New Brunswick History and Other Stuff

Origins of Some Place Names on N.B.’s Eastern Shore

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 Tabusintac 1914

Tabusintac in 1914

Photograph from

The name is fairly faithful to the Mi’kmaq Taboosimkik, but has also been called Tabochimkek and Taboquinquet, and other variations over the years.

Origins of Some Place Names on New Brunswick’s Eastern Shore

The following origins of place names from New Brunswick’s eastern shore are from two of William F. Ganong’s papers published in Proceedings and Transactions of the Royal Society of Canada. Those papers were Monograph on the Place-Nomenclature of New Brunswick (1896), and Additions and Corrections to Monographs on the Place-Nomenclature … (1905).


Acadieville – Doubtless by its Acadian settlers in affectionate memory of Acadie.

Aldouane River – FROM GANONG’S 1896 WORK: Doubtless Micmac. A map of 1793, in the Crown Lands Office, has “Northwest River, by the Indians Aldouane.” Also as Ardouane. FROM GANONG’S 1905 WORK: I am told by the Indian teacher at Big Cove, Richibucto, that the Micmacs pronounce this name Wald-won, but are doubtful if the word is Micmac. They have also another name for it, Sgapagnetj. It is possible that this name has some connection with a French vessel, with cannon on board, traditionally said to have been sunk at the mouth of that river), in which case the name would be homologous in origin with St. Simon and, perhaps, Bay du Vin.

Baie Verte – A much better form, historically and otherwise, than Bay Verte.

Barachois – Acadian, a pond.

Barreau Point – Origin locally not known. A map of 1804 calls the island (or grove) there Pt. de Bar [Bass Point] which may have become altered to Barreau. Barreau in Acadian means a partition, etc., and the point may be so named for the way It separated Tracadie and Tabusintac. A local tradition also derives it from the name of an Indian who formerly camped there.

Bartibog – Tradition derives it from the name of an Indian, Bartholomew, shortened to Bart., l,e Bogue, who once lived there; thus given by Plessis, 1812. Possibly, however, it is a corruption of the Micmac name. In its present form in Marston’s diary, 1785. In Micmac Rand gives Nebeltook, = dead river; or perhaps ebeltook, = overlooked (see also Vin River); Pr. loc. Bartibogue (as in rogue).

Bay du Vin – FROM GANONG’S WORK OF 1896: Origin? Occurs first in a document of 1760 as bay des Ouines (Murdoch II., 390). Des Barres, 1781, has Bedouin; Marston’s diary, 1785, Bedouine, but upon a plan made by him is the following: “Baye du Vin, so called from the French captain who first anchored here, St. John, 10th April, 1786.” Abbé Desjardins, 1796, has Baie des Winds; Statute of 1799 has Bay du Vin, which has since been the common form; Cooney, 1830, has Baie des Vents, and Gesner says it is corrupted to Betty Wind; the U.S. 10th census Fishery vol. has Bettaouin. I am unable to form any opinion upon the origin of the word. One might guess that it is a great corruption of I. Chrestienne of Jumeau and De Meulles. Vin is clearly a later corruption; a local tradition derives it from the finding of a cask of wine, etc. Pr. loc. in English, not French, fashion. FROM GANONG’S WORK OF 1905: It is very likely the origin of this name is to be found in some connection with the French frigate said to be sunk at the mouth of the Bay du Vin River. It is to be remembered that Marston said in 1786 that the place was so named from the French captain who first anchored here, and it may be that either the captain or his vessel bore a name which has been corrupted to our present form. In this case the name would be strictly homologous in origin with that of St. Simon, later considered, and, perhaps, also with Aldouane. The earliest use of the name is in the form Baie des Ouines in a document of March 3, 1760. Of other possible origins there are several, of which one thinks first of some connection with the Vinland of the Northmen, suggested by Bishop Howley in these Transactions IV, ii, 97. Another is suggested by Murdoch’s Nova Scotia, II, 217, where he refers to a Père Badouin, at one time In Acadia. In this connection we recall that DesBarres in his charts of 1780 used the form Bedouin. There is also a stream called Ouine in Poitou, France, and one might imagine that the name has been brought here by early priest or settlers. The local names in the vicinity are mostly self explanatory. John O’Bears Point, at lower Bay du Vin, is known locally to be a corruption of John Hébert. The eastern end of Vin Island is known as John O’Groats, though it is not known by whom that name was applied.

