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Dictionary of Miramichi Biography

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BETTS, JARED (1785-1867)

BETTS, JARED, lumberman, tanner and currier, and militia officer; b. Fredericton, 1785, s/o Ephraim Betts; m. 1834, Ann Clouston, of Nelson parish, a native of Scotland; d. Derby, 26 Jan 1867.

Jared Betts came to the Southwest Miramichi with his father's family at age ten and grew to adulthood at Betts Settlement. He received a land grant there in 1809, a year after he was appointed a parish constable, but he had moved downriver by 1813. In 1818 he was in possession of three lots on the south side of the Southwest between the Cains and Barnaby rivers. These had more than fifty cleared acres among them and contained several houses and barns, as well as a sawmill. He ultimately settled on the north side of the river in what was later Derby parish and engaged in farming, lumbering, tanning and currying, and various merchandising activities.

Betts was appointed a lieutenant in the militia in 1813 and was designated a captain in 1822. He was in charge of one of ten companies of the 2nd Battalion in 1840. He was promoted to major in 1847 and lieutenant colonel and commanding officer of the battalion in 1860. He was nearly eighty years of age when he retired as an honorary colonel in 1864.

Betts was a leader of the Anglican congregation at Derby from the time of its organization in the early 1840s. He was elected a warden of St Peter's Church in 1848 and was still, or again, a warden in 1863. His church, militia, and business pursuits were said to have made him a familiar figure to people throughout "the length and breadth" of Northumberland County.

In an 1821 petition Betts referred to "himself and family," making it appear that he was married at that time. He was forty-nine when he married Ann Clouston in 1834 and roughly thirty years her senior. In the census of 1851 the nine children living in their home included a son and a daughter, both aged eighteen. These children were too old to have been born of their marriage, which may be why they were listed separate from the other children by the census enumerator. There were at least three children born after 1851. Besides John W. Betts, the children included Margaret Betts, the first wife of Christopher P. Crocker, and Mary I. Betts, the wife of Timothy W. Crocker.

Sources

[b] MacKinnon [m] official records [d] Gleaner 9 Feb 1867 / Facey-Crowther; Gleaner 30 Jun 1840, 2 May 1848, 17 Jan 1863; JHA 1866 (re. militia); NB Almanac & Reg.; News 10 Feb 1982 (article by David Underhill); PANB (petition of Jared and David Betts, 21 Aug 1811 and petition of Jared Betts, 10 Feb 1821)


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