Photo of James Brown is courtesy of Mrs. Marguerite Giddens.
Lilian Maxwell dedicated ‘How New Brunswick Grew” to Mrs.
Giddens’s mother, Mrs. William Cameron (nee Ethel Brown).
Dad said I was a real snoop. Mum went easier on me and said I was always curious.
No matter what I was called, I was going to continue looking into
trunks, chocolate boxes of clippings, the dresser drawers and the top
shelves of cupboards. I even made exciting discoveries in the button
box. It was also fun to look through the old wooden tool boxes.
I had no intention of taking anything except knowledge. Some things
really confused me, such as a letter with a red three cent stamp with a
picture of a man with a beard and moustache. Neither could I understand
an old brown coin that said “half penny New Brunswick”.
Gram’s big old house was a treasure trove. I loved to slip upstairs and
take the back stairs to the attic but today I chose the room over the
kitchen to be my hunting ground.
An orange crate dressed to look like a bedside table only held a bunch
of embroidery thread, needles, stencils and a partially finished bureau
scarf which did not interest me.
Next I spied an old jelly cupboard which I had tried to open once before
but its doors seemed to be jammed. I gave a really big pull and much to
my surprise, the handle came off in my hand, the cupboard tipped over. I
landed on the floor, with the cupboard on top of me along with a whole
bunch of books with the title “Minutes and Proceedings of the Municipal
Council of Kings County” that covered me from head to toe.
Aunt Sadie heard the crash and came running up the stairs. Before she
even asked if I was hurt, she started questioning me, "Why in heaven’s
name would you pull over that cupboard?" Then of course she added, “What
do you expect to find when you are snooping though things that don’t
belong to you?”
There was a closet in Charlotte County in the home of Major Jimmie Brown
that was off limits to all for seventy years, until his
great-granddaughter opened it for Lilian Maxwell in her preparation to
compile ‘How New Brunswick Grew’.
The only personal article in the closet was the sheath of Mr. Brown’s
sword, which he carried as colonel of the Charlotte County Militia.
James Brown, the eleventh reached St. Andrews from Forfarshire in 1810
at the age of nineteen, bought a farm, built a cottage and opened a
school at Tower Hill, Parish of St. David, Charlotte County, New
He married twice and each time built and adjoined a cottage at right angles to the first.
Family lore says he marched through the 14 rooms of his house to the skirl of his bagpipes to awaken his 14 children.
He served for 34 years in the New Brunswick Legislature and was known to go on snow shoes to Fredericton.
At one time he was the Surveyor General.
In his closet there were Journals of the House and Sessional papers,
bundles of letters and stacks of pamphlets and reports; letters from his
children giving news of the home farm at Tower Hill; a letter dated
1841 from an old friend in Glamis, Scotland; various letters dealing
with the schools of the 1840’s when Brown was a school inspector; an
1845 letter from the feudal Owens of Campobello; and an 1863 letter from
his grandson W. H. Thompson from Liverpool.
His own diary beginning April 1838 and ending 1841, describes being the
Supervisor of the Great Road from Fredericton to St. Andrews and
faithfully records details of country travelled, work done and money
paid out, giving minute details that are gold nuggets to the family
The many pamphlets on agriculture tell much about farming and
regulations as to the formation of the Agricultural and Horticulture
Interesting to find that Messrs Snow in Kings County had the only factory which manufactured woolen cloth.
Other pamphlets dealt with the Mechanic Institute, North Shore Fisheries, the Fisheries of the Bay of Fundy etc.
The Education chapter and the1845 pamphlet were very interesting,
mentioning in 1790 B. S. Williams a retired naval clerk opened a school
in Fredericton. In 1788 6,000 acres of land surrounding Fredericton was
set aside for a “College of Learning”. A listing is given of the schools
in Saint John in 1873.
And I might add the list of pamphlets goes on - covering the
penitentiary, asylum, militia, postal service, light houses, immigration
In 1862 James Brown travelled through the British isles lecturing about immigration to New Brunswick.
I could talk all day on the James Brown “treasure” but you can read
these documents on the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick website at http://archives.gnb.ca/Irish/Databases/Letters/FindingAidViewer.aspx?culture=en-CA&fa=MC295. They are filed under MC295: JAMES BROWN PAPERS. Dates of creation: 1813-1870.
If you have an interest in James Brown, you can read his biography at http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/brown_james_1790_1870_9E.html.
How New Brunswick Grew
by Lilian Maxwell contains much information and leads one to search
deeper into the documents of the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick
that are online as well as those that are housed at the Provincial Archives and at UNB.
Bailey – Rogers - Greer:
looking for parents, children and immigration information of Richard
Bailey 1823 and Letitia Rogers 1830, Douglas Parish, York County,
NB. Their son Stephen married Annie Greer and moved to Milltown
Maine. Daughter Irene G. married Albert Smith of Calais in 1865.
Mike Bailey. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
McKelvie - Murray:
David McKelvey born circa 1795 and his wife Margaret (nee Murray) born
circa 1799. David died Mar 23 1844 and Margaret died Nov 20 1841. Both
buried Wesleyan Burial Ground, Saint John. Issue: Alexander born1836
Migrated to Australia
circa1855-1860, Mary Jane born
1836 (twin to Alexander), James born 1828.
If you have any information, contact Alf McKelvie, Australia by email email@example.com
Ruby M. Cusack
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