Buctouche – By Rand, given as Micmac Chebooktoosk = a small big harbour; others connect it with buktw, fire. The first syllable has been dropped. In the seigniorial grant to Sieur d’Amours, 1684, as Chibouctouche, and thus on most maps to 1831; doc. of 1760 (Col. Mass. Hist. Soc. X., 1809), has Bonetox (misprint), and the short form is in other early documents.

Burnt Church – FROM GANONG’S 1896 WORK: Doubtless from the burning of the Indian church there by the British when they were destroying the French settlements in 1758. Cooney gives a legend to explain it, with the date 1759, but he was probably confounded it with another story (see R. du Cache). On Lockwood, 1826. In Micmac as given by Rand, Eskinwobudich a lookout, or Es-kun-oo-ob’-a-dich, as I have it. Skinnobundiche in St. Valier, 1688. On the survey map, 1755, the point is Pte. de Village. FROM GANONG’S 1905 WORK: The teacher of the Indian school at Church Point, Charles Bernard, himself a Micmac from Cape Breton, has kindly given me the aboriginal Micmac names of a number of places in the vicinity of Church Point. I give them here precisely as he writes them to me. Some of them I have no doubt are correct, but as to others, especially in the meanings, I am doubtful. The Indian village here he gives as Esginoo o putich, fully confirming the name from other sources. Burnt Church River has no Indian name, he says, other than the village name with Seeboo added. Portage Island, Mogulawcechooacadie, meaning, “A place where the Brant Geese are plenty and they are generally shot, as it were”; River de Cache, Peskej, meaning “little branch”; Grand Dune River, Abeeamkej, meaning “lined bottom”(?); Stymest’s Millstream, Akbaseek, meaning “it curves”; Neguac, Annikcooek, meaning “Annie is wandering alone,” explained as the expression of an Indian whose wife, named Annie, became lost (!!); Hay Island, Ooenjooi, Menigoo, meaning “French Island”; Portage Brook, Gashalaooacadie, meaning “Gaspereaux are abundant,” by some Indians called Maliojek, said to mean place where lived an Indian woman, Malioj; French Cove, Skassikuakenek, meaning “place of torching.”

Cape Tormentine – Origin uncertain. Elsewhere I have given reasons for believing that this may be a survival of the Cap des Sauvages, given by Cartier to North Cape. P.E.I (Trans. Royal Soc. Can.. VII., ii., 18); but I fear that ground is untenable. It is probably connected with C. Tourment = Cape of Storms. On Denys, 1672 as Le Cap du Tourmentin; Jumean, 1685, has C. tourment; De Meulles, 1686, tourmentin ; Morris, 1749, Torment; D’Anville, 1755, tourment; .Jeffreys, 1755, Stormy point, while Popple, 1733, has, probably for the same, C. Savage. Des Barres, 1781, places it where C. Jourimain now is, and there it remains upon most maps down to Baillie, 1^32, which locates it as at present.

Chatham – FROM GANONG’S 1896 WORK: P. 1814. Origin uncertain; perhaps in memory of William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, who died in 1778, or possibly for the second Earl, then prominent as a soldier. A tradition (“Young Lion of the Woods,” by T. B. Smith, p. 9), states that the transport Pitt was wrecked in the Gulf in 1765, and one of her boats drifted ashore near the present site of the town, suggesting the name; probably not correct. FROM GANONG’S 1905 WORK: According to tradition, as I learned from Mr. William Innes, of Bartibog, through Rev. Father Morrissey, Chatham village received its name in honour of the younger Pitt, Earl of Chatham. The name was suggested by Mr. Francis Peabody, a prominent resident, and replaced the earlier name, The Spruce Tree, so-called for a great spruce that stood on the present site of Ritchie’s store on Water Street.

