BY SARA KEDDY
Kings County Register
One hundred thirty families, 407 pages of genealogy - “and I’m not related to anyone in here,” laughs Frances Taylor.
The Coldbrook woman is talking about her new book chronicling the families of her summer home, Black Rock, and its neighbouring communities.
After she had her history book on cambridge “over with in 2002, Taylor started looking at the Bay of Fundy community, gathering stories, research, pictures and people’s memories. “I kept picking up on families along the way, and getting all this genealogy. I realized it would never all fit in my history book.”
Taylor took a break from the history and pulled out all the genealogy, coming up with “Over the Years,” a detailed listing of the families of Black Rock, Garland, Ross Creek, Chipman’s Brook and Canada Creek. “The families all mesh, and some of the older, common names are still here: Coleman, Doherty, Fredericks, Gould, Brydon and Graves.”
The genealogy goes back as far as Taylor could take it, from when people first came to the shore communities from England and Ireland, travelling across the Bay from Saint John. “They came with the idea this was good farm land, and settled in about one mile from the shore - but they soon realized it was better suited to hardwood than grain,” Taylor says.
A number stayed, mixing subsistence farming with fishing and woodswork. Every brook in the area had a mill on it, Taylor says, so there was work in the woods.
Others left for Massachusetts in a stream of Bluenosers looking for work in the eastern States. Many came back in later years, always having thought of the area as “home.”
Taylor’s genealogy lists families: where they came from, what they did for work, where individuals were born, lived, died and buried. “If I knew it, I’d add just that little bit about them that was interesting but what I knew wouldn’t make it into the history book to come.”
The book comes as far as Taylor’s generation, where she began watching for birthdates and marriages - sometimes sensitive information when people listed are still living. “I’m careful, but I don’t know all these people.”
Taylor researched much of the genealogy from available sources - census data, internet sites - and from locals Garnet Misner and Phil Vogler’s website full of local history. “You have to decide when you have enough.”
Taylor is now relieved the weight of all that family can be taken out of the Black Rock history book: she won’t have to be so clear explaining who had the local store, who their father was and where he came from. “It lightens the load.”
She isn’t planning an official launch of this book: she’s waiting for her history book to be done, likely next year, and she’ll have a party for both. In the meantime, the genealogy is available from her by special order.
In the meantime, Taylor is busy with continuing research and personal interviews for the history book. The Black Rock she sees is full of stories and pictures of the past: old rock foundations, a few still-standing farm houses, the aging seaport at Canada Creek that once supplied Valley communities. “There’s a whole road over in Chipman Brook that’s abandoned,” she says. “When I think back, this place was so much busier.”
Author ‘lightens the load’ with separate genealogy for Black Rock, area settlers
Family roots tied into mountain history
BY SARA KEDDY
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