Coy, Amasa, Sr. (family)

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Coy, Amasa, Sr. (family)

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Branch begins in 1725

History

Merchant, banker, and Planter or pre-Loyalist, Amasa Coy, the son of Edward Coy [McCoy] (1725-1795) and Amy Titus (1733-1808), was born 31 July 1757 in Pomfret, Connecticut. In 1763, Edward and Amy Coy and their children, Sarah (1756-1829, m. Sylvanus Plummer), Amasa (1757-1838), Asa (1759-1784), and Lavinia / Lavine / Lavina (b. 1761, m. Gershom Bonnell), arrived in Maugerville, Sunbury County, Nova Scotia, which, in 1784, would become Sunbury County, New Brunswick. The family later moved to Gage Township and expanded to include at least 7 more children: Hannah (b. 1763, m. Cromwell), John (1766-1814, m. Amy Ann Parent), Edward (1768-1849, m. Jannet A. Murray), Mary (1771-1859, m. 1st Morris, 2nd Bradley), David (1773-1866), Anna (b. ca. 1777), and Rev. Benjamin (1778-1865, m. Sarah Cottle). Edward Coy sympathized with the American colonists during the American Revolution and served with Jonathan Eddy when he attacked Fort Cumberland in 1776.

Edward and Amy Coy's daughter, Mary Coy Bradley, became well-known for her religious beliefs. She married first, David Morris (b. 1766) on 15 February 1793 in Coytown, located near Gagetown, Queens County, New Brunswick. This marriage produced one child that died in infancy. Following David Morris' death, in 1817, she married Leverit Bradley (b. 1766), on 30 June 1819, also at Coytown.

Mary Coy Bradley was caught-up in the religious fervour of the Great Awakening. Born a Presbyterian and having an association with both the Congregationalists and the New Light Baptists, she converted to the Wesleyan Methodist faith in 1803. Although denied opportunities to speak about her faith in public forums, in later life, she expressed her beliefs in her memoirs entitled, "Narrative of the Life and Christian Experience of Mrs. Mary Bradley, of Saint John, New Brunswick", which was published in Boston in 1849. Mary Coy Bradley lived most of her adult life in Saint John. She died there, on 12 March 1859, aged 87 years.

Her brother, Amasa Coy, was well-known for his political and religious activities. Like his father, he served with Jonathan Eddy during the Fort Cumberland attack of 1776. Amasa Coy married twice, first, in 1797, to Elizabeth Holly / Holley (b. ca. 1761-1808), and they had 3 children, namely, Asa Coy (1799-1874); Sarah P. Coy (b. ca. 1802, Thomas B. Smith) and Rebecca Bunnell Coy (b. ca. 1803-1844, Simpson). His second marriage to Mary Spafford Barker Smith (ca. 1776-1863), about 1808, produced two sons, Dr. Amasa P. Coy (ca. 1815-1837) and John S. Coy (ca. 1812-1870).

Amasa Coy, Sr. associated with the local Congregational church and was involved in moving the meeting house at Maugerville to Sheffield in 1789. He was also involved with an Allinite group, followers of New Light evangelist Henry Alline, at Waterborough and Gagetown. About 1797 he moved from Gagetown to Queensbury Parish, York County, where he helped organize the Calvinist Baptist church at Prince William in 1800.

A few years later, in 1808, Amasa Coy moved to Fredericton, where he lived for many years in a brick house, located at the corner of Queen and Regent streets. He established a store on Queen Street, which, in 1825, operated as Stewart & Coy, merchants. Amasa Coy was also involved with the founding of the Fredericton Baptist Church in 1814, and he served as a Deacon from that year until 1830. By the time of his death, the church had opened a Baptist seminary in Fredericton with the Rev. Frederick William Miles in charge.

Amasa Coy and his son, Asa, were two of the founders of the Central Bank of New Brunswick, which was organized in 1834. Amasa Coy was named the first president of the Bank of Fredericton in 1836. In some of Amasa Coy's business dealings, he worked in partnership with his son, Asa, and with his son-in-law, Thomas B. Smith. Amasa Coy died on 18 July 1838 and was buried in the Old Burying Ground, in Fredericton.

