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Oral History

Notre Dame Bay Region ~ Fogo / Twillingate District

Port Albert - History of Port Albert by Bill Elliott

The information was transcribed by DON BENNETT, 2001. While I have endeavored to be as correct as humanly possible, there may betypographical errors.
The History of Port Albert

Well here I am Bill Elliott, to try and give you a history of Port Albert. In October 1883, Thomas Elliot from Musgrave Harbour, being a fisherman who owned a schooner and fished on the Labrador, and Musgrave Harbour not being a harbour for schooners, he was looking for a harbour. So when he reached Port Albert , then Little Beaver Cove, he said "this is it". Thomas Elliottís first wife had passed away a few years before. After a couple of years he met Sarah Mercer, a widow on Indian Islands. Thomas Elliot had three sons by his first wife and four daughters. Sons were: James, John and Herbert. Daughters were: Rachel, Rhoda, Margaret and Jennie, of which I will tell you later. So Thomas Elliott came with his sons in October, stayed on board his schooner while they built a log cabin for the coming winter. When they had it completed they moved. Him, his sons, daughters, Mrs. Mercerís sons: George, William and daughter, Susanna, those were the first settlers in Beaver Cove [now Port Albert]. Now I will try and tell you who came here in that order.

Gideon Day, whose father was John Day, first settlers in Rocky bay, now Carmanville. Gideon married Rhoda Elliott, Thomasí daughter and moved here to live.

Joseph Bennett married Tomís daughter Rachel. Joe came from Fogo, met Rachel while she was a housemaid there.

George Mercer, son of Tomís second wife married Margaret, Tomís daughter. Jennie, his other daughter, married a Pelley from St. Johnís.

Tomís son James married Eliza Abbott from Musgrave Harbour and lived here. John married Jemima Manuel from Exploits; and Mrs. Mercerís son William, brother of George, married Mary Abbott of Musgrave Harbour, sister to Eliza and moved here also. They fished with skipper Tom on the Labrador. Then Thomas Day, brother to Gideon, came here to live also. I think he married a Whiteway from Musgrave Harbour.

Next to move in here was John Peckford from Change Islands; Johnnie Mugford moved here from Cann Island, Seldom.

In 1893, Ambrose Mercer from Upper Island Cove, Conception Bay, who had met Tom Elliott on the Labrador decided to move here. Tom, after coming home from the Labrador went to Conception Bay in his schooner and brought Ambrose Mercer, wife and children to live here. They brought his house down in sheets on the deck of the schooner. Elizabeth was a Crane from the same place.

Ambrose and Elizabeth had daughters; Mary Jane [My Mother], Katie, Emma, Eliza and sons: John and William; one adopted son: Isaac.

Getting back to the Elliotts. Tomís family, James and Eliza had two sons: Sam and Harold; daughters: Nora Jane, Elizabeth, Hilda, Effie and Elsie May who died when she was 9 years old. John, Tomís son, had one son Tom and daughters Minnie and Melisa.

The Kings: Isaac moved in from Change Islands. He had a son, Albert, and a daughter, Rhoda. I do not of any more but Isaac Kingís wife was a Bown from Change Islands. Her name was Charlotte. She was always called Gran King for respect.

Tom Elliottís son, Herbert, married Isaac Kingís daughter , Rhoda. So Herbert and Rhoda had sons: Pierceable, William, Fred, Harvey, Oswald and Morley; and daughters Winnie, Mina and Gladys.

Then, the Waggs moved in. Richard Wagg from Gander Bay. He married Louisa Coward from Cobbís Arm. They had sons; Albert, Kenneth and Claude and [Alice] daughter Minnie. In 1903 Nat Crane also came here from Island Cove, Conception Bay. Nathaniel and Mary Anne, his wife, had sons: John and Sam, daughters, Emma, Isabella and Susanna. I may say Nat Crane married Ambrose Mercerís sister, Mary Anne, and Ambrose Mercer married Nat Craneís sister, Elizabeth. Nat Craneís motherís name was Thamer and Ambrose Mercerís motherís name was Katherine.

