Henry Thorne and family


Henry John Thorne (1813-1883), his wife Agnes Chestnut (born 1819), and daughters Agnes C. (1844-1931), Anna C. (1846-1914) and Harriet (1850-1953), are buried here in a row.

In the rear is the grave of Henry Thorne’s granddaughter, Madge Thorne Sterling, born 1873, who died 13 September 1895, aged 21, at Boston, Massachusetts.

There is no tombstone marking the grave of Henry Thorne, who was born 1813 in Plymouth, England. He was married in 1837 to Agnes, daughter of Robert Chestnut, whose burial plot this one adjoins. In 1851 Margaret Chestnut, 78, was a lodger in the Thorne home.

This was a Methodist family. Henry Thorne had been assistant postmaster for ten years or more when he was appointed Postmaster on 1 March 1875, succeeding Andrew Straton Phair. He resigned this post in 1880 and died in 1883. Before entering the service of the Post Office, he was a merchant.

The census of 1861 shows Henry J. Thorne, 48, living with his wife, Agnes, 42; Henry J., 19; Agnes, 17; Anna C., 15; Robert Chestnut, 13; Harriet, 11; and Ella L., aged 6 years. The record of the baptism of their younger son may be seen in the old records of the Wilmot United Church:

Robert Chestnut, son of Henry John, merchant, and Agnes Thorne, born Nov. 22, 1847, baptised April 9, 1848.

The elder son, Henry John, born in 1841, married Matilda Yerxa and is not buried here. Harriet married William Charles Black. Agnes and Ella Thorne, buried here, were noted teachers in Fredericton and Ella formed the first King’s Daughters Circle. Margaret, the eldest daughter, married John Allen Sterling, and their daughter Madge is buried here with her grandparents and aunts.

Stirling and Sterling


Sabine’s Loyalists of the American Revolution, Vol. II:

Jonathan Stirling died at St. Mary’s, York County, New Brunswick in 1826, aged seventy-six. Ann, his widow, died at the same place in 1845, at the age of eighty-two.

Jonathan Stirling, of Maryland, was a captain in the Maryland Loyalists. In 1783 he was one of the survivors of the transport ship Martha, wrecked on the passage to Nova Scotia. He settled at Saint John, New Brunswick, and was one of the grantees of that city. He received half-pay.

New Brunswick Royal Gazette, 11 November 1826:

All persons… estate of John Stirling, late of the Parish of St. Mary’s… immediate payment to… Geo. H. Sterling, Thos. Gill, Executors.

The Sterling property had a frontage of over six hundred feet, and is referred to locally as the “Archie Sterling property.” His house was splendidly located on the river bank. That large house was destroyed by fire.

Three McLean sisters married three brothers Sterling.

A. Addison Sterling was born and brought up on this property, and was a merchant in Fredericton for some years before his appointment as sheriff of York County, in 1883. He held that position for twenty-five years.

The Sterling property extended as far as the old school, which stood partly on Sterling property for one hundred years. The education of A. Addison Sterling was continued in Fredericton, and he walked across the river ice in winter, in the cold grey early morning and equally cold twilight. A new school stands on the site of the old schoolhouse and marks the upper line of the Harding property.

It is thought that the Sterlings are buried in the Old Burial Ground.

See also The Old Burying Ground, Vol. III, p. 208.