Sunday, December 27, 2009

Part 2

Results of recent research into descendants of Charles Grant in the Sydney - Glace Bay area of Nova Scotia,
Part II

Douglass L. Grant

The following discoveries have been made since the previous update. They are given more or less in order of discovery, and not in their actual chronological order.

March 22, 2000:

Re Alonzo Grant:

The obituary for Alonzo Grant (Sydney Post-Record, January 12, 1931) indicates that his sister, Martha French, then resided in Sandy Point, Maine. Combining this information with what was in Edward's obituary four years before, we can conclude that his other sister Caroline was the Mrs. Smith resident in North Bay at that time. However, Caroline is not listed as surviving in 1931. This may not be absolute proof that she had died between 1927 and 1931, however, since Alonzo's youngest brother Theodore, who lived in Dominion very close to Alonzo, was omitted from the list of surviving relatives. Alexander was also listed as surviving and also resident in Maine.

Re Theodore Grant:

Theodore's obituary (January 10, 1934) lists a sister and brother, both in Maine, as surviving, without specifying names.

Re Ernest Grant:

James' son Ernest (b. 19 April 1892, listed as "James E." in the 1901 census) died of TB in the Kentville Sanatorium on January 11, 1934. A news item concerning his death is in the same issue of the newspaper as his uncle Theodore's obituary. Ernest is described as a printer, and the article indicates that he was predeceased by his wife "over a year ago".

{The newspaper article on Ernest, mentioned above, contains a gross error. In this article, James is listed as surviving his son. However, James Grant had died over seven years before. His funeral was held from Knox Church in Glace Bay on December 16, 1926. Incidentally, there is another oddity connected with James' death, in that the only lot in Greenwood Cemetery, Glace Bay, to which the name "James Grant" is attached, was sold in 1943 to a James A. Grant. "Our" James had the middle name Edward. I haven't seen the grave mentioned there, and have no idea who the other James Grant was. Some further research is clearly called for on this point.}

Re Grants baptised at Calvary Church, 19th century:

A list of 18 Grants baptised at Calvary Baptist Church between 1825 and 1868 was obtained from the Baptist Archives at Acadia University. There are several names on it which I can't place on the tree. Some may be unrelated members of the clan who settled originally in the Boularderie area. Among new findings from that list is that William, son of Peter and grandson of Charles, died on June 7, 1852. According to Elva Jackson's notes, he would have been born about 1817. It is not clear whether he ever married or left any descendants. (A red herring: There was a storekeeper named William Grant, aged 65, living in Gabarus in 1891. I suspected for some time that he was the son of Peter. I have since learned that the William in Gabarus was in fact born in St. Peter's. The Grants of Gabarus are not related to this family, except in that Susan Stacey, who married Peter's son Henry, was the granddaughter of a member of this branch of the clan.)

March 24, 2000:

Re Maria Grant, born Jefferson:

The following information about the family of Maria Jefferson, wife of John Grant, was obtained from another section of the card file on Cape Breton families constructed by Elva Jackson and maintained in the Beaton Institute.

Joseph Jefferson (c. 1768 - 1833) was a Loyalist from Virginia, one of the pioneers in the Leitches Creek area near Sydney. He arrived here with Desbarres in 1785, and married Elizabeth Fowler (c. 1774 - 1853) in Sydney on April 8, 1789.

This couple had at least five children: John (b. 1792, m. Mary Sparling, 19 February 1816, St. George's Church, Sydney), Ann (b. 1795, m. George Sparling 30 July 1811), Louis (b. 1797), Joseph (c. 1798 - 1843, m. Elizabeth Ann [Eliza] Leaver on 31 July 1822), and Ellen (m. Andrew Grantmire, July 1825). [Elva Jackson indicates this list is incomplete.]

Maria Jefferson, wife of John Grant, was the daughter of John Jefferson and Mary Sparling. Maria was one of a family of at least 5 children. Her siblings included Mary Ann (b. 1817), Caroline Susan (b. 1820), Eleanor Leaver (b. 1823), and Joseph (b. 1826). Nothing is known about the marital history or descendants of any of Maria's siblings.

