New Carlisle, Quebec, Canada
One indicator of the significance of New Carlisle, Quebec as a centre of Astle settlement is the list of Canadian soldiers of WWI with variations of the Astle surname. Of 33 men attested for the Canadian Expeditionary Force, 12 were born in New Carlisle and one other is known to have New Carlisle paternal ancestry. Of the 13 soldiers, 6 signed as Astels and 3 as Assels and 4 as Astles, demonstrating spelling changes that evolved in a relatively short period.
Loyalist refugees and disbanded British soldiers from the American Revolutionary War established New Carlisle in 1784 on Quebec’s Gaspe Peninsula. Two men named James Astles were among that group of settlers. One James Astles, a tailor, was accompanied by a wife and 4 children; the other was apparently single. Both received land in the drawing for lots shortly after arrival. It seems James, the tailor, soon moved on to the new province of New Brunswick across the Bay of Chaleur.
The other James, a former British soldier, referred to as James Jr. by family historian A.E. Flowers, married Sarah Flowers, daughter of Robert Flowers, another British soldier who arrived at New Carlisle in that first fleet. They remained in New Carlisle for the rest of their lives and had 10 children, including 6 sons. Due to big families in succeeding generations, James and Sarah have large numbers of descendants across North America today.
The Astle Y DNA Study has proven that the two James Astles were closely related, but not how.
Flowers, A. D. The Loyalists of Bay Chaleur. Vancouver, BC: Precise Instant Printing, 1973.
Flowers, William. Chaleur Genealogy Forum – Mysteries, Myths & Unusual Events – Mysteries – The Two James Astles of New Carlisle.
http://www.beyondgrandmasattic.com/forum/index.php?topic=307.15. Downloaded 26 July 2009.
Library and Archives Canada. Soldiers of the First World War (1914-1918). Online http://www.collectionscanada.ca/archivianet/020106_e.html. Astle and variations data downloaded 15 July 2009.
Stufflebean, Linda. “James Astle, Loyalist of New York, Quebec, and New Brunswick.” New Brunswick Genealogical Society Generations (Fall & Winter 1993).
The information on this page is kindly supplied by Marilyn M. Astle.