Descendants of Loyalists Robert & Catherine Carlisle, Part 1: Children

I have spent many weeks over the last few months diligently updating and documenting descendants of Loyalist Robert Carlisle and his wife, Catherine (MNU). Although I have written about both of my 4X great grandparents a number of times through the years, I suddenly realized that I haven’t ever written about their many descendants as one family.

Therefore, today, I will remedy that, beginning with all the current background clues I have amassed through the decades (yes, decades!) and information about their children.

NOTE: PANB = Provincial Archives of New Brunswick

Robert Carlisle was born between 1750-1760; he died in 1834 in Charlotte, Washington, Maine and married Catherine (MNU) between July 1784, when he was listed as a single man in Parrtown, New Brunswick, Canada and July 1785, when Catherine released dower rights in a land deed.

While family lore says that he came from Ireland, the call to organize his military unit, the Royal Fencible Americans, came about in 1775 in Nova Scotia and Boston, Massachusetts. There was “Mrs. Jane Carlisle,” who married Dennis Heffernan in Halifax, Nova Scotia in December 1761 and I also had an unsourced note from years ago that a James Carlisle had died in 1761 and had a wife Jane. However, Halifax probate records don’t seem to be easily accessible. There is also a William Carlisle, who married Rachel Wickwire by 1780 and who lived in Cornwallis, Nova Scotia.

Robert’s name first appears on the Royal Fencible Americans’ list on 13 March 1776 when he was enumerated as a lance corporal. The regiment disbanded on 1 Oct 1783. Therefore, it is possible that Robert may have been born in Canada or even in the colonies if his parents were pre-Loyalists. Of course, he might well have been born in Britain. So far, no proof has emerged.

As the war ended with American independence, Robert settled for a short time in St. John, New Brunswick, appearing on the Register of Voters and City Freemen of City of St. John for 1785 (compiled from list at the New Brunswick Museum, St. John, published by the New Brunswick Genealogical Society, Newsletter #12, June 1982.) Robert was identified as a barber. Some future family members by marriage also on the list include James and John Stewart, yeomen, John Stewart, shopkeeper and Walter Stewart, yeoman. He most likely married Catherine there, but no record has been found.

Life was not easy for many of the settlers and Robert moved frequently with his young family in the early years after the war. On 17 June 1785, Robert petitioned for 100 acres of land at Quaco, New Brunswick, Canada on which he wanted to immediately settle. He must not have received that land, as on 28 July 1785, he made a new petition with John Shaw, George Cairnes and Edward Pendergrast for lands near those of Mr. Grant, again for immediate settlement.

Five years later, there was a new petition dated 2 Nov 1790 petitioning for a tract of land on the Salmon River, Kings, New Brunswick, Canada (PANB RS108, Microfilm #1037). Robert must have received that land as five years later, Robert petitioned with Capt. William Hutchinson and others for a grist mill on the Salmon River, Kings, New Brunswick, Canada (PANB RS108, Microfilm F1039).

In 1795, he was listed on a land petition with William Hutchinson in Kings County, New Brunswick. By 1806, he was on yet another land petition in Queens County, New Brunswick.

In between these petitions, Robert Carlisle and James Stewart were part of a group in Sussex petitioning for higher land, as the original granted land was flooded. (PANB RS108, Microfilm #1037) This same area is later identified as part of the parish of Sussex, where Robert and his family did, indeed, live. Lastly, on 14 Feb 1806, Robert petitioned for confirmation of land to build a house, stating that he has resided there for eight years on land on the portage of the Cumberland Road, adjoining land appointed by the government for the purpose of keeping a tavern for the accommodation of travelers. Robert, perhaps still a barber, was now also a tavern keeper. (PANB RS108, Microfilm #4171).

It appears that Robert Carlisle and his family left Sussex between 1819, which is the last time Robert or John recorded land transactions and about 1828, when John Carlisle last appears in the Anglican Church records. The Stewarts, my other ancestral line closely allied with the Carlisles,  likely removed to Maine about the same time.

