Genealogy Research

 


Conception Bay South Records

Church of England/Anglican

In the early 1800's, the first settlers were visited by clergy from the Parish of St. John the Baptist (Cathedral), St. John's. See Parish Records and Registers of Vital Statistics finding aids.

A few records, circa 1830 to1835, for this area can also be found in the records of the Parish of St. Thomas's, St. John's. See the Parish Records Finding Aid. Rev. Edward Wix visited this area in his travels and his records are with this St. John's parish. See also Appendix 2 - Rev. Edward Wix Records - South/Southwest Coasts.

In 1845, Rev. Benjamin Fleet was appointed as Missionary for the South Shore (Foxtrap Mission) which covered eleven settlements from Topsail to Seal Cove. This was a mission of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (SPG).

Records of baptisms, marriages and burials for this mission, 1845 to 1875, were destroyed by fire in Foxtrap. See Foxtrap and Kelligrews in the Registers of Vital Statistics Finding Aid for records starting in 1876.

Topsail became a separate mission in 1860. See both Parish Records and Registers of Vital Statistics finding aids for records after 1860.

In the Topsail records, Rev. Fleet has noted a few families with birth/baptism dates of each family member, circa 1830's to 1850's. See Parish Records Finding Aid.

Some very early entries may have also been recorded with the Portugal Cove parish but those records were lost through fire in 1938.

As many of the early families in Conception Bay South originated from the Brigus / Port de Grave part of Conception Bay, it may be worthwhile to check the records of parishes in that area. See Parish Records and Registers of Vital Statistics finding aids.

See Encyclopedia of Newfoundland and Labrador for the history of specific settlements in this area.

See the Newfoundland Ancestor, Volume 17, No. 3 and Volume 18, No. 1 for Attempted Population Reconstruction of South Shore, Conception Bay, Up to Persons Born 1845. "This is an attempt to reconstruct the residents of the South Shore, Conception Bay covering those living roughly during the period 1835 to 1845."

Roman Catholic

The earliest Roman Catholic records for Conception Bay South can be found in the records of the Parish of St. John the Baptist (Basilica), St. John's. See Parish Records Finding Aid.

From 1844 to 1877, the whole of the South Shore of Conception Bay was part of the Parish of Portugal Cove. The parish priest would make periodic visits by land or by sea to the different settlements along the shore. See Portugal Cove in the Parish Records Finding Aid.

On July 14, 1914, the church at Kelligrews burnt, but it is uncertain as to whether any records were lost at that time. During the tenure of Father Robert A. St. John, 1930 to 1948, another fire destroyed the new presbytery at Power's Court. Parish Records dating from the start of the parish, circa 1877, were lost.

Methodist / United Church

Topsail Methodist records start, circa 1886. Earlier records were the responsibility of the St. John's Methodist circuit. See Parish Records Finding Aid.

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Rev. Edward Wix Records, South/Southwest Coasts

Church of England/Anglican

Archdeacon Edward Wix travelled the south and southwest coasts of the island of Newfoundland during the years 1830 to 1835. As there were no established parishes or resident clergy in those areas at the time, Wix brought his records of baptisms and marriages to St. John's.

Archdeacon Wix was the first incumbent of St. Thomas' parish in St. John's. The first "Register of Births" which was used at St. Thomas' was originally used by Wix to record baptisms performed by him during his visitations around the coast. It records baptisms performed at such distant places as Topsail, Torbay, Pouch Cove, New Perlican, Pushthrough, Burgeo, Port aux Basques and St. George's and, any other places along the route of his visitation. There are only a few marriage records.

One of the most interesting records of his work is a journal printed in 1836. It records Wix's tour of visitation to the southern and western shores of the island of Newfoundland in 1835. This diary of his travels was published as Six Months of a Newfoundland Missionary's Journal. Starting in February, Wix walked overland to Placentia Bay, crossed to Fortune Bay, taking boats from settlement to settlement. His attempt to travel through the country from Bay du Nord to Bay St.George was not successful. He, instead, coasted from harbour to harbour, being helped by fishermen along the way. After reaching Sandy Point, he returned to St. John's in early August, having travelled for six months.

