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                    NBGS Spring Seminar Series in 2018

Patrick Egan, a native of Caltragh, Parish of Easkey, County Sligo, who was born ca. 1822, came to New Brunswick in 1841, married New Brunswick-born Baptist, Olive King in 1848, settling at Saddleback, Kings County; moved to Saint John as part of a crew of workmen engaged to build the spire on the Cathedral; died in Butte, Montana, in 1901, while visiting sons Frank and Ned. Seen here with his wife on their 50th wedding anniversary, in 1898.  Picture courtesy of Peter Murphy

    A Saturday in March was sure to bring a request to help with the Spring housecleaning as Mum’s aim was to be finished before April.

    I couldn’t figure out the reasoning of every Spring of going through boxes that were stored in the attic, taking out all the items and looking at them, with the intent to get rid of things that had been hoarded for years. But nothing was ever thrown out.

    The box, Mum was sorting through held a bunch of typed letters, tied with a blue ribbon, another bundle with handwritten addresses, some really old postcards, a black fountain pen, a sock darning spoon, clippings from the Kings County Record, receipts, and several tin type photos that really interested me.

    Dad came in and looked over my shoulder and grumbled, “Same old house cleaning story, look but don’t throw out.” “Your mother will probably stuff some more things in the box.”

    Family members may have hoarded important papers but sometimes the mice used then to make a nest. In most cases the Government stored documents in a safe place and many can be read today.

    The Saint John Branch of the New Brunswick Genealogical Society will hold their March meeting on Wednesday night March, 2018 at 7 PM at the Saint John Free Public Library, in the Multipurpose Room. The topic will be the early land records and documents which can be found at  a free genealogical website.

    Special attention will be given to understanding how to access and use to the early Registry records of New Brunswick found on this wonderful website. Want to learn more about your ancestors?  Land records (deeds and other registered documents) can be a great source of pedigree information. Hopefully you will be inspired to explore these records to make new discoveries about your family or perhaps find documentation to support for family stories about relocation and inheritance.

    These precious early land records were scanned by FamilySearch organization previous to 2013 and the quality is excellent. The earliest date for the Nova Scotia Halifax County collection (indices only) is the year 1749 and the New Brunswick records are dated 1780 to 1930. Attend the meeting and learn how New Brunswick land records and other documents were recorded and indexed. See the access screens and the working screens as you are lead step by step through the FamilySearch website. Hear about how the Saint John County records narrowly escaped the Great St. John Fire of 1877. Learn more about how the New Brunswick Genealogy Society has promoted the use and understanding of these records in the past. Learn some tips and tricks passed on by other family researchers and stories of the puzzles they were able to solve and discoveries made. Perhaps the occupation of an ancestor they did not expect or the long lost name of their spouse. Interesting finds might include a 'Deed' for a pew in a church or a ''Lease' for rooms in the farmhouse (with stipulations for a supply of firewood and fresh milk). An 'Estate Deed' listing family members for multiple generations could be a true treasure. Perhaps a 'Will' listing family not recorded elsewhere. You never know what you will find until you look. Mark your calendar for March 28, 2018 at 7 PM at the Saint John Free Public Library, in the Multipurpose Room.

    Today on March 17, 2018 green will be worn to celebrate St. Patrick’s day. Many a plate will hold corn beef and cabbage. Irish music will bring thoughts of those who crossed the ocean to seek a better life yet remind us of the tears of those who left home and loved ones behind.
    The New Brunswick Irish Web Portal of the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick is a comprehensive website of Irish-related information and can be accessed at Here you will find data bases, such as:

    1) Saint John Almshouse Records with Admission Registers with a name index of 33,907 entries and 716 digitized register pages on which these entries appear.

    2) Fitzwilliam Estate Emigration Books 1847-1856. Three hundred and eighty-three of these tenants were sent to St. Andrews on the Star, their voyage funded by their landlord.

    3) Provincial Secretary - Immigration Administration Records, consisting of 3,730 pages, has been fully digitized, along with transcriptions of documents particularly relevant to Irish emigration.

    4) Immigrant letter - Life after emigration is best attested to through the words of those who experienced its upheaval in the 12,121 pages.

    5) Teachers Petitions Database (1816-1858) has 509 Irish teachers' petitions digitized.
    Several books have been compiled on Irish Families. One being "Together in Exile," by Saint John writer Peter Murphy which has many pages of genealogical information tracing the County Louth emigrants and their descendants to Lower Cove, Saint John. Between the covers of "Together in Exile" you will find detailed information on the following families: Boyle, Brown, Campbell, Carroll, Cassely, Colins, Creegan, Doyle, Elmore, Feran, Finigan, Flanagan, Hanlon, Hanratty, Hoey, Johnston, Kelly, Killen, Kirk, Lowe, Magee, Markey, May, McCrink, McGuiggan, McGuire, Mills, Murphy, Oakes, Quinn, O'Reilly, Rice, Rourke, Sharkey, Small, Thompson, Tole, Trainor and Woods.

    Some other titles are New Ireland Remembered: Historical Essays on the Irish in New Brunswick edited by P.M. Toner, Index to Irish immigrants in the New Brunswick census of 1851 by Peter Toner, Exiles and Islanders - The Irish Settlers of Prince Edward Island by Brendon O'Grady,
Tending the Flock - Bishop Joseph-Octave Plessis and Roman Catholics in early 19th Century New Brunswick by John Jennings, A History of the Diocese of Saint John - Its Bishops and Parishes by Rev. Dr. Michael McGowan, and Catholic Irish in New Brunswick 1783-1900 by Leo J. Hynes.
    The Irish Canadian Cultural Association of New Brunswick provides a collection of Irish/NB-related family histories, Irish-Related Excerpts from New Brunswick Political Biographies - The Graves' Papers, March 1903 – A Month in the Life of Angella Riordan and much more, including the first issue of the Shamrock Leaf Newsmagazine of 1983 can be read online at

    By the way. the New Brunswick Genealogical Society will have three Spring Seminar Series in 2018 on three Saturday Mornings in April at the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick, 23 Dineen Drive on the UNB Campus, Fredericton, New Brunswick.
    Saturday, April 14th, 2018, 10:00AM to 12 Noon at the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick – Where We’ve Been, Where We Are, and Where We’re Going. Presenter: Joanna Aiton Kerr
    Saturday, April 21st, 2018, 10:00AM to 12 Noon - Taking the Mystery out of Using First World War Service Records as Genealogical Tools. Presenter: Roger Nason
    Saturday, April 28th, 2018, 10:00AM to 12 Noon Provincial Archives of New Brunswick Website – A Treasure Trove of Information, How do I Find it? Presenter: Mary-Ellen Badeau
    There is no registration fee for these seminars. Donations to the Associates of the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick will be accepted. Members and Non-Members are welcome to attend.

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