The Chaffey Dynasty of Indian Island, NB

by Dorothy Pringle Schneider

On our way home from school, Cliff and I stopped to peek through the side floor boards of the covered bridge. To our astonishment we spotted a big salmon makings its way up the brook. No grass grew under our feet as we ran to the house to find a fishing pole.

We told Mum to get the frying pan ready as there would be salmon for supper.

Dad laughed and said, “You will be lucky to catch an old shoe!”    

In 1952 when Robert and Dorothy Schneider of New York State decided to try their hand at deep sea fishing at Eastport, Maine they not only found lots of fish, they caught a glimpse of Indian Island in New Brunswick. Their big catch was the purchase of the Kay house for $750.00. This was the beginning of a love affair with Indian Island and its fascinating history.

Having spent nearly fifty summers on the island, Dorothy decided it was time to document its history and so she did in 2000 with a 144-page publication, “The Chaffey Dynasty of Indian Island, N.B.

James Chaffey I had left England after being an apprentice to a goldsmith to live in Philadelphia. From here he came in 1765 to Indian Island to take up residence as a squatter and built the first house on the island. He developed a good relationship with the local Indians and also the other white men who arrived there to set up trading posts and fish stores.

After several lonely years had passed, John Fountain arrived on the island with his teenage daughter, Elizabeth. She and James Chaffey were married. They became the parents of eleven children between 1771 and 1796. James died in 1797. Their first child Susanna married Justus Justason of Pennfield. The third child, Elizabeth Chaffey did not marry but went to live with her widowed sister Eleanor Ferris when she was left with two small children. Son Thomas Dollard Chaffey married Susan Hurley in 1808 and sons John Francis and James carried on a trading business with ships to the West Indies, England and the United States.

In this publication, you will meet James Chaffey I, James Chaffey II with 2 wives and 19 children, the Dixon children and their three houses, Horatio Nelson Chaffey, Howard Chaffey and the two chimney house, as well as the Kay and Hurley families.

The Chaffey Dynasty of Indian Island, N.B.” by Dorothy P. Schneider is not only a history of an island in the Passamaquoddy Bay but the story and genealogy of the Chaffey family, which provides an insight into the personal lives of the residents. It includes several photos, family and individual histories and information on the migration of people between the United States and Canada on these boundary waters.

To purchase the book contact, Dorothy P. Schneider, PO Box 284, Eastport, ME, 04631, USA or 3128 Seneca Trnpk, Canastota, NY, 13032, USA.  Her email address is
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          Query 1113
O'Neill - Dunahoe - Mulherin: I am looking for information concerning Daniel O'Neill, born 1821 in Cork Ireland and died 1893 in Saint John, New Brunswick. His wife was Ann Dunahoe who died there also in 1900. They had a son, Charles O'Neill in 1853 who married Mary Mulherin.  He died in Moncton in 1917 and Mary died there in 1912.
Charles O'Neil, 1360 Squire Drive, Manotick, ON, Canada, K4M 1B8.
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