Deqr Ruth - I was so delighted to see you e-mail about the Canadian Baptist Missionaries
in Cocanada and the Gibson family.
Sophia De Beaux, Ellen Norfer and Charlotte Gibson were my great aunts who brought my
mother up in the family home, Sea View, in Cocanada Port. There were members of the family
there until 1961 when my grandmother, whose husband was Alexander Gibson, Sophia Ellen and
Charlotte's brother,d died aged 100. The last time I ever visited Cocanada in 1962
Great Uncle Louis' chemists shop was still there, with a faded signL De Beaux chemist
still visible over the doorway. My mother used to tell many stories about Uncle Louis who
was terribly henpecked and who lived in the family home Sea View after he was married -
Aunt Sophie was a terrible harridan I believe.
Ellen Gibson married Alfred Norfer who was a guard on the India railways - I think there
was a branch of the Norfer family in Coringa near Cocanada. My mother used to say that
Uncle Alfred was the black sheep of a noble family in England but I think that's all
pie in the sky.
Charlotte Gibson never married and was very active in the Zenanna Missions, run by the
Canadian Baptist Missionaries. She had a stroke in middle age and was bedridden after
The Canadian Baptist Missionaries publshed an article in one of their magazines called
The Gibsons of Cocanada - I have a copy of this which I can let you have.
William and Sophia Gibson moved to Cocanada from Ooopada nearby where William was the
manager of a ship building firm. Sophia Gibson was the daughter of Captain Charles Eaton
who was the Port Officer in Coringa and who also owned considerabl;e property and ships.
He came from Ayr in Scotland and married Elizabeth Harrap, the daughter of a Danish
merchant in Tranquebar near Madras.
i have the whole Family Tree which I would be delighted to send you if you wish. I see
yjou live in Birmingham - I live in Leicester so we are practically neighbours. I was born
in the Canadian Baptist Mission hospital in Pithapuram, near Cocanada.
Looking forward to hearing from you. Freda Neill (nee Gibson)
Ruth Croft <ruth(a)brum38.fsnet.co.uk> wrote:
I haven't posted for some time as I've been busy with other lines, but I've
started squinting at my tree again ...and I've found a most
interesting document - isn't Google wonderful?
"A History of the Mission of the Baptists of Ontario and Quebec, Canada, to
the Telegus, South India, 1867-1907."
It refers to Canadian Missionaries who came to India, then would go back on
furlough and write reports on the Mission.
The address in Canada was:
EASTWOOD BAPTIST CHURCH:40 Wood Street, Hamilton, Ontario.
I was surprised to find mention of my DeBEAUX name, so ventured further -
Joseph Louis DeBeaux, a chemist like his Papa, married Sophia GIBSON in
April 1876 at The London Mission Church,(Methodist Episcopal) Vepery, India.
Her father was William, and Sophia was born about 1850.
The couple must have moved further north as 'Mrs DeBeaux' took over from her
poorly sister Charlotte GIBSON in 1885 in Cocanada, and continued her
association with the mission for 12 years until 1897. Another Gibson sister
called Ellen married Mr NORFAR who I presume was also a Missionary?
I'm plodding through the downloaded and very long report, but the maps and
photos haven't come through.... which is disappointing....
Is anyone familiar with Canadian Baptist Missionaries?
Does anyone have the NORFAR name in their tree?
Does anyone have a GIBSON girl with a Papa called William in their tree?
Joseph DeBeaux was finally Baptised in 1905, aged about 58, so the extended
family were still there at that point.
Could I get a copy of the Mission Report (or others - with illustrations) ?
My apologies for the fumbly fingers clicking send 3 times before signing
(Oh, the archives!)
Ruth in Brum (Birmingham, England.)
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