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Article Published March 24, 2000

Sandra Devlin EAST COAST KIN (Canada)
By: Sandra Devlin, Biography & Archived Articles

Old Directories in the Maritimes ... plus selected extracts from 1878-1879

Directories are a wonderful source to pinpoint an ancestor between census years. Depending on the year and publisher, you can , at a minimum, discover the street address, neighbours, occupation and other tidbits about householders (mainly male, with the exception of widows and independent females) and employed or retired adults.

Directories are becoming popular postings on line. One example being McAlpine’s Directory of Colchester County, N.S. 1907-1908, on line and searchable at:

Directories reach back to the late 18th Century for many Maritime areas. Besides listings by streets in cities, they are often cross-referenced by alphabetized listings. Some have editorial thumbnail sketches of industries and businesses. The paid advertisements are delightful glimpses to the products, wares and services, sometimes with prices of the time or photoengravings of products like cast iron stoves.

Besides householders, the directories also listed businesses and services by category ... the forerunner to today’s Yellow Pages.

Many, like McAlpine’s Directory of the City of Saint John 1878-1879 which I bought in a second-hand book store (rare find) had fascinating sections like the about rates of cartage and other sections listing active religious and secular active groups or societies with their executive memberships.

Under the heading, Public Porters and Hand Cartmen, the reader is advised: “For loading, carrying and housing any goods, or any other article on any Hand Cart, from the Market Slip, in King’s and Queen’s Wards, or from any other place within the limits of the First District, to any other place within the said several five districts, the rates of prices are as follows: - For the first district, 10 cents; second district, 12 cents; third district, 14 cents; fourth district, 16 cents; fifth district, 18 cents; sixth district, 20 cents; seventh district, 22 cents; eight district, 24 cents.

The districts are earlier defined naming directions north, south, east and west by bordering streets.

Delivery articles some with varying weights and descriptions included: wood, coal, grain, salt, potatoes, wine, gin, burgundy, rum, molasses, cider, dried fish, sugar, flour, turpentine, shingles, hoop poles, staves, treenails, sand, gravel, stones, cables or cordage, hay, bricks and lumber.

Weights and descriptions included: bushels, pipes, hogshead, puncheons, casks, barrels, tierces, and cwt.

For the sake of sampling, I have transcribed the category described as : Societies, Associations and Clubs - 1878-1879 - ninth edition of McAlpine’s Saint John City Directory .
    Barristers’ Society
    President - A. L. Palmer QC.
    Vice-President - W. H. Tuck, DCL, QC.
    Treasurer - William Carman.
    Secretary - George J. Bliss.

    Board of Trade
    Members of the Council - President, S. S. Hall; Vice-President, S. D. Berton; Secretary and Treasurer, S. J. King; Henry A. Austin, James A. Harding, Matthew Lindsay, Luke Stewart, Thomas McAvity, T. W. Daniel, A. Cushing. W. H. Tuck DCL, QC, C. H. Fairweather, Hon. Thomas R. Jones, E. Fisher, Simeon Jones, John N. Thornton, James L. Dunn, H. D. Troop.

    Colonial and Continental Church Society
    Corresponding Committee of New Brunswick - Dr. LeB Botsford, Chairman; T. W. Daniel, Rev. Wm Armstrong, Rev. David Parnther, Rev. F. H. Almon, Robert Crookshank, and J. Travis; Treasurer, J. R. Ruel; Hon Secretary, Rev. G. M. Armstrong.

    Diocesan Church Society of New Brunswick
    President - The Right Rev. John, Lord Bishop of Fredericton.
    Vice-Presidents - Frederick A. Wiggins, Esq, Hon Samuel L. Tilley, CB, Rev. Canon Scovil, Ph D, Wm M Jarvis, Esq.
    Treasurer - H. W. Frith, Esq.
    Auditors - C. H. Fairweather, Esq., G. W. Whitney, Esq.
    Board of Home Missions - The Right Rev the Lord Bishop (ex officio), Rev. T. E. Dowling, Rev. G. M. Armstrong, Rev. Canon Medley, Rev. Canon Ketchem, DD (ex officio), G. A. Schofield, Esq., W. M. Jarvis, Esq., Hon S. L. Tilley, CB, S. D. Berton, Esq., E. B. Chandler, jr, Esq., H. W. Frith, Esq (ex officio), George A. Schofield, Esq., Secretary to Committee.
    Secretary - The Rev Canon Ketchem, DD, St. Andrews.
    Provision for Widows and Orphans of the Clergy - H. L. Sturdee, Esq., Secretary.

