Fonds S 11 - William Cochrane Milner

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William Cochrane Milner

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  • Textual record

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  • 1744-1938 (Creation)
    Milner, Dr. William Cochrane

Physical description

2 m of textual records

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Name of creator

(b. 1846)

Biographical history

Dr. William Cochrane Milner was born in Sackville, New Brunswick, in 1846, the son of Christopher Milner and Elizabeth Morse. He graduated from Mount Allison University with a B.Sc. degree in 1864. He also studied law but only practised for a few years after being called to the New Brunswick bar.

In 1870, he founded the Chignecto Post, later known as the Sackvillle Post, and later purchased the Borderer and amalgamated it with the Post. He continued in control until 1884 when he resigned his editorial position. In 1874, he started a campaign for the construction of the Sackville-Cape Tormentine Railway, of which he became secretary. He was appointed collector of customs at Sackville in 1882. He held that position until 1897. He moved to Point de Bute where in 1898 he promoted and became manager of a company to drain the Missquash lakes and bogs to reclaim about nine square miles of land. In 1902, he moved to Halifax where he continued newspaper writing, chiefly on historical subjects.

In 1912, he accepted the position of Dominion archivist for the maritime provinces. He continued to hold this position until 1928. He retired that year and made his home at Wolfville, Nova Scotia. In his retirement he continued with writing with a great deal of original research into original records of New Brunswick. He wrote numerous publications on New Brunswick history.

In June 1887, Milner married Althea Smith, daughter of Horatio B. Smith at Stone Church in Saint John. They had two sons: Horatio R. Milner (b. 1889), of the firm of Milner, Dafoe, Poirier and Martland, Edmonton; and William Binney Milner (b. 1888).

Ganong fonds F184;
Vital Statistics, 1887;

Custodial history

Information about the custody of these records prior to acquisition is incomplete.

Scope and content

This fonds includes:

  • Correspondence re the New Brunswick Public Archives, 1912-1937;
  • Correspondence to Milner, 1891-1938;
  • Original diary of Ann Green Winslow;
  • Copies of a number of letters and other historical documents, 1750-1841;
  • Notes by Milner on topics including various railways, forts, Boishebert, Missquash, marshes, Chignecto, libraries, mining, forestry, Sackville, prohibition, genealogies, Cumberland, Westmorland, Sunbury, Kent and Albert Counties, Nova Scotia, Dorchester, Hillsboro, Moncton, Petitcodiac, Salisbury, Shediac ;
  • Original manuscript of Saint John in the Forties by Milner;
  • Essays on Maritime Union, 1906-1935;
  • Copy of Town's Clerk Book of Records in the township of Parrsboro, 1786 and for Southhanpton;
  • Original List of Voters for Sackville, 1864;
  • Scrapbooks re railways, N.S., Fort Beausejour, war, Acadian, Grand Pre;
  • Account of licenses 1797-1798;
  • List of names and ages of scholars in Sackville District No.1, March 5 - Sept. 5, 1834;
  • Recognizances and warrants re riot and assault on Wm. H. McNutt, 1843;
  • Other legal and criminal documents, 1843-1844;
  • School return by the Trustee of Schools for the parish of Sackville concerning the establishment of the school house in district #13, 1841;
  • Returns of scholars in parish school, 1852
  • Other school reports and documents for school district of Sackville, 1831-1832,1845
    Note: fonds needs arrangement and description

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Acquired from William Cochrane Milner, 1936-1939


Language of material

  • English

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No restrictions

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