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Published April 5, 1998

Loyalists, Church Faithful And Other Pioneers Of South Western New Brunswick
By Sandra Devlin

"It is by no means improbable that much material of real value to the future historian lies hidden from the light of day in many an old dwelling in this province. Old family documents and letters -- faded and musty -- consigned in numerous instances to the attic or the lumber-room, are capable of supplying hereand there a missing link, or throwing light on some obscure point in our provincial history."

These words were written by United Empire Loyalist pioneer William Bates of Kingston, N.B. within a few years of his death in 1842. Kingston is located abut 30 kilometres due north of the port city of Saint John (note the full spelling out of Saint, in Saint John. This contrasts to the spelling of St. John’s the capital city of Newfoundland.)

A verbatim narrative by Bates entitled Kingston and the Loyalists of the ‘Spring Fleet’ of 1783 together with the Diary of Sarah (Schofield) Frost, written aboard the ship Two Sisters during her voyage from New York to Saint John in 1783 form a 32-page book available through Global Genealogy that every Loyalist descendant should read.

One of the Frost diary entries reads, in part: "Sunday, June 15. - Our people seem cross and quarrelsome today, but I will not differ with any one if I can help it. At half-past twelve our ship is getting under way -- I suppose for Nova Scotia."

While modesty prevented specific reference to her condition, Frost was very pregnant during the voyage. One month after Two Sisters arrived in Saint John, Hannah was born to Sarah and William Frost. The Frost family settled at Norton, N.B. on the banks of the Kennebecasis River.

Not only does this book put into human context the real-life experience of Loyalist forebears, it also reminds us all of the importance of preserving our own lives and times for future historians, our descendants.

The book is not indexed, but that is less of a problem than in most books because it is a compelling read, easily finished in one evening. There are other treats throughout. The 65 heads of households aboard the Union Transport bound for Saint John in 1783 includes surnames: Bates, Dibblee, Fowler, Holcomb, Lane, Nichols, Marvin, Seaman, Seely and Wade. Early wardens of the Loyalist church at Kingston included: Ketchum, Lyon, Moore, Scribner and Sumner.

Footnotes and introductory context by editor W. O. Raymond are also delightful and provide insights of historic and genealogical interest. Reproduced tinplate likeness of clergy and the original Kingston Grant surveyed by Frederick Hauser in 1783 compliment the text.

Of interest to researchers in the same geographic area, St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Hampton, N.B. has published a history 1810-1996. It sells for $10 plus $2 handling. [this article was published 1998] Hampton is 20 kilometres east of Kingston. The highlight of this 66-page book is the reprinted Historical Address of Rev. Millidge Walker on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of St. Paul’s, Sept. 11, 1910.

William Frost of Lower Norton, the husband of diary writer Sarah mentioned above is among the list of first church wardens. A sampling of other surnames mentioned here are: Cookson, Crawford, DeMill, Fairweather, Fenwick, Gillis, Hoyt, Lockhart, Scovil, Smith and Stroud. Illustrations include the church seating plan 1800 and list of parishioners who served during World War Two.
The book is available by writing St. Paul’s, PO Box 840, 486 Kennebecasis; River Rd., Hampton, New Brunswick, E0G 1Z0.

For those with the time and curiosity to delve into an onerous, nearly overwhelming, volume -- The Seelys of New Brunswick, an 800+ page. six pound book, a labor of love by three dedicated family researchers Wallace Errol Seely, C. B. Hap Ward (both now deceased) and Harold N. Fanjoy of Saint John.

This book has to be up there with the largest family histories of Eastern Canada. More than 30,000 names of descendants of Seelys or variant spellings who largely settled in Charlotte County -- 13 United Empire Loyalists and five families which emigrated from Ireland are included. It has it faults, I found its numbering system frustrating, but it is indexed.

The book was published in 1991 and remaining copies are available [this article was published 1998] for sale from Mr. Fanjoy, 53 Centennial Drive, Saint John, N.B. E2M 4A7. The cost is $25 plus $4 shipping. I recommend you also request copies of newsletters published subsequent to the book which contain corrections to the original.

Other resources in south western New Brunswick:

  • Saint John Branch New Brunswick Genealogical Society, PO Box 2423, Saint John, N.B. E2L 3V9.

  • Family History Centre, Latter Day Saints, PO Box 414, Hampton, N.B. E0G 1Z0.

  • Kings County Historical Society, Centennial Building, Hampton, N.B., E0G 1Z0.

  • Charlotte County Historical Society, 78 Prince William St., St. Stephen, N.B., E3L 1S3.

  • Library and Archives Division, New Brunswick Museum, 277 Douglas Ave., Saint John, N.B., E2L 1E5.

  • Quaco Museum and Library, St. Martins, N.B., E0G 2Z0.

  • Saint John Regional Library, One Market Square, Saint John, N.B., E2L 4Z6.

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