Descendants of Nicholas Lister (1796-1869)& Margaret Heughan (1801-1846)


By Dr. Bill Randall April 1993

Having access as I do to the photocopies we have made of many family scrapbooks I get an appreciation of what the lives of the early settlers must have been like. Here is an early newspaper account of Harvey.

Excerpt from newspaper account of Settlement of Harvey undated – “For 16 years the Harvey Settlers were without a kirk or meeting house and without a clergyman excepting a rare visit from the Rev. Daniel McCurdy of Keswick. The children were taken to Fredericton for baptism. The Rev. John Brooke kindly granted the ordinance to all who sought, without hinderance at his own manse. During all these years, however, public worship amongst themselves on the Lord’s day was regularly observed. This was conducted in the school house by the elders and others. There were four of them, John Thompson, Thomas Herbert, Thomas Piercy and James Nesbitt. In this connection the name of Nicholas Lister should be mentioned. He took regular turns at the desk with the elders giving out the psalm or paraphrase, leading in prayer and reading the sermons. There was no great force in the reading of the sermon but to hear some of these men pray, pleading at the throne, offering up their gifts at the alter was something grand. The very simplicity of the language lent power and solemnity to their soul stirring devotions. Nor was the service of praise led by Matthew Piercy less earnest and striking. At the end of sixteen years in 1852 a substantial meeting house was erected….

Lets isolate the name of Nicholas Lister and look a little more closely at such biography as we have available. We connect his coming to Harvey with the coming of the Little family for we believe Nicholas was married to Margaret Heughan, the sister of Mrs. John Little.


b. 1796

d. 25 Jan 1869-73 yr. (CR)

Native of Annan,Dumfrieshire, Scotland. Emigrated to America with his wife and children in1843, and settled in Harvey Settlement.


b. 1801

d. 25 Mar 1846-45 yr (C)

Believed to be the daughter of William Heughan and Agnes. (Agnes is buried in Harvey Cemetery, died at the age of 87 yr. on 19 Dec 1849). Other siblings were:

Janet Heughan 1786-1870 m. John Little;

John Heughan 1793-1857 m. Jane Scott;

Christina A. Heughan 1803-1875, m. Mr. Johnston and Luke Craigs;

Ellen (Nellie) Heughan 1808-1898, m. Matthew Chambers.

There are several spellings of the surname Heughan–Hughan, and Hughuan, not sure which is correct.

It is believed that Nicholas and Margaret had nine children, as listed below:


b. circa 1824


m. Mary Ann Johnston


b. 1825/26

d. 1902

m. WILLIAM LITTLE 12 Mar 1844, St. Paul’s,
s/o John Little and Janet Heughan, Fredericton.

William Little

b. 1815

d. 1 Nov. 1909

Jennie and William are buried in Brockway Cemetery. For details of their family refer to the book, “The Little Family of Harvey Settlement” by Janet Watson, Brenda Swan and Jocelean Hall, printed 1993.


b. 1829

d. 1848 – 19 yr. Buried in Harvey Cemetery.


b. 1831

d. Feb 1919 in 90th year

m. 1) Janet Gass; 2) Jessie Torrance


b. 22 Dee 1832

d. 25 Feb 1912 – 79 yr. 6 m. (CR)

m. Eleanor (Ellen) Piercy


b. 14, Sept 1834

d. 1 Apr 1898 – 63 yr. 6 m. 16 d. (C)

m. Mary Ann Piercy


b. 1836


m. Ralph Briggs


b. 1838

d. 7 Sept 1896 – 58 yr. (CR)

m. Bernard McCann


b. 1842

d. 6 June 1861 (CR)

m. James Embleton, 15 Apr 1861 (CR)

James Embleton

b. 5 Apr 1836

d. 23 Oct 1901 (CR)

s/o William Embleton and Jane Runchman

After Mary’s death, Jim married Isabell Little.


b. 1824


m. Mary Ann Johnston, 24 Feb 1851 St. Paul’s, Fredericton d/o Mr. Johnston and. Christina A. Heughan s/o Nicholas Lister and Margaret Heughan.