{Eliza Leaver, wife of Maria's uncle Joseph Jefferson, was born 5 June 1803 and died 29 January 1884; she is buried in Lakeside Cemetery, North Sydney. Two of their sons (and hence Maria's first cousins), Charles [1844 - 1912, m. Josephine Moore, 1853 - 1920] and John William (J. W.) [1827-1899, m. Eunice Gammell Hull, 1837-1918] are also buried in that cemetery with their wives. Elva Jackson lists nine other children of that marriage; the oldest was born in 1823, the youngest in 1847, when Eliza herself was 44. Spouses of the children were named Foyle (twice), Leslie, Tutty, Daley and Anderson.}

Mary Sparling, Maria's mother, was baptised in Sydney on 29 October 1792, and was the daughter of Peter Sparling, Jr., and Eleanor Leaver. (It was indeed her brother George who married John Jefferson's sister Ann, so there may well have been a supply of "double cousins" in the Sparling and Jefferson families.) The Sparlings were also Loyalists, originally of German origin.

April 6, 2000:

Re: Milford Grant

An internet search revealed that there is a reference in the US Census of 1900 to a Milford Grant then living in Massachusetts. No more exact location is known at this time. Efforts are under way to obtain copies of these census records by Interlibrary Loan. They do not appear to be available on-line.

April 16, 2000:

Re: The Sparling Family

And now for much more on the Sparling family connection, probably the most dramatic to turn up so far. Elva Jackson has a file on the Sparling family, although some of its contents disagree with other results found on the Mormon website. As a result, the sequence of generations along this line becomes somewhat confused.

As noted above, she indicates that Mary Sparling was the daughter of Peter (or William Peter) Sparling Jr. and Eleanor Leaver. As will be noted below, it appears that Peter was born in the United States, although that it is not entirely certain. Both his date of birth and of death are uncertain. They were married in Sydney on 30 October 1791. They had at least two other children: Eleanor (baptised 4 December 1795, m. Thomas Foyle [1777-1855] of Baddeck), and James (c. 1801 - 1880; m1. Maria Leaver, m2. Elizabeth MacNeil). [There is also evidence of a John Sparling, apparently James' brother, who was living with James at or near Baddeck at the time of the 1871 census.]

Peter Sparling Sr. (1732 - 1821) was born in Killiheen, Limerick Co., Ireland in 1732, and married Margaret Fissell at Killiheen on 29 October 1754. Their life together was anything but tranquil. They migrated to New York City in 1760, then received a grant of land, allegedly in Camden Valley, Vermont. [I can locate neither Killiheen nor Camden Valley on any map. There is a Camden in upstate New York, just north of Syracuse, as well as the larger city of the same name in New Jersey.] As the American Revolution got under way, they were driven out of their home, and back to New York City, which was still occupied by the British. They moved to Shelburne in 1783, then on to Upper North Sydney in 1786 or 7.

Two children were born to them in Ireland, Christopher in 1756 and Anne, baptised 22 November 1758 at Rathkeale. The latter apparently did not survive, for another daughter Anne was born to them on 13 November 1760, by which time they were in New York, and she married Bartholomew Musgrave on 27 September 1778 in New York City. William Peter was their next child, followed by Catherine (1764-1840, m. Joseph Restine, 23 July 1786 at Shelburne), Margaret (1 November 1776 - 1838, m. Adam Moore, 4 November 1793 at Sydney, buried in Lakeside Cemetery, North Sydney), and Jacob (17 November 1779, m. Margaret Kelly, 29 April 1803 at Sydney).

There is considerable confusion about lineage earlier than this point. Elva Jackson states that Peter Sparling was probably the son of Philip and Barbara Elizabeth Sparling and that Philip, in turn, was the son of George Sparling. Her information is derived from a book, "The Palatine Families of Ireland" by Hank Jones, published San Leandro, California, 1965. On the contrary, the Mormon website indicates that Peter and Philip were, in fact, brothers rather than son and father, and that both were the sons of George Sparling. Despite one fairly obvious error, noted below, I lean toward the line of descent as given on the Mormon website as more probable. However, uncertainty of birthdates and duplication of given names makes it impossible to rule out Hank Jones' and Elva Jackson's theory completely.

