Anyone who has New Brunswick, Canada ancestry – and that particularly includes Americans with Loyalist lines – should be a frequent visitor to the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick.
PANB is one of my most favorite sites and it is a treasure that keeps on giving with the new collections that are constantly being added. I’ve written about this site in the past, but I keep finding so many great bits of information here that I feel compelled to write about the archives website once again.
When I first began researching my mom’s Adams family, the trail quickly led from Maine across the International Bridge into New Brunswick, Canada. Back in 1980, there were few easily accessible records for a Californian like me. I hired a Canadian researcher who could visit PANB and pick up my family trail.
Today, Canadian records, like those of so many other places, are being digitized and are now accessible from home. While I’ve looked at the archives websites of several other Canadian provinces, I find that New Brunswick is way ahead in the genealogy game.
First, if you know the county in which your family settled and want a quick guide to the records available, PANB updated their research guides at the end of 2017.
Each county guide is set in the same format, opening with a map of its towns:
The guide to Charlotte County is 31 pages long, detailing every type of record collection available in the archives, along with any limitations, missing records, etc.
What if you have no idea where in the province your family was from? You might have come across a U.S. census record that simply states born “N.B., Canada.”
PANB’s Federated Database Search might be just the tool you need:
All of the current 37 databases can be searched at one time. What records are in these databases?
There are over 3,000,000 records and there is a great chance that your ancestors will appear in at least one of them. You will find everything from Old Soldiers and Widows records from the American Revolution to vital records extending well into the 20th century. Daniel Johnson abstracted genealogical data from New Brunswick newspapers, which is a boon to researchers. There are even a couple of databases of Irish records, which might hold the key to the family home on the Emerald Isle.
There are two more fabulous resources digitally available. The first is also part of the Library and Archives Canada – the Canadian census images. Some Canadian censuses are incomplete, and are so noted, but they span years from 1825 to 1921 and are accessible for free.
The second resource, which complements Library and Archives Canada and the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick is FamilySearch:
A number of and land records on FamilySearch are digitally available from home; quite a few are available in the Family History Library or at an affiliated Family History Center.
Anyone with roots in New Brunswick, Canada has a vast number and types of records at hand to locate his/her Canadian cousins. Jump start your New Brunswick research with the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick. I doubt you will be disappointed.
Can you tell I love, love, love this website?