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! 

Monday, 1 April 2013

John & Ann's Family

John and Ann has six children that we know about. With some of the children we have actual dates from the headstones and others we can not find to confirm. We know John & Ann were most likely married and living in Ireland in 1788 when their first child was born. We do not know if John and Ann were also born there or immigrated to Ireland.

Below are the six children, their spouses and 51 grandchildren. Of these grandchildren about 45 or so married and had their own children. Considering the time period that is a great statistic. 

More pages will be created specifically for each of the six children and their descendants
The first will be of James as he is our direct line.

Annie Lightbody (First Born)

Annie was born in 1788 in County Down, Ireland. The place is unknown for sure. She married about 1805 to Hugh McCulloch born 1777 Ireland and had four children in Ireland. 
Annie died  May 9, 1867 at the age of 79 and was buried in Debert, Colchester County, Nova Scotia with her husband Hugh who died 13 February 1861 at the age of 82. The same cemetery as his sister Elizabeth and her husband Anthony Peppard.

Located in the Debert Cemetery, only the
footstone and the base of the headstone
has survived.
The writing say "May 7,"  79 Years".
This is Annie Lightbody-McCulloch, Hugh would have had
his name on the top part of the headstone.

The McCulloch Children:

1. Ann,  b.July 8, 1806
2. Mary,  b. January 17, 1808 Ireland
3. James,  b. March 9, 1810
**4. Charlotte,  b. February 9, 1812 in Killinchy County Down, Ireland. Died 1812
5. Charlotte, b. 1813
6. Ruth, b. 1814
7. Martha, b. October 15, 1815
8. John b. October 18, 1817
9. Jane, b. March 7, 1820
10. Robert, b. April 18, 1822
11. Eliza, b. May 18, 1824
12. Hugh, b. June 2, 1826

**Charlotte's birth was the first information we had to confirm the place name. This placed the McCulloch family in this location. This Charlotte has also been reported to have died either at sea or shortly after arriving to Nova Scotia. 

James Lightbody (Second Born)

James was born in 1790 in Ireland and on December 11, 1817 in Londonderry Township, Colchester County, NS he married Mary McLane born 1791 in Folly River, Colchester County, NS, the daughter of Francis McLane  & Mary Forbes. The McLane or McClean family were Ulster Scots from northern Ireland who arrived in Nova Scotia a generation before.

James died November 25, 1857 and is buried in the Folly Village Cemetery at the Erskine United Church in Glenholme, Colchester County, NS. Mary died April 19,1877 in Londonderry, Colchester County and is buried next to James along with their son Hugh Lightbody.

Glenholme Cemetery
Glenholme Cemetery 

The children of James & Mary Lightbody:

1. John, b. December 6, 1819 New York City, USA 
2. Martha, b. March 11, 1822, Wentworth, Cumberland County, NS
3. Francis, b. November 14, 1824, Wentworth, Cumberland Co., NS
4. James Jr., b. 1826, Wentworth, Cumberland Co., NS
5. Margaret, b. July 2, 1828, Wentworth, Cumberland Co., NS
6. George Tait b. October 2, 1829, Wentworth, Cumberland Co., NS
7. Hugh, b. June 12, 1834, Wallace, Cumberland Co., NS
8. Mary Ann, b. October 2, 1837, Wallace, Cumberland Co., NS
9. Jane, b. 1840, NS

William M.Lightbody (Third Born)

William M. was born in 1793 in Ireland and on the July 19,1825 in Londonderry Township, Colchester Co., NS married Mary Anne Moore born 1804 in Economy, Colchester County, NS. She was the daughter of William Moore and Jane McLaughlin

William M. died  March 4, 1877 and is buried buried in the Folly Village Cemetery at the Erskine United Church in Glenholme, NS along with his wife Mary Anne  who died April  14,1886 in Onslow, NS. The same place as his brother James.

