01 (F): Sarah Stevens
Born: 01 Mar 1811 in Colchester County, Nova Scotia, Canada
05 (F): Rachel Stevens (23)
Born: 01 May 1819 in Colchester County, Nova Scotia
William Stevens and Hannah Higgins
about 1785 – before Jul 1869 1787 – 1869
Folly Lake, Colchester County, Nova Scotia
Tonight I'm going to tell you everything I know about our ancestors William Stevens and Hannah Higgins. This is going to be a short story!
We think William was born about 1785 and married Hannah Higgins in about 1806. We know they are our ancestors because when their son Charles Stevens died in 1917 someone wrote on his death certificate that his parents were William Stevens and Anna Higgins, both born in Nova Scotia. The name Hannah was frequently called Anna.
I have a 1904 newspaper telling that William Stevens “settled and made his home on the east side of the Lake (Folly) in the early years of the century (1800's). The Stevens home was between the lake to the west and East Folly Mountain to the East, on a road still called Stevens Road. Stevens Mountain is to the northwest and Higgins Mountain to the northeast. They are all part of a range called the Cobequid Hills, a very scenic and largely uninhabited area where our ancestors lived. Today the area is being evaluated for the placement of wind turbines. But in the early 1800's it was William's farm.
We don't know for sure who William's parents were as life was hard and records were scarce. And his family may well have been illiterate. He was born in the 1780's probably to one of the very early English settlers who came from Massachusetts to Onslow, NS, in 1761. Hannah we have much more information about. She was the daughter of Philip Higgins and Mary Crowell, both of whose families came with that wave of immigrants. Hannah was born in 1787 in Onslow, one of 11 children. From the make-up of Hannah and William's family as shown in the 1838 census we can estimate that they were married about 1806. According to that census they had at least 9 children, but we only know about 3 of them. (I wrote that sentence before I had discovered the other 5.) Mary, born about 1813 never married and lived with her mother and then her brother, Charles. Robert was born in 1824. He lived at the Folly Lake home until his death in 1898. He and his wife, Agnes Nancy MacLean had eight children. They and at least three of their children are buried at West Folly Mountain Cemetery. I have corresponded with one of their descendants. William and Hannah's other child that we know of is our ancestor Charles.
So Hooray for William and Hannah! They worked hard to raise their family. They lived and died in the beautiful Colchester County, Nova Scotia. There is still a road and two mountains named after their families.
Here is how you're related to William and Hannah Higgins Stevens. William and Hannah had Charles Stevens who homesteaded in Wisconsin. Charles had Edmund Stevens who was a blacksmith. Edmund had Harold Stevens who was the paymaster at Abbott Laboratories. Harold had Paul Stevens who is a genius at most everything. Paul had Dawne Stevens who is a wonderful mother and teacher (and a mathematical genius.) And Dawne had . . . My Beautiful Grandbabies!
!The following is from an Email 2 Mar 2004 from Gene Jane in NS:
"Firstly I found the death recorded for a Hannah Stevens, widow, aged 84. Born in Onslow the daughter of Phillip & Mary Higgins; died July 22 1869, Wentworth, Cumberland County. I believe this is your Anna. Wentworth is in Cumberland County (borders on Colchester County) and is located somewhat between Lake Road and Londonderry. After looking at various records and comparing things I believe that it is quite likely that Charles was among the last 3 children of William & Hannah. My reasoning for this is the 1838 Londonderry census which records the following for the household of William and Hannah Stevens....
!1 female under 6
2 males 6 to 14
1 female 6 to 14
2 males over 14
3 female over 14
plus William & Hannah
!Looking at this, it would appear that William and Hannah likely began their family before 1812 which would allow time for their marriage and the 5 eldest children to be born before the year 1824 as the children above 14 years would have to be born before 1824. There could very easily have been older children already left home by 1838 as well. Taking this in account I think it is very possible that the Mary Stevens living with Charles in 1871 is an elder spinster sister who likely lived with her mother Hannah up until Hannah's death in 1869 - perhaps Charles lived in the homeplace and inherited the care of his sister with the property."
