I returned, this month, from the heart of my ancestral homeland: New Brunswick.

Thank you to Clara Wanamaker and her daughter Beth for sharing the research that they have done and the fabulous pictures they have inherited. It was so very wonderful to see a picture of my great great grandmother, Bethelda Hannah Gavel Barr, that wasn’t the size of a locket shot.

Thank you to Ron Dykeman who toured us around the early Dykeman settlement… showed us the original land where Loyalist Garrett Dykeman and his wife Eunice Hatfield settled. We stood on the shore of Dykeman Lake and enjoyed the feeling of historic family tranquility, surrounded by autumn splendour. Ron’s aunt also shared, with us, many family stories and much of her family research.

The maritime generosity and friendliness of these people made me proud to have a New Brunswick heritage!

I have decided, because I have so much time (I hope you hear the sarcasm dripping), that I will be writing a novelized history of my New Brunswick Loyalists grandparents… specifically, James Beyea & Martha Curry Sherwood, Richard Bull & Jemima Budd Bull, Isaiah James Smith & Joanna Davis, Garrett Dykeman & Eunice Hatfield. I will fill you in on my progress as the months continue. My aim is to have it complete by my parent’s 40th Anniversary (which will be November 29th, 2009).

Speaking of anniversaries, here’s the October list:

  • William Doty & Elinor Sauchee: 1 October 1761
  • Edward Waldene & Mary Hunt: 3 October 1574
  • Nathaniel Raymond & Martha Balch: 3 October 1735
  • Timothy Hurlburt & Sarah Clark: 5 October 1757 
  • John Clarke & Catherine Cooke: 12 October 1567
  • (Deacon) John Gavel & Phoebe Hatfield: 16 October 1799
  • William Brooks & Mary Burt: 18 October 1654
  • Henry Best & Grace Boithes: 23 October 1577
  • James Smith & Dorcas Manzer Dykeman: 25 October 1853
  • Henry Best & Margarita Maud: 26 October 1552
  • Samuel Balch & Martha Newmarch: 27 October 1675
  • John Nason & Elizabeth Rogers: 28 October 1600
  • Richard Sabin & Mary Elizabeth Busche: 29 October 1608
  • Mark Batchelder & Mary Fantinge: 30 October 1598

I had the priviledge this month of visiting the gravesite of James Smith & Dorcas Manzer Dykeman, who were married on the 25th of October 1853. They were married in the Cambridge Parish, quite possibly in St.James Anglican Church, Lower Jemseg, where Dorcas was born. The lived in Smithtown, where James was born and raised, and had 8 children: James, Phoebe Sophia (my great great grandmother, Clara Amelia, Rachel Susanna (died as an infant), Barnet, Albert, Herbert, and Dorcas Rebecca.  James & Dorcas were married for 17 1/2 years until the early death of Dorcas at age 39. She died 7 days after the birth of their daughter, Dorcas Rebecca Smith. This little baby survied to adulthood, married and had 4 children of her own. Her youngest was named Wilda Helen, born 15 January 1906. My grandmother was named Ewilda… I’m curious about that connection, but I digress…

Dorcas and James were buried in the picturesque Smithtown Baptist Church cemetery. I will leave you with the picture of their stone. It’s abit hard to read, so here’s what it says:

In memory of

James Smith


his wife

Dorcas M.


thier daughter

Rachel S.


Published in: on 28 October 2008 at 12:50 am  Comments (7)