Albert County, New Brunswick



Colpitts Family Reunion at Colpitts, Albert Co. August 25, 1920

 The following text was transcribed by Donald Colpitts on 15 April 2001.  Thank you Don for this and your other contributions to Albert Co. GenWeb pages.  It is very much appreciated.

Moncton Daily Times
Thursday, August 26, 1920


A Feature of the Day's Proceeding Was The Reading of the Honor Roll by the Secretary, Rev. R.J. Colpitts
- To Erect a Monument on the Old Colpitts Homestead in Memory of Those Who Gave Their Lives in Defense of the Empire - History of the Colpitts Family - Another Re-union Five Years Hence, When Monument Will Be Unveiled - Officers Elected.

(Special to the Times)

Colpitts, Albert Co.,  Aug. 25 - The spacious intervale on Little River, belonging to Lane Colpitts, lineal descendant of Robert and Margaret (Wade) Colpitts, who settled there in 1783, was the scene today of the sixth Colpitts Family Reunion. Mr. and Mrs. Robert Colpitts, who had removed from Norton, Durham Co., England, soon to Newcastle-on-Tyne, whence, as soon as the Revolutionary was was over, they came here, have now many descendants, who since the beginning of the present century, frequently foregather to renew acquaintanceship and talk of old times. Several hundred, of all ages, availed themselves of the opportunity today.

The first family celebration was held in this place on September 6th 1900; the second, at Forest Glen, Westmorland Co., Aug. 27, 1902; the third at Forest Glen, Aug. 24, 1905; the fourth here, Aug. 25, 1910; and the fifth at Forest Glen, Sept. 2, 1915. They are to hold similar meeting every five years henceforth.

The Colpitts family is widely distributed over Albert and Westmorland counties, and members are found, many occupying positions in nearly every province of the Dominion and in several states of the United States.

Enquiries made after the first reunion have brought out the facts that there are still people of the same name in Durham and Northumberland, England. It has also been discovered that there are at least three Colpitts families in North America, not descended from Robert and Margaret Colpitts., but closely related however.  They are John Colpitts, Toronto; Geo. A. Colpitts, barrister, Barnesville, Ohio, and Alvoid Colpitts, Iowa.  All others of the same name in North America are, presumably, descended from the pair who settled in this village in 1783.

Robert Colpitts, who had been a captain of militia, left England immediately after the close of the American Revolutionary War in 1873. The family register in the old family bible gave the particulars of his family as follows:

"Robert Colpitts and Margaret Wade, his wife
"John, their son, was born April 17, 1768, at Norton, Crawford Parish, Durham County, England.
"Robert, their son, was born November 25, 1770, at Shellaly, parish and county aforesaid.
"Elizabeth, their daughter, was born March 12, 1772, at Burkee House, parish and county aforesaid.
"Thomas, their son, was born Dec. 3, 1773, at Burkee House, parish and county aforesaid.
"William, their son, was born was June  , 1775, at Burkee Horse, parish and county aforesaid.
"Ralph, their son, was born Jane. 1, 177_, at Pethrow, Cockfield parish county aforesaid.
"George, their son, was born Sept 12, 178_, at Kenton; christened at Portland, Northumberland County."
Though Robert Colpitts' occupation in England is not known, he must have been a man of some means, as he brought to Canada with him three large clocks, one of which was still keeping good time in the home of Abram Colpitts, of Dickie Mountain, in 1900.

It appears that Robert Colpitts visited New Brunswick before the Revolutionary War and made a small clearing on what afterwards became Charles Trites farm, a little above Moncton. He put up a small cabin and returned to England for his family. Reaching home, he wound up his affairs and moved to Newcastle-on-Tyne, to embark from there. But just then the war broke out and he stayed where he was till its close.

When Robert Colpitts came to New Brunswick he was between 35 and 40 years of age. With his two oldest boys, John and Robert, about 15 and 13 years old, he walked overland from Halifax. The rest of the family came round in a vessel, soon afterwards. Arriving at Moncton, he found his homestead had been taken by someone else, so he journeyed to a place five miles above Salisbury and located just where the reunion was held today. While their first crop was ripening, the family's main food was salmon.

Two children were born here: Margaret, on  Oct. 11, 1784, and Jane, Oct. 3, 1786.

In a few years, John the eldest son, married Miss Eleanor Foster, of Amherst, and settled where his great-grandson, Charles Colpitts, now lives, at the corner of the Little River and Colpitts Settlement roads. John died in 1792, leaving two children, John and Margaret. His mother died in 1794, at the age of 47 years. Robert Colpitts married again, but there was no issue. He died in 1813.

