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My Maternal Great-Great-Great-Great Grandfather

John Noble

1st Battalion of Maryland Loyalists

At the end of the U.S. War of Independence in 1783, John Noble immigrated to Nova Scotia

He was granted 200 acres on the St. John river, across from St. Anne, which is now Fredericton

A year later, in 1784, Nova Scotia was partitioned

The western part of Nova Scotia became New Brunswick

John Noble resettled a year later, in 1785 and moved to the Miramichi area

Shortly thereafter, he married Miss Kram

Their son Jonathan Noble married Bridget O'Reilly (My Great-Great-Great Grandparents)

Their daughter Elizabeth Noble married David O'Reilly (My Great-Great Grandparents)

Their daughter Mary Ann O'Reilly married Jean-Baptiste Côté (My Great Grandparents)

Their son Johnny Côté married Marie-Louise Smith (My Grandparents)

Their daughter Claudine Côté married Luc Courcy (My parents)

John Noble

Maryland Loyalist

 by Karen Webb Owen

Great-great-granddaughter of James Noble, son of John Noble

John Noble first appears on the Muster Roll of Captain Caleb Jones’s Company of the 1st Battalion of Maryland Loyalists, 11 July 1778 with the rank of Private. He appears on all the musters for that company through the duration of the war, being promoted to Corporal by 22 Feb 1779. With the company he traveled to Jamaica and from there to Pensacola, FL where he survived the siege and ultimate defeat by the Spanish army. He was held as a prisoner of war in Havana and eventually repatriated to New York City. In the last muster roll, recorded August 1873 at New York, he is listed as a Sergeant with the note, “promoted 30 July 1783”.[ 1 ] As a member of Caleb Jones’s Company, it is likely that he was one of the Maryland Loyalists aboard the ill-fated Martha when she sank on the 23 September 1783. [ 2 ]


He next appears as one of the fifty-eight people granted Block 1 awarded to the Maryland Loyalists.[ 3 ] Across the St. John River from St. Anne’s, now Fredericton, John was granted lot #32 comprised of 200 acres, typical of the amount of land given an officer with no dependents. By 1785, however, he had sold his portion of this grant to his former captain, Caleb Jones, and resettled on the South West Branch of the Miramichi River. He is listed in William Davidson’s 1785 petition to retain the land granted to him and to John Cort prior to the American Revolution.[ 4 ] The minutes of the related inquiry attached to the petition list John Noble, single, as having been settled there by Mr. Davidson in May of 1785. Notes made by Daniel Micheau who conducted a survey in 1785 as part of the inquiry add that John was a Corporal in the Maryland Loyalist who had previously received grants in Sunbury, NS.[ 5 ]


It is likely that John married shortly after that. A history provided by a family member states that he married a Miss Cram,[ 6 ] possibly one of the daughters of the Robert Cram also listed in Mr. Davidson’s petition. However this history was written over 150 years after John’s death and no supporting evidence for this marriage has yet been found. Certainly within a year or two the first of John’s many children was born.


In 1787 John petitioned for lot 26 on the south side of the Miramichi to be registered in his name. In 1788 he petitioned for a lot in the Bay du Vin area and in 1798, along with several others, he petitioned for a section of land near Point Escuminac. In 1805, he and 29 others were granted land along the Miramichi. John was granted lots 49 and 50 on the southern bank containing three hundred sixteen acres.[ 7 ] There is some evidence that he sold some of this land to his daughters or sons-in-law when they married.



On a land petition submitted jointly by him and his son, John Noble Jr. in 1808, the county agent, Mr. Campbell, wrote that John Sr. had served faithfully during the war, adding that he had lost the use of his hand.[ 8 ]


This injury along with the fire of 1825 may account for his petition for a pension under An Act for the Relief of Old Soldiers of the Revolutionary War and their Widows, Act 2 Victoria1839.[ 9 ] It may also explain why, although his land petitions are hand-written and signed with his name, the petition for a pension is marked with an X. His petition of 5 August 1839 states that he is residing in the Parish of Chatham in the County of Northumberland, that he is eighty-two years of age and that he served with the Maryland Loyalists in Capt. Caleb Jones’s Company from 1778 to the conclusion of the war and was honorably discharged at St. John’s in the year 1783. He also states that he has lived on the Miramichi about fifty-five years, is currently in indigent circumstances, has no property and is solely dependent on his relations for subsistence.[ 10 ] He was granted a pension of £10 per year, appearing or submitting affidavits each year for renewal. His affidavit of 12 January 1846 states that he is living with Daniel Baldwin of Chatham. The following notice appeared in the Chatham Gleaner on April 18, 1846: “Died at his residence in Douglasfield, Parish of Chatham, April 8, John Noble aged 89 years; he was a native of Virginia, US, served with the British forces during the Revolutionary War and at its close emigrated to Miramichi. He has left a large progeny.” His obituary was also published in The Loyalist on 7 May 1846.[ 11 ] Although there is no grave marker, his burial was recorded as taking place on the 11 of April 1846 by the Rev. Samuel Bacon, probably in the church yard of St. Paul’s in Bushville.[ 12 ]


