A Look at my Newfoundland/New England Family Members

As indicated in a previous post, several cousins in my family stayed in Newfoundland. This post is about those I have a more direct relation to, and who moved to New England at the turn of the century. These members of the family are great-grandmother’s family.

Jonas Earle and Ellen Russell

My great grandmother’s father was Robert George Earle, of Newfoundland, his father was Jonas Earle, of Coley’s Point in the Bay Roberts District. Jonas married his wife, Ellen on November 29, 1868:

Date of Marriage
Mon Day Year Place of Marriage Surname Name Age Marital Status Occupation Religion Residence of
By Whom
Witness Registering Officer
11 29 1868 Bay Roberts Earle Jonas NG Bachelor Not Given Not Given Bay Roberts W. C. Shears Abraham Russell Rev. H. Torraville
Russell Ellen NG Spinster Not Given Not Given Bay Roberts Elizabeth Russell

Jonas Earle was also the master builder who helped build St. John the Evangelist, an Angelican church located at Coley’s Point, Newfoundland.


(St. John the Evangelist, Coley’s Point)

From the website about their history:

With faith in their God and confidence in the future the Church of England people of this community were determined to see that the spiritual needs of all parishioners would be well served in the new age. In a tangible manifestation of their faith and hope the people of St. John the Evangelist’s congregation resolved to raise a new house of worship to the glory of God and to serve themselves and their heirs for generations to come.

At a meeting held on May 31,1898, a motion was proposed by Eli Dawe, M.H.A., and seconded by Isaac Dawe that immediate steps be taken to build a new church.

A building committee was quickly formed consisting of three members from the north side, three from the south side, and three from Country Road, with the power to add to its membership as the need arose. The members of the original committee were as follows: Chairman, Rev. W. C. Shears; Secretary, W. H. Greenland; Churchwardens, Robert Parsons and John Greenland; South Side, Capt. Edward Mercer, Samuel Parsons, Isaac Gray; North Side, Eli Dawe, M.H.A., Capt. George Barrett, John Kelly; Country Road, Samual Bradbury, Joseph Russell and John Russell.

On November 24,1898, a “beautiful, calm, peaceful day”, the men of the congregation met in a “large body” to dig the foundation of the church. A person who was present was moved to quote from holy writ, “Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.”

For the next 31/2 years the construction of the church proceeded smoothly under master builder Jonas Earle from Country Road. He and his fellow carpenters constructed the wooden neo-Gothic type building that was built to seat nearly 700 persons. The church bell was purchased from Meneely & Co. of New York in 1902. The congregation paid $130.00 “for one bell, 424 pounds, also the complete mountings, and ringing and tolling ropes, packed and freight paid to St. John’s, Newfoundland.”

They are buried on the church grounds, with their granddaughter, Eleanor E. C. Earle:

R# S# Surname GivenName(s) Relation Birthdate Deathdate Age Information Comments
15 136 [Earle] Eleanor E. C. infant daughter of Robert G. & Bessie A. Earle Jun. 23, 1902 Dec. 3, 1902
137 Earle Jonas husband of Hellen Earl (sic) Aug. 27, 1919 77 years
138 [Earle] Hellen wife of the late Jonas Earle Dec. 25, 1925 83 years 6 months

This is really all I know about Jonas and his wife, Ellen, from Country Road.

Robert George Earle and Elizabeth Ann Trimm


Earle Family Cousins (TL-R): Robert George Earle, Elizabeth Ann “Bessie” Earle, Elsie Miller, Unknown, Florence Adey

Jonas’ son, Robert George Earle, married Elizabeth “Bessie” Ann Trimm in Cambridge, Massachusetts on November 7th, 1900. Robert had come to the United States in 1898, and Bessie in 1899. They were both 24 years old. Robert lived at 27 Howard Street, while Bessie lived at 1979 Massachusetts Avenue.


The minister who officiated their ceremony was Rev H. W. Ewing:

minster 1900

Documents show they were married at the Winthrop Street Methodist Episcopal Church in Roxbury, MA.


According to the Minutes of the Session of the New England Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church (The Conference. 1899), page 35, VIII Public Meetings:

The Freedman’s Aid Society, with Rev. H. W. Ewing in the chair, celebrated it’s anniversary Wednesday evening at 7 o’clock, with the corresponding secretary, Rev. W. P. Thirksheild, D. D. as speaker, who made an inspiring appeal.

