The McKinley Family
When Aunt Ethel cleaned out her clothes closet she brought her discards to Gram, who set to work taking them apart making dresses and waists for me. If parts of the coats were faded, she reversed the pieces and the outcome was a new-looking garment. She never used a pattern - just took the scissors and started cutting the material.
Gertie McKinley in Hastings, Albert County was very talented in sewing clothes on the Singer sewing machine for her 12 children. On many an occasion, coats were turned before being passed to the next child.
Gertie was born in 1891, the third child of William and Annie (Rossiter) Smith and spent her childhood in the home of Ellen and Bill Bogle. She married Barney McKinley on June 10, 1907 in the little chapel of Sacred Heart at Beaver Brook in Harvey Parish, Albert County. Barney was the seventh in a family of 14, born to John Albert McKinley and Elizabeth Sweeney in 1882 in their farmhouse in Hastings.
Barney's great-grandparents, Hugh McKinley and Catherine McAnulty, lived near Ballyshannon in County Donnegal before sailing to New Brunswick. It is possible they and their children may have walked the 70 miles from Saint John to their lot on the Shepody Road that would become part of the settlement of New Ireland. It is here in 1821 that their fifth child, John, was born. When he was five months old, they travelled back to Saint John where he was baptized at St. Malachy's Chapel. Father Joseph Morisset described the family as being "of the country," which is the title of The Story of a McKinley Family by Ann Breault and Winnie Smith.
Barney and Gertie purchased a farm in 1908 and raised their family in Hastings enduring hardships and pinching pennies as well as enjoying happy family times.
In the fall of 1947, 50 families, including Barney, received letters from the provincial government accompanied by a notice of expropriation of their land to be turned over to the federal government for the creation of Fundy National Park.
Before leaving "the old place," as the home is Hastings was later called, one last big gathering was held on a beautiful summer's day in 1948 with 40 family members in attendance.
It was time to move on. Gertie at age 57 and Barney aged 66 took up residence in a house in Riverside that was equipped with the modern conveniences of the day.
Of the Country - The Story of a McKinley Family is a story about Barney and Gertie McKinley and their life in Hastings as told by their youngest daughter, Winnie McKinley Smith, and their eldest granddaughter, Ann McKinley Breault. It is about their people, the families of Hugh and Catherine McKinley, Edward and Eleanor Sweeney, Moses and Mary Smith, Barnard and Mary Collins, John and Margaret Rossiter and Barney and Mary Doherty.
These families of Irish origin chose to come to New Brunswick in the hope of gaining ownership of land and providing a better life for their children. They met obstacles and endured hardships and they left everlasting memories for the next generations.
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McKenzie - Piers: I am looking for information on the family of Grant McKenzie, son of Malcolm McKenzie who married Hannah Piers in Kingston Parish, Kings County, on 9 March 1819, but lived in Saint John. Grant died in the cholera epidemic of 1854. I am particularly interested in learning any information about their daughter Sarah (born 19 March 1820), and their son George Grant McKenzie (born 18 August 1822). Sarah is supposed to have died young. George may have died before 1854 because nothing is said of him in his father's probate documents, which lists James Grant McKenzie (born in 1824) as Grant's oldest son.
JAN MACKIE, 3935 Bambi Avenue N.E., Salem, OR, USA, 97303. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.