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Thomas DWYER

Thomas DWYER

Male [1796] - 1861

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  • Name Thomas DWYER 
    Born [1796]  Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Male 
    Birth Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
    • Marriage record to Mary Kelly
    Immigration 1818  [1
    Occupation 22 Jul 1827  [8
    Labourer 
    Residence 22 Jul 1827  Newcastle, Northumberland, NB Find all individuals with events at this location  [8
    Assessed 1830  Upper District, Newcastle, Northumberland, NB Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Assessed 1830  Upper District, Newcastle, Northumberland, NB Find all individuals with events at this location  [9
    • Paid poor rates.
    Residence 12 May 1831  Newcastle, Northumberland, NB Find all individuals with events at this location  [10
    Assessed 1851  Nelson, Northumberland, NB Find all individuals with events at this location  [9
    • Poor and county rates and income.
    Occupation 1851  [1
    Labourer 
    Residence 1851  Nelson, Northumberland, NB Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    • Thomas Dwyre
      in the 1851 Census of Canada East, Canada West, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia
      Name: Thomas Dwyre
      Gender: Male
      Age: 64
      Estimated birth year: abt 1788
      Relation to Head of House: Head
      Spouse's name: Mary Dwyre
      Race: Scotch (Scotish)
      Province: New Brunswick
      District: Northumberland County
      Sub-District: Nelson
      Sub-District Number: 50
      Thomas Dwyre 64 Scotch Labourer 1818
      Mary Dwyre 40 1824
      Margt Dwyre 16 Born Col
      Bridget Dwyre 9
      Elizabeth Dwyre 8
      Mary Dwyre 6
      Ellen Dwyre 4
      Edward Dwyre 2
      Kathr Dwyre 6 mo
      Year: 1851; Census Place: Nelson, Northumberland County, New Brunswick; Schedule: I; Roll: C_996; Page: 3; Line: 21
      Frame
    Assessed 21 Apr 1852  Nelson, Northumberland, NB Find all individuals with events at this location  [9
    Died Between 1853 and 1861 
    Person ID I2122  4 February 2018
    Last Modified 18 Jan 2020 

