Three men named John Lothrop Marsh


Lot #182. This double lot was purchased by John Lothrop Marsh III, Police Magistrate, in 1859. He and his wife, Hester, are buried here with his parents, John Lothrop Marsh, Jr. and Sophia Miriam Beckwith, and his sisters, Julia and Sophia. Also here are the two children of Sophia and her husband Laughlan McLean. The grandparents of the police magistrate, John Lothrop Marsh and his wife Sarah Estabrooks, are buried in this graveyard and may be buried in this lot.

John L. Marsh, born 12 July 1758, died 3 May 1859. His wife, Sarah Estabrooks, born 10 October 1764, died 2 January 1844 aged 80.

John Lothrop Marsh, born 12 July 1796, died 1853. His wife, Sophie Miriam Beckwith, born [?], died 1851.

John Lothrop Marsh, born 22 January 1830, died 1914. His wife, Hester Frink, born 1839, died 1917 aged 78.

Only the small stone to the two children marks the Marsh lot today:

In memory of John L. Marsh, d. Dec. 13, 1856, ae 11 months, 21 days. Sophia Marion Beckwith, d. May 25, 1862, ae 2 years and 4 months.

Johnnie and Minnie, children of Lauchlan and Sophia L. McLean.

There is another little hand /To Heaven’s sweet harp and strings given /Another gentle seraph’s voice /Another star in heaven.

The first John Lothrop Marsh here was a Loyalist, born in Fairfield, Connecticut, the son of Simeon Marsh and Eunice Lothrop. His sisters were Elizabeth, who married Lt. Leonard Reed in 1793, and Sarah, who married Valentine Harding in 1795. His brothers were Solomon and Ebenezer, who went to Upper Canada in 1782 to live, and the Reverend Thomas Marsh, a missionary to Tennessee.

John Lothrop Marsh, the Loyalist, came to New Brunswick in 1783. In 1790 he married, in Canning, Sarah, daughter of Elijah Estabrooks of Cornwallis, Nova Scotia. Their children were Thomas Lothrop (born 1791), Elizabeth (born 1793), Charles William (born 1794), John Lothrop (born 1796), Elijah (born 1799), and George (born 1802).

John Lothrop Marsh, the son, in 1824 married Sophia Miriam Beckwith, a daughter of Nehemiah Beckwith and Julie-Louise Le Brun de Duplessis. Sophia was a sister of the Honourable John A. Beckwith and of the author Julia Beckwith Hart who is buried elsewhere in this burial ground. She was living in Kingston with her widowed mother, who, upon the death of Nehemiah, had taken her family there, probably to join her widowed sister, Elizabeth, Madame Antoine Ferland.

New Brunswick Royal Gazette, 23 November 1824:

Married at Quebec, on Sunday the 10th ult. by the Rev. Doctor Mountain, Mr. John Lothrop Marsh, of Wakefield, N.B. to Miss Sophia Beckwith, of Kingston, Upper Canada.

The census for 1851 lists John L. Marsh, merchant, 50, living with his children: Amelia, 23; John L., 21; Sophia, 18; Julia, 16; Arthur, 13; and Sarah, 10. His wife’s residence at the time of the census is not known.

John Lothrop Marsh [III] was admitted to the Bar of New Brunswick in 1854 and was a partner of the firm Marsh and Beckwith. He married Hester C. Frink, eldest daughter of S.P. Frink, in 1859. He and his sister Julia were the executors of their father’s will in 1871.

Julia Louise Le Brun Marsh married Edward John Russell, artist and illustrator, who was employed before his marriage as a bookkeeper at the Beckwith & Marsh lumber mill. She died in 1880, survived by her husband, five sons, and a daughter.

Sophia Le Brun Marsh, the second sister of John Lothrop Marsh, married Lauchlan McLean, a merchant, the son of a Scottish settler at Grand Lake. A few years after their marriage, the couple moved to Saint John. Besides the two buried here, their children were Hugh Havelock (born 22 March 1854), Arthur B. (born 1857), Charles Herbert, and Maud. Their eldest son, Major General Hugh Havelock McLean, was Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick 1928-1935.

Census, Fredericton, NB, 1871:

John L. MARSH, 42, b. NB, Lawyer, Wesleyan Methodist

Hester, 32, b. NB, Wesleyan Methodist

Hugh McLEAN, 17, b. NB, Student, Wesleyan Methodist

Eliza PETERS, 23, b. NB, Servant, Maid, African.

