Thursday, August 6, 2015

My Canadian Branches ~ Jane Soley Hamilton's 776 Babies



When Jane Soley married Robert Hamilton (my 3rd great grand uncle) in Lower Truro, Nova Scotia, in 1825, she never envisioned the local legend she would become. The daughter of  William and Mary Soley, she and Squire Robert, welcomed seven children into the world. Two of these children died in infancy, but it wasn't until her youngest, Baxter, was in his 10th year, and she in her 42nd, that her life would take on an expanded role in her community, and future generations still honor her selfless fortitude and courage.

It wasn't until July of 1851 that Jane was called upon to help a woman deliver a child. The mother was Elizabeth Hamilton (probably a relative) and she bore a son. Jane's presence and assistance as a midwife began a long and remarkable career.

In a small, care-worn, "birth book," Jane recorded every birth she attended, with the date, name of mother, and sex of the child. In 1852, she delivered 8 babies, and her path was determined. She averaged 20 entries each year for the next few years, with her busiest year being 1867, when she helped deliver 32 infants. There is no recording on any compensation for her work, although she may have received some small change that the family could spare.

Jane delivered many babies in Brookfield, where she lived, but also attended at births in Hilden, Pleasant Valley, Alton, and even as far away as Middle Stewiacke.

The surrounding cemeteries and graveyards contain many small unmarked stones in family plots, standing sentinel to the early deaths of children who perished too young. Brookfield and Pleasant Valley cemeteries hold at least nineteen of Jane's babies, documenting the epidemics and hardships families faced in those days. Scarlet fever, cholera, croup, dysentery, whooping cough, and diphtheria all took their toll.

"Aunt Jennie's" midwifery career spanned 42 years, and brought 776 children into the world, including 4 sets of twins. By the age of 80, she slackened her practice considerably. Several of her last patients were Hamiltons, probably related to her. In 1893, at the age of 88, Jane delivered Mrs. Sinclair Hamilton of a daughter. The little girl, named Mabel, who only lived four years, was Jane's great granddaughter.

Jane retired from this life's work at 88. Her career spanned 42 years and brought 776 children in this world. She passed away on October 2, 1897, aged 92 years and 8 months. Obituaries appeared in four newspapers,* but perhaps this unidentified newspaper clipping says it best:

"This venerable lady was one of the best known and most respected women in the place .... Ever ready to respond to the call of duty, she faced the most inclement weather at all hours and braved dangers that well might have tried the courage of strong men .... wherever sickness and trouble were, she was ever ready to lend a helping hand and in her quiet, cheerful way, did all that lay in her power to soothe the suffering. Hers was a truly unselfish, Christian life, entirely devoted to the welfare of other." **

Jane is buried next to her husband, Robert, in Brookfield Eastside Cemetery, in Colchester County, Nova Scotia.






*Colchester Sun (Truro), 6 October 1897
  Novascotian and Weekly Chronicle (Halifax), 16 October 1897
  Presbyterian Witness (Halifax), 9 October 1897, p.328
  Truro Daily News (Truro), 6 October 1897

** This obituary was found in an unidentified newspaper clipping in a scrapbook belonging to Mrs. Prudence Parker, North River, Colchester County, Nova Scotia. As of 1982, the scrapbook was still in her possession.


Photo Credit:

"Public Member Trees," database, Ancestry.com, "MacIntosh," for Jane Soley (d.. 2  Oct 1897), with linked images.

Sources:

"Colchester Women" by the Colchester Historical Society.

"Jane Soley Hamilton, Midwife," by Joan E. Kennedy, Nova Scotia Historical Review, Vol. 2, #1 (1982), pp.6-29. [Contains Record of Children Delivered by Jane Soley Hamilton, 1851-1893]

Miller, Thomas, Historical and genealogical record of the first settlers of Colchester county (Halifax, 1873), pp.357-358.




Monday, July 6, 2015

My Canadian Branches ~ The Inventive William H. Bustin of Saint John, New Brunswick and Watertown, Massachusetts



William Hermon Bustin began making harnesses for horses at 15 in Saint John. The second oldest son out of the ten children born to William H. Bustin, Sr. and Agnes "Nancy" Wilson, he left his apprenticeship after only two years and ran away in 1831.



He landed in Boston, Massachusetts, and began working for William Bell, whose shop was on Bromfield Street, near the Granary Burying Ground.



There is evidence to suggest that William at first traveled back and forth from Saint John to Massachusetts, but at age 33 he married a young lady 14 years his junior from Watertown, Massachusetts, Margaret McMaster. It was Watertown where they raised their sizable family and where he would live out his days.

