Thursday, January 9, 2014

Cracking Brick Walls Is it Eunice Buell or Crossman?

My 5th Great Grandfather on my direct maternal line is Adam Howatt born abt. 1785 in Tryon, PEI.  Adam died 23 Nov. 1871 in Augustine Cove, PEI.  He was the son of James Howatt and Marguerite Ulrich.

My brick wall on this line is Adam’s first wife.  All the trees I’ve ever found show it to be Eunice Buell.  Most of these trees have no birth or death dates and the few that do have no sources for the information.  The only other place I’ve seen Eunice Buell’s name is in some PEI family history books, that are again un sourced.  I’ve searched on and off for a few years trying to confirm Eunice’s surname and find out who her family is with out luck.

This past Monday we were under blizzard warnings and snowed in.  I decided to make some good use of this time and spent a few hours looking through records on Family Search. It looks like I’ve made some progress!

I first tried the PEI baptism records.  I have searched these before but always using full names or partial surnames.  This time I decided to try searching with only the first name Eunice, no surnames and no dates.

A few pages in I found a very interesting record.

1824DEC26_BA_Canada_PEI_Richmond_Mary_Howatt

Name:    Mary Howitt
Event Type:    Baptism
Event Date:    26 Dec 1824
Event Place:    Richmond , Prince Edward Island
Father's Name:    Adam Howitt
Mother's Name:    Eunice Cropman
Book Number:    1
Page:    19
GS Film number:    1487757
Digital Folder Number:    004594549
Image Number:    03891

Citing this Record:
"Prince Edward Island Baptism Card Index, 1721-1885," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/KCXX-MFY : accessed 07 Jan 2014), Adam Howitt in entry for Mary Howitt, 1824.

This baptism record matches the birth date and place I have for Mary Eunice Jane Howatt daughter of Adam Howatt and who was always said to be Eunice Buell.

The same record is on the PEI archives and has an added note that the fathers surname is Howatt.

Child's Full Name      Mary Howitt
Birth Date      12 August 1812
Place of Birth      Tryon River
Baptismal Date      26 December 1824
Place of Baptism     
Officiating Clergy      J.C. Jenkins
Father's Name      Adam Howitt
Mother's Name      Eunice Cropman
Church Name      Church of England
Church Location      Richmond
Record Book Number      1
Record Book Page      19
Entry Number     
Notes      Howatt

http://www.gov.pe.ca/archives/baptismal/detail.php?id=39563

Unfortunately  I haven’t been able to find the baptism records for their other children yet.  I have 2 more children for this couple, my 4th Great Grandmother Ann Howatt born 1808 who married Bowden Gardiner and Frances Bell Howatt who married John William Robinson. 

I started looking in the PEI baptism index for surnames similar to Cropman.  I found a baptism record for Elizabeth Eunice Cropsman who was baptized about the same time in the same church.  Daughter of Benjamin Cropman and Ann Cannon.

Name:    Elizabeth Eunice Cropsman
Event Type:    Baptism
Event Date:    06 Dec 1824
Event Place:    Richmond , Prince Edward Island
Father's Name:    Benjamin Cropman
Mother's Name:    Ann Cannon
Book Number:    1
Page:    19
GS Film number:    1487753
Digital Folder Number:    004594545
Image Number:    02336

Citing this Record:
"Prince Edward Island Baptism Card Index, 1721-1885," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/KCX8-LFS : accessed 07 Jan 2014), Elizabeth Eunice Cropsman, 1824.

Some further reading and I found the surname is CROSSMAN not Cropman/Cropsman.  Baptism records for other children of Benjamin Crossman and Ann Cannon confirm this.  The parents of Benjamin Crossman Jr. are suppose to be Benjamin Crossman who married Eunice Stark.

Name:    Benjamin Crossman
Spouse's Name:    Unis Start
Event Date:    09 Dec 1784
Event Place:    Saint John'S Anglican,Cornwallis Twp,Kings,Nova Scotia
Indexing Project (Batch) Number:    M53410-2
System Origin:    Nova_Scotia-ODM
GS Film number:    1376193
Reference ID:

Citing this Record:
"Nova Scotia, Marriages, 1711-1909," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/XL5J-HXB : accessed 09 Jan 2014), Benjamin Crossman and Unis Start, 09 Dec 1784.

I have found a few trees that list Eunice Crossman as born in 1785 and married to Adam Howatt with the child Mary above.  They also list Benjamin Crossman Jr. as her brother born abt. 1798/99 in Nova Scotia.  The family later moved to PEI.

So now I’m left with some questions.  How did the surname Buell get attributed to Eunice?  Perhaps she married a man with the Buell surname and was widowed soon after.  Since I have never found a source other then word of mouth perhaps it was just family story.

Is Eunice Crossman the sister of Benjamin Crossman Jr.  This does seem very likely.  Crossman is not a common name, Benjamin and Eunice used the same church.  I need to find out if Eunice and Benjamin were born in Nova Scotia or PEI for sure.  I also need to try and find baptism records for them.  So far searching online hasn’t turned up anything.

I also checked my DNA matches on Family Tree DNA and AncestryDNA and found quite a few matches with the Crossman surname. 

I still have more work to do on this, but at this point Eunice’s surname being Crossman and not Buell seems to be very likely.