Bethune is the likely spelling; a Scots name related to McBeath, Beattie, etc.
JOSEPH NEIL BETHUNE b. Wiltshire, PEI ca. 1860, d. Five Fingers, Restigouche Co., NB 7MAR1915 age 55 years.
In 1881, Neil ‘Bethoon’ b. ca. 1860 is the son of a widow, Ann Bethoon b. Scotland ca. 1826, and has a sister, ‘Agness’ (Agnes) (b. ca. 1863.) They are Presbyterian and Neil is a farmer. They are in Lot 63, Kings County, Prince Edward Island.
Neil’s parents may be Malcolm and Ann (McLeod) Bethune who had children:
Malcolm Bethune born 10FEB1849, baptized Bradalbane United Church, Bradalbane, PEI FEB1849
Margaret Bethune b. 20JUN1859, bpt. baptized Bradalbane United Church, Bradalbane, PEI 26JUN185?
Margaret Bethune b. 18OCT1863, bpt. by the Rev. J. Goodwill Free Church of Scotland 2MAY1880
The first two baptisms were by ‘Bethune’ suggesting the father performed the baptisms; so he may be the Rev. Malcolm Bethune. Although they are indicated as in the United Church of Canada; it likely was a Presbyterian (Church of Scotland) at the time. It would seem that the first Margaret died before 1863.
Some interesting baptisms are those of the children of Allan (Allen) Bethune and his wife, Catherine McLeod:
child b. 24AUG1860, by the Rev. Donald Morrison Bradalbane United Church, Bradalbane, PEI
Christy Ann Bethune b. 26APR1863, bpt. by the Rev. Alex. Campbell Bradalbane United Church, Bradalbane, PEI 1MAY1864
Donald Bethune b. 4AUG1865, bpt. (no date) by the Rev. Alex. Campbell Bradalbane United Church, Bradalbane, PEI
It would seem that Malcolm Bethune and Allan Bethune are related, perhaps brothers? Perhaps their wives are sisters? Perhaps Malcolm and Allan are the same person?
‘Bradalbane’ probably should be spelled Breadalbane.
The International Genealogical Index mentions Malcolm Bethune b. Flat River, Queens Co., PEI 25APR1825, son of Malcolm and Christina (MacLeod) Bethune. It says that the younger Malcolm Bethune married Mary McRae and makes his parents as Ronald and Annie (McRae) Bethune. Yet another Malcolm Callum Og Bethune b. Flat Rock, PEI 6DEC1837 is given as the son of Donald and Isabella (McKenzie) Bethune. ‘Og’ means young and is a nick-name, so his name was likely Malcolm, and he was called ‘Callum Og’ or young Malcolm. This probably because he is younger than the other Malcolm’s. It is sort of Scottish for ‘junior’.
About the Rev. Neil Bethune:
The congregation of Murray Harbor was organ ized in 1822 by Rev. Dr. Keir. For many years their supply of preaching was limited to an occa- sional day's service from Dr. Keir, Dr. Geddie, Revs. R. S. Patterson, M. A., J. C. Sinclair, John McLennon, M. A., A. Munro, Robert Douglas and others. Rev. R. Douglas visited Murray Harbor nineteen times on horseback, before they had a set tled minister of their own. Their first settled pas- tor was Rev. Daniel McCurdy, who was inducted in the year 1830. The next was Rev. Neil Bethune, who was ordained and inducted by the Free Presbytery of Pictou. Mr. Bethune was a native of Scotland and came to this island when quite young, with his parents. After obtaining as good an education as the schools of the country at that time afforded, he spent several years teaching school in Bedeque, and at the same time, under the direction of the late Rev. R. S. Patterson, M. A., prosecuting the study of the classics, mathematics, logic, moral and natural philosophy. He then returned to Scotland, and in the Free Church College in Edinburgh completed his theological curriculum. Mr. Bethune was a most pious, devoted and faithful minister of the gospel, and his labors were appreciated and resulted in great good. On 14th March, 1855, for reasons given, he tendered his resignation, which was accepted. Mr. Bethune was next settled in a congregation in Ontario, when, after a few years, his health, never very robust, gave way, and at the early age of forty years he entered into rest. He married a Miss Jones of the Island of Lewis, who, with two children, survived him.
“History of Presbyterianism on Prince Edward Island”, by the Rev. John MacLeod, the Winona Publishing Company, Chicago, 1904, pp. 91-2. Neil Bethune’s wife was Annabella Catherine Jones.