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St. John's City Parish Records
St. John's East & West Districts

CHURCH OF ENGLAND

Anglican Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

This Church of England parish is the oldest Anglican parish in Newfoundland. Sir Humphery Gilbert in taking possession of Newfoundland for Queen Elizabeth I in 1583 ordained that "religion,in publique exercise should be according to the Church of England”. However, the presence of any Church of England clergy in Newfoundland was very sporadic for almost two centuries thereafter, with short stints of religious service provided by a variety of clergymen. This pattern changed about 1752 when the Rev. Edward Langman arrived at St. John's and served the Anglican congregation there until his death 31 years later. The original parish at St. John's was founded in 1699, but we don't know the extent of its early presence. History records that the Anglican church there was burnt in the Great St. John's Fire of 1846, so in 1847 work was started on a more elaborate replacement structure. This new church was opened and consecrated as a Cathedral in 1850. It too met with misfortune since it was burnt in the Great St. John's Fire of 1892. However over time it was rebuilt again, according to its original design. The Cathedral, located in the downtown section of St. John's, at 16 Church Hill, is the mother church of the Anglican Diocese of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador.

MARRIAGES

Years of 1794 - 1810

Transcribed from the original church records.

Newfoundland Vital Statistics - Anglican Cathedral of St. John the Baptist - Volumes 26D (1754-1834) & 26E (1835-1891)

The majority of marriages for this parish are transcribed on this website as Vitals Statistic records. Those records were created for the Newfoundland Government, Department of Public Health and Welfare (DPHW), St. John's in the 1940s. They were extracted and transcribed from original parish registers for the purpose of creating official pre-1891 civil registration records.

BAPTISMS

Newfoundland Vital Statistics - Anglican Cathedral of St. John the Baptist - Volumes 26C (1752-1791), 26B (1796-1848), 26A (1849-1870) & 26 (1870-1892)

Baptisms for this parish are transcribed on this website as Vitals Statistic records. Those records were created for the Newfoundland Government, Department of Public Health and Welfare (DPHW), St. John's in the 1940s. They were extracted and transcribed from original parish registers for the purpose of creating official pre-1891 civil registration records.

BURIALS

Years of 1752 - 1775
Years of 1776 - 1783
Years of 1784 - 1803 & Misc. 1793 to 1855
Years of 1812 - 1824
Years of 1825 - 1855
Years of 1856 - 1879
Years of 1879 - 1891

St. Thomas Anglican Church

St. Thomas' Church dates back to 1836, when the need arose for a second Anglican Church in St. John's, primarily to serve the growing congregation in the east end of the city. The church, built at the eastern end of Military Road, near Fort William, also became the primary place of worship for the soldiers and their families who were stationed there, so much so that it was referred to as the Garrison Church. Unlike it sister church in downtown St. John's, St. Thomas' was untouched by the Great St. John's Fire of June 1846. However in a violent gale that struck eastern Newfoundland in September of the same year, it is said the church moved six inches on its foundations. To stabilize the building, wings were constructed on both sides. Today, it still stands, although enlarged and reconstructed. It is considered the oldest church is St. John's since, as in 1846, it was unscathed by the Great St. John's Fire of 1892.

MARRIAGES AND BAPTISMS

Newfoundland Vital Statistics - St. Thomas' Anglican Church - Marriages - Volume 30A (1830 - 1893); Baptisms - Volumes 30 (1830-1840), 29 (1841-1875), & 28 (1867-1892)

Marriages and Baptisms for this parish are transcribed on this website as Vitals Statistic records. Those records were created for the Newfoundland Government, Department of Public Health and Welfare (DPHW), St. John's in the 1940s. They were extracted and transcribed from original parish registers for the purpose of creating official pre-1891 civil registration records.

BURIALS

St Thomas Anglican Burials 1865-1867 (PANL Box 4)

St. Mary (the Virgin) Anglican Church

This Anglican parish was established in 1859 to serve the Anglican congreation in the west end of St. John's. The church was built on the south side of St. John's harbour and served the population in that area and west of Long Bridge on both sides of the Waterford River. On the north side of that river, its boundary was as far east as Springdale Street, and to the west and north west it took in the Munday Pond area, and extended onward toward current day Mount Pearl, ie. Topsail Road, Brookfield Road and Heavy Tree Road. It served its congregation from the Southside location until 1960 when it was torn down to accommodate a harbour development. As a replacement, a new church, with the same name, was constructed on Cornwall Crescent to serve the congregation in the west end of St. John's.

