Mother Shipton's prophecy 

'Thoughts will fly,
quick as the twinkling of an eye'
Ruby M. Cusack

When I was growing up, I loved to spend time in Gram's bedroom. There were homemade quilts on the big brass bed, a water pitcher with blue flowers sat on the old commode and most important of all was her hump-back trunk that held a place of honour near the bed.

I would beg her to show me the things in that trunk and to tell me once again the stories about them. Over the years, she had carefully wrapped a lifetime of her memories in tissue paper and placed them in her treasure chest.

As I cuddled close to her, she would read poems from the autograph book of her teen years. A smile would come over her face as she showed me her wedding invitation. Then she would hand me a little case which held a lock of Dad's baby hair. Next would be a picture of Sadie standing on the verandah. Very carefully she would remove two tiny smocked dresses that the twins had worn. It seemed to me, there were also hundreds of newspaper clippings.

But, oh! Let me tell you about my favourite clipping - Mother Shipton's prophecy. Gram told me Mother Shipton had been born in the 15th century in England and because she wrote prophecies of things undreamed of, she was supposedly burned at the stake.

"Now a word, in uncouth rhyme of what will be in future time . . .
In water, iron, then shall float as easy as a wooden boat . . .
A carriage without horse will go . . .
Men shall fly as birds do now and give away the horse and plough . . .
Beneath the water, men shall walk, shall ride, shall sleep, shall even talk . . .
When pictures seem alive with movements free. . .
Around the world men's thoughts will fly, quick as the twinkling of an eye."

As I sit at my computer receiving messages from near and far, I can almost hear Gram's voice reading Mother Shipton's prophecy about the speed of thoughts.

Never in Gram's wildest dream, would she have visioned this would be happening to me, right here in my own home. While I am reading a message that has been sent from Australia, England or California, only a few moments earlier, I have a difficult time comprehending thoughts flying as quickly as the twinkling of an eye!

Since commencing this column in January of 1998, I have received nearly 400 queries. Only a handful were brought to my door by the postman. E-mail dropped most of them on the table.

My first published query was from Maureen Aulson of Georgetown, Mass., seeking information on Barnaby Traynor and Sarah Carr who lived in Barnesville.

As the year progressed the world seemed to get smaller - thanks to the Net. The queries came from many places.

David N. Strickland, Texas, was hoping to find information on George Sanderson as well as the Mooers of Carleton County.

JoAnn Wear Spore, Arizona, wanted to make contact with someone related to the family of Odber Harris of Sunbury County.

Rev. Peter Duncan Mac- Lean, Vermont, was interested in the McLeans of Queens County.

Lucille Dykes, Atlanta, Georgia, found some Washbourne connections.

Then there was Dorothy Wilson Graham, Delta, B.C., who wanted more facts on a boating accident off Reeds Point in 1859 that claimed five lives.

Sandra More, Reno, Nevada, was seeking information on John Nixon Rawlings who served in the Boer War.

Caronne Secord, Calgary, Alberta was interested in Grand Manan Island lighthouse keepers in the 1900 to 1925 period.

John D'Anieri, Niskayuna, New York, was trying to unravel the puzzling circumstances surrounding the drowning of John Meigher.

Edna Orr, Co. Antrim, N. Ireland, received a whole packet of information from Margaret Moore on the Maxwell family.

Harold Davis Scott, Suffolk, England, sent along a picture of the Lamming family that had resided in Charlotte County.

Allen Stackhouse, Hampton, N.B., was searching for the Stackhouse Bible.

Roger Melin, New York sent information on the Gagetown Church Records.

Queries have come from every province in Canada and probably every state of the USA as well as from Ireland, England, Australia and New Zealand.

At this time I would like to thank all those who have contributed queries and to all the helpful people, who have taken the time to answer them.
Sharing may mean having less for yourself, but in genealogy sharing a family tree often makes it grow bigger.

  * * *

Query 98-353
Barnes - Eustace - Hogg: I am looking for information on Andrew Barnes and his wife, Katherine (Eustace), of Saint John circa 1810. The Barnes family subsequently went into the publishing business in Saint John. Their daughter, Elizabeth Barnes, was born in Saint John on July 18, 1812, and was Church of England. She married David Hogg on July 6, 1829, in Saint John at St. Andrew's Church. Also, their first four children were baptized at this church. My interest is in Andrew and Catherine Barnes. The census of 1851 lists Catherine Eustace Barnes aged 60 years as immigrating from Newfoundland. Andrew and Catherine Barnes thus may have previously lived and married in Newfoundland.
- Richard Hogg, 11 Munro St., Curtin, ACT 2605, Australia. Or E-mail to

Query 98-354
Matchett - Fraser: William Matchett was born in 1800 in Northern Ireland and came to New Brunswick with his brother John around 1815. John moved on to Upper Canada and William settled on the Miramichi marrying Mary Fraser and raising a family while operating the Red Bank Ferry until his death in 1875. I am looking for the parents of William Matchett and information on his brother John and any other siblings he might have had. All information would be appreciated.
- Dianne Matchett Mullin, Red Bank, N.B., E9E 2P5. Or E-mail to

Query 98-355
Travis - Carl: I am trying to learn the ancestry of Daniel Travis who was born in Saint John about 1807. He was in Washington County, Me., in the mid-1800s. He married Charlotte Carl about 1830. I am interested in members of the Travis family of Saint John.
- Carolyn Michaels, 8740 Red Hills Rd., Kelseyville, CA, 9545. Or E-mail to

Query 98-356
Angel - Burns - Bird: The death notice for my grandmother, Ethel Gertrude Angel Burns Bird, from the Santa Rosa, Ca., newspaper of August 1952 indicates she was a native of New Brunswick, Canada. It stated she was 63, thus born in 1889. She had a Catholic burial. She married my grandfather, Bernard Bird, in a Catholic ceremony in Everett, Wa., in 1909. The wedding invitation reads: Mrs. William Henry Angel announces the marriage of her daughter, Ethel Gertrude. The original marriage certificate given by the priest at the church refers to her as "Ethel Angel Burns." A family member thinks she was born in Saint John. Does anyone have any information to share with me?
- JoAnn O'Neil, P.O. Box 834, Mandurah, WA, 6210, Australia. E-mail to

Query 98-357
Graham - Bellinger - MacAulay: Levi R. Graham was born in 1893 (probably at Headline, N.B.) and died in 1944. He was a policeman on the Saint John Police Force. His first wife was an English lady - Elizabeth May Bellinger. I do not know the date of her birth, death or burial place. They had a son, Ronald B. Graham, and a daughter, Frances G. Graham. His second wife was Bertha E. MacAulay, born in 1905 and died in 1981. No family to his second wife. Levi and Bertha are buried in Cedar Hill Cemetery. I am seeking names of and information on the parents and grandparents of Levi.
- Mary Graham Harris, 1973 Loch Lomond Rd., Saint John East, N.B., E2J 2A5.

Query 98-358
Brown - Hush - Hirsch: I am trying to find the names of the parents of Daniel Brown, husband of Alevia Wilhemina Hush or Hirsch (?). Their son, Edward George, born in 1864 is my great-great-grandfather. His son, Lawrence Edward (1895-1970), is my grandfather. My father, Eldon Lawrence Brown, lives in Poodiac.
- Adrian Brown, 74 Mattawa Cr., Kanata, Ont., K2M 2E7. Or E-mail to  

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 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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