Search billions of records on


                                                         MacDonald & Beaton Families


The Family of Lawrence (Buddy) Bates and Evelyn Rigby

The Irish have a long history of emmigration for one unhappy reason or another. The rate of leaving increased significantly in the mid to late ninteenth century for the same old reasons but with the added stress of the potato famine. Most who sailed to North America came out of the southeast counties of Waterford, Wexford, Kilkenny, Tipperary, and Cork. Emigrants often sailed first to Placentia Bay and the western outports of Newfoundland, then to Cape Breton, Halifax, Saint John,
Quebec, and Boston. This demonstrates the early connection between Ireland and Newfoundland, particularly Waterford and Wexford in the former, and Placientia Bay in the latter. The relationship was driven by a combination of
1. Religious freedom and
2. Irish commercial interests.

1. The practise of the Roman Catholic religion was difficult at best, in any part of the British domain prior to the twentieth century. That restriction was profound in Ireland because the British associated catholicism with Irish nationalism and its practise was symptomatic of treason. Young men, and later male and females of all ages, ventured into the French colonies in North America where their religion was practised openly, and Irish communities were established in parts of old Quebec and French Atlantic Canada. There was a significant Irish presence in Louisbourg prior to and subsequent to its final capture in 1758.
Emigration ship disembarking
In Newfoundland there was an Irish presence in the French colony of Plaisance (now Pleasantia Bay) virtually from its founding in the 1600's. (In 1713, the Treaty of Utrecht forced the French to abandon their Placentia Bay settlements, and Placentia became a British possession).
The Seven Years War ended in 1763 with the Treaty of Paris. Among other considerations the French effectively ceded all of its possessions in North America except Louisiana and Saint Pierre-and- Miquilon. One of the conditions of
surrender was a British commitment to protection of French culture and religion (catholicism). This established a corner of the world where the Irish could escape religious suppression while living their lives in familiar society.

2. Meanwhile, Irish business people had established a viable Ireland-Newfoundland fishing industry with Placentia Bay as its main outpost. This naturally expanded into a broader business conduct within and between Pleasantia Bay and Waterford-Wexford. Entrapreneurs with plants on both sides also operated ship transport and workers had somewhat easier
See comment oppression contributed much to North American settlement
facility to move from one to another.

Mark Bates was born at Kilmore Quay, Wexford County, Ireland and married Catherine Carrrol. The paper, The Bates/Walsh Family Home Page shows their first child, John, born in Newfoundland and died in Cape Breton. The birth place of the second child, Michael is not shown but the remaining seven of their nine children were born in the Catalone-Bateston area of Cape Breton. These were Patrick, Mark, James, Catherine, Martin, and Paul. Catherine and ancester Martin were twins, born July 30, 1837. The paper, Descendants of Charles Martell and Ann Schmidt, show that Mark and Catherine were married in Newfoundland in 1812 and that Martin married Margaret Mullins of Glace Bay, a relatively large town about 50 kilometers north of Main-a-dieu. (Main-a dieu and Bateston are on the edge of Catalone Lake and, of course, the Broad Atlantic). Margaret was the daughter of Lawrence Mullins and Margaret Buckley.

The Martell paper traces the Buckleys back to Charles Martell, whose parents were huguenots who had escaped French persecution in the very early 1700's. Their first destination was Ireland where Charles was born. In 1747 or 1748, Charles is with the military at Halifax, settling eventally in Main-a-Dieu.

Margaret Buckley was the daughter of Paul Burnaby Buckley and Elizabeth Martell who was born in "Lower Mira," March 12, 1778. Elizabeth was the daughter of Charles Martell and Ann Schmidt, a native of Switzerland. Charles was born in Dublin in 1732. The Bates Family History, compiled by Gertrude (Bates) Walker and Edna
(Dullea) Gillis shows that Martin and Margaret had been established in the Catalone district by 1881. According to the 1891 census Martin was a fisherman with eight children, including Peter, Paul, William, ancestor Lawrence, Martin, and Richard. Lawrence, who was born in Bateston in 1872,
Sources Bates Family History
married Jane Kelly, a young lady from Louisbourg. He grew up in the fisherman culture and managed an effective education, an achievement in a time and place where education was difficult to attain. He taught school for a time and trained in accounting and took employment with Dominion Coal Co.(or perhaps one of its integral predecessor companies) who moved him and his family to Glace Bay. He later moved to New Waterford where he served as town clerk. Jane was the daughter of Richard and Margaret Kelly.

Lawrence and Jane had fourteen children including Wilfred, Martin, Geraldine, Loretta, Willis, Jane, Lawrence (Buddy), and Gertrude. Buddy was born in 1909, and married Evelyn Rigby in 1933, Granny and Grampa Bates. He died in 1976 from lung problems attributed to his many years in underground coal mining.

The '45 in Scotland relates to the largely highlander uprising in support of the deposed Stuart King James II. The Scots were crushed at the historically devastating Battle of Culloden (1746), and the--at least--equally devastating loss of their leadership and youth. The wounded were executed on the field, others at their homes and hiding places, or on the scaffold. Many of the leaders who survived, and families of those who did not, had escaped into French protection where their sons grew up in a different culture. These were to return, eventually, but felt little or none of the social commitment that had been the policy of their predecessors.

