"THANKS, DAN!" Campaign
More than 15 years have passed since the untimely death of our friend and colleague, Dan Johnson. During that time various options were explored by the Saint John Branch of NBGS to memorialize his life and his contributions to history and genealogy in New Brunswick, finally settling on the objective of endowing two scholarships in history at the Saint John Campus of the University of New Brunswick.
The Branch was fortunate to have three eminent persons serve as Patrons of the Campaign and their continuing support is appreciated.
David A. Ganong, O.C., BBA, MBA, is well known as the president of Ganong Brothers, Ltd. Mr. Ganong has also served in many non-profit roles including Chair of the UNB Board of Governors and Chair of the NB Business Council. For this, and his outstanding business and community contributions he was granted an honorary degree from UNB in May 2012.
Marion Beyea was the Director of the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick from 1978 until her retirement. She served as founding president of the Canadian Council of Archives, president of the Association of Canadian Archivists, New Brunswick’s representative on the Historical Sites and Monuments Board of Canada and Chair of the Committee on Best Practices and Standards of the International Council of Archives.
Dr. Gregory Marquis, BA, MA, PhD, is professor of history at the Saint John campus of UNB. He taught at several Canadian universities before moving to UNBSJ in 1999 to teach Canadian and criminal justice history. Professor Marquis has served on the editorial boards of Acadiensis and the Social History of Alcohol and Drugs. He has also been active with several community organizations.
The endorsement of this campaign by these three eminent persons is appreciated.
The intent of the Campaign was to provide two $800 scholarships each year to third- or fourth-year students in a bachelor’s programme or candidates in the master’s programme in the Department of History at UNBSJ. Only the income from the fund can be used to provide scholarships, the capital cannot be touched. Selection of the recipients will be handled by the University
Funding the scholarships in perpetuity required a capital sum of at least $50,000. To raise this amount the Branch called for support from all the members of the New Brunswick Genealogical Society as well as all the users of Dan’s Vital Statistics from New Brunswick Newspapers.
The fund-raising commenced in 2012 and continued for the subsequent six years. All donations received are turned over to the Greater Saint John Community Foundation and administered by that organization. The Foundation was established in 1976 as a way for people to fund certain worthy causes. The Foundation currently administers more than 30 different scholarship and bursary funds and has over $18 million of assets under administration.
The roles of the Saint John Branch of the New Brunswick Genealogical Society are to run the fundraising campaign and to monitor the number and amounts of each scholarship. The capital sum can never revert to the Branch.
At the end of the Community Foundation's 2019 fiscal year the fund balance exceeded $57,000 and several scholarships had already been awarded.
The PANB Web Site
Following Dan’s death, through the co-operation of Dan’s mother, Fay Johnson and Dan’s sister Celia and brother Mark, and with the assistance of the Friends of the Archives, as well as Marion Beyea, all of Dan’s Vital Stats were made available, free, on-line, from the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick. It is an unique resource and we owe a debt of gratitude to Dan for devoting two decades of his life to producing this outstanding historical and genealogical resource.
In addition to Vital Stats Dan also produced a vast quantity of genealogical and historic materials, which are listed in the bibliography below.
Daniel F. Johnson’s Biography
Daniel Fred Johnson was born on August 25, 1953 in Fort Fairfield, Maine, the youngest child of Fay (Tregunno) and Verdell C. Johnson. He grew up in Perth-Andover and graduated from Southern Victoria High School in 1971. He obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of New Brunswick in 1975 and settled into employment in the commercial and insurance fields.
Danny's early attentiveness to family stories and his own love of telling stories presaged his later passion for history and genealogy. His first employment in the field was as manager of a project sponsored by the Victoria County Historical Society collecting stories of the county for their annual publication, the Tobiquer. He stayed with the project long past its formal termination and between 1979 and 1990 edited the stories and saw to their publication. The undertaking fostered his interest in history, genealogy and publishing.
Danny's work on his own family history and the knowledge and skills he gained as he did his research led to a broader involvement in genealogy and he began to assist with the searches of others. He taught one of the first organized courses in genealogy in Saint John in 1979. Along with a number of his students from that course, and others, Danny was instrumental in founding the New Brunswick Genealogy Society. He served as president of the Saint John Branch of the New Brunswick Genealogical Society and as vice-president of the provincial body. He was also one of the first people to obtain certification through the Genealogical Institute of the Maritimes. He remained supportive of the Institute's goal of achieving high standards of professionalism in genealogy.
A frequent presenter at genealogical workshops and conferences, he also transcribed cemetery records, provided a genealogical research service for those who could not get to New Brunswick sources and advised and helped genealogists from across Canada and around the world, always generously, finding satisfaction in their successes. Danny was quick to embrace the computer as a tool for genealogy. He quietly and competently became one of the pre-eminent leaders in New Brunswick genealogy as genealogy became his passion and his full time occupation.
Danny was interested also in the history of New Brunswick, particularly of Kings and Queens Counties, Saint John, the Loyalists, pre-Loyalist settlement and the military settlements of his native Victoria County. He was author of a number of articles and books on subjects ranging from specific families, to Jack the Ripper, to compilations of sources and records that would assist genealogists, such as World War l - Canadians at War: Victoria and Carleton Counties.
In 1995, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to local history and genealogy, Danny was awarded the Certificate of Merit by the American Association for State and Local History.
Daniel F. Johnson died February 22, 2005.
Daniel F. Johnson Bibliography
page updated Mar 2021