Sunday, January 8, 2017

My 64 ~ Researching My Fourth Great Grandparents : John McCain and Jane Allison



My fourth great grandfather, John McCain, was born in Drumboe, Stranorlar Parish, County Donegal, Ireland, in about 1760. He is known to have had three brothers and a sister, although hardly anything is known about his parents.

My fourth great grandmother, Jane Allison, was born in about 1775, also in County Donegal.

John and Jane married in about 1798, in County Donegal. Five known children were born to the couple:

John, b. abt. 1800
William, b. 1802
James, b. abt. 1806
Andrew, b. 1807*
and
Jane, b. 1816

*my 3rd great grandfather




According to Hutchison:

"John and his family were farmers at Meenhoney, a hilly, bog-filled region about one mile northwest of Castlefin, Co. Donegal, bordering on Northern Ireland. It was one of the few Protestant counties in Ireland and also one of the poorest, as was typical if the northwestern region of Ireland."



Meenahoney Townland, County Donegal, Ireland
Old Building at Meenhoney

It wasn't until sons William, James, and Andrew emigrated to New Brunswick, Canada, in the 1820s and 1830s, that the foundation of the McCain Family business enterprise was established. Brothers Andrew and James first arrived in Carleton County, New Brunswick, by the spring of 1823. All of the McCains obtained 100-acre land grants in the Florenceville area, where the "rolling hills, lush green valley, and meandering river" must have reminded them of their homeland in Meenahoney.

The industrious McCains began trading farm produce, and cultivated, in later generations, a huge Irish tradition ~ potato farming. The advent of large-scale potato farming, beginning in the 1920s, positioned the McCain families of Florenceville, New Brunswick, for the prosperous industry for which it is known to this day. 



Brothers Harrison, Wallace, Andrew, and Robert McCain, founders of McCain Foods Limited, are all second cousins, twice removed.

In the meantime, my fourth great grandparents, John and Jane McCain, both died around 1816 in County Donegal, Ireland, and their graves are unmarked and unknown.

Photo Credit:

Kenneth Allen [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Kenneth Allen [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Sources:

Hutchison, Brian W. Descendants of John McCain from Stranorlar Parish, Co. Donegal, Ireland: Migrations to British North America and throughout Ireland, (c. 1760-2004). Nanaimo, BC: GEN-FIND Research Associates, 2005. 









Sunday, November 27, 2016

My 64 ~ Researching My Fourth Great Grandparents : Jacob Steeves and Eleanor Bleakney



My fourth great grandfather, Jacob Steeves, was born on May 3, 1788, most probably in Hillsborough, Albert County, New Brunswick, the first son of Matthias Steeves and Sophia Beck, and the second of thirteen children. He was the grandson of Heinrich Stief and Regina Stahlecker, who settled in Hillsborough 250 years ago.

My fourth great grandmother, Eleanor "Nellie" Bleakney, was born in the early 1800's, the daughter of William Bleakney and Barbara Jacques. She was the granddaughter of David Blakeney and his wife Elizabeth, who were part of a group of South Carolina Loyalists who had arrived in Canada in late 1782.  I wrote of her grandfather in 2015, in my blog series My Canadian Branches.

The couple were married in Westmorland County on November 12, 1818. They settled on the Pollett River, a tributary of the Petitcodiac, undoubtedly near where the Bleakney clan had settled. This map shows the area very well.

Petitcodiac-river-map-closeup1


According to Esther Clark Wright, they had four children, two sons and two daughters. I have found William Bleakney and Jacob, Barbara and possibly Eliza:

Barbara, b. abt. 1821
William Bleakney, b. abt. 1823
Eliza, b. possibly 1827
Jacob, b. abt. 1828

The Steeves House Museum lists two additional children, a son George Bleakney Steeves, born abt. 1832, and a daughter Catherine Bleakney Steeves, b. abt. 1834, but further research is needed on these.

Daughter Barbara married Andrew Anderson, and is buried with him in Boundary Creek Cemetery in Moncton.  William Bleakney married a granddaughter of Henry, Christian's son, Charlotte Ann Steeves, and is buried with her in Hillside United Baptist Church Cemetery in Hillside.

The graves of Jacob and Eleanor are unknown.




Map Credit:

Roe Brothers, (A.D. & W.B. Roe), base maps are from British Admiralty charts and National Surveys [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/36/Petitcodiac-river-map-closeup1.png)

Sources:

"Canada Census, 1851," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MW5B-TDL : accessed 21 May 2015), Eleanor Steeves, Coverdale, Albert County, New Brunswick, Canada; citing p. 2, line 35; Library and Archives Canada film number C_994, Public Archives, Ontario..

