Genealogical Mysteries of the Fisher family


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New Jersey Mysteries, 1700-1830

Who were Michael Fisher's Parents?

Michael Fisher of Ramapo, Bergen County, New Jersey was born in 1722 and died in 1802, according to his grave stone in Ramapo Lutheran Cemetery (now in Mahwah). The earliest reference to him is the baptism of one of his children in the Lutheran Church in Ramapo in 1760. He may have emigrated from Germany or he may have been born in New Jersey or New York. Sometime about 1740 he married Maria [surname unknown] who bore him eight children, the eldest being Lewis Fisher (or Lodewick Fisher). The others were Conrad, Harman, Rynhart, Peter, Michael, David, and Anna.

Were Peter Visser and Michael Fisher connected?

Pieter or Peter Visser married Catrina Van Dusen (or Van Deursen) in Hackensack, New Jersey in 1722. In a Van Dusen family history, he is described as a young man from Wurtemberg, Germany. There is a Catrin Fishar (d. 1 Apr 1787) buried next to Michael Fisher and his wife Maria (1722-1812) in the Ramapo Lutheran Cemetery. I have seen references to a Peter Visser of Rockland County, New York. Were Peter and Catrina Visser/Fisher the parents of Michael Fisher?

James Taylor and Elizabeth Fisher of Bergen County, New Jersey

Elizabeth Fisher was born in 1778 and baptised in Ramapo Lutheran church, the daughter of Lewis Fisher and Mary Barbara Till. She went to Canada with her family as loyalists in 1783 but later returned to New Jersey to visit her grandparents, and married James Taylor there, date unknown. Family tradition states that they had thirteen children. When and where did they marry? What were the names of their children? Where did they live?


New Brunswick Mysteries, 1800-1920

The place of burial of Henry Fisher of Fredericton.

Henry Fisher died 1 February 1860 at Fredericton but the place of his burial is not definitely known. Obituaries at the time mention the funeral but not its place. He is not listed in the records of the main cemetery in Fredericton at the time, "The Old Burying Ground", and is not mentioned in the family plot there in Louise Hill's book.

The date of Sarah Maria (Busby) Fisher's death.

She was the daughter of Methodist Missionary Rev. Sampson Busby and widow of Henry Fisher of Fredericton. She was living in 1891 with her son Charles H. B. Fisher in Fredericton, and a newspaper article mentions that she was very ill in January 1894, but there is no mention of her death. There is no record of her death in New Brunswick indexes to death certificates, which were registered by the province after 1888. She may have had sisters still living in other communities in the Maritimes, like Middleton, Nova Scotia. The place of burial is also unknown.1

The daughter of Anne Fisher and Samuel Peters, and his occupation

Ann Fisher was born in 1787, the daughter of loyalists Lewis Fisher and Mary Barbara Till. She married Samuel Peters on 15 May 1833. The Royal Gazette shows that Samuel Peters' daughter Julia Jane died 28 Mar 1834 aged 6 months (b. Sep or Oct 1833). Was this a daughter of Samuel Peters and Ann Fisher? There were a number of other men named Samuel Peters in Saint John. This Samuel Peters was born in 1788, the son of William and Amy (Sutton) Peters of Kingston, New Brunswick. 2 What his occupation in Saint John? His will from 1848 says only that he was a "gentleman".

The date and place of marriage of Henry Peters Fisher and Wilhelmina Smith

He married Wilhelmina or Willimina Smith sometime in the 1860s, possibly in New York or New Brunswick. When and where did they marry? She was born 5 November 1840 in Scotland. 3 Henry P. Fisher died 26 July 1867, age 30 or 31, at Pleasant Valley, Dutchess County, New York. He was buried in the cemetery at St. Paul's Episcopalian Church in Pleasant Valley. Wilhelmina Fisher later returned to New Brunswick, settling in Moncton with her two children, where she married Peter McSweeney.

The parents of Agnes (Dalzell) Fisher of New Maryland

Gabriel Fisher of New Maryland married Agnes Dalzell (sometimes spelled Dalziel), 25 November 1852. She was born about 1827 in Ireland but the identity of her parents is not known. 4 Who were they? Did they come in New Brunswick?

The date of death of Thomas Peppers, and names of his parents

Thomas Peppers was born 19 February 1832 in New Brunswick, probably the son of Col. Thomas and Jane Peppers of St. Mary's. He was still living in 1901 in Fredericton with his wife Isabelle (Fisher) Peppers. She died 3 December 1922 in Saint John, when and where did Thomas Peppers die?

