Albert County, New Brunswick



1928 Colpitts Family Reunion at Little River, Albert Co. 

The following text was transcribed Donald Colpitts from the August 27th, 1928 edition of the Moncton Daily Times.  Thank you Don for this and your other contributions to Albert Co. GenWeb pages.  It is very much appreciated.

August 27, 1928


At a Business Meeting Held During the Afternoon It Was Decided to Erect a Monument to the Founders of
the Colpitts Family and a Committee of Nine Was Appointed to make Arrangements - To Hold Another
Reunion in Two Years' Time.


Gathering from far and near, hundreds of people attended the Colpitts picnic held at the old homestead here
today. Even the threaten weather failed to deter those who had planned on attending this reunion, and early in
the day, cars deposited their loads of passengers, while many traveling by rail also arrived on the scene.

During the afternoon a well arranged program of sports was run off, which proved most enjoyable and
interesting to not only the participants, but to the many spectators as well.

Following the sports a business meeting was held, when it was decided to erect a monument to the founders
of the Colpitts family. The idea was heartily endorsed by those present, and a committee of nine was
appointed to make the necessary arrangements. That idea is a popular one was borne out by the fact that
early in the day some $400 was subscribed for the purpose.

Plans were also made to hold another picnic in two years time, when the monument will be unveiled.

In the evening a sumptuous repast was served by the ladies of Parkindale and Colpitts Settlement to which
full justice was done by the visitors.

A feature of the picnic was the eloquent address delivered by Rev. E. S. Weeks, of Salisbury, and which
was listened to with attention by all.

Many from Moncton attended the celebration, while visitors from many points in the United States and
Canada were also present.


The distance traveled by some of the members of the family to attend the reunion was indicated by the
license plates of the cars, some of which showed that their owners had traveled from all three of the Maritime
provinces, many from Massachusetts, some from New York State and some from Michigan.

These reunions have now become an institution in the Colpitts family. The first of the gathering was held in
1900, and proved to be such a success that it was determined to hold them at intervals of every five years,
and so far this program has been adhered to with the exception of that the 1925 picnic was postponed until
this year owning to the death of the secretary, Rev. R. J. Colpitts.
The acting secretary of the organization Sherman L. Colpitts, of Forest Glen, has lately returned from a trip
to  Vancouver and there he located 25 families, descendants of the pioneer, Robert Colpitts. He found 12
more families in Winnipeg and three or four in Fort Williams. The large majority of descendants have
remained in the Maritime Providences and they have become quite numerous.


The original Robert Colpitts was born in England in 1745 and died in New Brunswick in 1812. His wife
Margaret Wade was born in 1747 and died in 1794. She was the daughter of wealthy people and was cut
off with the proverbial shilling because she chose to come to Canada with her husband. Robert Colpitts had
been a captain of militia in England and had visited this country previous to his coming here to settle in 1783.

On that earlier visit he had made a small clearing on what is now the Charles Trites farm above Moncton. He
returned to England, settled up his affairs there and made ready to come back to Canada but had to wait
seven years because of the Revolutionary War which made it impossible to make the journey to this country.
During those seven years he was keeper of a toll bridge. The family consisted of himself, his wife and seven
children. The father and the two eldest boys walked most of the way when their vessel had landed in Halifax
to Moncton, the other members of the family traveled by boat to Dorchester. Robert Colpitts found that the
farm he had first selected had been taken by other settlers and he made his new selection on the site at Little
River with rock maple forest on intervale land. The family had settled in its new home by that summer.

Its not strange that there are many descendants in the present day as in the third generation there were
already more than 100. The eldest son John, was born in 1768 in Norton Durham, England, and married
Eleanor Foster of Amherst. He died in 1792, leaving two children, John and Margaret, and John married
Miss Goodwin of Baie Verte and had a large family. Among his  descendants is Fred W. Colpitts, the
president of the reunion organization.  
The second son, Robert married Rachel Steeves and had 13 children, four boys and nine girls, and his
descendants are scattered throughout Kings county, their family names including Hayes, Fenwick, Weyman,
Cochrane, Morrison, Pierce and Sherwoods. Lieut. Col. E. C. Weyman of Saint John, is one of these

This Robert Colpitts' oldest daughter married George Jonah, from whom Judge Jonah of Sussex is

The third child, Elizabeth, married Lewis Smith and had five children. Many of the New Brunswick Smiths
are descendants. The third son, Thomas, married Eunice Reynolds, and had 10 children. Numbered among
his descendants are Sherman Colpitts, the secretary of the reunion organization. Captain Nathaniel Colpitts,
in New York, who is a relative of the engineer who built the earlier bridge in Saint John, the Reversing Falls.

The fourth son, William married Elizabeth Cummings, better known as the widow Stiles, and had eight
children. Among his descendants are W. W. Colpitts, president of the Canadian Club in New York, and his
brother, Charles, of New York.

The fifth son, Ralph, married Mariah Jones and had 10 children and from this branch there are many families
in this province and elsewhere. The sixth and youngest, George, married Elizabeth Foster, sister of his
brother John's wife and had seven children. The second daughter, Margaret, married Jacob Day of
Wickham, Queen county, and had four children and there are many Queen county families that are her
descendants. The youngest child, Jane, married Christopher Horsman and had eight children and her
descendants are found scattered throughout Westmorland county and in Elgin.

The original settlers had apparently been in comfortable circumstances in England, judging by the articles of
luxury class that they brought with them when they came to settle in the wilds of New Brunswick. The family
Bible is still in existence and it is at the home of Roy Horsman, The Glades, Westmorland County, a great
grandson of the youngest daughter Jane. There were three grandfather clocks among the possessions of the
original Robert Colpitts and one of these is now owned by Edwin Colpitts, a descendants of the son, Robert

The first reunion of the members of the family was held at the homestead, Little River, in 1900, and proved
so successful an event that another reunion was held in 1902. The second reunion was held in Forest Glen,
Westmorland county, the home of the present acting secretary of the organization and at that time 350 were
present. The third reunion was in 1905, and the fourth in 1910, both being held at the homestead in Little
River. The fifth in 1915 was at Forest Glen, and the sixth at Little River.

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