Thursday, March 29, 2018

John C. Tracy (1855-1937) Wrote a Book

John Colby Tracy's "Book" is a handwritten collection of Oromocto River, New Brunswick genealogies and historical stories produced between 1927 and the mid 1930s. It was donated to the New Brunswick Provincial Archives by his daughter, Lola Harrison, and has been transcribed in five parts the author of the blog, johnwood1946

The five parts can be found at:


I'm sure that this blog and the transcription of the book are filled with helpful information about my mother's New Brunswick family, relatives, and neighbors. Here are just the first hundred blog posts listed--there are a couple of hundred more. I'll be exploring the entire blog eventually.

  1. Saint John: From Nothing, to Become Canada’s Winter Port – Mar. 28, 2018
  2. Saint John, New Brunswick Churches in 1910 – Mar. 21, 2018
  3. Chief Making Among the Passamaquoddy Indians – Mar. 14, 2018
  4. Canoeing Down the Restigouche River in 1895 – Mar. 7, 2018
  5. Northern New Brunswick, Heaven on Earth – Feb. 28, 2018
  6. Indian Place Names From Around Passamaquoddy Bay – Feb. 21, 2018
  7. Alexander McNutt’s Accomplishments Went Well Beyond Maugerville – Feb. 14, 2018
  8. Albert County, New Brunswick, about 170 Years Ago – Feb. 7, 2018
  9. 1865: Rise in Support of this Mighty Project! The Confederation Debate – Jan. 31, 2018
  10. The Genesis of Prince Edward Island’s Distinctive Property Laws – Jan. 24, 2018
  11. Saint John’s ‘English Period’, 1758 to 1782 – Jan. 17, 2018
  12. Education in New Brunswick in 1837 – Jan. 10, 2018
  13. The Babcock Tragedy, a Story of Madness and Murder – Jan. 3, 2018
  14. Cape Breton, from about 1000 AD to the Mid-1600’s – Dec. 27, 2017
  15. Christmas as it was in Saint John, 1808 – Dec. 23, 2017
  16. The Saint John River, the Rhine of America – Dec. 20, 2017
  17. A Veiled Threat to Invade New Brunswick – Dec. 13, 2017
  18. A Few Weeks in 1755, the Expulsion of the Acadians Begins – Dec. 6, 2017
  19. The Magical Dancing Doll – Nov. 29, 2017
  20. Immigration to New Brunswick in 1832, and Lumber Mills – Nov. 22, 2017
  21. Harvey, New Brunswick, 1837 – Nov. 15, 2017
  22. On the Road to Responsible Government in New Brunswick – Nov. 8, 2017
  23. Through the Woods in the Dead of Winter; Fredericton to the Miramichi – Nov. 5, 2017
  24. Acadia in 1720, as Seen by Paul Mascerene – Oct. 25, 2017
  25. Nova Scotia’s Sham Government in 1720 – Oct. 18, 2017
  26. Three Short Wabanaki Thunder Stories – Oct. 11, 2017
  27. Stanley, N.B., Carved from the Wilderness – in a Hurry – Oct. 4, 2017
  28. Drunkenness Yearly More Common Amongst all Classes – Sept. 27, 2017
  29. John Cabot, London Superstar and Discoverer of Cape Breton – Sept. 20, 2017
  30. Nicolas Denys, the First Proprietor and Governor of all of the Gulf Coast of Acadia – Sept. 13, 2017
  31. Promoting New Brunswick in 1832 – Sept. 6, 2017
  32. A View of Acadian History, from 30,000 Feet – Aug. 30, 2017
  33. Nova Scotia During the Revolution, an American Perspective – Aug. 23, 2017
  34. The Many Trials of Richard Valpey of Yarmouth, and his Service to the American Cause During the Revolution – Aug. 16, 2017
  35. From Saint John to Annapolis Royal, Around the Bay of Fundy in 1787 – Aug. 9, 2017
  36. Nova Scotia in 1775: “Every Spot is Inhospitable and Frigid” – Aug. 2, 2017
  37. Notes About Edward Cornwallis, Who Has Been in the News Lately – July 26, 2017
  38. Starving, Fly-Bitten, and Lost in the Woods – July 19, 2017
  39. Saint John and Saint George, New Brunswick, in 1842 – July 12, 2017
  40. The Razing of Chignecto, and the Attack on Fort Nashwaak – July 5, 2017
  41. Captain Henry Mowat’s Account of the Battle on the Penobscot – June 28, 2017
  42. Voyage of the First Fleet of 1783, and the Settlement of Kingston by a Band of Loyalists – June 21, 2017
  43. 1,500 Dead in Saint John. The Cholera Epidemic of 1854 – June 14, 2017
  44. Fishing on the Nepisiquit River in the 1870’s – June 7, 2017
  45. The Clock at Fredericton City Hall – May 31, 2017
  46. Prohibition in Saint John in the 1920’s, an Exposé – May 24, 2017
  47. Boss Gibson’s First Railroad – May 17, 2017