    Family 1 Mary KELLEY,   b. Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 12 May 1831 
    Married 22 Jul 1827  St Patrick Roman Catholic, Nelson, Northumberland, NB Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Married 22 Jul 1827  Northumberland, NB Find all individuals with events at this location  [8
    • Name: Thomas Dwyer
      Event Type: Marriage
      Event Date: 22 Jul 1827
      Event Place: Newcastle, Northumberland, New Brunswick, Canada
      Gender: Male
      Spouse's Name: Mary Kelly
      Spouse's Gender: Female
      Certificate Number: 1143
      Page: 266
      GS Film Number: 000846407
      Digital Folder Number: 005418863
      Image Number: 00190
      Citing this Record
      "New Brunswick Provincial Marriages 1789-1950," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QVBF-V4YC : 13 March 2018), Thomas Dwyer and Mary Kelly, 22 Jul 1827; citing Newcastle, Northumberland, New Brunswick, Canada, p. 266, Provincial Archives of New Brunswick, Fredericton; FHL microfilm 846,407.
      1143
      New Brunswik Thomas Dwyer of the Parish of New Castle & County of Northumberland labourer and Mary Kelly of the same parish Spinster were married by License this twenty second day of July Eighteen hundred & twenty Seven by me the undersigned Catholic Missionary of Miramichi.
      W Dollard Missy Pr
      This Marriage was solemnized between us
      Thos Dwyer [His mark]
      and Mary Kelly [Her mark]
      in the presence of
      Michl Noughton and Judith Strong [Her mark]
    Children 
     1. Ann DWYER,   b. [MAY 1828],   d. Bef 1851?
     2. Catherine DWYER,   b. 17 Jun 1830,   d. Bef 1851?
    Family ID F4825  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Mary MORAN,   b. *[1815],   d. 25 Nov 1890, Nelson, Northumberland, NB Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married 12 May 1831  St Patrick's Roman Catholic, Nelson, Nelson, Northumberland, NB Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Married 12 May 1831  Northumberland, NB Find all individuals with events at this location  [10
    • Name: Thos Dwyre
      Event Type: Marriage
      Event Place: , Northumberland, New Brunswick, Canada
      Gender: Male
      Spouse's Name: Mary Moran
      Spouse's Gender: Female
      GS Film Number: 000846407
      Digital Folder Number: 005418863
      Image Number: 00015
      Citing this Record
      "New Brunswick Provincial Marriages 1789-1950," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QVBF-JBT9 : 13 March 2018), Thos Dwyre and Mary Moran, ; citing , Northumberland, New Brunswick, Canada, p. , Provincial Archives of New Brunswick, Fredericton; FHL microfilm 846,407.
      [236/615]
      1488
      New Brunswick. Thomas Dwyre of the parish of New Castle County of Northumberland and Mary Moran of the same parish Spinster were married by banns this twelfth day of May eighteen hundred and thirty one by me the undersigned Catholic Missionary of Miramichi.
      Wm Dollard Missy Pst
      Thos Marriage was solemnized between us Thos Dweyre [His mark] and Mary Moran [Her mark] in presence of Patk Mouks [His mark] and Mary Carroll [Her mark]
    Children 
     1. Catherine DWYER,   b. Newcastle, Northumberland, NB Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 3 Feb 1928, Victoria Public Hospital, Regent Street, Fredericton, York, NB Find all individuals with events at this location
     2. Margaret DWYER,   b. [DECEMBER 1833],   d. 8 Apr 1923, Newcastle, Northumberland, NB Find all individuals with events at this location
     3. Thomas DWYER,   b. [MAY 1837],   d. Bef 1851
     4. Bridget DWYER,   b. 1 Aug 1839, Newcastle, Northumberland, NB Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 13 Nov 1920, King's Highway, Newcastle, Newcastle, Northumberland, NB Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 81 years)
     5. Elizabeth DWYER,   b. [JULY 1842],   d. Bef 1891?
     6. Mary DWYER,   b. Newcastle, Northumberland, NB Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 5 Oct 1915
     7. Ellen DWYER,   b. [AUGUST 1846],   d. 4 Jul 1935, Northwest Bridge, Newcastle, Northumberland, NB Find all individuals with events at this location
     8. Edward DWYER,   b. [SEPTEMBER 1848],   d. 30 Dec 1875, Newcastle, Newcastle, Northumberland, NB Find all individuals with events at this location
     9. Anne T DWYER,   b. Newcastle, Northumberland, NB Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 Oct 1913, 579A Washington Street, Boston, Suffolk, MA Find all individuals with events at this location
    Family ID F581  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • Census 1851: Dwyre. Frame house
      Death d Ellen: Edward Dwyer
      Death d Catherine: Edward Dwyer
      Death d Ann: Edward J Dwyer
      Drouin: Nil
      Marriage Mary Moran: Thomas Dwyre
      Grants: Nil
      Northumberland County Registry Books: Nil
    • https://archives.gnb.ca/Search/RS108/Details.aspx?culture=en-CA&Key=18517
      Index to Land Petitions: Original Series, 1783-1918 (RS108)
      Name DWYER, THOMAS
      Year 1837
      County Northumberland
      Microfilm F4215

      https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/78954?availability=Family%20History%20Library
      Land petitions, 1783-1857
      Authors: New Brunswick. Crown Land Office
      1835 Abbot, Samuel - 1837 Farrow, David S.
      Family History Library
      United States & Canada Film
      1289011
      8191295
      https://www.familysearch.org/search/film/008191295?cat=78954
      [827/858]
      To His Excellency Mary General Archibald Campbell Bart Lieutenant Governor & Commander in Chief of the Province of New Brunswick

      The petition of Thomas Dwyer of the Parish of Newcastle in the County of Northumberland

      Humbly sheweth

      That he is a British subject and desirous of purchasing one hundred acres of land on the north side of Barnabas River to commence at the mouth of Baldwin Brook near the jam and run down north twenty chains and back west the distance required to make that quantity the land in the rear being burnt & barren.

      Chathan 28 August 1838
      Thomas Dwyer (signed)

      [Plan]

      I do hereby certify that I have known the petitioner for seven years. I believe him to be a poor but industrious man. He had a family & his intention is, I have every reason to believe, to settle upon the land prayed for. I therefore beg leave to recommend him to the favourable consideration of his excellancy the Lieut Governor as a fit object for consideration in ? on the Rear of the land.
      29 August 1836
      [Signed. Illeg.]

