Records of Cavers soldiers serving in British army in Canada

Ancestry has recently added records of early 18th and 19th century British soldiers in Canada to its online databases.

Checking in there for Cavers there are a few matches. For example searching in the British Army and Canadian Militia Muster Rolls and Pay Lists, 1795-1850 finds the following:

  • Walter Cavers and Ebenezer Cavers, both in Lieutenant Elias Durham’s Company of First Regiment of Lincoln Militia Upper Canada, 1837/8
  • Robert Cavers, in 6th, 7th and 8th Provisional Battalions, 9th Provisional Battalion (Queen’s Royal Borderers), 10th, 11th and 12th Provisional Battalions, 1838
  • Thomas Cavers, in 6th, 7th and 8th Provisional Battalions, 9th Provisional Battalion (Queen’s Royal Borderers), 10th, 11th and 12th Provisional Battalions, 1839

Some of the records above include original signatures of the men.

Likewise the UK, Royal Hospital Chelsea Pensioner Registers of Soldiers Who Served in Canada, 1743-1882 includes the following references:

  • Adam Cavers (1782-1864) from Cavers, Roxburghshire (son of Robert Cavers and Margaret Henderson), who served in the 3rd Regiment of Dragoons
  • James Cavers (b. ca 1785) from Wilton, Roxburghshire (son of Thomas Cavers and Janet Scott), who served in the 3rd Regiment of Foot Guards, and emigrated with his family to Canada
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Cavers people in Massachusetts, USA

Ancestry has recently added Massachusetts parish registers to its online indexes and digital images. Part of my own personal Cavers line has a Massachusetts connection, so I was really pleased to see these new online records.

John Cavers son of Thomas Cavers and Helen Scott emigrated from Hawick to Massachusetts with his wife Sarah Duncan. John was a tailor. John and Sarah had children in Massachusetts, then after John died Sarah returned with her children to Hawick. At least one of her children went back out to marry in Massachusetts. And now I know so much more.

Children that I’ve been able to establish for the couple are now:

  • Thomas Francis, b. ca 1848; d. 1861 at Wilton, house painter
  • Janet, b. 2 Jul 1850 at Boston, Massachusetts; m. Thomas Binns (b. England, son of George & Martha), on 21 Jun 1876 at Lowell, Massachusetts, and had children
  • Ellen, b. 30 Apr 1852 at Chelsea, Massachusetts; d. 15 Oct 1855 at Chelsea, Massachusetts, cause of death “Lung Fever”
  • Sarah F. (or Sarah E.), b. 1 Feb 1854 at Chelsea, Massachusetts; d. 13 Oct 1854 at Chelsea, Massachusetts, cause of death “Disease of Bowels”
  • George Duncan, b. 14 Jul 1855 at Chelsea, Massachusetts; d. 1879 at Hawick
  • Allen (male), b. 1 Oct 1856 at Chelsea, Massachusetts; presumed to have died young
  • Helen, b. ca 1857 at USA; d. 1890 at Wellington Street, Hawick. Executor for her testament was her first cousin Thomas Cavers Hall (my gg-grandfather)

The father John died at Boston on 25 Mar 1858, recorded as aged 29 years 8 months (there is no trace of his birth in the Scottish parish registers), cause of death consumption, married, born Scotland, parents Thomas and Allen (Ellen/Helen?). His widow Sarah remarried in 1871 at Edinburgh to Thomas Rattray. He too was from Hawick: an engineman from Wilton. At the time of this marriage Sarah was living at Silver Street, Hawick, and her marriage certificate names her parents as George Duncan and Janet Thorburn. Census records indicate that Sarah was born circa 1827 or 1829 in Hawick.

The Massachusetts databases on Ancestry throw up some other Cavers references, but checking the original parish registers pages they almost all look as though they are other surnames mistranscribed. The only one that *may* be a Cavers is Mrs Ann Young who died in 1904 at Winthrop, Massachusetts, aged 71, widow of John Young, born Canada, daughter of George and Esther ?Cavers? {that name is hard to read}. But even that one may be another surname really. I can’t find her in my Canadian Cavers records so far.

A Cavers marrying in Iowa, USA

Southern Reporter, 1905 August 31

Mr JAMES W. CAVERS, a grandson of the late Mr James Broomfield, Leitholm, and now a well-known inhabitant of Lansing, Iowa, U.S.A., has been married to Miss Martha Intlekofer, of that town.

If I’ve identified him correctly this Cavers was a grandson of Adam Cavers and Janet Clark. For more on his family see the website compiled by his relative.