John's son, John, married a Miss Goodwin, of Baie Verte, and raised a large family, most of whom settled along Little River in this parish. John's daughter Margaret, married Benjamin Wheaton, of Dorchester.

It is not known to what church the original Robert and Margaret Colpitts belonged, but their children were divided between Methodist, Baptist and Free Baptist bodies.

Their second son, Robert, became a Free Baptist preacher. He married Rachel Steeves, of  Hillsboro, and finally settled on Dickie Mountain, near Bloomfield Station, the farm descending to his son, Abram. His children were: Wesley, Henry, Abram, Margaret, Eleanor, Jane, Rosannah, Elizabeth, Rachel and Mary.

Elizabeth,  the third child, married Lewis Smith, and among their children were: Margaret. Mary, Annie, Jane, Elizabeth, and Robert. The youngest, Robert settled at Pollet River, a mile below Elgin. It afterwards became known as Jacob Steeves place.

Thomas married Eunice Reynold, of Lubec, Maine, and settled on Pollett River. Their children were: Lydia, Robert, Elizabeth, John Newton, Sarah, Nathaniel, William, Margaret, Benjamin, Reynolds and Jonathan Thomas.

Johnathan Thomas inherited the homestead, and from him it passed to his son R. R. Colpitts.

William married Mrs. Elizabeth Stiles (nee) Cummings. He settled, after marriage, on the Stiles place in the Parish of Coverdale, his former farm in Forest Glen, now known as the Miller place, passing to his wife's son. The Stiles place passed on to his (William's) grandson, Robert Colpitts. The children of William were: Christian, Lazarus, Elizabeth, John, Mary, Lewis, Eleanor and Delilah.

Ralph, the fifth son married first Marie Jones, of Moncton, and settled on Pollet River. Their children were: Henry, Robert, Thomas, Ralph, Charles, Christiana, Margaret, Lydia, Marie, and Deborah. By his second wife, Hannah Raymond, of Hampton, N. B., he had one child, Sarah Anne, who married Charles Keith, of Havelock. By his third wife, Emma Mollins, there were no children.

George, the youngest son, remained on the homestead and married Elizabeth Foster of Amherst, a sister of his brother John's wife. Their children were: William, John, Eleanor, Mary, Margaret, Lucretia and George.  George jr., got the homestead, which passed on to Bamford Colpitts, and thence to his son, Lane Colpitts,  who owns it today. As second and third wives, George Colpitts married Grace and Elizabeth Mollins, but had no children by either.

Margaret, the first child born to Robert and Margaret Colpitts in New Brunswick, married Jacob Day, of Wickham, Queens County, and their family were: Jacob, George, Robert and Eleanor.

Jane, the youngest, married Christopher Horsman, and settled on Pollet River, Their children were: Robert, John, Benjamin, Margaret, Jane, Lucretia, Elizabeth and Sarah.

From the above nine families have come the many families now scattered over New Brunswick, western Canada and elsewhere.


The Colpitts connection was well represented at the front in the Great War. Below is a partial list of those who served their country, in the great crisis: 

Bela Alonzo Colpitts, son of  T. Whit Colpitts, Forest Glen, enlisted Feb. 1916, at Moncton, as a private in the 145th Batt; promoted to Lance Corporal; killed in action at Passchendaele, Oct. 30, 1917. His officer's comment: "Ready for any sort of task assigned him, be it ever so difficult."

Robert Archibald Colpitts, son of Capt. and Mrs. Geo. W. Colpitts, Pleasant Vale, enlisted in 104th as a signaler, transferred to 26th, crossed to France, May 9, 1917. At Hill 70 during Battle of Lens, he was reported missing and later on was officially declared dead by Ottawa. He was born in Liverpool, England.  Fred Stanley Peters, son of Frederick S. and Celia Ann Colpitts, Peters, Galloway, Kent County, enlisted at Rexton, Sept. 14, 1815. Went over seas in 64th Batt. April 1916, drafted into the 24th Canadian, wounded at Courcellette. Died in hospital at Rouen, Oct. 1, 1916. Buried in St. Genevieve cemetery. Aged 28 years.

