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  Selected Sources for Genealogical Research in the
  Ralph Pickard Bell Library Mount Allison University

2nd Edition Compiled by:  Cheryl Ennals



This booklet was produced to assist genealogical researchers by providing a list of commonly used sources available in the Ralph Pickard Bell Library.  Most sources cited are directly related to the local area of Westmorland County, New Brunswick and Cumberland County, Nova Scotia.  All sources are followed by a call number and/or location.  Materials from the Bell Collection, Government Documents and Archives are not available for loan.  Please note that this is only a selected listing and that materials are added on a continuing basis.

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This is a special collection of the Ralph Pickard Bell Library comprising published works dealing with the history of the Maritime Provinces and its peoples.  Growing out of the private collection of a distinguished scholar, the late Winthrop Pickard Bell, additional materials are added on a continuing basis.  The collection includes books, directories, pamphlets, maps, periodicals, microfilms and some manuscript items in published format as well as some genealogies published privately.  All materials in this special collection are listed in the Library Catalogue and must be used within the Library.  Please fill in a request slip for each item that you wish to view and Library Staff will retrieve the materials for you.  Because some materials may be fragile any requests for photocopying should be directed to the Library Staff.

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The Archives requires the published and unpublished records of the University which are deemed of administrative, legal, financial, and/or historical value.  These include such records as Board of Regents and Senate minutes and reports, Presidential files, committee files, departmental records, calendars, brochures, etc.  Papers of faculty and alumni are also acquired as well as records of student organizations and student theses.  In view of the long history of Mount Allison within the local community, private fonds1 of Westmorland County individuals, families, churches, clubs and businesses are also collected.  In all the Archives holds approximately 2,000 ft. of textual records, over 5,000 photographs, slides, films, videotapes, audio recordings, microfilms and artifacts.  The holdings of the Archives can be surveyed only through the Archives Catalogue and Archives Inventories.  However student theses, faculty publications and a few published works are listed in the general Library Catalogue in which they are described as being located in the Archives.

Researchers must register with the Archives.  Archives Staff will retrieve archival materials for you and records must be viewed within the Research Room.  Some materials may be fragile and researchers are requested to handle them with care.  Any requests for photocopying should be directed to the Archives Staff.  Some fonds are restricted.  Hours of access and reference service are limited and vary with the academic term.  It is strongly recommended that researchers make an appointment prior to visiting the Archives.  Tel.:  (506) 364-2563; Fax:  (506) 364-2617; E-mail:


1  The fonds is the primary unit at which archival records are described.  A fonds is the whole of the records, regardless of form or medium, automatically and organically created and/or accumulated and used by a particular individual, family, or corporate body in the course of that creator's activities of functions.  A collection, on the other hand, is an artificial accumulation of records brought together on the basis of some common characteristics such as subject, medium, type of document, or name of collector.


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The search for genealogical information should be treated in the same manner as any research project.  Like other kinds of detective work, genealogical research is extremely time-consuming.  Most unpublished and many published sources are unindexed.  Library and Archives Staff time is not available to carry out research for individuals.  Source material can be suggested but it is up to the individual to carry out the research.

WORK FROM THE "KNOWN".  Prior to visiting the Library, write down all names, birth, death, marriage, baptismal dates; geographical locations, religious denominations, etc. that you "know" for current generations then do the same for earlier generations, working back in time.  Check with family members for such records as family bibles, certificates, deeds, family papers, etc.

TAKE NOTES CAREFULLY.  Be as accurate as possible; include as much information as can be discovered, even if it seems unrelated at first glance, it may be of importance as a "link" at a later date.

CITE SOURCES INVESTIGATED.  Record author, title, publisher, date or all information identifying manuscript sources viewed.  Even if you do not find or use information from these sources, the record will eliminate the "re-tracing" of paths and will give you a compilation of sources which did hold information.

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While the collections of the Ralph Pickard Bell Library are acquired mainly to support the academic curriculum of the institution, some resources for genealogical research are included.  CHECK THE OPAC (On-line Public Access Catalogue) FIRST -- THEN CHECK THE CARD CATALOGUE FOR MATERIAL ACQUIRED PRE-1980.  Published works are listed by author, title and subject in the Library Catalogue.  It is also possible to carry out "keyword" searches through the OPAC.  If you need assistance, inquire at the Information Desk.

