More on Mary Beaton Mi’Kmaq (micmac) Nfld

In my wondrous “exploits” in my mother’s “native” home, Botwood, Newfoundland, I discovered something I never thought or even imagined in my family line. Aboriginal blood. But not just that – a tie to history so strong, so foreign to my North American, 5th generation sensibilities, that it broke through the barrier of my very idea of myself.

IMG_3456

Krista Moore & mother Mary Moore (Hart) along Exploits, Nfld

Gerald "Bud" Beaton & my mother Mary Moore (Hart)

Gerald “Bud” Beaton & my mother Mary Moore (Hart)

Mixed Feelings on Learning the Truth

What does it mean to be part Mi’Kmaq or native?  Apparently, many previous generation Newfoundlanders were ashamed of finding any native connection, and strove to hide it from their progeny, even going so far as to destroy family history documents (my mother not included in that mixture).

Now, perhaps due to more enlightened and inclusive times, or the Canadian government’s offering the with native heritage status and benefits, the next generation cousins have come forward to label themselves most proudly with this new reality of being “part native”.  It seems we have not only come to terms with, but embrace the idea of our Mi’Kmaq heritage. And perhaps, ironically, are a little ashamed of our British ancestors for so brutally placing themselves in the midst of a great people, and obliterating most if not all of the Beothuks in the process.

Who are the Mi’Kmaq?

micmac

The Mi’Kmaq are a First Nations indigenous people from the Canadian Maritime provinces and Gaspé peninsula of Quebec, distantly related to the Algonquin.  The Beothuk were have related DNA to the Mi’Kmaq, though they treated each other as separate, and were sometimes antagonistic to each other.

In the times when Mary Beaton lived, the early 1800s, both tribes were either in conflict with the British invaders, sometimes stealing their goods, or learned to become allies and helpers of the British in order to trade for weapons and other instruments, while teaching the British how to trap, survey, survive and master their new environment.

I am not an expert on Newfondland history, and so I write this from a purely ignorant but interested third-party “mainland” perspective, one who is tied by genetics, and is somewhat dependent on local hearsay or legend.

The Legend of Mary Beaton & The Last Beothuk

Mary Beaton, as far as we know, was a young Mi’Kmaq girl “who belonged to no one” and became a servant (willing or unwillingly?) in Captain John Peyton Jr.’s house during the 1820s, when the British were having troubled relations with the Beothuks, along the Exploits River in Newfoundland.  Captain Peyton Jr., a magistrate, was trying to “make good” on some of the injustices and poor publicity caused by his father John Peyton Sr.  Many intermarried as they were taken in by the European settlers, including our Mary Beaton to my great great great grandfather, James Gill of Dorset, England.

Shawnadithit Nancy - The Last Beothuk

Shawnadithit Nancy – The Last Beothuk

 

One thing we do know, according to Mary Beaton Gill’s own son, John Henry Gill, who was interviewed in a book entitled:  “River Lords, Father and Son: The Story of the Peytons and the River Exploits, 2nd ed.” by Amy Louise Peyton, his mother Mary would read to her children on cold nights about the time she spent in Mr. Peyton’s house as a servant with one of the last Beothuks, “Shawnadithit Nancy”, another aboriginal young woman, who was captured and saved during an altercation with her tribe in which one man was shot and another, her aunt, Demasduwit “Mary March” died shortly after capture.

Mary then married James Gill in the early 1830s, and they had their first child, Charles Beaton Gill, my great great grandfather around 1830 in Kite Cove, Newfoundland. Seven more Gill children followed.

Charles Beaton Gill, b. 1830, Newfoundland

Charles Beaton Gill, b. 1830, Newfoundland

Legend & Proof

Recently, two pictures surfaced on the internet which have not been confirmed to be Mary and James Gill. However, I include them here to stimulate the imagination, and provoke further study and correction or confirmation. If you have any information on the origin of these pictures, or any other relevant documents, please forward to me using the Contact tab above.

