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The New Brunswick Magazine  

Mum had been going right out straight for weeks in preparation for Christmas. Every corner of the house had to be cleaned - not a speck of dust could be found. She even washed and starched all the curtains. The fruit cakes were safely stored in a tin pail in the outside pantry along with a good supply of squares, cookies and sweet breads.

Gord had gone to the pasture and found the perfect Christmas tree, nailed a board on the bottom of the trunk, then tied it in the corner of the living room where it waited to be trimmed with lots of coloured rope, ornaments and icicles.

She had made a shopping trip to town, received a big package in the mail from Eaton’s and had sent Dad to Hampton to pick up a couple of items at the hardware store.

Since Christmas was only a couple of days away, tonight was the time to take out the thin sheets of coloured paper, close the bedroom door, set up the card table and get the wrapping organized. But all did not go smoothly! Dad had forgotten to tell her that he did not buy Gramp a Campbell axe as one of the girls had purchased one for him. We could hear lots of talking going on but it seemed on such short notice, Mum’s ideas were limited until she thought of writing on a card that the 'Maritime Farmer' would be coming in the mail for a year. She could send a money order after Christmas and Gramp would never suspect he had almost been overlooked.

Way back in 1898, probably some folk were hoping they would get a gift of a subscription to “The New Brunswick Magazine” that was published monthly in Saint John by W. K. Reynolds. The cost was $1.50 per annum in advance or 15 cents for a single copy. It had been established with the support of the New Brunswick Historical Society and provided readers with some very interesting stories.

One of the articles that really piqued my interest was the description by W. K. Reynolds of "The Loss of the Royal Tar" which occurred in Penobscot Bay, Maine, in October of 1836. This sidewheeler was built in Carleton, launched in 1835, sailed between Saint John, New Brunswick and Eastport and Portland, Maine, with Captain Thomas Reed at the helm. On this voyage, she had a crew of twenty-one and seventy-two passengers including the members of Fuller's menagerie or 'caravan' that had been travelling through Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. They gave an exhibition in Saint John before starting on their return to the United States. The wild animals included an elephant, two camels, six horses and more. Twenty-nine passengers and three of the crew perished.

Others that interested me were:

"The Ashburton Treaty of 1842" when our province lost land to Maine that some folk thought should have been kept as a part of our province is an eye opener.

 “At Portland Point” provides lots of interesting facts as well as names of the settlers and business men.

The loss of the ship “England” in Courtenay Bay, in December of 1846 was considered to be the most serious marine disaster that ever took place in the water immediately around the city of Saint John. The ship had been built at Ten Mile Creek. Although it was Christmas Day, a group of upset Sea faring men met to try to sort out the reasons for the burial of these men as paupers in the Old Burial Ground without the benefit of clergy.  One of the sailors who was rescued from the wreck was taken in by a family and later married the daughter.

 “Christmas As It Was” by Clarence Ward with a setting of 1808 presents a peek at the way people celebrated the day. I think the girls and their mothers worked even harder than Mum to provide a bountiful supply of pies of all kinds and cakes and doughnuts. The doughnut in those days was the king of the feast. Dinner in the described household took place at four o’clock.

As an appendix, an event of general interest, a marriage and a death, are given for each day of the month of the publication. In December of 1898, the following were given
    Dec. 26, 1839 a “Repeal of St. John Water Bill” was demanded.
    Dec. 16, 1846, the marriage was performed by the Rev. Mr. Irvin of Mr. John Morrison, Merchant, to Lucy A., eldest daughter of Mr. Thomas C. Everett, all of this city.
    The date of Dec. 16, 1850 was of the death of Mr. Samuel Storm, in the 80th year of his age, leaving a wife and an affectionate family. He was one of the old Loyalists who emigrated in 1783 to this country.
Copies of “The New Brunswick Magazine” can be viewed at the Archives & Research Library of the New Brunswick Museum, Saint John Free Public Library and the Legislative Library.

The Ward Chipman Library in Saint John has placed a Table of Contents of the 1898 - 1899 and 1904 issues on line at

Query 1529
Kelson - Kjeldsen - Tidd - Teed: Captain Nelson Kelson, a seaman,  married  Wealthy Ann Teed (Tidd) circa 1869 in either New Brunswick or Nova Scotia. Nelson was supposedly born in June 1844 in Denmark and died 24 Mar 1908 in St. George, New Brunswick. He may have been known as Niels Kjeldsen. He settled in Digby County, NS, then in St. George.
20 Depot St
Ashland, NH
03217, USA

Query 1530
Payn - Buckle: Armand Payn (born 23 Mar 1836) was granted land (No 18797) in Dalhousie on 26 May 1882. He emigrated from Jersey and married Johanna Buckle on 14 Nov 1860 in Forteau, Labrador. They are listed in the 1901 census for Restigouche. I would be interested to learn what type of land it was and anything else about the family.
71 Harcourt Road
CT19 4AF

Telegraph Journal Has Made Changes

I have been advised by the Editor of the “Magazine” section of the Telegraph Journal that Nov. 28 , 2006 will be the last weekly column and in future the column will be published only once a month, commencing  today -  Saturday,  Dec. 16, 2006

I would like to thank all the readers for the support given to me over the last nine years with the contribution of more than fifteen hundred queries for the weekly columns.

All your kind words have been much appreciated.


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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