!There is a Stevens Mountain and a Higgins Mountain in Colchester County, NS, north of Londonderry and NW of Folly Station. There are part of a range called the Cobequid Hills, very scenic and largely uninhabited area near where our ancestors lived. Currently, the area of those two mountains is being evaluated for placement of wind turbines (www.gov.ns.ca/nse/ea/higginswind/HigginsWind_Registration.pdf )
There is also a Stevens Road runs along the east side of Folly Lake.
Following is some corespondence with researcher C Fisher, descendant of Wm. Stevens (b.1788) justifying why we believe her Wm Stevens and mine are one and the same:
Correspondence w Carol Fisher Stevens
re: William Stevens
Another tidbit on Hannah Crowell: Here is what researcher Neil Weatherby wrote to me several years ago (unfortunately he has died since then) "Then there's the other thing that you noticed about Hannah Crowell having the same surname as Hannah Higgins' mother. It may not be a coincidence because there's a possibility that they may have been the same person (i.e. Hannah Crowell Higgins). GeneJane records that Robert Crowell Higgins (Hannah's brother) had a daughter named Mary Crowell Higgins who had married a John Higgins. The Onslow Township Book records Mary's surname as just Crowell and not Higgins. Perhaps the same situation occurred with Hannah. And, afterall, I still have no confirmation of Hannah Crowell as a person or the wife of William Stevens." I compared your list of the children of Wm Stevens and Hannah Crowell plus my list of the children of Wm. and Hannah Higgins Stevens to the breakout in the 1838 census and here is what I got: 1838 CENSUS OUR 2 FAMILIES Females under 6 - 1 none males 6-14 - 2 Robert-1842; Charles-1828 females 6-14 - 1 none males over 14 - 2 Elisha-1815; Samuel-1819; Wm-1822 females over 14 - 3 Mary-1812 Sarah-1811 Rachel - 1819 There are too many boys over 14, all from your family. Could one of them be already married and gone? The missing females would be in the "lost" group with my Robert and Charles. WOW! I'm really starting to be convinced. Evidence yours and mine are the same family: 1) Crowell in Hannah Higgins mother's maiden name. Many of Hannah's siblings used family surnames as middle names. In another record a niece with midle name 'Crowell' appears to use 'Crowell' in place of surname. (See above, I probably didn't say that quite right) 2) Both William Stevens families supposedly lived at Folly Lake. 3) The make up of both families in 1838 census is exactly the same. By examining the register order of the census families, Jane Wile determined they were not listed in the order of their dwellings, and could well be the same family listed twice. 4) Both Wm Stevens were born in N.S. Yours Onslow 1788, mine date unknown but written on son Charles death certificate: place of birth of father- "Nova Scotia" 5) Both families have a Mary born about 1813 - your Mary born 25 Dec 1812, my Mary born about 1813 per 1871 census, and living with my Charles. Evidence not supporting this theory: 1) My Hannah died 22 Jul 1869 in Wentworth and the record said she was a widow.
As you pointed out 'M' and 'W' look similar when hand written and this could be an error.
2) your William died 13 Feb 1876 status - married.- 1871 census shows a Wm the right age liivng w. Rachel, 71. Perhaps he remarried after Hannah died. No other Wm Stevens the right age appears in that census. (We later determined this Wm and Rachel are a different Wm Stevens that has been well researched and known and is definitely not ours. DZS Jan 2012)
1838 Census, Londonderry Twsp, Colchester Co., Nova Scotia
# 110 Londonderry - Wm. and Hannah Stevens, farmer
girls under 6 - 1
age 6 - 14 - 2 boys, 1 girl
over 14 - 2 boys, 3 girls
There is a duplicate record for #195 Londonderry.
(02) Mary Stevens:
Mary appears on the 1871 census with the family of Charles. She is likely an older sister to Charles.
I am a decendant of Elisha who was a son of William. The information I have comes from family history. It is hand written on a sheet of paper from years ago. I have Burpee's family bible. but it is not in that. It is on a separate paper. It reads as follows.
The first Stevens we have on record.
William Stevens married Hannah Crowell Nov 1810 (no birth or death dates)
Their family: Sarah Stevens born March 1st 1811
Mary Stevens b Dec 25th 1813
Elisha (father of Burpee) b April5th 1815-Dec 24 1880
Samuel b March 31 1817
Rachel b May 1th 1819
William b Dec 4 1822
Elisha Stevens married Abigail Hall 1840
William (Jr) Stevens married Ann Hall Feb 8th 1852
died in BC
[Thomas Stevens, Onslow, estate # 192; Colchester Registry of Probate, Truro, NS, Canada]
[Shared courtesy of Gene Jane http://genejane.com/Site/
William Stevens is listed and also James William Stevens.
