There seems to be a great controversy on the Internet regarding Abiel Briggs, h/o Elizabeth Chase, and I would love to be able to sort it out. Some feel Abiel was b. 1760 in RI of unknown parentage. Others feel he was b. 1769 in Taunton, MA, s/o Seth and traceable back to William Briggs and Sarah Macomber. Do you happen to have the marriage dates for Abiel and Phebe? Abial and Elizabeth? Or any new info regarding their parents?
In any event, thought some might find this of interest:
The Gagetown Anglican Church Baptism Records are on-line at:
One of the greatest additions to Provincial Archives of New Brunswick (PANB) has been that of Dan Johnson's work where I found this:
Daniel F Johnson : Volume 89 Number 2075
Date : January 25, 1893 County : Saint John Place : Saint John Newspaper : The Daily Sun
The language of the text is the original used in the newspaper entry and as transcribed by Daniel F. Johnson. Records acquired by the Provincial Archives are not translated from the language in which they originate.
... In the early settlement of this country Eben BRIGGS and Abial BRIGGS located as what is now known as Sheffield (Sunbury Co.) N.B. Both of them were married before they came to this country and perhaps the former had the shortest courtship on record. Having gone to a Quaker meeting, he and his future wife were married by the preacher at the close of the meeting. These men settled near Loader place, so called. As their families with the other settlers increased, the school teacher became a necessity and one John PALMER's services were called into requisition, who in his humble way 'taught the young idea how to shoot'. At this time it was not unusual to see a troop of horses on Sunday mounted by people of both sexes going to Maugerville to attend divine service. If the like could be seen in this day, it would astonish the natives. Abial had several children, one of whom in his day was well known in St. John as James BRIGGS, the ship builder; and Elijah BRIGGS, another of his sons, removed to Carleton County. Making his way without a road through the forest, he drew a large tract of land and settled in what is now known as the Seventh Tier, where he became a prosperous farmer and raised a large family, most of whom are now residents of the county. He died about a year ago at a good old age, leaving a large amount of wealth to his children. He was a consistent member of the Free Baptist Church. Eben remained in Sheffield until a family of ten children were born, when he sickened and was called away, leaving his widow to care for the large family. The freshets had so often interfered with the progress of people that many determined to leave the low intervale land for higher ground, where the water would not interfer with the progress of cultivation. Abial removed to the Washademoak and there by farming and ship building, made a competency for his family. Eben's widow with ten children moved to Grand Lake (Queens Co.) and settled at White's Cove on a farm now owned by L.P. FERRIS, M.P.P. Her she began the struggle for life anew, assisted as best they could by her two sons, Ebem and Hiram BRIGGS. The former settled on the Salmon River where he became a prosperous farmer and mill owner and raised a large family, one of whom is the wife of G.G. KING, ex-M.P. for Queens. He died a few years ago. Hiram, the other son, became owner of the homestead. For a time he was a successful farmer and lumberman, but through some cause unknown to the writer, lost his property and removed to Salmon River where he died. One of his sons lives in Harcourt (Kent Co.) and the other in the State of Maine. Both of them are prosperous farmers. Of this family of eight girls, Olive BRIGGS married Wm LAWSON and lived at Musquash Island (Queens Co.); Damy BRIGGS married Israel LAWSON and had a home in St. John, from where her husband crossed and re-crossed the Atlantic as master of a vessel; Betsy BRIGGS married Duncan CAMERON; Sophia BRIGGS married John DROSS, who was a seafaring man; Mary BRIGGS and Hetty BRIGGS married Jacob WIGGINS and John WIGGINS, both of whom settled at Grand Lake. Mary BRIGGS married John WILLIAMS and settled near Gagetown, where he owned a large farm of high and intervale lands; and Katie BRIGGS married Henry McFARLANE, who also settled on Grand Lake at a place called Scotchtown. All of this family, with their husbands, with one exception, are dead, having acted very well their part, became prosperous, left to their progedy a good heritage, and also a good name which is better than riches. (see original 'Provincial Pioneers')
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