by W. D. Hamilton

Cliff and I picked the tomatoes and piled them into the wheelbarrow, as all signs pointed to the threat of Jack Frost visiting the garden tonight. When we were nearing the backdoor with our load, Gramp and Gram drove into the yard. Within a matter of minutes they were sitting in the outside kitchen helping Mum and Dad slice green tomatoes in preparation for the making of chow-chow.

As they worked, the talk was of many things that happened in the past. They chatted at length about the family and community connections of the people who were presently living in the area as well as those folk who had moved away in search of greener pastures.

A book just released by Miramichi Books, of Saint John, called OLD NORTH ESK ON THE MIRAMICHI, is also all about past events, community connections, and the greener pastures to which large numbers of Miramichi people went a hundred years or more ago.  The book is by W. D. Hamilton and is designated as the 25th Anniversary Edition of one first published in 1979.  This edition deals with the same subject matter as the first but is otherwise a new book from start to finish, containing nearly twice as much text plus a selection of photographs and a 20-page glossary.

The book has two main sections - a shorter one on History, and a lengthy one on Biography & Genealogy, with 298 sub-sections by surname.  Included among these are such well-known Miramichi names as  Allison, Ashton, Baisley, Brander, Cain, Chaplin, Connors, Copp, Curtis, Estey, Ferguson, Fitzgerald, Foran, Forsyth, Gillis, Goodfellow, Hare, Harrigan, Harris, Henderson, Hill, Hogan, Holmes, Hosford, Howe, Hubbard, Hutchison, Hyland, Jardine, Johnston, Jones, Keating, Kingston, Lawlor, Leach, Matchett, Matthews, Menzies, Morrison, Murphy, Mutch, McAllister, McCoombs, McDonald, McGrath, McKay, McKendrick, McKenzie, McKibbon, McKinnon, McLean, McTavish, Norton, Nowlan, O’Brien, O’Shea, Parker, Parks, Payne, Rolfe, Russell, Ryan, Sauntry, Scott, Shaddick, Sheasgreen, Sherrard, Silliker, Simpson, Sinclair, Smith, Somers, Stewart, Sullivan, Sutherland, Taylor, Tingley, Touchie, Tozer, Travis, Tweedie, Urquhart, Walsh, Waye, White, Whitney, and Young.
Among new findings reported is the discovery of where different settlers originated.  We learn, for example, that Thomas Blackmore, the founder of the Blackmore clan on the Miramichi, was baptized in Devonport, Stoke Damerel Parish, Devonshire, England, in 1788, the son of a family with Welsh connections, and that John Dunnett, the head of another large Miramichi family, was baptized at Bower, Caithness, Scotland, in 1797, a son of William Dunnett and Marjorie McIntosh.  Another  interesting discovery concerns John Mullin (b. 1762), a soldier with the Guides & Pioneers in the Revolutionary War, who came to Saint John with the Loyalists in 1783.  He was born in Pennsylvania and his wife Elizabeth Connor (a daughter of Loyalist Peter Connor) in Rhode Island.  They raised a large family in Springfield Parish, Kings County, from which many Kings and St. John county Mullins are descended, as well as hundreds of those who have lived on the Miramichi since John and Elizabeth’s son Thomas Mullin moved there nearly 200 years ago.
There is far more to be said about this book than space allows, but maybe its most unique feature is the vast amount of information it presents, not on where people came from, but on where their offspring went - on the part the Miramichi lumbermen played, for instance, in opening up the “Big Woods” of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, or how they led the way in the harvesting of the white pine forests along the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania.
The book, OLD NORTH ESK ON THE MIRAMICHI, has 593 pages
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Ruby M. Cusack is a genealogy buff living in New Brunswick, Canada. Send your New Brunswick genealogical queries to her at:  rmcusack@nbnet.nb.ca.  Include your name and mailing address for the benefit of the readers of the newspaper who do not have access to E-mail but could have information to share with you. Please put "Yesteryear" followed by the surnames in your query. For more information on submitting queries, visit http://www.rubycusack.com/Query-Instructions.html
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