      12 September 1837
      Wrote to M Peters directing him to ? should Dwyer still wish the land & stating that Dwyer must send on with the return a petition conformable to the act of assembly.

      Return of sur made 15 February 1839 Dwyer is to petition anew
    • https://archives.gnb.ca/Search/RS108/Details.aspx?culture=en-CA&Key=18518
      Index to Land Petitions: Original Series, 1783-1918 (RS108)
      Name DWYER, THOMAS
      Year 1839
      County Northumberland
      Microfilm F4219
      See petition of FARRELL, THOMAS

      https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/78954?availability=Family%20History%20Library
      Land petitions, 1783-1857
      Authors: New Brunswick. Crown Land Office
      1839 Carney, Daniel - 1839 McMillan, William
      Family History Library
      United States & Canada Film
      1289071
      8633944
      https://www.familysearch.org/search/film/008633944?cat=78954
      [172/867]
      Petition of Thomas Farrell farmer Nelson
      [Asks for land on Baldwin Brook]

      I do certify that Thomas Dwyer has improved on the land applied for by Farrel for several years. He had his camp burnt on it the last summer and lost all his things which has prevented his paying for it before this he recvd an order some time since to lay it off and may had it done.
      Charles G Peters
      Fredericton 15th Feby 1839
    • North Tipperary Genealogy Centre
      http://tipperarynorth.brsgenealogy.com/index.php?SID=db16f994441e28bd6bde8aa8db5b4314
      Nil


      Roman Catholic
      Parish Baptisms Marriages
      Ballina/Boher * 00.03.1832-1903 00.05.1832-1903
      Ballinahinch/Killoscully * 00.07.1839-1899 00.01.1853-1899
      Ballingarry (part of Shinrone) 00.02.1842-1911 1821-1911
      Birr-Carrig 00.05.1838- 00.05.1838-
      Borrisokane-Aglish 00.06.1821-1911 00.07.1821-1911
      Borrisoleigh-Ileigh * 00.11.1814- 00.11.1814-
      Cloughjordan-Ardcroney 00.08.1833-1911 00.05.1833-1911
      Courngareen (Bourney)
      (1873 Missing) 00.07.1836- 00.06.1836-
      Drom-Inch * 00.03.1807- 00.05.1807-
      Dunkerrin-Barna 00.01/1820- 00.01.1820-
      Holycross-Ballycahill * 00.01.1835- 00.01.1835-
      Kilbarron-Terryglass 00.07.1827- 00.09.1827-
      Kilcommon-Hollyford * 00.03.1813-1900 00.06.1813-1900
      Kyle-Knock
      (Kyle was part of Roscrea until 1846) 00.01.1845-1911 00.02.1846-1911
      Lorrha/Dorrha 00.12.1839-1911 00.10.1829-1903
      1908-1911
      Loughmore-Castleiney * 00.03.1798- 00.04.1798
      Monsea-Killodiernan 00.02.1834-1911 00.02.1834-1911
      Moycarkey-Two-Mile-Borris *
      (Baptisms ? Start Oct. 1793, gap 1797-1799, 1811-16 and 1819-29, continuous from 1830. Marriages start Oct. 1793, gap 1797-1809, 1818-30, continuous from 1831) 00.10.1793- 00.10.1793
      Moyne-Templetuohy * 00.01.1809- 00.01.1804-
      Nenagh
      (Baptisms ? Start Jan. 1792, gap 1810-30, 1843-44, continuous from 1845. Marriages start Jan. 1792, gap mid 1797-1818, continuous from 1819) 00.01.1792- 00.01.1792-1911
      Newport-Birdhill *
      ( Baptisms ? Start Oct. 1795, gap 1810-11, continuous from 1812. Marriages start April 1795, gap 1810-1811, continuous from 1812) 00.10.1795-1911 00.04.1795-1911
      Portroe 00.11.1849-1911 00.11.1849-1911
      Roscrea (incl. Kyle to 1846) 00.01.1810-1880 00.02.1810-1880
      Shrinrone-Ballingarry 00.02.1842- 00.04.1842-
      Silvermines/Ballinaclogh 00.11.1840-1911 00.01.1841-1911
      Templederry/Kilnaneave 00.09.1840-1911 00.02.1839-1911
      Templemore-Clonmore *
      (Marriages start Nov. 1807, gap 1826-1833, continuous from 1834) 00.08.1807- 00.11.1807-
      Thurles * 00.07.1795- 00.04.1795
      Toomevara
      (Baptisms ? Start March 1831-June 1856, gap 1856-61, continuous from mid 1861. Marriages start Aug. 1830, gap 1837-1860, continuous from 1861) 00.03.1831 00.08.1830
      Upperchurch-Drombane * 00.10.1829 00.02.1829
      Youghalarra-Burgess 00.10.1828 00.10.1820
    • South Tipperary Genealogy
      Bru Bro Cultural Centre
      http://tipperarysouth.brsgenealogy.com/generic.php?filename=sources.tpl&selectedMenu=showdatabase&PHPSESSID=db16f994441e28bd6bde8aa8db5b4314
      2 matches for the search criteria: dwy th 1786-1794
      Action Type Surname First Name Year County
      Baptism Dwyer Thomas 1787 Co. Tipperary
      Baptism Dwyer Thomas 1789 Co. Tipperary



