New Bandon Parish, Gloucester County

And the Early Irish Families Who Settled in the Community

By Irma Downing

In 1825 the Rev. George Best, Ecclesiastical Commissary for New Brunswick submitted a report which was found in the Colonial Office in England. The following is part of that report:

“About eight years ago Francis Ellis began the first clearing and through his representations to his friends in Ireland, nearly all the rest who are settled there have been induced to immigrate thither and now amount to 147(174) persons, all of whom, save in one instance, are related to each other.”

The Rev. Mr. Best further stated that a list of the inhabitants of New Bandon‑Innishannon was being submitted to the Colonial Office.(1)( C.O. 188/32 Douglas to Bathurst, 3 May, 1825.1

Francis Ellis is stated as being the first settler of New Bandon in 1816. He stated in his petition for land, dated July 5, 1819, that he had begun to clear land. Francis received his land on May 29, 1831.

On September 21, 1788, Francis Ellis, son of Edward Ellis and Jane Clear, was christened in Rathclaren Parish, County Cork, Ireland.

On Feburary 20, 1810, a Francis Ellis married a Margaret Unckles, in Ballymoney Parish , County Cork, Ireland. Whether this is the Francis Ellis with his wife, Margaret has not been confirmed as Margaret’s maiden name is not known. No records of births or baptisms of children have been found in Ireland for this couple. It is assumed all children were born here or in the USA.

In 1833, Francis and Margaret sold their land in Janeville, NB and moved to Coshocton, Ohio. Francis is supposed to have a family of ten but only seven are known: John W., Josif, Edward, Francis, Jr., Mary Ann, Elizabeth, Margaret J.

Francis died on May 5, 1869 at the age of 82. He is buried in the Darling Run Cemetery next to his wife Margaret, who died on August 7, 1870, aged 88.

Edward Ellis came to New Bandon with 10 of his 13 children as stated in his petition for land. His petition was written in 1819, and he received his grant in 1835. Edward never lived to see which piece of land he received for he died in 1827. The land was divided equally between his three sons Richard, John, and Matthew. Edward was 60 years old at the time of his petition, making him born in 1759.

Edward Ellis was married twice. His first wife was Jane Clear. They were married July 25, 1779. Jane died in 1794. The children of this marriage seem to be William, Edward, Francis, Catherine, and Thomas. His marriage to Mary Jane Parrott must have been quite shortly after Jane’s death as Mary and Anne were born 1796 & 1798 respectively. Other children are Robert, Martha, Susan, Richard, John, and Matthew.

Thomas Ellis petitioned for land on July 15, 1819, stating he had lived here for three years. He received Lot # 5 in Janeville.. Thomas may not have married, as there is little knowledge about him. He was involved with the beginnings of Saint James Methodist Church. His name appears on the member’s list. Thomas died around 1851.

Mary Ellis, wife of Alexander Anderson, was the eldest daughter of Edward Ellis & Mary Jane Parrott. She was baptised January 31,1796 in the Rathclaren/Kilbrittain Parish. She married on Nov 7, 1821 in Bathurst. Alexander Anderson was named the executor for Edward Ellis. They moved to the Youghall area of Bathurst early in the 1830’s, having lived near the Ellis’ in Janeville.

Ann Ellis was baptised on April 1, 1798, the daughter of Edward Ellis and Mary. She married William Hodnett on July 14, 1818 in Bathurst. William and Ann had 7 children. William Hodnett died in 1832 and Ann remarried William Kerr.

Susan Ellis was married on August 26, 1823 to William Thomas Armstrong, with Alexander Anderson and Thomas Armstrong as witnesses. They eventually settled in Youghall with their family of six.

Catherine Ellis, sister to Francis Ellis, was married to William Sweeney. They had two daughters, Anne and Susan. William and Catherine bought land from Francis Ellis. Where Catherine died, has not been found. According to Francis Ellis’ will, he named his 2 nieces, daughters of his sister, Catherine French. In the Rathclaren Parish, a Catherine Ellis did marry a James French on April 30, 1815.

Martha Ellis, daughter of Edward Ellis, married Thomas Armstrong on July 9, 1822 with Alexander Anderson and William Ellis as their witnesses. They moved to Youghall, NB in 1830.