Other names of interest include Crowe, Agnes Elliott, and Geddes.]
James E. Vance
Edward D. Weatherby
[Shared courtesy of Gene Jane http://genejane.com/Site/]
Family #195 - William STEVENS Spouse : Hannah Occupation : Farmer 1 - Female(s) under 6 years 2 - Male(s) over 6 and under 14 years : 1 - Female(s) over 6 and under 14 years : 2 - Male(s) above 14 years of age not a head of family : 3 - Female(s) above 14 years of age not a head of family : District : Londonderry
[Families #110 and #195 are both Wm. and Hannah Stevens and have identical make-up. Possibly the same Family. GeneJane writes the following: "I have also marked the 2 William Steven households that you mentioned as possibly being the same family.... I examined the names of the near neighbors for both entries and cross-checked them with information I have on some of these and it would appear to me that entry #195 is the one that best describes the neighbors of William & Hannah of Folly Lake and is the entry that I consider to be their family.
The #110 entry seems to be surrounded by families who lived in the Folly Village / Masstown area and although I've found no record of another William & Hannah Stevens in the area, that does not mean that there is not. " 30Apr2009
(True, but extremely unlikely they'd have exactly the same family structure. DZS.)
I had another look at the 1838 census and did more comparisons farther up and down the the list from each of the William and Hannah Stevens households and this is the results...
FN 189 - SINGER - lived at Folly Lake
FN 190 - PEPPARD - Great Village
FN 191 - MAGAHEY - Folly Lake (I think this is Mageney)
FN 192 - COOK - Acadia Mines
FN 193 - COOK - Acadia Mines
FN 194 - VANCE - Folly Lake
FN 195 - STEVENS - William and Hannah
FN 196 - JOHNSON - East Mines
FN 197 - SINGER - I do not know where they lived
FN 198 - DILL - Great Village
FN 199 - DILL - Great Village
FN 200 - JACKSON - do not know
FN 201 - JACKSON - Economy
FN 202 - CUMMINGS - Great Village
FN 103 - PHILLIPS - Folly Mountain
FN 104 - McLANE - Folly River (between Folly Village and East Mines)
FN 105 - DUNN - do not know
FN 106 - WEATHERBY - Folly Lake
FN 107 - CHRISTY - Great Village
FN 108 - McCULLY - Masstown
FN 109 - McLANE - Folly Village
FN 110 - STEVENS - William and Hannah
FN 111 - MILLER - do not know
FN 112 - CLARK - do not know
FN 113 - STEVENS - East Mines
FN 114 - FLETCHER - Lower Debert (between Masstown & Folly Village)
FN 115 - FAULKNER - Lower Debert
FN 116 - SLACK - can't determine
FN 117 - GRAHAM - Debert
The enumeration was obviously not done house to house following the roadways - that is for certain and given the haphazard way the families are listed I think it would be quite possible for a family to be recorded twice - they are 85 households apart by number and would be pages apart on paper. Still and all I have to reserve that possibility of another William and Hannah Stevens family being in the area - personally I don't think there is, but I have been fooled more that once by not keeping an open mind to possibilities :) (7/21/2009)
[sent link to this land grant map. http://www.gov.ns.ca/natr/land/grantmap.htm
click on unit 71. Find Stevens property east of Folly Lake far upper right.]
William STEVENS Spouse : Hannah Occupation : Farmer 1 - Female(s) under 6 years 2 - Male(s) over 6 and under 14 years : 1 - Female(s) over 6 and under 14 years : 2 - Male(s) above 14 years of age not a head of family : 3 - Female(s) above 14 years of age not a head of family : District : Londonderry
Upper Londonderry Family # 25
Stevens, Mary age 58
Charles 39 - Farmer
Family No. 247
Stevens, Samuel age 55 Occ: Labourer
[William's household appears right above that of his daughter Minerva.]
Upper Londonderry Family # 334
Stevens, Robert age 48
"From Jane Wile a volunteer researcher - This Robert I feel certiain is the sonof William Stevens and Hannah Higgins (William is the sn of Thomas Stevens and Agnes [Nancy] Elliott. . . .
