THE PLANT FAMILY

Plant-Dugas0002

Arthur Samuel Plant & Walter Dugas 

         (Pic from Theresa Dugas MacKay)

 

 

          The most prominent family who provided continuity and established roots in the area that have lasted to the present day are the Plants. From those who have researched this family and have information on record it began with a Samuel (1) Plant who was born about 1740 in London, England . He married an Elizabeth and they had a son William who was born about 1750 in London. William migrated to the United States and settled in New York City where he apprenticed to a law firm for eight years. In 1780 William married Sarah Lowey. Sarah came from a rather wealthy family whose grand-father left her approximately 500 pounds sterling which in those days was a considerable sum of money. Sarah was born in 1760 and died in Sydney, NS in 1844 at the age of 84 years.

 

          The family of William comprising Sarah and sons Samuel and William in 1783 returned to London, England. This move was as a result of the Revolutionary War between the U.S. and Britain. William was a Royalist and as such supported Britain in the Revolutionary War and was pretty well obliged to leave America and return to his native England. In November, 1784 William alone arrived in Sydney along with 128 other professional passengers. All these colonizers were gentry, well educated and had status if not wealth. William was appointed a judge to the court in Sydney and was soon joined by Sarah and the children and established a home there. William and Sarah are believed to have had 9 children, 7 boys and 2 girls. Their children were; Samuel John born September 4, 1781 died April 2, 1782 in New York City, William born March 5, 1783 in New York City, James born January 22, 1785 in London, England, died January 13, 1803 or 1807 in Sydney, NS, Samuel (2) born June 28, 1787 in Sydney, NS and died December 25, 1877 in North Sydney, NS, John born October 24, 1791 in Sydney, NS and died April 16, 1802 in Sydney, NS, Henry Ustick born October 6, 1793 and died July 14, 1840 in Waterlou, Seneca Co. New York, Sarah Lowey born November 23, 1795 in Sydney, NS and died February 15, 1882 Kingsclear Parish, York Co. NB, Elizabeth Anne Kearney born December 15, 1797 in Sydney, NS, Lawrence Hartshorne born September 11, 1800 and died November 1, 1803 in Sydney, NS.

 

Samuel (2) their son was by now a man and moved to North Sydney in 1820 to look after properties that the Plants owned there. He married and built a home near the bar (where Rollie’s Wharf is now located.) Samuel (2) married Amelia Charlotte Clarke born July 15, 1803 in Sydney and died July 24, 1879. She was the daughter of Dr. John Wheaton Clarke and Charlotte (unknown surname). They are said to have had eleven children, 9 girls and 2 boys. This union produced 9 girls and 2 boys. They were; Elizabeth Sarah born February 5, 1824, Caroline born November 6, 1826 died 1909, Samuel (3) born October 19, 1828 died 1922 buried in Alder Point, Emily born January 27, 1831 died 1903, Alexis Henrietta born December 2, 1832 and died 1912, Mary Ann born March 17, 1835 and died 1885, Ada Doreatha born July 11, 1836, died 1869, Francis (Fanny) Helen born December 1841, Magdalene Louisa born March 1843 and died May 21, 1929, Susan born September 1845 died May 23, 1922, William John born February 12, 1839 died March 29, 1867. Samuel (2) was a devoted Protestant and when several of his children converted to Roman Catholicism he was furious and went so far in the case of Caroline to disown her.

 

Samuel (3) was married three times and fathered in total thirteen children. His first wife was Catherine Morrison with whom he had one child, Margaret Ann born in 1845 at Sydney, NS. His second marriage was to Margaret Deveaux and produced six children, 3 girls and 3 boys. They were; William Phillip born 1851, Charles born 1852, James Henry born July 20, 1853, Margaret born 1857, Ann born 1859 and C. Ann born December 18, 1961. His third wife was to Bridget Phalen who was born 1838. This union produced 6 children 2 girls and 4 boys who were; Emily born March 21, 1872, Arthur J. born 1875 and died 1944, David born June 11, 1877, Hannatta F. born 1879, Horatio (Ratio) Freedman born August 20, 1880 and died in 1941, and Thomas Warden born April 17, 1883.