Cocagne – Named by Nicholas Denys before 1672, for, in his work published in that year, he says (p. 173): “J’ay nomme cette riviere la riviere de Cocagne, parce que j’y trouvay tant de quoy y faire bonne chere pendent huit jours que le mauvais temps m’obligea d’y denieurer.” “I have named this river the River of Cocagne, because I found there everything with which to make good cheer during the eight days the bad weather compelled me to remain there.” Cocagne is, in the French, equivalent to the English Utopia, a land of fabled abundance and comfort In Micmac, Wij-oo-mayga-dik. Two miles up the river on the north side is Ruisseau des Malcontents, and higher was Belair, and at Cape Cocagne is a place still called le camp de Boishébert, where he spent the winter of 1755-56 (Gaudet).

Douglastown – FROM GANONG’S 1896 WORK: Said locally to have been named in honour of Sir Howard Douglas, who visited the place just after the great fire of 1825. Earlier, Gretna Green, after that place in Scotland, no doubt. FROM GANONG’S 1905 WORK: Named a few months before the great Miramichi fire for Governor Douglas, who visited the Miramichi at that time (Cooney, 64).

Elgin Parish – 1847. No doubt in honour of the Earl of Elgin, in that year appointed Governor-General of Canada.

Escuminac Point – In Micmac, Rand gives Eskumunaak = watching place or look-out place. As Scaumenac, etc., it occurs several times in Micmac territory. On Jumeau, 1685, as Pte. has Echkoumenak; Coronelli, 1689, has Owycomanet. Upon early maps, which give the name St. Lunario to Miramichi Bay, it is called C. des Sauvages, but this belongs on P.E.I, Possibly the I. Tenescou of early maps is connected with it. Pro. loc. Skimnack.

Hardwicke – FROM GANONG’S 1896 WORK: Parish 1851. Perhaps for the Earl of Hardwicke. FROM GANONG’S 1905 WORK: P. 1851. So named, as I am told by Mr. D. Lewis, of Escuminac, for Mr. Benjamin Hardwick, of London, who became interested in Rev. James Hudson’s Church of England missions here, and contributed to them; accordingly the parish was named for him at Mr. Hudson’s suggestion, the final e being an error of the lawmakers.

Inkermann – Parish 1855. Named, no doubt, in commemoration of the great battle fought in 1854.

Kouchibouguac (Kent). FROM GANONG’S 1896 WORK: No doubt from the Micmac Pee-chee-boo-quak (Flinne). On Jumeau, 1685, as R. Pegibougui, followed by others. Smethurst, 1761, has Chishibouwack, and Rameau, in document of 1763, Kagibougoët. Plan of 1800 has the present form. Acadian, Kagibougouette. On Coronelli, 1689, just north of Richibucto is Arimosquit, which may be one of these rivers. On Moll, 1713, near here is Ligene: Pro. loc. Kish-be-kwack´. FROM GANONG’S 1905 WORK: Several other early uses of this name that I have found begin with Pi: thus Pichibouguack, 1803 Land Memorials; Pissabeguake, 1803 (Winslow Papers, 499); Passibiguac, 1812, Land Memorials; Pichibouquack, plan of 1815. In one of his lectures on New Brunswick rivers, published in early newspapers, M.H. Perley derives this name from Koohawaak, meaning Cariboo plain.