    Evangelical Alliance
    President - Joseph Pritchard.
    Vice-Presidents - James McMillan, T. W. Daniel, Henry Vaughan, Hon Isaac Burpee.
    Corresponding Secretary - Rev Dr Waters, AM, LL D.
    Secretary and Treasurer - Rev. Howard Sprague.
    Managing Committee - William Seely, Matthew Lindsay, H. B. White, W. K.
    Reynolds, John Boyd, LeB Botsford, MD, S. F. Matthews, all Clergymen connected with the Alliance, and the Officers ex officio.

    Associated Baptist Foreign Mission Board
    Incorporated AD 1865
    Hon. A. McL Seely, Chairman; Rev. J. M. Cramp, DD, Corresponding Secretary; Rev. W. P. Everett, AM, Secretary; T. P. Dawes, Treasurer. Revs I. E. Bill, E. Hickson, J. D. Pope, W. A. Corey, D. A. Steele, G. E. Day, D. McClellan and A. J. Wilcox; and A. W. Masters, John H. Harding and John March, Esqs.

    F. C. Baptist Home Mission Society
    President - Rev. B. Merritt.
    Vice-Presidents - Revs G. W. McDonald, J. McKenzie and T. Connor.
    Corresponding Secretary - Revs G. A. Hartley.
    Recording Secretary - Wm Peters, Esq.
    Treasurer - Rev. J. T. Parsons.
    Auditor - Rev. G. F. Hartley.
    Executive Committee - D. W. Clark, Esq; Revs A. Taylor, S. H. Wayman, J. McLeod, and the two Secretaries and Treasurer.

    F. C. Baptist Foreign Mission Society
    President - Rev John Perry.
    Vice-Presidents - Rev. J. N. Barnes, Rev. O. M. Buber, Rev. T. Connor.
    Corresponding Secretary - Rev. Joseph McLeod.
    Recording Secretary - Rev. S. H. Wayman.
    Treasurer - William Peters.
    Auditor - B. S. Parmer.
    Executive Committee - Revs J. T. Parsons, B. Merritt, G. W. McDonald, E. Wayman, Benj Merritt, J. E. Rende, D McL Vince, G. T. Hartley, and the two Secretaries and Treasurer.

    Irish Friendly Society
    Meets in Ritchie’s Building, Princess Street
    President - H. McCafferty.
    Vice-President - R O’Brien.
    Recording Secretary - Thomas Gorman.
    Financial Secretary - John Connor.
    Treasurer - John C. Ferguson.
    Librarian - Robert Coleman.
    Assistant Librarian - Daniel Coughlan.

    Knights of Pythias
    New Brunswick Lodge, No 1 meets in Orange Hall, King Street, every Tuesday Evening at 8 o’clock.
    Union Lodge, No 2 meets in Orange Hall, King Street, every alternate Monday Evening, at 8 o’clock.
    Westmorland Lodge, No 3 meets every Tuesday Evening at Moncton.
    Frontier Loge, No 4, meets every Wednesday Evening at St. Stephen.

    Mechanics Institute
    Directors - W. P. Dole, President; T. A. Rankine and G. Murdoch,
    Vice-Presidents: D. P. Chisholm, Corresponding Secretary; T. B. Hanington, Recording Secretary; Andrew Gilmour, Edward J. Brass, Geo H. Lawrence, Carson Flood, Alex Rankine, I. Allen Jack, G. Murdoch, R. P. Butler, J. Fleming, S. Alward, A. J. Lordly, S. Crothers, D. Breeze.

    Union Music Society
    President - W. H. Hall.
    Vice-Presidents - J. Drake and H. R. Smith
    Secretary - C. Richards
    Treasurer - Mrs. M. A. Blanchard
    Committee of Management - W. H. Hall; T.H. Hall; Thomas Patton, H.B. Smith, Mrs. Blanchard, Miss Jessie Ennis, Miss Lizzie Smith.
    Pianist - Miss Jessie Ennis.
    Conductor - T. H. Hall.

    New Brunswick Auxiliary Bible Society
    President - LeBaron Botsford, MD.
    Vice-Presidents - Thomas W. Daniel, John Fisher, Wm Elder, Esq, AM.
    Treasurer - William Seely.
    Secretary - Thomas Maclellan.
    Depositary - Richard S. De Veber.
    Committee - John Wishart, E. Sears, T. B. Barker, James Logan, Wm Peters, John Boyd, Joseph Prichard, Charles Patton, Robert Cruikshank, James McMillan, Henry Vaughan, Matthew Lindsay, G. W. White, S. D. Berton, J. Clawson and C. F. Kinnear. For Portland - James Flewelling, H. A. Austin.
    Depository - The store of Messrs J & A McMillan, Prince Wm Street.

    New Brunswick Baptist Home Missionary Society
    President - Rev J. D. Pope.
    Vice-Presidents - C. D. Everett, Capt. G. W. Masters, Gilbert White, David V. Roberts, Charles Turnbull.
    Corresponding Secretary - James E. Masters.
    Treasurer - John H. Harding.
    Auditor - Hon. A. McL Seely.
    Executive Committee - J. J. Bostwick, John March, Edmund H. Duval, Wm Allwood, T. P. Davies, Wm Lewis, James S. May, T. H. Hall, G. Vaughan, T. E. Simms, W. H. Dykeman, T. L. Hay, S. H. Hatfield, J. W. Sulis.

