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Sunbury County Place Names, 1896/1905

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Sunbury County Place Names, 1896/1905

William F. Ganong published a collection of monographs in 1896, one of which was a Monograph on the Place-Nomenclature of New Brunswick, or A Dictionary of the Place-Names of New Brunswick. The collection was not comprehensive and was a contribution toward ongoing work by others. In 1905 he published an Additions and Corrections to Monographs on the Place-Nomenclature, Cartography, [etc.] of New Brunswick which included additional information. Both of these works were in the Proceedings and Transactions of the Royal Society of Canada and neither is in copyright.

Place names from Sunbury County have been identified with the help of the Gazetteer of Canada and are reproduced in this blog post. Many of Ganong’s place names are no longer in the gazetteer. In other cases, place names occur several times in the province with no indication from Ganong as to which place name he was referring. This collection for Sunbury County is only for cases where there was no doubt.

Spelling is as found, and some common spellings have changed over the years. Ganong’s references are also as found and no effort has been made to alter the citations.

Mi’kmaq’, Maliseet and Passamaquoddy names have been transcribed as well as possible given the imperfections of the original volumes. These will include errors, and a knowledgeable reviewer might be able to suggest improvements. This would be welcomed.

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Baillie – Settlement. Said to be in honour of Thomas Baillie, surveyor-general ofNew Brunswick when it was founded.

Baker Brook – (Sunbury.) For William Baker, a former owner; also Mill Creek. In Maliseet, Mcs-eenl-quips-kek, which is doubtless the R. Nishampishack of the Peachey and other maps.

Blissville – Parish, 1834. No doubt in honour of Judge John Murray Bliss, who died in that year.

Burpees Brook – (Burton in Sunbury). No doubt for Edward Burpee, preloyalist settler. (N.B. Hist. Coll. I., p. 107).

Burton – Township 1765, Parish 1786. No doubt in honour of Brigadier-General Ralph Burton, friend and contemporary of Generals Gage and Haldimand.

Hughes, Fort – The block house at month of Oromocto erected about 1780; doubtless in honour of Sir Richard Hughes, then Governor of Nova Scotia.

French Lake – (Sheffield, Sunbury). No doubt descriptive of the occurrence of the French about it in pre-loyalist times (p. 199). On Campbell 1788. In Maliseet, Nem-dit-kook, though possibly this applies to Little River (which see).

French Lake – (Burton, Sunbury). No doubt descriptive of the occurrence of the French about it in pre-loyalist times.

Geary Settlement [From Ganong’s 1896 work, ed.] – Founded 1810? Said to be for a place of that name in Ireland, but possibly in memory of Admiral Sir Francis Geary, who died 1796.

Geary [From Ganong’s 1905 work, ed.] – I have at length been able to determine the origin of this name The earliest use of the word I have found is in the Land Memorials of 1811, where it is called New Gary, though under 1807 it appears to be mentioned as a “new settlement back of French Lake.” Mr. Thos. E. Smith, of Geary, tells me the name was suggested by his grandmother, his grandfather, Samuel Smith, being the first settler there. They came to New Brunswick from the United States as Loyalists, 2nd remained for a time at Niagara, then locally pronounced “Niagary.” Later they came to New Brunswick, and in settling here gave the name New Niagary to the new settlement, which name became changed to New Gary, and finally the New was dropped, and it became Gary or Geary. The same explanation has been given me by Mr. Leslie Carr, of French Lake. This tradition is finely confirmed by a mention of the settlement I have found in the Royal Gazette for Apr. 14, 1818, which calls it New Niagara, and I have no question the explanation is correct. It appears as Geary in 1818 in a MS Journal of C. Campbell.

Geordie Lake, on Rocky Brook – Named for an old hunter, as fully explained in Forest and Stream, May 17, 1902, 386.

Gladstone – Parish, 1874. No doubt in honour of William E. Gladstone, Premier of England in that year.

Gooldsborough, at mouth of the Oromocto – Explained by Raymond in Coll. N. B. Hist. Soc., II, 50.

