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My Healey family came to San Francisco in the 19th century from Nova Scotia. Before Nova Scotia they were from Massachusetts and before that they were from Devonshire, England. My Healey's first came to this country with William Healy (also spelled Hele) in 1640 to Lynn, Massachusetts. He later relocated to the Cambridge area of Massachusetts, where the family stayed until the later part of the 18th century when they moved to Nova Scotia as New England Planters. Ebenezer Healy (or Haley) came to the Yarmouth area of Nova Scotia with his children and they settled there until a later Ebenzer came to California in 1850 on board the Mary Jane. The ship pulled into the San Francisco port in May of that year and the family never really left the area. A farming lot for generations, when the clan came to California, they again took up the occupation and had a farm in Newark, California.

Ebenezer Healy or Haley was born March 11 1801 in Central Chebogue, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia to Comfort Haley and Hannah Ellis.  Ebenezer first married Margaret Hilton and they had a son, Ebenezer Henry Healy who died at sea in 1843.  Margaret had died in 1824 and Ebenezer remarried to Mary Lee Scott on March 1st 1832 in Nova Scotia.  Ebenezer and Mary had the following children:

Caleb Scott Healy
    B. 16 Feb 1833, M. Annie Louisa Barclay
Margaret Hilton Healy
    B. 1 Apr 1834, M. Silas C. Baker
Lydia Ellis Healy
    B. 16 Aug 1835, M. Edwin Franklin Burdick
Jonathan Edwards Healy
    B. 18 Jan 1837, M. Harriet Kelley
Comfort G. Healy (changed name to Healey)
    B. 28 June 1838, M. Mary Ann Williams, M. Mary Gertrude Mott
William Wallace Healy
    B. 31 Mar 1840, M. Anna Marie Cameron
Albert Healy
    B. 18 Dec 1841
Ebenezer Henry Healy 
    B. 25 May 1849, M. Margaret Wightman

Biography of Ebenezer Healy:

"Whose portrait appears in this work, was born in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, March 11, 1801.  His parents were some of the pioneers of that province, and he was brought up a farmer by them.  He first married in 1821, and his wife died in 1824, leaving one son who was lost at sea in 1843.  He was married to his present wife in 1832, and has five sons and three daughters, all of whom are settled on the Pacific Coast.  He was among the first to leave his native land when the news of the discovery of gold in California came to that country.  He and eighteen others sailed from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, November 22, 1849, in the brig Mary Jane of eighty tons burden, laden with lumber consisting of house-frames and various other articles in that line.  Among the fellow-passengers and co-operative owners was the late B. B. Redding, and several others who remained permanently in this State.  Arrived here in May, 1850, after a passage of one hundred and eighty-three days, twenty-six days of which they were becalmed and placed on allowance of water, they finally reached the Gallepagos Islands, secured water and a lot of terrapin which they brought to this market.  Went to the mines upon arrival, mined on the Yuba River at Downieville, Minnesota Flat, and in that locality, until November, 1852, during which time he suffered many hardships, and his fellow-miner and brother-in-law, Captain Ebenezer Scott, died there in July, 1851, and he himself was very sick at the same time, but finally recovered.  He had the usual luck of the miners of that day, all of whom did not make fortunes.  Upon arrival in Washington Township in 1852, engaged in farming until May, 1855, returned to Nova Scotia with the intention of passing the rest of his days on his farm in that place, but after remaining a few months, sold his property and removed his family to California Ė all of them who were at home.  One son being already there, and others away at sea who came afterwards from different parts of the world.  In November, 1855, settled on the farm where he now resides, with several of his children in the same locality.  He is now eighty-two years of age, and with his estimable wife, a woman of much force of character aged seventy-four years, who has been his companion and helpmate for more than fifty years, lives under his own vine and fig-tree, loved and respected by all for his integrity, kindness, and upright character."