MARRIAGES AND BAPTISMS

Newfoundland Vital Statistics - St. Mary's Anglican Church - Marriages - Volume 27 (1859-1891; Baptisms - Volumes 27 (1859-1891)

Marriages and Baptisms for this parish are transcribed on this website as Vitals Statistic records. Those records were created for the Newfoundland Government, Department of Public Health and Welfare (DPHW), St. John's in the 1940s. They were extracted and transcribed from original parish registers for the purpose of creating official pre-1891 civil registration records.

BURIALS

1879 - 1891

Transcribed from the original church records.

 

ROMAN CATHOLIC

Basilica of St. John the Baptist

Although religious liberty was granted to all people in Newfoundland in 1779, it was 1784 before the first Roman Catholic parish was established at St. John's. Soon afterwards other parishes were established at Harbour Grace, Placentia, and Ferryland. These parishes were administered from St. John's under the supervision of the resident priest, Father (later Bishop) James Louis O'Donel. The parish at St. John's was considered the mother church, and members of the Roman Catholic population from all over eastern Newfoundland availed of its religious services. Surviving records of the parish Records reflect life events, i.e marriages and baptisms, performed at St. John's for people from outlying districts. In addition, it appears that clergy from St. John's occasionally travelled, as time and weather permitted, to areas that did not yet have their own parish. This was necessary since it was well into the nineteenth century before sufficient Roman Catholic parishes were established in Newfoundland to handle the religious needs of its far flung congregations. In 1841, Roman Catholics at St. John's laid the cornerstone for a new structure to replace the Old Chapel that had served them for many years. It was a rather long and expensive venture, but in 1855 they finally saw the consecration of their own Cathedral - named St. John the Baptist - the exact same name that had been selected by their Anglican neighbours' for their new Cathedral which had opened five years previous. In 1955, on the Centenary of its consecration. Pope Pius XII bestowed upon the cathedral the rank of Minor Basilica, an honorary title meaning "Royal House" or "House of the Emperor", in recognition of its outstanding architectural, artistic, and historical significance.

MARRIAGES

1793, 1797 - 1799 Marriages - St. John's RC Basilica Parish - Register 1, Pages 1 - 19 with Transcriber's Index.
1799 - 1811 Marriages - St. John's RC Basilica Parish - Register 1, Pages 20 - 77, with amended Original Index.
1811 - 1820 Marriages - St. John's RC Basilica Parish - Register 1, Pages 78 - 165, 180 - 181, with amended Original Index.

BAPTISMS

BASILICA BAPTISMS - ST JOHNS - 1820
BASILICA BAPTISMS - ST JOHNS - 1821
Year of 1886. Pages 1 - 22
Year of 1887. Pages 22 - 48
Year of 1888. Pages 48 - 72
Year of 1889. Pages 73 - 92
Year of 1890. Pages 93 - 118
Year of 1891. Pages 119 - 140
Year of 1892. Pages 1 - 5
Year of 1892. Pages 6 - 15
Year of 1892. Pages 16 - 21
Year of 1893. Pages 22 - 29
Year of 1893. Pages 30 - 37
Year of 1893. Pages 38 - 42
Year of 1893. Pages 43 - 47
Year of 1894. Pages 48 - 63
Year of 1894. Pages 64 - 66
Year of 1895. Pages 67 - 70
Year of 1895. Pages 71 - 75
Year of 1895. Pages 76 - 83
Year of 1895. Pages 84
Year of 1896. Pages 85 - 91
Year of 1896. Pages 92 - 104
Year of 1896/7. Pages 105 - 110
Year of 1897. Pages 111 - 116

Index and Pages Covering the Years of 1897 - 1898

RC BASILICA BAPTISM INDEX - 1897 - 1905  Index of Baptism Records for years of 1897 - 1998.
Use this Index to find the Associated Page Number in the files below.
RC BASILICA BAPTISMS, ST JOHNS, NFLD, 1897 (Pages 1-10)
RC BASILICA BAPTISMS, ST JOHNS, NFLD, 1898 (Pages 11-23

BURIALS

It appears the Roman Catholic churches in Newfoundland did not have a policy of recording deaths or burials. Colonial Office records indicate that on 2 November 1811, Newfoundland Governor, Thomas Duckworth granted Roman Catholic clergy the right to bury their own dead, provided that they did so in a plot of land that had been prepared specifically for that purpose. It should be noted that up until that time, only Anglican clergy were authorized to officiate at burials. However, they did keep records of these life events, and from analysing the Church of England burial records, it is obvious that they contain names of people of other religious affiliations, in addition to those of the Anglican congregation.

