James Harding Hodges m Ausithe Bourque 30 Jan 1883

James Hodges was born 28 July 1853, in Aylesford, Nova Scotia, the first of 11 children of Ralph and Mary (Hodges) Hodges. The family lived in the community of Morristown.  The 1871 census shows him living with his parents and siblings in Aylesford South, Kings, NS. I have not been able to find him in the 1881 census.  James’ life path was different from his Hodges siblings and cousins, because he didn’t stay in Kings County, nor did he emigrate to Massachusetts.  Instead, he moved to New Brunswick, just across the Nova Scotia border.

Ausithe Bourque was born 20 September 1854, in Memramcook, New Brunswick, daughter of Joseph Bourque and Appoline “Polonie” Melancon.  Ausithe’s family was from the Dorchester area.  The 1851 census lists Joseph Bourque’s family, he reported that his race was “Acadian”, and indicates that the three youngest children (before Ausithe was born) were deaf and dumb (the terms used at that time.)  I could not find the family in the 1861 census, but the 1871 census indicates that “Oset” is deaf and dumb. 

I searched the 1881 for Ausithe.  There is a name that looks like “Cealy Burk”  F age 24 (indexed as Buck) living with John Allen in Sackville –  Under “infirmities” she is listed as deaf and dumb, and I believe this is Ausithe, b 1857 (more clues below.)

I know that the Hodges clan is Irish Baptists, so I don’t know what made me look in the on-lin Catholic church records, but I’m glad I did, because here’s what I found in the vital records for St-Thomas in Memramcook: 

B 13  James Hodges (29 ans)

Ce trente Janvier mil huit cent quatre vingt trois, Nous pretre soussigné  avons baptisé,  sous condition, James Hodges agé  de vingt neuf ans, fils de Ralph Hodges et de Mary Hicks.  Parrain Ferdinand Melançon, marraine Rufine Melançon , qui n’ont pas signé.

                                                                        Ed E Labbe, ptre e.a.c.

This 30th of January one thousand eight hundred eighty three,  I the priest who signed below baptized, under condition, James Hodges age of twenty nine years, son of Ralph Hodges and of Mary Hicks.  Godfather Ferdinand Melancon, godmother Rufine Melancon, who did not sign.

Ed E Labbe, ptre e.a.c.

The names of James’ parents are in fact Ralph Hodges and Mary Hodges, first cousins.  Apparently someone felt it would be better to give Mary the alias of “Hicks”.  Perhaps their “degree of consanguinity” would not have been acceptable to the Catholic Church, and if James wasn’t baptized Catholic, it would have been much harder for him to marry his sweetheart.  The next entry in the record says:                                                         

M 15 James Hodges & Ansithe Bourque

Ce trente Janvier mil huit cent quatre-vingt trois, après avoir accordé la dispense de publication entre James Hodges fils majeur de Ralph Hodges et de Mary Hicks de Sackville d’une part; et Ansithe Bourque, fille majeure de defunct Joseph Bourque et de Polonie Melançon aussi de Sackvile d’autre part; tous deux sourds & muets, et ne connaissant aucun empêchement, Nous pretre soussigné avons reçu le mutuel consentement de mariage des susdits époux et leur avons donné la bénédiction nuptiale en présence de Ferdinand Melançon et de Rufine Melançon qui n’ont pas signé.

                                                                                    Ed  E Labbe, ptr

This thirtieth of January, one thousand eight hundred and eighty three, after obtaining the agreement of dispensation of the publishing between James Hodges, adult son of Ralph Hodges and of Mary Hicks, of Sackville of one part, and Ansithe Bourque, an adult daughter of the deceased Joseph Bourque and of Polonie Melançon, also of Sackville of the other part, both deaf and mute, not knowing of any objection, we, undersigned priest have received the mutual consent from both spouses and have given them the wedding benediction in presence of Ferdinand Melançon and Rufine Melançon who have not signed.

                                                                                    Ed  E Labbe, ptr

 [Merci, cousin Diane T for proof-reading my translation!]

Date February 8 1883, County Westmorland, Place Sackville  Newspaper Chignecto Post : m. 30th ult., at residence of John ALLEN, Middle Sackville (West. Co.) by Rev. E. Labbe, James HODGES / Miss Ouellete BURKE, both deaf and dumb.

The man who hosted the wedding is probably the same John Allen where the bride was living in 1881.  (He has daughter Janie who might be the Jennie Allen who was later living with James and Ausithe in 1901.)

The 1891 census of Sackville NB lists James Hodges, 38, b NS, parents b NS, shoemaker; Eusette Hodges, 34, wife, b NB, parents b NB, and Adolphe Burke, 18, son, b NB. parents b NB, shoemaker.  I do not believe that Adolphe Burke is their son.  In 1891, they had only been married 8 years, and Adolphe is 18.  If he was James’ son, his name would have been Hodges. 

Another entry lists the 1891 location as “Institutions” subdistrict, in Westmorland, NB.  The group includes Elizabeth Burke age 45, Marcelle McFee 31, Harold Snowden 7, and John Weatherhead, 20.  The actual copy is illegible.  The index lists Elizabeth and Adolphe as lodgers. 

