Newfoundland Ancestors: Directories online at Memorial University

 Newfoundland did not become a province until 1949. However, the first official accounts of Europeans setting foot on Newfoundland goes back to the late 1400\’s. The historic site L\’anse aux Meadows is over 1,000 years old, and attributed to Leif Eriksson. The province is considered England\’s first overseas colony, going back to Elizabeth the first.

Newfoundland is not in the available national Census records for Canadian research. They do have their own census returns, held onsite at Library and Archives Canada and The Rooms in Newfoundland. You can also view the original images online both at Family Search and at Ancestry for 1921,1935, and 1945. Transcriptions of many years are available at the Newfoundland Grand Banks website. I wrote a previous blog post on their site back in 2018, which you can access here. Directories are a great census substitute. I wrote a previous blog post on a what a great source of information directories can be, which you can read here. Memorial University has digitized several varieties of directories and indexes on their site.

For each of the publications, you view each a page at a time. Use the side bar to go through the pages. You have the option of downloading and/or printing specific pages to your computer.

I\’ve provided links to some of what\’s available on the site


Census Substitutes

Blue Books
These ledgers kept by the Colonial Governors mainly deal with the mundane figures involved in running the colony. However, they also list appointments, and do have some names listed. The University has digitized a large amount of these. These are a few to get you started.
  • First four hundred Royal Artillery, 1940 – If your ancestor was one of the first 400 men attested to the two Newfoundland regiments of Britain\’s Royal Artillery during World War II, you\’ll want to look at this. It includes the names and addresses of then men, as well as an honour roll.

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