The following are examples of some subject headings under which genealogical sources are listed:


  • New Brunswick - Census
  • Nova Scotia - Genealogy
  • Acadians - Genealogy
  • Germans - Canada - Genealogy
  • Irish - New Brunswick
  • Registers of Births, etc.
  • Ships - Passenger Lists

Check under family surname as a "subject" to determine if a separate published genealogy is available:


  • Allison Family
  • Dixon Family
  • Tingley Family

Publications pertaining to local and regional areas sometimes include information on local families.  Check under "subject" headings such as:


  • Amherst - History
  • Sackville - History
  • Cumberland County
  • Westmorland County

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The following published works are particularly suited to genealogical research in this region:

Fellows, R.          Researching Your Ancestors in New Brunswick          CS 16 F44 1979 REF

Punch, T.            Genealogical Research in Nova Scotia                         CS 16 P8 1978 REF

                           Genealogists' Handbook for Atlantic            Z 5313 C22 A884 1989 BELL
                           Canada Research

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Jowsey, J.                       Cumberland County Families,                CS 88 N6 J6 1988 BELL
                                       Nova Scotia

Johnson, D.F.                 New Brunswick Lineages                        CS 88 N4 N4 1988 BELL

N.B. Genealogical           Arrivals:  Our First Families in                 FC 2455 A7 1985 BELL
Society                            New Brunswick

N.B. Genealogical           Early Families                                        CS 88 N4 E3 1987 BELL

Punch, T.                         In Which County?:  Nova Scotia        CS 88 N6 P64 1985 BELL
                                        Surnames From Birth Registers:
                                        1864 to 1877

Smith, L.H.                      Dictionary of Immigrants to                 CS 88 N6 S65 1985 BELL
                                       Nova Scotia

Smith, L.H. and N.          Nova Scotia Immigrants to 1867          CS 88 N64 S66 1992 BELL

                                       New England Historical and                  MICRO 5670
                                       Genealogical Register and
                                      Antiquarian Journal

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Bell, W.P.                    The "Foreign Protestants" and the           FC 2321 B42 1990 BELL
                                    Settlement of Nova Scotia

Bowser, R.B.               Dorchester Island and Related Areas       FC 2495 D6 B6 1986 BELL

Buckner, P.A.             The Atlantic Region to Confederation:       FC 2011 A75 1994 BELL
and J.G. Reid               a History

Burns, W.M.               A History and Story of Botsford                 FC 2495 B6 B8 1962 BELL

Clark, A.H.                 Acadia:  the Geography of Early                FC 2041 C53 1968 BELL
                                   Nova Scotia to 1760

Conrad, M.                 They Planted Well:  New England              FC 2032 T53 1987 BELL
                                    Planters in Maritime Canada

Gilroy, M.                    Loyalists and Land Settlement in               FC 2303 A25 No.04 BELL

Milner, W.C.               Early History of Dorchester and            FC 2499 D57 M5 1932 BELL
                                   Other Parts of New Brunswick

                                History of Sackville, New Brunswick      FC 2499 S22 M54 1970 BELL

                                  Records of Chignecto                              FC 2345 C5 M6 1907 BELL

Moffatt, C.W.         Introducing Sackville, New Brunswick,    FC 2499 S22 M26 1946 BELL
                               Canada:  the Official Book on the
                               Most Central Town in the Maritime

Sears, W.W.              This is Sackville                                      FC 2499 S22 S4 1968 BELL

Snowdon, J.D.            Footprints in the Marsh Mud:                FC 2499 S22 S62 1974 BELL
                                   Politics and Land Settlement in
                                   the Township of Sackville,

Throop, L.W.             Early Settlers of Cumberland                   FC 2345 C5 T5 1979 BELL
                                  Township, Nova Scotia

Trenholm, G.              A History of Fort Lawrence:  Times,      FC 2349 F66 T74 1985 BELL
                                  Tides and Towns

Trueman, H.               The Chignecto Isthmus and Its                FC 2345 C5 T7 1902 BELL
                                 First Settlers (1902) Reprint Mika

Wright, E.C.              Planters and Pioneers                               FC 2305 W75 1982 BELL

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Birth, marriage and death records were most often kept by the local church or county officials prior to the establishment of government vital statistics divisions late in the nineteenth century.  The best sources are manuscript "townbooks", church records and extant newspapers.  In recent years some archives, individuals and genealogical groups have published compilations, indexes and abstracts of records formerly only available in government archives, private archives or scattered in various repositories.  Also a number of original records have been reproduced in microform.

Original Records:

Fort Lawrence, Nova Scotia.  Local records, 1766-1841                 MICRO 5334
(Cumberland Townbook)

Sackville, New Brunswick.  Local records, 1766-1841                    MICRO 5331
(Sackville Townbook)

Marriage Registers, Westmorland County, 1790-1887                     MICRO 5332

Transcriptions, Compilations and Indexes:

Acadian Church Records:  1679-1757                                        CS 88 A25 D4 1975 BELL

Acadian Marriages in France                                                    CS 596 A25 R635 1976 BELL

Marriage and Death Notices from Methodist Newspapers,         CS 88 A85 M37 1993 BELL
Vol. 1, 1828-51 to Vol. 7, 1863-64

