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Drouin Collection

Mum usually bought the petunia plants and put them in a small bed along the front of the house. But changes were being made this year. First a circular bed was cut with the sod being removed. Next we wheeled several loads of old-fashioned cow fertilizer and dumped it into the flower garden. It took some time but finally the soil was mixed just right.

I went to the woodshed to find the containers of seedlings but none were there. When I returned to the garden patch, Mum had several packages of seeds and was planting them.

Finally my curiosity got the best of me and I inquired as to the kind of flowers that would be growing.

She smiled and replied, "These are surprise-packets of flowers. We won't know what they are until they are in full bloom."

You might say the Drouin Collection on   is a real packet of surprises and a great find for the folk doing genealogical research.

I'll tell you a bit about this amazing collection. Joseph Drouin, a lawyer, founded the Drouin Genealogical Institute in 1899 which contained Quebec's vital statistic records. In 1938, his son Gabriel took over, spending time in microfilming and indexing records until his death in 1980.

Jean-Pierre Pepin, a genealogist purchased the collection and created the Drouin Institute which was dedicated to preserving the collection intact and in Quebec recognized the importance of these records to family researchers and secured the right to host the largest collection of French-Canadian and Quebec historical records in existence which consists of 37 million names spanning 346 years from1850 to 1967, with original images available of baptism, marriage and burial records, and also a compilation of church records from Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and various New England States. The collection is indexed and searchable online but you need a membership with Ancestry. To give you a peek, a free two week membership is being offered.

To my surprise, I found the "St-Jean" references were  actually records for Saint John, New Brunswick including Birth, Marriages, and Deaths and some images from the Catholic Church Registers. 

The Acadian French Catholic records include New Brunswick towns and seem to also include records that are neither French nor Catholic.

For example, I found in the Death Register, an entry for Brady Russel, Passekeag who died June 25, 1899 at age 32 from a one year battle with consumption.

John Crawford was residing in Argyle at the time of his marriage. Register states he was born in Richmond, was aged 29, a bachelor, occupation was  farmer, son of Charles and Catherine Crawford. His bride was Elizabeth Jennie Curry aged 24, residing in Upper Glassville, born in Nerepis, spinster, daughter of William A. and Agnes A. Curry

Record for Baptism and Marriages of Chatham Parish page 281, 1880: Baptism on 28 March 1880 of Joseph born 15 March, the son of Joseph Gautier and Anne Valley with sponsors being Robert Bernard and Mrs. Margaret Wall - nee Foley.

Visit to learn more about the Drouin Collection, the crème de la crème of French-Canadian Records.

Query 1604
Baxter - Morrissey: Catherine Baxter married John Morrissey, who may have been born in Ireland in 1814. He died December of 1894 in Wellington Ward, Saint John and was buried in the Catholic Cemetery in Lancaster, New Brunswick. Sons were James Jeremiah, Thomas and possibly John and Daniel. Any information would be greatly appreciated.
Judy Morrissey
Query 1605
Shepherd - Longstaff: Edmund C. Shepherd was born in Woodstock, New Brunswick in 1833 to John Shepherd and Mary Longstaff. When his brother, John Henry Shepherd, was born in 1838, the family was living in Maine. Apparently there were seven boys born to this family. Edmund went to mine gold in Cariboo, British Columbia and married an Indian woman from Lilooet, British Columbia.  He died in1915 and is buried in Soda Creek Cemetery in the Cariboo. Seeking information on the Shepherd and Longstaff families.
Donna Sweet

Query 1606
Grant - Nichols - White - Sisson - Giberson - Dunphy - Hoyt - Crawford - Crabb: William Grant was born in St. Mary's parish 1787, the son of Samuel Grant and Ann "Nancy" Nichols. He married 07 October 1813, Hannah White, daughter of William White and Elizabeth possibly Sisson. William conducted a lumbering operation and farmed on a large scale. His eldest son Ichabod Richard married in 1830 to Rhoda Ann Grant, daughter of Sgt. John Grant and Elizabeth (Giberson) Grant. William remarried to Matilda Dunphy and around 1850 moved to Aroostook County, Maine. There he conducted a large scale farming operation, dying in 1879 at the age of 91. Ichabod moved to Hainsville / Millville when he married his second wife Mary Elizabeth Hoyt, the daughter of James B. Hoyt and Martha Crawford, and the granddaughter of Joseph Hoyt III and Mary Polly Crabb. 

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.

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