DeBeck Family New Brunswick to British Columbia


George DeBeck II and Eliza Ann Dow

The DeBeck family’s move to B.C. came about after a neighbor and friend James Bell left New Brunswick to seek his fortune in the West in British Columbia. After a few years he returned home to New Brunswick . with money in his pockets and tales of gold to be had for the taking in British Columbia..(1) He married Olive the daughter of George and Eliza DeBeck on Sept 23, 1863, (2) He bought a piece of land and intended to settle down and farm in New Brunswick. . 

At the same time 15-year-old (George) Ward DeBeck decided to run away from home. His father George DeBeck II caught up with him in St. Andrews and convinced him to return and attend school for another year on the understanding that after the year he would be free to go if he wanted. (3) 

Meanwhile after a year Jim Bell decided he wasn't cut out for farming and decided to leave again for British Columbia This time accompanied by his wife Olive DeBeck and young Ward. (4) By his own accounts (5) George Ward’s first glimpse of the West Coast was in California on July 23, 1866. Olive and Jim continued on to Victoria, while Ward stayed in Gilroy California until 1868. 

Jim Bell started a Coal business at Kavanaugh’s Wharf in Victoria British Columbia (6) 

Howard Ludlow DeBeck brother of Ward and Olive, and his wife Emmaline Weeks (daughter of Abner and Jane G. Weeks (7) decided to make the trip to the West Coast from New Brunswick, they sailed from New York on July 1 1867 on board the S.S.Ocean Queen (8) He was not accompanied by Warren as has been recorded by the family. Howard joined Jim Bell in his coal business in Victoria.(9) It is not known when Warren arrived There is a story of him travelling to Australia.(10) He was working with his father and
brothers at Burrard Inlet in 1869 (11) 

The rest of the family was supposed to have come together though the passenger list of the Del Norte on Sept (12) lists only Miss H.DeBeck, Miss L. DeBeck, Mr.and Mrs.DeBeck and child, the child was either Clarence or Josephine. 

The DeBeck’s had left a married daughter in New Brunswick ,Mary Ann DeBeck had married Samuel Yerxa son of Isaac Yerxa and Martha Shepard.(13) as well as 2 daughters and a son in the Richmond Churchyard. Emmaline had died of T.B July ,7 1860 (14) and Hannah Althea had died April 9 1864 from Diphtheria (15) Roderick had died Jan 18 1859 age 5 weeks 2 days .(16) 

In 1869 the family seemed to be all together George Sr. and sons Ward and Warren were working at Burrard Inlet logging employed by either Burrard Inlet mill or Hastings mill (17) 

Clarence went to New Westminister and drove a stage and went to school. (18) 

Howard bought property from Hugh McRobert's on Sea island and moved there with his wife and 2 little daughters Marion and Georgina.(19) 

Daughter Olive and husband James Bell now lived in New Westminister their son John Warren Bell had been born in Victoria in 1867 Son James Allen Ward Bell was born Sept 13 1873 in Moodyville There were also 2 daughters Emmeline and Olive Bell (19A) 

Daughter Helen Eliza DeBeck married William Gibson a grocer in Victoria in 1869 0r 1870 (20) 

In May of 1870 George DeBeck II . accidentally slipped while logging and was killed. (21) His obituary in the Mainland Guardian  dated Sat May 7 1870 p. 3 “reads 

Fatal Accident”: 

On Wednesday afternoon last ,Mr. George DeBeck met with his death in a very sudden and unexpected manner. It would appear from the evidence elicited at the inquest,that while in the act of stepping over some logs lying at a sharp angle,he slipped and fell.the concussion was so sudden and violent as to produce dislocation of the vertebrae ,the immediate cause of his death. Mr. DeBeck held a very high position in the esteem and respect of his fellow citizens,and will be a real loss to the community. He leaves a widow
and family to deplore his loss.Mr.DeBeck was a native of New Brunswick where he held a very respectable position. When the sad news, reached the city, Dr. Black the coroner for the district, proceeded to the inlet and did an inquest on the remains .From the position of the deceased when found by his youngest son and the character of the injuries there can be no doubt as to the cause of death ,and the verdict was returned accordingly. The remains of the lamented gentleman were brought to town on Thursday,and will
be interred today at the cemetery in Sapperton (Now called Fraser Cemetery in New Westminister) 

