Posts Tagged ‘Canada’

My Acadian 30 – week #4, Docité/Dosithée Roy


In 2007, I joined  It never occurred to me that online, unsourced trees were inaccurate.  I essentially “copied” my entire Acadian family from potentially erroneous public trees and never looked back.  Although my newer entries are sourced, a visit to Stephen A. White, at Moncton University’s Centre d’Études Acadiennes [Center for Acadian Studies] in 2014,  revealed a number of errors. I am determined to start from scratch, and verify that I have all available records beginning with the 30 direct ancestors, connected to my maternal grandmother. This includes her parents, grandparents, g-grandparents and g-g-grandparents.

yvonne roy

To keep the project manageable, I will write of one ancestor each week.

Week #1 – Yvonne Marie (Roy) Billings

Week #2 – Pius/Paul Dost Roy

Week #3 –  Marie Laura “Laura” Melanson

Generation 3

4. Docité OR Dosithée Roy, son of Joseph Roy/Roi and Angélique Beliveau, was born on 29 Jul 1857  and was baptized the following day at Saint-Jean Baptiste Catholic Church in Bouctouche, Kent, New Brunswick, Canada.  His godparents were Agnes Roy (paternal aunt) and Pacifique Beliveau (maternal uncle).

Docité was Joseph’s fifth known child and Angélique’s first.  He joined the following siblings:

(1) Cyrille –  Joseph’s son from his first marriage to Henriette Legere, baptized  20 November 1847, St-Jean Parish  in Bouctouche.

(2) Pierre – Joseph’s son from his first marriage, baptized 30 November 1849, in St-Jean Parish in Bouctouche. Godparents were Pierre Hebert and Marie Roi.

(3) Libie (Lébée/Lybie?)– Joseph’s daughter from his first marriage, baptized 28 Dec 1851, in St-Jean Parish in Bouctouche; godparents were François Roy and Vénérande Savoie (Docité’s paternal grandparents) It is possible that she died young, was adopted and/or the name “Libie” is in error, as it is not a “typical” name of the place/time. To date, she has not been found in other records.

(4) Hippolite – Joseph’s son from his first marriage, baptized 9 Feb 1853, in St-Jean Parish in Bouctouche; godparents were Louis Legere and Olive LeBlanc. He was not living with the Roy family in any census year and according to his marriage record, was adopted after his mother’s death by Eustache Poirier and his wife Cecile Legere (daughter of Simon Legere and Marie-Rose Arsenault and his mother Henriette’s biological cousin). He resided with them in 1871 in Grande-Digue and was enumerated as Hyppolyte Poirier. It is unknown whether he had a relationship with his biological family, nonetheless, with the exception of this census, all records seem to indicate that he used the Roy surname for his lifetime.

baptism dos


Although the church pictured in 1893 is in the same location as the 1857 church, the actual church where Docité was baptized, was struck by lightning and burned to the ground in 1886. It was rebuilt only to be destroyed again by fire on 18 December 1921.  This is a beautiful spot, overlooking the cemetery where many Acadian ancestors are buried, offering picturesque ocean views, as they walked to attend church services (albeit chilly in wintertime).

After the second loss, the parish had a difficult decision to make. The convent, church, priest’s residence and the cemetery had been the center of the village life, even though the village was located some two kilometers away. Family members were buried in the cemetery and many didn’t want to “abandon” them. Others argued that the spot was subject to very severe climate and attending services was becoming more difficult. Finally the parishioners made the difficult decision to rebuild the church and priest’s residence in a calmer spot in the village.

The first priest’s residence of Bouctouche, (left in top photo) has been converted to a lovely (reasonably priced) country inn called Auberge le Vieux Presbytere; where I stayed for two nights in 2014.


1861 Canadian Census

In 1861, 4-year-old Docité and his family resided on a farm in the Parish of Wellington, Kent County (which included the area of St. Mary’s Parish until 1867) and used the surname King (English translation of Roy); they were Roman Catholic.

1861 census

  • Joseph, junior, age 31, farmer  [Docité’s father]
  • Angélique, age 29, wife [Docité’s mother]
  • Ceril, age 14, son [likely Docité’s half-brother, Cyrille, from his father’s first marriage to Legere, baptized  20 November 1847]
  • Peter, age 12, son [likely Docité’s half-brother, Pierre, from his father’s first marriage to Legere, baptized 30 November 1849]
  • Docité, age 4, son 
  • Cephor, age 3, son [likely Sifroi, baptized 12 November 1858, St-Jean Parish in Bouctouche. Godparent was Charles Maillet]
  • Onriette, age 1, daughter [likely Henriette, baptized 2 December 1860, St-Jean Parish in Bouctouche. Godparents were Jean C. Maillet and Marraine Henriette Bastarache]

Next door (or on a farm nearby) are Docité’s likely paternal relatives:

  • Frank, junior, age 63, widower, farmer [Docité’s grandfather, Francois – According to Stephen White’s “La généalogie des trente-sept familles, hôtesses des « Retrouvailles 94 »  – SAVOIE , his wife, Vénérande,  died in Bouctouche 27 May 1858, when Docité was still an infant]
  • Olive. age 39, daughter [likely Docité’s aunt]
  • Onyez [Agnes ?], age 37, daughter [likely Docité’s aunt and godmother]
  • Frank, senior, age 92, lodger [likely Docité’s paternal g-grandfather – Francois]

Docité’s father had 33 acres, of which 20 had been improved, valued at $150, with other farm machinery valued at $20.  He had no employees.  Docité’s grandfather’s farm was quite similar (details in a future sketch).

His dad Joseph’s animals included: two horses; two milk cows; two working oxen; four sheep; and six swine/pigs.