Within the first year living as a married couple in the United States, Robert became a ‘fireman’ (firefighter) for the City of Cambridge. He lived at 27 Howard Street in 1901, and 6 Gilmore in 1902:


(City Directory, 1901 (top) and 1902 (bottom))

In 1903, Bessie crossed the border from Newfoundland back into the United States, this was most likely after the death of their first child, Eleanor, in Newfoundland:

m1464_20-0483 - border brossings - bessie earle - oct 1903

He doesn’t appear in the City Directory again until 1911 at 5 Lopez, 1912 at 229 Howard Street, and 1913 at 286 Pearl. By this point, Robert has established himself as a carpenter:

robert_g_earle_229_howard_large -1912

(City Directory, 1912)

robert_g_earle_286_pearl_large -1913

(City Directory, 1913)

In 1914, Robert crosses the border through Vanceboro, Maine from Bay Roberts, Newfoundland:

m1464_257-0298  - vanceboro me - robert earle - 1914

By 1917, he had moved to 2 Corliss Place in Cambridge. This would be the second to last address they would live at in Cambridge:


(City Directory, 1917)

Two years prior to this, he had entered the draft to serve in World War I. His draft card states the following:


(Robert George Earle’s Registration Card)


(Robert George Earle’s Registration Card)

According to the War Department of the United States, he lived in Massachusetts’s 8th Congressional District:


At that time, Cambridge was represented by Frederick William Dallinger (October 2, 1871 – September 5, 1955), a Republican and Cantabridgian Congressman:


Frederick William Dallinger (October 2, 1871 – September 5, 1955): Republican Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Massachusetts’s 8th district (In office: March 4, 1915 – March 3, 1925)

On July 12, 1914, Robert crossed the border through Vanceboro, Maine, into the United States from Bay Roberts, Newfoundland:

m2071_3-5856 - border crossings - june 12 1914 - robert earle

In 1919, Robert crossed the border, with his son (Warren) to visit his mother, Helen, in Bay Roberts, Newfoundland:

33109_319663-06252 - robert earle - sep 26 1919

In 1921, Bessie crossed the border through Vanceboro, Maine, with her children (Warren, Gordon, and Mabel) to visit her elder sister, Evangeline Bradley, who lived at 34 Victoria Street, St. John’s, Newfoundland. At this time, the Earles lived at 2 Calders Place in Cambridge:

33109_319663-06237 - elizabeth earle - evangeline bradley - 1921

m1464_431-0091 - elizabeth earle - evangeline bradley - 1921

In 1923, Robert became a Naturalized Citizen:


In 1924, Robert completed the initiation to join the Massachusetts Masonic Lodge, the one of which he joined was Mount Olivet located in Porter Square:


(Robert’s Membership Card)

The Lodge, located at 1950 Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge:


(Mount Olivet Lodge, Cambridge, MA)

In 1926, they are still living at 2 Corliss Place in Cambridge. By this time, two of their children, Ida and Louise are also listed:

9072235 - city directory - earle - 1926

(City Directory, 1926)

In 1928 though, they have moved to where Robert and Elizabeth would stay for the remainder of their lives, 56 Trowbridge Street:

9521788 - city directory - earle - 1928

(City Directory, 1928)

9460152 - city directory - earle - 1931

(City Directory, 1931)

9803982 - earle 1937

(City Directory, 1937)

Bessie didn’t become a Naturalized Citizen until 1929, at the age of 55:

M1545_49-2646 - elizabeth earle naturalization - 1929

During the 1930 United States Census, many family members are living at 56 Trowbridge, including Bessie’s brother, John, with his wife, Evangeline, and Robert and Bessie’s daughter, Helen Eunice:

4607012_01029 - 1930 census Earle

(1930 Census)

This same year, Robert got a permit to build a garage on the property:

•55 house 2½-st 1889

.....1889 house pitch roof 2-st permit 1933 c broadway (o) Cloyes E B (a) Hasty J.A
......1890 newspaper &c CT Feb 1 [& Sellers st 18] (a) Hasty J A
..........house tax new 95 +$: $6, w1 trowbridge c broadway (o) Cloyes Elizabeth B / Lothrop J
.....1894 Bromley atlas
..........house adds flat roof permit 4628 w1 broadway (o) Cloyes L J (b) Fillmore W & co
.....1930 garage permit 33269 55 (o) Earle Robert G (b) Whittredge portable

They are buried together at Mt. Auburn Cemetery.

Mystery Woman: Phoebe E?

There is a bit of a mystery to the story. There appears to be a mystery woman that Robert George married following the death of his first wife, Bessie, in 1938. He got married again in 1940 to a Phoebe E originally from Newfoundland. I have no information on her besides that. She appears in the 1941 City Directory with Robert, and again in the 1944.


(City Directory, 1944)

 Children of Robert George Earle and Elizabeth Ann Trimm

Eleanor E. C.

(See Jonas Earle and Ellen Russell above.)

Helen Eunice Earle


(Helen’s birth record.)

Helen was born on July 24th, 1904 in Cambridge/Boston, Massachusetts.

