Shetland Times birth announcements to tracing an extended family in Canada

The starting point for this research.

This research was prompted following the extraction of two entries in the Shetland Newspaper Births for a daughter born in 1879 and another born in 1882 listed from British Columbia.

  • At Nanaimo, British Columbia, on the 17th August, the wife of Mr WILLIAM BROWN, of a daughter. (Shetland Times 18/10/1879)
  • At Nanaimo, British Columbia, on the 27th February, Mrs WILLIAM BROWN, of a daughter. (Shetland Times 22/4/1882)

Why would someone go to the expense of listing these birth notices in the Shetland times especially from the west of Canada? I have now spent some time tracing this family and have written a number of blogs dealing with specific aspects of the research. To confirm, I did manage to find the daughters names using the British Columbia Vital Records online database; they were Margaret Jane Brown b. 17 Aug 1879 and Elizabeth Earl Brown b. 27 Feb 1882.

William Brown - a family tree

William Brown b.1845, Sandwick, Shetland. d. 1882, Nanaimo, British Columbia. His parents William Brown and Barbara Nicolson

on 7 Dec 1865, Canadian Presbyterian Church, Hamilton, Ontario married Margaret Manson b.19 Feb 1839, Stovebrakes, Sandwick d. 8 Oct 1936, Nanaimo Hospital, British Columbia. Her parents James Manson and Jane Laurenson


1. Thomas Brown b.13 Sep 1866, Hamilton, Ontario d.11 Nov 1943, Essondale, British Columbia

on 31 Dec 1887 in Nanaimo, British Columbia married Sarah Ellen Bramley b.1869, Rothwell, Yorkshire. See the link below for Sarah's parents and ancestors.


1.1. Jane Ellen Brown b.7 Feb 1889, Nanaimo

1.2. Thomas William Brown b.7 Feb 1890

1.3. Darlene Brown b.20 Jun 1892, Stillborn

1.4. Edna Anna Brown b.8 Jan 1895, Nanaimo on 8 Jun 1914 at Nanaimo married Zedeska Lovell Bowlsby b.

1.5. Beatrice Vera Brown b.9 Jan 1897, Nanaimo married ? Gillespie

1.6. Elizabeth Margaret Brown b.5 Jan 1898, Nanaimo on 18 Dec 1922 at Murrayville married Harold Roy Boardman b. 18 Mar 1899, Vancouver

1.7. Sarah Brown b.20 Dec 1900, Nanaimo, British Columbia on 20 May 1920, at Nanaimo married John Edward Ovington b. 13 Aug 1899 d. 24 Mar 1980.

1.8. Johathan Bramley Brown b.24 Dec 1902, Nanaimo on 29 Mar 1928 at Nanaimo married Isabelle Kirkpatrick

1.9. Dorothy Jean Brown b.27 Apr 1909 d. 31 Dec 2002 on 11 Dec 1929, at Ladysmith married George Kitchener Bowater b. 21 Mar 1900 d.

2. Barbara Isobel Brown b.14 Mar 1869

on 14 Jul 1894, British Columbia married Thomas Keith


2.1. Irene Keith, b.abt. 1896

2.2. William Keith, b.abt. 1895

3. William James Brown b.11 Mar 1871, Esquesing, Halton, Ontario d.17 Feb 1952, Nanaimo, British Columbia

4. Mary Agnes Brown b.9 Jan 1873, Esquesing, Halton, Ontario

5. James Brown b.30 Dec 1874, Esquesing, Halton, Ontario

6. Margaret Jane Brown b.17 Aug 1879, Nanaimo, British Columbia d.

on 25 Feb 1903, British Columbiamar George E. Frost

7. Elizabeth Earl Brown b.27 Feb 1882, Nanaimo, British Columbia d.

Link to the search resources used in this blog:

The main resources I have used are covered in the previous blogs on William Brown's family. I have also revisited the Rootsweb Message Board for Vancouver Island and extracted further details. All of the above dates have been checked and are a record of what has been found. There is still work to be done here extending the families.