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The Children of Frances & Jessie Munroe

Francis & Jessie Munroe

A small little church, seemingly under construction – but with that task abandoned, with empty paint cans, neglected ladders, and no signs of work being done. It is the United Church in Campbellton, Lot 4, Prince Co. PEI.
A little graveyard can be found on the right. Strolling between the stones, I was struck by the ages of those that had died and were buried here. So many children, that did not make it past the age of 10, teenagers and many adults passed away in the prime of their lives.
One stone in particular struck us.
It states:>Children of Francis & Jessie Munro

Elias. G
born Oct. 23, 1863
died May 5, 1881
Francis A.
born Aug. 6, 1867
died June 5, 1881
Mary E.
born July 2, 1873
died Aug. 27, 1877
Eva K___
born Aug. 15, 1876
died Nov. 26, 1876
Minnie E.
born Sept. 23, 1878
died June 25, 1881
They are gone, though not forgotten

As a mother of 7 children I can not even begin to imagine the loss of 5 children, or even to lose 3 children in the span of 6 weeks. The sadness, the heart break……..
There were no other stones that bore the Munroe name. Where was the rest of the family?
My goal was to create a complete list of the family of Frances and Jessie Monroe.
My first step was to find this family in the 1881 Canada Census:
I found Frances and Jessie living in Lot 4 in Campbellton, Lot 4, PEI,  with 7 children.
Francis Munroe    46  (Mechanic)
Jessie Munroe       44
Belle Munroe         23
John W. Munroe    22 (Block Maker)
George E Munroe   19 (Tin Smith)
Elias R Munroe      17
Jessie L. Munroe    16
Francis A Munroe  13
Minnie E Munroe    3
The date of the census is not mentioned – but it must have been taken before May 5, since 3 of their children die within 6 weeks, Elias at the age of 17, Francis at the age of 13, and Minnie at age 3.
It also mentioned that all of them, including the parents were born in Nova Scotia, except for Minnie, who was born on PEI. All belonged to the Church of England.

I combined  the information from the Illustrated Historical Atlas of the the Province of Prince Edward Island (by J. H. Meacham & Co. – 1880), the 1881 Canada Census and the grave stone, I have the following facts:
Frances and Jessie Munroe settled on PEI in the year 1870, they came from Nova Scotia. He owned and farmed 60 acres of land in Campbellton, PEI – on the Dock Road.
He was the proprietor of a fishing stage.
They had 9 known children, of whom 5 died on PEI, and were buried in the Campbellton, United Church Cemetery.
Francis Munroe        born 1835  NS  – Mechanic
Jessie Munroe           born 1837  NS
Belle Munroe             born 1858 NS
John W. Munroe        born 1859  NS
George E Munroe       born 1862  NS
Elias R Munroe         born Oct. 23, 1863  NS        –  May 5, 1881  PEI   (age 18)
Jessie L. Munroe        born 1865 NS –
Francis A Munroe      born Aug. 6, 1867   NS       –   Jun. 5, 1881  PEI  (age 14)
Mary E. Munroe         born July 2, 1873   PEI      –   Aug. 27, 1877 PEI   (age 4)
Eva K. Munroe           born  Aug. 15, 1876  PEI     –   Nov. 26, 1876 PEI  (age 3 months)
Minnie E Munroe       born Sept. 23, 1878   PEI         – Jun. 25,  1881  PEI  (age 3)

Next I searched the 1891 Canada Census for Frances and Jesse. I found them living in Hackett’s Bay, Halifax County, NS, where he is listed as a farmer.
Frank Munroe – 56
Jessie Munroe – 54
None of their children are listed here, but with them live:
Edward MacDougall, age 5
Isabelle Grono – age 74 – widowed
As I look at their neighbours, there are a few more Munroes living in the area, as well as more Gronos. Many of the residents making a living with fishing and farming.
I was unable to find them in the 1901 Canada Census.
I changed the search parameters to include the US.
I found Jesse Munro, age 64, widowed –  living in Bristol, Massachusetts.
An interesting fact here, it says the she was the mother of 10 children, of which 3 are living. (I only had 9 on my list, so I added a child)
She lives with her daughter Jesse L., who is married to Edward L’Aubin.

