Diary of a Frenchman
- François Lambert Bourneuf's
Adventures from France to Acadia
in the Newsletters of Societies
I was often
disappointed when neighbours visited my grandfather. It usually meant Grampy
wouldn't share as many stories with us that night. My disappointment turned
to joy one day, however, by a visitor, in his 80s, who talked of days gone
by and the experiences he and Grampy shared.
I listened attentively. I pictured women using a dash churn to make butter.
They would pour buttermilk into jugs, wrap freshly-made bread in cotton cloths
and carefully wash eggs to place in a basket for a trip to Saint John.
I imagined the express wagon, pulled by a good trotter, taking these items
to be sold or traded for supplies. Potatoes and vegetables were always needed
by city folk so they were good sellers.
François Lambert Bourneuf crossed the Bay of Fundy every two weeks
in his small schooner to trade eggs, potatoes, butter and other products
with Joseph Joppe LeBlanc and Charles Michaud Melanson.
In 1859, when he was 71 years old, Francois Lambert Bourneuf wrote the story
of his life.
The autobiography tells of his childhood in France; his experiences in Regneville,
Normandy; the methods of a priest who thought a punch between the shoulder
blades would better his education; and about the sudden death of his mother.
He also wrote about his experiences as a sailor aboard a French frigate.
It was captured in 1809 by the British, which led to a stay in the Melville
Prison on the Northwest Arm in Halifax. The description of prison life and
his attempts to escape with others were eye-opening.
In 1818, he married Marie Doucet who gave birth to seven children between
1819 and 1838. He settled near St. Mary's Bay, where he became a businessman,
shipbuilder and a member of the Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly from 1843
Financial woes forced Bourneuf to declare bankruptcy in 1855.
Diary of a Frenchman - François
Lambert Bourneuf's Adventures from France to Acadia 1787-1871, edited
and translated by J. Alphonse Deveau and published in 1990, provides a glance
into the conditions of life on both sides of the Atlantic.
Readers may also be interested in collections available at the Acadian Museum and Archives in West Pubnico,
N.S. It houses the private collection of local historian Clarence J. d'Entremont,
among others. The research centre offers more than 5,000 library books and
periodicals (historical and genealogical), genealogies, land grants, deeds,
microfilms, maps, photographs, church records and more.
Father Clarence J. d'Entremont wrote
100 articles for publication in the Yarmouth Vanguard from 1989 to 1990.
These are available for viewing on the Acadian Museum and Archives' website
at museeacadien.ca/english/archives/articles/index.htm. One of the articles
is titled, The Escape of Francois L. Bourneuf which provides details on his
escapade, which lasted more than three years.
Speaking of stories, the Queen's County
Historical Society's newsletter - Vol. I, No. 6, published in December,
1981, includes an article about "a poor
frozen man" found in the wilderness near Cane's River, Northumberland
County by a lumbering party (circa 1859). A bill from Dr. Harry Peters in
1861 was submitted for attendance, medications and a fee for amputation of
his legs. Jerome, the man without
legs, was found abandoned on the beach at Sandy Cove, N.S. in August, 1863.
The issue also has the School Return of
1844 for District No. 1, Parish of Hampstead; a recipe for buckwheat
pancakes; and information from a booklet titled The Farmers of New Brunswick 1883. The
booklet lists the customers who bought reapers and two-horse power threshing
machines from Johnston & Co. An index of 26 years of newsletters is available
at the research centre of the Queen's County Court House Museum in Gagetown.
A very tragic story, titled The Salted
Dead by Captain James F. Alcorn from the Saint John Albion, Saturday,
Feb. 18, 1860 edition, was published in the Kings County Historical and Archival
Society newsletter in 1980 - 1981. The vessel left Saint John on Aug. 13,
1846. The captain was John Clark. Three years later, the wreck was found
by a ship with Captain Howard at the helm. Upon entering the locked staterooms,
a sad tale unfolded. You can view an index of the newsletters of the Kings
County Historical and Archival Society at the Kings County Museum in Hampton.
Twenty-three issues, 1995-2006, of the newsletter of the Associates of the
Provincial Archives of New Brunswick can be read online at http://archives.gnb.ca/Associates/Newsletters.aspx?L=EN.
A table of contents from 2002 to the present of Generations, the publication
of the New Brunswick Genealogical Society is also available at http://nbgssj.ca.
Stories of happiness, sadness, tragedy
and the unexplainable can be found in the newsletters of many historical
and genealogical societies.
On your next visit to a research repository
make an inquiry as to their holdings of these gems filled with information.
- Ferris: David McDonald married Elizabeth Nancy Ferris on Aug.
8, 1851 in Johnston Parish. I am interested in finding the names of their
parents and siblings. Both are listed in the 1861 and 1871 census for Cambridge
153 Timber Lane
- Walker: Sarah Brownlee married James Walker 15 Apr 1822, St.
Andrews Church, Saint John, New Brunswick. They returned to England 1827.
She was born in Enniskillen, Ireland in 1799. Am seeking information on her
brother James, who petitioned for land in Saint John in 1818 and in1827 when
he was 31.
Capt. James Eccles, Loyalist, born Roscommon Co. Ireland, landed 1783 in
Parr Town New Brunswick, following revolutionary war. Married Ann Clarke.
Settled in Douglas, York County. Died 20 May 1839 in Fredericton. Buried
in the Old Burying Ground, Fredericton N.B.
J. KEITH CARTER
Hanley - Reynolds:
I am looking for information on the descendants of John Hanley, son of Patrick
and Bridget (nee Reynolds) Hanley of White's Mountain, Kings County, New
Brunswick. John was born circa 1846 and died in his 43rd year, at his Farren
Street home on the 6th January, 1890. His wife's name was Margaret. He is
buried in St. Joseph's Cemetery, Saint John.
DEBBIE HANLEY McKEE
16 Heritage Court,
Fall River, NS
Canada, B2T 1E7
- McCarty - REQUESTED REMOVAL
I am searching for photos and information on Dingee Scribner
(1817-1900) or his fishing tackle shop located at 59 King Square, Saint John,
1170 Thousand Islands Parkway
Canada, K0E 1R0