Miramichi – FROM GANONG’S 1896 WORK: Origin unknown; perhaps a greatly altered European word. Tracing the word hack, the r becomes an s, and Champlain and all other early writers have Missamichi. A map of about 1600 in the Nueronburg Museum (Room LXVIl.), has Machanuche. DeBry’s map of 1596 (in his “Voyages”) has the same, which may, however, be read Machimice. So much is certain. Again, on Homem’s map of 1558, in exactly the proper position, is Micheomai, and finally on N. Deslien’s map of 1541 is Mercheymay. Probably the Terre de Michalman of the Desceliers’ map of 1546 is the same. It occurs on these maps with a series of names given by Cartier, hardly one of which is of Indian origin, and it is therefore altogether probable that it was given by him and is a greatly corrupted European word. It is possible, however, that it is Indian, in which case a theory which at once arises is that it is from Megumaagee, i.e., Micmac-Land, a name now used by the Micmacs for their entire territory, and this would be confirmed by the form used by Desceliers. The objection is that Micmac seems not to be an original word; it is generally considered to be the French Micmac = jugglery, applied by the French to them about 1680, though it may be aboriginal and derived from Megumoowwesoo. their great magician (See Journal American Folk-lore, IX., 173.) Until further data are available the origin of Miramichi must remain in doubt. The name applied on all of the early maps not to the river, but to a port or district. Denys, in 1672, was the first to apply it to the river, and Moll, 1713, seems to be the first to use the present spelling. Other facts about it in Trans. Roy. Soc. Canada, 1880, II., 54, 45. In Micmac it is Lus-ta-goo´-chrechk = Little Restigoucbe, which is its invariable name among them; they say that Miramichi is not Indian. On De Meulles 1686, as R. Ristigonchique; Bellin, 1744, has Ristougonchi, followed by many others. There is no evidence for Cooney’s moaning, “Happy Retreat.” Called by Jumeau, 1685, and others R. St. Croix. Les-ta-goo-cheochk applies to the main S.W. branch; the main N.W. is El-mun-ok´-un (Flinne which Rand gives = a beaver hole), or Mee-nel-mee-na-kun (alt. Chamberlain); this is probably the Mirmenegan of LeClerq; it was shortened and corrupted by the French to Minaqua, and so appears on many maps of the last century. On some the main S. branch is named Chadodi, but this is a mistake for Barnabys River. The little S.W. branch is Too-a-dook´, which Rand gives = a difficult, dangerous river; descriptive. De Meulles has for it Mtoton. FROM GANONG’S 1905 WORK: The origin of this name still eludes me. Its first use in a modern form is as Mcsamichi in deMonts’ Commission of 1603. To the various fanciful explanations of it may be added that of M’Gregor (British America, II, 260), who makes it, “a probable corruption of Mirasheet, a tribe of Micmacs once inhabiting its banks,” but he evidently here has in mind the Maliseets, sometimes called Mariseets. The meaning “Happy Retreat,” first given by Cooney and widely accepted, is of no value whatever, since the same meaning is given in an old document as applying to the Nepisiguit (Coll. N.B. Hist. Soc, II, 128). On the map in the Micmac Almanac for 1902, published by Rev. Father Pacifique, the word appears in the form Malimcoisitg, and he writes me that this is the name applied to the peninsula where Chatham stands, and it can mean “Place where one collects diverse kinds of berries.” But, he adds, that he does not know whether this is an aboriginal word, or simply a Micmac pronunciation of a word derived from the whites.

