These days most elementary schools have a large library, well stocked with books. But when I was a little girl attending a one-room school, our library was actually a cupboard.
Our school had been adopted by the Lady LaTour Chapter of the IODE of Saint John and once a year the organization mailed us some books.
As soon as I had finished my assignment, I would scurry to get a book to look at - even though I had probably looked at all of them several times before. And as I sat in my little wooden seat, I would dream of some day having a room filled with books. To keep this dream alive, I keep buying books.
This week I dropped into one of our local book stores. While rummaging through the shelves, I found a real treasure, "The Wests of Coles Island, The Story of a Family," by W. J. West.
The author, William J. West, was born in 1892 on a farm at Coles Island, Queens County. In his early life he worked as a farmer, a lumberjack, in a saw mill and clerked in a country store. He graduated from Mount Allison University and the Harvard Law School. He practiced law, became a politician in New Brunswick and was elected to the Legislative Assembly and became Attorney General. He was appointed a judge of the Divorce Court, Chancery Court and of the Appeal Division of the Supreme Court.
William J. West was nearing the 90th year of his life as his book went to press in 1982.
In the foreword, Robert A. Tweedie of Fredericton writes: "The book is written with honesty, compassion, humour and with a gentle understanding of family, friends and neighbours - and of life. It is the story of a family - the kind of family, and the kind of people who contributed greatly to the development and stability of New Brunswick. Life in those days was a serious business."
There are chapters on the Coles, John West, Mary Sargeson, Jane Small, Coles Island, steamboats, schools, churches and other topics.
For those who have roots in the Coles Island area or just want to get the feel of life in years long gone by, I would suggest reading, "The Wests of Coles Island, The Story of a Family" by W. J. West.
There is a copy of this publication in the reference department of the Saint John Free Public Library.
Contact Ruby for information on purchasing - "The Wests of Coles Island, The Story of a Family" by W. J. West
Romain: Requested Removal of query
Campbell: My great-grandfather was Dugald Campbell, born in Glasgow, Scotland, on Aug. 1, 1819. He emigrated with his parents to Saint John in 1825. He left New Brunswick in 1848 and went to Massachusetts where he followed the sea for a year. In 1849, he went to Stillwater, Minnesota, where he worked in the lumber woods in the winter, and was a raft pilot on the Mississippi River in the summer. In 1859, he left the river, and settled on a farm in the town of Florence, Goodhue County, Minnesota. His wife was Julia Furman. He had a son, Hubert B. Campbell, born on May 20, 1862. He arrived as the first settler in April 22, 1870, to the town of Cormorant, Minnesota. Dugald lived on his farm until his death on March 13, 1891. I am seeking information on his parents.
- Dick Campbell, 11203 Balcones, Woods Cove, Austin, Texas 78759-5202. E-mail to email@example.com or phone (512) 346-2439.
Anderson: I'm seeking information on Will and Belle Anderson, who lived in Saint John, N.B. I haven't any dates to go by, but I think they were still alive in 1920. I believe Belle is my maternal grand-aunt. They had a son, Robert Anderson, who was a custom's inspector and lived in Hampton, N.B. Their daughter was Belle Thurber of Saint John.
- June MacDonald, 518-1472 Tower Rd., Halifax, N.S., B3H-4K8. Or E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bastion - Oram - Joyce: I am looking for any information on two sisters: Inez Bastion, who was born about 1895, and Mabel Bastion, who was born on Sept. 1, 1905, around the Saint John area. Inez married Ed Oram and Mabel married Samuel Joyce. It is unknown where these marriages took place. My main interest is the parentage of the sisters mentioned above. Both girls left New Brunswick. They both died in British Columbia.
- Val Pearson, P.O. Box 908, Cumberland, B.C., V0R 1S0. Or E-mail to email@example.com.
Teare - Jordan: Mary Jane Teare was born May 21, 1842, in Saint John, N.B. Her father was Richard or Phillips Teare, born at Isle of Man, UK. Mary Jane had a brother, John Teare, and another brother, Capt. Teare, who lived in Saint John. She also had a sister, Mary Ellen Teare, who became Mrs. Randall Jordan. Her father was the younger brother of the Right Honorable Lord of Bella Kenny, who was in the House of Lords from the Isle of Man. The Earl had a lumber business. This younger brother, Mary Jane's father, married a servant girl and went to Saint John, N.B., and became a fisherman. Any information on this family would be appreciated.
- Kelly Hall, Greenville, TX. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Collins - Collings - Gibson: I am looking for information on Benjamin Collin(g)s, a Loyalist in the First Battalion, DeLancy. His Nova Scotia registration date is Oct. 15, 1784. His New Brunswick registration date is Dec., 27, 1784. He was married to Ann Gibson of Scotland. I will share information I have on him from the war.
- Sarah Collings, 321 Carrera Dr., Mill Valley, CA. Or E-mail to email@example.com.
Ruby Cusack is a genealogy buff living in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. Readers are invited to send their New Brunswick genealogical queries to Ruby at firstname.lastname@example.org. When E-Mailing please put Yesteryear Families in the Subject line. Please include in the query, your name and postal address as someone reading the newspaper, may have information to share with you but not have access to E-mail. Queries should be no more than 45 words in length.
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