Entry in The Encyclopedia of Newfoundland


Population 1966 was 913.Since 1971 Chamberlains has been a part of the incorporated community of Conception Bay South qv.The settlement of Chamberlains, situated between Topsail and Manuels qqv, was first reported in the Census of 1845, as Chamberlain, with a population of 105.According to E.R. Seary (1971) Chamberlain is an English family name of Gloucestershire and other counties but is rare in Newfoundland.It is certain that the area was settled from at least 1800.According to documents examined by Elaine Hyde (1973), among the first settlers in Chamberlains were Nicholas and James Medcaff (1801), William Williams (1803), Thomas Stickley (1804) and William Smith (1810), all planters.The first known recorded land grant was given to Augustus Des Barres in 1840.Lovellís Newfoundland Directory (1871) listed the family names of Fowler, Hiscock, Mercer, Squires, Casey, Cheater, Dowden, Foster, and Slade.By 1901, the community had grown to 288 people.

Fishing and farming were the early economic mainstays of Chamberlains and it was also, like Topsail and Manuels, much frequented by people from St. Johnís as a summer resort.By the 1850ís Chamberlains was connected by road to St. Johnís, which provided a close market for produce.Other employment included, mining at Bell Island qv and some sawmilling.After 1945 the majority of the labour force commuted to St. Johnís, where many residents had found defense-related jobs during WWII.Some farming and service-industry jobs in the Chamberlains area provided other employment.Churches and schools were also attended in the Topsail-Manuels area.

Elaine Hyde (1973)

E.R. Seary (1971)

Census (1845-1966)

Lovellís Newfoundland Directory (1871)