Ruby M. Cusack
|Miss Hannah English
Parish of Norton
Kingston, March the 15th 1798
Pardon I ask before I proceed further for the unlicensed liberty I have
taken in troubling you with this epistle. Nothing but that Sincere and pure
regard I have for you dictates my pen and you may be assured I Esteem you
to that degree which if you can encourage me it will make me happy.
Your affectionate admirer and devoted servent
Miss Hannah English
|The contents of letters, such as this one from Azor Hoyt to Hannah
English, can reveal genealogical information.
Courtesy of the Kings County Museum
Ground Hog Day had passed and Cliff and I were
looking forward to Valentine's Day.
Mum didn't need to ask twice, when she mentioned she might need help making Valentine Cookies. Cliff was great with the rolling pin and I used the cookie cutter.
Once the cookies were baked and cooled we commenced decorating them.
Mum put a drop of red food colouring in the icing and it turned a beautiful
pink. Next she spooned the pink icing into the cake decorator. I really
enjoyed pushing that plunger and going around the edges of the heart shaped
cookie. Cliff was to do the Cupids. He covered the arrows with the pink frosting
and then asked Mum to make some brown icing for the trousers and shoes of
She took to laughing and said, "Cupid doesn't wear trousers." "He has wings." "On Valentine's Day he shoots his arrows and makes people fall in love."
Sometimes, I just didn't understand the things adults said. "How could Cupid shoot people with a bow and arrow and instead of hurting them, make them fall in love?" Since this was winter time, I agreed with Cliff that this winged child should be wearing some clothes.
It seems that in one instance in1798, Cupid's arrows were delayed in producing instant love on Valentine's Day. Azor Hoyt didn't write his love letter to Hannah English, the girl next door, until March 15. Cupid's arrows must have hit the mark though, as they were married four months later on July 18.
If I had been Hannah English, I would not have been certain as to what Azor was asking in this letter. He certainly used lots of words to beat around the bush.
Azor Hoyt's letter is in the Kings County Museum. It was donated by Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Hoyt of Bloomfield.
Speaking of letters, they are often overlooked as a great source of genealogical information. In the Leah Magowan file at the Kings County Museum a letter dated at Hampton, Dec. 23,1880 is addressed to "Dear Cousin" and states: . . ." Gussie has been in town a few weeks. There is rather too much exposure for Mr. Macmonagle going up and down in the train through the bad weather. We expect them home tomorrow for the holidays. They are boarding at a Mr. Wright's who married Canon Walker's daughter. Mr. Wright is a lawyer and does not usually take boarders but offered to take them. He has a handsome house and they are very pleasantly situated. Mr. Macmonagle is rather better in health than when you were here. There is really a bright prospect of building a little Methodist Church here, you know it is Episcopal ground. The Methodists have only one male communicant besides James but a few have contributed nobly to the building fund. More than sixteen hundred dollars have already been subscribed. The building is to cost a little more than two thousand and I think from the plans will be a very nice little church." . ." Your attached and ever affectionate Cousin, F.C. Trueman
Several letters are in the New Brunswick Museum collection. A letter, dated Nov. 27, 1853 was sent to John Campbell Robertson (Hampton, N.B.) from his son James William Roberston of Melbourne, Australia - he mentions gold fields, several family members etc. (Robertson Family Papers - NBM)
Charlotte Reid, Harvey Corner, N. B. received a letter dated Nov.15,
1887 from her sister Josephine Turner, the wife of Capt. James
B. Turner. It was written in Antwerp and mentions discharging cargo from
ship "Kesmark", impressions of Antwerp, and family news. (Turner Family
Papers - NBM)
On Feb. 13, 1882, W.J. Stewart, Parrsboro, N. S., wrote his uncle, Oscar Hanson, Lepreau, N. B. a detailed account of the death of two family members and included other family news. (Hanson Family Papers - NBM)
Agnes Mae Cushing was born in Bouctouche, Kent Co. on Sep. 25, 1831 and was married in Robinston, Maine on Aug. 28, 1853 to Charles Clark Flemming, who was born on Darlings Island on Feb. 17, 1832. He died Apr. 15, 1877. Her Great granddaughter Judy Buss was fortunate enough to find a letter written by Agnes Mae Cushing Flemming giving this information plus other correspondence. If anyone has information on this family E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the 1850s, Robert Provan of Kingston wrote a letter to his brother-in-law, who was a sea captain. It contained lots of family and neighbourhood news. Amazingly, more than one hundred and thirty years later, a copy of this letter was received from England.
I suggest you inquire of relatives if they have any letters tucked away in a trunk or drawer. When visiting the Archives or Museums always take time to read not only the available letters of your ancestors but of those folk who may have been neighbours.
Much insight into the lives of ancestors can be gained by reading their mail.
* * * * * * * * * * *
Crossman: I am looking for information on Jeremiah Crossman who may have had a land grant in York County. He was a loyalists with the 2nd Regiment of Camden Militia of Charleston, South Carolina. I also am looking for the name of the ship he came on. Any information would be greatly appreciated.
-Elaine Caron, 97 Rowayne Park, Bridgewater, MA., USA., 02324. E-mail email@example.com.
McGowan: I am looking for Hugh Henry McGowan, the father of my great-grandfather of the same name. Hugh Henry, Jr., emigrated to Boston and married Katherine Roach of Prince Edward Island. Hugh's father had timber land in the Saint John area. If anyone can lead me to the Saint John McGowans (or variation of that name) I'd appreciate the help.
-M. M. Jenkins, 90 Quincy Shore Drive, #602, Quincy, MA., USA., 02171. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Farrell - Dube: My great-great-grandfather, Michael Farrell, was in Saint John in 1815 working as a carpenter helping to build a Roman Catholic church. According to family oral tradition, he was sent up the St. John River with a companion to find lumber. At the portage at Grand Falls they stayed overnight at the home of Germaine Dube, whose wife may have been the only person in the community who spoke English. In 1820, he married Germaine's daughter, Julie Dube and received a land grant in what is now Van Buren, Maine. He died there in 1855. I am trying to find out what ship he arrived on and where in Ireland he came from.
-Doris Lapointe, 2205 Walnut Drive, Corinth, MS., USA., 38834. E-mail to email@example.com
Ruby M. Cusack is a genealogy buff. Send your queries
to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Please put Yesteryear Families in the subject line.) Include your name and
mailing address for the benefit of those readers who do not have access to
E-mail. Queries should be 45 words or less.