Monday, July 29, 2013

United Empire Loyalists in Bedeque

     Two sides of my family's history have United Empire Loyalists (UEL) who came up from the New England states of America to find refuge in British North American, who eventually came to Prince Edward Island to take up farming in the Bedeque area.
     I was at the Canadian Potato Museum in O'Leary recently and came across the book about the Hooper family of Bedeque - I had to have it.  Within its pages I found miscellaneous references to my own family which I have extracted here, information that describes early churches they were involved with...

Page 98 - Bradshaw reference
...the site of the first Baptist church is covered with graves of its early membership.  The first church, built it is believed in 1826, stood in the middle of the present Baptist cemetery. In bedeque's early history, Isaac Bradshaw was to the Baptist church what Nathaniel Wright was to the Methodist. Coming to Bedeque from Sackville, New Brunswick in 1805 with his wife Sybil Emerson (their eldest daughter Hannah married George Jeffery in 1821), he settled on a farm at central Bedeque.  His pleasant home built on the hill overlooking the creek which for many years carried his surname, was the headquarters of the Regular Baptist church on the island, with Mr. Bradshaw serving very effectively as local preacher in Bedeque and Tryon,..the church when organized in 1826 had a membership of twenty-eight with Isaac Bradshaw the first deacon, 

Page 99 - Silliker reference
...Methodism was making considerable progress, and in 1816 Rev. John Hick took steps toward the erection of a chapel....the church was completed in 1818 on a part of that plot of ground which forms the cemetery [ in lower Bedeque ]. The land being donated by Joseph Silliker (brother of Strang Silliker, uncle to Strang’s sons John & Joseph who moved west to Knutsford, cutting the O’Leary Road out of the wilderness - John Silliker donated land and lumber for Knutsford Methodist church – presently at Canadian Potato Museum, O’Leary).  [The reader will recall that he owned the farm on which the Lower Bedeque cemetery is located. On either side of this farm was the property of  Major Hooper and Thomas Hooper.] The location was near the shore for practical reason that travel was largely by water, there being no roads, only trails.  The building was 30 feet by 40 feet with gothic windows, gallery and porch.  The first trustee board of this Wesleyan property consisted of Nathaniel Wright Sr., Nathaniel Wright Jr., Stephen Wright Sr., Stephen Wright Jr., Elisha Hooper, Joseph Wood, and Jesse Strang Sr.

Comes from....

A United Empire Loyalist Family: The Life and Times of Thomas Hooper
of Bedeque Prince Edward Island, Canada and his Descendants, 1734-2004.
by Nancy E. Neal.
Published by Nancy E. Neal in association with Crescent Isle Publishing. 2006.
ISBN 0-9691824-8-1

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