Miscou – FROM GANONG’S 1896 WORK: Origin uncertain. Not in use by the Micmacs as a native word. Occurs first in Champlain in its present form; by Denys and others applied both to Miscou and Shippegan. It may come from an Algonquin word, miscoue = blood or red colour (La Hontan), describing the low red cliffs about it. In this case it was perhaps obtained by Champlain from Montagnais or other guides from the St. Lawrence, but this is very uncertain. In Micmac uncertain; may be See-bah-gun-jeechk. Point Miscou is perhap Ooniskwomkcok (Rand). By the French called St. Louis, and the Mission, St. Charles (Relation of 1635). FROM GANONG’S 1905 WORK: The suggestion in Place-Nomenclature that this name may be derived from an Algonquin word meaning red, “describing the low red cliffs about it,” proves groundless, since, as I have found by personal observation, no such cliffs exist. I find the local tradition among the best-informed local residents makes the word Indian, meaning “low land” or, as one told me, “boggy land.” This interpretation I find confirmed by Joe Prisk, the intelligent old Micmac of Bathurst, who told me he thinks the word is Micmac, and means “muddy land,” having in it the root susqu, meaning “mud,” in which case the aboriginal form (which the Micmacs appear to have quite lost) would have been something like M’susqu, easily shortened to Miscou. I take it that the word means not only mud in our sense, but also muck, marsh, wet bog. In this case it forms an admirable descriptive name, for the most striking fact about the physical geography of Miscou is the prevalence there of open bogs or barrens (copiously covered with boggy lakes), which, indeed, form over one half of the surface of the island (compare the map and description in Bulletin of the Nat. Hist. Soc. of N.B., V, 449). The name Miscou seems to occur for the first time in Champlain’s Narratives, under the year 1623. The local and historical nomenclature is of much interest. No Indian names, except Miscou itself, have survived, but many French names are in use. The name Isle de Saint Louis is applied to it in the Jesuit Relations, and Cap de l’Espérance was given to its northern point by Cartier in 1534 because in rounding it he hoped he had found in Bay Chaleur the western passage. I. à Monsieur is applied upon old maps to a small island in this vicinity which I think can be only Money Island, the only one hereabouts which is striking enough to be named on the old maps. The name Money Island (called by the French Isle au Trésor) is, of course, descriptive of the supposed treasure there. Pointe au Vable and Bollin des Boeufs occur upon West’s original map of the island in 1820, and both names are still known to the older residents, though not now in actual use; Vable, I presume, is connected in some way with Sable, sand, while Boullin des Boeufs (spelled Bouillin des Boufs on West’s map) was explained to me, and I have no question, correctly, by where the lighthouse now stands, in which the cattle of the settlers formerly wandered; the word is an Acadian mélange, meaning “the birch (grove) of the cattle.” Mal Baie, in common use, probably is a corruption of “Morue Bay,” or “Cod Bay,” a name occurring elsewhere in Acadia, and alludes to the cod which have appeared there frequently and have been left stranded at low tide. On the different maps the names big and little are applied to them, but with no constancy, and sometimes transposed, but they are not used locally. The term Queue, meaning of course “a tail,” is in constant local use for the two narrow-necked bays as shown on the map, but the word does not occur elsewhere in the Province so far as I know. Lake Chenire is said locally to mean “Oak Lake” (obviously including the root chêne), though the word Chenire is not used now in Acadian; the name is known by the older residents to have been given when oak staves were made in the woods on its southern shore. Grande Plaine is descriptive of the great beach-plain here built up by the sea (as described in the paper above cited in Bulletin of the N. B. Nat. Hist. Soc). Lac Frye is so named, without doubt, for the Canadian who had a fishing establishment here in 1775 (Canadian Archives, 1894, 331). Munroe Lake, on old maps applied to Lac Frye, but now used for the little lake near the lighthouse, is said to be for another early fisherman. Landry River is for the early settler of that name, afterwards one of the founders of Upper Caraquet. All of the other names on the map are obviously descriptive, either of physical peculiarities, ownership, etc. Black Point (Pointe Noire by the French) still in use by older people, applies not so much to the outer point at Wilson’s as to the settlement, and probably was originally applied inside the harbour. One series of the descriptive names, those applied to the smaller lakes, have been mostly given by Dr. J. Orne Green, of Boston, (a sportsman who has camped on the island in autumn for some twenty eight years past) and for various reasons descriptive of physical peculiarities or commemorative of some of his friends or guides who have been with him there. The maps and charts commonly apply the name Miscou Point, or Point Miscou to the extreme northern point of the island, but this is not the local usage, which calls the northern end Northwest Point, and applies Point Miscou, or, more commonly, Miscou Point to the vicinity of the lighthouse, a usage which is, at least, as old as 1832 (Cooney, 177). The settlement near the lighthouse is called Miscou Point Settlement, with a strong tendency to shorten it simply to Miscou Settlement, or even simply to Miscou. On the charts occur the names Mya Point, South Mya Point, Pecten Point and Pandora Point (the former being the scientific names of the clam and the scallop respectively), given, no doubt, by the officers of the Admiralty Survey in 1838, but they have never come into use and are entirely unknown locally. All of the Miscou local names may be found upon an Historical Map, accompanying my paper, “The History of Miscou,” in Acadiensis, Vol. VI.

Miscou Gully – In Micmac Sebiskadaicuncheech = a straightened joint (Rand).

Miscou Point – Name by Cartier, July 3rd, 1534, Cap d’ Espérance = cape of hope, because, as he rounded it and saw the great bay opening before him, he hoped he had found the passage to the west for which he sought. There is some reason to believe that Cape Despair on Gaspé is this name corrupted and removed.