      Roman Catholic Parish Registers
      Parish Baptisms Marriages
      Ardfinnan 1809-1880 1814-1822 1827-1880
      Ballylooby and Duhill 1828-1864 1828-1864
      Ballyneale and Grangemockler 1839-1880
      Ballyporeen (Templetenny) 1817-1828 1818-1875
      Cahir 1776-1793 1809-1864 1776-1880
      Carrick-On-Suir 1784-1880 1788-1880
      Clogheen 1778-1880 1814-1864
      Gambonsfield and Kilcash (Kilsheelan) 1840-1880 1841-1880
      Newcastle and Fourmilewater 1846-1880 1822-1880
      Powerstown 1808-1880 1808-1880
      St. Mary?s, Clonmel 1790-1880
      SS Peter and Paul Clonmel 1836-1880 1836-1880
      (incomplete)
    • http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/can-nb-miramichi/2004-05/1083440496

      Rosemary Jorgenson
      Subject: Re: [MIRAMICHI] DWYERS of Miramichi
      Date: Sat, 01 May 2004 15:41:36 -0400
      References:

      I have a Margaret Mary Dwyer b abt 1833 Ireland who married my Thomas McCafferty from that same area. I don't have any more info on her but would love to have. I can provide info on her children and on Thomas's family.
      Rosemary
    • IFHF:
      Church Baptism Dwyer Thomas 1795 Co. Cork father Thomas
    • The Great Miramichi Fire
      http://blog.eogn.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/2009/10/the-great-miramichi-fire.html

      File this article under ?history.? It also may explain why your ancestors left New Brunswick in the late 1820s.

      We often forget just how difficult life was for our ancestors. Oh, we may talk about their "trials and tribulations," but what does that mean? Just how tough was it? For thousands of residents of New Brunswick, Canada, the summer of 1825 and the succeeding years were indeed terrible. I had ancestors in Miramichi, New Brunswick, at that time, and apparently so did tens or even hundreds of thousands of today's citizens.

      Miramichi is the name of a city, a river, and an area, all in northern New Brunswick. In 1825 the town was called Newcastle, but the name was changed to Miramichi some years later. (Miramichi is pronounced Mir-ra-mah-SHE' with emphasis on the last syllable.) What is now the city of Miramichi is the terminus of the Miramichi River at the point where it empties into Miramichi Bay in the St. Lawrence River. The surrounding area is known as the Miramichi Region.

      The thin, acid soils of the Miramichi are not conducive to agriculture; thus, the lumber industry and Atlantic salmon fishery were the region?s mainstays in the late 1700s and early 1800s. Overseas lumber exports became the predominant industry, and the Miramichi Region was well known for supplying straight, tall masts for the British navy. All that changed on October 7, 1825.

      The summer of 1825 had been dry and warm, and the crops did well. No rain fell from July until October 8. On September 19 a fire had broken out in Government House, Fredericton, and burned the whole place to the ground. Fortunately, it took place in daylight and caused no loss of life. Other fires broke out in the forests and sometimes burned many acres, but they seemed to avoid the populated regions.