He reported slaughtering 400 pounds of pork; netted eight pounds of wool; and created $20 of cloth (or similar manufactured products).  Eight acres of land was dedicated to production of hay (he netted three tons).  The farm produced 30 bushels of wheat (from three acres), eight bushels barley (from 1/2 acre), 50 bushels oats (from four acres), twelve bushels buckwheat (from one acre) and 300 bushels potatoes (from three acres).

The farm was likely situated in Bouctouche in the area labelled “Francis King” on the map (No100) below.  Docité’s paternal grandmother, Vénérande,  died in Bouctouche in 1858; this further strengthens the case that they resided there.

Land deeds for Docité’s parents and grandparents have not yet been examined.  The known grantor/grantee indexes for the Roy/King surnames in Kent County from 1827 to 1941 can be found here: New Brunswick Roy deeds

Francis King land

1861 agriculture frank and joseph

The census reported that none of the children had attended school the prior year.  When Docité was a child, schooling was largely through traveling teachers who served many villages at once. It was not until the time of the Canadian Confederation, in 1867, that the Acadians were able to re-establish some semblance of their pre-expulsion society. At that time, schools were founded (although education was not highly valued in many areas and the offerings were not ideal for several decades) and the people began taking an active part in political life (as Catholic’s they were previously denied the right to vote or participate in the legislature). Although many continued to lived in abject poverty; a contributing factor being that Acadian farmers primarily held land along the coast, in less fertile areas.

On 8 July 1867, a week after the Confederation, Le Moniteur, the first French newspaper of the Maritimes, began to be published weekly in Shediac (although its start was a bit bumpy, and there were a few stops and starts along the way, it was published until 1926). This aided with Acadian efforts to improve their situation by providing a platform for them to express ideas to aid in solving the problems they faced, it’s motto being “Notre langue, notre religion et nos coutumes” – “Our language, our religion, our customs”.

1871 Canadian Census

In 1871 Docité and family were enumerated (with four additional children) in the newly formed parish of St. Mary’s in Sainte-Marie-de-Kent (Olivier born 1870 was the first Roy child baptised in Ste Marie at Mont-Carmel), which in 1871 had a population of 100. Docité’s parents were unable to read or write (this question was only asked of those over age 20) but presumably no one in the family could read or write as none of the children were attending school.

  • Joseph, 42, cultivateur (farmer), can not read or write
  • Angelique, 40, can not read or write
  • Docitée, 13  
  • Sigefroi,12
  • Henriette,10
  • Sylvain, 9 [ baptized 12 December 1861, St-Jean Parish in Bouctouche. Godparents were Sylvain Maillet and Marraine Jeanette LeBlanc. Joseph’s middle name is given as Francois]
  • Cécile, 5 [baptized 4 June 1866, St-Jean Parish in Bouctouche. Godparents were Cyrille Roy and Cecile Allain]
  • Vitál, 8 [likely baptized 30 March 1868, St-Jean Parish in Bouctouche. Godparents were Edouard and Marraine Genevieve Belliveau.  Note that his mother is recorded as “Julie”, this was the only record in the parish that was likely the correct baptism for Vital, perhaps Julie is in error and it was meant to be Judith. His marriage record names Judith as his mother, and when he travels to the US in 1916 he gives a contact in Canada as a brother Sylvain.]
  • Olivier, 10 months [baptized 5 June 1870, at Ste. Marie de Mont-Carmel. Godparents were _____ Maillet and _____ Richard]

Joseph’s sons Cyrille and Pierre are residing together nearby, in Saint Marie, with Agnes Roy [sister of Joseph].  No other members of the King/Roy family were found nearby in 1861. A widowed Frances Roi, of the correct age to be Docité’s grandfather was found in Wellington residing with the family of Joseph & Mary Ferware (enumerated as Jerway in 1861 and two census pages away from the Roy’s in Wellington), perhaps Fougere?

Docité’s father, in 1871, seemed to own significantly more acreage than he did in 1961.  He had 125 acres of which 30 were improved and 12 were pasture (they did not have a garden). There were two dwelling houses on the property, one of which was uninhabited.  They had one barn or stable, two carriages or sleighs, 2 cars/wagons or sleds and one plough or cultivator.

Animals included:  one horses over 3 years old; two working oxen; three milk cows; one “other horned cattle”; six sheep – 6 (one was killed or sold for slaughter/export); five swine/pigs (one was killed or sold for slaughter/export)

The farm produced eight acres of wheat crops on which he netted the followings bushels – 30 of spring wheat (sown in the spring and is harvested in the fall), seven of barley, 60 of oats and 90 of buckwheat.  He had four acres of potatoes which netted 125 bushels.  He had two acres of hay which netted three ton of 2,000 lbs or bundles of 16 lbs of hay and 40 bushels of apples.  The sheep netted 20 pounds of wool which produced 60 yards of home-made cloth or flannel.

Joseph did not appear to be involved with fishing, forestry or mineral products.  It is possible that he was involved with steel/iron as a Blacksmith “Ouvrages et réparations de Forgerons en tout genre” (Works and Repairs of Blacksmith of all kinds).  The schedule has a line through his name, it is unknown if the enumerator crossed this out or if it was done later – he was only involved in the business for 1/2 a month and although he had $40 in capital only made a few dollars. It could be a business that was discontinued that census year but was perhaps run in years prior.

1871 Canadian Census

1871 census bldgs

1871 census agriculture

1871 animals

1871 blacksmith

Sixteen people died in St Marie the prior year, most from consumption, malaria or diarrhea.  There were two Roy cousins of Docité – schedule here.  Docité’s grandfather, who had lived near them in 1861, Francois Roy,  died 25 April 1875.

Docité became a Cultivateur [farmer].  He married first, on 2 Feb 1880, at Ste Marie de Mont Carmel, Genevieve Cormier daughter of the deceased Aimé Cormier and deceased Henriette Roy after being granted dispensation for the 4th degree of double consanguinity (meaning they were 3rd cousins two different ways  – 3rd cousins share 2nd g-grandparents).

