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Topics - wagb278

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Does anyone know if Wesleyan Methodist church records for Saint John, New Brunswick are available for the period of approximately 1832 - 1869? And if so, how would they be searched?  Who to contact, etc.?

I'm looking for information on William Irving/Irvine family (1st wife Jane and children Sarah and James).  Government records for this time period were lost in the Great Fire (1877).  So I was thinking maybe church records survived.  Both children were born I think in 1835 and hopefully baptised then.  Maybe William married Jane a few years before 1835 and there might be church a church record of that marriage.  Mother and both children died in 1867/1869 and William remarried (Anna Seely) in 1867 for which we do have the church marriage record.  At the time we did not realize there was a first marriage so didn't look for any church records for that earlier marriage.  William (and we believe daughter Sarah) is buried in the Wesleyan Methodist Burial Ground in Saint John.

Now I don't even know who to contact to search the church records, if they exist.  Suggestions?


United States of America / Linnell Foster
« on: Tuesday 22 May 12 18:38 BST (UK)  »
Linnell Foster (1871-1961) was my maternal Grandfather.  I have census records up thru 1920.  He lived in Massachusetts.  Sometime between 1920 and 1030 he abandoned his wife and children (1930 census does not include him with the family).

We stumbled on a grave marker (thanks to Find-A-Grave) that lists a person with the right name and dates at a cemetery in Ipswich, but with a person identified as his wife (Mary E. Kinsman). is the link to grave marker.

I have searched SSDI and other potential sources and have been unable to locate any information about either of the persons on the grave marker; specifically Linnell (post 1920).  I suspect, if the Linnell on the grave marker is my grandfather, there was no divorce or second marriage by law.

Any, and all, help is welcome.

Thanks, Jim

Angus (Forfarshire) / Dundee Area Surnames: Morrice, Forbes, King
« on: Sunday 04 December 11 21:41 GMT (UK)  »
I am researching the Morrice family of Dudee.  Any information or suggestions as to where to look are most welcome.

James Hay MORRICE married Agnes Maxwell FORBES (July 1913) and had three children born before immigrating to the USA.  Children were named Agnes Niven, John Buchan, and James Forbes.  The husband James was an estate gardener.  (is/was there an estate named: Gealing?)

James Hay MORRICE was born in 1881 to parents Alexander MORRICE and Margaret KING.  He had at least one sister which he refers to as Lizzie (residing in Nethergate, Dundee in 1920) and possibly another sister who married a John SMITH who immigrated to the USA prior to 1920.

Agnes Maxwell FORBES's father was named Charles FORBES and her mother was named Agnes W. (unknown surname).   Maxwell came from somewhere so maybe that is a surname of ancestors. 

Agnes Niven MORRICE (first child of James and Anges) was - we presume - given the middle name Niven based on some ancestor but we are not aware where that name came from. 

Do any of these names appear in anyone's genealogy?  Anyone have King, Niven or Maxwell surnames associated with Forbes or Morrice?


Canada / Finding Wills in New Brunswick
« on: Sunday 09 October 11 00:27 BST (UK)  »
Is there a collection of wills or probate records available for Saint John, New Brunswick? If so, how would I determine if records exist for my ancestor?

I scanned the website of the Archives of Canada but found no such collection - did I miss it?  Is there some other agency / organization I should check?

I am interested in someone who died in 1894.  Maybe there is a will that contains information I do not yet have.


Canada Lookup Request / The Mystery of William John Irving
« on: Sunday 02 October 11 00:16 BST (UK)  »
Not long ago in a country not far away …
The evil empire – no that is the wrong story, let me start again.

On the first of August, 1867 William John Irving married Anna Adelaide Seely in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada.  William appears as Irving and Irvine in various records.

What we know about William John Irving is at:

This marriage produced three children: Jennie Virginia Irving (b. 23 Mar 1868), Linus Dudley Irving (b. 2 Aug 1873), and finally Mabel Alberta Irving (b. 13 Mar 1874).  This family appears in Saint John census records for years 1881 and 1891.

Research has been unable to locate any information about the husband, William prior to his marriage.  He was about 60 years old; and she was 27 years old when they married.  Anna is descended from Royalists who left Connecticut / Long Island at the close of the American Revolution and settled in what is now New Brunswick.  The census records provide the clue to William’s birth year 1808, via his age, and state he was born in Ireland.  That is the extent of our knowledge about William.  No immigration, passenger list, or other earlier history on him has been uncovered.

His children and widow all ended up in the United States (Boston, MA area) after William died.  We know about the children and their descendants.

A great granddaughter living in Massachusetts has possession of a letter written to a Mrs. William Irving addressed to her c/o General Delivery, Fredericton, New Brunswick.  This is NOT the wife of the William in question.  There is no date on the letter but it does include a reference to a New book titled “The Irvings of Bonshaw” which was published in 1968.  So we might guess the letter was likely written about 1970.  The letter appears to be a reply from a William H. Irvine of Vancouver, B.C.  Speculation is Mrs. William Irving requested family history information from Mr. Irvine.  The fact that this letter is in the possession of a descendant suggests that the addressee is a relation.

So, who is this Mrs. William Irving who either lived in Fredericton or was visiting there?  There are no William Irving descendants of William John Irving and Anna Seely.

Could our great grandfather William John Irving have relations in the Fredericton area?

We had, until now, assumed he immigrated alone to the Saint John area from Ireland.  But maybe he had family up the river in Fredericton.  Has anyone uncovered Irving / Irvine family records in the Fredericton area prior to the 1860’s? 

One researcher has postulated that Anna Seely is not William’s first wife.  In his book "A Library of Stone Pages", Graeme Somerville suggests that William had an earlier wife named Jane.  But no records of such marriage have been uncovered.

All are welcome to provide clues to solve the mystery of William's relations.

Thanks for any clues you can provide,

Stirlingshire / Forrester of Garden
« on: Sunday 31 July 11 19:59 BST (UK)  »
In my research on the Forrester name I came across references to "Forrester of Garden" family associated with Tor Wood, Sterling, and others. The reference "of Garden" implies a Place Name; but I cannot locate any place named Garden in existence.

Does anyone know what this Garden refers to?

Was there a Royal Forest by that name?  How about a manor or tower?


Sussex / Forster in Iden, Sussex
« on: Wednesday 27 July 11 22:47 BST (UK)  »
I uncovered the following:

Sir Thomas FOSTER of Hundson, Hertfordshire married Susan FORSTER, daughter and heir of Thomas FORSTER of Iden, Sussex and St. John Street London (or near London) who in turn was the second son of Thomas Forster of Iden, Sussex.  Sir Thomas of Hunsdon was a judge; knighted in 1604 and he descends from the Forster family from Northumberland.

I would like to learn more about the Forster family from Sussex.  Does anyone have information on Forsters in Sussex? 


Northumberland / Etherstone
« on: Wednesday 27 July 11 18:11 BST (UK)  »
Where is Etherstone?
I am researching Forster/Forester/Foster in Northumberland (pre-17th century) and see many references to what I presume is a place name of Etherstone, Edderston, and other spellings.  A common reference I find is "Governor of Etherstone".

I *think* it is the village of Adderstone but would like confirmation. Is/was Etherstone a manor, tower, castle;  or some other structure - or a village?  Was it just another way to spell the village name which is now Adderstone?

Does any one know where or what Etherstone refers to?


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