Thursday, December 17, 2015

My Canadian Branches ~ I'm a Steeves, Are You?

Throughout the past year, I have dedicated this blog to selected Canadian branches of my family tree. I have always found that my research leads me down the most interesting paths when I focus on one family group, one line, one person, or one theme. This has proven true especially in 2015. As I stated in my first post, I chose to work on the following 10 families:

Nova Scotia


New Brunswick


My last Canadian branch is the Steeves branch. By way of intermarriage between members of the Steeves family and the Smith family in New Brunswick, I happen to descend from 2 of the 7 sons of my sixth great grandparents Heinrich Stieff and Regina Stahlecker, Matthias and Jacob.

Line 1:

Matthias Steeves (c.1761-1848)
--Jacob Steeves (1788-c.1846)
----William Bleakney Steeves (c.1823-1899)
------Robina Elizabeth Steeves (1854-1929)
--------Wylie Herbert Smith (1874-1952)
----------Harriet Cheney Smith (1906-1985)
------------Marilyn Louise Bustin (1931-    )
--------------Me (1955-    )

Line 2:
Jacob Steeves (1750-1803)
--George Steeves (1785-1870
----Caroline Steeves (1816-1903)
------James Henry Smith (1850-1915)
--------Wylie Herbert Smith (1874-1952)
----------Harriet Cheney Smith (1906-1985)
------------Marilyn Louise Bustin (1931-    )
--------------Me (1955-)

Probably the most prominent member of my Steeves family tree is my 2nd cousin 4x removed, William Henry Steeves, known in the annals of Canadian history as The Father of Confederation.

More on William Henry Steeves can be found at:

Spray, W. A. -- "Steeves, William Henry". -- Dictionary of Canadian biography online.

Next year, 2016, will be the 250th Anniversary of the arrival of Heinrich and Rachel Stieff to New Brunswick (from Germany, by way of Pennsylvania). In preparation of this momentous event, a week-long celebration and family reunion is being held in Hillsborough, New Brunswick. Steeves descendants are coming from around the world, and Yours Truly will be among them!

For more on the Steeves story, and on next year's BIG CELEBRATION, including our attempt to set a Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of individuals with the same last name in the same place at the same time, in the Moncton Coliseum, visit:

Saturday, December 5, 2015

My Canadian Branches ~ My Clan MacKay and My Shelburne County Roots

Alexander MacKay, my third great grandfather, arrived in Canada from the Scottish Highlands as a young man of 29.  A few years later, when he married Eleanor Brown, he was living in Jordan River, in Shelburne County, Nova Scotia. These pictures (made into postcards) have my great grandmother's writing on them.

The young couple, with their first three children, Isabella, Catherine, and John, were living in Ragged Island, by the 1871 Census of Canada. The next 30 years, however, saw the family resettling and living in Upper Stewiacke, in Colchester County. There were six children in all, the first three born in East Jordan, the younger three born in Upper Stewiacke. The oldest, Isabella Fulton MacKay, is my second great grandmother.

       Standing: Hugh Dunlap MacKay, Catherine Margaret MacKay,
 John William MacKay, Isabella Fulton MacKay, George Alexander MacKay.
  Seated: Flora Jane MacKay, Alexander MacKay, Eleanor MacKay (Alexander's wife).

Alexander MacKay (1830-1901)
Eleanor Brown MacKay (1835-1924)

Their Children:

Isabella Fulton MacKay (1861-1945)
Catherine Margaret MacKay (1864-1927)
John William MacKay (1866-1945)
George Alexander MacKay (1872-1955)
Flora Jane MacKay (1874-1941)
Hugh Dunlap MacKay (1878-1934)

Alexander and Eleanor MacKay are buried in the Burnt Hill Cemetery, in Upper Burnside, Nova Scotia. My great grandmother took this picture many years ago:

A recent photo by a findagrave volunteer shows the monument today:


1871 Census of Canada; Census Place: Ragged Island, Shelburne, Nova Scotia; Roll: C-10547; Page: 41; Family No: 132.

1881 Census of Canada; Census Place: Upper Stewiacke, Colchester, Nova Scotia; Roll: C_13175; Page: 4; Family No: 12.

1891 Census of Canada; Census Place: Upper Stewiacke East, Colchester, Nova Scotia; Roll: T-6311; Family No: 124.

Colchester Historeum Marriages 1864-1914,

Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed  4 Dec 2015), memorial page for Alexander MacKay (1823-1901), Find A Grave Memorial no. 124797256, citing Burnt Hill Cemetery, Upper Burnside, Colchester County, Nova Scotia.