Archives provinciales du Nouveau-Brunswick

Dictionary of Miramichi Biography

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THOMSON, SAMUEL (1825-1904)

THOMSON, SAMUEL, lawyer, judge of probate, and county secretary-treasurer; b. Chatham, 17 Oct 1825, s/o James Thomson and Catherine MacKay; brother of John Thomson; m. 1859, Jane Walker McCurdy, of Onslow, N.S.; d. Newcastle, 26 Oct 1904.

Samuel Thomson was educated at the County Grammar School and studied law with John Ambrose Street and George Kerr. He was admitted to the bar in 1848 and practiced on the Miramichi for fifty-six years. He was a partner of George Kerr for a few years, beginning in 1851. Otherwise he was on his own. He had an office in Chatham until 1857, at which time he was appointed clerk of the peace for the county and moved to Newcastle. He succeeded William Wilkinson as judge of probate in 1870 and was named secretary-treasurer of the county in 1876. When legislation on the gathering of vital statistics took effect in the province in 1888 he became the registrar of births, marriages, and deaths as well. He preferred desk work to litigation, and he assiduously "eschewed politics." By 1900 he was the oldest practicing lawyer in New Brunswick, and he carried on until his death in 1904.

Thomson was a member of the Presbyterian church and a Mason, being worshipful master of Northumberland Lodge for the year 1861. Between the 1840s and the 1870s he was sometimes called upon to speak at meetings of the Mechanics' institutes. In 1865 he addressed the Newcastle and Douglastown mechanics on "Confederation" and also delivered a less serious talk entitled "Paddle Your Own Canoe." He was seen as "one of the last of the grand old group of Miramichi folks" from whom the succeeding generation drew its examples of talent and integrity. He was survived by his wife, Jane W. McCurdy, who was a niece of the Rev. John McCurdy, three sons, and four daughters. His son Charles J. Thomson was a lawyer at Chatham and Blackville until his premature death in 1912. His son George K. Thomson was a dentist, dean of the dental faculty of Dalhousie University, and president of the Canadian Dental Association. His daughter Alma K. Thomson was the wife of William E. Stavert, who was with the Bank of Nova Scotia at Newcastle for a time and was knighted in 1918 for his wartime services to the British Information Ministry.

Note re. later publication - after entry on James Thomson.


[b] Biog. Review NB [m] Gleaner 19 Mar 1859 [d] Advocate 29 Oct 1904 / Advocate 1 Feb 1888; Encycl. Can. (re. William Ewen Stavert); Gleaner 15 Sep 1851, 12 Dec 1857, 22 Apr 1865; Leader 10 May 1935, 16 Mar 1962; Manny Collection (F182); McCurdy Genealogy