Hardwood Creek – No doubt descriptive; possibly translated from French Bois franc, which has been corrupted to Bumfrau (which see). Wood Creek, on Bonnor, 1820, and in its present form on Foulis, 1826. In Maliseet, Klun-quah-dik = treaty place; here they say was their last meeting with the Mohawks, and a treaty was made which has never been broken, but perhaps the origin is different (p. 196). Occurs as R. Tranquaddy on D. Campbell, 1785, which is the same, with r for l.

Lincoln – [From Ganong’s 1895 work, ed.] Parish, 1786. Probably suggested by its proximity to York, as in England.

Lincoln – [From Ganong’s 1905 work, ed.] Parish, 1786. The name is probably derived from the former home in Lincoln, Mass., of the Glasier family, among its first prominent settlers. Benjamin Glasier was a Lieutenant in a regiment in Lincoln, Mass.

Little River – (Sunbury). On plan of 1786. In Maliseet, Nem-dit’qu = (Perhaps) straight up.

Loders Creek – [From Ganong’s 1896 work, ed.] In Maliseet Wees-owk-tahk, also, perhaps, Pee-he-gan-ik = a dam: descriptive. On Peachy, 1783, and other, Nigisleau. Also Simonds Creek in pre-loyalist times (Raymond).

Loders Creek – [From Ganong’s 1905 work, ed.] Simonds Creek on Sproule of 1786. (See also N.B. Magazine, II, 87).

Maugers Island – No doubt for Joshua Mauger (see Maugerville) – Also Gilberts Island, for Thomas Gilbert, owner and resident late in the last century. Formerly also Major Gilberts Island, combining both names. On D. Campbell map of 1785. In Maliseet Nel-kwun-kek (Chamberlain).

Maugerville [From Ganong’s 1896 work, ed.] – Township 1765, Parish 1786. For Joshua Mauger, agent for N.S. in England and first on the list of grantees for the township.

Maugerville [From Ganong’s 1905 work, ed.] – The real genesis of the name is given in Fisher’s Sketches, of 1825, 103, and is traced by Raymond in his St. John River, 155, and Coll. N. B. Hist. Soc, II, 294, 323, who show that it was temporarily called Peabody from a prominent resident. Had it not been for Joshua Mauger it is very probable the settlers would have obtained no grant of their lands, and hence the naming of the important township for him was natural and appropriate.

Middle Island [From Ganong’s 1896 work, ed.] – Descriptive of its position between Gilberts and Oromocto Islands. On Morris, 1775.

Middle Island [From Ganong’s 1905 work, ed.] – The original grant of 1765 speaks of Middle Island lying off Windmill Point. (Compare Nuinehcal, later).

Northfield – Parish 1857. Doubtless suggested by its position in the county.

Oromocto Lake – For a discussion of this name, and of the various local names around the North west Lake, see Bull. N.H.S., V, 193.

Oromocto Lake, South – In Maliseet and Passamaquoddy, See-p’n-ahk-ik. For the West Oromocto Lake I have not the Maliseet name.

Oromocto River – From the Maliseet Wel-a-mook’-took. All agree that it = good river, in the sense of having plenty of water for easy canoe navigation, which describes its lower part; sometimes has been given = deep river (compare Woolastook). In the Seigniorial grant to Sieur de Freneuse, in 1684, as Kamouctou; De Meulles, l686, has Ramouctou.

Oromocto Island – On Morris, 1775.

Peltoma [From Ganong’s 1905 work, ed.] – A chief named Piere Toma is mentioned in Kidder’s Revolutionary Operations, 105.

Peltoma Lake [From Ganong’s 1896 work, ed.] – Origin uncertain; said locally, and probably correctly, to be for an Indian hunter of that name. Peltoma in Passamaquoddy for Pierre Toma, a common name among them. He was, perhaps, a guide of Mahood’s, for the name occurs first upon a plan of his, of l836, in its present form. Also given to a settlement of 1856 (p. 208).

Portobello – [From Ganong’s 1896 work, ed.] Origin? On a plan of 1789 as Porto Bello. It is the name of a place near Edinburg, and also in South America, where the English won a great victory in 1739. In Maliseet, Pee-hee-gun = parallel brook(?).

