The Early Baptist of Cambridge Parish, Queens County, New Brunswick
by Rev Walter R Greenwood Published in 1941
Ruby M. Cusack
With Christmas being only four days away, Cliff
and I were getting more and more excited by the hour. Mum had made the fruit
cakes well in advance. The shelves in the back pantry were lined with tin
containers filled with all sorts of cakes, squares, cookies and pies. I was
so tempted to sneak in there for a feed of honey bars but I didn’t want to
get in trouble at this time of the year.
Gord had spent several hours searching the upper pasture for the perfectly
shaped fir tree and now it was leaning against the wall in the livingroom.
Dad and Gramp took on the task of nailing the board to the bottom, then turning
it round and round to find the best side before anchoring it to the window
casing with heavy twine. While they were doing this, the rest of us set
to work with darn needles and heavy thread to string the coloured popcorn.
In no time at all, the adults began to chat about the traditions of the
Christmases of the past and the church services they had attended as youngsters,
which led into a long discussion concerning the members of the families
who gathered to worship in the communities where they grew up.
In 1941, the Reverend Walter R. Greenwood felt that the Church’s
traditions were the most valuable possession and should be carefully preserved.
It was this thought that prompted his writing of “The
Early Baptist of Cambridge Parish, Queens County, New Brunswick”.
And in so doing he provided information on the members of many families.
Chapter one deals with the church at Jemseg. The first family being the
Wades who migrated in the mid 1800's to Ontario but was still represented
in the community through relationship with Percy McLean.
Among the names of the Charter member on the rolls of the Waterborough
Church are, Elijah Estabrooks - Teaching Elder, Joseph Estabrooks - Deacon,
Ebenezer Estabrooks and John Estabrooks. These are all sons of Sergeant Elijah
Estabrooks from whom all the Estabrooks on the St. John River are descended.
The Rev. Francis Pickle was sent by the Domestic Missionary Society to
labor on Grand Lake. There were twelve baptized under his ministry at Cumberland
Bay in February and March of 1827.
David Chase, who was a brother of Rev. Skinner’s wife, pursued his ministry
successfully for seven years until, as a young man of thirty-six died of
tuberculosis. Three months later his wife Jane died of the same disease.
William Springer, the Loyalist, who came from Wilmington, Delaware married
Margaret, the daughter of Squire John Robertson, was the wife of George
Wilson and moved to Salmon River.
John J. Camp was a grandson of Abiathar Camp, the Loyalist.
The Birthday of the Mill Cove Church could be considered as being on the
26th of June 1825 for it was then that John Branscomb, Ann McLean, Ann Elsworth
and Mary Ferris were baptized. John Branscomb was the son of Arthur Branscomb
and married Mary Wiggins. Ann McLean married David McIntosh and lived
in Mill Cove. Ann Elsworth was a daughter of William Elsworth. Her brother,
Hanford, married Sarah Ferris, a daughter of George Ferris, the Loyalist.
Mary Ferris was a daughter of John and Mary Ferris. The upper storey of their
stone house was used to hold church services.
William Sharp, Eliza Clark, Jeremiah Oakley, Lucy Gidney and Mrs. David
Nevers were the first mentioned of Baptist people living at Lower Jemseg
and vicinity as found in the records of Canning Baptist Church during the
years 1830 - 1833.
In 1836 Joseph I. Skinner, who had come to the community as a teacher
in 1833, became the first resident pastor of the church at MacDonald’s Corner.
His ministry here lasted until his death in 1860. Elder Skinner was not a
robust man but he and his wife were persons of superior mentality. Of their
family, five sons became medical doctors in the United States. One of the
daughters, Betsy Ann, married Amos Straight and another daughter married
Biographical information is provided on the forty-one names that were
listed on the roll in 1840.
One of the clerks and later made a deacon in 1843, at the MacDonald’s
Corner Church was Anthony Flower, who was born in 1792 at Old Gravel Lane,
Radclife Highway, London, England. As a young boy he attended the Royal
Academy School and was a roommate with Joseph William Turner who became
one of the leading landscapes painters of all times. His wife, Mary, was
the daughter of James Green. I might add, that today, Anthony Flower is
a well known New Brunswick artist. His home has been moved to the village
of Cambridge-Narrows. It will be restored to appear as it did during Flower's
life and will be opened in 2005 as a House Museum, dedicated to the life
and times of Anthony Flower.
Take a look at http://www.queenscountyheritage.com/Flower/FlowerHousePage.html
Rebecca Carpenter, the daughter of Ephraim and Ann Carpenter, married
Richard Ryder and lived her married life in Saint John.
In the evening of December 5th, 1839, a meeting was held at Mr. James
Hendry’s to organize a church to be called the second Baptist Church of
Wickham. This entry was found in the church records concerning the beginnings
of organized church life at Lower Cambridge. The author states that in 1825,
thirteen people met in Alexander B. MacDonald’s barn and were duly constituted
into the First Baptist Church in Wickham.
A Baptist Church was organized at Cambridge in the Meeting House near
Mr. Amos S. Corey’s on November 5th, 1855. . . in all 21 members coming
into the church fellowship as a distinct church. In 1856 twenty-eight were
added to the church. Surnames of the members of this church include, Corey,
Hetherington, Cottle, Wilson, Hughes, Belyea, Dykeman, Blizard, Akelley,
Robertson, Black, White, Chase, Little, Wood, Straight, Todd, and Pierce.
Here again, a review is given of the families.
“The Early Baptist of Cambridge Parish, Queens County, New Brunswick”
by the Reverend Walter R. Greenwood, a 1941, eighty page publication
provides a wealth of genealogical information concerning the families who
attended the churches in the area.