The family of George Harding, Maugerville Loyalist

Harding

John Harding, born March 1st, 1774, died January 9th, 1866

Sarah Harding, born April 29th, 1776, died August 5th, 1858

John Harding in 1851 was a farmer and his three-storey house was the largest in St. Mary’s. He was very well off and acquired a great deal of property. In 1851 he and his wife, Sarah Barker, were living alone.

John Harding was brought to New Brunswick by his father, George Harding (c.1744-1808), Loyalist. In 1783 George Harding purchased Lot 74 in Maugerville from Samuel and Sarah Bridges, and he was listed in the Sunbury County Poll Book, 1795, with home and freehold in Maugerville. Mrs. Harding, "consort of George Harding," died in 1795.

George Harding deeded his slave Sippeo to his son John, "to be his property and his heirs and successors during the life of the said negro…." The indenture was dated 1784 and signed in 1802 by the Justice of the Peace at Maugerville, Elijah Miles. This interesting document was given to the Legislative Library, Fredericton and is framed. John Harding willed his slaves to his sister, Elizabeth, the second wife of the Loyalist Captain Elijah Miles. Sippeo became the verger of Christ Church, Maugerville.

The names George, John, and William appear frequently in the various branches of the Harding family, who came from Derry, Ireland by way of Newburgh, New York,. Another George Harding, 1770-1843, settled near Saint John and married Jane Spragg (or Sprague) at Belleisle, NB. He was the son of Capt. William Harding (1745-1818), who is buried at the Loyalist Cemetery, Saint John, and his wife, Leah Sarah Gillies. William Harding seems to have been the brother of the George Harding who settled in Maugerville.

Jonathan George Harding in 1846 was a cabinetmaker. Payments for work done while renovating the Assembly Room (Journals of the House of Assembly, 1846) included: J.G. Harding, for making tables for the Assembly Room; Thomas Armstrong, for making carpet; Thomas Aiken, cutting and laying down carpet repairing desks; T.C. Everett, stove and pipe; Thomas Stewart, coal scuttles; Spafford Barker, firearms; William Morgan, grates for the Assembly Room; and Justin Spahnn, repairing clock and care thereof.

Descendants of John Gregory

Gregory

Sacred to the memory of John Gregory, born in Edinburgh, Scotland, Oct. 13, 1806, died in Fredericton Oct. 29, 1861. Also his wife, Mary Grosvenor, born in Fredericton July 18, 1814, died Nov. 20, 1877.

In loving memory of Lydia Jane, third daughter of John Gregory born June 8, 1851, died Nov. 2, 1928.

Sacred to the memory of Mary Eloise, wife of George Goodrich Fraser and eldest daughter of John and Mary Gregory, born Jan. 30, 1836, died Oct. 21, 1916.

Thomas Archer Gregory, M.D., born Aug. 11, 1834, died June 8, 1881, son of John Gregory.

S. Georgina Archer Gregory, 1856-1940.

IHS Frederick Philipse Robinson, 1855-1931.

Harry Woodforde Gregory, M.D. 1864-1901.

Mildred Kingdon Gregory, died April 5, 1892 aged one year and ten months, daughter of Albert James Gregory, son of John Gregory.

John Simeon Armstrong

Lot #191 was claimed in 1886.

George F. Gregory claims for his brothers and sisters, Mary E. Fraser, W.O. Gregory, Charles C. Gregory, Edward F. Gregory, John Brunswick Gregory, Sarah Ann Dunham, Lydia Jane Gregory, Georgina A. Gregory, Albert J. Gregory, John Gregory, Harry Gregory and Harry Allen a lot 18 x 29 feet. New Part, near Allen Street. Adjoins the Estey lot and is enclosed by an iron railing and marked by a monument to John Gregory.

John Gregory, the head of this family, came from Edinburgh to New Brunswick in 1820. He married Mary A. Grosvenor, fifth daughter of the late Samuel Grosvenor, in September 1833. Her brother, William Grosvenor, sold dry goods and wine on Queen Street.

John and Mary had twelve children: Thomas Archer, Mary Eloise, William Odell, George Frederick, Charles Currie, Sarah Anne, Edward Fulton, John Brunswick, Lydia Jane, Samuel Grosvenor, Georgina Archer, and Albert James. John Gregory bought the home of Dr. Charles Earle, a log cabin, the first building the Loyalists erected. In its modernised form, it was "Acacia Grove," the home of John Gregory’s son, Albert Gregory, Q.C.

John Gregory was fifty-five when he died. He had been a Clerk in the Provincial Secretary’s office since 1825 and for many years clerk assistant in the Legislative Council, "in which capacities he discharged his duties in a most able and efficient manner. Funeral tomorrow, Thursday the 31st instant at 3 o’clock" (Royal Gazette, Fredericton, NB, 30 October 1861).

Thomas Archer Gregory, M.D., was forty-seven when he was thrown from his wagon at City Hall Ferry Landing and killed, the cause a runaway horse. The eldest child of John and Mary, he was married to Lucy Woodforde Smith, who died after 1910 and is buried here with him. They lived on the north side of King Street, about halfway between York and Westmorland. Their son, Dr. Harry Woodforde Gregory, practised at Stanley.

A small stone "IHS" marks the grave of Mary Eloise.

Frederick Philipse Robinson was a son-in-law of John Gregory, having married Georgina ("Georgie"), and lies buried here beside her.

