New Brunswick Biography
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You find them in books like A Cyclopaedia of Canadian Biography being Chiefly Men of the Times (1888) or Prominent People of the Maritime Provinces. By 1922 when this was published, women, though not yet legally ‘persons’, were allotted some twenty entries. As well, the annual editions of The Canadian Who’s Who and its variants, can be a useful source because they usually give the place of birth, names of parents and often earlier lineage, as well as marriage, wife, children and education, offering leads to professional and college directories.
“But my ancestors were farmers, they won’t be there.” Don’t be so sure. You would be surprised at how many Canadian farm families of modest means produced at least one noted clergyman or educator, politician or military man. The prominent same name may be granddad’s second cousin, but such books offer good clues as to where in the province a family name can be found. Someone who makes Who’s Who about 1950 was probably born around 1900, and his parents before 1875. An entry in the 1888 Cyclopaedia might take you back to 1800 or earlier.
Provincial Archives of New Brunswick (PANB) Website
Remember those searchable databases the PANB has developed:
- Guide to Biographies
This includes two editions of Prominent People of the Maritime Provinces … (1922 and 1938), Dictionary of Mirimichi Biography, and a variety of other sources at the PANB.
- Index to Hutchinson Directories
- Index to Lovell Directory 1871
And always check Guide to Family Histories, that is where I found the lead to Oshkosh, and so to Lemuel and Xenophon Cleveland.
|The Guide to Biographies database has entered the names as they appear in the actual entries in the books or manuscript lists. Where someone has two names, and commonly used their middle name, be sure to try under both names. Where someone is known by a nickname like “Jack” or “Dot”, be sure to try the more formal names they were given. And are you sure you know what “Ed” or “Ned” is short for; it may be Edward, but could be Edmund, Edgar or Edwin.|
Most regions, alas, do not have W. D. Hamilton’s Dictionary of Mirimichi Biography, which contains 1,110 sketches of “men and women born before 1900 who played a part in public life on the Mirimichi”. Each biographical sketch contains family data and anecdotes, with source notes for each sketch. The names are in the searchable database (above), but that only gives the reference number of the books. For actual facts, you have to find the books themselves. Try to convince your library to buy a copy.
Biographies and Directories
Elliot, Noel M., editor, The Atlantic Canadians 1600-1900: An Alphabetized Directory of the People, Places, and Vital Dates, 3 volumes (Toronto, Ontario: Genealogical Research Library, 1994).
Others in this series may prove useful in finding migrating New Brunswickers:
Elliot, Noel M., People of Ontario, 1600-1900: An Alphabetized Directory of the People, Places, and Vital Dates, 3 volumes (London, Ontario: Genealogical Research Library, 1984).
Elliot, Noel M., The French Canadians, 1600-1900: An Alphabetized Directory of the People, Places, and Vital Dates, 3 volumes (Toronto, Ontario: Genealogical Research Library, 1992). Also includes English-speaking Québecers.
Elliot, Noel M., The Central Canadians, 1600-1900: An Alphabetized Directory of the People, Places, and Vital Dates, 3 volumes (Toronto, Ontario: Genealogical Research Library, 1994). Includes Manitoba.
Elliot, Noel M., The Western Canadians, 1600-1900: An Alphabetized Directory of the People, Places, and Vital Dates, 3 volumes (Toronto, Ontario: Genealogical Research Library, 1994). Covers Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, the Northwest Territories, Yukon and Alaska. One source was a 1901 directory listing people in both the Yukon and Alaska during the gold rush.
Hodges, Graham Russell, editor, The Black Loyalist Directory: African Americans in Exile After the American Revolution (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1995).
Jack, I. Allen, editor, Biographical Review Province of New Brunswick (Boston: 1900).
Johnson, J.K., editor, The Canadian Directory of Parliament 1867-1967 (Ottawa: Public Archives of Canada, 1968).
O’Byrne, William R., A Naval Biographical Dictionary: Comprising the Life and Services of Every Living Officer in Her Majesty’s Navy (London: 1849). Details of the naval career of every officer alive in 1849.
Prominent People of the Maritime Provinces (St. John, New Brunswick: Canadian Publicity Co., 1922 and 1938).
Rose, Geo Maclean, editor, A Cyclopaedia of Canadian Biography Being Chiefly Men of the Times (Toronto Ontario: Rose Publishing Company, 1888). Other title: Representative Canadians.
The Social Register of Canada (Montréal: Social Register of Canada, 1958, 1961).
Wallace, W. Stewart, editor, The Macmillan Dictionary of Canadian Biography, 3rd edition (London, Toronto: Macmillan, 1963).
Whyte, Donald, compiler, A Dictionary of Scottish Emigrants to Canada Before Confederation, 2 volumes (Toronto: Ontario Genealogical Society, 1986-1995).
Collection New Brunswick Historical Society, Volume , St John, New Brunswick/ The daily Telegraph Steam book and Job Print/ 1894. Lists 200 or so Native Americans from Fort Maductic and supplies delivered to them. And The Medical Men of St John in the First Half Century with the Loyalists who came form New York in 1783. []
- Douglas, Tools of the Trade, page 56.
- See Douglas, "Notes on Names", Here Be Dragons. page 32.
- Douglas, Althea. "New Brunswick Historical and Biographical Sources (National Institute)," The National Institute for Genealogical Studies (2012), https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/New_Brunswick_Historical_and_Biographical_Sources_%28National_Institute%29#Biographical_Dictionaries.
- Douglas, Althea. "New Brunswick Bibliography (National Institute)," The National Institute for Genealogical Studies (2012), https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/New_Brunswick_Bibliography_%28National_Institute%29.