Robert Carlisle Jr. of Ontario, Canada, Son of a Loyalist

During the last few months, I’ve written about newly found pieces of the Loyalist Robert Carlisle puzzle. Today’s post will share the story of Robert Carlisle Jr. and his family.

Robert Carlisle was born c1785, New Brunswick, Canada, likely the eldest son of Loyalist Robert and wife Catherine (MNU) Carlisle, who lived in Parrtown, now St. John, at that time.

No marriage record has been found for Robert Jr., but he married (1) Elizabeth (thought to be Lambert?), c1806, probably Sussex Vale, Kings, New Brunswick, Canada. Elizabeth died before August 1830. (2) Mary (MNU) Stewart, widow of William Stewart, before 8 August 1830, probably Kent, Ontario, Canada, when Mary sold land in Kent, Ontario, Canada as Mary Carlile.

Robert Jr. died between 1848, when he and Mary sold land in Harwich, Kent, Ontario, Canada, and 10 March 1850, when Mary sold another tract of land  in Harwich to Peter Shubert. At that time, she was called the widow of Robert Carlisle.

Although it took many years, and the internet, to pick up the trail of Robert and his family, he and Elizabeth did help out by baptizing all his children at one time in Sussex in 1817. Therefore, there were five names to look for and daughters Anna and Catherine married in New Brunswick.

If his wife Elizabeth was a Lambert, her father is likely Loyalist John Lambert, who was first at Parrtown in 1785. Later, he received a land grant on the Kennebecasis, like Robert Carlisle Sr.

Eventually, Lambert removed to Deer Island in the West Isles, New Brunswick, Canada, but there are a couple of early Lambert families in the Ontario land records, who may have been part of a family migration to Ontario.

Mary, widow of William Stewart, may also have been from Sussex, Kings, New Brunswick, Canada, as  William may have been part of the extended Stewart family in Kings County. I am also descended from that family, which included Loyalists Walter, James and probably John.

Robert was initially linked to Ontario, Canada because he filed a deed in Kings County, New Brunswick, Canada in 1831, describing himself as living in Upper Canada.

It appears that Robert and Mary had no children together and no other Carlisles have popped up in Ontario that appear to be other children of Robert Jr.

Extensive data was found on the Fennacy family, although it is a nightmare name to search in Canadian records. I use LAC’s free census website. The search engine is slow and the only wildcard that can be used is one * at the end of the beginning of a surname.

Martin and Anna seemed to settle on Fennacy as the preferred spelling of their name, but no one told the record keepers. I found it as Finsey, Finesy, Fennacie, Phenecie (!), Fennessey, Fanacy, and countless other ways. That is a lot of wild cards in a slow search engine. First names can’t include wildcards, so Ann, Anna and Annie required three searches. Another issue is that it is impossible to page from, say, page 12 to 13, if the family is enumerated on two pages. Lastly, trial and error proved that an advanced search for, say, Westmorland and Moncton in New Brunswick won’t bring any results unless “Moncton (City)” is entered as the place.

There are many quirks with the website, but in spite of the weaknesses, I am grateful that there is an online free  option to read Canadian census records. My mother always said patience is a virtue!

I was also very excited to look at some of my DNA matches who had Carlisle as a surname in the family tree. The #2 person on the list is descended from Martin and Anna Fennacy! Fun! 🙂


  1. Anna, born 14 August 1804, Kings County, New Brunswick, Canada; died 21 January 1891, Lapeer, Lapeer, Michigan: married Martin Finesy/ Fennacy, 20 April 1823, Sussex, Kings County, New Brunswick, Canada. Martin was born c1800, possibly in Ireland; died between 30 January 1858, the date he wrote his will, and 14 April 1858, the date the will was recorded, Harwich, Kent, Ontario, Canada. He owned Lot 6 in Harwich, which was on the town line of Harwich and Howard – important for the study of Ann’s uncle, Daniel Carlisle. Fennacy is spelled at least ten ways in records, including starting with PH instead of F.
  2. Catherine, born c1807, probably Kings County, New Brunswick, Canada; died 1890, Queens County, New Brunswick, Canada; married James Starkey, 6 February 1832, Queens County, New Brunswick, Canada. He was born c1801; died 1869, Queens County, New Brunswick, Canada.
  3. Abigail, born 1809; died after 1817 baptism; no further record.
  4. John, born 1811; died after 1817 baptism; no further record.
  5. Hugh, born 1813, Nova Scotia, Canada; died between 23 February 1853, when he lived in Dover East, Kent, Ontario, Canada and quit claimed land to Edward Fenesy (Deed Book B:945, memorial #633) and 1855, when Joannah was remarried to Daniel Richmond, Kent, Ontario, Canada; married Johannah Shanahan, c1844, probably Ontario Canada, as her second husband. Johannah was born 1823/1829, Ireland and was Catholic. Hugh was Episcopalian. She married (1) Richard Fuller, 31 October 1843, Detroit, Wayne, Michigan and (3) Daniel Richmond, c1855, probably Ontario, Canada. She had one child, Mary Matilda, born c1844, Michigan with Richard Fuller, three children – John, Elizabeth and Martin – with Hugh and then seven children with Daniel Richmond.

If you are descended from Robert and Elizabeth, or any other child of Loyalist Robert and Catherine (MNU) Carlisle, I would love to hear from you.

One thought on “Robert Carlisle Jr. of Ontario, Canada, Son of a Loyalist”

  1. Are you the person who is researching the Larisons etc.? If so if you could please send me your email address I would love to share my 8 years of research on the family with you. My email is Thank you.

    Jim Lawrason
    27 Royal Henley Blvd.
    St. Catharines, Ontario
    905 646-0851

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