William Lightbody & Mary Ann Moore

The children of William and Mary Anne Lightbody: 

1. William M. Jr., b. July 5, 1828, Londonderry, Colchester Co., NS
2. Elizabeth Ann, b. 1829, NS
3. John, b. 1832, Londonderry, Colchester Co., NS
4. Martha, b. 23July 1834
5. Hugh, b. 1835, Onslow, Colchester Co., NS
6. James, b. Feb 1838, NS
7. Robert, b. 1845 Onslow, Colchester Co., NS
8. Jasper, b. 1847 Onslow, Colchester Co., NS

Hugh H. Lightbody (Forth Born)

Hugh H. was born about 1798 and married in a double wedding ceremony with his sister Jane Annie on March 1, 1825 in Londonderry Township, Colchester Co., NS Mary Peppard born March 2, 1804 in Great Village, Colchester Co., NS the daughter of John Peppard & Jane Moore.

Hugh H. died July 1,1879 and buried in the old cemetery in Belmont, Colchester Co., NS. Mary died 12 October 1888 in Belmont, NS and is buried next to Hugh H.

Hugh Lightbody buried in the
Old Belmont Cemetery in NS
Mary Peppard-Lightbody
buried in the Old Belmont Cemetery.

Hugh & Mary Lightbody's Children:

1. John Peppard, b December 9, 1826, Belmont, Colchester Co., NS
2. James, b February 10, 1827, DeBert River, Colchester Co., NS
3. Margaret Jane, b. January 21, 1830, Onslow, Colchester Co., NS
4. William Hugh, b. May 26, 1832, Onslow, Colchester Co., NS
5. Rebecca, B. February 19, 1835, NS
6. Anthony Peppard, b. October 2, 1837
7. Elizabeth Ann, b. October 19, 1841, Great Village, Colchester Co., NS
8. Maria(h), b. May 15, 1846, Chiganois Colchester Co., NS

Jane Annie Lightbody (Fifth Born)

Jane Annie was born about 1799/1800 in Ireland. She married twice. Her first husband and the father of her children was John Angevine born 1797 the son of John Angevine & Sarah Amelia Carter.  They married in a double wedding ceremony with Jane's brother Hugh H. on March 1st 1825 in Londonderry Township, Colchester Co., NS.

John Angevine died in 1849 in Wallace, NS and on March 28, 1855 Jane Annie married a Jacob Benjamin.  Jane's burial site is unknown at this time.

Jane and John Angevine's children: 

1. Samuel, b. 1827, Cumberland Co., NS
2. James
3. Joseph
4. George
5. Elizabeth
6. Sarah Ann
7. Andrew Forshner, b. 1841, Cumberland Co., NS
8. Amelia, b 1843, Cumberland Co., NS
9. Edward W., b. 1849, Cumberland Co., NS

Elizabeth Lightbody (Sixth Born)

Elizabeth's died when she was 36 in 1836 giving her birth date at 1800. We are unsure if she is a twin to her sister Jane. Because Elizabeth died young and her grave site and headstone can not be located at this time, information is very limited.

Elizabeth married about 1825-1827 most likely in or close to Londonderry, Colchester Co., NS. She married Anthony M. Peppard who is the brother to Mary Peppard, the wife of Elizabeth's brother Hugh H. 

Elizabeth died 16 December 1836 in Londonderry, Colchester Co., NS. Anthony M. died on 3rd of September 1888 in Debert, Colchester Co., NS. Anthony did marry again to a Sarah.

Anthony M. Peppard
Debert, Cemetery, NS
Elizabeth Lightbody-Peppard
Debert, Cemetery, NS

Elizabeth and Anthony Peppard had at least 4 children and a possible fifth.

1. John William, b. August 8, 1827, Londonderry, Colchester Co., NS
2. James Lawrence,  b 1829, NS
3. George, 
4. Samuel, b. 1831, Debert River, Colchester Co., NS
5. Daughter

John & Ann Lightbody

John and Ann Lightbody appear in just one place, one record that we can say for sure that they are the parents of our branch of the tree. The death Record of Hugh Lightbody, their 4th child is the only document which lists their names. John Lightbody and Ann Huch(k)ing. 

