Bethridge (Ryder) Wallace of Blacks Harbour, Pennfield Parish, Charlotte County, New Brunswick

Bethridge Wallace and her husband William, who were my husband's great-great-great-grandparents, arrived in New Brunswick in June 1845, according to the census of 1851 [Pennfield Parish, Charlotte County, page 1]:

Name Age Race Rank or Occupation Date of entering the Colony Sick or Infirm
William Wallace 43 Scotch Fisherman June 1845 Lame
Betharage 34        
Maud 6     Birth  
Asker 4     Birth  
Betharage 2     Birth  

My husband's aunt, Mary (Davidson) Adams, has provided much information on the family history through memories passed down in the family. William Wallace's name was said to be Edmund William Wallace, but he went by William. He was from Coatbridge, Scotland, which is near Glasgow. I have not been able to find a birth or baptism record for him. A relative told Aunt Mary that Bethridge's maiden name was O'Brien but various records state that it was Ryder. Perhaps another relative was named O'Brien, or maybe Bethridge was married first to an O'Brien who died. I have not been able to find a marriage record for Bethridge to an O'Brien or to William Wallace.

The Ancestry.com website has a set of records called "Brooklyn, New York Catholic Church Baptism Records, 1837-1900." That database contains a baptism record for Albert Wallace on June 14, 1843. His parents were William and Bethridge (Rider) Wallace. The record states that he was born in February 1843, and that his godmother was Elizabeth Myers. According to Ancestry, "St. Paul’s church was founded in 1836 in Brooklyn, New York. It was known as the “Irish Parish” because it served as the focal point for Irish immigrants in Brooklyn during the Great Irish Famine of 1845-1851. This database contains baptismal records from St. Paul’s parish from 1837-1900." It appears from this record that Bethridge and William lived for a time in New York. Their son Albert must have died young as he does not appear with the family in the 1851 census.

There are baptism records for four children belonging to William and Bethridge in Anglican church registers for Charlotte County:


Oscar, age 11 months, and Maud, age 1 year and 9 months, were baptized on June 16, 1846.


Bethridge, born June 1, 1848, and Walter, born August 14, 1850, were baptized on October 4, 1850.

I have not been able to find anything further on the son named Oscar.

The 1861 census for Pennfield Parish has not survived. For 1871, the Wallace family was in Pennfield Parish [Subdistrict C, pages 20 and 21]:

Name Age Country or Province of Birth
Wallace William 63 Scotland
" Betherage 53 England
Wallace Maude 26 NB
" Betherage 22 NB
" Walter 20 NB
" Alfred 18 NB
" Edman [Edmund] 15 NB
" Peter 12 NB

All of the family members could read and write except the elder Bethridge. William was listed as a seaman and so was Walter. Alfred was stated to be of "unsound mind."

By the time of the 1881 census, William had died. Bethridge was living with her sons Peter and Alfred, still in Pennfield Parish [Subdistrict C, page 28]:

Name Age Country or Province of Birth
Wallace Peter 21 NB
" Betherige 58 England
" Alfred 28 NB

Peter was working as a fisherman and farmer, and Alfred was again listed as of "unsound mind." Living near them were two other sons, Walter and his wife Ellen (Thompson) Wallace, and "William E." (Edmund) and his wife Maggie (Thompson) Wallace. Ellen and Maggie/Margaret were sisters. There was no sign of Bethridge in the 1891 census for Pennfield Parish, though Walter and Edmund and families were still there. I have not found anything further on Alfred after the 1881 census.

Recently the Ancestry.ca website added Catholic Church records for Charlotte County and I was able to find numerous records there for this family:

On the twenty fifth of June eighteen hundred and fifty one I conditionally baptized Bethridge Rider, after having made profession of the Catholic Faith, in presence of Hugh [McVike?] and James Smith.  The sponsors were Jas C B McDevitt and Ellen Thompson.  Jas C B McDevitt

On the same day I baptized Walter, aged six years, born of the lawful marriage of William Wallace and Bethridge Rider, the sponsors being Luis O'Connors and Ann [?], Maud Teresa, aged seven years, sponsors Hugh [McVike?] and Sarah Smith, Bethridge Matilda aged three years, sponsors John [?] and Catherine Smith, also Oscar aged five years, the sponsors being William [?] and Mary Ann [?].  J C B McDevitt

On the tenth of July eighteen hundred and fifty three I baptized Alfred Cornelius aged four and half months born of the lawful marriage of William Wallace and Beatrice Astly Rider.  Sponsors John [Dune?] and Ann Henesy.  James Quin

On the twenty fifth of May 1864 I baptized William Edmond born the tenth of January 1854 of the lawful marriage of William Wallace and Betherage Ryder.  Sponsor John Hill.  John Quinn

On the twenty fifth of May 1864 I baptized Peter Edwin born the tenth of September 1858 of the lawful marriage of William Wallace and Betherage Ryder.  Sponsor Sarah Connor.  John Quinn

The square brackets indicate that I was not certain about the spelling of a name.

