Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Finding Your Ancestors in Newfoundland and Labrador

The Finding Your Ancestors Series - Genealogy resources to each province in Canada

Long before I became infatuated with genealogy, our family made the trek from B.C. to Newfoundland, where we visited numerous sites including Cabot Tower in the capital, St. John's. It is a beautiful part of the country with very rocky shores and gorgeous stands of trees. Standing in that very famous cove, one could imagine the early settlers arriving and tenaciously carving out their future.

I don't profess to being an expert in each Canadian province, but I have tried to find researchers who live in the local area or write articles about Newfoundland and Labrador. Please do explore and settle in for a good read, 'cos there's a lot of detail!

Newfoundland and Labrador

Newfoundland is a beautiful piece of Canada.  Fondly called 'The Rock', it's geographic makeup is predominately rock and more rock with trees.  Also, Labrador is a separate land mass to Newfoundland, but the two are recognized as 'one' province.
© credit: DHurt
Distance between St. John's and Toronto by air 1311 miles, 2109 km.
3087 km. by car - may also include a ferry ride 😊

Brief History
Originally a self-governing dominion, Newfoundland was incorporated as a province of Canada in March 1949. St. John's is the capital city, not to be confused with St. John in the province of New Brunswick. A comprehensive history of Newfoundland.  Many families emigrated from Poole, Dorset to Newfoundland in the 1700s and 1800s and it all has to do with cod. Please see the end of this page for the links to the articles I wrote about my visit to Poole, U.K.

Abandoned Battle Island Newfoundland - Abandoned Battle Island Newfoundland. Preserved as a National Historic Site. Declined with cod fishery & a fire in the 1930s.  History of Battle Harbour

For Genealogists
These free websites should be your first stopping ground for Newfoundland and Labrador genealogy. 
Cangenealogy Newfoundland is a website created by Dave Obee with genealogy links to explore.
Library & Archives Canada - Newfoundland is the Government of Canada's Genealogy page for Newfoundland and Labrador.  
Family Search Newfoundland and Labrador is the Family Search wiki. 
Olive Tree Genealogy Newfoundland page (TIP: Ctrl and + keys for larger text.)  
Births Marriages and Deaths - contains links to each province's searchable database of BMDs

Next stop - the Libraries in Newfoundland and Labrador  ;  Links to Genealogy on the Memorial University Library page. 

Bay St. George Genealogy Society St. George's Bay, Baie St-George on the west coast of Newfoundland, one of the largest bays in Newfoundland

Family History Society of Newfoundland and Labrador and the active Families & Surnames Forum 

Newfoundland Public Library Genealogy Guide and Awesome! Newfoundland Public Library Postcard collection of scenes around Newfoundland, 19th and early 20th century. They are arranged thematically or an index is available onsite in the library. Newfoundland and Labrador Library Association - search for libraries in the province.

Maritime History Archive, in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Memorial University in St. John's. This archive holds many unique records, especially maritime related: Crew Lists for UK registered ships; the term 'fisheries' found 793 records in their Photo Collection; Resettlement Photo Collection.  Finding Your Canadian Story article : Newfoundland and Labrador Ancestors: The Maritime History Archive Part 1

Newfoundland Grand Banks - Genealogical and historical data for the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador.    This is Finding Your Canadian Story's article Newfoundland Ancestors: Newfoundland's Grand Banks

Newfoundland and Labrador in the Great War  - provided by the Governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador and Memorial University

The Rooms : Archives, Art and Museum - there is a genealogy section on their website under Collections and Research. The collections cover Sport, Died in Service, Still Images, Government Archives, Manuscripts, Cartographic, Architectural Archives and Museum Notes.  

Newfoundland and Labrador E-Resources:

A database of surnames from Newfoundland Newspapers - described on the Maritime History Archive website: 'The surnames in these pages are taken from the Births, Deaths and Marriages in Newfoundland Newspapers, 1810 - 1890 CD which contains more than 40,000 entries for births, deaths and marriages transcribed from 43 Newfoundland newspapers published between 1810 and 1890.'

Newfoundland War Brides created by Jackie Sheppard Alcock - truly a labour of love! Over 600 war brides are listed on these pages.

Old Gander Genealogical Project - Robert Pelley, originally from Gander, Newfoundland, now lives in Quebec, invites former residents to get in touch to share stories.

David Pike Family History -  PIKE family from: Bonavista Bay, Trinity Bay, Conception Bay as well as Somerset and Devon, UK. I have to say I haven't seen a website built purely for family history purposes and so chock full of stuff in a long time! Very basic design and reminds me of early websites built purely on html. Really could be registered as a GOONS effort! It is updated regularly. Well done David!

Stone Pics - the aim of this group is to photograph and index page every cemetery, headstone, and monument in Newfoundland. Last updated 2012

Stone Pics Czech Republic - the main Stone Pics group are also keen to photograph and index cemeteries in the Czech Republic. Last updated 2014

A connection between Poole, Dorset and Newfoundland. 

Print Resources (to get you started)
Library & Archives Canada Catalogue

- Family names of the island of Newfoundland by E.R. Seary
- Officers and men of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment 1795-1802 & Royal Newfoundland Regiment of Fencible Infantry, 1803-1816 by Rodney T. Lee
- A long way from Tipperary : a Halley family history, 1600-2000 by Irene Collins
- Finding your ancestors in Newfoundland & Labrador by Bill Crant (Heritage Productions)

Newfoundland and Labrador Genealogists' Blogs

Search for Newfoundland family names on Rootsweb

Noel or Newell family connections in the UK.  - Check the Links page for research about Newfoundland as well as DNA research in Newfoundland.

This blog is particularly about: Buttery, Kettle, Lomond, Nebucett and Scott family names

Heather Matthews Island Genealogy - located in Paradise, Newfoundland  Facebook Island Genealogy

Researchers Located in Newfoundland and Labrador

My research on various pages did not result in specific people researching in Newfoundland or offering only research in Newfoundland or based in Newfoundland. I would suggest checking out the Nfld-Labrador mailing list on Rootsweb and / or contacting the Family History Society of Newfoundland and Labrador as a starting point. 

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