CB Files at the Saint John Library
Cliff and I were spending the afternoon at Gram's house. We were bored! Nothing seemed to hold our attention. It was too hot to play outside and Gram wouldn't let us go wading in the brook. She was afraid we would drown.
Aunt Sadie suggested we go up to the room over the outside kitchen to see if any of Gord's old toys were still up there. This was a real adventure, as this area had always been out of bounds to us.
Sunlight beamed through the tiny window and shone on boxes, barrels and trunks. Cliff spotted a metal bank. You put a penny in and the monkey turned a somersault, but we didn't have a penny! Next he saw a wooden ski sticking out of a barrel that wasn't much good for this time of the year. Way over in a dark corner, among the cobwebs were three trucks. He sat down and put those trucks to work, hauling old shoes and bottles.
Now, What was I going to play with? I opened a wooden blanket box and to my delight I found many brown paper bags with little picture story books tucked inside. I pulled a stool over to the window and carefully removed the books and read and read. I just skipped over the big words. The pictures were so beautiful, I could make up my own stories if need be.
Memories of this afternoon come in a flash, each time I open a drawer of the CB File at the Saint John Free Public Library and see all those envelopes with hidden genealogical treasures.
You are probably wondering, "What are the CB Files?" They are two blue metal filing cabinets. The bigger filing cabinet holds hundreds of brown envelopes on family histories. Each one is labeled with a surname. The contents may vary from a single sheet of paper to 20 pages.
It is like looking through boxes in an attic, you never know what the information may be about until you open the envelope. The files may hold documents, hand written notes, newspaper clippings, lineage charts or pages that were typed several years ago. The contributors gave this material to the institution for safe keeping.
The smaller blue cabinet holds historical information. Some of the titles: accidents, airplane flights, Ashburn club house, balloon voyage, bottle collectors club, cabinet makers, clockmakers, Coleman Frog, Amelia Earhart, forts, Glassvile, home for aged females, Jewett House, Match Industry, McLaughlin Carriage Co., Napoleon, normal school in Saint John, phantom ships, regiments, Alfy Riggs, Utopia monster, Victoria skating rink, White's Pottery and Wood Carvers.
Take a look in the index to the CB Files for other topics as well as family names.
Information for the branches of a genealogy tree can be found in unexpected places, so open up a drawer in the blue cabinet and peruse the brown envelopes.
- Query 98-504
Briggs: I have reason to believe that my great-grandfather, Robert Richardson Briggs, was born in or lived in Saint John, N.B. He came to Australia some time around the 1840s for the gold rush in Victoria. It is quite possible that his older brothers, Benjamine Spooner Briggs and James Briggs, where both ship captains. Robert sailed to Australia as a ship's carpenter, and may have been on a ship that his brother was the captain. If anyone has information on the Briggs family, I would like for them to contact me.
Geoff Briggs, 11 Rose St., Yamanto, Queensland, 4305, Australia. Or E-mail to email@example.com.
- Query 98-505
Morrison: My father, Robert Edward Morrison, is looking for information on his great- great-great-grandfather, Charles Morrison, or other family members. He owned a home on Manawagonish Road in Saint John. He is listed in the 1871 census as being aged 47 and born in Ireland. His religion was Presbyterian. In the household was his wife Margaret, aged 45, born in New Brunswick, and their children: Charles A., age 15; Margaret, age 13; James A., age 11; and Robert B., age 9.
Wendy S. Marshall, 54 Cottage St., Leominster, Mass., 01453-3155. E-mail to MarshalW@ummhc.org.
- Query 98-506
Maher - Marr - McKinnon - Kelly: I am trying to find the marriage date for James Maher/Marr and Catherine McKinnon. They were married in either St. John Co., or Kings Co. Their eldest child was born in 1914. James was the son of John Maher and Sarah Kelly and was born in 1879 and died in 1942. James and Catherine (Kate) Maher had the following children: Florence, Jeanette, Hazel, Alice, Frances, Alexander and Archibald. Anyone researching Maher/Marr or McKinnon who thinks we might connect, please contact:
Sharon Pledge, 141 Pugsley Ave., Saint John, N.B., E2K 2X3. Or E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Phone (506) 652-5027.
- Query 98-507
Nash - Christie - Rankin: We are looking for information on George Warren Nash who left the St. Stephen area of New Brunswick about 1872, with his buddies, Bill Rankin, Albertus (Bert) Christie and Edwin Christie, to work in the lumbering industry in the St. Margaret's Bay area of Nova Scotia. We believe they were all born in or near St. Stephen about 1850. They all married local girls and remained in Nova Scotia with the exception of Edwin Christie who returned to New Brunswick with his wife, Susan Dauphinee. In 1989, we saw Edwin Christie's tombstone beside his father (Uriah) in the large rural cemetery in St. Stephen. At the same time we met some Christies in the Oak Hill area who are all relatives of my husband, Peter. We have information about George Warren Nash's family in Nova Scotia, his marriage, etc., but are looking for information about his birth, parents, siblings, etc. If you have any information, we would be most appreciative to hear from you.
Gwen Christie, R.R.#1 Boutilier's Pt., St. Margaret's Bay, N.S., B0J 1G0. E-mail to email@example.com.
- Query 98-508
Culgin - Crane: Hugh Culgin (1815 to circa 1871) emigrated from Ireland to Saint John, N.B., in 1842. His wife was Elizabeth Crane and their first child, William Culgin, was born in Saint John in 1843. I am looking for a ship passenger list or other verifying information.
Stacey Culgin, General Delivery, Belmont, N.S., B0M 1C0. Telephone (902) 662-3867. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Query 98-509
Logan - Perrin: I am researching my great-grandfather, John A. Logan, born July of 1855 or 1856, in Saint John. He married Susan or May Susan Perrin, probably in Saint John. They had two children, Walter H., who was born in 1883, and a daughter, Alma B., who was born in 1885. They then moved to Portland, Me., and had four more children. Do you have any information on this family?
Audrey Logan Harris, 9719 Spinnaker Blvd. NW, Silverdale, Washington, 98383. Telephone (360) 692-0881 or E-mail to email@example.com.
- Query 98-510
Calnon - Callahan - Healy - Healea - Willing: Michael Calnon/Callahan and wife Bridget Healy/Healea were married either in Ireland (County Cork) or in Saint John, N.B., before 1842. St. Malachy's church records have Timothy born on Aug.16, 1842; Timothy B., born on Aug. 24, 1844; Mary Pauline, born on Feb. 20, 1847. The family moved from Canada after 1847 to Galena, IL., where the next child was born in 1849. I am seeking any background information on the Calnon and Healy family that might connect to this couple. Bridget had a sister Ann who married a Willing.
John Vohs, 1790 Dipper Lane, Decatur, IL, 62521-9453. E-mail to JV52126@aol.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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