Mum had gone to town and I was left
to spend the day with Gram. She sensed that I was very bored, so she suggested
we go up the backstairs to the bedroom over the kitchen. She pointed to a
small plain wooden box with a slide cover. I wondered what such a drab looking
box could contain. My excitement mounted when out tumbled twelve picture blocks
that could be arranged into six different pictures of kittens at play.
The other day, I looked at a book with a black leatherette cover and gold letters stating, “CANADA - JANUARY, 1914 and I had no idea of the genealogical information it held. The title page, “The Mercantile Agency Reference Book For The Dominion of Canada Containing Names and Ratings of Merchants, Traders and Manufacturers, January 1914 - R. G. Dun & Co." gave me no inkling of what I might find, but like the picture blocks, the facts came tumbling out, much to my excitement.
The book includes the ten provinces of Canada, Yukon Territory, Magdalen Island and St. Pierre Et Miquelon with information on the merchants, traders and manufacturers of cities, towns and many settlements.
I was surprised to find Titusville, showing a population of one hundred as well as the stores of David McAllister, J. A. McGivery, R. E. Ray and Fred W. Titus. The blacksmith was given as Charles H. Titus.
Mrs. Robert H. Barnett, W. T. Inch, and W. L. Livingston ran the three grocery stores in New Jerusalem, Queens County.
Maxine Albert and Mrs. E. V. Albert operated the hotels in Albertine, Madawaska County.
In Bartlett’s Mill, Charlotte County, Jesse Bartlett had a Saw and Grist Mill.
Bamford Allen was the Carriagemaker in Bayfield, Westmorland County.
R. S. Semple had a business of Stoves and Tins at East Florenceville, Carleton County.
Miss Ada Schleyer was a Florist in Fredericton.
Upham’s blacksmith was William Clancy and John Kilpatrick had a hotel.
R. A. Russel was the undertaker in Loggieville, Northumberland County.
A. H. Melanson was a jeweller in Moncton.
Mrs. M. E. Macklen had a millinery in Nashwaak Village, York County.
Way out in Vermilion, Alberta, Peter Wiebe was the miller.
Over in Canning, Nova Scotia, James E. Hennigar sold watches.
“The Mercantile Agency Reference Book For The Dominion of Canada Containing Names and Ratings of Merchants, Traders and Manufacturers” lists 146,972 names and also gives their credit rating and estimated pecuniary strength.
The Library and Archives of the New Brunswick Museum has copies of Mercantile Agency Reference Book, Dominion of Canada for 1874, 1883 and 1884.
Microfilms of certain years during the 1870s to 1890s can be viewed on microfilm at the Harriet Irving Library at the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton.
Also at the Library and Archives of the New Brunswick Museum, there are other business directories that may prove to be very helpful:
McAlpine's Dominion Business Classified Directory. 1873-74
McAlpine's Maritime Business Directory. 1880-81
McAlpine's Charlotte County Directory. 1886-87
McAlpine's New Brunswick Gazetteer and Business Directory. 1910
McAlpine's Cumberland County, NS Directory and Classified Business Directory, including Westmorland
County, NB. 1916
General Directory of Calais, Maine and St. Stephen, NB, including mercantile, manufacturing, and professional interests of both cities. 1890-91
R.L. Polk & Co. Dominion of Canada Business Directory. 1890-91
When visiting a research institution, I suggest you inquire as to their holdings of business directories.
New Books Have Been Added