Antique Furniture by New Brunswick Craftsmen
I ran into the house with tears streaming down my cheeks, screaming for Mum to come quickly. I had been building a little house from some cedar shingles for Daffy's kittens. Hammering nails was my specialty but this time I missed and hit my thumb.
After Mum had given me lots of hugs and I had soaked my thumb in cold water, she suggested I bring the little house and kittens into the porch. It was her way of getting me to get my mind off the throbbing pain.
Her idea worked. I sat on the floor and played with the three little black and white kittens. Mum gave me several compliments on my building but then Dad walked in and he took one look at my project and laughingly said, "I don't think you could build a button for an outhouse door!"
He continued to poke fun by adding insult to injury with the next comment, "You certainly didn't inherit any craftsman skills from your great-grandfather." I was crushed and burst into tears again.
Speaking of craftsmen, you can learn much about them and the furniture they made from the book ‘Antique Furniture by New Brunswick Craftsmen' that was written by Huia G. Ryder.
When the Loyalists arrived in Saint John there were six cabinetmakers listed and nine men gave their trade as joiners. In 1785 the first cabinetmaker to take out his Freeman papers or to register his business was Captain Robert Chilas, an officer in the New York City Volunteers. Daniel Fowler was the second one to register. Others whose names are mentioned prior to 1800 are: William Gerrard, Paul Musherow, Jr., as a chairmaker, Thomas Gregg, John Newberg, William Wilbore, George Reed and Thomas Beatty.
Woodcarvers became in demand not for only decorating furniture but for the figureheads on the bows of sailing vessels that were being built.
Furniture makers also set up shop in rural areas. Their furniture was on a more rugged style to serve the country kitchen, yet fancy furniture was desired by the housewife for the parlor.
William Mark lived in Hampton and was a maker of spinning wheels and Windsor chairs.
The village of Upham in Kings County was also a great furniture-making centre. It is most probable that E. Fenwick turned most of the spool beds that could be found in nearly every home in the area.
The first person known to have operated a chair factory in Mispec was a man named J. McCarthy in about 1840.
Captain Omar Pasha Brown and Austin Brown of Quaco made ship furniture and captain's chests.
This comprehensive 180-page book with eighty-two photographs on the history of furniture-making deals with craftsmen's work organized by time and county of manufacture. It includes chapters on Acadian furniture, campaign furniture and lists of cabinet-makers with dates, bibliography, and has an index of six hundred entries. The book is based on years of research by the author and will prove invaluable not only to those interested in New Brunswick furniture-makers but to family tree makers.
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A partial listing of names mentioned in the book: Thomas Adams, Thomas Aitken, John Ald, David Lockhart Allen, Robert Anderson, Thomas Beatty, John Bennet, Thomas William Bird, William Brand, John Brander, Omar Pasha Brown, John Campbell, Thomas J Caswell, William Chapman, William G Cody, Severin Cormier, John Crandall, Charles Dixon, George Duval, James Emery, Amos Fales, Reuben Farnham, Gordon Gilchrist, Robert Graham, James Haddock, James Henderson, Jonas Howe, James Alex. Jordan, James Kirkland, Alfred Lordly, Robert Loggie, Jacques Leger, James Lowdon, Cornelius Manuel, John Marshall, Samuel McKeen, James Warren Moore, Thomas Nisbet, Albert Perry, Alfred Riggs, John Rogerson, William Titus, Richard Thorn and the Vroom Brothers.
Although the title makes one think this is
a book on antique furniture, the publication contains a great deal of genealogical
information and in my opinion is an excellent resource book.
To order a copy of the book - visit http://www.rubycusack.com/Book-Furniture-Ryder.html
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Ebert - Thomas: My Great-grandfather, Charles A. Ebert was born in Saint John in 1884. His wife's maiden name was Thomas. Does anyone have information on an Ebert family?
-Paul Ebert, 30 Island Road, Lynnfield, MA, 01940. E-mail to PEBERT@GLOBALP.COM.
Splane - Spillane- Spelahan - Shea: I am seeking ancestors, descendants or relatives of Michael Splan (Splane, Spelahan, Spillane) of New Brunswick, Maine and Massachusetts. He was born in Ireland 1811 - 1816 and probably died in Hampden County, Massachusetts 1880 - 1900. His first wife was Hannah and his second marriage in 1852 was to Mary Johanna ‘Annie" Shea. His known children are: James (1845); Hannah Ann born in 1847 in New Brunswick; Ellen; Thomas A. (1854); Michael John (1856); Elizabeth C. (1857); Mary L.born in 1858 in Portland.
-Nancy L. Piccirilli, 1499 Centreville Road, Apt. 5 Centreville Court, Warwick, Rhode Island, 02886
Call: I am trying to find information on my Great-grandmother Emma J. Call. As near as I can determine she came from Saint John, New Brunswick. She married W. A. Hall in 1880 in southeast VT. Therefore, she was probably born in the late 1850s or early 1860s.
-Floyd G. Timson, 408 Walnut St., Princeton, WV, 24740. E-mail to email@example.com.
McCluskey - Webb - Bailey - Schoales: William McCluskey and Elizabeth Webb were married on Jan. 2, 1834, in Trinity Anglican Church, Saint John. Their only known child was William Thomas McCluskey, born Jan.10, 1835 and who married on Jul.1, 1858 Hannah Bailey, a daughter of James and Eliza (Schoales) Bailey. This couple migrated to Minnesota about 1865.
Both the McCluskey (various spellings) and Webb surnames appear in the various Loyalist lists. What is the exact connection? I will exchange information on these families.
-James Churchyard, 1694 Santa Margarita Drive, Fallbrook, CA, 92028-1639. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ruby is a genealogy buff. Readers are invited to send their New Brunswick genealogical queries to her at email@example.com. 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.