Although Spring was the time for us to run and play, I just couldn’t picture Gramp and Dad running through the woods carrying chains and poles with some fellow named Sir Vey Or. Mum was making a lunch for them to take while they ran the lines way up on the Darling land.
If I had been the daughter of one of the early appointed deputy provincial land surveyors, I would have been familiar with the meaning of chains, poles and running lines. I might have even watched as survey findings were drawn on large sheets of linen cloth, which occasionally would include personal  information on the lot holders.
Daniel Micheau was born in Staten Island, New York on 29 Jan 1761 and came to New Brunswick with the Loyalist in the Spring Fleet of 1783 and later settled in Hampton. After being appointed, deputy provincial land surveyor, he was sent to the Miramichi in 1785 to lay off lots for granting along both sides of the river. On the survey plan, he added such comments as: #22 - A small hut put up by Simeon Moss - inhabitant of Cumberland. # 53 - Improved by Thomas Davis, Refugee from New York. #28 Some logs laid up for a house by Daniel Monro - an old inhabitant.

By the way, Daniel Micheau married Hannah, the daughter of the Rev. Scovil and was buried in the Trinity Churchyard in Kingston upon his death in Hampton in 1818 at the age of 57.

Although grant maps will assist you in finding the exact location of the grant received by your ancestor or land purchased, this document itself, was essentially the final step in the process to acquire land. The applicant first submitted a petition to the Lieutenant Governor. For the early settler, the petitioner usually described himself, his need, his family, and any service he rendered to the Crown which might entitle him to land. If the petition was approved, an Order/Warrant of Survey was issued to the deputy-surveyor who established the boundaries of the grant to be issued. Information gathered from the survey was then used to draw up a land grant document which served as the official record and final authority of granted Crown Land but scads of data were omitted. Thus I suggest you visit the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick  in Fredericton, where you will find in excess of 15,000 survey plans, which in some cases will depict, beside boundaries, the location of roads, buildings and other topographical information.

When the administration of the province decided to build major roads, a very detailed survey of the proposed location was done and these details are very interesting visually and also for the information depicted.

Copies of Land Grants are available from the Provincial Archives. Cost is $5.00 per grant. More information at

Land Grant maps can be purchased from the office of Service New Brunswick. The CD-ROM with  images of all the 40 chain grant maps for the province of New Brunswick can be ordered on line at    

The 1875 Roe and Colby Atlas of Saint John City and County and the 1878 Halfpenny Atlas of York County were compiled and drawn from official plans and actual surveys. They provide information on the boundaries of  wards, parishes, locations of public buildings, names of property owners and much more. They can be found in several Research Institutions and are online at On this site there is also an 1857 New Brunswick map with parishes.

Another interesting Roe and Colby Atlas is of Aroostook County, Maine, published in 1877.

The History and Technology department of the New Brunswick Museum has a collection of maps, which can be viewed by appointment. The Ganong and Webster collections are housed there. A useful map for tracing the location of a house or business is the insurance plan of Saint John, including Fairville, for September 1911.

The New Brunswick Museum Archives and Research Library has a number of maps including a brochure of the Kennebecasis Steamship Company with a map of Kennebecasis River showing the route of Steamer Hampton and table of distances.

In publications, such as the Acadiensis, the Collections of the New Brunswick Historical Society and Clarence Webster’s 1947, “Historical Guide to New Brunswick” maps were often included.

One of my favourite maps is the large 1862 Topographical Map of the counties of St. John and Kings by H. F. Walling, which has the names of residents, location of churches, schools and businesses.

The Saint John Branch of the New Brunswick Genealogical Society invites the public to attend  their meeting on Wednesday, April 28 at 7:30 p.m. in the Lions Den of the Loch Lomond Villa -  an evening devoted to early maps of Saint John County and the surrounding areas. Speakers will present information on some maps that are useful to genealogists. This will be followed with an open discussion. All those attending are encouraged to bring any early maps to share with the group.

How and When Were the Parishes and Counties Formed? 

Maps of New Brunswick

Atlas of York County, New Brunswick, 1878 by H. E. Halfpenny

Atlas of Saint John City and County, New Brunswick, 1875 by Roe and Colby

1857 Map of New Brunswick with Parishes

Daniel Micheau Survey - Miramichi

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Ruby M. Cusack is a genealogy buff living in New Brunswick, Canada. Send your New Brunswick genealogical queries to her at:  Include your name and mailing address for the benefit of the readers of the newspaper who do not have access to E-mail but could have information to share with you. Please put "Yesteryear" followed by the surnames in your query. For more information on submitting queries, visit
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