 

Warden, David and Emily, moved to Edmonton, Alberta. It is thought that Warden married and raised a family in Western Canada. David Plant is believed not to have married. Further information about Emily is not available to the author. Arthur Plant married Emily Theriault who was without issue, Horatio (Ratio) Plant did not marry. Both Ratio and Arthur operated relatively large farms in Alder Point and died there in the 1940’s.

 

It is believed with good cause that the Plants were granted a concession of land (or may have purchased land) that included most if not all of Alder Point. Mr. Gratton O’Shea whose mother was a Plant (Bertha daughter of James Henry Plant) often said that the Plant land was known as Plant’s Reef and included the land from Arsenault’s Store up to the Gulch (where Alder Point Fishermen’s Wharf is today) back out the Little Pond Road and down to the Back Shore along the coast ending up again at The Beach which included Arsenault’s Store. All of this portion of land was at one time known as Plant’s Reef. In fact when I was a youngster the property up behind Ratio Plant’s and Arsenault’s was referred to as Plant’s Reef as I believe it is to this day. It is said with a measure of authority by a number of historians and recorders of history that Captain John Arsenault negotiated the procurement of the property he obtained in 1889 with a Mr. Plant. That according to the sketchy history of the era seems to be a legitimate claim.

 

James Henry Plant married Elizabeth Forrest. Their children were: Bertha who married Walter O’Shea; Maude who married George Albert Stubbert; Viola who married Solomon (Solly) LeBlanc and Phonse (Phon) who married Bessie Bonner. Elizabeth and James settled in Alder Point and operated the Post office, Telegraph Office and the mail delivery system for many years. Maude married George Albert Stubbert who died at an early age. Maude and

Albert had a child born in 1916 that they named Gwen and as of August, 2007 is still living in Millville and is smart, healthy and bright at 91 years of age. Elizabeth’s daughter Maude after she was widowed had a child with William R. (Willie R) Fraser who was named Russell Fraser. Because of the times and religion being what it was in those days playing such a major factor in people’s lives,  Willie R. and Maude were unable to marry. Russell was raised by his paternal grand-parents John R. and Sarah Fraser. Maude after being widowed lived with her mother Elizabeth and young daughter Gwen in the Plant home in Alder Point. Maude with James, her father, now deceased took on the role of bread winner and ran the mail between Bras d’Or and Alder Point and operated the Post Office. Those long arduous trips with horse and sleigh and horse and buggy during the most terrible weather and road conditions imaginable took its toll and Maude died of tuberculosis (TB) in 1926 leaving her daughter Gwen 10 years of age. James Henry had died just prior to Elizabeth his wife who passed in 1930. This then left Gwen alone at the age of 14 years. She worked as a part time domestic for different families and in Smith’s Lobster Factory when it operated during the season. She told me she worked for the Arsenault’s cleaning house and the store for her labour received a dollar for a full day’s work. She laughed and said Mrs. Mary Ann Arsenault was somewhat tight with the dollar. For example, she would work for Mrs. Arsenault all morning in the home and be provided lunch. She then went to the store and worked for Ludgie the rest of the day cleaning after which he would pay her the dollar. She often heard Mrs. Arsenault complaining to Ludgie and urging him not to pay her the full dollar because she had given her lunch. She laughed about it as she recalled her experiences working for them. She also said it was a riot listening to the yelling and hollering between Mrs. Arsenault and the Dummy who she employed pretty much working in the barn and at the wharf performing a wide range of chores. Gwen married a Mr. William Tobin who died in 1988, and at the age of ninety-one (August, 2007) is still alive, lives alone, is extremely bright and articulate as of this writing and assisted in the provision of a considerable amount of information about the Plants. It was a genuine pleasure to speak from time to with this wonderful lady who remembers with clarity minute details of the times in Alder Point when she was growing up there.