This is what Ned DeBeck (Exodus) writes of his grandfather George DeBeck II "We have no clear picture of what he was like(George ) as he met his death so soon after coming here. He could neither read nor write. Ward his son tells of reading the newspaper to him before he left home. He was particularly interested in the progress of the American Civil War. He was a very religious and devout man. He would never break his bread in the sight of the Lord without removing his hat. Even when it was cold or raining he would take no bite till he had taken off his hat. He must have been a pretty good father as all of his children got some
education. None of them got more than what would call the eighth grade, but that was the fault of the schools in N.B. not his. He was sufficiently interested in his family to follow his scapegrace son Ward ,clear down to St. Andrews and sufficiently broadminded to realize that a sixteen year old son can not be held on apron strings." 

Another tragedy struck the family the next year in 1871 when Howard's wife Emmaline died giving birth to third daughter Emma Augusta, (22) Emma was the first white child born in Richmond. (23) Howard and Emmalines other daughters were Marion Lee DeBeck and Georgina Elmar DeBeck. (23A) 

In 1871 Warren traveled back to New Brunswick and married Annie Elizabeth.Trafton of Woodstock in October of that year. (24) They returned to New West where poor Annie passed away shortly after her arrival on April 22, 1873 at the age of 24 (25) There were no children born of this marriage. 

Leonora DeBeck also married that year on Dec. 5, 1871 to J.C. Hughes (Josias Charles) an accountant at the Mill where her brothers worked. (26) (26A)The DeBeck family seemed to have unending loss, Leonora's first born Charles Arthur Hughes died on May 25 1874 at Burrard Inlet (27) a few weeks after his birth 

27) Daughter Helen Eliza DeBeck died in Dec. of 1875 a few days after the birth of her third daughter Olivia Helen Gibson.who was born Nov. 23 1875 She gave birth and died at the home of her sister Olive Bell in New Westminister.Family story is she died from consumption (TB) (27A) 

She was buried in the Masonic Cemetery in Sapperton ,now called Fraser Cemetery in New West ,no marker on grave 

Obituary " Mainland Guardian" Wednesday Dec. 15 1875 New Westminister BC. 

_____ instantly Helen Eliza beloved wife of William E. Gibson of Nanaimo aged 28 years. We are called upon to record the death of Mrs. W.E. Gibson of Nanaimo departed this life on Sunday morning at the reidence of her brother-in-law James Bell (Olive DeBeck)
The deceased was a member of the DeBeck family , So much respected in this city, and was known for her many virtues. The funeral took place on Monday last and was attended by a large number of our citizens. the remains will be interred at the "Masonic Cemetery" The Rev. Jamison officiating . On the death of the lady becoming known , the flags on all our public buildings were flown
at half mast. 

Helen and William had 2 older daughters Mary Leonora (Minnie) born 1871in Victoria and Edith Josephine (Edie) born May 28
1873 also in Victoria (27B) 

In 1877 the 4 DeBeck brothers -Clarence ,Howard ,Ward and Warren started the Brunette Saw mill – 

from History of New Westminister page 132 

" The first New Westminister mill to become a lasting success was the four DeBeck brothers Brunette Mill .the story has it that in 1877, this quartet rowed across the Gulf of Georgia to Baynes Sound, north of Nanaimo,where they bought a small engine ,a circular
saw, a hand edger and a trimmer on the installment plan with nothing down . They moved the machinery to a four acre site where the Brunette River joins the Fraser that they bought from the provincial government for $100 The DeBeck mill at Sapperton was soon one of the most profitable in the business. ………" 

A young man named James Buckam Kennedy came to New West in 1877 and began working as a planer at the mill in 1880 he bought Ward's interest and became family later marrying  Josephine DeBeck ,sister of the DeBeck brothers.on Nov. 30 1880 in New Westminister (28) They had one son Clarence born in 1883 (28A). Josephine had T.B. and went down to Los Gatos California to recover in the better weather she died there in 1885 at the age of 25. She is buried in the Fraser Cemetery in New Westminister .(28B) Clarence Kennedy her son died March 27 1908 in Vernon B.C.from spinal meningitis . He was 26 years old.(28C) 

