Canadian Brickwall: Hill and White families, Canada to Texas, late 1700s to 1850

+1 vote
Howdy all, after having been involved in genealogy for almost sixty years, I have decided to enlist your help in trying to tear down a brick wall that we have been trying to scale for that entire time.  One of my great great great grandmas is profiled here in Wikitree and in many other websites as Alice Amanda White.  As I explained on her profile here, the name White is speculative.  My mother (now 93) began working on our genealogy in the late 1950s and by the end of the 60s had worked out most of what we now know.  Being pre-internet times, much of genealogical communications occurred through regional or area society publications, and my mother participated in several of these.  At some point in the 60s or 70s, a distant cousin called her to talk about our Hill ancestors and Alice Hill came up.  When asked if mama had any idea of what Alice's maiden name was, she mused that it might be White.  This because her son, Henry Felix White Hill, had the names Felix and White in his and they ocurred nowhere else in known family.  So she speculated on the phone that maybe Alice's birth name was White and, if so, maybe her father had been named Felix.  After the end of the phone call, she didn't think about it any more as it was speculation.  However, in a short time she began to see Alice White given as ggg grandma's name in various publications, and believes that the cousin started putting this out there as fact.  To this day, I have found no evidence to support or negate this.
Anyway, family oral history says that her husband Amos, was a captain of some kind of vessel that plied the New England/Canadian coastline in the 1820s.  While in Canada, he met Alice and they were married, making their home in Canada, where several of their children were born, including gg grandpa Henry.  The 1840 US Census shows Amos and his family living in the area of Boston Massachusetts and by 1850 they had moved to DeWitt Co., TX  where he was listed as a saddler and they lived there the remainder of their lives.
The family history raises a number of questions, such as how and why did Amos make the transition from ship captain to saddler; why did they leave Massachusetts to move to semi-arid Texas (cheap land?) and primarily, what was his wife's lineage in Canada.  Myself, I wonder about the sea captain aspect, if he was a captain, what moved him to become a saddler?  Perhaps he was actually a deckhand, married and stayed while in a Canadian port, learning a trade there (possibly from his father-in-law?), before moving to Boston by 1840.  Could her family have been Loyalists who moved to Canada during the Revolution, if so, they could have come from anywhere on the east coasst.  Lots of avenues of speculation, unfortunately that is exactly what we have on their pre-1840 lives, speculation, not even much circumstantial.
I'm in my early 70s and its very unlikely that I will ever be able to make it to the New England area from TX, much less Canada.  So I am asking Canadian-knowledgable Wikitree folks for any help in climbing this brickwall.  All we really know is that Amos was from New Hampshire, met Alice in Canada where they married (1825ish), started their family and at some point between 1830 and 1840, they moved to Boston.  Any help will be appreciated, even if its negative just let me know.  I want to put my brickwalls to bed before I check out myself.  If the answer is that there is no way to find out, thats okay too.  Biographies for Alice and Amos are in the works, hoping to solve Alice's mystery and their pre-Texas history before posting.
WikiTree profile: Alice White
asked in Genealogy Help by Art Black G2G6 Mach 1 (17.6k points)
Wikitree friends, I got an email that said I had one answer to my question.  I checked in to read it a few minutes ago and the more I read down the unexpected comments, the more astonished I became.  Some time ago I had seen the Amos Bensden Hill and Alice Ward names come up on Ancestry, however, it needed an international subscription and I only have the basic subscription.  I assumed it was probably only a coincidence in names like so many others I had seen in US Censuses.  And the one semester of French I took in college over fifty years ago has long slipped away.

As I read down the comments, the series of even more coincidences convinces me that they are serious candidates for these ggg grandparents.  Goosebumps began to rise on my arms and tingles ran down my back.  After almost sixty years, real clues!  Its been a good while since I received such a bounty of information.

