Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Where Have All the Lightbodys Gone?

Nova Scotia was not the province or country the Lightbody family intended to immigrate to. New York, USA was their destination but did they ever get there? Was there someone, family maybe, that was there? We really don't know anything except that James Lightbody and Mary McLane Lightbody had their first son, John in New York City in 1820 and then came back to NS and never went back. 

While they never went back to NY, they didn't just stay in Nova Scotia and neither did all the rest of the family descendants. James was the only child of six that moved around a lot. I don't just mean from village to village, I mean Nova Scotia to Maine and back. While James had his children in Nova Scotia, they had grandchildren in many different places.

When James first bought land in was in what is now called Cumberland County, Nova Scotia.  In October 1813 he purchased 300 acres in Parrsborough, Kings County for one hundred and five pounds. James was listed as a labourer on the Ship Magnet but the average wage of a labourer in 1812 is about 25 pounds a year. So this indicates he had some money when he arrived to the province.

In 1827 he had moved his family to Wentworth, Colchester County, NS and was listed as a merchant.  We also know that he was able to establish a wharf when he move to Wallace, Cumberland County NS on the Northumberland Coastline of NS. 

It was in the late 1840's James moved with all his children to Bath Maine, US and was recorded in the 1850 census. During this time he ran a boarding house in Bath, Maine and his sons John, Francis  James and George were all ship carpenters working in the ship building industry in Bath, Maine. 

By 1855 James had moved back to NS leaving 7 of his 9 children in Maine, married and with their own families. in 1857, James died in Nova Scotia. 

There is a history of James buying and selling land within a few short years of each other. He also did have to pay about 650 pounds after legal judgements were made against him in the late 1830's early 1840s. With this in mind we can only guess that he moved  possibly remake himself but by the time of his death, he had very little left I think.

John: His family moved to area of Boston, Massachusetts
Martha: Moved back to Clifton, Nova Scotia where her husband's family was from.
Francis: Remained in Bath, Maine.
James Jr: His descendants move to Waterville, Maine with some moving to Illinois,  
                Rhode Island & even Florida.
Margaret: Remained in Bath Maine but her descendants are not fully known about.
George Tait: Mostly stayed in Maine but some descendants moved to Massachusetts.
Hugh: Moved back to NS and three of his four children moved to Libertyville, Illinois.
Mary Ann:  Moved to River Philip, Cumberland Co., NS with her husband.
Jane: Moved to Boston Massachusetts with her husband.

Annie Lightbody-McCulloch's children, grandchildren and great grandchildren stayed in NS for the most. They remained within 50 km (35 miles)of where they were born with the exception of one who moved about 150 km (83 miles) away. It was the next generation, the ones born at the turn of the century that began to move to the US, mostly the New England area.

Elizabeth Lightbody-Peppard's children while we do not know a lot about them, of those we do know about, two moved to New Hampshire and Massachusetts and one remained in Londonderry, NS

Jane Lightbody-Angevine's children remained in Wallace Cumberland County, NS for several generations. At this point not enough research has been done to know more.

Hugh Lightbody's children for the first generation stayed in NS but a large number of Hugh's grandchildren in the late 1880's began to immigrate to the Boston area of Massachusetts primarily with the exception of one or two who moved to California.

William Lightbody's family has a lot of tragedy. Of his 9 children only 7 survived to adulthood. Of his 29 grandchildren 8 died when they were children. About half of the surviving grandchildren remained in NS while the rest move, like their cousins to either Massachusetts or California. There are a just a few who moved westward to the prairies and then to the West Coast of Canada ending up in British Columbia.

By the 1940's in Nova Scotia the name of Lightbody was limited to a very small number. Only James's descendants remain and in 2013 just two who carry the name.The female children who changed their names still have descendants that live in Nova Scotia to this day. Interesting to note that none of the descendants  have ever moved to New York! 

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