Jane. Unfortunately, Lottie Jane only lived about a year, and her cause of death was particularly poignant, "The Lord wanted her."



A more "scientific" explanation of her death was deduced when her mother Priscilla's death occurred 17 days later. She had been suffering from "Consumption" (modern day Tuberculosis) for about 8 months. She was 24 when she died.


It was another two years before Jacob married again, and this time it was probably a practical close-to-home choice. He married Priscilla's younger sister Minnie.

Soon after marrying, Jacob and Minnie (Minerva Bernice) moved across the nearby border to the States. The 1900 US Census shows them living in Calais, Maine, with 3 of their 6 children born there.





Minnie Beck outlived Jacob, who died on August 20, 1938. Minnie died two years later in 1940, and is buried with Jacob in Oak Bay Cemetery, Oak Bay, Charlotte County, New Brunswick.



Oak Bay Cemetery
http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~nbstdavi/photooakbaycem.html

Sources:

1881 Census of Canada; Census Place: Elgin, Albert, New Brunswick; Roll: C_13177; Page: 63; Family No: 253.

1900 US Census; Census Place: Calais, Washington, Maine; Roll: 601; Page: 17B; Enumeration District: 0198; FHL microfilm: 1240601.

New Brunswick. Dept. of Health and Social Services. Index to Death Certificates (RS141C5), Reg. 4927, Vol. 220, Microfilm F20848. Provincial Archives of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB, Canada. http://archives.gnb.ca/. Accessed  and downloaded 5/28/2012.

New Brunswick. Dept. of Health and Social Services. Index to New Brunswick Marriages (RS141B7), No. 1144, Code B4/1907, Microfilm F15925. Provincial Archives of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB, Canada. http://archives.gnb.ca/. Accessed  and downloaded 5/28/2012.

New Brunswick. Dept. of Health and Social Services. Vital Statistics from Government Records (RS141), Index to New Brunswick Marriages (RS141B7), No. 45, Code B4/1889, Microfilm F13388. Provincial Archives of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB, Canada. http://archives.gnb.ca/. Accessed and downloaded 1/25/2015.

New Brunswick. Dept. of Health and Social Services. Vital Statistics from Government Records (RS141), Index to County Death Registers (RS141C1), Code C1b, Page 9, Line 73, Microfilm F13391. Provincial Archives of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB, Canada. http://archives.gnb.ca/. Accessed  and downloaded 2/7/2015.

"New Brunswick Provincial Deaths, 1815-1938," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-159391-991320-5?cc=1840147) : accessed 25 January 2015), 004529710 > image 721 of 1211; Provincial Archives, Fredericton.

"New Brunswick Provincial Deaths, 1815-1938," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-159391-991517-76?cc=1840147) : accessed 25 January 2015), 004529710 > image 722 of 1211; Provincial Archives, Fredericton.



Saturday, February 14, 2015

My Canadian Branches ~ Two Beck Sisters Become My 4th and 5th Great Grandmothers



Sisters Hannah Veckle Beck and Sophia Beck were two of six children of Martin Beck of Hillsborough, New Brunswick. Both of them figure prominently in my family tree, not only in their relationship to me, but also because of whom they married.

Hannah Veckle Beck was born around 1754 in Fort Lawrence, in Cumberland County, Nova Scotia. Around 1783, she married Robert Smith, the son of Yorkshire, England, immigrants Nathaniel Smith and Elizabeth Duck. Settling in River Glade, in Westmorland County, New Brunswick, Robert and Hannah Smith had a large family of between 10 and 12 children.

In 1835, Hannah's husband died, and is buried in the Burnt Hill Cemetery, in Salisbury, Westmorland County. This cemetery is also known as the Thaney Smith Burial Ground, and is located on land originally settled by Robert Smith, and later by their son Nathaniel. It is the earliest burial ground to be established on the Pollet River, and many pioneers were laid to rest there. It is likely that Hannah lies there as well.

