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Left a legacy for future generations

Cliff and I had been begging Mum for weeks to let us use her Brownie Box Camera. Now that she had agreed, we had to figure out the pictures we wanted to take.

On Saturday the sun was shining, which was perfect for our adventure into the photographer’s world.

Cliff’s first choice was the covered bridge. He seemed to take forever, looking down into the view finder, to get the camera the right way, to get in everything.

I wanted to get a picture of Gramp and Gram. Luckily we found them both at home. Gramp was using the drawknife to shape a piece of maple into a whiffletree while Gram watched from the backdoor. We asked them to pose for us. Gram insisted on going into the house to comb her hair and remove her apron.   

As Gramp waited, he said, “You remind me of roving photographers, such as Herbert Blois, who made trips into the lumber camps and carefully positioned the crew and even the teams of horses for a group photo.”

He went on to say, “Go into the spare bedroom and you will find logging pictures in the trunk. There is also one by Blois of the twins and other students in front of the school.”

Herbert Blois was born in Nova Scotia in 1872 to Lemuel and Rebecca (Porter) Blois. According to the 1900 census of Malden, Massachusetts, he along with his mother and siblings had arrived in the United States in 1884. His occupation was given as photographer. In 1901, he married Olivia Parsons in Cumberland County, Nova Scotia and shortly after, they moved to Saint John, where they had a family of at least twelve children. Herbert died in 1933 at age 61 and is buried in Cedar Hill Cemetery. It appears much of his photography work was done in Kings County.

To view some of the pictures in the photographic collections of Isaac Erb, Madge Smith, and George Taylor, pay a visit to the website of the Nashwaaksis Middle School at

In addition to the government photos, the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick has major photographic studio holdings of Isaac Erb, Madge Smith, George Taylor, Jacob Mersereau, Ole Larsen, George Taylor, and Joe Stone as well as other smaller collections that have many interesting gems.

Isaac Erb produced more than 12,000 images during his fifty-year career.

George Thomas Taylor was born in 1838 and became a carpenter. He lived in Fredericton where he began his photographic career in 1856, which included experimenting with daguerreotypes and glass negatives

A list of Saint John Photographers from city directories 1863 to 1910 compiled by Charlie Kee was published in the Spring 2005 issue of Generations - the Journal of the New Brunswick Genealogical Society. Also included in the publication is an article from number 22 of the Collections of the New Brunswick Historical Society on “Early Photographers” by Dr. Norman Skinner.
In the book, “An Atlantic Album - Photographs of the Atlantic Provinces before 1920" by Scott Robson and Shelagh Mackenzie, an advertisement from the Morning News, 15 Nov. 1841 advises that William Valentine, Saint John, would provide daguerreotypes for five dollars.

The Dalhousie Review, Volume 35, number 3, Autumn 1955 carried the story of “Daguerreotypists and Portrait Takers in Saint John” by Russell J. Harper. This publication can be found in several research institutions.

Thanks to the roving photographer who had camera and did travel, a legacy for future generations was left to us.

Unfortunately, the work of many of the New Brunswick's past photographers, Herbert Blois included, has gone largely unrecorded in the archives around the province and as a result, are not available to us today.  If you or your family have interesting images from the past, especially ones that show people at work and play, street scenes and views of communities, or buildings long since gone, the Provincial Archives or an archives near you may be interested. To contact the Provincial Archives about such photographs email Fred Farrell at or telephone at 506-444-4146.
Query 1301
Larsen - Lawson - Devoo - Goodine - McCordick: I seek information on Alfred Larsen and Julia Ellen Devoo (Goodine) and their parents and siblings.  Their children Alfred George Larsen and Augustina (Christena) May Larsen were born 1917 and 1915 in Saint John, New Brunswick, where the family lived on Charlotte Street and St. James Street. Alfred Larsen  lived in Saint John from 1914 to 1919 and worked at Leonard Fisheries and as a seaman and teamster. He died in November 1919.  The children were placed in the Saint John Protestant Orphanage in 1920 and Julia Ellen moved to Fredericton with her daughter Mary Gertrude McCordick (Devoo). The children were placed in two homes in Cape Breton in 1922.  Dr. J.S. Bentley was the physician when Augustina was born.  He was a reference for Julia Ellen when placing the children in the Orphanage.  He is also mentioned as a Minister of the Mission Chapel.  Alfred's residence around 1890 may have been in Westmorland County, NB.
R.R.#2, Tatamagouche
Nova Scotia, B0K 1V0 
Telephone (902)657-2381

Query 1302
Hartt - Cole - Avery - Gerow - Ring: I am seeking information on the name of the father of John Hartt, who was born in 1789 in Saint John, New Brunswick, married on 01 Jan.1818 at Westfield to Jane Cole, who was born in Saint John in 1799, the daughter of John Cole. Their children were, Eliza Jane (1828) married William Avery 31 Dec. 1753, Albert (1833) married  Elizabeth Gerow and moved to Boston and possibly daughter Mary Ann (1820) who married Zebedee Ring.
27 Durham St.
Porirua, New Zealand

Query 1303
Amos- Jones:  Looking for descendants of William Henry Amos, who married my great-great aunt, Elizabeth Jones on 8 June 1905 in St. John County by the Rector of Carleton.
2811 Fredericton Road
Salisbury, NB
Canada, E4J-2E4

Query 1304
Briggs - Dunbrack: Mary Isabel "Bella" Briggs married 27 Jan 1909 to Charles Hill Dunbrack in Saint John. She died 5 May 1951.  Would like to find an obituary or correspond with any descendants.
1830 Logan Ave.
Waterloo, IA 
50703-1917. USA

Query 1305
Alward - Price - Dobson: Looking for information on Sarah Ann Price who was born circa 1846 in Havelock, New Brunswick. Her first husband was an Alward - possibly Jesse, son of Jesse and Jane Alward, born in 1838 in New Brunswick and died in 1877 in Havelock.  They had at least 3 children, Abraham, Frank and maybe Ada or Annie. Her second husband was Samuel Leggett Dobson.
SHERRY SIKET               
2318 Butterfly Palm Drive                
Naples, Florida
34119, USA

Query 1306
Powers - Perry - Black: John T. Powers, a Methodist or Universalist, was born circa 1815 in New Brunswick and christened in Nova Scotia. He died in Nova Scotia circa 1886. His wife died 8 May 1849 in River Philip Cumberland. Their daughter Elizabeth, was born 3 Oct. 1847 in Summerside, Prince Edward Island and married John Perry. Her death occurred in 1923. She is buried in Collingwood Cemetery, Nova Scotia. John T. Powers married for a second time in 1851 to Cynthia Sarah Black. From this union there were Thomas, Richard, Lydia, Augusta and Alice. I seek information on the Powers family and their descendants.
3438 Windsor St, Ste-Foy, PQ
Canada, G1X - 2K9
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 "Query" followed by the surnames in your query. For more information on submitting queries, visit
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