In September 1840, the Schedule of Old Soldiers Certificates and Their Widows Who Served in the Revolutionary War in America was compiled. On 18 Aug 1840, Catherine Carlisle, widow of Robert, was approved to receive L10. She stated that she lived in Kings County, New Brunswick, Canada, that Robert died in 1834 in Charlotte, Washington, Maine and that she was 80 years old, so born c1760. She signed with an “X,” as she had done in 1785 when releasing her dower rights, so it appears she was unable to read or write. On 25 November 1840, James Carlisle was approved to receive her check. She is last noted in 1843 on a pension list for York County, New Brunswick, Canada.

There are four unplaced Carlisles who were also in New Brunswick quite early and I now believe only the first was a child of Robert and Catherine:

  1. At this point in time, I tend to believe that Hannah Carlisle WAS the daughter of Robert and Catherine and NOT of Robert Jr. and Elizabeth, mainly because Robert Jr. would have been just a bit too young. Hannah lived in the village of Sussex Vale at the time of her marriage, so she definitely belongs to this family. However, there is no evidence that Robert Sr. had a previous wife (he was called “single man” in 1784), but was married by the summer of 1785. His son Robert was then born no earlier than 1785 and would have been an extremely young father for the time period. Secondly, Robert and Elizabeth had five children baptized together in 1817 and it appears their oldest child was Anna, who married Martin Finesy. There was no Hannah among his children. Robert and Catherine’s other sons were too young to be Hannah’s father. Therefore, I have included Hannah on the list of Robert and Catherine’s children.
  2. George Carlisle lived in Queens County in the late 1820s, but I have found little else about him aside from the one mention of him signing a petition in 1828. That puts his birth year no later than 1807. He isn’t mentioned in the 1803 deed of Peter Wickwire giving land to his beloved grandsons (all named and all underage), but the other children were in their teens.  However, it is not impossible that George belonged to Robert and Catherine. Lastly, it is also possible that George was a brother of Stephen Carlisle, born in the United States, who married Mahala Dunphy and was living in New Brunswick in the 1820s. In any event, as he is not found after 1828, he may have died as a young man.
  3. Tyson?, born 1790; died 7 January 1816 (based on a typed copy of gravestone transcriptions). He is buried at the Boyden Family Cemetery, Perry, Washington, Maine. James’s daughter, Rachel, married Philip Boyden in 1845, so the families knew each other. Perhaps Tyson also married a Boyden? This point may be moot, as Tyson Carlisle wasn’t known to have been married and has NO KNOWN descendants.
  4. The last question mark is for Benjamin Carlisle, who married Lydia Gourley in Northumberland, New Brunswick, Canada in 1825. Others seem to think he was born in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia and that may be the case. I included him as a possible child of Robert and Catherine because John Carlisle was known to have roamed around New Brunswick through Westmorland and Kent Counties. Whether he made it to Northumberland, I don’t know, but with Benjamin’s birth year hovering around 1800, I had included him as a potential child.

However, I think it is not likely that George and Benjamin were children of Robert and Catherine. Therefore, I have left the tidbits about them in the paragraphs above, but have removed them from the list of children.


1. Robert, born c1785, New Brunswick, Canada; died between 1848, when he and Mary sold land and 10 March 1850, when Mary sold land to Peter Shubert and was called the widow of Robert Carlisle; married (1) Elizabeth (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, when Mary sold land in Kent, Ontario, Canada as Mary Carlile. Robert’s and Elizabeth’s five children were baptized together in Sussex in 1817. If 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; William Stewart may have been part of the extended Stewart family that included Loyalists Walter, James and probably John.