John Dally from Pikeís Arm: he married Thomas Elliottís wifeís daughter, Susanna Mercer and lived here.

The Elliotts first:

James Elliott and Elizaís son Sam, married Mary Jane Mercer, mentioned above. They had sons: Hubert, James, Gordon, William and Stanley; one daughter, Effie May. She married Lewis King from Herring Neck, son of Albert King. Mrs. Blandford from Herring Neck adopted him when he was 9 months old but never changed his name from King.

Hubert married Rosie Quinlan from Birchy Bay and moved there to live. They had two sons: Bert and Eli. Hubert died in early 1930ís. Eli died at Summerford, 1981. Bert is living here at present.

James, Samís son, married John Dayís daughter, Mabel. They did not have any children. He moved to Lewisporte, 1954.

Gordon married Rowena Mews from Birchy Bay. They had two sons: Dorman and Ernest; three daughters: Joan, Doris and Ruth. Gordon was accidentally shot moose hunting in 1957.

Bill married Gladys Peckford from here. They have three daughters: Marjorie, Florence and Irene. Stanley married Effie Collins from Change Islands. They have seven sons: Harvey, Samuel, Roy, Bruce, Harold, Ivan and Gilbert and three daughters: Judy, Sandra and Christine.

Harold, Jamesí son married Louise Dalley from Corner Brook and lived there. They had sons: Donald [drowned when young], Junior, David, [Clive died earlier], and Douglas; daughters: Ruth, Joan, [nursing for 25 yrs., died a few years ago] and Brenda living in U.S.A.

Elizabeth married Stanley Tricco from Torbay, and moved to Boston. Their only daughter, Barbara, living in Boston and son, James living in Pittsburg.

Hilda married William Sheppard, Poolís Island. They had one daughter, May. She married Fred Pinsent. He died about five years ago. She now lives in Middle Brook.

Nora Jane married Henry John Peckford. They didnít have any children.

Effie married John Mercer, son of Ambrose Mercer. They had two children Sidney and Stella. Sidney [Ted] married Margaret Mercer, daughter of Joseph and Emma Mercer. Stella living single with her father. Her mother died a few years ago.

Herbert Elliott moved to Cat Harbour, now Lumsden North; Manager of F.P.U. Store [Fishermanís Protection Union]. His family moved to St. Johnís and Toronto and other parts of Ontario. Only ones living now are Morley, Mina and Gladys. Morley married Grace Parsons from Lumsden. They had one son Gordon; one daughter Evelyn. Mina is living in Toronto; Gladys in Hamilton, Ontario.

John Elliottís daughter married John Day. They had two daughters: Dulcie [deceased], and Mabel, married to James Elliott; and one son, Frank, married to Ivy Mercer, daughter of Alex and Janet Mercer.

Thomas, Johnís son married Annie Tulk from Ladle Cove. They had two sons: Harold and Stanley; and two daughters: Edna and Violet,[both deceased]. Tom died at the age of 56. His wife, Annie, married a man from Nova Scotia and is still living today. I cannot give you any history on John Elliottís daughter, only she married Alfred Martin from Hickmanís Harbour, Bonavista Bay and lived there.

Tomís daughter Margaret, that married George Mercer, had two sons: Thomas and Joseph; and daughters: Gertrude , Daisy, Lillian and Myrtle. Thomas was killed in World War 1, 1914-1918, in the Canadian Army. Joseph married Isaac-Sharp Mercerís daughter, Emma. They had sons: Thomas, Gerald, Robert, Reginald, Scott and Carl; daughters; Margaret and Phyllis.

Tom, Josephís son served in the army for 20 years or more. He married a girl from Dover, England [Lillian Goldstack]. Gerald married a Burt girl from Virgin Arm, now living in Toronto. Robert married Doris Elliott, daughter of Gordon and Rowena Elliott, living here. Reginald married a girl from Twillingate, a Hamlyn, they lived in Toronto for a few years, now living here at Port Albert. Carl married a girl from Baie Verte and is living there. Scott married twice on the mainland and, at present, he is single. Margaret married Sidney [Ted] Mercer, son of Effie and John Mercer and are living here .Phyllis married Harvey Luff from Brownís Arm and are living here. Phyllis is teaching.