Various Articles Concerning Ebenezer Healy:

"Obituary, San Francisco Morning Call, 8 December 1897:
Lived Nearly A
Hundred Years
_ _ _ _
Death of Ebenezer Haley,
One of the Oldest of
_ _ _ _
Kept out of Public Life, but
Was One of This State's
_ _ _ _
For Half a Century He Has Been a
Busy Farmer in Alameda
_ _ _ _
Had Ebenezer Haley lived till the close of the present McKinley administration he would have completed just a century of life. This satisfaction, however, was denied him, and this morning, at his old residence at Newark, he passed away at the age of 97.
Since 1855 Mr. Haley has resided on the farm which is till in possession of his family, and on which he died. He was one of those industrious, unassuming pioneers that laid the foundation of this State. Never heard of in politics, opposed to all kinds of publicity, he laid the foundation of his moderate fortune in the mines, after which he followed the profession of his father and located in this county.
In 1801 at Yarmouth, N. S. , Ebenezer Haley was born. His parents were pioneers of that province and the boy was brought up on the farm. When he was 20 years of age he married, but his wife only lived three years and their son was drowned at sea in 1843. Haley married a second time in 1832, and his five sons and three daughters are all settlers on the Pacific Coast.
As soon as the news of the California gold fields reached Nova Scotia, Haley was one of the first to come west. He, with eighteen others, sailed from Yarmouth November 22, 1849, in the little brig Mary Jane, of only eighty tons burden. Their cargo consisted of house frames and other building material, and among the passengers and co-operative owners were B. B. Redding and several others who have helped to make the history of this State during the last half-century. Their brig arrived here in May 1850, having been 183 days on the passage. Upon his arrival in California Mr. Haley started for the mining centers, locating on the Yuba River, at Downieville and Minnesota Flats, where he remained until November 1852. Having obtained a snug sum of money, in that year he came to Washington Township and engaged in agriculture. Three years later he went to Nova Scotia, intending to remain there, but after a few months he became so dissatisfied that he sold all his property and brought his entire family to Alameda County. In November 1855, he settled on his Newark farm and has resided there for forty-two years. His wife lived to be over 80 years of age and died on the farm many years ago."
Ebenezer Henry Haley (b.1849) took over the managing of the farm, while son William Wallace Haley became the Administrator of his father Ebenezer Haley senior's estate upon his passing on Dec 7, 1897 at the farm at Newark, Alameda, California.

(New Englanders in Nova Scotia, No. 569 Healy, pp 180, 181, 182

He was buried beside his second wife Mary Lee Scott, in the old I.O.O.F. cemetary in Irvington. His grave marker was inscribed, as he requested, the same as his father', as given here below.

Born Mar. 11, 1801
Died Dec. 7, 1897.
Native of
Yarmouth, N. S.
Hear what the voice of Heaven proclaims
For all the pious dead,
Sweet is the savour of their names,
And soft their sleeping bed.
(New Englanders in Nova Scotia, No. 569 Healy, pp 180)

"Town News,
Yarmouth Herald,
26 November 1849.

On Thursday last the first vessel from Nova Scotia for California sailed from this Port. It was the Brigantine "Mary Jane", with the following crew: - James Baker (Master), William Cook (Mate), Ebenezer Scott, B. B. Redding, Waitstill Baker, George Baker, Robert Van Nordan, W. S. Whitten, Thomas O'Brien, Charles Fox, G. W. Brown, John Young, Ebenezer Healey, Benj. Killam, Jr., Charles Hilton, Robert Hilton, Freeman Dennis, and Silas Baker. She was loaded with boards, house-frames, shingles, waggons, bricks, &c. The brigantine had undergone thorough repairs, and no expense was spared in fitting her for a long and perilous voyage.

For several weeks the persons who had embarked in this enterprise had been in high spirits, and each seemed to toil with the energy of a steam-engine in getting ready to start. Some found it difficult to obtain the consent of their friends to so long a separation. The idea, too, of sailing over five thousand leagues of ocean must have looked like a stupendous undertaking; but dazzling visions of gold threw a cheering gleam of light over the prospect before them; and each seemed eager to be away.

At length the appointed day for sailing came - the weather fine and the wind fair. During the forenoon there was much leave-taking; and
"Then and there was hurrying to and fro,
And gathering tears and tremblings of distress."

In some instances these partings were "such as press the life out from young hearts, and choking sighs which ne'er might be repeated." Ah, many an eye, while gazing on the Mary Jane's flag which fluttered in the breeze as a signal of departure, was suffused with tears.

