Written by George James Marshall, Jr., 1997
Revised with new information by Patricia Balkcom, December 13, 2016
Richard George first comes on the scene when we find him mentioned in his father’s will of January 17th, 1853 in which the elder John Marshall names John, his grandson, as the son of Richard. At his father’s death in December of 1853, Richard would have been about 34 years of age, already married and himself the father of seven children.
Richard married Mary Anne Penney at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Burin on April 18th, 1842. Richard’s brother, Matthew, was married to a Frances Penney, so it is possible that two brothers may have married two sisters. The only witness to this marriage was Clement Benning. Clement appears to have been a life-long friend of the Marshall family as he appears often as a baptismal sponsor to Marshall grandchildren. Also, Richard and Mary Anne, later named their youngest son, Clement.
Richard and Mary Anne had a large family and there were eight known children. The dates listed are baptismal dates from St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Burin, birthdates are not known. According to a grandson of Richard, he remembers hearing that Richard actually had 24 children – 13 by Mary Anne Penney and 11 by his second wife, Mary Hardstone. However, we have not found evidence of children other than those listed.
13 May 1842 - John
31 Dec. 1843 – Richard
23 Feb. 1846 - Mary
29 Sep. 1847 – Matthew (born September 2)
03 Sep. 1849 - Isabella
31 May 1852 – Ambrose
12 Aug. 1854 – Alfred
21 Nov. 1856 - Charles
19 June 1859 – Clement
Mary Anne died sometime between the birth of Clement and Richard’s second marriage in 1871. It’s possible that she may have died during childbirth. She probably had many brothers and sisters as there are many Penneys throughout Burin and in other parts of Newfoundland. With her death, Richard would have been left with several young children.
When Richard’s father, John, died in December, 1853, he left him the schooner the Nautilus and some of his cash assets. John’s property was divided between his two grandsons, Thomas (oldest son of Matthew) and John (oldest son of Richard). It appears that John had considerable business assets when he died and it might have been with these inherited assets that Matthew and Richard built a large ice house. It is not known when this structure was built but in Matthew’s will he devoted time to laying out what should happen to it if he should die. He also referred to the M & R Marshall firm (Matthew & Richard’s business venture together) so we believe that they had a thriving business at this time. Matthew wrote his Will in March, 1857 when he was only in his mid-forties. He must have been experiencing fairly serious health problems to have written the Will at this young age, and indeed he died shortly after this while walking up the Church steps.
This must have been an exceedingly difficult period in Richard’s life; he had lost his father and his brother within a span of three years and was now responsible for the family business which was a considerable undertaking. We are not sure when his wife, Mary Anne died, but it was most likely only a few years later and he was left with several children. Reportedly the business declined. Family lore states that the Anglican Church helped Richard with the care of his young children after his wife died. Supposedly, there were subsequently some hard feelings later when Richard remarried to a Catholic woman and not an Anglican woman.
Two other tragic events occurred that must have had an enormous effect on Richard. His eldest son, John, died in 1862, at the age of 20, after a lingering illness. We are not sure what this malady was but many young people died of tuberculosis during this time period. Also, the Nautilus, which he now owned, sank off of Petty Harbour on January 1, 1865. (Burin, 1977, p.141) Captain Butler and his son, and three other crew members were lost.
It is also possible that Richard may have lost his three youngest sons, Alfred, Charles, and Clement as they disappear from church records after their baptisms. Of course, it is also possible that they left the Burin area as young men.
Hutchison’s Directory of 1864/5 indicated that a Richard Marshall was Justice of the Peace for the Southern Judicial District. This area is now known as the South coast, which runs from Harbour Breton to Port au Basque, as opposed to the southern Shore, which is south from St. John’s to Cape Race, to Burin and Fortune Bay.
In 1871, on February 3rd, at the age of 52, Richard married Mary Hardstone (name variations in records are Hartstone, Heartstone, and in later years, Hartson) in the same Catholic Church as he had married Mary Anne. The marriage was witnessed by Janet Barry and Alice Power. It appears that Mary was likely 30 years younger than Richard as they also had many children.
It is curious that Richard and Mary Hardstone named three of their children (John, Charles and Isabella) the same names as Richard’s children with Mary Anne Penney. This may indicate that Charles and Isabella also died young as did Richard's son, John. Again, the listed dates are baptismal dates.
27 June 1872 – Josephine
20 Aug. 1875 – Caroline
14 Aug. 1877 – Margaret Mary
01 July 1879 – John Joseph (born June 8th)
24 May 1881 – Charles Matthew (born May 3rd)
07 Aug. 1883 – Roseanne
24 June 1885 – George James (born May 18th) (father of the author, and grandfather of Patricia Balkcom)
09 Oct. 1887 – Isabelle
01 June 1892 – Elizabeth
In June of 1874, a Dr. Smith came to Burin and leased the Richard Marshall House for 20 pounds sterling ($100) annually (Burin, 1977, p. 82). That the house was suitable for a doctor may say something of Richard’s prosperity. However, it leaves the question as to where was Richard and his very large family living? Did he have an “extra” house to lease out?
