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Irish Ancestors

by Ruby Cusack

William Crawford born 1820 - came from Ireland in 1834. He died at his residence on Exmouth St.,
Saint John at age 92 in 1911. His widow Catherine was 98 when she died at 78 Exmouth St. in 1917.
Photo courtesy of Delores Goguen

Cliff and I planned on celebrating St. Patrick’s Day by going tobogganing all day Saturday on Bob’s hill. In the evening, we would go skating on the pond and keep our boots from freezing with a bonfire. Afterwards there would be ginger bread that Mum had iced with green frosting and we were certain there would be hot cocoa.

To our surprise, the weatherman did not co-operate. He sent rain and lots of it.

Therefore, we spent the day playing crokinole. When Aunt Ethel and Gram dropped in for a visit, the teacher in Aunt Ethel showed through, as she told us crokinole had been around since the 1860s or 1870s.

Today children play with electronic games that boggle my mind. A lot of changes have taken place. You might say the slate has been replaced by the electronic tablet and a notebook is no longer a scribbler.

So be it with genealogical research. A few years ago, microfilm was the way to do research.  I doubt if I ever thought I would be able to sit in the comfort of home at a glorified typewrite that is connected to the telephone line and have access to millions of records.

Since this is St. Patrick’s Day, many of us will be giving thought to our Irish ancestors who for one reason or the other, left the land of their birth in hopes of finding a better life.

The New Brunswick Irish Web Portal of the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick is the most comprehensive website of Irish-related information ever assembled in Canada and can be accessed at Here you will find data bases, such as:

1) Saint John Almshouse Records with Admission Registers with a name index of 33,907 entries and 716 digitized register pages on which these entries appear.

2) Fitzwilliam Estate Emigration Books 1847-1856. Three hundred and eighty-three of these tenants were sent to St. Andrews on the Star, their voyage funded by their landlord.

3) Provincial Secretary - Immigration Administration Records, consisting of 3,730 pages, has been fully digitized, along with transcriptions of documents particularly relevant to Irish emigration.

4) Immigrant letter - Life after emigration is best attested to through the words of those who experienced its upheaval in the 12,121 pages.

5) Teachers Petitions Database (1816-1858) has 509 Irish teachers' petitions digitized.

Irish Canadian Cultural Association of New Brunswick (
provides a collection of Irish/NB-related family histories, Irish-Related Excerpts from New Brunswick Political Biographies - The Graves' Papers, and much more.

Griffith's Valuation at is the Primary Valuation of the first full-scale valuation of property in Ireland and published between 1847 and 1864. It is one of the most important surviving 19th century genealogical sources.

Another source on the Family History Library is the International Genealogical Index including Ireland Births and Baptisms,1620-1881 with 5,299,386 records at

As you search for information on those elusive Irish ancestors, may the road rise up to meet you,  may the wind be always at your back, and may the sun shine warm upon your face.

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Query 1826
Wilkins - Kidder - Neal: I seek information on the extended family of  Joseph "Calvin" Kidder (1799-1891) and his wife, Mary Wilkins. I am also interested in Mary's brother's family, George and Mary (Neal) Wilkins who had a daughter, Clarissa, who married her cousin, Joseph Kidder in 1869.
Contact Betty by email at

Query 1827
Crane - Brown - Parsons: Oliver Crane, born 1803 in New Brunswick attended a wedding in 1823 in St. Mary’s, York County as a witness for Amos Crane and his bride Abagail Parsons of Hoyt, New Brunswick. Oliver bought land in Wicklow, Carleton County in 1830 and married Eliz Brown in 1835. They had 12 children. Possibly they lived in the Nashwaak area. Seek documentation on Oliver Crane’s place of birth and parents plus any information of his relationship to Thomas White and Amos Crane.
Contact Doug by email at

Query 1828
Fowler - McFarlane: Preston Gillis Fowler married Elsie Gertrude McFarlane in Salisbury on 12 March 1941. I am interested in making contact with any descendants of this couple to exchange family history. Contact

Query 1829
Johnson - Johnston - Adams: I live in Arizona and I am researching the Johnson/Johnston family of New Denmark, New Brunswick. Crissie Cora Johnson born 1880, moved to Limestone, Maine in 1900 and married Robie Adams. They had eight living children. She died 12 June 1922, may be buried in Advent cemetery in Limestone. Death record lists father as Hans Peter Johnston. I am looking for information on her or her siblings and her parents.
Contact jennifer_merry@hotmail

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

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