New Brunswick Newspapers
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Resources for New Brunswick Newspapers
The Royal Gazette and New Brunswick Advertiser’s first extant issue is dated October 11, 1785. Published in Saint John until 1815, then in Fredericton, it was the official paper in which the government announced appointments and printed notices of new legislation. In the early days, like the official Gazette in most colonies, it functioned somewhat like a newspaper, but marriage and death notices were limited to very important people and the best most family historians can hope for is some paid announcement about an estate.
Other publishers in the main settlements soon filled the vacuum: in Saint John the Saint John Gazette (1784-1807) and the New Brunswick Courier (1811-1865), were among the earliest, and in Chatham, the Chatham Mercury (1826-1829) then the Gleaner (1829-1880) served the whole Mirimichi and Northumberland County area. The numbers of newspapers, mostly weekly or semi-weekly proliferated in the late 19th and early 20th century.
The contents of these papers were in large part reprinted from British or American sources, but the editorial, a couple of columns of local news, some death and marriage announcements (very few births) and the advertising or notices by local businesses will offer a good record of community affairs. James A. Fraser’s history of Chatham, By Favourable Winds, makes extensive use of the newspaper notices and advertising in his biographical listing of the residents of the town and is a good example of what to look for beyond the begats.
Many early newspapers mention marriages, deaths, and a few births. J. Russell Harper's Historical Directory of New Brunswick Newspapers and Periodicals lists the different newspapers in New Brunswick and tells where they can be found.
- Helen Craig and Muriel Daniel.New Brunswick newspapers directory, 1783-1996 = Répertoire des journaux du Nouveau-Brunswick. 2nd edition. Council of Head Librarians of New Brunswick, 1996.
- J. Russell Harper. Historical directory of New Brunswick newspapers and periodicals. University of New Brunswick, 1961.
Libraries and Archives
Provincial Archives of New Brunswick (PANB)
Bonar Law-Bennett Building
23 Dineen Drive
University of New Brunswick Campus
Fredericton, New Brunswick
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 6000
Fredericton, New Brunswick E3B 5H1
New Brunswick Newspaper Directory:
The province’s largest collections of newspapers are at:
- Harriet Irving Library
University of New Brunswick
P.O. Box 7500 Fredericton, New Brunswick E3B 5H5
(Street address: 5 MacAulay Lane)
Telephone: (506) 453-4740
- Legislative Library of New Brunswick
706 Queen Street
P.O. Box 6000
Fredericton, New Brunswick E3B 5H1
The Legislative Library also has a large collection. They have all New Brunswick newspapers and also make clippings files by subject from the four provincial dailies “concerning public issues and the activities of the New Brunswick government” so it appears unlikely these will be of use to genealogists.
Digital Issues Online
- New Brunswick Provincial Archives - Daniel F. Johnson’s New Brunswick Newspaper Vital Statistics (1784-1896)
New Brunswick Published Indexes
- New Brunswick vital statistics from newspapers. An extensive abstracting and indexing project, begun by the New Brunswick Genealogical Society, later taken over by Daniel F. Johnson and covering 1784-1896. Available in book form or searches can be done at the Provincial Archives on New Brunswick website. This enormous index is an extraordinary accomplishment, of incalculable benefit to New Brunswick researchers.
- David R. Henderson. Parish of Kars, Kings county, New Brunswick: some births, marriages, deaths, etc. and articles of interest gleaned from the Kings County Record regarding the parish of Kars, Kings County, New Brunswick for the years 1891 through 1965 (1997). Henderson has published similar volumes for the parishes of Norton, Springfield, Wickham, Johnston and Cambridge.
New Brunswick Unpublished Indexes
The Royal Gazette has been indexed for the years 1784–1867. This index is available at the Provincial Archives.
The Acadian population has been less well-served, but there were two papers published in the Moncton area: Le Moniteur Acadien (1867-1926) and L’Evangeline (1887-1982). The Université de Moncton has published Inventaire du “Moniteur acadien,” 1867-1926, a selective index of articles of Acadian interest, and those with genealogical and family history information. Check their webpage and lists of publications to see what other more recent indexing has been published. There are some, for limited time spans, and you might be lucky and find they include the years you want.
In Bathurst, LAC lists Le courrier des Provinces Maritimes published from 1885 to 1899 and 1900 to 1903, as well as many short-lived local publications that sprang up in the 1980s to replace L’Evangeline. If you need to locate French-language newspapers, consult the Centre d’Études acadiennes at the Université de Moncton.
If you want to write to a local paper, be careful of older reference works like Canadian Serials Directory (1987) which may lurk in reference libraries but list periodicals and newspapers, with addresses etc. active in 1987. For currently published papers, try to find a recent copy of Matthews’ List, which is brought out several times a year, listing all Canadian advertising media including newspapers.
- Douglas, Althea. "New Brunswick Newspapers and Magazines (National Institute)," The National Institute for Genealogical Studies (2012), https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/New_Brunswick_Newspapers_and_Magazines_%28National_Institute%29.
- de Groot, Susanna, "Canada Historical Newspapers Bibliographies (National Institute)," The National Institute for Genealogical Studies (2012), https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Canada_Historical_Newspapers_Bibliographies_%28National_Institute%29.
- Taylor, Ryan, "Canada Newspaper Indexes and Abstracts (National Institute)," The National Institute for Genealogical Studies (2012), https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Canada_Newspaper_Indexes_and_Abstracts_%28National_Institute%29.