The History of Caraquet and Pokemouche
thought ministers spent their Saturday afternoons getting ready for
Sunday’s sermon but this was not the case as the Reverend came calling
and with him were family members from away.
The son had visited with us in past years and on this trip he brought
Dad a brown envelope with aerial photos of our valley.
Cliff and I were intrigued with those pictures and for days, we spent
hours going over every little detail.
We decided to use the back of last month’s calendar leaf to draw a map
of our area marking in the roads, buildings and brooks.
Gramp happened in and as he took a look at our project, I started to
explain what we were doing but he cut me off with his question, “Do you
two plan to be cartographers, when you grow up?”
As usual, we didn’t have a clue what he was talking about.
Susan Brittain Ganong certainly knew the meaning of the “word” as her
brother William Francis Ganong was a professor through the year but
when summer came, he returned to New Brunswick to be a cartographer,
exploring rivers, forests, mountains as well as studying the languages
of the Micmac and Maliseet people.
After William’s death, she took it upon herself to edit and publish in
1948 some of his original writings for the seven Outlines on North
Shore Settlements that were published in the Acadiensis in 1906 to 1908
and to enlarge upon them with his suggested material from the Bulletins
of the Natural History Society and others as a book titled, “The
History of Caraquet and Pokemouche”.
According to Dr. Ganong, the first mention of Caraquet in historical
records was in 1672 in a book published in Paris by Nicholas Denys,
along with a crude map.
Possibly the first European resident was a Frenchman from Old France
named Saint Jean who was mentioned in the narrative by Gamaliel
For the folk doing genealogy, the information provided on the
thirty-four French families - the real founders of Caraquet - who
received a block of more than 14,000 acres in 1784, proves to be most
“The earliest known English residents were Harvey and Alexander Adams,
who came from Scotland prior to 1817, and shipped timber to Great
“In 1689, the French Government granted to Michel De Grez (or DeGrais)
a league of land along the Pokemouche River.”
“A little later, in 1693, a much larger grant, four leagues along the
river on each side and of equal depth, to include the earlier grant to
De Grais, was made to Philipes Esnault. This man, surnamed the Sieur de
Barbaucannes, though Seignior of Pokemouche, lived at Nepisiguit.”
The first English-speaking settler was probably Michael Finn, a native
of Wexford, Ireland who came circa 1800 and married Marie Saulnier at
Tracadie in 1805 at which time he gave his parents as William Finn and
Jeanne Carles, residents of Ireland.
“The History of Caraquet and Pokemouche”
by William Francis Ganong and
edited by Susan Brittain Ganong is not only packed with information,
but gives references to several sources of years gone by which could
provide additional facts for the researcher of families of that area.
The publication can be viewed at several libraries in New Brunswick.
By the way, the Saint John Branch of the New Brunswick Genealogy
Society will meet Wednesday, September 27, 2006 at 7:30 p.m. at the
Den, Loch Lomond Villa. Robert Fellows, author of “Researching Your
Ancestors in New Brunswick”, and “Starting a Family History Project in
New Brunswick”, will be the guest speaker. This will be a excellent
opportunity to learn “how to get started” on your family history
Does anyone know how Bloomfield and Bloomfield Ridge in
Kings County, New Brunswick received their names? Were these
places named for the Bloomfield family who settled there? Can
anyone provide information on the Bloomfield family?
333 E 2nd St., Fond du Lac
WI, 54935, USA.