See Parish Records Finding Aid - Church of England/Anglican, St. John's, St. Thomas's Parish, Boxes 1 and 2, or see Registers of Vital Statistics Finding Aid, Vol. 30 and 30A.

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Placentia Bay Records

Church of England/Anglican

The first resident Church of England missionary for the Placentia Bay mission was appointed in 1842. Harbour Buffett became the headquarters of this mission in 1848 with responsibility for all Placentia Bay residents of the Church of England faith.

On September 28, 1913, the Church of England parsonage at Harbour Buffett was destroyed by fire.

The parsonage fire destroyed the baptism records of the parish pre 1890 and the marriage and burial records pre 1911. See Harbour Buffett in the Parish Records Finding Aid for available records.

In the period, circa 1830 to 1835, Archdeacon Edward Wix visited the Harbour Buffett area in his travels. Any records of baptisms, performed by him, can be found in the records of the Parish of St. Thomas's, St. John's. See the Parish Records Finding Aid and Appendix 2 - Rev. Edward Wix Records - South/Southwest Coasts.

Roman Catholic

For early Roman Catholic records, see both Argentia and Placentia in the Parish Records Finding Aid.

There was a Roman Catholic parish in Placentia Bay, circa mid 1850's. It had responsibility for many of the smaller settlements in Placentia Bay not covered by the Argentia or Placentia parishes. It had a priest stationed at St. Kyran's / Oderin. By 1911, there was a resident priest at Bar Haven.

In the early 1940's, during the pastorate of Father Cacciola, a fire destroyed the records of the Bar Haven parish which also included the earlier records of the St. Kyran's / Oderin parish.

See the Parish Records Finding Aid for the Placentia Bay Parish records. The collection consists of family records which appear to have been compiled after the original records were destroyed. Father Cacciola had served the parish for quite a number of years and had married and baptized the members of many families. It is likely that he was responsible for putting together this information, probably with the assistance of the families concerned.

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St. Alban's / Bay D'Espoir / Conne River Records

Church of England / Anglican

See the Parish of Hermitage Bay in the Parish Records Finding Aid and the Parish of Hermitage in the Registers of Vital Statistics Finding Aid.

See Appendix 2 - Rev. Edward Wix, South/Southwest Coast Records and the Parish Records Finding Aid with regard to his records, circa 1830 to 1835, held at the Parish of St. Thomas's, St. John's.

See Grand Bank, Methodist, pre 1840's. In late 1842, the Hermitage Cove Mission of the Methodist Church changed to the Church of England.

Roman Catholic

During the second half of the nineteenth century, there were priests stationed at various times in Harbour Breton, St. Jacques and St. Bernard's.

The Survey of Parishes, 1979, indicates that the records of the Parish of Harbour Breton, prior to 1911, were destroyed by fire. The parish covered the area from St. Jacques, Gaultois, English Harbour West and Boxey to Harbour Breton. Earlier records covered from Ramea to Harbour Breton.

The Survey of Parishes, 1979, indicates that St. Bernard's Parish holds baptism and marriage records starting in 1860 and burial records starting in 1891. The parish covered the area from St. Alban's, Bay D'Espoir to English Harbour East, Fortune Bay. The original records are with the Parish. Copies are not held at the Archives.

Prior to 1860, the Parish of Burin was responsible for this entire area. Its records start in 1833. See Parish Records Finding Aid.

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Earliest Church Records for the West Coast

CHANNEL and CODROY

Church of England / Anglican

See Channel in the Parish Records Finding Aid for records starting in1852.

For records pre 1852, see Bay St. George in the Parish Records Finding Aid.

In the period, circa 1830 to 1835, Archdeacon Edward Wix visited the Codroy Islands area in his travels. Any records of baptisms, performed by him, can be found in the records of the Parish of St. Thomas', St. John's. See the Parish Records Finding Aid and Appendix 2 - Rev. Edward Wix Records- South/Southwest Coasts.