 Phon Family

                                       Edie, Jim, Verna, Audry, Bessie and Phon Plant

(Picture provided by Colin Pearo)

Phon and Bessie Plant moved from Florence where he had worked in the colliery to Alder Point in the 1930’s and took up the operation of the family farm. Gwen lived with Phon and Bessie at this time. Phon and Bessie had the following children: Edie married John Munn; Audrey married Dan McQueen; Verna married Wilbert MacGillivary and James (Jim) did not marry.

Here are several tid bits of information about the Plants that some of you may find interesting:

Source: NS Archives Online Certificate of Death Record

Henrietta Plant, died 1908 in Cape Breton County
Item can be found in Registration Year: 1908 – Book: 3 – Page: 38 – Number: 224
Name: Henrietta Plant
Sex: Female
Date of Death: October 25, 1908
Age: 8 years 5 m
Residence: Alder Point, N.S.
Where Born:
Marital Status: Single
If single, name of father: Arthur Plant
Where Born:  Alder Point, N.S.
Cause of Death:  TB
Length of Illness: 2 days
Religion: Catholic
Race of Deceased: White
Signature of Physician: Dr. N McDonald
Undertaker: None
Place Burial: Bras d’Or, N.S.
Informant: Arthur Plant
Where Registered & Signature if Deputy Registar:  January 2, 1909

** d/o of Arthur J. Plant & Mary Theriault **

b) June 1899 (Source – Carol MacLean)

 

Obituaries from Sydney Post Record 1939 -1944 by Wayne MacVicar for GANS
Source: Sydney Post Record 
Arthur Plant 69, died July 18, 1944, Alder Point, N.S.; buried St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Bras d’Or; wife, adopted daughter survive.
Publication: July 19, 1944 Page 8

 

bituaries from Sydney Post Record 1945 -1950 by Wayne MacVicar for GANS
Source: Sydney Post Record 
Mary Plant, nee Theriault; died November 22, 1950, North Sydney, N.S.; 77 ; born Magdalen Islands, QU.
Publication: November 23, 1950 page 8  

(Source – Norma Day)

 

Dooley’s Funeral Home, North Sydney, N.S.
Ledger: 1950 – 1953 
Page: 23 
Name Deceased: Mrs. Mary Plant 
Residence: Alder Point 
Place of Death: Hospital   
Date of Death: November 21, 1950 
Age: 77  
Birthplace: Magdalene Islands      
Physician: Dr. W T McKeough 
Cemetery: Bras d’Or  
Date of Burial: November 24, 1950 
Ordered by and/or Next of Kin: Dennis Pickup 
Charged to — of Residence: Dennis Pickup of Alder Point  
Clergy: Rev. Fr. Duprey   
Notes:
GANS [Vol.4 1951 – 1956] page 211; nee Theriault died November 22, 1950: Published: November 23, 1950 page 8            

 

 

Rudderham Funeral Home, North Sydney/Sydney, N. S.
Surname, Given: Plant, Emma   
Age: 78 yr. 
October 10,1905, North Sydney 
Religion: Church of England 
Notes: All other columns blank 

Rudderham Funeral Home, North Sydney/Sydney, N.S.
Surname, Given: Plant, Susan, Miss  
Age: 76 yr.  
Date of Death: May 17,1922,  Purves St., North Sydney  
Born: N.Sydney  
Religion: Church of England  
Place Burial: Sydney Mines 
Undertaker ordered by: S.P. Challoner, Sydney

 

