Dyment, Maria Ellen 1 2a

Birth Name Dyment, Maria Ellen
Gender female
Age at Death 51 years, 11 months, 27 days


Maria Ellen was born in Springfield, Lot 7, on 7 March 1852, the youngest daughter of William Dyment and Effie Mcarthur. She was married to William Anderson MacDonald on December 18 1872 by Rev. Fraser of the Presbyterian Church, at the age of 20. Her brother George was a witness.

According to a newspaper report of the Macdonald family reunion, Maria had red hair.

William was appointed as the first lighthouse keeper at the West Point Lighthouse in 1875, and according to the book Island Beaches by Julie V. Watson, William had to walk to the North Cape Lighthouse to learn lighthouse management. He also had a farm next to the lighthouse.

Two of William and Maria's children, Bertha and Annie, were born at the lighthouse during the summer months when the family lived in the lighthouse residence. During the winter, the family lived at the farm. In the 1881 census, William (34), Maria (28) and children Mary (7), Effie (5), Walter (3) and John (4 months) were living in Lot 8. By 1891, daughter Mary was 17, Effie 14, John 11, Bertha 9, Stanley 5 and Helen 2. Ten years later, Mary (31), John (19), Bertha (17), Stanley (14), Helen (11), and Annie (8) were at home.

In addition to raising her family and keeping house, Maria and William provided a bed to visitors, gave food to stranded travellers, and kept the lighthouse well-scrubbed in case of government inspections.

Maria died on 3 December 1905 in West Point, Prince Edward Island at the age of 52 years.

McDonald, Mrs. William
Pioneer - 9 December 1905, page 3, col. 6
At West Point, Lot 8, Dec. 3rd, Maria McDonald, wife of William McDonald, aged 53 years. She leaves to mourn a husband and seven of a family, two sons and five daughters, all residing at West Point.

She has gone to her heavenly rest,
And is now with the throng of the blest
In the beautiful mansion above
Where they drink from the fountain of love.

In 1911, William was living with three of his daughters, Helen, Annie and Bertha, and his son Stanley in Lot 8.

William was the keeper for fifty years, retiring in 1925, nine years before his death. He was presented by the Canadian government with a medal in recognition of his long service. At the time of his death, in 1933 at the age of 88, he was survived by two sons and four daughters. These were: John and Stanley, West Point, and Mrs. B. B. Dumville (Helen) , West Cape; Mrs. (Capt) Sam Smith, West Point; Mrs. Chas. MacWilliams, Errol, N.H.; and Mrs. Gerald Currie, Ernia, Alberta. At the time of William's death, he had 23 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren. He was buried next to his wife, Maria, a daughter, Mrs. Andrew Stewart, and a son, Walter who died as a child. William was the oldest resident of West Point, and according to his obituary, was held in much esteem in the community.

In the 1928 Cummings Atlas, the children listed were: Mary, Bertha, John, Helen, Annie, Stanley and Effie; as well, John's wife Trifosa and their children Ernest, Frank, William, Marie, Olive, Miriam.

In 1983, the West Point Development Corporation, with Carol Livingstone, a great-granddaughter of Keeper William MacDonald, serving as its founding president, leased the West Point Lighthouse from the Canadian Coast Guard and embarked on a multi-year effort to bring "New Life to an Old Light."

This picture of Maria was taken from the website Lighthouses of PEI (http://www.museevirtuel-virtualmuseum.ca/sgc-cms/expositions-exhibitions/phares-lighthouses/English/01_West_Point/wpkeepers02.html), where there were other pictures of the family and a much longer history of the family. Obituaries for family members were found on the website PEI Ancestry.


Event Date Place Description Sources
Birth March 7, 1853 Springfield West, Lot 13, Prince County, Prince Edward Island, Canada    
Death March 3, 1905 West Point, Lot 8, Prince County, Prince Edward Island, Canada    


Relation to main person Name Birth date Death date Relation within this family (if not by birth)
Father Dyment, WilliamDecember 27, 1818April 30, 1886
Mother McArthur, Euphemia EffieFebruary 10, 1814March 26, 1909
    Brother     Dyment, Henry Scott October 1839 March 27, 1912
    Sister     Dyment, Mary Ann October 1840 August 22, 1901
    Brother     Dyment, John December 9, 1841 December 4, 1934
    Sister     Dyment, Harriet Jane March 1843 May 5, 1927
    Sister     Dyment, Elizabeth L. 1849 February 15, 1889
    Brother     Dyment, William Harris February 9, 1849 September 1930
    Brother     Dyment, George McCarter February 2, 1851 October 30, 1905
         Dyment, Maria Ellen March 7, 1853 March 3, 1905


Family of McDonald, William Anderson and Dyment, Maria Ellen

Married Husband McDonald, William Anderson ( * August 29, 1846 + November 11, 1934 )
Event Date Place Description Sources
Marriage December 18, 1872 West Cape, Lot 7, Prince County, Prince Edward Island, Canada PEI Marriage Registrations  
Name Birth Date Death Date
McDonald, Mary ElizabethFebruary 27, 1874June 29, 1947
McDonald, EffaJanuary 31, 1876June 4, 1932
McDonald, WalterJanuary 1, 18781885
McDonald, JohnNovember 19, 1880December 2, 1974
McDonald, Bertha BurrowsJuly 26, 1884December 20, 1986
McDonald, Stanley WilliamJanuary 10, 1887February 6, 1967
McDonald, Helen IsabelleMarch 13, 1890June 22, 1934
McDonald, AnnieAugust 12, 18921975