Forecast: genealogy
Weather prophet E. Stone Wiggins had another love -
Queens County and the people who lived there


"What's the weather going to be?" "Is it going to snow tomorrow?"

Today, satellites track the weather and send us back pictures. Predicting tomorrow's weather has become a high-tech procedure.

It certainly wasn't that way when I was a kid living in the country. We had our own ways to come up with a forecast.

If we could hear the train blowing its whistle at Hampton, Dad would say, "We are due for some soft weather!" If the groundhog saw his shadow on Feb. 2, that meant six more weeks of winter. Smoke going straight up from the chimney signified clear weather.

And water rising in a hole that had been cut in the ice in the brook meant rain. When the Blue Jay left the shelter of the forest and screeched "Rain! Rain!," that too signalled that we should get out our rubber boots.

My favourite weather indicator was this little expression: "If March comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb and we'll march into spring"

Predicting the weather must have been very important also to young E. Stone Wiggins, who was born in Grand Lake, Queens County, in 1839. While living in Ottawa in the 1880s, Mr. Wiggins earned the reputation of being a weather prophet.

His most widely known weather prophecy was that a great storm would strike on March 9, 1883. There was a storm that day, but not as terrible as Dr. Wiggins had predicted.

Dr. Wiggins was also well-known for his published work on the "Architecture of the Heavens" as well as his astronomical calculations.

But he had another love as well - the history of Queens County. I believe his ideals are summed up in his statement: "But it is with respect to the United Empire Loyalists that a history of Queens County must be especially interesting, since it was in her woods and valleys that many of these bravest and best of modern men and women sought and found a refuge at the close of the American Revolution."

Dr. Wiggins's "The History of Queens County" was written in a series of articles in the Saint John newspaper, The Watchman, in the fall and winter of 1876 and 1877. 

The preface to "The History of Queens County" is a narrative of the early history of the region. It gives a wealth of information on Queens County. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this part of the essay and might add, learned much about the county.

The second part of the essay is a genealogy of nearly 200 leading families of Queens County.

It is noted by the editors, Sandra and Richard Thorne, that some of the genealogical information needs to be studied with a cautious and skeptical eye. Nevertheless Dr. Wiggins did record material that is unavailable elsewhere and he did so when many children and grandchildren were still living. For this reason alone, Dr. Wiggins's history remains a valuable starting point for Queens County genealogists as long as they keep a "weather eye."

"The History of Queens County" by E. Stone Wiggins is edited by Richard and Sandra Thorne and was published in 1993 by the Queens County Historical Society. Copies are available from the society.

This publication is in the reference department at the Saint John Free Public Library, Market Square, and also at the library and archives of the New Brunswick Museum, Douglas Avenue.

  Query 98-360
Jones: I am trying to find information on Rebekah King Jones. I believe she married Henry Jones about 1820.
- Wilson Jones B-35, 3601, 4th. Ave., Yuma, AZ, 8536. Or E-mail to

Query 98-361
Pond - Burpee: I am seeking information that would link Vivian Charles Pond (1878-1949) to his father, Flavius Pond (1843-1918). Both were born in Ludlow. Vivian was a long-time resident of Sunbury County. He also worked in Cobalt, Ont., for many years following his marriage to Mary Burpee in 1899. He is buried in the United Baptist Church cemetery at Maugerville. I am also trying to find the newspaper obituary of Vivian Charles Pond, which appeared in a rural New Brunswick paper - possibly a monthly and probably on June 13, 1949, a Monday. He died June 12, 1949. I have seen the clipping but its source was not indicated.
- Bill Pond, 224 Darwin St., Winnipeg, Man., R2M 4B1. Or E-mail to

Query 98-362
Graham - Doolan: I am looking for information on my great-grandfather, Michael Graham, who was born in Ireland in 1819. He came to New Brunswick some time between 1819 and 1841 and married Margaret Doolin (Dolan) at St. Dunstan's on Sept. 28, 1841, in Fredericton. They had six children: Elick (1842); Matilda (1844); John (1848); Archibald (1850); Francis (1857); and Bartholomew (born in 1853 and died in 1927). They probably lived in the Saint John area most of the time. In the 1881 Census of Kings Co., Michael was living in Norton (age 62), a widower with his son Bartholomew. I would like information about Michael and his wife. When did they come to New Brunswick? When he died? Where? etc.
- Ann Golding, 18 Douglas Dr., Quispamsis, N.B., E2G 1N6.

Query 98-363
Blake - Craig: Mary Blake was born on May 6, 1772, in Saint John, N.B. She married James Craig (1787-1788). I need to find proof of this marriage as well as the names of the parents of James Craig.
- Ruthanne Hayes Haight, 21008 NE 117th St., Redmond, WA, 98053-5309.

Query 98-364
Bradford - Cookson- Doten: I am interested in finding information on Mary Helen Cookson, who married Benjamin Franklin Bradford in St. Andrews, N.B., on May 20, 1845. She was the daughter of William and Ann (Doten) Cookson and was born on Sept. 14, 1827, in Bayside, N.B., and died in Robbinton, Me., on Aug. 20, 1856. If anyone could substantiate this or elaborate upon this family, I would greatly appreciate it.
- Don Bradford, RR#4, St. George, N.B., E0G 2Y0. Or telephone (506) 755-3151.

Query 98-365
MacKinnon - Taylor - Thompson - Morgan - Armstrong: My grandmother, Mary MacKinnon, was born in 1882, the twelfth of the 15 children of Millicent Taylor and Daniel MacKinnon. She married Albert Thompson, one of the 12 children of Hannah Morgan Thompson. My grandparents lived in the flat over the candy store that Hannah owned near Howe's Hill. Grandmother Mary died in 1912 and Grandfather Albert in 1917. Hannah died at the age of 90 on Dec. 26, 1917. My aunt Alice raised her brothers after the death of her parents. Alice was employed with and then owner of Morrell's Grocery Store on Sydney Street. She was married to Frederick D. Armstrong. He died in 1951. Alice was a life member of St. Matthew's Presbyterian Church. She died at Loch Lomond Villa in 1994. My father, Alfred, came West about 1920. He was always telling me that he was a cousin to Sir John A. Macdonald and proud of it. I always regretted not asking how, therefore, I have not been able to verify this. My father died in 1969. If anyone has any stories, clippings or information on any of my relatives, I would greatly appreciate hearing from them.
- Alice Thompson Clute, 404-4045 Rae St., Regina, Sask., S4S 6Y6.

Query 98 -366
Pearce - Ross - Morrisey: I am trying to locate Rosemary Pearce. She may have information on the family history of John Ross, who married Annette Morrisey. John and Annette appear in the Westfield Parish Census of 1851, 1881 and 1891. Any information on this family would be welcomed.
- Carl Stevens, 5908 Carter Ave., Baltimore, Maryland, 21214. Or telephone (410) 444-7347.

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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