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Notre Dame Bay Region

Peter Holmes shares history of his family and details of his upcoming trip to the UK to vist the land of his ancestors. He some includes interesting details of a number of families connected to the Twillingate area.

How did I get to this point, people ask themselves. Take Fletcher Christian for example. Fletcher lived a little over 50 miles away from where Stan Laurel was born roughly 125 years later. If they had been born in the same era, Fletcher would have used Oliver Hardy's often used phrase, "that's a fine mess you've got me in to Stanley". Only in Fletcher Christian's case, the culprit was his Mother. She took Fletcher to the Isle of Man, to avoid debtors jail. Thus he was exposed to the sea, rather than his Cockermouth farmhouse in Cumbria. The rest is history. The Lyte family found themselves in the Channel Islands, and their fork in the road took them back to Scotland. Sort of. Here's what happened . . . . . .

My trip involves visiting places such as Westminster Abbey, Chichester Cathedral & Southampton. The following story about a field trip, also involves places I've been, such as Scotland, Poole & Piddletown (now Puddletown) Time constraints prevent me from visiting Ireland & the Channel Islands, and I wouldn't visit Nice in France, unless I want to take out a 2nd mortgage. The Newfoundland families involved are Lyte, Pearce & Colbourne, and in the U.K., Klitz and to a lesser extent, Manning. Mere listers such as I, and Genealogists such as those in St. John's & Point Leamington, often meet contradictory data supplied by less reputable sources such as I, but LDS & Ancestry have their failings as well. So if anyone wants to put me straight, I welcome them with open arms. Time to get on with the trip soon, and where to start.

Henry Maximillian Lyte & his Brother Thomas Mohun Lyte were both in the Royal Marines.,and In 1798 Thomas Lyte was engaged quelling trouble in Ireland. He was a Lieutenant at a young age, and served in the Southern Fencibles in 1794, The Roxburgh Fencibles in 1796, and a Captain in the Northumberland Fencibles in 1798. In 1800, he was in the 1st Battalion Reserve. Thomas Lyte was married to Anna Maria Oliver, and their Sons were Henry Francis, Thomas & George. Thomas (the Son) was born Jan 6 1792 & christened Jan 19. Henry Francis was born June 1 1793 & George John, was christened March 16 1795. The births/christenings took place in either Ednam, Sotland or Berwick on Tweed, and I can provide definitive details to those interested. Much is written on the internet about Henry Francis Lyte, how he overcame adversity starting with his Father absconding, or as we say in the old country, "doing a midnight flit". He is well known for the Hymn "Abide with me". He died Nov 20 1847 in a room at the Hotel Angleterre in Nice France, and is buried in the English Cemetery of the Holy Trinity. His Mother & Brother George returned to England where they died. The other Brother Thomas, is unaccountable at this time, but suggestions are, that, he ended up with his Father in Jersey, Channel Islands. At this point, I'm now focusing on Poole, where I visited many years ago, and was extremely puzzled by the entries in the manifests of ships coming from and leaving for Newfoundland, I perused at the small museum near the docks at Poole. Couldn't find much mention of Cod! Now I know better. Poole was the place where supplies from Bakers to Candle makers, and skill resources such as Shipwrights, Sailmakers, Rope Makers, Carpenters, Blacksmiths, Anchorsmiths etc. Nearby, meat came from Blandford, vegetables from Ringwood & cloth from Sturminster Newton. There was also a Flax Mill at Lytchett & Organford. On the "circuit" sailed, Waterford & Cork provided Butter & Salted Pork. Rum came from the West Indies. So Poole was a refuelling place of sorts, not dealing with codfish, principally . Cod was primariiy sold in ports such as Lisbon, Cadiz, Oporto & ports in Italy, whence came the obtaining from these ports, Salt.