The 1901 census for Sackville, NB lists James Hodges b 18 Mar 1853, in NS, religion Catholic, shoemaker, Osite Hodges b 4 Sep 1860 in NB, religion Catholic, Jennie Allen, b 6 Aug 1876, NB.  This may be the daughter of John Allen.  The 1911 Sackville census lists James Hodges b July 1852, Catholic, shoemaker and Aressett Hodges, wife, b Oct 1861 (very hard to read, indexed as Charett)

There is a website at www.novascotiagenealogy.com which has a nice collection of indexed vital records, with the actual images.  In the Register of Deaths Year 1933, Book 159, Page 239, it lists James Hodges of Amherst NS (which is just across the border from Sackville NB).  It says, Male, French, married, born Aylesford NS in 1852, died age 81, shoemaker. He died July 30, 1933, arteriosclerosis, with enlarged prostate.  He was buried in Sackville 1 August 1933.  

A very nice librarian from Sackville sent me the following:   

Obit from Sackville Tribune Post Aug 3, 1933, p 8   OBITUARY – James Hodges

Mr. James Hodges, a former resident of Middle Sackville, passed away at his home in Amherst last Sunday evening.  Deceased, who was 79 years of age, was a native of Nova Scotia, but came to Sackville many years ago.  In 1880, he entered the employ of the late Abner Smith at Middle Sackville and was afterwards employed by Councilor James Smith.  When the Wry-Standard company was formed he worked for them until about a year ago, when he retired on account of ill health.  He moved to Amherst a few years ago when the Wry-Standard took over the premises formerly occupied by the Amherst Boot & Shoe Company.  The late Mr. Hodges, who was well known and highly respected, is survived by his widow.  The funeral was held on Monday, interment being in the Holy Rosary R. C. cemetery at Middle Sackville.

But what happened to Ausithe?

The Nova Scotia website listed a Rosie Hodges, French Canadian who died 19 June 1947 in Amherst, buried at Beach Hill Cemetery. Her home address was 11 Maple Avenue, she was a widow.  Date of birth was given as Sep 15, 1854.  Using the age of Oset in 1871, she would have been born in 1855.  Since James was listed as “married” his wife should have died after him.  Is this her?  Back to the kindness of the librarian:

Amherst Daily News June 20, 1947, page 5  OBITUARY – Mrs. Rosie Hodges

The death of Mrs. Rosie Hodges occurred Thursday evening at the home of her niece Mrs. Jude Cormier, 11 Maple Ave.  Although Mrs. Hodges was 92 years of age she was active up until a few days before her death.  She came to Amherst from Sackville about 20 years ago and was highly respected by all who knew her.  She is survived by two nieces, Mrs. Jude Cormier of Amherst, and Mrs. Mary Gould of Port Elgin, and a nephew Willliam Terrio of Carlisle, England.  The remains will rest at Campbell’s Funeral Home until Saturday morning.  Service will be from St. Charles Church at 9 o’clock.

Amherst Daily News, June 20, 1947, page 4  FUNERAL – Mrs. Rose Hodges

The funeral of the late Mrs. Rose Hodges was held from the R. C. Church with Requiem high mass conducted by Rev. Father McCarthy assisted by Father Mackey.  The pallbearers were Henry Arsenault, Pat LeBlanc, Amos LeBlanc, and Sandy Chapman.  The remains were taken  to Sackville for burial in the Beach Hill Cemetery.  Mass Cards were from the following:  Mr. and Mrs. Meddie Richard and family; Mr and Mrs. Amos LeBlanc; Mr. and Mrs. Henry Arsenault and Patsy, the Desprey Family, Mr. and Mrs. Jude Cormier, Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Allen, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Richard and family.

Rose Hodges’ obituary doesn’t list her husband, but it does say “survived by nephew William Terrio” plus nieces Mrs. Jude Cormier and Mrs. Mary Gould.  Ausithe Burke has a sister Jane.  This could be the Jane (Mrs. Daniel) Tarrio in the 1911 census in Amherst NS.  She is the correct age to be Ausithe’s sister, according to earlier census records.  Jane and Daniel have a son William.  Living in the same household is Nancy Burke.  Ausithe also had a sister named Nancy, and this one is the correct age. Her occupation is “domestic” and working for her sister, so this would also seem to confirm that the wife Jane is a Burke. There are Cormiers and Goulds in the immediate vicinity, so the nieces (Mrs. Jude Cornier and Mrs. Mary Gould) could also be daughters of Jane who married after 1911 census.  William D Terrio WW1 record lists relative as Jane Burk Terrio of Amherst.  

Also per the librarian, Beach Hill cemetery is really Beech (the tree, not ocean front) and is the same as Holy Rosary cemetery.   I found James Hodges’ headstone at the cemetery.  Buried there also is Mary Burk, who is Authithe’s older sister.  Her death record says that she died in 1904, cause of death, general debility, lifetime.  I did not find a marker for Ausithe.

This couple was a fun little piece of detective work.  One of the challenges was that I was never sure of the wife’s name.  In all the records I found for her, her name was never spelled the same way twice:  Ausithe, Oset, Cealy, Ansithe, Eusette, Ouisette, Osite, Aressett, Rosie, and Rose!

I also learned that Amherst was at one time home of the Amherst School for the Deaf, later Amherst Vocational School.  I have not been able to find out when that school opened, so I don’t know if that was the draw for James and/or Ausithe.


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