hmm - is it possible the bride was a widow?

+3 votes
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We have a profile for Catherine Steeves born 1799, marrying member of provincial parliament Reuben Stiles on 28 Mar 1844 at Hopewell, Westmorland, New Brunswick. 

The Steeves records don't seem to record this Catherine. Neither does "New Voices on the Shore".  We would expected to find some mention if Catherine is actually a Steeves daughter born 1799-1800, because that has a good chance of putting her in the first 3 generations.

However, the mature bride Catherine could be a widow. If so, is she Katherine (Jones) Steeves, widow of Job Steeves who passed away 17 July 1840? The birth year for both Catherines is given as 1799. Is the wedding witness Christian Steeves the same person who was visiting Catherine and Reuben at the time of the 1852 Census, which gave his age as 28, making it possible that he is Christian Steeves the son of Job and Catherine Steeves? Is Catherine originally a Jones, and that's why Moses Jones is the other witness? Is he Katherine (Jones) Steeves's youngest brother, the eventual magistrate Moses Jones ?

WikiTree profile: Catherine Stiles
in Genealogy Help by Shirlea Smith G2G6 Pilot (175k points)
retagged by Ellen Smith
Does anyone have additional research or sources, or even any ideas on how to proceed to resolve the questions of where Catherine the wife of Reuben came from and where Catherine the widow of Job went?
These jigsaw puzzles are good fun... provided they are not your own family!

smiley  Exactly right, Ron!

Catherine (Jones) Steeves is my 4x gg aunt.  

If the other Catherine is someone else, and is a Steeves, she is definitely related to me because it was a one-time anglicization name - all million of us are related!  That's how i came across her profile.   In preparation for some DNA research, i'm trying to get all the 1500+ Steeves profiles connected to the progenitor.

laugh You said it Ron, fun if -- if it isn't YOUR puzzle ... nice doing for our leisure moments 

I think there is a good chance that your hunch is correct, Shirlea. smiley

Just FYI, I removed the palatine_migration tag from your question because these people do not fit the scope of that project. Were they descendants of Palatines? (Not included in that project, but still interesting!)

One more data point. It looks like they were indexed wrong in the 1871 census transcriptions as "Lliles", but Reuben and Catherine are here: 

Library and Archives Canada, Census of 1871. New Brunswick, Albert, Hopewell. Image No.: 4396319_00463 

https://central.bac-lac.gc.ca/.item/?app=Census1871&op=&img&id=4396319_00463

doesn't help you answer your question though

Another data point, the Ruben and Rebecca referenced in Catherine's biography are too young, and the wrong name. Reuben and Catherine are here (sometimes you really need to zero in on the right subdistrict to find the correct couple):

Library and Archives, Canada, Census of 1851. Hopewell, Albert, New Brunswick. Image e002292063

https://central.bac-lac.gc.ca/.item/?app=Census1851&op=&img&id=e002292063

Edit: I updated the censuses to the correct references in Catherine's profile.

Edit 2: I also concur with your hunch, Ellen.

Thanks so much for reviewing the tags, Ellen!  

Three of Katherine Jones Steeves grandparents have the Palatine Migrant tag, whether they should or not, i don't know.  I was hoping that someone in the project might recognize her.

Her four grandparents all have German roots: Jones is originally Schantz, and Steeves is originally  Stieff.  

But looking at their duchies of origin, i have some doubts that it is all settled.  The Baden-Wurttenberg stuff has been proven, but the other two seem a little suspect.

1 Answer

+3 votes

Birth records in that time period are very difficult to find. I've been looking for years to sort out a couple of families.

No solid answers but have you looked at all the records available at the NB Archives?

There are probate records at https://archives.gnb.ca/Search/MC3706/NameIndex.aspx?culture=en-CA that might provide some clues.

Have you consulted with a copy of Esther Clark Wright's "The Steeves Descendents," 1965.

There are also files at the New Brunswick Genealogical Society on the Steeves and Stiles families.

by Doug McCallum G2G6 Pilot (424k points)
I poked around for a while in the NB archives, with variant spellings but found no death certificate for Catherine, unfortunately.

Thanks Doug and Brad!  I pored over the records at PANB, with no luck so far.  But sometimes the indexing is just enough off to not get it in the search results...

I have also combed through 'The Steeves Descendants' and i also have a soft copy that i can do Control F:  found Job on p 277 and p 436 with Catherine mentioned alongside, but not Catherine's subsequent marriage, which anyway would be outside of the scope of Esther Clark Wright's work.  

However in looking again, i noticed that one of Job and Catherine Steeves' daughters married a Stiles, showing a close connection between the families. 

No smoking gun yet, though!

I've been scanning the NBGS material online, and don't see anything that would help, simply a transcription of the marriage register, which you already have from PANB

First Families doesn't go as far as this generation for the Steeves or the Stiles families.  Perhaps the answer is in the paper records? I understand that there is a lot of genealogical information at the Steeves House Museum: https://www.steeveshousemuseum.ca/aboutthesteeves

PS: The First Families information on the Jones family says they came from Philadelphia but gives the English version of their names and doesn't mention European roots. 

Hi Laurie!  I was hoping you might weigh in on this one!  

Thanks for taking a look at the NBGS!

Les Bowser solved the riddle of why one seeming Welsh family would be travelling with the Steeves, Rickers, Somers, Trites  etc  to Nova Scotia.  It is recounted in his book Genealogist on the Loose, but also summarized here in Rick Crume's article.  Rick has taken it one step further and researched the possible locations in Europe.

Thanks Doug! I followed the link and noticed the probate item for an older Reuben Stiles, the one who married Elizabeth Cummings who was the step-daughter of Christian Steeves the first. So that was an early marriage connection between the Steeves and Stiles.  

There are a few merges pending, but after that i think we will see that actually Job Steeves who left the widow Catherine was kinda close step-family with Reuben who may have married the widow.  That makes it even more likely, in my opinion.  

But still no smoking gun.

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