Friday, 27 April 2012

Why Being Related to Diana, Princess of Wales Puts Me No Closer to a Place in Line for the British Throne

Yes, it is true. Diana is my ninth cousin once removed (which is really to say she and my father are ninth cousins).  That makes me 10th cousins with her son Prince William, who is second in line for the Throne after his father Prince Charles. While this sounds impressive to some, it shouldn’t. I’ll show you why.

The Basics: “Nth" Cousins, “X” Times Removed

Let’s start with a few simple definitions and observations that will help keep things straight.

Your 1st cousin is one with whom you share a pair of Grandparents (you have two pair). That is, one of their parents is a sibling of one of your parents.  The pair of common ancestors is two generations back from you.

Your 2nd cousin shares with you one pair out of your four pairs of Great Grandparents. Here, the common ancestors are three generations back.

Your 3rd cousin shares one of your 8 pairs of Great Great Grandparents (or “2nd Great Grandparents”), who are four generations back.

So now you can see the basic rule emerge:
Your “nth” cousin shares with you a pair of common ancestors, Grandparents with “n-1Greats in front of the Grand, who are “n+1” generations back from you.

My 10th cousin Prince William shares with me a pair of 9th Great Grandparents who lived 11 generations ago.  That pair was Jedediah Strong (1637-1733) and his wife Freedom Woodward (1642-1681).

“X times removed” just means you are that many generations down the line from the stated cousin relationship.  If Diana is my father’s 9th cousin, she is my 9th cousin once removed and my daughter Nicky’s 9th cousin 2x removed. Being one generation removed from Diana’s 9th cousin relationship with my father, I am 10th cousins with someone one generation down from her, i.e. Prince William.  And Nicky will be 11th cousins with any children born to Prince William and Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge.

Now that that’s clear, let’s move on….

How Many Great Great etc. Grandparents Does One Have That Far Back?

Simple answer: potentially 1024 pairs (or potentially 2048 individuals). When we talk about first cousins, each has two pairs of grandparents, one pair of which is common to each individual in the cousin group. Second cousins each have 2 x 2 pairs at the level of the common pair.  Third cousins 2 x 2 x 2 = 8 pairs, etc.  For nth cousins, each has 2n pairs of ancestors at the level of the common pair.

So Prince William and I (whom we have already said share one pair of 9th Great Grandparents who lived 11 generations ago) each have 210=1024 pairs of 9th Great Grandparents, and one of my 1024 pairs is the same as one of his 1024.  Unfortunately for my royal aspirations, eligibility for the Throne is contingent upon descent from a different one of his 1024 9th Great Grandparent pairs, one that I do not share (that I know of, yet). That would be Electress Sophia of Hanover (1630-1714) and her husband Ernest Augustus, Elector of Brunswick-L√ľneburg, parents of George I of Great Britain.

Now for a minor adjustment that explains why I said “potentially” 1024. It is likely some of the pairs, in fact many of the pairs, in each group will be duplicates. My Great Grandfather Burpee Tupper married his first cousin Linda Azuba Tupper, which means their common grandparents show up twice in the 16-pair-long list of my 3rd Great Grandparents.  By the time this duplication ripples through my pedigree to the level of 9th Great Grandparents, it is responsible for 64 pairs of my 1024 pairs being duplicates of others in the group. This is the result of just one known overlap. There are undoubtedly many others and they become more likely to occur the further back the tree is constructed.

To calculate the potential size of groups in this exercise, one must assume no inter-marrying between related individuals.

How Many Other 10th Cousins Do Prince William and I Have In Common?

To answer this question one must make an assumption about how many children on average in each family group in each generation go on to have children of their own.  This number varies depending on culture, economic circumstances, child mortality rates and many other things. For the sake of this demonstration I am going to assume that each couple has three children that in turn reproduce.  This number may seem high by modern standards, but one doesn’t have to look back many generations to see families with double digit numbers of children were the norm.

If the original ancestral pair had three children and they each had three, then two generations down the line we have a total pool of 3 x 3 = 9 first cousins. (From the perspective of an individual member of the group that would be one “self” + two siblings + six 1st cousins). In the following generation there are 3 x 3 x 3 = 27 cousins (from the perspective of an individual member: one self, two siblings, six 1st cousins, and the balance of eighteen 2nd cousins). For simplicity’s sake let us just observe that the total number of cousins at a level that includes up to and including “nth” cousins is represented by 3n+1. If we had assumed four children per family we would use 4n+1, etc.

