McArthur, Neil - Lot 13 1 2 3a 4 5a

Birth Name McArthur, Neil - Lot 13
Gender male
Age at Death less than about 70 years


A marriage between Neil McArthur, mariner, and Bridget Roach, a widow, was found in the Drouin collection for the province of Quebec; Neil's wife was said in PEI local histories to be the widow of a sea captain who died in a fire, and an earlier burial record confirmed that Captain Thomas Roach and his son had died in a fire on board their ship a year or two earlier.

Neil was age 25, and Bridget 26 at the time of their marriage.

There was also a son named Hugh, born to Neil and Bridget McArthur in 1801 in the Quebec church records.

Another source on this family was the transcribed notebook of a local priest in Lots 14 and 16, who recounted the histories of several families in his parish. He also mentioned the marriage between Neil McArthur and Bridget Roach:

"William Brown , the oldest son of Alex and Margaret, married Harriet McArthur, daughter of Neill McArthur, whose mother was a Catholic. The mother before her marriage to Neill was a Mrs. Roche. Her first husband and a son burned to death in a vessel on the sea. They formerly came from Quebec. Neill met her in Gaspe. At the time he met Mrs.Roche she had five children - 3 girls and 2 boys."

Neil McArthur was also mentioned in the local history of Bideford, Lot 12, Roots and Branches, by Pauline Millar, and in the book Westcountrymen of Prince Edward's Isle, as the only settler on the north bank of the Trout River in 1816. He was on a list of tenants of Lot 13 in 1824, with 70 acres as well as a second property of 100 acres at the back of a proposed mill, a property that the agent noted Neil McArthur had earmarked for his son; this property was under the name Hugh McArthur on a later rent roll. The agent noted that this property bordered Lot 12. According to the history of Port Hill, Launched, Neil and Hugh were on a map of Lot 13 dated 1808.

"On the 1816 map, the only settler on the north bank of the Trout River in Lot 13 was Neil McArthur. He is mentioned on the earliest surviving document concerning the Bideford men in Prince Edward Island described in connection with William Ellis who hired McArthur with a team of oxen for four days in October, 1818.
Written on a small piece of paper is the following:
Wm. Ellis to Neel McArthur Dr
To One Man and Two Oxen
4 days at 10/pr Day -£2.0.0
Octr. 29th 1818 Settled the above Neele Mcarthur"

In the history of Lot 12, there was another mention of this family:
"One of the early schoolmasters who taught in the old log Trout River School was Robert James Downing. He had come from well-to-do parents in Ireland. At some time in his youth he had come to Miramichi, New Brunswick where he taught school. He became acquainted with and married Miss Roache, a daughter of Captain Thomas Roache who later was drowned at sea. After a few years the young couple crossed over to Prince Edward Island and found their way to Port Hill. They obtained a small house on land in Lot 13 across a small creek from Neil McArthur. Mr. McArthur was a widower whose occupation of trading in lumber took him regularly to Miramichi where he met Mrs. Downing's widowed mother, Mrs. Roache. They eventually married and then mother and daughter were living just across the creek from each other. The Downings had by this time a family of three girls. One day in April about the year 1827 when Mr. Downing returned home for the weekend from teaching school, he managed to cross the creek safely by carefully picking his steps. When he reached his home his wife with the baby in her arms was ready to go across the creek to visit her mother. Mr. Downing persuaded her that the ice was very bad and that she had better wait until the next day when he would accompany her around by the road. He then left to go to see Dr. Grigg about a spot on his leg that was giving him trouble. Shortly after he left, Neil McArthur happened to call in. He declared that the ice was perfectly safe so she decided to go to see her mother after all. She told the two older girls that she and the baby were going to their grandmother's house and to tell their father when he came home to come over and help her return. When she was about halfway across the creek, she broke through the ice. Although men who were not far off hurried to her assistance, some of them also broke through the ice and sticks had to be brought from the shore to support the rescuers.

They managed to get the mother to the surface, but the baby had slipped out of her arms. With difficulty she was brought to the shore but could not be revived. The body of the baby Henrietta was not recovered until summer when it drifted ashore at a point in Lot 12. Mr. Downing continued to teach school, taking his daughters Julia and Elizabeth to board with him. He continued to do so until they grew up and were married."

The same book also noted: "In 1860, while building the Barclay flour mill, he [Alexander Millar] obtained land in Bideford on the north bank of Trout River in Lot 13, previously occupied by Cornelius (Neil) McArthur."

When the landlord Seymour took a trip around the Island in 1840, he mentioned in his diary visiting a McArthur on the Trout River who had been a schoolteacher and had been ill (fits Hugh McArthur, whose daughter said he had been a teacher, and died in 1840), and then Hugh's father (Neil), one of his older settlers, and then another son John. Note that the old school was on the Trout River, and that Neil had land in this area. (the other McArthurs in Lot 13 on an 1824 list, Malcolm and Gilbert, had left the area well before this time.)

There was a death reported in Island newspapers in 1844 of N. McArthur of Lot 12 at age 70, resident of the Island for 60 years. This could be Neil, although the date of birth is out by a few years. It might have been his brother Malcolm.

Neil McArthur was not on Seymour's rent roll in 1846, but there were two Widow McArthurs, one the widow of Hugh.










Event Date Place Description Sources
Birth about 1776 Prince Edward Island, Canada    
Death before 1846 Lot 12, Prince County, Prince Edward Island, Canada    


Relation to main person Name Birth date Death date Relation within this family (if not by birth)
Father McArthur, Hughabout 1740before 1841
Mother Unknown
    Brother     McArthur, Alexander - Lot 14 about 1765 before 1851
    Brother     McArthur, Malcolm - Lot 12 about 1772 before 1861
    Brother     McArthur, Hugh - Lot 16 about 1774 before 1861
         McArthur, Neil - Lot 13 about 1776 before 1846
    Brother     McArthur, Gilbert - Lot 13 about 1788 before 1861
    Brother     McArthur, William John
    Brother     McArthur, Dugald


Family of McArthur, Neil - Lot 13 and Roache, Bridget

Married Wife Roache, Bridget ( * about 1774 + ... )
Event Date Place Description Sources
Marriage April 24, 1800 Quebec, Canada Drouin collection - married in Quebec  
Name Birth Date Death Date
McArthur, Hugh - Lot 13December 30, 18001840
McArthur, Eleanor Ellen18051891
McArthur, Harrietabout 1806June 16, 1870
McArthur, John1807
McArthur, Mariaabout 1810

Source References

  1. Father William Cameron, Provided and typed by Dorothy Farish : Genealogy Notes From Lots 14 & 16
  2. Millar, Pauline: Roots and Branches
  3. Island Magazine
      • Date: 2003
      • Citation:

        Doug Sobey, Prince Edward Island in 1840

  4. Greenwood, Basil and Ann Giffard: Westcountrymen in Prince Edward’s Isle
  5. Drouin Collection - Quebec
      • Citation:


        Quebec, Canada, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1968 for Neill McArthur
        Québec Presbyterian Saint Andrew´s Church 1770-1804 Marriage of Neil McArthur and Bridget Roach, widow