1869 Boston City Directory for William H. Bustin
Father and Son


In 1881, near the end of his working life, he applied for and was granted a patent, No. 236,547, for a "Shaper for Horse-Collars":





William H. Bustin, another one of my 2nd great grand Bustin uncles, died in 1904, probably at his home on Franklin Street in Watertown, Massachusetts, and is buried in Common Street Cemetery there.


Photo Credit:

Harness Makers
(http://www.columbia.edu/itc/history/foner/jacksonian_america/week7-labor_issue/harness_maker.gif)

Pointed Collar
(https://pixabay.com/en/pointed-collar-collar-horse-239902/)

Sources:

1850 US Census; Census Place: Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts.

1880 US Census; Census Place: Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts; Roll: 542; Family History Film: 1254542; Page: 11A; Enumeration District: 420; Image: 0465.

1900 US Census; Census Place: Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts; Roll: 667; Page: 20A; Enumeration District: 0987; FHL microfilm: 1240667.

Ancestry.com. Boston, 1821-1850 Passenger and Immigration Lists [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2003.

Ancestry.com. Massachusetts, State Census, 1865 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014.

Ancestry.com. Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.

Find A Grave, database and images (http://findagrave.com : accessed  6 July 2015), memorial page for William H Bustin (1814-1904), Find A Grave Memorial no. 120784177, citing Common Street Cemetery, Watertown, Massachusetts.

"Massachusetts, Boston Passenger Lists, 1820-1891," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KCHC-RYZ : accessed 1 July 2015), Bustin, 1845; citing p. 1968, Ship , NARA microfilm publication (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll ; FHL microfilm 419,914.

"Massachusetts, State Census, 1855," Database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MQ43-Q7K : accessed 1 July 2015), Wm H Bustin, Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States; State Archives, Boston; FHL microfilm 953,952.

The Daily Sun (Saint John) 1 Jan 1895, via Daniel F Johnson's New Brunswick Newspaper Vital Statistics, PANB (http://archives.gnb.ca/Search/NewspaperVitalStats/Default.aspx?culture=en-CA)

"United States Census, 1860," Database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MZHG-1HT : accessed 1 July 2015), Margret Bustin in household of Wm H Bustin, Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States; from "1860 U.S. Federal Census - Population," database, Fold3.com (http://www.fold3.com : n.d.); citing p. 52, household ID 349, NARA microfilm publication M653 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 803,510.

U.S. Patent No. 236,547 (http://www.google.com/patents/US236547)




Sunday, June 28, 2015

My Canadian Branches ~ The Seafaring Legacy of Benjamin Bishop Bustin, Master Mariner

 


Benjamin Bishop Bustin, my 2nd great grand uncle, went to sea as a young man drawn to adventure and profit, sailing out of Saint John, New Brunswick. By the time he returned to Saint John, to marry Elizabeth Knollin in the fall of 1837, he was Captain of the brig "Kentville."




Benjamin commanded various vessels, as part of the British merchant fleet, for over fifty years, with Liverpool, England, his homeport for most of those years. He obtained his Certificate of Service, No. S36324,* due to his lengthy service. However, there is evidence to suggest that his wife Elizabeth sailed with him on many of his voyages.

Out of eleven children, three of the oldest, Elizabeth Knollin, Benjamin, and Mary Utt died in infancy or early childhood between 1843 and 1848. Their daughter, Mary Utt Bustin, died in Jamaica, according to newspaper reports carried back to Saint John. Their next three children, Edward Sancton, Agnes Hannah, and Maud Catherine, were born in Liverpool, but all died as very young children.

The other five children, three sons and two daughters, lived to adulthood, and the sons followed their father into the merchant trade. The oldest son, John William, worked his way from Second Mate up to Master Mariner, but unfortunately fell overboard off the coast of England and drowned. He was 27 years old, and had just obtained his Master certificate:



William Walker also obtained his Master certificate:



James Scoullar also went to sea, in 1883 aboard the ship "Anselm," as attested by this newspaper announcement of his death:

"...the announcement of the death of James Scoullar BUSTIN, the second s/o Capt. B.B. BUSTIN of this city. Mr. Bustin died at Cardiff on 18th ult., but the news of his death did not reach St. John until yesterday. Some months ago he was taken ill with fever in Africa, but on his return to the U.K. he recovered so rapidly that he started on another voyage. When he returned to Cardiff he was sent to hospital where he died soon afterwards."
-- The Daily Sun (Saint John) 18 Feb 1891


Perhaps the greatest price Benjamin B. Bustin paid for his life sailing the seas was the death of his wife Elizabeth. She died aboard the ship "King Cedric," where she was accompanying her husband on a voyage from Bombay to Hull. She was, of necessity, buried at sea.

d. 2nd Jan., on board ship "King Cedric" on voyage from Bombay to Hull, Elizabeth Knollin BUSTIN w/o Capt. B.B. BUSTIN, St. John, N.B. (cross reference: Elizabeth KNOLLIN)