    New Brunswick Medical Society
    President - G. A. Hamilton, MD.
    Treasurer - L. C. Allison, MD.
    Secretary - Charles Inches, MD.
    Meetings are held on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday evenings of each month at the Board of Health Rooms, Princess street.

    St. Andrew’s Society
    President - J. White.
    Vice-Presidents - C. A. Robertson, and J. Bennet, Ph D.
    Chaplain - Rev. Mr. Macrae.
    Secretary - E. H. McAlpine.
    Treasurer - James Milligan.
    Marshall - R. McIntyre.
    Committee of Charity - Robert Milligan, A. L. Law, and James Knox.

    St. Andrew’s Curling Club
    President - S. Jones.
    Vice-President - John White.
    Secretary-Treasurer - A. C. Jardine.
    Skips - Matthew Lindsay, John White, John Thomson, W. C. Watson, Luke Stewart, S. Jones, A. Rowan, Wm Snider.

    St. John Church Missionary Society
    President - Samuel D. Berton.
    Vice-Presidents - LeBaron Botsford, MD, Charles Fairweather, George A. Hamilton, MD, W. J. M. Hanington, Charles F. Kinnear.
    Treasurer - James R. Ruel.
    Secretary - Thomas W. Daniel.

    St. John County Agricultural Society
    President - J. B. Hamm.
    Vice-Presidents - Charles Drury, John Magee.
    Treasurer - Allan McLean.
    Corresponding Secretary - James Barber.
    Recording Secretary - J. Hargreaves.
    Directors - Richard Thompson, Lawrence Donovan, Thomas Clark, -- McBrine, James Davidson, James Lee, Albert Dunn, John Jordan, James Manchester, David Magee, J. B. Hamm, J. Berryman, MD, F. W. Hatheway.

    St. John Lacrosse Club
    President - George Hay.
    Vice-President - J. S. Harding.
    Secretary-Treasurer - William Gilchrist.

    St. John Natural History Society
    President - William Jack.
    Vice-President - (no name recorded)
    Treasurer - James. A. Esty.
    Corresponding Secretary - P. R. Inches, MD.
    Recording Secretary - J. A. Hoyt.
    Librarian - G. F. Matthew.
    Curators - G. F. Matthew, R. P. Starr.

    St. John Young Men’s Christian Association
    President - John E. Irvine.
    Vice-Presidents - John Stewart, Jas H. McAvity, J. L. Thorne, E. H. Jones, Rev. J. T. Parsons, S. B. Patterson, Rev. W. Windeyer, W. S. Morrison.
    Treasurer - H. R. Smith.
    Corresponding Secretary - Joshua Clawson.
    Recording Secretary - G. A. Henderson.
    Librarian. J. M. Donald.
    Committee of Management - D. M. Sterns, Henry J. Thorne, George Kee, E. T. C. Knowles, J McA Hutchings, H. B. White, R. C. Quinn, George Younger, James Crawford, G. O. Bent, John Leonard, Jos A Likely, J. O. Miller, John Henderson, Hugh P. Kerr, William Kerr, James Woodrow, T. S. Simms, R. Leddingham, George Sufferin.
    General Secretary - James A. Gauld.

    Sunday School Union
    President - W. Warwick.
    Vice-President- John Stewart.
    Treasurer and Corresponding Secretary - H. R. Smith.
    Recording Secretary - J. L. Thorne.
    Trade Committee - D. J. McLaughlin, Wm Peters, A. W. Masters.
    Trade Manager - W. Warwick.
    Book Depositary, H. R. Smith, 22 King street.

    Saint Vincent de Paul Society
    President - Michael Corkery, jr.
    Vice-President - Edward Maher.
    Treasurer - M. J. Potter.
    Secretary - E. Friel.
    Spiritual Director - Rev. Antonio Ouellet.

    Thistle Curling Club
    President - Samuel Welsh.
    Vice-President - W. C. Whittaker.
    Secretary - William M. McLean.
    Treasurer - John M. Dick.
    Chaplain - Rev. D. McRae.
    Skis - Samuel Welsh, James Kennedy, Wm M. McLean, George Morrison, John Wilson, Thomas Finlay, R. A. Courtney.

    Victoria Skating Club
    Directors - Charles E. Scammell, President; G. B. Hegan, Dr. McAvenney, O. T. Stone, W. H. Purdy, C. McLauchlan, jun, L. R. Harrison, W. H. Thorne, A. B. Sheraton. Secretary-Treasurer - George C. Coster.

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