Old North Esk on the Miramichi

Old North Esk on the Miramichi
by W. D. Hamilton

The following has been excerpted from Ruby Cusack’s column in the
Telegraph-Journal of August 31, 2004, and is used with her permission:

A book just released by Miramichi Books, of Saint John, called OLD NORTH
ESK ON THE MIRAMICHI, is all about past events, community connections,
and the greener pastures to which large numbers of Miramichi people went
a hundred years or more ago.

The book is designated as the 25th Anniversary Edition of one first
published in 1979. This edition deals with the same subject matter as
the first but is otherwise a new book from start to finish, containing
nearly twice as much text plus a selection of photographs and a 20-page

The book has two main sections – a shorter one on History, and a lengthy
one on Biography & Genealogy, with 298 sub-sections by surname.

Included among these are such well-known Miramichi names as Allison,
Ashton, Baisley, Brander, Cain, Chaplin, Connors, Copp, Curtis, Estey,
Ferguson, Fitzgerald, Foran, Forsyth, Gillis, Goodfellow, Hare,
Harrigan, Harris, Henderson, Hill, Hogan, Holmes, Hosford, Howe,
Hubbard, Hutchison, Hyland, Jardine, Johnston, Jones, Keating, Kingston,
Lawlor, Leach, Matchett, Matthews, Menzies, Morrison, Murphy, Mutch,
McAllister, McCoombs, McDonald, McGrath, McKay, McKendrick, McKenzie,
McKibbon, McKinnon, McLean, McTavish, Norton, Nowlan, O’Brien, O’Shea,
Parker, Parks, Payne, Rolfe, Russell, Ryan, Sauntry, Scott, Shaddick,
Sheasgreen, Sherrard, Silliker, Simpson, Sinclair, Smith, Somers,
Stewart, Sullivan, Sutherland, Taylor, Tingley, Touchie, Tozer, Travis,
Tweedie, Urquhart, Walsh, Waye, White, Whitney, and Young.


Among new findings reported is the discovery of where different settlers
originated. We learn, for example, that Thomas Blackmore, the founder of
the Blackmore clan on the Miramichi, was baptised in Devonport, Stoke
Damerel Parish, Devonshire, England, in 1788, the son of a family with
Welsh connections, and that John Dunnett, the head of another large
Miramichi family, was baptised at Bower, Caithness, Scotland, in 1797, a
son of William Dunnett and Marjorie McIntosh.

Another interesting discovery concerns John Mullin (b. 1762), a soldier
with the Guides & Pioneers in the Revolutionary War, who came to Saint
John with the Loyalists in 1783.

He was born in Pennsylvania and his wife Elizabeth Connor (a daughter of
Loyalist Peter Connor) in Rhode Island. They raised a large family in
Springfield Parish, Kings County, from which many Kings and St. John
county Mullins are descended, as well as hundreds of those who have
lived on the Miramichi since John and Elizabeth’s son Thomas Mullin
moved there nearly 200 years ago.

There is far more to be said about this book than space allows, but
maybe its most unique feature is the vast amount of information it
presents, not on where people came from, but on where their offspring
went – on the part the Miramichi lumbermen played, for instance, in
opening up the “Big Woods” of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, or how
they led the way in the harvesting of the white pine forests along the
Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania.

The book has 593 pages and is available in both softcover and hardcover
formats from Miramichi Books, P.O. Box 3782, Saint John, N.B., E2M 5C1.
E-mail mirbooks@nbnet.nb.ca.