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Online newsletter holds gems for those with Loyalist roots

Cliff and I tagged along behind Dad and Gramp, who were searching for a hardwood grove to cut during the winter. I doubt the men took time to even admire the autumn colours as they were well aware of the work that needed to be accomplished before and during the cold weather.

Although we also knew winter was coming on, we did not want to think about it, as the trees turned their colours and the hillside was a blaze of red and yellow. Our hopes of wearing only a sweater and of having corn boils and wiener roasts for months to come was soon to come to an end.

We walked along the many side trails to pick brightly coloured leaves. Mum could iron them with wax paper before we glued them onto a piece of brown cardboard for our school project.

To find ash and hornbeam, we had taken a shortcut through the underbrush and had gone farther into the woods than we were familiar with, but were certain we could find our way back. Suddenly, darkness started to creep over the land and everything looked the same. The ground was covered with yellowed pine needles and the sky seemed to disappear. My heart started to pound and I had the urge to run. A bark alerted us that good old Pal was coming to our rescue. Not far behind were Gramp and Dad. The dog seemed uneasy and appeared to want them to follow her, which fortunately for us, they did.

As we made our way home, Gramp gave us a lecture on the dangers of roaming unmarked trails. He went on to say in years gone by, many a family followed unknown trails to make a better life. These folk from England, Ireland, Wales, Sweden, Germany and other countries crossed the Atlantic to settle in America in what we now called the United States but due to differences of opinion, which resulted in war, the Loyalist supporters were forced to leave their homes and took an unknown watery trail to what is now New Brunswick, as well as other places in present day Canada and farther afield.

Loyalist Trails compiled by the United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada is an email newsletter available at It holds many interesting articles and variety of information items from the branches, the association, the various committees and new publications.

Several of the articles were contributed by Stephen Davidson, a teacher in Lower Sackville, N.S., author and educational consultant for Loyalist Perspectives.

The tragic tale of the loss of 113 people when the Martha was shipwrecked off the coast of Nova Scotia on its way to Saint John in the Fall Fleet will bring tears to your eyes.

In Obnoxious Because They Prayed, you will read about the Rev. John Michael Kern, who emigrated from Germany to Wallkill, New York in 1763 to serve three Lutheran churches. After the war, he came to the St. John River where he associated with other German Refugees.

Alive but Struck Down tells of the life of Captain John Cochran and his being suddenly rendered helpless by a stroke just before leaving for Saint John.

In Reading the Minister's Diary, the American Revolution interrupted Frederick Dibblee's theological training in 1776. After operating a store on Long Island, marrying his sweetheart, migrating to New Brunswick and teaching in a school for First Nations children, Dibblee finally fulfilled his lifelong dream of serving God in the Church of England. In 1791, at 38 years of age, he became the first Anglican clergyman in the loyalist town of Woodstock, N.B. In his 50th year, Rev. Dibblee began to keep a diary.

If you have Loyalist roots, I suggest you spend some time reading this online newsletter - I did and was amazed at the information I found.



<>Query 1625: Fairn - Hennigar - Chapman - Ryan: William Henry Fairn, and his brother, James Hennigar Fairn, were born in Saint John in 1847 and 1849 respectively to Francis Fairn of Annapolis County, Nova Scotia, and Frances Sayre Chapman, birthplace unknown, who both died in the 1850s. The orphaned boys were then raised in Annapolis County by Fairn relatives. In 1874, James H. Fairn married Annie Ryan of Digby County. They had a daughter, Alma, in 1875, and a son, first name unknown, early in 1877, a few months after James died in a railway accident. According to a relative, Annie (Ryan) Fairn then took the children to Saint John, where she gave them up. The boy was raised by a "Pastor Hennigar," but we do not know what became of the girl. Any information on the Fairns would be appreciated.

Query 1626: Cawley - Molloy: John Cawley said to have lived in Lancaster from 1845 to 1847, married Anne Molloy in St. Malachy's Church, Saint John in 1847 and had children John E., Margaret, Johanna, Faithful Mary, Catherine, Anne, William Henry, and Daniel (who went to Washington). Does anybody know where they lived or if there are any descendant left? John possibly had a sister Bridget Cawley. There is a grant of land to John Cawley, of 50 acres, described as Lot 19 on Atkinsons Brook, Lancaster, Saint John dated 1853/12/12.

<>Sean Cawley, Ireland
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Query 1627: Lynch - Mooney: I am looking for any records that may confirm the connection of Leady Lynch or John J. Mooney who resided in the counties of Kent and Saint John to the Finians or the IRB.
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Query 1628: Watt - Watts - Campbell - McCubrey: William Samuel Watt and Jane Campbell were the parents of Samuel William Watt who married Ann McCubrey. The family was living in St. Andrews, Charlotte County in the 1851 and 1861 Census. I would appreciate any information.
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Query 1629: Crowley - O'Leary - Nichols: James Robert Crowley, born 16 May 1849 in Ireland married Harriet O'Leary born 07 Aug 1844 in Chipman, New Brunswick on 31 Aug 1870 at Chipman. Harriet's father was John O'Leary born 1794, Ireland and married Elizabeth Nichols in 1821 in St. Mary's Bay, Nova Scotia. I am trying to locate where in Ireland James Crowley and John O'Leary originated.

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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