The following text was taken verbatim from the publication
MARRIAGE REGISTER ALBERT CO., NB (1846-1887) 1984 by Ken Kanner and V. "Bing" Geldart ISBN 0-9691642-0-3. I would like
to thank the authors for their permission to reproduce this text and for allowing its publication on the Albert County
GenWeb page. It should be noted that because it is not relevant to my subject, a section of the original text entitled THE
MARRIAGE REGISTER has been omitted from this transcription.
The County of Albert, named for Prince Albert, The Prince
Consort and beloved husband of Queen Victoria, is located in the southeastern corner of the Province of New Brunswick.
It is bounded on the south by Chignecto Bay, on the east
by Shepody Bay and by the Petitcodiac River which, as far as the Town of Salisbury, also forms its northern boundary. The
northwestern corner of the County is formed by the southern extension of Salisbury Parish of Westmorland County. On the west
is the Counties of Kings and Saint John. The County contains an area of some 680 sq. miles consisting of cleared farmland
and rolling wooded hills.
On March 27, 1845 Albert county was set off from Westmorland
County taking with it the original Parishes of Hillsborough and Hopewell, part of the Parish of Salisbury and the later Parishes
of Coverdale and Harvey. By that time initial settlements along the Fundy shore and the Petitcodiac River had reached up the
many small rivers and streams in search of homestead land and the abundance of virgin timber. The Westmorland county seat
at Dorchester, growing increasing more distant from the epicentre of the population, added fuel to the embers of political
opportunism and the ambitions of a few energetic hopefuls. The forming of a new geographic entity was an obvious solution.
The Parishes of Elgin and Alma were to be formed later.
HOPEWELL, probably named for Hopewell in Pennsylvania or
for the ship which brought settlers from Ireland in 1761, was established as a granted Township on 24 Sep 1765. It then formed
part of the County of Cumberland, Nova Scotia. On the erection of the Loyalist Province of New Brunswick on 16 Aug 1784; the
division into the original eight Counties in May of 1785; and the legislation of Jan 1786, which confirmed County boundaries,
Hopewell was included as a Parish of Westmorland County. Although its position facing the Bays of Shepody and Chignecto has
not changed, and, since the erection of Albert County, has formed the southeastern corner of the County, Hopewell's western
boundary has reflected several county and parish line refinements. (It should be noted that originally, Westmorland extended
farther west into Kings and Queens Counties and Saint John County extended eastward along the Bay of Fundy, to join Hopewell
in the vicinity of Rocher Bay). In 1837 the west boundary of Westmorland was moved eastward and extended to the Bay of Fundy.
Hopewell was extended westward to include the area that had previously been a part of Saint John County.
HILLSBOROUGH, named for the Earl of Hillsborough, was, like
Hopewell, a proprietary Township by grant dated 31 Oct 1765. It shared its southern boundary with Hopewell, its east and north
extremities with the Petitcodiac River and extended up river to a point on the river near the present Town of Salisbury. The
western boundary can be approximated by extending a line southward from this point to the present village of Albert in Hopewell
Parish. On the formation of the new Province, Hillsborough became a parish in Westmorland County. It remained practically
unchanged until Coverdale Parish was set off in 1828.
COVERDALE was named for the Coverdale River (called locally
and of recent, Little River) which, it has been suggested, was named for Miles Coverdale (1488-1568), Bishop of Exeter and
English translator of the Bible. As Coverdale was born in Yorkshire, there may exist a glimmer of truth, but, it can be speculated
that both he and the river may share the same origins of name. The first English settler to establish at the mouth of the
river was Joshua Geldart who, with his nephew John (the progenitor of all of that name in Albert and the surrounding Counties)
came in May 1774 from the North Riding of Yorkshire. Both were born in Coverham, a small Parish in the Dale of Cover (the
valley of the River Cover). The weight of coincidence allows one to speculate that Joshua or in fact John may have needed
a reminder of their homeland. Joshua was to return there. John stayed.
As mentioned earlier, Coverdale Parish was erected in 1828
from the western end of Hillsborough, taking with it the northern half of the old parish and extending westward in 1845 (with
the formation of Albert County) as far as the county border and the Parish of Salisbury in Westmorland.
HARVEY Parish, named for the then Lieut. Gov. of NB, Sir
John Harvey, was set off from Hopewell in 1838. This division would take over the west coastal section of Hopewell from the
Village of Albert to the recently defined boundary with Saint John.
Between the period of the formation of the Province with
the establishment of the original county boundaries and the setting apart of Albert County, the unassigned lands to the west
of Hopewell and Hillsborough Parishes and as far as the west county line was, [probably by default], included as part of the
Parish of Salisbury. With the advance of the settlers into the hinterlands, this large tract of near wilderness would need
ELGIN Parish named for John Bruce the Earl of Elgin and
the Gov. Gen. of Canada, was set off from Salisbury Parish in 1847 and became the fifth parish of Albert County. It included
most of the interior of the county, was completely land-locked by the other parishes and provided the headwaters for many
of the small streams and rivers of the region. These streams and the coming of a new railway spur was to do much for commercial
production from the vast tracts of timber. Farming, and to a lesser degree lumbering, still provides a livelihood for those
descendants of the original settlers and the busy woods gangs who have chosen to remain after the disappearance of the great
ALMA Parish, named in 1855, it is believed, for the Battle
of Alma in the Crimea which took place the previous year. The Parish was set off from the western half of Harvey. Although
a coastal region, the rugged terrain and the depletion of its forests has not been receptive to large settlements. The timber
trade for some decades supported large transient populations but today the one small town of Alma gets its summer influx of
transients from visiting tourists, not the hustle and bustle of a busy lumbering and shipping town.
Published By: V. Bing Geldart of N.B.