Tuesday, August 25, 2015

52 ANCESTORS, 52 THEMES, No.34 - Mary McCURDY (1778-1855)

This year's challenge by Amy Crow is another weekly blog based on Themes. Last week's theme was Defective, Dependent, Delinquint and I wrote about my 3rd great-grandfather Jacob ORMSBEE's unusual second wife.  This week's theme is NON-POPULATION SCHEDULES/censuses.  Rather than follow the theme, I'm choosing to write about another 3rd great-grandparent:  Mary McCURDY.

Mary McCURDY is the only daughter I have found to date, for parents, Neil and Abigail McCURDY. Her father was born 4 Jul 1745, Rathlin Island, Antrim, just off the northern coast of Northern Ireland, and apparently settled before 1775 in the St. Andrews region, New Brunswick, Canada. This is on the border with Maine, on Passamaquoddy Bay - a very fluid friendly border area for many years. Nothing is known about the history of his wife Abigail, to this date. Apparently a group of Rathlin Island families and individuals came over to Lubec ME, not far away (dates unknown), as found on one of several histories of McCurdy family lines.

It is speculated that there were also two sons born to Neil & Abigail McCURDY in New Brunswick:  George, (abt 1782-1835), and Alex (?1785-?).  Their names show up after Neil's death, in notices in the New Brunswick newspapers, but no other details have been confirmed. Daniel Johnson's newspaper transcriptions have been very helpful for NB ancestors.  Mysteries abound with this early family.

Mary McCURDY was born in March 1778. Her birthplace has been stated to be Halifax county, Nova Scotia in several histories; however that appears most unlikely as her parents lived in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, for all their life, as far as can be determined.

At the Christ Church & Trinity Anglican Church, on 4 Dec 1801, Mary married Thomas PETTYGROVE, in St. Stephen, which is literally across the St. Croix River from Calais, Maine. Thomas PETTYGROVE was born Oct 1765 in Kittery, York, Maine, but the family moved to Calais before 1792.  At that time, Thomas and his elder brother Francis each bought a hundred acres of land in the region of Calais, settling there, and raising their families.  Note that Calais ME was incorporated as a town in 1809.  Her husband's surname is often spelled Pettegrow or Pettegrew.

Mary and Thomas had the following children, b. in Calais, ME unless indicated otherwise:
  1. Thomas, b. 20 Jan 1804; m. Mary ___ 
  2. Neal McCurdy, b. 18 Mar 1805, d. 4 May 1883 Pulaski WI; m. in Calais ME, 10 Mar 1833, to Abigail Hammond Pope, 6 children; m.2nd in WI to Lucinda 1854 in WI, 2 children; m. 3rd in WI to Eunice in 1860s.
  3. Caroline Elizabeth, b. 4 Jun 1806; m. in Calais ME, to James Stewart est 1825
  4. Elizabeth, b. 29 Sep 1808
  5. Sarah Ann, b. 27 Aug 1809, d. 9 Jul 1895 Easton WI; m. in Calais ME, 25 Apr 1838 to  Jonathan Corliss Colby, 9 children
  6. Mary Charlotte, b. 30 Jan 1811 Bailyville ME, d. 7 Oct 1889 Eagle Creek, OR; m in Calais ME, 9 Jul 1834 to Phillip Foster; 9 children (Oregon Territories pioneer settlers by sea)
  7. Francis William (F.W.), [direct ancestor] b. 12 Oct 1812, d. 5 Oct 1887 Port Townsend Washington territories; m. 1842 (in ?New York) to Sophia RULAND [direct ancestor], 7 children (Oregon/Washington pioneer settlers by sea)
  8. William A., b. abt 1818; m. in Calais ME, abt 1857 to Julia A. ___; one son, William A. (1859)
  9. Abigail R., b. 1820, d. aft April 1, 1852 after 5th child; m. in Calais, ME, Oct 1843 to John C. Smith, 5 children
  10. Lucy K., b. 1822, d. after 1900 ME; m. in Calais ME, 23 May 1854 to John C. Smith (yes her deceased sister's husband), 4 children.
She certainly saw sadness with losing children, either through death or migration.  #6 Mary Charlotte and #7 Francis William both disappeared to the west coast of America, over 3400 miles distant; they and their families were part of the opening of the Oregon territories (which became WA and OR).   #2 Neal her 2nd son, and #5 Sarah Ann, her 3rd daughter,  both moved with their families to Wisconsin, over 1300 miles distant.  #9 Abigail died after 5 children.

Thirty-three grandchildren she never met, and four children never seen again, plus one daughter who died as a young woman.  Challenges and losses. I always wonder if there are packets of letters to and from her children, sitting in an attic somewhere, which would provide more details of her life, and/or the lives of her children. 

I have not researched all details possible for the various other children.  I have researched #6 and #7 because of my connection with #7, and his sea migration together with his sister #6 and her husband and family to the west coast, in 1843.

Obviously if you have any information or corrections about Mary McCURDY and her family, I would be very pleased to receive this.  You may send details through my email at bottom of page, or in the Comments section below.  Please note that FindAGrave notes on memorials for her and her husband have inaccuracies.  I have added a few comments to their pages to help with corrections.

Blogger - or my computer - is still not letting me "reply" to your comments, for some unknown reason. If I don't reply to your Comment, please know that I'm totally thrilled you came to read my post and commented!  You truly make my day.

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Family, friends, and others - I hope you enjoy these pages about our ancestors and their lives. Genealogy has become somewhat of an obsession, more than a hobby, and definitely a wonderful mystery to dig into and discover. Enjoy my writing, and contact me at celia.winky at gmail dot com if you have anything to add to the stories. ... Celia Lewis