Pointe Sapin – French = Fir Point, probably descriptive. In 1809 in registers of Richibucto called Pointe au Grand Sapin (Gaudet).

Pokemouche – FROM GANONG’S 1896 WORK: From the Micmac Po-co-mooch´.  Given by Rand for the Gully as Pokumooch-petooaak = salt water extending inward. On Jumeau, 1685, as R. Pakmouet; grant of 1689 to Michel de Grez, Pocmouche. In Pokemouche on old plans is an island called I. Denys, and on others I. Denis De Boss. FROM GANONG’S 1905 WORK: In the Crown Land Office is a large-scale plan entitled, “Sketch of the Upper Parts of the River Pocmouch,” by William Ferguson, 1811, which gives a number of Indian names as follows:— Pidpndmoe Brook, the present Caribou Creek; Waganchitch Brook, the present Peter’s Brook; Chicichichoe Rivulet, the present Pelletier Brook (on the south side above Peter’s Brook) ; Ranamagauch Brook, the present Maltempec. This map will be reproduced in my article upon “The History of Pokemouche,” in Acadiensis, Vol. VI. This map also applies the Pte. de la Croix to two points, the northern one at Upper Pokemouche (opposite Rivers Point), and that between Maltempec and the main Pokemouche. Presumably these mark the sites of Indian burial grounds. The Micmac name of Trout Brook on the Upper Pokemouch (S or 9 miles above head of tide on N. side) has been given me by the intelligent old Micmac, Joe Prisk, of Bathurst, as Mat-wes-ka-be-jeechk, meaning “porcupine was hanging.”

Rexton – Formerly called Kingston. The genesis of the new name is given in a letter from Dr. J.W. Doherty of that place, dated May 9, 1901. After relating the inconvenience of the former name, owing to the many duplications in Canada, he says:—“In consequence, I started a petition among the residents of this place for signature with a brief list of names appended to be voted upon, being careful that no name so voted on should be a duplicate of any other name in the Dominion. My choice of Rexton appeared to take the fancy of those signing and, in consequence, no general meeting of the inhabitants was thought necessary for the purpose of ratifying the change of name, or the name so voted on. The petition was then sent to our representative (O.J. LeBlanc), who presented it, with a strong recommendation, to the Government (Postmaster General) and, in consequence, the name of Kingston, Kent, was changed to Rexton, Kent.” The change went into effect May 1, 1901. Of course the Rex is the Latin equivalent of Kings, making the name a Latin-English hybrid, but, perhaps, none the worse for that. It is of interest to note that Kent County has been the scene of more changing of names, and by official procedure, than any other County of the Province, for, in addition to the above mentioned change, Palmerston has been changed to St. Louis, Liverpool to Richibucto, and the railroad station at first called Weldford was later changed to Harcourt.

Richibucto – FROM GANONG’S 1905 WORK: From the teacher of the Indian School at Big Cove, Miss Mary Isaacs, herself a Micmac, from Restigouche, I have received the following as the Indian names of places on Richibucto and vicinity:— Richibucto, iserbooktook; Molus River, Seegudeeascook; St. Nicholas River, Helknowkon; Bass River, Boksnok; Big Cove, Melisicknadee; Indian Island, Llnao Mayneegoo, which, however, seems to be merely the translation of the English name into Indian. Of other local names on Richibucto, most are self explanatory, being descriptive or for residents or owners. Platt’s Point, just below the marine hospital, probably is named from an early Acadian, Jos. Richard, dit des Plattes, though his connection with the place is not known. In the Land Memorials of 1822 I find mention of Marin Island and Niver Ro (near the Forks), both of which seem now unknown.

Richibucto River – FROM GANONG’S 1896 WORK: From the Micmac, but aboriginal form not known to me; Father Guay gives Lichibouktouck = river which enters the woods; Vetromile has Elagibucto = the prayer-fire, but he cannot be trusted; Cooney and others following him have derived it from Booktaoo, fire. In the Jesuit Relation of 1646 as la Baye de Regibouctou; Denys. 1672, has Recibouctou; Moll, 1713, has Riche Chedabouktou ; on Jeffreys, 1755, the harbour is called Forth Bay, a persistence from Alexander’s map of 1624, where it applies to the Miramichi. On Sayer, 1775, and others, just S. of this river is a Wispouminac, origin unknown.

