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The Barkers

As you probably noticed, my last name is Barker. So this was the easiest branch to trace. It helps that 3 generations of my Barker ancestors are buried in Bridgewater! Some of the Barker wives are a bit problematic, but the men trace back very nicely to the "original ancestor" in the New World - Edward Barker. Prior to getting into Edward's history - I should mention that there appear to be 2 fairly distinct groups of Barkers in New Brunswick. One descends from Edward's son Thomas and the other descends from a New York Loyalist named Thomas Barker who relocated to the Fredericton area during the Loyalist Migration. They existed in a somewhat overlapping time period and caused quite a bit of confusion for my line, and we just recently (past several years) figured out that our Thomas was from Edward not New York. Gregg Barker Antworth, a descendant of my g-g-grandfather's brother Daniel, has traced both Edward's line and Thomas' line at his site at http://home.istar.ca/~antworth.

My line of Barkers in the New World starts with one Edward Barker. Edward was born in or near Lowdham, England, a small town in Nottinghamshire (yup, that would be the Robin Hood Nottingham - wouldn't surprise me to hear we were related to Friar Tuck) to Robert Barker and his wife Elizabeth Dufty. Edward had 2 brothers, 2 sisters, and a step brother. Robert apparently died, leaving Elizabeth to remarry. A letter survived from his step brother, William Hall, to Edward dated 1773. Edward opted to join the military and enlisted in the 59th Regiment of the Foot, also known as the 2nd Nottingham. The 59th Regiment served in Ireland, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Cape Breton and Boston, Massachusetts. By 1769, the Regiment was at Halifax, Nova Scotia and the hoodlums started deserting to the point that there are multiple sources citing desertions from the 59th in 1770's. However, it would appear (hopefully) that Edward properly mustered out of the 59th sometime between 1773 (the date of William Hall's letter which was address to "Edward Barker in ye 59 rigmt. Commanded by Genl. Owen & in Capt. Wilson's Camp now Lying at Halifax Nova Scotia North America...April 5th 1773") and 1775. Edward married a woman named Rebecca (possibly Chadwick or Michener or Mitchell) and their first child was registered as being born 17 February 1775 in Falmouth, Hants County, Nova Scotia.

Edward probably leased land or served as a tenant farmer as was common in those times prior to purchasing his own property. On June 18, 1789, Edward bought 2 lots totaling 200 acres of land in Falmouth, Nova Scotia. He and Rebecca most likely constructed a temporary structure on the lots and eventually replaced that with a permanent home. Edward cleared his land for farming and stock rearing at which he prospered. Between 1792 and 1793, Edward's taxes roles from 5 shillings to 7 shillings 11 and one half pence, placing him in the upper middle class for that area. Besides his farming, Edward was also active in the community: he signed his name to several existing petitions for roads and bridges and was regularly on the role for common owners of the dyke meeting. The Barkers were also recognized as being the first Wesleyan Methodists in the area. Wesleyanism was prevalent in the Nottingham area as well as very popular with military men. Another interesting little side note is that on a cattle drive to Halifax, Edward returned home with an orphaned boy known as Peter Coalfleet. Supposedly the ship he and his parents were on was part of a fleet carrying coal, hence "Coalfleet" which sank leaving the boy an orphan. Edward and Rebecca raised the boy and the Coalfleet name became very prominent in Hantsport as several descendants went on to be shipbuilders and captains.

This would probably be a good place to note an important fact concerning the Barker's and a bulk of the information you just read. The area of Falmouth that Edward and Rebecca settled in was not previously settled (this is the same area that the Acadians were driven from when the British took control from the French but had since grow up). The town of Hantsport, Nova Scotia claims Edward as its founding father and the date of his purchasing the 2 lots as the birthdate of the town. Hantsport is located on the western shore of Nova Scotia and the town became a shipbuilding and shipping town commonly moving commerce to and from Eastport ME, Portland ME, St. John, New Haven CT, and Boston MA. A source for much of the above information and a great source for more information on the history and topography of Hantsport is the book "Tides and Timber" published by the Hantsport Historical Society commemorating the biennial of the town. Hantsport also has a GENWEB web site.

