Posts Tagged ‘United Empire Loyalists’

Loyalist William Boone

During the American Revolution, conservative estimates claim that 10-15% of settlers in the thirteen colonies (or about a quarter of a million people), remained loyal to Great Britain (other historians quote figures upwards of 30%).  Since the winning side writes the history books, Loyalists are typically portrayed as traitors.  In reality, the Loyalists were simply loyal to their government.


Loyalists came from every class and walk of life, with varying reasons for loyalty to the Crown.  Some had business interests in England and believed the connection guaranteed them a secure life with wealth and property; others chose sides based on specific events happening in their own communities; some had emotional ties to their mother country; and others were simply fearful of the British Army as there was a high probability that the British would prevail and later persecute the rebels.  Some choose the British side because their military was large and strong, thus offering protection against indians, pirates and other insurgents.

A common theme was the apprehension of replacing a stable and seemingly successful government with democracy, which they believe to be a form of mob rule, and thus a breakdown of law and order which would likely result in chaos. Although the King was said to be a tyrant, Reverend Mather Byles said it best: “Which is better – to be ruled by one tyrant three thousand miles away or by three thousand tyrants one mile away?”

In 1783,  upon the signing of the Treaty of Paris, which recognized the independence of the United States, exiled Loyalists returned to England or settled in another British colony. About 35,600, primarily English-speaking, Loyalist refugees fled, with few possessions, to the then isolated and untamed areas of Nova Scotia. At the time, Nova Scotia’s population was about 53,000, thus one can imagine the impact on demographics.

To each family, Nova Scotia authorities granted adequate food and clothing for two years, 200 to 1,200 acres of land and farm implements. The Loyalists initially resided in tents while they cleared the land, erected a house and barn and worked to produce crops to sustain themselves and their livestock while enduring harsh winters. They had access to the river only in the few months it wasn’t frozen. The wife of one soldier recalled:

We pitched our tents in the shelter of the woods and tried to cover them with spruce boughs. We used stones for fireplaces. Our tents had no floors but the ground… how we lived through that winter, I barely know…

There are many tales of the hardships faced by New Brunswick Loyalists. After that first hard winter of 1783, however, most New Brunswick Loyalists probably took the attitude expressed by Edward Winslow, just being pleased not to be ” in danger of starving, freezing, or being blown into the Bay of Fundy”

The Loyalists wished to separate from Nova Scotia; they felt that the government represented the Yankee population who had been sympathetic to the now Americans. The British administrators felt that the capital, Halifax, was too far away from the developing territory to allow proper governance. Thus, on 16 August 1784, the colony of New Brunswick was created, with Sir Thomas Carleton as its first governor.

Among this group, was the family of my 5th g-grandfather, William Boone.

boone tree


William Boone was likely born to Mary Wightman and Samuel Boone, a Loyalist who was captured at Manor St George on Long Island by Major Bemjamin Tallmadge and taken as a prisoner to Camp Security in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (Peter Force Papers, Series IX, Reel 105, p. 334), where he likely died, perhaps during the fever outbreak that hit the camp in 1782/3 killing many (history here) .

In the book Graveyards of North Kingstown, Rhode Island by Althea H. McAleer, is a transcription of Mary (Wightman) Boone’s tombstone, from work done by Harris, who visited on 28 Feb 1880, and referred to the cemetery as the “Old Boone Yard.”

“ Here lies interred Mary Boone consort of Samuel Boone Esq. He lies interred at Lemchester [likely Lancaster].  She died Sept. 12, 1782 in the 68th year of her age.”

William married Ruth Hill, 21 May 1761, in Rhode Island, and by 1774, according to census data, the couple resided on a farm in Exeter with eight children. His parents and several siblings resided nearby in North Kingston.

william marriage



A genealogist  (year of writings unknown) documented much of their history. Below are some extracts posted to an ancestry message board. The writings are unsourced, but it seems that the writer had access to the family bible. We do not have access to the original, nor do we know who made entries in the bible and how long they were made after actual events. The names do match up to those listed in Boone’s will. The list includes two children who died at a young age, perhaps indicating that the writer had first hand knowledge.