Next, I located this William Stevens property at Folly Lake on the land petition (dated July 16, 1861) of James Higigins who was to receive the property bounding William Stevens north property line. This James Higgins is Likely a nephew of Hannah (Higgins) Stevens.
Next, I looked at Church's map of Colchester and it identifies that "R. Stevens" lives on the east side of Folly Lake in the exact same place where the William Stevens farm would have been. Deeds might show a property transfer. The above William Stevens is not recorded on the 1871 census and so likely died between 1861 and 1871.
Now, there are two Robert Stevens in the Londonderry census of 1871 and when you compare the families and their near neighbors there is no doubt that the R. Stevens at Folly Lake is Robert, husband of Agnes McLean.
Looking at the 1828 (I believe she means 1838 census. - DZS) census Robert Stevens of Folly Lake wasb. Oct 12,1824, so this means he would be in the 'above 14 years' on the census. William and Agnes Stevens of Folly Lake have two sons above 14years in this census and Robert and Mariah Stevens do not record any sons above 14 years.
This is my reasoning behind my conclusions. I think they are sound - the location of Robert's farm on the Church Map was the clincher for me.
Now as for William Stevens of Folly Lake, he is the possible son of Thomas Stevens and Agnes Elliott."
[Notes Carol copied from "Stevens" folder at Truro Historical Society Oct 2011.]
Cemetery Index - Colchester County
Top of Form 1
Bottom of Form 1
ROBERT STEVENS Birth date (yyyymmdd) : Death date (yyyymmdd) : 18980324 Age : 74 Buried in : FOLLY MOUNTAIN CEME; WEST FOLLY MOUNTAIN Cemetery # : 62 Marker Number : 133 Number of People : 1 Book Number : 88.11
Dwelling # 82 Household # 82
Minard, Amos age 69 Farmer VT VT VT
Abigail 60 wife NH NH NH
Stevens, Chas 48 Farm Laborer cannot read or write Nova Scotia NS NS
Catherine 44 wife NS NS NS
Ina 11 dau attends school NS NS NS
Edmond 9 son attends school NS NS NS
Annie 7 dau attends school NS NS NS
Charles and Catherine's son Addison, 14, is living on the nextdoor farm of B F Gifford as a "hired boy"
Line 12 Dwelling # 201 Family # 209
Stevens, Charles b. JUL 1831 age 68 m 37 yrs Can/Eng Can/Eng Can/Eng imm: 1878 inUS 22yrs Na Farmer Own
Catherine Mar 1837 63 all same as above 8 ch b./ 7 living
Maud E. Jul 1880 19 S WI Can/Eng can/Eng
Line 2 Dwelling # 146 Family # 146
Stevens, Charles head age 78 m1 for 58 yrs Can/Eng Can/Eng Can/Eng imm: 1880 na occ: farmer cannot read or write
Catherine wife 72 m2 58 Can/Fr Can/Fr Can/Fr 6/89 8 ch b/6 living can read & write
Line 36 Smith St. Dwelling # 214 Family # 214
Lange, Alice head owns free age 60 wd NS/Eng NS/Eng NS/Eng occ: none
Stevens, Katherine mother 84 wd NS/Eng NS/Eng NS/Eng none
[This "Katherine" is Charles' widow]
Upper Londonderry Family # 25
Stevens, Mary age 58
Charles 39 - Farmer
Lake Road is referring to the road the runs between Tatamagouche and Mattatall Lake - look at the old Colchester Map on my site and locate MILLBURN in the top part of the map - Lake Road runs through it. This is the area that Charles wife Catherine was from so it is possible she was staying with her parents when Edmund was born.
Lake Mills is most likely the western end of Lake Road - there were a number of mills operating on Lake Stream that runs just north of Millburn - this can also been seen on the map. There are a number of "J. Patriquins" living there and one of these would be Catherines father John Patriquin... there are also a couple of "J.Tattrie" and one of these could be Catherine's first husband John Tattrie. These maps were printed in the early 1870's, but the data would have been gathered in the years before this.
I searched the map but could not locate a house for Charles Stevens, however in the 1871 census his name appears as a near neighbor of folks living at Folly River... this is an area just north of Folly (Fawleigh) Village.
Revised: February 19, 2018