Ruby M. Cusack
|Every year the doors of St. Paul's Church in Londonderry
are opened and
parishioners step back in time by singing the hymns of praise and
hearing the words of scripture as did the settlers of years gone
Photo courtesy of Faye Pearson
Every kid enjoys playing in the sand and Cliff and I were no exception. We pretended we were building new highways as we made roads over the mountains and through the valleys of the sand pit.
Our cars were not the sophisticated ones that the kids of today play with - we made our own. A block of wood and four bottle caps for wheels and we had a bulldozer to clear a path, of course it was environmentally friendly as it was hand powered.<>A group of Irish families arrived in Saint John in the Spring of 1818. Leaving their families in lodgings in Saint John, they set out on a journey to the head of the settlement on the Hammond River, walking forty miles to reach an area where there was land available for settlers and as yet ungranted. The tool they used to cut a road through the woods along which to settle was also hand powered - it was the axe. Eleven miles from Sussex, they cleared land for the settlement of Londonderry.
Some of the people who were allotted land on the Shepody Road were
not very well satisfied due to the poor quality of the land. The truth
is that when the tide of Immigration from Ireland began about 1818
there was very little good land along the rivers left ungranted. In
1826, a number of the
settlers petitioned to have the Shepody Road improved. They
complained of its condition and the choice of taking it over the tops
of some mountains nearly perpendicular and so very stony that no labor
ever could make it a
good turnpike road. The petition states there were thirty-five families
in all one hundred and thirty three souls and they had cleared and had
cultivation three hundred and eighty acres of land. They spoke of their
hardships and how it was very difficult for them to get enough money to
for their land grants. The petition was signed by: James Elliott. Henry
Hugh McCarter, James Alexander, Arthur Robson, Edward Robson, Robert
James Dunne, Thomas Duffield, Frederick Emerson, John Patton, George
Charles Campbell, Thomas Schoals, John Smith, Ephraim Smith, John
Robert Nethery, Thomas Gregory, James Nethery, William Marshall,
Scott, Joseph Emerson, James Crow, Samuel Campbell and William Barber.
gives us some idea as to the heads of families living on the Shepody
Other petitions are included. Appendix B lists the owners of Land Grants.
The Anglican settlers of Londonderry were served by travelling ministers and missionaries until St. Paul's was built in the early 1850s. Rev. W. H. DeVeber reported to the Church Society in 1851 that "a neat norman structure, consisting of a tower, nave and chancel of pleasing proportions had been built. It will hold about 159 people and will, it is hoped prove a blessing to the settlers in that comparatively poor district. With the Society's help, the Missionary hopes to finish the church next summer."
Quotations also are given from the diary of Bishop Medley.
The settlers of Londonderry did get their house of worship but one by one they left the Shepody Road until the farm land was taken over by the forests.
The Ulster Scots have never had an easy time, but their toughness and their love for their church shows again in their descendants as they labor to keep the building intact, just as their forefathers labored to have the church erected.
This year, as in years past, on a Sunday in August, they will travel the dusty narrow Shepody Road to open the doors of St. Paul's Church in Londonderry and step back in time by singing the hymns of praise and hearing the words of scripture as did the settlers of years gone by.
Contact the Kings County Museum, Hampton at firstname.lastname@example.org for information on the publication St. Paul's Church, Londonderry and the Shepody Road.
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Rees: I am researching the Rees family. Apparently there was a Captain Rees who came to Saint John with his wife and son Alexander in 1783. This Captain Rees was a sea captain who was a United Empire loyalist and who commanded the British ship of war Galatia. Alexander (the son) subsequently settled at Cumberland Point where he was granted Lots 20 and 21 containing 430 acres. He was an early Baptist minister in the local church. This Rees family are said to be lineal descendants of the Welsh King, Rees ap Madoc. The son of Alexander, Edward Rees, would be my great grandfather. I have tried very hard to find out more about the father of Alexander, Captain Rees and I have searched many avenues but can find no ship called Galatia. Neither can I find a list of landed immigrants to Saint John in 1783. Any suggestions or help in my quest would be most appreciated.
-Laurel Cormier, 85 Main Street, Saint John, N.B., E2K 1H2. E-mail to LAUREL@NBNet.NB.CA.
Walls - Mersereau - Mowatt - Tuck: Marion Turnbull Walls married James Mersereau in Milltown, New Brunswick and had six children. Marion was born and lived most of her life in Milltown and moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota after her husband died around 1910. I'm interested in finding out who her parents and siblings were. I am also seeking information on the parents and siblings of Margaret Mowatt who was born in 1820 in Oak Bay. She married John Tuck and had one child Samuel James Tuck. Would anyone with knowledge about these families please get in touch with me.
- Monica Barreto, 1801 Clydesdale Pl, NW, 212 Washington, DC, 20009. Or E-mail to email@example.com.
Cullinan - Joyce: I'm looking for information on Marjorie Cullinan who married Richard
Joyce on Jun.17, 1850.
-E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
West - Woodward: I am looking for information on the Loyalists: William; Israel; James and John West. William and Israel were given land grants in the Kingsclear area in 1799 - Kellys Creek (Porcupine Mt.) - Lot 90 and Kitchen Brook (New Market) Lot 8. Israel - Lot 86. Edward West, son of one of the four Wests settled in the Royalton, Tracey Mills, Centreville area in the early 1800s. William and James were on the march to free Quebec in the 104th Regiment in 1812-13. Eliz. West married Timothy Woodward, who was killed on May 29, 1813 either at Sacketts Harbour, NY or in the present day Ontario. Any information on any of the Wests in New Brunswick. would be greatly appreciated.
-Pauline West Keehn, 5697 Sugar Bush Circle, Pollock Pines, CA, 95726. E-mail to email@example.com.
Ruby is a genealogy buff. Readers are invited to send their New Brunswick genealogical queries to her at firstname.lastname@example.org. When E-Mailing please put Yesteryear Families in the Subject line. Please include in the query, your name and postal address as someone reading the newspaper, may have information to share with you but not have access to E-mail. Queries should be no more than 45 words in length.