Monday, April 25, 2011

The Nathaniel Smiths aboard the Brigantine "Albion" in 1774 - Maritime Monday

Nathaniel Smith (1720-1791), my Fifth Great Grandfather, was one of about a thousand Yorkshire emigrants who arrived in Nova Scotia, Canada between 1772 and 1775 as part of the British resettlement. Along with his wife Elizabeth, daughter Nancy, and sons Robert, John, and Nathaniel with his wife Rachel, left Hull, England in March 1774 on board the brigantine "Albion."

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I was able to obtain a a booklet recently from the Tantramar HeritageTrust entitled "Nathaniel Smith : A Stranger in a Strange Land." It contains excerpts from his letters home to family, even written during the crossing.  On May 29, 1774, he wrote to his brother Benjamin:

"...we had three weaks of excessive stormes and dreadful horicanes but in no great dainger of suffering, save upon Sable Island which sertainly would have been the case of our Capton had not been before the ship in his rekoning two hundred miles, as the Isle is that distance from the Cape called Sable, he begun to sound expecting to we were nigh the shores and about the Dead of Night could find not bottom, again about two they sounded on the starbord Side and found only aleven fathom, All was in an uprore expecting we were just upon the rocks."

Photo credit:

Nathaniel Smith : A Stranger in a Strange Land,, Pat Finney, ed., a publication of Tantramar Heritage Trust Inc., Sackville, NB, Canada, August, 2000.

The Descendants of Nathaniel and Elizabeth Smith, Philip and Joan Smith Brides, Halifax, MA, 2000.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

It's SCOTLAND Week !! Got Tartan?

Alexander MacKay, born in Lairg, Sutherland, Scotland, 12/24/1831, died in Nova Scotia, 9/10/1901, married Eleanor Brown, and their daughter, Isabella Fulton MacKay married Peter Suther Hamilton, and their daughter, Melvina Jane Hamilton married Frederick Parker Bustin, and their son, Suther Ross Bustin married Harriet Cheney Smith, and their daughter, Marilyn Louise Bustin is MY MOM !!

The Clan Mackay is an ancient and once powerful Scottish clan from the country's far north in the Scottish Highlands, but with roots in the old province of Moray. They played a powerful force in politics beginning in the 12th century, supporting Robert the Bruce. Mackays became famous for strength, courage and skill in soldiering and were involved in endless Clan battles against Keiths, Rosses, Gunns, Sinclairs, Sutherlands and others, and wars abroad. In the centuries that followed they were supporters of the British government and were very anti-Jacobite. They played an important role in the military activities of both Scotland and Europe. The Highland Clearances had dire ramifications for the clan, but since then they spread throughout the world and have provided it many famous and influential descendants.

Monday, April 4, 2011

One Year Gone and Missed Every Day

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One year ago today, we lost Dad. The following are quotes from his eulogy, written and delivered by his only granddaughter, my daughter Stephanie Claire Schaffner:

"Richard Seavey lived the dream. I honestly believe he never thought he would get from life what he did and therefore, he left this world with no regrets. I guess you could call it a blessing in disguise, but my grandfather was a bit na├»ve; a wife and family that loved him dearly was more than he ever could have dreamed of. He woke up every day with a smile on his face and a kiss for my grandmother…it was as simple as that. That’s what my grandfather was: a simple man...

...I was asked by my cousins to speak on behalf of the grandchildren today and it’s a hard task to sum up how we all feel in a few words. What I do know is that we are lucky. We are the six luckiest children in the world to have grown up with a man like him to look up to and to share memories with. On a day like today it’s hard to think about anything but what we have lost, but I would like everyone to remember what we gained through this man. We learned values, gained insight, and most importantly, shared laughter with him. All of which can never ever be replaced. I am incredibly happy to know that my cousins, five very special boys and men, will have the memories of our grandfather to turn to when they have their own families. If they take even one attribute of our grandfather with them into their family lives, I’m sure they will be successful husbands, fathers, and grandfathers...

...There’s no one in this world that could ever take the place of such a beloved man. Although he was many different things to many different people, and each grandchild loved him in their own special way, throughout his life, I know that being a father and grandfather were the roles that truly completed him..."

Stephanie Claire Schaffner, April 8th, 2010, South Portland, Maine

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Happy 90th Birthday Aunt Ruth !!

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My great aunt, Ruth Spring Bustin, turns 90 tomorrow. I love this picture, taken about 1951 or so, because I can identify, from memory, so many gathered on the front steps of 827 Stevens Ave.

Ruth is in the front in the light dress, a young mother then, since Pap is holding Norm in his arms. Also in the group are Vina, Flora Bustin (Lawrence's wife), Vesta Bustin (Fred and Vina's daughter), Arletta Curran (Pap's niece), and Laurine Bustin (Lawrence and Flora's daughter).

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Play Ball !!

This week has seen Opening Days around the country, and with it the promise of warmer and sunnier days ahead.  I love these old pictures of my grandfather's brother Marvin Bustin suited up for a game in the old Morrill's Corner hang-out always referred to as "Six Links."