The writing is a little hard to see and with the penmanship of the writer it can be a bit to figure our for sure Ann's last name. There are many different versions of this last name. Hucking, Huching Hutching, Huckings, Huchins, and the name would be very easy to misspell. When looking in both Ireland and Scotland from the mid 1700's onward the name Hutchenson, Hutchinson, are very common so it leaves so much open to interpretation. 

So as you can see when you look at the copies below the capital "H" of both Hugh and Huching you can see they are the same and the "K" which it may be is slightly different too. 

Hugh Lightbody
Hugh Lightbody's parent are John and Ann Huching Lightbody

Neither the Hucking or the Huching are names appear a lot in Ireland and Scotland but they do in England.  This leaves things open to a lot of theory.

While we can not find any records with both of them listed together or the birth of any of their children we can find several listings for a John Lightbody. It is at this point where we have to use speculation, guess work and logical deduction. None of this can be proven, it's all circumstantial.

In Ireland there are only a handful of places where Lightbody families lived. Until the early 1700's there are little records to support the name Lightbody being a pure Irish name at all so if we go on the idea it was Scottish and they immigrated then the main areas we see this immigration are areas like, Belfast and Bangor, which are larger centers. In the late 1860's-1910's the majority of Lightbody families migrated to these two places or to either North America, mostly to larger US cities on the eastern coast & to Ontario, Canada or to Australia. Keep in mind the Potato Famine was at it's peak about 1852 and we begin to see a decline in rural areas for Lightbody families. This can also be said for just about any small town in Canada or the US. They began to migrate to larger centers.

The majority of Lightbodys settled in County Down. They lived in about 14 separate parishes which are located one to the other to form a central location within the center  of County Down. There are other groups and families of Lightbodys who did settle in Armagh, Rich Hill was a primary location where we see one of the largest Lightbody Families that settled in the Midwest USA. County Antrim has Belfast which is why we see Lightbody families there, some in the late 1700's and then more in the later part of the 1800's.

In this area of County Down are the parishes of Kilmore, Killinchy. Early records show little in the way of Lightbodys in Killinchy but more in Kilmore. I am focusing on these two for a few reasons.

With the knowledge of Killinchy, County Down listed as home on the Magnet's passenger list for their son James, we know this is a great place to gather records from. Killinchy is a small village and a townland in County down. It is very close to Kilmore Parish where we see in the late 1700's a John Lightbody. 

In 1789 we have John Lightbody listed in Claragh as a land occupier leasing the land from a Mr. Forde. It's interesting to note there being a McCulloch also listed as it would be John and Ann's first child Annie who married a McCulloch. The name McCulloch and McCullogh can often we interchanged. Again, it depends on the family and the person recording the names.

The other reason is the Flax Grants of 1790. These were grants given to owners of Flax Mills. When James arrived he bought land in Nova Scotia so he had money. Having a good income from the linen trade such as flax mills which would make linen could be one source. There are three names, John, Samuel and William. There is also a James McCullough listed in these same records for Kilmore as well.

The earliest records of Lightbodys in County Down is the death of a Grezeld Lightbody (female & b. about 1725) in 1753 with a James Lightbody of Drumaghlish b. 1699 died 1749 and his grandson James who died 1771. Grezeld(Grizel) is more Scottish and most likely not Irish. The best guess is that this James may have been the first generation Lightbody to immigrate from Scotland to County Down and may be a a connection to our line. This may place the arrival time between 1725 & 1749. 

Now the place names which keep coming up over and over again with Lightbody names are Carnakelly, Saintfield, Crossgar, Killinchy, Dromore(a), Kilmore and Drumaglis(h). These are all within a 10 mile (16 km) area of each other. This is taking the main road. Putting ourselves in the past in the 1780's let say, travel would be done by walking, horse back or by horse and buggy/cart. Walking a few miles would be something that would be common. Traveling across the land and not always by road would make the travel shorter. The land in this area has little forest area and while there would be rolling hills it was rather flat and suitable for small farms and mills. Easy travel across the land from village to village.