Ward married in 1877 causing a big stir with his elopement with Emma Mary Keary to Washington State on March 19 1877. (29)Ward lived for a year in Yale after selling his interest in the sawmill and later moved to Oregon Washington . and Idaho.(30) 

Clarence Hunter DeBeck married in 1879 to Emily B. Edwards (31) they settled in New West and had 2 children ,Mabel Eveline and Winnifred Violet. (31A) 

Warren remarried in 1880 to Elizabeth Armstrong (32) they lived in and had 2 children Annie in 1882 and Warren John in 1883 (33) More loss for the family as Warren died in 1884 at the age of 35 (34) His son Warren John died at the young age of 27 in Kamloops in 1911(34A) 

And Leonora's husband Josias Charles Hughes died Nov. 8 1886. (35) leaving Leonora with 3 children to raise Frank Sherman Hughes 1882 11 29, Charles Nelson 1880 9 21 And Leonora Evangeline 1876/8/28 (35A) 

Eliza Ann DeBeck had been for years living with Howard and helping him raise his children After many years as a single father ,Howard remarried Aug 7 1889 to Selina Clarke (36) During this time Howard operated a men's furnishings store on Columbia St at
Sixth (37) Howard and Selina had 5 children Howard in 1890, George Clifford 1896 ,Charles Victor in 1892 ,Laura Eileen in 1894 and Mildred Josephine in 1898.(37A) 

In1891 (38) when Howard's youngest daughter married Arthur Emerson Rand , Eliza “Little Grandma” went with them to live in their new home.(39) After the death of granddaughter Augusta Rand on Oct. 13 1909 ,(39A)Eliza went to live with son Ward and family at Eburne She lived with son Ward until her death on July 11 1921 ,at the age of 107 (39B) 

Howard following an attack of asthma went to Penticton to live in 1909, he remained there till his death on April 4 1924 at the age of 81(40) He is buried in the Fraser Cemetery in New Westminister 

Clarence sold out of the sawmill and purchased a tugboat and engaged in the towing business till 1894 when he engaged in work for the Government as Captain of the snagboat "The Sampson" remaining in federal service for about 10 years. Later he and his son-in law C.W. Tait established the Fern Ridge Lumber and Shingle Mills in Langley District and in 1913 bought the Royal City Shingle
Mills .(41) Clarence passed away in 1924. (42) He is buried in the Fraser Cemetery in New Westminister His wife Emily is also buried there 

Ward had returned to B.C. in 1886 and had been engaged in logging until 1891 when he went to timber cruising after that he tired mining until he was appointed Indian Agent at Alert Bay, and was stationed there in 1902 where he was stationed till 1906 (43) He next went back to timber cruising and logging and still had an interest in several mines. He and his wife Emma had 6 children.George Henry, (who died at abt 5 years old in an accident),Edwin Keary ,Edna Irene, Leonora, Ward Andrew and Viola Vivian (43A)
Ward died in B.C. on April 10, 1943 .(44)His wife Emma predeceased him in 1939. they are buried in The Fraser Cemetery in NewWestminister 

***There are many stories and writings about Ward and his family written by various family members in the DeBeck Papers at B.C.Archives in Victoria. I invite any descendants of the above people to write a history of their families. Looking for members of the Hughes Family, Bell Family, Tait Family , Wilson Family 

Sources -

All death birth and marriage registrations can be found at Surrey Public Library ,Cloverdale Branch ,and B.C. Archives in Victoria you can print out copies of the registrations from microfilm for 50 cents each. Just take microfilm numbers below in sources -for example- Birth Reg of John Warren Bell B.C. Archives Microfilm #B13804 Reg. #1867-09-459504 using the microfilm number to find microfilm in drawer and Reg. number to find registration on reel ofmicrofilm. There is a mailing list on-line where volunteers will get registrations for you. I can provide info if anyone wants it. 

