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A Wealth of Summer Reading
On New Brunswick's Past

Cliff and I looked out to see another day of rain, making it the fourth day of wet weather since St. Swithin's Day. This steady downpour was certainly ruining our plans of having outdoor adventures on every day of the summer vacation but it was even more upsetting for the farmers as the hay could not be cut.

Mum put her arms around our shoulders and recited:

St. Swithin's day if thou dost rain,

For forty days it will remain;

St. Swithin's day if thou be fair,

For forty days 'twill rain no more.

Just then Gord drove into the yard, jumped out of the truck and made a run for the back door. He was carrying a box which turned out to be filled with books that Aunt Ethel had sent to us plus some comics as well as magazines for Mum and some western mysteries for Dad.

Cliff and I begged to be allowed to go to the hay mow and lie in the newly cut hay and listen to the rain hitting the tin roof while we read.

I think Mum was only to pleased to have us out of her way so she quickly agreed. As we went out the door, we saw her heading for the rocking chair in the outside kitchen to read one of the magazines. Dad was rummaging through the box to find a good western mystery.

There are lots of books to read with a New Brunswick theme, to pass away those rainy days of summer, when you can't get out to enjoy the sunshine.

Dorothy Dearborn from Hampton has written several books on many topics such as, Legends Oddities and Mysteries Including UFO Experiences in New Brunswick, Madness and Murder in New Brunswick, New Brunswick, Ghosts! Demons! - and Things That Go Bump in the Night!, New Brunswick Haunted Houses; and other tales of strange and eerie events, New Brunswick's Unsung Heroes, The Gallows Of New Brunswick and the list goes on.

B. J. Grant's Six for The Hangman and The Evil Men Do give a glimpse into some terrible crimes that took place in New Brunswick.

If you are interested in rum running years there are several on that topic. You might even get lucky and find the name of one of your relatives.

The folk with Catholic roots will enjoy Pax Vobis - A History of the Diocese of Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada - its Bishops and Parishes by Rev. Dr. Michael McGowan.

Several books have been written on the involvement in the war, including New Brunswick's Fighting 26th Battalion.

In Music of the Eye - Architectural Drawings of Canada's First City - 1822 to 1914, Gary K. Hughes has given biographical information on 13 architects who left their mark in Saint John through buildings.

Take a walk through Hampton by reading Reflections - The story of Hampton by David Keirstead.

Have you ever wondered about one of the old pieces of furniture that you have fallen heir to? Antique Furniture by New Brunswick Craftsmen by Huia G Ryder provides lots of information.

In Of Mines and Men, Marjorie Taylor Morell depicts not only the world of coal mining in Minto but gives information on churches, schools, doctors, businesses and families.

For the gun enthusiast, the photos in Matchlocks to Machine Gun - The Firearms Collection of the New Brunswick Museum will take you back in time.

You can learn much about Stanley in The Village in the Valley - A History of Stanley by Velma Kelly

The Wests of Coles Island gives detailed information on many families.

Ethel Thompson left behind a treasure trove of information on the villages along the Bay the Bay of Fundy in The Tides of Discipline - A personal history of three traditional fishing communities - Chance Harbour, Dipper Harbour and Maces Bay as well as other publications,

R. H. Nicholson - Painter and Man of God by Jean Elizabeth S. Irving is a step back in time to the days of lumbering with the horse.

Check the New Brunswick Public Libraries Catalogue at where you can search by author, title or subject the holdings in any library of the province.

Then head to the nearest library and get some reading material for the rainy days.


Query 1609
Finnemore - Smith: William Finnemore married Mary Smith in Kingsclear, Aug. 25,1823, and died in 1830. I am trying to find the names of his parents who came to New Brunswick in 1783 and the nature of his death.

Nancy Finnemore, Maine, USA

Query 1610
Henderson - Splaine: George H. Henderson, born 1865, and Margaret E. Splaine, born 1870, were both born in Saint John. I am interested in knowing their parents and siblings.

Kenneth C. Henderson, MA, USA

Query 1611
Matthews - McFarland - Grant - CarnwarthI am looking for the origins / parents of James Matthews of Pointe Wolfe, New Brunswick. James was born in 1806 and  died in Pointe Wolfe in 1885. I do not know where he was born or who his parents were, those are my two questions.  James petitioned for some land at Pointe 1844 and in that petition he stated he was from Harvey. In the Census of 1851, he stated he was born "here" - meaning New Brunswick or maybe closer to Alma / Pointe Wolfe. His wife was
Elizabeth McFarland.  James had a brother John of Pointe Wolfe who was born in  1802 and died in 1861. John's first wife was Martha Grant his second was Nancy McFarland. James had the following children: Mary Ann b 1831, John b 1833, James b 1835, Thomas b 1837,  Jane b 1839 and Joseph b 1843.  Joseph married Martha Jane Carnwarth and is the  line I descend from.

Phil Matthews, Maine

Query 1612
Pollock - Swan: I am interested in obtaining information on the parents of or the journey of Thomas and Margaret (Swan) Pollock who came to the Sussex area of New Brunswick around 1840 from Newton, Limavady, Ireland. Thomas died April 11, 1897, at Mount Hebron, N.B.

S. Pollock, Nunavut, Canada

Query 1613
Minto Hotel - Holdgate - Haylett: I am seeking information about The Minto Hotel. My great-grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Holdgate purchased it about 1913 (when she and her family first immigrated to Canada from England) yet the deed was solely in the name of Joseph Haylett, her common-law husband. It burned to the ground in 1917; police concluded it was arson. Due to possible insurance problems, Mary Holdgate-Haylett did not receive any money from the loss of the hotel. If any one has any knowledge, anecdotes and/or pictures of the hotel ... and/or the Holdgate family (children: Steward, Herbert, my grandfather, Violet & Laura) and Joseph Haylett, I would really appreciate a reply from you.

Heather Holdgate, Ontario, Canada

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.

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