As we have assumed 3 children per family, Prince William and I as 10th cousins could be expected to belong to a group of 10th cousins numbering 310 = 177,147 (but again, from an individual’s perspective a couple of these are siblings, six are 1st cousins, 18 are second cousins, etc.).  To give you a sense of the power of our family size assumption, changing the assumed number of children per family from 3 to 4 pushes the 10th cousin pool size from 144,147 to over 4.1 million. Assuming 5 children per family makes it 48.8 million.  Suddenly being Prince William’s 10th cousin doesn’t seem quite so special.  It is even less special when one remembers that this is not even the “throne-eligible” cousin pool.  Prince William belongs to the Royal group, equally as large, that has descended from Sophia of Hanover.  And he also belongs to possibly over a thousand other equally large groups, each equally as un-royal as the one I share with him.

How Many Total 10th Cousins Might I Have?

The numbers we calculated above represent only the potential 10th cousin pool descending from Jedediah Stong and Freedom Woodward, the one ancestral pair that was common to me and Prince William. But each of us has potentially 1024 such pairs of 9th Great Grandparents.  Therefore with an average of 3 children per family one would have 1024 x 144,147 = 181.4 million cousins just extending out to the 10th cousins (adding more generations, e.g. 11th cousins, 12th cousins, etc. would grow this number exponentially). With a 4 child per family assumption the 10th cousin pool for each of us becomes 4.3 billion, while a 5 child assumption grows it to over 50 billion cousins each. And this is just at our own generation level.  What about when we add in the great many of our parents’ cousins (our cousins once removed) that would still be alive as well as the offspring of our many cousins who might have children of their own already? Now we’re easily into the realm of over 100 billion living cousins each! The entire population of the planet is estimated to be just over 7 billion. What is going on here?

The Grand False Assumption

The reason our calculation unrealistically brings us to many multiples of the total population of the Earth is that we made a whopper of a false assumption right at the start. We assumed “no inter-marrying between related individuals”. In fact for all practical purposes, virtually all marriages are between related individuals! By the time one looks back just ten or eleven generations the overlapping of tree branches is overwhelming and comprehensive.  If one has thorough information available one can find a connection to just about anyone.  Certainly 10 or eleven generations is enough to connect virtually any two persons of European descent, i.e. most of the population of Europe, North American, Australia and large parts of South America.  Just the living descendants of your many pairs of 9th Great Grandparents may number in the hundreds of millions.

Yes, I am related to Diana, Princess of Wales. But so are you. The difference is I have found enough information to connect a line of dots between her and me. There are likely many more possible connecting-dot-routes from me to the Princess.  And likely many routes connecting you to her, and you to me, and you to any one of my neighbours and quite possibly to everyone I’ve ever met.

So unless some cataclysm renders me the last person on Earth, I think I am unlikely to ever lay claim to the British throne.  But just in case, I plan to start working on establishing a legitimate line of descent from Electress Sophia.

Just Cuz (s) Part 2: Presidents, Poets & Performers

Mayflower Descendants Again

Amateur genealogical research is often hampered by incomplete or apparently non-existent  records. Countless branches of many family trees, including my own, come to abrupt dead-ends, sometimes only a few generations back, as recent immigrants seem to have truly left their pasts behind them, perhaps deliberately.  And so it is very satisfying to have one of your branches take you into colonial New England and in particular to the Plymouth Colony which has been extraordinarily well researched and documented. 

Some have claimed that early settlers kept meticulous records tracing their genealogy in order to secure or maintain social standing within the British Empire (a notion that seems at odds with most of the settlers’ professed pursuit of egalitarian utopias). An ongoing pride in one’s ancestors’ roles in the founding of colonies and later the Revolutionary War fed the practice. Today the New England Historic Genealogical Society is one of the most prominent organizations in the field, and should you make your own connection to early New England colonists, chances are the extensive work already done will then lead you to a treasure trove of famous cousins who have already been traced to the same roots.

