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Early Loyalist - Saint John

The Origins of New Brunswick Politics 1783-1786 

The sky was overcast with the blue jays screeching “Rain, Rain”. 

Dad came to the conclusion it would be a good day to pull out the grindstone onto the barn floor and sharpen all the tools.

Cliff dipped a pail of water from the puncheon and brought it along with a tomato can which would be used to pour small amounts of water on the grindstone.

I was not too pleased to get the job of turning the wheel but after a few words of praise on what a great job I was doing, I kept that wheel, just a whizzing.

Dad sat on an old stool and one by one sharpened the hoes, axes, shovels, cutter bars, spoke shavers, turnip knife and finally the scythes.

He carefully ran the scythe blade up and down on the grindstone, working on the underside of the tool to produce an upward-cutting edge, while Cliff poured water over the wheel to keep the metal cool. A final touch was given with the  whetstone.

As he worked, he explained the early farmers on this land were probably the slaves and hired hands of the Loyalist, Judge Upham although he doubted the Judge knew much about the actual labour work of cutting the hay and buckwheat.

Suddenly, I noticed a shadow and there stood Gramp who looked and sounded like he had crawled out of bed on the wrong side.

First he grumbled about the snath of the scythe having a crack in it and should have had a new handle. Next he started to lecture on the types of scythes. It seemed the ones made in Europe should not be sharpened on a grindstone as the heat took the temper out of them.

His train of thought changed quickly as he began to talk about the early Loyalist settlers in Saint John with a shortage of fresh water to drink, little cordwood for the fires, poor sanitary conditions, illness, the difficulties in getting the promised supplies and their efforts to move from the area to become self sufficient as soon as possible with little more than an axe, hammer, shovel, hoe and a scythe to construct shelters and to plant and harvest food.

Plus they had to set up a government.

The origin of New Brunswick politics from 1783 to 1786 is discussed in D. G. Bell’s the Early Loyalist - Saint John published in1983 in chapters titled, The Lost War, Exodus, The Origin of Discord, Spem Reduxit, The Triumph and Suppression of Political Dissent and Loyalist Against Loyalist. Many unknown facts are revealed in detail in this publication.

D. G. Bell states in the preface, “This is an introduction to the history of Loyalist New Brunswick drawn from sources which in great measure, are brought together for the first time.” . . “In a sense this study begins where E. C. Wright ended - with her insight that the Loyalists were rather ordinary people subjected to an extraordinary experience - and it follows their life in New Brunswick during the first three years. Its focus is Saint John because it was there the New Brunswick political and social experiment began and it was there most Loyalists - no matter where they eventually settled - spent the early stage of their exile.”

The folk doing genealogy will be very interested in the appendices with their alphabetized list of names, such as the Refugee Loyalist Households which can only be described as a trunk filled with fifty pages of much sought after information giving the head of household, former trade, former home, unit and ship, the number of family members actually on board Refugee ships in New York before sailing and other household statistical information after arriving in Saint John.  

Query 1614
St Philip's AME Church - Rev. Brown: Student of Black history seeks information about the now defunct St Philip's AME Church (formerly at Carmarthen and St James) in Saint John, New Brunswick - its history, records and ministers, especially Rev Henry B. Brown, pastor from September 1896 until unknown date.
Barry Cahill
Public Archives, 6016 University Av
Halifax, NS, Canada, B3H 1W4
Tel 902 424 6085, Fax 902 424 0628

Query 1615
Sullivan - Titus:  I am seeking information on the siblings and parents of Johannah Sullivan born circa 1822 in New Brunswick, possibly the daughter of John and Johannah Sullivan who were enumerated in the 1851 census in Upham Parish, Kings County, NB. By the mid 1850s, Johannah and her husband James Titus, possibly formerly of Titusville, Hampton Parish, Kings County, NB were living in Wisconsin.

Query 1616
Maycock - Middlemore Home Children: I need help in finding information on my Great Uncle Samuel Maycock who arrived in Halifax with his brother Arthur Maycock on the Sicilian in June, 1901.. I have tracked Arthur Maycock to Ottawa and then to his death in WW1. But I cannot find Samuel Maycock who was 11 when he arrived.
Barbara Lloyd

Query 1617
Strange - Mays: Who were the parents and siblings of Henry Smith Strange 1842 – 1889 and Clarissa ( Clara) Mays Strange 1844 - 1876 who were married in Prince William, New Brunswick 15 Jul 1867?  A child Vivian Peabody Strange was born in York County, New Brunswick on 08 Aug 1871. The Strange family may have been Loyalist.
Bruce Strange Dole
10900 Midwest Industrial Blvd.
St. Louis, MO, 63132, USA

Query 1618
MacLean: Was Arthur Brunswick MacLean born 05 May 1882 in Nashwaak, New Brunswick the son of  Roderick MacLean (born 1860) and Mary J. (born 1860) who immigrated to USA in 1882.  I'm also searching for the marriage of Roderick and Mary and the names of their parents and siblings and any other family information that is available.
Rose Chagnon

Query 1619
Fenimore: Seeking information to connect Richard Fenimore, Ensign West Jersey Volunteers.
who came to New Brunswick in 1783 with a wife and four children to Richard Fennemore who was granted land in Col. Wm. Spray's Grant in Jemseg and / or Richard Fennemore who was resident of Sussex Vale, Kings County in 1796.

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

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