CLOVER HILL POST OFFICE
REGISTERED LETTERS - 1883-1898
Ruby M. Cusack
Gram did not hear us walking into the kitchen as her full attention was being given to the task of holding an envelope up to the light bulb. She was squinting with one eye and appeared to be trying to see through the paper.
When she realized we were watching her, she looked as guilty as we did when Mum caught us snitching cookies from the cookie jar. She explained that a registered letter had come in the morning mail for Gramp. Registered mail was treated very carefully by the post office staff and a signature was required to show the letter had arrived safely for the designated person thus Sadie had signed for it. Gram was very curious as to the contents of what appeared to be a very important letter.
As I sat in the Research Room at the Kings County Museum in Hampton and read the Ledger of Registered Letters of the Clover Hill Post Office 1883 to 1898 with a listing of more than nineteen hundred entries, I too found myself extremely curious as to the reason these letters were sent. Furthermore, I puzzled over the connection between sender and receiver.
It was quite easy to figure out the reason for the ones addressed to the Family Herald, Family Advocate, Weekly Telegraph, banks and businesses but why did Amelia Nason send a registered letter to Mrs. H. C. Perry in Denver, Massachusetts.
Several letters from Wicks, Montana were signed for by Mrs. John Fowler. I speculated that possibly a son was sending her money. There were also many letters from New York to Mrs. William Kelly.
I wondered what were the thoughts of Jane Odell when she saw the letter from Lynn, Massachusetts or Mrs. Philip Warren when she picked up the envelope from New York.
Mrs. Rachel Tabor’s letter came from Woodstock. Olivia Sederquest received one from Wakefield, Massachusetts and Fleta M. Cunningham’s was from Cambridge Port. John Garscadden wrote to Thomas Garscadden, Glasscow (sic), Scotland.
Levi N. McKenzie probably used a quill to write to Professor F. G. Fowler. John Slattery could have been sitting in the lamp light when he wrote to the J. F. Hill & Co. in Augusta, Maine.
I almost jumped for joy, when I spotted the recording of a registered letter sent by my great-grandfather to W. E. Cochrane in Malden, Massachusetts as this provided me with a definite place to commence tracking that branch of the family who went to the States.
The Post Office in this rural community in Kings County was probably only a room in the Jamieson household and was within walking distance for most of the residents, yet it provided the services of sending and receiving mail internationally. A hundred or so years later the entries in a ledger provide information on family connections through their letter writing.
The Ledger of the Clover Hill Post Office Registered Letters of 1883 to1898 is available for viewing at the Kings County Museum in Hampton.
By the way, this post office was open from 1883 to 1935 and had only two post masters, John Jamieson 1883 - 1913 and William Kirkpatrick 1913 -1935.
Information regarding Canada's post offices and Postmasters in all
provinces and territories can be found at the Postal Archives of the National
Archives of Canada http://www.archives.ca.
|Fleta Cunningham and her family. Daughter Edith Ireland, daughter Lillian Smith, son John Ireland, daughter Emma Smith, daughter Alta Ireland, Fleta Cunningham Ireland Smith with her second husband Orlando Reginald Smith.|
Photo - Velma Smith collection
Ruby M. Cusack is a genealogy buff living in Saint John. Send your queries to her at: 47 Jean St., Saint John, N.B., Canada, E2J 1J8. Or E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your name and mailing address for the benefit of those who do not have access to E-mail. Please put Family Surname followed by the word 'Query' in the subject line. That is "Smith & Jones" - Query.
Ruby has a "Family History" column in the Telegraph-Journal on Tuesdays