Place:Saint John, Saint John (county), New Brunswick, Canada


NameSaint John
Alt namesCarletonsource: Family History Library Catalog
Golden Grovesource: Family History Library Catalog
Portlandsource: Family History Library Catalog
St. Johnsource: Times Atlas of World History (1989) p 353
TypeParish, City
Coordinates45.267°N 66.05°W
Located inSaint John (county), New Brunswick, Canada     (1630 - )
Contained Places
Fernhill Cemetery
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Saint John is a seaport city of the Atlantic Ocean located on the Bay of Fundy in the province of New Brunswick, Canada. Saint John is the oldest incorporated city in Canada, established by royal charter on May 18, 1785, during the reign of King George III. The port is Canada's third-largest port by tonnage with a cargo base that includes dry and liquid bulk, break bulk, containers, and cruise. The city was the most populous in New Brunswick until the 2016 census, when it was overtaken by Moncton. It is currently the second-largest city in the province, with a population of 69,895 over an area of .

French explorer Samuel de Champlain landed at Saint John Harbour on June 24, 1604 (the feast of St. John the Baptist) and is where the Saint John River gets its name although Mi'kmaq and Wolastoqiyik peoples lived in the region for thousands of years prior calling the river Wolastoq. The Saint John area was an important area for trade and defence for Acadia during the French colonial era and Fort La Tour, in the city's harbour, was a pivotal battleground during the Acadian Civil War.

After over a century of ownership disputes over the land surrounding Saint John between the French and English, the English colonists deported the French colonists in 1755 and constructed Fort Howe above the harbour in 1779. In 1785, the City of Saint John was established by uniting the two towns of Parrtown and Carleton on each side of the harbour after the arrival of thousands of refugees from the American Revolution who wished to remain British and were forced to leave their U.S. homes. Over the next century, waves of immigration via Partridge Island, especially during the Great Famine, would fundamentally change the city's demographics and culture.


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

The area has been the home of peoples of the Wabanaki Confederacy for thousands of years. The northwestern coastal region of the Bay of Fundy inhabited by the Passamaquoddy Nation, while the Saint John River valley north of the bay became the domain of the Wolastoqiyik Nation. The Mi'kmaq also ventured into the Saint John area regularly as the harbour and coast was an important hunting ground for seals. The area around the harbour, where the city is, has been traditionally called Menahkwesk by the Wolastoqiyik people, who still live in and around the city today. In pre-colonial times the Wolastoqiyik lived in mostly self-sustaining villages living largely off bass, sturgeon, salmon, corn, wild roots and berries.

Samuel de Champlain landed at Saint John Harbour in 1604, though he did not settle the area. Saint John was a key area for trade and defence for Acadia during the French colonial era. Moreover, Fort La Tour in the city's harbour, was a pivotal battleground during the Acadian Civil War.[1] The region was conquered by the British after a century of English and French warfare by the end of the Seven Years' War. After being incorporated as a city in 1785 with an influx of Black and White British Loyalists from the northern of the former Thirteen Colonies and also immigrants from Ireland and Italy, the city grew as a global hub for shipping and shipbuilding.[2] After the partitioning of the colony of Nova Scotia in 1784, the new colony of New Brunswick was thought to be named 'New Ireland' with the capital to be in Saint John before being vetoed by George III. In 1851 the city cemented itself as a global shipbuilding hub when the , built from a Saint John yard, became the fastest in the world.

However, as the city grew in strategic importance to English power and capital, unrest grew among many of its working class. Black Saint Johners were forbidden from trade, fishing and voting, thus the majority of the city's Black community settled in Portland (the city's north end), which later became amalgamated with Saint John.[3] From 1840 to 1860 sectarian violence was rampant in Saint John, as tensions grew in reaction to poor living conditions of poor Irish Catholics resulting in some of the worst urban riots in Canadian history. The city experienced a cholera outbreak in 1854 with the death of over 1,500 people, as well as a great fire in 1877 that destroyed 40% of the city and left 20,000 people homeless with damage exceeding $10 million (a modern value of approximately $256 million).