Edward and Rebecca had a total of 7 children: 4 daughters and 3 sons. 3 of the daughters married Lockhart men from a neighboring family. The Lockharts, including many from the 3 Barker/Lockhart couples, rose with the shipbuilding tide: they were ships' Captains, owned ship building companies, or specialized in the brokering end of shipping. The Lockhart family that the Barkers intermarried with was a family of 9 descended from James Lockhart and his wife Miriam Margery Knowlton. Of James' parents, James and Rebecca Lockhart, I know nothing. Miriam's father, Daniel Knowlton, was born in 1726 in Ashford, Connecticut and died in Advocates Harbor, Nova Scotia. It is my assumption (bad thing to do in genealogies!) that Miriam's parents migrated to Nova Scotia prior to James and Miriam's marriage and that James was already in Nova Scotia. The Barker name itself faded from Hantsport. The first son, Robert V., appears to have died young (perhaps in his twenties); the second son, Michael, stayed in Hantsport farming until his death in 1855, and the third son, Thomas, migrated west. That is not to say that the line didn't persist. Michael did have children and there are listings for a "Captain W. [William] Barker, master mariner" in the 1867 A.F. Church Cadastral Map, an 1857 listing of Return of Vessels Owned at Hantsport shows the grandson of Edward (also Edward) as owning a very small ship, and Lovell's Business and Professional Directory of Towns and Banking Villages in Canada lists an "A.S. Barker, wheelwright."

From Edward and Rebecca, my line moves with Thomas and his wife Mary Lockhart (same family that Thomas' 3 sisters married into). Although both Thomas and Mary were from Falmouth, they married across the bay at Parrsboro in 1803 and petitioned for land there in 1824. Between those dates they continued to live in Falmouth (Hantsport wasn't incorporated as of yet) and raise their family of 7 there. It is thought that they lived in Parrsboro for some time in that 1824 span. A possible reason for living there would be that one of the other Barker/Lockhart couples was living there. I have little other information on Thomas and Mary. Of their 2 daughters and 5 sons, my line moves on with Richard Barker.

In the 1824 land grant petition that Thomas filed for land in Parrsboro (or Parr Town), it is stated "The father of Thomas Barker came to this country from England, but never received land. Thomas Barker has a wife and a large family. Richard Barker is son of Thomas, age 21 years, They live in Falmouth, Hants County, and ask certain lots in Parrsboro." Sometime after 1824, Richard probably went out on his own and migrated north west. On 24 November 1836 he married Ruth Abigail Philips in Brighton, New Brunswick.

I am sure most of you now have map in hand and are fervently looking for Falmouth, Parrsboro and Brighton. You probably got somewhere with Parrsboro but not with Falmouth or Brighton. I'm not 100% sure on Falmouth, but Brighton is a parish versus and county or a town. I suspect that Falmouth was also a parish as there is no town of Falmouth, Nova Scotia. I've included a bit of Canadian history and a smidgen on how the land grants worked in the "Oh, Canada" section; you might find it worth reading to get a quick and dirty American view on New Brunswick's history.

So, Richard married Ruth and they proceeded to have 8 children generally in the Bath area of Carleton County, New Brunswick between 1832 and 1848. The couple were charter members of the Bath United Baptist Church. The generations of Barker's descending from here have remained fairly ensconced in Carleton County. Richard and Ruth's sons Samuel, Stephen, Ziba and Daniel became farmers in the area. There are land grants of 100 acres each recorded as being given to Stephen and Ziba. Both Hutchinson's and Lovell's lists in 1865-66, 1867-68 and 1871 show all 4 brothers as being farmers in Muquart. The brothers' children are recorded as being born in Monquart, Muniac, and Bath and land records show them in Peel, Bath, Upper Kent and Monquart. All of the places mentioned are in very close proximity to one another in Carleton County, New Brunswick.

My line follows the 3rd brother: Ziba. Unfortunately for me, it is with Ziba that my most nagging questions arise. Previous to Ziba, it would be nice to know a bit more about the people themselves, but for the most part, their basic statistics are well recorded. Ziba married Henrietta Hoyt. There are records in Sunbury county of the birth of a Henrietta Hoyt and her brother John Barker Hoyt. Latter Day Saints records link this Henrietta with Ziba. The names would seem to indicate that these would be my people. Henrietta's birth date in these records is about 5 years off. These folks were in the same area as the Barkers descended from Loyalist Thomas Barker as a matter of fact, the birth records record several Barker births in the same and adjoining towns as this Henrietta and John. My gut tells me that these aren't my people. The nagging question I have is how would a farmer like Ziba in northern Carleton County meet a woman from Sunbury County? Not much of a feat today, but not as common in the 1850's. I have no doubt that Ziba did marry a Henrietta Hoyt: their gravestones are in Bridgewater and my folks plant flowers on their graves yearly. Another nagging question concerning Ziba is the oral family tradition we hold that Ziba married a woman named Suzanna. Presumably she was a 1st wife and I am descended from Henrietta who bore her first child at the age of 23 while Ziba would have been 33. But, then again, one never knows. Going on the supposition that it was with Henrietta that Ziba raised a family, I know that there were 3 children: David, Annie M., and Elliott George. David ended up in Washburn - another source of antagonism: there are Barkers in Aroostook County descended from David, but I have yet to piece them all together!! Annie married J. Howard Farley and lived in Bridgewater. The same town as her brother, and my great-grandfather, Elliott George.