      While the land in the Miramichi Region was not suitable for large scale farming, almost every family had a garden, and their crops were generally good that year although the lack of rain meant smaller vegetables than normal. Much of the farming centered on cattle: both dairy farms and beef cattle. Many of the crops and almost all the cattle feed were stored in dry, wooden barns.

      As autumn advanced, the leaves turned brilliant colors and then dried. The woods were tinder dry, and the dried leaves on the forest floor were waiting for a spark. The spruce budworm, a periodic pest that, like locusts, visits every few years, descended on the region in 1825. The worms attack the spruce trees, which then die, become dry, and thereby provide perfect tinder for a fire.

      Nobody knows the cause of the fire that started on October 7, but everyone soon knew of it. The forest was quickly ablaze, and the flames moved forward with the wind at an estimated one mile per minute. That's sixty miles per hour. The telegraph, telephone, and two-way radio had not yet been invented, so there was no way of warning residents of the impending danger.

      The flames engulfed the northwest Miramichi area, first killing twenty-two people. A gentleman named William Wright worked in the woods and was the first to warn of the fire. He ran into Newcastle and warned the people by beating a drum. Unfortunately, no one listened; they all thought it was a rain storm. Because the flames were not seen by the townspeople, no one worried. By ten o'clock in the morning, the flames had burned the whole north side of the Miramichi River. Newcastle, a town of one thousand people, was burned to the ground in less than three hours. Out of two hundred and sixty buildings, only twelve were left standing.

      Miramichi_Map At one point, the wall of advancing flame was believed to be fifteen miles wide and advancing at one mile per minute. Wooden ships anchored in Miramichi Bay caught fire as the crews desperately tried to weigh anchor and escape the flames. They were unable to hoist sails because of the flames and high winds, so the burning ships drifted with the wind, spreading the flames to the other side of the river. Soon the houses, crops, and forests on the opposite side of the river were burning as fiercely as on the original shore.

      The tales of human suffering are immense. Those who were lucky enough to be near a river walked into the water, often trying to coax their farm animals with them. Most of the domesticated animals were confounded by the smoke, the flames, and the confusion, and refused to enter the water. Most farm animals perished.

      On the other hand, the wild animals had no such fear of water. The humans in the river found themselves surrounded by wildlife, including raccoons, deer, bears, and even large moose. All the creatures seemed to cooperate with one another, fearing the common enemy: the flames. Even the bears left the other creatures alone.

      Due to the extreme heat, the humans stood in water up to their necks and frequently put their faces into the water to keep cool. Temperatures above the water were estimated to be 140 degrees or higher while the water itself in October was probably quite chilly. At least ten people drowned. The flames passed, and most of those who sought refuge in the icy rivers did survive.

      Those who were not near a river typically were not so fortunate. Every town lost fifty or even one hundred citizens that afternoon. Larger towns lost more. The prisoners in the Newcastle Jail all perished as no one nearby had a key to let them out. The jail was made of stone and did not burn. However, it became a stone oven, and nobody survived.

      A man from Bushville who thought St. Paul's Church would burn rushed to the church to see what he could save. In fact, the church did not burn. When he returned home, he found that his house had been destroyed and all his family members had perished in the flames.

      New Brunswick was in the midst of a typhoid fever epidemic at the time, and many people were at home, sick in bed. Many perished by not leaving their beds. There were many similar stories that day.

      During the flames, the winds reached hurricane force (70 miles per hour or more). It was October, and the air had been cold but now became super-heated. Once the wet people crawled out of the rivers, the temperatures dropped below freezing that night, and people in wet clothes with no place to go suffered from exposure. Many stood by still-burning buildings and trees for the warmth.

      Lieutenant Governor Sir Howard Douglas drove through the blackened and devastated area in the following days. He wrote, "Any poor soul who was caught in the forest and could not reach the Miramichi River in time, was doomed to death."

      The fire was felt far out at sea in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The master of a sloop that traded along Northumberland Strait, between the New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island coasts, reported that, while he was running before the gale, the heavy fall of ashes and cinders caused the sea to hiss and boil around his deck, while the smoke on his deck was so heavy and thick as to affect both his sight and hearing. He had great difficulty in saving his ship.

