ENNISKILLEN AND PETERSVILLE
by George D. Rennick
August first 1992 will see a
gathering of descendants and survivors of the residents of Enniskillen
and Petersville district whose way of life was altered as they hadn't
dreamed possible. Sprawling Canadian Forces Base Gagetown came into
being and a fine farming community ceased to exist, except in the
memories the migrants carried with them to new homes far and wide.
Though I am a recent resident to
this area, I feel I would like to help spread the fact of this planned
reunion. It is symbolic to me, the forty years since they set forth to
new lives. Long ago the Israelites emigrated from Egypt, under much
different circumstances of course, but they gathered forty years later
to set up a new home, the promise of an ancient inheritance. Those who
gather in the Petersville fields this year, will surely be thankful for
the efforts put forth to let the younger generation know where their
ancestors wrested homes and a livelihood from the wilderness in the
mid-nineteentb century and onward.
On April 18, 1992, I made some
telephone calls to see who might be able to tell me the names of
families who had to make the move into new lives. I was sent to Chester
McCann, former storekeeper and postmaster of the hamlet of Enniskillen.
He and his wife were very happy to go back through the years and relate
the names of those who lived on the Enniskillen mail route in 1952, who
were part of the Exodus. If there are facts left out or incorrect, I
apologize, and I will certainly enjoy hearing from those who have
corrections or additions to the following list from the McCann
First, I would like to note how
Enniskillen came by its name. When the railway built across the
property of Barnard MacAloon. He was given the privilege of naming the
future station. He was encouraged to have it named
MacAloon, after himself. He rejected
this idea, wishing instead to keep alive the memories of the beautiful
Irish town from which he had emigrated to New Brunswick. Many, many
people came from that fair Irish place. Of late years I have learned
that my great-great-grandfather John Rennick came from there in 1824,
and it seems unique that I and my family live by Enniskillen.
the top of Enniskillen hill going eastward lived the following
- Spinster Agnes Butler
- John (Jack) Costello and
his family. Son John lives in Fredericton. Daughter Reta Henderson
lives in Fredericton Junction. Daughter Emma Richards lives in Boston.
Daughter Helen Breen was in Saint John.
- Dan Butler and his
family. Allan and Jim live in Tracy. Daughter Dorothy lives in Boston.
Daughter Geraldine Crawford lives in Saint John. Daughter Eunice lives
in Montreal. Daughter Edna Dobbelstyn lived in Fredericton.
- Edward O'Neill and his
sister Kate lived to be nearly 90. Their property was owned later by a
nephew, Fred McCarthy of Petersville.
- Harry Bouchie and his family,
Mary, Joe, Norman and David.
- Jack McCann, Chester's
uncle, had a family of ten; sons Jimmie, Charlie, Clarence and Alfred;
daughters Mary, Agnes, Myrtle, Ada, Grace and Ruth. Agnes married Eddy
Simpson. Ruth married Les Wright. Myrtle married a Collins.
- John Simpson's sons
Albert and Joe, and Albert's family; sons Francis, Kenny, Stanley,
Greg and John; daughters Teresa and Susanne. Teresa married John
Duplessis. Susanne married Rodney Ogden.
- Paddy Murray
family; sons Carl, Ronny, Ralph, Allan (lawyer) and Morris. Daughter
- Ralph McCann married
Mary Logue, now lives in Tracy. His brother Barry lived with them on
- Eddy Simpson, brother to
Albert, and his family; sons Doug and Joe; daughters Bernice, Madeline
and Barbara. Bernice married Frank Cashell. Madeline married Joe
Burton. Barbara married a LeGere.
- George Keagen and his
family; son Philip; daughters Irene, Maureen and Alice. George now
lives in Newmarket, near Harvey.
- Bob Keagen, now dead,
brother to George, married Margaret MacDonald. Their daughter Peggy is
- Fred O'Neill and his
family; sons Don, Reg and Eugene; daughters Doris and Norma. Don is
dead. Eugene lives in Tracy.
