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Following article posted November 26, 1999 Vol. III No. 24

Roving Reporters
  By:Ruby Cusack,

Yesteryear, The Excuse For Being Born
( Online Resources For New Brunswick Births )

Cliff and I walked hand in hand to the little one room school we attended at Titusville. Once we arrived we took our places at our little wooden desks. Yesterday had been his first day in Grade One and Miss Kierstead had given him a note for Mum, requesting a copy of his Birth Certificate be sent to her.

The school day commenced with Roll Call. Your name was called and you answered, "Present." This was followed by a Bible Reading and the Lord's Prayer. As we were getting out our Math books, the teacher asked Cliff if he had a letter for her. Little brother looked at me and I shrugged my shoulders. He got to his feet slowly and said, "Please Teacher, I forgot to bring my excuse for being born."

If I could find the "excuse for being born" for several of my ancestors, many questions might be answered, such as: Who was the father? What was the mother's maiden name? Where was the birthplace? What was the date of birth?

Many changes have taken place in how and where births are registered. I was born in the 1930s in Titusville, a rural area of Kings County (New Brunswick).

Shortly after my arrival, Dad made a trip up the road to Fletcher's General Store in Upham. In his shirt pocket he carried a slip of paper with the name of the baby and other details. Louie Fletcher recorded this data in a ledger and issued him a bluish sheet of paper that served as proof that I had been born.

There are two sources of birth records for New Brunswick that have been compiled by the Provincial Archives and are able to be searched online. If you don't find your ancestor in the above lists, don't assume the person wasn't born in New Brunswick as many births were not recorded.

About The Author:

Ruby is a genealogy buff and researcher living in Saint John, New Brunswick. She writes a genealogical and queries column in the Good Life, Saint John Times Globe. (

She welcomes New Brunswick queries to be posted in her column in the Saint John Times Globe. E-mail your query to Ruby Cusack at:

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