For many living in present day New Brunswick, Canada party politics has become normalized. People vote for the party that has the most agreeable party platform, and the elected Member of the Legislative Assembly becomes an ambassador of the party first and their riding second. Many do not know that party politics was imported into New Brunswick with the signing of Confederation in 1867.
The real, daily interactions between indigenous people and setters of European ancestry in British colonies was an ongoing process and often involved a clash in lifestyles. Formation and negotiation of relationships between colonial groups were recorded through petitioning and court cases initiated by both indigenous and settler populations.
Siobhan M. Carlson is a master’s student at the University of New Brunswick in Interdisciplinary Studies. Her research focuses on the use of biomedical models in gothic and cult fiction. Siobhan has worked in libraries for three years—including the Harriet Irving Library on the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton campus.
“That at a very early period of the late Rebellion, being greatly persecuted by the Kings Enemies he was obliged to abandon his property and seek protection within the British Lines. That he joined the New Corps and cheerfully served during the whole war, exerting himself to the uttermost to prove useful, and was in the course of such service taken Prisoner, and while in Captivity treated with great inhumanity.
There are many interesting tidbits to be found among baptismal and burial records besides names and dates. For instance, the baptismal records of St. John’s Church in modern Port Williams, Nova Scotia, lists an individual as a “natural child,” who would have been born outside of marriage and publically labelled as such.
The crucial interactions and key events of a community in colonial North America were often played out within the confines of the church. The Loyalist Collection includes a wide range of church records from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Quebec which hold very useful information for locating and identifying individuals, such as baptismal, marital, and burial records. They also contain some fascinating documents that give a vivid picture of life in the colonial Atlantic World.
Acts of espionage and covert operations were widespread during the American Revolutionary War, being utilized by both the British and their North American foes. However, it is the latter group that greatly depended on such stealthy tactics as they were outnumbered in infantry, equipment, and funds. It was at this point in time that the adventures of Silas Deane began, a man who helped achieve victory for the struggling Patriots.
To further our blog post from last week on the “Lost Loyalists” of York County, New Brunswick, we wanted to walk you through the research process and variety of sources used for this biographical project. Most sources were accessible from within the Harriet Irving Library in either microfilm, print or electronic form.