Genealogy ­ the next generation
Databases on the Net have brought researchers from the
horse and buggy days to the era of the jumbo jet

The clop-clop of horses' feet and the jostling sound of the steel-wheeled hay wagon woke me from a sound sleep. I knew by the sound of crickets singing in the field that it was going to be another hot summer's day.

I loved haying time. This meant I could hitch old Dan to the rake and gather hay that had been left behind. We called it gathering the rakings. Dan really didn't need a teamster; he knew what to do. As we approached the windrow of hay, he stopped so I could trip the rake. I really felt very important doing this task.

When I saw Dad approaching the barn with a load of hay, I knew I had to unhook Dan from the rake and give the reins to Cliff. As I think back, I sort of get the picture: Dad didn't consider me capable of hauling-off.  This involved hitching Dan to a steel cable that was threaded through pulleys. The cable was attached to the pitching machine fork that had been stuck into the load of hay. Dan pulled steadily and the pitching machine moved along a track on the inside of the peak of the roof until it reached a suitable spot in the mow.

Dad then yelled, "Whoa!" for Cliff to stop the horse from hauling the cable any farther. I really don't think Cliff had to pull back on the reins, as Dan was probably listening for the signal. Dad then tripped the rope and the hay went tumbling into the mow.

The method of haying has changed. Tractors now cut the hay and machines roll it into bundles and wrap them for outdoor winter storage. The days of a kid taking the horse-drawn rake into the hay field and gathering the rakings are gone forever.

Raking up genealogical facts has also changed. These days, computers gather information for databases on the Internet.

By typing in a surname, you can sit at the computer and search the on-line database of the New Brunswick County Birth Registers Index, 1801-1899 and the Index to New Brunswick Marriages, 1887-1913. This information is on The Provincial Archives of New Brunswick site

At another Provincial Archives site, you will find "New Brunswick Directories" -  ­ Hutchinson name directories for 1865-1866 and 1867-1868 and Lovell name directory for 1871. I typed the surname "Cusack" into the database for Hutchinson's 1865-1866 and up popped seven Cusacks residing in Saint John, St. George and Barnesville, the occupation of Thomas Cusack of Barnesville was drover and his son Michael was tanner.

Data in "Irish Famine Migration To New Brunswick 1845-1852" at
is organized into over 16,000 individual records. Each record contains nine different information fields detailing the emigrant's: name, age, town or village of origin, county of origin, landing date in New Brunswick, location in New Brunswick, 1851, condition (reason for admittance to Alms House), a note detailing various personal and professional insights concerning the emigrants as recorded by contemporary media and government agencies, and finally the reference where the information is located.

The Land Grant Book Database at consists of records of land settlement in New Brunswick in the period 1765-1900. County or place of settlement can be searched, as can be primary grant holder names.

Search the Inventory of the Loyalist Collection of the Harriet Irving Library at

Hours can be spent surfing New Brunswick genealogical sites. Click on Todd Gilbert's It is a great resource for New Brunswick links. I also would suggest a visit to Canadian Genealogy and History Links ­ New Brunswick at

Databases on the Internet have brought the researcher from the horse and buggy days to the era of the jumbo jet.


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.

New and Used Genealogical and Historical books of New Brunswick for sale.

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