The most recent article (No.7) in this series looked at celebrity cousins related to my wife Jennifer Lanthier through her McDougall/Parlee bloodlines, which led in turn to the Soules of New England. This installment looks at famous relations connected to my side of the family by way of the New England heritage of my paternal Grandmother, Juanita Tupper.  Surprisingly, a handful of the personalities are common to both groups, albeit by different routes.
The Mayflower

The Mayflower brought colonists, known today as Pilgrims, to Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620.  There were 102 passengers and a crew of about 25.  Many were fleeing religious persecution, others were hired servants or farmers recruited by London merchants.  A group of 37 were members of a separatist congregation picked up from Leiden, Holland en route . The colony was the second established successfully in North America by the English after Jamestown, Virginia and it would later become the oldest continuously inhabited settlement in what was to become the United States.

During the first winter roughly half of the original passengers died. Of those that survived, three feature in the Lanthier-Rogers/Tupper family tree, each from a different contingent of the colonists.

John Alden, from Harwich, Essex, was a hired-hand, the ship’s cooper, but decided to join the settlers.  He is said to be the first person from the ship to set foot on Plymouth Rock and was the seventh signer of the Mayflower Compact, the colony’s governing document.  He served terms as assistant governor and treasurer of the colony and was a member of its council of war.

Myles Standish, from Chorley, Lancashire, was a military officer hired by the Pilgrims as a military advisor for the colony.  Standish was active in the colony administration in a number of roles including assistant governor, treasurer and agent for the colony in England. He also served as the commander of the colony’s militia from its inception until he died in 1656.

Henry Sampson (Samson), originally from Henlow, Bedfordshire, was a child of 16 when he was picked up with his aunt and uncle Ann and Edward Tilley in Leiden.  Both the Tilleys were among those who died in the first winter.

Both John Alden and Myles Standish are my 10th Great Grandfathers by way of their children Sarah Alden and Alexander Standish who married in Plymouth and produced Mercy Standish, my 8th Great Grandmother.  Henry Sampson is my 9th Great Grandfather by way of Mercy Standish marrying his son Caleb.

Rogers Lineage

Stephen Rogers (& Michael, Debbie & Greg) → Charles Dawson Rogers → Juanita May Tupper → Rufus Burpee Tupper →  Ruth Amelia Newcomb → Eleanor Pineo → Elijah Pineo → David  Pineo → Elizabeth Polly Sampson → David Sampson…

  • David Sampson       → Mercy Standish → Sarah Alden → John Alden
  • David Sampson       → Mercy Standish → Alexander Standish → Myles Standish
  • David Sampson      → Caleb Sampson → Henry Sampson
Other Descendants of Henry Sampson

Sarah Heath Palin is a former Governor of Alaska and Republican Party nominee for Vice President in 2008.

Through her father Sarah shares Henry Sampson with us as an ancestor. Through her mother, Palin can trace her heritage to four additional Mayflower passengers; John Howland, Richard Warren, Stephen Hopkins and William Brewster, and also to the sister of yet another - Sarah Soule, sister of George.  Sarah Soule is also an ancestor of my wife Jennifer Lanthier (see No. 7 in the Series).

Sarah Heath  Charles Heath →  Nellie Brandt →  May Ruddock →  Thomas Ruddock →  Rhoda Damon →  Rhoda Thayer  → Micah Thayer →  Elizabeth Sampson    Stephen Sampson →  Henry Sampson

George W. Bush was the 43rd President of the United States from 2001 to 2009 and Governor of Texas from 1995 to 2000.

George W. can claim Mayflower ancestors through both his mother and his father, George H.W. Bush, the 41st President of the United States. Through his father George W.’s Mayflower ancestors include Francis Cooke and John Howland.  Both father and son also share lineage with Sarah Soule and thus with Jennifer Lanthier. Through his mother’s family Bush shares the same ancestor with us as does Palin - Henry Sampson

George W. Bush    Barbara Pierce →  Marvin Pierce →  Scott Pierce →  Jonas Pierce →  Chloe Holbrook →  John Holbrook →  John Holbrook →  Zilpha Thayer →  Mary Sampson →  Stephen Sampson →  Henry Sampson

Other Descendants of John Alden

John Adams was the 2nd President of the United States following his two terms serving as Vice-President in George Washington’s administration.

John Quincy Adams was the 6th President of the United States and son of 2nd President John Adams.