Clarke Foster Colpitts, son of Mr. and Mrs. Thos. E. Colpitts, Alma, N. B., enlisted in 115th, April 5, 1916; went overseas, Aug. 1916, and to France in Oct. 1916, was transferred to the 26th. Enlisted as a private, became a corporal, then a sergeant; was recommended for lieutenant. He was slightly wounded in July 1917.  He was awarded a Meritorious Service Medal;. He was in Vimy Ridge and many other engagements in which the 26th won distinction. Was killed Aug. 8, 1918, at the battle of Amiens, while leading his platoon on the open field. He was buried in Wood (British) cemetery, 6 miles s.e. of Corbie, France.

Ronald Blakney, son of Sherman and Alice Blakney, Sunny Brae, enlisted at St. John in 115th Batt., as Pte. 742960, March 15, 1916; proceeded overseas Aug. 1916, transferred to 26th; killed in action at Amiens, Aug. 28, 1918.

William Colwell Day, son of Alfred M. and Mamie A. Day, Wickham, Queen County, enlisted in 25th Batt., at Delia, Alta., Oct. 30, 1917. After about one month's service he was wounded on Sept. 24th, by an enemy bomb during a raid; was taken to No. 4 Canadian Casualty Clearing Station, where he succumbed to his wounds, Sept. 25, 1918.

Robert Morrison, of Sussex, also fell in battle.

H. C. Cockran, son of  Henry Cockran and Tillie Colpitts Cockran, enlisted Oct. 1915; three years service in France and Belgium, in Heavy Siege Battery, discharged May 1919.

Francis Harold Vanwart, 18 years, son of John Franklin and Eleanor Vanwart, enlisted in Canadian Engineers, Nov. 21, 1916; wounded by shell in right thigh and left knee, just before armistice, promoted to sergeant. After recovery went into pay office, Belgium; discharged March 13, 1919.

Harry H. Colpitts, son of Lane and Elizabeth Colpitts, enlisted at Boston, April 28, 1917, with the 17th U.S. A. Cavalry; discharged March 13, 1919.

Clifford Wm, Colpitts, son of Mr. and Mrs. Bamford Colpitts, enlisted at St. John, May 15, 1918,
discharged July 7, 1919.

Clarence Dale Colpitts, son of  R. S. and Frances Grace Colpitts, of Pleasant Vale, enlisted at Swift Current, Sask., July 1916, in 209th Batt., lost right leg at Vimy Ridge. Discharged 1919.

Weldon C. Steeves, son of John W. and Celia M. Steeves, enlisted at St. John.

Thos. A. Colpitts Steeves, son of Mr. and Mrs. Stewart A. Steeves, enlisted October 1915; discharged as medically unfit.

Romaine S. Colpitts, son of  F. W. S. Colpitts, Moncton, enlisted Aug. 8, 1916; served in battles from Passchedaele to Cambral; discharged April 11, 1919.

Geo. A. Blakney, corporal, son of Mr. and Mrs. Wm. D. Blakney, Sunny Brae, enlisted Nov. 15, 1915;
went overseas with 140th, Oct. 1916; served in Machine Gun Company 15, in France; invalided from France Aug. 1917, serving remainder of time as Asst. signal Instructor at the C. M. G. Depot, Seaford, England.

Russell C. Mann, son of  R. A. and  S. E. Mann, of Havelock, enlisted in 1st Depot Batt., Jan 5, 1918; transferred to 25th Batt., fought at Canal du Nord, Sept. 1918. Cambral, Sept. 1918. St. Eloi., Nov. 1918; marched from Mons to Bonn, Dec. 1918; discharged May 25, 1919.

Clarence T. Douglas, son of  Mr. and Mrs. Douglas, enlisted Nov. 1, 1915. Charles C. Douglas, of same family joined Royal Flying Corps at Toronto, May 1, 1918.

Dean A. Colpitts, son of Alvin W. Colpitts, now of Lewisville, enlisted at  Salisbury, Dec. 11, 1915; served in Canadian Field Artillery, going to France, July 28, 1916. At Somme, Vimy Ridge, Hill 70, Passchendaele, Amiens and Cambrai; discharged April 24, 1919.

Charles Leonald Fillmore, son of  Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Colpitts Fillmore, Westmorland Point, enlisted in Vancouver about July 1916; discharged March 1919.

Harold V. Colpitts, son of Stratford R. Colpitts, Lewisville, enlisted May 7, 1918, discharged Jan. 1, 1919, private in 1st Depot Batt., N. B. R.

C. K. McLeod, son of  Rev and Mrs. A. M. McLeod, Wolfville, enlisted Sept.1, 1914, went to France
Feb. 1, 1915; served there over three years. Discharged April 11, 1919.

