History   Documents   Census Records    Genealogy    Maps    Gallery  Reunion 2007   Scrapbook Ship

Return to Harvey Settlement Chain Migration List
Moffitt Family Page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,
<< 6 >> 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Index

Descendents of John Moffitt (28 Jun 1791 - 8 Aug 1859)
and Ellen "Nellie" Davidson (1792 - 12 Nov 1879)

Third Immigrant Generation

10. Matthew Henry Piercy . Son of Matthew Piercy & Agnes Moffitt. Born 21 Jul 1851 in Harvey, NB. Christen 28 Jul 1851 in St. Paul's Church Records, Fredericton. Died 26 Nov 1909 in Comox, BC. Occupation Farmer. Religion Presbyterian.


    His family lived a few years on the Muster property then they purchased a large tract of land along the Tsolum River.   This property included the land on which the Vanier School, Comox Valley Sports Centre and Exhibition Grounds are now situated.   The property also ran up the hill where the Courtenay cemetery is now.   Matthew and his brother Samuel built excellent farm buildings and were good farmers on the land that they had to clear first.


    He married Mary Graham, 28 Sep 1886 in Victoria, BC. Born 16 Oct 1854. Died 11 Sep 1941 in Sandwick, BC.

Mary was married first to Mr. Machin.


    They had the following children:

  87   i.   Robert Francis Piercy

  88   ii.   Matthew Austin Piercy

  89   iii.   James Leslie Piercy

11. Isabella "Bell" Piercy . Daughter of Matthew Piercy & Agnes Moffitt. Born 4 Sep 1853 in Harvey, NB. Died 10 Feb 1915 in Nanaimo, B.C.


    Printed on the Editiorial page of The Courtenay Herald and Comox Valley News, Saturday, Feb 13, 1915:

    A profound gloom was cast over the whole of the Comox Valley this week, when the news came from Nanaimo that Mrs Joseph McPhee, one of the oldtime settlers has passed away after a short but severe illness.


    Born in New Brunswick on September 4, 1853, the daughter of Matthew and Agnes Piercy, the late Mrs McPhee came to British Columbia in the year 1875, and the father became one of the pioneer settlers in this Valley.


    A few years after her arrival here Miss Isabella Piercy was united in matrimony on the 28th Feb 1878 to Mr Joseph McPhee, a union which was destined to be entirely happy.   Mrs McPhee was taken ill last week, and on Saturday last owing to the development the malady had taken, her medical adviser decided to call in consultation her son, Dr. J. McPhee at Nanaimo.   On Sunday last the doctors decided to remove their patient to Nanaimo, and to call a specialist from Victoria.   On Monday there was a decided improvement in the patient's condition, but in the early hours of Wednesday morning Mrs McPhee passed away.


    The late Mrs McPhee was an example of the highest type of womanhood.   A most helpful and dutiful wife, a wise and devoted mother, Mrs McPhee was also a valuable asset to the community in which she lived, and played a most useful part in the activities of her church, and in many neighbourly acts of kindness and charity.   In times of trouble, sickness and bereavement she was among the first to go to the aid of her neighbours and her kindly acts will be remembered in many homes in the Valley for a long time to come.


    This was evidenced by the unprecedented gathering which attended to pay their last respects at the funeral yesterday afternoon.   Not only did the citizens of Courtenay and representatives from various societies attend in large numbers, but from every part of the Valley and surrounding country, the settlers came from miles to show their respect and sympathy with the bereaved family.


    To Mr Joseph McPhee and his family and relatives, we join with others in offering our sincerest condolences to them in their hour of trial, praying they may be sustained and strengthened in their sad bereavement.


    She married Joseph McPhee, son of Felix McPhee & Margaret Ann, 28 Feb 1878 in Comox, BC. Born 27 Apr 1848 in Hants Co., NS. Died 25 Mar 1946 in Courtenay, BC. Occupation General Store, Postmaster, Justice Of The Peace. Religion Presbyterian.


