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 in Fredericton.

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.

Query 1220
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.
27514-1440, USA

Query 1221
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
Lancaster Park
AB, Canada
T0A 2H0

Query 1222
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
Kennebunkport, ME
04046, USA

Query 1223
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
11795 USA

Query 1224
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  Seminary located?
712 W. Pajabon Dr.
Palmyra, PA
17078 USA

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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:  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
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