Howard W. Hopper, son of Geo. and Clarice Hopper, Coverdale, enlisted April 1, 1916; discharged March 18, 1919

Norman Leigh Blakney, son of Norman Stewart Blakney, Goshen, served Nov. 2, 1915 to March 3, 1919. 

Lawrence Merill Colpitts. son of Ralph and Aurella Stiles Colpitts, served July 16, 1916, to May 31, 1918. Was wounded at Vimy Ridge, April 9, 1917.

Alvin B. Colpitts, son of  Caleb Colpitts, served June 15, to Sept. 10, 1915. Enlisted at Port Arthur.

Leonard W. Smith, son of  Mr. and Mrs. H. W. B. Smith, Grangeville; served Sept. 23, 1915, to April 18, 1919, in 24th Battalion, V. R. C., and C. M. G. C. Wounded May 5, 1917.

Robt. W. Smith, son of  Mr. and Mrs. H. J. Smith, Grangeville, served Mar. 13, 1917, to Sept. 20, 1919.

Asa Wm. Posser M. M., son of Mr. and Mrs. Geo. H. Posser, served Nov. 6, 1915, to Feb. 15, 1919.
Walter Meari Colpitts, son of Chesley S. Colpitts, Colpitts Settlement, Jan. 16, 1918, to July 7, 1919.

Warren H. Colpitts, son of  late Lemuel Colpitts, Mapleton, Sept. 10, 1915, to April 21, 1919. Wounded at Somme.

C. Raymond Blakney, son of Mr. and Mrs. Wm. D. Blakney, Sunny Brae, Aug. 14, 1914, to April 22,
1918, in 8th Battery and on staff as Signaler. In second battle of Ypres, Festhubert, Girenchy, Sanctuary Wood, Somme, Vimy Ridge, Hill 70, Passchendseie, Arras, Amiens, etc.

Edward Colpitts, Weyman, of  St. John, son of Char. W. and Naomi L. Dunfield, Weyman, 1915 -1918. Went over as major, returned as Lieut-Colonel. Wounded at Vimy Ridge.

Horace Colpitts, son of Alphens and Annie Colpitts, Woodland, Me.; served in U. S. Army.

Fenwick W. W. Colpitts, son of  John M. Colpitts, enlisted at Sydney, N. S., Aug. 5, 1914; discharged July 30, 1919 *

Everett Perry and E. Moore Perry, sons of Rev. and Mrs. Abram Perry, Penobsquis.

Three sons of Gilbert Stiles also served  overseas; also two sons of  Chesley Colpitts of Forest Glen, and there were many others whose names have not yet been handed in.

*(should be) Fenwick Wetmore Colpitts, son of John Wetmore Colpitts.


After dinner a good program of sports was carried out. The winners were:

50 yards dash, boys under ten - Lee Colpitts
100 yards dash, boys under 15 - Wendell Colpitts
100 yards dash,  for men - Austin Steeves

50 yards  dash, girl's under 12 - Beatrice Douthwright
50 yards dash for young ladies - Edyth Estabrooks
Potato race - Russell Colpitts
Three legged race - Sandford Colpitts and Wesley Douglas
Sack Race  - Sandford Colpitts
Pie Eating contest - Albert Mollins


At three-thirty, President F. W. S. Colpitts called the gathering to order. Minutes of last assembly were read and confirmed.

It was voted to have the proposed monument erected on the spot where the first Colpitts made their first clearing in 1783, rather than on the lower ground, nearby, where are the graves of some twelve of the first settlers. On the monument will also be inscribed a fitting tribute to those of the Colpitts families who died in the Great War.

The Honor Roll was then read by the secretary, who begged all present to help him in making the list complete.


Following officers were elected for ensuing five years:

President - Fred Colpitts, Colpitts Settlement
Secretary - Rev. R. J. Colpitts, St. John. (re-elected)

Additional members of Executive, each representing one member of original family:

William - F. W. S. Colpitts, Moncton
Thomas - Allan Colpitts, Mapleton
Ralph - E. L. Colpitts, Petitcodiac
Robert - Bertram M. Colpitts, Woodstock
George - Otto Blakney, Elgin
Elizabeth - H. W. B. Smith, Grangeville
Margaret - R. M. Day, McDonald's Point, Queen Co.
Jane - Ray Horsman, Forest Glen

The gathering unanimously voted to hold another reunion five years hence. At that meeting the monument for which a subscription list has been opened, and liberally subscribed to will be unveiled.

Dinner and supper were served and refreshments sold on the grounds.

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