Martha Braine, wife of Alexander McKilligan

McKilligan

Only the stone base for a once large tombstone remains today to mark the graves of the family of Alexander McKilligan of Fredericton. An inscription included in the graveyard notes of Dr. Hannay, which were given to Lillian Brown Maxwell, read:

Sacred to the memory of Martha wife of Alexander McKilligan, who died April 29th 1866 aged 68 years. A native of Forres, Scotland.

Martha’s age at the time of her death is uncertain. The Fredericton census 1851 gives Alexander McKilligan, aged 32; Martha, wife, 40, and Margaret, mother, 60. The census of 1861 lists Alexander McKilligan, 40, baker; Martha, wife, 40; Margaret Ritchie, niece, 19; and Margaret McKilligan, mother, 77. It is likely that both wife and mother lie buried here, and conceivably Alexander McKilligan himself.

Royal Gazette, Fredericton, NB, 29 April 1842:

Alexander McKilligan — NEW BAKERY Charlotte Street – Adjoining the residence of A.W. McBeath, Esq.

Royal Gazette, Fredericton, NB, 22 May 1844:

Married at Government House, on the 18th instant, by the Rev. John M. Brooke of St. Paul’s Church, Mr. Alexander McKilligan, to Miss Martha Braine, both of Fredericton.

New Brunswick Directory for 1865-66:

McKilligan, Alexander, City Marshall, Charlotte St. near Sunbury

The Fredericton Evening Capital, Fredericton, NB, 29 May 1886:

Alexander McKILLIGAN was laid to rest in the Old Burying Ground, Fredericton on Thursday. He came to Fredericton 47 years ago from Miramichi to which place he had emigrated from the north of Scotland several years previously. Engaging here in the baking business with Mr. CLARK, whose bake house and shop were in Waterloo Row, he soon branchedout for himself. About that time he married the housekeeper of Lady COLEBROOK wife of Lt. GOV. COLEBROOK. She died long ago and he was buried in the same grave that held his first love. Subsequently he became City Marshall. Marrying a second time, he left the city about twenty years ago, taking up residence on his farm near the junction of the Tay and Nashwaak. There he lived till Tuesday last, periodically coming to town. He was a member of the old St. Andrews Society. He was one of the fathers of curling in N.B. In 1854, John NEILL founded the Fredericton Curling Club and of the eight original members, he alone is left. The others, who have preceded Alex. McKilligan to the grave, were Robert FULTON, Robert THORBURN, John F. TAYLOR, Harry PHAIR, Wm A. McLEAN and James MOORE. McKilligan’s funeral was conducted by Jackson Adams, Undertaker. Rev. A.J. Mowatt performed the ceremonies. McKilligan was 68 years old and leaves a widow and one son.

John Neill, founder of Fredericton Curling Club

Neill

John Neill died Feb. 19, 1893, in the 73rd year of his age. His wife Jane died May 3rd 1912, in the 83rd year of her age.

John E. died May 29th, 1873, ae 21 years. Charlie W. died July 16th, 1870 ae 8 years. Sons of John and Jane Neill.

Thomas A., born July 1859, ae 3 months.

Robert Neill died June 19, 1892, ae 32 years.

Lot #120 was once enclosed with strong posts, rod and chains. The stone is engraved on four sides, with John Neill’s inscription facing west.

John Neill came from Scotland and began a hardware business, Fredericton’s Big Hardware Store, that continued for many years into the third generation. He was the secretary of the Fredericton Society of St. Andrews from 1847 to 1852, and it was he who introduced curling into Fredericton. He founded the Fredericton Curling Club in 1854, and the curling stones were bought at his store. The club originally consisted of eight members: John Neill, Alexander McKilligan, Robert Fulton, Robert Thorburn, John F. Taylor, Barry Phair, William A. McLean, and Thomas Moore. John Neill was the last survivor.

His wife, Jane, was a daughter of Samuel D. MacPherson. The Neills had a large family, which in 1871 consisted of James S., 21; Annie, 19; Frances, 17; Mary, 15; John, 14; Robert, 10; Alice, 5; and Albert and Albertina, twins, 3 years old. James and Albert continued to operate the family business after the death of their father.

John Neill claims a lot in the New Part of the Burial Ground, size about 12 x 16 feet. Bounded south by the late Archdeacon Coster’s lot and on the North by the late James Agnew’s lot. Enclosed by stone posts and chains and is marked by a monument to the claimer’s son John E. Neill. Claimer purchased this lot from Geo Botsford in 1859.