1900 United States Federal Census for Jessie L L'Aubin Massachusetts Bristol Taunton Ward 05 District 0228
Massachusetts, Marriage Records, 1840-1915 for Jessie L. Munroe
Massachusetts, Death Records, 1841-1915 1912 Taunton
I  found the marriage certificate of daughter Jessie L., who married Edward C L’Aubin Nov. 19, 1886 in Taunton, Mass., US, where they settled. They have 2 sons, Frank  – born 1 Oct 1891 in Norton Mass., and Arthur 13 Feb 1894 Frank dies on Sept. 27, 1892 at the age of 9. The death certificate states the cause of death as Exhaustion, for 2 days. Arthur died in 1915 at the age of 21. Jesse dies on April 22, 1912 of cerebro spinal sclerosis, and buried at theMayfloer Hill  Cemetery in Taunton, Bristol County, Massachusetts, along with her husband who passed away in 1920.

I also stumbled upon the a marriage certificate of George Munroe, a plumber, who marries Emma Willis on June 20, 1883 in Taunton, Mass., US. This document states states that George was born in Halifax, and the names of his parents are Frances and Jessie.

Massachusetts, Marriage Records, 1840-1915 for George Munroe

Further research revealed, that George and Emma had 2 sons (Arthur (1884) and Norman L (1902) , and 2 daughters, Artymecia (1888) and Jessie (1898), who died at the age of 3 of Diphtheria. George himself died Dec. 30, 1912 in Taunton at the age of 50 years of Cirrhosis of the Liver. (on the death certificate his mother’s maiden name is named as Jessie Grono)

Massachusetts, Death Records, 1841-1915 for George E Munro

Next I looked for daughter Belle. I found an Isabell Munro (Belle must have been short for Isabell. Also, in the 1891 Can. Census, Isobel Grono was living with them – this must have been Jessie’s mother)
On Nov. 6,  1883 Isabell marries John Edward McDougall in Norton, Mass. (he is a carpenter, the son of John and Grace MacDougall – born on PEI – age 23 – living in Minneapolis, Minn.)
On Sept. 4, 1884  a son, Edward James McDougall is born (baptized in 24 Sep 1884 in Minneapolis, Minnesota ,  St. Andrew Presbyterian Church – Baptisms, Births, Deaths)
This must be the same  Edward McDougall, that lives with Francis and Jesse in 1891, since his mother Belle, died Dec. 26, 1884, 3 months after the birth of her son of meningitis. Husband John remarries and dies Apr. 13, 1932 in South Dakota.
Son Edward dies 17 Sep 1929 in Britton, South Dakota at age 45.

Massachusetts, Marriage Records, 1840-1915 for Isabell R Munro 1883
Minnesota, County Deaths, 1850-2001 Hennepin Death register, 1870-1886, 1888-1889

Looking for son John W. Munroe was a bit more difficult and time consuming.
born Sept. 22, 1858 in Hacketts Cove, NS.
Immigrated from Summerside, PEI – Oct. 15, 1880
and arrived in Emerson, Minnesota Oct. 20, 1880 by CPR. He made his way to Seattle, Washington and on Aug. 20, 1890 he married Mathilda Louisa Nordstrom from Sweden .  They have 7 children: Arthur (1891); Allen (1892); Jessie (1895); Herbert (1898); John (1900); Paul (1904); Alice (1906)
(info from  US Naturalization Records for John William Monroe – 1920)
His profession: Ship’s Carpenter
He died March 24, 1927 – the last of the 10 siblings at the age of 69. He was interred at the Evergreen Washelli Memorial Park, Seattle.

U.S., Naturalization Records, 1840-1957 for John William Monroe Washington District Court Petition and record, 1920

Francis Munroe   born 1835  NS  – died between 1891-1900  Mechanic
Jessie Grono Bell  born May 30, 1839  NS  – Oct. 7, 1913 Taunton, Mass. ( 73)  – Paralysis & old age

Isabell Munroe                born 1858 NS                  – dies Dec. 26,  1884 (age 26) – Minneapolis, Minn. – Meningitis
John William Munroe      born Sept. 22, 1858  NS  – 24 Mar 1927, Seattle, Wash., US (age
George E Munroe             born Nov. 1862  NS          – Dec. 30, 1912 Taunton, Mass., US (age 50)  – Liver Cirrhrosis
Elias R Munroe                born Oct. 23, 1863  NS     –  May 5, 1881  PEI   (age 18)
Jessie L. Munroe              born Feb. 27, 1865 NS      –   April 22, 1912 Taunton, Mass. US (47) – cerebro spinal sclerosis
Francis Arthur Munroe   born Aug. 6, 1867   NS     –   Jun. 5, 1881  PEI  (age 14)
Mary Elizabeth Munroe   born July 2, 1873   PEI    –   Aug. 27, 1877 PEI   (age 4)
Eva K. Munroe                  born  Aug. 15, 1876  PEI    –   Nov. 26, 1876 PEI  (age 3 months)
Minnie E Munroe              born Sept. 23, 1878   PEI    –  Jun. 25,  1881  PEI  (age 3 )
N.N. Munro