Methodist / United Church

The earliest recorded reference to a visit of a Methodist missionary to the "Western Shore" of Newfoundland is that of the missionary from Grand Bank in the 1840's. In 1859, the missionary of the Petites Circuit had the responsibility of visiting the "Shore." See the Parish Records and Registers of Vital Statistics finding aids.

Circa 1862, the Channel Circuit was formed. See Channel and Port aux Basques in the Parish Records and Registers of Vital Statistics finding aids.

Roman Catholic

Codroy Roman Catholic records start, circa 1863. See Codroy in the Parish Records Finding Aid.

Earlier records were the responsibility of the St. George's Parish starting in 1850. See St. George's in the Parish Records Finding Aid.

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BAY ST. GEORGE / ST. GEORGE'S

Church of England / Anglican

The Church of England Parish of Bay St. George started, in 1841, when the first resident clergy was stationed in that area. The records of the mission start in that year. The mission was responsible for the entire West Coast of Newfoundland. The early records include persons who were not baptized as infants, but with the arrival of a permanent clergy, were then baptized as older children or adults. See Bay St. George in the Parish Records Finding Aid.

In the period, circa 1830 to 1835, Archdeacon Edward Wix visited the Bay St. George area in his travels. Any records of baptisms, performed by him, can be found in the records of the Parish of St. Thomas's, St. John's. See the Parish Records Finding Aid and Appendix 2 - Rev. Edward Wix Records- South/Southwest Coasts.

Methodist / United Church

Records for the Bay St. George Methodist Circuit start in1883 (baptisms and marriages) and 1875 (burials). See Bay St. George in the Parish Records Finding Aid.

For earlier records see Channel and Bonne Bay in the Parish Records and Registers of Vital Statistics finding aids.

Roman Catholic

Rev. Alexis Bélanger, the first resident priest appointed to the West Coast of Newfoundland, arrived in Sandy Point, Bay St. George in September 1850. The records of the St. George's Parish start at that time. See St. George's in the Parish Records Finding Aid.

For the earliest settlers of the Roman Catholic faith on the West Coast, there was a total absence of organized religion. To practice their faith and to receive the sacraments, some travelled great distances to places in Quebec and Nova Scotia. As well, Canadian priests often availed themselves of the semiannual trips of the supply steamers servicing the lighthouses and signal stations on the coasts. These priests, with the approval of the Vicar-Apostolic of Newfoundland, administered the sacraments of baptism and matrimony.

Circa 1820, Rev. William Hearne paid a visit to the Western Shore of Newfoundland. He travelled by foot across country with the aid of a native guide. He visited Sandy Point and Robinson's Head. For records, circa 1820, see Parish of St. John the Baptist (Basilica), St. John's in the Parish Records Finding Aid.

In the year 1848, the Right Rev. Bishop Mullock of St. John's, accompanied by Rev. Richard Condon, Parish Priest of Placentia, made a visitation of the West Coast as far north as Ferrole on the Northern Peninsula. For records, circa 1848, see Parish of St. John the Baptist (Basilica), St. John's in the Parish Records Finding Aid.

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BAY OF ISLANDS

Church of England / Anglican


In the period, circa 1830 to 1835, Archdeacon Edward Wix visited the Bay of Islands area in his travels. Any records of baptisms, performed by him, can be found in the records of the Parish of St. Thomas's, St. John's. See the Parish Records Finding Aid and Appendix 2 - Rev. Edward Wix Records- South/Southwest Coasts.

From 1841 to 1865, the Bay of Islands area was the responsibility of the Bay St. George mission. See Bay St. George in the Parish Records Finding Aid.

In 1865, a missionary was sent to the Bay of Islands by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. The Bay of Islands Parish (now St. Mary's Parish) was established at Birchy Cove (later renamed Curling and now part of Corner Brook).

The records of the Bay of Islands parish, which also had responsibility for Bonne Bay, were lost through fire in 1870. Rev. Ulric Rule, who had performed most of the baptisms and marriages from 1865 to 1870, was able to compile, from memory, a list of most of the names. See Bay of Islands in the Parish Records Finding Aid.

