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 Wright.

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.

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Query 1158
  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).
 L. McGrath
7 Harold St. Floravillel
 NSW 2280
 E-mail larrymcgrath@bigpond.com

Query 1159
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.
Bob Lenihan
9345 Parkside Lane
Urbandale, IA
50322, USA
E-mail lenidogs@aol.com

Query 1160
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?
Patricia Clarke
62 Mariner Drive
Charlottetown, PE
Canada, C1C 1M1
E-mail knobbyce@auracom.com
Feb 17, 2005 changed to patricia_clarke@pei.sympatico.ca
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