Howard Henry Keirstead,
was born in Alma in 1885, his father, Henry Nathan Wright Keirstead, was also born in Alma in 1845. Henry's father,
George Keirstead, was born at Kingston, Kings County, NB, son of the Loyalists Luke and Elizabeth (Drew) Keirstead.
George must have decided
that farming was not for him because he headed out to Charlottetown, PEI where he worked as a shoemaker. He had been briefly
married to Dorcas Johnson in Kingston but although we have no death date for her, he married Marianne Jackson in Charlottetown
in 1831. She died in childbirth in January 1832 although her infant daughter survived. In October 1832 George married
Jane Wright, d/o Nathan Wright, master carpenter (he did much of the fine woodwork in both Province House and Government House
in Charlottetown). George and Jane and his infant daughter went to Halifax where their son George jr was born and from
there to Alma. He kept his shoemaking business but was also the Post Master at Salmon River (Alma). George died
in 1888 in Alma I have a letter from there great aunt, Ella (Keirstead) Cleveland, wife of Judson A. Cleveland, describing
His son Henry married Mary
Jane Fletcher (she was from St Martins - d/o John Fletcher who had come to NB from County Leitrim Ireland in the 1830s - his
first wife died in Saint John and he moved to St Martins where he married Anne Eliza Floyd. Mary Jane and her brother,
John Fletcher, both came, married and lived in Alma. Henry was also a shoemaker and in the early part of the 20th century
kept a store in Alma. My late father, Paul Keirstead, could remember being allowed to choose whatever penny candy he
wanted from the store on a visit to his grandparents.
George, Jane, Henry, Mary
Jane and several young children plus Henry's two daughters, Annie Love (Keirstead) Marvin and Ella Jane (Keirstead) Cleveland
are all buried in the Baptist Cemetery in Alma. The latter's home, Cleveland Place, is still standing on the main street.
Howard was educated
at the Fredericton Business College, his two sisters at Provincial Normal School, and Howard married Alice Davidson in Sussex
in 1913. They were both working at the Sussex Mercantile at the time and my father Paul was born in Sussex in
1915. The family moved to the Gaspe Coast in the early 1920s as Howard went to work as a bookkeeper for a lumber company. He
died in 1939 and is buried in the United Church cemetery in Paspebiac, Que. Alice lived with her daughters in Hillsborough
during the war while my father was overseas and she died there in 1944. She is also buried in Paspebiac.
by: Sandra (Keirstead) Thorne May 30, 2010