Ruby M. Cusack
Steeves and Colpitts Pioneers of the Upper Petitcodiac
Dad had some really weird ideas. The
turnips had been pulled and topped but he wouldn’t put them into the
barn until there was a heavy frost that would give the turnips a sweeter
Jack Frost visited in good style last night and everything was white.
Since it was Saturday, Cliff and I had the pleasure of throwing the
turnips into the sloven and then tossing them down the chute into the
very large bin in the cow barn.
Ken had oiled and tinkered with the turnip pulper to have it ready for
tonight’s pulping of the turnips. As soon as Ken started it, Cliff fed
the turnips into the hopper, and I carried bushel baskets to the manger
of the cattle, who waited anxiously. They reached as far as they could
through the stanchions, hoping to be first.
I was so busy eating handfuls of the sweet tasting thin slices of
turnips that I did not hear Gramp come into the barn, until he spoke.
His comment confused me, as usual.”If you were one of the Steeves
children, you would have probably eaten turnip mush and been out early
in the Spring, picking green goose tongues on the Marsh to have your
mother boil them with salt pork.”
In 1988, William S. Hoar of Vancouver published the book ‘Steeves and Colpitts Pioneers of the Upper Petitcodiac’
which focuses on two pioneer families - the descendants of Heinrich and
Rachel Stief who came with the Pennsylvania Dutch settlers of 1766 and
the descendants of Robert Colpitts and Margaret Wade who were part of
the Yorkshire immigration that took place in the last decade of the 18th
There is detailed information on the Fredrick Steeves, Thomas Colpitts
and Ann Margaret Weldon families who were the grandchildren of two
prominent Yorkshire immigrants.
The Steeves and Colpitts families first settled along the Petitcodiac River. A map in 1686 spelled it Petcoucoyek.
The Marsh played a major role in their life. Even the wall of the early
homes were insulated with a mixture of clay and marsh grass and many a
meal had marsh greens.
Captain Benjamin Stanton built the first ship, the Isabella, on Hall’s Creek circa 1826.
A letter from William Colpitts of England to his brother in 1800, tells
of receiving power of attorney, threat of a famine, severe winter with
concern the fodder will be gone by Lady Day, selling soup to the poor at
a penny a quart, price of grain and the saddest war that England ever
Robert Colpitts was away from home when he took ill so he made his will
in 1809. A copy is in Appendix A. He wrote a letter to his
wife. From the description of being in pain and not being able to make
his water, one might assume he had prostrate problems. His death
occurred in 1810.
In Appendix B is the last will of Ephraim Steeves of 1882. He mentions
children and grandchildren. Special mention is made of a son,
Wesley to have a home, provided with sufficient food and clothing and
his room at the homestead with bed and bedding and medical attendance if
such be required.
I often wonder about the author of a book so I looked up William S. Hoar
on the internet and found out he was born in Moncton and had been an
eminent professor and head of the department of zoology at the
University of British Columbia. He received an Order of Canada award.
Many years ago he worked with Charles Best, co-discoverer of insulin. As
a boy he suffered from poliomyelitis. Genealogy was one of his passions
which clearly shows in the research he did in preparing ‘Steeves and
Colpitts Pioneers of the Upper Petitcodiac’
By the way, this 1988 book can be viewed at some libraries in New Brunswick.
McCleery - Gorham: Hugh
McCleery died 29 May 1863 and is buried in the Anglican Church yard at
Oak Point, NB next to his wife Hannah Gorham. We do have some
information about him and his descendants that has been handed down
through family connections, but nothing about his ancestors. It is
believed that he arrived in NB from Ireland in 1824 and that he was
born in Ulster about 1793. Any information would be greatly appreciated
Contact Patricia by email email@example.com
Ryder - Rider - Young:
Where is Ann Bethia Young who was married to Ebeneezer Ryder buried on
Long Island in Long Island City? Her husband is buried in Maugerville,
NB, Canada - possibly died at Canaan (Queens Co. NB), 17th April, 1853
at age 82. When did Ebeneezer Ryder / Rider immigrate to NB? Any
information on this couple and their descendants would be greatly
Contact Linda by email Lindab324@aol.com