James Gill apparently 1799 to 1869 Nfld source %22Susan Gill Family Tree%22 Ancestry

 

Attributed to James Gill of Newfoundland, b. 1799 in Wimborne, Dorset, England, d. Newfoundland. m. Mary Beaton. Unconfirmed origin and likeness.

 

 

Possibly Mary Arder Gill aka Mary Beaton from %22Susan Gill Family Tree%22 Ancestry

 

Attributed to “Mary Arder Gill”, an incorrect name and possibly mistaken for a woman in Virginia. However, I provide it here for those who know and those who don’t know to decide if this is Mary Beaton who married James Gill above.

 

 

That’s all for now, folks!

 

Enjoy your speculations and discoveries, as we continue our journey into unknown territory, the blending of cultures and the reconciliation of our identities and origins.

 

Amen!

 

Krista Moore

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Published in: on December 14, 2015 at 12:26 am  Comments (1)  

On the Hunt for Mary Beaton Indian Connection

Hello all!

It has been quite some time since my last communication.  I have opened up my mother’s side of the family now, moving from Moores in Ireland, to the Gills and Beatons in Dominion Point, Exploits, Newfoundland.

There may be an Indian (Micmac?) connection to one of my ancestors, Mary Beaton b. between 1795-1815 in Exploits Burnt Island Nfld (possible Mi’Kmaq), mother of Charles Beaton Gill, wife of James Gill, and a servant in Mr. PEYTON’s house with the last Beothuk SHAWNADITHIT (Nancy, Nance April), and her grandaughter, Sophia Ellen Gill (b. July 8, 1859, Peter’s Arm, Newfoundland), who had a son, Nathaniel Gill (later Hart) out of wedlock, who was then adopted by Charles and Mary Ann Hart of Botwood, Newfoundland.

3rd Gr-Grandfather: CHARlES BEATON GILL b. 1832 Kite Cove/Exploits, Nfld d. 1887 Botwood Nfld

Looking forward to a chat with my mother and Aunt Daphne “Down Home” for some good old legend mixed with fact.

More soon….

P.S. Contact me if you have any information.  My VCard can be found under “About/Contact” or go to http://www.kristamoore.com for my other site.

Thanks,
Krista Moore

ie., “That’s Relative!”

The Women Who Made Me

This is an homage to the “Women who Made Me”, a series of portraits I plan to develop in more depth later. For now, their names, and pictures where possible.  The last 200 years or so of Krista Moore‘s grandmothers… both paternal and maternal, in no particular order, other than time. More pictures and stories to come…

Me

Krista Moore

Born in Kingston, Ontario, same hospital as Bryan Adams (and my father, Jack Moore!). Grew up in Elmira (Birdland) with maple syrup and mennonites, & then Kitchener, Ontario, where I graduated and moved to Toronto in 1999. Mother, actress, writer, and family historian.

Mother – Mary

Mother Mary

My Mother Mary (living). Born in Botwood, Newfoundland. Can play the spoons and guitar at a kitchen parties (good ole down home jig), jives wickedly, loves retro diners of the 50s, Dire Straits “Walk of Life”, and is a recently re-discovered Artist (painter). Also, most perfect mother ever.

Grandmothers

Helen B. Moore (Keech)

 Helen B. Moore (nee Keech) on my father’s side. Born 1918 in Edmonton, Alberta. Married to Earl Lawrence Moore of Kingston, Ont. They celebrated their Golden Anniversary. Died Jan 3, 2012 just shy of 94, Kingston. The one who got me hooked on the family tree. She says, “I’m so glad you caught the bug!”

Matilda Kemp Hart (Anderson)

Matilda Kemp Hart (nee Anderson) (nickname “Bunty”) on my mother’s side, born 1920 in Aviemore, Scotland. Married James Everett Hart of Newfoundland. They celebrated their 50th Anniversary. Died in 2005. “Bunty” was a great baker, I still can smell her “lassie buns”.  A very stern, jolly, strong woman who could drink my father under the table. I wrote a family history for her of Scotland, filled with her stories, and her sister’s stories called “Journey to the Homeland”, 1999.

