Settlers in Springfield Parish
Ernest Graham's research took him from local archives to London, England
Once the shearing was completed, Gramp took the bags of wool to the Willis Woolen Mill in Golden Grove.
Tomorrow he was going to take Cliff and me with him when he went to pick up the yarn. I hoped that Gram had asked for some skeins to be dyed cranberry red as I wanted her to knit me a sweater of that color.
The Willis Woolen Mill was run by a water wheel just like all the old mills were powered.
According to Ernest Graham's "Mills, Hills and Early Settlers of Springfield Parish", there were at least four good water mill sites on the Belleisle Bay when the first settlers took up their farms in this area in 1784. The Census for Springfield Parish in 1851 lists 14 grist mills, 10 saw mills and 2 carding mills all powered by water.
Isaiah Kierstead had a mill on the Redin Brook near Long Point. He
brought the stones for this grist mill from England and then by
sailboat to Belleisle Bay from Saint John. Oxen were used to transport
them along the trail cut through the woods. The first grain to be
ground there was in the Fall of 1795.
In payment for the service farmers left one-twelfth of their grain with
The first saw mill in Upper Midland was built in 1875 by Gilbert Titus on a small stream running into Sherwood Brook. This mill was run by a large overshot wheel which had buckets on every spoke. The water was dammed up and then was directed to the wheel through a sluice. As water poured over the spokes, the top buckets were filled and the lower ones emptied. It was the weight of these full buckets which caused the wheel to rotate.
The Charlton Mill on the Pascobac stream was likely the largest and most powerful of any water mill in this area during its sixty years of existence.
The Wiley Mill of Stewarton or West Scotch Settlement Road was built by John Lewis Pickett about 1835.
The McKenelleys built a steam grist mill to grind buckwheat flour but ran into financial difficulties. The Hon. George Scovil foreclosed on the mortgage and got Caleb Northrup who had gained steam engine experience as he owned a donkey engine with which he traveled around the countryside sawing fire wood, to operate the mill from about 1908 until he stopped in 1911 on account of the poor stones.
Operating a water mill was a frustrating and time-consuming occupation. There were problems from the ice, snow and freshets, which destroyed the dams and water wheels. Old logs, weeds and other debris floated down the stream to plug up the flumes and waterways.
In the book, information is given on the settlements of Pigeon Hill, Cromwell Hill, Huggard Hill and Bull Moose Hill as well as the families of Adams, Crawford, Cromwell, Mullin, Vail, Spragg, Raymond, Perkins, Delongs, Dibblee, Ganong, White, Benson, Northrup and others.
Ernest Graham spent years of his life researching his beloved Springfield Parish with no effort spared to unearth the hidden treasures of the past. His journeys took him not only to museums and archives but to dusty attics and as far afield as London, England.
If you have roots in Springfield Parish, this publication has lots of grain for your grist mill of genealogy.
The 133 page "Mills, Hills and Early Settlers of Springfield
Parish" by Ernest Graham is available for viewing at several
research institutions in New Brunswick.
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Stover - Hall: I am looking for any information on Joseph Hall. In his land petition, he takes an oath to being born at sea in the year 1772. He married Elizabeth Stover, daughter of Peter Stover Sr. in Upper Sussex, Kings County, New Brunswick. Their children were John William, Cynthia, Hannah, Peter, Jacob and William.
-Diane Hall, 6-2988 Horn St., Creekside Park, Abbotsford, BC., V2S 3C1. E-mail
Agnew - Simson: I have in my possession a Book of Poems published in 1867, written by Letitia French Simson (Agnew). In this book she has a poem that refers to a brother being shot dead by a shooting companion at Red Head in 1867. I believe the brother she refers too is Moore French Agnew. I would like to find a newspaper report on this mishap or any other information on the tragedy.
-Doug Agnew. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hughes: I am searching for information on Garrett Hughes who born in Ireland in1808 and died in Wisconsin. It is said he was in the British Army in New Brunswick in 1825-1830. He may have been a Loyalist. He lived in Houlton, Maine from 1831 on to the time he left for Wisconsin. However, a daughter was baptized in Fredericton at St. Dunstans.
-E. Temte, 121 South 16th Street, LaCrosse, WI., 54601, USA. E-mail email@example.com.
Smith - Davis: I am interested in receiving information or corresponding with descendants of James Smith, born in 1734 in Smithtown, Long Island, New York and his spouse Joanna Davis, born 1740. They died in Smithtown, Kings County, New Brunswick. Their children were Isaiah, Julia Ann and James Smith. Any information would be appreciated. Please contact:
-Linda Smith Gorham, 2149 Cedar Tree Lane, Waldorf, MD., 20601, USA. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frone - Frane - Livingstone - McBurnie: William McBurnie was born on August 17, 1820 in Rockland, Carleton County. He married Annie Frone / Frane, the daughter of Christopher Frone / Frane and Annie Livingstone who was born in Saint John in 1842. I am interested in communicating with anyone who might be familiar with any of these surnames.
- Karen Alterisio, 43 Chestnut Hill Road, Chelmsford, Massachusetts, 01824, USA. E-mail to email@example.com.
Gamble - Campbell - McAllister: Matilda Gamble was born in Donegal, Ireland in 1846, the daughter of John Gamble and great granddaughter of Rev. Wm. Gamble of the Reformed Episcopal Church. She is listed as a 14 year old lodger in the household of Esther McAllister in the 1861 Census of Upham Parish. ( She was also listed as living with the McAllister Family in the 1851 Census.) At the time of her marriage to Peter Campbell on September 28, 1869, at the Exmouth Wesleyan Methodist Church by W.H.Heartz, they both stated place of residence as Upham, Kings County. According to the Kings County Record of May 10, 1918, Matilda Gamble Campbell, wife of Peter Campbell who was a land surveyor and magistrate, died on May 4 at the age 72 and after a short service at home, a service was held at Titusville by Rev. Morash. A tombstone in the Titus Hill Cemetery gives the death of Peter Campbell as 1925. I am interested in locating information on the siblings and parents of Matilda Gamble Campbell as I am tracing the Gamble line. Furthermore I am interested as to her relationship to the McAllister family. Any information will be appreciated.
-John Stevens, 3 East Avenue, Lisbon Falls, Maine, USA, 04252. E-mail to
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.