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Ruby M. Cusack

Online Databases
Mum went to town with Gram and Gramp to do some last minute Christmas shopping. Dad was busy with barn chores and would not be keeping an eye on us.

Cliff and I decided to give Mum a surprise. We took the hand saw and headed for the upper pasture to find the perfect tree, which we did. Once we nailed a board on the butt, binder twine came in handy to tie it securely to the wall in case one of the cats decided to get playful and climb up it. We now were set to dig into the Christmas decoration boxes.

Mum was very particular about carefully packing away all the Christmas decorations so they would be ready for the coming year. She even ironed the tissue paper to be recycled - although that word was not known in the 1940s.

While Cliff put the lights and the red and green garland on the tree, I searched the boxes for the ornaments. Then I held the step ladder as he put them on the branches and placed the angel on the top.

Dad came into the living room and looked at our surprise we were planning and commented, “I hope you knew the difference between a fir and a spruce when you picked that tree. ”If you chose a cat spruce, visitors to see the presents under the tree will think the old tom cat sneaked into the house and marked his territory.”

The least of my concerns was what kind of a tree we had chosen, just as long as it was well shaped and green.

I looked in every box but could not find the tinsel which Mum said made a tree beautiful.

It doesn’t matter what I did, it always seemed there was something I couldn’t find. This has shown up many times when I have been doing genealogical research, always seems to be some detail I can’t find or some reference book just walked off the shelf.

It is wonderful that the New Brunswick Library Services have opened their doors whether it be day or night in such a way that I don’t need to leave home to do some research.

These Online databases can be accessed in public libraries as well as on the web site from any computer with Internet access. The service is free, but you must have a library card in order to access it. Library cards are free.  Can be ordered online

My intentions were good but in the last ten years or so I have often forgotten to cut out death notices or items of interest. But fortunately, I have found many obituaries and other information using Pro Quest. (Proquest is the name of the company. Specifically the database is now called Canadian Newsstream) This database offers unparalleled access to the full text of over 342 Canadian newspapers from Canada's leading publishers. This full text database includes the complete available electronic backfile for most newspapers, providing full access to the articles, columns, editorials and features published in each. Some backfiles date as far back as the late 1980s. The oldest full text articles I could find were from 1985.

I did a search of  The Barrie - Advance, Ontario of 04 Jan 2004 using “New Brunswick” and found an article on the fatal accident of Laurie Landry, 72 who was born in New Brunswick, his wife in Newfoundland. He had been deaf since a disease ruptured his eardrums at age two. Also deaf since childhood, his wife met her future husband at a school for the deaf in Halifax when the two were six and seven years old, respectively.

The Toronto Star [Toronto, Ont] 23 Aug 1986 carried a very interesting article on Saint John’s, John Cail, the Town Crier whose cry of "Oyez" means "hear ye," which is a call for silence and attention.

Voices, Vessels and Vellum a digital and text collection at is a joint project between the University of New Brunswick Libraries' Electronic Text Centre and the Saint John Free Public Library.

“This archival collection is a treasure trove of information and history with a focus on scarce or rare New Brunswickana, Canadiana, local history and selected works related to the history of the Atlantic Seaboard. The strength of the collections consists of a research resource for local studies; a heritage library reflecting the cultural origins, literary tastes and reading habits of the region from the founding of Saint John to about 1900"

“This was a joint project between the University of New Brunswick Libraries' Electronic Text Centre and the Saint John Free Public Library. Students and researchers will find here digital images and text transcriptions of one hundred 18th century documents from the Saint John Free Public Library Primary Source Documents Collection.”

By the way, it is still a pleasure for me to walk through the doors of the Library and head to the microfilm cabinets, pick up some reels and take a seat at a microfilm reader and go back to yesteryear.

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

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