"J.S.A." marks the grave of John Simeon Armstrong, prominent engineer, who married Lydia Jane, third daughter of John and Mary Gregory. He was the son of Rev. George M. Armstrong and his wife Octavia Bowman. He was a member of the contracting firm that built Dorchester Penitentiary, Trinity Church, and City Hall in Saint John after that city’s Great Fire. He was the first engineer to urge the feasibility of dredging and using Courtney Bay, Saint John.

Lydia Jane ("Jeannie") graduated with M.A. Honours from the University of New Brunswick. She was the first teacher appointed under the new school law in New Brunswick and for many years was on the staff of the Collegiate Institute, Fredericton, under the principalship of Dr. George R. Parkin. She established Netherwood, a school for girls at Rothesay of which she was principal and which she successfully conducted for ten years. She retired in 1905, on which occasion she was presented with a handsome testimonial by her pupils.

In memory of Marion Birkmyre, wife of Geo F. Gregory, died 7th Jan., 1871, aged 28 years. Also their daughter, Alice Myrtle, died 22 Dec., 1863, aged 3 months.

Judge George Frederick Gregory was born in Fredericton on 31 August 1839, the son of John and Mary Gregory. He married Marion Birkmyre Beverly (born 1843), a daughter of Francis Beverly, and joined the Presbyterian Church. His parents, brothers, sisters, and children were all members of the Church of England.

Speaking of the 1860 marriage of George F. Gregory, his descendants say, "He was twenty-one, and she was eighteen, and he was a thousand dollars in debt." There were five children of this marriage: Alice Myrtle; Fraser; Mabel, who married Hedley V.B. Bridges; Edith, died 1950; and Gertrude, Mrs. William Alexander MacRae.

George Gregory was admitted an attorney in 1863 and called to the bar in 1865. He was for twenty-two years a partner of A.G. Blair and became a Justice of the Supreme Court of New Brunswick. His home, corner of Church and George Street, stood opposite that of Mr. Blair and was bought by the Cathedral to be a residence for Bishop J.A. Richardson. The Gregory property extended to Charlotte Street.

In 1871, while George F. Gregory was Mayor of Fredericton, his wife Marion died. He was Mayor again (1878-1880) when he married, secondly, Isabella Louisa, widow of Charles J. Davis.

The James Nisbet family and John A. Strong

Nisbet / Nesbet

James Nisbet, died September 27th 1877 aged 73 years.

Also Frances, infant daughter of James and Elizabeth Nisbet, died January 19th 1870 aged 6 weeks.

In Memory of Janet, wife of James Nisbet died 15th June 1855 aged 54 years.

James Nisbet (sometimes spelled Nesbet) was a cabinetmaker of Fredericton and probably a brother of Thomas Nisbet, cabinetmaker of Saint John.

James Nisbet was first married to Janet Paton, and his friend Thomas Aitken was a witness at the wedding. Both men were from Scotland and attended the Kirk. James Nisbet and Janet had a son, William, born in 1835, and a daughter, Jane. William later was a partner in the business of his father, in Regent Street near King.

Janet Nisbet died in 1855 and James married, secondly, Elizabeth, the widow of Thomas Aitken. She brought her daughter Elizabeth Aitken to be a member of their household. Her younger daughter, Mary Ann, joined the household of her grandfather, Tom Armstrong, and his widowed daughter, Mrs. Wesley Ross.

By James Nisbet’s second marriage, there were three children: Thomas (born 1857), Mary (born 1861), and Frances, who died in infancy and is buried here.

Census, Fredericton, NB, 1871:

Nisbet, James, 63, Scot. Cabinet maker C of S

Elizabeth, 44, wife C of S

Thomas, 14

Mary, 10

Elizabeth Aitken, 19, tailoress.

In this census James Nisbet has given his age as 63. His second wife, Elizabeth, born in 1852, was very much younger than her husband.

New Brunswick Reporter, Fredericton, NB, 7 January 1880:

Married, at Fredericton, on the 31st ultimo by the Rev. J. Fowler, M.A., Mr. John S. Strong of Johnstone, Queen’s County to Elizabeth A. Aitken of Fredericton.

Of this marriage there were two daughters and a son, Benjamin. The children were small when Mr. Strong left. He did not return. Mrs. Nisbet, Mrs. Strong and her daughters, and Thomas Nisbet, who was with the Department of Education, lived together in a fine house on Carleton Street, next to the International Order of the Odd Fellows (I.O.O.F.) Hall. The house had high ceilings and cornices and was very beautifully furnished.

Census, Fredericton, NB, 1901:

Nesbit, Elizabeth, Widow, born Mar 9 1827, age 74

Strong, Elizabeth A., niece, Widow, born Nov 13 1851, age 49

Strong, Janie, niece, born Oct 17 1881, age 19

Strong, Bessie, niece, born Sep 9 1884, age 16

"Grandma" Nisbet presided over the household, and Mr. Strong was forgotten until — the family story has it — a prominent city lawyer called on Mrs. Strong, asking the name of her absent husband. Mrs. Strong refused to answer. Finally, when she was asked if his name had been John A. Strong, one of his daughters replied that that was the name of her father. A legacy had been bequeathed to the two daughters apparently by John Franklin Alexander Strong, Territorial Governor of Alaska 1913-1918, who died in 1929 in Seattle, Washington.

The last survivor of the family was Miss Jane, a retired teacher who died in 1956. The celebrated Nisbet family furniture was sold locally.