The Grand Banks Genealogy Site

If you’re researching family in Newfoundland and Labrador, a great place to start is the Newfoundland’s Grand Banks Genealogy Site.

The website started in 1998 initially as a six-month project to transcribe and digitize the 1921 Census for Newfoundland and Labrador. Since then, it has grown to include much more.

The website boasts to contain the “largest storehouse of original resource material on the Internet, relating to Newfoundland,” and “enjoys the largest number of visitors of any site providing genealogical information for the province.”

In fact, on average the site receives 67,000 visitors per day. This translates into 24,742,000 visits per year.

Historical articles, cemetery transcriptions, will transcriptions, obituaries, headstone photos, directories, passengers and immigrants lists from Newfoundland, Canada and the United States, newspaper clippings, census records—you name it and it’s found on this huge site. It’s like one stop shopping for genealogy information.

Included in the Business Directories are the McAlpine’s Directories for the years 1870-1871, 1880, 1894-1897, 1898 and 1904, as well as, the  McAlpine’s Gazetteer for 1911. The Gazetteer provides an overview of the Island of Newfoundland and specific information for the communities.Gros Morne, NL

Finding Corner Brook (as it appears in the directory), we learn it is a fishing and lumbering settlement. It contains a railway station, three stores, two hotels and two churches with a population of 250.

The McAlpine Directories were similar to today’s telephone book. They alphabetically listed individuals and their businesses and industries.

In the 1894-97 Directory for the Burin District, I found Edward Appleby, a fisherman. He was listed again in the 1898 and 1904 directories. In 1904, Ernest Appleby is listed with Edward.

I know from my family research this is father and son. Edward Thomas Appleby married Thelma Alvina Grandy and had eight children, including Ernest.

Always a fanatic about photographs, one of the first places I searched was the District Photo Albums where there are dozens of community and family photos. Before you leave this section, stop by the “Can You Identify” page to see if you can help identify the individuals in the unknown photos.

Historical accounts such as the loss of sealers at Trinity Bay on February 27, 1892 are transcribed from newspapers. Occasionally there is more than one source to provide information.

Interesting reads that may unearth a relative are found under Natural Disasters (such as The Great Tidal Wave of 1929), Fires (such as “The Burning of St. John’s July 8, 1892″), and Ships Lost at Sea (such as “The Floriziel Disaster of 1918″). Lists containing the names of Newfoundland fishermen lost at sea, those lost to avalanches, landslides and tsunami are included.

The site also contains more current writing such as Christmas was a Special Time in Trinity a Century Ago by Michael Harrington from The Evening Telegram, December 24, 1982.

If you don’t know where to start, you can enter a surname in the search engine to search the entire website.

The website operates on the generosity of its volunteers. To help support the growth of the website, you can help identify a photo, submit an historic photograph, transcribe original records, transcribe a cemetery or make a monetary donation.

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