Reynolds Family Beginnings

The first known relative at present is John Reynolds who is believed to have arrived in St John, N.B. in 1850. There were other Reynolds' in St John at that time but I have been unable to link them to one another or to trace them out of Canada. The Voters Register for Saint John in 1854 lists "John Reynolds" as a Boarding House Keeper. This may or may not be our ancestor.

John Reynolds was listed in the 1861 Census as "Prussian". This appeared strange to me as I had always assumed from talking to my parents and other close relatives that the Reynolds' were either Scottish or Irish. Most Genealogy and Heraldic books list Reynolds as Irish. Perhaps they were talking about the Dundas or Marshall side of the family tree. I went to the Harvey Community Cemetery and there, "lo and behold", carved in large letters was "NATIVE OF PRUSIA". This makes me believe that it might be true. John was born on 30 August 1812 presumably in Prussia. In the 1851 St John City Census, there was a Barbara and John "Dundas" living next to Margaret Dundas and Alfred Thomas. As the descendants of John Reynolds and Alfred Thomas became cousins for many generations, I have included in another Chapter a very interesting story of the Thomas Family History that was given to me by my Second Cousin Rena Thomas.

John was listed as a French Mariner. This also could be meaningless but all efforts to find John Reynolds between his marriage in 1850 and their subsequent move to Harvey in 1857 or 1858 have been dead ends. Hopefully sometime in the future, I will have more time and energy to delve deeper into this area. Perhaps John Reynolds was a name that he assumed when he came to Canada.

In the meantime, I will consider him as the first name in the Reynolds Family Tree.

John Reynolds married Barbara Dundas in St John, N.B. on 4 Oct 1850. The Wedding Ceremony was conducted by a Rev. JW Grey and the Witnesses were James and Catherine Burns. There was at that time a Rev. JWD Grey, DD., who was an Anglican Rector for the United Church of England and Ireland and conducted service at the Trinity Church in Saint John.

Barbara was an Irish Immigrant who, along with her sister, Margaret , came to Canada in the late 1840's from Ireland.  A younger sister, Elizabeth and a brother, Thomas  arrived in Canada in the mid 1850's.  Barbara was born on 24 March 1824.

John and Barbara had four children who lived. His Tombstone lists "Infant" which I am assuming was another child who died at birth. The children were:

·         Mary Anne Reynolds, born 17 Mar 1852, married Michael Downs of Brockway on 26 Aug 1872;

·         William John Reynolds, born 24 Feb 1854, married Barbara Dundas on 1 Feb 1882;

·         Catherine Reynolds, born 9 Nov 1855, died 25 Aug 1861;

·         Margaret (Maggie) Reynolds, born 6 Feb 1858, married James Gillespie.

Both Mary Anne and Maggie were known to have had families living in the Harvey and Brockway areas but time and effort did not permit me to delve into this part of the family tree at this time.

William John Reynolds and Barbara Dundas (daughter of Thomas Dundas and Janet Marshall) were first cousins.

John Reynolds Sr., his wife and family, together with Thomas and Elizabeth Dundas and his sister-in-law Margaret and her husband, Alfred Thomas moved to Harvey in 1857 or 1858. They settled in the Parish of Manners-Sutton in an area then known as Gass Settlement. John and Alfred Thomas were given land grants of 100 acres in this area. John's son William John and Alfred Thomas' son Joseph, as well as brother-in-law Thomas Dundas were given land grants nearby in an area that later became known as Thomas' Corners or Thomaston.

Both John and William John are buried in the Harvey Community Cemetery.

William John Reynolds and Barbara Dundas had eleven Children. They were:

·         John Reynolds, Jr., born 16 Oct 1882, died 14 Jun 1884 before his second birthday;

·         William Thomas Reynolds, born 8 Jun 1884, died 25 Feb 1959, was never married;

·         Melbourne Reynolds, born 18 Apr 1886, died 4 Jun 1947, married Bessie Louise Mitchell;

·         Harry Reynolds, born 16 Oct 1887, died 10 Dec 1952, married twice, first to Georgia Hamilton and second to Jessie Fleming.

·         Asa Reynolds, born 2 May 1889, died 26 Jan 1955, married to Mattie Reid;

·         Ward Reynolds, born 11 Mar 1891, died 21 May 1964, was never married.

·         Lila Reynolds, born 15 Jun 1892, died 14 Sep 1969, married Hazen Fletcher Milligan;

·         Janie Reynolds, born 24 Dec 1894, died 15 Dec 1969, married Chester Johnson;

·         Mina Pearl Reynolds, born 5 May 1897, died 16 Apr 1982, married Andrew Lloyd Lindsay;

·         Elizabeth Mabel "Liza" Reynolds, born 16 Mar 1900, died 3 Apr 1909;

·         Ida Mae Reynolds, born 8 May 1903, died 30 Aug 1947, married Russell Christie.

Information on all the above families is included in the Genealogy Listings. On my "hard copy" of the family tree, I have countless other documents, photos, newspaper clipping and other miscellaneous information that I am willing to share with any interested relatives.


Comments, suggestions and questions can be forwarded to keanne@telus.net


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