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Ruby M. Cusack

J & A McMillan and PANB

We were having nice weather, so Mum had set the goal of having all her Spring house cleaning completed by the Easter weekend.

Cliff and I were assigned the task of tidying up the room over the outside kitchen that served as a catchall for stuff that was really not needed but maybe it might be needed.

I didn’t like this dark room with all the cobwebs as it was rather scary. I just wanted the job done as quickly as possible.

I figured if we really put all our energy into lifting the tea box filled with musty books, we could get it up on top of an old trunk and Mum would not be able to see into it and find out we had not cleaned it out.

We were doing okay until the bottom fell out of the box and books came tumbling down.

At that moment Gramp came walking in and asked if we were unpacking books for the J. & A. McMillan Store?

He picked up a book and dusted it off. As usual he had some knowledge to share with us by explaining the year the book was published was underneath the name of the publisher J. & A. McMillan who became one of the most important publishers in the Maritimes

The years have changed things. Many of these older books, published by J. & A. McMillan are free to read on the internet at

Last week, I took a look at the website and became deeply engrossed in a book published in 1892, titled  “Memoir of LeBaron Botsford, M.D.” 1812 - 1888, written by his niece Frances Elizabeth Murray.

Dr. Botsford pursued his medical studies at the University of Glasgow where he graduated in 1835. On his return to New Brunswick he entered into the practice of his profession in Woodstock but his friends suggested he come to Saint where he enjoyed a successful practice for nearly half a century. For about 25 years he was the attending physician at the Marine Hospital. He was appointed one of the physicians and surgeons of the Provincial Hospital when it opened, June 13, 1865 and in March 1868, he resigned his connection with that institution. He was an active member of Trinity Church, for several years president of the Bible Society, was for 25 years president of the Natural History Society and interested in the Historical Society, the Evangelical Alliance and the Y.M.C.A.

I found many interesting subjects discussed in this book of more than 250 pages.

Next I read the full text of "The Chesapeake," the case of David Collins, et al. - prisoners on a charge of piracy published in 1863.

Several of the McMillan's yearly New Brunswick Almanac and Register contain ecclesiastical and provincial departments, a list of the officers of New Brunswick Militia, the Roll of Barristers and Attorneys and other valuable information plus lots of advertisements that will interest the genealogy researcher.

A 1900 Historical Sketch of Brussels Street Baptist Church, Saint John, from March 29, 1850 to March 29, 1900 by Margaret Golding was very interesting.

Review of the report of Hurd Peters, Esq., C.E., city engineer, on the water supply of the cities of St. John and Portland - published 1883 was very informative.

Reading these books online for free is just great but there are times when we require only facts to do our genealogy research.

On the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick website at you can search 3,196,700 names from 35 databases.

The good news is information is added regularly to the PANB website. For example on March 07, 2016, the 1920 Late Registration of Births added 1,426 records.  On February 12, 2016, 4,821 digitized images of Death Certificates for 1965 were added and on December 31, 2015, 4,821 records were added to the Index to Death Certificates for 1965.

The information on these databases on the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick website is free.

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

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