William Boone Sr.1743-1829

William Boone and his wife, whose maiden name was Ruth Hayward [Ruth’s maiden name was actually Hill], natives of Suffolk County, England, came to America and settled about the year 1765 [unlikely – he was probably born in Rhode Island, where record of his parents marriage is found]. They were people of considerable means and importance, their lands comprising most of the site of the present city of Providence, Rhode Island. The title deeds of which remained in the Boone family, and were finally in care of Mrs. Robert Allen (a direct descendant); but were destroyed when their home on the Hanwell Road [in Fredericton] was burned a few years ago.

William Boone and family were compelled to abandon their home and property in common with others who remained loyal to the Old Flag at the close of the war, and came to New Brunswick in 1783 [other records state that the property was taken from him].  Arriving at St. John, where they remained for a time, we find him applying for lands first at Swan Creek in 1786; and the next year, on the Oromocto River, where he remained for a few years.

Part of his family, who by that time were mostly grown up, settled there; but he not being entirely suited with the location, removed later with some of the family to the Keswick [River], receiving a grant of some 868 acres of land, at what is now Burtt’s Corner.  His first house being built on the farm now owned by Thomas Fowler, and standing just back of Charles Inch’s residence.

He and his wife spent the remainder of their days there and are both buried in the Baptist Cemetery at Burtt’s Corner. Suitable monuments mark both graves. They had a large family, and below is the record as copied from the Family Bible.

Name  Born  Married  Died
William Boone  Aug. 22, 1743 none listed  April 28, 1829
Ruth  Feb. 25, 1744 none listed  May 12, 1833
John  July 12, 1762 none listed none listed
 Samuel  March 9, 1764   March 21, 1785  Nov. 4, 1848
 William Jr  June 22, 1766  March 17, 1788  Nov. 17, 1849
 Hannah   Feb. 26, 1768  Dec. 8, 1788  June 17, 1860
 Mary  April 26, 1770 none listed  March 9, 1840
 Lucy  Aug. 5, 1772  Jan., 1805  Aug. 13, 1842
 Henry  July 4, 1774  June 8, 1798  June 14, 1846
 Wightman  Feb. 26, 1776 none listed  Dec. 12, 1778
 Howe  Dec. 12, 1777 none listed  Dec. 12, 1777
 James (Rev.)  May 8, 1780  Oct. 7, 1806  Oct. 23, 1865
 Elizabeth  Nov. 3, 1783 none listed   July 6, 1800
 George Sr. June 6, 1785  Oct. 18, 1809   Jan. 13, 1861
 Anna March 17, 1787  Oct. 14, 1842  Feb. 23, 1881


Travel to Canada

Other records confirm that Boone’s property at Rhode Island was confiscated; and further state he was imprisoned for twenty months after serving in the Hazard’s Corps (Refugees-irregulars who served without pay or uniforms and provided firewood, food, etc., to British establishments, to earn money).

“William Boon”, a Rhode Island farmer, his wife and six of their children (two under the age of ten) are recorded as passengers on the ship “Union”.  A Samuel Boon is also recorded, probably William’s brother, who’s wife and child remained behind in Rhode Island:

The Union was part of the “Spring Fleet” and departed from Huntington Bay on April 16th with the “Kingston Loyalists” and proceeded to New York, where forty-three of the passengers disembarked on April 23rd. The Union sailed for New Brunswick on April 24th with the remaining one hundred and sixty-four passengers. (this list indicates 209 passengers) The Union arrived at Partridge Island, NB on May 10th, and was moored at St. John on May 11th. The passengers did not land immediately, but “remained comfortable on board ship” until June 4th 1783 (passenger list here).

They shortly disembarked onto a small sloop and set sail up the St. John River to Belleisle Bay. Despite their caution in looking for a good place to settle, when they first arrived, they found “nothing but wilderness,” and the “women and children did not refrain from tears” Nevertheless, it was not long before an area at the head of Belleisle Creek was laid out by a surveyor who reserved land for a church and a school, as well as setting out lots. The Loyalists named their new village Kingston. By the time winter set in, according to Walter Bates’ account, “every man in the district found himself and family covered under his own roof… enjoying in unity the blessings which God had provided… in the country into whose coves and wild woods we were driven through persecution.”

Read more of their experiences here

union boones


Butts orner


Almost all land in New Brunswick, then called Nova Scotia, was Crown owned. Settlers wanting land, petitioned the Governor of Nova Scotia, usually noting the location they wanted. The request was made in a document, called a “Memorial”. The document might be written by the petitioner, but usually was prepared by a notary or Justice of the Peace (typically the requester had limited reading/writing skills).