John Quincy Adams → John Adams → John Adams → Hannah Bass → Ruth Alden → John Alden
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was a poet known mainly for his lyric poems depicting stories from mythology or legend. Among his better known works are “Paul Revere’s Ride” and “The Song of Hiawatha”.  He was one of the Fireside Poets, a group of 19th century poets from New England and was considered the most popular American poet of his day.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow    Zilpha Wadsworth  Peleg Wadsworth → Mercy Wiswall →  Priscilla Pabodie → Elizabeth Alden → John Alden
William Cullen Bryant, another of the Fireside Poets, was perhaps best known for “Thanatopsis” (meditation on death) and his book “The Ages”, a panoramic history of civilization told through verse.  He career also involved time as editor of a number of publications including half a century at the head of the New York Evening Post.

William Cullen Bryant    Sarah Snell →  Ebenezer Snell → Zachariah Snell →  Anna Alden → Jonathan Alden → John Alden
Orson Welles was an actor, director, writer and producer in theatre, radio and film. In theatre he is best remembered for Caesar (1937), a Broadway adaptation of Julius Caesar, and in radio for The War of the Worlds (1938), considered the most famous broadcast in the history of the medium. His film Citizen Kane (1941) is considered by many film scholars to be the greatest motion picture of all time.

Orson Welles    Richard Welles →  Mary Head →  Orson Head → Jonathan Head → Ruth Little →  Fobes Little → Constant Fobes →  Martha Pabodie → Elizabeth Alden → John Alden

Marilyn Monroe (her professional name) was an actress who starred in many successful films in the 1950s and 1960s and became known as a major sex symbol.

Marilyn was born Norma Jeane Mortenson with her birth certificate naming her father as Martin Edward Mortenson. Her surname was almost immediately changed to Baker, the last name of her mother’s first husband and whose name her mother still used (Monroe was her mother’s maiden name). Throughout her life Monroe maintained that Mortenson was not her father and that as a child she had been shown a photograph by her mother that she was told was of her actual father, Charles Stanley Gifford.  If this claim is true, then Marilyn joins the ranks of John Alden’s descendants.

Marilyn Monroe (Norma Jeane Baker) → Charles Stanley Gifford →  Frederick Gifford →  Charles Gifford → Lydia Tompkins → Uriah Tompkins →  Micah Tompkins → Sarah Coe → Sarah Pabodie → Elizabeth Alden → John Alden

Descendants of John Alden and Myles Standish via Sarah and Alexander

Deborah Sampson is famous as one of a small number of women who have documented military combat experience from the Revolutionary War.  In order to join the Continental Army she impersonated a man and was nearly discovered a number of times, particularly after receiving two musket balls in the thigh in a skirmish near Tarrytown, New York and needing medical attention. In this instance she fled the hospital rather than be discovered and removed one of the musket balls herself with a penknife.

She was honorably discharged at West Point in 1783.

Deborah Sampson  Jonathan Sampson → Jonathan Sampson →  Lydia Standish → Alexander Standish & Sarah Alden → Myles Standish, John Alden

Dick Van Dyke is an actor and comedian best known for the TV series The Dick Van Dyke Show and films Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Bye Bye Birdie. 

Dick Van Dyke    Hazel McCord  → Charles McCord →  Susan Child → David Lorenzo Child → Susannah Tinkham → Isaiah Tinkham → Sarah Soule → Zachariah Soule → Sarah Standish →
Alexander Standish & Sarah Alden → Myles Standish, John Alden
Dan Quayle was the 44th Vice President of the United States, serving under President George H.W. Bush.

Dan Quayle    James Quayle →  Marie Cline →  Adelia Burras →  Oscar Burras → Sally Standish → Peleg Standish →  Zachariah Standish → Zachariah Standish →  Ebenezer Standish → Alexander Standish & Sarah Alden → Myles Standish, John Alden

Summary of Relationships to Me (Steve Rogers):

Henry Sampson                                    9th Great Grandfather
John Alden                                           10th Great Grandfather
Myles Standish                                     10th Great Grandfather
Deborah Sampson                                3th Cousin 7x Removed
John Adams                                         3th Cousin 8x Removed
John Quincy Adams                             4th Cousin 7x Removed
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow              5th Cousin 6x Removed
William Cullen Bryant                           5th Cousin 6x Removed
Sarah Palin                                           9th Cousin 1x Removed
Dick Van Dyke                                    9th Cousin 1x Removed
Dan Quayle                                          9th Cousin 1x Removed
Orson Welles                                       9th Cousin 2x Removed
Marilyn Monroe                                   9th Cousin 2x Removed
George W. Bush                                   10th Cousin

Just Cuz (s)

“Listen here, Pilgrim…”

In a general sense, a pilgrim is any traveler who is on a journey to a holy place, but in the United States “Pilgrim” generally refers to any of the early settlers of Virginia and Massachusetts who came seeking religious freedom.  The Pilgrims’ Plymouth Colony established in 1620 was the second successful English settlement in the U.S. after Jamestown and eventually came to be the oldest continuously inhabited British Settlement in the U.S.