Family Records

(Grandfathered)

Cathedral of St. John the Baptist RC Baptisms 1855-1905 (Flynn Family)
Cathedral of St. John the Baptist RC Marriages 1812-1874 (Flynn Family)
St. Patrick's RC Church Baptisms 1872-1884 (Flynn Family)

Misc. Roman Catholic Records

Records of Newfoundlanders Baptized or Married in Waterford, Ireland (1752 - 1770)

 

CONGREGATIONAL
(aka The Dissenting Church of Christ)

Congregational Church

The Congregational Church in St. John's was founded in 1775, by John Jones, a bombardier with the Royal Artillery. He had served in the military at St. John's, from 1765 to 1773. Although he was transferred out of Newfoundland, he returned again in 1775 to fill several army positions. After his return, he began to hold social worship in his room and eventually held religious meetings in the Court House on Wednesday and Sunday evenings. When access to these venues was denied him, Jones and his "small society" met outdoors on the barrens. His religious endeavours eventually drew the wrath of the governor and the Anglican clergy. In 1778, he returned to England, resigned from the Royal Artillery and was ordained as a minster of the Dissenting Church of Christ. He returned to Newfoundland in 1799 and persevered in his beliefs until he was granted his licence as a dissenting minister in 1781. With the proclamation of religious liberty in 1784, the Congregationalist movement gained some ground, and it appears they had a fair sized following down through the years. The congregation eventually joined the Presbyterian Church of Canada in 1938.

MARRIAGES, BAPTISMS, & BURIALS

Congregational Church Baptisms - 1816 - 1877 (PANL Box 1)

Transcribed from the original church records.

Newfoundland Vital Statistics - Congregational Church - Marriages - Volume 23 (1802-1892; Baptisms (1780-1891); Deaths (1844-1891)

Marriages, Baptisms and Deaths for this parish are transcribed on this website as Vitals Statistic records. Those records were created for the Newfoundland Government, Department of Public Health and Welfare (DPHW), St. John's in the 1940s. They were extracted and transcribed from original parish registers for the purpose of creating official pre-1891 civil registration records.

It should be noted that up until about 1811 only Anglican clergy were authorized to officiate at burials, hence the Church of England burial records contain names of people of other denominations. For example, even John Jones, the Congregational Church's first minister was buried in the Church of England Cemetery, Church Hill, by the Anglican priest, Rev. John Harries.

 

PRESBYTERIAN

St. John's Presbyterian Church

The first Presbyterian congregation in Newfoundland was established about 1842. Their first church, St. Andrew's (denoting its Scottish connection) was erected in St. John's, on the hill above Gower Street and Long's Hill. It opened for worship in December 1843. The church was part of the synod of Nova Scotia, hence its first minister, the Reverend Donald Allan Fraser, was sent from there to serve the new congregation. In later years there were two Presbyterian churches at St. John's, both called St. Andrew's - St. Andrew's Free Church, and St. Andrew's Kirk. In the late 1870's, these two divisions united and built a common church at the corner of Duckworth and Cathedral streets. It was destroyed in the Great St. John's Fire of 1892, but a new Presbyterian church was rebuilt near the site of the original St. Andrew's, overlooking Queen's Road. The new St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church (usually referred to as the Kirk),was opened in 1896. Outside of St. John's there were several small Presbyterian congregations established over the years, in particular at Harbour Grace and Corner Brook, along with short-lived presences in Green Bay and at Bell Island.

MARRIAGES, BAPTISMS, & BURIALS

Newfoundland Vital Statistics - St. John's Presbyterian Church - Marriages - Volume 24 (1842-1891); St. John's Baptisms (intermittent years between 1842-1891); Harbour Grace Baptisms (1880-1884), (1903-1924); Burials (1879-1891)

Marriages, Baptisms and Burials for this church are transcribed on this website as Vitals Statistic records. Those records were created for the Newfoundland Government, Department of Public Health and Welfare (DPHW), St. John's in the 1940s. They were extracted and transcribed from original parish registers for the purpose of creating official pre-1891 civil registration records.

