As the River Flows
A book called The River St. John
tells stories of the discovery of the river and life along its shores
I had finished the page of math questions and now I was sitting waiting for the teacher to rotate back to me to check my work. The school windows were placed so high that a little kid couldn't look out of them so there was nothing else to look at but the maps on the wall. These big maps certainly were confusing. One had New Brunswick as just a little tiny place and the other one had New Brunswick being about 4 feet x 5 feet and divided into coloured counties. A long blue line started almost at the top of this map and snaked down to the bottom and it represented the St. John River. We had learned in Social Studies that this 450 mile long river served as a main highway of travel for the early settlers.
In 1853 William Odber Raymond was born in Woodstock. He was ordained as an Anglican minister in 1877 and spent thirty two years as the Rector of St. Mary's Church in Saint John. He never forgot his youthful days on the banks of the river and lived near it for most of his days. In 1910 he wrote ‘The River St. John' dealing with the physiographical features, the scenic attractions, the legends, and history from the year 1604, when it was first visited by DeMonts and Champlain and named after St. John the Baptist, because they entered the harbor on that Saint's Day.
He included the interesting tales of heroines such as Loiuse Elizabeth Joibert who was born in Jemseg and destined to be the wife of a Governor General, Louise d'Amour who was later known as Madame Freneuse a woman of intrigue and mystery in Port Royal and Marguerite Guyon d'Amour who faced the perils of the wilderness at Fort Jemseg.
Of special interest is the almost forgotten story of how New France became New Holland when Jemseg was stormed and captured by a Dutch force.
The close of the American Revolution brought thousands of United Empire Loyalists to settle on the St. John River and as a result the County of Sunbury in Nova Scotia, soon became the Province of New Brunswick.
Mention is made of: . "Sieur Joseph Bellefontaine who experienced the grief of beholding one of his daughters and three of her children massacred before his eyes by the English . . he escaped such a fate by his flight into the woods carrying along with him two other children by the same daughter". . . French settler Michael Vinneau died in 1802 at age 100 and his wife Therese Baude died in 1804 at 96. Their son Jean died in Pokemouche in 1852 at the extraordinary age of 112 years and his son Moise lived to be 96. . ."Among those who heard the first English sermon preached in Saint John in 1769 by the Reverend Thomas Wood were in all probability the families of Simonds and White and their employees, Edmund Black, Samuel Abbott, Samuel Middleton, Michael Hodge, Adonijah Colby, Stephen Dow, Elijah Estabrooks, John Bradley, William Godsoe, John Mack, Asa Stephens and Thomas Blasdel" . . . "May 15th, 1766, all future grants should contain a clause reserving to the Crown all white or other pine trees of the growth of 24 inches diameter and upwards . . .Deputies continued to range the woods, and many tall, stately pine bore the mark of the ‘broad-arrow' in token that it be reserved for the Royal Navy" . It was not until 1811 that the reservation of white pine trees was no longer insisted upon by the crown.
Furthermore, the book contains excerpts from the Diary of Sarah Frost written in 1783.
All through the pages of ‘The River St. John' by W. O. Raymond, familiar, present-day names are scattered and it is with pride that the descendants of these courageous early settlers, both French and English, read the thrilling story of their ancestors' struggles and successes.
Kenney - Gibbs - Melvin - Duncan - Forsythe - DeLong: John Kenney came from Ireland. He married Isabel Forsythe on Jan.1 1854. On Nov. 22, 1918, he was killed by train in Amherst Nova Scotia. Their son John Kenney married Isabella Gibbs and their children were: Sadie married George Melvin on June 15, 1915; Ernest was a bachelor; Clarence my grandfather was born in 1888 and married Catherine MacVicar Duncan in 1918 and another son William was born in 1893 and was married to Lucy DeLong. If anyone has information on these families, I would appreciate hearing from them.
-K. Knudsen, Box 30 Site 116, RR#1 Dryden, ON., P8N 2Y4. E-mail to
Danville - Dickson: I am trying to research the Danvilles in New Brunswick. I have very little factual data, but family "stories" tell me that John Danville came to Saint John, New Brunswick in or around 1832 from Glasgow, Scotland with either three or four children: Robert, Henry, Frederick, and possibly Letitia. I have found a scrap or two about Frederick, but nothing about the others. Henry was my 2nd great grandfather, born 1826-28, possibly in Glasgow, Scotland and came to Michigan from New Brunswick around 1847-48. We have pictures of him and his descendants in Michigan. His wife, Ellen Dickson reportedly was born in Canada. Would anyone have any leads for me?
-Bette Alden, 1050 S. Williams Lake Road, White Lake, Michigan, 48386, USA. E-mail to email@example.com.
Goodine - Cliff - Kitchen: Henrietta Madora Goodine (1875-1934) was born in New Brunswick and was the daughter of Lewis Goodine (1853-1918) and Priscilla Cliff (1853-1893). She married Willard Andrew Kitchen and she died in Hermon, Maine. The father of Lewis Goodine may possibly be David Goodine. Does anyone have information on the Goodine family of New Brunswick to share with me?
-Will Kitchen, W774 State Road 95, Fountain City, Wisconsin, 54629, USA. Telephone (608) 687-7018 or (608) 687-3603. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lormer - Quinn: Robert Lormer who was born in1819 County Down Ireland and Ann Quinn who was born in County Tyrone, Ireland, the daughter of John and Martha Orr were married in1839 at Saint John, New Brunswick. They arrived in Melbourne, Australia with their 4 children. I would like to make contact with the descendant's of Ann Quinn's siblings - Arthur Quinn, John Quinn, George Quinn, Margaret Quin as well as the descendants of Robert Lormer's siblings.
-Mrs. Judith. Robbins, Box 1134, Mildura, Victoria, Australia, 3502. E-mail 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.