Wednesday, March 25, 2015

My Canadian Branches ~ The Loss of Charles and Nancy Creelman's Children

Charles Creelman, my first cousin 6x removed, married Agnes "Nancy" Johnson in 1849, and settled on property he inherited from his father in Springside, Upper Stewiacke, Nova Scotia. From 1850 to 1870, they welcomed four sons and six daughters. But it is not the births of these children that is notable, but a definite pattern in their deaths.

The FTM Timeline Report for Charles, showing family events as well, indicated the span of years, from 1871 to 1892, when these children, at the dawn of their lives, confronted death.

What this report does not reveal, but further research does, is that:

  • Daughter Mary Ann died at age 19, unmarried
  • Son Frederick died at age 22, unmarried
  • Daughter Maggie died at age 19, unmarried
  • Daughter Hannah died at age 29, unmarried
  • Daughter-In-Law Elizabeth "Jane" (Tupper) died at age 24
  • Daughter Ellen died at age 25, unmarried, and
  • Daughter Martha (Creelman) Nickerson died at age 34

All of these young people were buried in Pembroke Cemetery in Upper Stewiacke, where their parents were also laid to rest.

Mary Ann Creelman's Grave
Frederick Creelman's Grave
Maggie Creelman's Grave
Hannah Creelman's Grave
{No photo of Jane Tupper Creelman's Grave available}

Ellen Creelman's Grave
Martha Creelman Nickerson's Grave
Charles and Nancy Creelman's Graves

Who knows what epidemic or pestilence swept through the Stewiacke Valley during this period to take these young lives. There is evidence of an influenza plague that threatened North America during this period. Perhaps that is the explanation. Or, perhaps a genetic medical condition, that was apt to strike down people in their '20's, was the cause. Was it consumption for all? Mary Ann died of it, now known as tuberculosis. How tragic it must have been to watch such young folks pass on.

Photo credits:

I am indebted to 3rd cousin, 1x removed, Richard Graham, for taking the headstone pictures in Pembroke Cemetery for CanadaGenWeb's Cemetery Project.


Cemetery records; Colchester Historical Society Museum Archives, Truro, Nova Scotia (

GeneJane's Roadmap to Colchester Families (

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).

Nova Scotia.  Historical Vital Statistics.  Registration Year 1871, Book 1804, Page 574, Number 118. Mary Ann Creelman. ( : accessed 25 March 2015).