New Brunswick History and Other Stuff

Abner Mersereau and a Letter

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From the blog at

Abner Mersereau was born on October 8, 1802, in Blissville, a son of Lawrence and Hester (Taylor) Mersereau. He married Mary Ann Hoyt on October 28, 1822. Mary Ann was a daughter of William and Nancy (Wyatt) Hoyt. Abner and Mary Ann had a family of twelve children, five boys and seven girls.

Abner was a farmer, probably on Lot 2 in Blissville, and it is safe to assume that he was of the first generation of Mersereaus to depart from the Church of England. He is mostly remembered as a dissenting protestant elder. Abner Mersereau was a member of the Christian Church which changed its name to the Free Christian Baptist Church in 1847. He was chosen the first pastor of the Blissville Christian Church in September of 1833, and was ordained an elder the next week. Abner Mersereau was also instrumental in re-establishing the Patterson Settlement Christian Church in 1838 and he appears in important roles at the Rusagonis church.

Elder Mersereau was one of the foremost elders of his day. During all of his life, he had the care of all of the Free Christian Baptist churches on the Oromocto River. Other preachers and elders would come and go, but he remained responsible.

Elder Mersereau was elected moderator of the Christian Conference more often than any other elder and visited the Nova Scotia conference at least once.

Before revision of the Marriage Act, Free Christian Baptist elders were not permitted to perform marriages. Nonetheless, Abner conducted several marriages in defiance of the law. No other Free Christian Baptist elder is known to have so risked prosecution.

Abner Mersereau suffered quite badly toward the end of his life. By the time of the letter below, he was in Fredericton undergoing surgery to remove a mouth cancer.

“Fredericton, September 13th – 1852

Dear wife and family I take this opportunity to let you know how I am duing on Thursday last the doctor cut away the flesh out of my mouth and Remove a tuth and since that has been plying costict and it is very painfull and Considerable [swollen] and is very sore I am at the former place the nights are long and seem [–?–] but I must submit to my lot You must try to resign yourself to that is com upon us and be still I am very anxoius to get home but cannot know I shall come as Soon as the doctor will consent for me to come Tell Samuel and orlo that they better not go down River till I come home and then they shall go for I want to sende by them the minister and some word about selling my oxen.

The doctor says that he cannot tell how longe I will have to stay here at present but he thinks a week or so Content your Self don’t be onesuey about me, if I get wose I will let you now.

The doctor talks [encouraging] and that it can be cured but I do not Know how it will go with me. God knoweth. Yours untill deth.

Abner Mersereau”

Abner died on March 14, 1853.


Written by johnwood1946

July 9, 2011 at 2:06 PM

Posted in Uncategorized

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