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"Prime Minister" in Moncton? Mystery visitor

"Prime Minister" in Moncton? Mystery visitor

Posted: 6 Jan 2013 6:41PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Elliott
A family history written by a deceased great uncle reports that the Prime Minister of Canada was a regular visitor in the Elliott home in Moncton in the early 1860's and that it was he who suggested the name Ontario for the new daughter (born in 1865). Unfortunately there was no prime minister until after 1867. Any guess as to who this prominent visitor would have been? I believe the basic story. William Elliott received the "title" esquire though I believe he was a merchant (I don't see evidence that he was a justice of the peace.)

Re: "Prime Minister" in Moncton? Mystery visitor

Posted: 6 Jan 2013 8:06PM GMT
Classification: Query
Possibly 'Premier' is meant rather than Prime Minister. For example, one premier of NB was the Hon. Sir Albert James Smith who lived in the Shediac area. He was an MPP for Westmorland Co. as early as 1852.

Thomas

Re: "Prime Minister" in Moncton? Mystery visitor

Posted: 6 Jan 2013 11:33PM GMT
Classification: Query
I love the concept especially if we look at Samuel Leonard Tilley premier from 1861-1865 in part because he was a "Father of the Confederation". One problem I had with the whole idea was that he chose the name Ontario (which was not yet a province) but a supporter of confederation might very well propose that. I'll have to dig further to see if I can find any connection of him with Moncton. Little Ontario Elliott was born July 1865 shortly after Tilley left office.

Thanks for the suggestion.

Re: "Prime Minister" in Moncton? Mystery visitor

Posted: 7 Jan 2013 1:11AM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 7 Jan 2013 1:13AM GMT
Ontario, the province, may not have existed by that name in 1865 but the lake did. Perhaps the names of the other lakes were not as suitable. Also, conferences concerning Confederation were in progress at the time and the name may already have been suggested. Certainly Tilley supported confederacy and so did Albert James Smith. That support was not universal.

The Maritime provinces initially planned to amalgamate separately from Upper and Lower Canada which were also talking about forming a nation in response to a perceived threat. The Canada's recognized the impracticality of joining without the connection to the Atlantic and went to enormous lengths (mostly involving money and liquor, a staple of NB elections) to convince the Maritimers to join in. The matter was hotly contested with New Brunswick the decider as it was split so evenly.

It is possibly then that about 1864-1867, Sir John A. (later Prime Minister) may have been actively working in New Brunswick to achieve his goals. Moncton, not only as a population centre, but as a communications centre (until at least the 1980's) and also a central location in the bilingual division of the province, would have merited his attention. He seems familiar with the area and mentions Moncton, Salisbury, Harvey, etc. in Commons Debates of 1889; referring to his favourite issue, railways.

I cannot find any mention of his having been in Moncton. Even the more famous visit to Charlottetown was by ship by way of the St. Lawrence. Nevertheless he knew of the place.

I believe the Elliott's you mention were connected to the Steeves'. William Henry Steeves from Hillsborough was also a Father of Confederation although not, it appears, a leader of a government.

Thomas

Re: "Prime Minister" in Moncton? Mystery visitor

Posted: 7 Jan 2013 1:49AM GMT
Classification: Query
Very interesting. Funny too that alcohol may have been what lost Tilley the election in '65 as he was a Prohibitionist. I wish I knew my ancestors view on that matter.
I haven't found a connection of the Elliott's with the Steeves (or with practically anyone for that matter). I know from Daniel Johnson's amazing newspaper transcriptions that William Elliott married the daughter of Capt Isaac Carter of Amherst, NS (Catherine/Cassie) and they had only one child Ontario Mary Elliott. Wm. re-married Maggie Holstead. Ontario married a ICR employee from London, Willian F. Evans and moved west. I'm a little frustrated finding the Elliott family (though the marriage record states he was from Pugwash, NS). The family history says they owned a shipyard but I've seen no evidence of that, though he does appear to have been somewhat prominent (at least he is listed as "esq." in the articles. They were affluent enough to send her to Allison School for Girls for several years.

Re: "Prime Minister" in Moncton? Mystery visitor

Posted: 8 Jan 2013 6:46PM GMT
Classification: Query
I was searching for William Elliott's origins and found at least some material relevant to a Prime Minister. I fear the story is apocryphal, but does have a basis. I'll paste in what I have so far (most of which you likely have) and if I find something on William get back to you.

Thomas.


WILLIAM ELLIOTT b. NB 12NOV1837, m. 1st Amherst, Cumberland Co., NS 11DEC1863 CATHERINE (CASSIE) AMELIA CARTER (b. NS ca. 1844-5, d. Boston, Suffolk Co., MA 7JUL1881), d/o Capt. Isaac and Mary Metcalf (Atkinson) Carter; m. 2nd 7APR1886 MARGARET (MAGGIE) J. (FERGUSON) HOLSTEAD (b. Moncton, Westmorland Co., NB 24OCT1845, d. 30 Botsford St., Moncton 1MAY1922, buried Elmwood Cemetery, Moncton; m. 1st Charles Albert Holstead (ca. 1840-22FEB1883)), d/o Capt. Thomas (John in her death registration) and Eliza (Chapman) Ferguson.
William does not appear to have been in Westmorland Co., NB in 1871. Instead, he was in Head of Amherst, Cumberland Co., NS. He was age 34 and a farmer. Catherine was age 26 and Ontario was age 5. Another daughter (Emma?) was age 16 suggesting that William was married before. He was b. in NB and Catherine in NS. Ontario and Emma are also given as b. in NS, but in the circumstances this appears to be unlikely.
Catherine's father was likely Isaac Carter (53) in Amherst in 1871. Isaac was a hotel keeper and was b. NB, while his wife, Mary A. (45) was b. NS.
It is likely through Charles A. Holstead that the family was connected to R. A. Borden. Charles and Borden were law partners in Moncton in 1871. Presumably this Borden was connected to Sir Robert Laird Borden (1854-1937), Prime Minister of Canada 1911-1920. Also a lawyer, Sir Robert was from Annapolis Co., NS. R. A. appears have also to have been Robert Borden. Specifically Robert Allison Borden. When the funeral of Mrs. C. D. Thompson took place from Botsford St. in 1881 (probably from William Elliot's home) R. A. Borden was a pall bearer.
Robert Allison Borden was b. Avonport, Kings Co., NS 3FEB1845. He was a judge for Kent and Westmorland counties. He was a s/o George Newton Borden and Mariam Crane.
Now, here, we have a problem. If someone remembered Robert Borden visiting the family they may have assumed that it was Robert Laird Borden, the Prime Minister. They may have been related or they may not have been related. If a relationship can be shown then the visitations by the Prime Minister are possible. If not, then they were unlikely.
Children:
1. MARY ONTARIO (ONTARIO MARY) ELLIOTT b. JUL1865, d. Riverside, Cook Co., Illinois 20(or 27)JUN1907 age 42 years, m. Botsford St., Moncton, Westmorland Co., NB 13SEP1887 WILLIAM FRANCIS EVANS (b. Worsley, Lancashire, England 21JUL1863, d. Waukegan, Illinois 10SEP1956), s/o William Frederick and Mary (Wells) Evans.
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