(1) Exodus written by Ned DeBeck from B.C. Archives Victoria B.C 

(2) Marriage record Carleton County, New Brunswick marriages 1832-1887 by George Hayward also Marriage record for Olive and James Bell : The Carlton Sentinel at the Harriet Irving Library in Fredricton N.B. Sept 23 1863 pg. 147 

(3)" Exodus" written by Ned DeBeck at B.C. Archives ,Victoria B.C. 

(4) "Exodus" written by Ned DeBeck at B.C. Archives, Victoria B.C. 

5)"George Blinkensop an Englishman" by Ward Debeck in Debeck papers at B.C. Archives Victoria B.C. 

6) 1868 Directory of Victoria on microfilm at Cloverdale Public library B.C. and at my web-page 

(7) No marriage record found for this marriage, probably married in Maine have census information that Abner Weeks father of
Emmeline was a native of Maine 

(8) Passenger list S.S. Ocean Queen 1867 New-York Times, July 3, 1867 SS Ocean Queen Captain Conner 

Sailed from New-York City: July 1, 1867 


New-York .. July 1. 

Steamship Ocean Queen, Conner, Aspinwall, Pacific Mail Steamship Co. 

Passengers Sailed. 

Debeck, H., and wife 

(9) 1868 Directory of Victoria on microfilm at Cloverdale Public library B.C. 

(10) Paper in DeBeck papers B.C. Archives 

(11) 1869 Directory of Victoria on microfilm at Cloverdale Public library B.C. 

(12) Passenger list of the steamer "Del Norte" entered Victoria Sept 24 ,1868 newspaper" Mainland Guardian " Victoria 

(13) Marriage record Carleton County, New Brunswick marriages 1832-1887 by George Hayward .See Yerxa Family. 

(14) Obit. from "The Carleton Sentinel" microfilm of Early newspapers of New Brunswick Harriet Irving Library. 

Emeline's obit dated July 7 1860 from the same newspaper p.155 reads "Died" At South 

Richmond on the 22 ult . Of Consumption, Emeline, eldest daughter of George DeBeck Jr. aged 23 years. 

(15) Obit. from "The Carleton Sentinel" microfilm of Early newspapers of New Brunswick Harriet Irving Library. dated April 9 1864
p.59 reads 

"Died" At South Richmond ,of Diptheria ,on the 25 inst. Hannah Althelia aged 19 years, the beloved daughter of George and Eliza
Ann DeBeck. Her many excellent qualities endeared her to a wide circle of acquaintances,and having been cut off in the bloom of her
youth her death is very much regretted. Her end was firm Hope and Peace in Jesus. Beauteous flower thy bloom is shed,Hannah
Athelia ,thou art dead. Yet are not dead but merely gone.Where pain and sorrow are unknown. Your mortal part we still have
here.your soul accounted far more dear By God, is now we trust above In heaven ,where all is peace and love. We mourn our loss
and yet we praise The being who was pleased to raise You to the place were (sic) all are kept In bliss. We weep for Jesus wept. 

(19) DeBeck Paper by Lillian DeBeck in DeBeck papers B.C. Archives Victoria 

(19A)Birth Reg of John Warren Bell Reg. Number: 1867-09-459504 B.C. Archives Microfilm Number: B13804 and James Allen
Ward Bell Reg. Number: 1873-09-904290 B.C. Archives Microfilm Number: B13813 

(20) Can find no record of marriage records were started 1872 . Will look for newspaper announcement.Helen arrived Sept 1868 and
gave birth to Mary 1871 Marriage in years between . 

(21) George DeBeck’s obituary in the Mainland Guardian dated Sat May 7 1870 p. 3 obit also appeared in Carleton county New
Brunswick newspaper. 

(22) History of Richmond B.C. 

(23) History of Richmond B.C. 

(24) Marriage Record 

(25) Death record for Annie Elizabeth Trafton DeBeck Reg. Number: 1873-09-074643 

B.C. Archives Microfilm Number: B13087 

(26) 1869 Directory of Victoria on microfilm at Cloverdale Public library B.C. 

