Car quest
A 1931 Ford Deluxe Roadster inspired an Ontario man to embark on a genealogical journey to New Brunswick 
When Garfield Darroch of Barrie, Ont., bought this antique car in 1994, he was inspired to learn about its original owner. He has since spent more than four years tracking down information on the life of Ada Titus-Lake, shown in this picture sitting on the running board with a spaniel named Blackie. To Ada’s left is Kate White, daughter of Dr. White of Sussex. In the driver’s seat is Alice Logan – a friend of Ada’s from Brookline, Mass. The young boy in the rumble seat is Johnnie Sears of Sussex. This photo was taken in Sussex in front of Ada’s bungalow in 1931 or 1932.

To get to the Cemetery, it was necessary for visitors to come in the road by our house and through the yard.

Over the years, many of those who visited the graves of loved ones dropped in to see Mum. She would always offer a cup of tea and some homemade cookies.

Mum was a very friendly person and often lent a sympathetic ear to those who had recently lost a loved one.

Ada Titus-Lake made regular trips to the grave yard and she left long-lasting memories with me, due to the shiny, immaculate 1931 Model A Ford Deluxe Roadster she drove. It was the most beautiful car that I had ever seen.

We would spot her coming across the flat and turning into the driveway. The top would be down. The reflection of the sun on this car would almost blind you.

Ada Titus was born in 1873 and grew up in the part of Upper Titusville known as the Meadow. In 1895, she graduated from the General Public Hospital in Saint John. Most of her nursing career was spent in the Boston area as a private-duty nurse. She spent her summers in New Brunswick. During the autumn years of her life, she lived in Sussex.

I remember Ada as a tall dignified lady.

In 1964, Ada passed away and was laid to rest in the family plot.

On Sept. 10, 1994, Garfield Darroch was browsing the annual Antique Car Flea Market in Barrie, Ontario, when his gaze fell upon the car of his dreams. This well-preserved 63-year-old Roadster had just over 38,000 miles on it. John Clifton had brought it on a trailer from Nova Scotia.

Without hesitation Gar Darroch purchased this antique auto.

In the following weeks, as he spent hours polishing his beautiful car, he began to wonder about the original owner.

Advertisements and letters were placed in newspapers.

His first real lead was that the car originally belonged to a nurse in Sussex, who had broken her arm at the age of 80. Her doctor recommended she give up driving. (Actually she had broken her hip on March 9, 1954, at the age of 81.)

Bill Titus read Mr. Darroch’s ad with great interest – this had to be his Aunt Ada’s Roadster. He contacted the writer and has shared much Titus genealogy with him. Gar has spent more than four years tracking down information on the life of Ada Titus-Lake. He has traced friends and relatives in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, British Columbia and Ontario.

He travelled the genealogical route to find answers and in so doing has gained a great insight into his car’s first owner, Ada Titus-Lake. The information he has gleaned, will be preserved as a time capsule history placed inside the internal structural space in the driver’s door.

If anyone should have information on Ada Gertrude Titus-Lake, her relatives, friends or her 1931 Model A Ford Deluxe Roadster, please write to Garfield Darroch, 1915 Ashton Place, Burlington, Ont., L7P 2Y4. Phone (905) 336-3341 evenings. Fax (905) 335-7663, or E-mail to

By the way, 52 years ago, Ada wrote a three-page genealogy of her mother’s ancestors, the Beyea family, and sent it to her younger sister Alice in Vancouver. It traces her ancestry back to Captain John Smith, whose life was saved by Pocahontos.

Most of us either inherit or marry into genealogy, but we might say Garfield Darroch drove into his genealogical quest.

Query 98-436
O’Brien – 104th Regiment: Help! I’m stuck. I wonder if anyone can help me with any information about the 104th regiment before the march from Fredericton to Quebec in the winter of 1813. My ancestor, Patrick O’Brien, enlisted as a boy in the 104th in 1811. Cornelius O’Brien of the 104th may have been his brother. I’ve searched the National Archive records but I cannot find his military record. My question is whether or not Patrick O’Brien, age about 16, marched with the regiment or waited for the ship to take the remainder of the regiment and their families to Quebec in the spring of 1814?
– Cathy Tozer, 71 Brown St., Port Hope, Ont., L1A 3E2. E-mail

Query 98-437
McNutt: I am seeking a copy of the information on Samuel McNutt listed in the British North American Wesleyan Methodist magazine #405 of April 1847. An index indicates he is listed there with the following information: Samuel McNutt, born in Derry, Ireland, emigrated to New Brunswick in 1825. He lived in Sheffield, Sunbury County, and Tay Settlement. He was born about 1800 and died in March of 1847 at Tay Creek, York Co., N.B.
– Marita Gladson, 1845 W. Southgate Ave., Fullerton, CA, 92833. E-mail to

Query 98-438
Haines - Burns - Saunders: I am looking for information about the descendants of Loyalist Joseph Haines Sr. He was born about 1739 in Rye, N.Y., and was the son of Joseph Haines and Margaret Burns of New York. He married Elizabeth Saunders in 1767 in New York. They lived in Westchester, N.Y., until the war and then settled at the Keswick in 1783. They were the parents of three sons Peter, Robert and Joseph Jr., and one daughter, Jane. The descendants lived in the parish of Douglas, York Co., N.B.
– Rose Staples, 1080 Route 605, Maple Ridge, N.B., E6E 1W6. E-mail to

Query 98-439
Kierstead: Arthur T. Kierstead was born in Saint John, N.B. on Feb. 27, 1876. His father was William Kierstead. Arthur left New Brunswick at the age of 16 and arrived in Boston working on a steamship as an oiler on May 12, 1892. He was naturalized in Boston on June 23, 1898. The two witnesses for him were Amos Kierstead and William B. Jennings. Were they related? I am seeking information on Arthur’s parents and grandparents and siblings. Any help would be appreciated.
– Janet Wages, 1069 Keefe St., Eagan, MN, 55121. E-mail 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. Queries should be no more than 45 words in length.

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