The Holden Turner family


In Memory of John, son of John and Agnes Turner, who died May 12, 1860, aged 9 years and 7 mo’s

Agnes, the first child of John and Agnes Turner died in infancy. She also is buried here, her grave unmarked.

John Turner was a son of George Hutchinson Turner and his wife, Catherine Russell. He was a grandson of Holden Turner and Jennet Hutchinson, and of Jacob and Elizabeth Russell, Loyalists who settled in Kingsclear.

Holden Turner was born about 1761 in Ayr, Scotland, and came to New Brunswick in 1784. He was a member of St. Paul’s Church in 1843. Holden and Jennet had ten children. Uncles of John Turner operated the Turner American Express out of Saint John and were prosperous. John Turner drove the stage coach from Fredericton to St. Andrews and later the Woodstock stage.

Agnes was a daughter of Ebenezer Nicholson, who came to New Brunswick with his wife and children from Dumfries and settled in the parish of Douglas. The family attended the old Kirk. Another daughter, Sarah, married Robert Irwin, whose sister Margaret married Robert Colwell. Hugh Irwin, brother of Robert, married Matilda, the sister of William Grieves. This explains the proximity of the graves of the Turner, Irwin, Colwell, and Grieves families.

Buried here are Agnes and John, the first two children of John and Agnes Turner. The eldest six of John’s ten children were born in Fredericton. After 1860, the family apparently moved about and in 1865 were in Rivière-du-Loup. Agnes Turner died there in 1896, and John died in Winnipeg in 1911.

Margery Elizabeth, 1851-1854, child of J.S. and Susan Turner.

This inscription is on the reverse of the large Sampson stone.

Joshua S. Turner, a grandson of Holden Turner, had married Susan Johnson in 1851. She was a daughter of Margery Elizabeth Johnson, as was Jane, wife of Thomas Sampson, whose son Charles was the Fredericton agent for the Turner Express. Margery Johnson’s will in 1873 mentions a widowed Jane Sampson. She kept a grocery store in Fredericton, as did Joshua Turner in Saint John. He was also listed as a Commission Merchant and a ship owner/broker. The Saint John Directory lists him living at 130 Charlotte Street.

Wilmot Church records, Fredericton, NB:

Turner, Henry, son of Susan and Joshua Turner, merchant of Fredericton, b. 27 Oct. 1851, bapt. 14 March 1852.

Turner, Margery Elizabeth b. July 13, 1853, bapt. 16 Aug. 1854. Daughter of Joshua and Susan.

Joshua Sylvester, b. 14 May 1867 bapt. 15 Sept 1867, son of Joshua and Susan, green grocer of St. John.

Robert Irwin, tavern keeper


Robert Irwin 1817-1873

Hugh Irwin 1818-1844

In memory of Mills Edwin, infant son of Robert and Sarah Irwin who died January 21st 1844, aged 10 months.



There are no marked graves in this large Irwin lot (unclaimed in 1886) other than that of the infant Mills.

Robert and Hugh Irwin, brothers, came from Scotland via Cork in 1831 with two sisters, Margaret and Mary Ann, and a cousin, Robert. They came with John Moore and his wife, an aunt of the young Irwins. John Moore and his wife settled at Beaver Dam.

Robert Irwin worked in the tavern of Ebenezer Nicholson, and in 1841 married Sarah Nicholson and became the proprietor. The children of Robert and Sarah Irwin, all baptised by the Reverend Dr. Brooke, were Mills, Robert, Lucy Mills, and Sarah Ann.

Robert’s sister Margaret married Robert Colwell in 1838, and Mary Ann married John Arbuckle of the City of New York in 1840. His brother Hugh became a stone mason in St. Mary’s and married Matilda, a daughter of William Grieves. After the death of his wife, Hugh Irwin lived with Benjamin Hanson and his family. His daughter Elizabeth lived with her maternal grandparents, and later was the first wife of J. R. Howie.

The tavern of Robert Irwin was popular. In 1846 he advertised his hotel, and on the 30th of November of that same year the Fredericton St. Andrew Society celebrated there. A stage from Fredericton to Newcastle run by George McBeath commenced in January 1847, taking passengers at Robert Irwin’s hotel on Regent Street. William Grieves, a brother of the deceased Mrs. Hugh Irwin, succeeded Robert Irwin as proprietor after many years’ connection with the hotel. The name of the hotel became the Waverley and later on the Colonial. William Grieves was succeeded in turn by his son, John Brooks Grieves.

The administrators of the estate of Robert Irwin were John Moore, David Fisher, who was a son-in-law of John Moore, and George H. Hart of the Crown Land office, who, like Robert Irwin, had arrived in Fredericton in 1831. George Hart was older when he came to the city and already married to a sister of the Honourable John A. Beckwith.