The date and place of death of Eliza Brewer

Eliza Fisher was born 4 March 1834 and married Henry Brewer, 29 December 1858, in the Parish of Douglas. 5 Henry Brewer died aged 72 and was buried 21 February 1906 at Upper Woodstock in an Anglican service. His obituary stated that he was survived by his widow, a daughter and two sons. She does not seem to be buried with him. Where and when did Eliza (Fisher) Brewer die? 6

The fate of Lucy Ann Keenan and Mary Martha Fisher

Lucy Ann Keenan of Stanley married William Peters Fisher married 2 August 1868, at St. Mary's Anglican church in St. Mary's (now part of Fredericton), but separated after having two children. 7 Lucy Ann Keenan was born in 1849, the daughter of Eugene "Odey" Keenan and Martha Maserole. She was Roman Catholic, he was not. She was living with her widowed mother in Stanley in 1891 along with the two children Mary Martha and Bernard, by then aged 20 and 22. Neither Lucy Fisher nor Mary Martha Fisher appear in the 1901 Census for Stanley. Her son Barney Fisher had moved to Moose River, Maine. Where had Lucy (Keenan) Fisher and Mary Martha Fisher gone between 1891 and 1901? Had Lucy remarried or her daughter married? Had either of them died? William Peters Fisher had died in 1897.

ANSWER - From the Gleaner, 12 March 1892, - Mrs. Andrew Cowie, Derby (Northumberland Co.) is visiting her mother, Mrs. Lucy A. Fisher, Stanley (York Co.), 10 March 1892.

The date of marriage of George Stack and Mary (Fisher) Fletcher.

After the death of her husband John A. Fletcher in 1909, Mary (Fisher) Fletcher remarried to George Stack of Hanwell, Parish of Kingsclear, in St. Dunstan's Roman Catholic Church in Fredericton, but the date is not known. Stack was born 1 August 1860, the son of Timothy and Margaret Stack of the Parish of Manners Sutton. When did they marry?

ANSWER - George Stack and Mary Fletcher married 15 December 1920 in Fredericton, from New Brunswick Marriage Certificates, online at Provincial Archives or microfilm reel F19675


North American Mysteries, 1870-2000

The date of death of Gertrude Fisher

Walter Stanley Fisher of Fredericton married Gertrude Raymond Jones, 21 September 1892, in Carleton County. 8 She was born 10 July 1872, the daughter of Randolph K. and Harriet Gertrude (Raymond) Jones of Woodstock. 9 Gertrude Fisher witnessed her daughter's marriage in Prince Rupert, British Columbia in 1914 and apparently was still living at the time of her husband's death, 9 March 1943, in Essondale, BC. He was buried in Mountain View cemetery, Vancouver, but Gertrude does not seem to be buried with him. 10 Her parents moved from Woodstock to Seattle, Washington, and other family members lived nearby in Olympia. Her daughter Lilian (Fisher) Linnell may have been living in the San Francisco area. When and where did Gertrude Fisher die?

ANSWER - Getrude R. Fisher died 4 November 1945, age 73, at Seattle, Washington. From Washington State Death Records, 1940-1996, certificate 1047.

The date of death of Raymond Fisher

Raymond Fisher was born 24 May 1900 in New Brunswick, the son of Walter Stanley Fisher and Gertrude Raymond Jones. They later moved to Prince Rupert and Victoria, British Columbia. When and where did Raymond Fisher die? Did he ever marry or reach adulthood?

ANSWER - According to Washington State death records and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer (2 July 1951, p.19), he died 1 July 1951 in Seattle, Washington. His obituary reveals that he was an agricultural chemist who had studied at the University of British Columbia and moved to Seattle ten years earlier. He resided in Riverton Heights, but had been born in Woodstock, New Brunswick. No wife or children are mentioned in the obituary. Raymond Fisher died after a brief illness and was buried in Washington Park Memorial Cemetery.

The name of Henry Taylor Fisher's wife and date of their marriage

Henry T. Fisher died 5 August 1936 at Douglas, aged 70, and was buried in the Anglican churchyard at New Maryland. 11 His obituary stated he "had lived in New Maryland and also in Boston where his wife died". No children were mentioned in the obit. 12 The last New Brunswick census entry found for him was 1871 when he was aged 15, so he may have lived most of his adult life in Boston, returning to New Brunswick only after his wife's death. 13 What was the name of his wife? When did the marry? Did they have any children?