Elliott George and his wife Amanda Schriver (See Schriver Page), married in Wilmot, Carleton County in 1899. Their only child, my grandfather, Elliott Eveleigh Barker, was born 5 years later in 1904 in Florenceville, Carlton County. Elliott George continued farming in Carleton County as his father and grandfather had done before him. The family tale I grew up on says that Elliott George wasn't much for farming and upon coming home one day to find his cows through the fence and out of the field, again, he very promptly sold the farm, packed up his possessions and moved the family across the border into Bridgewater, Maine where he became a millwright. The couple appears to have been financially stable: there is a record in the Town of Bridgewater showing Amanda loaning money to the Town. By all accounts, Amanda was quite a character. She was a physically small person who reportedly either liked you or hated you. They had one child, Elliott Eveleigh. Elliott George and Amanda are buried in Bridgewater which brings me back to my final nagging question concerning Ziba and Henrietta. Henrietta died in 1895, Ziba in 1904. Elliott George and Amanda married in 1899 and Elliott Eveleigh was born in 1904 in Canada. My question is when and why did Ziba and Henrietta come to Bridgewater. It would seem reasonable to state that Elliott George and Amanda came across after Elliott Eveleigh's birth in 1904 by which time Henrietta had been dead 5 years and Ziba either newly dead or close to it. Yet both Ziba and Henrietta are buried in Bridgewater, Maine.

This brings me to my grandfather, Elliott Eveleigh. Born in Canada, he maintained "duel citizenship" which brought with it the advantage of not having to retain a Canadian guide to go hunting or fishing in Canada as American citizens must. If the salmon in the Mirimichi could talk, they would probably argue that my grandfather spent too much time in their waters. He was an avid outdoorsman whose day job as the manager of the unemployment office is often forgotten in light of other memories of his talent as a fisherman and trapper in particular. He married Shirley Olaf Nelson. My grandmother is best remembered for her talent as a cook. A cousin of mine, a superb cook in her own right, is in charge of pies at Thanksgiving and Christmas and for years she has tried to master the art of the graham cracker pie. Although it is perhaps the best graham cracker pie you'll get, the review it annually gets is "It's good, real good.....but it's still not quite like Mother's." Perhaps one reason for this is that my grandmother left very sketchy recipes that, for her, acted merely as a double check for what she already knew had to be there and for those of us inheriting these treasures, act as a minefield of culinary failure.

Elliott Eveleigh and Shirley had 4 children: 2 sons and 2 daughters. As is common in this generation, a spreading of the family occurred. One son, Eveleigh Elliott, has spent his life in New Hampshire raising 4 children; and one daughter, Crystal Marie, settled in the Brunswick area of Maine to raise 10 children. My other Aunt, Sonya Louise, lives in Bridgewater where she raised 7 children, of which all but 1 left the area. And my Father and Mother also live in Bridgewater where they, of course, raised me.

From my generation, we have spread across the United States. I have Barker cousins living in Oregon, California, Florida, North Carolina, Washington D.C., New Hampshire and Southern Maine. My one other remaining cousin has married and is raising 3 children of her own in Mars Hill, Aroostook County, Maine. And that leaves me, as the youngest Barker of 25 grandchildren descended from Elliott Eveleigh and Shirely, I live in Mapleton, Aroostook County, Maine and will most likely remain in Aroostook County (unless something goes drastically wrong!!). In the last 3 generations, the ability to migrate vast distances in a short time has dramatically increased. Instead of one or two children migrating a distance leaving several (or many) siblings behind to carry on the family name and farm, more often than not it is now the other way around in this part of Maine. Aroostook County, Maine is an area that hit it's heyday between 1900 and 1950 when the timber was big and a 40 acre potato farm could support a family. Our woods industry is a hard market to get ahead in now, and the day of the family farm has all but disappeared. For many in my parents' generation, and even more so in my generation, a point is reached where one has to decide to go downstate or out of state to attain a higher standard of living with varied opportunities, amenities and convinces or stay in The County to live a life a little slower, plainer, and simpler. Perhaps it is for that reason that I felt it necessary to do this genealogy. As we become more and more spread out, the tendency is greater to lose contact with your family and your roots. For me, this project has tied me tighter to an area I hope never to leave by instilling a greater sense of "home." For others in my family, whether it be a first cousin or a descendant from a great-great uncle, you probably won't gather a sense of home from reading a couple typed pages and looking at a bunch of names. What I do hope you get out of this is some sense of place and appreciation for the larger steps that have brought you from Nottinghamshire, England to Falmouth, Nova Scotia to wherever you are right now.