Canada, Marriages, 1661-1949," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/F2P9-PMD : accessed 30 December 2014), Jacob Steves and Eleanor Bleakney, 12 Nov 1818; citing Westmorland,New Brunswick, reference ; FHL microfilm 847,576.

Find A Grave, database and images (http://findagrave.com : accessed  16 Nov 2016), memorial page for Barbara Steeves Anderson (unknown-1874), Find A Grave Memorial no. 119762001, citing Boundary Creek Cemetery, Moncton, Westmorland County, New Brunswick, Canada.

Find A Grave, database and images (http://findagrave.com : accessed  16 Nov 2016), memorial page for William B Steeves (1823-1899), Find A Grave Memorial no. 158435290, citing Hillside United Baptist Church Cemetery, Hillside, Albert County, New Brunswick, Canada.

Wright, Esther Clark. Samphire Greens: The Story of the Steeves. 2nd ed. (Hillsborough, NB: The Steeves Family Inc., 2001), p. 63.



Sunday, November 20, 2016

My 64 ~ Researching My Fourth Great Grandparents : Christian Steeves and Christiana Jones



My fourth great grandfather, Christian Steeves, was born in Coverdale, Albert County, New Brunswick, sometimes in 1806. His parents were Henry Steeves (1780-1856) and Ann "Nancy" Sinton (1777-1856). This Christian Steeves is the great grandson of Heinrich Stief and Regina Stahlecker, who arrived in Hillsborough 250 years ago.

Little is known about Christian, until he and Christiana Jones, registered their intention to marry on July 26, 1827, in Westmorland County. They were married three months later on the same date.

My fourth great grandmother, Christiana Jones, was also born in 1806, in Hillsborough, the daughter of Henry Jones (1758-1840) and Ann Christiana Somers (1763-1837). She descends, on her father's side, from the original Monckton settler, Charles Jones, and, on her mother's side, from the early Monckton settler, Matthias Sommer.

Model of the Lovey, which carried the Monckton Settlers to the banks of the Petitcodiac.
Picture taken by me in the Steeves House Museum in Hillsborough
 during Steeves250 in July 2016

Description of the Lovey model.

The 1851, 1861, and the 1871 Censuses of Canada show my great grandparents living first in Moncton, and later in Elgin, in Albert County. Christian was a farmer, and, as such, required a large family. Christian and Christiana had 11 children, by most accounts, seven sons and four daughters:


Henry, b. 1828
Charlotte Ann, b. abt. 1829 *
Jacob Watson, b. 1832
Ellen, b. 1836
Caroline, b. 1837
Jordan Kennie, b. 1839
Abigail, b. 1841
Thomas Ansley, b. 1845
Oliver Christian, b. 1847
Johnson, b. 1848
and
Howard, b. 1850

*my third great grandmother


The Christian Visitor newspaper, in Saint John, noted the passing of my fourth great grandfather thusly, in their July 24, 1878 issue:

"Died at Gowland Mountain, 11th June, of inflammation of the lungs, Christian STEEVES, age 71. Our dear brother was born at Coverdale (Albert Co.) in the year 1808; moved to Elgin in the spring of '55; and in the Auntumn '63, while attending a series of meetings held by Brothers M. Starrett and J.C. Steadman was led by the Divine Spirit to believe that Jesus Christ was the Son of God. Himself, his wife and three sons were all baptized and united with the third Elgin Church. Our brother has left a widow, three sons and five daughters."

Two years later, The Times of Moncton, mentioned my 4th great grandmother's death, in their February 3, 1880 paper.

"d. Elgin (Albert Co.) 4th Jan., of inflammation, Christiana STEEVES relict of Deacon Christian STEEVES. She professed faith in Christ, Sept. '64 and was baptized by Rev. Daniel V. Crandall and united with the 3rd Elgin Baptist Church where she remained a member until her death., age 73, left five sons, four daughters."

Although I discovered one of their sons, Thomas Ansley Steeves, and his wife, Berthina Jane Gibson, buried in Southside Cemetery, in Skowhegan, Maine, I do not know where my fourth great grandparents are buried.

Sources:

1851 Census of Canada of Canada East, Canada West, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia ; Census Place: Moncton, Westmorland County, New Brunswick; Schedule: I; Roll: C_997; Page: 65; Line: 6

1861 Census of Canada [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2009.

1871 Census of Canada; Census Place: Elgin, Albert, New Brunswick; Roll: C-10395; Page: 25; Family No: 73.

"Canada Marriages, 1661-1949," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:F2P9-4NT:5 December 2014), Christian Steves and Christiana Jones, 26 Jul 1827; citing Westmorland,New Brunswick, reference ; FHL microfilm 847,576.

