Provincial Archives of New Brunswick

County Council Marriage Records, 1789-1887

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Why are only three counties searchable online?

These indices were provided to us by volunteers. The Archives is interested in adding additional marriage registers from other counties in the future.

Why does the format different among the three counties?

Each volunteer decided independently how much content to index. For Kent and Restigouche only the names of the bride and groom were indexed, whereas for Gloucester the names of witnesses are searchable and the name of the clergyman is shown.

Will I find parents’ names?

Unfortunately parents’ names were not included in the original record.

How can I see the pre-1888 county marriages for the other counties?

Microfilm copies are available at the Archives or through interlibrary loan. The film numbers are contained in the County Guides found under the Research Tools tab on the Provincial Archives website. Some printed indices have been produced over the years by individuals and genealogical societies. The Provincial Archives and many local libraries have some of these available for research.

Are there similar records available for all the counties?

Unfortunately records for Madawaska, Victoria and Sunbury counties do not exist as far as we know.* When the county level of Government was abolished in 1966, not all records were transferred to the Provincial Archives. Some county offices also lost records due to floods and fires. It is possible that some records are held privately and the Archives hopes these have survived and may eventually be deposited at the Provincial Archives.

*There have been compilations done for Madawaska and Sunbury by researchers using alternate sources to help compensate for the missing records in those two counties.

What are the dates of the marriage registers for the other counties?

All the pre-vital statistics county marriage registers end in 1887 but begin at different dates depending on when the county was created, or in the case of the original counties, at varying points leading up to 1812 when the legislation directing their creation was enacted.

Albert 1846 Northumberland 1806
Carleton 1832 Queens 1812
Charlotte 1789 Saint John 1812
Kings 1812 Westmorland 1790
York 1812

How do these records differ from the Vital Statistics records (RS141) and why are these records not part of the Vital Statistics?

The biggest difference is that the Vital Statistics records contain information about the parents of the bride and groom.

County marriage records and the Vital Statistics records were created under different Acts and different levels of Government were responsible for their creation and maintenance. Following the archival principle of respect de fonds, which states that records of an individual, organization, or other entity must be kept together, the Archives has not amalgamated the records. They can be simultaneously searched using the federated search tool on our website.

I know where my great grandparents were married and the dates fall within the years covered but I cannot find a record of their marriage. Why?

The clergyman who performed the ceremony was responsible to report marriages to the county officials. However, for many reasons reporting was not always complete. Even when it became law to record Vital Statistics, it was not until well into the 20th century that most births, marriages, and deaths were recorded. We still occasionally see instances of births, marriages, and deaths in the1940s and 1950s that were not recorded.

Why are only images for Sunbury County available?

The Archives is considering adding additional county council marriage images in the future.