For what it's worth, I believe that I am descended from the Thomas Pike and "Jersey Kitty" that Claudius mentions ... their son Henry is, I believe, my great great great grandfather.
I'm not sure when this letter was written. However, the time can at least be narrowed by knowing that Claudius Watts lived from 9 April 1811 to December 1908. Here is a photo of his gravestone, taken by me on 11 June 2005:
If anybody should happen to come across any further correspondence between Nathaniel Pike and Claudius Watts, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you came to this page directly, then you might want to know that I have additional information about the Pike families of Newfoundland on my website.
Typescript of the manuscript copy of the original letter, in the handwriting of Claudius Watts, in the possession of his grandson, Mr. Theodore John Watts, St. John's.
Typescript made today at
[signature of N. C. Crewe]
St. John's, Nfld.,
N. C. Crewe,
19 November 1964. Research Officer.
Mr. Nathaniel Pike, Dear Sir In your record of the Pike family I see no mention of Francis Pike Senr. or of his brothers or sisters, if any-or of his children. He had three sons Edward Thistle, John & Francis, and five daughters, Julia Mary, Jane or Ann ( I am not sure which) Catherine & Elizabeth. Julia became the wife of Francis Pike- son of Madam Pike- (She ownded the land at thenorth side of the Pond & on what is now known as Glory Lane- on both sides-south & north). This Francis Pike was distin- guished from others of that name as "Gentleman Franky". The next daughter of Francis Pike Senr. May, became the second wife of John Gosse (of the business firm of Gosse,Pack & Fryer of Carbonear & Poole, England) his first wife was the daughter of Madam Pike and the sister of "Gentleman Franky". The third daughter of Francis Pike Senr. Jane or Ann-became the wife of Capt. Wm. Williams of Poole,England, where she died. The fourth daughter Catherine,became the wife of Dr. Patrick Edward Molloy: She left no children-as I think (but am not quite sure). The fifth & last daughter Elizabeth was the wife of Capt. 2. Francis Taylor, whose children you know. This man Francis Taylor & his wife Elizabeth Pike wer first cousins; his mother & her father were brother & sister. You know the families of Edward Thistle Pike & of Francis, they could give you more & better information respecting their family trees than I can. John,the second son of the abovenamed Francis Pike Senr.died when about 30 years old leaving three sons Capt. Charles, Jabez & John. His wife & the mother of the last named was a Moors of Blackhead. She became the second wife of William Bennett an Irishman who did a mercantile business for several years at Adams Cove & afterwards at Carbonear under the firm name of Bennett & Ridley. (Bennett was Ridley's uncle). John Gosse's first wife was daughter of Madam Pike and sister of Gentleman Franky - as before stated - she had two daughters, (but no son) Sarah & Elizabeth (known as "Betsy Gosse".) One of them was married to a spanish merchant named Ancell, of Bilboa. A son of theirs was Spanish Consul at St. John's some years ago. The other daughter became the wife of a clergyman of Poole named Strong. A son of theirs "The Right Honbl. Sir Henry Strong" is now Chief Justice of the Dominion of Canada: he was Knighted at the Queen's Jubilee. By the second marriage of John Gosse there was issue two sons born in Carbonear John & William - and one child born in Poole - that died young. (I think a daughter). John & William lived to be rather aged: both have been dead several years. On the death of their father they took his place in the trade of Gosse, Pack & Fryer. Stephen, son of Edward Thistle Pike of Carbonear doubtless knows much of these two men John & Wm. Gosse - as they were first cousins. I don't know what was the relationship between the first Mrs. John Gosse and my mother-if any-but she & the second Mrs. Gosse were first cousins. My mother's father's name was William, brother of Francis Pike Senr. before named: there was another brother named (1) who settled at Mosquito - where he carried on a large fishery. He died when about 35 years old leaving (2) sons Samuel, Edward, Moses (3) and two daughters, Patience & Mary. Patience became the wife of John Pike of John of Carbonear (known as carpenter John). 3. Mary was the wife of Joseph Taylor of Rich.,Senr.(north side of Carbonear). The wide of (4) Pike of Mosquito married a man named Simmons or Simmonds-who had been"Master of Voyage" for her after the death of her husband. The elder Simmonds' of Mosquito were the issue of the widow (5) Pike's second marriage. My grandfather Wm. Pike, was drowned near Cape St. Francis (with one or two of his sons) leaving three sons - Francis, Samuel & Edward, (who lived to be old men) and two daughters - Mary, my mother, and Patience, who was the wife of Wm. Heighington Taylor - they were first cousins. Francis Pike, Senr., William Pike, my grandfather, and (6) Pike of Mosquito were brothers - they had one sister, Catherine (perhaps more), who was the wife of Wm. Taylor, Senr. (south side Carbonear and was known as Aunt Kitty). They had seven sons, Wm. Heighington, Richard, John, Joseph, Nathaniel, Edward & Francis - and one daughter Julia, who became the wife of Thomas Chancey - the second. As regards Madam Pike I have no knowledge of her, of her husband or of her maiden name. There was a business - both mercantile and fishing at Carbonear many years ago known as that of Pike & Green. I have no knowledge of them save by tradition. The Madam Pike here referred to had three sons - Francis, known as "Gentleman Franky" before named, a Doctor of Medicine and a Shipmaster - christian names not known by me. The Shipmaster went to the United States, as I have heard, & obtained command of a United States Privateer and captured many of our large fishing boats & a few merchant vessels with some bankers on our South Coast during the War of 1812. This was reported to me as fact many years ago - but I have serious doubt of its truthfulness! Besides the members of the Pike family in Carbonear, &c herein & by your record alluded to, there was an old man Thomas Pike who lived at the south side of Carbonear and who attained a great age: a most remarkable man. I once made a point of paying him a visit. I found him sitting outside his door facing south - the sun was shining brightly - he was getting the full benefit of it and highly enjoyed it as he been confined to his bed for several months from severe 4. sickness. His bodily frame was fine - his head was superb like a piece of polished marble - not a hair on it. His memory was good. He told me a good deal about his early adventures and exploits: and about many of the first settlers in Carbonear, the adjacent coves, and of his going with others to live on Carbonear Island - their guns & fortifications to resist the attacks of the French & their Indian allies, &c which they much dreaded. He had made several voyages to Spain & Portugal in fish laden vessels in his early years, &c. &c. I have an idea that this very aged man - Thomas Pike was the brother of the father of Francis Pike, Senr. of my grandfather, Wm. Pike of (7) Pike of Mosquito and of Catherine Pike - the wife of Wm. Taylor, Senr. - south side Carbonear: and if so - that branch of the Pike family resided in Carbonear many years anterior to the advent of the John Pike there -that you start with as the progenitor of the Pike family in Carbonear. Be that as it my - they were all originally from Poole, England. There was another Thomas Pike - south side of Carbonear who lived to great age - his wife had the sobricat of "Jersey Kitty" - she was rather clever - taught school for several years - but was quite eccentric at intervals- They were the parents of Moses, John & Henry-- perhaps of one or more daughters - but I know of none - Who were the parents this last named Thomas Pike I do not know. Mr. Woodbine Pike could- as I think - give you a good deal of information respecting his grand- mother, Madam Pike - of her husband, & of Pike & Green- if there was any business relationship or kinship between them, &c. If the record of the Pike family & their various ramifications is to be published it should be amplified as much as possible. Who was Mrs. Lilly Yours very truly, and who was Mrs. Thomas Sgd. Claudius Watts - the only Danson? surviving one of the children of Henry Watts & Mary Pike who were married in 1804.