Saturday, October 8, 2011

Caldwell and Beebe

February 1834 marriage of Joshua BEEBE to
Mary WATT. Joshua's mother Mary SECORD
was almost 100 years old at the time of the
marriage. (Source: Drouin Collection)

So I finally gave in and purchased a subscription to Ancestry. Previously, whenever I needed to check census information or use the Drouin Collection of Quebec Vital & Church Records, I would have to visit the library to access the Ancestry Library Edition, usually on a computer with a monitor far too small for the purpose. Far more convenient to work at home with a 24" widescreen monitor and a really comfortable chair.

Access to the Drouin Collection has been quite useful as I am currently updating and expanding my information on the CALDWELL and BEEBE families of New Carlisle on the Gaspe Peninsula of Quebec. I've previously written how my ggggg-grandmother, Mary SECORD (1734- ?), widow of Joshua BEEBE (1738-1778), settled at New Carlisle in 1784 with six of her seven children (four sons and two daughters). One son, Amasa BEEBE (1769-1862), did not marry, while another, Secord BEEBE (1764-1859), moved to Nova Scotia. The other two, Asa BEEBE (1772-1861) and Joshua BEEBE (1778-1844), had large families and some of their descendants still live in New Carlisle.

Joshua BEEBE had three wives and at least 11 children born over a forty year period. In fact, his third wife, Mary Ann WATT (1813- ?), was younger than several of the older children, and was not much older than Joshua's son Amasa BEEBE (1815-1901), who married Mary COOKE (1823-1873), sister of my gg-grandfather.

In the previous post I mentioned that Mary SECORD's youngest daughter, Sarah BEEBE (1774-1823) married Andrew Todd CALDWELL (1772-1827), son of Robert CALDWELL (1735-1825). Her descendants are proving to be rather elusive. A document dated 1816 records that Andrew and Sarah had four children, however, additional records exist for only two of them. Andrew and Sarah's daughter, Elizabeth CALDWELL (? -1864) married her cousin Adin BEEBE (? -1865) . Two of Andrew's nephews also married BEEBEs, while another two married COOKEs (sisters of my gg-grandfather). In 19th and early 20th century New Carlisle, almost everyone was related.

Many of the CALDWELL's were seafarers. Andrew Todd CALDWELL, for instance, apparently died at sea sailing from Boston to Halifax. Last year I was contacted by a CALDWELL descendant living in Australia who believed that his gg-grandfather, Charles CALDWELL (1812-1874), had been born in New Carlisle. The problem was that although it seemed likely that Charles was a grandchild of Robert CALDWELL, it was uncertain who the father was. Eventually my correspondent decided that Charles was the son of John Todd CALDWELL (1764-1850). Having now looked more closely at the data, however, I think it equally likely that any of John Todd CALDWELL's brothers, including Andrew Todd CALDWELL, could be the father.

Barring the discovery of a Caldwell bible, it is unlikely that this mystery will be solved. Records for New Carlisle from the early 19th century are almost non-existent, although clues can often be found in later records preserved in the Droiun Collection.


  1. Please contact me. I'm a descendant of Joshua III & Mary Ann Watt.
    Roy Bebee --

  2. As a descendant of W.T. Bebee (son of Joshua III & Mary Ann Watt), I would like to communicate. I have many letters from Mary Ann Watt, Joshua E. Beebe, Maggie Beebe, Ron Billingsley, Amasa, and many others from New Carlisle. All written to W.T. Bebee who moved from CAN to USA in 1870 and lived in PA and then NEB for the rest of his life. He is my g grandfather. My grand-dad was Roy W. Bebee in OK.