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Article posted: January 9, 1998
New Brunswick Newspapers
By: Ryan Taylor, Biography and Archived Articles
When I am asked a question about New Brunswick genealogy, one of the first things I think of is newspapers. For most places, research in newspapers is difficult and long, but if your ancestors lived in New Brunswick, you may be in luck.
Dan Johnsons New Brunswick Vital Statistics from Newspapers is a huge series which this prominent genealogist publishes himself. It now features 71 volumes covering the period 1784 to 1888, with more appearing all the time.
Dan is lucky that New Brunswick is relatively small compared with Ontario or Quebec, and the population is sparse too, so that a single series of volumes can try to cover the whole province. A similar effort could not be made in Ontario or Quebec.
Dans series is widely available, but even so, you may find that he has not extracted the newspapers you want or yet covered the time period you need. A new publication from the Council of Head Librarians of New Brunswick will be up your alley.
New Brunswick Newspaper Directory 1783-1996 is the second edition of this useful title. It includes both English and French papers, listing how often they were published, where and whether they have been microfilmed. Each section also includes what years are covered, with notes about missing issues. The book is organized by place. Since many newspapers have genealogies of their own, having grown out of older papers and then made alliances with competitors, these are given as well, so that researchers can always be clear about what papers existed when.
French papers are listed in French and English in English, but there is a complete glossary so that you can translate the entries yourself. The book includes good introductory material and an explanation about how to read each entry.
Some indication of who owns copies of the papers is given, but they are all in New Brunswick, not convenient for people searching from a distances. The nearest place to central Canada, with substantial holdings is the National Library in Ottawa.
If a copy of the New Brunswick Newspaper Directory cannot be found locally, copies can be purchased from the Saint John Free Public Library, 1 Market Square, Saint John NB E2L 4Z6. If you are in the Toronto area, check at the Metro Reference Library in Toronto.
Exciting News In Kitchener, Ontario
Thelma Barnes, librarian of the Waterloo Wellington Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society, has sent me some exciting news. Records of St. Peters Lutheran Church in Kitchener are now available at the public library.
The records from St. Peters begin in the 1860s, when the church was founded. It was the second German Lutheran church in Berlin (Kitchener, Ontario). These registers are particularly useful because Lutheran pastors of the nineteenth century were scrupulous in the way they noted every event. There may be more information available than you realize. For example, burial notices often include the name of the hometown in Germany and even the parents names. These burial records are good examples of how every possible record should be examined, even if you do not expect to find anything new. They may surprise you.
St. Peters records have been in high demand for years, and that caused some problems in the church office, which has other activities than genealogy on its mind. So the news that the records have been microfilmed and placed in Waterloo Wellington branch library (housed at the Kitchener Public Library) is very welcome.
Researchers can thank the generosity of Richard Woeller of Kitchener for placing these films in the library. Richard has done a great deal of work in the Waterloo Historical Society and knows how valuable church records are for many reasons. The records available begin in 1862 and continue up to 1929. There are baptisms, confirmations, marriages, communicants and burials.
Books By Ryan Taylor
Across The Waters, Ontario Immigrants Experiences 1820 - 1850 - by Frances Hoffman & Ryan Taylor, 1999. Riveting first-hand accounts of the immigration and settlement experience, taken from the diaries and letters of 150 immigrants.
Routes To Roots, The Best of Ryan Taylor's columns from the Kitchener Waterloo Record, by Ryan Taylor 1997
More Family History Research Resources