From the 1921 Census in Canada, she lived with the Honorable F. Gordon Bradley when he was a child, with her Aunt Evangeline and Uncle Norman, and their servant, Ida Holloway:

BRADLEY, N. Norman M Head Married 1857 June 64 Musgrave Hr.
BRADLEY, Evangeline M. F Wife Married 1863 Feb 58 New Chelsea
BRADLEY, F. Gordon M Son Single 1888 Mar 33 St. John’s
EARLE, Helen E. F Niece Single 1904 July 17 Boston USA
HOLLOWAY, Ida F Servant Single 1897 Nov 23 Musgravetown
sacchem photo

(SS Sachem: Built in 1893. Scrapped in 1927. Owned by the White Diamond Steamship Co./ Furness Line.)

Ship records indicate that she did travel on the SS Sachem in 1924 from St. John’s, Newfoundland back to the Port of Boston:



(SS Farnorth)

She would travel, again, from St. John’s Newfoundland to the Port of Boston, this time aboard the SS Farnorth in 1927:


The 1930 United States Federal Census has her living with her family in Cambridge at 56 Trowbridge Street, as a Music Teacher:


 1936-40: Traveled To And From Newfoundland Frequently

In 1936, she traveled aboard the SS Newfoundland from St. John’s to the Port of Boston:

MAT843_416-0147 - 1936

In 1936, again she is listed traveling aboard the SS Newfoundland:

MAT843_416-0147 - 1936

She would travel again from St. John’s, Newfoundland to the Port of Boston aboard the SS Nova Scotia in 1938:


She traveled about the SS Newfoundland, again, in 1939:

MAT843_446-0239  - 1939

She traveled Second Class:

32007_B012283-00503 (1)

I know nothing more of her except for this information.

Robert Malcolm Earle

Unfortunately, like his elder sister, Eleanor, Robert Malcolm also died as an infant at 2 months and 15 days, on August 24th, 1905. He was a patient on the Boston Floating Hospital, which is now part of Tufts Medical Center in Boston, MA.


(Tufts Medical Center)

He is buried at Cambridge Cemetery:


(His death certificate.)

Ida Mabel Earle

My great-grandmother, Cantabridgian like myself, she was born on 1906:


She lived nearly her entire life in Cambridge, though not entirely. When she married her husband, Edward Cox, they moved out to Sudbury, MA, where Edward was a laborer for the City of Sudbury. Their first daughter, Judith (my mother’s mother) was already born:

m-t0627-01617-00769 - 1940 census Ida Earle

Her first daughter, Judith, would marry my grandfather, Rev. Albert Bates. I’d know both of them as my grandparents. She would have another daughter, Janet, who currently lives in Billerica, MA.

She is buried at the Gardens of Gesthemane in West Roxbury.

Louise  Trimm “Winifred” Earle

Louise Trimm, otherwise known as “Winifred,” was born in 1908 when her parents lived in Cambridge. I have very little information about her life.

Warren Edward Earle

Warren was born on May 5th, 1912

Warren attended the Rindge Technical School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and was part of the graduating class of 1932. His yearbook photo reads:

edward earle

Warren would join a Masonic Lodge, like his father, Robert, but didn’t do so until 1946:41264_B132564-00254

Gordon Robert Earle

Gordon was born on December 16th, 1915 in Cambridge.


He had his baptism on June 11th, 1916 at the Harvard Street Methodist Episcopal Church, officiated by Reverend W. E. Vandermark:


The signature of Rev. W. E. Vandermark:


The site of the Harvard Street Methodist Episcopal Church is currently occupied as St. Barthomolew’s Episcopal Church.

The congregation is currently located as the Harvard-Epworth United Methodist Church:

“A class of seven people, mostly members of Trinity Church in Cambridge, was organized in Cambridgeport in 1838. This formed the core of the Harvard Street Church, which was formed in 1839. The congregation improvised preachers and venues for its earliest years. A small room was arranged for worship in the upper part of Fisk’s Block, Main Street, in 1840. The congregation grew so quickly that within a few months a new location was needed. The first preacher appointed to serve the congregation by the New England Conference began work in 1841. It took up location in the town hall, then located at the corner of Harvard and Norfolk Streets. A small wooden building was built on Harvard Street and occupied in 1843. Expanded once, the church burned on the night of November 26, 1857. Overcoming the difficulties of the financial panic of that year, the congregation rebuilt a new wooden building on the same site in 1858. After being occupied less than 3 years, this church also burned to the ground on March 15, 1861. The cornerstone for another church building on this site was laid on October 19, 1862. This building served the Harvard Street congregation until 1943, when Harvard Street merged with Epworth to become the Harvard-Epworth Methodist Church. St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church now worships in this building.


(Harvard-Epworth United Methodist Church, next to Harvard School of Law)

Mabel “Betty” Earle

I have almost no information on her. She got married to a man with the last name, Gardner, but I have not found any documentation on that.


5 thoughts on “A Look at my Newfoundland/New England Family Members

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