This is the complete list of the children of Francis and Jessie Munroe. I am missing one child (because 1900 US Census states that Jessie was the mother of 10 children), which must have been born somewhere in between, it never showed up in a census.
By the time Jessie died, only one child was still living, which was so John in Seattle.
Jessie was not alone though, she remarried on June 16, 1902 to widower William Bell in Taunton Mass. (On the marriage certificate we find her parents names: William Greenough and Isobel Deaphney and Halifax is named for the town she was born in)
I find Jessie and William Bell again in the 1910 Census, but seems to be the last trace of them.
She dies in 1913 – at age 73 from Paralysis and old age. She is buried at Mayflower Hill Cemetery inTaunton, Bristol County,Massachusetts.

Massachusetts, Death Records, 1841-1915 - 1913 Taunton - page 585

These are the dates, the facts, the sources and just a little information for the lives and deaths of this family. So many unanswered questions.
Questions I was unable to find answers to:
What was the cause of death for the 5 children that died on PEI?
(the PEI genealogy group suggested:  “It was usually something communicable, like measles, diphtheria, or whooping cough when children in the same family died around the same time.” and:”In the late 1870’s and early 1880’s Tuberculosis (known then as consumption) was epidemic. Often many from the same family died.”
When and where did Francis Munro die?
I was unable to find his date of death. He must have died sometime between the 1891 Canada Census and the 1900 US Census.
When did they get married, and where did they live during the first years of their marriage?
I did find somewhere the date of marriage as  29 Dec. 1856 in St. Margaret’s Bay, NS – but it was not accompanied with a source of information, so not sure it it is correct.

The Sad Story a Stone Can Tell – Ella Nelson

As I was doing some research, I came upon this grave marker at the Riverside Cemetery, Wallace RiverCumberland CountyNova Scotia, Canada.
The story of Ella Morton Nelson(Purdy), read from a stone – a marker to remind us that there was life.
This stone, like all other stones in every cemetery, tells a story.
A baby, unnamed, was born and died in 1895.
Son Carlson G. dies in 1904, at the age of 11 – cause unknown.

Son Richard died on November 29, 1912 at the age of 27 from acute nephritis. He was sick for 10 weeks, developed an edema of the lungs and died.
Son Walter R. died February 29,1918 at the age of 17. It states that he was Highland Hospital in Amherst N.S and died there, from Paralysis.
Husband and father Arthur Nelson, a farmer, died November 14, 1918 in Hartford, Cumberland County, NS. He suffered from acute rheumatism with toxaemia, and after 6 days in the hospital he passed away at the age of 56.
Daughter Mona A. died November 12,1921 at the age of 34. She was single, lived at home and died of bowel obstruction.
Surviving son Noel B. continued to farm, staid unmarried and died at the age of 52, on March 16th, 1951, being struck down by Influenza A, after 3 days developed Broncho-Pneumonia and 2 days later passed away.
Wife and mother Ella Morton Nelson survived them all, living to a ripe old age of 96. She died January 6th,1956 from cerebral haemorrhage and arteriosclerosis.
These are just the facts I gathered. My mind can not even imagine the untold stories surrounding this family, the pain, the loss, ….
At the same time, this stone does not tell about the good times these men and women may have had.
There was a glimmer of hope, as I searched this family in the Canadian Census(1891,1901, 1911 and 1921),I realized there were 3 more children (Sadie-1890, Ernest-1896 and Eva, born in 1904).
I did find them, in close proximity in the same cemetery.It was good to know,that when Ella Nelson died at the age of 96, she was not alone – that she still was surrounded by some of her living children. A comforting thought.

All this information was found online, from the comfort of my couch. 🙂
Canadian Census  1891,1901, 1911 and 1921
Nova Scotia Historical Vital Statistics

Find A Grave

Wightman Point or St. Andrew’s Point Pioneer Cemetery

St. Andrew’s Point Pioneer Cemetery
Wightman Point Pioneer Cemetery

One of the quaintest and peaceful cemeteries I have ever visited was the Wightman Point Pioneer Cemetery. It is located on a point of land in Lower Montague, King’s County, PEI, just off the St. Andrew’s Point Day Park – across the bay from Panmure Island. It has an entrance gate and is located near the shore in a treed area. There are only five remaining headstones as well as several worn sandstone markers. The site has endured coastal erosion and a section of it has disappeared. Many of the gravestone remnants were of a red sandstone and have become totally illegible over the past 200 years.

