Newfoundland and Labrador History
1497 Newfoundland rediscovered by John Cabot and claimed for England.
1500s English, French, Basque, and Portuguese fishermen contested the area.
1534 Jacques Cartier visited Newfoundland.
1583 Sir Humphrey Gilbert reclaimed Newfoundland for England.
1610 First English settlement in St. John’s.
1627 St. Mary’s settled by Lord Culvert.
1662 The first French colony was established in Placentia Bay.
1692 The French captured and burned St. John’s.
1713 By the Treaty of Utrecht, France gave Newfoundland to Britain.
1713–1783 Treaties recognized British sovereignty but granted French fishermen the right to land and to dry catches along parts of the northern and western coasts.
1832 First election held for the local House of Assembly.
1846 St. John’s was destroyed by fire.
1855 Newfoundland became a self-governing colony.
1892 St. John’s was destroyed by a second great fire.
1898 A railroad was completed across the island.
1927 The coast of Labrador was awarded to Newfoundland.
1934 A royal commission began governing Newfoundland.
1949 The Province of Newfoundland was formed on 31 March.
About 93 percent of Newfoundland’s residents have British ancestry and about 3 percent have French ancestry.
Since Newfoundland joined the Canadian Union late (1949), its early organization and records/record keeping differ from other provinces.
Because Newfoundland joined the Canadian Union late (1949), its early organization, records, and record keeping differ from other provinces. Newfoundland has no county or district divisions. Most records are found in the provincial capital, St. John’s.