In Poole in the early 1800's, William Colbourne was a Merchant on Strand Street.In 1821, with business better than ever, he retired to Sturminster. Son John took over, and hired a Manager to help him run the business. The firm of John Colbourne & Co was run by himself and one Andrew Pearce, a native of Piddletown. John Colbourne dealt with Twillingate, so he appointed Andrew Pearce's Son Elias as a Manager there, and Andrew's Son Andrew as Manager at Exploits. Over the next decade or so, trade & demand fluctuated a lot. Logistics were a nightmare at times. Communications only as good as the time it took for a vessel to reach port. Elias Pearce would send frantic messages about the shortage of salt or pork. Until the salt arrived there in Poole via the european ports mentioned earlier, Colbourne's vessels couldn't despatch one of their fleet for onward conveyance. Cod sold in Oporto or wherever, had a going rate, which Poole merchants didn't know, if some were landed at Poole. All of this came to an end in June 1834. John Colbourne & Co was bankrupt. Andrew Pearce was 62 years old. He emigrated to Newfoundland, and obtained the position of Collector of Customs. He died August 17 1841 His Sons Elias & Frederick went to join their Brother Andrew at Exploits as Planters to the merchants at Twillingate.

Back to the field trip. I have a Sister in Havant, Hampshire, and in nearby Chichester therein lies a Cathedral. The typical stained glass windows that adorn many places of worship abounds here. One is in honour of Archdeacon Manning. Hope I can get a photo of it. Why? When Henry Francis Lyte was literally on his deathbed in the Hotel Angleterre in Nice, France, the staff were besides themselves as to what to do. However, they knew a member of the clergy was also staying at the hotel, and summoned him to Henry Francis Lyte's room, to offer the last rites. This clergyman was H.E. Manning, Archdeacon of Chichester. I will also visit Westminster Abbey, to obtain a photo that commemorates the life of Henry Francis Lyte. It is held in the Abbey Library, so I won't have to pay 23 pounds to get in the main entrance of the Abbey. Good to know.Don't have time to go to the Channel Islands, but what's with Jersey & Guernsey? Back in the day, as it is of late perhaps, a tax haven. Ships registered there but operating out of the South West of England, probably avoided some sort of tax. So why was Thomas Lyte living in the Channel Islands. Active duty? Retired? What we do know, is that he had remarried to Elizabeth Naughton in Ireland, but now living in Jersey, and had more children. Later about that. My final stop will be in Southampton, where I have booked a passage on the Queen Mary. However Southampton has a contribution to make. Philip Klitz was from a musical family. He was a writer, composer & played organ, piano forte & violin. He is also known for conducting the virtuoso violinist Paganini at a concert in Southampton on Aug 30 1832. Amongst Thomas Lyte's brood by Elizabeth Naughton in Jersey, was Charlotte Amelia Lyte. She would often visit her half Brother, Henry Francis Lyte in England. Perhaps she met Philip Klitz on one of these trips. Anyway, Charlotte Amelia, born June 20 1809 in the Parish of St. Clements, Jersey, married Philip Klitz, born June 7 1808, on June 20 1835 at Christchurch, Hampshire. Philip died on Jan 12 1854 at 24 Portland Place, Southampton. Their children were named George & Frederick. Facts, contradictions, anomalies et al. Some things can be linked to these people. In the will of Thomas Maximillian Lyte, Ann Pearce, Thomas Lyte's Wife and sibling of Elias, Andrew et al, is mentioned. Charlotte, his half Sister and her Son George Klitz (father Philip) are mentioned. John Moss is mentioned.He is married to Elizabeth Pearce, sibling of Elias, Andrew et al.

There are anomalies. The Twillingate Sun of Feb 1886, states that Andrew Lyte was the Brother of Henry Francis Lyte. The forenames Thomas Maximillian are at odds with LDS records, which state that Thomas Lyte, Son of Thomas Lyte & Anna Maria Oliver, shared the same middle Christian name, Mohun. Thomas Lyte (the Father) is named as being born at Bath by numerous reputable websites, including Tribal Pages. can place his birth Oct 1 1766, at Wincanton. Other sites claim he was born at Ringwood. So, a case could be made that Thomas Lyte could either have a middle christian name as Andrew, Mohun or Maximillian. Maximillian was his Uncle's name. Andrew was the middle name of Thomas & Ann's child. My field trip is coming up soon, so perhaps Lyte afficionados, will fill in the blanks. Also hope some of the Pearce & Colbourne info is of some use.
Sources on demand.   ~   Peter Holmes

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