November: Though Death Divides…

  • Robert Burdick & Ruth Hubbard: 2 November 1655
  • Ian Bosch & Wilhelmina Voight: 3 November 1624
  • Diderick Bosch & Marie Schubring: 8 November 1574
  • Gerard Spencer & Alice Whitebread: 10 November 1600
  • Joseph Clarke & Bethiah Hubbard: 16 November 1664
  • David Winchell & Elizabeth Filley: 18 November 1669
  • Israel Porter & Elizabeth Hathorne: 20 November 1672
  • Ebenezer Porter & Sarah Raymond: 20 November 1760
  • Thomas Hatfield & Alice Ebel: 27 November 1671
  • James Henry Beyea & Phoebe Sophia Smith: 29 November 1875
  • John Marshall Fisher & Barbara Ann Brice: 29 November 1969

Today ( November 29th) is my parent’s 39th wedding anniversary… a beautiful sunshiny November day. It is also my great great grandparent’s 133rd wedding anniversary. They were married 94 years apart. Here is what I know of Phoebe Sophia (Smith) & James Henry Beyea.

James was born on November 19th, 1952, in Smithtown NB.  His parents were Lydia (Mosher) and John Beyea.  He was became a carpenter, like his father and grandfather (also James Beyea) before him. He was the oldest son of six siblings: two older sisters, Annie Eliza and Mary Elizabeth and 3 younger siblings, John Edwin, Martha Matilda and William Allan.

James married Phoebe Sophia Smith, the local midwife, daughter of deacon James Smith (deacon of the Smithtown United Baptist Church) and his late wife Dorcas Manzer (Dykeman).

James & Phoebe had three children: Mary Florence (known as Mayme or Mae), Elizabeth Mosher (known as Libby) and William Henry (known as Harry).  It seems that James and Phoebe liked nicknames.

When Harry, my great grandfather, was born in 1888, his eldest sister was 11 years old and second born sister was 5. There is a good chance that there were more than three pregnancies throughout those 11 years but none are recorded as lost, or born and died young. Phoebe, herself, was the local midwife and would have experienced the many joys and trajedies of birth and death, her own included.  Only 4 years before her marriage to James, Phoebe’s own mother died in childbirth at the age of 39. There is a good chance that Phoebe might have been the midwife to her mother and certainly would have helped raise her new little sister after the loss of her Mom. This new little sister to Phoebe was named Dorcas, after her mother, and she went on to survive adulthood and have four children of her own.

James and Phoebe, sometime in the early years of the new century, ventured to Boston MA to find carpentry work. Their daughter May and her husband George went with them. Harry, who was single at the time also went. It is uncertain if Libby and her husband came along as well.  They returned to the Lakeside area of New Brunswick in 1913 along with my great grandfather and his new wife, Annie Elizabeth Barr, whom he met and married in Boston. Annie was a Nova Scotia girl, living in Boston, about to raise a New Brunswick family. My grandmother was their second youngest daughter.

In 1927, only days before her 71st birthday Phoebe Sophia died. She had gone almost entirely blind in her later years. Her oldest daughter had adopted 2 children: Phyllis and Frank, and her youngest daughter was pregnant with what would be her only child: Barbara Jane (Nichols). Harry had 6 surviving children. Their youngest, at the time of Phoebe Sophia’s death, was 5 year old Ewilda Elizabeth, my grandmother.

James passed way 3 1/2 years after his wife, on February 1st, 1931, with complications from pneumonia. They are both buried at the Baptist Churchyard in Smithtown NB.  Their stone was purchased from a catalogue company (possibly Eatons). Today it broken in 3 parts and lists only the name Beyea, (now hidden on the base stone).  It leaves us with the parting words: “Though Death Divides, Fond Memory Clings”.

James Henry Beyea & Phoebe Sophia (Smith)

James Henry Beyea & Phoebe Sophia (Smith)

Published in: on 30 November 2008 at 2:07 am  Comments (3)