To have families that would move just a few miles from each other would be very common. Having them live 40-70-80 miles away would not be so common. We can reasonable say that most likely the Lightbodys in this area may be related. There is no way to know for sure if the John, Samuel and William are brothers, father and sons uncle or nephews. 

Naming patterns play a role in this family too. Usually the first born male is named after the fathers' father and the first born female is after the mother's mother. If this were so then we could conclude that John Lightbody's father's name was James, a name that follows in every generation after as we see with John and Ann's first born son was James and his first born son was John, who's first born son was James. 

So while we know very little about John and Ann we do know a lot about those who may have been living around that time. Not enough to make any kind of firm statement. The location in Scotland is still a complete mystery.

With regards to Scotland I can conclude the majority of Lightbody families are within a particular area of Scotland, between the large urban areas of Glasgow and Edinburgh. Records in Scotland can be hard to find, with wars, forced migration and disease & death, while our family did survive of the tens of thousands who left Scotland there are hundreds of thousands who just disappeared. 

The only key we really have it the verbal history that has been passed along to us about Glasgow. So Glasgow is a good starting point. 

The Ship Magnet and the War of 1812

For years people in our family have thought a few things about how and when our family arrived to North America. Some have thought it was via Scotland, Glasgow in fact. Others thought it was about 1825 and I agree, I thought so too. There were no ship records available for around 1812-1816 and nothing after that time had anything at all. There was a huge brick wall around how our family came to Canada.

It was not until the discovery of the marriage licence of James Lightbody in 1817 Nova Scotia that we began to narrow the time down. An email from a stranger provided another link, James had bought land in 1813 in Cumberland County, NS. Then a connection via an old research friend and some lateral research being done by someone else on the McCulloch family produced a link between Annie Lightbody and her husband Hugh McCulloch which provided the last bit of news..... they were on a ship called the Magnet and it was seized by the British en route to New York but they ended up in Halifax, NS in 1812. 

There was still no ship list, no proof that this Annie Lightbody was even related except her husband Hugh McCulloch was a witness on the land transaction in 1813 for James Lightbody. Nothing more happened until I found an advert for a lecture about the War of 1812 and the Ship Magnet in September of 2012. This led me to Faye Kert and the passenger list.

Below is the story of these events in an article, skillfully edited by Jean Kitchen and published in the British Isles Family Historical Society of Greater Ottawa ( BIFHSGO) Volume 19 Number 1, Spring 2013.

Thank you to both Faye, Jean and the BIFHSGO for without both of you, the brick wall would still be there and our family story would not have been shared.

The Search for James Lightbody and the Magnet’s Passenger List - by Amanda Lightbody

A Halifax resident, Amanda found the Magnet passenger list when she saw Faye Kert’s lecture advertised on the BIFHSGO website. It was information she had been hunting for decades.