  48. The New Brunswick Postal Service in 1856 – May 10, 2017
  49. Defending the ‘Worthless, Unsteady and Villainous’ Cutters of Wood – May 3, 2017
  50. Tossed by the Sea Into a Frozen Wilderness-1788 – Apr. 26, 2017
  51. The King of France Cannot Have Given You Our Land, Because it Was Not His – Apr. 19, 2017
  52. Bureaucracy and the Expulsion of the Acadians – Apr. 12, 2017
  53. From Pictou, Nova Scotia to Saint John, New Brunswick via Charlottetown and Shediac in 1867 – Apr. 5, 2017
  54. A Sunday EXTRA: No Meeting of Minds Between the Acadians and the British in 1717 – Apr. 2, 2017
  55. Grand Falls, New Brunswick in 1844 – A Vast Ocean of Trees – Mar. 29, 2017
  56. Shabby Streets, Decaying Houses, and Steep Plank Sidewalks. Saint John in 1874 – Mar. 22, 2017
  57. In the Beginning – Wabanaki Creation Stories – Mar. 15, 2017
  58. Pride versus Rascals and Villains in Saint John in 1791 – Mar. 8, 2017
  59. The Trent Affair – Mar. 1, 2017
  60. A Shocking Description of Anti-Confederates in Rural Nova Scotia in 1867 – Feb. 22, 2017
  61. Surveying Through the Wilderness in 1844 – Feb. 15, 2017
  62. At the Bend of the Petitcodiac in 1844: Moncton – Feb. 8, 2017
  63. Maria Rye and Her British Home Children – Feb. 1, 2017
  64. New Brunswick’s East Coast in 1832, Following the Miramichi Fire – Jan. 25, 2017
  65. Slavery in the Loyalist Era – Jan. 18, 2017
  66. Weather and the Seasons in Micmac Mythology – Jan. 11, 2017
  67. New Brunswick’s Roads in 1832: ‘Many paths are misnamed roads’. Jan. 7, 2017
  68. Nova Scotia and New England During the Revolution – Dec. 28, 2016
  69. A Holiday Special: Christmas as it Was in Saint John in 1808 – Dec. 23, 2016
  70. Expressions from Cuffer Down plus Signs and Omens – Dec. 21, 2016
  71. From Passamaquoddy to the Petitcodiac: What it Was Like in 1832 – Dec. 14, 2016
  72. Raymond Writes About the Lives and Customs of the Mi’kmaq and Maliseet People – Dec. 7, 2016
  73. The Governor’s House was an Outrage to Good Taste – Fredericton in 1832 – Nov. 30, 2016
  74. An Unparalleled and Abominable Deception – Nov. 23, 2016
  75. Not a Metropolis, but the Largest Town in the Province – Saint John in 1832 – Nov. 16, 2016
  76. Lumber Camp Life, and Game-Wardens Poaching Moose – Nov. 9, 2016
  77. Louisbourg: It Didn’t Have to Happen. It Just Didn’t Have to Happen – Nov. 2, 2016
  78. Let Us Consider the Lowly Seagull – Oct. 26, 2016
  79. 5 – David Kennedy Completes His Travels of 1876 in Halifax – Oct. 19, 2016
  80. 4 – David Kennedy’s Tour of Nova Scotia in 1876 – Oct. 12, 2016
  81. 3 – David Kennedy’s Tour of Newcastle, Chatham and Bathurst in 1876 – Oct. 5, 2016
  82. 2 – David Kennedy’s Visit to Saint John, New Brunswick in 1876 – Sept. 28, 2016
  83. 1 – David Kennedy’s Travels from Quebec City to New Brunswick in 1876 – Sept. 21, 2016 (This blog posting was lost on Sept. 28th. I decided not to re-post, since it would clutter my subscribers’ screens.)
  84. A Short History of Early English Nova Scotia – Sept. 14, 2016
  85. Fish Wardens Described as Useless Political Appointments – Sept. 7, 2016
  86. With Indian Guides in the Wilds of New Brunswick, 1862 – Aug. 31, 2016
  87. Blog post #300: Port Royal from 1604 to 1613. Of Heritage Value to all North Americans – Aug. 24, 2016
  88. Hunting Down the Last of the Old Growth Pine – Aug. 17, 2016
  89. Dr. James Robb – Aug. 10, 2016
  90. Peace Negotiations With Pierre Tomah on the Saint John River – Aug. 3, 2016
  91. Business Opportunities on Campobello Island – July 27, 2016
  92. A Pompous Captain on the Evils of Logging – July 20, 2016
  93. The Too-Easy Life of Nova Scotians Disproved – July 13, 2016
  94. Why Not to Marry a Nova Scotia Woman, and How to Make Maple Sugar – July 6, 2016
  95. The Bloody Assault on Fort Louisbourg in 1758 – June 29, 2016
  96. The Medical Men of Saint John in its First Half Century – June 22, 2016
  97. Henry Ketchum and the Chignecto Marine Transport Railway – June 15, 2016
  98. A War Journal from Majabidwaduce on the Penobscot – June 8, 2016
  99. Mi’kmaq Magic and Medicine – June 1, 2016
  100. Thomas Wood, and His Visit to the Saint John River in 1769 – May 25, 2016