      About one fifth of the province of New Brunswick was damaged. An exact count was impossible, but estimates place the loss of human life at more than 300 with approximately 600 buildings destroyed and 875 cattle lost.

      On the night of October eighth, it rained hard, and this helped to douse the fire. Most of the trees had burned by that time, so there was no where for the fire to go. In the following days, the surviving residents often trudged through deep ashes as they went about their lives. The ashes landed in many far off areas of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and even as far away as Bermuda! The ashes also fell into the water, killing many of the fish. The crops had been destroyed, and even wildlife had been decimated, making hunting and fishing for food very difficult for several years. In a single day New Brunswick lost "nearly four million acres of the best lumbering region of the province" along with most of its food supplies.

      At Douglastown, only one house escaped the flames and remained standing. Strangely, that house contained the body of a person who had died the day before the fire and had not yet been buried.

      As bad as the flames were, perhaps the cruelest fate still awaited the survivors. Many covered the cellars of their burned homes and crowded into them for shelter. All the crops and all the seeds for the next year's crops had been "safely" stored in wooden barns, but most of the buildings were destroyed, along with their contents. Many families lost their homes as well as their barns, their livestock, their food, and even the seeds for the following spring planting. It was late October, and winter would soon arrive. In 1825, there was no Red Cross, no Salvation Army, and no other relief organizations.

      For a few days the local residents had food in the form of baked potatoes. The potatoes were still in the ground but had been baked by the heat of the fire. The locals were able to dig up the potatoes and eat them immediately. However, this supply ran out within a few days. In the following months, many people starved to death or died of complications caused by malnourishment.

      The Mik-maq Indians in the area thought that the fire had been sent to kill the white man. Alexander Rankin had been a good friend to the Indians, and they surmised that this was why his home did not burn. After the fire, Alexander Rankin opened his home to those who were in need, Indians and whites alike. He was a good friend to one and all in the Miramichi Region. His house still stands today and now contains a museum of the Great Miramichi Fire.

      Rankin led a group of fifteen men who set out to build houses and perform other acts as needed. Sir Howard Douglas arrived on the scene from Fredericton to offer his help. The town of Gretna Green, now Douglastown, was named in his honor. Sir Howard called on England, the United States, and other parts of Canada to come to the aid of the people. He later became the Lieutenant-Governor of Canada. Money, food, and clothes began to arrive by ship and by land although transportation required weeks. Winter and deep snow were upon the survivors before the first goods arrived.

      Construction began with the people using what was left of the burned trees for wood, supplemented later by the newly arrived lumber from distant locations. One year later, the towns of Newcastle and Douglastown had been rebuilt.

      Food was still in short supply. Although the following year saw mild weather, the fire had parched the land and burnt the plants that provided nutrients to the soil. Seeds were in short supply although some seeds were shipped in by the government. The surviving citizens did manage to grow some crops the following summer.

      My ancestors left Miramichi a couple of years later and moved to Maine. I do not know of any family stories handed down over the years about their move, but I suspect their reason was related to the fire and its aftermath.

      In all, the fire destroyed more than five hundred buildings (an exact count was never made) and also destroyed millions of acres of woodlands and settled towns and villages alike. Of the hundreds who perished in the fire, their bodies were mostly buried where they were found. There are almost no tombstones for the people who died in the fire as local tombstone carvers were either overwhelmed with work or perhaps also perished in the flames. In later years, many sad memorials were erected in the burying grounds along the Miramichi.

      Entire towns were destroyed. Some of them were rebuilt as new towns in different locations that had escaped the flames and provided better soil, including the new towns of Campbellton, Dalhousie, Belledune, and the southern Gasp?e coast. It is also probable that some of the displaced persons established a community in the Ottawa Valley formerly known as Miramichi, now known as Pembroke, Ontario.

      The cause of the fire remains unknown, but it was probably caused by humans. This was in the day when houses were heated by wood, cooking was done on wood stoves or over open flames, and lumbermen often kept flames burning for cooking purposes or to drive away insects. Open flames were everywhere, and the woods were tinder dry.

