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Journals of the House of Assembly of New Brunswick

All afternoon the sound of hammering echoed through the open window of the school. As soon as dismissal time came, Cliff and I hurried to the bridge to see what was going on.

To our surprise we saw several men ripping up the planks of the floor.

I asked Cliff, “Why would they be tearing down the bridge?”

The boss of the crew overheard my question and started talking to us. It seemed an act had been passed by the government that would give money to put in new flooring and to rebuild a section of the road.

I hurried home to tell Mum that the government was going to put on some kind of an act, hopefully a flying trapeze one,  to raise money to fix the bridge. This bit of news sent Ken into howls of laughter.

The Acts of the General Assembly of New Brunswick providing for the opening and repairing of roads and erecting bridges throughout this Province and an Act to appropriate a part of the public revenue for services certainly gives lots of interesting tidbits for the family researcher who is willing to dig.

Bernita Harris of Ontario wanted a way to get the material from the “Acts of the General Assembly of  her Majesty's Province of New Brunswick, Passed in the Year 1840" available to the public, thus she posted a transcription on Marlene's website at 

Of particular interest to me was the section on Kings County Bye Roads where I found reference to:

* Ten pounds to rebuild the Bridge over the Brook near Samuel Lackie's.

* Thirty-eight pounds to pay for a new Cutwater and sundry repairs to the Hammond River Bridge, near Barnes'.

* Fifteen pounds for the road from the Campbell Settlement to the Salt Spring Settlement in Upham.

In Saint John County Bye Roads references were made to:

*Fifty pounds for the road from Frog Pond to Loch Lomond

* Fifteen pounds for the road from Black River to Emerson's Creek and thence to Gardiner's Creek, including a Causeway from the new Bridge over Emerson's Creek to the Hill at the School  House, south side.

* Twenty pounds for the road from the Quaco Road, through Ryan's Settlement, to the New Shepody Road.

* Twenty-five pounds toward completing the Bridge over Spoon Cove, on the Highway near Indian Town, past McKay's Mill.

In the York County Bye Roads:

* Thirty pounds to improve the road to the Magundy Settlement, through the Poquiock Settlement; out of which a sum not exceeding ten pounds to repair the Bridge and improve the road between the River and the Poquiock Settlement, and the balance to build the Bridges and improve the road leading to Magundy.

* Fifteen pounds for the road from Humphrey Sisson's to James Whitehead's.

In Queens County, ten pounds was allotted for the road from William Graham's to the King's County Line, by way of Polly's Corner.

In Northumberland County, ten pounds was to improve the road from Jared Tozer's upper line from the North West to the lower Williamston Settlement.

If you have found interesting details in the Bye Roads section, more goodies can be found in the Act to Appropriate a Part of the Public Revenue for the Services therein Mentioned.

Kings County gave me the info:

* To the Overseers of the poor for Kingston, King's County, the sum of thirty pounds to remunerate that Parish for support and Medical attendance, incurred in the case of John Carew, a maimed and transient pauper.

* To Daniel Livingston, the sum of twenty pounds for teaching a School in the Parish of Upham, in King's County, for one year ending first May one thousand eight hundred and thirty-nine.

 * To the Justices of the Peace for King's County, for the use of the said County, the sum of one hundred pounds to reimburse them for expenses connected with the apprehension of Terence Leonard, a person charged with the murder of Bernard Coyle, and who had fled from this Province to the United States.

In Carleton County:

* To George W. Cleary, Captain in the Carleton Militia, the sum of four pounds eighteen shillings and ten pence, being for return of duties paid on Musical Instruments imported from the United States for the use of a Band.

* To Barnet Rogers, a licenced Ferryman, the sum of twenty pounds, to remunerate him for the transportation of Couriers conveying Her Majesty's Mails across the River Saint John, near Woodstock in the County of Carleton.

* To His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor or Commander in Chief, the sum of one hundred pounds, to improve the towing paths from the Tobique to the Grand Falls on the River Saint John.

In Westmorland County:

* To His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor or Commander in Chief, the sum of two hundred pounds, to encourage the running of a covered Stage Coach from Dorchester to Miramichi; such sum to be paid to the person or persons who shall run the said Stage Coach for the space of one year, at least once a week, to be certified by the Commissioners to be appointed by His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor for that purpose.

If I have sparked your interest, you can view “The Acts of the General Assembly of New Brunswick” and the “Journals of the House of Assembly of New Brunswick” at the Saint John Free Public Library in Market Square, the Library and Archives of the New Brunswick Museum on Douglas Avenue, Saint John and  the Legislative Library in Fredericton.

I think you will be pleasantly pleased at the interesting tidbits concerning your ancestors and the government that served them that can be found in these volumes.

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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 "Query" followed by the surnames in your query. For more information on submitting queries, visit
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