The Paper Trail of Teachers

It was easy to figure out that great-uncle Art was an educator as he always asked so many questions when he came to visit.

While we were eating supper, served on Mum’s best china, he wanted to know if our teacher had a First Class or Superior License.
I wanted to sound knowledgeable, hence I replied, “Mrs. Titus was born a teacher and didn’t need to get licensed.”

I couldn’t understand why the adults were laughing. Mum had stated on more than one occasion that our school marm was a ‘born teacher”.

The licensing of teachers has left a trail for family researchers to follow as the requests by teachers for licenses from 1812 to 1882 give such data as, name, birth place, education, teaching experience, church affiliation, and samples of handwriting. Also attached may be certificates and letters from local school trustees and clergymen testifying to the teaching ability of the petitioner and his or her moral and religious character.  

The Teacher petitions are on microfilm and are at the Saint John Free Public Library and  the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick in Fredericton.

The Journals of the House of Assembly of the Province of New Brunswick are a great source of information on education.

In the volume for 1880, the Student-Teachers’ Allowances  - Travelling Expenses in aid of Student Teachers attending Normal School reveal some interesting facts.
    * Wellington Camp, Queens County - $4.00.
    * Charles L. Barnes, Westmorland County - $18.10.
    * Laura A. Elderkin, Port Greville, Nova Scotia - $20.70.
    * Mary Annie Paul, Saint John - $6.40.
    * Lizzie E. Moran, Northumberland County - $9.00.

Also in the 1880 Journal of the House of Assembly, is the Trustee’s Report for Fredericton which gives the names of teachers with salaries.
    * Frances I. Ross earned $290.00 from November to April at the Park Barrack School with a class of forty-one boys and twenty-seven girls.
    * M. Helen Loring earned $200.00 in the same time period at the Wisely Schol with a class of fifteen boys and twelve girls.
    * W. G. Gaunce, A. B. had twenty-six boys and forty-four girls at the York Street School. His salary was $650.00

The Trustee’s Report for Saint John City made mention of the completion and opening of the seven fine rooms in rear of the Leinster Street Church. 

A very interesting report on school buildings and teachers in Saint John lists:
    * Cusack Building, Saint Patrick Street with a rental of one hundred and fifty dollars, contains two departments. Mary Bowes, 3rd class, female taught the boys of grade three and four. Catherine M. Hogan, 2nd class, female taught the boys and girls of grades one and two. This building was closed October 31, 1879

    * Victoria School, corner of Duke and Sydney Streets was owned by the School Board and housed grades one to eleven. Two of the teachers, A. M. Carter and M. P. Gregg resigned. In fact a total of five male and seventeen female teachers retired from service of the School Board of Saint John during the year.

The Inspector’s Report for Albert County compliments Chipman Bishop of the Hillsboro Superior School. It tells of the sudden death of a young man named, C. S. Gilbert, A. B. of the Superior School in Alma.

The New Brunswick University Report named the seventy-two resident students and reported the conferring of degrees to sixteen students - one of them being Charles G. D Roberts, who received a degree of A. B.

As I read the Entrance Exam for the Provincial Normal School of May, 1879, I wondered how many of today’s high school graduates could complete it successfully.

The Journals of the House of Assembly of the Province of New Brunswick are on the shelves of the Saint John Free Public Library and at the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick, Fredericton.

By the way, Etta Faulkner’s website at has a very interesting section on the school history of Victoria Corner in Carleton County.
The Base Gagetown Community History Association website at has attendance records and names of teachers for the schools at, Armstrong Corner, Blissville, Vincent, Coote Hill, Clones, Dunns Corner, Enniskillen, Fowlers Corner, Hamilton Mountain, Haneytown, Hibernia, Inchby, Jerusalem, Lauvinia,  Lawfield Road, Loisville, Olinville, Petersville, Shirley Road, Speight Settlement, Summer Hill, Tweedsmuir and Polleyhurst.

* * *
Query 1086
Scott - Simpson - Steeves.
I descend from Daniel Scott and Caroline Simpson through Osborn Alfred Truman Scott, who was born 18 Nov 1890 and Nellie Pearl Steeves. Can anyone provide information on the Scott and Simpson siblings and parents who were possibly of the Moncton area?
    -Brent Johnson, 307 S Harrison St., O'Neill, Nebraska, 68763, USA. E-mail to Telephone 402-336-3680.
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