Thank you, Roger
Because one New Yorker felt there was a need,
the Gagetown Anglican Church records
are available to anyone who wants them
A few years ago, "Little House on the Prairie" was one of my favourite television shows. Charles and Caroline Ingalls were the caring understanding parents who solved all the family problems. Nellie Olsen was the spoiled brat who enjoyed giving Laura a hard time. The Reverend was the good preacher, delivering eloquent sermons laced with common, everyday philosophy, always smiling at weddings and baptisms and offering comforting words in the time of sorrow.

But what does a good preacher have to do with genealogy, you ask? A great deal. A good preacher was one who kept accurate records - carefully and faithfully recording all and every event. And as anyone who does genealogy knows, the words "accurate records" are enough to get the heart pumping.

Genealogists willingly spend hours peering at microfilm, trying to find a baptism, marriage or death record, but when it comes to the Gagetown Anglican Church records, that is no longer the case.

A New Yorker, Roger Melin, spent two and a half years entering information from a transcribed list of Anglican Church records from Gagetown, Queens County, New Brunswick, into his computer.

The earliest records in this compilation were recorded by Rev. Richard Clarke, a clergyman for 25 years at the Gagetown Anglican Church.

On March 13, 1811, a fire swept through the home of his daughter's family. Rev. Richard Clarke was apparently so devastated by this loss, that he ended his ministry in Gagetown and moved to St. Stephen for the next 13 years. He died in St. Stephen in 1824 at the age of 87.

The following entry is made in the records of the Gagetown Anglican Church:

"March 17, 1811 - Gagetown, was buried by Revd. Mr. Scovil, the remains of Sarah Coldwell Clarke & Marshall Clarke Andrews & Mary Hubbard, first named was the daughter, 2nd the grandson the 3rd the niece of the Revd. Richard Clarke, all 3 suffered death by fire which consumed the house to ashes on the 13d [13th day]: instant. The house was discovered to be on fire as near as can judge about half after 4 of the clock in the morning. The rest of the family, exclusive of the unfortunate children, consisting of 9 escaped the flames by leaping from windows ..."

Rev. Samuel Clarke, the son of Rev. Richard Clarke, continued the ministry of his father following this tragedy.

Baptisms are a great resource for finding out people's middle name. It was common practice to give children their mother's surname when baptized. Often that name would be lost during the remainder of their lifetime. The baptisms are those of adults as well as children.

Baptismal records are among Mr. Melin's compilation of records taken by Rev. Richard Clarke. You will find an alphabetical list of 3,493 baptisms, 680 burials and 375 marriages. This is a total of 4,548 vital records.

The information was taken from Rev. Richard Clarke's first register "A" 1786 - 1791; Rev. Richard Clarke's second register "B" 1792 - 1813; Rev. Samuel R. Clarke's first register "C" 1813 - 1815; Society's register of baptisms 1815 - 1829; Baptisms continued from register "C" 1829 - 1841, Continued registers (from hand written) 1841 - 1901; Society's register of marriages 1816 - 1839; Marriages continued from register "C" 1839 - 1841; Society's register of burials 1815 - 1841; Continued burial registers 1841 - 1900; Continued marriage registers 1887 - 1899.

Now here comes the great news! If you contact Roger Melin by E-mail at, he will send you a copy as an attachment for free. 

Mr. Melin felt that there was a need for this material to be indexed and made available to benefit others in their search. I quote from his message to me, "The charge for this material is to make sure that you and anyone else who can access it is able to make good use of it. I compiled this for others to use."

If you are at the Provincial Archives in Fredericton, there is a printed copy available for searching.

Those of us with Queens County roots, say, "Thank you, Roger!"

* * *

Queries have been grouped together to cover the year 1998 and can be viewed at Queries-1998

Ruby Cusack is a genealogy buff living in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. Readers are invited to send their New Brunswick genealogical queries to Ruby at 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.

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