Richard Knowles petitioned for land on July 30, 1819. He stated he was born in Ireland and was a subject of Great Britain. He also stated he had been in the Province for two years, living in the Parish of Saumaraz, a Protestant, and thirty years old. Richard was petitioning for a piece of vacant land about one mile and a quarter to the west of Grindstone Cape. Richard signed with his mark, an X. Richard and his wife, Jane (maiden name unknown), later sold a part of their land for the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Stonehaven to be built. No children seem to be born of this family. They were to have gone to Ohio, but in the 1861 Census for Gloucester, Richard Knowles and Jane, his wife, are living in the Clifton, NB area. Richard Knowles died in 1865 and is buried in the Old Anglican Cemetery in Bathurst.

William Knowles , according to the 1831 petition of his son Thomas, had applied for 200 acres of land, Lot # 15, in New Bandon and had received no reply. Thomas in 1831 was willing to buy said Lot. William and his wife, Hannah (maiden name unknown), were among the first settlers to the area. William and Hannah had a family of four, Elizabeth, Richard, Thomas and William.

Garrett Hodnett was in New Bandon Parish as early as the others. In his petition, dated January, 1819, he asked for land next to that of Francis Ellis and near Cranberry Brook. He had been living there for two years, having cleared six acres of land, and built a house and outhouses. He said he had applied for land in 1816 but to no avail. Whether he received the lands he cleared is not known, but he did receive a lot in lower New Bandon. In 1819, he had a wife, three children, and had served 18 years in the yeomanry. He was married to Susanna Sweeney in Ireland in 1811. They had a family of seven. Garrett was forty-two years old in 1819 and he died in 1855.

William Hodnett, brother to Garrett, was born in Ireland about 1791. He was the son of Thomas Hodnett and Ann Ellis. He arrived here with Garrett, his brother, and married Ann Ellis, daughter of Edward Ellis and Mary Jane Parrott, on July 14, 1818. Their witnesses were Francis and Margaret Ellis. William applied for land in February, 1819, and received land in New Bandon. Whether the land they were living on was granted to them is unknown, as in the petition he asked for land west of Cranberry Brook, (which is located in Janeville) and west of Francis Ellis. William stated he had served three years in the yeomanry and was a native of Ireland. William died in 1832, and his widow, Ann, married William Armstrong.

Robert Palmer Hickson was born in 1787 in Dingle, County Kerry, Ireland. He died on February 20, 1852. He married in Ireland, Francis Jane Parrott, daughter of Matthew Parrott. They settled in Stonehaven, a small community next to New Bandon. Robert was a boot and shoemaker. He petitioned for land in 1825 and was granted Lot # 25. Frances Jane was born in 1785, and died January 27, 1879. They raised a very large family.

Matthew Parrott petitioned for land in July of 1819 stating he was here for two years, he was 27 years old and was a native of Ireland. He also seems to be part of the group arriving with Francis Ellis. He received Lot # 26 in Stonehaven. Matthew Parrott did not remain in New Bandon but sold his land and moved on to Ohio. He was never married. Matthew died in 1841.

John Parrott stated in his petition of July 1819, that he was a native of Ireland. He said he was in the Province for two years and he was 23 years of age, having his year of birth as 1796. John married Dora “Dorendo” Bateman October 25, 1820. John and his family moved to Warsaw, Ohio in 1837 and died in Kansas in 1879.

Other first Irish families who arrived in the early to late 1820’s to 1830’s and did their part to settled the Parish of New Bandon, which extends from Teague’s Brook to Grande Anse were Richard Dawson, Patrick Sinnott, Thomas Smith, Jeremiah Murphy, Patrick Foley, Daniel Coughlan, Partick Reardon, Benjamin Whelton, William Eddy, Robert Eady, Robert Sealy, Richard Sealy, Richard Peters, John Jagoe, Abram Jagoe, Walter Jagoe, William Sargent, Thomas Dempsey, William Hornibrook, Robert Bateman, Swanton Bateman. There may be others of Irish ancestry not mentioned.

[1] Rev George Best, Report to the Colonial Office, London, England 1825

Best, Rev George, Report to the Colonial Office, London, England, 1825.
______, Department of Natural Resources, Land Petitions for New Bandon, Gloucester County
Hunter, Margaret, Pioneer Settlers of Chaleur Bay.
______, Parish records, Bathurst Diocese.
Parrot, Donald, The Parrott Family History, unpublished.
Toner, Peter (ed.), New Ireland Remembered, Historical Essays on the Irish in New Brunswick, Fredericton, New Ireland Press, 1988.