Marriage Register, Albert County, New Brunswick,                     CS 88 N4 K3 1984 BELL

Marriage Register, Westmorland County, New Brunswick,          FC 2495 W4 Z48 1986 BELL
Pt. 1, 1790-1856; Pt.2, 1857-1888

New Brunswick Vital Statistics From Newspapers,                     CS 88 N43 N48 1982 BELL
Vol. 1, 1784 to Vol. 5, 1832-4

Vital Statistics from New Brunswick Newspapers,                       CS 88 N43 J6 1985 BELL
Vol. 6, 1835-6 to Vol. 60, 1882-84

Nova Scotia Vital Statistics From Newspapers,                            CS 88 N64 P86 1981 BELL

Nova Scotia Vital Statistics From Newspapers,                           CS 88 N64 P862 1978 BELL

Nova Scotia Vital Statistics From Newspapers,                            CS 88 N64 H64 1980 BELL

Nova Scotia Vital Statistics From Newspapers,                           CS 88 N64 H642 1982 BELL

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While the first census of Canada was undertaken in 1666 by Jean Talon, the pattern of decennial censuses was only established in 1851.  Nominal census records from 1851-1891 are arranged by district and information such as an individual's name, sex, age, religion, occupation, ethnicity, birth and marital status is usually given.

In recent years genealogical groups, individuals and institutions have published selected county censuses arranged alphabetically by surname within each parish.

Original Records:

New Brunswick, Westmorland County, 1803-1834                    ARCHIVES
(Photocopies of assorted original documents.)

New Brunswick 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901                MICRO 5655

Nova Scotia Miscellaneous Census, 1767-1838                          MICRO 5656
(Includes Amherst, Cumberland, Fort Lawrence,
Sackville, etc.)

Nova Scotia 1860-61, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901                           MICRO 5656

Prince Edward Island 1841, 1861, 1881, 1891, 1901                 MICRO 5657


New Brunswick:

Albert County, 1851                          HA 747 N4 A4 1851 BELL

Carleton County, 1851                      HA 747 N4 C3 1851 BELL

Charlotte County, 1851                     HA 747 N4 C5 1851 BELL

Gloucester County, 1861                   HA 747 N4 G6 1861 BELL

Gloucester County, 1871                   HA 747 N4 G6 1871 BELL

Gloucester County, 1881                   HA 747 N4 G6 1881 BELL

Kings County, 1851                           HA 747 N4 K5 1851 BELL

Restigouche County, 1861                 HA 747 N4 R4 1861 BELL

Sunbury County, 1851                       HA 747 N4 S9 1851 BELL

Victoria County, 1851                       HA 747 N4 V5 1851 BELL

Westmorland County, 1851               HA 747 N4 W4 1851 BELL

York County, 1851                           HA 747 N4 Y6 1851 BELL

Fredericton, 1871                              HA 748 F73 1871 BELL

Nova Scotia:

Nova Scotia, 1851                             HA 747 N6 1851 BELL

Census of N.S., 1827                         HA 747 N6 1827 BELL
& District of Pictou, 1818

Pictou County, 1851                           HA 747 N6 P4 1851 BELL

Pictou County, 1871                           HA 747 N6 P4 1871 BELL

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Marriage, baptismal and funeral records are often included in church records.  The preservation of parish registers is the responsibility of the parishes themselves and/or the denominational archives.  Often original records remain with the individual churches and/or the denominational archives.

The Bell Collection includes some published church histories and published church records.  CHECK THE LIBRARY CATALOGUE.  The Mount Allison University Archives does hold some local church records.  Some are restricted and require permission of the church for access.  CHECK WITH THE ARCHIVES DIRECTLY.

Some church registers have been copies by denominational archives and provincial archives.  Researchers should check with these repositories directly.  The National Archives has also copies numerous church registers; the following published guide lists those that are available:

Checklist of Parish Registers, 1986               CA1 AK32 69C36E GOV DOCS

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Crown Land refers to land belonging to the Crown, the revenue of which goes to the reigning sovereign.  Many early settlers applied for grants of Crown Land. Cadastre refers to the official register of ownership, extent and value of real property in a given area, used as a basis of taxation.  Cadastral refers to a survey or a map showing or including boundaries, property lines, etc.

Some deeds, land grants and other land records are scattered throughout private fonds and collections (family papers, business records, church records, etc.) in the Mount Allison University Archives.  No index for this format is currently available.  Researchers must search through inventories.  CHECK WITH THE ARCHIVES DIRECTLY.

Cadastral Maps of Original Crown Grants                Map Case 21-1 to 21-3 GOV DOCS
(includes Index Sheet)

Plan of Sackville, 1791                                             G 3434 S15 1791 P6 1970z BELL

Province of New Brunswick Crown Land Index        HD 319 N4 A37 1988 BELL

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Some manuscript wills and estate papers are scattered throughout private fonds and collections in the Mount Allison University Archives.  No index for this format is currently available.  Researchers must search through inventories.  CHECK WITH THE ARCHIVES DIRECTLY.