Great-Grandmothers

Emma Bell Deacon born on the Deacon farm (still there today) in Bolingbroke, Ontario 1876. Married Lawrence E. Moore of Maberly, Ontario.  Lived to 1968 and died in Kingston. My father still remembers her singing those devilish Irish victory songs. Oh boy!  She could play the piano beautifully by ear and the mouth organ.  How I would love to be a fly on the wall of her dining room when they had their rousing jigs!

Isla Isobel Keech (Bagnall) with Helen & Harold

Isla Isobel Keech (my Nanna Keech)born 1897 in Hazel Grove, Prince Edward Island. Married Harold Leroy Keech of Tamworth, Ontario.  Ate her apples right down to the core. Died in Huntsville, Ontario, 1988?  English.

Emily Jewer (Grandma Hart) in Newfoundland

Emily Jewer (my mother’s grandmother), Newfoundland. Never met her, though my mom remembers her Grandma Hart. My Uncle Cyril of Newfoundland just sent me a picture of her, with my “Poppy” Hart, and I believe, my mother Mary.

James Anderson & Mary Dickie Davidson, Scotland

Mary Dickie Davidson (mother of Matilda Kemp Anderson), Scotland. Married to Grandpa James Anderson of Scotland, who lived to 99, and died in Aviemore,  in the Highlands (up the A9). Beautiful church overlooking Loch Alvie. Visiting in 1999. Never met either unfortunately but had a great time with their offspring!

2d Great-Grandmothers

[Picture of Margaret Chambers]

Margaret Chambers born 1833 in Ballydugan, Warringstown, Tullyish Parish, Down, Ireland (one of my many planned visits!). Mother of my great grandfather, Lawrence E. Moore (roadmaster and cheesemaker of Haileybury), wife of my great-great grandfather, Reeve Thomas Moore, Esq of Maberly who lived nearby as she was growing up in Maberly). They had many children. After the sudden death of her husband Thomas and her older son William E. Moore (local merchant), she remarried the local Miller/Hotelkeeper, John Morrow of Maberly, where she died in 1897.  Pictures to come.

Ellen Ann Palmer

Ellen Ann Palmer (mother of Emma Bell Deacon). Married Ephriam Deacon, of Bolingbroke/Maberly. This is a  tintype found in a wooden frame, salvaged from her daughter Emma Bell Deacon (Moore)’s house in Kingston, Ontario.  Likely 1860s, at the age of 15 or so.  May have been a present to Ellen & Ephriam on their wedding day. The Palmers were English, though they married Northern Irish (British).  I have older pictures of her as well, with her family.

Emma Keech (Vannest)

Emma Vannest (mother of Harold Leroy Keech, wife of Hiram Keech of Tamworth.)  My grandmother Helen still calls her “Grandma Keech”, and my father remembers her at the end of her life.  She made the  most delicious pies that my Nanna Moore can still taste. Oh! She would exclaim. She describes her as fairly prim and proper, some called her “Lady Keech”. A true Victorian lady.  Her parents are James Vannest & Elizabeth Shannon – American/Dutch & Irish.

Margaret Jane Bagnall (MacMillan)

Margaret Jane Bagnall (MacMillan)

Margaret Jane MacMillan (mother of Isla Isobel Bagnall). Edmonton, Alberta. My grandmother Helen Moore loved her Grandma Bagnall when she was growing up. I have a feeling she spoiled her!

Sophia Ellen Gill (birth mother of Nathaniel Hart), Newfoundland (English). There’s a story there!

Charles Hart & Mary Ann Waterman, Botwood Nfld

Charles Hart and Mary Ann Waterman (adoptive parents of Nathaniel Bruce Gill/Hart),  Botwood.

Ann Phelan/WHELAN &
James “Jimmie” JEWER Jr.,
Botwood Nfld (1880s)

Anne Phelan/WHELAN (wife of James “Jimmie” JEWER, mother of Emily Jewer/Hart). Possible micmac roots? Investigation in progress.

Jane Angus (mother of Mary Dickie Davidson), Scotland.

