James Astle, Loyalist of New York, Quebec and New Brunswick

While Recommended Reads is on hiatus, I will be sharing some digitized resources  that I have written through the years and will also share a few very locale-specific books that have been invaluable to me along my genealogical journey.

Today, I’d like to share my published work on Loyalist James Astle of New York, Quebec and New Brunswick. As with my Williams book, I donated a copy of this article to the Family History Library, which has recently digitized it. However, for some unknown reason, access is limited to viewing at the library. I’ve sent an email request and made an in-person request the last time I was there to change the settings to allow public viewing online, but that has not happened.

This article was written back in 1993 and printed out on a dot matrix printer. (NOTE: This is now digitally accessible on FamilySearch.)

James Astle married Elizabeth McLean in Schenectady, New York in 1770. They had the following children:

1. Angelica, who married (1) Abel Davis and (2) James Walls. Angelica was born in 1774 and died between 1818 and 1836
2. Hannah (possibly) who married Benjamin Davis. She was probably born about 1776
3. John, who married Hannah Underhill Vanderbeck. He was born in 1779 and died 15 December 1856
4. Daniel, who married Jane, maiden name unproven but possibly Parker. He was born about 1783 and died by November 1817.
5. Joseph, who married Mary, maiden name unproven but likely Cooper. He was born about 1786 and died 19 January 1870.
6. Elizabeth (possibly) who married John Mitchell. Elizabeth died between February 1816 and 1 June 1818.

Loyalist James Astle has hundreds of descendants today. The name was quite unique in colonial America and most of his grandchildren remained in New Brunswick, Canada for many years. A few ventured back into Maine in the late 1800’s.

There was a second James Astle on the 1784 Paspebiac, Quebec lists. He appears to be a younger man than my James and was unmarried at the time. DNA testing by a 4x great grandson of each of these James Astles shows a common ancestor within about eight generations.

I have never had the feeling that these two men were father and son, although it is possible. However, I think it is more likely that they were uncle and nephew or cousins, as they didn’t even resettle in the same province. My James went to New Brunswick, while the young James remained in Quebec.

To my knowledge, the majority of descendants in these two Astle families remained in Canada, but I have not tried to trace them into the 1900’s. There are a few descendants, like me, who live in the United States and are descended from the Astles who moved to Maine.

Please contact me if you are a descendant of either James Astle.

25 thoughts on “James Astle, Loyalist of New York, Quebec and New Brunswick”

  1. My grandmother Hulda Susan Bamfords mother was Grace Astel. I have not found anything on Grace. They lived in NB Canada. If you know of A Grace in your line would you connect with me. Thanks

    1. Hi Ann my name is Michelle and my grandmother Alice Astle had a sister Grace who I cannot find anything on. I believe my grandmother was born in Blackville New Brunswick 1873 and marries Daniel Sullivan on Aug. 26th 1890. I would love any information you have IF this is the right family

      1. Hey so your grandmothers sister grace is my 2nd great grandmother. I’m related through her son ( Lesley Curtis) than my grandma ( Beatrice Curtis). There was recently a theatre play in blackville telling the story of the astle Curtis family at a reunion. There’s some royalty involved which I’m trying to document

    2. Hi Ann, I believe my grandmother Alice Rebecca Astle ,(married Daniel Henry Sullivan) from Blackville New Brunswick had a sister named Grace. Parents are James Peter Astle (born 1812 died March 2 1903 and Maria Jane Ferguson (born 1830 died May 28 1920). There is also a brother James Peter Astle 1863-1945 (I believe there may be another brother). I have Grace E (Astle) Curtis 1865-1944. I hope this helps. If you have information regarding Alice, I would appreciate it as I know her parents are listed in her obituary but I never see her name listed as a child or sibling? Very confusing 😕

  2. Hi All – My grandmother, Isabelle Grace Astle/Astel, was borne in New Brunswick (Fredericton, I think). Her parents were James Peter Astle and Elizabeth L Underhill. They left New Brunswick in 1902 or so when she was a baby and settled in Stanwood, WA. He was a lumberman and built their home before Elizabeth brought 8 children from NB on the train! My research seems to reveal that his lineage is James Peter Astle (1813-1903) and Mariah Jane Ferguson, Joseph Astle 1786-1870 and Mary Cooper (1789-1861) and James Astle (1745-1815) and Elizabeth McLean. I noted that there was another James , married to Sarah Flowers. I am fairly certain that my great-grandfather is the descendant of James and Elizabeth McLean as the Underhill history has some detail on the Astles, and my great-uncle did some research that connected my great-grandfather to James Peter Astle as his father. We know he was married to Mariah Ferguson. The more I uncover, sometimes the more confused I get. it seems like everything is very clear, then you read more info about the Astley/Astle/Astel history in England and I haven’t been able to put it all together yet.

