Kelly/Verge Genealogy

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Kelly/Verge Genealogy

My New Brunswick Roots

My mother's family comes from New Brunswick, almost exclusively from the Miramichi area. Some names that have come up in this research are: Kelly, Underhill, Sullivan, O'Brien, Fitzpatrick, Colepaugh, MacDonald, Gratton, Breen, Green, Donovan, Meehan, Peters, Dillon, and Stewart.

Family Trees

These are lists of descendants from my ancestors who immigrated to New Brunswick. For privacy reasons, I went through each list and deleted all personal information about any individual born less than 100 years ago, who is either living or might still be. These listings are far from complete, so if you are a cousin, please do let me know where you fit in!


  • Descendants of Sarah (Jemima) Underhill and William Welling (Updated May 7, 2006)
  • I have listed Sarah's descendents separately because this line is not confirmed. However, there is good evidence for this connection.

    The Underhill Genealogy, edited by Josephine Frost, gives Sarah Underhill as having married "a Whalling", and family history says that she was known as Jemima. In Renselaar County, New York, there is a tombstone at Nortonville (Reed) Cemetery, Pittstown, that reads: William Welling, b. 18 Jun 1754, d. 21 Dec 1838, age 84y, m. Jemima Underhill, b. 1768, d. 23 Mar/May 1829 age 61y. In the Pittstown Centinel, Vol 1 No 7, March 30, 1976, this couple was biographied by Ray Henry:

    The Hudson Valley was a hotbed of Patriots, and as conditions worsened in the early day sof the Revolution, William WELLING, who was born January 18, 1754, would have been just 21 at the outbreak of the war. Details are sketchy, but we know Tories were unpopular. To avoid persecution William fled to New Brunswick, Canada, possibly by ship, out of New York.

    William WELLING married Jemima UNDERHILL in New Brunswick, and they had 11 children, all born in Canada. Rebecca, the oldest child, born in 1785, married and remained in Canada. In 1808 William WELLING moved the rest of his family back to the United States. They settled first at Post Corners above Eagle Bridge, New York, where he prospered for three years as a wagon maker and wheelwright. Then, possibly encouraged to be near his brother, John, he moved again in 1811 to Pittstown, where he bought a farm and lived on it until his death at age 84. William's son Joseph then came into possession of the farm, and it was later left to his nephew and name-sake Joseph Welling STITT.

    William and Jemima WELLING and their son Joseph are buried in the Reed Cemetery in Pittstown. The stones standing in a row are in mint condition.

Pioneer Families of Colonial America

Much of the information regarding my mother's family which is presented here was initially collected by John Hubert Doty, and his wife, my great-aunt, Alice Theresa Kelly Doty. They spoke to many relatives and gathered their stories, as well as searched through family Bibles and records, church records, and census reports to obtain many of the details. My own introduction to genealogy in general, and my family history in particular, came when I found, in my mother's file cabinet, a draft copy of John's work.

I have transcribed John's data on the Kelly family; it does have a few errors and typos though. These aren't marked in the transcriptions, but I have finished a list of errors I have found in each copy. It's located at the end of each file. If you notice anything else that's glaringly wrong, please let me know and I can amend the error list. You can peruse John's research here:

There are some differences between the two versions - additions, deletions and corrections - but, as with any work of this type, there may be errors in facts and transcription, so don't hesitate to double check data which is pertinent to your research.

Church Records

My mother has a few pages of extractions taken from church records by my great-uncle, John Doty. Since not all of the information found its way into the work posted above, I have transcribed them. Names searched included Kelly, Sullivan, Fitzpatrick, Colepaugh, Gratton, Breen, Green, Donovan, Hogan, McCarthy, and Doran, so these appear most often, but there are quite a number of others, too.

I've cross-referenced these extractions, by name, into one list (on four pages), here:

Cemetery Listings

I have found that there seems to be a dearth of internet-accessible cemetery information regarding Northumberland County. Since every time I visit the area, I do a little more cemetery crawling, I have quite a bit of information for the area my ancestors lived in. I will be adding what information, and some pictures, to this site as I am able to. Click on "Cemeteries" from the menu to see which I have finished.

Newspaper Listings

Obituaries and other notices about my New Brunswick relations.

St. Thomas College, Chatham, New Brunswick, Calendar 1927 - 1928

My grandfather Burt Kelly graduated from the Commercial Course at St. Thomas in 1927. The calendar was an interesting read - times have changed for students at college!

European Settlement in New Brunswick

Emigrants to New Brunswick are often grouped into four general periods:

  1. Early French settlers who became known as the Acadians
  2. English-speaking emigrants who settled lands previously occupied by the Acadians
  3. Loyalist refugees from the United States following the War of Independence
  4. All other Europeans, notably the Irish, following the Loyalists

The Acadians

French settlers were the first European arrivals to have any lasting impact on the New Brunswick area. Norse fishermen had arrived earlier (900 - 1000 A.D.) but had little impact, as they were interested in fishing, not permanent settlement. European fishermen continued to frequent the area, interacting with the Native population, until the 1500's, but no settlements occurred until 1604, when Samuel de Champlain established a winter encampment near present-day St. Stephen, on an island in the St. Croix estuary. This settlement failed due to scurvy, but others followed, and grew gradually, including sites on the St. John River and around the Bay of Fundy. The ancestors of the Acadian population can largely be traced to about 300 French settlers who arrived around 1633.

