Adams, Beckwith, Grigor, and Hart

Hart / Hartt

George Henry Hart born 1796 – 1877

Julia Catherine Hart born 10 March 1796 – 20 Nov. 1867

Marvin F. Hart born 1823 – 1902

Jane Hart born 1826 – 25 May 1865

Mary Grigor born [?] – Feb. 12, 1903

John Burnside Beckwith infant 1872

Harriet Augusta Beckwith born 1868 – April, 1872

William Adams [?] – 1851

Jane Adams [?] – 1861

Anne [?] – 1861

Charles [?] – 1868

James born 1849 – 1891

Beginning at George Street the first lot, 14 x 16 feet, was originally enclosed within an ornamental iron fence, with two gates, beautifully intact in 1955. Upon one gate was impressed “F. Marvin Hart, 1865.” This lot was owned by both the Hart and Adams families. It is quite likely that at least twelve bodies lie buried here. There were several monuments, some of each family.

Jackson Adams was a prosperous undertaker with a furniture business in Court House Square. Jackson Adams claimed one half of this lot in 1886, and his relatives are buried in that half on George Street. His wife was Elizabeth.

John, the father of Jackson Adams, born in Paisley, Scotland, had run away from home as a young man. John Adams came from a fine family, related to John Quincy Adams, a President of the United States. He was employed at Limavady, Northern Ireland, by a Mr. Jackson as gardener and groom. He drove the dog cart, the passenger and driver sitting back to back. Margaret Jackson, the daughter, fell in love with him and they eloped in 1822. Their eldest child, Jackson, was born 18 April 1824, at sea.

The remainder of the lot belonged to the Honourable J.A. Beckwith, the lot having been purchased by him in 1866.

It is puzzling that an official certificate of ownership was issued to F. Marvin Hart in August 1866. It was “purchased from Henry Chestnut by the Claimer. A receipt is held for payment.” In 1865, Marvin Hart buried his young wife, Jane Elizabeth Grigor, here. She was a granddaughter of Dr. Charles Earle who is buried elsewhere in the graveyard.

The two Beckwith children buried here are the grandchildren of the Hon. John A. Beckwith.

The Honourable John A. Beckwith descended paternally from the family of Beckwith, Norwich, England, and maternally from C.L. Le Brun de du Plessis, a relative of Armand du Plessis, Cardinal duc de Richelieu.

Born at Fredericton on 1 December 1800, John A. Beckwith was educated there and at Toronto, Montreal, and Windsor, Nova Scotia. He married, first, Annie L. Jouett, and secondly Maria A. Berton, both of Fredericton. He was a Mayor of Fredericton, Deputy Commissioner of Crown Lands and Surveyor General, Chairman of the Provincial Board of Agriculture, Director of the Quebec and New Brunswick Railway, and Major, 1st Battalion York County Militia. He was a member of the Executive Council and Provincial Secretary and Registrar (1867-1871). He sat for York County in the New Brunswick Assembly (1866-1874), when called to the Legislative Council.

F. Marvin Hart was a nephew of John A. Beckwith. He was a son of George Henry Hart and his wife Julia Catherine Beckwith Hart, Canada’s first published novelist.

Julia C. Beckwith was a daughter of Nehemiah Beckwith, a trader of Maugerville, who was drowned near Sheffield in 1818. Her mother was Julie-Louise Le Brun de Duplessis, daughter of Jean Baptiste Le Brun de Duplessis, one of Montcalm’s staff. She was brought to Fredericton as governess to Governor Carleton’s children. Julia was born in Fredericton in 1796 and spent much of her early life visiting her father’s relatives in Cornwallis Valley, Nova Scotia, and travelling by canoe along the St. John River to her mother’s relatives in Quebec. It was on one of these trips that she began her literary career with St. Ursula‚Äôs Convent, a story based on the experiences of a relative with the nuns. Following the death of her husband, Nehemiah, Julie-Louise took her family to Montreal and Kingston where they visited her relatives, returning after five or six years.

In Kingston, on 3 January 1822, Julia Catherine Beckwith married George Henry Hart, a bookbinder, and they resided there for a time. She completed her first novel. St. Ursula’s Convent; or, the Nun of Canada, Containing Scenes from Real Life (Kingston, Upper Canada, printed by Hugh C. Thomson, 1824, Boards, 2 Vols.) was published in Toronto. Four copies are known to exist: one in the Toronto Public Library, one in the Congressional Library, and two in the library of the University of New Brunswick. A second novel, Tonnawanda; or The Adopted Son of America, An Indian Story (Rochester, New York), was published sometime between 1826 and 1831. About 1826 the Harts moved to Rochester, New York, and in 1831 to Fredericton where Julia resided the rest of her life. George Henry Hart, her husband, was employed in the Crown Land Department. For many years she contributed to The Reporter.

George and Julia Hart had a family of seven children: Adolphus; Nehemiah Beckwith; James; F. Marvin, buried here; Charles L.; Julia, born in Fredericton 1838; and Theodore, born 1840.

F. Marvin Hart married Jane Elizabeth Grigor. The couple had two children: a son, Grigor Jonff, and a daughter, Marianne. They lived in the James Grigor “cottage,” the second house east of St. Dunstan’s Church, which survived a terrible fire in 1850. It was estimated that three hundred buildings were burned. Owing to the frantic exertions of the parishioners, the Church and this small cottage were saved. In 1862, F. Marvin Hart opened a clothing store, The Bee Hive, and operated it for half a century. According to Cathedral records, Jane Grigor Hart died in May 1865 aged 39. Late in the century, Marvin, then an old man, moved to Saint John where he lived out the rest of his life with his wife’s sister, Mary Grigor.

Herald, Fredericton, NB, 13 February 1903:

Miss Mary Grigor, a sister of the late Mrs. Hart (Jane) died in St. John yesterday at the home of her niece Mrs. Frank H. White. The remains will arrive here tomorrow morning, and will be interred in the old burying ground.