2018 Upshall Update – English Roots Discovered


Upshall is my wife’s mother’s mother’s side. Even more specifically, her mother’s mother’s father’s side. Upshall represents my wife Marie’s Newfoundland heritage.

The Genealogy: It’s Complicated

It’s complicated as Aunt Esther’s ancestry is from Harbour Buffet, Newfoundland. There were only so many families to marry into there. However, in some ways it is simple as we cannot right now go back too many generations:

Above is the tree for Fred Upshall. He is Marie’s great-grandfather, my mother in law’s grandfather and Marie’s 1/2 great Aunt Esther’s father. I can only go back one generation from Fred to Henry born 1841 likely in Harbour Buffet, Placentia Bay, Newfoundland. The records are not that good for Harbour Buffet.

Who Was the Father of Henry Upshall?

One guess is Peter Upshall born in December, 1800:

His mother was Sarah Upshall and he was baptized on the 21st at the Parish of Hazelbury Bryan. I suppose the story could be that Peter, not having a good future in England, set off to Newfoundland. Here is Hazelbury Bryan and its proximity to Bournemouth:

Here is something I wrote on the Upshalls years ago:

“Some of the earlier written information about Newfoundland comes from Edward Wix, an Anglican Missionary. On Thursday, March 5, 1835 in his journal, he mentions both Harbour Buffet (Beaufit) and Upshall (Upshore):

Was up before day-light, and after full service, administered the holy communion to this respectable old planter, who had for many years been desiring such an opportunity. A snow-storm prevented my proceeding to-day to Harbour Beaufit, upon Long Island, where I was very anxious to visit a family whom I had known at Petty Harbour, near St. John’s. I did not allow it, however, to prevent my walking by Red Cove and Back Cove to Famish Gut, which I reached by ten, A.M., and assembled nine adults, besides children, at the winter house of Thomas Upshore, where I held full service, and baptized two children. It was providential that a man, who lived some two miles from his summer house, in the interior, in a spot which it would have been most difficult, nay, quite impracticable, to have found, in the untracked snow, which was falling fast at the time, should have come out for some family supplies to his summer house, just as I reached the harbour. He was delighted at the encounter, and was rejoiced at the opportunity of introducing to the little settlement a minister of his church. By one, P.M., as the weather cleared up, I left this place, and took the ice upon a level lead of ponds, expecting to find my way to the adjoining settlement of Pinch Gut.

In the Anglican records we find that Sarah, daughter of Peter and Margaret Upshore was baptized on March 5, 1835 at Famish Gut, Placentia Bay. Interestingly the same day and at the same place, Joseph Shave was baptized. The following year we find that Elizabeth daughter of Peter and Margaret Upshall was baptized at Famish Gut on September 7, 1836. This Peter Upshall is likely an ancestor or related to Henry Upshall. Famish Gut is probably the current day Fair Haven.”

I suppose that one could say that this Peter named his daughter after his mother. However, that does introduce now a Thomas Upshall. The next record I have is from 1855:

Here we have a sort of census of Harbour Buffet. I no longer see a Thomas Upshall. Perhaps he went back to England or died. Perhaps Mrs. Upshall was Thomas’ wife. There are now 8 Upshalls. My assumption is that the listing is by age. If Peter was the only one having kids, then I could assume that George, Christopher, Henry, Eligh(?), Jane and Joseph were all his children. If Thomas had children also, then that confuses things. Further, if we assume that our Henry was born in 1841, then he would have only been 14 in 1855. Perhaps he was older. The records for the Upshalls give their donations to the Church in quintals of fish. I don’t know if there was a standard age at which donations would be given. Also, considering that most of the names are males, it is curious that there is a Mrs. Upshall and a Jane listed. I might assume that these were heads of households(?)

I note that one tree at Ancestry has a George and Sarah as Henry’s parents:

This tree has this further reference about George:

However, that George appeared to have a son that was living at Sturminster-Newtown in 1861:

For this reason, I would rule out this George.

That leaves the following options for the father of Henry Upshall:

  • Thomas Upshall mentioned in the Wix journal. However, I am not aware of the name Thomas being passed down in the Upshall family.
  • Peter appears to be a good choice. There was a Peter in the Harbour Buffet area in 1835 and 1836. The name Peter carries down
  • To be named later – This would be an unknown Upshall. One source even mentions that the original name of Upshall was Baker and that they changed their name. However, I am not so sure of this. Why would a person change their name and why from Baker to Upshall?

Children of Henry Upshall and Catherine Dicks

I have this list of children at my web site:

Based on DNA, I have added Jessie Kate:

This is a DNA tree of Upshalls, so it only includes DNA-tested people in it that are known to descend from Henry Upshall based on genealogy or appear to descend from Henry Upshall based on the DNA. Karen and Ruby were in the latter group. Unfortunately, Jessie’s marriage record did not give her parents’ names and the birth registrations started around 1891 after she was born. That means that I have 4 children of Henry Upshall on my web site plus Jessie.