 

METHODIST (WESELYAN)
(part of the United Church of Canada after 1925)

Gower Street Methodist (United) Church

Methodism in Newfoundland is deemed to have began in Harbour Grace with the arrival of the Rev. Lawrence Coughlan and his family from England in 1766. He was a newly-ordained Church of England priest, but his ideals and preachings were more in line with those of the English preacher, the Rev. John Wesley. Although supported by the Anglican Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, history indicates that Rev. Coughlan organized the construction of a Methodist chapel at Blackhead, Conception Bay about 1768. Methodism grew slowly over the next half century and it was not until 1815 that the congregation at St. John's opened their first chapel on Gower St. It was destroyed by fire in February of 1816 but it was rebuilt again before the end of that year. After a significant increase in followers, a larger church was built on this same site in 1865, but it too fell victim to fire in 1892. After the Great Fire of that year, the congregation set about building the larger and more elegant structure which became a Registered Heritage Structure in September 1995.

MARRIAGES & BAPTISMS

It appears that all of the earliest parish records (1815-1892) for Gower Street Methodist Church were destroyed in the Great St. John's Fire of 1892, however, there are some surviving records (post 1882, pre 1892) that may be associated with congregation members from all three Methodist churches in the city of St. John's.

Newfoundland Vital Statistics - St. John's Methodist Churches - Marriages - Volume 22 (1882-1891); Baptisms (1882-1891)

Marriages, Baptisms and Burials for this church are transcribed on this website as Vitals Statistic records. Those records were created for the Newfoundland Government, Department of Public Health and Welfare (DPHW), St. John's in the 1940s. They were extracted and transcribed from original parish registers for the purpose of creating official pre-1891 civil registration records.

George Street Methodist (United) Church

By 1857, 17% of the Newfoundland population indicated that their religion of choice was Methodism. In the 1860s, the surge in the congregation at St. John's triggered plans for the erection of a second church there. In 1873 it appears a mission was established at a new church built on George Street. This mission served the congregation members primarily in the west end of the city and became an independent pastoral charge in 1882, known as George Street Methodist Church. Although less than a half mile west of the Gower Street Methodist church, this church survived the Great St. John's Fire of 1892, and is therefore the oldest Methodist Church in the city of St. John's. Inside and out this church has been kept in excellent condition over the years. In March 2000, the church was designated as a Registered Heritage Structure.

MARRIAGES & BAPTISMS

Given that George Street Methodist Church was not destroyed in the Great St. John's Fire of 1892, the transcribed entries for 1882-1891 likely represent the records of that church after it became an independant pastoral charge.

Newfoundland Vital Statistics - St. John's Methodist Churches - Marriages - Volume 22 (1882-1891); Baptisms (1882-1891)

Marriages, Baptisms and Burials for this church are transcribed on this website as Vitals Statistic records. Those records were created for the Newfoundland Government, Department of Public Health and Welfare (DPHW), St. John's in the 1940s. They were extracted and transcribed from original parish registers for the purpose of creating official pre-1891 civil registration records.

Cochrane Street Methodist (United) Church

As the population in the east end of St. John's grew, the Methodist congregation decided another place of worship was needed in that end of the city. A mission was formed on Cochrane Street about 1878 and a wooden Gothic structure was dedicated in 1882. It became an independent pastoral charge in 1890. It too survived the Great St. John's Fire of 1892, however it was destroyed in a fire on January 18, 1914. The church that stands today was rebuilt on the same site and dedicated on June 18, 1916.

MARRIAGES & BAPTISMS

It appears that Cochrane Street Methodist Church marriage and baptism records for 1890 & 1891 survived the Great St. John's Fire of 1892. The transcribed entries for 1890-1891 likely represent the records of that church after it became an independent pastoral charge.

Newfoundland Vital Statistics - St. John's Methodist Churches - Marriages - Volume 22 (1882-1891); Baptisms (1882-1891)

Marriages, Baptisms and Burials for this church are transcribed on this website as Vitals Statistic records. Those records were created for the Newfoundland Government, Department of Public Health and Welfare (DPHW), St. John's in the 1940s. They were extracted and transcribed from original parish registers for the purpose of creating official pre-1891 civil registration records.

 

Page Last Updated October 07, 2014 (Kevin Reddigan)

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