Portobello – [From Ganong’s 1905 work, ed.] One of our still unexplained names. Portobello, in South America, was captured by Admiral Vernon in 1739, and I have been told that there were formerly residents of Maugerville of this name; probably this is only a coincidence, but there may be a cause and effect connection. It is locally explained, as given earlier, in these addenda. Dr. Raymond has suggested that the name may have been given for some connection with Capt. William Spry, who had large grants in this vicinity in pre-Loyalist times, and who may have been at the taking of Porto-Bello in South America.

Rockwell Stream – For a grantee, not the stream of that name in Ireland.

Rusagonis – [From Ganong’s 1905 work, ed.] The preferable form of this name.

Rushagonis [sic] – [From Ganong’s 1896 work, ed.] From the Maliseet Tes-e-gwan-ik = (perhaps) meeting with the main stream (Jack). In a grant of 1784 as Rushogoammas, and in a letter Rushigonis, 1784 (Coll. N. B. Hist. Soc. I., 185).Campbell, 1788, has Rusheguana. For Tes-e-gwan-ik-sis, see Waasis. Loc. pro. Roosh-a-gaw-nish, but more commonly Gaw-nish.

Sheffield – Parish 1786. No doubt in honour of Baron, afterwards Earl Sheffield, a friend of New Brunswick (Lawrence, p. 32).

Shin Creek – In this form in 1811 in the Land Memorials. Perhaps, for Shin River, in Scotland.

Sunbury [From Ganong’s 1896 work, ed.] – Township, 1765; County 1765; county with new limits, 1785. Origin unknown. Sunbury is a village near London. Also occurs in Pennsylvania.

Sunbury [From Ganong’s 1905 work, ed.] – After long study I have been able to determine the origin of this name, which so long puzzled all our local historians. It was given no doubt, in honour of the Earl of Halifax (for whom Halifax was named), who was also Viscount Sunbury, as fully discussed in the Educational Review, XV, 159.

Sunpoke Lake – Possibly arose by confusion with See-pn-ak-ik, the Maliseet name of South Oromocto Lake.

Swan Creek – An English familiarization of the Maliseet See-wan-kik = the cranberry bog (see-wan = cranberry). In Munro, 1786, in its present form, and on Campbell, 1788. On Peachy, 1783, it is Seurank, which seems intermediate between Maliseet and English.

Waasis – In Maliseet Tes-e-gwan-ik-sis = Little Rushagonis [sic.]: Waasis = the baby in Maliseet, and perhaps so called in allusion to its very small size in comparison with the Rusiagornis [sic.].

Yoho – Occurs first as Yahoo in a grant and on a map of 1810, very likely given by the surveyors for some incident of their survey. As Yoho Stream in Land Memorials of 1818. (Yahoo occurs, of course, in Gulliver’s Travels, by Swift). Its origin appears to be locally entirely unknown, though supposed to be Indian. The only other place in the world where it occurs is in the Yoho Valley lately opened up in British Columbia. I have found that in the latter place it is reported to be Crée Indian, an exclamation of wonder and astonishment.

York – County, 1785. Doubtless in honour of the Duke of York, eldest son of George III.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Others of Note:

Acadia – This name is more fully discussed in the New Brunswick Magazine, III, 153; in the Educational Review, XVI, 12; and in the Monograph on Boundaries, 161. The current explanation is given by Dawson, in his Acadian Geology, and also in the Canadian Antiquarian for Oct., 1876.

New Brunswick [From Ganong’s 1896 work, ed.] – Named when set off from Nova Scotia in 1784, no doubt in compliment to the reigning house of England. Earlier a part of Acadia and Nova Scotia. By Sir William Alexander, 1624, it was named New Alexandria and Nova Scotia was New Caledonia. Purdy in his maps of 1814 and later, makes it a part of Cabotia. There is evidence that at one time it was proposed to call it Pittsylvania, in compliment to William Pitt (Raymond, 62).

New Brunswick [From Ganong’s 1905 work, ed.] – The earliest use I have found of this name is of date May 29, 1784, a document in Archives Report for 1894, 419. On other proposed names see Raymond in N.B. Magazine, III, 44; Canadian History Readings, II, 52; Canadian Archives, 1894, 418; Winslow Papers, 174. In earlier records and maps it appears very frequently as New-Brunswick. A frequent local pronunciation is Noo-Brumsick.


Written by johnwood1946

February 1, 2012 at 9:27 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

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