Corrections to some online Pike genealogies
Let me start this webpage by quoting my cousin Wayne Pike, who is a Certified Genealogist.
In a message posted to the
mailing list in April 2005, he cautioned people as follows:
The world wide spread of the World Wide Web has been a bonanza for genealogists. We can now share and access information that otherwise would not be available to us. However, everyone should be aware that not everything on the Internet is accurate.
In December 2005, I was contacted by Debbie Jeans (also a Certified Genealogist with experience researching the Pike family)
who said that I could add her support behind Wayne's remarks.
In particular I want to warn genealogists who are researching the surname "Pike". There are several websites that contain much misinformation about early Newfoundland Pikes - one actually traces his ancestry back to the early 1600's and legendary Gilbert Pike and his Irish Princess, Sheila Na Geira. Another makes family connections back through the 1700's to the first Pikes that came to Newfoundland from Poole, Dorset in the late 1600's.
After nearly 25 years of Pike research, I HAVE NOT found any documentation to show Pike family relationships back through the elusive 1700's. And I know of no other person who has found such documentation. No doubt, those early settlers were the forefathers of many, if not all present day Newfoundland Pikes - but where is the evidence to tie them together? I also know of no evidence of the existence of legendary Gilbert & Sheila. These web sites are misleading at the very least.
This warning applies equally well to many other families. Because of the lack of surviving church records and other primary sources, few families are traceable in Newfoundland prior to the early 1800's.
Please be careful about anything that you obtain from the Internet. Especially if traceable sources are not quoted. Even those who mean well sometimes lead the rest of us astray.
Regarding the Pike families of Newfoundland, the following websites are known to contain inaccurate information:
The first of the pages listed above is originally due to Don Shankle, who had a wonderful passion for genealogy.
He regularly corresponded with both Wayne and me as we all tried to sort out and piece together the various branches of
the Pike family tree. However, Don is now deceased and so there is no means to make revisions to his data as new
information comes to light.
Regarding the other sites, I have
occasionally written to the site managers, but have never gotten any response.
So my purpose with this webpage is to
- Reiterate the warning to unsuspecting genealogists to be wary of online genealogies,
especially when there is no means to verify for oneself that the information is accurate.
- To point out certain errors and inconsistencies that are known to exist with some of these online genealogies.
As for the corrections and comments that follow, I do not claim that I have compiled a complete list.
If you see clear problems with other items from the various genealogies noted above, feel free
to contact me at
Lastly, those with an interest in the Pike families of Newfoundland might find it useful to refer to
my website, where extracts from a number of primary
sources have been posted.
Some Corrections & Comments:
- the early generations, typically commencing with Thomas Pike (brother of Timothy Bird and Edward Bird)
is putative at best. Too few records from prior to 1800 have been found to be able to connect
the various pre-1800 Pike families with reliable accuracy.
2008 update: A mini-family tree has been discovered in the Portsmouth Central Library, revealing that
Thomas and Susannah Pike of Poole had sons John, Thomas, Samuel, and William.
William resided at Portsmouth, where he was engaged in the brewery trade.
William's brother Thomas is noted to have been a planter in Newfoundland, and their brother John is shown
to have had children Timothy, Francis, Moses, and Susannah [all four of whom appear to have resided in England].
This new-found evidence
(which can be viewed here)
casts substantial doubt on the claims that Thomas and Susannah's son John is the
John Pike who is buried at Pike's Lane in Carbonear.
- The children of Thomas & Catherine Pike are stated in a number of these online genealogies as: Alfred, Francis, Moses, James, Henry.
As far as I have been able to determine, only sons Moses and Henry are certain.
Other than that an Alfred Pike & his wife Mary lived in Carbonear SS, I know of no basis to conclude that
Alfred's father was Thomas.
I know of no evidence that Thomas & Catherine had a son named Francis.
Some websites list a son Francis that married Elizabeth Pike, while some others list a son Francis that married Mary Legg.
