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The Nackawic Bend - 200 Years of History

I sure was glad to see the Match-the-Twins contest in the newspaper come to a close. Mum and Dad had spent hours trying to match the baby and adult twin photos with more than one heated argument that seemed to involve all the relatives who dropped in for a visit.

Cliff and I were certain we had a chance at winning the fifty-dollar prize in the new contest of New Brunswick Trivia that had started in the newspaper on the second of January.

The first nine questions were easy to answer but we were stuck on number ten - Name three places that were considered to be possibilities as the capital of New Brunswick?

If we had lived on the Nackawic Bend, we would probably have heard the 1782 story of General Henry Fox and Edward Winslow’s suggestion of Pokiok being named the capital of New Brunswick. The two men were impressed with the great potential for the marketing of lumber in the Pokiok area. In fact Winslow was so impressed that he petitioned for a grant of 1000 acres along the banks of the Pokiok, 500 acres on each side of the stream. Though a small settlement did flourish, it did not reach the expectations of Winslow and Fox.

One of the area’s first entrepreneurs  was the commanding officer of the King’s American Dragoons, Major Daniel Murray who built  a house, barn, grist mill and a saw mill.  Due to the unsuitability of the land for farming and the destruction of the mill by fire, many of the early settlers left.

Major Richard Armstrong of the Queen’s Rangers received a large grant of land near the mouth of the Nackawic river and purchased more than 1000 acres of land between there and the Coac stream. He constructed a sawmill and a grist mill. He also purchased the block of land in Fredericton above the present Phoenix Square where he had a storehouse for supplies to be issued to the Loyalists.  He was one of the first appointees as Justice of the Peace for York County. 

Upon his death on 07 April 1817, he was buried on his lot of land near the Coac Stream where his wife had been buried three years earlier. Two large stones marked their final resting place. In 1822, his property was advertised for sale by his executors who were residing in the West Indies.

According to family legend, John Christian Fox was a saddle maker in Linburg, Germany when he was shanghaied for the British Army and shipped with numerous others to the colonies to fight as one of the 17,000 Hessian soldiers in the American Revolution. At the close of the war, he received Lot # 5 in the present Parish of Canterbury. It is said that he and his wife, Mary poled a raft up the St. John River to his grant, where they built a log cabin, cleared the land and raised a family of seven children.

Daniel Parent suffered several whippings at the hands of the Rebels before coming to this country in 1783. His widow, Abigail married James Brown.

Captain John MacKay was one of the disbanded soldiers who had to meet strict conditions to retain title to his grant.  He was married to the sister of the Hon. John Saunders. Upon the death of the couple circa 1822, his lots numbered 34, 35 and 36 were divided among his four sisters or their heirs. Two of them, Catherine Munro and Janet Mcleod were living in Scotland. A niece, Jane Coburn was residing in the parish of Northampton.                      

I have only scratched the surface of the information that is held in the 282-page 1985 publication, ‘The Nackawic Bend - 200 Years of History’, compiled by Patricia M. Lawson, Gail Farnsworth and M. Anne Hartley with written and oral contributions by many local residents. This treasury of historical accounts covers various aspects of life. It includes the Indian legend of the golden calf, French buried treasure, first settlers, and the drowning of Pokiok Falls. The captivating family stories handed down through the years and the written contributions by local historians, enriched with a collection of pictures and anecdotes from area residents, enable the reader to sketch a story of people and times on the Bend.   

The Nackawic Bend is available at several research institutions in New Brunswick.

The Nackawic Bend - 200 Years of History can be purchased at

Query 1242
West - Barker: I seek documentation as to the parents of Edward West who was born in 1789. He was the son of either Israel or William West, members of New Jersey Volunteers Loyalists, who settled in Kingsclear in 1784. He married Susan Barker in 1822 and children were, William -1826, George - 1828, Mary Mehetable - 1831, Charles - 1833.
P O Box 333, Pollock Pines
CA, 95726, USA.

Query 1243
McLean: Daniel McLean was born 10 Sep. 1851 in Prince Edward Island and married Olivia McLean born 12 Sep. 1856 in New Brunswick and living in New Brunswick per 1901 census.  I am interested in finding their place of burial.
16616 N.E. 130th Avenue
Brush Prairie, WA
98606 USA

New and Used Genealogical and Historical books of New Brunswick for sale.

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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