Provincial Archives of New Brunswick

Index to Saint John Burial Permits 1889-1919 (RS315A)

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Burial permits were issued under an order of the Board of Health for the City of Saint John to enable the Board to determine the cause of death and the possible presence of contagious diseases. Infectious and/or contagious diseases, such as smallpox, scarlet fever, diphtheria, cholera, and typhus could reach epidemic proportions quickly if not detected early. When such cases were reported through the issuance of a death certificate, or a burial permit, an inspector was sent to check the problem. The burial permits were filed with the clerk of the local Board of Health. It seems that this practice was begun in 1889 and discontinued at the end of 1919. Thereafter, the filing of death certificates served the same purpose (see RS141C5).

This index includes the name of the deceased, age, the date of death, place of birth, burial permit reference, and the microfilm F-number whereon the permit may be viewed.

The individual permits themselves include the name of the deceased, date of death, age, marital status, if married woman, husband's name, residence, place of death, occupation, place of birth, name of father, birthplace of father, place of internment, cause of death, and name of undertaker. Researchers should note however that some burial permits do not contain all of the information which is requested on the form. Also, as far as can be determined, these permits are primarily confined to those individuals who died within the city limits of Saint John.

Using the Index:

1) Researchers should note that where a married woman's father's name has been provided on the permit, she is entered twice in the database, both under her married name, as well as under her maiden name. Those are the names which are indicated by an asterisk.

2) In the age field, the entry <1 means simply that the individual was less than 1 year of age at the time of death.

3) In regards to place of birth, if the individual was born in New Brunswick, the community name is entered in the place of birth field, and the county in a separate field. The abbreviations used for the Counties of New Brunswick are listed below. If the individual was born outside of New Brunswick, the place information is all provided in one field and broken down in the following manner: a) United States, the state, and the community; b) for the rest of Canada, the province, and either the community or county; c) outside North America, the country and either the community or county.

    New Brunswick County Abbreviations

  • AL = Albert
  • CA = Carleton
  • CH = Charlotte
  • GL = Gloucester
  • KE = Kent
  • KI = Kings
  • MA = Madawaska
  • NO = Northumberland
  • QU = Queens
  • RE = Restigouche
  • SJ = Saint John
  • SU = Sunbury
  • VI = Victoria
  • WE = Westmorland
  • YO = York

4) While using the on-line databases, researchers should remember that many names on the certificates are nearly illegible, and that prior to our 'technological age' modern spelling conventions were not strictly followed. Nonetheless, every attempt has been made to accurately present the information. To cover all bases while searching a name with variant spellings like Kierstead, Keirstead, Kerstead, researchers should search on a common element in the name, in this case 'stead'. Also, some women were registered under their husband's name (eg., Mrs Joseph Smith) without her given name on the certificate. In those cases, the index will show 'Smith, Joseph (Mrs)'.

The entire index is comprised of 33,283 entries.

Viewing the Complete Record:

The complete burial permits are available only on microfilm. The microfilm number is included in the index, along with the reference codes. The films can be viewed at the Provincial Archives in Fredericton, or at a library participating in the inter-library or inter-archives microfilm loan program.

Burial Permit Registers on Microfilm

Untitled 2
Reference Description Film No.
A1 Vol 1: 17 Mar- 28 Aug 1889 F20740
A2 Vol 2: 3 Sept 1889 - 12 Apr 1890 F20740
A3 Vol 3: 11 Apr 1890 - 13 Jul 1891 F20740
A4 Vol 4: 14 Jul 1891 - 28 June 1892 F20741
A5 Vol 5: 29 June 1892 - 12 Sept 1894 F20741
A6 Vol 6: 15 Sept 1894 - 12 Dec 1895 F20742
A7 Vol 7: 13 Dec 1895 - 31 Dec 1897 F20743
A8 Vol 8: 1 Jan 1898 - 25 Feb 1899 F20744
A9 Vol 9: 27 Feb 1899 - 2 Apr 1900 F20745
A10 Vol 10: 1 Apr 1900 - 28 May 1901 F20746
A11 Vol 11: 27 May 1901 - 18 Jul 1902 F20747
A12 Vol 12: 17 Jul 1902 - 31 Aug 1903 F20748
A13 Vol 13: 30 Aug 1903 - 21 Sept 1904 F20749
A14 Vol 14: 20 Sept 1904 - 1 Nov 1905 F20750
A15 Vol 15: 2 Nov 1905 - 17 Dec 1906 F20751
A16 Vol 16: 17 Dec 1906 - 2 Jan 1908 F20752
A17 Vol 17: 1908 F20753
A18 Vol 18: 1909 F20754
A19 Vol 19: 1910 F20755
A20 Vol 20: 1911 F20756
A21 Vol 21: 1912 F20757
A22 Vol 22: 1913 F20758
A23 Vol 23: 1914 F20759
A24 Vol 24: 1915 F20760
A25 Vol 25: 1916 F20761
A26 Vol 26: 1917 F20762
A27 Vol 27: 1918 F20763
A28Vol 28: 1919F20764