The Settlement of Cork, 1842

by Rev. Dr. William Randall

Reprinted from The Harvey Lionews October, 1993 with permission of Tim Patterson. The New Brunswick Land Company and the Settlement of Stanley and Harvey.

“I thought this month I would share with you some of the challenges involved in trying to piece together bits of the early history of the Harvey area and district. When I first came to Harvey in 1954 I had access to the memories of second and third generations of descendants of original settlers. Now in 1993, nearly forty years later the sources of early memories have diminished. For instance, I’m trying to get a start on the History of the Cork Settlers, but the memory sources are younger than I am and there is a dearth of written family records. So I am soliciting your help if you are a descendant or have information related to these families.In 1990 I wrote a story about the burning of the Cork church, telling of the rescue of the Statue of St. Patricks by the McCanns. On Sunday, July 4, ’93 I visited Clementine Yeowell in St Davids’ Ridge and while there was shown a statue of the Virgin Mary which was also rescued at the fire. The statue remained with Mike Gorman for some years who then gave it to Mrs. Napoleon Thomas who passed it on to Mrs. Yeowell. It’s fascinating for me to go back and try to recapture these events of the past.

Watching the movement of the Newmarket Roman Catholic Church on to its new foundation also stimulated some research. The Mission of St. Patrick at Newmarket was administered from Fredericton until 1883. The first Church was blown down before its completion (the Saxby Gale?). The second Church was built by Rev. William J. O’Leary. Later it was remodeled and repaired by Rev. David S. O’Keefe. It became part of the St. Ann Parish at Kingsclear. During the summer of 1993 additional land was acquired and with the help of a generous gift from Ethel McDermott.The Church was placed on its new foundation and there will be the added convenience of a parking lot on the same side of the road as the Church. The community congratulates the St. Patrick Congregation for their industry and the generosity of those who supported it financially.

The early history of the Catholic community is somewhat vague and without recorded documents due to the fire which destroyed the St Ann Church at Kingsclear. It is, however, generally accepted that most of the Irish families came to America to escape the Irish famine of the 1840’s. They left Ireland on crowded immigrant ships, with very few possessions and no idea of what lay ahead of them – only hope that it would be better than the starvation and depression they were leaving behind. Word of mouth history tells us they arrived in Saint John and traveled up the Saint John River, but earlier settlers had already settled on the more valuable river-frontage properties and they had access only to second and third tier lands, some of which was so inferior that it would be nearly impossible to maintain their large families.

An interesting source of information, which was provided me by Alice Feeney, is the product of a research conducted by Debbie and Jack Feeney for a 1984 Feeney reunion.

The community of Cork was also a part of the St. Ann Parish.

My understanding of the geographical boundary between Acton and Cork is that it begins where Eddie and Mary Boucher live which is Lot 5 on the East side of the road. According to the census for the year 1847 it was occupied by Thomas Daley. It became the property of Arthur McCann.

Lot 6 W was occupied by John Russell and is presently the site of the Cork Roman Catholic Church.

Lot 7 W, J. Coholan, variously spelled Coughlan or Couglin.

Lot 8 W, another Thomas Daley.

Lot 9 W. John Kingston.

Lot 10 W, Daniel Sullivan.

Lot 11 W, John McGillicuddy.

Lot 12 W, Edward Connors.

Lot 13 W, John Barry. This lot became the school lot.

Lot 14 W, John Driscoll.

The above named persons commenced settlement in 1842.

Lot 15 W, John Donahue settled 1847.

Lot 16 W, Daniel Coholan – 1842.

Lot 17 W, James Driscoll – 1842.

Lot 18 W, John Driscoll – 1842.

Lot 19 W, Daniel Hurley – 1843.

Lot 20 W, Micbae1 Maloney – 1842.

Lot 21 W, Miles O’Leary-1847.

Lot 22 W, Pat Ma1oney.

Lot 23 W, Henry Winn or Wynne.

From that lot to the corner, Clem Crowley’s store, was the property of the Rev. Father J.C. McDevitt, the founder of the Cork Church. If you come back from Crowley’s Store to the first corner, the fields on the left were settled by Timothy O’Leary 1847, but soon became the property of Daniel Donovan. That was Lot 24 East. Continuing back now toward Acton:

Lot 25 E, George Winn-1842

Lot 26 E, John O’Brien – 1842.

Lot 27 E, Dennis Reardon.

Lot 28 E, John Maloney.

Lot 29 E, Daniel O’Brien.

Lot 30 E, creates some confusion. A Map lists John Wilkinson as the settler but the census lists Owen Smith as a squatter.
Lot 31 E, James Gorman.

Lot 32 E, Jeremiah Crowley.

Lot 33 E, Michael Crowlet – 1843.

Lot 34 E, David Scanlin.

Lot 35 E. Daniel Murphy.

Lot 36 E, Map shows C. Crowley, census indicates Daniel O’Donnel – 1846.

Lot 37 E, Michael O’Brien – 1842.

Lot 38 E, James Cailey or Caley or Kaley.

Lot 39 E, James Crane.

Lot 40 E, Michael Sullivan.

Lot 41 E, Anthony Kennedy – 1846.

The lot across from the Catholic Church.

Lot 42 E, Richard Davis – 1843.

The census shows a James McMann. a school master with a family of nine in Cork in 1843, owning fifty acres of land only one of which was cleared. Maps do now show that name. With the help of Clem Crowley, Daniel and Joe Connors, Jerry Chessier, Bernard McCann and Mrs. Kyle I have begun to form a bit of a picture of the history of Cork. If you can help enlarge this history, please phone me.”