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Everything happened to me, no matter how careful I tried to be.

Saturday night usually meant homemade beans and pancakes for supper.

Mum had no time to change the menu when unexpected company arrived. She whispered to me to set the table with the good china instead of the everyday chipped dishes.

I thought I should also use the good molasses pitcher with the spring loaded cover but first I had to fill it from the gallon jug that sure was heavy. But I managed to get it up on the counter and started pouring the sticky liquid but either my hand was not steady or I tipped the jug too much, when all of a sudden, molasses came pouring all over the floor. In my attempt to upright the pitcher, I knocked the jug on the floor which broke into a hundred pieces with molasses making brooks all over the pantry floor and into the kitchen. 

Mum grabbed the hooked rugs and soaked up as much of the liquid as she could. Dad used the scrub pail to carry them to the clothes line, then returned with another pail and old rags. They both started trying to wipe up all that sticky liquid.

Gramp tried to ease the tension as well as the tears that were streaming down my cheeks by commenting, “Many a mat was online in Boston in the middle of January 1919, at the time of  the Molasses flood.”

I didn’t have a clue what he was talking about.

Today in the age of computers, one click of the mouse will let you find out from online information that on January 15, 1919, a sound later described as a dull, muffled roar came briefly from the six-story-tall molasses tank at the Purity Distilling Company. A moment or two later, there was an explosion with steel sheets flying like a flock of birds. Then came the destruction of buildings, including a fire station.

But worse things were about to happen when the tank’s two-and-a-half million gallons of molasses flowed down the surrounding streets pushing buildings off their foundations and overturning wagons, carts, horses, and motorcars. The streets were quickly filled with the sticky debris of ruined buildings, and syrupy molasses sludge up to three feet deep.

Rescue efforts began immediately, but some of those who went to the rescue had to be rescued from the sticky mess. Terrified survivors ran in every direction, covered from head to toe in dark brown molasses.

More details, pictures and the names of the casualties are listed online at

Many things can be found online, such as Isaac Allen Jack's 600-page "Biographical Review" at It has some photographs, was published in June of the year 1900 and has biographical sketches of leading citizens of New Brunswick.

On Apr. 12, 1936 three men were suddenly trapped 43 metres underground when Nova Scotia's Moose River gold mine collapsed. You can listen online to the radio news tape of J. Frank Willis of the CRBC at

The Nova Scotia Mine Fatalities, 1838-1992 database which is online, now contains 2,584 entries at

You can view online the St. John, New Brunswick, Canada 1923 City Directory including Fairville, Kingsville, Milford, Pleasant Point, and Randolph at

Maritime Provinces Directory 1870 -1871 has not only advertising but the heads of households and their occupation for small communities and cities at

More information keeps being added to the New Brunswick Provincial Archives website at

Online no longer means only hanging the clothes on the line to dry. It provides us with a marvelous way to find genealogical information.

Query 1868
Shanks - Langan: Hugh Hastings Shanks, son of Samuel Shanks and Francis Langan was born 14 March 1824 in Maugerville and baptized at the Church of England. There were more children born to this couple in Burton but Hugh was the only one born in Maurgerville. Any record of this birth would be a help.

Query 1869
Douglas: I'm looking for information about Edward Douglas who emigrated to New Brunswick in 1820. In 1851 and 1861 Edward Douglas lived in Kings County and was listed as being Irish in the 1861 census. Any help you can give me in discovering more about his origins and life in Canada would be much appreciated.
Shawn Peart, Suffolk. Contact

Query 1870
Tracy - Leighton - Nason: Mary Tracy, the daughter of Jerimiah Tracy and Sarah Leighton was married to Lemeul Nason. Jerimiah Tracy moved to New Brunswick in the 1780s. For historical purposes we need some record that Sarah Leighton and Jerimah Tracy were her parents.

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

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