Mrs. Claus of genealogy
While Santa comes but once a year, Cleadie Barnett gives out information all year long
|The Banks Family Wash Day
a Railroad Worker's Family
ca. 1920-1922 at Westfield Round Table Siding,
Kings Co., New Brunswick
A full moon meant a great night to go coasting. To top it off this was Friday night and no lessons. Doing the supper dishes was one of our assigned chores. I think there were probably some tears left on the cutlery, as I rushed to get the knives and forks dried and put away.
Once this task was finished, we put on our woolen snow pants, heavy jackets,
scarves, hats and mittens.
It always took so long to get rigged up - no zippers or velcro in those days.
More haste, less speed surely applied at this time. My boots had buckles on them and I couldn't get them to fasten properly. Mum came to my rescue as usual. Cliff had already taken the toboggan and had gone out to the hill.
I ran through the outside porch and out the door and grabbed my ski-runner sled. Then through the still night air, I heard Dad yell from the doorway, "You must have been born in a duck house since you never think to close the door behind you!"
Now Cleadie Barnett's father had a different saying about her mother, who liked to travel. She would hop on a street car in Fairville and go to town or take the train to visit relatives. He joked that she liked this travelling because she was born in a box car.
About fifty years ago Cleadie was given a Bible with a Family section in it. This was her introduction into the world of genealogy. As the years progressed and her thirst for family information grew, she found out the meaning of her father's words. Indeed her mother was born in a box car. Her dad, Cleadie's grandfather, was a railroad worker, building the rail line from New Brunswick to Upper Canada, through Northern Maine. The family lived in a box car fitted out as an early mobile home.
Cleadie also liked to travel, but her "get off" stop was the New Brunswick Provincial Archives in Fredericton. When her children were young, she made monthly trips there, not to shop but to bring home huge amounts of photocopies.
It is this stash, that has kept her going for the past 10 years or so. She has gradually converted these materials, first to typewritten copies, later to computer files.
As the senior years crept on her she began to have concerns about what was to become of her very large collection, which had begun as four pages, and grew to span about 20 feet of books; and about 40 feet of research papers; and eight to 10 large file boxes of client files and donated items. The task of converting the latter two items to computer files looked daunting, but necessary as she lived in a mobile home by that time.
Strange to say, the faster she typed, and the more she gave away, the more that came in, so that now she has only about one-half a file box less than when she began her "trim down" phase.
Cleadie is a firm believer in what you give away, will come back doubled. At the present she has about 900 megs of data on her zip disk files, and less than a dozen megs are on line. Over half to three quarters of the rest are gifts that came to her by sharing what she had. Her wish for Christmas would be for twelve secretaries to come calling and stay for a year or two, so the rest of the paper files could be put onto the computer.
At this time of year, children are keen on visiting Santa Claus and Toy Departments. Cleadie's website "New Brunswick's Past" at http://homepages.rootsweb.com/~nbpast/ is one that family researchers will want to visit not only as the Christmas season nears but for all year long. Here she has placed years of her work and best of all are her searchable electronic links and search engine.
Christmas is a time of giving. Cleadie has given gifts of genealogical information as Santa Claus has given toys from his pack. You might call her the Mrs. Santa Claus of genealogy who gives information for 365 days of the year.
New Brunswick GenWeb http://www.rootsweb.com/~cannb/
My Family - New Brunswick and Beyond http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~cannbfam/
Abell: I am interested in finding information about Dr. Abell who was involved with the School for the Deaf in Saint John, N.B. If anyone is connected to the Abell family or has information, I would like to hear from them.
-Beverley (Abell) Floyd, 103 Wheeler Crescent, Stoufville, Ont., L4A 1L4. Or E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Neill: I am searching for any information and relatives of William Alexander Neill, born in Saint John in 1850. He went to Brooklyn, NY in the US in 1865. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
-Robin Neill Farr, P.O. Box 70, Mathews, Virginia, USA, 23109. E-mail to email@example.com.
O'Neill - Gallant: Catherine O'Neill was born in Wexford, Ireland on Apr.30, 1833 died in Salt Lake City, Utah on Oct.14, 1911. Joseph Gallant was born in Bordeaux, France in1829 and died in Boston. They were married in1876 in New Brunswick. Their children born in Saint John are: Margaret (1853) married to John McMackin; Mary (Jan.10,1856) and died in 1870 and was married to James Moran; Joseph (1859) and died in1861 in Saint John; Nellie (1861); Elizabeth (Apr. 24, 1866) and died Feb.18, 1953 in Salt Lake City, Utah. She married George Nobel Parents on Jan.12, 1885. Does anyone have any information on this family?
-Patricia Treece, P.O. Box 319, Mountlake Terrace, WA., 98043. Or E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kichline: I am searching for any information regarding the birth place, or residence prior to 1778 of Philip Kichline, Kighline or Kickline. At this time he was held at a Court of Inquistion in Sussex Co. N.J. He later (1783) arrived in New Brunswick under the name Keithland with family Mary Ann, Joseph, and two children under the age of 10. Any information would be greatly appreciated.
-Ralph B. Cathline,108 Collier St., Apt 308, Barrie, Ontario, L4M 5R5. E-mail email@example.com
Ruby M. Cusack is a genealogy buff.
Send your queries to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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