Monday, March 19, 2018

John Doolittle and his Wife, Hannah Guernsey

"...they dug up an iron kettle of silver coins...kept the money themselves, but sent the kettle home to grandmother..."

I've always loved to read historical accounts of regular people making their way daily through times very different than mine. Now that I research my own family's history, the stories are even better because the people I read about are related to me. No matter how distant the connection, just knowing that we are of the same blood and that we share a bit of DNA makes them my people.

Two brothers, Abraham and John Doolittle, came to Boston, Massachusetts from England in 1640 (or perhaps earlier). This John Doolittle (there are many!) died in 1681, leaving no children. It is therefore believed that Abraham is thus the ancestor of all the Doolittles in America.

Abraham had a son named John, who had a son named Samuel, who had a son named Abel. Abel Doolittle (1724-1769) and his wife, Thankful Moss, had a son named (of course) John! So Abraham's great great grandson was the John Doolittle who stars in today's post.

John Doolittle (1750-1825) is my first cousin, six times removed. I'll explain that relationship at the bottom of this post. He married Hannah Guernsey (1755-?), the great great great granddaughter of John Guernsey, who was thought to have emigrated from the Isle of Guernsey in the English Channel and settled in Milford, Connecticut.

Quoting from The Doolittle Family in America, with my remarks in brackets:

John Doolittle was a stone mason by trade. In 1786, with the war of independence ended, he and Hannah with their 3 young ch. [Mary, age 8; Abel, age 6; and John, age 4] moved from Watertown and made the first settlement on the west side of the Susquehanna river in N.Y. It was at the mouth of Doolittle Creek, where the town of Win[d]sor, Broome Co., now stands. 
Here is a map showing that today's trip from Watertown to Windsor would be 191 miles.

