George Jarvis Dibble

Son of Rev. Frederick Dibblee
Father of Frederick Lewis Dibblee (senior)

George Jarvis Dibblee spent his childhood in Woodstock, where his father, Rev. Frederick Dibblee, was Rector. He moved to Fredericton to become a barrister.

See also:
Original texts and relevant websites
Photos taken by John and Celia Dibblee
References to George Dibblee in Rev. Frederick's diary
Woodstock land grants and map
Fredericton and Woodstock census and directories
Map of places mentioned in Rev. Frederick Dibblee's diary
Newspapers, cemetery records, census, directories, university alumni
Petition of George Jarvis Dibble
Will of George Jarvis Dibble

George Jarvis Dibblee's signature
George Jarvis Dibblee's signature from a letter to his son Frederick Lewis Dibblee senior, railway engineer.

Modern dateTimelineEvidence
1800George Jarvis Dibblee born.
5 Jan 1818George Dibblee starts teaching job in local school.Frederick's diary
1818 & 1821George Dibblee got teaching licence.see career
27 Feb 1824George J. Dibblee gets 190 acres in Brighton, Carlton.Land grants
10 Jan 1826George Dibblee married Elizabeth Ketchum.see wives
4 Jul 1827Elizabeth Dibblee, wife of George, died.see wives
13 June 1829George Dibblee married Susannah Mary Wetmore.see wives
1831Emma W, daughter of George Dibblee, is born.
1833Mary, daughter of George Dibblee, is born.
1835Sophia Mary, daughter of George Dibblee, is born.
1836Elizabeth, daughter of George Dibblee, is born.
11 Jan 1837George J. Dibblee gets 190 acres in Brighton, Carlton.Land grants
1837Frederick Lewis, son of George Dibblee, is born.
1837George Diblee in law partnership with George Berton.see career
1839Thomas W, son of George Dibblee, is born.
1842Kathleen, daughter of George Dibblee, is born.
1844Grace Hailes, daughter of George Dibblee, is born.
1846Sarah Peters, daughter of George Dibblee, is born.
9 Sep 1848Susannah Mary Dibblee (nee Wetmore), wife of George, died.see wives
26 Nov 1850George Dibblee married Jane Peters.see wives
1851George Dibblee living in Fredericton and is a barrister.Census
1871George Dibblee living in Fredericton and is a Notary & Clerk of Peace.Directory
22 Jan 1877George Dibblee died at Fredericton, aged 77.New Brunswick Archives


The newspaper accounts describe the marriages and deaths of George Jarvis Dibblee's three wives.

The first wife is Elizabeth Ketchum second daughter of Major Ketchum, a near neighbour to the Dibblee family in Woodstock and mentioned in the Rev. Frederick Dibblee's diary. George married her in 22 December 1825. Sadly she died in 22 June 1827, in Fredericton. I wonder if in child-birth? She died in Fredericton, so perhaps George had started his legal career then.

George Jarvis Dibblee and Mary Wetmore's marriage

Here is the second marriage of George, to Susannah Mary Wetmore. She was the fifth daughter of Thomas Wetmore, formerly Attorney General. She and George Dibblee had 9 children (see below). She died in 31 August 1848.

George's third wife was Jane Peters, daughter of Hon. Charles J. Peters, formerly H.M. Attorney General (again!) They married on 12 Nov 1850. Jane Dibblee brought up George's children by his previous wife and seems to have been a good mother to them. Both George and Jane wrote a letter to George's son, Frederick Dibblee, railway engineer, when he got married. Her letter is charming, full of praise for his new wife, and is signed "Your affectionate Mother, Jane Dibblee". So the family must have been a happy one. Click here for the full transcript of the letter. She died in 16 March 1886, after George.


Emma W Peters1831-?
Sophia Mary Bliss, later Robinson1835-1897
Frederick Lewis1837-1888
Thomas W1839-1870
Kathleen Head, later Chandler1842-?
Grace Hailes Robinson1844-1937
Sarah Peters1846-1871


George Dibblee's father was Rev. Frederick Dibblee who owned and farmed land as well as being a Rector. Rev. Frederick Dibblee kept a diary. He talks about the various ways that all his children worked on the farm, including George. Click here for George's entries in the diary. Woodstock land grants show that George Jarvis Dibblee received 200 acres in 27 February 1824, when he would have been about 24.