Of his life prior to the American Revolution, little is certain. His obituaries state that he was a native of Virginia; the family history alluded to states that he was born in Snow Hill, Maryland.[ 13 ] Census records, immigration records and tax rolls, both before and after the American Revolution, list numerous Nobles residing in Delaware, Maryland and Virginia, including those with the familiar first names of John, Jonathan, William and James found frequently among John’s descendants. To date no records linking John Noble with these families or with any family have come to light. There are no other Nobles on the rolls of the Maryland Loyalists nor is there any family lore linking John with his family. If he did leave family behind in Virginia or Maryland, it seems that they opted to remain there, throwing their lot in with the revolutionaries.


Of the “large progeny” mentioned in his obituaries, all were born before birth records were kept. One family account refers to nine children, five sons and four daughters; although the author admits he is uncertain of the daughters.[ 14 ] Other family accounts have identified at least nine likely offspring.[ 15 ] These are as follows.


John Jr., (c1786-1878). The John Noble Jr. listed in a grant of land in Nelson in 1810 was probably John’s son. He married Anne Malcolm (1789-c1849), widow of John Wilson, in 1826 in Chatham.[ 16 ] Anne was the daughter of John Malcolm who established Malcolm’s Chapel. Probably under Anne’s influence, John Jr. converted to Catholicism in 1841.[ 17 ] John and Anne had three children, but only Alexander (b. 1826) seems to have survived his mother.[ 18 ] In 1861, John Jr. is living with Daniel Baldwin, listed in the census of that year as his brother-in-law.[ 19 ] The Union Advocate reported John’s death at his brother Robert’s home in Hardwick on the 13th of August 1878.[ 20 ]


Mary (b.c1790). In 1810 John Noble sold land to Mary Joudrey, wife of Jacob Joudrey for £1. A subsequent deed refers to their son, John Joudrey b. 1811/2. The latter is still living in Newcastle with his family in the 1851 census. It is likely that Mary is one of John’s daughters and the land was a wedding gift.[ 21 ]


Robert (c1792-1887). Robert received grants of land in Hardwick where he farmed and Fox Island where he had fisheries. He first married Margaret Muzzerall (c.1798-1855) with whom he had numerous children. Some of his descendants still live in the Bay du Vin, Hardwick area. He married Phoebe Williston (1830-1912) in 1857.[ 22 ] Several papers reported his death at the age of 95 on the 26 of January 1887.[ 23 ] He is buried in the church yard of Old St. John Evangelist. His broken headstone also memorializes his brother John.


Anne (c1795-1885). Anne married Daniel Nason Baldwin on the 11 April 1816,[ 24 ] undoubtedly the Daniel Baldwin with whom John is living in 1846 prior to his death. Daniel Baldwin was granted land in Douglasfield in 1827.[ 25 ] They also had numerous children. Anne died at the home of her son, John, on 10 November 1885.[ 26 ] Although no stone marks her resting place, she is listed in the burial records of St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Bushville.[ 27 ]


Jonathan (1796-1868). Jonathan married Bridget O’Reilly, said to be a servant in John Noble’s household,[ 28 ] in 1820. Although he received land along with Daniel Baldwin in 1827, he and his large family were the first family to settle at Causapscal, PQ, where he established one of the postal stations on the Kempt Road.[ 29 ] There are several accounts of him and he is the only one of his generation for which a photograph exists. He died on the 20th of February 1868 and is buried on the mission grounds of St. Anne-de-Ristigouche.[ 30 ]


Louisa (c1801-1889). Also known as Eliza or Elizabeth, she married Alexander Harper, a Scot immigrant and watchmaker, in 1818. The marriage was witnessed by Robert and Jonathan Noble.[ 31 ] The Harpers also received land at a nominal price, including part of John’s grant of 1805.[ 32 ] They also had numerous children. The Union Advocate reported Louisa’s death on 3 April 1889.[ 33 ] She is buried with her husband in the church yard of St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Bushville.


Sarah (c1804-1889). Sarah married Thomas Smith Brehaut on 10 July 1825 with witnesses Robert Noble and Daniel Baldwin.[ 34 ] They, along with numerous children, were living adjacent to the Daniel Baldwin family in 1851.[ 35 ] Sarah died on 9 March 1889 in Douglasfield[ 36 ] and is buried in St. Paul’s churchyard along with her husband.