My branch from Hannah Veckle Beck

Hannah Veckle Beck + Robert Smith
> George Alfred Smith + Caroline Steeves
> James Henry Smith + Robina Elizabeth Steeves
> Wylie Herbert Smith + Bertha McCain
> Harriet Cheney Smith + Suther Ross Bustin
> my mother + my dad
> me.

~~~~

                     
Hannah's sister Sophia Beck was born around 1768, also in Cumberland County. In her late teens, she married Matthias Steeves, the youngest son of Heinrich Stieff and Rachel Stalleger, German immigrants from Pennsylvania.

Sophia died on August 25, 1844, and is buried with her husband, Matthias, in the First Hillsborough United Baptist Church, in Hillsborough, New Brunswick.



My branch from Sophia Beck

Sophia Beck + Matthias Steeves
> Jacob Steeves + Eleanor Bleakney
> William Bleakney Steeves + Charlotte Ann Steeves
> John Henry Smith + Robina Elizabeth Steeves
> Wylie Herbert Smith + Bertha McCain
> Harriet Cheney Smith + Suther Ross Bustin
> my mother + my dad
> me.

Note 1:
A particular functionality in my genealogy software operates such that, because of the shorter bloodline from Hannah to me, she is calculated as my 4th great grandmother, while Sophia is calculated as my 4th great grand aunt, married to my 5th great grandfather. I consider Sophia my 5th great grandmother, however.

Note 2:
There was much intermarriage between the Steeves and Smith families. As my Brewer, Maine, "cousin" Michele LaBree Daniels says:

 "Only the brave do Steeves genealogy!"

Photo Credit:

Gravestone for Mathias and Sophia Steeves, First Hillsborough United Baptist Church, Albert County, New Brunswick, Canada. Freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com. Digital image.

Sources:

Bowser, Les, The search for Heinrich Stief : a genealogist on the loose. (Halifax : Nimbus Publishing, 2001)

Brides, Philip and Joan (Smith) Brides, Descendants of Nathaniel and Elizabeth Smith ( 2000).


Daniels, Michele LaBree, One Big Circle Website, (http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?db=mdaniels67).

Hempel, Rainer L., New voices on the shores: early Pennsylvania German settlements in New Brunswick (Toronto, German-Canadian Historical Association, 2000).




Thursday, January 29, 2015

My Canadian Branches ~ Martin Beck, the King's Baker



As I proceed with my blog theme for this year, I am alternating between my Nova Scotia ancestors and my New Brunswick ancestors. Thus I move on from my Nova Scotia Archibalds to my New Brunswick Becks. Evenly distributed research time makes for a fruitful assortment of stories. Enjoy!


During one of the most fluid settlement periods in Canadian history, my Beck ancestors traveled from Germany to Pennsylvania to New Brunswick, Canada.  Encouraged by William Penn's visit during a period of religious and spiritual controversy in their homeland, many Germans had crossed the Atlantic in search of religious freedom. A great many settled in Philadelphia and environs.

Families like the Becks (and many other families my "cousins" will recognize, like Stief and Lutz) , spurred on by land speculators like Benjamin Franklin, and the ever-present Alexander McNutt, eventually embarked for an even more uninhabited land, Nova Scotia.* In fact, as early as 1763, my fifth great grandfather, Martin Beck, affixed his name on a petition to the Governor for cleared land at Cumberland.  Such petitions were invariably met with enthusiasm, as expressed in this letter to London:

    "...German immigration from the older colonies to Nova Scotia ... will be materially strengthened by the acquisition of these 'frugal, laborious and industrious people'...[and] will not only improve and enrich their property but, if need be, 'pertinaciously defend it'."

If he received this land and sailed from Philadelphia right away, he would have arrived at Fort Cumberland during a time of immense upheaval. Fort Cumberland had been secured by the British in 1755, following its occupancy by the French, under the name Fort Beausejour.



Many new settlers found themselves dependent on "the King's Stores" at the garrison, especially during those first winter months. Flour, in particular, was very scarce.



It was in his capacity as King's Baker at Fort Cumberland that Martin Beck had his first contact with the other Pennsylvania German settlers. My sixth great grandfather, Heinrich Stief, was one of the heads of households whom he undoubtedly encountered.

According to the so-called "1775 Hillsborough Census," the Becks had by then moved to Hillsborough, and were neighbors to many other Pennsylvania German immigrant families. His two daughters married two of Heinrich Stief's sons. Mary married Henry Stief/Steeves and had five surviving children. Sophia married Matthias Stief/Steeves (my fifth great grandfather!), with whom she had 13 children.

Thus, Martin Beck, the Baker of Fort Cumberland, became the father-in-law of Heinrich Stief's two sons.

*This part of Nova Scotia eventually became New Brunswick.




Photo credits:

Map

Part of brochure produced by the Societe du Monument Lefebvre and Parks Canada (http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/lhn-nhs/nb/beausejour/natcul.aspx)

Badge

Hempel, Rainer L., New voices on the shores: early Pennsylvania German settlements in New Brunswick (Toronto, German-Canadian Historical Association, 2000), p. 202

Sources:

Daniels, Michele LaBree, One Big Circle website,
(http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?db=mdaniels67)

Fort Beausejour-Fort Cumberland Une Histoire / a history : brochure produced by the Societe du Monument Lefebvre and Parks Canada (http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/lhn-nhs/nb/beausejour/natcul.aspx)

Hempel, Rainer L., New voices on the shores: early Pennsylvania German settlements in New Brunswick (Toronto, German-Canadian Historical Association, 2000).

Thursday, January 22, 2015

My Canadian Branches ~ "Long John" Archibald and the Walking Contest



"Long John" Archibald (1758-1831), my fourth great grand uncle, found himself in the middle of a road controversy centering around Brookfield, Nova Scotia, in 1792. And, due to some underhanded business, came up short.

The Truro and Brookfield citizens of the day were of various minds as to where the official road from Halifax to Pictou should be. One blazed path lead from Lower Village (present-day Lower Truro) past Brookfield. The other led from Truro, at Young's Road (present-day Young St.), and met the first at a place known as Tucker's Clearing (present-day Hilden). The government left the decision to the local folks to decide which route would form this section of the Great Pictou Road, and then it would be developed at public expense.




The Lower Village residents were in favor of the first route, while the citizens of Truro and Brookfield strongly preferred the second way. A wager of five gallons of rum accompanied a bet that a man from Truro would walk the road in less time than the Lower Villagers could find anyone to walk the one of their choosing. If the Truro crowd's hopes were dashed, they lost the rum and the road.

On the day of the walking match, my ancestor, "Long John" Archibald, was chosen for the Truro route and William Johnson was chosen for the Lower Village one.

However, unknown to but a few, the Lower Villagers had hidden a horse along their route, which Mr. Johnson came upon, and mounted for the rest of the trip. Of course, the result was that he reached the Clearing at Hilden ahead of "Long John," walking back toward Truro to meet him.  

The Lower Village road was chosen as the final route. Supposedly, the secrets surrounding this decision remained hidden, until the details were revealed about seven years later in a court of law.


Sources:

Longworth, Israel, Israel Longworth's history of Colchester County, Nova Scotia (circa 1886) (Truro, Bob and Ada Mingo, 1989), pp.66-67.

Miller, Thomas. Historical and genealogical record of the first settlers of Colchester County, down to the present time, compiled from the most authentic sources. (1873).