The story continues:

At that early day it was all a howling wilderness inhabited by Indians and wild animals. John cleared a place in the woods, built a log house with one room and made some rough furniture--the table and some of the wooden plates are still preserved. 

The following is told by his gr. dau. Mrs. Marietta Doolittle Maynard, of Stanford, N.Y.: "When my grandparents rem. from Conn., grand father walked and carried large leather saddle-bags with their clothing in, and grand mother and the 3 ch. rode horseback on a big leather pillion containing other parts of their outfit. Their living was mostly game, fish and corn. After locating, my grandfather built a mill to prepare their corn for jonny-cake which they would bake on a board before the fire. 

"They had many interesting experiences with the Indians. At one time he found a savage almost frozen to death. Grandfather cut a stick so that the Indian could help himself along, but the latter fainted--thinking the white man was going to kill him. Grandfather carried water from the creek in his hat and restored the Indian whom he took home with him. It was six weeks before the sick man was able to go away. In a short time he returned with a present of some apples and the carcass of a deer. Soon after this four Indians came and urged grandfather to go to the river bank with them, where they dug up an iron kettle of silver coins. They kept the money themselves, but sent the kettle home to grandmother. 

"Their pioneer life had many trials and privations. One day three years after emigrating, Hannah was gathering greens and caught sight of a white woman across the river--the first since leaving Conn. By means of a slab raft they met, and she learned that a number of families had come to the locality. Soon after this religious services and a school were started."

The Doolittle Family in America goes on to tell that John and Hannah had seven sons and two daughters: 

Mary, born Sep 27, 1778, married David Way
Abel, born Jul 27, 1780
John, born Sep 19, 1782
David, born Dec 28, 1786
Roswell, born Apr 26, 1790; died Aug 3, 1794
Sally, born Oct 18, 1794
Garrett, born Feb 6, 1797
Charles, born Sep 13, 1799

"They lived near the old homestead and d. at good old ages. Some of their descendants still reside in the same vicinity but many are scattered in other states. His sons became farmers. Their lands except Samuel's joined their father's along Doolittle Brook and the place is known as Doolittle Farms. There they lived and d. 

John, Sr. prob did not remain more than a few years on the lands he originally settled near Win[d]sor, but rem. 1 1/2 miles farther up the river and located at what is now Onaquago [now called Onaquaga] in Broome Co. [New York].

He d. Aug 17, 1825, a. 74, and was buried at Win[d]sor. His wid. reached the extraordinary age of 96 and d. in 1851. "


1. Abraham Doolittle and Some of His Descendants, by Orrin Peer Allen. Reprinted by the Magazine of New England History. Newport, Rhode Island: R.H. Tilley, 1893.

2. The Doolittle Family in America. Compiled by William Frederick Doolittle. Cleveland, 1901.

3. John Doolittle (Person 403) in The Doolittle Family in America,245,1198,283;141,451,273,507;1905,668,2074,735;269,1718,417,1770;416,1719,729,1770;1228,1723,1402,1793;1911,1851,2078,1907;1324,2073,1494,2130;1620,2508,1790,2580;315,2846,456,2914;455,2847,741,2904;207,3296,492,3349;1007,3518,1219,3586#?imageId=dvm_GenMono002448-00153-1

How John Doolittle and I are connected:

Monday, March 12, 2018

Facebook Groups for New Brunswick Genealogy

These are the groups that I have joined so far. I am sure there are more that I will find as I research further. These groups are full of knowledgeable and kind people who are willing to share their information. Most of the groups are open to members only; you have only to ask to join.