Philip Sparling was born about 1725 and was buried 29 December 1754 at Killiheen. He and Barbara Elizabeth (surname unknown) had three known children: Catherine (baptised 29 March 1747), George (baptised 8 September 1749) and Philip (baptised 12 January 1752, d. 1835). All were born at Killeheen and baptised at Rathkeale. According to Elva Jackson, Philip Jr. died in 1835, and probably lived at Adare, Ireland, while George emigrated to America.

George Sparling was born in 1688 in Germany, and was buried 11 October 1747 in Ireland. His wife Margaret Anna was born in Ireland about 1692. ("Anna" exists as a surname, so it is unclear whether it was that or her second given name.) According to Jones, "The first documented reference to the family in Ireland is that George Sperling was a tenant on the Southwell estate near Rathkeale in 1720." They are credited on the Mormon website with eight children: Philip (1725-1754), Elizabeth (b. 1727), Susannah (1729-1771), William Peter (1730-1821), Christoper Stuffle (1732-1787), George (1734-1747), John (b. 1747, d. 11 May 1786 at Rathkeale), and Catherine (b. about 1749). [It seems very unlikely that the last two, at least, would really have been the children of George and Margaret Anna, since the latter would then have been 55 or older. Elva Jackson lists a Catherine baptised in 1747 among the children of Philip Sparling.]

By way of background, the Palatine Families of Ireland were a group of Protestants from the Rhineland Palatinate, the district around Trier between the Rhine and the French border. The area was occupied by France about 1683, as part of the complicated religious warfare in the seventeenth century. Conditions grew steadily worse for Protestant residents of the area, and a mass emigration occurred about 1709. Many of the emigres made perilous journeys by night down the Rhine to Rotterdam. Most migrated first to England; some then were given land in Ireland while others continued to America, with many settling in Pennsylvania. Elva Jackson states, however, "There is a tradition that one Stuffle von Sperling arrived in Ireland in 1701, eight years before the exodus (from the Palatine). There was, however, a Peter Sperling in the 1709 census at London who was 47 with his wife and sons aged 10, 8, and 4, and daughters 18, 16 and 14." Given that "Stuffle" was the middle name of one of George's children, it is an attractive conjecture that Stuffle von Sperling was, in fact, George's father, and that George arrived with him in Ireland as a child of about 13.

[It would appear that some Sparlings continued to reside in and around Rathkeale long after the departure of Peter for America. To my considerable surprise, the inscriptions from the tombstones at the parish cemetery at Rathkeale are available on the Internet. They include a John Thomas Sparling who died in 1955, and two wives of Sparlings who died in the 1960's. The family name may well still exist in the area.]

Re female Grants of unknown origin:

In 1881, there was an Anna Grant living somewhere in what was then known as Lingan (including everything along the shore from New Waterford around to Glace Bay). She was then 73, gave her ethnic origin as French, and lived with a John Didieu, who was born in France. She was not recorded in the preceding census in 1871 anywhere in the area around Sydney. I have no idea of her origins. Could she be the Ann Musgrave Grant, daughter of Peter, born in 1813, listed in Elva Jackson's card file? Possibly, "Grant" was a spelling error for "LeGrand".

Also in 1881, an Alice Grant, aged 71, born in Nova Scotia, lived in Cow Bay (now Port Morien) with Thomas C. Woods, 27 and his wife Mary Ann, 18. The marriage record for Thomas and Mary Ann McLeod from 15 December 1880 indicates that Alice was the name of Thomas' mother. If this lady was Thomas' mother and the ages are correct, she would have been 44 when he was born. It would also have been quite unusual in that era for a widow to have reverted to her birth name; a second marriage late in life and second widowhood are possibilities, although I have no idea who the hypothetical second husband might have been. In any event, if Grant was her birth name, I can't identify any plausible origins for her. Charles had a daughter Alice, baptised in 1795. John H. Grant, Charles' son, had a daughter Susan Alice, born in 1827. Neither seems to fit. There is some possibility she comes from another branch of the clan entirely, such as the Grants from Gabarus.

The origins of Mary Ann Dolman, wife of Peter Grant, remain unknown. One possible reference from the Alastair MacLeod Genealogy in the Beaton has turned up, which may suggest the name then existed in the St. Ann's area. In that reference, one of Alastair's great-granddaughters, Margaret May MacLeod, married a Cecil Dallman. Unlike the Sparlings and Jeffersons, evidence remains thin on this branch of the tree.

(Last modification April 23, 2000)

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