West Branch Days
1826 - 1989
Cliff and I watched as the three-ton truck
drove into the field and dumped a huge pile of lime. We listened as Dad and
Gramp talked about the need to spread the lime before ploughing in order to
have a better crop of oats. I didn’t want to interrupt their conversation
but I was very anxious to ask a couple of questions. What was lime made from
and where did the truck driver get the lime?
If I had been one of the MacMichael or Morton children whose ancestors
came in 1825 from Kircudbrightshire, Scotland to West Branch in Kent County,
I would probably have heard how they brought their first lime all the way
from Scotland. It arrived in the form of limestone rocks used as ballast
on the timber ships on their return trips across the Atlantic Ocean.
Since limestone rocks will crumble when subjected to intense heat, the
settlers built kilns or crude ovens in the hillside to break them down into
a powdery substance that could be spread on their fields to counteract the
acidity in the soil. The fires had to be stoked day and night and became
gathering places where countless stories of the past and present were exchanged.
Eleanor Wilson Graham and John Currie MacMichael gathered stories about
farming, schools, churches, winter roads, the Chivari, the Wizard of the Glen,
etc., as well as a large amount of genealogical information for their 295
page publication, ‘West Branch Days 1826 - 1989'.
Of special interest are the copies of letters written in 1842- 43 to Alexander
MacMichael in West Branch from his brothers John and William of Scotland
giving news from back home . . . Robert Kelly and Ann Clellan are on the
verge of being tossed out of Daffen . . . James Gardener is going to Australia
and old John’s youngest son John . . . Times is not good here for farming.
Transatlantic correspondence from so long ago is really rare for rural settlers
in New Brunswick.
Two hundred and sixty pages of the book hold genealogical information on
different families with West Branch connections, including persons surnamed
MacMichael, Morton, Murphy, Thurrott, Wilson, Lennox, MacKean, Plume, Curran,
Murray, Mundle, Sinton, McMurray, Irving, Cail, Arsenault, Robertson, Horton,
McLeod, Carruthers, Delaney, Beck, English, Elliott, Wellwood, Girvan and
Pictures included are: James Law Robertson and wife Elizabeth Cain, Dr.
Bonar F. Mundle and sister Mary, John Morton 1830-1894, Flora MacLean 1840-1917
with grandchild Nelli Morton, Morton House with family members, Carruthers
Home, John Thurrott, Zion Presbyterian Church, West Branch School Group
in 1930, John MacMichael and wife Mary Main Murray, Jane Lennox MacMichael
1800 - 1893 and a sketch of Curran’s Mill.
West Branch Days 1826 - 1989 is available for viewing in the
Reference Department of the libraries in Chatham, Fredericton, and Moncton.
* * *
McGrath: Require information on parents of Lawrence J McGrath
born 1884 in Saint John, immigrated to United States in 1899 where he resided
in New Jersey for most of his life. Died 1933-1935 (state unknown).
7 Harold St. Floravillel
Brophy - Lenihan - Daly - Cunningham: John Lenihan was born in 1869
to Ann Daly and Jeremiah Lenihan. Two of his siblings were Jeremiah and Michael.
He married Mary Brophy, the daughter of Julia Cunningham and Edward Brophy.
Her siblings were James, Daniel, Edward, John, Ann, Margaret, Julia, Katherine
and Louise. Any information on these families would be appreciated.
9345 Parkside Lane
Clark - Bonnell: Charles Howard Clark was born 6 August 1806 in New
Brunswick, married circa 1832 to Rachel Bonnell, who was born 6 November 1814
in Belleisle, New Brunswick. Rachel died 25 April 1893 in Cornhill, New Brunswick.
Where are they buried and when did Charles die?
62 Mariner Drive
Canada, C1C 1M1
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