William Godfrey, I - where did he die?

Started by Private User on Wednesday, November 2, 2011


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Private User
11/2/2011 at 4:52 PM

Married into a Black Island family from PEI, Canada. (Brought to PEI by the Robinson family.) Note: His son, George Godfrey was born Mar. 20, 1853 in PEI instead of in 1852. William emigrated with most of his family to Boston, MA to work. He did go back to PEI to visit relatives.

Private User
11/15/2011 at 6:23 PM

More on William Godfrey, I: The initial member of the Godfrey family to settle on PEI was William Godfrey, I who married into another prolific Black family in Charlottetown. William married Sarah Byers in November of 1864. William and Sarah’s three oldest children, Thomas, Mary Ann and George were all baptized on the same day, the 14 June 1853 at St. Dunstan’s Basilica. William and Sarah had another four children, all of whom were born in Charlottetown. In 1854 William was convicted of petty larceny and served two weeks in jail for stealing a cow. The only early newspaper reference for this family appears in the Examiner in September of 1855. This short article reported that Frederick Byers had been convicted for assault on Sarah Godfrey and had been “fined 2s6d and costs or 1 month imprisonment.” William appears in the 1861 census as living in Charlottetown. His occupation was listed as “Labourer.” There were eight people living in his household, seven of whom were from PEI and one individual from England. William and Sarah’s last child born on PEI was Thomas in 1870. William and Sarah moved to Boston in the early 1870s with the most of their family. This move was documented in the boxing success of their son George.

11/15/2011 at 9:46 PM

Kenneth Kwame Welsh, (C)

Possible good addition for the Black Canadian Project..

11/15/2011 at 10:40 PM

Fantastic information, Carol. We need info like this!! This Black Canadian project would include people that were in Canada, before French and Indian War and U.S. Revolutionary War, came from Loyalist units, or from U.S. through Underground Railroad, etc.

Here is the sister project: http://www.geni.com/projects/Notable-West-Indian-Americans-and-Cana...

Private User
11/16/2011 at 1:45 PM

I found alot of my information through the book "Black Islanders..." by Jim Hornby.

Private User
11/17/2011 at 7:35 PM

As indicated in Hornby’s book, the initial settlement of Black families to Canada happened in Charlottetown, PEI. Samuel Martin, with his land petition in 1813, was probably responsible for setting the nucleus of what became known as " the Bog". Hornby wrote off that community after "the Bog" started to decline around 1900. The Black community in Charlottetown, PEI was very visible right up until the 1960's, at which time families began to move away from the West End to other parts of the city.

In addition to Charlottetown, the Island’s Black settlers and descendants also have a very visible presence within the communities of Cardigan and Vernon River with the Shepard family and in Montage with the Suckles family. The only presence in the western end of PEI was the Prevost family, who initially settled in Tignish.

Some Black families on PEI have been traced, as well as some of the families that have left. Many Black families went to the Boston, MA area with the out-migration along with many other Islanders in the late 1800's. A few families went to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick as well.

Private User
11/25/2011 at 6:03 PM

William Godfrey, I died in the Cedar Grove section of Boston, MA on September 13, 1902 at 80 years of age. He died from fatty degeneration of the heart.

11/27/2011 at 1:09 PM

Carol, we have started two new early/colonial black projects: one for Mass., and one for NY. Maybe we can work together on one for your family there in the Boston area?

11/27/2011 at 1:11 PM


we have added them to the USA Portal master project, as well.

Private User
11/27/2011 at 5:04 PM


Private User
3/23/2012 at 3:43 PM

" William Godfrey wasn't Black according to family and his records. No way. Also given the time and climate of slaves and such he would not have been so quick to marry a slave. I've done this a long time and with the family themselves telling me the history they were Irish and Indian. Them saying they were slaves doesn't surprise me at all. Many stories were said about my Indian ancestors on the Island about them being Black. I know for a fact the they were full blood Indians. A man wrote a book and said that Isaac Church walked the island like some kind of chieftain. Well that is because he was! However, they will never admit that. also wouldn't admit that he still lived on our Indian reservation that they illegally stole from him. There is a lot they write, but we always know the truth. Everywhere in the records down there they write the family as "colored" or "black" but I found in maritime records and others in CT that they were Indian and they're description. If you get to see my tree you may see the records and how they changed them," says cousin Tiondra White Rapids Martinez.

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