Bowser, Les. The Settlers of Monckton Township. (Omemee, ON: 250th Productions, 2016).

Daniel F. Johnson's New Brunswick Newspaper Vital Statistics, 1784-1890, Provincial Archives of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB, Canada. http://archives.gnb.ca/. Accessed  11/13/2016.

Wright, Esther Clark. Samphire Greens: The Story of the Steeves. 2nd ed. (Hillsborough, NB: The Steeves Family Inc., 2001).














Wednesday, August 24, 2016

My 64 ~ Researching My Fourth Great Grandparents : "Squire" George Steeves and Martha Smith


Having traveled this July to Hillsborough, New Brunswick, to attend the Steeves250 celebration, I will focus my next 3 posts on my 3 sets of Steeves 4th great grandparents :


"Squire" George Steeves and Martha Smith
Jacob Steeves and Eleanor Bleakney
and
Christian Steeves and Christianna Jones


Steeves House Museum during the Steeves250 celebration (July 2016)

My fourth great grandfather, George Steeves, was born most probably in Hillsborough, New Brunswick, on December 1, 1785, the fifth child of Jacob Steeves and Anna Catherina Lutz, and their fourth son. He was the grandson of Heinrich Stief and Regina Stahlecker, who settled in Moncton, and later in Hillsborough, in 1766.  The Steeves250 celebration this summer commemorated Heinrich and Regina's arrival in Canada, 250 years ago, from Philadelphia, having begun their long journey in Germany.


Map showing Hillsborough, Moncton,
and the Petitcodiac River 

My fourth great grandmother, Martha Smith, was also born, probably in Hillsborough, on June 18, 1788, the daughter of Charles Smith and Suzanne Govang. She was the granddaughter of James Smith, an Irishman who had been one of the first settlers of Hillsborough in 1770.

Together, George and Martha Steeves, as was common in farming families of this era and locale, had 11 children in quick succession, probably all born in Hillsborough:

Mary, b. 1813
Ann, b. 1814
Caroline, b. 1816
Albert D., b. 1818
Rachel, b. 1820
George William, b. 1822
Martha, b. 1824
Catherine, b. 1825
Susan, b. 1827
James Jacob, b. 1830
and
Permilia Jane, b. 1834

With eight daughters and three sons, with one son never marrying, and another having only daughters, George hardly contributed to furthering the family name. Not to worry; there were plenty of other Steeves family members to do so.

George came to be known in his later years as "Squire" George. Although there has been the suggestion that he was a schoolmaster, it is more likely that he may have handled legal matters for the Steeves clan. Whether he had the training to do so, however, is in doubt. The title may have been bestowed simply because of his stature, physical or by reputation, in Hillsborough.

Martha died on June 6, 1839. Five years after her death, the widower George married Elizabeth Smith, the eldest daughter of my fourth great grandparents, Robert Smith and Hannah Veckle Beck (more on them in a future post!). George died on May 16, 1870, and his second wife, Elizabeth, died exactly one year later, on May 16, 1871.

George and his two wives, Martha and Elizabeth, are buried in the Hillsborough Pioneer Cemetery, right in the heart of Hillsborough, next to the First Hillsborough United Baptist Church. Hence, Find A Grave designates the burial ground as the First Hillsborough United Baptist Church Cemetery.

Hillsborough Pioneer Cemetery during Steeves250

Hillsborough Pioneer Cemetery during Steeves250


Headstone of Martha Smith Steeves

Close-up of Martha's Headstone

Monument to George and 2d wife Elizabeth

Close-up of George and Elizabeth's monument

Sources:

Find A Grave, database and images (http://findagrave.com : accessed  24 Aug 2016), memorial page for George Steeves (1784-1870), Find A Grave Memorial no. 142780831, citing First Hillsborough United Baptist Church Cemetery, Hillsborough, Albert County, New Brunswick, Canada.

Find A Grave, database and images (http://findagrave.com : accessed  24 Aug 2016), memorial page for Martha Steves (1788-1839), Find A Grave Memorial no. 142772904, citing First Hillsborough United Baptist Church Cemetery, Hillsborough, Albert County, New Brunswick, Canada.

Find A Grave, database and images (http://findagrave.com : accessed  24 Aug 2016), memorial page for Elizabeth Steeves (1793-1871), Find A Grave Memorial no. 142780888, citing First Hillsborough United Baptist Church Cemetery, Hillsborough, Albert County, New Brunswick, Canada.

Wright, Esther Clark. Samphire Greens: The Story of the Steeves. 2d ed. (Hillsborough, NB: The Steeves Family Inc., 2001).