ANSWER - Henry Taylor Fisher married Matilda Sterns (Stenis, Stever or Shaw?) on 11 November 1886 in Lowell, Massachusetts. She was born about 1843 to 1848 in New Brunswick, the daughter of William and Mary Wheaton of Salisbury, Westmorland County. It was her second marriage but the name of her first husband is not known. Henry and Matilda appear in the 1900 and 1910 censuses of Cambridge, Massachusetts, which show him aged 48 and 58, and her aged 50 and 63. Henry had come to the United States in 1881 while Matilda had come in 1882 or 1883, the censuses differ by one year for her. The censuses also reveal that Matilda had given birth to seven children, of whom three were still living. In the earlier year, Frank Sterns(?), a step-son of Henry, is shown living with them but no other children were listed, and no children were shown with them in 1910. Frank Sterns was born in 1880 in Canada and had come with his mother to the United States in 1883. This evidence suggests that if Henry and Matilda had had any children together, they had probably died young.14

The date of death of Barney Fisher in the Northwest Territories or Yukon

Bernard O. Fisher, or Barney Fisher, was born in Stanley in 1871. He left his family in Moose River, Maine in 1908. According to his son Leon E. Fisher "when the caribou left the Moose River area and headed north, so did Barney". He was never to return. Barney lived in various parts of Alaska, in White River Junction and throughout the Yukon Territory where he married a native Indian and hunted and trapped to earn a living. He and his wife contacted Leon through letters and sent gifts of native moccasins and other handmade items to Leon for him and his family for several years. Leon contacted the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in the early 1960s to have them check on Barney's whereabouts. He received notification of his father's death from his wife in 1964 forwarded to him from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Barney died at the ripe old age of 92. 15 When and where did he die? What was the name of his Indian wife? Did they have any children?

The date of death of Lucille Jane Burt (nee Graves)

John M. Fisher married Lucille Jane Graves, 24 December 1888, in St. John's Church, Northampton, Massachusetts. 16 She was born in Vermont in August 1861 according to the 1900 census.17 After John M. Fisher's death in 1899, she remarried to a man surnamed "Burt". According to an inscription on a photograph Lucy Burt is buried in Cambridge city cemetery in Massachusetts. She was still living in 1930 according to the census. Where and when did Lucy (Graves) Burt die? Who were her parents? What was Mr. Burt's full name and when did they marry?

ANSWER - Cambridge City Cemetery records confirm that Lucy Birt died 31 October 1932 of chronic myocarditis and was buried in a plot identified as 2321 Sumach Path with husband John Fisher and daughter Ada Fisher.

The date of the marriage of David Michael Fisher and Matilda Annie Nevers.

David Michael Fisher Jr.'s first wife had died in 1874. Sometime after that date and before the mid-1880s, he moved from the Fredericton area to the Boston, Massachusetts area. He married Matilda Annie Nevers, who was also from New Brunswick, about 1880 either in Massachusetts or New Brunswick. They settled in Holliston township, Massachusetts where they were living in 1900. Where and when did they marry?

ANSWER - The index to Boston city records says David Fisher and Annie Nevers married in 1882 and the marriage record is in volume 336, page 108. Does anyone have a full reference?

The date and place of David Michael Fisher's death.

David Michael Fisher Jr. was living in the Boston area in 1906, at the time of his father's death. 17 The United States census of 1900 shows that he and his family lived in Holliston township at that time. His son Walter Fisher later lived in Worcester, Massachusetts. Where and when did David Michael Fisher Jr. die? Where is he buried?18

ANSWER - David M. Fisher died 25 February 1907, age 55, of a blood clot in the brain, according to Hopkinton town records (Hopkinton, Massachusetts town records, Deaths 1900-1949, page 18).

Children of David Michael Fisher and Matilda Annie Nevers

They had the following children: Ethel M., b. Nov 1884; Elizabeth J., b. Dec 1886; Walter D., b. 25 Aug 1888, d. Jan 1968; Marion E., b. Dec 1893; and a fifth child who died young. Did his children marry and if so, who did they marry? I have a record that Walter Fisher married Elizabeth M. [surname unknown] in 1913. She was born 28 Jan 1889 in England, and died in Nov 1980. They resided in Worcester, Mass. at the times of their deaths. Did they have any children? Who were her parents?