only knew my grand-father Hugh Lightbody for the first five years of my life, but those years would define a lifelong passion and drive for me. I did not know that I would spend some 30 years of my life looking for his ancestors, nor the connection they had to one of the more famous events in recent history, the War of 1812.
I have a “relationship” with my grandfather’s grandfather, James Lightbody one that I am sure he could never have imagined possible. I have always referred to him as “my James” as a way to distinguish him from the dozens of men over the generations called James Lightbody in my family.
Family researchers develop images of ancestors from the scraps and bits of information, pictures or stories available and keep them alive on some level, creating relationships with them. With this information we imagine their hopes, dreams, and fears when we learn of births, marriages, and deaths. We try to imagine what it was like . . . what they were like. On some levels there can be almost a palpable energy which exists or is created when you look into the past. This has been my experience and now is part of my story for the search for James Lightbody and the Magnet’s passenger list.
Early Discoveries
When I was about 13, a woman came to visit my family with several copies of an 1871 census record from Colchester County, Nova Scotia. On those pages were a dozen families named Lightbody. They were my relatives. I was hooked. When I began to search through old family photos and papers, I found charts my grandfather had started. He was looking for his ancestors too. It was then I made the decision (most likely a subconscious one, but nonetheless a decision) to find those ancestors for my grandfather. It was my way of staying connected to one of the most influential men in my life, whom I missed very much.
Nothing would stop me. I rode my little 10-speed bicycle along major highways and up hills and down country roads to long-forgotten cemeteries. I had my “Graveyard Kit” of chalk, brushes, gardening tools, camera, film, notepaper and pens. I searched row after row of half a dozen cemeteries, cleaning the headstones, documenting the names and dates and taking pictures. I could match some of the names to the census records . . . I was beginning to put some pieces of the puzzle together. It was a little collection of papers, nothing significant, yet it was the world to me.
It was not until my high school years when I joined our Genealogy Club at school that a whole new world opened for me. Archives, microfilms and lots of published books. There was one book in particular, Scotia Heritage by Edith L. Fletcher. I met with Edith and had her sign my copy of the book, which is now in tatters from all the reading and rereading. It was at that time I discovered it was her sister who had come to visit us years before. It would be years later that I would talk with Edith’s daughter and begin to compare notes. We are still friends today.
It turned out Edith was my third cousin twice removed. I learned from her research that the Lightbody family was heading to New York from Ireland and then left New York for land in Nova Scotia. She talked about the Lightbody brothers that came to Nova Scotia. There were Maine state connections but that was it. Nothing more! I needed to add to my line and the search for the Irish and New York connections became an unquenchable thirst.
I collected vital statistics, census records and land transactions. I cold-called people all over North America, from the deep U.S. south to the west coast of Canada and in New England; anyone I thought might be related. I began corresponding with Lightbody people in Scotland and throughout the U.S. This is when I received three legal-sized pages, each with a family chart for one of the three Lightbody brothers: James, William and Hugh. These were the three that Edith had mentioned in her book. Now all the research I had done on my own could be neatly placed with the right lines.
The Family Takes Shape
A picture was forming of who these people were. They were Irish, Presbyterian, farmers and merchants with dozens of children and descendants. Some family generations had their children all die young from disease; others had 13 or more children. The question still remained unanswered . . . How did they get here and where in Ireland were they from? And why did all the family lore I could find—from my grandfather’s notes to the stories from other long-distant relatives—keep saying we were Scottish?
For this and other reasons, I believe the Lightbody name and family are Scottish and they left for Ireland after the Catholics were forced out by the English Crown. This family of mine was beginning to be connected with a lot of historical events. I even learned that the original beginnings of the family name were French; it probably looked something like LeBaudy. They most likely were French Protestants who fled Catholic rule in France during the late 1500s.