What is certain is that the Francis that married Mary Legg is actually a son of Francis & Jane Pike (this conclusion is based
on details from the will of the elder Francis, and from letters written by Claudius Watts and Steven B Pike).
There was a James Pike of Carbonear who settled in Flat Islands, Bonavista Bay. And the names of his kids and grandkids do
suggest that he might be a brother of Henry and hence a son of Thomas. However, I know of no written evidence
that corroborates this assumption.
The death date of Thomas, reported as May 1861, is also in error, since there is documentation among land records from April 1848 that notes that
he was deceased (but just when he died is something I haven't yet determined).
- Moses, son of Henry Pike and Mary Venn, is listed as marrying Jane Butt in 1874.
It is far more likely that it is the March 1882 marriage between Moses Pike & Dorcas Soper
that is the marriage of Henry & Mary's son. Evidence (albeit mostly circumstantial) in support of this claim is that
- a Moses Pike and Dorcas Soper witnessed the January 1882 marriage of Henry's son Eleazar.
- both Moses Pike and Dorcas Soper are identified as being from Carbonear's South Side when they married in March 1882
(the southside is where Henry & Mary lived).
- Moses is listed in St. John's in the 1921 census as being
born in February 1846, which is reasonably consistent with the February 1847 birth that is recorded for the
son of Henry & Mary.
Incidentally, regarding Moses & Jane, there is no sign of them in the church records beyond their 1874 marriage.
My best guess is that they left Newfoundland after they were married.
- Moses Pike, husband to Mary Ann Stowe, was the son of a Samuel Pike (as is recorded in Moses & Mary Ann's marriage
record with the Congregational Church in St. John's). Some online genealogies mistakenly report Moses' parents to
have been Moses Pike and Patience Pynn.
- There are several problems with the data recorded for the children of Francis Pike & Mary Legg:
- Edward Pike (son of Francis Pike and Mary Legg) is listed as being married in 1859 to Mary Ann Winsor in several of these online
However, the Hr Grace Anglican marriage records clearly show that both parties to this marriage were
from Mosquito (whereas Francis & Mary lived on or near Pike's Lane in Carbonear).
This is probably a case of how there was one Pike getting married that was too quickly/conveniently
assumed to be the same as another Pike of the same name that was previously baptised. As it turns out, Francis and Mary's Edward
moved to New Brunswick, where he married Ellen Peck in 1868 (this has come to light since 2004, when I was contacted
by a descendant of Edward & Ellen).
- the Carbonear Methodist marriage records have an 1855 marriage for a Josiah Pike and another marriage
in 1860 for a Josiah Pike (the brides were Catherine Moors, and Harriet Giles). My suspicion is that these
are the same Josiah, since Josiah & Catherine have 2 children baptised, and then there are 4 children
for Josiah & Harriet (these last 4 list Josiah's trade as a sailmaker). Also, there's a 17 Feb 1858 burial for
a 25 year old Catherine Pike ... and the last of the 2 children of Josiah & Catherine was born on 8 Feb 1858...
this child (Charles) appears to be buried on 29 March 1858 (aged 7 weeks).
As for who Josiah's parents were, the "obvious" choice would be match him up with the 1832 baptism of
a son of Christopher (a sailmaker) & Providence Pike, not as a son of Francis Pike & Mary Legg.
- Emily Jane (daughter of Francis Pike & Mary Legg) is listed as going off to Catalina and marrying Thomas King,
but a petition filed against the estate of Mary in 1929 suggests that Emily married a Bemister.
It turns out that the Emily that married Thomas King is actually a daughter of William & Eliza Ann Pike,
as documented in the 1899 petition of George Pike against the estate of William Pike.
- James Legg Pike was indeed buried in 1841 at age 11, but there is insufficient evidence to
conclude who his parents were.
- John Pike. Yes, Francis Pike & Mary Legg had a son John in 1836, but I'm not sure what happened to
- John Ellis Pike of Carbonear is listed in some of these online databases as being a son of Samuel & Elizabeth Pike.