The Catholic Church required couples to gain permission prior to marrying a relative, as the offspring of consanguineous relationships are at greater risk of certain genetic disorders and they considered marrying a close relative immoral.  The dispensation was granted for the degree of consanguinity without distinguishing between half and full siblings or “spiritual” relatives (i.e. if your father married a second wife who had her own offspring, then you were technically related to the second wife’s children from her first marriage and would require dispensation for the degree of affinity).

Genevieve died six months later, at age 19 (cause unknown), on 24 Aug 1880 and was buried 27 Aug at Ste Marie de Mont Carmel.

marriage 1

1881 Canadian Census

In 1881, Docité continues to reside in the parish of Sainte-Marie (his parents have one additional child):

  • Joseph, 52, cultivateur (farmer)
  • Angelique, 51
  • Silvin [Sylvain], 19
  • Aurietta [Henriette], 20
  • Cecille [Cécile], 15
  • Vitál, 13
  • Olivier, 11
  • Jude, 7 [baptized 24 June 1873, at Ste. Marie de Mont-Carmel. Godparents were Dosite Roy and Domtilda Cormier]
  • Docitée, 23 was listed as a widower and enumerated separately [the day after the remainder of the family was recorded, see margin notes], it appears that he resided on the same farm.

Jude and Vital were attending school (Olivier, age 11, was not marked as in school which may have been an enumerator error, although 1901, 1911 and 1921 censuses specify he can not read or write).

1881 census

The first Acadian National Convention was held 20/21 July 1881 in Memramcook.  About 5,000 Acadians participated, although in reality only about 200 actively participated in discussions. They spoke of many things including emigration, religion, education, political issues,  trade, farming and industry. There they selected the Acadian Holiday – 15 August, the day of the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.

According to Wikipedia, The flag of Acadia was adopted on 15 August 1884, at the second Acadian National Convention held on Prince Edward Island with nearly 5,000 Acadian delegates from across the Maritimes. It was designed by Father Marcel-Francois Richard, a priest from Saint-Louis-de-Kent, New Brunswick. The Musée Acadien at the Université de Moncton has the original flag presented by Father Richard to the 1884 Convention. It was sewn by Marie Babineau.


On 18 August 1881, Docité sold eight acres of land, in the Parish of St Mary’s, to Maxime and Louis Cormier  (Book A-2 page 175) for the sum of $25.   The land was on the South side of the Bouctouche River, on the East bounded by Thomas Nowlen and in the South land owned by Dennis Cormier and Thomas Allain.   No deed (or land grant) has been found documenting how Docité originally acquired this land (perhaps through his grandfather or deceased wife).

page 1 Dospage 2 Dos

On 3 Sept 1883, Docité’s parents sold him 25 acres of their land on the South side of the Bouctouche River in Ste Marie for $25. The land is described as: On the South by land occupied by the family of the late Laurent B. Cormier; on the East by a certain road on the South by said owned and occupied by the named Joseph Roy and on the West by said owned and occupied by William Nowlen. In 26 April 1884, he sold this same land to Peter Fabien Arseneau for $75.

record-image_TH-267-12396-45185-61 (1)land sale 2 Dos

On 12 May 1885, Docité married second,  Victorie LeBlanc, at Ste Marie de Mont Carmel, daughter of George LeBlanc and Madeline LeBlanc.

marriage Victoria

1891 Canadian Census

Docité, his wife Victorie (the only family member who is listed as being able to read), now with three children Pius/Paul, (5 years) Marie Albina, (3 years) Mathilde (8 months) continue to reside in Sainte-Marie. His parents and several siblings live nearby.

dosc census 1891

As mentioned in week #2 (Pius’ sketch), known children born to the couple include: (1) Pius/Paul, (2) Marie Albina, (3) Mathilde, (4) Marie Emma, (5) Aurelie, (6 & 7) Dieudonné #1 and Joseph Hector (twins), (8) Edmund and (9) Dieudonné #2

Sadly, four of the children likely died in 1899.  Joseph Hector, 1 Jan 1899 [cause unreadable], age 4 months;  Marie Albina, 13 April 1899, age 10, of consumption [likely influenza]; and a week later, 20 April 1899, Dieudonné (7 months) of la grippe [likely influenza]. No further record of Aurelie has been located, he likely died in the same time frame.

1901 Canadian Census

By 1901, Docité had moved the family from their rural community to the “big city”, Lancaster (today part of Saint John), New Brunswick where he worked as a Millman. He was an employee who had worked for seven months that year and made $200.  He could not read or write, and spoke both French and English (French was his native tongue).

Pius also worked as a Millman (likely with his father) for five months that year and made $50 (he was 14). He was not in school. Interesting articles on employment conditions, child labor and a portrait of a young girl growing up in rural New Brunswick in St John in 1900: 2012-34-Spring-e

A few years earlier, in 1898, Lancaster was known as Fairville, a station on the Canadian Pacific Railway, a lumbering and manufacturing village with 1 post office, 25 stores, 2 hotels, 1 brewery, 1 sawmill, 1 pulp mill, 2 carriage factories, a provincial lunatic asylum, 5 churches and a population of 1,500.

1901 Doss

In 1902, son Edmond’s birth record (registered in 1967) names a birthplace of Randolph (a neighborhood in the West Side of Lancaster which in 1967 became known as St John West) his father was listed as a mill ride.

It seems Docité, Victorie, Mathilde, Emma and Edmund (Pius left for Gardner, Massachusetts, likely for work) returned to Ste Marie, as  Dieudonné #2, was born 17 May 1906 and baptized at Mont Carmel (a community within Ste Marie; in 1904 Mount Carmel was a farming settlement with 1 post office, 4 stores, 2 churches and a population of 250); 3 years later, 2 Sep 1909, he died from measles at St Mary’s.