Westmorland County, New Brunswick, Probate           MICRO 5355
Records, 1785-1885


Deaths, Burials and Probate of Nova Scotians,            CS 88 N64 M37 1990 BELL

Early New Brunswick Probate Records,                       CS 88 N43 H35 1989 BELL

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Some compilations of cemetery inscriptions are included in private fonds, collections and church records.  Researchers must search through inventories.  CHECK WITH THE ARCHIVES DIRECTLY.

Cemetery Inscriptions, North Cumberland, N.S.             FC 2345 C8 A23 No.3 BELL

Cemetery Inscriptions, Westmorland County, N.B.        FC 2495 W4 A9 1970 BELL
10 vols                                                                           and MICRO 5565

Index to Cemetery Inscriptions, Westmorland                FC 2495 W4 A94 1988 BELL
County, N.B.

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Bibliography of Ship Passenger Lists, 1538-1825           Z 5313 U5 F54 1963 BELL

Passenger and Immigration Lists Bibliography,               Z 5313 U5 F54 1963 and 1981 BELL
1538-1900 + Supplement

Emigrants From England:  1773-1776                           E 187.5 F69 1964 BELL

Emigrants From Scotland to America, 1774-1775         E 184 S3 E65 1980 BELL

Immigrant Ancestors:  a List of 2500 Immigrants            E 187.5 I6 1972 BELL
to America Before 1750

Passengers to New Brunswick:  the Custom House         FC 2455 P38 1987 BELL
Records, 1833,34,37,38

Port of Derry Shiplist, 1847-1849                                   CS 68 B3 1985 BELL

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Local newspapers often include birth, marriage and death notices as well as information on local businesses, clubs, etc.  Most are unindexed.  For complete Library holdings see SERIALS LIST and CANADIAN NEWSPAPERS ON MICROFORM.

Acadian Recorder, 1817-1880                                     MICRO 5659

Royal Gazette, 1785-                                                    MICRO 5663
(New Brunswick's first newspaper, title varies)

Borderer and Westmorland and Cumberland                 MICRO 5654
Advertiser, 1865-1870

Chignecto Post and Borderer, 1869-1897                     MICRO 5045

Sackville Post, 1896-1946                                             MICRO 5454

Sackville Tribune Post, 1902-                                        MICRO 5227

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Commercial and telephone directories may be used as a source to locate family members.  Many published Directories are included in the Bell Collection.  For complete Library holdings CHECK THE LIBRARY CATALOGUE.  Researchers may be asked to use microfilm copies to protect fragile original volumes.

McAlpine's Gazetteer and Guide of the Maritime              MICRO 5558
Provinces, 1892

McAlpine's Business Directory, 1877                                MICRO 5552

McAlpine's Dominion Business Classified Directory,         MICRO 5551

McAlpine's Maritime Provinces Business Directory,          MICRO 5553

McAlpine's New Brunswick Directory, 1896-1903           MICRO 5542

McAlpine's Westmorland Albert Counties Directory,         MICRO 5549
1885-1886, 1904

McAlpine's Nova Scotia Directory, 1868-9,                       MICRO 5554

Claude deL. Blacks Directory and Almanac for                  MICRO 5545
Amherst, N.S., 1900

New Brunswick Telephone Company Directories,             MICRO 5577

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National Archives of Canada
95 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario   K1A 0N1
(613) 995-5138

Provincial Archives of New Brunswick
P.O. Box 6000
Fredericton, NB E3B 5H1
(506) 453-2122

New Brunswick Museum Archives
277 Douglas Avenue
Saint John, NB   E2K 1E5
(506) 693-1196

Public Archives of Nova Scotia
6016 University Avenue
Halifax, NS   B3H 1W4
(902) 424-6060

Prince Edward Island Archives and Records Office
P.O. Box 1000
Charlottetown, PE   C1A 7M4
(902) 368-4290

Centre D'Etudes Acadiennes
Universite de Moncton
Moncton, NB   E1A 3E9
(506) 858-4085

United Church of Canada Maritime Conference Archives
32 York Street
Sackville, NB E4L 4R4
(506) 536-0998

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New Brunswick Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 3235, Station B
Fredericton, NB   E3A 5G9

New Brunswick Genealogical Society
Southeastern Branch
P.O. Box 4321
Moncton, NB   E1C 8P2

Westmorland Historical Society
P.O. Box 166
Dorchester, NB   E0A 1M0

Genealogical Association of the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society
P.O. Box 641, Station M
Halifax, NS   B3J 2T3

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2004 Mount Allison University
October 10, 2007