Dooley Funeral Home, North Sydney, N.S.
Register: 1987 – 1989 
Page: 147 
Given Name Deceased: James William Plant 
Residence: 50 Sunnydale Drive, Westmount 
Place of Death: St. Rita Hospital, Sydney  
Date of Birth: April 26, 1924 
Date of Death: April 15, 1989 
Age: 64  
Birth Place: Sydney Mines 
Occupation: Labourer 
Name of Father – His birthplace: Alphonse Plant of Alder Point 
Name Mother  – Her Birthplace: Elizabeth Barnes of Point Aconi 
Cause of Death – Primary: Cancer Lung   
Cemetery: Lakeside Cemetery 
Date of Funeral: April 18, 1989 -Cremation: April 17, 1989 
Ordered by and/or Next of Kin: Edith Munn of Social Services Department, County of Cape Breton Att: John Hussey     
Notes: Chronicle Herald/Mail Star, Published:   04-17-89    James W Plant, Westmount

(Source – Norma Day)

 Plants082

 

    Source: NS Archives Online Certificate of Death Record
Mary Plant, died 1950 in North Sydney, County
Item can be found in Registration Year: 1950 – Book: 1950 – Page: 6504 – Number:
Name of Deceased: Mary Plant
Residence: Alder Point, N.S. {Hamilton Memorial Hospital, North Sydney, N.S.}
Sex: Female
Racial Origin: Canadian French
Status: Widow
Birthplace: Magdalene Islands
Date of Birth: July 15, 1873
Age:  77 y 4 m 6 d
Occupation: At Home
Length of Residence: ~~
Name Father:  Phillip Theriault, Magdalene Islands
Maiden Name Mother: Philomena Paquet, Magdalene Islands
Informant: Mrs. Dennis Pickup, Alder Point, N.S.
Relationship to Deceased: Step Mother’s Daughter
Place of Burial: Bra d’Or, N.S.
Date of Burial: November 24, 1950
Undertaker:  Dooley Funeral Home, North Sydney, N.S.
Medical Certificate of Death:
Date of Death: November 21, 1950
Cause Death: Primary:  Bronchopneumonia
          Secondary:  CVA, Hypertension, Phelbothrombosis r calf
Length Illness: 4 months
Name Attending Physician: Dr. Liam L McKeough, Sydney Mines, N.S.
Registar: December 15, 1950 Jean MacAulay

 

Source: NS Archives Online Certificate of Death Record
Elizabeth Plant, died 1931 in Alder Point, Cape Breton County
Item can be found in Registration Year: 1931 – Book: 141 – Page: 1830 – Number:
Name of Deceased: Elizabeth Plant
Residence: Alder Point, N. S.
Sex: Female
Racial Origin:French
Status: Widow
Birthplace: Alder Point, N. S.
Date of Birth: ~~
Age:  72 y
Occupation: At Home
Length of Residence: Since Birth
Name Father:  John Forrest, born Scotland
Maiden Name Mother: Sarah Boutilier, born Alder Point, N. S.
Informant: ________Plant, Florence, N. S. {CAN’T MAKE OUT GIVEN NAME}
Relationship to Deceased: Son
Place of Burial: Point Aconi, N. S.
Date of Burial: May 7, 1931
Undertaker:  MacRae, Sydney Mines, N. S.
Medical Certificate of Death:
Date of Death: May 5, 1931
Cause Death: Primary:  Apoplexy         
Name Attending Physician: W T McKeough, Sydney Mines, N.S.
Registar: John E Rendell

 

 

Source: NS Archives Online Certificate of Death Record
James H Plant, died 1924 in Cape Breton, Cape Breton County
Item can be found in Registration Year: 1924 – Book: 79 – Page: 90 – Number:
Name of Deceased: James H Plant
Residence: Alder Point, N. S.
Sex: Male
Racial Origin: English & French
Status: Married
Birthplace: Nova Scotia
Date of Birth: July 22, 1843
Age:  71 y 7 m
Occupation: Farmer
Length of Residence:71 years 7 months
Name Father:  Samuel Plant, born Nova Scotia
Maiden Name Mother: Margaret Devoe, born Nova Scotia
Informant: Maude Stubbert, Alder Point, N. S.
Relationship to Deceased: Daughter
Place of Burial: Point Aconi, N.S.
Date of Burial: February 22, 1924
Undertaker:  Remains to Sollie LeBlanc, Alder Point, N.S.
Medical Certificate of Death:
Date of Death: February 20, 1924
Cause Death: Primary:  Uremia{?}
          Secondary:  Prostate Obstruction
Name Attending Physician: W T McKeough, Sydney Mines, N. S.
Registar: February 23, 1924 Walter Dugas