Docite’s mother, Angelique, noted as a farmer’s wife, died on 13 March 1907 at age 77, the cause was “decline”, she had been ill “all winter”.  She is likely buried in St Mary’s.

1911 Canadian Census

In 1911, Docite, a Cultivateur, was living in Puellering, Kent, New Brunswick with his wife, sons Edmond and Pius and Pius’s wife Laura Melanson.  His widowed father, Joseph and brother Jude were also part of the household.  Edmond had been in school for 4 months that year and he and Laura were they only family members who could read and write.

  • Docitée, 53, cultivateur (farmer)
  • Victorie, 46
  • Pius, 24 [my g-grandfather]
  • Laura, 19 [my g-grandmother]
  • Joseph, 83, retired
  • Jude, 47

Daughters Mathilde and Emma had relocated to Massachusetts; both married in Gardner – in 1910 Mathilde married Cyrille Allain son of Mélème Allain and Marie Leblanc; in 1912 Emma married Frederick LeBlanc son of Calixe LeBlanc and Anastasia Tazie Cassie.

1911 census Joseph


Docite’s father Joseph died suddenly on 26 May 1913  of “old age” and is likely buried in St Mary’s; he was 84 and a retired farmer.

In about 1918/19, Docite sold land in St Mary’s Parish to Calixte Richard (land deed book I-3 page 166 – image not available online).  He perhaps relocated to Moncton around this time.

1921 Canadian Census

Docite was not identified in the 1921 census likely because there were large portions of the Moncton census, where the enumerator did not capture resident names (he just wrote “Westmoreland” next to each).  He was likely at 70 Pearl St., Moncton, the address that he, his wife and son Edmond all list as their home address when they immigrated to the United States the following year.

At age 63, he was described as 5’7″, 135 pounds and having a fair complexion, gray hair and blue eyes and could not read or write , when he immigrated “permanently” to Gardner, Massachusetts from Moncton in May 1923.  It was Docité’s first visit to the United States. His wife and three of his four living children had previously immigrated to Gardner.



The following year, 1924, Docite’s young daughter Emma (wife of Frederick LeBlanc), age 32, died in Gardner, leaving five young children, Joseph, Ernest, Lauretta, Albert and Viola LeBlanc, all of whom were living on Parker Street, Gardner with their widowed father in 1930.

Sadly, six of his children were now dead, leaving just three: Pius/Paul, Mathilde and Edmund.

Docite and Victoire are listed in the 1924 Gardner city directory on Parker Street (the same address as his son Edmond and his first cousin Calixte Roy); his occupation is Clerk. Many other Roy’s are listed nearby, including sons Pius and Edmond. Docite was not found in other online city directories, including the 1926 Gardner directory.

It is unknown why/when he and Victorie returned to New Brunswick, however his death was recorded there on 16 Nov 1932 in St-Antoine, Ste Marie, Kent, New Brunswick.  According to his death certificate, he was buried at St-Antoine.  He died from Lobar Pneumonia, a form of pneumonia that affects a large and continuous area of the lobe of a lung. He was 75. His daughter-in-law, Laura Marie (Melanson) Roy (my g-grandmother) had traveled from Gardner to New Brunswick several days before Docite’s death, and may have been at his bedside. A obituary has not been located.

Kent County probate records do not survive, it is unknown if he had an estate. There are some land index entries for a sale of land in Pellerin by Edmond Roy around this time period which may or may not be the sale of land belonging to Docite (the actual deeds are not online; PANB holds microfilms of Kent County Registry Office Records for the years 1846-1973 which include copies of deeds, leases, mortgages, liens and other land transactions, a number of wills – those which transfer title of land are also found in this series – on my list to track down!)

Dos death


52 Ancestors, Week #21, Who was Mr. Shipman?

No Story Too Small has issued a New Year’s Challenge: “Have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.”


A few weeks ago I blogged of Eva (Myers) Stone (HERE), a very young neighbor and heir of my step g-g-grandfather, Franklin Morven Shipman.  As a child, Eva called him “Pa Shipman”, and suspected that Franklin might be her biological father, a notion that I am excited to prove/dis-prove through DNA testing.  This week’s blog will document Franklin’s life, in the hopes to locate descendants of his brothers, who would be willing to participate and perhaps solve this mystery for Eva’s descendants. Either way, it is clear that Mr. Shipman had a special place in his heart for this little neighborhood girl.

Franklin was born about 13 Jun 1863, son of Silas Hubbel Shipman and Mary A. Nolan. and was the third husband of my g-g-grandmother, Kittie (Perry) Hughes Clough Shipman.


(I) Franklin’s g-g-grandfather was likely Daniel Shipman, Sr., originally from the Hartford, Connecticut Colony, born 13 March 1733, resettled in Elizabethtown, at the time of the American Revolution [see “The Shipman Family of English Origins in America” by Ken Shipman] and was a United Empire Loyalist (click here for Daniel Sr. at the UELAC Association or here for a SHORT HISTORY of the UELAC).  He married about 1759,  Kezia Horton, born abt 1739 in Hebron, New London, Connecticut Colony, the daughter of Ebenezer Horton. She died on March 21, 1807 in Augusta Township. He died in Augusta Township, April 27, 1809.

