James Astle & James Astle, 1784 in Quebec

As unusual as the Astle surname is in colonial America, there were actually two men named James Astle who were loyal to the king during the American Revolution and both of whom removed to Canada at the close of the war.

On the 1784 Paspebiac Land Lottery List with “James Astles” was a “James Astles Jr.”, a young unmarried man. The elder James was my Loyalist ancestor, who was married and had a family. My ancestors arrived on the “Snow Liberty” while the other James arrived on the brig “Polly.”

DNA testing of a 4 times great grandson of each of these men has proven that the great grandsons are likely to have a common ancestor within six to eight generations. That means that the two James Astles of 1784 were likely father-son, uncle-nephew or cousins.

What became of James Astles Jr. can be seen by examining Quebec records. He arrived in Quebec on 9 June 1784. Arriving with my James Astles and family were an unmarried Abel Davis (who married Angelica Astle, daughter of my James and his wife, Elizabeth McLean) and Robert Flowers. It is surmised that Sarah Flowers was a daughter of Robert Flowers, who brought a wife and three children with him to Quebec. Sarah Flowers married James Astles (not mine, the other one) and they settled in New Carlisle, Bonaventure County, Quebec, Canada. Spelling of the name in New Carlisle was generally recorded as Assels.

St. Andrew’s Anglican Church records show that James Assles Sr., farmer of New Carlisle, died on 1 October 1823, aged 64 years, in the presence of his sons, John and James, and other relatives.

A petition to the government on 3 January 1817, found on leaf 61 in the 1816 Relief or 1816 Famine book, by James Assles of New Carlisle, includes his age (61) and the fact that he was supporting a wife and ten children during difficult times. It also states his military service during the war totaled 12 years in the 20th and 53rd Regiments of Foot, loyal to the king.

Children of James and Sarah (Flowers) Assles:

  1. James, born c1798, New Carlisle, Bonaventure, Quebec, Canada; died 18 November 1880, New Carlisle, Bonaventure, Quebec, Canada; married Margaret Forsyth, 1 December 1825, New Carlisle, Bonaventure, Quebec, Canada. Margaret was born c1802; died 13 February 1881.
  2. John, born c1800, New Carlisle, Bonaventure, Quebec, Canada; died 27 April 1872, New Carlisle, Bonaventure, Quebec, Canada; married Flora Morrison, 19 April 1825, New Carlisle, Bonaventure, Quebec, Canada. Flora was born c1805, Quebec, Canada; died after 1881.
  3. Samuel Robert, born 5 July 1803, New Carlisle, Bonaventure, Quebec, Canada. Many trees online show him dying in May 1824. That record is a record of an adult baptism, not his death/burial record. Samuel died 8 August 1827, New Carlisle, Bonaventure, Quebec, Canada. He apparently did not marry.
  4. Alice, born c1804, New Carlisle, Bonaventure, Quebec, Canada; died 6 September 1892, New Carlisle, Bonaventure, Quebec, Canada; married James J. Morrison, 1 September 1824, New Carlisle, Bonaventure, Quebec, Canada. He was born c1794, Quebec, Canada; died after 1871.
  5. Ann, born c1811, New Carlisle, Bonaventure, Quebec, Canada; died 25 December 1851, New Carlisle, Quebec, Canada, aged about 40 years; married William Langler, 2 February 1832, New Carlisle, Bonaventure, Quebec, Canada. William was born c1808, England; died 7 May 1885, New Carlisle, Bonaventure, Quebec, Canada.
  6. Mary Jane, born c1812, New Carlisle, Bonaventure, Quebec, Canada; died after 1861; married Daniel Sawyer, 30 December 1828, New Carlisle, Quebec, Canada. He was born c1796, Quebec, Canada; died 14 December 1861.
  7. William Campbell, born c1812, Quebec, Canada; died 24 October 1884, New Carlisle, Quebec, Canada; widower when he married Mary Jane Imhoff, 6 November 1843, New Carlisle, Bonaventure, Quebec, Canada. Mary Jane was born c1822, Quebec, Canada; died after 1881. He most likely married (1) (Sarah?) Morrison and was the father of the Sarah Ann, daughter of William Assels, who died at Chatham on 27 June 1859, aged 18, at the residence of her uncle, James Morrison. Sarah’s mother may have died giving birth to her.
  8. Maria, born c1814, New Carlisle, Bonaventure, Quebec, Canada; died before 1861; married Daniel Merett/Marett, 16 April 1834. Maria’s marriage record stated that her mother, formerly the wife of James Assles, was afterwards married to Farquhar McRae. Daniel Marett is in the 1861 census, nine names above Hugh Assels. Daniel was born c1810, England; died after 1871.
  9. Hugh, born c1818, Quebec, Canada; died 16 September 1891, New Carlisle, Quebec, Canada; married Helen/Ellen Adams, 13 December 1843. Ellen was born c1827, Quebec, Canada; died after 1881.
  10. Andrew, born c1821, New Carlisle, Bonaventure, Quebec, Canada; died 1881-1891; married Lucia/Lucy Dobson, 3 January 1844. Their marriage announcement identifies him as the son of the late James Assels and Sarah Flowers. Andrew lived in New Carlisle at the time he married. Lucia was born c1823, Quebec, Canada; died after 1891.

The most interesting detail learned about this family may be that James Astles aka Assels, served in the 20th and 53rd Regiments of Foot. The 20th Regiment was organized in Devon, England. The 53rd Regiment was organized in Shropshire. Both regiments arrived to help fortify Quebec in the spring of 1776. It isn’t evident in the records in which regiment James Assels first served, but Devon and Shropshire might be hints as to the English origins of both James Astles. There is a James Astle, son of John, baptized on 28 August 1755 in Nantwich, Cheshire, England. There is also a James Astle, baptized on 1 May 1748, son of John and Martha Astle of Wilmslow, also in Cheshire. It’s about 27 miles away from Nantwich. Cheshire borders Shropshire. Perhaps there are clues here that can be followed!

One thought on “James Astle & James Astle, 1784 in Quebec”

  1. I am working on genealogy for my son-in-law. His mother is Fay Munn Setter. Munn was also a Loyalist. It appears that they are descendants of James Astle Sr. I am now looking for more specific documents Fay was born in Fredericton New Brunswick where many of her ancestors were born. Fay and son Shane Setter now live in Chilliwack, BC Canada. Thank you for all this information.

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