With the opening of the pulp and paper mill in Corner Brook in 1925, a new parish was established. See Corner Brook, St. John the Evangelist Parish in the Parish Records Finding Aid for records starting in 1926.

Methodist / United Church

The earliest Methodist records, held in the Bay of Islands area, are those of the Curling (now part of Corner Brook) Circuit. The records start in 1902. See Corner Brook, Curling Pastoral Charge in the Parish Records Finding Aid.

For records pre 1902, see Bay St. George and Bonne Bay in the Parish Records and Registers of Vital Statistics finding aids.

Presbyterian

See Bay of Islands in the Registers of Vital Statistics Finding Aid.

Roman Catholic

For Bay of Islands records starting in 1870 (now held by Sacred Heart Parish, Curling, Corner Brook) see Corner Brook in the Parish Records Finding Aid.

For records, pre 1870, see St. George's in the Parish Records Finding Aid.

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BONNE BAY

Church of England / Anglican

For records, pre 1871, see Appendix 2 - Earliest Church Records for the West Coast - Bay of Islands.

For records, pre 1865, see Bay St. George in the Parish Records Finding Aid.

For records starting in 1871, see Bonne Bay in the Parish Records Finding Aid.

See Parish of St. John the Baptist (Cathedral), St. John's in the Parish Records Finding Aid for lay baptisms, 1849, West Coast, Northern Peninsula and Labrador.

In the records for the 1870's, there are numerous marriage records, entered by the clergy, which had been performed previously by laymen. As an example: In May 1874, Rev. Joseph J. Curling married a couple in Bonne Bay. His record states, "having been previously married (Sept. 1857) by a layman, there being no clergyman resident or to be found in the place at the time, according to the custom on the shore."

Methodist / United Church

The Methodist records for Bonne Bay start in 1874. Bonne Bay was initially responsible for the Bay of Islands area. See Bonne Bay in the Parish Records and Registers of Vital Statistics finding aids.

Roman Catholic

Bonne Bay records, starting in 1943, were the responsibility of the Deer Lake Parish. Copies of the Deer Lake records are not held by the Archives. The original registers are with the Parish.

For records pre 1943, see Corner Brook, and pre 1870, see St. George's in the Parish Records Finding Aid.

See Codroy in the Parish Records Finding Aid. In Box 1, Baptisms, 1886 to 1898, pages 155 and 159 have records of baptisms performed in March and April 1888 and "copied from Fr. P. W. Brown's notes of his itinerant journey to Straits of Belle Isle Mission (Summerside to Bird Cove)."

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 NORTHERN PENINSULA

Church of England / Anglican

The earliest Church of England parish on the Northern Peninsula started, in 1849, with the appointment of the first resident clergy in the Mission of Flower's Cove. See Flower's Cove in the Parish Records Finding Aid.

For records pre 1849, see Bay St. George in the Parish Records Finding Aid.

See St. Anthony in the Parish Records Finding Aid for records starting in 1880.

For settlements on the east side of the northern Peninsula, see White Bay in the Parish Records Finding Aid for records starting in 1864.

The Registers of Vital Statistics Finding Aid notes French Shore in the Herring Neck register (# 85). This is, in fact, a reference to as little as one record for someone from the French Shore.

Methodist / United Church

The earliest Methodist records for the Northern Peninsula are those of St. Anthony. See St. Anthony in the Parish Records Finding Aid for records starting in 1873.

The Registers of Vital Statistics Finding Aid notes St. Anthony, French Shore in the Bonavista registers (#'s 69, 72 and 72A). This is, in fact, a reference to one baptism,1889, for a child baptized at Bonavista, but born at St. Anthony on the French Shore.

The Registers of Vital Statistics Finding Aid notes French Shore in the Herring Neck register (# 89). This is, in fact, a reference to as little as one record for someone from the French Shore.

For records pre 1873, see Church of England, Flower's Cove in the Parish Records Finding Aid. Many Methodists in the Flower's Cove area would have converted from the Church of England after the arrival of the first resident Methodist clergy.

See Flower's Cove in the Parish Records Finding Aid for records starting in 1874.

