Tuesday, June 27, 2017

My 64 ~ Researching My Fourth Great Grandparents : Hugh Cowperthwaite III and Mary "Polly" Newcomb

My fourth great grandfather, Hugh Cowperthwaite, was born in Pittsgrove, in Salem County, New Jersey, in 1776, the second son and the third of 10 children born to Loyalist Hugh Cowperthwaite and Sarah Mead. His parents left New Jersey in January of 1778, when the oath of allegiance was tendered to them. Refusing to sign the oath, they had fled to Philadelphia, and, following the evacuation of that city, ultimately settled in Sunbury County, New Brunswick, Canada.

My fourth great grandmother, Mary "Polly" Newcomb, was born around 1778 in Waterborough (which is present-day Canning), New Brunswick, Canada, the youngest daughter, and ninth of 10 children born to Benjamin Newcomb and Elizabeth Lewis. Benjamin had come with his parents to settle in Cornwallis, Nova Scotia, from Connecticut, in 1760.

Hugh and Polly were married on October 17, 1799, in Waterborough, New Brunswick. They settled in Sheffield, in Sunbury County, New Brunswick, and raised a large family. Their children included 5 sons and 4 daughters, all presumably born in Sheffield:

Abraham, b. year unknown
David, b. 1798
Reuben, b. 1801
Rebecca, b. 1804
Henry Nelson, b. 1807
Jane, b. 1808
Margaret, b. 1812
Hugh, b. 1820
Eliza Ann, b. 1821

Sheffield United Church in Sheffield NB, built in 1775 and rebuilt in 1840

At some point in their lives, they relocated to Carleton County, New Brunswick, perhaps moving in with one of their children in their later years. It is generally believed to be true that Polly died there, although her death year, as well as her final resting place, are unknown.

There is a record of Hugh's death, however, as October 8, 1853. That record states that he is buried in Methodist Cemetery, in Woodstock, New Brunswick, although the stone may have been removed, toppled or eroded.

Methodist Cemetery, Woodstock, New Brunswick

My line of descent from Hugh and Polly is through their daughter Margaret, who married William Harnett. Their daughter Harriet married John McCain. Their daughter Bertha married my great grandfather, Rev.Wylie Herbert Smith. Their daughter Harriet was my maternal grandmother.

Because of Hugh's Loyalist roots, I am hoping to become a United Empire Loyalist.


Ancestry.com. 1851 Census of Canada East, Canada West, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006.

"Benjamin Newcomb," Miner, Mark E., Miner Descent, (https://minerdescent.com/2010/07/08/benjamin-newcomb/ : accessed 26 June 2017).

Find A Grave, database and images (http://findagrave.com : accessed  26 Jun 2017), memorial page for Hugh Cowperthwaite III (1776-1853), Find A Grave Memorial no. 117673561, citing Methodist Cemetery, Woodstock, Carleton County, New Brunswick, Canada.

New Brunswick Cemeteries (PANB).

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