In 1778 Daniel was living in Albany County, NY. A list of names, of Tories and Protection Men, in the papers of Governor Clinton dated 23 February, 1778 that the “Cambridge White Caps” went out to correct and chastise contains Daniel’s name. A deposition to the British Authorities,containing Governor Clinton’s list, filed 7 Feb 1786, by Daniel seeking compensation for his losses namely his land and chattels reads as follows:

“…attempting to go into General Burgoyne’s camp in August 1777, was taken prisioner and carried to General Gates, from there to Albany. Lay prisioner abord the Guard ship fourteen days from thence to Toppice where I lay six days before that place burnt, then carried to a meeting house on the way to Hartford but obtained a parole to go to my family. After arriving was taken by thirty men in the Mob and Abused, Strypt me and whipt me Severly….The spring after was taken to be guarded to Albany but got released. After this came four men with their arms and a rope intending to kill me or hang me but I concealed myself under the floor. I then fled my house and quit my land and escaped to the State of Vermont” 

The deposition then lists his losses but was rejected by the authorities. It appears he relocated to Canada about June 1784. Daniel and his children received numerous grants of land as loyalists and children of loyalists mainly in Elizabethtown and Augusta Townships, near Brockville, Leeds-Grenville Co, Ontario, Canada.

(II) Franklin’s g-grandparents were likely Ezekiel Shipman (son of Daniel Shipman Sr. and Keziah Horton) and Nabby/Abigail  (unknown). A will registered in the Leeds County Register Office, #147 S. General Registry reads: 

“In the name of God Amen, I Ezekiel Shipman of Elizabethtown in the District of Johnstown in the Province of Canada, yeoman, being of sound and disposing mind memory and understanding blessed be all mighty God for the same on this twenty third day of August in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight-hundred and forty two make, publish and declare this to be my last will and testament in form following to wit – After the payment of all and just debts and funeral expenses

Firstly, I give and devise unto my beloved wife Nabby Shipman all those acreage tenements lots and parcels of land whereon I now live known by the south or front-end of lot number two and the west-half of the south or front-end of lot number one in the third concession of Elizabethtown aforesaid containing 100 and fifty acres more or less as long as she remains a widow. And I do hereby give and bequeath to my wife Nabby Shipman all my household furniture farming implements and stock of cattle that may remain after all and just debts are paid while she remains a widow.

Secondly I do hereby give devise and bequeath unto my son Ebenezer Shipman to his heirs and assigns forever after the decease and widowhood of my wife Nabby Shipman or when she ceases to be my widow the South or front half of the lot number two in the third concession of Elizabethtown aforesaid containing by admeasurement one hundred acres of land by the same more or less with all houses wood and wastes thereon……

(III) Franklin’s paternal grandparents were likely Ebenezer (Ezekiel and Nabby’s son) and Marinda (Cole) Shipman.  Ebenezer was born in Elizabethtown, Ontario, Canada; Marinda was born in New York State. Her origins are unknown. Franklin descends through their son Silas and his wife Mary Nolan.


marriageEbenezer marriage

(IV) Silas, a 15 year old laborer, appears, with his parents,  a 12 year old brother and a 9 year old sister,  in the 1851 census of Elizabethtown (now Brockville, known as the “City of the 1000 Islands”). It is located on the north shore of the Saint Lawrence River, directly opposite Morristown, New York, and roughly a 50-minute drive from Ottawa.  


Silas Shipman 1851

Mary Nolan has not been located in the 1851 Canadian census; her parents are unknown.

Silas, 25, a farmer, and Mary, 26, married in 1855. Their family appears in the 1861 census in Elizabethtown, a town which had grown to population 5,000 and has become a stop on the Grand Trunk Railway.   They were living in a stone home; and belonged to the Church of England. Children, include Charlie (4), Elisha (2), Sylvas (1).  All were born in Upper Canada. Next door resides Ebenezer (58), Marinda (54), Franklin’s grandparents, and Daniel Shipman (80), likely a relative.

1861 Canada


An eight year old Franklin first appears in the 1871 census of Elizabethtown. The census declares that all family members were Methodists; Silas, 34, was a farmer of English descent; Mary, 35, of Irish descent. Other children, all students, include Charlie (14), Elisha (12), Sylvas (10) and William (4).  Grandparents, Ebenezer and Marinda reside next door.

1871 Canada

Franklin and his brother William and his parents were not found in the 1881 Canadian census or the 1880 US Federal Census.  It is believed that they relocated to Potsdam, Saint Lawrence, New York about 1875.  In 1880, Charlie and Elisha were in Stockholm, St Lawrence, New York and Sylvas was in Potsdam. It is likely that Franklin had a sister, Sylvia, born after 1870, who died before 1900, leaving a daughter Mabel Pierce.  No record has been found that mentions Sylvia other than Shipman’s probate records.

Grandparents 78 year old Ebenezer and 74 year old Marinda were found in Elizabethtown in 1881.  Ebenezer died 22 Jan 1888 of old age and Marinda on 14 Dec 1894 both in Elizabethtown.

Ebenezer death



By 1886, Frank and his brother Sylvas had relocated to Lowell, Massachusetts where they were boarding together at 144 Suffolk. Frank was working as an “operative”, likely in the Lowell Mills which was the primary industry in that time period.



By 1890, Frank had become a machinist.   His brother William had also relocated to the area.

shipman 1890

By 1892, Frank had started his own business in Lowell called “The Shipman Spa”, a confectionery and cigar shop.



shipman spa

The business venture lasted only a year; Frank and Sylvas have relocated to Fitchburg, Massachusetts, by 1893.  Frank is a night clerk at the American House where he also resides. It is possible that he ran the hotel in later years [based on his obituary; city directories have not been searched].

shipman 1893

American House


Frank and Sylvas remained in Fitchburg until about 1897,  Frank then relocated to Lynn, Massachusetts while  Sylvas removed to Warren. 

1897 Frank

By 1899 Franklin was residing with his future wife, we don’t know how or when they met (Kittie was previously living in Lowell). The Lynn City Directory reads: Kittie E Clough, widow of Frank D, house 73 Centre and Frank Shipman machinist boards 73 Centre. (Kittie claims to be a widow, but in reality, she was still married to Frank D. Clough; his whereabouts were unknown to her).