John Ellis died in April 1898 at age 83, giving us a birthyear of about 1815. Samuel & Elizabeth have a son John baptised
in Dec 1817, but given the popularity of the name John I do not think this is sufficient evidence to conclude that
John Ellis Pike was the son of Samuel & Elizabeth. As yet I am unaware of any further evidence that suggests who
John Ellis Pike's parents were, although there is a file at PANL that involves a John E Pike (son of John Pike) who
was the defendant in a dispute regarding a vessel named "Seaflower".
- Concerning the family of Timothy & Patience Pike (originally from Carbonear, but they moved to Channel Port-aux-Basques about 1840):
- Their son Eliel Pike is not mentioned in several of the online genealogies noted above. He was born in 1841.
- Their son George Thomas Pike married the widow Nancy Tibbo (nee Scott) in 1855. They then had eight children from 1856 to 1869,
all baptised in the Channel Anglican church records. It is therefore in error that some genealogies report that George remarried
in 1859 to Lenora Sophia Davis of Carbonear.
- Some online genealogies state that the Thomas Pike who was baptised in Carbonear in 1809 as a son of "Timothy & [blank] Pike"
is a son of Timothy & Patience. I simply do not believe this is correct, partly because we know that Patience was still
having children in 1841, and partly because the first child baptised to "Timothy & Patience" is their son John who was
baptised in Carbonear in 1821. Also, the 1812 baptism of Eli Pike, son of "Timothy & Mary Pike" of Carbonear, would suggest
that Thomas' parents were more likely to have been Timothy & Mary, not Timothy & Patience.
- The Timothy Pike who married Jane Clark in Carbonear in 1838 is sometimes stated to be a son of Timothy & Patience.
As yet I haven't haven't really looked into this younger Timothy's family, but what is clear is that there is no baptism for him,
so as yet I know of no reason to suspect that his parents were Timothy & Patience. In Dec 2005, I received an email from
Debbie Jeans (who descends from Timothy & Jane), who wrote "I also have not found any evidence to lead me
to believe that my Timothy was the son of Timothy PIKE & Patience."
As for Timothy himself (ie the husband of Patience), I have found no baptism, no marriage, and no burial record for him.
Some online genealogies suggest that his parents were Timothy & Mary Pike, but I haven't yet seen any evidence to support this.
- Concerning the George Pike who married Mary Pitman in Carbonear in 1849, I have reason to believe that he was the widower
of the Susan Pike who died in 1846 (George and Susan were married in Carbonear in 1833).
George and Mary moved to Harbour Grace, where they are now buried.
Their headstone notes that George died on 21 Sept 1888 at age 80.
Some online genealogies assert that George was named George Andrew Pike and that he was a son of Thomas and Mary Pike (where the middle
name "Andrew" comes from is not clear to me).
Others assert that George was the Lewis George that was baptised in Feb 1820 as a son of William and Eliza Pike of Carbonear.
I have reason to believe that neither of these assertions is correct, but that George is instead a son of William & Susan Pike
(this is based on Susan's obituary in 1865).
As for "Lewis George", I am aware of a Richard George Lewis Pike who ended up in New Zealand (and who was
apparently from Carbonear) but as yet I haven't really got enough information to be sure if RGLP is the same as the Lewis George baptised in 1820.
- Various genealogies assert that the name of the commander of the Brig Prosperous, who married Elizabeth Waterman at Trinity on 12 October 1789,
was "John Pike". However, the original handwriting gives the name "John Pile".
The accuracy of "Pile" is further reinforced by information from Lloyd's Registers of 1789 and 1790, both of which list the Brig Prosperous and her master "J. Pile". Incidentally, the Prosperous is described as being 62 tons, built in 1766 at Weymouth, owned by Jenkins and Co, having a single deck with beams, and having a draught of 9 feet when fully loaded.
Last Modified: Saturday, 30-Nov-2013 09:22:23 NST