Genealogy meets biography Published in 1900,
Biographical Review is still a useful tool for genealogists 100 years later
When Uncle Art came to visit, Mum always asked us to try to use good table manners. I think she also wanted us to be seen and not heard.
Uncle Art was a professor in Manitoba and talked of many things, but sometimes he confused me. He told Dad about the latest book he was reading on the biography of Winston Churchill. As I sat at the table, I tried to figure out this word biography. We studied geography in school and it was all about other countries, so this book must be about all the countries that Winston Churchill had visited.
It was not until I grew older that I became aware that I had been exposed to biographies all my life by listening to the stories that were told of friends and relatives.
A 600-page "Biographical Review" was published in June of the year 1900. It might be said, it was a way of celebrating the turn of the century, much as we are now making plans 100 years later to celebrate the year 2000. Photographs are included with some of the biographies.
The preface states: "It is not every man who is born to be hero or a leader; but each human unit, under favourable circumstances, contributes something to the welfare and the history of society. Few will deny that biography is a most interesting form of history . . . It is safe to say that people have found life worth living in proportion as they made themselves useful in their day and generation . . . A distinguishing feature of this book is the attention given to genealogy, formerly the fad of the few, now a recognized branch of the humanities and a firm substratum for biography."
The editor of the "Biographical Review" was I. Allen Jack, son of William and Emma (Carleton) Jack. (Saint John, New Brunswick).
You might be interested in reading about John Dean Purdy, who was for many years one of the leading shipowners and merchants of Saint John. He was born in this city on Oct. 29, 1817, to Obadiah and Sarah (Dean) Purdy. His paternal grandparents, Gilbert and Elizabeth (Ogden) Purdy, were natives of Westchester County. He married Hannah Amelia Stickney and they had eight children. The names of John Dean Purdy¹s siblings and children are given as well as detailed information.
Another interesting gentleman is Andrew Dodge, a carpenter and builder, who was born in Upham, Kings County, in 1860. He was the son of Isaac A. and Charlotte Barnard (Upham) Dodge and there were eight other children names and current status are given.
Those with a sweet tooth will want to read about Thomas White, the veteran confectioner of Saint John, who was born near Glasgow, Scotland, on May 22, 1832. He married Charlotte E. Armstrong and they had nine sons. When Mr. White retired from the candy business in 1899, his sons, Frank and Leslie White, took over.
Another Loyalist descendant is Alfred A. Mabee, who died April 22, 1899. He was born in the parish of Kars, Kings County, on April 14, 1846, to Abraham D. and Rhoda A. (Humphrey) Mabee. His great-grandparents were Jeremiah and Judith (Chadyne) Mabee. Mr. Mabee began to go to sea when only 14 years old.
When you visit the Saint John Free Public Library, Market Square, or the library and archives of the New Brunswick Museum, Douglas Avenue, to view the "Biographical Review," plan to have lots of time on your hands.
This 100-year-old publication holds genealogical information that could well have been lost were it not for the foresight of Mr. Jack.
- Query 98-480
McLellan - Farley: I am looking for information on Joseph McLellan. He was born about 1880 in St. Charles, Quebec. He lived in Campbelton, N.B. He died in 1950. His parents were James McLellan (McClellan) and Julia Farley.
Janice Owens Fair, 275 East Pleasant St., Amherst, MA, 01002. E-mail email@example.com.
- Query 98-481
Dickie - Shaw - Case: I am looking for information on the descendants of John Dickie (1799-1855, Norton Parish, N.B.) and Amie Shaw (1804-1890, Saint John, N.B.), daughter of Mayse Case and Susannah Shaw. They had 10 children: 1) Edward Mayse Dickie (1820-1894), married Ann Foster. Their children were: Susan Dickie, John William Dickie, Edward Mayse Dickie; 2) Robie Ann Dickie (1826-1902), married (first) Robert Lake and (second) John Downey; child: James Lake; 3) Susan Dickie (1828-1848); 4) John C. Dickie (1831-1902), married Lucinda Adalaida Carpenter (1834-1897); 5) Sarah Jane Dickie (1833-1874), married William Lake, child: John Lake; 6) Alexander Stephen Dickie (1836-1869), married Margaret Carpenter; 7) Maria E. Dickie; 8) Mary Matilda Dickie, married Joseph Record; 9) George W. Dickie (1844-1884), married Mary McCarthy; 10) James H. Dickie, married (first) Elizabeth Fenwick, and (second) Alice Langley.
