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Ruby M. Cusack

McLeod Brook Farm, Penobsquis, sometime before 1926.
This farm has been in the family of William McLeod II and his descendants over 200 years.
While William began to clear land and build the first homestead, he and his wife Mary
 lived in a wigwam on the property.

 The Descendants of William McLeod I

The only radio in our home was in the living room, thus it was necessary to turn it up to full blast so it could be heard in the kitchen. When Mum cooked pancakes for breakfast, she listened to the Country Western music on CFNB but this morning all was quiet.

A wind storm during the night had damaged the antenna, which was a wire going from above the living room window to a pole on the woodshed.

Dad assured Mum he would have it fixed in time for her to listen to Ma Perkins.

When Cliff and I came home from school, we spotted two ladders, a roll of wire, pliers and a hammer on the ground, plus a strange car in the yard.

Upon entering the outside kitchen we could hear loud voices coming from the kitchen, with bursts of laughter,

Through the partially opened door, I peeked into the room and saw four men talking to Dad. One fellow was way over weight and wore wide braces. The tall thin man had bib overalls on and was wearing rubber boots which had the telltale signs of having been recently in a cow barn. The man with gray hair, suit, vest, tie, polished shoes and balancing his felt hat on his knee seemed to be doing more listening than talking. The fourth guy, was short, bald, with a pot belly, a really loud voice and had a very red face and was wearing a cardigan sweater.

When Mum came in with a basket of eggs, I inquired about Dad’s guests.

She laughed and said, “Those men think they are boys again and are reliving the days of their youth by telling stories, the relationship to others, who married who, and the lumber camps and the tricks they played”. “You might call it a reunion since they have not spent time together for quite some time”.

By the way, in the fall of 2015 a McLeod Reunion Committee was formed in order to organize a reunion for 2016 in Penobsquis. The committee also oversaw the preparation of an updated edition of a history called "The Descendants of William McLeod I" of 2005.

The history grew beyond all expectations to 880 pages. The largest part is a genealogy of 10,000 descendants and spouses, often including their photos and biographies. However the really interesting part of the history is without a doubt the 46 chapters filled with human interest stories ... such as: In 1905, Amelia Linden, the granddaughter-in-law of William McLeod I and her sister, Susan Teakles, both in their sixties, lost their lives while attempting to rescue a horse from a burning barn caused by a raging grass fire in Urney.

Several McLeod descendants lived past the one hundred year mark, including Susie Elizabeth Bragg (nee Washburn) who lived until108 years. She spent her married life in North Range, Nova Scotia. Writing poetry was one of her passions. She worked in the North Range post office and was a correspondent for The Digby Courier for 32 years.

Bessie Elsie Rutherford (nee Branscombe) was 104 years old when she departed this Earth. She  grew up in Cornhill, New Brunswick. She went to Normal School and in 1910 took up teaching in Manitoba. In 1915 she married Lorne Rutherford of Waskada, where they farmed until 1918.
Bessie's spare time was filled by writing poetry for every occasion, including a birthday wish she wrote to her family upon turning 100. A collection of her poems was published in 1978.

Some other McLeod descendants who were centenarians are Louise Hunter (nee Gorham) Rochester, New Hampshire; Gladys Lucy Cester (nee Kimball) Minnehaha, South Dakota and Baja, California; Frank McCully, Essex, Massachusetts; Catherine Mabel "Carrie" McLeod, Sussex, NB; Eva Ann Bauslaugh (nee Rand), Ontario; Llewella Victoria Rand, Ontario, and Helen Mabel Robinson (nee Dobson) Sussex

Charlotte McLeod was born in the Parish of Studholm, Kings County, New Brunswick and grew up there. She graduated in 1891 from Waltham Training School in Massachusetts and became
the first superintendent of the Victoria Order of Nurses. Florence Nightingale arranged for her to be welcomed in the best hospitals in London and Edinburgh. She was a lady on the go and held many important positions.

Evlyn Fenwick Ferris (nee Keirstead) was a lifelong advocate for the rights of women to an education and the first woman anywhere in Canada to sit on the Board of Governors of a university which she was appointed to in 1917 by the University of British Columbia, a position she held for twenty-five years.

In 1853 Rev. Ezekiel McLeod established the Religious Intelligencer - considered to be the most outspoken Protestant newspaper in New Brunswick

Rev. Dr. Frederic William Patterson was President of Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia for twenty-five years. He had an excellent memory and could remember the names of his students and even their classmates.

There's a spot along the road between Penobsquis and Sussex called Ghost Hollow, near where the potash mine is now. Apparently there was a peddler who sold pots and pans door to door, who left Penobsquis one day headed for Sussex. He didn't show up until his bones were found the following year, and that spot became known as Ghost Hollow. Heber McQuinn rode by Ghost Hollow one night on his black horse, on the way home from courting a lady. He looked to the side and saw the apparition of a man without a head moving alongside him. He was so afraid, he raced home as fast as the horse could travel. He lost sight of his ghostly companion about the time he passed Pioneer Cemetery, but he raced on. When he reached home the horse was in a foamy lather, so much so that his mother Naomi called it the night a black horse turned white

There are many stories of the McLeod Family with tales of romance, San Francisco earthquake survivors, the Prohibition campaign in New Brunswick, two brothers,  Evans and Howard Hunt, whose paths miraculously crossed for a few precious minutes in Holland during WWII, an assassination in the Middle East, a dedicated Boston physician who narrowly escaped a wrongful conviction for complicity in murder and dismemberment of an actress and more.

The reunion committee donated printed and digital copies of the McLeod history to the New Brunswick Genealogical Society, which is accessible at the Saint John Regional Library, the New Brunswick Museum, Provincial Archives of New Brunswick, Kings County Museum, Queens County Museum, and the Sussex Library.

With the help of modern technology, this history was compiled by five collaborators, ranging from Doug McQuinn, Ruth McQuinn, and Nancy Adams in New Brunswick, Ellen Davis in Kakabeka Falls, Ontario, and Bill Cole in Gold River, California. It also includes at least 36 other McLeod descendants who contributed family tree information, photos, and stories. Special recognition should also be given to the late Irene McLeod and the late Fred Rayner for their contributions to the 2005 edition.

 “The Descendants of William McLeod I”, is an everlasting tribute to a pioneer family, who carved a farm out of the Kings County, New Brunswick wilderness.

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

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