Saturday, November 6, 2010

Surname Saturday - Sherman, Smith, McCann, Wile, Deal, Carmichael, Cox, Spearing - Hants County, Nova Scotia Ancestors

It's been raining forever - or so it seems - and today is a great day to think about organizing some genealogy.  I am really fortunate that most of my ancestors stayed in one place for a big chunk of time.  It makes it easier to find them in church, census and land grant records.

In keeping with the daily blogging prompts over at Geneabloggers, I decided to post some of the surnames I've been working on.

Here are some of my earliest known Hants County ancestors, in no particular order, and where they were prior to coming to Hants County, if known:

SHERMAN - George William Sherman married Lucy Ann Rafuse in Cornwallis in 1863.  George must have been beamed up from another planet as I can find no records of him prior to the marriage and he must have beamed back to wherever he came from, because after the birth of their son William in 1876, he disappears.  It's possible that he was from Apple River, Cumberland County as their eldest son, George Frederick, was born there (according to his obituary).  I wonder if this family removed to the States at one point because they aren't listed in the 1871 or 1881 Canadian census.  Lucy Ann was described as the 3rd daughter of Daniel Rafuse of Cornwallis.

SMITH - Charles Henry Smith who was actually Henry D'Arcy.  He arrived in Nova Scotia in 1889 fresh out of a Reform School in England through General Laurie's channels.  He worked for a time on the Hants Shore.  He married Mary Elizabeth Sherman in 1893 in Wolfville, Nova Scotia and they had 5 children who were born in Wentworth Creek, Hants County.  My maternal grandmother, Ada May Smith was their eldest daughter.  She married Clarence Arthur McCann in Falmouth, Nova Scotia in July of 1912.

McCANN - George William McCann is my earliest proven McCann ancestor.  He was born in Newport on January 25, 1836.  I believe his parents were William and Elizabeth McCann but I have found no records to prove this - I haven't located a record of his marriage to Mary Jane Martin or his birth record.  Their son Arthur Frederick married Ella Jane Carmichael.  Their son, Clarence and his wife, Ada May Smith, are my maternal grandparents.  I also have not found a marriage record for William and Elizabeth McCann.  I believe that William's parents were John and Ann McCann whom I found in the Overseers of the Poor records, but have no proof.  If I can connect George to William and William to John then my earliest McCann ancestors were in Hants County by the 1790s.  I have no idea where John and Ann were prior to that time.  Family tradition says the McCanns were originally from Ireland.

WILE - Frederick Wile who was born in 1820 in Bridgewater came to Wile Settlement (formerly known as Mt. Summerville) from Bridgewater sometime around the 1870s.  His son, Henry, lived in Leminster and his son, Willard (my grandfather) built a farm in Mt. Denson where my father, Frederick Elkanah, was born.

DEAL - John Elkanah Deal who was born July 29, 1827 came to Hants County from Bridgwater around the 1870s.  I am descended from his son, Timothy.  Timothy's daughter, Bessie Cecelia married Willard Wile.  They are my paternal grandparents.

CARMICHAEL - James Knox Carmichael, born July 7, 1789 dropped into Kings County, Nova Scotia on a spaceship from Londonderry - but which one? :)  He was a school teacher and eventually migrated to Hants County date unknown.  I am descended from his son, Anaxamander, who was a carpenter and coffn maker on the Hants Shore.  He also dabbled in owning ships along with his father-in-law, Nathan Spearing.  He married Martha Jane Spearing and they had a daughter Ella Jane who married Arthur Frederick McCann.  Their son, Clarence, married Ada May Smith.  They are my maternal grandparents.

COX - William Cox was on his way home to England aboard the ship "Harpooner" in 1816 when it was wrecked off the coast of Newfoundland.  He made his way to Nova Scotia and settled in Hants County.  He married Mary, a "native" of Hants County.  Her surname may have been Ritchie and she may have been aboriginal.   I am descended from his daughter, Ellison, who married Nathan Spearing.  Their daughter, Martha Jane, married Anaxamander Carmichael, whose daughter, Ella Jane married Arthur Frederick McCann. (see McCANN above).

SPEARING - Mark Spearing was Shanghied in Britain (possibly Ireland) and jumped ship in Nova Scotia.  The story was that he and another boy at the age of 14 were lured to a tavern where they were plied with drink.  He woke up on a ship in the middle of the ocean.  It's unknown how long he was at sea.  At some point, the story goes that he was granted land in the Cambridge, Hants County area for military service.  He married Patience Lake in Nova Scotia in 1816.  Their son, Nathan, married Ellison Cox.  Their daughter, Martha Jane, married Anaxamander Carmichael (see CARMICHAEL above).  I haven't done a lot of research on the Spearing surname, but a cousin has said that she has never found that surname and wonders if it was changed in Nova Scotia  so he could avoid detection after jumping ship.

If you are researching any of the above families, please leave me a comment or drop me a line at pamelawile AT (replace the AT with @) I'd love to hear from you.  Maybe we can share our research.

Until next time, Happy Researching!

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