 

 

Source: NS Archives Online Certificate of Death Record
Alexis H Plant, died 1913 in Cape Breton, Cape Breton County
Item can be found in Registration Year: 1913 – Book: 22 – Page: 319 – Number: 1910
Name: Alexis Henrietta Plant
Sex: Female
Date of Death: October 25, 1913
Age: 78
Residence: Commercial Street, North Sydney, N.S.
Marital Status: Single
If single, name of father: Samuel Plant
Where Born: North Sydney, N.S.
Cause of Death:  Heart Failure
Religion: Church of England
Race of Deceased: White
Signature of Physician: Dr. Smith
Undertaker: Rudderhan
Place Burial: Sydney Mines, N.S.
Informant: Dr. Smith
Where Registered & Signature if Deputy Registar:  October 27, 1913

 

Source: NS Archives Online Certificate of Death Record
William J. Plant, died 1867 in Cape Breton County
Item can be found in Registration Year: 1867 – Book: 1803 – Page: 22 – Number: 212
Name of Deceased: William J. Plant
Sex: Male
Age: 27
Condition: : Married
Birthplace: Cape Breton
Name Father:  Samuel – Merchant
Maiden Name Mother: Amelia Plant
Date and Place of Death: April 29, 1887 at North Sydney, N.S.
Certified Cause of Death: : Nephritis
Informant: Samuel Plant
Where Registered & Signature if Deputy Registar:   May 7, 1867 John Forbes

 

Source: NS Archives Online Certificate of Death Record
Elizabeth Plant, died 1871 in Cape Breton County
Item can be found in Registration Year: 1871 – Book: 1803 – Page: 64 – Number: 96
Name and Occupation: Elizabeth Plant
Sex: Female
Age: 73
Condition: Spinster
Where Born: Sydney, N.S.
Parents Names, whether living: William & Sarah Plant
Date and Place of Death:  May 30, 1871 North Sydney, N.S.
Certified Cause of Death: 
Signature of Informant:  Samuel Plant
Where Registered & Signature if Deputy Registar:  John Forbes, North Sydney, N.S.

 

Source: NS Archives Online Certificate of Death Record
Henrietta Plant, died 1908 in Cape Breton County
Item can be found in Registration Year: 1908 – Book: 3 – Page: 38 – Number: 224
Name: Henrietta Plant
Sex: Female
Date of Death: October 25, 1908
Age: 8 years 5 m
Residence: Alder Point, N.S.
Where Born:
Marital Status: Single
If single, name of father: Arthur Plant
Where Born:  Alder Point, N.S.
Cause of Death:  TB
Length of Illness: 2 days
Religion: Catholic
Race of Deceased: White
Signature of Physician: Dr. N McDonald
Undertaker: None
Place Burial: Bras d’Or, N.S.
Informant: Arthur Plant
Where Registered & Signature if Deputy Registar:  January 2, 1909

 

Source: NS Archives Online Certificate of Death Record
Samuel Plant, died 1911 in Cape Breton County
Item can be found in Registration Year: 1911 – Book: 3 – Page: 505 – Number: 3043
Name: Samuel Plant
Sex: Male
Date of Death: June 5, 1911
Age: 83 y
Residence: Alder Point, N.S.
Where Born: Cape Breton County
Occupation:  Farmer
Single, Married, Widowed: Widower
If single, name of father:
Where Born: North Sydney, N.S.
Cause of Death:  Senility
Length of Illness: 2 weeks
Religion: Church of England
Race of Deceased: White
Signature of Physician: Dr. N McDonald
Undertaker:
Place Burial: Lakeside Cemetery, North Sydney, N.S.
Informant: Arthur Plant
Where Registered & Signature if Deputy Registar:  June 6, 1911

