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New Brunswick Newspaper Vital Statistics

The Provincial Archives of New Brunswick has put the Database of Vital Statistics from New Brunswick Newspapers online.

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Type: Article
Prepared by: E. B. Lapointe
Word Count: 386 (approx.)
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Some great news came to me recently - the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick had put the Database of Vital Statistics from New Brunswick Newspapers online at http://archives.gnb.ca/APPS/NewspaperVitalStats/Search.aspx?L=EN.

The site has added many searchable online subjects, such as New Brunswick Cemeteries and Newspaper Directory, but when the New Brunswick Newspapers was mentioned in John Reid's blog, "This May Be News to You", at http://www.bifhsgo.ca/maybe_news_nov06.htm, I decided to take a look at it, and what I found was most surprising!

First of all, the project was the brainchild of Danny Johnson, a late genealogist of New Brunswick (he died in 2005), who, during his lifetime, took the vital statistics from 75 newspapers from January 29, 1784 to December 31, 1896.

In 1982, he—along with others—started working on the newspaper project, and they published a small volume of the work, for years 1784 to 1815.

It comprises 298,097 transcriptions and 311,514 unique names.

By the time the group wound up their work in 1985, they went on to publish the vital statistics from the newspapers up until 1834. But Danny went on to single-handedly cover the newspaper until 1896, producing 102 volumes of vital statistics.

The website says that "it is hard to convey what a monumental undertaking the vital statistics project was, and what a unique and invaluable benefit it is to research."

My first surprise was that I was not expecting to find anything which would pertain to me, since I didn't have any ancestors in New Brunswick. But I found, to my amazement, that there were also Nova Scotia newspapers in the search engine!

But the next surprise was really an amazing discovery: I found vital statistics concerning the BARCLAY and WEBSTER families in the Acadian Recorder, (a newspaper published in Halifax from 1816 to 1835), and the Halifax Journal, from 1821 to 1835!!

So just because you had family in Nova Scotia, do not overlook this source. Besides telling you when the life event took place, it will also give you—in some instances—details found nowhere else, and I have especially found this to be true with death notices.

Once again, I was taught the greatest lesson in genealogy: never say "no" to a possible source, for you never know - it may contain exactly what you were looking for, but were unable to find it until such resources were made known to you.

Source Information: Canadian Connections, New Providence, NJ, USA: Genealogy Today LLC, 2006.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Genealogy Today LLC.

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