In 1713 Acadia passed permanently to the British. The Acadians had faced poor Anglo-French relations, including British raiding, but were now largely tolerated by their new government, even though they refused to swear allegience to the British. However, in 1749, wary of French efforts to fortify Louisbourg as well as other military posts, the British began to view the Acadians as a threat. In 1755, thousands of Acadians were forced to leave their homes, scattering families over North America and on the other side of the Atlantic. Some escaped being rounded up, and relocated to the Acadian peninsula, near the Bay of Chaleur, and many others eventually returned over the years. The French identity of the area also proved attractive to settlers from Quebec, who were in need of good farmland. The persistence of the Acadians resulted in the large French population in New Brunswick, which is the only officially bilingual province in Canada.

Early English Settlers

In 1758, the British captured Louisbourg, and the remainder of the Maritimes passed to the British. After this, a concerted effort to repopulate the area with English-speaking settlers occurred; as part of this, the vacated farms of the Acadians were offered to settlers from British colonies. Other areas were settled for the first time: for example, a group of settlers from Essex County, Massachusetts, established the settlement of Maugerville, on the upper Saint John River, in 1763.

The Loyalists

During the American War of Independence, many Americans remained loyal to Britain (up to one-fifth of the total population), and after the British defeat, many of these, possibly 80,000, chose to relocate to British territories. The most popular destination was Nova Scotia (which included New Brunswick at the time), where perhaps 30,000 Loyalists settled. While some were able to arrive with their possessions intact (some even floated their houses on barges to found St. Andrews), others were entirely dependant on the British for food, clothing and equipment once they arrived in their new homes. Dislodging the returned Acadians, they arrived in such numbers that they soon incorporated the city of Saint John, and settled all the way up the St. John River to Woodstock. In 1783 alone, 15,000 refugees arrived. The first truly Loyalist settlement was Fredericton, named for the second son of King George III. It was situated so that it would be out of reach of American raiders. Other popular destinations included Maugerville, and locations as widespread as the Bay of Fundy and the Bay of Chaleur. The increase in population of the area, and the English nature of the new settlers, likely played a part in the establishment of the Province of New Brunswick in 1785.

The Irish & Others

The Irish began arriving shortly after the Napoleonic Wars. Also arriving at this time were Scots crofters, who had been forced out of their homes by the enclosure movement. Irish emigration peaked during the time of the so-called potato famine, but there were many who arrived in New Brunswick both well before and after the well-known famines. Where Fredericton retained its Loyalist character, Saint John was eventually overwhelmed by the Irish arrivals and developed a distinctly Irish feel. Also heavily settled by the Irish was the Miramichi River Valley. Arriving in this area, which was heavily forested, emigrants found employment in forestry and shipbuilding, or became backwoods settlers, clearing the land to become productive enough to support families.

Another notable settlement was New Denmark, in Victoria County, which was founded in the 1870's by a few hundred Danish settlers, heavily supported by the government. As well, after World War One, came the arrival of British orphans and farmers, and later, Sussex and the area south of Fredericton became home to German emigrants.


Collie, Michael. New Brunswick. Toronto: Macmillan of Canada, 1974.
Eiselt, Marianne. New Brunswick: A Colour Guidebook. Halifax: Formac Company Limited, 1994.
Fisher, Peter. Sketches of New-Brunswick. Saint John: Chubb & Sears, 1825.

Population of Northumberland County, 1824

Around the time my immigrant ancestors were arriving on the Miramichi, this population schedule was published.

  Whites People of Colour  
  Males Females Males Females  
Parish >16 <16 >16 <16 >16 <16 >16 <16  
Newcastle 641 326 377 313         1657
Chatham 451 296 319 382 1   2 1 1452
Ludlow, 1st district 407 191 147 173         918
Ludlow, 2d district 286 38 29 37         390
Northesk, 1st district 921 107 119 96         1243
Northesk, 2d district 47 60 41 52         200
Alnwick, 1st district 93 54 44 54         245
Alnwick, 2d district 137 83 72 80 1       373
Carleton 757 429 376 402       1 1965
Beresford 327 294 225 228 6 3 1 2 1086
Glenelg 323 174 175 163 1       836
Saumarez, 1st district 299 209 201 234 2 2 1 1 949
Saumarez, 2d district 524 446 408 450         1828
Wellington 420 393 335 406     1   1555
Nelson 574 185 201 166 3   2 1 1132

Total population: 15,829


Fisher, Peter. Sketches of New-Brunswick. Saint John: Chubb & Sears, 1825.


© Copyright 2010 by Natalie Verge