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Dictionary of Miramichi Biography

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MCLEOD, RODERICK (1784-1864)

MCLEOD, RODERICK, businessman and JP; b. Assynt parish, Sutherland, Scotland, c1784, s/o John McLeod; m. Janet - ; d. Tabusintac, 28 Jun 1864.

Roderick McLeod came to Tabusintac from Scotland with his parents in 1803 at about age nineteen. There were McLeods from among the disbanded soldiers of the 42nd Highland Regiment living along the Tabusintac River with their families at that time, and to avoid a confusion of names his father came to be known as John McLeod 3rd.

Roderick McLeod was the leading businessman and public figure at Tabusintac for upwards of forty years. In 1819 he applied for a reserve of timber land for a sawmill and was allowed 5,000 acres. Besides the mill, he conducted a general store and became the first keeper of the postal way office at Tabusintac in 1841. He was a successful farmer and the first president, in 1852, of the Alnwick Agricultural Society. In 1849 he entered the commercial fishery in an important way, with a "fishing room" in the 'Tabusintac Gully'. He owned two schooners and had nineteen small boats supplying his establishment with fish. In 1852 he was elected as the first president of the Miramichi Fishery Society.

McLeod was a school trustee for Alnwick parish from as early as 1819 until the 1830s. In 1822 he was appointed a captain in the 1st Battalion of militia, and in 1838 he was among the senior officers who met to declare their loyalty to the crown and condemn the revolt in the Canadas. He was promoted to major in 1840 and was still holding that rank in 1850. Meanwhile, in 1836, he was ordained as one of the two first elders of the Tabusintac Presbyterian church. In 1839 he was named a justice of the peace, and his appointment was renewed in 1855. He was one of few county magistrates who were also commissioned to solemnize marriages. In 1849 he succeeded Joseph Cunard as chairman of the Northumberland and Gloucester Board of Health, which had responsibility for monitoring the leprosy outbreak in the Tracadie area and conducting the lazaretto for victims of the disease. In 1853 he was a director of the Highland Society.

McLeod and his wife had at least eight children, several of whom died in young adulthood, and some of whom did not marry. Two sons and two daughters survived their mother when she died in 1883, at age ninety-eight. The daughters were Jessie McLeod, the wife of the Rev. Thomas G. Johnstone, and Margaret McLeod, the wife of the Rev. James Murray.

Sources

[d] NB Courier 16 Jul 1864 / county records; Facey-Crowther; Ganong; Gleaner 11 Oct 1831, 9 Jan 1838, 12 Mar 1839, 2 Feb 1852, 1 Mar 1852, 17 Jan 1853, 11 Aug 1855; JHA (re. post offices); Leader 31 Jan 1995; Losier/Pinet; NB Almanac & Reg.; PANB (petitions, John McLeod, #557; Roderick McLeod, #593 and petition of 1824); Perley; tombstone; World 30 May 1883


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