Rhoda A. Crowell Is This You?

One of my 3rd Great Grandmothers Rhoda A. Crowell (Puddington) has been a long time brick wall in my family genealogy.  I've always wanted to find out who Rhoda really was and what family she belonged to.  This past week I decided to start my search  fresh with just the facts I knew and not worry about family stories.

So what do I know about Rhoda A. Crowell?  The first record I can find of her is a marriage notice filed in the New Brunswick Courier.  The transcript below is from the New Brunswick Archives, vital records from newspapers database.

Daniel F. Johnson : Volume 21 Number 475
Date November 14 1863
County Saint John
Place Saint John
Newspaper New Brunswick Courier

m. 11th inst., by Rev. J.R. Narraway, Thomas E. PUDDINGTON, Kingston (Kings Co.) / Miss Rhoda A. CROWELL, Windsor, N.S.

The marriage of Thomas E. Puddington and Rhoda A. Crowell is also recorded in the marriage bonds database of the New Brunswick Archives.  Unfortunately these records do not list the parents of the bride or groom.  In this case Thomas father Edwin Puddington was the co signer.

Year    1863
Role    BRIDE
Point of Origin    NOVA SCOTIA
County    --
Microfilm    F-9094
Reference    1863-2247

Related Records



So from the marriage bond and newspaper announcement we know that Rhoda A. Crowell was from Windsor, Nova Scotia.


The 1871 Canada census shows that after their marriage Thomas Puddington and wife Rhoda A. Crowell moved back to Windsor, N.S.

Thomas Puddington, male, age 36, born in N.B., Baptist, English, occupation carpenter, married.
Rhoda Puddington, female, age 32, born in N.S., Baptist, English, married.
Arthur W. Puddington, male, age 6, born in N.S., Baptist, English.
Harriet Puddington, female, age 2, born in N.S., Baptist, English.
Lilian Puddington, female, born 2/12, Feb., in N.S., Baptist, English.
Deborah Puddington, female, age 18, born in N.B., Church of England, English.

From the census we know Rhoda was born in Nova Scotia about 1839.  Other then their children Arthur W., Harriet "Hattie" and Lilian, Thomas sister Deborah Puddington is also living with the family.

The next record of Rhoda that I have found is her death notice.  It was published in the Daily Telegraph, NB.  Rhoda's age in this would put her birth about 1838 and it says she died in Windsor, N.S.
Unfortunately her death is not recorded in the vital records on the Nova Scotia Archives. 

Daniel F. Johnson : Volume 41 Number 188
Date June 18 1877
County Saint John
Place Saint John
Newspaper The Daily Telegraph

d. Windsor, N.S., 11th inst., Rhoda A. PUDDINGTON w/o Thomas E. PUDDINGTON, age 39, left husband, four children.

So from the information above I can see that Rhoda A. Crowell was born about 1838/9 and was from Windsor, N.S.

Looking at the 1861 Canada census for Nova Scotia and the city directories for Windsor, their are only 2 Crowell family's living there.
The first is the family of Charles & Rebecca Crowell.  Charles is a boot maker and the 1861 census does not show a daughter in the right age group to be my Rhoda.

Also recorded on the same census page is the family of Robert Crowell.  Perhaps Charles is a younger brother?  The census for Robert's family DOES include a daughter the right age to be Rhoda.  I've transcribed the census below and posted in brackets the names of Roberts children I've identified so far that match the right age groups.

1861 Canada Census Crowellpg1

1861 Canada Census, Windsor, NS.

Robert Crowell, 3 males, 4 females, 7 total,
1 female over 2 & under 3 years (Maude?),
1 male over 5 & under 10 years (Elkanah?),
1 female over 5 & under 10 years (Hannah?),
1 single male over 20 and under 30 (Joseph?),
1 female single over 20 and under 30 years (Rhoda?),
1 married male over 40 and under 50 years, (Robert)
1 married female over 40 and under 50 years, (Harriet)
1 married male, 2 single males, 0 widowed males, 3 total males, 1 married female, 3 single 3 females, 0 widowed, 4 total females.