Terrence Shaw, 162 Bay St., Cobourg, Ont., K9A 1P6. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Query 98-482
Eckebrecht - Foley - Strang: My great-grandfather, Louis Frederick William Eckebrecht, was born in Germany. He married Anna Maria Kerner on May 24, 1883, in Newark, New Jersey. He died on March 24, 1928, in Saint John, N.B. They had two children: Mary Wilhelmina (Dec. 19, 1890) and Alfred John (Oct. 18, 1892 -1946). Alfred John Eckebrecht was my grandfather. I would also like to know about the Foley family. My great-grandfather was James William Foley, born in England on March, 30, 1857. He married Charlotte Winton Strang who was born on Oct. 18, 1868. Her father, Samuel Strang, was supposed to have been the Mayor of Portland, before it became a part of Saint John. James William Foley owned Foley Pottery in Saint John and died in 1904. His wife Charlotte died in 1951. They had several children, one of whom was my grandmother, Margaret Isabella Foley (April 8, 1893-Feb. 4, 1987.) My grandmother died in Ontario, but is buried in Saint John. Any information that I can find out on these families would be very helpful.
Janet McDowell, 194 Memorial Ave., Stoney Creek, Ont., L8G 3B1. E-mail to email@example.com.
- Query 98-483
McAnerlan - Slater: Thomas McAnerlan and Kate Slater were married on June 25, 1881, in Carleton County. Their daughter, Helena Kate, was born on May 1, 1898, in Eel River, York County. George McAnerlin married Ella or Ada Slater on Jan. 8, 1884, in Carleton County. James H. McAnarlin and Annie Slater were married May 20, 1886, in Carleton County. I am looking for any available information on the McAnerlan family.
William McAnirlin, R.R.#1, Box 190, Newport, ME, 04953. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Query 98-484
Haley - Seeley - Jones: I am seeking descendants of Florence Haley (1906-1968) who married Thomas Vallentort "Val" Seeley in 1926. Both were from Saint John. They lived in Shawinigan Falls, where Val was employed as an electrician. They had at least one son, Vallentort E.C. Seeley, born in 1929. Thomas Vallentort Seeley died in 1937 and Florence returned to Saint John where she married in 1939, J. Alfred Jones. Al Jones was an automobile mechanic, the widower of a Miss Wilson, and had several small children. They lived on Jean Street, Saint John, briefly in the 1950s. Florence died in 1968 and was survived by her second husband. At the time of her death she lived on the Kingston Peninsula. I would be grateful for any contacts.
Greg Haley, 18 Tulip St., Fredericton, N.B., E1C 1L6. Or E-mail to email@example.com.
- Query 98-485
Meighar - Sullivan - O'Brien - McGowan: John Meighar and Mary Sullivan were married in Kings County in 1839. In the 1851 census he was listed as a labourer living in Upham. They had a daughter, Johanna, born in 1840 who married Hugh O¹Brien. Johanna and Hugh had the following children: Mary Ann, Hugh, Ruth, Minnie, Catherine, Theresa, Mabel, Frank and Louis. I am looking for information on "Minnie"who married a McGowan in Saint John, N.B. Would anyone researching Meighar, O¹Brien or McGowan please contact me.
Sharon Pledge, 141 Pugsley Ave., Saint John, N.B., E2K 2X3. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (506) 652-5027.
- Query 98-486
Stilgoe - Vail: I am searching for information on a homechild named Ada Stilgoe. She was taken in by the family of Mrs. Dell (?) Sprague, Springfield, N.B., probably around 1920. Later she lived with a Vail family.
M. Robidoux, 248 de la Butte, St-Augustin, Quebec., G3A 1W7. Or E-mail to email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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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