Mary Secord, daughter of William and Ruth (Hunt) Secord

I have a copy of a transcription of William's will. It lists his daughters, including one named Mary:

"To my Daughter Mary the Sum of Six Pounds."

I have some information on the Secord family that came to me from my husband's aunt, which she received from a New Brunswick Secord researcher. The source is not clear. According to this, William and Ruth's daughter Mary married Ian Burgess. However, there is no date of marriage listed, and there is no further information on them. I have not been able to find an Ian and Mary Burgess. The name Ian was not a common first name at all in 1800s New Brunswick, and I suspect that this is an error and his real name was something else. There was a Mary Secord who married a Thomas Burgess. (Their son, Beverly Burgess, died in 1924. His death record on the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick (PANB) website states that his parents were Thomas Burgess and Mary Secord.) If the Thomas portion of the name was abbreviated as Thos then it seems possible that it could be mis-read as Ian if the cursive Th at the beginning looked like a cursive I. The person who provided this information may have found that a Mary Secord married Thomas/Ian Burgess and assumed that she was the daughter of William and Ruth.

In the PANB Newspaper Vital Statistics database there is a newspaper announcement of this Mary's death:

Date February 26 1858
County Saint John
Place Saint John
Newspaper Religious Intelligencer

d. 30th Dec. 1857, at her residence Studholm (Kings Co.) Mary w/o Thomas R. BURGESS, age 25, left husband, two children.

Clearly this Mary Secord was too young to be the daughter of William and Ruth (Hunt) Secord, whose year of birth I estimate to be from 1797 to 1802. (See http://www.carensecord.ca/locations/NewBrunswick/Secord/WmSecordchildren.html.)

I have found one possible Mary Secord who fits to be William and Ruth's daughter. This Mary's year of birth would place her where she should be in their family. The LDS website has a marriage record for Mary Secord and Charles Brittain on February 8, 1832. Both were of the parish of Greenwich in Kings County, NB. The 1851 NB census shows Charles and Mary living in Springfield, Kings County. Mary was listed as 54, suggesting a year of birth of 1797 or 1798.

The 1851 census shows Mary and Charles with their son William Secord, who was then 15. As Mary was about 34 when she and Charles were married, her age may explain why they apparently only had the one child.

The PANB Newspaper Vital Statistics database has the announcement of Mary's death:

Date March 16 1880
County Saint John
Place Saint John
Newspaper The Daily Telegraph

d. Springfield (Kings Co.) Monday 15th inst., Mary BRITTAIN relict of Charles BRITTAIN and mother of W.J. BRITTAIN, age 82. Funeral from her residence Thursday 11 o'clock.

PANB's New Brunswick Cemeteries database has her cemetery record:

Born 1798------
Died 1880------
Age 82 Years
Birth Place --
Place of Death --
Relationship w/o Charles W Brittain
Cemetery Midland, Kings County
Notes --

I have not found any record that lists the parents of this Mary Secord. However, there were only a few possibilities for a Mary Secord born in that area in 1798. Her parents had to be William and Ruth (Hunt) Secord or Elias and Abigail (Babcock) Secord, or else one of the married sons of those two couples. There is no indication that Elias and Abigail had a daughter named Mary. We know that Mary Secord who married Charles Brittain in 1832 was then living in Greenwich parish, Kings County. We know from William Secord's will (see http://www.carensecord.ca/locations/NewBrunswick/Secord/WmSecordWill.html) written in 1843 that he was "late of the Parish of Greenwich now residen in Springfield." Elias Secord's residence, from the available records, seems to have been in Queens County. In 1838 when he petitioned for a pension as an old soldier of the Revolutionary War (see http://www.carensecord.ca/locations/NewBrunswick/Secord/ESecordPensionPtn.html), he was living in Queens County. When he petitioned for land in 1823 (see http://www.carensecord.ca/locations/NewBrunswick/Secord/EliasSecordPtn1823.html), he was in Queens County. According to PANB's Cemeteries database, he was buried in Queens County.

The known children of Elias and Abigail include two who were born in New York City: Sarah in 1781 and Elias in 1783. There are baptism records for five more of their children in Gagetown, NB records:


Secord Elisabeth 13 Oct 1793 Hampstead Secord Elias and Elizabeth By Rev. Richard Clarke
Secord Henry 13 Oct 1793 Hampstead Secord Elias and Elizabeth By Rev. Richard Clarke
Secord James 13 Oct 1793 Hampstead Secord Elias and Elizabeth By Rev. Richard Clarke
Secord John 13 Oct 1793 Hampstead Secord Elias and Elizabeth By Rev. Richard Clarke
Seacord (Secord) Hannah 19 Nov 1799 Hampstead Seacord (Secord) Elias and Abigail By Rev. Richard Clarke

[Clearly the clergyman had Abigail's first name listed as Elizabeth in error in the 1793 record. There was no Elias Secord married to Elizabeth at that time.]

The available information for James, Henry, Elizabeth and John is that they were born in 1785, 1787, 1789, and 1791, respectively. This would fit with a 1793 baptism for all of them. Hannah is said to have been born in September 1798, which if correct would seem to rule out the birth of a daughter Mary to Elias and Abigail that same year. If Elias and Abigail had a daughter Mary by 19 Nov 1799 then it seems likely that she would have been baptized with Hannah. Elias and Abigail may have had other children between John and Hannah but if so it appears that they died young, likely before they were baptized.

William and Ruth (Hunt) Secord had only one son old enough to be the father of Mary. That son was William Secord Jr. See http://www.carensecord.ca/locations/NewBrunswick/Secord/WilliamSecordJr.html for information on the children of William Secord Jr. There was a daughter Mary but she was born about 1806. Elias and Abigail (Babcock) Secord's first son, Elias Jr., was born in 1783 and as such was too young to be the father of Mary Secord who was born in 1798. That leaves only William and Ruth or Elias and Abigail as possible parents. The evidence found to date suggests strongly that Mary who married Charles Brittain was the daughter of William and Ruth, and though I can't say it for certain at this point, I believe that to be the case.