The 1871 Canada census shows Harriet wife of Robert and the children still living in Windsor.  The two children who were listed as male over 20 and female over 20 are not with the family, however they have had a new child since the last census Mary age 4.

1871 Census Windsor, NS.
Harriet Crowell, female, age 50, born in N.S., W. Methodist, English, married.
Elkanah Crowell, male, age 19, born in N.S., W. Methodist, English, occupation Carpenter.
Hannah Crowell, female, age 15, born in N.S., W. Methodist, English.
Maude Crowell, female, age 12, born in N.S., W. Methodist, English, going to school.
Hulet Crowell, male, age 7, born in N.S., W. Methodist, English, going to school.
Mary Crowell, female, age 4, born in N.S., W. Methodist, English.


Robert was listed on a different page of the census, recorded at work?  I do know that this is the correct Robert as the city directories record him, then later list Harriet Crowell widow of Robert.  I notice that Harriet and the children are recorded as Methodist and Robert states he's a Baptist.

Robert Crowell, male, age 61, born in N.S., Baptist, English, occupation Pilot & laborer, married.

Hutchison's Nova Scotia Directory 1864/65

Chares Crowell, boot and shoemaker, Gerrish n Water
Robert Crowell, pilot, h Water n Albert

Lovell's Province of Nova Scotia Directory 1871

Charles Crowell, bootmaker
Robert Crowell, tavern

Looking on FamilySearch for more information the family of Robert & Harriet turned up a marriage of Joseph Crowell to Ellen Bates.  Their marriage is dated 22 August 1867 in Windsor.  This would fit to make Joseph the son over 20 and explain why he is not in the 1871 census with his parents.

Name:    Joseph Crowell
Spouse's Name:    Ellen Bates
Event Date:    22 Aug 1867
Event Place:    Windsor, Hants, Nova Scotia
Father's Name:    Robert Crowell
Mother's Name:    Harriet
Spouse's Father's Name:    Thomas Bates
Spouse's Mother's Name:    Hannah

Citing this Record:
"Nova Scotia, Marriages, 1711-1909," index, <i>FamilySearch</i> (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/XL52-14B : accessed 20 Jul 2014), Joseph Crowell and Ellen Bates, 22 Aug 1867; citing Windsor, Hants, Nova Scotia; FHL microfilm 1298988.

I checked the Nova Scotia Archives vital records database and found only one child recorded for Robert & Harriet.  The child was not named in the record but the date fits to be their son Huelat M. Crowell.

Crowell, male, born 31 March 1864, Windsor, father Robert Crowell, laborer, Windsor, mother H. Crowell.

The New Brunswick Archives newspaper database turned up more records for this family.  Sadly it shows many of the children died as teens and young adults.

Daniel F. Johnson : Volume 31 Number 1875

Date April 11 1872
County Saint John
Place Saint John
Newspaper Daily News

d. Windsor, N.S., 4th inst., Hannah Cochrane CROWELL fourth d/o Mrs. H.A. CROWELL, age 16.

Maude Crowell, female, age 17, spinster, Windsor, parents Robert & Hannah, died June, Windsor 1875,

Daniel F. Johnson : Volume 36 Number 1837

Date June 26 1875
County Saint John
Place Saint John
Newspaper Watchman

d. Windsor, 20th inst., Maud CROWELL d/o Mrs. H.A. CROWELL, age 17.

Daniel F. Johnson : Volume 58 Number 2410

Date May 11 1882
County Westmorland
Place Sackville
Newspaper Chignecto Post

m. Clifton House, Windsor, 26th ult., by Rev. J.M. Pike, W.S. ROBB / Alice M. CROWELL only d/o Mrs. H.A. CROWELL.

Daniel F. Johnson : Volume 63 Number 2220

Date December 11 1885
County Saint John
Place Saint John
Newspaper The Daily Telegraph

d. Windsor, N.S., 3rd inst., Alice May ROBB wife of W.S. ROBB and d/o Mrs. H.A. CROWELL, age 19.