2. Daniel, born c1787, New Brunswick, Canada; died after 1840, when he lived in La Porte County, Indiana; married Alison/Elsie/Alcey Stover, before 12 October 1816, probably Sussex, Kings, New Brunswick, Canada. Elsie was born c1789, New Brunswick, Canada; died after 1840, if she is the female 50-59 living at home in 1840 in La Porte County, Indiana. Daniel is not found anywhere in New Brunswick records except for an 1809 petition in Kings County, New Brunswick (which means he was at least 21 at the time) and one land deed recording a land sale for acreage on the Salmon River in Sussex from Daniel and Alison to Christian Steeves on 12 October 1816. Daniel migrated to Ontario, probably with his brother, Robert’s family, and settled in Kent County, Ontario, Canada. He recorded a land patent there in 1837, but records for two of his children – Daniel and Elcey Jane – both report births in Kent, Ontario, Canada in the 1820s, so he settled there long before 1837. His assigned lot in Harwich was Lot 7 – right next to that of Martin and Anna (Carlisle) Fennacy, his niece, who owned Lot 6.

3. John, born c1789, New Brunswick, Canada (between 1780-1790 based on the 1830 Charlotte, Maine census record); died after June 1860 when he and “Lizzie” lived with Joshua and Almira’s family in Penobscot County, Maine ; married Elizabeth Cushing, 21 January or February 1813, Newcastle, Northumberland, New Brunswick, Canada. John was of Sussex; Elizabeth lived in Newcastle at the time of their marriage. Elizabeth was born John was a petitioner with William Ayer, Titus Thornton, Israel Hicks and others for the lease of marshlands in Wellington, Northumberland, New Brunswick, Canada on 7 March 1816 (PANB RS108, Microfilm #F4255)

4. James, born c1791, New Brunswick, Canada; died August 1859, Charlotte, Washington, ME; married (1) Ann Steeves, born 1790-95, New Brunswick, Canada. Ann died 11 November 1838, Charlotte, Washington, Maine. (2) Martha Lord Doughty, born 1810, New Brunswick, Canada; died 30 March 1887, Oshkosh, Winnebago, Wisconsin. She married (1) Daniel Doughty, 21 December 1826, Campobello, West Isles, New Brunswick, Canada. The marriage announcement in the Eastport Sentinel has a question mark after Daniel’s first name. However, her obituary names surviving children from both marriages, including Doughty sons Benjamin, born 1828, James, born 1832 and daughter Mary Higgins, born 1830. James Doughty’s obituary says his father died in 1834. Martha survived James, who must have been ill for several months before he died, as he recorded a deed on 30 April 1859 conveying all of his land and possessions to his wife, Martha.

5. Abigail, born c1793, New Brunswick, Canada; died 27 March 1871, Meddybemps, Washington, Maine; married Israel Hicks, 9 March 1819, Shediac, Westmorland, New Brunswick, Canada. John Carlisle was a witness. This family lived in Buctouche, Kent, New Brunswick, Canada until Israel died in 1835, but by 1850, the grown children were beginning to disperse.

6. Catherine, born c1798, New Brunswick, Canada; died after 1870, possibly Bridgewater, Aroostook, Maine when she was living with son George; married John Stewart, 28 December 1814, Sussex, Kings, New Brunswick, Canada. Witnesses were John McLeod Jr. and George Sprague. John was born 1785, New Brunswick, Canada; died 28 November 1869, Mars Hill, Aroostook, Canada.

7. Mary, born c1799, New Brunswick, Canada; died 31 August 1880, Buctouche, Kent, New Brunswick, Canada; married Ira Hicks, 26 October 1819, both of Wellington, Northumberland, New Brunswick, Canada. Married by Thomas Astle with consent of parents. Ira was born c1790, Canada; died 17 June 1857, New Brunswick, Canada. Mary’s obituary stated that five sons and two daughters survived her.

8. Hannah, born 1801-1805, New Brunswick, Canada; married James Crow, 23 August 1821, Kings, New Brunswick, Canada with parents’ consent. One James Crow was living in Upham, Kings, New Brunswick, Canada in 1851 with wife Ann and children George 12, Mary, 11 and William, 9. He was born c1801, Ireland and, according to that census, arrived in Canada in 1818. His wife, Ann, was born 1811 and arrived in Canada in 1837 from Ireland. It appears Hannah may have died by 1838. It is unknown whether she had any surviving children, but none were at home with James, if this man was her husband, and there are no other adult Crows living near James.

Tomorrow, we will look at grandchildren of Robert and Catherine in Part 2.

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