Following footprints
Vonda Adams traces the Reid family of Kings County

As Cliff and I walked home from school, the bright sunshine of late March beamed down on us.

Where there had been slippery ice on the road last week, little trickles of water now ran everywhere. We tried to stop those little streams with our rubber boots, pretending we were damming up large rivers. If the boots leaked, we trudged home with wet socks.

When we opened the back door, the smell of freshly baked pies and bread made our mouths water.

But alas! We were soon disappointed. This baking was not for us.

Mum was preparing the food to feed the woodcutters. She had to put on a really big spread, as the woman of the house was judged on how great a meal she provided for this crew as it went from farm to farm.

As we were leaving for school the next day, Len and his dapple grey team of horses arrived with the huge woodcutter. Lem and George accompanied him. Other men would soon follow.

We sat in the little school house with our ears perked up, listening for the one-cylinder engine to start its putt, putt and then the whining of the saw as it sliced the maple and birch. We hurried home at the end of the day to find a new aroma in our yard ­ - sawdust.

In the coming days the splitting of the wood began.

Men were judged by the size of their woodpile. The higher the woodpile, ­ the higher the esteem of the neighbours.

If books were judged by the same yardstick as woodpiles, then "Footprints in Kings County, The Reid Lines" by Vonda Adams would certainly rank highly.

She is the daughter of the late Garfield and Jean Reid and grew up in the Sussex area. Vonda has spent more than half of her life in Western Canada, has travelled widely, but her heart and spirit have always remained rooted to her family lines in Kings County.

Through the years, she has done extensive research on the families of James Reid and Olive Scribner, who lived for a time on a government grant at Nerepis. James became the jail keeper at Kingston, and was holding this position during the imprisonment of Henry More Smith, the well-known Lunar Rogue or Mysterious Stranger.

James and Olive Reid moved to Salt Springs and the family farm was passed down to the next three generations of Reids.

"Footprints in Kings County, The Reid Lines" by Vonda Adams contains more than 2,800 names and 800 marriages in its 400 pages as well as many pictures of family descendants. Vonda's road of genealogy never ends - she is continuously updating births, marriages and deaths.

By the way, also in her woodpile of genealogy, Vonda has compiled "Family Ties" on her husband's families and presently is busy researching and organizing information on the Stackhouse family for publication in the future.

Vonda has donated copies of "Footprints in Kings County, The Reid Lines" to the New Brunswick Archives, the Harriet Irving Library and the Kings County Museum.

If you have information to share with her, send a message to

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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