In 1900, Frank, a machinist, likely for General Electric, was listed as a boarder in Kittie’s rented home, at 25 North Common Street, in Lynn with several other boarders.





Although not included in the census, Kittie’s 18 year old daughter, Georgianna (my g-grndmother), in 1900, had relocated from New York (where she had been living with her grandmother and aunt) to live with her mother and Shipman.


The three continued to reside at 25 North Common together for a few years.  Kittie, in early 1902,  divorced Clough, (read his story  HERE) on the grounds of desertion, and married Shipman on Saturday, 4 October 1902; her third marriage and his first.  They were married by Reverend Herbert A. Manchester, Presbyterian Clergy.


The Shipman’s moved frequently and Franklin had many careers (see photos of city directories at the end of the blog). The threesome relocated to 108 South Common by 1903. On 19 June 1904, Georgianna married Charles Milton Hall and moved to Malden, Massachusetts. By 1905, Franklin, then a furniture dealer, resided on 740 Western Ave, Lynn. By 1907, he had started a restaurant at 979 Western Avenue, Lynn and lived next door. In early 1909, they resided at 63 North Common, Lynn. Later that year they moved to 93 Lafayette in Salem, where Shipman owned a lunch wagon, positioned on New Derby near Lafayette.

The 1910 census again places them on 93 Lafayette in Salem (Franklin still owns the lunch wagon).


Later that year, the city directory indicates that the Shipman’s moved back to Lynn.

By 1912, the Shipmans purchased property, valued in 1919 at about $500, on 917/919 Western Avenue, Lynn, where he also ran a restaurant.

boarding house


In 1920, Franklin and Kittie were at the same address (living next door to four year old Eva).  They owned the property mortgage free, had eleven boarders and continued to run the restaurant (they resided in this same home until their deaths and Frank retired from the restaurant only a year before his passing).




Based on ads placed after Shipman’s death, the restaurant appears to be in a lucrative location, opposite one of the town’s largest employers, The GE (General Electric).  It had 7 glass top tables, bentwood chairs and a lunch counter with stools. Frank owned a National cash register, ice chest, 2 steam tables and a coal range.



No known photos exist of Mr. Shipman, but he was a big, burly guy, weighing in at about 365 pounds at his death.  He was quite active in “The United States Fat Men’s Club” which was formed in the early 1900’s.  Frank served as director on their board and participated in many of their events. In July 1925, the group got together for some fun at Natasket Beach, where Frank won the 50 yard dash!

50 yard dash

One outing in 1915 included a visit to the White Mountains of New Hampshire [where I currently reside!]

white mountains


Frank’s brother Charles was also a member.  The Reading Times, on 19 Dec 1922, reports: Charles H. Shipman, 663 pounds, sent his regrets (for the annual banquet in Boston) from Leesburg, Virginia.


Mr. Shipman was a member of New England Order of Protection, a fraternity organized in Boston in 1887. According to a Cambridge newspaper on 1887, it was “based upon equity, benevolence and charity, and is akin the the Knights and Ladies of Honor, and has been organized by members of that body who have found the annual death assessments, owing to the Southern mortality, too great to hear.”  Essentially it is a fraternal benefit society with a regional flavor that served the New England States.  In 1968, the Woodmen of the World and the New England Order of Protection of Boston, Mass. merged into one.  Today, Woodmen is one of the largest fraternal benefit societies with more than 845,000 members who hold nearly one million life insurance, hospital supplement and annuity certificates.

He was also a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (I. O. O. F) of Malone, New York (about 38 miles from his parent’s home).



His obituary also mentions membership in a Nasheba or Nosheba Lodge [an organization which I have been unable to identify, but was likely a Mason Lodge, since his wife Kittie was part of The Woman’s Relief Corps which required having a spouse who was a Mason].


On May 16, 1919 the Town of Lynn held a”Welcome Home Celebration” for WWI soldiers.  It is likely that the Shipmans attended [and the Myers and my husband’s g-grandparents and grandmother, the Whites/LeBlancs, who also resided in Lynn at that time].



Kittie predeceased her husband.  She passed away, after a lengthy illness, on 8 November 1922 [more in a future blog post].

Franklin died on Tuesday, in the afternoon, on 4 Jan 1927. He was 63 years, 7 months.  Funeral services were held at J. M. Blaisdell and Sons undertaking rooms on Thursday, burial in Potsdam, N.Y.

death notice

His obituary in the Lynn Item reads:

Recent Deaths; Franklin M. Shipman; 62 years of age of 921 Western avenue for many years a second hand furniture dealer and later proprieter of a West Lynn Restaurant, died Tuesday afternoon after an illness of more than a year.  He was born in Brocksville, Ont. and came to Lowell in 1888.  His next residence was in Fitchburg where he conducted a hotel. From there he came to Lynn 35 years ago and found employment at the General Electric Company. He continued to make his home here. When the United States Fat Men’s Club of Boston was organized he became a member and was one of the few members of the organization from this city. 

Up until 18 months ago, he conducted a restaurant at 119 Western avenue. He was a member of the New England Order of Protection and Nosheba Lodge, I. O. O. F. of Malone, N.Y. His wife died about two years ago. He leaves three brothers, Elisha C. of Lowell, Sylvas C. of Lynn and William H. Shipman of Potsdam, N.Y.


A second obituary published in the Boston Globe reads:

“Lynn’s Fattest Man” F. M. Shipman, Dead; Lynn, Jan 5 – Franklin M. Shipman, 63, known as “Lynn’s Fattest Man”, tipping the scales to 365 pounds died today at a local hospital after a long illness.