According to the Lighthouse Explorer website, Richard became the lighthouse keeper at Dodding Head around 1892. This lighthouse is just south of Burin at the entrance to Burin Bay. It is not very large but for the seamen of Burin it was the first welcome thing they saw as they headed home from the sea. Richard would have been about 74 years old then. In fact, his last child, Elizabeth, was born around May of that same year. Tragedy struck Richard again though, as little Elizabeth died when she was only 10 months old. The Burial record states she died of liver disease and that she died at Dodding Head on April 5th, 1893. If young Elizabeth died there, it seems to indicate that the family was living on the grounds of the lighthouse in the 1890s. Madeline, the daughter of Isabelle, (the child who was born before Elizabeth,) has said that Mary Hardstone, her mother, died when Isabelle was 5 years old. If this is accurate, then Mary must have died in the same year as Elizabeth.
Within the next two years, two of Richard's sons (by Mary Anne Penney) also died. Richard in 1896, aged 52 and Ambrose in 1897, aged 44.
After losing his youngest child and his wife, Richard must have stayed on at the lighthouse for another five years as family lore has it that he died while tending the lighthouse. Despite our best efforts, we have not found gravestones in the local churchyards for Richard, Mary or Elizabeth. Either they never had stones or they have disappeared or possibly they were buried in unmarked graves on the lighthouse property.
Richard died on March 11, 1898 at Dodding Head.
This is the transcription of the Will that he wrote in 1897:
"In the Name of God. Amen.
I, Richard Marshall (the Elder) of Burin Newfoundland now suffering from great weakness of body, but of sound mind and right judgement do at my death give and bequeath my two sons, John Marshall and Charles Marshall, the two meadows namely the one nearest little Salmonier to John and the next one immediately adjoining to Charles, and the next meadow including dwelling home Stable Garden from the Main Road to the Salt Water (?) Divided by the Brook west of Stable unto Caroline and Margaret my children. The next meadow adjoining meaning the fourth from the East to the left vacant for the building of Stable or outhouses or other conveniences for the use of the farm, and not to be the special property of anybody, and the fifth meadow from the East to my daughter Rosannah, and the Sixth meadow to my son, George and the seventh and last to my daughter Isabella. This includes land now cleared and known as Meadows. The land East and West not cleared and not left to any of my children in particular, I leave in the hands of my two executors to dispose of or divide as they may think proper for benefit of my children to be given them or value thereof the above land is known as Bally Brady farm and situated at North east side of Burin Bay Arm. I also bequeath unto my grandaughter, Beatrice (of Richard) the piece of land next adjoining my son, Matthew, to the South west as marked in the grant of my Fathers, and lastly I appoint John Winter and my nephew, John Marshall to be my true and lawful executors to carry out the condition of my last will and testament.
In witness whereof I have hereunto subscribed my name and affix my seal this eighteenth day of November in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and ninety seven.
Richard Marshall (signed) Signed and sealed and delivered in the presence
of Augustin DuBourdieu, John Marshall of Richard."
First Family of Richard George
As stated above, we know that their eldest child, John, died at age 20 in 1862.
In Richard George’s will, he states that he is leaving land to his granddaughter, Beatrice and he identifies her as the daughter of his son, Richard. Beatrice and her father, Richard, are found living in the English Harbour area in Fortune Bay in later years. A death record for Richard states he died of heart disease on November 2, 1896 in English Harbour East at the age of 52 and that he is buried there. Beatrice married a young man there named James Bindon in 1906 and one of the witnesses to the marriage is Richard Marshall, who we believe is her brother. Sadly, Beatrice died of tuberculosis at the age of 32. Beatrice's father, Richard, had married Mary Ann Pine on the 28th of November 1878 in English Harbour. They had 7 known children:
Gertrude Isabel (1879-1880)
Richard Matthew (1882-)
When Richard died prematuraly, Mary Ann was left with 5 young children.
Mary appears to have been Richard and Mary Anne Penney's first daughter (born 1846). When she was 21, she married Denis Burke, in Burin. Her brother, Richard, and her sister, Isabella, were witnesses to the wedding. Mary's first cousin, also named Mary Marshall (daughter of Matthew Marshall & Francis Penney) married Denis Burke's brother, Michael, in the same year. Denis and Micheale were from Roch Harbour, a small settlement, about 25 miles north of Burin. Denis and Mary lived there and had at least 8 children (church records are missing for the years between the birth of their 7th child in 1883 and their youngest child, Francis Regis, in 1892) so other children could have been born during these years. Denis died in 1909, when Mary was 63. She is found in the 1921 & 1935 Censuses and her daughter, Elizabeth Ellen is living with her. It appears therefore that Mary lived to be at least 90 years old.