- Joe Daigle and his
family; sons Eugene and Leo; daughter Freda. Joe lived on the farm
where Blakeney Post Office had been, sold to him by Chester McCann.
- Jim Frawley and his
family; sons Roy, Bernard and Jimmy; daughters Mary, another girl and
twin girls, Doreen and Irene.
- Gerald McCann and his
family; sons Cedric, Danny, Philip, Gerry and Kevin; daughters Anne
Marie and Shirley.
- Charlie Mitchell and his
family; sons John, Charlie, George, Willard, Robert and Edward;
daughters Mary, Eleanor, Hilda and Jeanette.
- Henry Butler, cousin to
- Tim Donovan and his
family; sons Pat, Mike and Jimmy. Daughters Mary and Joan. Son Pat is
- Hugh Butler lived with
his sister Teresa Hasson on Butler Road. Joe Butler of Enniskillen
hamlet was brother to Hugh and Henry Butler
- Margaret Craig (Butler)
had one son Harold. Her husband was a barbor in west Saint John. Mrs
Craig was the lady who knit hundreds of items for the Empty Stocking
Fund each year while she lived.
On the Back
- Jim Eddie Shannon and
his family of fifteen; Lena McCann (Ken) of Enniskillen, Mary Mallette
(Edward) Fredericton, Pauline Simpson (Albert) Enniskillen, Teresa
Livingston (Harold) Saint John, Doreen Lingley (Jerry) Westfield,
Shirley Reid (Norman) Fredericton, Rosie and Estelle died young; sons
Billie, never married, lives with his mother, Francis married, Hoyt,
John married, Saint John, Greg married, Enniskillen, Paddy married,
Saint John, George married, Hoyt and Charlie married, Enniskillen.
- Jean Duplessis (Jimmy)
and her family; sons John and Albert; daughters Rose and Kathleen..
John married Teresa Simpson. Rose and Kathleen are married. All live
in Saint John.
- Frank Gallagher and his
wife Maude adopted a son.
On the Broad
Road, going north from Petersville intersection.
- Fred O'Neill had a
family; they moved to Moncton.
- John Connors and his
family; sons Arthur, Charlie, Philip and Louie; daughters Pauline,
Mary and Rose; and four other children.
- Jack Breen and his
family; sons Basil, Cedric and Francis. All are dead. Basil moved to
Ontario. Cedric and Francis went to Boston.
- Fred McCarthy and his
mother are dead.
- Clarence McCarthy and
his family; son Albert; daughters Viola and Evelyn. Viola Aubin lives
in Tracy ' Albert married Elliot Hoyt's daughter, Sheila. Clarence is
dead. His wife lives in Upper Tracy.
- Terry Maguire and his
sister Margaret were never married. They operated a bed-and-breakfast
hostel for years. When the farm was taken over, Margaret packed her
bag and walked away, leaving her home as she had lived in it.
- John Henderson and his
family; sons Dave, John, Fred, Kelly and Donald, daughters Mary,
Helen, Patricia, Catherine and Bernice. Only Donald of the sons
survive. Mary married a Burton. Catherine married an Owens. Patricia
(dead) married a Brown. John went to Oromocto. He and his wife are
- George Breen, son of
Pat, nephew of Jack, moved to Kingsclear.
- Storey had a family of
- Paddy Donovan and his
family; son Burton was killed at a mill when logs fell from a truck on
him, and two other sons; daughters Freda and Helen. Freda (dead)
married Lawrence Carr,. Helen married Rawley Conway.
- John Muldoon, across the
road from Paddy Donovan, left his property to a bachelor nephew,
On the Broad
Road going south from Petersville intersection.
- George Hogan and his
family; sons Arthur, Herb, Paddy and Alfie; daughters Ellen, Mildred,
Irene, Vera, Frances and Catherine.
- Jimmy Hogan and his
family; sons John, William, Danny, Francis, Leo and Jimmy; daughters
Gertrude, Evelyn, Margaret and Ethel. One daughter became a sister in
a religious order. i@
- Edward Logue and his
family; son John; daughters Mary, Deenie and Edna.