George Dibblee did also seem to have considered a job as a teacher. In Rev. Frederick Dibblee's diary it says "5 Jan 1818 George began the school in Room of Kendall, who has left us." Kendal was the previous school teacher in Woodstock. "9 Dec 1816 Kendall began School this day at 10/- per scholar." I am not sure if George Dibblee was paid the same! George J. Dibblee is listed under Petitions for Teachers' Licences & Payment for Carleton County for 1818 and 1821. (See records about Rev. Frederick Dibblee's children.)

Rev. Frederick Dibblee died in 1826 and his will says that his property was to be divided among sons John, William S. I., Henry C. and daughter Maria Jane Dibblee, while his other children received sums of money, in George's case £25. This suggests some of the children had decided to be farmers while others had other careers, including George, and their father respected this.

Unlike his brothers Frederick and David, George Dibblee did not attend the College of New Brunswick (see records about Rev. Frederick Dibblee's children). David Lewis Dibblee even qualified as a Barrister-at-Law. It seems that George Dibblee manage to become a lawyer without formal qualifications. The biography of George Frederick Street Berton says "The death in 1821 of George Ludlow Wetmore in a duel with Bertonís uncle George Frederick Street arising out of a court-room quarrel triggered a whole series of measures to safeguard the gentlemanly image of the bar. In 1823 the Supreme Court imposed on the profession the first extensive regulations for the admission of students-at-law, attorneys, and barristers." (see website Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online). Presumably George Dibblee managed to avoid these extensive regulations, but his brother, 4 years younger, had to conform to them. Incidentally, George Berton and George Dibblee became partners (see below) even though George Ludlow Wetmore was the brother of George Dibblee's second wife.

There is another, ealier, way that George Jarvis Dibblee was involved with the Streets, a famous legal family. He is named on a petition which tries to unseat a member of the General Assembly recently elected, and replace him with George Frederick Street (the dueller). This happened in 1831. George's first wife died in Fredericton in 1827, which suggests that they were living in Fredicton at this time.

It seems likely that George Dibblee's second wife, Susannah Mary Wetmore, had a major impact on George's career. They must have married around 1830. Her father was Thomas Wetmore, who was Attorney General, based in Fredericton. He was a loyalist and a strong supporter of the established church, and therefore it is likely that he would have known George's father, Rev. Frederick Dibblee. So we presume that this is how the young couple met. George's new father-in-law could provide contacts for George's new career. George and Susannah had a large family, but in 1848 she died.

We do know that in 1837, George Dibblee was living in Fredericton as a established lawyer. The website Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online gives a biography of George Frederick Street Berton. "After he was called to the bar in 1832, he established himself in Fredericton where, five years later, he commenced the successful law partnership with George Jarvis Dibblee that continued until his death" (in 1840).

There is one oddity. George J. Dibblee got a land grant of 190 acres in Brighton, Carleton County, in 11 Jan 1837. Brighton is upriver from Woodstock, on the other side of the river. The middle initial seems to establish this as 'our' George. He must have bought this land as an investment, and put in a tenant to actally farm it. (See the website of the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick for the land grant.)

The records about Rev. Frederick Dibblee's children show that in 1851, George Jarvis Dibblee is living in Fredericton with a new wife, a large family and four servants. He is described as a barrister. The Hutchinson Directories Directory 1867-1868 says the same, and the Lovell Directory 1871 describes him as Notary & Clerk of Peace.

The New Brunswick Reporter and Fredericton Advertiser of Fredricton, in an obituary (I assume) of Hon. A.R. Wetmore, Attorney General, says "Judge Wetmore was born in this city, 11 Aug. 1820. He received his education in this city and studied law in the office of Hon. E.B. CHANDLER of Dorchester for three years, but completed his studies with Geo. J. DIBBLEE in this city." (Taken from the website Provincial Archives of New Brunswick.)


Risteenís Factory, built in former George J. Dibblee home

Risteenís Factory, built in former George J. Dibblee home, Queen and Smythe Streets, Fredericton


Georhe Jarvis Dibblee's original will, dated 1862, bequethed his property to his wife, his two sons and his youngest brother (David, also a barrister) executors, to support any of his unmarried daughters. A later codicil, dated 1872, was necessary, because his younger son, Thomas, had died, and his older son, Frederick Lewis Dibblee was now working in Inida, and unlikely to come back to Canada. So the executors became George Dibblee's wife and one of his married daughters. The unmarried daughters were still to be looked after, but when they all married or died, the property was to be divided between his daughters and Thomas's children. This seems to have disinherited his still living son.

Daily News of St John "d. Fredericton, 22nd Jan., George J. DIBBLEE, Barrister-at-Law, age 76." They got his age wrong! Click on the picture below for a fuller photo of his grave.

Inscription of George Jarvis Dibblee's grave