The Mayflower was the ship that brought the Pilgrims to Plymouth, and its story is well known as a symbol of early European colonization of North America.  But between 1600 and roughly 1640 over 250 ships arrived in Virginia and Massachusetts and with over 7100 families considered to be pilgrims. There are millions of Mayflower descendants living today and many millions more who can legitimately be called descendants of other New England pilgrims. Featured below are just a few who all trace their bloodlines back to the same Plymouth colony family, the Soules (Sooles).

George Soule (1595-1679)

George Soule was one of the original 102 Pilgrims who arrived in 1620 on the Mayflower and was one of the forty-one signers of the Mayflower Compact, the governing document of the Colony. George and his wife Mary had nine children, and it is their second, John, from whom our first two featured cousins descend.

Richard Gere is an actor who starred in numerous hit films including American Gigolo, An Officer and a Gentleman and Pretty Woman.  Richard is George Soule’s 9th Great Grandson.

Richard Gere → Homer Gere → Albert Gere → George Gere →Sarah Tewksbury → Lucinda Fuller → Consider Fuller → Archippus Fuller → Sarah Wright → Sarah Soule → John Soule → George Soule

Dick Van Dyke is an actor and comedian best known for the TV series The Dick Van Dyke Show and films Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Bye Bye Birdie.  Dick is also a 9th Great Grandson of George Soule.

Dick Van Dyke    Hazel McCord  → Charles McCord →  Susan Child → David Lorenzo Child → Susannah Tinkham → Isaiah Tinkham → Sarah Soule → Zachariah Soule → Benjamin Soule → John Soule → George Soule


Sarah Soule (Soole) (1600 – 1656)

Sarah was George Soule’s eldest sister.  Both were children of Thomas Soule (1569 -1615) and Mary Iddenden (1573 -1656).  Sarah married Samuel Hinckley in 1617 in Hawkhurst, Kent, England and had at least the first six of their nine children before moving in 1635 to join her brother in Massachusetts. Three of her children, Susannah, Thomas and Elizabeth, figure in this note.

Sarah and Samuel’s eldest was daughter Susannah, born 1607. Among Susannah’s 9th Great Grandchildren are two political adversaries from the bitterly fought 2008 U.S Presidential election.

Sarah Heath Palin is a former Governor of Alaska and Republican Party nominee for Vice President in 2008.
Sarah Heath  Sarah Sheeran →  Helen Louise Gower →  James Carl Gower →  Arthur Collins Gower →  Cornelius Norton Gower →  Susannah Norton  → Lydia Claghorn →  Susannah Gibbs  → Abigail Smith →  Shubael Smith →  Susannah HinckleySarah Soule

Barack Obama is the 44th and current President of the United States.

The Obama link to the Plymouth colonists was first revealed during the 2008 campaign by researchers at the New England Historic Genealogical Society. Palin’s connection was first announced in a 2010 press release by, which also sponsors the NBC show Who Do You Think You Are?

Barack H. Obama  S. Ann Dunham →  Stanley A. Dunham →  Ralph W. E. Dunham →  Jacob William Dunham →  Jacob Mackey Dunham →  Jacob Dunham →  Samuel Dunham →  Mary Smith →  Shubael Smith →  Samuel Smith →  Susannah Hinckley  Sarah Soule

Sarah Soule and Samuel Hinckley’s second child after Susannah was Thomas, born 1618.  Thomas held several prominent government roles in the colony during his lifetime including serving as its Governor from 1680 – 1692.  Through his son Samuel, born to his first wife Mary, Governor Thomas is the direct ancestor of two U.S. Presidents.

Thomas’s 9th Great Grandson is George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the United States from 2001 to 2009 and Governor of Texas from 1995 to 2000.