In Culloden's aftermath, Britain had placed heavy restrictions on highland culture, the leadership process, some religious and other practises and, for good reason, possession of arms. But the restrictions were eased in the reign of George IV, in consideration of the military potential of the disarrayed youth.

During the reign of George IV and that of his neice, Queen Victoria, Scottish soldiers fought for Britain, and garrisoned her terrirories, from India through the Middle East and southern Europe to North America. Among these was Donnchadh (Duncan), son of Eoin (Jonathan) MacIntyre.
We are told in the website of
Florence Palmer that Duncan

"...spent many years in the British army and eventally received a grant of land in the area of Shelburne, Nova Scotia. It appears that he didn't like the area for he never settled there. He went instead to Leitche's Creek and settled on land which had been granted to an officer of his old regiment, Captain MacKinnon, who in time transferred the land to him. They settled in Bridgeport, Cape Breton. His wife might have been Christina."

In any event, Duncan married a lady from Scotland, and their five children included Donald who married Mary MacIntyre. Donald and Mary had nine children including Margaret, who married William Rigby of Lingan, NS. Donnachadh, was born c. 1745, so it's a proper geneologic estimate to put Eoin's birth date at about 1715.

The 1871 census shows only one Rigby in Lingan: Alexander. But this was a count of heads of families only, so the names of Alexander's wife and children were not shown. The 1881 census included, as it does today, the names of the spouse, the children, and members of the extended family within the domicile. The family of William and Margaret, in 1881, included seven children as well as Alexander, 88, and Catherine, 80. Catherine was born in Newfoundland, but of Irish origin, and Alexander was born in Ireland. The oldest child, Mary, is shown as age 20 in the 1881 census, William was 48 and Margaret 44. There are some errors in the census-taking and/or recording, but easily corrected from the two ensuing counts (1891 and 1901).

Their children were: (showing later adult occupations (1891)) Mary 20, Agnes 18, Dan 17 (miner), Alexander 15 (carpentar), William 13 (Mom's grandfather) (coal miner), Kate 11, Peter 10 (farmer), Vincent 7, Jane 6, Thomas 4, Margaret 3. (Margaret (Aunt Maggie) married Ronald MacSween, and their daughter, Elizabeth (Aunt Bessie) married Wilfred Bates, Grandpa Buddy's older brother. They are the parents of Wilf Bates of Pointe Clare, PQ, who provided census material (1881, 1891, and 1901 ) used on this site)

There was no New Waterford in those days. Between Sydney and the Lingan district was South Bar and Low Point, in all a large farming district, still in the clearing mode, I suppose. Previously Lingan was occupied, or at least utilized, for coal supplies, by French military and
colonists attached to Fortress Louisbourg. The word "Lingan" is a corruption of its French name, L'Indienne (Indian woman).

Following the fall of Louisbourg in 1758, the French garrisons and those colonists who could be apprehended or were not unwilling, I suppose, were expelled and Lingan lay abandonned until the Rigbys and other Irish * immigrants arrived in the mid 1800's. Lingan is, in part, the district that New Waterford was built upon in the early 1900's.

In the census of 1891, William is not shown. Margaret was the head of the family.

William Rigby, jr, married Mary Anne MacDonald, identified as "Scotch." They had nine children who grew to maturity: Florence, Wilbert (a special friend of mine), Vince, Vina who moved to Boston where she married and had a family of two, Percy who moved to Winnipeg, married and also had a family of two, Margaret, Mildred, Olive, and Evelyn (Granny). Margaret died June 21, 2004, the family's last survivor.

Buddy Bates and Evelyn Rigby had four children who grew to maturity: Evelyn (Evie) who married me, Ron, from New Waterford, Wilma whose spouse is Jerry MacSween from Glace Bay, Lawrence whose spouse is Dina Senger from Kelowna, and Brian whose spouse is Denina Gillis from New Waterford. Evelyn (Granny) was born in 1913 in New Waterford, and died in 1999.

Evie graduated from Mount Carmel Highscool in 1950 at the age of 17, too young to gain admittance to most schools of nursing. She was accepted in Hamilton Memorial Hospital in North Sydney, however, and graduated in 1953. In those days nursing schools were located in hospitals.

Evie's brother Lawrence moved out west in 1960, joining us in Regina for a while. He spent five or six years in Regina, joined the sales staff of Sunrype, one of the top Canadian producers of juices and fruit products, working a Saskatchewan territory out of Saskatoon. He advanced through the company's marketing system to become its president and CEO.

oppression contributed much to North American settlement

Religious oppression, sadly, contributed much to the early settlement of North America. While catholics fared poorly in the British domain, protestants suffered as severely in some catholic governed countries; and many found ways to reach the wildness of North America rather than submit. The Bates forbears endured both. It's the way we were--perhaps the way we are. Perhaps sometimes the
oppressed were those who were not sufficiently strong to be the oppressers.return

Notes: 2.
Bates Family History

The Bates geneology is from research by Gertrude Walker and Edna Gillis and distributed to at least part of the family by Minerva Fahey. The compilation by Edna Gillis includes, in its "Miscellaneos Information," the following statement:

This family history was originally compiled by Edna (Dullea) Gillis in 1993. Much of the following information came from earlier research done by Gertrude (Bates) Walker and some has been added since 1993. return

next page---MacDonald