The marriages of Mary Edna Fisher

She was born 12 August 1913, possibly in Lynn, Massachusetts, the daughter of John Edward and Mary Catherine (Gillis) Fisher. She married William Spracklin first and later married a Mr. Stark. United States Social Security records show that a Mary Stark (who was born 12 August 1913 and issued her SSN in Massachusetts) died in June 1979 at Orlando, Florida. What were the dates of her marriages? What was the name of her second husband? Is this her death record? What of her children William Norman Spracklin, Beverley (Spracklin) Robinson, and Stephen Stark? 19

The marriage of Catherine Elizabeth Fisher

Catherine E. Fisher was born 18 March 1918, possibly in Lynn, Massachusetts, the daughter of John Edward and Mary Catherine (Gillis) Fisher. She married a Mr. Young about 1936 and died about 1990. What was the date of her marriage, full name of her husband, and date of her death? Did they have any children?

The place of marriage of George William Fisher and Mildred Mary McCoy

George William Fisher of Medford, Massachusetts, married Mildred Mary McCoy on 28 May 1950, location unknown. She was born in Lynn, Massachusetts, the daughter of James Joseph and Catherine Elizabeth (Cunningham) McCoy. They may have lived in Melrose, MA. Where did they marry? 20

The marriage of William George Fisher and Mary Pike.

William George Fisher married Elinor Mary Pike, 29 September 1974, place unknown. Where did they marry and what were the names of her parents? 21

The marriage of Atwood Fisher and Maude Kirkbride

Atwood Murray Fisher was born 8 May 1879 at Fredericton, the son of Charles Henry Bayard Fisher and Frances Murray Atwood. His mother was from Philadelphia and the family later went to Pottsville, Pennsylvania. He married Maude Kirkbride; she was the daughter of Edward Swain Kirkbride and Mary Maude Robbins, who were born in Columbia, Boone Co., Missouri and lived in Pennsylvania. Maude Kirkbride was born in 1878. Atwood and Maude Fisher lived in Washington, DC in 1930. When and where were they married?

The daughters of Atwood M. Fisher and Maude Kirkbride

Atwood and Maude Fisher had two children: Mary K. Fisher and Ann Murray Fisher. When were they born? Who did they marry? When did they die?

John Reid of Pictou, Nova Scotia

John Reid, widower of Pictou, Nova Scotia, married Isabella Fisher (dau. of Henry) in Fredericton on 27 December 1869. Isabel Reid is listed in the 1871 census for New Maryland (near Fredericton) as "separated from husband". Her son John William Frederick Reid was baptised there 1 Aug 1872. The baptism states that the father was a farmer in Colebrook, Massachusetts. Did Isabella join John Reid in Massachusetts? Did they have any more children?

ANSWER - Massachusetts census records have a match for this family in the 1880 census: John Reid (age 50) and Isabell Reid (age 28) in Barre, Worcester County. Isabella's age is about 10 years too young but her place of birth is listed as New Brunswick. They have a son "John F." age 8, born in New Brunswick, which matches up well with the 1872 baptismal record from Fredericton of their first son John William Frederick. John and Isabella Reid appear again in Barre in the census of 1900 with Isabella' date of birth, May 1841, agreeing with the New Maryland register of baptisms. She is now aged 59 in the census. John Reid's place of birth is Nova Scotia. According to the census, John and Isabella Reid had emigrated to the United States in 1874. Two of their sons, John and Henry, still lived with them and all three of the men were day labourers.

Archibald Stone and Frances Fisher

Archibald Stone and Frances Fisher (dau. of Henry) married 1 January 1867 in New Maryland, New Brunswick and last appear there in the 1871 census. They had at least two children: James Herbert (b. 1868, d. 1869) and Alfred Horace (b. 1872). Where did they go and did they have more children? Archibald Stone was the son of Ebenezer and Catherine (Brewer) Stone of Douglas, NB.

ANSWER - The 1880 United States census shows them living across the border in Houlton, Maine. The census describes Archibald Stone as a store keeper. Archie and Fannie Stone appear again in the 1900 census for Blaine, Aroostook Co., Maine, with their children Alfred and Estella. Archie Stone is listed as a farmer and his son as a farm labourer. It states that all four members of the family had emigrated to the United States in 1899. By the following census year, they lived in Etna, Penobscot Co., Maine. The census now records that they had emigrated in 1888. It also states that Frances Stone had given birth to seven children, and that three were still living. While the three living probably were Alfred Stone, Estella Stone, and Fred Fisher, the names of those who had died are unknown except for James Herbert Stone.

