One family mystery solved

For years, I have been trying to track down my great grandfather William Lunnie’s "other" family.  Like most men who remarry, to a much younger woman, my great grandfather didn’t share any details about his first marriage, or his life before he moved to Glassville, New Brunswick in 1872.  Thanks to the wonderful on-line New Brunswick Canada archives, I have solved some of the mystery about William’s early life.
 

We know that William Lunney (a/k/a Lunny and Lunnie), the common ancestor of the Lunney family of Maine and the Lunnie family of New Brunswick, was born in Ireland in 1821, possibly at Ardstraw, County Tyrone (based upon some circumstantial evidence and family oral tradition), that he was a Wesleyan Methodist, and that he emigrated to Cumberland Bay, Waterborough Parish, New Brunswick Canada some time before May 1847.

 

The earliest record for William Lunney of Waterborough, New Brunswick comes from a May 19, 1847 wedding announcement in the Saint John, New Brunswick Daily Morning News newspaper:

 

“m. Waterborough (Queens Co.) Monday 19th ult., by Rev. J. F. Bent, Wesleyan Minister, William LUNNEY / Matilda KENNEDY.”

 

The next records are for two land grants to William Lunney in Waterborough, Queens County, New Brunswick:

 

Name

LUNNEY, William

Volume

40

Page

Grant number

5714

Place

Waterborough

County

Queens

Date

15/10/1853

Accompanying plan

Yes

Acres

60

Microfilm

F16339

Comments

Other names on this grant: (0)

 

Name

LUNNEY, William

Volume

67

Page

Grant number

11365

Place

Waterborough

County

Queens

Date

18/06/1866

Accompanying plan

Yes

Acres

100

Microfilm

F16366

Comments

Other names on this grant: (0)


Interestingly, these two land grants are located adjacent to an earlier land grant to a Thomas Lunny in 1843.  This Thomas Lunny is referred to in some later public records as Thomas “Lunney”. Family oral tradition is that William Lunney had two brothers who also emigrated from Ireland to New Brunswick.  It seems probable that Thomas was an elder brother of William. 

 

 

 

The 1865/1866 Hutchinson Directory lists both Thomas and William as follows:

 

Name

Street

Community

County

Occupation

Lunny, Thomas

Cumberland Bay

Queens

Farmer

Lunny, William

Cumberland Bay

Queens

Farmer

 

The April 1871 Census for Waterborough Parish, Queens County, New Brunswick record the William “Lunny” household as follows:

 

Lunny

William

M

46

Ireland

W Meth

Irish

Farmer

M

Dross?

Charlotte

F

27

NB

Baptist

Servant

 
This census entry for William Lunny’s household raises some interesting questions:  Where was William’s wife Matilda (Kennedy) Lunney in April 1871?  Did William and Matilda have any children?  The census record indicates that William was still married, but not to his "servant" Charlotte “Dross”, who was not "M" married.  The age then given for William was false;  William was in fact 49 or 50 at the time, not 46.  Since we know that he later married Charlotte Drost, it is possible that he was embarrassed about the true difference in their ages.  Only one year later, in 1872, Charlotte gave birth to a son named William Lunnie.  William and Charlotte "Lunnie" and their infant son then moved far away from Waterborough (about 100 miles) and settled on a farm in Glassville, Aberdeen Parish, Carleton County, where they had three more sons, including my grandfather Thomas in 1874.  Sounds like there could be something "interesting" there; but none of my "Lunnie" cousins seem to know anything.  I wonder where the family bible and photos are?

 

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