A section of this 213-years old cemetery has already disappeared due to erosion Bones exposed in historic cemetery investigated

John Wightman and Margaret Ray Armstrong

In 1821, John Wightman and his wife, Margaret and their family emigrated from Hoddam in Dumfries, Scotland. Their son, the Hon. Joseph Wightman (1806-1887) would be a major business and political figure in the area, serving as High Sheriff of Kings County. Two of his sons were killed in action in the American Civil War – one lies next to his grandparents, James Wightman.
The Grave stone describes John as a Loving husband , a kind parent who leaves a wife, son and a daughter to mourn the sad loss of one esteemed by all who knew him.
Margaret’s Grave stone describes her; “During her sojourn here she was exemplary in her charity to the poor and bore the character of a good Christian virtuous wife and loving mother and leaves her relatives to mourn their bereavement”.

Dr. James Wightman

Graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1862. He was the assistant surgeon to the 2nd Massachusetts Infantry during the U.S. Civil War – part of the Union army – fought against slavery. According to (The record of the Second Massachusetts Infantry, 1861-65) a faithful man, assistant surgeon to work himself to death in a few weeks. He contracted typhoid and died on June 16, 1863 in the Armoury Hospital in Washington, D.C. His remains were sent back to the Island.

Neil Mackinnon

Neil MacKinnon (1829-1858), the son of

Angus and Mary MacKinnon

of Sturgeon PEI was drowned at sea

Drowned at sea t age of 28





James Young

James was born January 23, 1790 Prince Edward Island to David Young
and Elizabeth Rae Young.
His father David was born in Scotland, moved to PEI in 1785 and received 200 acres of wilderness. He served in the Revolutionary War in New York. James, who was a Constable and a Three Rivers Farmer died September 1876. He. Among other crops he also grew 500 bushels of potatoes. He married Bridget O’Brien, a Catholic whom came from Ireland in 1809. He belonged to the Church of Scotland. So she converted to the Church of Scotland (Source: Steve Young), so they cold get married.

Job Creed

The story of Job Creed, the son of William Creed and Elizabeth Prince, a direct descendent of William Brewster, the leader of the Mayflower Expedition; an Anglican who wanted to get married to Mary Thistle, a Catholic born in Ireland, much to his father’s dislike.
His father, a wealthy man, threatened to cut off his son’s inheritance “without a shillin'” if he married a Catholic.
That did not seem deter Job Creed, because he married her anyway and they lived very happily together and raised a large family.
Job was a very talented man, he was a lay preacher in the English Church at Georgetown, and performed many funerals. He is buried near his mother’s grave and it cannot be found today.
Mary is buried across the bay in the Panmure Island cemetery, and Job is buried in the cemetery at Wightmans Point. Since being of different religions, they could not be buried in the same cemetery. They requested to be facing each other in their different cemeteries., a bay separating them.

The earliest known grave in this cemetery is that of John Aitken (1729-1799). His stone is legible and enclosed by a fence.
His name should really have been Job.
He came to Canada aboard the “Lovely Nelly” which departed Dumfries, Scotland in 1775. With him were his wife, Margaret (Lowden) Aitken and their two sons and two daughters. He was listed on the ship’s register as a “labourer” who was leaving “to provide for his family a better livelihood.” They decided to settle near Three Rivers, where John bought his first 100 acres. “He bought a quantity of supplies which would have seen them through the first winter . . .
But in this year occurred an invasion of mice which destroyed everything in the houses as well as in the fields, even the potatoes planted in the ground.” (Wellwood Waugh).
A second catastrophe followed in the fall of 1775. American fishermen broke into the building where Aiken’s supplies were kept and made off with everything. The ship that was to bring additional supplies was lost at sea and they were forced to dig through four feet of ice for clams to keep from starving.
Since their cattle kept wondering off and getting lost in the woods, they then moved to Panmure Island (adjacent to Cardigan Bay) only to find that at low tide the cattle still strayed, so they eventually returned to their first location. His daughter Agnes died crossing the ice to Lower Montague and froze to death during a storm, coming home from visiting friends. She was the first to be buried in the Panmure Island cemetery.
John himself died in 1799 (the year in which St. Johns Island was renamed Prince Edward Island) and was buried at St. Andrew’s Point where his grave was marked by a rudely cut slab of Island sandstone. It has been told that a well cut stone was prepared in Scotland, UK in his memory but the ship bringing it over was lost at sea.              (http/


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