See Englee in the Parish Records Finding Aid for records starting in 1882.

Roman Catholic

The first resident priest in the Port Aux Choix Parish was appointed in 1889. Records start at that time. A survey of parishes, conducted in 1979, indicates that one register has four baptism entries for 1889 of persons born in 1858, 1867 and 1868. Copies of the Port aux Choix records are not held by the Archives. The original registers are with the Parish.

For records pre 1889, see Corner Brook, and pre 1870, see St. George's in the Parish Records Finding Aid.

There are a few records for the French Shore in the records of Tilting and Harbour Grace.

For settlements on the east side of the Northern Peninsula, see Conche in the Parish Records Finding Aid. Records start in 1873. For earlier records, starting in 1842, see Tilting in the same finding aid. For records, pre 1842, see King's Cove.

See Codroy in the Parish Records Finding Aid. In Box 1, Baptisms, 1886 to 1898, pages 155 and 159 have records of baptisms performed in March and April 1888 and "copied from Fr. P. W. Brown's notes of his itinerant journey to Straits of Belle Isle Mission (Summerside to Bird Cove)."

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Labrador Records

Church of England / Anglican

The visit of Bishop Edward Feild to Labrador in 1848, was the first visitation of a Church of England clergy to that coast. He appealed to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel for assistance in establishing missions in Labrador. In 1849, a missionary was sent to Forteau and in 1852, one was sent to St. Francis Harbour.

See Battle Harbour in the Registers of Vital Statistics Finding Aid for baptism and marriage records, circa 1850 to 1881/1882.

See Battle Harbour in the Parish Records Finding Aid for marriage and burial records starting in 1880.

The records of the original Battle Harbour Parish are held by the parish at Mary's Harbour, Labrador.

See Forteau in the Parish Records Finding Aid for records starting in 1884/1885.

See Flower's Cove in the Parish Records Finding Aid for records, starting in 1849, of Forteau and other settlements in Southern Labrador from Red Bay to L'Anse au Clair,

See Parish of St. John the Baptist (Cathedral), St. John's in the Parish Records Finding Aid for lay baptisms, 1849, West Coast, Northern Peninsula and Labrador.

See Labrador entries in the Registers of Vital Statistics Finding Aid for miscellaneous Labrador records held by Conception Bay parishes such as Bay Roberts, North River and Port de Grave.

Cartwright Parish, covering Seal Island and Frenchman's Island in the south to Rigolet in the north, were lost in a rectory fire in 1928. Records dated back to the 1890's.

Methodist / United Church

See Happy Valley, Labrador, Northwest River and Red Bay in the Parish Records Finding Aid.

Check the name of a specific place in the Registers of Vital Statistics Finding Aid.

See Labrador entries in the Registers of Vital Statistics Finding Aid for miscellaneous records held by Conception Bay parishes such as Carbonear and Harbour Grace.

Moravian

See Labrador Methodist in the Parish Records Finding Aid. A few Moravian records are included there.

Memorial University of Newfoundland holds microfilm copies of some Moravian records. These records were recorded in German.

Roman Catholic

Very early records for Labrador were the responsibility of the Parish of St. John the Baptist (Basilica), St. John's. See Parish Records Finding Aid.

Labrador was sometimes visited by priests from Quebec. As well, Canadian priests often availed themselves of the semiannual trips of the supply steamers servicing the lighthouses and signal stations on the Labrador coasts. These priests, with the approval of the Vicar-Apostolic of Newfoundland, administered the sacraments of baptism and matrimony.

In 1856, the Newfoundland Diocese was divided into two parts. The new Diocese of Harbour Grace included Labrador.

The new Diocese of Harbour Grace was responsible for sending missionaries to Labrador. Priests would accompany those engaged in the fishery on the Labrador coast to attend to their spiritual needs from May to October. See Harbour Grace in the Parish Records Finding Aid.

As well, see Carbonear, Fortune Harbour, King's Cove, Northern Bay and Tilting in the Parish Records Finding Aid. Each of these parishes, in the Harbour Grace Diocese, sent priests, at various times, to the Labrador mission.

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