At one o'clock (the appointed hour of leaving), four or five hundred individuals of both sexes had assembled on Queen's Wharf; and every countenance exhibited a solemn aspect. - Even the Crew, who had hitherto seemed "all life and spirits", looked grave and deeply impressed with the gloomy thought of leaving home for a long, long time. There were all ready, and the idea of casting off the last rope, which still held them to the land of their nativity (for with one exception they were all natives) seemed thrillingly painful.

Meanwhile, ever and anon, some suffering scene was exhibited, such as husband taking leave of his wife, his child, or his sister; and as
"Womans' pure kiss, sweet and long"
with all the fervour and affection of her loving nature was impressed upon cheeks that for many a long and tedious month were to press a lonely pillow, all the tenderest and holiest sensibilities of conjugal endearments were aroused, and hearts overflowing with love were wrung with the iintesity of their own agony. These scenes, with sympathetic power, like the invisible agent of electricity, touched the most callous hearts in the crowd; and eyes not used to weeping "did not withhold the tribute of a tear." One little girl, in particular, who was just bursting into womanhood, and who had come seventeen miles to bid her father farewell, sobbed as if her very heart strings were breaking. In the crowd were several clergymen, who had come to impart a brief word of pious admonition or prayer, not knowing that they should meet again till there were assembled under more solemn circumstances in another state of existence, where gold has no power to charm.

The hoarse voice of the Captain at length ordered the unfurling of the sails, the ropes were cast off, and she passed down the harbor in fine style. Some cannon had been drawn down to the end of the wharf, and as she started a farewell salute of several guns was fired. - The party on shore, with waving hats, gave three long, loud, and hearty cheers, which were as heartily responded to from the Brigantine. As she passed down the harbor, a variety of painfully agitating thoughts irrestistably forced themselves upon the mind. At such a moment one could not help thinking - inquiries of a most heart-moving description, such as the following, could not be warded off: - "Of all that brave crew, how many will return? Will their hopes be realized? Through what perils will they pass? What privations will they endure? And should they return, how many of the present throng will be alive to welcome them back?".

But she is gone; and a braver crew never left our shores. They carry with them the prayers of the pious and the good wishes of the community. May favoring breezed impel them onward towards the Port of their destination; and on reaching California, - the Ophir of their hopes, - may they realize their most sanguine expectations. Months must roll away ere we can even hope to receive tidings from teh Mary Jane; but we trust she will return; and that if her crew come back no richer in gold, they will come back more wealthy in wisdom, in energy to engage in the struggles of after life, and in that love of their own country, which will enable them to prize it for the many sources of wealth, comfort, and happiness which it undeniably possessess. (New Englanders in Nova Scotia, No. 569 Healy, pp 184-186)"


Biography of Comfort G. Healy:

"Was born in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, June 28, 1838, and at thirteen years old shipped for four years, going to many of the chief foreign ports.  At the expiration of that time we find him in Boston, Massachusetts; and subsequently proceeding to New York, thence sailed, April 22, 1856, in company with his sister and brother-in-law, on board the George Law, to Aspinwall.  The journey across the Isthmus is one that can never be effaced from his memory; it was that on which the crowded train left the rails, and one hundred and ten souls were hurled, at one fell swoop, into eternity, our subject and his relatives being among the wounded.  This catastrophe necessitated a return to Aspinwall, where he was detained three months with his broken legs and ribs.  On having sufficiently recovered, he was taken in a wheelbarrow, and once more shipped on the cars for Panama, whence he sailed on the steamer John L. Stephens, arriving in San Francisco during the latter end of August, 1856.  Coming direct to his fatherís residence, near which has since sprung up the town of Newark, Alameda County, he there resided until the breaking out of the Frazer River excitement, in 1858, when he proceeded thither, and remained a year.  In 1859 he went to Monterey County, and for four years was engaged in boating there; after which he returned to Alameda County, and embarked in farming and threshing.  In 1877 he purchased his present homestead, adjoining his fatherís dwelling.  Mr. Healey has been a Road Overseer for six years, and is at present a trustee of the Newark School District.  Has been twice married.  His present wife, whom he espoused August 4, 1870, is Mary G., daughter of Capt. Isaac Thomas Mott, American Consul at Mazatlan, at the opening of the Mexican War, and afterwards agent for the Pacific Mail Steamship Company at Benicia, where Mrs. Healey was born.  By this union there are four children, viz.:  Ethel G., Lauren E., Stella T., and Nora L. "

Comfort, for whatever reason, changed the name to Healey and his children carried this on.  Comfort and Mary had Ethel, Lauren, Stella, Nora and four years after Nona (or Nora) they had Albert M., then Doris and then Warren, affectionately known as "Uncle Bon" by my great-grandmother and "Bonnie" by other family members.