George Mercerís daughter, Gertie, married Andrew Downton from Lewisporte. Her daughter, Nina Pearl, married a Watton from Change Islands and are living here.

Georgeís daughter, Daisy, married Arthur Peckford, son of John Peckford. Daisy is dead, Arthur is still living. His son and daughters are living here.

Lillian married Tom Wagg, both deceased. His family moved away some years ago. Myrtle married Richard Powell and lived here. They had one son, Cyril, living here with his father Richard. His mother died a couple of years ago. All of Georgeís sons and daughters are passed away. William Mercer and Maryís family were daughters: Jennie and Edith; sons; Edward, George, Alex and Jasper who died in St. Johnís on way overseas in 1914-15. Edward married Emma Crane, they had one son Cecil and one daughter, Lydia. Frances died real young. George married Christine King from Horwood and later moved there. They had two sons: Eric and Leslie still living in Horwood.

Alex married Janet King from here, Isaac Kingís daughter; both are deceased. They also moved away some 25 years. His son, Rex, and daughters Ivy and Ruby went with them.

Isaac [Sharp Mercer], Ambrose and Elizabeth took him when his mother died and raised him up. He married Isabella Crane, daughter of Nath and Mary Anne. Isaac and Bella had one son, Ralph, who died at the age of 19 or 20. Their daughter, Emma, married Joe Mercer; all of whom are mentioned above or earlier. Herbert Elliott, Thomasí son, was the first school teacher here at Port Albert in a store owned by Thomas Day.

James Elliott, Tomís son. A schooner builder. He built 6 or 7 schooners here. The names are: Intrepid, Lizzie May, Industry, Seabride, Jubilee, Bessie Elliott and Elnae.

Beaver Cove at that time was heavy forest until forest fire came down and destroyed everything except peoples homes. Most all the timber were cut here for the schooners except after the fires. Last one was in 1906.

First mail carrier , Herbert Elliott and Sam Crane; first post office postmaster was Herbert Elliott. After that, post and telegraphs moved here. First operator was John Roberts, relieved by Miss Dwye and later C.V. Leslie who kept it until he moved to Campbellton. At that time it was moved to a wireless station , repeating station to Twillingate, Fogo Island, Change Islands, Indian Islands, New World Island, Pelleyís Island and Horse Islands.

Bennettís, Joseph and Rachel family were: sons Fred, Sidney and Joseph [living here now]; daughters: Milley and Bertha. Milley married a Payne from Gander Bay, then moved to St. Johnís. Bertha married Harry Day, Thomas Dayís son. They later moved to Stanhope, Lewisporte. Fred joined the police force, lived in St. Johnís most of his life.

Sidney worked at Corner brook, died in his early twenties.

Joe married Hallie Pinsent , a teacher from Safe Harbour, B. Bay. She is deceased. They had two sons ĖLloyd and Donald. Both living here now.

Rhoda, Tomís daughter married, Gideon Day. They had one son Herbert, and one daughter Flossie. Flossie moved to Montreal; married to John Mitchell and lived there. Herbert married Susanna Crane, they had one son Max, now living in Clarenville.

In 1906 Thomas Elliott moved to South End, Change Islands. He was the first lighthouse keeper there. When he retired his son, John, managed the light; He died at the age of 56. Then his son, Tom, kept the light until he died at the age of 52. Elliottís lightkeepers for 3 generations.

Thomas Elliott Sr. was the first Lay Reader in the only church, the Wesley now United. After he went to South End, Herbert kept church service and Sunday school. After Herbert went to Lumsden, James was Lay Reader for years. After his death, Rhoda Day was Lay Reader. Before Herbert kept church, Thomas Day was the Preacher. As Lay Reader he was noted as one of the saints. After the above Lay Reader passed on, James and John Day, sons of Thomas Day, kept the church going after which Sam Elliott [Jamesí son] kept the church until his death in 1943. At present, Joy Elliott is now the Lay Reader; Joy is the wife of Dorman Elliott.

© 2001 Bill Elliott, Don Bennett and NL GenWeb
Fogo / Twillingate District