That the Past May Live
of childhood and youth in Stanley
Martha Vinetta (Gilmore) Johnston
Grampy had a story to tell that would keep us sitting on the edge of
our chairs. But tonight it was a really boring conversation with Mum
about a letter he had received from a nephew, giving him the news of
the arrival of the fellow’s first grandchild. It seemed they had given
this baby an often used family name.
Grampy went on to remind Mum that his parents had chosen his names
carefully. One was for his father’s younger brother, a
doctor in Boston, and the other was for Bishop Medley.
Martha V. (Gilmore) Johnston’s mother, Mary Fox Howe, was born in
Ballinasloe, Northern Ireland, when her mother, Esther (Sutherland)
Howe was making a visit to the home of her parents in 1837. A friend of
the family, Colonel Fox, asked to choose a name for the baby. Since he
had no children, he named her for his wife, Mary Fox. Furthermore he
gave her one hundred pounds in honour of the name. A few years after
Mary’s parents returned to Canada, death struck them both down, leaving
Mary Fox Howe and three siblings as orphans in Quebec.
When Mary was twenty, she made her way from the Blake Home in
Connecticut, where she had lived since she was ten years old, to
Boston, Saint John, Fredericton, and then by horse and wagon to Penniac
to the home of her Howe grandparents. Two years later, in June of 1859,
she married Thomas Gilmore. Their daughter Martha Vinnetta was born in
1863 in Stanley.
The 1978 publication ‘That the
Past May Live’ is Martha Vinetta Gilmore Johnston’s tales
of her childhood in Stanley, in which she relates for her children and
grandchildren, the happenings of long ago.
The writer takes one on a personal journey not only of her growing-up
days and family connections in the Stanley area but shares her
experiences of the trials and tribulations of a young female teacher in
‘That the Past May Live’ is
available at several research institutions in New Brunswick.
By the way, the September meeting of
the Saint John Branch of the New
Brunswick Genealogical Society will be held on September 28,
7:30 p.m. in the Lions Den at the Loch Lomond Villa.
- Weir: Seeking burial record for Mary Weir Stewart, widow
Dunbar Douglas Stewart, both originally of Newport, Hants County, Nova
Scotia. Mary Weir Stewart born 1810, died 17 Aug 1863 at Saint
John, New Brunswick, having moved there circa 1850. Their
children were: Isabell Frances, Rachel Mary, Charles Beckwith, Charles
Murray Porter, Sidney Beckwith - who died in Portland, Maine after
1910, Isabell Elizabeth and Eliza Cochran.
Canada, S0C 0G0
Sheck: Interested in any
family history on the Sheck family from
Sussex, New Brunswick.
Shives: Robert Shives
immigrated from Scotland to Saint John circa
1800. He was married to Martha Wiggins. They had three sons; Robert,
William, and Alexander. Who were his parents? What is the family
connection to Bishop Robert Kilgour of Peterhead, Scotland?
925 Parkside Drive, Centreville
NS, Canada, B0P 1J0
Byrne: John Byrne, age
65 and wife Mariah, age 58 were
listed on the 1881 census of Dumbarton Parish, Charlotte County, New
Brunswick. I am interested in the date and place of their death and the
PAUL R. BURNS
32 Moulton Hill Rd
Stafford Springs, CT
Pearson -Coates: My
grandfather, Henry William Pearson, came to Canada
from Birmingham, England, in 1914, to join the Canadian Expeditionary
Force. He had a sister married to a Richard Coates in Fredericton, New
Brunswick at 641 George Street, in 1914. Searching for the descendants
of Richard Coates and my Great Aunt Pearson, first name unknown. She
was born in Birmingham, England circa 1877. When did she come to
Canada? Did she and Richard have a family?
BARBARA F. PEARSON
476 Pearsonville Road
Canada, E5P 1S6