Son Lauren (also spelled Loren) married the daughter of two Danish immigrants, Kathryn Nielsen, on October 21st 1896 and they had my great-grandmother, Gladys Viola Healey (Shinn) on October 3rd 1898 in San Francisco.  What follows are some of her answers to an interview she did in 1997 around her 99th birthday:

When "Grandma Shinn" turned 99, the family started asking her questions from the book, Grandma, Tell Me Your Memories.  Here is a transcript of some of her responses and the questions:

What was the day and date of your birth?

October 3, 1898.

Where were you born?

Born at home in San Francisco (around 3rd and Shotwell St., downtown area).  Aunt Carrie [Kathryn Nielsen's sister] was in attendance with her mother [not sure if she means HER mother, Kathryn Nielsen or Kathryn's mother, Engeline].

What was your mother's full name?

Kathryn Nielsen Healey

What was your father's full name?

Lauren Everett Healey

What was your mother's date and place of birth?

Alameda county, Mt. Eden- October 27 (year?)

Tell a family nickname that you had:

Father called her, "Babe."

Best friend Belle Hendry called her, "Glad."

What did your father do for a living?

He was in the lumber business, he was a lumber salesman.

Name the towns that you lived in before you were 20:

San Francisco and in 7th grade we moved to Alameda.

Tell a fond memory of your grandfather:

Grandpa Healey: made beautiful ships that you put inside bottles.

Grandpa Nielsen: Read his Danish Bible.  He was an itty bitty man and worked everyday until he was 98 years old.  He was a rancher and when he retired, he did some gardening.

Tell a fond memory of your grandma:

I use to spend a lot of time with both Grandma's, especially Grandma Nielsen.  My cousin Dorothy and I stayed up there all the time [with Grandma Nielsen that is].

Tell of a favorite Aunt:

Aunt Lil and Aunt Carrie [Kathryn Nielsen's sisters]

Tell of a favorite Uncle:

Uncle "Bon" (Warren Healey) [brother of Lauren Healey, and the youngest of Lauren's siblings].

Tell about how you spent your Saturdays during the school year:

Belle [Hendry] and I were always together, she would be at my house or I was at her house.

Tell about how you spent your Sundays:

We went to church.  Father would rent a horse and buggy and we would go out to Golden Gate Park.

Tell of a childhood illness:

Measles, Scarlet Fever, Chicken Pox, lots of earaches.

Tell about an experience at the doctor's:

Had tonsils taken out while sitting on my father's lap- screaming my head off!

Name your best school chum:

Belle [Hendry].  We met in 3rd grade at the Hawthorne school.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

A schoolteacher.

Did you ever make a kite?

Yes, most of the kites were made at the ranch, my husband [Elmer Shinn] was a good kite maker.

Relate a favorite spring memory:

Going to Grandma and Grandpa's [I'm assuming she means the Nielsen's since they living on a ranch] in the country for spring vacation.

Share a memory of going to church as you were growing up:

Prebyterian Church in San Francisco with Reverend Doan, [it was] the church that was built after the earthquake.

Tell about an Easter egg hunt:

Mother would hide the eggs and we would find them.

If your family went to Easter Sunrise services, tell about it:

Went to Yosemite for Easter sunrise with Welma [?] around 1945.

If you could return to your childhood, what would you do differently?

Maybe go in for more sports, I was never interested.

When you needed punishment as a young child, which parent corrected you?

Mother, I couldn't do anything wrong in my father's eyes.

What type of punishment did you receive?

A whack on the bottom.

What was your favorite meal as a child?

