New Brunswick Church Records

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New Brunswick Wiki Topics
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Beginning Research
Record Types
New Brunswick Background
Cultural Groups
Local Research Resources

Denominations[edit | edit source]

In the 2011 census, 84% of provincial residents reported themselves as Christian: 52% were Roman Catholic, 8% Baptist, 8% United Church of Canada, 7% Anglican and 9% other Christian. Fifteen percent of residents reported no religion.[1]

Information Found in the Records[edit | edit source]

To effectively use church records, become familiar with their content. Click on these links to learn about a specific record type:

Finding the Records[edit | edit source]

Look for online records.[edit | edit source]

Ancestry.com, FindMyPast.com, and MyHeritage.com can be searched free of charge at your local family history center or the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Caution sign.png

Online databases are incomplete. This can lead to two common errors:

  1. Near matches: Researchers might mistakenly accept an entry very similar to their ancestor, thinking it is the only one available. Only use information that matches your ancestor in date, place, relationships, and other details.
  2. Stopping research: Researchers might assume the database proves church records do not exist. Actually the record is still out there, just not in this incomplete collection of records. Keep searching!

FamilySearch[edit | edit source]

Ancestry.com[edit | edit source]

Look for digital copies of church records listed in the FamilySearch Catalog.[edit | edit source]

Family History Library
Salt Lake City, Utah
  • The Family History Library (FHL) has microfilmed and/or digitized records for churches in the Canada.
  • Online church records can be listed in the FamilySearch Catalog under Prince Edward Island, the county, or a town.
  • Because the churches gave copies of their records to the government for civil registration, search under both thhe "Church records" and "Civil registration" topics.
  • If you find a record that has not yet been digitized, see How do I request that a microfilm be digitized?
  • Some records might have viewing restrictions, and can only be viewed at a Family History Center near you, and/or by members of supporting organizations.
  • To find records:
a. Click on the records of Canada, New Brunswick.
b. Click on the "Church records" and "Civil registration" topics. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
c. Or, click on Places within Canada, New Brunswick at the top of the page, and a list of provinces will appear.
d. Click on your province.
e. Click on the "Church records" and "Civil registration" topics. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
f. Next, click on Places within Canada, New Brunswick, [COUNTY] and a list of towns will appear.
g. Click on your town if it appears, or the location which you believe was the parish which served your town or village.
h. Click on the "Church records" and "Civil registration" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
i. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the listing for the record. FHL icons.png. The magnifying glass indicates that the record is indexed. Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online digital copy of the records.

Consult available finding aids.[edit | edit source]

These aids generally provide lists of records that are known to exist and information on their location.


Correspond with or visit the actual churches.[edit | edit source]

Some records are still held in the local churches. Contact the current minister to find out what records are still available.

  • Make an appointment to look at the records. Or ask the minister of the church to make a copy of the record for you.
  • To find church staff available, you might have to visit on Sunday.
  • Ask for small searches at a time, such as one birth record or a specific marriage. Never ask for "everything on a family or surname".
  • A donation ($25-$40) for their time and effort to help you would be appropriate.
  • If the church has a website, you may be able to e-mail a message.
  • See the Letter Writing Guide for Genealogy for help with composing letters.

Addresses[edit | edit source]

Check the church records collections in archives and libraries.[edit | edit source]

Some church records have been deposited for preservation in government archives or in libraries. Watch for links to digitized, online records offered by the archives. Some archives provide research services for a fee. For others, if you cannot visit in person, you might hire a researcher.

Here you will find archive information unique to the province. Many more archives are kept by denomination. For denominational archives, go to Searching for Church Records by Denomination.


Library and Archives Canada
395 Wellington Street
Ottawa ON K1A 0N4
Canada
Service Points Outside Ottawa

Telephone: 613-996-5115 or 1-866-578-7777 (toll-free in Canada and the United States)
TTY: 613-992-6969 or 1-866-299-1699 (toll-free in Canada)
Fax: 613-995-6274


Library and Archives Canada holds only a small collection of parish registers, none of which are comprehensive for any region. Most are transcripts rather than originals, available on microfilm and listed in our Checklist of Parish Registers (ISBN 0660538636). Due to the heavy volume of inquiries we receive, we are unable to conduct searches in parish registers.


Provincial Archives of New Brunswick[edit | edit source]

Provincial Archives of New Brunswick
P.O. Box 6000
Fredericton, New Brunswick E3B 5H1
Canada
Telephone: 506-453-2637
Email:ArchivesNB@gnb.ca.
Physical Address:
Provincial Archives
Richard Bennett Hatfield Archives Complex
Bonar Law - Bennett Building
23 Dineen Drive
UNB Campus
Fredericton, NB Canada

The registers of over three hundred Baptist, Anglican, Methodist, Presbyterian, and Catholic churches are on microfilm at the Provincial Archives which can be ordered through interlibrary loan.