      A large fire occurred in Fredericton, New Brunswick, on the same day: October 7. Fredericton is more than 100 miles from Miramichi. It is believed that the two fires were not connected, other than by the fact that all of New Brunswick had very dry forests at the time. More than one-third of all the dwellings in Fredericton were destroyed by the flames; but the rest were spared.

      For many years after, on October 7th, the people of the Miramichi area did not eat for the day and all shops closed in remembrance. The Great Miramichi Fire ranks among the three largest forest fires ever recorded in North America. Today people still tell stories of the Miramichi Fire as if it happened yesterday.
    • New Ireland Remembered: Historical Essays on the Irish in New Brunswick
      Edited by Peter M Toner, New Ireland Press, 1988

      ?Reception of the Irish in New Brunswick,? William A Spray

      p 13
      For many years, the New Brunswick government had no agencies to deal with immigrants. There were no emigrant agents until the 1830s and the only government department that was concerned about immigrants was that of the surveyor-general and the concern there was to lay out lots where they might settled. This surveying of lots began as early as 1817. In the early years, the chief way in which government aided immigrants was to grant parcels of land in the surveyed areas. To help them settle, an act was passed in March, 1820, which provided for the setting up of small committees in each county who were to check on the character of newly arrived immigrants and to recommend to the lieutenant-governor those who were considered fit to be give a location ticket for a grant of land. Immigrants were able to get a grant of land by simply paying grant fees until 1827, when the policy of giving free land was abolished. From then on all crown land was to be sold by public auction. However, for two years it was possible for poor immigrants to get a free grant of fifty acres of land. This practice was soon abolished because it was found impossible to determine whether or not the immigrants who applied were really destitute and could not afford to buy land.

      p 16
      For a two-year period after 1823 there was a decrease in the number of Irish immigrants arriving in the province. This was chiefly because of the passage of a new, more stringent Passenger Act in 1823, which restricted the number of passengers a vessel could carry to one for every five tons. Ships had to carry better provisions, including meat, which was to be issued daily, and there was to be more careful inspection by officials. The most radical change, however, was the requirement that ships carrying more than fifty passengers had to have a surgeon. It was hard to find surgeons willing to sail on immigrant vessels, and passenger fares increased, making it almost impossible for the Irish poor to immigrate. Conditions on vessels that did sail certainly improved, but there were protests from agents and shipowners who felt the new act was valuable ?if we wish to keep the pauper population at home, but the most irrational and absurd that can be imagined if we wish to facilitate their egress.? The new act certainly had its effect on the number of Irish immigrants arriving in New Brunswick in 1824 when their number dropped to 2,049, which was a decrease of over fifty percent from the previous year, when 4, 721 arrived. The numbers arriving in 1825 remained low at just over 2,500.

      p 17
      The shipowners were successful in 1827 in having the Passenger Act repealed. According to colonial officials, the consequences were disastrous. Passage rates dropped from ?2 to ?3 for voyages to New Brunswick ports as compared to ?5 for American ports. More and more poor immigrants were able to take advantage of these low fares and the result was crowded vessels, poor food, and sickness among many Irish immigrants who came out ?in transient vessels chartered for the express purpose of making money, by men reckless of character or consequence, so long as they suppose the Law will not reach them.?

      p 18
      It seems the immigrants of 1826 and 1827 included more sick and destitute paupers than ever before.

      p 18
      The reaction in the colonies and at home to the abuses of 1827 was so strong that another new Passenger Act was passed in 1828. Although not as restrictive as the act of 1823, it brought back limitations as to the number of passengers to be carried and the quality and quantity of provisions to be issued?This new act remain in force until 1835 and it did not cause a decrease in the number of Irish immigrating.
    • New Ireland Remembered: Historical Essays on the Irish in New Brunswick
      Edited by Peter M Toner, New Ireland Press, 1988

      ?Reception of the Irish in New Brunswick,? William A Spray

      p 14
      The growth of the Atlantic timber trade made it easier for immigrants to get to New Brunswick. Earlier, many of the timber ships crossed the Atlantic in ballast to pick up timber. With the increased demand for cheap passages, ship owners found they could make quick profits by putting in temporary decks and filling the holds with passengers. The immigrants were not charged very much for a passage, but little was done to make them comfortable and they had to provide their own provisions. In 1818 the standard fare from Londonderry to St Andrews was five guineas. To Saint John it was usually three and a half guineas but could be even lower, depending on the number of ships competing for passengers. Ships bound for American ports charged ten guineas. Ships bound for Saint John and St Andrews were advertised as being convenient for immigrants going to Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and this route was taken whenever possible by poor immigrants.