Mr. Shipman who served as director on the United States Fat Men’s board was prominently identified in civic and fraternal circles of Greater Lynn and for several years  conducted a restaurant on Western av, retiring from the business a year ago. He was born in Brockville Ont. and came to this city 30 years ago.  He was a member of the Nashesba Lodge, I. O. O. F. of Malone, N.Y., and New England Order of Protection. 

He leaves three brothers Elisha C Shipman of Lowell, Sylvas C. Shipman of Lynn and William H. Shipman of Potsdam, N.Y. 


A portion of the third obituary reads:

Body of F.M. Shipman to be Buried at Potsdam; Potsdam, Jan 15 – The body of Franklin M Shipman was brought here for burial the past week. Mr. Shipman died at Union hospital, Lynn, Mass where he had been a patient since last July.

He was born in Brockville Canada in 1863. He has been a resident of Lynn for the past 30 years.  


He is buried with several relatives in Garfield Cemetery.

St. Lawrence County
New York, USA
Plot: Section 17, Plot 130



shipman tree


On 24 February 1923, several months after Kittie’s death, Franklin penned his last will and testament. His bequests included:

(1) $1,000 to Eva Myers, daughter of Fred, in trust with Augustus B. Tolman, to be used for her education at the age of eighteen; any remainder not used for that purpose would be distributed when she reached age twenty-five.

(2) To Roy Shipman, “son of my brother Elisha Shipman” the sum of $500.

(3) To “Mabel Pierce, daughter of Frank Pierce, of Marcy, New York” the sum of $500 [his niece].

(4) To “my brother Charles H. Shipman of Leesburg, Virginia” the sum of $500.

(5) “I intentionally omit to make any bequests to my brothers Elisha C. Shipman and Sylvas C. Shipman”

(6) The residue to Wallace A. Shipman of Lynn, Massachusetts, Addie Shipman daughter of William H. Shipman of Lagubrook, New York [?],  and Charles G. Hall of Malden, Massachusetts [my grandfather], share and share alike.

(7) If Charles G. Hall is not living, the bequest should go to his mother Georgianna, if she is not living, the amount goes back to the estate. [Georgianna wrote to her sister in 1918 describing Christmas: “We had a nice day. Mamma and Mr. Shipman were up. Ma came up yesterday about noon and Mr. S. today. We all received our share of gifts.”  – the extent of their relationship is unknown].

(8) Augustus B. Tolman of Lynn is appointed as executor; if he shall be unable to serve, then Wallace A Shipman is appointed.

signature page

Three years later, on 28 July 1926 (likely when he was admitted to the hospital, several months before his death), Franklin crafted a codicil to his will.  It reads:

(1) Eva Myers bequest is increased to $1,800 to be used for her education, especially her musical education.

(2) I revoke the bequest to Ray Shipman.

(3) I revoke the bequest to my brother Charles H. Shipman “he having deceased” and bequest $500 to his widow Julia Shipman.

(4) I bequest to Walter Shipman the sum of $500.  I bequest to Wallace A. Shipman 250 shares of Education Biscuit stock.

(5)  I revoke the bequest to Charles G. Hall, the residue will go to Wallace A. Shipman and Addie Shipman share and share alike.


The probate documents list the following heirs:


Sylvia Pierce is named as a deceased sister to Shipman.  She is not found in any census (or other records).  Mabel’s death notice lists her parents as Frank and Lois (Schipman) Pierce.  In 1900 and 1910, Mabel resides with her father and step-mother Lizzie G., Sylvia/Lois likely died prior to 1900.

Roy Shipman unsuccessfully objected to the codicil.


The estate was valued at $20,864.64  (about $275K in 2014 buying power), from the sale of real estate (his possessions were deemed worthless). Shipman owned three adjoining lots on Western Avenue and Albion Street at the time of his death [land records have not been examined yet, but are on my “to do” list], described as follows:




Shipman land deeds


Payouts were made as follows:



Brother, Sylvas naturalized in 1906, denouncing his allegiance to Great Britain, which perhaps adds credence to the Shipmans likely descent from the family of United Empire Loyalist of the Hartford, Connecticut Colony.



Silas Hubble Shipman

On 30 August 1914, Franklin’s father passed away.  His obituary reads:

Potsdam Courier & Freeman, Wednesday Sept 2, 1914

Silas shipman death
Silas H. Shipman died at the home of his son, W. H. Shipman, near this village Sunday afternoon after an illness of about nine months. Mr. Shipman’s death was due to hardening of the arteries.

Mr. Shipman was born in Brockville, Ont, 79 years ago. He removed to this country about 38 years ago, during which time he has operated farms in Parishville, Madrid and Potsdam. He has made his home with his son for the past six years. The funeral services will be held from the home this afternoon at 2. Rev. S. T. Dibble will officiate and interment will be at Garfield. Mr. Shipman is survived by one brother, Samuel of Dundas, Ont, Canada, and by five sons, William H., with whom he lived; Charles of Leesburgh, Penn; Elisha C. of Potsdam, and Sylvas and Frank of Lynn Mass.


Descendants of brother Charles H. Shipman (no known living):

(I) Charles, who died in 1924, married Julia (unknown) and had no known children.


Descendants of brother Elisha Cole Shipman:

(I) Elisha married first Frances Delealy/Delell/Deleal (?) and had five known children; Elisha married second Isabel Roberts with whom he had no known children. 

_(A) Eva Shipman,  b. abt 1885 in Potsdam, who married twice in Lynn, Massachusetts; (1) Walter Douglas whom she divorced and (2) Gilbert Parker with whom she had one known child.

_____(1) Arthur Parker b. abt 1912 in Lynn;

_(B) Grace Shipman, b. abt 1887 who m. Eugene Lucier in Lynn in 1904 and had five known children:

_____(1) Eva Beatrice Lucier, b. abt 1905; m. Arthur Hamilton Duvall, d. 1994 Hudson, NH, one known daughter, Marcia Duvall.

