Never assume! 

When researching your ancestors,
don't take place names for granted.

Ruby M. Cusack

  When my husband and I first started researching the Cusack family many years ago, we knew next to nothing on the family background. One little tip that had been given to us, pertained to relatives living in the United States.

On our first visit to the archives of the New Brunswick Museum, we became very excited when we found the marriage Elizabeth Moran of Portland to George Cusack.

I copied the marriage information in my note book and very carefully inserted after Portland the letters "USA", as everybody knows that Portland is in Maine.

I thought to myself, "Doing the Cusack family tree is going to be very easy. In this, our first hour of research, we had found the family connection to the United States as the Elizabeth Moran lived there!"

As our search continued that day, we found many other relatives living in Portland. Why, we pondered, did so many of the family live in this area of the United States?

It was quite an awakening to us when we stumbled upon the information that "Portland" was, in fact, a town that bordered Saint John. It amalgamated with Saint John in the late 1880s, so Portland has been a part of the City of Saint John for about 100 years.

Another incident that stands out in my mind was the obituary of Margaret Moran. We knew little about her, except that some of her children stayed in Saint John while others went to the Boston area. Her death notice in the newpaper was very brief and stated she had died in South Bay. I copied this information and very carefully added after South Bay, the words "New Brunswick". Everybody knows that South Bay is just outside of Saint John.

Many years later, thanks to Don Moran of Boston, we found out that she had died in South Bay, Boston.

When you insert your own interpretation of a location, make note of it!

Some confusing Saint John locations:

Carleton was in the West Side of Saint John.
Crouchville was in East Saint John.
Pisarinco - Lorneville.
Marsh Road - Rothesay Avenue.
Botsford Mill Road - Loch Lomond Road to Silver Falls.
Rural Cemetery - Fernhill Cemetery.
Old Catholic Cemetery - St. Mary's Cemetery and New Catholic Cemetery - St. Joseph's Cemetery.

When a parish, county, village or city share the same name, it can be very confusing. On some documents the place of residence could be either the parish, county, village or city. To add more confusion, the residence on other documents may refer to the church parish.

If your ancestors were from Saint John County, be certain to check out the Roe and Colby Atlas of 1875. It has 23 excellent maps of this county. If you are an East Saint Johner, you will be particularly interested in the map of Crouchville. By the way, there is also included in this publication of Roe & Colby, the Atlas for York County for 1878.

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Queries have been grouped together to cover the year 1998 and can be viewed at Queries-1998

Ruby Cusack is a genealogy buff living in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. Readers are invited to send their New Brunswick genealogical queries to Ruby at When E-Mailing please put Yesteryear Families in the Subject line. Please include in the query, your name and postal address as someone reading the newspaper, may have information to share with you but not have access to E-mail. Queries should be no more than 45 words in length.

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