Church Records Are Integral Part
of the New Brunswick Provincial Archives
By Ruby M. Cusack
Going to the Kirk on Mother’s Day was always a very special occasion to us. On this Sunday morning, Cliff and I were up early to go to the back of the cemetery to find some white ground phlox for Mum to wear on her lapel as a symbol her mother was deceased. We would wear the pink ones. We also noticed a patch of bluets growing in the pasture so we picked Mum a handful of them and proudly carried them back to the house.
There seemed to be a larger crowd than usual in attendance at the church service as several grown-up family members had come home to spend the day with their mothers. Our family was going to Gram’s house and Mum had made two Washington pies covered with boiled icing to take as dessert.
A different kind of Mother’s Day started way back in the 1700s in Britain. The church parishes covered a very wide area and often had both a parish church and daughter churches, known as Chapels of Ease. Week by week the parishioners worshipped in their local churches but on the fourth Sunday in Lent they were required to attend the Mother Church of the parish and this was referred to as Mothering Sunday. Since many young people worked away from home as servants or apprentices in the homes of the wealthy, they were given the day off to visit their home church and would naturally also be able to visit their families. As they walked along the road, they would pick flowers to take to their mothers. Sweets were often waiting at the church and one special cake was called the Simnel Cake, which was like a fruit cake covered with a layer of almond paste.
New Brunswick Churches of various denominations have taken their records to the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick, the Mother Institution of New Brunswick. Here the records have been microfilmed. Thousands of people make the trip to Fredericton to search these records in the hunt for information on their ancestors. Copies of many of these microfilm reels have been loaned to institutions throughout North America through the interlibrary loans system and are a beneficial source to researchers who find it difficult to make the trip home. A listing of the church records on microfilm can be consulted at the Provincial Archives or viewed on PANB's website at http://www.gnb.ca/archives/e/default.asp.
Twila Buttimer, an Archivist at the Provincial Archives, has organized church records over the past several years. She and Frank Morehouse, Archivist for the Diocese of Fredericton have been working closely together, with the support of Bishop Hockin, to create an awareness of the Anglican Diocesan Archives and to persuade parishes of the importance of transferring their records to the Archives.
Some parish records have been compiled and indexed. These also can be viewed at the Provincial Archives in Fredericton.
Although our celebration of Mother’s Day in North America appears to have a different origin, it is an opportune time to reflect on all the young children, some as young as ten years, who went out to work as domestics or apprentices. Being allowed to come home to church and family was probably one of the highlights of the year for them.
The ability to view Church Records has also become a highlight in the
lives of family researchers and has made possible the connecting of family
Cox - King - Marter: I am searching for Sophia Amelia Cox. When was she born and where? Who are her siblings? Her parents are John S. Cox - born January 26, 1791 in Kingston, Kings County, New Brunswick and Isabella King, whose father was John King. Sophia Cox married Charles William Marter at Trinity Church, Digby, Nova Scotia on June 13, 1846. Their children were all christened at Trinity Church, Digby. Any help will be most appreciated.
-Beverly Martorano, P.O. Box 1598, Sutter Creek, CA., 95685, USA. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Connoe - Starkey - Jagoe: I am hoping to find information on two different family groups that lived in Saint John during the 1800s and possibly beyond. The family names are Starkey / Starkie and Connor/O'Connor. Jagoe is a family name too, related through marriage. William Starkey / Starkie arrrived with family in 1836. He was from Rosscarbery in County Cork, Ireland. He worked as a carpenter and as a carpenter on ships. He died about 1855 in Saint John, New Brunswick. Anna Maria (Alcock) Skinner Starkey married first Joseph Skinner, but he died, she then remarried to William Starkey about 1824 in Rosscarbery. Her father was Williamm Henry Loftus Alcock, Capt. Wexford Militia, married to Levina Mary O'Connor in 1797. In 1798, he was arrested and charged as a United Irisman and sent to Botany Bay, Australia with his brother-in-law, Dr. Bryan O'Connor. When Anna Maria and family arrived in Saint John in 1836, she applied to teach school according to records of teachers applications. She may have died as a result of a kitchen fire in the 1880s. William and Anna Maria Starkey's eldest daughter, Ann Limerick Starkey, was born in 1827, and married my John Connor in Saint John in 1844. Their son John Starkey Connor, was born in 1846, in New Brunswick. The father John Sr. was also a teacher in Saint John according to teacher application records. John Sr. had a brother and sister in Saint John, Thomas Conner also a teacher, died there in 1862. Their sister Margaret Conner, also was a teacher who married Edward Henry Jagoe in 1846. All were teachers in Saint John and also surrounding counties. John and Ann Connor had a second son John R. Connor in 1849. John, Ann, and the Jagoes left for Illinois to join another of John Sr.'s brothers about 1850. Ann and John R. Connor both died Jan 5th, 1851. There were several other children of William. and Anna Maria Starkey that are in the 1851 census of St. John County. Wm. Henry Starkey died about 1875, in Saint John, when he fell off a bridge and drowned. If anyone has information about any of these persons, I would love to hear from you.
-Mark O'Connor, RR5 Box 850 Kula, HI., 96790, USA. Telephone 808 878-1626 or e-mail email@example.com.
Flanagan - Aylward: John Flanagan's son’s death certificate states that John Flanagan was born in New Brunswick in 1814. I also know that John Flanagan married Bridget Aylward and that they had a number of children, all of whom were born in Quebec. Can someone provide me with information as to the Flanagan and Aylward parents and siblings?
-Dan Flanagan, 1608 Garnaas Drive, Austin, Texas, 78758-2222, USA. 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.