_____(2) Ralph Lucier, b. abt 1909; m. Hazel Lowd; d. Dec 1986 Hudson, NH ; three known sons: Ralph Lucier jr. d. 1992, Robert Lucier and Russell Lucier – (1955 all three sons living in Nashua, NH)

_____(3) Robert Lucier, b. abt 1910, m. (unknown),living 1955 in Washington DC, and had one known son Robert Lucier jr.

_____(4) Eleanore Grace Lucier, b. abt 1912 m. (1) William Edward McDuffy and m. (2) Michael John Alfonso Dell Isola; one known son William Edward McDuffy jr (1934-2005, 1955 living in Nashua, NH)) who married Nancy Breen (1937-2005)

_____(5) Elaine Frances Lucier, b. abt 1914; m. Capt. John Frederick Moran, d. 1998; in 1943 she was living in Jonesboro, Arkansas; in 1955 living in Germany; no known children.

_(C) Anna Shipman, b. 22 Mar 1889, in Potsdam, and m. Arthur C Doyle in Lynn in 1909, she died 9 Nov 1913, no known children.

_(D) Hazel Shipman, b. abt 1891 in Norwood, New York; m. (1) Fred William Rowell in Dover, New Hampshire in 1914; m. (2)(unknown) Ereckson.  She had one known child with Fred: Robert William Rowell (1914-1974).

_____(1)Robert William Rowell b. 15 Sep 1914, Chelsea, Massachusetts; d. Apr 1974, Lynn

_(E) Roy Spencer Shipman b. 9 Dec 1899, m. Lillian Cresswell (1955 living Hialeah, Florida) and had two known children:

_____(1) Patricia Francis Shipman (1925-2009) m. Martin G. Recio and had six known children: Hildreth Ann m. _____Whitt (deceased), Martin G., II (deceased), Faith B., Ana C., and Olivia C., Stephen J., grandchildren as of 2009 included: Christopher R. Whitt, Martin G. Recio III, Valerie A. Recio, Alexandra C. Recio, Estevan J. Recio, Patricia M. Recio, and David M. Recio-Mata, along with several great grandchildren.

_____(2) Barbara Ann Shipman (1927-2005) m. George A Rebakas;  they had three known children George A. Rebakas Jr. of FL, Paula A. Rhodes (George H.) of Brentwood, NH, Constance A. Fisher (Thomas M.) of Leicester and four grandchildren in 2005 George Paul Rhodes (Julie), Ashley M. Rhodes, all of NH, Kasey S. and Holly L. Marks of MA, one g-granddaughter, Kathleen Barbara Rhodes of NH.


Descendants of brother Sylvas Shipman:

(I) Sylvas m. Sylvia S. Branch and had two sons, she died during childbirth in 1885.

_(A) Walter Hubble Shipman, b. Sept. 18, 1882, lived with his uncle, Charles Shipman, in Madrid, N. Y.and Charleston, West Virginia.  In 1907 Walter entered service with the Young Mens Christian Association, in Washington, D. C. He married  Julia DeWitt Phillips on July 12, 1910. He died Dec 1971, in Arlington, Virginia.
He had three known children:

_____(1) Sylvia Mae  b. 6 May 1911, m. Thomas Donaldson Alward, d. Apr 1985,  in Arlington, Arlington, Virginia; she had at least one son,            Walter Eugene Alward b. abt 1939

_____(2) Dewitt Phillips b. 25 Dec 1912, m. Emily M. Pisapia and had one known son: ______ Shipman, m. Carol Shaw, their children are: David Shipman of Frederick, MD, Debora Shipman-Schneider (Gary) of Amity, PA, Gregory Shipman (Connie) of Frederick, MD, and Bryan Shipman (Terri) of Lusby, MD; their grandchildren as of 2012 include: Caston, Jessica, and Xaris Schneider.

_____(3) Ola Audrey b. 8 Jan 1922, d. about 1946; no known descendants.

_(B) Irving Shipman b. 31 Jul 1885, d. in infancy

(II) Sylvas m. second Anna Delia Lockling and had two known children:

_(C) Sylvia Louise Shipman b. 21 May 1892, Fitchburg;  m. Henry F. Keightley, 14 Jan 1912, Lynn, Massachusetts 

_(D) Wallace Alfred Shipman b. 25 June 1889,Lowell;  m. first Eunice Ferguson  23 Oct 1911, Lynn, Massachusetts (she m. second, Charles Grant), he m. second Edna B Rundle, 22 Jan 1936, Manchester, New Hampshire. Wallace and Eunice had two known children:

_____(1) Wallace Ferguson Shipman b. 16 July 1912, Lynn, Massachusetts; m. Beatrice Md. 29 Aug 2000 in Florida, buried in Lynn.

_____(2) Kempton Fifield Shipman b. 08 Nov 1915, Lynn, Massachusetts;  m. Dorothy; d. 20 Jul 1984, Lynn, Massachusetts.


Descendants of brother William Shipman (no known living):


(I) William married Grace (unknown) and had two known children, Addie, and another who died in infancy;  Grace died in 1900; he then married Mildred Selleck  and had no known children.

(A) Adelaide “Addie” m. Carl Selleck (her step-mother’s brother), and had no known children; she died in 1945, in Potsdam, New York.


Descendants of sister Sylvia Shipman (no known living):

(I) Sylvia m. Frank Pierce and had one known child:

(A) Mabel.  After Sylvia’s death, Frank remarried and had another daughter named Delta.  Mabel became a registered nurse and died without Shipman descendants (her nephews were blood related through her father).



Descendants of uncle Samuel Shipman (of Dundas, Ont, Canada)

(I) Samuel married Maria (unknown) and had two children:

(A) Florence b. 11 Aug 1870

(B) Norman b. 28 Sep 1883



city directories

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