Provincial Archives of
New Brunswick website
Assembly Sessional Records (RS24)
Mum was sitting at the table with fountain
pen in hand, writing notes to put in the Christmas cards.
She shared lots of information on the events of the
I think every letter included the news she had a new wringer
washer which made wash day much easier. She also described
the double clothes line that Dad had put up. Of importance
to her was the clothes rack made of broom handles that he
also made to place over the floor furnace to dry not only
the washed clothes on a rainy day but was great for getting
coats and mittens dried during the winter months or on rainy
A car came into the yard and into the house came an older
couple who each used a cane.
Once they started to talk, I thought of them as being grumpy
and complainers. It seemed everything was better in the old
days, but they certainly had lots of stories to share.
I enjoyed hearing about the “government” of New Brunswick
changing the rule to right hand driving at the stroke of
midnight on Dec. 1, 1922. It seemed this was difficult for
the car driver to get accustomed to but much more difficult
for the horses to change and caused a lot of confusion.
I almost burst out laughing as an argument arose over the
date women were allowed to vote in New Brunswick.
If you are interested in the requests and rulings for change
in New Brunswick, I suggest you spend some time on the Provincial
Archives of New Brunswick website reading the
Legislative Assembly Sessional Records (RS24) where the
11,293 document descriptions, historical background,
archival context, and explanatory notes can be searched. The
writing is faint and one may need a magnifying glass to
Finding information takes time and your eyes will get tired
but it is well worth the effort.
For example on August 18, 1784, two months after the new
province of New Brunswick was established, Governor Thomas
Carleton was instructed by Royal Commission from King George
III to summon and call a General Assembly. The steps taken
by Governor Carleton in calling this assembly are detailed
in his letter of October 25, 1785, to Lord Stanley in the
Colonial Office at London - can be read online.
On Tuesday, January 3, 1786, His Majesty's request was
fulfilled and New Brunswick’s first House of Assembly met at
Saint John. By the time it adjourned on March 15 of that
year, no less than sixty-one acts had been passed.
S31-P37- Petition of Rachel Martin of Fredericton praying
that the provincial allowance may be granted her for
teaching school in the Parishes of Norton and Hampton, Kings
County. 25 Feb. 1823, p.34.
S32-P11 - Petition of James Dunn, a schoolmaster in Hampton
Parish, Kings County, praying that the Provincial allowance
for teaching be granted him. 28 Jan. 1824, p.15.
S34-P75 -Petition of sundry inhabitants of the
Parishes of St. Martins and Hampton, Kings County, praying
aid to build a bridge over Hammond River. 14 Feb. 1826,
S36-P17 - Petition of William Greenslade and others of
Hampton and Springfield Parishes, Kings County, praying that
an act might pass to grant a bounty for the destruction of
bears in the Province. 16 Feb. 1828, p.15.
S36-P126- Petition of sundry inhabitants of Hampton Parish,
Kings County, praying that an examination of the Hammond
River be carried out to determine where the new bridge
should be built. 6 Mar. 1828, p.64.
S34-P44- Petition of sundry inhabitants of Northumberland
County praying that the shiretown of that county be
established at Chatham instead of Newcastle. 9 Feb. 1826,
S37-B23 - Bill to lay a tax on dogs in certain parts of the
Parishes of Newcastle, Chatham and Nelson in Northumberland
County. 18 Dec. 1828, p.18.
S15-P8 - Petition of Young Sherman, Ring Sherman and other
inhabitants of Petitcodiac and Sackville praying that the
marriage act be amended to allow ministers of any
denomination to perform marriages. 10 Feb. 1802, p.668.
S21-B17 - Bill to restrain persons from marriage until their
former wives or husbands be dead. 13 Feb. 1812, p.14.
1231 records were found when I searched the name “Saint
S1-B84 - Bill to enable the corporation of the City of Saint
John to lay a duty of tonnage upon all vessels of thirty
tons and upwards, for the purpose of erecting a lighthouse
and supporting the same. 2 Mar. 1786, p.61.
Bill for preserving the bank of the River Saint John in
front of Maugerville, Sheffield and Waterborough. 1 Mar.
S2-B19 - An act to enable the Justices of the Peace in the
several counties in this province, wherein no gaols are
erected, to send persons charged with grand larceny, and
other offences of a higher nature, to the gaol of the City
and County of Saint John. 3 Mar. 1787, p.94
S2-P3 - Petition of William Ryan, Saint John County, dated
July 24, 1787 requesting the House to pass an act which will
enable him to be released from prison to pay his debts.
S9-P7 - Petition of the Methodist Society of the City of
Saint John requesting a law allowing Methodist ministers to
perform marriages. 13 Feb. 1795, p.404.
S43-R20.93 - Account of James Brickley, Commissioner of the
Bye Road between the Old Quaco Road and Milligan Settlement,
Saint John County.
IMAGES - Artists provided us with pictures before cameras
were around. The images in the RS24 gallery represent how
artists and lithographers, people like William Henry
Bartlett and Saint John born Lady Mary (Heaviside) Love,
depicted the rapidly changing face of the province. These
images also reflect many of the issues and conditions
legislators faced in guiding the province through its first
50 years and some of those key individuals are also
represented in the gallery.