By the 1891 Canadian Census, the widower Benjamin Bishop Bustin was living back in Saint John with his brother Thomas, and within a year he was dead at the age of 80 years old. He is buried in Fernhill Cemetery, although no headstone exists. His obituary in the Saint John Globe illustrates his long life, and his relationship to his grandfather, and my 4th great grandfather, the Loyalist Thomas Bustin:

"Capt. Benjamin B. BUSTIN, one of the oldest St. John shipmasters, died this forenoon in his 80th year from paralysis. Born in St. John, Capt. Bustin went to sea at an early age and when twenty years old commanded a vessel. For fifty years he was a master of ships and in all that time never lost a vessel and never met with a serious accident. Ten years ago he retired from active seafaring life. By his death the first break in 75 years is made in a family of eight boys. Capt. Bustin leaves two daughters residing in St. John and one son, master of a steamer, with residence in Liverpool. The grandfather of Capt. Bustin was a Loyalist - Thomas BUSTIN, who was born in North carolina and who joined the royal army at New York when the revolution broke out. He served three years under General Burgoyne. Once, it is recorded, when in a tent with the General, a shell dropped through the canvas. Fortunately the fuse went out. Thomas left New York in 1783 in the second fleet for St. John (Parr Town) on board ship "Sovereign". He was married on Sept. 6, 1785 to Miss UTT in a log house on the corner of Princess and Charlotte Streets, on the next lot below what is known as Bustin's corner."
-- Saint John Globe, Saint John, 20 May 1892






Index to the Captains Registers of Lloyd’s of London (Guildhall Library Ms 18567) (http://www.history.ac.uk/gh/capsB2.pdf). Can be consulted at the London Metropolitan Archives.

From 1845 men intending to become masters or mates of foreign-going British merchant ships, had to take voluntary examinations of competency.  This system was made compulsory by the Marine Act of 1850 and the Merchant Shipping Act of 1854 extended it to masters and mates of home trade or coastal vessels.

Certificates of Service were issued to those who were exempted due to long service, but those without sufficient service, or wishing to rise in rank, were granted Certificates of Competency on passing formal examinations.


Photo Credit:

A trading brig drifting into a Continental harbor, oil on canvas by Charles John De Lacy
[Charles John De Lacy [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons]


Sources:



1891 Census of Canada, Census Place: Queen Ward, Saint John City, New Brunswick; Roll: T-6303; Family No: 158.

Ancestry.com. 1861 England Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005.

Ancestry.com. 1871 England Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004.

Ancestry.com. Canada, Seafarers of the Atlantic Provinces, 1789-1935 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014.

Ancestry.com. Liverpool, England, Crew Lists 1861-1919 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014. This collection was indexed by Ancestry World Archives Project contributors.

Ancestry.com. UK and Ireland, Masters and Mates Certificates, 1850-1927 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.

Find A Grave, database and images (http://findagrave.com : accessed 27 June 2015), memorial page for Capt Benjamin Bishop Bustin (1812-1892), Find A Grave Memorial no. 82041498, citing Fernhill Cemetery, Saint-John, New Brunswick, Canada.

FreeBMD. England & Wales, FreeBMD Death Index, 1837-1915 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006.

Index to the Captains Registers of Lloyd’s of London (Guildhall Library Ms 18567) (http://www.history.ac.uk/gh/capsB2.pdf)

New Brunswick Courier, Saint John, 28 Oct 1837, via Daniel F Johnson's New Brunswick Newspaper Vital Statistics, PANB (http://archives.gnb.ca/Search/NewspaperVitalStats/Default.aspx?culture=en-CA)

New Brunswick Courier (Saint John) 14 Oct 1843, via Daniel F Johnson's New Brunswick Newspaper Vital Statistics, PANB (http://archives.gnb.ca/Search/NewspaperVitalStats/Default.aspx?culture=en-CA)

New Brunswick Courier, Saint John, 23 Dec 1843, via Daniel F Johnson's New Brunswick Newspaper Vital Statistics, PANB (http://archives.gnb.ca/Search/NewspaperVitalStats/Default.aspx?culture=en-CA)

New Brunswick Courier (Saint John) 22 July 1848, via Daniel F Johnson's New Brunswick Newspaper Vital Statistics, PANB (http://archives.gnb.ca/Search/NewspaperVitalStats/Default.aspx?culture=en-CA)

New Brunswick Courier (Saint John) 15 May 1852, via Daniel F Johnson's New Brunswick Newspaper Vital Statistics, PANB (http://archives.gnb.ca/Search/NewspaperVitalStats/Default.aspx?culture=en-CA)

New Brunswick Courier (Saint John) 24 July 1852, via Daniel F Johnson's New Brunswick Newspaper Vital Statistics, PANB (http://archives.gnb.ca/Search/NewspaperVitalStats/Default.aspx?culture=en-CA)

