Ruby M. Cusack
A filing cabinet with labeled file folders is one way to keep your family research material organized and the age of the computers has brought another choice. I plan to organize all my material some day but for the present, I still often use Mum's way of filing. She would put letters and clippings in a chocolate box, tied with a ribbon and put them in a dresser drawer or trunk for safe keeping.
Yesterday, I opened one of my Ganong Chocolate boxes, tied with a read ribbon and was pleasantly surprised to find letters that had been sent to me, while I was attending Teachers' College. It seemed Mum had written a letter every week with the news of the goings on at home. She told of Gram having a bad cold. . . Sadie had brought her down a batch of doughnuts. . . Greta had dropped in for a visit. . . The minister had come calling and stayed for supper. . . Cliff's mark of 98 on his Algebra test had pleased her. . . Dad had a lame back. . . She hoped I was studying hard and was wearing my rubbers on rainy days. . .
It seems the way mother's worry about their children hasn't changed much over the years. Way back in September of 1840, Catherine McInnes of Crosslee, Paisley, Scotland wrote to her son John McInnes, Care of Mr. James Campbell, Shoemaker, Hampton Court, Near St. John, N.B., British America. ‘She was so pleased to have heard from him after such a long absence.. . Sister Mary had married John Murdoch. . . Grandfather was in the same situation as he left him and was in good health considering his advanced age. She inquired as to when he left his seafaring life and was interested to know if he was working for someone else or did he own land. . Her sight is still weak and she doesn't go out after dark. . . The offer of money will be accepted. . It is good news to hear he is well and well behaved and hopes he will seek God to be his guide for time and eternity.'
The next letter was written to Mr. James Campbell from a very worried and concerned mother. Although she had written 3 letters, she had not heard from her son for a year and hopes that Mr. Campbell will write to her, Mrs. Dugald McInnes, % William Paul, Crosslee Mills and advise her of her son John. It appears she didn't have complete faith in the mailing system as this letter was given to a passenger going to Prince Edward Island with intention to come to Saint John. The letter was postmarked Halifax in1841.
On September 29, 1845, Catherine McInnes writes her brother John. . "Sorry to inform you of our great loss. Mother departed this life 17th of April after an illness of 3 months, brought on by a severe cold." She (Catherine) is now living in Linwood with Mary. . . None of the household goods were sold and they all live together in a large house. . . Both are working in the Cotton Factory. . . She has a great desire to come to America and seeks his advice.
In January of 1852, his sister Margaret wrote from Linwood. ‘She mentioned the Wedding of Mary Robertson and told him about spending her last New Year's Eve in Scotland. In reply to his letter telling her he had a good home and he desires her to come out to him in the Spring and there will be a home for her too. . she hopes he will keep his promise. Clothing is her concern and she wondered if wool would be best to bring. . . She is going to bring a chest of drawers and a good clock. . . Does he need her to bring other household things? How should she act at sea? Will he be able to meet her? Let Mary Jane know that she is looking forward to meeting her.'
A letter dated August of1852 is filled with Margaret's exciting news of her upcoming trip to Saint John on the vessel the ‘HENRY HOLLAND' that leaves Scotland on August 16, 1852. She booked a single cabin passage so as to have the cabin to herself.
I would like to thank Regina (O'Brien) McBride, for sending me copies of the five McInnes letters. Regina's family lived on Mt. Prospect near to the McInnes property.
John McInnis married Mary Jane Berry of St. Martins in 1843. If the information in the 1851 census is correct, John came to New Brunswick at the age of 19, in1833 and waited for seven years before writing to his mother.
There would have been at least four children standing at the door to meet their aunt Margaret on her arrival from Scotland.
By the way, Margaret McInnes married Marcus Campbell on Dec 7, 1853 a year after her arrival. Her chest and clock adorned the home of her grandson, Clarence for many years.
The final resting place of John McInnis and his sister Margaret McInnis Campbell is in Titus Hill Cemetery, Titusville - a long way from their home in Crosslee, Scotland.
These letters that were preserved for more than one hundred and fifty years tell the personal story of a family separated and thus puts a face to those early settlers and their loved ones on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.
White: I am looking for the parents of Henry White of Marrysville, New Brunswick. Were they Loyalists?
-Lucien Hache. E-mail to email@example.com.
Ross: I am looking for any information on Capt. Edward Ross who settled in New Brunswick having arrived from NE Margaree in Cape Breton. He was the son of William E. Ross and Margaret MacKay of Margaree, Cape Breton. Captain Ross is believed to have had the following children in N.B.: Wallace Ross, born in Dorchester (1857); Louden R. Ross married a Morrison; Charles Ross; Edward James Ross married Annie Hicks; Alice Ross married a Lordley and Minnie (Armenia) Ross married a Powell or Ferguson. There is to be a Ross Reunion in NE Margaree next summer and we are trying to locate any and all descendants.
-Marilyn Tusher, 2557 Midvale Avenue, Los Angeles, CA., USA, 90064. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rhinelander- Schurman: I am looking for information on families that came from New Rochelle, New York to Saint John in 1783. Philip Jacob Rhinelander (Reylender / Rheinlaender) baptized Bad Duerckheim, Germany in 1710, was present in New Rochelle in the 1730s. He married Anne Elizabeth Speeder/Spader, a widow, in 1743. It would seem that he had a daughter, Sarah Elizabeth, born about 1755, who married Philip Schurman. (I do not have a birthdate or place for her, but I estimate her age from the petition described below.) Schurman, in 1775 or 1776, was a carpenter, working for the British forces, who had been captured by the Americans. Various Rhinelanders petitioned the Continental government to try to get him back, explaining that he was a very young man, just out of his apprenticeship. I can't trace his service in any Loyalist regiments, but he and Jacob Schurman did turn up in Saint John after 1783. Does anyone have proof of his marriage to Sarah Elizabeth Rhinelander, and the possible move of her father to New Brunswick? (Unlike his brothers, Philip Jacob did not leave a will in New York state.) I would be glad to share my information on the Schurmans/Schuremans in Westchester county, New York.
-Mary Rhinelander McCarl, 28 Old Nugent Farm Road, Gloucester, Massachusetts, USA., 01930-3167. E-mail Mrmccarl@aol.com.
Eastwood: My Great-great grandfather Joseph Eastwood and his brothers came to New Brunswick in 1818. Joseph had served in the Napoleonic War for eight years. Upon his arrival, he settled in Patterson Settlement, which is now Hoyt. I am interested in finding information on his siblings and their descendants.
-Mrs. Donald Roberts, 10 Church St., Norton, N.B., E5T 1A3
Northwest Miramichi Families: I am researching families from the Northwest Miramichi in Northumberland Co., N.B. Primarily the surnames are: Mullin, Matchett, Dunnett, Somers, Sinclair, MacDonald, Blackmore, Copp, Holmes and Johnston. I am willing to share and compare with others who are researching names in this area.
-Dianne Matchett Mullin, Red Bank, N.B., E9E 2A3. 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 reader of the newspaper who do not have access to E-mail but may have information to share. Queries should be 45 words or less.