The Early Baptist of Cambridge Parish, Queens County, New Brunswick
by Rev Walter R Greenwood Published in 1941

Ruby M. Cusack
ith 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 Sarah Thurston,

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 Robert Coes.

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

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.

Query 1240
Millinery School Location: Searching for the location of the Millinery School located in Saint John circa 1885. My great grandmother, Louisa Abigail Brawn,  from the South Branch  of the Oromocto Lakes, New Brunswick, attended this school in 1888. Information including: class lists,  photographs, curriculum, and teachers, as well as Millinery Shops in Saint John, N.B. would be appreciated.
476 Pearsonville Road,
Pearsonville, NB
E5P 1S6

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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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