You never know what tidbit of information will break open a brick wall, especially when it is found in a completely unexpected source.
First, I happened to come across an image of an index card, found on Ancestry, for an early California pioneer, Daniel Carlisle. It is part of the collection at the California State Library in Sacramento.
How did I come across this card for a person who I didn’t know? I was looking for traces of two of the sons of my Loyalist ancestor, Robert Carlisle and his wife, Catherine (MNU). Both sons were born in the late 1780s. Daniel sold land in Kings County, New Brunswick, Canada in 1816 and disappeared from the records. He was married, though, as wife “Alison” released dower rights.
Land deeds helped out with Robert Jr., too, as he sold land in Kings County, but stated that he was a resident of Upper Canada, which is modern day Ontario. I was able to track Robert to Kent County, Ontario, Canada, where he died between 1848 and 1850, again based on land records.
On a whim, I began searching websites for “Daniel Carlisle” of Ontario, hoping that Robert and Daniel might have both settled near each other, if Daniel was even still alive to be able to do so. Like I said, it was a whim and I had no clue what had happened to Daniel.
That’s when this magical card appeared:
The hair on the back of my neck tingled for several reasons:
1. Daniel, born 1825, was of an age to be a child of Robert OR Daniel Carlisle.
2. Daniel was born in CANADA in or near KENT, the very county where Robert settled.
3. Daniel’s mother was ELSIE STOVER. I was very familiar with the Stover surname, as Elisha Stover, son of Loyalist Peter Stover, married into my Stewart line, which had married into my Carlisle line. Like the Carlisles and the Stewarts, Peter Stover settled into hi new life in Canada in Kings County, New Brunswick. Furthermore, in his senior years, Peter Stover left New Brunswick to live with adult children in Kent County, Ontario!
Remember I said that Daniel’s 1816 land sale includes “Alison,” who released her dower rights? Well, remove the final letter N and you have “Aliso.” I’ve found variant spellings of Elsie in the early days and young ladies with that name are recorded as Ailsey, Alcy, Elcey, and more. It doesn’t take much imagination to see how a slight misunderstanding of her name might have led the county clerk to add an N and turn her into Alison, which I’ve always thought very odd for a name of someone born in the 1700s.
It also doesn’t take much to see how “Aliso” could phonetically be a match for Elcey, as the name was later passed down in this family.
My curiosity was way more than piqued and I immediately headed to FamilySearch to look for land deeds for Peter Stover in Kent County, Ontario, Canada. I found several, but one, filed in 1835, was immediately followed by a land deed recorded by Peter CARLISLE! Both lived in Harwich, Kent, Ontario. It just so happened that Robert Carlisle Jr., who lived in Ontario by 1831, also lived in HARWICH!
I think I stumbled onto another possible child of Daniel Carlisle! A further search turned up a land patent for Daniel Carlisle for Lot 7 in Harwich on the town line bordering Howard Township. It was dated 1837, so this Daniel couldn’t have been Daniel the 49er.
I quite unwittingly stumbled onto two of the sons of Daniel Carlisle, as I was able to trace Daniel and “Alison” and fill in more of the puzzle pieces of their lives. The added bonus is that I now also have “Alison”s maiden name!
To answer my question “What do Loyalist Peter Stover and 49er Daniel Carlisle have in common?”
Peter Stover’s daughter, Elsie (by whatever spelling) is the mother of Daniel Carlisle Jr. Peter is therefore the grandfather of Daniel Carlisle.
I will be telling more of the stories of Peter Stover, along with Robert and Daniel Carlisle, along with Daniel the 49er, in future posts.
Remember to cast a wide net for difficult-to-find ancestors. You never know where that essential bit of information will be found!