Anglican[edit | edit source]

On this site you will find transcribed Anglican Church records from the Gagetown, New Brunswick area. The original nine record books were kept by a series of travelling ministers and covered the years 1786 to 1841, containing lists of marriages, baptisms, and deaths. The records centre geographically on Gagetown, Queen’s County and particularly focus on the New Brunswick communities of Fredericton, Saint Marys, Lincoln, Grand Lake, Waterborough, Long Island, Wickham, Hampstead, Maugherville, Petersville, Sheffield, Kingston, Springfield, Greenwich, and Saint John. The communities are mainly located in King’s, Sunbury, and York Counties of New Brunswick, but entries as far flung as Nova Scotia, Ontario, Maine, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and New York are included. The original materials are held by the New Brunswick Museum Archives (NBM Inventory No. 438) and were transcribed by author and local historian, Marianne Grey Otty (1890-1963).

History[edit | edit source]

The Marriage Act that came into force in 1791 confined the privilege of solemnizing marriages to Church of England (Anglican) clergymen, and generally disallowed marriages by Justices of the Peace or dissenting preachers. The nearest Church of England clergyman was often far, far away and the original act had included exceptions: where both parties to the marriage were Quakers, or in communion with the Church of Rome or Kirk of Scotland, the marriage might be solemnized according to the manner of that denomination, and in “parishes where there was no Anglican clergyman resident, a marriage might be solemnized by a justice of the quorum.” regardless of whether the family were Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist or Congregationalists, always check the Anglican registers within the radius of a day’s horseback ride. [2]


Anglican Church of Canada
General Synod Archives
80 Hayden Street
Toronto, Ontario M4Y 3G2
Telephone: 416-924-9192

Diocese of Fredericton Archives
115 Church St.
Fredericton, NB E3B 4C8
Canada
Phone: 506-459-1801
E-mail: diocese@anglican.nb.ca

Housed at the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick
Joanna Aiton Kerr
c/o Provincial Archives of New Brunswick
P.O. Box 6000
Fredericton, NB E3B 5H1
Canada
Phone: 506-453-2637
E-mail: joanna.aitonkerr@gnb.ca

Baptist[edit | edit source]

United Baptist Convention of the Atlantic Provinces
1655 Manawagonish Road
Saint John, NB E2M 3Y2
CANADA
Telephone: 506-635-1922
Fax: 506-635-0366
Internet: http://www.baptist-atlantic.ca/

Atlantic Baptist Archives
Acadia University
Wolfville, NS B0P lX0
CANADA
Telephone: 902-585-1412
Fax: 902-585-1748
Internet: http://www.rootsweb.com/~canns/baptist.html

Roman Catholic[edit | edit source]

There are four Roman Catholic Dioceses in New Brunswick, all under the Archdiocese of Moncton. Only Saint John has an archive service. Call the local diocese to obtain the appropriate information.


Diocese of Saint John Archives
One Bayard Drive
Saint John NB
E2L 3l5
Canada

Tel: (506) 653-6807
E-Mail: archives@dioceseofsaintjohn.org


United Church of Canada[edit | edit source]

Fundy St. Lawrence Dawning Waters Regional Council
21 Wright St.
Sackville New Brunswick E4L 4P8
Canada
Phone: 1-800-268-3781 ext. 6159
Email: swallace@united-church.ca

The Fundy St. Lawrence Dawning Waters Regional Council/Regional Council 15 Archives is mandated to collect, preserve, and provide access to the records of the Maritime, Gaspé, and Bermuda regions of the The United Church of Canada. We also have pre-1925 records of the Presbyterian, Methodist, and Congregational congregations in the Maritimes and Gaspé which joined The United Church of Canada in 1925.

Go to the Wiki article for your ancestors' denomination to find more archives.[edit | edit source]

There are frequently additional, nationwide or regional archives for each denomination. Find the article for your ancestors' denomination and follow the instructions there to access these sources. This is especially important if local archives are not given above.

Wiki Articles for Records of Major Churches in Canada

Correspond with genealogical or historical societies.[edit | edit source]

Some church records have been given to historical societies. Also, historical societies may be able to tell you where the records are being held. To find a society near you, consult these lists:


Carefully compare any record you find to known facts about the ancestor[edit | edit source]

You will possibly find many different people with the same name as your ancestor, especially when a family stayed in a locality for several generations, and several children were named after the grandparents or aunts and uncles. Be prepared to find the correct church records by organizing in advance as many of these exact details about the ancestor as possible:

  • name, including middle name and maiden name
  • names of all spouses, including middle and maiden name
  • exact or closely estimated dates of birth, marriage, and death
  • names and approximate birthdates of children
  • all known places of residence
  • occupations
  • military service details


Dark thin font green pin Version 4.pngCarefully evaluate the church records you find to make sure you have really found records for your ancestor and not just a "near match". If one or more of the details do not line up, be careful about accepting the entry as your ancestor. There are guiding principles for deciding how to resolve discrepancies between records that are seemingly close. For more instruction in evaluating evidence, read the Wiki article, Evaluate the Evidence.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "New Brunswick: Religion", in Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Brunswick, accessed 4 August 2020.
  2. Journals of James Manning and James Innis, Page 198. Appendixes I to IX contain petitions signed by several dissenting congregations in New Brunswick protesting act the Act.