George W. Bush  George H.W. Bush  Dorothy Walker →  George Herbert Walker →  Martha Adela Beaky →  Mary Ann Bangs →  Elijah Keeler Bangs →  Lemuel Bangs →  Joseph Bangs →  Mary Hinckley →  Samuel Hinckley →  Gov. Thomas Hinckley  Sarah Soule

George H.W. Bush was the 41st President of the United States (1989-93), and a former Vice-President of the U.S. and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. He is the father of 43rd President George W. Bush, and Gov. Thomas Soule’s 8th Great Grandson.


Sarah and Samuel’s fourth child, their third daughter, was Elizabeth, born 1631.  It is through Elizabeth that we are able to connect our family tree to the impressive collection of celebrities and political figures outlined above.  Elizabeth is the 8th Great Grandmother of Jennifer Lanthier and her siblings.
Jennifer, Kateri and James Lanthier    Jane Frances McDougall →  Cyrus William McDougall →  Mary Louise Parlee →  Zachariah Parlee →  Henry Parlee →  Peter Parlee →  Lydia Robbins →  John Robins →  Mary Parker →  Elizabeth Hinckley  Sarah Soule

Summing up, Jennifer, James and Kateri are Sarah Soule’s Ninth Great Grandchildren, President George H.W. Bush’s 10th Cousins, 10th Cousins 1x Removed of President George W. Bush, President Barack H. Obama and Sarah Palin, and 11th Cousins of Richard Gere and Dick Van Dyke.

One Big Happy Family

Before one gets too excited, proud or embarrassed of any of these connections, a little perspective is needed.  By the time one gets back to 9th Great Grandparents, each of us has over 2000 direct bloodline branches in our family tree (assuming no overlaps, which is almost never a valid assumption) so chances are someone famous is in there.  But looking at it the other way is far more impressive. If one assumes an average of three reproducing offspring per family per generation, a conservative assumption given the much larger families of yester-year (and again assuming no overlap due to inter-relation marriages), any single descendant today of one person 11 generations ago such as Sarah Soule’s father Thomas, would have 11th cousins numbering in the hundreds of thousands tracing to that ancestor.  If the average number of children per generation is assumed to be five, that total number of cousins climbs to the tens of millions.  Add a couple of additional generations and you quickly get to a hypothetical cousin pool that exceeds the current population of the planet.  How is that possible?  Because we started by assuming no inter-relation marriages.  In fact the vast majority of marriages in any family tree can be found to be between relations if one had full information to trace back far enough.  The fun is in finding the connections and hoping they are far enough back to ensure the health of the gene pool.

Steve Rogers is married to Jennifer Lanthier and undoubtedly some sort of distant cousin to her.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

James Beaman and the 100th Regiment of Foot

The War of 1812 and the Settling of Carleton County

In May of 1804, the Member of Parliament for Dublin County, Frederick John Falkiner, was authorized to raise a corps of up to 1000 persons in Ireland. By the spring of 1805 the group had grown to 700 and was granted the title 100th (County of Dublin) Regiment of Foot in the British Army.  Nearly all the men were Protestants and most from the north of Ireland (over half from Ulster), though many came from other counties.  Among the few dozen from County Cork was a young James Beaman, born about 1789.

In August 1805, the regiment joined a convoy collecting in the English Port of Falmouth.  The large collection of ships was bound for Nova Scotia and Quebec carrying the 100th, which was to supplement the garrison in Quebec, as well as several government officials, private passengers, replacements for regiments already in Canada, and families of the soldiers.

Disaster at Sea

The convoy did not have an easy Atlantic passage.  They encountered several severe storms, which delayed their arrival, exhausted many of the ships’ food and fresh water supplies and caused a surge in the spread of disease.  On October 22 in dense fog the Two Friends, carrying 40 soldiers, 30 crew and 80 passengers, was driven ashore on the south coast of Cape Breton Island by high winds. Luckily, the wreck was spotted by locals who managed in small boats to rescue all but three aboard. But the ship slipped off the reef later that day and sank with all the regiment’s heavy equipment.

