Dear diary . . .

Like that of Azor Hoyt, your diary could  become a legacy cherished by future generations

In diaries we record our personal experiences, daily activities, observations and our innermost thoughts.

For many years Ned has kept a diary. In it he has recorded a detailed account of the happenings in his life.

Lois has followed in her mother's footsteps and carefully records in her diary all the events of family and community.

Ken gave me a copy of the diary of his relative. It was written in the 1920s in a very abbreviated form in a scribbler. The weather, daily visitors, who stayed for a meals and other comments were recorded.

Azor Hoyt was another who enjoyed scribbling down the day's events. Born Sept. 13, 1770 in Connecticut, he came with his parents to New Brunswick in the Loyalist Fleet of 1783. On March 15, 1798, he wrote a letter of proposal to "the girl next door" Hannah English. They were married on July 18, 1798, and lived and raised their family on the Lower Norton Shore, on the bank of the Kennebecasis River, Kings County, New Brunswick, Canada.

Mr. Hoyt left a legacy behind him for all to share: A diary written on sheets of paper about 6x8 inches, loosely sewn together with thread. It appears to date from 1810 to the time of his death in 1842. It was then carried on by his grandson, Isaac Ketchum Hoyt, until his death in 1855.

If you have connections to the Lower Norton Shore of Kings County, N.B. or would simply like to gain an insight into daily life of years gone by, you will no doubt enjoy and possibly find the clues you need in "Ice Out Past My House The diary of Azor Hoyt: A King's County Loyalist."

Mr. Hoyt's diary has been edited and compiled by Jack E. Hoyt and contains genealogical notes by Jack E. Hoyt and Sandra Keirstead Thorne. The explanatory notes at the bottom of each page will give you a wider understanding of the original entries. For example:

"Jan 25, 1817:  Mrs. Wm. Ketchum died 2 o'clock Saturday morning. The explanatory note informs us that Ann, also referred to as Nancy, (Forrester) Ketchum was the daughter of John Forrester, a Loyalist from Rhode Island and wife of William Ketchum, a Loyalist from Connecticut, son of Jonathan Ketchum and brother of Isaac, Thomas, Samuel and James."

And . . . "May 08, 1832:  Hannah E. Hoyt went to school the first time to Mr. Ed Devin." Explanatory note: Hannah E. Hoyt, granddaughter of Azor Hoyt, daughter of Samuel Belden and Clarissa (Ketchum) Hoyt".

"Ice Out Past My House The diary of Azor Hoyt: A King's County Loyalist."  can be viewed at the Kings County Museum, and at other research institutions.

Queries have been grouped together to cover the year 1998 and can be viewed at Queries-1998

Ruby Cusack is a genealogy buff living in New Brunswick, Canada. Readers are invited to send their New Brunswick genealogical queries to When E-Mailing please put Yesteryear Families in the Subject line. Queries should be no more than 45 words in length.

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