Mary Ann Johnston

b. 1833 Scotland



b. 29 Mar 1859 (CR)



*Children of George Lister and Mary


b. 6 Feb 1861 (CR)

d. 22 Jun 1863 – 2 yr. 4 mos. (CR)

Jocelean Hall checks on early census records and provides us with additional information about early properties. From “Statistical Return of the Harvey Settlement for the year 1847”, Nicholas settled in Harvey in 1843, had a family of 9, and besides farming he was a Weaver. In the four years between 1843 and 1847, he had built a house and barn, had cleared 18 acres of his 100 acre lot and had paid off half the cost of his land. He had 3 cows, 2 oxen, 10 sheep, 3 swine and 3 young cattle. His crop consisted of 10 tons hay and straw, 150 bu. oats, 10 bu. barley and buckwheat, 100 bu. potatoes and 10 bu. wheat. Estimated total value of crops, stocks, land and improvements was 166 pounds. (As his wife died in 1846, it would appear that he had 8 children living with him in 1847.)

The 1851 Census lists Nicholas as a widower, 54 years of age, Scotch, farmer/proprietor, who entered this colony in 1843. The following children were living at home: (All were born in Scotland) David, 20; James, 16; Edward I., 14; Jane, 12; Agnes, 11 and Mary, 9. Ten years later, 1861 Census, only his son Edward Irvin, 24, was at home with Nicholas. Also a servant, Elizabeth Dundas, age 26, lived in the household. The Lister family was Presbyterian. By 1861, Nicholas owned or occupied 60 acres improved and 90 acres unimproved land. Cash value of farm was 250 pounds, value of implements and machinery, 15 pounds. He had 2 horses, 3 mulch cows, 4 other neat cattle, 14 sheep, 3 swine and slaughtered 400 lb. pork. Produced 150 lb. butter, 36 lb. wool, 10 tons hay, 300 bu. oats, 87 bu. buckwheat, 20 bu. timothy and 100 bu. potatoes.

“About the year 1857, George Lister built the first woollen mill in York Mills. He also built a sawmill and a grist mill. The woolen business was established as a cloth mill. He later sold the business to John Taylor.”

The Daily Gleaner, 14 July 1937,

“Business Firms have grown up with Harvey.”

“George built the sawmill first, and in it lumber for the other structures were processed. The machinery for the original mill came up the St. John river by boat, was landed at Long Creek, and hauled on wagons to the mill site.” –

Excerpt from Rural Musings:

“Woollen Mill Thrives: Began 105 Years Ago, By Rolf Munroe”

undated, but possibly in newspaper in December 1962. There seems to be some questions as to the exact year the woollen mill was built. From the Saint Croix Courier :Journey Through Time”, The Early Years: 1865-1885, on 13 May 1869

“New Woollen Mill — Geo Lister, Esq., is erecting a woollen factory in the Harvey Settlement on the N.E. Magaguadavic within a short distance of Western Extension.–Journal.”

The 1861 Census lists George as 37 years old, Farmer/Merchant, and his wife Mary Ann, 28 years old, daughter Christina, 2 years, and son Charles Fisher, 7 mos. Also in their household were James Carmichael, 26 yr., farm servant; Mary Embleton, 18 yr., domestic servant; James Kenna, 30 yr., woodturner, and his wife Isabella Kenna, 24 yr.

According to 1861 Census, George employed 2 males, owned or occupied 50 acres improved land and 700 acres unimproved land. Cash value of farm was 500 pounds, and value of implements and machinery was 100 pounds. He had 5 horses, 4 mulch cows, 1 other neat cattle, 5 sheep, 2 swine and slaughtered 500 lb. pork. Produced 200 lb. butter, 4 lb. wool, 18 tons hay, 100 bu. oats, 30 bu. buckwheat and 80 bu. potatoes.

Children of George and Mary Ann, as baptised in the church. No record of George and Mary Ann being buried in Harvey Cemetery, Perhaps they moved away from Harvey after selling the woollen mill.

Source: Rev. Bill Randall’s “From The Scrapbook Vol. One.”

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