    It is late and I don’t think I made things very clear, but if anyone would like to look at my family tree on Ancestry, I would be happy to hear from you and invite you to view it. If you see that I have gone in the wrong direction, please tell me!

    Also, if you have any information that would enrich my understanding of the Astle lineage, especially as it relates to the England Astley connection I would love to see it.

    It find it interesting that my grandmother’s middle name is Grace.

    I would enjoy hearing more about my family.

    Best, Sandra

  3. I was handed a family tree a few years back and I’m descended from James Astle, who settled in Northumberland County after the American Revolution. I have some information around here somewhere if you’re interested. I’m not sure if it’s anything more than you might already have or not.

  4. Thanks Linda and Sandra for the Astle info. On a side note on the Astle history, Benjamin Davis daughters, Mary and Dorothy, who married Daniel McGraw and Hugh McGraw, are my MacRae side. These McGraw/ MacRae’s were not related to Faaguhar McGraw/McRae’s of the 42nd Regiment. They were an unrelated family of McGraw’s/MacRaes. YDNA testing has proven this. Just FYI Ann

    1. Are you descended from Mary Davis and Daniel McGraw? Would you be willing to compare DNA? I am descended from Mary Ann McGraw and David Bruce, and I would dearly love to see if that is her family.

    2. Hi Ann. I am trying to confirm that the child of Hannah Astle and Benjamin Davis was Mary Davis b. abt 1796 in Ludlow, NB, who married Daniel McGraw. Just can’t link Mary’s lineage for certain. If it is the same Mary, she and Daniel will have had at least 5 children, the eldest of which was Dorothy “Dolly” McCrea/McGraw b. 1818 in Blackville. Any insight you have would be invaluable. Thanks!

  5. Hi Linda,
    I just found this site so I hope it’s not too late to comment. I am a descendent of James Astle, through his grandson George and Elizabeth Lyons. Their son Jeremiah Lyons Astle was my great grandfather. He was born in Miramichi NB but moved to Houlton Maine, where my grandmother, Ada Mae Astle was born. When I search further back than James there are references to the name being “Astley” in England. Is to thought the name was changed or is it a different family?

    1. I am working on my son-in-law’s ancestry. James and Joseph Astle appear to be his 6th and 5th grandfathers. Lots of family history along the Miramachi River in NB. I read a book based on a true story with embellishments to author’s ancestor’s diary titled. “The Nine Lives of Charlotte Taylor” with lots of details of living along the M. River in the 1700’s and more. I found it very interesting. Do you have lots of earlier history on the Astle families?

  6. Hello, I too descend from James Astle & Elizabeth McLean. They are my 5th great grandparents. Their son John Astle m. Hannah Underhill Vanderbeck had a dau. Moriah (Maria) Hannah Astle. Moriah m. William Walls and had a son Francis and m. Eliza Hickey. Francis and Eliza’s son , Howard married Justina Sadler (from the founding families in Deer Isle, Me) it looks like Francis and Eliza emigrated to Maine in the Blue Hills section. Howard and Justina had a son Walter who is my great grandfather. I am still digging away and appreciate you sharing your information.

  7. Hi All……
    I am also a descendant of James Astle. He is my 5th great-grandfather. I am looking to see if anyone has any story’s and or pictures of these family members. I moved away from Maine when I was 2 and am trying to re-connect with living relatives. Would love to hear of any stories… Thanks Debi (McCormick) Hunt

  8. Can you tell me why Hannah Astle m. Benj Davis has (possibly) after her first name. It’s very difficult to confirm that Hannah is Benj’s wife; there is a Hannah Wells marrying a Benj Davis in the records. Benj is my 5th GGmother and I’m trying to confirm his wife’s info. Thanks for any help!

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