Beginnings in Blacks Harbour
In the early 1800s the land was settled and the fishing began
Ethel had dropped off several magazines. Cliff and I were looking through them when we spotted the contest, "Win Roller Skates". As long as I could remember, I had longed for a pair of them. Mum read us the rules and it sounded quite simple. All we had to do to enter was find the words with double meanings. The example given was the word ‘right' meaning ‘nothing wrong' or ‘direction'. The first block to fill in was, ‘to bring forth from an egg or an opening in the floor', that one was easy and I wrote h-a-t-c-h. Next came, ‘to cut or a horse for hire', Mum helped on this one and I filled in h-a-c-k. The answer to a 12-letter word meaning, ‘a sofa or heavy coat', was suggested by Gord and I carefully printed c-h-e-s-t-e-r-f-i-e-l-d. Cliff knew, ‘a measurement of length or the winter pasturing ground of deer or moose', was y-a-r-d. We were doing just great until we came to, ‘a set of boards to be nailed to make a packing box or the past tense of jolt'. Mum said she didn't have a clue and Dad wasn't any help. Now if they had lived in Blacks Harbour they would have known about the wooden shook boxes that were used for exporting the cans of sardines.
Timothy O'Connor came to Canada from County Clare, Ireland with his family in 1831. He emigrated from the British Army and was given a soldier's grant in Charlotte County. Two of his grandsons Lewis and Patrick bought a little vessel called the "Hummingbird" and went fishing in the Bay of Fundy.
In 1885 Lewis Connors purchased land in Blacks Harbour and ventured into the canning industry. The first goods canned were clams, scallops, clam chowder, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. There was also a dry and pickled fish business and a general store. He hired machinists from Norway and Sweden to setup the can making operation. Company owned houses were built. A shook mill was erected to make the wooden shook boxes to be used in the exporting of the sardines. The offer of a home and steady income encouraged workers to come to the community, thus a permanent working force was established.
John Crawford was born in Greenoch, Scotland and came to Charlotte County in 1816 and was thirty-five years old and unmarried in 1820 when he petitioned for land. Duncan McLachlan was born in Argyleshire, Scotland and in 1820 was forty-one years old and married with four children. In their petition for land they mentioned Blacks Harbour, thus the name of the community existed at that time.
Before electricity came to Blacks Harbour in 1928, the village was powered by gas generators. The power ran through thick wires and serviced homes and businesses.
In the publication "Blacks Harbour - Looking Back At Our Beginnings", there are photos of workers of the Connors plant in the 1920s, men making shooks, School Band, the first bank, Brunswicks baseball team1949 and 1958 as well as other pictures.
Some of the topics covered are the names of persons who purchased lots of land at L'Etang Head; schools; school band; baseball teams; the Fundy Fisherman newspaper; Fire Department; electricity; churches and the Pea Point Lighthouse.
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Lester - Saunders: I am looking for the ancestors and specifically the parents of William Lester, who was born in New Brunswick in 1824. He lived at Nauwigewauk, Kings County for most of his life and died there in 1904. He married Edna Ann Saunders in Hampton in 1855. Was he a Loyalist? There are several loyalists grants given to the name Lester but I do not know how or if I can connect William, my great grandfather, to them.
-Kay Clarke, R.R. # 7, Calgary, Alberta, T2P 2G7. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gillis - Griffin - Finch: This query is with regard to two sisters who reputedly moved to Saint John and married in the latter half of the 19th century. I just recently received some details from my aunt who recalls hearing that my grandfather visited with one of them when he was returning from Fredericton in1896 after undergoing some military training (he was a local militia captain). She also mentions who they married. Lydia Maria Gillis was baptized on Jul. 23, 1843 and married a man by the last name of Griffin. Sarah Fatheringham Gillis was baptized on Jul. 22,1845 and also moved to Saint John where she married a Mr. Finch. One of these men worked at the Manchester Robertson Allison Department store in Saint John. I recently found a record for a burial permit at the PANB website that indicates Sarah's date of death as Aug. 17, 1919. Any help in making contact with descendants of these ladies would be most welcome.
-G. Scott Gillis, 105 Old Petty Harbour Road, Kilbride, Newfoundland, Canada, A1G 1H6. E-mail email@example.com.
Brooks - Belding: I am seeking information on Robert J. Brooks, born in Saint John in 1855. He married Jessie Belding (1910) from Millstream, Kings County and they lived in Petiticodiac. At the time of his death in 1928, Robert lived at 212 North St., Moncton with his second wife, Catherine (McLeod). According to the obituary, his children were Jasper B. Brooks, Robert Duncan Brooks, Leonard Brooks and Mrs. Sarah Springer (of Wytipitlock, Maine) and he was predeceased by a daughter, Jessie Crothers. Any information on the above would be appreciated.
-Georgette Crothers, 123 Sandy Point Road, Saint John, NB., E2K 3R6. E-mail 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.