Saint John Globe, Saint John, 20 May 1892, via Daniel F Johnson's New Brunswick Newspaper Vital Statistics, PANB (http://archives.gnb.ca/Search/NewspaperVitalStats/Default.aspx?culture=en-CA)

Surnames Index to Baptisms, Wesleyan Chapel, Upper Stanhope Street, Toxteth, 1851 to 1889. (http://www.toxtethparkcemetery.co.uk/Wesleyan%20Chapel,%20Upper%20Stanhope%20Street,%20Toxteth/Stanhope%20Street%20Wesleyn%20Chapel%20Baptisms%201851%20to%201889.htm)

The Daily News (Saint John), March 13, 1877, via Daniel F Johnson's New Brunswick Newspaper Vital Statistics, PANB (http://archives.gnb.ca/Search/NewspaperVitalStats/Default.aspx?culture=en-CA)

The Daily Sun (Saint John) 18 Feb 1891, via Daniel F Johnson's New Brunswick Newspaper Vital Statistics, PANB (http://archives.gnb.ca/Search/NewspaperVitalStats/Default.aspx?culture=en-CA)

Tracing seafaring ancestors in the Merchant Navy Information Sheet (Mersyside Maritime Museum) (http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/maritime/archive/info-sheet.aspx?sheetId=47)





Sunday, June 21, 2015

My Canadian Branches ~ Finding Fulton Graves (From Afar)



Like so many other descendants of James and Margaret Fulton (my 6th great grandparents) of Bass River, Nova Scotia, I was familiar with the early family history: the immigration from Ireland, the settlement in New England, and the re-settlement in Nova Scotia. Short of visiting the ancestral homeland, I have immersed myself in the rich saga of "Judge" James Fulton, and his son, the chair-maker, George Fulton.

When it came down to locating the final resting places of my Fulton ancestors, however, it is a mixed bag.  To get a clearer picture of the graves I had located online, and to determine those I was missing, I put all I had in an Excel spreadsheet. I included Relationship, Name, Cemetery, Source/Site, URL/FAG #, and Picture?. This exercise showed me some burial plot patterns over time, but contained some surprises.

My 6th Great Grandparents, James and Margaret Fulton, three of my 5th Great Grand Uncles (with their wives), as well as a 4th Great Grand Uncle and his wife are buried in the Island Cemetery, in Bass River. Another 5th Great Grand Uncle and his wife are buried in the Portaupique Cemetery, in Portaupique.

Fortunately, I found pictures of all 12 of these graves on either Find A Grave, or Canada Gen Web's Cemetery Project.

The first surprise was the absence of any burial information for my 5th Great Grandparents, George Fulton and Esther Creelman. For each of them to be from two of the more prominent Colchester County families, this baffles me.

I also have found four Fulton cousins, most with spouses, buried in Pembroke Cemetery, in Upper Stewiacke, 7 out of 9 with pictures. And, yet, surprisingly enough, I have no burial information for my 4th Great Grandparents, Isabel Fulton and John Brown.



I posted my spreadsheet, from my Dropbox under Files on the Genealogy of Colchester County Facebook Page, and also posted a request for anyone to stop by and fill in some of my photo gaps. This resulted in my receiving some wonderful pictures from Burnt Hill Cemetery, in Burnside, of the graves of my 3rd Great Grandparents, Alexander MacKay and Eleanor Brown. Though not Fultons, these pictures were a great gift. With the photographer's permission, I was able to add them to their Find A Grave memorials.

Graves of Alexander MacKay and Eleanor Brown
Burnt Hill Cemetery, Burnside
c/o Floyd Mesheau

Sources:

Bass River Heritage Society http://www.bassrivermuseum.ca/

Bass River...the Fulton ancestors http//www.mytripjournal.com/travel-103622-bass-river-judge-james-nova-scotia-prince-edward

Colchester Historeum Cemetery Index http://colchesterhistoreum.ca/search/

Dominion Chair Company, Our History http://dominionchair.ca/our-history/

History of Bass River, by Marion R. Davidson, written for the centenary edition, Truro Weekly News, June 29, 1967.

History of Bass River, produced by the Women's Institute of Bass River in 1955, and revised in 1978 by the Bass River Senior Citizens Club.

History of Founders of Bass River, by J. Currie Creelman (1935).

James Fulton, in Dictionary of Canadian Biography http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/fulton_james_6E.html

The Fulton Family of Atlantic Canada; Sponsored by the Fulton Family Associates, Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada - 1979., The Fulton Family of Atlantic Canada, (Sponsored by the Fulton Family Associates, Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada - 1979).

The Island Cemetery http://bassrivermuseum.tumblr.com/post/36082884378/the-island-cemetery-bass-river-nova-scotia-1790