Fonds ID26 - Magee family

Title proper

Magee family

General material designation

  • Textual record
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  • Source of title proper: Title based on contents.

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  • 1858-1969 (Creation)
    Magee family

Physical description

35 cm of textual records

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(Branch begins ca. 1822)

Biographical history

William (1822-1894) and John (1824-1885) Magee emigrated, with their parents, from Enniskillen, Ireland, to Saint John, New Brunswick, in the early 1830s. In 1836, William apprenticed with W.G. Lawton, dry goods merchant. Some time later William opened a dry goods business and millinery store with his sister. They were soon joined by their brother John, who had also worked with Lawton.

In 1858, William and John entered into a formal partnership agreement to carry on business as Magee Bros.; in Saint John as wholesale and retail dry goods merchants and importers; and in Granville, Nova Scotia, as mill owners and manufacturers. Magee Bros. were also involved in cattle breeding and farming. The firm gave up the dry good business in 1877, and turned its interests to coal and shipping. On John's death in 1885, his share in the company was transferred to William.

John Magee married Maria Julia Merritt (1827-1898) in 1854. They had three sons: William Clarence Magee (1856-1923), John Buchanan Magee (1857-1939), and Arthur Merritt Magee, who were clerks at Magee Bros. & Co. By 1882, William C. and John B. formed William C. Magee and Co., shipbrokers. After their father's death, William C. and John B. were again employed with Magee Bros., and William C. Magee and Co. no longer appeared in city directories until 1916. After 1904, William C. was listed with Magee Bros. and John appears as an insurance agent and later as an employee of Manchester, Robertson and Allison.

John B. Magee and his wife Minnie had a son, Arthur, who was killed April 1915 in France. They also had a daughter, Edith Marion Magee (1888-1980).

Custodial history

A bound volume containing the arrivals of square rigged vessels at port of Saint John, New Brunswick, Sept. 1876-April 1901 included in this fonds was kept originally by Like Stewart (d.1884), shipbroker. It is not known how it came to be part of the fonds.

Scope and content

This fonds includes financial records of Magee Brothers as well as personal papers assembled by the family. There are Magee Bros. account books for dry goods, wharfage accounts, rents, storage, ships, 1875-1910, and ships' accounts for the ships "Arianna," "Buteshire," "City Camp," "Etta," "Stewart," "Governor Wilmot," "Hypatia," "New City," "St. Andrews," "St. George," "St. Patrick," "Sea Crest," "Z. Ring;" and share certificates owned by Magee Bros. and family. There are also family legal and land records, pedigree certificates and other agricultural material and records on family estates and wills. They include a will and indenture of Maria Julia (Merritt) Magee, 1896; records of the estate of John Buchanan Magee, 1940; and a notebook containing rent records, 1913-1918, 1923.

The family correspondence includes that of William Clarence Magee, 1866-1874; Frederick P. Magee regarding Saint John Hockey League, 1896-1899; Arthur Merrittt Magee during First World War; and certificates, ephemera and correspondence of Edith Marion Magee, 1907-1969. There are also typed copies of correspondence and other material of Norris family. Some accounts, of the St. John Fusiliers, 1901, are also included.

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Acquired from Edith Magee, 1950-1962.


Language of material

  • English

Script of material

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No restrictions

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Detailed inventory available

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General note

Graphics information note: Photographs have been transferred to the Humanities Division of the Museum: Saint John Lacrosse Team, 1889 (tintype); Houses of John and William Magee, Mecklenburg St., pre 1877; Arthur Merritt Magee, 1914

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