Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sentimental Sunday: Peter Bishop's First Wife - Elizabeth Godfrey?

My 5th great grandfather was Deacon Peter Bishop.  He was born in New London, CT on August 6, 1735.

Around 1755, he married David Godfrey's daughter in Connecticut.  We don't know much about Peter's first wife, we are not even sure of her name.  She is usually referred to as "daughter Godfrey" or "[blank] Godfrey".  My understanding is that the vital records from New London were lost in a fire during the American Revolutionary War.  So we may never know her true name.  Her grandmother's name was Elizabeth and it seems likely that she may have been named Elizabeth in honor of her mother.  I will refer to her as Elizabeth.

Peter and Elizabeth had at least 4 children all born in Connecticut:

  • Simeon Bishop (1755-1756)
  • Elizabeth Bishop (1757 - ?)
  • Lemuel Bishop (1758-1759)
  • William Bishop (1759-1833)

In the early 1760's Peter's father, John Bishop was awarded land in Horton, Nova Scotia.  He was to be one of the original "Planters" of Nova Scotia.  The English had pushed the French out of the area and they were looking to for new colonists to establish the Nova Scotia under British rule.  The call went out to the New England states looking for immigrants.  Many families from Connecticut took this opportunity to get free or inexpensive land including my ancestors:  The Godfrey's & The Fullers.

John Bishop came to Nova Scotia with his sons (John, Peter, William and Timothy) and their families.  Each was awarded a share of land in Horton equal to at least 500 acres.

It is believed that Elizabeth Godfrey arrived in Horton, but died soon after she moved to Canada.  I have not been able to find her exact date of death or where she is buried.

I am descended from Peter and Elizabeth's daughter, Elizabeth Bishop.  She married Noah Fuller.  It was important to me to dig into her history and find out as much as I could about her for many reasons, but the one that will resonate with many genealogical searchers is that Elizabeth Godfrey is my link to  Mayflower pilgrim, Stephen Hopkins.  More about that connection in future posts.

Of Peter and Elizabeth's children only Elizabeth Bishop Fuller and William Bishop had children and lived long enough to carry on the Hopkins lineage.

To see more about proving the existence of Elizabeth Godfrey and the connection to David Godfey, see my post David Godfrey's Will Proved

Peter Bishop remarried in 1763 to Phebe Hamilton.  Together they had 10-12 children.  Below is a the Horton Township record of Peter Bishop and Phebe's offspring.

Peter Bishop died April 8, 1825 and is buried in the Old Burying Ground in Wolfville, Nova Scotia (the modern name for Horton Township).


  1. I think you made a mistake on the second marriage date. Shouldn't it be 1763 not 1863?

  2. You might want to check David Godfrey who married Priscilla Baker. Their daughter Elizabeth married Peter Bishop. Elizabeth was Priscilla's mother's name.

    1. You are correct. I meant to put that Elizabeth was Peter's wife's grandmother's name. I have made that change to the blog entry. Thanks for adding to the accuracy of my research.

  3. John Bishop and his four sons each received grants in the Horton Township, the total township consisting of 65,570 acres, given 29 May 1761, registered 13 Jun 1761. Each share consisted of 500 acres. The Bishop grants as listed on page 75 in The History of Kings County, Nova Scotia by A. W. H. Eaton were as follows:
    John Bishop 1
    John Bishop, Jr. 1
    Peter Bishop 1
    Timothy Bishop ½
    William Bishop ½