Matthew is mentioned in Richard George’s Will in 1897 as owning land in Burin, however, by 1891, he and his wife (Martha Hanrahan from Burin) are found in the Halifax Census. He died there in 1906 at the age of 53 and his wife died a couple of months later. I have not found any records of children for this couple.
Isabella married John Kelly in Burin in 1875. Since there is a child named Isabelle during Richard George’s second marriage, it is possible that Isabella died young.
Ambrose married Mary Farrell in St. Patrick’s Church on the 26th of November 1873 and they had a son, John, baptized in the same church on the 12th of October 1874. In 1886, they were moved to St. John’s. Ambrose and Mary had at least 8 children. Ambrose died of a hemorrhage on March 12, 1897 when he was only 44 years old. Mary was left with a large family, their youngest daughter, Isabella, only being a year old. Ambrose is buried in St. John’s in Mt. Carmel Cemetery.
Alfred , Charles and Clement seem to disappear from the records after their baptisms. Did they also die young?
Second Family of Richard George
The eldest child of Richard Marshall and Mary Hardstone, Josephine, married William Murray Hunt in St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Burin on August 7th, 1887. She would have just turned 15. Baptismal records have been found for four of their children: Margaret (1891), Richard (1893), Mary Gertrude (1896), and Florence (1897). Some time later they left Burin for the wilds of Western Canada. They homesteaded near Wareman, north of Saskatoon and the author recalls his father telling him they first lived in a house of cedar logs, mud walls and a sod roof, typical of homesteaders’ first dwellings. That they didn’t go until about the turn of the century is likely as George’s father told him that he remembers their going and that it was on the basis of correspondence with Josephine that he first went West in 1906 and eventually took his bride there in 1922. The Hunts eventually all left Saskatchewan and moved to North Sydney on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. Marriage records for all four of their children and gravestones for some of them, including that of William Hunt, are in Holy Cross Cemetery in North Sydney. A death or burial record has not been found for Josephine at this time. Since she doesn’t seem to be in the plot with her husband, I wonder if she died in Saskatchewan.
Caroline, born 1875, married on Oct. 20th, 1898, Isaac Penney, likely of Burin and apparently moved to Sydney, Nova Scotia. She died in North Sydney on Archibald Ave., age 37, on April 5, 1912. She left 2 daughters, Martha (age 12) and Rita (age 5) and 1 son, Joseph (age 2). Another daughter, Margaret, had died about 4 years earlier, around the age of 5. At some time after her death, Isaac moved with the children to Worcester, Massachusetts, a community that welcomed a fair number of Newfoundlanders as we shall see. Martha eventually married William Hanam and they had 13 children and died in Worcester on May 29, 1978. This information comes to us through a connection with Russell Hanam who lives in Tuscon, Arizona, a grandson of Caroline and Isaac. Rita, at the age of 16, married Exeos Larocque in Worcester in 1923 and they had three known daughters, Viola, Evelyn and Estelle and two sons, Robert and Charles. Rita died in Worcester at 72 years of age on February 6, 1980. Martha and Rita’s, brother, Joseph Puis Penney, is found to be living with Martha and William Hanam in the 1921 & 1930 Censuses.
Margaret Mary married John Michael (known as Jack) Paul also from Burin on February 4, 1902 in Burin. Shortly after their marriage they moved to Sydney, Nova Scotia where they had three children: Maude, James, and Genevieve. Later they moved to Hamilton, Ontario where Jack was Superintendent of the Rod Mill at the Steel Company of Canada, a position in which he was succeeded by his son, Jim. Margaret and Jack, when George (the author) knew them in the 1940’s, lived in an apartment on the north side of King Street, just west of Stirton. Jim had been in the R.C.A.F. and unmarried at the time and so it must have been about 1946. George remembers Margaret as being a heavy set woman, very amiable, and visited her brother, George Sr. on occasion, with whom they went to Saturday evening dances at nearby Robert’s Restaurant. Maude, lived in a lovely house on Maple Ave., just east of London St. in Hamilton, and Genevieve lived on Cluny St. near Barton and Ottawa Sts. Genevieve worked at Robinson’s Department Store on James St. South. Jack Paul and his son Jim were big, dark men. Jack may have been a son or nephew of a John Paul who is recorded as having emigrated from England and was a fisherman and trader in Placentia Bay. He brought his nephews over from England to succeed him when he retired to the old country. Jack died in Hamilton in 1963 and although we don’t have a date of death for Margaret Mary, Jack’s obituary states that she predeceased him.
