Ruby M. Cusack
Lessons were being done around the kitchen table and since the next day was March 17, Mum was searching the newspaper for a suitable article for Current Events but none could be found.
She suggested Cliff take the shillelagh made from a black thorn tree and tell about there being no snakes in Ireland as St. Patrick had chased them off the island.
I wanted to take the old 1915 St. Patrick's Day postcard with an Irish gent walking his pig by a string tied to the pig's back leg. After consenting, she realized there was a problem. What was I going to say about the pig in the picture. Dad suggested the pig was being taken to Market but Mum scoffed at that thought.
Ken walked in to the kitchen during this discussion and piped up, "The pig is a symbol of good luck."
I asked him how he knew that. He replied, "I saw it in a Dick Tracy comic book. The card player had a deck of cards with a pig on it to bring him good luck."
Over the years my collection of St. Patrick's Day postcards has grown and there are several with the good luck pig on them.
Probably my Irish ancestors would have considered the pig a great addition to their larder and they also could have used good luck as times were hard for them.
Some immigrants were fortunate to have money in their pockets to purchase land or apply for the free land that they had heard would be theirs to hold forever and ever.
I really never gave much thought as to how my Irish ancestors made their way in the1820s from the Port of Saint John to their grant of land at Millican Settlement, or how Thomas Cusack with a wife and ten children reached Hibernia, St, Martins Parish in 1834. One thing is certain there were no automobiles in those days.
Donald MacKay in his publication, Flight From Famine. The Coming of the Irish to Canada really opened my eyes about the conditions the Famine Immigrants faced upon their arrival.
Edward Carmony from Limerick arrived in Chatham with his wife, six children and a grandchild. He sought work for more than a month. With nowhere to live and no prospects, he set off on foot with his family on a two-week journey of a hundred miles to Fredericton. Three of his sons found work on farms along the way, but Carmony himself found nothing and was reduced in Fredericton to begging.
One chapter of this book is titled ‘Off We Go to the Miramichi'. If you have any Irish roots in the area, you will find this an informative section. . . .
William and Ann Fitzgerald had eight children between the ages of two and twenty-three, some of whom had to be left behind for a year until their parents could find their feet in Northeastern New Brunswick. They were accompanied by Ann's brother Cornelius Harrigan . . . The two families settled around Williamstown and touched off a chain migration of relatives and neighbours in the next few years.
The bears, wolves and moose that they saw frequently had only been heard about in Fairy Tales. . . . Timber and fish were the main exports.. . . Many a potato-planting cottier, who had never seen a forest became first-rate choppers in three months. Within one or two generations, skilled Irish lumberjacks could be found not only in the woods of New Brunswick and the Canadas but out in the woods of Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and farther west, harvesting the giants of the North American forest and running large timber companies. . .Many a son or husband lost his life to the perils of falling trees or by drowning on the log drives.
The eight years from 1827 to 1835 brought 65,00 Irish to New Brunswick
and although many used the province as a stepping stone to the American states,
large numbers stayed.
In Flight From Famine, Don MacKay tells not only of the arrival of the Irish but the appalling conditions that forced them to emigrate. The book gives us a glimpse of intolerance, social iniquity and the corrosive effects of religious antagonism yet at the same time it is an inspiring story of how people arrived penniless, sometimes even naked and were able to "make good" in the New World.
The 19 page index and the 12 page Select Bibliography and Source Notes are an added bonus to researchers.
St. Patrick's Day is a time to remember the hardy Irish settlers who arrived here under both good and poor conditions but never once forgot Erin Go Bragh!
Crock: My great-grandfather, Henry Crock was born in Saint John in1826 or1836. His parents were Henry Synge Crock and Mary (maiden name unknown). Henry left Saint John in November of 1855 aboard the ‘Themis' bound for Liverpool, England. He sailed from there in December for Melbourne, Australia aboard ‘The Earl of Sefton' arriving in April of 1856. Any information concerning his ancestors, parents and siblings would be appreciated. I can reciprocate with details of his life and descendants in Australia.
-Desmond Crock, 4/106 Alexander Road, Rivervale, Western Australia, 6103. Phone 61(Australia) - 8 - 9478 3362. E-mail to email@example.com.
Allaby - Wood: I am unable to confirm that the Loyalist Isaac Allaby is the father of the Isaac Allaby born in1793 and who married Sophia Wood of Burton on Mar. 04,1815. He applied for and received a land grant of 200 acres in Saltsprings, Kings County. Isaac and Sophia had four sons and five daughters. Their descendants settled mainly in Upham Parish, Kings County. Any help would be appreciated.
-Percy Nelson, 303 Southcrest Drive. London, Ontario, N6J 1N3. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ruby M. Cusack is a genealogy buff. Send your queries to her at email@example.com. (Please put Yesteryear Families in the subject line.) Include your name and mailing address for the benefit of those who do not have access to E-mail. Queries should be 45 words or less.