Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Yes, I am in love with something besides my husband, I will gladly admit it, and my husband is even okay with it!

My love affair with the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick (PANB) is nothing new. When I was just starting out I would make the 2 hour drive to Fredericton, New Brunswick from Maine and spend my vacation time in the research room of the old brick building. The staff was always helpful, even when I didn't know what I was looking for or when I would bring my husband along and assign him to just copy things I handed him.

I took my mother with me on one trip. She had no real interest in genealogy and I had to make up nicknames for her to remember who people were. I referred to her 2rd great grandfather William Price, Jr as "William the missing", because at the time I had not found his parents, I still call him by title to this day.

We lived in Waterbury, Vermont for three years in the 1990's and I made two 8 hour (one way) trips to the archives just to research a new person.


Then they started an online site, it grew slowly into what it is today, probably the best archive website I have ever used.

I research and write allot about New Brunswick but I have researched all over the US and Canada as well as a few foreign countries. The PANB has records online from 1800-1962 most of them with the original scanned document . Last month they added a Federated Database Search that allows you to search most of the online records at once. 

Birth (to 1917), Marriage and Death (both to 1962) records are easy to search. You can search by just last name or even the first three letters of the surname. 


The PANB added an area dedicated to Irish research a few years ago.


It allows you to search arrivals, census and even people who resided at the St. John's Almshouse. Even if you do not have Irish roots you may find your ancestor in some these records.  
Added last year was some of the work of R.Wallace Hale. I own the Early Probate book and have used it for years. It was wonderful to see the archives add it as a searchable database.

Early New Brunswick (Canada) Probate Records 1785-1835


The Fort Havoc site below contains many records, most pertaining to Loyalist. I holds great historic information.


Often overlooked guide to family history is a small database of the books, documents for family histories on file at the archives. You can e-mail the archives to see how to obtain a copy.

Wondering about a Town or City and what county it is in?


My favorite page overall is the New Brunswick Vital Statistics from Newspapers 1784-1896  transcribed and collected by Daniel F. Johnson (1958-2005). It can be found as a set of 102 books in many libraries around the U.S. and Canada. This database has contributed more to my search than any other I can think of. It has most of the major Newspapers in New Brunswick and is transcribed images (not a view of the orginal). You can search by family name or by a word or place. You will find Births, Marriages and Death as in any newspapers of their time but also the day to day lives of the people of New Brunswick.


When I needed to take a break one day I typed in Murder and was amazed at the stories and information in the article that came up. I then did the same with Hanging (morbid I know but I was curious) and then Fire. It was a great way to learn more about the area I spend so much time researching. 

Date December 22 1869 
County Saint John 
Place Saint John 
Newspaper Morning News 

The language of the text is the original used in the newspaper entry and as transcribed by Daniel F. Johnson. Records acquired by the Provincial Archives are not translated from the language in which they originate. 

MUNROE-VAIL Murder - Judge ALLEN then rose and with much feeling said "You stand convicted of the murder of Sarah Margaret VAIL ... The sentence of the Court is that you (John A. MUNROE) be conducted to the place from whence you came, and thence on Tuesday, 15th day of February next, to the place of execution, there to be hanged by the neck, until you are dead and may God have mercy on your soul" (see original)
If you look to the top right of the database you will see "Full-Text Search" if you click on it, it will take you to a box where you can search for words as individual or combinations. When searching always remember that spelling can be off on surnames as well as regular words. I was searching for an article I had read and I knew it contained the word Polygamy. It didn't come up so I searched by the name and when I found the article the word was spelled polygomy.   Also for those of us from "The States" keep in mind that words differ in spelling between Canada (British English) and the U.S., like Colour and Color.  I found a good site on the some of differences.

I hope this will be of some help in your search and that you enjoy your trip through the records of one of my favorite places.  Take the time to click on each link on the toolbar at the top of the PANB site it will take you to many more options that I have listed here.  

**Are you working on a family that I have listed marked with a * , + or *+ in the name on my Rootsweb page and want to know more?  Let me know I may have notes available that I don't show online.  I can also make it into a blog if I have enough on the group.**

Take care,


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