William Ewing married Tamson Hodges 28 August 1869

William Ewing was born about 1847 in Aylesford, Nova Scotia, the son of Henry Ewing and Hannah Sophia Parker.  Tamson Ermina (or Armina) Hodges was born about 1849 in Aylesford, daughter of Jonathan Hodges and Ruth Taylor.  Tamson’s name has been misinterpreted and misspelled as Thomas, as Joman Rogers (instead of Tamson Hodges), as Tomau, even on her headstone as Tamzor.  Actually, she was named for Ruth’s mother, Tamson (Morton) Taylor. 

William and Tamson were married 28 August 1869 at the Baptist Church in Factorydale, a small community in Aylesford township.  This was the first marriage for both.  Witnesses were James Ewing (William’s brother) and a Parker (not able to read the name).  She was married the same day that her cousin Louisa Hodges married John Banks. 

William and Tamson’s son Burpee Ewing was born about 1870 in Nova Scotia.  (Richard Burpee was a Baptist minister and missionary from New Brunswick, who spent time in Burma.  He died as a young adult, and Burpee became a cherished Christian name to give to generations of Baptist sons.)

On April 15, 1870, William Ewing was on the ship “Oriental” from Margaretsville to Boston.  On the same ship were John Banks (possibly the one who married Louise Hodges) and JHC Hodges.  I also found a William Ewing from Nova Scotia living in Dedham MA.  He worked as a farm laborer.  Marital status was not listed in 1870, and Tamson and Burpee were not with him.  I was not able to find them in the 1871 Canada census. 

William and Tamson had a daughter, Nellie A (Melisa) born in October 1874 in Canada.  Tamson died about 1878 and was buried in the old Baptist cemetery in Morristown.  The 1881 census lists William, Melisa, and Burpy in Aylesford South.  He was a farmer and the family was of Irish descent. 

In 1891, William was living in Millville, Nova Scotia, where he worked as a farm laborer.  His daughter Nellie was living with her aunt Rebecca (Hodges) McKeown in nearby Clarence.  I didn’t find her brother Burpee.

William sailed on 18 May 1893, on the “Yarmouth” from Yarmouth to Boston.  He listed his occupation as carpenter. The schooner Yarmouth was built in 1841 for Captain Thomas Matthews.  On 22 August, 1894, he was on the “Boston”, from Yarmouth to Boston.  On 15 July,  1898 he was on the “Prince Edward” from Yarmouth to Boston. On 11 Nov, 1900 he was on the “Boston” from Yarmouth to Boston. On 1 May,   1902, he was on the “Boston” from Yarmouth to Boston.  Perhaps this movement back and forth between Nova Scotia and Massachusetts explains why I have not been able to find him in the 1900 US or 1901 Canada census. 

On Sep. 26, 1903, Ewing was on the “Prince George” from Yarmouth to Boston.  He listed his nationality as “A”  The “Prince George” was a 1,990 gross ton ship, length 290ft x beam 38ft, built by Earle & Co, Hull in 1898 for the Dominion Atlantic Railway. She arrived at Boston in Nov.1898 for use in the Boston – Yarmouth NS service. On 1st Jan.1912 the service and ships were leased by Canadian Pacific. Canadian Pacific were primarily interested in the Digby – Saint John route and disposed of the Yarmouth NS – Boston service by selling the Boston, Prince Arthur, and Prince George to Eastern Steamship Corporation on 20th Aug.1912. She continued Bay of Fundy services until 1931 when she was sold to Boston Iron & Metal Co for scrap. [Canadian Pacific by George Musk]

I also was not able to find William in the 1910 US or 1911 Canada Census.  He did move to Lynn MA, and was listed in city directories there as living at 98 Park, which was his daughter’s home.  She had married James F Groves, and they had two children, Mildred Alice and William Burpee Groves.  The 1920 census lists William with the Groves family.  He did not list an occupation, and was 73 years old.   

William died in Lynn on 25 June 1927.  His heirs were his nephew James Rawding (son of his sister Melissa for whom William’s daughter was probably named), his brother Hennigar Ewing, his son Burpee and daughter Nellie, and son-in-law James Groves.  William was buried with his wife Tamson in the old Baptist cemetery in Morristown.

Their daughter Nellie Groves died in June 1956 in Lynn MA.  Son Burpee went west.  In 1910 he was working as a lumberman in Darrington, WA.  In 1911 he was recorded at a border crossing in Sumas, WA on his way to Arlington, WA, occupation cook.  He listed his contact person as his sister, Nellie Ewing, of Aylesford.  She had actually been married for seven year by then.  Perhaps he hadn’t been in touch with his family.  This is the last record of him, although he was listed in his father’s will, so he may still have been alive in 1927.




  1. Thomas said,

    December 23, 2011 at 17:50

    William Ewing’s sister Melissa, was my Great Great Grandmother.

    • sooze471 said,

      December 24, 2011 at 10:33

      Hi Thomas,

      Any chance you have old family photos of the Ewings that would include William?


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