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Ruby M. Cusack

County Genealogical Guides on the
Provincial Archives of New Brunswick website




Kings County from an 1898 map.
Courtesy of the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick. Reference number V1-203-1898

I had been putting off doing the Social Studies project as all my attention was being given to the tiny newborn piglet that was in a box behind the kitchen stove. “Wee”, as I named him, was not only the runt of the litter but the sow lacked one feeding station so it didn’t take a scientist to figure out who would be pushed aside, when eating time rolled around.  

If “Wee” was going to make it, he needed to be fed often from a baby’s bottle. Furthermore I think he liked to be cuddled.

Gramp dropped off Gram on his way to a meeting. She was not an animal lover and hardly looked at my little new found friend.

Mum told her about my lack of interest in my school work of drawing a map of New Brunswick that showed the Counties with the names of the parishes and shire towns written on a piece of paper and glued beside the map.

To make matters worse, I had to tell Mum that I had left my bottle of glue and wax crayons at school.

Gram came to the rescue. She took some flour, water, a pinch of cinnamon and put it on the stove to heat to make wall paper paste. I was in charge of the stirring with the whisk so the mixture would be smooth and without lumps.

Nothing was ever thrown out in our house as it might be needed some day. This was the case tonight as my map of New Brunswick was to be on a piece of stiff cardboard. The large box, which had once held bags of puffed wheat cereal, was just the perfect one to cut up.

Although the map in “Our New Brunswick Story” book was a really good one to copy from, my talents as an artist were nil. I couldn’t even draw a straight line with a ruler.

I did so much erasing, there was almost a hole in the cardboard.

The rolls and pieces of unused wall paper from times gone by were found and used to cut out the shapes of the counties. Gram’s wallpaper paste held them in place.

Next came marking the counties and naming the parishes which was no easy task. Mum let me use her fountain pen, but she cautioned me to be careful not to spill the bottle of ink.

We heard Gramp stomping the snow off his boots as he came in. I was certain he would give me great praise since I had help in doing my masterpiece. Instead he said you have Madawaska spelled incorrectly. Next he asked me if it was a Cadastral Map?

If I had only had access to computers 70 years ago, I could have pushed some buttons on the keyboard and showed him some very interesting maps and information on the website of the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick. The New Brunswick cadastral maps show the basic features of the province along with the boundaries, lot number, and grantee’s name for land granted by the province. These maps are cumulative, showing all grants regardless of date.

There are maps that show the county location in the province and there are county maps which show parishes.

For example Johnville was located on the Monquart Stream, 6.75 km NE of Bath: Kent Parish, Carleton County: settled in 1861 and named for Bishop John Sweeny (1821-1901), who helped settlers obtain land in the area: PO 1862-1945: in 1866 Johnville was a farming settlement with approximately 94 resident families: in 1871 the community and surrounding district had a population of 500: in 1898 Johnville had 1 post office, 1 church and a population of 400.
Latitude : 46° 34' and Located on the Monquart Stream, 6.75 km NE of Bath: Kent Parish, Carleton County: settled in 1861 and named for Bishop John Sweeny (1821-1901), who helped settlers obtain land in the area: PO 1862-1945: in 1866 Johnville was a farming settlement with approximately 94 resident families: in 1871 the community and surrounding district had a population of 500: in 1898 Johnville had 1 post office, 1 church and a population of 400.
Latitude : 46° 34' and Longitude : 67° 33'

The communities within 5 km of Johnville were: Canaan, Giberson Settlement, Sweeney Corner, Murphy Corner, Lapoint Corner, South Johnville, Haley Corner, Oaktown, Rosine, Monquart, and Crain Corner          

By clicking on the “zoom out” I can get a view of the land grants in the Johnville area with lot number, and grantee’s name.
   
When New Brunswick was established in 1784, it was divided into eight counties. Divisions were made until 15 counties were named.

The counties were subdivided into civil parishes which can cause many a headache as the boundaries kept changing and new ones added. If you are going to do genealogical research, you need to do your homework by studying the history of the formation of the divisions of the province.

Researchers are reminded that pre-1831 genealogical data for Carleton County is located in the York County Genealogical Guide. Pre-1837 records for the Restigouche County area are in the Gloucester County records. Pre-1826 records for Gloucester County may be found in the records for Northumberland County. Much of the pre-1844 documents for the Victoria County area can be found in the Carleton County Genealogical Guide.

The Guide to the development of Saint John County includes the information that the parishes of
Portland, Saint Martins and Lancaster were established in 1786. Simonds was set off from Portland in 1839. Musquash was set off from Lancaster in 1877. Portland and Lancaster have
since become part of the City of Saint John.

Westmorland County was established in 1785 and included most of the Nova Scotian township of Cumberland. Civil parishes were established as follows: 1786: Sackville, Moncton, Hopewell and Hillsborough were established. 1787: Dorchester and Salisbury were established. 1805: Botsford was set off from Sackville. 1827: Shediac was set off from parts of Sackville, Dorchester and Westmorland. 1828: Coverdale was set off from Hillsborough. 1835: The boundaries of Moncton parish were expanded to include part of Dorchester. 1838: Harvey was set off from Hopewell. 1845: Albert County was created from the Westmorland County parishes of Hopewell, Hillsborough and Salisbury. 1896: There was some realignment of the parish boundaries

In 2017, the County Genealogical Guides on the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick website  were revised with updated information on sources at the Provincial Archives and provide an unlimited amount of information. The guides, one for each of the fifteen counties, provide descriptions of records that are most helpful for researching family history. These sources identify records that can be used online or through interlibrary loan, as well as records that are only available by visiting the Provincial Archives in Fredericton.

The introduction for the “Place Names of New Brunswick” database states, “This database will interest determined researchers and the merely curious. It is comprehensive and inviting. For each of the 4710 names, geographical locations in relation to nearby communities are given, as are specific coordinates, derivations of the names, and highlights of the communities’ histories. Links are provided to 4784 land grant and other maps, photographs of 489 of the communities (a total of 960 photos), and approximately 600 documents about the founding, incorporation, or development of 144 of the communities. Place names, like language, are constantly evolving.

This cold and stormy season, where indoors is the place of comfort, provides an opportunity to concentrate on how New Brunswick was set up, along with reviewing the data bases and information that is stored on the New Brunswick Provincial Archives website.















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