    In a book called "British Columbia Pictorial Biographical" Vol II, published in 1914 by the S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Vancouver, BC (Book is held in the Surrey Centennial Museum and Archives, Coverdale, BC), is a photograph and biographical information on Joseph McPhee, pages 757 and 758.


    It states that "Joseph McPhee, pioneer in British Columbia and the founder of the enterprising and prosperous city of Courtenay, has been a resident of this province since 1872.   During the intervening years he has engaged in various occupations, his interests extending to many fields and centering in various localities, and his work has been one of the greatest forces in the development and building up of Vancouver Island.   Since 1894 he has been postmaster at Courtenay and has seen the volume of business in that office increase yearly, his duties being always discharged in a capable and efficient manner.   He was born in Hants county, Nova Scotia, April 27, 1848, and is a son of Felix and Margaret Ann McPhee, the former for many years a farmer in Nova Scotia.   Both have passed away.


    "Joseph McPhee acquired his education in the public schools of his native county and when he was about sixteen years of age laid aside his books in order to work in the gold mines.   At the end of four years he went to the United States, spending three years in different localities and coming to British Columbia at the end of that time.   He arrived in this province in 1872 and for a time engaged in contracting and logging in partnership with John Wilson, building the first wharf at Comox and the first bridge over the Courtenay river, where the present bridge now stands.   The partners also built a trail to Comox lake, at a time when there was only one settler on the south side of the river.   Mr McPhee later turned his attention to farming in the Comox district and followed this occupation for three years.   During that time the Hudson's Bay Company controlled a store in that vicinity but they withdrew in 1879.   In the following year Mr McPhee, seeing an unusual opportunity, turned his attention to merchandising, supplying the settlers with goods, and he has since engaged in this line of occupation.   He remained in Comox for twelve years and then moved to Courtenay, where he built a small store and laid out the town site.   His store was the first building in the city, and he is known as the founder of the community, in the development of which he has taken an active interest during the intervening years.   In early times he sold lots for forty dollars which are now worth twenty-five hundred dollars, and he has seen the city grow and develop until it is now one of the wealthy and most promising communities on Vancouver Island.   Mr McPhee's business has kept pace with the general advancement, becoming under his able management a large and important concern.   Early in 1886 he opened a branch in Vancouver, establishing his enterprise in a rented place on Carroll street, although he purchased a lot on Hastings street, east of the Canadian Pacific Railway property.   He conducted a profitable concern for some time but discontinued this branch before the fire.   Mr McPhee was postmaster at Comox for a number of years and since 1894 has served in the same position at Courtenay.   When he took office the mail amounted to only a few letters a day, but now one thousand people receive mail from Courtenay.   For a number of years he has also served as justice of the peace.   Mr McPhee has proved able, prompt and efficient in the discharge of his duties, and his record reflects credit upon both his ability and his public spirit.


    "On the 28th of February, 1878, Mr McPhee was united in marriage to Miss Isabel Piercy, a daughter of Matthew and Agnes Piercy, of New Brunswick.   The parents came to British Columbia in 1875 and the father engaged in farming for a number of years.   Both have passed away and are buried in Courtenay.   Mr and Mrs McPhee became the parents of five children, four sons and one daughter.   Mr McPhee attends the Presbyterian church and is known as a man of exemplary character.   For years he has been an ardent liberal in politics and gives his support to the policies and activities of that party.   He is president of the Courtenay Board of Trade and a member of the Agriculture Society and Farmers' Institute.   He is one of the most prominent citizens of Courtenay, known as the father and founder of the city, always aiding in any movement that tends to public good, and both his business and official records will bear the closest investigation and scrutiny."


    They had the following children:

  90   i.   Walter Sterling McPhee

  91   ii.   Thomas "Judson" McPhee MD

  92   iii.   Horace Matthew McPhee

  93   iv.   Mabel Agnes McPhee

  94   v.   Bertha May McPhee

  95   vi.   Wallace Piercy McPhee