Evidently Bethridge was not a Catholic but converted in 1851, at which time the four children who had been baptized in the Anglican church were baptized as Catholics.

Based on the above records, here is a list of the children born to William and Bethridge:

1) Albert - born February, 1843

2) Maud Teresa - born about September, 1844

3) Oscar - born about July, 1845

4) Bethridge Matilda - born June 1, 1848

5) Walter - born August 14, 1850

6) Alfred Cornelius - born about February, 1853

7) William Edmund - born January 10, 1854

8) Peter Edwin - born September 10, 1858

The two census records for the elder William Wallace suggest that he was born about 1808. For the elder Bethridge, the years of birth suggested by the census records are 1817, 1818, and 1823. If Albert was their first child, then they were likely married about 1841 or 1842. In 1858, when her last child was born, Bethridge was 41, 40, or 35, based on those census records.

In the same Catholic records for Charlotte County, as above, there is the following marriage record:

On this fifteenth day of April eighteen hundred and seventy nine Edmond Wallace and Margaret Isabella Thompson were married by me the undersigned, banns being dispensed.  In presence of Mathew Thompson and Mrs. John A. McDonald according to the Rite of the Roman Catholic Church.  R L Knox

The LDS website at http://www.familysearch.org has a death record for "Betheridge M Wallace" on April 1, 1897 in Eastport, Maine. Her age was given as 80, and place of birth was Yorkshire, England. She died of pneumonia. The names of parents were unknown except for the last name of her father, which was Ryder. The record stated that both of her parents were born in England.

Ken Beach, who is also Bethridge and William Wallace's descendant, has found some records for the family in Maine. Here is a death record for their daughter, Maud:

MAUD T. McDonald
Wife of John McDonald
b. Sept. 18 1844 at Blacks Harbor, N.B. 
age: 82 years 7 months 1 day
d. Apr. 17 1927 of a cerebral hemorrhage
burial : Apr. 20 1927 at Hillside Cemetery, Eastport,Me.
Father: William E Wallace b. Scotland
Mother(maiden name) : Elizabeth Wallace b. England

Ken has found the elder Bethridge's burial site, also in Hillside Cemetery. Here is what the stone says:

Bethridge Wallace died Apr. 1 1897. AE 80. 
ELLEN - Wife of  Walter Wallace - Died June 17 1893 - AE 36 years.

Walter Wallace married again in Massachusetts. Here is the record, from the LDS site:

name: Walter Wallace
event: Marriage
event date: 01 Dec 1902
event place: Somerville, Massachusetts
gender: Male
age: 45
marital status: Widowed
birthplace: St. John, N.B.
estimated birth year: 1857
father: William E. Wallace
mother: Betheridge M. Ryder
spouse: Matilda Holland
spouse's father: William Holland
spouse's mother: Elizabeth Mcneil

The LDS site also has a death record for Peter Wallace who is likely the one from this family:

name: Peter E. Wallace
death date (original): 21 Dec 1919
death place: Rochester, Strafford, New Hampshire
gender: Male
father: William Wallace
mother: Beatrice Rider

I believe this to be the birth record of the elder Bethridge:

Name: Betharidge Astley Ryder
Gender: Female
Baptism/Christening Date: 01 May 1814
Father's Name: Ralph Ryder
Mother's Name: Nancy

This makes her several years older than the census records that suggest a year of birth of 1817 or 1818, but if she was indeed born in 1814 then she was 39 for the birth of her second last child, and 44 for the last child, which seems quite reasonable. Note that the baptism record of Alfred, above, gives his mother's name as Beatrice Astly Rider. Her first name usually appears as a Betheridge or a spelling variation, but occasionally as Beatrice. It may be it was sometimes transcribed as Beatrice because Bethridge is an uncommon name.