John Carr and Mary Fisher

John Carr and Mary Fisher married 21 May 1866 in Fredericton. Mary Fisher was the daughter of Henry and Rebecca Fisher of New Maryland. John and Mary Carr had a daughter, Fanny Bertha, baptised 21 Feb 1867, but do not appear in Fredericton or other parts of York County, New Brunswick in the 1871 census. Where did they go? Did they have any other children?

ANSWER - Mary Carr appears in the census of 1880 for Barre, Massachusetts (where her younger sister Isabella Reid was living) as a servant with the family of Thomas Root. She is listed as age 42, married, and born in New Brunswick. No children are listed with her. It provides New Jersey as place of birth for her father showing that she knew he had been born there before coming to New Brunswick as a very young loyalist and confirming her identity as his daughter Mary (Fisher) Carr from Fredericton. There is no sign of John Carr or their daughter Fanny Bertha Carr in the vicinity of Barre.


End Notes

1 - Vital Statistics from New Brunswick Newspapers, vol. 8 (102) and vol. 18 (701); and Fredericton Census of 1891. 2 - George Hayward, York County Marriage Records, 1812-1837, p.20; Vital Statistics from New Brunswick Newspapers, vol. 5 (839); and Janice Brown Dexter, ed., Arrivals: Our First Families in New Brunswick, (Saint John, 1985), p.109. 3 - City of Moncton Census of 1901. Wilhelmina Smith's surname is provided by her daughter Mary Elizabeth's marriage record (see no. 78 for source). 4 - York County Marriage Register, 1851-1866, PANB reel F635. 5 - York County Marriage Register, 1851-1866, PANB reel F635. 6 - Woodstock Anglican Register, PANB reel F1056; The Press (Woodstock), 5 March 1906, p.3; and Parish of Woodstock Census of 1901. Eliza Brewer was not found in the burial register for Woodstock. The obituary mentioned that Henry was a brother of Albert Brewer. 7 - Anglican register, Fredericton, PANB reel F1114; and St. Mary's Anglican Church register, PANB reel F1095. 8 - Marriage certificates, PANB searchable on-line database. 9 - Fredericton Census of 1901; Town of Woodstock Census of 1891; New Brunswick Reporter, 9 January 1895; George H. Hayward, Carleton County, New Brunswick, Marriage Records, 1832-1887, (Fredericton 1991), p.78. Gertrude Jones's place of birth is listed as New Brunswick in the 1891 census and England in the 1901 census. 10 - Death Registration, Walter Fisher, British Columbia Archives, reel B13178; British Columbia Genealogical Society, cemetery records (BCGS-C-62); and Marriage certificate, Lilian Fisher and Irving Linnell, British Columbia Archives, reel B11385. 11 - New Maryland Anglican register, PANB reel F8137. 12 - Obituary, Henry Fisher, The Daily Gleaner (Fredericton), 6 August 1936, p.12. 13 - New Maryland Census of 1871. 14 - Lowell, Massachusetts, Town records, Marriages, 1886, volume 371, p.148 (married by George Howard); and Censuses of Cambridge, 1900 and 1900, Enumeration Districts 723 and 767. 15 - Shari Goodwin to Robert Fisher, 8 March 2003. 16 - Kathryn Fisher Cottrell to Robert Fisher, e-mail, 25 November 2002 (information from an inscription on the back of a photograph of John M. Fisher). 17 - 1900 Census, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Enumeration District 708, pp.38-39, 15 June 1900; and Family tradition which holds that her surname was Graves. 18 - Obituary, David Fisher, The Daily Gleaner (Fredericton), 2 February 1906, p.8. 19 - Census of 1900, Holliston township, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, ED 765; United States Social Security Death Index (Walter D. Fisher and Elizabeth Fisher in Worcester, Mass.); Census of 1920, Worcester city, Worcester County, Mass., ED 315, page 2A; and Census of 1930, Worcester city, Worcester County, Mass., ED 113, page 5A. 20 - Gedcom database prepared by Karen Joyce Specht-Fisher; and United States Social Security Death Index (Mary Stark). 21 - Gedcom database prepared by Karen Joyce Specht-Fisher. 22 - Gedcom database prepared by Karen Joyce Specht-Fisher.

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