Amasa Coy's daughters married well. Sarah P. Coy (b. ca. 1802) married Thomas B. Smith (ca. 1803-1840), a Methodist, about 2 August 1824, and they had a least 4 children -- Amasa Coy Smith (also known as Amasa McCoy), Thomas B. Smith (b. ca. 1824-1880), Rebecca Louisa Smith (d. 1841), and Elizabeth Smith (m. Charles H. M. Black). Sarah P. Smith and her children, were living in Fredericton in 1855.

Rebecca Bunnell Coy married John Simpson (1799-1863), merchant, Queen's Printer, and publisher of the "Royal Gazette," on 23 February 1825, at Fredericton. They had 9 children -- John Wesley Simpson (1826-1827), Sarah Louisa (1830-1834), John Duncan (1840-1841), Mary Elizabeth (m. Rev. John Lathern), Emma Colebrook. (m. Rev. T. Neales), Joseph G., Kate (m. Oliver Jones), Isabella Browning (1833-1864, m. William J. N. Hanington), and Catherine Garden. Rebecca B. Simpson died in April 1844, aged 40 years. In January of the following year, John Simpson married Alicia Wallace. He died at Fredericton on 21 February 1863.

Amasa Coy's sons also made their home in the Fredericton area. Amasa P. Coy became a medical doctor and surgeon, studying first in New York, between 1831 and 1832, under Alex N. Stevens, M.D. and, between 1833 and 1834, at Glasgow University and Glasgow Royal Infirmary. In 1836, he sold his office and drug store, on Regent Street, to Dr. Henry Hartt. Dr. Amasa P. Coy died, prematurely, at Fredericton, on 30 March 1837, aged 23.

His elder brother, John S. Coy, married Catherine Palmer Trueman (b. 1807-22 February 1882), the daughter of Nancy Palmer and John Trueman, of Mount Watley, Westmorland County, on 21 June 1836. They had at least 5 children, namely, Mary A. (b. ca. 1837-d. 6 February 1883), Milcah M. (b ca. 1841- 27 December 1884), Sarah Louise (d. 1846), Milley (d. 1883), and Catherine (b. ca. 1843-15 June 1908). Three of the daughters, Mary, Catherine (Cassie), and Milley attended the Wesleyan Academy, in Sackville, probably in the 1850s, and all three were adherents of the Methodist faith. In 1852, John S. Coy's mother, Mary S. Coy, was living with the family.

John S. Coy had a varied business career. He was recorded working as a clerk with the Central Bank in Fredericton in 1861. He was also a a director of the Central Fire Insurance Co., a tax assessor in Fredericton (1843), and a director of a gas company. John S. Coy died suddenly on 1 August 1870, at Fredericton.

Amasa P. and John S. Coy's half brother, Asa Coy, married Mary Ann Ring (1805-1884) on 29 March 1825, and they had no fewer than 9 children, namely, Asa Holly (1827-1871), Caroline / Carrie Ring (1829-1911, Waterhouse), Sarah Elizabeth (1831-1893, Phair), Marianne (1832-1901, Watts), Frances Rebecca (1835-1836), Fanny Rebecca (1836-1848), Harriet Amelia (b. ca. 1837-1848), Amasa Simpson (1845-1846), and George Frederick Miles (1844-1907).

Like his father, Asa Coy was an adherent of the Baptist faith. He served as a Deacon of the Fredericton Baptist Church from 1830-1874. He was a member of the Sons of Temperance as well, and he travelled to several cities in North America to attend meetings and conferences. Asa Coy's activities in the Baptist Church and the Sons of Temperance brought him into contact with a number of prominent men, including Sir Samuel Leonard Tilley, William B. Kinnear, the Hon. William Henry Steeves, the Rev. I. E. Bill, the Rev. George Seely, and the Hon. A. McL. Seely. These men corresponded with Asa Coy, and some of their letters are represented here.

Asa Coy was employed in several different capacities. In addition to his work in the store and Central Bank of New Brunswick, he held the post of commissioner of the Fredericton almshouse from 1848 to 1850. He served as Commissioner of Crown Debts and as a magistrate for York County, resigning both posts in April 1854, when he moved to Saint John after suffering financial difficulties. In 1855, Asa Coy returned to Fredericton and was employed as clerk or secretary to the Board of Works, headed by his friend, the Hon. W. H. Steeves. He continued at that post for about 20 years. For a time, he worked alongside his brother-in-law, John Simpson, the Queen's Printer, and was in charge of collecting accounts.