The story of his having been a sea captain seems like even more of a tall tale now, but why was he in Quebec, he was born and raised in New Hampshire and his father served with an American regiment.  My mind is racing with questions even as I write.  It sounds like they may have a pretty complex story behind the differences in his name, their move to Boston and then within a few years, their move halfway across the continent to Texas.  This will keep me going for a while.  I'll have to see if I can get copies of these sources you all have so kindly listed.  Again, thanks for all of your help on this.
hi Art, the question your comment raises is how do you know his father served in the regiment?  

Other than that, C of E marriage records typically don't name parents (unlike RC records here, which had to record them unless not known or other circumstances), but New Hampshire is quite close to the Sherbrooke area.  In the case found, it's the girl and her family who live in Ascot.  He may have come here to live for a while and married, then moved back South.  There is certainly no trace of any children for them in records here, which would support that theory.
Well, mty mother worked out the basic Hill line for us back in the 1960s.  But other than basic BMD type information, we never found much written about them.  In the last decade or two, as more in the way of books and records have come on line, I found some books on the history of Carroll County, New Hampshire, particularly one from the later 1800s which listed a couple of mentions of Amos' father, Henry.  One entry mentioned Henry, and two other young men, enlisting in 1781at age 17 which would have been correct.  Checking Family Search turned up a lot of records from his military unit that mentioned him, muster records and the like.  Put a few of them in Henry's profile sources to remind me to go through those records in more detail.  Unfortunately, Henry died in 1804 when Amos was only two years old.  Amos was the youngest of five children so there probably wasn't much for him when he reached adulthood.  Its those first couple of decades, until Amos shows up in Canada, that I've got to fill in now.

According to family records, Amos and Alice had two children in Canada before they moved to Boston, where they had three more.before coming to Texas.  The first two of the Boston siblings died before moving so only three of them made it to Texas.

Sorry, I'm going on and on.  I live part of my life every day with these New England people, the Hills, Frost, Waldron, Gerrish and more, mostly from the New Hampshire/Maine area.  I worked in the field of historical archaeology here in Texas for several decades, so history and talking about it got into my blood.  Thanks for the reference links you included, I've been checking them out and I'm going to try for a short term subscription to the Quebec genealogy website.  Also going to invest in a good quality map of that area of the country.I think.  Looks like Ascot is fairly well landlocked, which seems to discount the whole sea captain story. this is a map of this province with surrounding areas shown also, I believe it is open to all, and is expandable with listing of parishes on left to search with.

I believe you can get a monthly susbscription to Drouin Institute, which is what i use, I go with yearly subscription, at $100 plus taxes per year, cheap.

2 Answers

+3 votes

There is a marriage in 1827 in Ascot, Québec between a Amos Bensden Hill and a Alice Amanda Ward. time period fits, names are close, not sure if there is more info on the document, maybe if someone has access to the Drouin records could look it up for you. Institute Généalogique Drouin; Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Drouin Collection

answered by S Stevenson G2G6 Mach 3 (31k points)

Marriage Ascot (Church of England) 1827-08-14

HILL, AMOS ARMSDEN Residence : ASCOT age maj


I will send you a copy of the entry in the Drouin records if you will PM me.

Art, from this info that Rick provided, you can see the Marriage contract (at Ancestry) between Amos A Hill and Felix Ward on 30 Jul 1827 Saint-François, Québec (Quebec), Canada, Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec; Montréal, Quebec, Canada; District: Saint-François.

It looks like Alice Amanda's father was Felix Ward.

Somebody more familiar with Quebec records (and can speak/read French) will need to help sort out Felix Ward, I do not understand all the documents in Ancestry notarized by same individual as the marriage contract noted above.  Maybe add Quebec as a tag to this question.
ok, looking at the actual marriage record in Drouin, the man's name was Amos Armsden Hill, saddler, of major age, the bride was Alice Amanda Ward, of minor age, both of Ascot, the parents are cited present for the bride and signatures at the bottom include F. Ward, R. Miner, _._. Wilcox (?), A.A. Hill, A.A. Ward.  the minister signs himself as ''Min. of Sherbrooke'' image from Drouin collection, membership needed , 14 Aug 1827 date, in Ascot (C of E), Ascot Corner for location, near Sherbrooke, indeed in the area where loyalists settled. map (free access)

Don't find anything else for the family in church records here.