(26A) DeBeck family Records 

(27):Birth and death records of Charles Arthur Hughes 

Birth Reg. Number: 1874-09-079965 B.C. Archives Microfilm Number: B13807 

Death Reg. Number: 1874-09-074677 B.C. Archives Microfilm Number: B13087 

(28) Marriage Record at B.C.Archives for Josephine DeBeck Reg. Number: 1880-09-113236 B.C. Archives Microfilm Number:

(28A) No birth record at Archives where was Clarence born? 

(28B) We do not have a death record for Josephine or any details of her death Would love to have any additional information 

(28C)Obit of Clarence Kennedy from the “Province dated Mar. 28 1908 pg.29 

B.C. Archives death certificate Reg. Number: 1908-09-197303 

B.C. Archives Microfilm Number: B13110 

(29) Newspaper Article 

(30) Biography from “ British Columbia From the Earliest Times To the Present”(1914) 

(31) Marriage Reg for Clarence DeBeck Reg. Number: 1879-09-113167 B.C. Archives Microfilm Number: B11381 

(31A) Birth Reg for Violet Winifred DeBeck Reg. Number: 1881-09-003227 B.C. Archives Microfilm Number: B13804 

(32) Marriage record for Warren DeBeck Reg. Number: 1880-09-113168 

B.C. Archives Microfilm Number: B11381 

(33)Birth Records for AnnieGrey DeBeck Reg. Number: 1882-09-904948 B.C. Archives Microfilm Number: B13813 and Warren John
DeBeck no record 

(34)Death Reg for Warren DeBeck Reg. Number: 1884-09-075865 B.C. Archives Microfilm Number: B13087 

(34A) Death Reg. For Warren John DeBeck Reg. Number: 1911-09-199047 B.C. Archives Microfilm Number: B13111 

(35) Death record for Josias Charles:Hughes Reg. Number: 1886-09-075931 B.C. Archives Microfilm Number: B13087 

(35A) Birth records of Leonora Evaneline Hughes ,Frank Sherman Hughes ,Charles Nelson Hughes in that order Reg. Number: 
1876-09-079970 B.C. Archives Microfilm Number: B13807 

Reg. Number: 1882-09-080191 B.C. Archives Microfilm Number: B13807 

Reg. Number: 1880-09-080183 B.C. Archives Microfilm Number: B13807 

(36)Marriage record of Howard DeBeck Reg. Number: 1889-09-114443 B.C. Archives Microfilm Number: B11381 

(37 DeBeck Paper by Lillian DeBeck in DeBeck papers B.C. Archives Victoria also photo of store 

(37A.) Records of birth B.C, Archives for Howard and Selina’s five children all born in New West 

Reg. Number: 1898-09-083709 B.C. Archives Microfilm Number: B13814 

Reg. Number: 1896-09-082278 B.C. Archives Microfilm Number: B13812 

Reg. Number: 1894-09-081657 B.C. Archives Microfilm Number: B13811 

Reg. Number: 1892-09-081636 B.C. Archives Microfilm Number: B13810 

Reg. Number: 1890-09-081631 B.C. Archives Microfilm Number: B13809 

(39A) Death Record for Emma Augusta Rand (DeBeck) B.C. Archives Microfilm Number:B13090 Reg. Number: 1909-09-085334 

(39B) Death Reg for Eliza Ann DeBeck Reg. Number: 1921-09-288623 B.C. Archives Microfilm Number: B13119 Newspaper Obit
and Articles 

(40) Death Record for Howard Ludlow DeBeck Reg. Number: 1924-09-340511 B.C. Archives Microfilm Number: : B13125 

(41) Biography from “ British Columbia From the Earliest Times To the Present”(1914) 

(42) No death record 

(43) DeBeck Paper by Lillian DeBeck in DeBeck papers B.C. Archives Victoria 

(43A) Records of birth for Ward Andrew Debeck and Viola Vivian DeBeck at B.C. Archives 

Reg. Number: 1897-09-118334 B.C. Archives Microfilm Number: B13812 

Reg. Number: 1895-09-117685 B.C. Archives Microfilm Number: B13811 

(44) Death record for George Ward DeBeck Reg. Number: 1943-09-622923 

B.C. Archives Microfilm Number: B13179 Emma Mary DeBeck Reg. Number: 1939-09-567054 B.C. Archives Microfilm Number:



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