Scoudouc River – From the Micmac Oom-skoo-dook, applied to where the railroad station stands at Shediac. In a grant of 1806, as Scadouk; Plessis, 1812, has Chequodow. It was perhaps this river which Champlain called Sourlcona (see Shediac).

Shediac – FROM GANONG’S 1896 WORK: From the Micmac Es-ed-ei´-ik, which Hand gives = running far back. On Jumeau, 1685, as Chédiac; De Meulles, 1686, as Chedaic ; Coronelli, 1689, has Epegediac. Just south of it on Bellin, 1755, is Nabouiane.

Shediac River – FROM GANONG’S 1905 WORK: An old plan in the Crown Land Office names the south branch of this river Kibougouck, no doubt its Micmac name.

Shemogue – FROM GANONG’S 1896 WORK: From the Micmac Sim-oo-a-quik. In a document of 1758 (Parkman, Docs., New France, I., 243) as Choumougouil; Des Barres, 1781, has Shirmoguy: Plessis, 1812, Chimigoui, etc. The Acadians spell it Chimongoüi, Pr. loc; Shem´-o-gwe. FROM GANONG’S 1905 WORK: As at present in Land Memorials of 1803. Rand (Reader, 84) gives for Chimegwe, no doubt this stream, Oosumoogwik, meaning horned river. I have been given by a Micmac Sim-oo-a-quick.

Shippagan Island – FROM GANONG’S 1896 WORK: From the Micmac Sepaguncheech = a duck road, i.e., a small passage through which the ducks fly from one place to another (Rand). From this meaning and from the evidence below, it seems clear that this word applied to Shippegan Harbour, and was extended by the English to the island. On Jumeau, 1685, as Entrée (entrance) de chipeganchich applied to the gully; De Meulles, 1686, has the same usage and neither apply it to the Island; d’Anville, 1755, gives Chipagan to the harbour, and Sortie (outlet) de Chipagan to the gully, and does not name the island. Des Barres chart of 1777 applies it to the island. It is Grande ile de Miscou in Denys, 1672, and on Des Meulles, 1686, but on later maps down to Des Barres commonly unnamed and made a part of the mainland. In Micmac it is now See-bah-gun, and Miscou is See-bah-gun-jeech, but these are probably only the English re-Indianized. The small island in Miscou Gully is on Jumeau, 1685, I. à Monsieur, while a point on Shippegan, probably Pigeon Hill, is called by him C. de S. Martin, followed on late maps, but removed to the S. of Shippegan Gully. Tbere is a Sippican Harbour in Mass.

Shippagan – FROM GANONG’S 1905 WORK: Locally this name is pronounced in two ways; first, by the English it is very strongly accented upon the first syllable, the final syllable being very short; and second, by some French settlers speak English it is sounded Shippegang, the final syllable strongly sounded, a form which is old, as shown by Winslow Papers, 501. Its earliest known appearance is in 1656 in the form Cibaguen. (Letter of Father Ignatius, Archives, 1904, 335).

St. Isidore – S. 1875 (p. 208). P. 1881. An agricultural settlement, named probably because St. Isidore was the patron of farmers.

St. Simon – FROM GANONG’S 1905 WORK: The origin of this name is probably not as given by Cooney from that of a French vessel sunk here in 1760, but for the name of her captain (compare later, under Historic Sites Addenda, Acadian Period, St. Simon). Locally the name is invariably pronounced St. Simo (or, at least, the final syllable a nasal hardly sounding the n), and the word Inlet of our maps and charts is never used. Its Micmac name, as I am told by Joe Prisk, of Bathurst, a very reliable Micmac, is See-bes’ -kaa-daan, meaning, as he says, something like a “carrying-over place.” The earliest use that I have found of the name is in the Land Memorials of 1805, where it is called River Saint Simon, and Saint Simon’s River, and it is called St. Simond’s Inlet in the same Memorials of 1816, and Saint Simon’s Inlets on Ferguson’s plan of 1820.