Favorite breakfast [would be] German pancakes... I liked food!

Who was the most famous person you ever met as a child?

Mother and father took me to see Sarah Bernhardt speak.

Who was your first boyfriend?

Belle's brother, Leslie Hendry.

What do you remember as your favorite subject in school?

Always liked reading and spelling.  Didn't like math.

Tell about a school principal you remember:

Mr. Paden [from] Alameda Grade School.  One time he and his wife came to Lodi and I had them to dinner.

Did you ever pretend to be sick as an excuse to stay home from school?

Yes, whenever mother was having a luncheon or entertaining she would let me stay home.

Did you ever have any superstitions?

Everything with the number 13 and walking under ladders.

Tell about the first time you were ever behind the wheel of a car:

After I was married my husband taught me to drive, in early 1923 (married December 9, 1922).

What childhood fear do you remember?

Afraid of the dark.

Tell about a May Day tradition:

Went to Golden Gate Park where they had a May pole dance, also at Mickey's Grove.

Tell a favorite memory of your mother:

She was always doing something precious for me. Always tooke me to the children's events and made my clothes.

Tell about some good advice your mother gave you:

The Golden Rule and to always be truthful.

Relate your Mother's Day traditions:

We always had a gift for her and we went out to dinner at her favorite restaurant downtown [San Francisco].

Do you remember any childhood songs or rhymes?

Farmer in the Dell and Mulberry Bush.

What was your favorite singing group or band?

Souza's band.

What kind of dances did you do as a youth?

Waltz and two-step.

Tell about the first dance you went to:

Went with my father and mother.  Father would take me on the dance floor and dance with me.

Tell about your High School prom or formal dance:

Joined a dance group in San Francisco and had a formal dance once a month, I was 16 or 17.

Describe the military experience of someone in your family:

An uncle was a captain of a steam ship.

Tell about your graduation exercises or traditions:

I never graduated from High School.

Tell of the closest friend you had during childhood:

Belle, I met her in 3rd grade.  She had a house at Golden Gate Park.

Did you ever sleep under the stars?

Yes, in the country.

What was your first job?

Secretary at the Times Star (Newspaper in Alameda) for 3 years.  Telephone operator for a store in Oakland, selling crystal.  I also worked 8 years at Citizen's National Bank as a secretary.

How much did you get paid?

$1.00 an hour.

How did you learn to swim?

Never learned how to swim and always felt it was as mistake not to have learned.

Tell a favorite memory of your father:

He was very strict and I had to stand straight. He was a captain of a drillteam.

Tell about some good advice he gave you:

Be truthful and honest.

Did you father ever make a special gift for you?

He saved my doll from the fire after the earthquake.  It was the only thing saved from the fire.

Share a memory about going on a picnic:

We always went on picnics with Belle's family.  At Golden Gate Park, we used to walk through the park and out to the Cliff House.  We also went to Santa Cruz with the family [Belle's?].  On Sunday's a special train went out to Santa Cruz.

We also asked Grandma what she remembered about the 1906 earthquake:

The night of the earthquake, we had spent the night at Grandma Nielsen's [in Alameda, across the bay from San Francisco].  It took two weeks before we had word of my father.  He had sent messages through the Red Cross but we never got them.  Father had to live at Golden Gate Park.  From Alameda, you could look over to San Francisco and see all the flames.  We lived in Alameda a long time [after the earthquake], 3 months at least.


Kathryn died on March 12th 1918 in Alameda.  Lauren remarried Julia Beatrice Swafford on 2 Jun 1919.  They had three children.  Julia was also married to George Everett Williams before she married Lauren and they had two children.

I have many resources on the family which I will not be posting here because it would just be too time consuming.  I'd be happy to do look-ups though in the materials Ihave, which include:

I also have unpublished documents such as land map of the Haley property in Nova Soctia and obituaries, vitals, etc. which I will try and post here eventually.

Related Surnames:

Shinn - Nielsen - Mott

Allied Surnames:

Hollett, Inglis, Vaughan, Vermerhen, Guenther

Peterson, Swafford

Williams, Hilton, Barclay, Baker, Burdick, Cameron, Kelley, Wightman

Lies, von Schmidt, Gill, Comerford