On 1 May 1871, an Act was passed "Relating to the Police Establishment in the City of Fredericton," regulating the office of the Police Magistrate. John Marsh was appointed to that position, to receive an annual salary not exceeding $400. He was empowered to appoint a police force, a staff of able men, not exceeding three. Included was a caution about the taverns of the town: a section of the Act stated that if a tavern keeper harboured or entertained any policeman on duty, he could be fined or have his license cancelled by the magistrate. Forty-two years later, on his 84th birthday, John Lothrop Marsh was still holding that office.

In 1871, John Marsh was appointed Lieutenant Colonel of the 71st York Battalion of Infantry, and was still in command in 1885. He lived at 690 George Street. He is described as very dapper, immaculately turned out. He always wore a frock coat to the Sunday services at the Cathedral. In 1881 census shows John Marsh, Police Magistrate, living with his wife, Hester, and two daughters: Florence L., 9, and Mary Sophie (born 1874), aged 6.

Royal Gazette, Fredericton, NB, 2 August 1882:


Whereas some person or persons did on the night of the thirty-first of July last make a felonious assault with firearms upon John L. Marsh, Esquire, Police Magistrate, at his residence in Fredericton: I do therefore publish this Proclamation and do hereby offer a Reward of Two Hundred Dollars for such information as will secure the conviction of the person or persons guilty of said offence.

Given under my Hand and Seal at Fredericton, the second day of August, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighty-two, and in the forty-sixth year of Her Majesty’s Reign. — By Command of the Lieutenant Governor P.A. Landry

One thought on “Three men named John Lothrop Marsh”

  1. I have totally mixed feelings after reading the account of the 3 men named John Lothrop Marsh. It’s a very interesting story, but to me also very confusing, because I’m an amateur genealogist and this has me totally puzzled. The first John L. Marsh is supposedly a distant uncle of mine–I believe that I descend from not one but TWO of the brothers mentioned: Solomon and Ebenezer Marsh. (Both of my dad’s grandmothers bore the same maiden name–Marsh, of course!–and they were both born in a small North Carolina (USA) town called Marshville.) My dad knew they were neither sisters nor first cousins, but nothing beyond that: I said, “Well, they HAVE to be some kind of kin!” and after considerable research I found out that they were indeed distant cousins: one a direct descendant of Solomon Marsh and the other a direct descendant of Solomon’s brother Ebenezer.
    It’s also true that there was a 4th brother, Thomas Lothrop Marsh, and he did indeed become a preacher in Tennessee. So far so good, everything seems to match. BUT….there are a couple of things that just do not match at all. The articles state that Solomon and Ebenezer “went to Upper Canada in 1782 to live.” Not unless we’re confusing two different families with disturbingly similar names and backgrounds (my Marshes came from Connecticut too–the reason John moved to Canada was because he fought for the British in the Revolution, and this caused a huge rift in the family since his brothers all had Patriot sympathies.) My Solomon, Ebenezer, and their brother Thomas Marsh left New England–allegedly with their mother–just after the Revolution. NOT to Canada, but to North Carolina! And the Marshes still lived there when my dad was born–in Marshville–in 1922. (Thomas originally lived in NC with the rest of the family, but some time later he moved to Tennessee.)
    The second mystery is even more bewildering. We had NEVER heard that any sisters existed–just the 4 sons John, Solomon, Ebenezer, and Thomas. (Incidentally, both John and Thomas shared the same middle name “Lothrop”, obviously in honor of their mother.) None of the North Carolina Marshes have ever heard of any sisters and we know NOTHING about them. I know this doesn’t prove they didn’t exist, obviously, but it’s as if their parents and brothers just forgot that Elizabeth and Sarah were ever born!–how is that possible?? True, for years the brothers who had moved South ignored John, whom they viewed as a traitor (no offense intended!), but why on earth would we know NOTHING about the existence of two sisters? It makes no sense whatever. And I’m still befuzzled by the claim that my own two ancestors moved to Upper Canada when actually they moved to the southern boundary of North Carolina–I don’t think either of them (and this probably applies to youngest brother Thomas too) ever even set foot in Canada. The USA and Canada are good friends and neighbors now, but it was a totally different story back then!! (Altho John FINALLY did get the chance to travel down to visit his brothers, late in life.) Sadly the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861 once again severed the ability of the American Marshes and their Canadian cousins to communicate or visit again.
    I will try to track down these elusive, alleged sisters and see if that can help somehow to clear up this mystery.
    And I thought genealogy was confusing BEFORE all this!! (And I do apologize for being so verbose–no wonder my nickname in school was “Motormouth”, lol. I never know when to shut up!) ;-) Any help in straightening out this mess would be vastly appreciated!!

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