New Brunswick Provincial Records (National Institute)

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The original content for this article was contributed by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies in December 2012. It is an excerpt from their course Research: Canadian Ancestors  by Doris Bourrie, CG. The Institute offers over 200 comprehensive genealogy courses for a fee ($).

New Brunswick Provincial Records[edit | edit source]

The area now known as New Brunswick originally included present-day New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

History[edit | edit source]

First settled by the French during the 17th century, Acadia was ceded to Great Britain by the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. Tensions between the French and English persisted, and eventually in 1755 the British troops expelled any Acadian who would not swear allegiance to the British crown. Many of these Acadians fled to Louisiana where they became known as Cajuns.

After the Seven Years’ War between England and France, early Loyalists migrated from the American Colonies and settled in the St. John River area. Following the American Revolution many wishing to remain loyal to Britain fled to the area known as Nova Scotia, and this increase in population caused Nova Scotia to be divided into two areas: Nova Scotia, which included Cape Breton Island, and the separate colony of New Brunswick which was established in 1784.

New Brunswick was a self-governing British colony until in 1867 it became one of the four founding provinces of the Dominion of Canada.

Provincial Archives[edit | edit source]

Provincial Archives of New Brunswick
Richard Bennett Hatfield Archives Complex
Bonar Law-Bennett Building
23 Dineen Drive
UNB Campus
Fredericton, New Brunswick E3B 5H1
Telephone: (506) 453-2122

The provincial website contains a number of online searchable databases covering vital statistics, land petitions, family histories, an Irish Famine database covering migrants to New Brunswick 1845-1852, and some early directories. There are also downloadable finding aids to major records, as well as downloadable County Genealogical guides which provide information on genealogical records for each county, with reel numbers.

Census Records[edit | edit source]

Nominal census records for this province include 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901. Not all returns for these years have survived. There are some earlier census records available which are Heads of Family only. Some of these include Acadian records.

For additional information, see New Brunswick Census.

Vital Statistics[edit | edit source]

The provincial archives holds microfilm copies of birth records 1801-1899, as well as marriage and death records for 1888-1919. Also housed at the provincial archives is the collection of the Anglican Diocese of Fredericton. See searchable databases for various vital statistics records on Provincial Archives website.

Vital Statistics Branch
Department of Health and Community Services
P. O. Box 1998
Fredericton, New Brunswick E3B 5G4
There is a search fee. [1]

Land Records[edit | edit source]

In 1784 New Brunswick was divided into eight counties. These were later expanded to 15 counties, which are subdivided into civil parishes similar to townships. The provincial archives publishes a very useful County Genealogical Guide for each county, which serves as a finding aid for information on that individual county.

Early land petitions date from 1784. Prior to that period records may be found among Nova Scotia records. See the link on the provincial website to the searchable Land Grant database provided by the University of New Brunswick. Once the original grant of Crown Land was made, any later transactions would be handled by the Land Registration Office for the county.

Wills and Estate Records[edit | edit source]

The jurisdiction of the New Brunswick court and the Court of Probate began in 1786. The original probate records were kept in the 15 counties, but have now been transferred to the provincial archives. Years covered depend on the individual county, and when it was settled. Consult the County Genealogical Guide on the provincial archives website for your county of interest.

Additional Records[edit | edit source]

Consult the information contained in the County Genealogical Guide for your specific county to obtain specialized information on holdings for church records, newspapers, school records, etc. for that county.

New Brunswick Land Records

Maps, Atlases and Directories[edit | edit source]

The provincial archives website has searchable databases, including directories for 1865-1868, and for 1871. The Provincial Archives of New Brunswick has cadastral maps showing crown grants.

Specialized Records[edit | edit source]

Records for Acadiens, Pre-Loyalist (those settling in the area that became New Brunswick prior to 1783) and Loyalist records (those arriving as a result of the American Revolution) may be found in the provincial archives, and in published histories and guides. The Centre d’Etudes Acadiennes at the University of Moncton has information on Acadien roots.

Genealogical Organizations[edit | edit source]

  • New Brunswick Genealogical Society
    P.O. Box 3235, Station B
    Fredericton, New Brunswick E3A 5G9

    This site provides addresses to the various branches of the Society, and links to other sites of interest. There is a surname list which includes surnames of interest to members, and a membership list for the year 2000.
  • Le Centre d’étude Acadiennes
    Moncton University
    Moncton, New Brunswick E1A 3E9
    Telephone: (506) 858-4805

    Available in French only. This website concentrates on information regarding Acadians and people of French descent. The Généalogie button takes you to a compiled genealogical list of Acadian families. There is also a searchable list of some parish records. The Autres liens button will take you to links to other sites of interest.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Sharon L. Murphy, Canadian: Vital Statistics Records. Births, Marriages and Deaths. Libraries with book


Information in this Wiki page is excerpted from the online course Research: Canadian Ancestors offered by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies. To learn more about this course or other courses available from the Institute, see our website. We can be contacted at

We welcome updates and additions to this Wiki page.