The People of Beulah

Joseph and Elizabeth (Duffield) Bullock, shown with their son John F. Bullock, were among the earliest supporters of Beulah Camp.

Ordinarily Mum insisted that Cliff and I change our good clothes as soon as we came home from church, but this was a special Sunday, one we had been looking forward to for weeks. The Baptist Church congregation was having a Baptism in the Salt Springs Brook just below the covered bridge.

I took Mum's hand as we walked across the field on this hot summer's day.

When Mum was 14, she had been baptized on a cold March day in the waters of the Kennebecasis River at Bloomfield. Although we had heard this story many times before, Cliff and I begged her to tell it to us again.

Last summer, as in many summers past, the children at Beulah Camp in Browns Flat watched the annual baptism in the waters of the St. John River. They probably stood in the same spot the Bullock family did way back many years ago.

You may be asking, "Who were the Bullocks?"

Well, Joseph Bullock, with his wife Elizabeth (Duffield) and two young sons, John F. and Thomas H., came from Ontario in the late 1860s to start an oil company in Saint John. The business went well for him and he prospered.

Although members of the Queen Square Methodist Church, they became totally involved in the establishment of the Reformed Baptist's Beulah Camp at Browns Flat. They were faithful in their attendance and generous in their financial support.

Bernard Mullen's book, A Beulah Journal: The First 50 Years, 1894-1944, gives a real insight into the contributions of this family.

For example, Mrs. Joseph Bullock wore black ankle-length dresses with a lace bonnet. . In 1896, heavy rains and wind played havoc during services in the tent and she started the campaign to build a tabernacle. . . To the Bullocks' son, John F., belongs the credit for the great beauty of Beulah. He planned the avenues, walks, bridges ­ he almost single-handedly carved Beulah out of the rough.

A Beulah Journal also contains many gems of genealogical information gleaned from the writings in the church newspaper, The King's Highway, which commenced publication in 1890.

In fact, the 222-page book is a highway to genealogical heaven. It is filled with the names of the folks who participated in the first 50 years of Beulah. As one example, the 25 ladies of the serving room are listed, as well as the names of many people who spent several weeks on the grounds in 1923.

There were Reformed Baptist churches in many areas of New Brunswick. The church newspaper  - The King's Highway is filled with tidbits concerning the adherents of the Reformed Baptist Church that are probably unavailable from any other source. (Reels of microfilm of this newspaper can be borrowed through inter-library loan from Acadia University, by the way.)

The book A Beulah Journal  is in the Library and Archives of the New Brunswick Museum,  the Kings County Museum and other research institutions.

By the way, my personal journey to Beulah Land was initiated by Dick Joy who is writing a history of the Duffield family. He would like to hear from anyone who is related to or has information on the Joseph and Elizabeth (Duffield) Bullock family and their descendants.  E-mail him at

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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