      p 15
      The east coast ports of the United States charged masters or shipowners a head tax for every passenger landed. This tax was to used to offset any expense that might be incurred if the immigrants became ill or could not find employment. The usual practice was to add the sum to the cost of the passage. Since New Brunswick did not have a head tax in the early years, this gave New Brunswick bound ships another advantage. Later, in 1832, when New Brunswick finally introduced a head tax, it was only half that charged to American ports.

      p 25
      That many of the Irish immigrants were rowdy and difficult to control is evident from many reports from various parts of the province. The Miramichi was one such area, and a full scale riot developed there in the early 1820s with unemployed Irish labourer fighting with lumbermen, many of whom came to the area from Maine.
    • New Ireland Remembered: Historical Essays on the Irish in New Brunswick
      Edited by Peter M Toner, New Ireland Press, 1988
      ?The Irish in Miramichi?
      William A Spray

      p 55
      The population of Northumberland County grew very slowly until the conclusion of the Napoleonic War.

      p 56
      As a result, from 1816 on, hundred of these immigrants began to arrive at Miramichi. Many were young men who found at least temporary employment loading the timber boats for the return voyage.
    • New Ireland Remembered: Historical Essays on the Irish in New Brunswick
      Edited by Peter M Toner, New Ireland Press, 1988
      ?The Irish of New Brunswick at Mid Century: The 1851 Census?
      P M Toner

      p 110
      Insofar as can be determined from the evidence, many of the immigrants arrived as families. In fact, two of every three Irish-born married couples listed in the census had arrived in New Brunswick already married, many with children. In addition to these, it is also apparent that in many cases, the husband arrived earlier to seek employment and later sent for his wife and children, and even parents. There are numerous cases where the husband and father had a date of arrival as much as eight years in advance of the rest of the family, which usually arrived later as a group. Sometimes the rest of the family arrived a few at a time. This phenomenon was especially common in the Miramichi, where labour for timber production was imported from Scotland and Ireland for a period of years.

      p 113
      The vast majority of the people of Ireland at this time were tenant farmers of landlords' farm labourers. Therefore, it is not surprising that many of the immigrants were farmers here as well. The prospect of owning farmland either through grant or purchase must have been a great incentive for emigration, and the land which had been half cleared by timber operations was part of the lure of New Brunswick. A few Irish immigrants were willing to be tenant farmers here, but most were proprietors.

      The majority of those who arrived before 1825 were farmers.

      p 126
      The Miramichi Irish...The earlier Irish of both religions [Protestant and Catholic] were found earlier in the interior. Blackville Parish had the earliest median date of arrival, 1827.

  • Sources 
    1. [S5] Census of New Brunswick 1851, Library and Archives of Canada, (http://www.collectionscanada.ca/archivianet/1851/index-e.html).

    2. [S129] St Patrick's Roman Catholic Church, Nelson, Nelson, Northumberland, NB, St Patrick's Roman Catholic Church, Nelson, Nelson, Northumberland, NB.

    3. [S616] Death Certificate of Bridget Dwyre, Province of New Brunswick, (d 13 Nov 1920 filed 13 November 1920).

    4. [S602] Death Certificate of Margaret Dwyer, Province of New Brunswick, (d 8 April 1923 filed 12 April 1923).

    5. [S603] Death Certificate of Mrs Ellen Schultz, Province of New Brunswick, (d 5 July 1935 filed 2 August 1935).

    6. [S28] Death Certficate of Catherine Feeney, Department of Health New Brunswick, (d 3 February 1928 filed 6 February 1928).

    7. [S3735] Death Certificate of Annie O'Brien, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, (d 27 October 1913 reg 30 October 1913).

    8. [S27] Northumberland County Marriage Register, Northumberland County.

    9. [S976] Northumberland County, NB Tax Rolls, Northumberland County, NB.

    10. [S44] Marriage Register of Northumberland County, NB, 1806-1864, Northumberland County, (LDS: 846407).