Notable firsts

  • 1785: Saint John becomes the first incorporated city in what would become Canada.[2]
  • 1785: First quarantine station in North America, Partridge Island, established by the city's charter. In the early 19th century, it greeted sick and dying Irish immigrants arriving with inhospitable conditions.
  • 1820: The first chartered bank in Canada, the Bank of New Brunswick.
  • Canada's oldest publicly funded high school, Saint John High School.
  • 1838: The first penny newspaper in the Empire, the tri-weekly Saint John News, was established.
  • 1842: Canada's first public museum, originally known as the Gesner Museum, named after its Nova Scotian founder Abraham Gesner, the first modern commercial producer of kerosene. The museum is now known as the New Brunswick Museum.
  • 1851: ship launched. She carried emigrants and passengers to Australia from England and was the first vessel to make the trip in under six months.
  • 1849: Canada's first labour union, the Laborer's Benevolent Association (now ILA local 273) was formed when Saint John's longshoremen banded together to lobby for regular pay and a shorter workday. One of their first resolutions was to apply to the city council for permission to erect the bell, which would announce the beginning and end of the labourers' 10-hour workday.
  • 1854: The automated steam foghorn was invented by Robert Foulis.
  • 1867: Saint John's Paris Crew rowing team became Canada's first international sporting champions when they defeated England at the International Regatta in Paris, France.
  • 1870: Canada's first Y.W.C.A. was established.
  • 1870: First Knights of Pythias in British Empire.
  • 1872: Monitor top railroad cars in the world invented by James Ferguson. The original model is in the New Brunswick Museum in Saint John.
  • 1880: First clockwork time bomb developed in 1880.
  • 1906: The first public playground in Canada was inaugurated.
  • 1907: The first orchestra to accompany a silent moving picture, on the North American continent, was in the old nickel theatre.
  • 1918: One of the first police unions in Canada, the Saint John Police Protective Association, was formed in Saint John.
  • 1918: Saint Johner Dr. William F. Roberts becomes the first Health Minister in the British Empire.
  • 1969: The University of New Brunswick, Saint John Campus opened. Colin B. Mackay (University of New Brunswick President, Fredericton, 1953 - 1969), appointed G. Forbes Elliot to take the lead on the project in 1964. Since 1993, it has been the Home of the UNB Saint John Seawolves, varsity programs in Soccer, Volleyball and Basketball, competing in the Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association and the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association.
  • 2010: Stonehammer UNESCO Geopark, the first Geopark in North America and centred around Saint John, is formed.

Research Tips

  • More than 14,000 images of the Saint John, New Brunswick burial permits 1889-1919 are available on FamilySearch. The database can be searched by name or browsed. The burial permits show the age of the deceased at time of death, location of birth and death, burial place, cause of death, occupation, residence, and father's name and place of birth.
  • New Brunswick Provincial Archives. This is the introductory page. The tabs will lead you to more precise material.
  • The FamilySearch wiki. This lists the availability of vital statistics indexes for New Brunswick.
  • New Brunswick GenWeb. A round-up of a lot of genealogical information at the province, county and parish level. Lists of cemeteries and monumental inscriptions can be found here.
  • The Provincial Archives website titled The Placenames of New Brunswick has maps of all of its parishes and descriptions of some communities within them. This site contains "cadastral" maps for each parish illustrating the grantee’s name for land granted by the province. These maps are cumulative, showing all grants regardless of date.
  • Microfilm images of all Canadian censuses 1851-1911 are online at Library and Archives Canada, as well as at FamilySearch and Ancestry. The 1921 census appears to be available only at Ancestry.
  • The CanGenealogy page for New Brunswick. An overview of available online sources with links written by Dave Obee.
  • More possibilities can be found by googling "New Brunswick province family history" and investigating the results.
  • The word "rencensement", found in Sources, is French for "census".
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Saint John, New Brunswick. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.