For much of his working life, Asa Coy made his home in Fredericton, but from the spring of 1854 until about May of 1855, he lived in Saint John. When he returned to Fredericton, his wife, Mary Ann Coy, remained in the Port City until the summer of 1858. During those years, Mary Ann Coy took in boarders to make ends meet. Mary Ann Coy also spent time away from home visiting with family. The months Asa and Mary Ann Coy spent apart is reflected in this fonds by the numerous letters she wrote to him. Asa Coy died at Fredericton on 1 February 1874; Mary Ann Coy survived him, passing away at Beechmont, Fredericton, on 6 November 1884.

Asa and Mary Ann Coy had a close relationship with their children. Sarah Elizabeth Coy married John Henry Phair (ca. 1824-1896) on 6 March 1850. J. H. Phair was a barrister and solicitor who practiced law in Fredericton. He also held the office of city clerk and, in the 1870s, served as clerk assistant of the Legislative Council. For about 12 years, he was fishery commissioner. The Phairs, who were members of the Church of England, had 3 children, Harry Ring (1865-1941), m. Jessie Tennant), Fannie A. E. (b. 1871, m. H. Percy Lee), and Edwin Earnest (1851-1929), m. Junetta Estey). Edwin E. Phair, attended the Wesleyan Academy, in Sackville, in the 1860s. Mary Ann Coy was living with the Phairs, in Carleton Ward, Fredericton, in 1881.

Marianne Coy married Edwin / Edward Davidson Watts (b. ca. 1830), of Saint John, on 12 November 1861, and they had a daughter Minnie R. (m. Walter G. Lewis). Marianne Coy Watts died in Boston in 1901.

Caroline (Carrie / Carry) Ring Coy taught school briefly in Saint John immediately prior to her marriage. She married Levi H. Waterhouse (1809-1879) on 23 December 1856, at Saint John, and they made their home there. The Waterhouses had at least 3 children, namely, William Henry Waterhouse (b. ca.1857-1861), Sarah E. Phair (d. 1869), and Minnie Coy (Clark). Carrie R. Waterhouse died on 17 April 1911.

Sarah, Mary Ann, and Caroline's brother, A. Holly Coy married Mary Elizabeth Foster, the daughter of Stephen K. Foster, of Saint John, in October 1851. They had a daughter, Mary Louise W. (m. W. L. Harding). By the mid to late 1850s, Holly and Mary Coy had separated, and they were still living apart in the early 1860s. While a young man, Holly Coy was employed as a druggist in Fredericton. From 1855 to 1856, he was living and working in the Boston area (Chelsea), but, by March 1857, he had returned to New Brunswick and was working in Saint John. Eventually, he returned to Fredericton where he was employed as a clerk for the Board of Works. A. Holly Coy died at Fredericton on 17 September 1871, aged 44.

Holly Coy's younger brother, George Frederick Miles Coy, attended Horton Academy, in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. In 1866, G. Frederick M. Coy was one of a company of volunteers that left Fredericton for St. Andrews to guard against Fenian attacks. G. Frederick M. Coy married Emily J. Waterhouse, the daughter of Levi H. Waterhouse, on 7 July 1875, at Saint John, and they had, at least, two children, namely, May / Mae (b. ca. 1876-1895) and Hazel E. (b. 1879). G. Fred M. Coy was employed in the provincial secretary's office, for a time, and later as a clerk in the office of the Board of Works. He died in Fredericton on 10 September 1907, aged 63 years.

Amasa Coy, Sr., and his children, particularly, Asa Coy, Dr. Amasa P. Coy, and John S. Coy, and their families are represented in this fonds.

Sources: This sketch draws heavily on the entry for "Amasa Coy," by D. M. Young, in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography on-line. Other sources include familysearch.org; The Old Burying Ground Fredericton, New Brunswick Vol. I by Isabel Louise Hill; Daniel F. Johnson's Vital Statistics from New Brunswick newspapers on-line; MC239; Massachusetts Archives on-line database; RS141 Vital Statistics from Government Records; and New Brunswick Census, 1861, 1881, 1901, and 1911.

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