Loyalist Walter Stewart: Big Update!

My mother always like to offer up words of wisdom like: Many hands make light work. I have to say I agree with her and one of the many reasons I love, love, love to blog is that cousins, both close and distant, eventually find one of my posts and leave a comment.

Almost two years to the day – 16 October 2016 – I wrote a second post about Loyalist Walter Stewart, my 4X great grandfather. A few days ago, Richard Thorne, also a descendant of Walter, left a comment on that post indicating that he was surprised I hadn’t included anything about Walter’s second wife and children.

Wait a minute! What!!?? I never had found any documents indicating that Walter had married anyone except for Elizabeth Briggs on 3 March 1774 in Poughkeepsie, Dutchess, New York. It indicated that both resided in nearby Fishkill, which is about 12 miles away.

I am very happy to say that my newly found cousin, Richard, is a thorough researcher AND he lives in Canada, which gives him in-person access to records unavailable to me.

Richard has shared a wealth of information about the Stewart family, including the fact that Walter had not two wives, but married a third time. Best of all, the data is all documented!

Because of all the new information, I am going to discuss this family as if it was the first time I’ve written about them.

Loyalist Walter Stewart was born c1742, place unknown, whether in New York or the U.K.; died 23 July 1827, aged about 85. He was buried at Hampton Anglican Church cemetery and was noted to be of Kingston, Kings County, New Brunswick, Canada.

Walter married (1) Elizabeth Briggs, 23 March 1774, Poughkeepsie, Dutchess, New York (2) Sarah (MNU), by 1799 (3) Althea Wetmore, widow of Reuben Craft (who died c1801), c1801-1804.

I’ve wondered in the past why Walter Stewart’s children weren’t documented until 1785 if he married in 1774. I thought perhaps more than one child died very young and/or they were daughters whose names were lost to time.

I guess either of those hypotheses are still possibilities, but Richard believes that Walter and Elizabeth may not have had any surviving children at all.

It’s also a mystery as to whether Walter Stewart arrived at Parr Town (St. John) with a wife, whether it be Elizabeth or wife #2, Sarah (MNU).

What is certain is that Walter and Sarah were married by 1799, when they sold land in Saint John to Nathaniel Golding, an innkeeper.

Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada DB E-1:160-161
Source: FamilySearch

I am not going to transcribe this deed because the only important parts of it for my purposes right now are the opening which identifies Walter Stewart and wife Sarah and the closing where Walter and Sarah each signed with their marks.

It tentatively appears that Sarah (MNU) may well be the mother of Walter’s first set of children.


1. John, born about 31 July 1785, New Brunswick (age at death reported in the Eastport Sentinel newspaper) Canada; died 28 November 1869, Mars Hill, Aroostook County, Maine; married Catherine Carlisle, 28 December 1814, Sussex, Kings County, New Brunswick, Canada. This Stewart family lived in Charlotte, Washington County, Maine in the 1820s and 1830s, but moved to Bridgewater, Aroostook County, by 1840. Catherine died in Calais, Maine on 30 December 1888, as reported in the Eastport Sentinel newspaper.

2. Walter, born c1788, New Brunswick, Canada; died 1868 in Cardwell, Kings County, New Brunswick, Canada; married Catherine Myers, 26 March 1814, Sussex, Kings County, New Brunswick, Canada. She was born c1790; died 1842; buried in Pioneer Cemetery, Penobsquis, Kings, New Brunswick, Canada.

3. William, born June 1789, documented in an 1810 land petition in which he stated he was 21 years old in June of that year and wished land near that of his brother, Walter; died April 1870 (corrected – see comment below), Mars Hill, Aroostook County, Maine; no marriage record has been found for him. William’s death is recorded in the mortality schedule of Aroostook County, Maine. Previously, I had thought he died in April 1869, but he actually died just before the June 1880 U.S. census. William married possibly a Graves.

4. Mary, born c1792, New Brunswick, Canada; died 26 July 1857 in Harwich, Kent County, Ontario, Canada; married Elisha Stover on 16 August 1814, Sussex, Kings County, New Brunswick, Canada. Elisha was born about 1797 and died after 1851, possibly in Harwich or Howard.

5. Ann, born c1795; died 19 August 1824; buried at Tinity Anglican Cemetery, Sussex Corner, Kings, New Brunswick, Canada; married John Preble, 30 June 1819, Sussex, Kings County, New Brunswick, Canada. John Preble married (2) Sarah McCready on 9 June 1825, also in Sussex. Sarah died on 31 January 1842 in Sussex, according to an online tree (which I treat as a clue, not a fact!).

On Saturday, we will take a look at Walter’s second set of children with wife Althea. This was all new information to me!

Walter married (3) Althea Wetmore Craft, widow of Reuben Craft between 1801, when Reuben died, and 1804, the tentative birth year of their first known child.


1. Elizabeth Ann, born c1804; married William Wetmore, 7 June 1823, Kings County, New Brunswick, Canada
2. Charles
3. Caleb James, born c1809; died 7 February 1878. He went by James; married Amy S. Golding, 13 November 1830, New Brunswick, Canada. She was born c1812; died 19 March 1859, aged about 47 years old.
4. Deborah Catherine, born c1810; died after 1871 census; married George Puddington, 16 May 1823, Kingston, Kings New Brunswick, Canada. He was born 19 June 1805; died after 1871 census. Both are last found in the 1871 census of Norton, Kings, New Brunswick, Canada (Source: Library Archives Canada online):

5. Esther Susannah; born c1807 based on 1871 census, but 3 April 1815 per gravestone in Anglican Church Cemetery, Woodstock, Carleton, New Brunswick, Canada; died 29 August 1908, Carleton, New Brunswick, Canada; married Thomas William Golding, 13 January 1835. He was born 14 April 1810; died 11 June 1886, per gravestone at Anglican Church Cemetery, Carleton, New Brunswick, Canada; baptized 29 April 1814.
6. Althea Jane W., born c1813; married (1) William Branscombe, 5 April 1841. He was born c1813; died before 1861 census; (2) David Ross, before 1861 census, when Lavinia and John Branscombe, ages 19 and 14, are living in the Ross home. Althea went by Jane.



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