 

Source: NS Archives Online Certificate of Death Record
Susan Plant, died 1922 in Cape Breton, Cape Breton County
Item can be found in Registration Year: 1922 – Book: 76 – Page: 18 – Number:
Name of Deceased: Susan Plant
Residence: North Sydney, N.S.
Sex: Female
Racial Origin: English
Status: Single
Birthplace: Nova Scotia
Date of Birth: September 27, 1845
Age:  75 y 7 m 20 d
Occupation: Housekeeper
Length of Residence: Since Birth
Name Father:  Samuel Plant, born England
Maiden Name Mother: Amelia Charlotte Clarke, born Sydney, N.S.
Informant: Mrs. Delia Challoner, Sydney, N.S.
Relationship to Deceased: Sister
Place of Burial: Sydney Mines, N. S.
Date of Burial: May 9, 1922
Undertaker: Rudderham, Sydney Mines, N.S.
Medical Certificate of Death:
Date of Death: May 17, 1922
Cause Death: Primary:  Cancer of Bowel
Length Illness: 2 y 6 m 17 d
Name Attending Physician: H Rinders, North Sydney, N.S.
Registar: May 18, 1922 A R Forbes

 (Source – Norma Day)

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5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Jenny Pearo on June 23, 2009 at 14:55

    Very interesting story. I can remember a monument, near the top of the hill towards the end of Alder Point, that I believe was dedicated to the Plant family. Unfortunately, the monument fell into dis-repair and is now gone. We have a copy of an old map that shows Plant Point at the very end of Alder Point and 700 Acres owned by Plant. Where in Alder Point is the Plant burial ground?

    Reply

    • Jenny
      There is no evidence that I ever found that would indicate the Plants had a burial ground in Alder Point. Like I indicated in my book “Alder Point” the Plants were the prominent English landowners in Alder Point. Before 1890 they owned the land from the Beach up to the Old Government Wharf, out the Pond Road and down to the back shore, along the coast back to the Beach. All of this was at one time called Plant’s Reef. Even when I was a youngster the land up behind Ratio Plant’s was known as Plant’s Reef.
      It was a shame that the monument by Solloy’s was moved for road construction and never put back and eventually destroyed.

      Reply

  2. Posted by Louise Theriault on August 13, 2009 at 22:46

    Many thanks to Norma Day for all the
    information on the Plant Family.
    I am researching my husband’s family
    tree & glad to get the info.
    My husband’s great aunt,Mary Theriault was married to Arthur Plant.
    Their adopted daughter,Mary Pickup
    resides in Port Hawksbury last I knew.
    Mary Theriault also was a sister of Wilber,Homer & Alphonse Theriault of
    Little Bras D’or & Alder Point.
    Thanks again to Norma Day & Jenny
    Pearo.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Louise Theriault on August 14, 2009 at 22:59

    I’m sorry but I made a mistake.
    Mary Plant’s brother’s name was Albert not Alphonse as I wrote in a previous comment.

    Reply

  4. Posted by Jennifer Peters on January 21, 2011 at 09:59

    HI louise, My mother grew up in Harbord and her dad was Jack or John Plant? I’m not too sure as he left when she was a young girl so her mum (my nana) Gladys Plant brought up her & her brother bobby on her own (around other family with the name Biddell.)
    I’m not sure if maybe he was related to Jim Plant in your story above who died in 1989? Thought I would check as John Plant would be my estranged grandfather.
    Nana died this year but I am curious to find this man. Thank you for your consideration. Regards Jenni

    Reply

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