04 July 2013

The family of Laura BB McLean, Sam Barter's first wife

Sam and Laura with daughters Jane (at left)
and Florence about 1897
I'm gradually going through the boxes of old family records and came across this undated note from Sam Barter, addressed to his daughters Jane and Florence, about his first wife's family.

Your mother was Laura Belle Botsford McLean. We were married on December 31st, 1890. I was 19 years of age and Laura was 20. She died August 20, 1897 of a complication of diseases.

The McLeans were Scottish Highlanders from the Isle of Skye who came to Canada and settled at Grand Lake NB where they were seafarers in the days of "wind jammers", the sailing vessels of the period [from the 1870s to about 1900]. Captain John McLean, Laura's grandfather, settled at Cumberland Point, on Grand Lake in Queen's County, and married a Miss Ferris. They raised a large family.

The farm was left to Allan Fay McLean who married Hannah Thomson. She was of Scottish descent as well. Allan and Hannah had four children, one of whom was Laura Belle Botsford. She was born in Saint John NB on August 9,1870 just as a fine little schooner, the Laura Belle, was being launched. Dr Botsford, the attending physician, said he would help name "so bright a baby" and the name Laura Belle Botsford was given. The other children were Sophronia Alexandria (named for an aunt, in the first instance, and the Queen Consort of King Edward VIII), Elida May and Charles Allan McLean.

HH McLean residence, L'Etete NB on the 
Bay of Fundy near Deer Island.
Your grandfather, Allan McLean is cousin to General Hugh Havelock McLean, presently the Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick [1928-1935]. He is also a cousin to the Honourable AB Ferris, late NB Minister of Agriculture. Grandpa McLean died at Daysland, Alberta.

Your uncle, Charles Allan McLean, married Maude Britton of Upper Woodstock and they have five children. Charles died of pneumonia on December 29, 1913.


1: Search google maps for "Cumberland Point, Grand Lake, NB" and you'll find that Cumberland Point Road leads to "MacLean" Road.

2: HH McLean also lived in Rothesay NB (near Saint John) where, according to the book Rothesay, An Illustrated History, 1784-1920 (see page 23), he bought “The Grove”, a two-storey granite Second Empire style house with a concave, pitched roof that adds a third story. Named for the grove of birch trees at the entrance to the estate, it was built in 1867. During McLean's years there, "The Grove was the scene of several full-dress balls and parties. Older residents of Rothesay can recall cavalry escorts, elegantly dressed ladies and gentlemen in full regalia arriving at the residence in horse-drawn carriages. During the 1960’s The Grove lay unoccupied for two years, during which period the third floor of the house was used as a club house by school boys and it fell into a state of disrepair." The house was restored in the late 1960s and although it was a listed heritage property, The Grove was illegally demolished in 2011.