3rd Great-Grandmothers

[Picture of Winnifred Stephens]

Winnifred Stephenswas born in Ireland (unknown), and married William Moore (also of Ireland). She had her first son Thomas Moore back home, and then travelled by ship to North America around 1829, landing eventually in Ontario. She and her husband settled a farm in Maberly, South Sherbrooke, Lanark County South, Ontario, on Conc. 10 Lot 14E, and after 1842 her husband died suddenly leaving her with an abundance of children and responsibility. She continued to farm as the “Widow Moore”, until she remarried in the 1860s and moved to Lampton with Thomas Garrett.  She returned by 1870s to Maberly, without him, where she died at the home of her son John Moore in 1874.  A hard life to begin, and to end, I am indebited to her for her bravery and resilience in raising all those children and bearing so much of the weight alone.  God knows what her life was before, but her story continues, as we prepare for the 200th anniversary of South Sherbrooke in 2016, honouring the pioneers who settled it, like my oldest known Irish matriarch, Winnifred Stephens (Moore).

Sarah Ann Harrison (mother of Margaret Chambers), Maberly, Ontario and Ireland.

Mary Harper  (mother of Ephraim Deacon)

Mary Ann Castle (mother of Ellen Ann Palmer)

Caroline Ann Thurston (mother of Hiram Keech)

Elizabeth Ann Shannon

Elizabeth Ann Shannon (mother of Emma Vannest), American/Irish. From Camden, Ontario. Elizabeth died young, cared for by her only daughter, Emma Vannest.  She lost two babies, who are buried in Tamworth with her.

Christiana Anderson (mother of George W. Bagnall)

Isabella McLeod (mother of Margaret Jane MacMillan)

Rebecca Warrick (mother of Charles Hart, believed to be natural father of Nathaniel Hart), Newfoundland.

Mary Dickie (mother of Jane Angus), Newfoundland.

Ellen Unknown Gill (mother of Sophia Ellen Gill), Newfoundland.

Ann Garland (mother of James Jewer), Newfoundland.

4th Great-Grandmothers

Elizabeth “Betsy” Card

Elizabeth (“Betsy”) Card (mother of Elisha Vannest), Likely Quaker.

Mary Margaret McGregor

Mary Margaret McGregor (mother of Elizabeth Ann Shannon)

(Possibly) Mary Jane (Robinson/Henderson). Mother of William Moore. Irish.

Unknown mother of Winnifred Stephens.

Susannah Chambers (mother of Moses Chambers). Ireland.

Unknown mother of Sarah Ann Harrison. Ireland.

Unknown mother of John Deacon, Ireland.

Mary Beaton (mother of Charles Beaton Gill), Newfoundland. b. abt. 1800 Exploits Burnt Island, Newfoundland, possible Mi’Kmaq, servant in Mr. PEYTON’s house along with the last BEOTHUK Indian of Newfoundland, Shanawdhidit (Nancy April) as per the book “RIVER LORDS” by Amy Louise Peyton. More to come!

Isobell Davidson (mother of Robert Davidson), Scotland.

Agnes Muccersie (mother of James Angus), Scotland.

5th Great-Grandmothers

Mary Ellen Boyle (mother of Mary Harper)

Unknown mother of James Palmer (father of Ellen Ann Palmer), Ireland.

Unknown mother of Mary Castle (mother of Ellen Ann Palmer), Ireland.

Eunice Gillett (mother of Barton R. Keech)

more….

6th Great-Grandmothers

Esther Hunter (mother of Eunice Gillett)

Matilda Unknown Thurston (mother of Caroline Ann Thurston)

Janet Sim (mother of William Davidson), Scotland.

more…

7th Great-Grandmothers

Elizabeth Ann Cantelo (mother of Edwin Cantelo Bagnall), England.

Margaret Mutch (mother of Robert MacMillan)

Elizabeth  Whitehouse (mother of John Richard Bagnall), England.

Mary Dix Salmon (mother of Elizabeth Ann Cantelo), England.

Sarah Unknown Bagnall (mother of Samuel E. Bagnall)

Elizabeth Taylor (yes!) (mother of James Cantelo), Isle of Wight, England

Mary Byerly (mother of John Cantelo),

Betty Bartlett (mother of Elizabeth Taylor), England.