Once approved, the Surveyor-General of Lands was directed to survey a certain tract or number of acres in a specified location and issue a certificate permitting the grant. The Provincial Secretary’s Office, drafted the grant which was signed by the Attorney-General and the Governor. A transcript of the final grant was also entered by hand into large bound record volumes kept in the Crown Lands Office.

The official grant was a large document on heavy paper with the Great Seal of the Province (a large embossed red wax disc) attached to it with a ribbon. This often was a prized possession, and many documents exist today with descendants.

Claims and Memorials
Memorial of William Boone of Rhode Island

To the Honble Col. Thos. DUNDAS and J. PEMBERTON Esqrs. two of the Commissioners appointed by Act of Parliament to enquire into the losses of his Majestys Loyal Subjects in America. The Memorial of Wm. BOONE of Rhode Island now of the County of Sunbury in New Brunswick.

Most humbly Sheweth

That Your Memorialist was possessed of considerable property in Kings County in Rhode Island untill the commencement of the late dissentions in America, at which time he was called on to aid and assist his Majestys enemies in America and on his refusal was insulted, abused and imprisoned, his effects and property taken and sold to the ruin of himself and family and he obliged to flee to his Majestys Troops for protection and during his continuance with them did his endeavour to annoy and distress those who attempted to subvert the British Government in America and in consequence thereof he was taken a prisoner and continued as such for near twenty months.

That Your Memorialist not having an Opportunity at this present [time], of procuring Deeds and other necessary pieces of writing to support his pretensions, but expecting hourly to receive the same, together with the evidences of Capt. Wm. CLERK, Mr. George SWEET and Joseph RATHBONE, all of this Province and others who will prove his Loyalty and Losses most humbly prays that your honours will take his distressed circumstances into consideration, as he having a large family to support in a wilderness Country, could not make a personal application in England, and from the same cause is prevented from an attendance on the honourable Commissioners at Halifax, but humbly hopes that his Claim will be admitted and that he may be allowed to prove the facts before the Commissioners when they arrive in New Brunswick.

And he is as in duty bound will ever pray

William BOONE

Great Britain, Public Record Office, Audit Office, Class 13, Volume 80, folios 42–43.

Notes continue saying that Boone under oath says he is of Rhode Island, now of Sunbury County, New Brunswick and from 15 July 1783 to 25 March 1784 he resided in the County of Sunbury and Nova Scotia and explained why his claim was late as per the above.


Boone Memorial pg 3

Boone Memorial pg 1Boone Memorial pg 2

Volume: A, page 198, Grant number 98
Original province of registration: Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia registration date: 1784/06/14
New Brunswick registration date: 1785/01/20
Accompanying plan: No
Acreage: 200 acres
Place and County: GAGE TOWNSHIP OF, Sunbury County

Boone land grant page 1

A number of land transactions are recorded in Sunbury County, the site where they initially settled, before removing to Burtt’s Corner in York County.

land indexes Sunbury

boon york

William and Ruth are buried in the Burtts Corner Community Cemetery in the Baptist Cemetery section.

cem 10415691_1467395270166064_6980391855902999478_n boon grave

Extract from Boone’s will:

BOONE, William
Parish of Douglas, York Co., Yeoman. Will dated 22 April 1826. Proved 8
June 1829.

He asks first for a decent Christian burial.

He leaves his dearly beloved wife, Ruth, fifteen pounds annually until her death, in lieu of her thirds; bed, bedding, furniture, half a dozen silver tea spoons and “a small room in my house and to be found with fire wood cut suitable length for the fire place Winter and Summer”.

He leaves to his beloved son, Henry, a lot of land bought from Jacob Knai.  To his beloved son, George “my homestead of this my farm” and land, which he describes. Both sons are named executors.

He leaves five shillings each to to his well beloved Samuel [he does not call Samuel “son”; this may be a transcription error], beloved sons William and James Boone; and three pounds each to his well beloved daughters Mary Jones, Lucy Estey, Elizabeth Lawrence, Ann Haines and Hannah Coggeshall.

It is further understood that all household goods which have not been given to Ruth, my well beloved wife, I bequeath to my beloved son George Boone, each and every one of those my children freely to be possessed and enjoyed.

Witnesses: Joshua Stone, Samuel Boone, Thomas White

boone map

boone map #2




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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