Other Ancestry Trees

Some trees have a lot more in them than I do. Here is one that has quite a few:


Note that they have Henry passing away in 1891 and Walter being born in 1893, so something is wrong. Assuming I have the right Henry dieing in 1891, that must mean that there is another Henry and Kate.

Perhaps that Walter born 1893 was from the Little Harbour East Upshalls. Quite a few were there in 1921:

That also makes me question the Peter that I have being born at Flat Island in 1885.  Here is a portion of Peter L. Upshall’s death record:

So it appears that if this other Henry Upshall from Little Harbour East didn’t marry a Catherine Dicks, then I’m all set.

A Few Recent Facebook Posts

Here is one post by Martha:

more Upshall mystery: Peter Upshall born 1892/1893 in Little Harbour East (died 1968) married Alice Upshall born 1894 or 1897 in Chants Cove (died 1992) to George Upshall and Bridget Peddle. their children include Thomas, Nelson, George, Blanche, Lizzie, Joseph, Douglas, Ralph, & Gerald. does anyone know who Peter’s parents or siblings were and also who George’s parents were? Peter’s parents may have been Henry Upshall (b.1863) and Elizabeth Smith. 

I don’t have a good answer for Martha, but it answers my question of who the other Elizabeth was from Little Harbour East.

Here is a death record from the New Anglican Little Harbour East Cemetery:


Here is the post that got me going on this Blog. This one is also from Martha. I wrote a Blog on Martha here.

Have stumbled on yet another Upshall….. Elizabeth born 1837 to George Upshall and Elizabeth Dicks. Married John W Evans. at least one daughter, Fannie Belle who died in Gloucester, Massachusetts (husband Douglas McLean)

Elizabeth died in Gloucester, too, in 1908 and her parents’ names come from her MA death certificate. am guessing her father / mother would have been born about 1810-1820? her death cert also says father was born in England.

do these Upshalls tie into anyone’s research?

Gloucester rang a bell with me as my wife’s great-grandfather spent some time there:

But back to Martha. She mentioned a George Upshall. I have this reference:

This mentions a George Upshall settling in Buffett in 1856. Here is the death record that Martha mentioned:

A tree that has Elizabeth in it has a Chelsea, MA marriage record for the second marriage of Elizabeth’s daughter Fanny Tucker. Fanny was 24 in 1890 and said to be born in Fortune Bay, NL. So that would be about 1866.

Back to George Upshall. Assuming that he was born in England, there are a few choices:

Sturminster-Newton is nearer to where Peter may have been from:

Poole is near Bournemouth.

Upshall DNA

The simplest way to check for Upshall DNA is through AncestryDNA. First, I’ll check by my wife’s Aunt Elaine. That is because she has less Newfoundland DNA to confuse things with. Her main two known Newfoundland names are Upshall and Dicks. Elaine’s first two matches by DNA are Aunt Esther and Karen. I mentioned Karen above. I connected her to Henry Upshall through his likely daughter Jessie Kate.


Here is Elaine’s third Upshall DNA match. Ancestry thinks Barbara and Elaine could be 4th cousins by DNA. Here is Barbara’s paternal side:

Barbara’s maternal side is also from Newfoundland: Scott and Hodder, but we’ll go with her paternal side as being the likely side where the match is.  Unfortunately, a 4th cousin means the common ancestor is at rhe third great-grandfather level. Peter is Barbara’s grandfather. That means we could be as many as three generations away from a common ancestor. This also gets to Martha’s first Facebook post. I see Martha must have also matched Barbara.

Elaine and M.B. (Administered by Martha)

Here is Martha’s pretty good guess for a common ancestor: Base-born Peter, base born in 1800:


That would make Elaine and M.B. third cousins. That is pretty close to where AncestryDNA has them at 4th cousins. However, Martha has uploaded M.B. to Gedmatch. At Gedmatch, M.B. shows a common ancestor with Elaine at 3.9 generations. M.B. shows a common ancestor with Elaine’s sister Joan at 4.1 generations. That averages out to 4.0 generations which would be equivalent to a third cousin. That is the same as shown above. That tells me by the DNA that Peter Upshall is a good guess for a common ancestor. That further tells me that Jane Upshall is probably the sister of Henry Upshall. If Peter is not their father, then whoever is would also be a good candidate for Joan, Elaine and M.B.’s common ancestor. If Barbara would upload her DNA to Gedmatch, it may become more apparent whether she is related on the Upshall Line or not. When I check M.B. and Elaine’s shared matches Barbara does come up, so there must be some common ancestor somewhere.