The next day, those aboard the heavy troop transport Aeneas were not so lucky. Aeneas had become separated from the main convoy days earlier in bad weather. In the early morning darkness of October 23 amid a windy storm, the ship hit a reef near Cape Ray, Newfoundland.  Aboard were 347 people, mostly soldiers from the 100th and women and children from their families. Huge waves swept the panicking passengers into the sea as they poured on deck.  Within four hours the ship had broken up and the survivors, numbering only 35, were washed up on a tiny islet about a kilometer away.  This group made for the main coast in a makeshift raft. Those still alive when they made landfall then walked south.  Some died of exposure, some of disease, and some got separated from the group and lost. A handful encountered passing hunters who helped them survive the winter, then took them to Fortune Bay in the spring of 1806.  By the time this band reunited with the remains of the regiment that had assembled in Quebec the survivors numbered seven.

The War of 1812

After briefly serving as garrison in Quebec City, the 100th rotated through a number of postings, serving in Montreal (1807), Fort George (1807), Trois-Rivieres (1811) and finally back to Quebec in 1812 where it took on the new title 100th H.R.H. the Prince Regent’s County of Dublin Regiment of Foot.

Once war broke out, the regiment moved about even more, seeing action in many significant battles on the frontier.  Their first engagement came in May 1813 with the Battle of Sacket’s Harbour, where they were transported across Lake Ontario from Kingston along with troops from a number of other regiments to attack the American naval squadron stationed there.  A month earlier the bulk of the American force had attacked, looted and briefly occupied Fort York at the other end of the lake. From there the Americans withdrew to Fort Niagara at the mouth of the Niagara River, from which they launched a successful attack on Fort George in late May.  With the Americans occupied on the Niagara Peninsula the British thought they could gain supremacy of the Lake with the attack on Sacket’s Harbour.  Unfortunately they were repulsed, although British casualties were far lighter than those of the American forces (30 killed/200 wounded vs. 153 killed/154 wounded).

The 100th Regiment’s next major battle went somewhat more favourably.  By December the Americans had abandoned Fort George, evacuating to Fort Niagara where they remained vulnerable to British attack as most of their regulars had moved to upstate New York to prepare for an attack on Montreal. A surprise night attack on December 19, 1813 by the 100th Regiment of Foot, supported by a handful of detachments from other units, took the Americans by surprise with only 6 killed and 5 wounded among the British forces. From Fort Niagara the Regiment took part in a number of smaller raids including Buffalo and Black Rock.

Next came the Battle of Chippawa in July of 1814, a major victory for the American forces.  The Americans set out on a major campaign in the Niagara peninsula hoping to gain an advantage before the British could be reinforced with troops being redeployed as they were no longer needed in Europe.  The 100th Regiment held the centre with the 1st (Royal Scots) Regiment and together suffered very heavy casualties.  Although once thought to be much higher, modern historians put the British losses at 108 dead and 319 wounded.

In the following months, what remained of the 100th took part in the Siege of Fort Erie, one of the last significant engagements of the war and one that involved over 5000 combatants.  After the Battle of Chippawa, the American forces had continued north until forced to turn back after the bloody Battle of Lundy’s Lane.  Retreating to Fort Erie the Americans successfully defended the position for close to two months against the reinforced British troops, until a shortage of supplies forced them to abandon it.  For their services in defense of Canada, the men of the 100th were awarded the battle honour Niagara.

After hostilities ended the 100th, now less than half their original strength, returned to their command post in Quebec City and in 1816 were renumbered the 99th as the army establishment was reduced and regiments withdrawn.


Back in Lower Canada Private James Beaman, now in his mid-20s, married Elizabeth Godmair (Goodacre?).  Their first son, John, was born July 1816 and is believed to have died young.  Their next, Joseph, was born July 25, 1818 and baptized four days later in the Anglican chapel in the Quebec City garrison.

With the end of the war, Britain was faced with large numbers of soldiers who would cause incredible unemployment problems if they all returned to England and Ireland.  Additionally, there was a desire to continue to colonize Upper Canada with “loyal” settlers to add protection against another American invasion. The United Empire Loyalists were being regarded by some with suspicion due to rumours that the former American population had aided in some of the American raids in the Johnstown district during the war. The solution was to offer the demobilized soldiers land grants on military settlements.  Each private who agreed to accept the grant rather than passage home would receive 100 acres, tools, 12 months rations and their army pension.  Higher ranks were offered larger grants (up to 1000 acres for a colonel). To protect key points between Kingston and the Ottawa River three settlements were to be established near the route of the planned Rideau Canal.  These military settlements were Lanark (1816), Perth (1816) and Richmond (1818).  Additionally, officials in Ireland encouraged further emigration of civilians to counter unemployment and overpopulation there.

