New Look at Catherine, Wife of Loyalist Robert Carlisle

One of my enduring brick walls has been the maiden name of the wife of Loyalist Robert Carlisle.  I’m not sure a new look has uncovered any further clues. Here is what is known:

Robert Carlisle was born c1751-1759, place unknown. His name appears on the List of Men, Women and Children, Late of the Royal Fencible American Regiment in the District of Passamaquoddy. The list is dated 2 July 1784. In 1785, he appears on a St. John, New Brunswick, Canada list as a barber.

Robert appears as a single man on the Royal Fencible American Regiment list. Based on the approximate births of his children, his oldest known child, Robert Jr., was born c1784-1785, so Robert married very soon after the RFA list was created.

I’ve taken another look at the few documents that Robert Carlisle and his children left in history.

Facts about Robert:
1. Served in the Royal Fencible Americans, assigned mostly to Nova Scotia, during the American Revolution
2. Single man on the 2 July 1784 list of men, women and children from the RFA who arrived in New Brunswick
3. Robert is listed as a barber on a 1785 St. John, New Brunswick, Canada list
4. He was born c1751-1759, place, parents, siblings all unknown
5. Robert died in 1834 in Charlotte, Washington, Maine per widow Catherine’s pension request
6. Proven children, at least by location, are Robert, John, James, Daniel, Abigail, Catherine and Mary.
7. Possible children, because of location and scarcity of the Carlisle surname in that time period: Tyson, Hannah, George, William, Ann and Benjamin.
8. Robert appears in only a couple of land deeds. He sold property to Christian Steeves of Moncton and then Christian sold the same property to James Carlisle. His land bordered that of Daniel Carlisle and George Pitfield.

Robert married Catherine (Maiden Name Unknown) about 1784 or 1785. She was born c1761 and died after 1840, probably in New Brunswick, Canada. She has not been found in the 1851 census.

My goal is to find some clue as to the maiden name of Catherine. As far as I know, no one has even come up with any suggestions.

The Carlisles moved around a bit, which hasn’t helped in the research department:


Carlisle Residences

Starting from the top, clockwise, John Carlisle (son of Robert) of Sussex married Elizabeth Cashen in 1813 in Newcastle, Northumberland County, New Brunswick, Canada. He later moved to (second) Buctouche, Kent County. Third is Sussex, which is where Robert Carlisle eventually received land and settled. Fourth is St. John, where he was in 1785. Fifth, some of the Carlisle family crossed into Maine c1815-1820 and lived in Charlotte, Washington County, Maine.

However, Robert Carlisle Jr. filed a land deed on 20 September 1831, selling his land in Sussex, but was identified as then living in Upper Canada.

This is quite messy in terms of research, isn’t it? The land deeds tell just a bit about the FAN club of Robert Carlisle. There is one more land deed, found in St. John, and dated 11 July 1785, in which Robert Carlisle and WIFE Catherine, are selling a lot in St. John to Robert Patullo. Therefore, it is a fact that sometime between 2 July 1784 and 11 July 1785, Robert Carlisle got married.

I find this deed with Robert Patullo to be very curious, due to the description of the land being sold:

Robert Carlile & wife
to Robert Patullo

This Indenture made the Eleventh day of
July in the year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred
and Eighty five Between Robert Carlisle of the City of Saint
John and Catharine his wife of the one part and Robert
Patullo of the same place of the other part – witnesseth
that they the said Robert Carlisle and Catharine his wife
for and in consideration of the Sum of Two Pounds Six Shillings

Page 2

and eight pence Current Money of the Province of New
Brunswick to them in hand paid by the said Robert Pattul-
lo before the sealing and delivery hereof Have granted
bargained, sold, released, conveyed and confirmed and by
these Presents Do grant, bargain, sell, release, convey and
confirm unto the said Robert Pattullo and to his Heirs
and Assigns for ever All that certain Piece or Parcel of
Ground situate lying and being in Prince William Street in
the City of Saint John aforesaid being that part of Lot
Number Eight Hundred and Nine on which the Dwelling House
of the said Robert Pattullo now stands containing in breadth
in front on the said Street Two feet and an half more or less
and extending the same width back to the rear of the said
Lot, together with all and singular the Privileges Advantages
and Appertenances thereunto belonging or in anywise
appertaining – To have and to hold the said Piece or
Parcel of Ground and Premises with the appertenances
unto the said Robert Pattullo his Heirs and assigns to the
sole and only proper use benefit and behoof of him the
said Robert Pattullo his Heirs and assigns for ever And all
the Estate right, Title, Interest, Property, Claim and Demand
whatsoever of them the said Robert Carlisle and Catharine
his wife of in or to the same or any part or parcel thereof
with the appertenanaces – and the said Robert Carlisle for
himself and for Catharine his wife doth covenant
and agree to and with the said Robert Pattullo his Heirs
and Assigns, that they are the true and lawfull owners
of the said hereby granted and bargained Premises and
have in themselves good Right, full Power and lawfull
authority to sell and convey the same in manner
aforesaid. And the said Robert Carlisle for himself and for

Page 3

for Catharine his wife doth further covenant and agree
to and with the said Robert Pattullo his Heirs and
Assigns that they have done no act or Thing whereby
the Premises aforesaid may be anywise incumbered
and that they and their Executors and administrators
the said hereby granted and bargained Premises and every
part and parcel thereof to him the said Robert Pattullo
his Heirs and Assigns against the lawfull Claim and
Demand of every person whatsoever shall and will
forever hereafter warrant and defend – In witness
whereof the Parties to these Presents have hereunto set
their Hands and Seals the day and year first above
written.

Robert Carlile (seal)
Catharine (X) Carlile (seal)

Sealed in the presence of David Blair, I. Hedden
St. John New Brunswick
Registered the 19th Dec. 1785 on the oath of Isaac Hedden

First of all, who in the heck sells a strip of a lot that is 2 1/2 feet wide and, not stated in the deed, but about 40 feet long in 1785??? Robert Carlisle apparently was granted lot 809 in Parr Town, which became St. John, but there is no earlier deed yet found recording the sale of lot 809. Why was it necessary for Robert and Catharine to sell such a tiny piece of that lot, a lot on which Robert Patullo, a sea captain, had already built his house?

I was also hoping that perhaps one of the witnesses might be a clue to Catherine’s family, but that appears to not be the case. St. John was literally built almost overnight with Loyalists being granted lots and provided with 500 pieces of wooden boards with which to build their new homes. Lots and grants were being constantly bought and sold and deeds recorded. David Blair and Isaac Heddon (a surveyor of Parr Town) were government officials who signed as witnesses on many deeds in that time period.

Tomorrow, I will review some of the other possible clues that the Carlisles left behind, one of which might or might not lead to Catharine’s maiden name.

2 thoughts on “New Look at Catherine, Wife of Loyalist Robert Carlisle”

  1. If a bad survey results in a house or other building being built on or over a property line the neighbors may negotiate a small land sale to rectify the encroachment rather than tearing down the building. That still happens today. Anything that generates a paper trail of our ancestors is helpful.

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