Janet Hood (mother of Robert Davidson), Scotland.

8th Great-Grandmothers

Amy Hills (mother of James Cantelo sr.), England.

To be UPDATED continually. Not to be relied upon for accuracy. This is a family history document meant to honour those listed, not to provide accurate details for genealogical purposes.

Keeper of the Flame

I am cross-pollinating today… this is my blog re-posted from “Little Book of Miracles” which continues the story…

I am back from Kingston, home of my birth, and feeling quite reflective on what I found there…  Not only did I find my grandmother in a new hospital by the lake, doing relatively well (see Let Sleeping Lions Lie);  I found myself with my mother, and countless photos and letters dug up among boxes and boxes of stuff in my grandmother’s sun-porch…

In these boxes, we found my great-great grandparents Lawrence E. Moore and Emma Belle Deacon staring out from their front porch rockers in Haileybury…

…and their seven daughters (my great aunts), girls and women in tranquil Georgian-style dresses lounging on the front swing with flowers in their hair, or leaning with snowshoes and warm-mittened hands against the family’s seemingly chicken-wired fence;  my gr-great grandmother Emma standing solidly with her youngest one wrapped around her skirt, she looking quite tired but still strong in the heat of days… and another where she smiles brightly to camera, which delighted me beyond measure.

Moore women in Cobalt

These are The Moores I had always wanted to know: to play cards with at the dining room table (which is now in my mother’s dining room); to tell stories with, to laugh with…  I see Emma playing the  mouth organ (which is now in my grandmother’s hall closet); I hear their old Irish twang and crazy war-time songs (I shall never repeat them here – we were Protestant Northern Irish, if that says enough).

I feel I know them. I am bonded to them. I am proud to be one of them. I see myself in their tall languid frames, the way they hold their hands, tilt their heads, play to camera. The Moore Women.

I am a part of a long, and timeless heritage of self-assured women. Of strength. Of beauty. And of rebuilding. Death after death has taken them. But their faces tell me another story; they are still here, in my blood and in those whom I love now.

My grandmother had protected and shielded these treasures for years and years. She didn’t have the heart to go through them, or dispose of anything. I’m glad she didn’t. I’m glad I had the opportunity with my mother to get on my hands and knees and know this family I inherited.

The details won’t matter so much. The garbage bins will go out; the trinkets will disappear. But their eyes, their hands, their laughter and their tears will never go out in me.

Me in my red boots in Nanna’s backyard

 I am blessed to be here, the Keeper of the Flame.

Published in: on May 27, 2011 at 4:45 pm  Comments (1)  
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Let Sleeping Lions Lie

Lion

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie? Dogs are one thing; Lions another.  Here is my grandmother on top of the Lion mounted at Sir John A. MacDonald park at the waterfront of Kingston Ontario, where I visited this past week.  I happened to be over there, across the street from Kingston General Hospital where I was born (along with my father and Bryan Adams), and where she is now resting and recovering from a long week. At the age of 93, she decided she wants to be rehabilitated.  This, apparently, is unusual. Not in my family.

My mom and I had come in for a few days to help out, after a scare the Monday before.  But “Nanna” was sitting up in her chair as if nothing had happened, charming the nurses and rehabilitation staff with her spry smile and intelligent wit. One time she was getting a manicure on the one hand by my cousin, while the other hand waved in the air.  After her daily physio exercises, she would declare, “I just want to do my best.”

What is so amazing about being 93? Nothing, really. To be old is no special feat, as she will tell you quite pointedly. But to be  alive, resilient,  with cheerful attitude is a force quite unseen. I suppose it still startles some who are used to seeing people lose their will and functioning.  One nurse leaned in to my grandmother and talked loudly in her ear. My mother and I had to laugh as we whispered gently to her, “She’s not deaf.”  She hears everything, she remembers everything.  She is as sharp as a tack.

