Government Gazettes are a great resource. During the early years of Canada, these publications gave information on many aspects of the lives of our ancestors. They had notices of divorces, bankruptcies, and business dealings, just to name a few. I\’ve written before on the Canada Gazette, the publication of the federal government. But provincial governments publish their own versions.I\’ve found 3 online sources for free digitizations.
University of Victoria
Their collection, Official Gazettes of the Province of British Columbia, contains 715 issues. The issues run from 1863 to 1871, before it became a Canadian Province.
The set up is extremely easy to use. They are by default listed by date created ascending, but you can modify the list to
- date created descending
- title ascending
- title descending
- date modified ascending
- date modified descending
Just pick a year and issue and click on the image to have it open to browse page by page. My suggestion if using this method is to right click on the issue title and open the issue in a new window. It will make it much easier on yourself than constantly using the back arrow to go back to the main page.
If your searching for something specific, use the search bar located just above the issues list to search by keyword. This will then give you a list of issues with your keyword. It does not however, highlight the keyword within the issue itself.
Once you\’re looking at a particular issue, you can zoom in and out by using your mouse. You can also full screen the issue. To save, you can download or print the whole issue.
University of British Columbia
Their collection of digitized directories
has duplicates of the ones that UVic has, but also later editions up to 1882. The ones on this site have an entire year in book form. Just click on the volume and it will take you into the image viewer. As with the UVic\’s collecton, I would suggest opening in a new tab for ease of browsing volumes. You can search within each volume sing the search bar, or you can browse page by page. If you use the search function, the result will first highlight a page within the volume for your keyword. It will then highlight the word itself.
As with UVic\’s collection you can manipulate the image. You can also download individual pages to your computer.
Lastly, Internet Archive has a huge amount of years on their site in the collection Official Gazettes of the Province of British Columbia
. They have various years from the start of the colony up to 1974. A good chunk of them are not tagged with a date. You can search within specific volumes with keywords. You can zoom in and out. To save a specific page, right click on the image, and then on Save image as.
There is no way to print directly from the site.
So, what can be found in these issues? Here\’s a list of Road Tax Defaulters from 1870:
And here\’s a notice from 1868 looking for information on who shot John Crocket, alias Crosby. They are offering a $100 reward. That\’s quite a large sum back then.
And in August of 1864, there is a very lengthy account of the Bentick Arm Expedition. It runs for several pages
Here\’s some estate notices from 1879
And here\’s a Register of Medical Practitioners from 1873
Here\’s some notices of intention to purchase land from 1882
Here\’s some about Coal Prospecting Licences in 1911