The Chinese Experience
in New Brunswick
A Historical Perspective
White Shirts and ties were a must for Dad
and the boys to wear to church on Sunday but it certainly took a lot of Mum’s
time. Once they were washed, she rinsed them in starch and hung them on the
line to dry. Next came the sprinkling of water and rolling them. This was
followed by the ironing with the flat irons that were heated on the stove.
Particular care was given to the collars. Now if we had lived in Saint John,
Mum could have sent the shirts to one of the Chinese laundries, as according
to the McAlpine’s Saint John City Directory for 1929-1930 there were
more than 15 Chinese laundries in the area.
“The Chinese Experience in New Brunswick - A Historical Perspective”
by William Seto and Larry N. Shyu states the Chinese who first settled in
Saint John were from central Canada and were mainly connected with the construction
of the Trans-Canada Railway. They quickly established laundries and a few
grocery stores. They had the surnames Lee, Hum, Wah and Wong
and originated from the province of Kwangtung in southern China.
Charles Hum Johnson was born in Canton, China. He came to Perth
in 1915 where he attended school and later operated a laundry, dry cleaning
business and a furniture store. His death occurred in 1959.
Hum Kee operated a laundry on Main Street, Sussex from 1910 until
his death in 1935, when he left the business to his cousin Hum Fee.
In 1914, Percy Hem was born in Fairville, the first Chinese Canadian
born in New Brunswick. He graduated from the Saint John Vocational School.
After serving in World War II, he operated the Sun Grill restaurant
Hum Yee Tommy was born in 1884 in Kaiping, Kwangtung and came to
Canada at the age of nineteen and settled in Woodstock. In 1908, he married
Mary Lavigne in Hartland. Their eldest son, Andrew played professional
football with the Ottawa Rough Riders.
In the mid 1980's William Seto decided it was time that the story of his
great grandfather, Wing Hem, who was one of the earliest Chinese immigrants
to settle in Saint John, as well as others with similar experiences should
be documented and told to later generations. With the assistance of Dr. Larry
Shyu, he compiled the 113 page book “The Chinese Experience in New Brunswick
- A Historical Perspective” which can be viewed at several research institutions
in New Brunswick.
By the way the Saint Branch of the New Brunswick Genealogical Society
invites you to attend the meeting on October 27, 2004 at 7:30 p.m. in the
Lions Den at the Loch Lomond Villa. The program topic will be learning the
techniques of identifying old photographs. Bring your photos as Peter Larocque
and John Elliott will be on hand to identify and date the images.
Morgan - Lowes: I am looking for the descendants and
any available information concerning Patrick Morgan, his brother Terrance
Morgan and his wife Mary Ann Lowes. Mary Ann died before 1881.
750 Weaver Dairy Road, Apt. 145
Chapel Hill, N.C.
Toner: I am looking for any information on the descendants
of the Toner Family of Fredericton who descended from James and Catherine
Toner who arrived in Saint John in 1841.
PO Box 424
King - Mills: George King and Hannah Mills were married
in 1855 in Norton, Kings County, New Brunswick. They had two children Charlotte
Maria born 1850 and John Stephen King born 1857. George King died after the
1861 census was taken in Norton and before 1871, as his son John was living
with James and Janet Johnston in Sussex by then. Can anyone provide
me with information on George King?
86 Gravelly Brook Road
Smith: According to the list
of Cape Ann Association settlers, Reuben Smith brought his family from New
Boston, New Hampshire to the Passamaquoddy or St. David area of New Brunswick
in 1785. Two sons were probably named Reuben and Adam and there were
at least six more children. I would like to learn about his descendants.
400 W. 1st Street
West Islip, NY
Union Baptist Seminary - Rogers: My Baptist minister
grandfather, Charles Wellington Rogers, was educated in the public schools
of Saint John and matriculated to Acadia College from "Union Baptist Seminary"
of New Brunswick around the mid 1880's. Where was the Union Baptist
712 W. Pajabon Dr.
Ruby M. Cusack is a genealogy
buff living in New Brunswick, Canada. Send your New Brunswick genealogical
queries to her at: email@example.com.
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
a "Family History" column to the Telegraph-Journal on Tuesdays