Back at her house my mom and I sorted old boxes from the basement after a flood had taken most everything.  What might have been a tedious task turned fun when we found delightful old costumes, vintage gloves, a baton-berg lace tablecloth, and some carefully wrapped photos. One was a clear picture of my great grandmother whom I had never met, Emma Bell Deacon (wife of Lawrence E. Moore – the family I have been researching all these years), and another was of a woman staring out from the 1860s in her original frame, her eyes seemed hauntingly familiar and alive…

I took the precious finds into the hospital on the last day to show Nanna. As I pulled  each one out for her to see, my mother said later that I was so captivated looking at the photos with her that I failed to notice how much she was affected: she glowed.  Nothing delighted her more than a shared obsession!  Everyone else in the room was quiet. As we talked and identified the ancestors, my younger cousin whispered to my mother in wonder, “Krista sounds like she knows all these people!”  My mom smiled and replied, “She does.”

More on that later!

Here I am with my daughter and grandmother at the Great Lion again. The faces and backdrop may have changed, but the Lion still stands, just as fierce and sturdy as ever, guarding the fortress of our native town.  I am upheld, along with my family and ancestors, by its ferocity, persistence, and Will to carry on.

It’s not so important whether someone lives; but whether they are alive while they are here. My grandmother is a testament to that.

The Lioness in us will never lay down.

Published in: on May 14, 2011 at 11:38 pm  Comments (10)  
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Why Research My Family History?

Sometimes I wonder if I escape to the past to discover my ancestors when I am feeling the most lost in my own life.  Is that such a bad thing?  In the absence of elders, in the absence of a community that we once felt vital to our existence, tribal even, we create our own connections across the cosmos – sometimes virtual, sometimes spiritual, and sometimes ancestral.  These connections are vital, though the people may be dead.  It is my belief that they do live on in us, and that they fashion our existence out of their own.  Their dreams and wishes become our own, remodeled for the 21st century.  There really is no difference between us – only flesh and mortar.  The building blocks change.  The desire to change does not.

Why research my family tree right now, in the middle of everything else a  “suburban” wife, mother and creator needs to do:  Make lunches, pack bags, walk the dog, kiss the kids goodnight, connect with my spouse…  Not to mention the other things:  goals and passions, work-related material, new business ventures, mistakes, travels, wonder, newness.  Why invite the old into something so vitally new and different and now?  Why invite question into what is already so questionable?

Perhaps we invite our families in, past and present, because those questions invite real answers.  Though everything else, the present and the future, remain quite uncertain, the past invites reflection, comfort and meaning, and gives us a sense that we are not alone – that we are well connected to our roots, and that we can yet blossom to fully aware and alive human beings.  This tree is good.  This tree is where we are standing, and everything that came before us stems out beyond us in every direction.  No wonder we feel overwhelmed!  But, what a blessing.

I have been tracing my family tree with my grandmother for about 20 years now.  It has been a great blessing to connect with her and see her as a little girl, a mother, a wife and even a confused human being, just like me.  With all her aches and pains she doesn’t complain much. She is just happy to share her story, and share in the adventure of learning where we come from and who our ancestors were.  She is one of mine, though we may not think of it that way, because I know she will not be here forever.  She is 92. I may be able to call her next week, now, but it will not always be the case.

I have spent most of my time with my grandmother recording her, transcribing, writing furiously, shuffling through photos, videotaping and asking questions.  Just in case.  That may seem morbid, but this is the way stories are passed down – oral histories are rare, and so it is my job to capture them in any way possible.  Modern technology is a genius.  Once the role only of  mothers and grandmothers, now we are all collective storytellers, creators and communicators – “Skyping” and “tweeting” across the globe our own life history. Why not include those who traveled before us and make it a family history?

Even in the movie Avatar, the ancestral tree was the most sacred.  Though the villagers were seen by modern audiences as more advanced in some ways – in their understanding of their interconnectedness to all things – they would still visit the dangling limbs of the ancestral tree, lit with the intelligence and whisperings of their ancestors.  This was their home. Their adventure. Their playing ground.  They were not going “back”, they were going forward.   Perhaps that is what I am doing too.

Ancestors, whisper to me, and take me home.

Published in: on May 21, 2010 at 2:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
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