NewBrunswick-L ArchivesArchiver > NewBrunswick > 2011-08 > 1312820323
From: Bev Guy <>
Subject: Re: [ NB ] Training to be a Surveyor
Date: Mon, 8 Aug 2011 12:18:43 -0400
Carol: My ancestor's name was George Neilson Smith (1787 - 1854) who
signed his paintings as Geo. N. Smith. I have a lithograph of one of
his original watercolours of Saint John Harbour hanging in my office.
I also have a smaller original painting done by a British officer of
a fellow officer in an old sleigh with his lady friend flying across
the snow somewhere in near Quebec city. The artist later died in the
Boer War. I enjoy studying them both, taking time out from I
researching my ancestors.
And thanks Jay for your input. I remember and appreciated our
converations about Sancton, the embezzler.
On Sun, Aug 7, 2011 at 12:42 PM, <> wrote:
> The "head honcho" to whom Bev referred was Thomas Baillie, Surveyor General of New Brunswick, who died in France in 1863. Fred Johnson's archive contains a typical story about becoming a surveyor, if you use WILLIAM KIRKPATRICK as your search term.
> True, many surveyors and artists were military men. Nova Scotia had two.. Lieutenant Governor Sir Gaspard LeMarchant (an accomplished artist), and Capt. William Moorsom who surveyed much if the colony before going on to survey railways in England.
> There are many such stories in my book "Fleming's Army' which is being published by Railfare-DC of Montreal this month, biogarphies of the more-than ninety engineers and surveyors (many of them from New Brunswick) who assisted Sandford Fleming with the construction of the Intercolonial Railway (he didn't do it alone!)
> Fleming himelf was never a trained civil engineer. He articled as a surveyor under John Sang in Scotland, because he had an aptitude for mathematics. In Fleming's day surveyors could call themselves civil engineers without ever having studied engineering formally, but trained civil engineers could not call themselves surveyors until they had passed provincial licensing boards.
> Jahy underwood
> Elmsdale NS
> Coming soon:
> "Fleming's Army: The civil engineers who built the Intercolonial Railway" From Railfare*DC Books.
> Contact author for details
> Also from Railfare:
> "Ghost Tracks" supernatural stories from Nova Scotia's Railways.
> From Pennydreadful Publishing:
> "Confederation Conspiracy: The curious career of a civil engineer"
> "Kings of the Iron Road: The men who made Nova Scotia's railways work"
> Or see author for details
> ---- Robber <> wrote:
>> Hello Bev,
>> Thanks for sharing this. By the way, who was your ancestor who was the
>> artist? I am always interested in early images of New Brunswick. It seems
>> many of the early artists were trained in surveying or military men.
>> Rob Fisher
>> -----Original Message-----
>> [mailto:] On Behalf Of Bev Guy
>> Sent: August-06-11 1:38 AM
>> To: ;
>> Subject: Re: [ NB ] Training to be a Surveyor
>> Hi Carol:
>> Somewhere amongst the replies to your query it was suggested that surveyors
>> learned their profession overseas. For what it's worth, my several gr
>> grandfather was from Edinburgh, Scotland. He arrived in N.B. with his family
>> in 1828 with the title Deputy Crown Surveyor of N.B. I believe the chief
>> honcho was named ? Baillie. In my extensive knowledge/research he never had
>> formal training to be a surveyor in Scotland (he was supposed to become a
>> doctor) but he was a keen naturalist and aged about 18, tramped all over the
>> Killarney Lakes In Ireland, wrote and published a successful travelogue, met
>> and fell in love with a girl from Waterford and went back a year or two
>> later to marry her. They then lived in Ireland.
>> To support her and his growing family, he became a surveyor for several
>> years in Ireland before they emigrated to N.B. Undoubtedly he was well
>> suited for that profession as he knew the Irish landscape well. How he got
>> such a position in N.B. is a mystery and must have required some influence
>> but he came from a prosperous, land owning family in Edinburgh who lost
>> their holdings due to poor business judgement in the next generation (the
>> surveyor's father).
>> With older brothers who became Writers to the Signet in Edinburgh (rather
>> like a para legal today), my surveyor ancestor who was the well educated,
>> youngest son really had no choice but to emigrate to advance his career.
>> By the way, my ancestral surveyor turned out to be an artist of importance
>> and historical interest. Several of his original watercolours of Saint John
>> Harbour, Fredericton and original old buildings are in the Lord Beaverbrook
>> collection in Fredericton.
>> Just a fun addition to the discussion. You fill in the gaps Bev
>> On Wed, Aug 3, 2011 at 4:53 PM, Carol Norman <> wrote:
>> > Hello List,
>> > A man on our family tree appeared in the 1851 census of Saint John
>> > with the occupation of surveyor. Does anyone know what kind of
>> > training one would have to have to pursue this trade? Was there any
>> > sort of official certification or licensing for surveyors at that time
>> > period that might be on record somewhere? Thanks much
>> > Carol Norman
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