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The Rev. Joshua N. Barnes

The old myth that children should be seen and not heard was a great way for kids to learn the information that adults wanted to keep as a secret from them.

Mum and Aunt Sadie were wallpapering the pantry, which was a slow job due to all the cutting around the shelves. Once the strips of paper were measured and cut, and ready to be put on the wall, Gram used a large brush and covered the back with wallpaper paste that she had made on top of the stove from flour and water. Next came the trimming and patting into place.

When the kitchen door opened and in came Aunt Ethel for her Saturday afternoon visit, the ladies looked pleased. It would give them an opportunity to sit down and have a cup of tea and some sugar cookies.

Since the kitchen was really cluttered, I took a glass of milk and a handful of cookies and went into the hall and sat on the bottom step of the back stairs.

Out of sight - out of mind certainly applied to the ladies as they discussed relatives, friends and neighbours - forgetting I was sitting nearby listening to every word.

But when the talk rolled around to someone having a traumatic experience, I was lost. Since “automatic” meant doing something by itself then I figured “true-matic” must mean the truth got out all by itself.

The years have passed and I now know the correct meaning.

Joshua N. Barnes was a young fellow living in Kingston where his father was the jail keeper when he experienced a very traumatic experience. He was on his way home when he thought he could hear someone calling.

His father went looking and about a mile away, two men from Midland with their span of horses and hay-wagon had gone through the ice at William Scribner’s Point. The men and horses were rescued and taken to the nearby home of Mr. Northrup.

The next morning the two men stopped at Joshua’s home to thank him as they knew they were close to losing their lives, if their cries for help had not been heard and acted upon by this young boy and his father.

In 1854, Joshua married Emily J. Wiliams of Long Reach. She died the following year leaving a little baby boy of seven weeks.

Three years later Joshua was baptized by the Rev, Ezekiel McLeod, pastor of the Waterloo Street Free Baptist Church in Saint John and shortly after took up preaching and received his license and later was ordained.

In 1860, he married Eliza I. Huggard, daughter of John and Jane Huggard of Wickham, Queens County.

He was united to his third wife, Charlotte Matilda Sprague on Aug 6, 1868 and forty years later they celebrated the event as well as the fiftieth anniversary of the Rev. Barnes ministry. The guests were told the Reverend had held nineteen pastorates, which included fifty-two churches.

At one time he bought a village lot from George Morrow and a house on Oromocto Island from Moses Paine. With sixteen span of horses he tried to move the house but it went through the ice and was a total loss.

He ministered in many Meeting Houses throughout New Brunswick including Grand Manan, Taylor Lake, Wickham, Beaver Harbour, Saint John, Tobique River and into Maine and was readily greeted by all. I think he attended every Conference that was held.

In 1910, he settled at Cedarhurst in Oak Point, Kings County. According to the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick he died March 21, 1915 at age 84 with residence being given as Oak Point, New Brunswick.

In 1911, the Rev. Joshua N. Barnes wrote his autobiography - “Lights and Shadows of Eighty Years”, leaving behind many details of his life. He was born in the Parish of Greenwich, Kings Co., New Brunswick on the seventh day of June in 1830, the son of Joshua James Barnes and Phoebe Maria Chaloner. Joshua’s grandfather Ninyon Chaloner was a teacher by profession but for many years was the Recorder for the County of Kings.

His Barnes Great Grandparents, came with the Loyalists from White Plains, New York with eight children and settled on the west side of Long Reach near Brown’s Flat and were buried at Oak Point.

Lights and Shadows of Eighty Years” reveals a great deal about the belief and dedication of the Baptists and in so doing we learn much about their members, preachers, Meeting Houses and Conventions. This 1911 publication holds genealogical gems that probably could not be found elsewhere.

The publication is in several research institutions and can also be read on the internet.

FOR SALE - A copy of “Lights and Shadows of Eighty Years” -
An Autobiography by Rev. Joshua N. Barnes for sale at

Query 1855
Gray - Grant: Rev. Andrew Gray died 03 April 1914 and his wife Annie Grant died 24 July 1897. Both are buried in Trinity Cemetery in Sussex Corner. The Rev. Andrew Gray was born about 1839 in Albert County to William and Catherine (Armstrong) Gray, who had emigrated from Tyrone, Ireland, arriving in Saint John on 03 June 1835. The Rev. Andrew Gray was in England from 13 March 1914 until his death in April. He kept Journals of his travels. In Journal #33 the first entry is on 21 Dec 1913 and the last entry being Thursday 02 April 1914. There are 62 pages of handwritten notes. I would like to locate the other 32 Journals. I also seek information on the  Rev. Andrew Gray and his family.

Query 1856
Daniel Barrett and Julia Sullivan emigrated to Saint John from County Cork, Ireland, in 1842. I'm interested in knowing where they originated from in County Cork. They had four children in Saint John: William, Ellen, Michael, and Mary.  All but William, who moved to Carleton County, seem to disappear from record as of the mid 1850s.

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Matthews Bible

: John Matthews was born 22 July 1830 in St. John, New Brunswick.  He married Elizabeth Stevens of Harvey, NB on 13 April, 1854 at Alma, NB.  John’s parents were John Matthews ( Sr ) and Martha Grant.  John Sr, subsequently married Nancy McFarland.  John ( Sr’s) brother was James Mathews who married Elizabeth McFarland.

Both brothers  obtained land in Pointe Wolfe / Alma, NB, where they raised quite large families. John was born c 1802 and James c 1806.  A Family Bible existed at one time and was last seen in the mid 1990’s.

I am looking for the Bible or knowledge of that Bible and its where abouts.  James was my G G Grandfather and John  my G G Uncle.  I have been researching these people for over  12 years and would love to know where they came from.

Thank You Very Much  -   Phil Matthews,  PMatth9878@AOL.Com

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