The profession given of saddler on the marriage record does tend to support the notion that this would be the right couple.

S. Stevenson, if you could tell me the name of the notary involved, would help, there are tons of them to search through otherwise.

notary is William Ritchie.

other Felix Ward documents:

- 1825 Census of Lower Canada Ascott, Buckinghamshire, Quebec, Canada - no ages, 6 occupants

- 17 Nov 1819 - Trois-Rivieres; Notary: Dumoulin, Jean-Emmanuel, Engagement, Pierre Commeare and Felix Ward

- 5 Jan 1821 Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec; Montréal, Quebec, Canada; District: Trois-Rivières; Title: Dumoulin, Jean-Emmanuel (1810-1860) Notary Dumoulin, Jean-Emmanuel  Record

- 2 Apr 1823 notary William Ritchie, Saint-Francois, Transfer, WB Felton and Felix Ward

- 30 Dec 1824 notary William Ritchie Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec; Montréal, Quebec, Canada; District: Saint-François; Title: Ritchie, William (1822-1872) sale of something to NB Felton

- 14 April 1825 notary William Ritchie - Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec; Montréal, Quebec, Canada; District: Saint-François; Title: Ritchie, William (1822-1872) (possibly his date of death or deed ??) Felix Ward at Request (Bequest) of Joseph T Barrett Signification ??? was living next to Felix in 1825, either his brother, brother-in-law (Ward-24197 married a Joanna Ward), or cousin.  Ward-24197 married in Ascot, Quebec on 21 Oct 1812.
ok, all I come up with in Drouin collection on notaries is the inventory of William Ritchie's various acts, the marriage contract you cite is indeed there, but since this is an inventory, it's only one liners.
Here's something relevant to Felix Ward, page 11 and after (99 & 100 in original doc), PDF:

Per the bio on Hyatt, Felix Ward was a blacksmith:  (about a third of the way into the text)
Friends, please see the comments I added under the posting of my original question.  Added them in the wrong place to be easily seen I suspect
+1 vote

Just a tidbit, Our Whites who ended up going to Canada to Quebec areas? Were born in Felkington, Norham, Northumberland, England and were actually Scottish and well English Decendants of Rev Adam White through his Great Grandson Robert White b. 1744 in Norham and through son and daughter who moved to Quebac through a request for families in Brunswick who also had some go to Northumberland Canada.. or they named the area later?

Our family members who moved to Canada were Matthew White and One of the sisters of Matthew. But I did see an Agnes Alice White Warne (Probably Warner) They did follow Scottish naming traditions so possible other Alice in the family! Just giving you some Whites from Canada to across the water. if that might help?  Matthew's son William had Agnes Alice White!

Reasons I believe they moved is the first link where they came to their area and posted in the town newspaper looking for people from the area. lol We have Hall's not Hill's lol But I guess these need to branched out into cousins more! :) Working on it!  Posting up the Family search link because more of the Whites are branched out than here on wiki I noticed. They also have an older file on Ancestry those from Quebec Canada? 

answered by Mary Tyler G2G4 (4.7k points)

Related questions

+2 votes
4 answers
+3 votes
1 answer
+4 votes
1 answer
+1 vote
1 answer
98 views asked Feb 15, 2014 in Genealogy Help by John Crim G2G Rookie (190 points)
+1 vote
2 answers
+2 votes
1 answer

WikiTree  ~  About  ~  Help Help  ~  Search Person Search  ~  Surname:

disclaimer - terms - copyright