Destination New Brunswick
When did they come? On what ship?
The Custom House Records may have your answers.

Attempting to trace the arrival of ancestors is a top priority for many of us. Passenger lists are sought after. The questions we seek answers to are: When did my ancestors come to New Brunswick? What ship did they come on? What port did the ship sail from? What members of the family came together?

Over the years Saint John has suffered many fires. One of the worst fires was in 1877. The Custom House burned in this fire, destroying many documents.

In 1987, a group of volunteers from the Saint John Branch of the NB Genealogical Society transcribed the existing records and published "Passengers to New Brunswick,  The Custom House Records - 1833, 34, 37 & 38."  It is a transcription of passenger lists, ship manifests and other documents contained in the Custom House Records of the Port of Saint John. The book lists the names of 10,700 emigrants and their place of origin in the British Isles (primarily Ireland) for the years 1833, 1834, 1837 and 1838.

The Saint John Free Public Library has a copy of "Passengers to New Brunswick, The Custom House Records - 1833, 34, 37 & 38." and it is probably available in other research institutions.

Some of the passenger lists are online at the website of the Saint John Branch of the New Brunswick Genealogical Society at

Passengers to New Brunswick Custom House Records 1833,34,37 & 38. Previously published in 1987, reprinted 1999. 483 pp, including an index.  
For  ordering information visit

Queries have been grouped together to cover the year 1998 and can be viewed at Queries-1998

Ruby Cusack is a genealogy buff living in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. Readers are invited to send their New Brunswick genealogical queries to Ruby at When E-Mailing please put Yesteryear Families in the Subject line. Please include in the query, your name and postal address as someone reading the newspaper, may have information to share with you but not have access to E-mail. Queries should be no more than 45 words in length.

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