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Ruby M. Cusack
Finding Information on Tombstones by doing a word search on
“Vital Statistics from New Brunswick Newspapers” by Daniel Johnson

on the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick website

Died April 14, 1864 - Aged 49 years

A metal tombstone in a New Brunswick Burial Ground
that looks to be granite but is made of metal

By the amount of food that had been packed into the ice chest in the trunk, one would think Aunt Ethel was taking us on a trip to the States instead of having a picnic lunch while taking Gram to visit cemeteries where some of her relatives and friends were buried.

I was to sit in the front seat in the middle which wasn’t very comfortable. Poor Cliff was squeezed into the back seat with the three adult ladies.

Since Gram was lame and needed to use a cane while walking over the rough terrain and through the bushes, I was to hold on to her. This was in the days before the gasoline lawn mowers so cleaning up the cemetery meant using a bush scythe and leaving about five inches of sharp bushes sticking up.

We had visited six cemeteries before it was decided we should find a shady spot to spread a tablecloth on the ground and eat the picnic lunch.

When we pulled into the cemetery, I noticed a truck parked at the other side. Once I had finished some sandwiches, I picked up three of Aunt Sadie’s freshly made and sugared doughnuts and went to see what the men were doing.

The truck was from a Monument Company and a beautiful black granite tombstone was being installed. It was like no other one that I had ever seen.

Just as the men were getting ready to get it on the base, I heard a horn tooting and knew I was being summoned.

At the supper table, I was telling all about this beautiful tombstone which did not seem to be interesting anyone. Finally Dad looked at me and said, “Maybe you could get a newspaper to make it part of the news.” This caused a snicker to go around the table.

Little did he know that items about tombstones were published in the newspapers in the past.

Too bad, Dad wasn’t still around to watch me do a word search on “Vital Statistics from New Brunswick Newspapers” by Daniel Johnson on the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick website and see the many references to tombstones.

September 15, 1894 - Saint John - The Daily Sun: At St. Andrews on Sept. 12 - A monument consisting of a grey granite base and a black granite pedestal and shaft, altogether 12 feet high, made from stone quarried at Gibson Stuart and Hanson's quarry, Bocabec, has been erected in the Rural Cemetery in memory of Claude M. Lamb and his wife Annie Stevenson. The monument was manufactured and polished by Douglass Bros. of St. Stephen and is the first made from Bocabec granite.

November 29, 1895 - Saint John - The Daily Telegraph: A monument was erected in the Rural (Fernhill) Cemetery a day or two ago. It is of Italian marble with a granite base and about 11 feet high and contains some six tons of stone. The base is 4 feet 9 inches square. The body of the monument is surmounted by a heavily carved cap and urn. The stone marks the grave of the late Wm. S. Green of the firm Dearborn & Co. The design is by H.H. Mott and the carving and workmanship are by John S. Seaton.

April 2, 1896 - Fredericton - The Gleaner: John Moore, the marble worker, has imported to this city the most handsome monument ever seen here. It was purchased in Aberdeen, Scotland and is known as pearl black granite. The monument stands about ten feet high from the top of the base. On the base rests the plinth which supports the polished dye. This tapers off to a cup on which is an urn. The word Grieves is cut into the plinth while on the dye or column is the masonic emblem.

August 16, 1895 - Sussex - Kings County Record: A handsome monument is to be placed in position in the cemetery at Upper Corner on the grave of the late William A. Stockton. The monument is gray granite from Spoon island, Charlotte Co. and weighs some 20,000 pounds

August 25, 1893 - Sussex - Kings County Record: At Hampton on Saturday a fine Italian marble monument was set up in the cemetery by Mr. Kinsailer for John Morrel of Darling's Island, in memory of his wife.

May 28, 1881 - Saint John - The Daily Telegraph: The Rev. Canon Harrison monument of Spoon Island granite, ten feet high, has been erected on the Forget-me-not path in the Rural Cemetery (Fernhill Cemetery, Saint John).

Like other family researchers, I enjoy roaming through cemeteries. I was quite surprised to find a tombstone that looked liked granite but upon touching it, realized it was made of metal.

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