Medicine in New Brunswick

A  doctor's bag of genealogical information

When I was a kid, we knew just about every car that went by our home. You might say we knew a person's business by their travels.

If we heard a chug! chug! that sounded as if the vehicle were missing on a couple of cylinders. Fred's 1935 Chev truck with boards on the side would soon be coming in view.

Dave's maroon Oakland with the black fenders was a deluxe model and a beauty to behold. Louie's  three-ton Fargo lumber truck had squealing brakes that could be heard from way over at the end of the Green Lake Road.

Whenever Doc Snow's MG sports car with his St. Bernard in the back went by, Mum wondered who was sick. In the wintertime and during the mud-hole season, it was necessary for him to drive his military Jeep. Dr. Vernon Snow had his office in Hampton, but like many other country doctors before him, he made the rounds of rural areas - tending the sick, setting broken bones and delivering babies.

Dr. W. Brenton Stewart spent five years researching "Medicine in New Brunswick." His history starts about 1600 with the accounts of native life and medicine written by the French explorers and priests. He relates an interesting story of Dr. Isaac Doherty using strabismus scissors to correct cross-eyed deformity for Mick McGiness in Shediac in 1857.

A nostalgic picture is painted of the country doctor driving his horse through storms or over dangerous river ice to visit his patients who revered him. All doctors were not saints so mention is also made of the sinners.

"Medicine in New Brunswick" makes mention of Dr. Elizabeth Secord, one of the earliest lady physicians in North America. Dr. Secord taught school near Norton then studied medicine and graduated from the College of Keokuk in 1881. She was very well accepted by the good people of Norton, Kings County.

Dr. Snow is also mentioned. Dr. Stewart writes: "Dr. Vernon Snow of Hampton served a term as President of the Medical Council of Canada. This was a signal, well-deserved honour for Vern and for his beloved Hampton where he had practised medicine over 40 years. Dr. Snow's ready wit and charm has made him a host of friends and it might be said, 'He has become a legend in his own lifetime.' "

This 400-page indexed book is filled with genealogical information and fascinating stories of our New Brunswick doctors.

Eating an apple a day may keep the doctor away, but "Medicine in New Brunswick" brings us a genealogical plum.

This publication is at the Llibrary and Archives of the New Brunswick Museum, Douglas Avenue, the Saint John Free Public Library, Market Square, and the Kings County Museum in Hampton.

A copy of "Medicine in New Brunswick" is available  at

Query 98-487
Bettle: Lt. John Bettle, Loyalist, came from Philadelphia, Pa., to Kings Co., N.B., in 1783. He had one known child, Josiah, whose descendants still live in Passekeag, Kings Co. Since Josiah was born in 1798, I am seeking a marriage for Lt. John Bettle in the 1790s. I also need his date of death. The surname is spelled many ways including Bittle, Battle, Biddle and others.

- Suzanne Lisson, 53 Rockefeller Dr., Quispamsis, N.B., E2G 1L3. E-mail to

Query 98-488
Reid - Campbell - Kindred - Brown - Steele - Davison: Prudence Reid and Alexander Campbell were married on Dec. 28, 1842. I am looking for descendants of their children: James MacGregor Campbell, married Emma Kindred; John S. Campbell, married Elizabeth Kindred; Jennie Campbell, married John Kindred; Malcolm H. Campbell, married Emma Brown on June 9, 1881; Catherine Campbell, married William Steele; and Margaret P. Campbell, married John Davison on Sept.14, 1882.

- Vonda Adams, 608-611 University Dr., Saskatoon, Sk., S7N 3Z1. E-mail to

Query 98-489
Whitney - Lovett: I am looking for information on James Fenwick Whitney born May 1, 1849, in St. Martins, N.B. He died March 25, 1888, in San Franciso, Ca., the son of Henry Whitney and Mary Storey Parry. He married Bertha Jane Lovett on Oct. 27, in Brooklyn, N.Y. Bertha Jane was born June 6, 1854, at Tynemouth Creek, N.B., the daughter of Richard Lovett and Ann Meldrum Ellis. Does anyone know if they had any children? James was a Master Mariner and was Captain of many ships. Where did they live? James is buried in San Franciso alone. Where is Bertha Jane buried?

- Gail Durant, R.R.#1, Parrsboro, N.S., B0M 1S0. E-mail to

Query 98-490
Wilson - Edwards: I am seeking information on the family of George Wilson and Alice Edwards of Saint John. They were married circa 1837. Between 1838 and 1848, they had seven children, before Alice died circa 1849. Those children were: Hannah, who married Capt. Thomas McKenzie in 1863; John Edwards, who married Elizabeth Young; Margaret; Katherine; Frank, who married Mary Ann Evans; Mary; and George. Sometime after 1849, George married Bridget Dowd and had children: Annie; Lizzie, who married John Speers; Sadie, who married William Gavin; and William, who married Lizzie Case. Any help with dates, ancestors and descendants of this family would be greatly appreciated.

- Richard Segee, 2-2232 Upper Middle Rd., Burlington, Ont., L7P 2Z9. E-mail to

Query 98-491
Hersey: My search for all Herseys in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia is ongoing and incomplete at this time. All submissions will be answered and included in the "Hersey Genealogy" now in its 9th edition.

- Elliott Hersey, 259 Summit Hill Rd., Harrison, ME, 04040. 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. 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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