Phoebe (c1806-1846?) Phoebe Noble married Samuel Frederick Ladner on 17 May 1823 witnessed by Robert Noble and Daniel Baldwin.[ 37 ] He was said to be from Prince Edward Island and Phoebe and he seemed to have settled there sometime after their marriage.


James (c1809-1885). James was married to Jane McAlister (died c.1851) on 19 July 1832 by Samuel Bacon, rector of St. Paul’s Anglican Church.[ 38 ] By 1834, they had moved to the Restigouche where their first child, John, was born.[ 39 ] James married Margaret Kierstead in 1857,[ 40 ] relocating to Glenlevit, NB where he received a grant of 100 acres in 1869.[ 41 ] In addition to the four children born of his first marriage, he also had nine children with his second wife. The youngest of these, Duncan Noble (1874-1939), wrote the history that ties James to John.[ 42 ] James died in March 1885.[ 43 ]


Duncan Noble also mentions a son William[ 44 ], but provides little information about him and to date no record of him has been found.


Karen Webb Owen

Great-great-granddaughter of James.




Muster Rolls of Caleb Jones’s Company of First Battalion of Maryland Loyalists in Murtie, June Clark: Loyalists in the Southern Campaign of the Revolutionary War. Baltimore, 1981.


Davidson, Stephen, “Loyalist Shipwreck” in Generations, Fall 2009, pp16-17.


Volume 1, Page 1, NS-1, Maryland Loyalist Block No. 1, Daniel Fukes and 57 Others, Provincial Archives of New Brunswick.


Davidson, William. Petition of 1785 in the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick.


Micheau, Daniel. 1785 Survey, Crown Land Office, Fredericton.


Noble, Duncan. Letter to his sons written at Solbacken Lodge, Broadlands, PQ dated 19 September 1938.


Land Petitions and Grants at the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick.


1808 Land Petition, Family History Library.


Provincial Archives of New Brunswick.


Records of Old Revolutionary Soldiers and their Widows, Provincial Archives of New Brunswick


Newspaper Vital Statistics (Daniel Johnson), Provincial Archives of New Brunswick.


Burial Records, St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Bushville, Miramichi.


Noble, Duncan, Op. Cit.


Noble, Duncan. Op. Cit.


Harper, David. Private communications, including information provided by Alice Poirier Noble and other family members.


New Brunswick Marriage Register, Provincial Archives of New Brunswick.


Church Records, St. Patrick’s, Nelson.


Deed in Northumberland County Registry Office, Record Book 46. Pages 345-346


1861 Census of Canada, Chatham, Northumberland, NB.


Newspaper Vital Statistics (Daniel F. Johnson), Provincial Archives of New Brunswick.


Williston, Carman. Letter to David Harper reporting research results dated 5 May 1996.


Newspaper Vital Statistics (Daniel F. Johnson), Provincial Archives of New Brunswick.Newspaper Vital Statistics (Daniel F. Johnson), Provincial Archives of New Brunswick.


Newspaper Vital Statistics (Daniel F. Johnson), Provincial Archives of New Brunswick.


First Families of New Brunswick, Baldwin family entry.


Land Petition and Grant at Provincial Archives of New Brunswick.


Newspaper Vital Statistics, (Daniel F. Johnson), Provincial Archives of New Brunswick.


Burial records, St. Paul’s Anglican Church.


Levesque, Jack. Private communication about the Jonathan Noble family.


Audet, Bennie. “First settler at Causapscal”, The Tribune, Campbellton, NB, Wednesday, December 12th, 1990, Sec. B, page 1.


Church Records, St. Anne-de-Ristigouche, 1868, in Drouin Collection.


Williston, Carman. Letter to David Harper, dated 5 May 1996.


David Harper. Private communication.


Newspaper Vital Statistics (Daniel F. Johnson), Provincial Archives of New Brunswick.


Williston, Carman. Letter to David Harper dated May 5, 1996.


1851 Census of Canada, Chatham, Northumberland County, page23, accessed via ancestry.com 3/24/2011


Newspaper Vital Statistics (Daniel F. Johnson), Provincial Archives of New Brunswick.


Williston, Carman. Letter to David Harper dated May 5, 1996.


New Brunswick Marriage Register, Provincial Archives of New Brunswick.


Register of the Northside Presbyterian Church, Restigouche, PQ, in Drouin collection.


Newspaper Vital Statistics (Daniel F. Johnson), Provincial Archives of New Brunswick.


Grant 12969, Volume 76, Addington, Restigouche County, NB. Provincial Archives of New Brunswick.


Noble, Duncan. Op. Cit.


Probate Record for James Noble, 1899, Provincial Archives of New Brunswick.


Noble, Duncan. Op. Cit.


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