Over the years I was able to extend outward on my family. I met relatives in Maine and some in Illinois. I learned that descendants of William and Hugh lived in Nova Scotia locations like Londonderry, Debert, Masstown, and Onslow in Colchester County, right in my back yard. There was a sister Jane who married and had many children and lived in Cumberland County, Nova Scotia. I knew my James travelled between Maine and Nova Scotia, was a merchant and ran a boarding house. Still there was no place name in Ireland and no ship records of the family’s emigration. Ireland was a huge brick wall.
Years went past and I looked for a ship or passenger list that would hold the truth, but there was nothing. All I knew was that on the best speculation of family experts and my research, the Lightbody family was headed for New York. How did they end up in Nova Scotia? I could only guess to fill in the blanks.
I did know James was married in Nova Scotia in 1817, so that helped me narrow down my search, but not until about 2001, when a random email from someone gave me a great lead. I was emailed a copy of a land transaction for my James dated 1813! Finally I could narrow the search: ship records for 1812 and 1813.
A Dead End?
Once again, I came to a screeching halt! There was that brick wall again: no records. It was like no one sailed for the entire years of 1812–1814. WAIT, hold on . . . Wasn’t there a war on then?
I went to the history books. I should have paid a bit more attention in school. I have learned more about history researching my family than I ever could in school, but there were still more questions and no answers. Then a few years later I ran across some research on a family called McCulloch from Ireland. No big deal, except the wife’s name was Ann Lightbody and they lived in Nova Scotia.
This was my first introduction to the ship Magnet. The research indicated Ann and her husband Hugh McCulloch were on a ship called the Magnet that was seized by the British in 1812 and taken to Halifax. Then the light bulb lit up! Hugh McCulloch was a witness on the land deed of James Lightbody in 1813. Strike one to the brick wall, because if that was the same person the research papers indicated, Hugh and Ann had a daughter Charlotte born in Killinchy, Ireland, in 1812.
Well (big sigh) I looked at more land transactions, but this time those of Cumberland County, just a bit east of Colchester; and there they were, the pieces of evidence I needed to link the McCulloch and the Lightbody families. Several land transactions with both names. I also located land transactions in 1817 for William and Hugh Lightbody, James’ brothers, and some with the Angevine name of Jane’s husband. All of this and still no record of the Magnet.
I contacted the Public Archives of Nova Scotia and they said they no longer had anything for the Magnet of 1812 but that I should check with Ottawa. I contacted Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa and they said sorry, nothing here, you will have to check with London, England. Contacted London . . . nothing! (Only now do I realize why Ottawa said they had nothing: they mostly likely had no idea they even had the list or could access it.) And Ottawa and Nova Scotia are too far for a weekend trip to look for something you don’t know even exists.
Since the Magnet record was nowhere to be found, I did even more lateral research. I did not resign myself to never knowing where the family originated. I always felt I would know. After years of studying Irish Lightbody families, where they lived, historical events, time frame etc., I had a good guess: Kilmore or Killinchy in County Down, Northern Ireland. Yet I could not find any Lightbody records in County Down before 1700 at all and very little before 1785. Back to the history books I went, and this time I focused on the Ulster Scots or Scotch-Irish. A link with Scotland ticked all the boxes for this family. Another clue: I knew James Lightbody’s firstborn son arrived in New York in 1819, so there was something drawing them there. I decided to do some back research; there were other Lightbody families in New York, and most were of Scottish extraction. I thought I was on to something.
Meanwhile, in the past six years I have never stopped looking for the Magnet. I had all this information, which just needed one tiny little confirmation. I kept doing Google searches for Magnet . . . Ringdove . . . War of 1812, but the same things I already knew kept coming up.
Then it was 2012, the 200th anniversary of what I believed to be their arrival in Halifax. The city was bustling with the War of 1812 re-enactments and memorials. I now live here, and I walked the waterfront trying to imagine what they wore, how they felt, what the city was like. I was here in the same places 200 years to the day! I thought this was an appropriate time to try searching again.
(Fade in . . . Bright lights flashing, crowds cheering, tickertape blowing on the wind, the sounds of a brick wall crumbling . . .)