- Morris Boyd was married
with no family.
- Petersville Church and
- Jimmy Butler, a
bachelor, brother to Joe, Henry and Hugh.
- Mike Hogan, brother to
Jimmy, had one daughter; Mary, married a brother of Judge Harrigan.
- Edward Donovan, brother
to Tim, and his family; son Fred; daughter Mary; no descendants.
- George Harkins, moved to
Montreal; two daughters; Roberta in Vancouver, B.C., Reta died.
- John Donovan, bachelor,
brother to Tim and Edward.
- George Shannon, uncle to
Jin Eddie, bachelor.
- Sandy Cannon moved to
Moncton area, had - son Elmer and a large family.
- Bernard Maguie.
- The Wrights were a newly
moved in family.
- Austin Burton had a son;
- Fred Culbert was married
with no family.
- Henry O'Donnell had two
sons; Joe, dead, Charlie, worked in the Government Garage in Welsford.
On the Old
- Andrew O'Neill and his
family; sons Greg and Donald; daughter Dorothy.
- Edward Barry and his
daughter Nellie raised a boy, Henry Lodge.
- Tom Barry and his
family; sons Harold, Ronnie and Arthur; daughter Marlene. The boys are
all dead. Marlene lived in Fredericton. Harold lived in Whitehorse,
Yukon. Ronnie had a family.
from page 2: Frank Gallagher's adopted son was Howard.
Chester McCann has a wonderful
store of memories of the area around Enniskillen. He related to me a
finding he made on the Youngclaus Road, which goes east from Wirral
Station and comes out on the Broad Road about the place where Henry
O'Donnell lived. One of the older residents, now long passed from this
scene, had told Chester of the notable house built by a Thompson family
in the early years along the Youngclaus Road. Chester decided to see if
he could find any trace of this distinctive farmstead, while driving
out this road some years passed. He was surprised to f ind an extensive
cut rock foundation, quite intact after long years of weathering. There
were like foundations of the. same material for barns and other
Cliester's informant told him the
Thompson family had been a large one of daughters. When the eldest was
old enough she went to Boston and established herself. Then one by one
the younger daughters followed her. When all had gone the parents also
moved to Boston and the fine big home on the hill was left to
deteriorate with weather and years, and likely was vandalized along the
Chester was familiar with cut
stone, because his Grandfather Mott from Tracy area had been a
stonecutter. This gentleman supplied the necessary rock for bridgework
along the Fredericton Branch Railway. Chester suspects the old bridge
abutments and piers at Oromocto Town may have been his grandfather's
handiwork also. So after finding the remains of the Thompson farmstead,
Chester was on the lookout for where the stone there might have been
quarried. Further east toward the Broad Road he came upon the source, a
quarry at the base of a high hill.
I am hoping my writing will bring
back memories to readers of the Rural Edition, far and wide.
From my response to the Wirral writings and family history I know that
the old records are surely needed while there are still conscious
memories of bygone days.. I am sure there are many whose families were
part of the exodus from the other areas of what is now Camp Gagetown. I
would hope that the effort which former residents of
Enniskillen-Petersville are making to establish a permanent memorial by
their symbolic gathering on August 1, this year, will encourage those
whose roots are in any part of the Camp area to try to arrange a like
gathering for their particular areas. I surely hope to be able to
record as much of the past as time allows.
Note: some additions to
Chester McCann's recollections. Three more families who lived in
Bartley Owens and his fanily;
sons John, Thomas and Leo; daughters Sharon, Marilyn and-a third
Joe Owens and his family; Bartley
(above), Pat and a third brother, and one daughter.
Leo Simpson and his family; sons
Murray, Richard, Dennis and Robert. daughters Shirley, Mary Rose,
Linda, Debby and Cathy.
Note: Page 2: George Breen
had two children.
Now I would like to digress and use
the remainder of this page to begin the reminiscences of the early life
of my wife, Shirley Eastwood-Rennick.