William Henry West married Abigail Vroom 10 Sep 1861

William West was born 10 September 1835, near Berwick, Nova Scotia, the son of John West and Philena Robinson.  Family lore is that John was a pallbearer for Napoleon.  I’m not sure if that was for the original burial in 1821, or the re-interment in 1840, but I wasn’t able to easily find a list of the pallbearers on line.  John West was born in England, but if he was a pallbearer, he would almost have had to be there for the first burial, if at all.

Abigail Vroom was born 9 March 1840 in Wilmot, NS, the first of two daughters of John Ditmars Vroom and Catherine Jones, who were descendants of Loyalists from New York.  Abigail’s father died when she was seven, and her mother remarried, to Thomas Roland, in 1854.  They lived in Morristown.

William and Abigail were married on his 26th birthday, 10 September 1861, in Aylesford.  The microfilm of the actual marriage bond signed by William & Abbie, on the file (back panel of document) says William West and Abigail Frame.  The actual document has her name as Abigail Frome, instead of Vroom. (Her daughter’s obituary confirms that her mother’s name was Vroom.)  Enoch Hutchinson was suretor.  The suretor  is the guarantor of the bond, if the marriage doesn’t happen, the original signer has to pay a fine and if he can’t or is gone, the suretor has to pay it, around £50 but the amount probably varied from place to place.  William and Enoch were both listed as yeomen (land-owning farmers) both of Morristown.  Abigail was listed as spinster, which just meant unmarried, not necessarily old and unmarried (she was 21).  James L Read was the Baptist minister who performed the marriage. 

The 1871 Nova Scotia Directory lists William H West of Morristown as a farmer.  The family was listed in the 1871 census, with their two daughters, Charlotte (1862-1945) and Laura (1865-1964).  The household included William’s sister Rachel and his father John.  The family was Baptist, of English descent, farmers. 

The 1881 census lists the family in Aylesford South (which includes the small towns of Morristown, Millville, Nicholsville, etc).  The household included William and Abbie, their two daughters, William’s sister Rachel, and a boy named John Christanson.  William and Abbie adopted John, and he was later known as John C West (1868-1931). 

John is what was known as a British Home Child – an orphan or otherwise dependant child often from a workhouse, who was sent to Canada (or Australia) as an indentured servant.  Some children were formally or informally adopted.  To read an extremely well done blog about John, written by a family member, go to  http://longagofamily.wordpress.com/naylor/john-christianson/

In 1891, William, Abigail, and Rachel lived in Millville. These small towns were developing, and he may have been listed in a new town without actually moving.   He was still listed as a farmer.  He was listed in the 1896 McAlpine’s Nova Scotia Directory as a farmer, in King’s County. 

The 1901 census lists William H and Abigail now living in Middleton, Annapolis County.  Rachel still lived with them.  Also in household was Laura Palmer, their granddaughter (daughter of Charlotte.)  William still listed his occupation as farmer. 

Rachel died in 1910, and the 1911 census lists William and Abigail in Middleton. 

William died 27 December 1911 in Middleton of stomach cancer, and was buried at Pine Grove.    

Obituary:  In the passing out of Mr. W. H. West on Dec 27th, Middleton lost one of its most highly respected citizens.  Mr. West was born on the North Mountain, back of Berwick, on Sept 10, 1835.  Early in life his family moved to Morristown, where he resided until 12 years ago, when he moved to Middleton.  When quite young he united with the Aylesford Baptist church.  On his removal he took his letter of dismission and united with the Baptist church of Middleton, where he has been one of its most useful and highly esteemed members.  Mr. West carried his religion into his every day life.  Christianity to him meant deeds not words.  As a result the needy and distressed always found in him a friend.  While realizing his increasing physical weakness, he was possessed of the eternal spirit of youth and his hopes and expectations for community and church were always those of a young heart.  He leaves a widow, two daughters, Mrs. G. H. Vroom, of Middleton, and Mrs. J. M. Palmer, Melvern Square, who have the sympathy of the entire community in their bereavement.

Abigail died 21 January 1926 in Middleton, and the death record listed her parents as Ditmars Vroom and Katherine Jones.  She also was buried at Pine Grove. 

Obituary:  The death of Mrs. Abbie West, widow of the late Wm. West occurred at the home of her daughter, Mrs. G. H. Vroome, on Thursday the 21st, at the ripe old age of seventy-six years.   Mr. and Mrs. West during their younger years resided in Morristown, Kings Co., where Mrs. West lived the life of a faithful busy wife and mother, and of an exceptionally kind neighbor. Some twenty-five years ago they moved to Middleton to be near their daughter.   During the past few years, Mrs. West has been in failing health and she has been very tenderly cared for by her daughters, Mrs. Vroome and Mrs. Melbourne Palmer, by whom she is survived.  She is also survived by six grandchildren.  The funeral service was conducted at the home of Rev W. D. Wilson, pastor of the Baptist Church, of which church Mrs. West was an honored member, assisted by Rev Peter Walker, pastor of the United Church. The body was laid to rest beside that of her late husband in Pine Grove Cemetery.



  1. September 10, 2011 at 08:09

    This is wonderful, Susan. I am working on another post about John Christianson called The Rest of the Story… it includes some information about John West being a pallbearer. I will try and get it posted in the next few days.


  2. September 14, 2011 at 11:02

    I finished the post and here is the link… http://longagofamily.wordpress.com/naylor/john-christianson/the-rest-of-the-story-john-c-west/

    I linked your post within the story of John C. West. Thank you, Susan


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