In July 1818 the 100th Regiment was disbanded and the men offered land in the newly-surveyed township of Goulbourn.  About 200 of the 400 or so remaining men accepted the deal and made preparations to provision the settlement. An advance party of about 30 including a surveyor was dispatched up the Ottawa River, carving a road from Richmond Landing (now Lebreton Flats) just below the Chaudi√®re Falls to a site on the Jock River about 20 miles inland.  Here the village of Richmond was laid out and Major Burke of the 100th (now 99th) Regiment began supervising the placement of his soldiers.  By the end of 1818 about 400 families were on site, those of the 200 soldiers as well as a large number of civilian Irish settlers who joined them.  James and Elizabeth may have been in this group, but may not have travelled to Richmond until as late as 1820, possibly due to the presence of infant Joseph. Major Burke placed most of his soldiers in Goulbourn, while Irish and Scottish civilians were settled in adjoining townships. In 1821 James was awarded his land grant, 100 acres in Goulbourn Township, the east half of Lot 12, Concession 2.  Here he and Elizabeth had seven more children, first three girls, then four more boys.

The Beaman children and grandchildren mostly stayed in the area, many in Goulbourn Township, some in neighboring Marlborough and Beckwith Townships, and a few in the villages of North Gower and Kemptville.  James and Elizabeth’s eldest son Joseph married Anne Susan Pettapiece (b. 1826), daughter of Irish immigrants who arrived in the area shortly after the establishment of the settlement.  They bought Lot 3, Concession 4 in Marlborough, a property that continued to be farmed by Beamans for more than the next hundred years, passing it first to their son George Andrew (b. 1865) and from him to his son John Mackey Beaman (b. 1896).

Over 26,000 Irish settlers arrived in Upper Canada between 1815 and 1820 to provide the buffer against the Americans. About another 100,000 came in the decade that followed, many to provide the labour to build the canal and staying to settle the land along its corridor once the construction was complete. This number more than doubled again in the decade after that. Early census data indicates close to 60% of the population of this corridor was Irish.  In four townships, Goulbourn, Marlborough, March and Huntley, 80% were Irish. Richmond, as the centre for administration of land in the area was the first major settlement in what is now Carleton County.  The town was intended to be a major urban centre, but with the founding of Bytown (now Ottawa) in 1826 and its rise once the Rideau Canal was complete, Richmond’s growth stalled.  Today it is mainly a bedroom community for the nearby City of Ottawa.

Steve Rogers is Grandson of John Mackey Beaman, and Third Great Grandson of Priv. James Beaman, 100th H.R.H. Prince Regent’s County of Dublin Regiment of Foot. Born in Ottawa, Steve moved with his family to Goulbourn Township when he was 4.


Births, Deaths and Marriages

Public Member Trees,

Canadian Censuses of 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901, Library and Archives Canada
(Indexed on-line at and

100th Regiment

The Prince Regent’s County of Dublin Regiment, Prince of Wales’ Leinster Regiment Association,

The Regiments of the Richmond Military Settlement, Ron Dale and Wes Cross, April 2003,

The 100th Regiment, Goulbourn Historical Society and Museum,

Wikipidia Articles:
- 100th Regiment of Foot
- Aeneas (troopship)
- Battle of Chippawa
- Capture of Fort Niagara
- Second Battle of Sacket’s Harbour
- Seige of Fort Erie
- Two Friends (ship)

Settlement of Richmond and Goulbourn

Goulbourn: How it all Began, Goulbourn Historical Society and Museum,

From Ireland They Came, Neil Patterson

Wikipidia Article:
- Richmond, Ontario



Regiment Recruitment Area Map
For King and Canada, A. Barry Roberts, p 11

Regiment Uniform
Frederick M. Milner (1889-1939), Library and Archives Canada, #1937-441, Wikipedia Commons

Regiment in Action
The Regiments of the Richmond Military Settlement, Ron Dale and Wes Cross, April 2003,

Military Settlements of Upper Canada
Perth: Tradition and Style in Eastern Ontario, by A. Larry Turner, p.12, Original is in National Map Collection, Library and Archives Canada, #15,712