Willow Grove Settlement

On the road to St. Martins in southern New Brunswick you see a sign in a clearing on a corner. Willow Grove Black Settlement Burial Ground, it says. Behind it is a large cross and a tiny church. You stop to take a look.

sign-cross-and-church-2016-photo-j-stewartThis small meadow marks the memory of a once vibrant community, the Willow Grove Black Settlement. Its significance goes beyond local history, to the War of 1812 between Canada and the United States as well as slavery in the US.

The tiny church is a scaled-down replica of one that stood there a hundred years ago. Looking in the windows, you see photographs of what that church looked like, and the community around it. Also notices and papers pertaining to the settlers and land grants of 200 years ago.

inside-church-2016-photo-j-stewartThe cemetery is beside the church but there are no longer any individual grave markers. Two large granite markers tell you the history of the site and the settlement.

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L: Edmund Hillyer Duval… R: The Black refugees arrived May 25th 1815… (tap to enlarge)

The settlers at Willow Grove were African-Americans who escaped the United States during the War of 1812. Royal Navy Commander Alexander Cochrane invited them: “…they will have their choice of either entering into His Majesty’s Sea or Land Forces, or of being sent as FREE settlers to the British Possessions in North America or the West Indies…”

A Proclamation, 2 April 1814

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2 Apr 1814 Proclamation by Vice Admiral Cochrane, Library of Congress (tap to enlarge)

So slaves took him up on this offer. Some joined the British armed forces, in a newly formed Corps of Colonial Marines. About 4000 people left the Chesapeake Bay area in 1815 on British vessels. Many went to Nova Scotia, others to Trinidad. But nearly 400 came to Saint John in New Brunswick on HMS Regulus.

The new settlers received grants of land east of Saint John. Each grant was about half the size of those given to white settlers who also came. The land was less arable and farther away from the desirable Saint John River Valley. Still, they made a community here at Willow Grove. They farmed, ran businesses and raised families. They built a school and the church.

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photo Google Streetview – on Hwy 111 at Base Road, east of Saint John airport

Over the following century, the community dispersed. The church burned down in 1931, grave markers in the cemetery disappeared. Only the cleared field where they stood remained.

But in the 1980s, descendants of the Willow Grove settlement brought back their history. They built the tiny church, using photos of the original. The sign and cross tell passersby what this place was, invite you to stop. Invite you to feel the lives lived there.willow grove baptist church-2016-photo-j-stewart

 

Lymburner DNA Project

Guest post by Gordon Revey

Hello fellow Lymburners!

I am reaching out to people in my known Lymburner family and others that fall under John Jay Lymburner. He was the son of Catherine Secord, born 1776. My maternal grandfather is a Lymburner, one of John Jay’s descendants.

William Burton Lymburner 1886-1960
William Burton Lymburner 1886-1960

I have been a very active genetic-genealogist for about three years now. For a new project. I am planning a DNA Testing Study to explore Lymburner family connections as far back as possible – based on reasonable DNA segment connections.

For the first ten volunteers, I will pay for the DNA tests. All information will be openly shared on a “Cloud” address available to all participants. That will include common DNA connections within the group and an ongoing Research Family Tree showing connections between all participants .

All participants will have full access to their test site Profile Page and will be able to communicate directly with their DNA matches. They will also be able shut down their Page, remove their profile and end participation in the Study if they have any concerns at any time.

William Lymburner, great-great-grandson of John Jay Lymburner
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Alexander Lymburner (top right) son of John Jay Lymburner and Sarah Melick (tap to enlarge)

I will create customized Family Trees for all participants showing the Lymburner and other family lines. Trees will be accessible on Ancestry.com and I can share them as PDF Files showing Family Pedigrees. I can also share them in standard GEDCOM format. No one will need to pay any subscription fees to see their Trees and follow their progression.

Test participants who do not want their names shown publicly can be given anonymous “handles”. Primary communications with people who have matching DNA segments can go directly to participants. But if participants do not want to handle enquiries, they can send messages to one of my email addresses

I will create and sign formal agreements detailing all privacy protections. If interested, please email me at grevey@msn.com.

Please know that I am sincere about this study and I am not an internet stalker! Google my name. You will see that I am a professional engineer living in Parker, Colorado. I was born in Chippawa, Ontario, Canada.

Peter-Lymburner
Peter Almon Lymburner, father of Wm Burton Lymburner

For many years, genealogists have depended primarily on census records, birth certificates, dates etched on grave markers and other documents. However, 100% of my whole family, as portrayed in documents, was either not true or unknown. Through DNA science, I have been able to find my adopted mother’s father (Lymburner). I have also broken through many other false family relationships. That includes the identity of my bio-father, which is not as documented.

Warm regards to all, Gordon Revey

See Lymburner Family Tree #7 for parents of John Jay Lymburner. Alexander Lymburner was the second husband of Catherine Secord. She first married William Merritt and lastly Thomas Bowlby.

Kennel Club Show

The 143rd Westminster Dog Show is on television today through Tuesday. So from Jan. 13, 2011 here is my St. Thomas Dog Blog post about that year’s Elgin County Kennel Club Show in London, Ontario.

The Elgin Co. Kennel Club dog show is fun.  A chance to see so many Judge assessing dog, kennel club dog show London 2010different kinds of beautiful dogs, and a chance to learn something about each breed as you watch them go through their paces.  Watch long enough and you’ll start to see what the judge is looking for and why particular dogs are chosen in their category.