St. Simon’s Inlet – FROM GANONG’S 1896 WORK: Origin?; Cooney states it is “said to have derived its name from that of a French corvette sunk there after the conquest of Canada.” On Bonnor, 1820, as R. St. Simon; on plan of 1820, in present form; a plan of 1821 has Captain St. Simon’s Point, on the inlet, indicating an origin other than that given by Cooney. In Micmac Winamkeak = a rough, sandy bank (Rand).

Ste. Anne – P. 1877. For the church established 1872.

Surreau Blanc – Name of a stream and inlet at Tracadie, between Big and Little Tracadie, said locally to have no meaning in modern Acadian, but very probably an early corruption of Ruisseau blanc, that is, “white brook.” I have found the name on an old plan in the Crown Land Office in the form Seirreau Blanche.

Tabusintac – FROM GANONG’S 1896 WORK: From the Micmac Taboosimkik = a pair of them. (Taboo = two, Rand); sometimes given = where two reside. On Jumeau, 1685, as R. tabochimkek; on Bellin, 1744, Taboquinquet; Moll, 1713, and others, place here a Randingo, which I cannot locate. Rand gives (Legends, p. 212) a story of a battle between Micmacs and Mohawks here. Loc. pro. Ta-boo´-sin-tac´; by Acadians Taboujamteck. FROM GANONG’S 1905 WORK: This name is pronounced locally, especially by elderly unlettered people, Tabasimtac, a form almost exactly like the Indian pronunciation, thus affording another example (with Madawaska, Jemseg, etc.) of how much closer the local pronunciation keeps to the original form than does the map or literary form. The accent is strongly on the last syllable. The three principal branches of this river bear Indian names which appear (apparently for the first time) upon Davidson’s plan of the river of 1830, with the spellings Maliaget, Eskedelock, Pisiguit, which are exactly the local pronunciations used by lumbermen and others. I am told by Joe Prisk, the intelligent old Indian of Bathurst, that Mal-e-a’-git (g hard) means married, referring to two of something near together, while Os-ka-dil-lik (as he pronounces it) means (though doubtfully) “a good shot.” Also the branch Cowassaget Brook is still so called locally. (On Batkwedngunuchk, on TabusintacBeach, see Rand, Legends of the Micmacs, 212).

Tracadie – FROM GANONG’S 1896 WORK: From the Micmac Tulakadik = camping ground (Rand), also said = wedged -shaped (Tool-a-kun = wedge; also see Trumbull II.) In Champlain, 1604, as Tregate, followed by others. Dudley, Italian, 1647, has Tigate; Jumeau, 1685, has R. eraiudi (misprint?); De Meulles, 1686, Tracady ; Cooney gives a branch towards Pokemouche Anscoot. Little Tracadie is (Rand) Tulakadeech, FROM GANONG’S 1905 WORK: The local nomenclature is mostly simple and self-explanatory, being obviously descriptive. I have not been able to identify the Anscout branch of the river mentioned by Cooney. The odd Acadian name Surreau Blanc, and Barreau Point are discussed separately. John Boys River, a former name for Portage River, is said, as Dr. Smith tells me, to have been named for one John Nile, dit, John Boy, who lived beside the bridge crossing Portage River. Bonami Nose Brook was named, as I learn from different sources, for one Bonamy or, Barnaby Noel, an Indian, who formerly lived there, and, I presume, the name is a corruption of Bonami Noel’s Brook, though locally a rock of a nose-shape, etc., is adduced to explain the name. Lord and Foy Brook is so named for early lumbermen.


Written by johnwood1946

June 19, 2013 at 9:52 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. “Shediac – FROM GANONG’S 1896 WORK:…. Coronelli, 1689, has Epegediac.” I think Ganong got this one wrong. Are you able to discuss it with me? -Les Bowser, Omemee, Ontario

    Les Bowser

    December 30, 2016 at 8:55 PM

    • Well, I have nothing to add. Ganong said what he said, and maybe he got it wrong. I can’t say.


      January 11, 2017 at 11:57 AM

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