Daniel F. Johnson : Volume 76 Number 2200

Date January 21 1890
County Westmorland
Place Moncton
Newspaper The Times

The last issue of the Windsor 'Tribune' has the following: Huelat M. CROWELL youngest s/o Mrs. H.A. CROWELL died of consumption at his mother's residence Saturday night. Huelat was a moulder by trade and worked for some time in the Windsor foundary, afterwards at Moncton. His death makes the 12th in a family of 14 children, seven sons and seven daughters. The deceased leaves a widow, but no family. The deceased was a member of No. 4 Company 78th Batt. and also of the 7s Band and was buried with military honors. The deceased worked about eight months in Moncton in the employ of the Record factory, leaving here over a year ago. http://archives.gnb.ca/Search/NewspaperVitalStats/Details.aspx?culture=en-CA&guid=b6483255-ad12-4aad-aa5d-ff72e13a2eb9&r=1&ni=72292

Huelat M. Crowell’s obituary above is helpful as it says that he was the 12th death of a family of 14 children.  Oh my how very sad!  Since I’ve only located 7 children for this family, if I include Rhoda as a daughter I’m still missing half of the family.  I couldn’t find any more on this family in the NB newspaper archive.  Perhaps they died as babies…  I did find a death notice for a Hattie A. Crowell daughter of Joseph & Ellen Crowell and granddaughter of Robert and Harriet.

Daniel F. Johnson : Volume 88 Number 362

Date January 6 1893
County Saint John
Place Saint John
Newspaper The Daily Telegraph

d. Windsor, N.S., Jan. 2nd, of consumption, Hattie A. CROWELL d/o Joseph CROWELL and the late Ellen CROWELL, age 21 years.

Harriet Amelia Crowell, female, died Dec. 14, 1911, age 91 years, residence Victoria Street, Windsor.  Occupation housewife, widowed, husband Robert Murray Crowell (deceased), born in Falmouth, cause of death senility, 3 weeks, religion Methodist, race White, name of physician C.H. Manis.  Undertaker Wm Cury & Sons, place of burial Maplewood, Windsor.  Person making return E.S. Beydle, Dec. 14, 1911

Although I haven’t yet been able to find a death record for Robert Murray Crowell, I did find his wife’s in the Nova Scotia Archives.  It is from this record we find out Roberts middle name.  We see that Harriet was born in Falmouth that is across the river from Windsor.  Unfortunately her death record does not list her parents.

So to summarize what I know about this family group.  Robert Murray Crowell was born about 1810 in Nova Scotia and he was a Baptist.  Robert's wife was Harriet Amelia surname unknown.  Harriet was born about 1820 in Falmouth, Nova Scotia and she was a Methodist.

According to their son Huelat's obituary Robert and Harriet had 14 children, 12 had died by 1890.
7 children have been identified for this family so far.
Rhoda A. Crowell born abt. 1838
Elkanah born abt. 1850
Hannah Cochrane Crowell born abt. 1856
Maude Crowell born abt. 1858
Huelet M. Crowell born 31 March 1864, died 12 Jan. 1890
Alice Mary Crowell born abt. 1867 married W.S. Robb on  26 May 1882.  She died 3 Dec. 1885.

On my to do list is to find a way to check the church records for Windsor, N.S. and see if there are any baptism records that can tie Rhoda to this family.  I am pretty sure that this IS her family, but if it’s possible to find proper documentation that is always wanted.  I’m also trying to cross check the names in my DNA tests, I have quite a few matches with the surname Cochrane in their background.  I suspect Cochrane might be Harriet Amelia’s surname as I’ve found it quite common to use the mothers surname as a middle name for a child.  Although some times it’s a grandmothers surname also.

Now how does this tie in with the family story that I’ve heard?  I had been told that Rhoda was born in Windsor, N.S. and that her father was a business man.  Also that she had at least one brother, the family may have owned a store in Windsor.  My cousin remembered reading that a Crowell had worked for Thomas Puddington who was a carpenter.

The information on Robert shows that he was a boat pilot and later worked in or owned a tavern.  After his death Harriet operated a hotel according to later census.  Son Elkanah was a carpenter in the 1871 census at the time Thomas and Rhoda lived in Windsor.  He later moved to the USA and I’ve lost him after the 1900 census.

Are related to anyone mentioned in this post?  Do you have further information on this family?  I would love to hear from you!

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