Showing dogs is a complex affair with a long history.  There’s a lot to learn in order to have any idea why one dog is chosen over another.  But watching the judge at work gives you some clues handler and dog in ring, London 2010after awhile.  You’ll also see how serious it is, when you watch the concentration of the judge and the handlers (some dogs take it seriously, some don’t). Equally intense is the preparation in the grooming area – hours spent getting dogs ready for the ring then, for some breeds, almost as long brushing them back to their everyday hair.

The breeders and handlers don’t have a lot of time at the show to tell you about their dogs.  But if they did, they’d be able to tell you each dog’s pedigree back for generations and the characteristics that mark the dog as one of that lineage and as a show dog.

Pedigrees and breed standards

dogs lined up for judgeYou won’t see mongrels there and you won’t see “designer” dogs, even if it’s a cross-breed that’s working toward CKC acceptance as a breed.  That official acceptance takes a long time, many generations and satisfaction of many breeding and conformation criteria.  So the people who sold you a “purebred” Maltipoo won’t be there.

Actually, you won’t see any dogs there other than those in the show.  It’s not a place to take Fifi to let her visit with her own kind.  These dogs are working and must stay focused on the prize.  You may see breeders who have kennels full of dogs.  You may see breeders who have only one show dog, the one with them.  You’ll see dogs taken in the ring by professional handlers while the owners stand nervously at the side watching.  You’ll see dogs handled by their owner/breeder; that’s a separate class within the judging.  You’ll see owners and breeders doing grooming and some exhibitors who have grooming assistants.  You’ll see it all, and hear a lot of barking from excited people and dogs.

dogs in ringThe room is ringed with stalls of grooming equipment, dog bed makers, collars and leashes, dog food.  Retailers come from all over to set up shop for a couple days.  So take a notebook and your wallet, but not your dog, and enjoy the show.  Maybe you’ll see a dog that later in the year will be at Westminster and you can say “I saw her when…”

See Best In Show for more on the 2011 Elgin County Kennel Club dog show and on Westminster Dog Show at Westminster Dogs.

Sled Dogs

It was sled dogs that kept the Inuit alive by giving them the mobility to hunt across vast expanses of the Arctic. It was sled dogs that kept stranded hunters alive by sharing with them the warmth of their bodies and fur. Sometimes, an individual sled dog gave his or her life to provide meat for starving hunters.

sled dogs The_book_of_dogs_1919_L-A-Fuertes-Natl-Geog-Soc-wikicommonsSled dogs kept the Inuit culture alive during the early to middle years of the 20th century when government and churches were trying to settle them in villages. With their dogs, Inuit could continue their nomadic lifestyle, hunting far away from mission posts and government-decreed settlements. Without their dogs, and before snowmobiles, they couldn’t.

So sled dogs paid the price for those colonization policies too. According to testimony to a 2010 Commission of Inquiry, the RCMP, on government orders, “culled” thousands of dogs between the 1950s and 1980s. Have dog, will travel – don’t have dog, won’t.

RCMP sled dogs 1957-Natl-Archives-Cda-wikicommonsAnyone living in the north before the 1940s had most contact with the southern world thanks to sled dogs and their mushers. The mail came by dog team, supplies came by dog team. Without Huskies, the north would have been pretty uninhabitable for any people, especially non-indigenous people.

Honouring Balto and all sled dogs

Dog teams prevented an outbreak of diphtheria in Nome, Alaska in 1925. A disease almost eradicated in the south got a toehold with Inuit children who had no immunity to it. Teams of dogs ran in relay Balto's statue in NYC Central Parkto get a supply of vaccination serum to Nome. The annual Iditarod race over that same harsh terrain commemorates their life-saving run. The dog who led the final team, bringing the serum into the town of Nome, was Balto. He is immortalized in a statue in New York City’s Central Park. Balto represents the hundreds of dogs, and their men, who risked themselves in order to save children.

Now, we have the chance to honour another hundred sled dogs who gave their lives for us. They were sacrificed to commerce and the 2010 Winter Olympics in Whistler, British Columbia. The B.C. government has created a Task Force to investigate the April 2010 killing of dogs working for a dog sled tour company. The Winter Olympics meant a lot of visitors to Whistler looking for things to do. So they needed a lot of dogs. After the tourists departed, they didn’t need so many.

The only pension plan for many working animals, whether sled dogs or race horses, is a bullet in the head. I hope this inquiry looks at the conditions of working animals and their retirement and that it demands improvements in both. But I hope it does not penalize people who truly love the animals with whom they work. I believe that the man at the centre of the investigation found himself between the hard place of his dogs and the rock of commercial tourism. I hope he will not be another casualty of this horrible event. And I hope these dogs are remembered as the ones whose deaths changed our view of working animals from “means of production” to valued “workers”.

“Endurance, Fidelity, Intelligence”

These words – endurance, fidelity, intelligence – are inscribed on Balto’s statue. They apply to him, the other Nome serum run dogs, all sled dogs, all dogs. We should be so lucky as to have the same said about us.

YQ_Start_Whitehorse_2005-Magnol-wikicommons-cropFrom my St. Thomas Dog Blog, Feb. 6, 2011, in honour of the dogs and mushers running the 1,000 mile Yukon Quest right now. You can follow their progress with the site’s “Live Race Tracking” link. I’m cheering for Rémy Leduc and his dogs from Glenwood, New Brunswick.