Be sure to thoroughly explore the resources of each group. I didn't realize at first that they have much more to offer than current discussions among members and shared photos. On the left-hand side of each page there is also a link to "files" which will sometimes have some incredibly useful resources. Some that I have found so far are DNA test results of the members for comparison with my own, and links to full-text online family histories that are full of information that helps with my research.

Aroostook Family Connections
This is actually a group based in Aroostook County, Maine. Many families in this area crossed back and forth over the border from the U.S. into New Brunswick, Canada. My mother's family certainly did so--most were born in New Brunswick, some married in Maine, many farmed in both places.

Carleton County Genealogy and Family Trees

Descendants of David Jewett and Edith Rae Crabtree
I set up this group myself and am I ever glad that I did. David and Edith were my maternal grandparents from New Brunswick. After my mother died,  I lost contact with some of my cousins. When I formed the group, I got the ball rolling by inviting the few cousins whose contact information I had, and then the group grew and grew as each one invited more cousins to join. There are over 40 members now and my lost cousins are found once again! We share photos, stories, and information.

DNA Descendants of New Brunswick Loyalists
"Loyalists" were American colonists who remained loyal to the British Crown during the American Revolution. Many of these Loyalists settled in the Canadian provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and Ontario. If you have ancestors in New Brunswick from the late 1700s, you have a strong chance of having descended from Loyalists. 

The Family of Israel and Susannah (Hood) Kinney
Israel and Susannah are my 4th great grandparents.

New Brunswick Ancestors and Family History

Victoria County NB Genealogy

Sunday, March 11, 2018

York, Carleton, and Victoria Counties, New Brunswick, Canada

New Brunswick Counties in 1786

My mother's family came from New Brunswick, Canada. I have run into a bit of confusion about the county names in that province, so I am writing out the evolution of the pertinent counties here, mostly for myself. The issue has come up as I have joined several Facebook genealogy groups (which I will list in the next post, if you are interested) that are set up by county and I wasn't sure which was "our" county. It turns out that all three--York, Carleton, and Victoria--are the right ones. I guess it would have been possible for a family to have lived in the same house (without moving) that was part of each of the three counties at different times!

All of the following information comes from Wikipedia, and the sources are listed at the bottom of this post.

York County was established in 1785. By 1831 "the top half was highly populated, due to the rich soil in the region" so it was split off to form Carleton County

Victoria County was established in 1851. Before 1832, it was part of York County; from 1832 to 1850 it was part of Carleton County.

You can see a series of maps from the National Institute for Genealogical Studies showing the changes to all counties in New Brunswick over time: The two maps on this post are from that page. 

New Brunswick Counties, 1873 to the present

The communities of York County as of 2011 are Fredericton, New Maryland, Upper Miramichi, McAdam, Nackawic, Stanley, Canterbury, Harvey, Millville, and Meductic. But wait, it gets more complicated. The county is subdivided into 14 parishes: Kingsclear, Douglas, St. Marys, Bright, New Maryland, Manners Sutton, Southampton, Queensbury, Stanley, Prince William, Canterbury, Dumfries, North Lake, and McAdam. Each of these has quite a few "unincorporated areas," which can be found on the Wikipedia page for York County (see below).

The communities of Carleton County as of 2011 are Woodstock, Florenceville-Bristol, Hartland, Centreville, and Bath. There are 11 parishes: Wakefield, Kent, Woodstock, Northampton, Brighton, Wicklow, Richmond, Peel, Wilmot, Aberdeen, and Simonds. Their unincorporated communities are listed on the Wikipedia page for Carleton County (below).

The communities of Victoria County as of 2011 are Grand Falls/Grand Sault, Perth-Andover, Plaster Rock, Drummond, and Aroostook. There are seven parishes: Drummond, Denmark, Gordon, Grand Falls, Perth, Andover, and Lorne. The unincorporated communities are listed on the Wikipedia page for Victoria County (below).

This information is going to be of great help to me as I research the lives of my New Brunswick ancestors, where they were born, and where they moved to. I hope that it may be of use to some other family historian.