Two letters, both written by family researcher Henry Mosle West Winter to Bermudian genealogist William Zuill, provide a great deal of information on John Dunscomb, his siblings, his children, and his children's families. They are transcribed as follows:
March 23, 1936
Dear Mr. Zuill,
I was very glad indeed to get your letter this morning, with such a complete account of the Dunscombe family in Bermuda, and I can not thank you sufficiently for having gone to all the trouble. I have forwarded the information about Josiah William Dunscombe, who was a Yale graduate of 1801, to Yale University, since they have been trying off and on for the past twenty years to find some record of him in Bermuda.
If you find anything more about the Dunscombe family, I would appreciate it very much if you would inform me of it. I know nothing about their history in Bermuda save what you have told me, although I believe that Philip Dunscombe's wife's name was White, at least he is mentioned in the will of Matthew White as "my son Philip Dunscombe." I have unfortunately lost this reference, but will look it up again and confirm it. Also, the will of Thomas Jadwyn, as I copied it, mentioned "my son Thomas Dunscombe," not Philip.
I should be particularly anxious to learn the name of John Dunscombe, my ancestor's mother. Are you using the parish registers for your data? I should imagine that the births, deaths, and marriages of the Dunscombes would all be found in the Pembroke Parish registers, but I have written the vicar of the church there without receiving an answer.
I can tell you something of John Dunscombe of Newfoundland which you may not know. His father was connected in business with a certain Captain Charles Magill, of Tullycarne, co. Down, Ireland and Middletown, Conn., and on a visit which John Dunscombe made to this man, he met his eldest daughter, Elisabeth Magill, and was married to her by the Right Reverend Abraham Jarvis, Bishop of Connecticut, at Cheshire, Conn., July 28, 1799, and after the marriage returned to Bermuda, where they resided for about 8 years. The Dunsocmbes then removed to Newfoundland, settling at Placentia, the old capital. Dunscombe took an active part in the Government of the Colony, becoming under Governor Cochrane, Lieutenant Governor, and a member of the Govering COuncil. The latter part of his life he lived in England, in Turnbridge, Wells, co. Kent, and Portsmouth, He died in 1849.
By Eliza Magill, he had at least 11 children, the names of two of which I do not know. The eldest, Eliza, was born in Bermuda, and married at Albany, September 24, 1831 Henry I. Cammann, a lawyer, who died about 18 months after their marriage. Mrs. Cammann lived in England most of her life.
The second child of which I have record, was Edward Dunscomb, who was born at St. John's Hill, July 8, 1806, and died at Nashville, Tennessee, Feb 8, 1895. He was a doctor by profession. He married first, at St. George's, Bermuda, July 18, 1831 Ann Mary Seon, the daughter of Daniel Seon and Sarah Catherine Manley, and by her had seven children.
The third child of John Dunscomb was named John William Dunscombe, and he became eventually Collector of the Port of Quebec. He married Caroline Birch Durnford, the daughter of General Elias Walker Durnford, R.E. and Jane Sophia Mann. He died at Quebec, December 16, 1891, having had fourteen children, of which three only left issue, Florence married to Dewitt Page Ballard; Caroline Durnford, my grandmother, married to George Mosle, of Bremen, and John Arthur Seward Dunscombe, of Leadville, Colorado, all of them long since deceased.
The fourth child was Caroline Augusta, who married the Hon. James Crowdy, Colonial Secretary of Nova Scotia, and Administrator of Newfoundland. They had a son and a daughter, of which the son only married and had issue.
The fifth child was named Margaret, and married William Vallance, of Liverpool, by whom she had ten children, none of whom, as far as can be ascertained, left posterity.
The sixth child was named Sarah Christianna, born at St. John's, December 12, 1814, died at Dawlish, co. Devonshire, January 9, 1883. She married the Venerable Thomas Finch Hobday Bridge, Archdeacon of Labrador and Newfoundland, by whom she had nine children, of whom the second, Admiral Sir Cyprian Arthur George Bridge, K.C.B., was director of Naval Intelligence of the Admiralty, President of the North Sea Russian Outrage Commission, and a member of the Mesopotamia Commission, a Knight of St. Danilo of Montenegro, Knight Grand Cross of the Bath, Knight Grand Cross of the Rising Sun of Japan. His brother was Major-General Thomas Field Dunscomb Bridge, who was aide-de-camp to Queen Victoria and King Edward VII. Their youngest brother, was General Sir Charles Henry Bridge.
The seventh child was George Hoyles Dunscomb, a banker of Cobourg, Ontario, who died in Florida in 1871 leaving a posthumous son, Geeorge Hoyles Dunscomb Jr., until recently the President of a Bank in Chicago.
The above is, I am afraid, a very brief sketch, only. I have traced the Dunscombe descendants almost completely, and would be delighted to give you a more complete record if you wished, but I will not do it until I hear from you that you want it, since it occurs to me that you may be interested in Bermuda families only in so far as they lived in Bermuda.
Henry W. Winter
H.M. West Winter
New York City
330 West 36 Street
19 May 1938
Dear Mr. Zuill,
You have been so very helpful to me in the past, as regards my efforts to compile a Dunscombe pedigree, that I am encouraged to approach you again, after the lapse of a year, to ask you some advice.
I have now succeeded in tracing all the descendants, male and female, of my ancestor the Hon. John Dunscombe of Newfoundland, and am wondering just what chance I would have of being able to trace the descendants of his sisters, and of his uncles and aunts, all of whom, I presume, left a fiarly extensive posterity in Bermuda. I suppose all genealogists have their "goal", and mine is to take my ancestry back seven generations on all lines, and then trace down on all lines to the present. Since six different nationalities are represented in my great-grandparents, this has proved to be something of an undertaking, but to date, I have all the 32 families moderately complete with the exception of the Dunscombe's, whom I have been able to take back only five generations.
As I understand it, my John Dunscombe had a brother Josiah, who died unmarried, and two sisters: Sarah and Ann. He also had an uncle, William Dunscombe, and five aunts: Elizabeth, Anna, Isabella, Susanna and Margott. WHat I am anxious to do, and what I am taking the liberty of questioning you about, is the feasibility of tracing the descendants of these eight Dunscombes. Doubtless many of them immigrated to this country, and some possibly even to England. Would you think such an undertaking possible? And if so, can you recommend any course of action which will not involve much expenditure? I'm afraid I'm not at all at home with your Bermuda records, and don't know where parish registers are kept, or will, etc.
H.M. West Winter