List of counties of New Brunswick

The Canadian province of New Brunswick has 15 counties.[1] While they no longer serve as municipal jurisdictions,[2] or as traditionally defined with magistrates and appointed members of legistlative council, and shire towns or county towns, they continue to define a regional community.

Counties of New Brunswick
LocationProvince of New Brunswick
Populations10,998 (Queens) – 163,576 (Westmorland)
Areas1,461 km² (Saint John) – 12,843 km² (Northumberland)

With the reorganization of local government legislation contained in the Robichaud government's reforms, collectively called the New Brunswick Equal Opportunity program, county municipalities ceased to function in 1966 and their councils were dissolved.

Another form of regional local government did not replace the county. Instead, many small village municipalities were created, with the surrounding predominantly rural areas remaining unincorporated. Of these unincorporated areas, 92 of them in 11 counties were made into local service districts (LSDs) to administer services specific to their area,[b] based largely on the former civil parishes.[3]

Counties continue to be used as an organizational unit, along with their parishes, for registration of real estate among other things. They figure prominently in residents' sense of place and continue as significant threads in the Province's cultural fabric (i.e., most citizens always know which county they are in), and they still appear on some maps.

History edit

Origin edit

The territory of what is now New Brunswick was previously a part of the colony of Nova Scotia, which, in 1759, separated into counties for the first time. As part of this, all territory north of Kings County, including all of present-day New Brunswick, was erected as Cumberland County,[c] until on April 30, 1765, when the Saint John River valley was erected as Sunbury County, although it would not be until 24 May 1770 that a boundary would be established between the two counties. Sunbury’s western boundary was described as starting at the head of the St. Croix River, following the north line to the Saint John River and then to the southern Canadian border. This description actually overlapped a part of Maine’s territory, as you would have needed to go far west, towards the area near the source of the Chaudière River.[4] No further changes would be made until 1785, when, now being a British colony, New Brunswick had new counties established for itself.[5]

Creation edit

In 1784, New Brunswick was separated from Nova Scotia to be established as its own colony. Within the next year, the new colony was divided into eight counties: Charlotte, Kings, Northumberland, Queens, Saint John, Sunbury, Westmorland and York. In January 1786, the first session of the New Brunswick Legislative Assembly was held in Saint John, at which the MLA’s passed An Act for the better ascertaining and confirming the Boundaries of Several Counties within this Province, and for subdividing them into Towns or Parishes.[6] As the council worked on developing the original county lines, they desperately needed maps of the province, which, at the time, they seemingly lacked. As a result, they relied on two maps by Joseph Frederick Wallet DesBarres from 1780, the best candidates for a map of New Brunswick at the time.[7] As the new boundaries were established, the former counties of Cumberland and Sunbury were disregarded, with the exception of the starting point of the boundary between Westmorland and Northumberland counties, which shared a resemblance to the old boundaries, though this might have been a coincidence.[8]

The county lines were strategically drawn to align with the watersheds, a logical decision given that New Brunswick's settlements were developed along waterways.[9] Additionally, the counties were able to be divided into three groups: the Bay of Fundy, the Saint John River and the North Shore.[10]

List edit

County[11] Shire town[11] Established[12] Origin[12] Etymology Population (2021)[13] Population (2016)[13] Change[13] Land area (km2)[13] Population density (per km2)[13] Map
Albert County Hopewell Cape 1845 Erected from Westmorland County Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria. 30,749 29,158 +5.5% 1,806.23 17.0  
Carleton County Woodstock 1831 Erected from York County Thomas Carleton, the first Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick. 26,360 26,178 +0.7% 3,309.06 8.0  
Charlotte County St. Andrews 1785 One of the original 8 counties. Queen Charlotte, wife of King George III. 26,015 25,428 +2.3% 3,418.24 7.6  
Gloucester County Bathurst 1826 Erected from Northumberland County Princess Mary, Duchess of Gloucester, fourth daughter of King George III. 78,256 78,444 −0.2% 4,734.30 16.5  
Kent County Richibucto 1826 Erected from Northumberland County Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, father of Queen Victoria. 32,169 30,475 +5.6% 4,550.38 7.1  
Kings County Hampton 1785 One of the original 8 counties. To express loyalty to The Crown. 71,184 68,941 +3.3% 3,482.35 20.4  
Madawaska County Edmundston 1873 Erected from Victoria County The Madawaska River, derived from a Maliseet word meaning unknown. 32,603 32,741 −0.4% 3,454.97 9.4  
Northumberland County Newcastle, now part of Miramichi 1785 One of the original 8 counties. The Northumberland Strait 45,005 44,952 +0.1% 12,843.39 3.5  
Queens County Gagetown 1785 One of the original 8 counties. To express loyalty to The Crown and after early settlers from Queens, Long Island, New York. 10,998 10,472 +5.0% 3,681.05 3.0  
Restigouche County Dalhousie 1837 Erected from Gloucester County The Restigouche River, derived from the Mi'kmaq name meaning five-fingered river. 30,700 30,955 −0.8% 8,566.82 3.6  
Saint John County Saint John 1785 One of the original 8 counties. The Saint John River. 76,558 74,020 +3.4% 1,461.05 52.4  
Sunbury County Burton 1785 One of the original 8 counties. George Montagu-Dunk, 2nd Earl of Halifax, had been styled Viscount Sunbury prior to his Earl of Halifax title. 27,864 27,644 +0.8% 2,692.97 10.3  
Victoria County Andover, now part of Perth-Andover 1844 Erected from Carleton County Queen Victoria 18,312 18,617 −1.6% 5,492.85 3.3  
Westmorland County Dorchester 1785 One of the original 8 counties. The county of Westmorland in North West England. 163,576 149,623 +9.3% 3,659.74 44.7  
York County Fredericton 1785 One of the original 8 counties. Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany, second son of George III. 105,261 99,453 +5.8% 8,095.10 13.0  

See also edit

Notes edit

  1. ^ Parishes are the normal subdivision. Saint John, Fredericton, and the town of Grand Falls are also included in the Territorial Division Act, all with different boundaries than the municipalities have today. Fredericton was originally a parish, while Grand Falls Parish and the town are legally separate.
  2. ^ Rural fire departments were the most common reason for having an LSD. Eventually LSDs covered almost the entire unincorporated area of the province before their abolition in the municipal reform of 2023.
  3. ^ Cumberland County still exists in modern-day Nova Scotia.

References edit

  1. ^ "NB Territorial Divisions Act, 1991".
  2. ^ "Municipalities Act, SNB 1966(1), c 20, p.192". Retrieved 3 February 2024.
  3. ^ "Regulation 66–41 under the Municipalities Act (O. C. 66–968)". The Royal Gazette. Fredericton. 124: 604–605. 21 December 1966.
  4. ^ Ganong 1901, p. 226.
  5. ^ Ganong 1901, p. 227.
  6. ^ Ganong 1901, p. 413.
  7. ^ Ganong 1901, p. 413-414.
  8. ^ Ganong 1901, p. 414.
  9. ^ Ganong 1901, p. 415.
  10. ^ Ganong 1901, p. 416-417.
  11. ^ a b "Territorial Division Act". Government of New Brunswick. June 30, 1998. Retrieved December 28, 2021.
  12. ^ a b "Provincial Archives of New Brunswick".
  13. ^ a b c d e Government of Canada, Statistics Canada (9 February 2022). "Population and dwelling counts: Canada and census divisions".

Further reading edit

Ganong (1901). A monograph of the evolution of the boundaries of the province of New Brunswick.

External links edit