Monday, February 23, 2015

Elizabeth / Betsey Hull - 52 Ancestors: #8

For this week's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks writing challenge from blogger Amy Crow Johnson of No Story Too Small, the theme is "Good Deeds" which can be interpreted in a couple of ways. I thought about an ancestor for whom land records / deeds were important, and then moved down a generation.

Several of my paternal ancestors were Loyalists during the American Revolution and fled to Nova Scotia after the war. Several were granted land via different land grants, and Moses Hull, my 4th great grandfather, was granted land as part of the Hallowell Grant in Guysborough County.

I shared the little bit I know about Moses Hull at Surname Saturday~Hull. He and his wife, Mary Ives, had nine children with the youngest being Elizabeth Hull (also known as Betsey), my third great grandmother. I can find a few records for her, but nothing that tells me about her as a person. I can only infer that she led a challenging early life, with her earliest memories not of Connecticut, where she was born, but of Guysborough County, Nova Scotia, where her Loyalist family had fled after the American Revolution.

Betsey Hull was born in Wallingford, Connecticut, on December 8, 1780. This is easily found in the Wallingford Vital Records, part of the Barbour Collection, the index of which can be found at, and the printed version of which can be found at the NEHGS website.

Connecticut Vital Records (Barbour Collection)
Wallingford Vital Records, page 174.

One month before she turned 17, Elizabeth Hull married Stephen Pyle, on November 10, 1797, in Guysborough, Nova Scotia. Her new husband, Stephen, was born in 1762, making him 35 years old, more than twice her age when they married! (And she was his second wife; he had previously married and divorced Mary McKenzie.)

Betsey and Stephen had nine children, the youngest of whom was James Pyle, born in 1823. (I still need to confirm the birth dates of the other children.)

Her husband, Stephen, died in 1840, at the age of 77, leaving her a widow at the age of 59.

This youngest son James, who was almost 17 when his father died, left Guysborough County for the United States in 1849, at 26 years old, ultimately settling in New York City and becoming a naturalized citizen. (I have written a great deal about him.)

Betsey (Hull) Pyle died at the age of 77 on October 15, 1858, in Manchester, Guysborough County, Nova Scotia. I'm sure she had grandchildren in Guysborough County, and she also had grandchildren in New York City, including my great-grandfather, James Tolman Pyle, who was 3 1/2.

Much of what I have found on Elizabeth / Betsey Hull are from the following sources:

[1] Pyle, Smith and Allied Family Histories (Privately published, 1951). As I noted in my Surname Saturday~Pyle post, there are only a few copies of this book owned by second cousins. However, keep in mind that this is a secondary source that does not include primary sources. I'm not 100% sure of its accuracy.
[2] Guysborough Sketches and Essays, by A.C. Jost. The revised edition was published in Guysborough, Nova Scotia in 2009, and I own a copy. I have learned a great deal about the history of Guysborough County from this book.


  1. Great info! I am descended from Elizabeth's daughter Mary Amelia b1812 m Lothrop MYERS. Have lots of descendant info if you are interested.

    1. I'd love to find out more about Elizabeth Hull Pyle's children. Contact me at elizhandler -at-