Elaine and Son of Jacob Neil Upshall, b. 17 Sep 1923, Harbour Buffett

Martha posted on Jacob already, so I’m one step behind her. Here is my guess from the 1935 Harbour Buffet Census:

Next to this family:

This couple looks old enough to be the parents of Edward. I am reminded that Aunt Esther’s father was Frederick Nelson Upshall. Frederick was born perhaps 8 years after this Nelson.

Here is the 1921 Tickles Census:

Nelson is in this Census also but appears not to be living very close by. Here there is an elder Thomas born 1851 and a Peter Upshall born 1854. I guess it would take a while to sort out all these Upshalls.

Here Edward is marrying Martha Temple.


John is the witness (his brother?). A guess could be that Peter was the father of John and Edward. This marriage took place after the marriage of Peter and Alice Upshall mentioned earlier in the Blog.

Elaine’s Match with Pat

Pat is Elaine’s Last 4th Cousin by DNA match. Here is where it is helpful to look at Elaine and not Esther as Esther has Shave ancestry. Here is Pat’s paternal side tree:

Pat’s great-grandmother was Margaret Upshall (Sep 1857-15Jul 1924). This time I’m going to cheat a little and sneak a peak at Martha’s tree. Martha has Margaret as daughter of George and she has George as daughter of Peter the base-born.

I’m going to stick Martha’s tree for Pat onto my DNA tree like this:

This is quite small, but I have a Peter up there also. I wonder if this is the same Peter that was in the 1921 Census, born 1854. That would be interesting. That would mean that Margaret wife of the base-born would be 44 when the younger Peter was born. Under this scenario, Elaine would be third cousin once removed to Pat on the lower left. Another possibility is that there is another Upshall between the two Peters.


I just moved Peter, Jr. to the right side in case the Peter of the 1921 Census was the son of the Peter at the top. I also color-coded the people that had their DNA tested:

  • Green – people are uploaded to Gedmatch
  • Pat – in AncestryDNA
  • Wallace – at MyHeritage

Elaine’s Distant Cousin Matches at AncestryDNA

Allen from Bethia Upshall

Here are some of the names in Allen’s Ancestry Tree:

The names and places look like they could work. Here is some more from Allen’s tree:

I note that Martha has Sarah, the mother of Peter Upshall, having a father named John. Martha has Sarah born in 1774 in Hazelbury Bryan. That could mean that Allen’s John Upshall III could be the same as the one that Martha has. Here is a possible scenario:

That would make Elaine and Allen 5th cousins, twice removed. From what I can tell of Allen’s tree, Allen probably lives in England.

Elaine’s AncestryDNA Match with Barry from New Zealand

Here is part of Barry’s tree:

I even note that Barry’s tree appears to have the Sarah that Martha and I had that gave birth to the Peter that we believe is an early Newfoundland Upshall.

The John in Barry’s tree sounds familiar, so let’s add him to the tree I made:

It looks like my theory is working out – also Martha’s. This makes Barry and Elaine 5th cousins. Esther also shows as a DNA match with Allen and Barry, but she shows a closer match with Barry which would make sense.

Charles from Peter and Sarah

Now we are back to Newfoundland with Charles. Charles is Elaine’s last DNA match when I search for the Upshall name. I notice some Newfoundland names like Burton, Kirby and Pike. Charles has his line coming down from Peter b. 1800.

One interesting thing about this tree is that it takes the Dicks family out of the equation. Henry Upshall married Catherine Dicks. The Dicks family is large in Newfoundland from what I can tell. So the Dicks family could cause some interference as far as interpretation of the DNA.

Summary and Conclusions

  • It looks like I have found out where in England the Newfoundland Upshalls came from – at least my wife’s branch.
  • The Upshalls appear to have come from a Sarah Upshall from the Parish of Hazelbury Bryan, Dorset, England
  • Sarah in turn was the daughter of a John Upshall III, who would have been the son and grandson of a John Upshall if Allen’s tree is right.
  • This discovery used the AncestryDNA matches and good trees that those matches had. The combination of those two resources work well together.
  • This discovery is quite a breakthrough. Given the lack of records in Newfoundland, I am not sure that this breakthrough would have been possible had it not been through the use of DNA matching.



3 Replies to “2018 Upshall Update – English Roots Discovered”

  1. Wow, this is amazing work.

    George Upshall b. 1829 also had 2 sisters, Sarah and Susan. George, Sarah and Susan were married to Collett siblings.

    1. Hi Bonnie,

      I wonder who their parents were? Could Peter Upshall b. 1800 be a possibility? Peter’s mother was Sarah and we have a record of him having a daughter named Sarah if I am remmebering correctly.


  2. I have been researching my ancestors and have ended up with a lot of Upshalls coming from Hazelbury Bryan. I have a Henry, but dated 1824-1889. We must be related but I can’t yet work out how all of the Hazelbury Bryan Upshall’s are related. It is made more difficult by so many being called Henry. If you are interested take a look at AncestryDNA trees. Also Hazelbury Bryan seems to have some good church records available on line.

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