John Joseph (Jack) Marshall, born 1879, married Katherine Penney in Burin on November 16th, 1903. They had 5 children: Madge (Margaret) b. 1904, Matthew b. 1907, Adolphus b. 1910, George b. 1913, and Alphonse b. 1916, the latter two children dying in infancy. John and Katherine left Newfoundland in 1924 to settle in Worcester, Mass. John is believed to have spent a little time in Hamilton, perhaps with Margaret and Jack Paul prior to 1924. The story was told that Jack had a work prospect at the Cooksville Brick Works (now Highways #5 & 10) and walked there from Hamilton to secure the job. Matthew, in Worcester, told me in 1996 that his father was friendly with Alfie Pike, also of Burin who had gone to Worcester in 1922/23 and who had corresponded with Jack in Hamilton telling him that prospects were good in the States which may have encouraged Jack to return to Burin, pack up Katherine and the children and set off for Worcester. Katherine died in 1950, at which time John went to live with Madge and her husband, John Hult, in a lovely home on Courtland St. in Worcester. John was a very friendly man, tall and slim and of no pretense at all. George had the pleasure of visiting with Matthew for a few days in 1996, he died in Worcester on September 1, 2004 at the age of 97, having been predeceased by his daughter Mary Lynch in 2002 and leaving a son, John. Madge and John Hult had no children.
Charles Matthew, born May 3rd, 1881 was left land by his father in 1897. He would have been 16 when his father died and probably had to help with the care of his younger siblings. He left Burin at some point and married Bridget Lonergan, aged 22, also from Burin, in North Sydney, Nova Scotia in 1906 when he was 24. It appears that Bridget died young or that they divorced as Charles married again in 1915, a woman by the name of Germaine Veronique Lucie Audoux, from St. Pierre. Charles had a daughter, named Helen, born about 1814. It is not known if her mother was Bridget or Germaine. He and Germaine had a stillborn son in 1915. During WW1, Charles enlisted in the Canadian military. His attention papers, filed on April 13, 1916 in North Sydney, list him as Matthew Marshall. He was assigned to the 185th Battalion but it appears that he did not serve as he located to Cambridge, Massachusetts with his wife, Jennie, and daughter, Helen, in 1910. In 1920, they are listed in the Boston census, living at 510 Shawmut Ave. I have not been able to find them in any other records after this. It has always been said by family members that he died in Bellevue Hospital in New York City.
Roseanne, apparently known as Rosanna (from her father's Will), married Dennis Boudreau on the 12th of Nov. 1903 in St. Mary's Catholic Chuch in Halifax, NS. They had four known children, Alice Teresa, born 27 May 1904; Dennis R., born 27 March 1906; and Helen Bernadette, born 14 Nov. 1909 and Ronald, born in 1914. All, except for Alice, died as infants. Alice married Carl Taylor in 1920. Dennis Boudreau married again in 1922 and it is believed that the marriage with Rose ended in divorce. We have not been able to find a death record for Rose. There are some voter lists in Cape Breton as recent as 1945 listing a Mrs. Rose Boudreau but it is not known at this time if this is “our” Rose.
Information, about George James, will be presented in a separate biography.
Isabelle, born 1889, married Ernest Moignard in St. Patrick’s at Burin on February 5th, 1905. Ernest we believe was from Sydney, Nova Scotia and possibly could have met through her sister Caroline who was living there by then. Isabelle and Ernest had two daughters, Madeline (born 1908 in Halifax) and Doris (born 1915, also in Halifax). Madeline married William Sansoucy and nothing is known of him. Madeline is buried with her parents in Fairview Cemetery in Halifax, she died in 1984. Doris was married to Charles Francis Longley, a Halifax lawyer. They had one child, a son, named Charles, born about 1935. Doris passed away in 1972 in Halifax and Charles Longley, died in 1994 and their son, Charles died in 2012. The Longleys lived in a big house opposite Point Pleasant Park in Halifax and George remembers them coming to visit the his parent’s house on Barnesdale Ave. in Hamilton.
St. Patrick's Church baptismal records indicate that "On June 1st, 1892, at Doddin(g) Head, Burin, Elizabeth, born 20th May, of Richard Marshall, light housekeeper and Mary Hartson. Sponsors: Ignatius Cody and Caroline Marshall." Dodding Head is the location of the lighthouse being tended by Richard George at his death. As said earlier, it appears that the family might have been living at the lighthouse which was a common occurrence for lighthouse keepers – a house was provided so they could be available 24 hours a day. Elizabeth died of liver disease when she was 10 months old. She died at Dodding Head on April 5, 1893. According to family lore that Mary, her mother, died when Isabelle was 5 years old, it would appear that she also died this same year.