Return to Ruby Cusack dot com Home Page

History on every page of Stuart Trueman’s book

For two days Mum had been at Gram's helping to get the house spotless. Aunt Ethel was bringing several of her city friends out to have a tupperware party on Saturday afternoon.

Bright and early on the morning of the party, the work of cutting crusts off the bread, and making the filling went into full swing.

Aunt Sadie had made two different coloured jello salads, three kinds of scallop and was in the process of getting ready to cut the turkey and ham, when Gramp entered the kitchen.

He stopped in his tracks and surveyed the display of food and spoke: "I hope Major John Coffin does not crash this party and take the food?"  "If he comes, he may even insist on dancing with one of city ladies."

As usual I did not have a clue what he was talking about but if I had read "An Intimate History of New Brunswick" by Stuart Trueman, it would have been obvious he was referring to the raid of Major John Coffin during the Revolutionary War on a home where a wedding reception was taking place at which time he demanded turkey, hams and wine to feed his men. Before leaving, he waltzed with the bride much to the astonishment of the guests.
Major Coffin and his wife, Ann Matthews, arrived in Saint John in September of 1783 as United Empire Loyalists. They went up river to Nerepis and moved into the mansion, which he called Alwington Manor but known as Coffin Manor to the locals.

Although the war was over the Major was always ready for a scrap - one being a duel with Colonel Campbell and later with others. He never forgot his military background, but gradually things settled down and he operated a grist mill and sawmills.

There is more information in the chapter titled - The Great Migration.

If you want to know about ghosts and other apparitions, take a look at chapter two where you will read about the Lake Utopia monster, the Dungarvon Whooper, the Penobsquis Pedlar, the Firewood Man of Chatham, and the Haunted Mountain.

Stuart Trueman states, "History is everywhere in New Brunswick. You find it around every sweeping turn."  I might add you find history in every page you turn in "An Intimate History of New Brunswick" - History of the English, Acadia and its people, the Dutch, the Natives, the boundary disputes, wars where nobody emerged as a true winner, the horseless carriage that could have changed the face of Saint John, North America's almost first oil well, horse thief Henry More Smith who laughed at the locksmiths, the lady ship builder - Mrs. Edmund Powell, the famous Marco Polo, and the list goes on.

The history of our province needs to be read by all New Brunswickers young and old. A great starting place is  "An Intimate History of New Brunswick" by Stuart Trueman.

Query 1598
Sprague - Spragg - Reid: Leah Esther Sprague - Spragg was married at Belleisle on 12 Aug1908 by the Rev. E.A. Allaby to John H. Reid who was born on 12 Dec 1873. They had three children William Peter, Elsie Martha and Calvin Blake.  I am interested in finding the names of John's parents, siblings or any history on his family. They are listed in the 1911 Census of Springfield Parish, Kings County, New Brunswick.
Mrs. H. MacKinnon-Ludyka

Query 1599
Parker - Whitney: Charlotte Parker was born circa 1789 and married in1811 to Ebenezer Whitney from Whitneyville, New Brunswick.  Since Robert Parker, the husband of Jane Hatch left Charlotte the same amount of money in his will as he left children, Robert, Neville, Addington and Jane, I am assuming she was closely related to him. She also received an annuity from the Hon. Robert and Hon. Neville Parker until her death. If you have information to share, please contact:
Mary Ellen Jones

Query 1600
Sparks: Seeking information on the descendants of Digory Sparks, a Loyalists who was a land grantee in New Brunswick. Is Digory the father of Thomas Sparks born circa 1769 and died 1844 in St. George, New Brunswick and was married to Mehitabel whose last name is unknown. Any information appreciated.
H.D. Thompson

Query 1601
Perkins - Colleran - Collrin: Mary Ann Perkins, born 8 Jan 1843, Town of Portland, (Saint John) married  James Colleran - Collrin in Aug 1865 in Saint John, New Brunswick. James died 4 Sept 1901. I am looking for any detailed information on Mary Ann Perkins, her parents and siblings.
Peggy Collrin

Query 1602
MacFarlane: I am seeking the names of the parents of Charles Walter MacFarlane (born circa 1860) who left Saint John in 1900 for the USA and married and died there. 

Query 1603
Douglas Arms Inn - Mather: Margaret Mather was the proprietor of the Douglas Arms Inn on the Nerepis Road, New Brunswick. I assume this was after the death of her husband David Mather, who came from Scotland and died in New Brunswick on 07 Oct 1839. Can anyone provide information on the Douglas Arms Inn and its ownership over the years as well as information on the Mather family - Alexander and Jane (Orkney) Mather who came from Scotland with sons Alexander and James in 1818?
Vonda Adams

Ruby M. Cusack is a genealogy buff living in New Brunswick, Canada. Send your New Brunswick genealogical queries to her at:  Please put "Query" followed by the surnames in your query as the subject. For more information on submitting queries, visit

Ruby contributes a "Family History" column to the Telegraph-Journal on the third Saturday of the month.

New and Used Genealogical and Historical books of
New Brunswick for sale.

Back to Home of  rubycusack dot com