The Breakthrough
In early September, I Googled the ship yet again. Suddenly there were search results showing Faye Kert . . . presentation . . . Ship Magnet . . . PASSENGER LIST! WHAT?!?!?! Where? How? Who? When? It was an ad on the BIHFSGO website. In November Faye would be giving a presentation, but I couldn’t wait for that. I emailed the society but didn’t even wait for a response. I Googled Faye, tracked down her email address and wrote her, explaining who I was and what I thought and was looking for.
Sometimes things work out and this was one of them. Faye was on a cruise, but fortunately with her laptop and data. In a short time I received a reply with the words, “Meet your long lost Irish relatives.”
There was James Lightbody, age 22, from Killinchy! Yes—OMG. I actually cried. Then I tilted my head. What? No, that’s not right. James did not have the wife Ann, age 23, or the two children listed after his name! Or did he? Seriously . . . someone must have marked it wrong. But after all this time, to find the actual ship list and it was WRONG?
Fortunately, all was well—I figured things out. With the birth, death and census records I already had, I was able to determine the most likely error made when the passenger list was written.
The wife named Ann and the two children, James and Charlotte, were actually James Lightbody’s sister and his niece and nephew. They were the wife and children of the Hugh McCulloch listed above my James’ name, along with the other McCulloch daughters, Anne and Mary. James had come to Canada along with their family.
As well as finding James’ arrival, I finally had an Irish place name! I later also discovered a reference to a Magnet passenger’s letter to the Belfast Commercial Chronicle reporting the events in June and July. He said this new land seemed like a great place for an adventure. I guess my ancestors felt the same way too.
I contacted my relatives with the news. I even knew of descendants of the Henderson and Irvin families on the Magnet passenger list, so I passed the information to them. To my knowledge, about 15 to 20 people on that list have descendants who are actively looking for them. I am sure there are many more. 
An Unexpected Detour
So what did the unexpected detour to Halifax lead to in the end? Well, James decided to stay in Nova Scotia. He married Mary McLane in 1817, bought land and at one point had a wharf. While the Magnet passengers were for the most part poor, I do know James paid a good price for the land he bought a year after his arrival. There had to be some kind of family money when they left Ireland—to make money you need money.
I have a theory about where the family money may have come from. I still have not been able to confirm any vital statistics data on James’ parents, John Lightbody and Ann Hucking, but there is a John Lightbody living close to Killinchy mentioned in the Flax Seed Grants of 1790, which were given to farmers to encourage production. Only speculation, but that is sometimes what we need to do, make an educated guess then try to prove or disprove it to get at the truth.
James divided his time between Maine and Nova Scotia. He had nine children, most of whom settled in Maine and Massachusetts, and their descendants are primarily American now. My great-grandfather, James’ son Hugh, settled in Truro, Nova Scotia, and had four children. I grew up in the house he built in 1874.
James’ brother Hugh married Mary Peppard and his sister Jane married John Angevine in a double wedding in 1825, the same year William married Mary Ann Moore. Another sister, Elizabeth, married Anthony Peppard, the brother of her sister-in-law Mary Peppard, but she died at the age of 36 in the same part of the province.
As for Ann Lightbody-McCulloch, she had a dozen children who married into Ulster Scot families who had arrived a generation or two earlier. Most of the family in the first generation remained in Nova Scotia, but as the 1850s and 1860s came along some began to travel. By the late 1890s most of the Lightbody descendants had moved to western Canada or the U.S.
The name is almost a ghost now in Nova Scotia. There are only two of us with this last name left. While the Lightbody name may no longer be prevalent, there are dozens and dozens of families who have Lightbody DNA in central Nova Scotia. There is still a road in Belmont, Colchester County, Nova Scotia called Lightbody Road.
The Search Continues
After 30 years of searching I now have a big piece of the puzzle solved. I don’t know if or when I would have ever learned this information, so I am grateful for the time and energy Faye Kert spent to bring this list into the open. I am blessed to be given this chance to tell you about my family and its interesting and wonderful history.

In the months since I heard from Faye, I have done more research to see what other information I could find about the family’s arrivals in the New World. James’ siblings emigrated either before or after him, but did they come to Halifax or New York? It’s a matter of trying to find the route the rest of the family took
and the exact Lightbody connection to Scotland. I have finally found the answers to some burning questions and it has led to more questions. I like that kind of thing. It means the hunt is not over; there is more searching, and looking, and speculating, just what a good mystery needs!


Here is the passenger list from the Magnet. Thank you to Faye Kert for a copy of these. 

Shows the name of the ship is Magnet and it was an American vessel from the port of Plymouth, Massachusetts and the Master, Timothy Drew and that she was going from Belfast to New York.

Hugh McCulloch is #79, his daughter Ann age six #80, Daughter Mary age three #81, James Lightbody is #82 age twenty two. Under Hugh McCulloch the place of residence is Killinchy and under James is says "do" meaning ditto.

Ann Lightbody #83 age twenty three is actually James sister and Hugh McCulloch's wife. #84 is James (should read McCulloch not Lightbody) age five, #85 is Charlotte (should read McCulloch not Lightbody) age two months.(born March or April 1812)