Monday, November 15, 2010

Amanuensis Monday- Reverend Bill's Marriage

Reverend I. E. Bill and his wife, Isabella Lyons
For most of the ancestors in my family tree I only have dates and places for their births, marriages and deaths.  For a few more, I have occupations gleaned from censuses, or their status in society from tax records, or other minute details of their lives.  For only a handful do I have diaries, letters or memoirs.  It was fascinating to read and transcribe my 3x great grandfather's memoirs over the last month for Amanuensis Mondays.

This is the last part of Reverend Bill's memoir I will be transcribing and posting on my blog.  In the previous posts, he describes his genealogy and early family life. He also wrote about his religious conversion and baptism into the Baptist faith and his desire to become a pastor.  Here he describes his wife, Isabella Lyons, born 28 January 1806 in Cornwallis, Nova Scotia, died April 1872 in Carleton, New Brunswick, daughter of Thomas Ratchford Lyons and Ann Skinner.

"...My father died when I was nine years of age but I was early sent to school and although my father was called away my mother continued to give me the best opportunity of mental training which the schools of the country afforded. When I had passed successfully through these she would gladly have sent me to King’s College Windsor the only college at that time in the Maritime Provinces, but unfortunately it was encompassed with ecclesiastical tests which barred the door against me as the son of a Baptist parentage. When I thought of entering the ministry this want of a collegiate training was a great obstacle in my way.

Under all the circumstances I resolved to continue my worldly occupation and do what I could in connection with that for the interests of Zion.

Having entered upon my 21st year I married the young lady of my choice, Isabella Lyons, and took her to the pleasant home which a kind providence through the thoughtfulness of my loved parents had provided for me. There with one heart and soul we began the duties of a married life by erecting the family altar and calling upon the goodness of the Lord for guidance in all that pertained to the present and to the future. Home was happy, prospects for the future pleasing. As time went on some thirteen months after our marriage we were blessed with our first born, a son, to which we gave the name of his grandfather, Asahel...."

Isabella Lyons Bill (1806-1872)
Ingraham Ebenezer Bill married Isabella Lyons on 20 April 1826.  In the last passage above, Reverend Bill mentions the birth of his first son, Asahel, 14 May 1827 in  Billtown.  This young man died on 20 July 1848 at Acadia College.  The reverend and his wife had a total of five children, four boys and one girl, including Caleb Rand Bill, my 2x great grand father.

This next part of the memoir is filled with many, many pages of Reverend Bills's education, ordination and first years in the Baptist ministry.  If anyone is interested in the early days of the Baptist Church in Nova Scotia or the Maritime provinces, it would be an interesting read. Please contact me if you are interested in a transcription of his entire memoir.   It also describes many of the early Baptist families, pastors and preachers in Nova Scotia.  In this part of his memoir he also describes how Acadia College was founded as an alternative to King's College, which would not accept students outside of the Church of England.  He was one of the first supporters of Acadia College, and was granted an honorary degree.  It is now Acadia University.
Part one of Reverend Bill's memoir

Part two of Reverend Bill's memoir

Part three of Reverend Bill's memoir
Copyright 2010, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

No comments:

Post a Comment