It all began with a silver spoon . .

J.S.S. Armour's Search for Ancestors and Descendants of
Ewen A. Cameron and Anne Paylor
of Saint John

Cleaning the silverware, was not my idea of a great way to spend a Saturday morning. To make matters worse, Mum had counted the spoons that bore the initial "R" and there were only eleven. One had gone missing. Cliff pulled out the drawer in hopes it was hiding in the back, but no luck. I got down on my hands and knees and searched behind the flower barrel while Mum wrung her hands in dismay.
Dr. René Villeneuve, a curator at the National Gallery in Ottawa and the foremost authority on Canadian silver, was visiting the Reverend J.S.S. Armour last summer when he noticed a spoon with the initial "EAC".  Dr. Villeneuve, recognized the spoons as being the work of a Loyalist silversmith named William Norris Venning (1795-1877) of Saint John, New Brunswick and were probably made in the rather flowery American manner to match spoons which the family had brought with them from America after the Revolution.

This spoon sent Dr. Armour on a search. He was able to determine that his great-great-grandfather, Ewen A. Cameron, carpenter or architect, lived at the corner of Main and Carmarthen Streets in Lower Cove, Saint John from which he was buried in 1859 to Fern Hill Cemetery at age 65 years. On July 29, 1819, he had married Anne Paylor. In the 1840s, he had been a councillor representing Sydney Ward. Could the spoons have belonged to him?

Ewen's father, Donald Cameron, a ship owner in Shelburne, Nova Scotia, drowned in 1813, when his ship foundered on a trip to Halifax. One of Ewen's brothers, Donald A. Cameron, was the editor of the Saint John Weekly Observer. Two sisters married Robertsons and one a Ewing.

Ewen and Ann Cameron had three sons: Donald, Thomas, a sea captain and Ewen as well as four daughters, Elizabeth, Alice Kirk - married Duncan Robertson, Mary Anne - married James MacFarlane and Dr. Armour's great grandmother, Margaret who married The Reverend Alexander McLeod Stavely, minister of the Reformed Presbyterian (Covenanting) church in Saint John for 39 years. The Stavelys went to Ireland in the late 1870s
Dr. Armour is hoping that readers can assist him in finding information on his Cameron, Paylor ancestors and their descendants - the search that began with a silver spoon.  E-mail to

William Norris Venning who made the spoons for the Cameron Family was one of many silversmiths in New Brunswick. 

According to Donald C. Mackay's book, "Silversmiths and Related Craftsmen of the Atlantic Provinces", there were three goldsmiths, two silversmiths and a clockmaker admitted Freemen of Saint John in 1785.

"Alexander Munro was an outstanding silversmith in Saint John from 1795-1819".

"In Fredericton, John Wolhaupter, a Loyalist, and his son Benjamin are the earliest silversmiths recorded.

"Justin Spahnn was born at Canton Neuchatel, Switzerland in 1803 and following his Swiss apprenticeship went to Philadelphia to work as journeyman. He opened a shop in Fredericton in 1823."

"Benjamin Tibbetts was born in Banning, Grand Lake in 1813. He was orphaned by 1824 and apprenticed to a Watchmaker in Woodstock. He was also a portrait painter and invented the first compound steam engine."

More information on the silversmiths in New Brunswick can be found in "Silversmiths and Related Craftsmen of the Atlantic Provinces" by Donald C. Mackay. 

An interesting article titled, "The Work of Some New Brunswick Silversmiths" by Marilyn Payne
was published in the "Journal of the New Brunswick Museum 1978"
                        * * *
Query 1045
Robert and Honora Osborne lived in Saint John, New Brunswick. Robert died sometime before 1896 while Honora died in 1912. They lived on Sheriff Street and Hilyard Street. Their children may have included Robert, Frederick James, Jeremiah and John Thomas. They were of Irish, Roman Catholic origin. Can anyone provide any particulars?
    -Mary Austin, 814 Mill Street, Port Elgin, Ontario, Canada, N0H 2C4. E-mail

Query 1046
Who were the ancestors of Moses Austin, born in the late 1700s. His wife was Elizabeth or Elinor Robinson. All of his children were born in New Brunswick. He died after 1860 in Littleton, Aroostook County, Maine. Children include Margaret, Chase Lee, Elizabeth, Catherine, William, Moses, Charles Augustus, Ruth (Austin) Currier, and Lydia.  His grandchildren Charlotte, Hiram, and Isaac Chase and Robert Austin, son of Elizabeth, also lived with him until their adulthood.
    -Kerry Sullivan, 7 Lakeshore Drive, Sudbury, MA, USA, 01776. E-mail

Query 1047
Malloy - Gorey:
Elizabeth Ann Malloy was born in 1900 in Bath, New Brunswick to John Malloy and Elizabeth Gorey. I am seeking information on these families.
    -Cheryl Ferrante, PO Box 244, Orrs Island, Maine, USA, 04066. E-mail

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