Grates Cove, Newfoundland

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: 1790 [unknown]
Location: Bay De Verde Peninsula, Newfoundlandmap
Surnames/tags: Newfoundland, Snelgrove Snelgrove
Profile manager: Brad Foley private message [send private message]
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Grates Cove is the most northerly community on the Avalon Peninsula, located on the tip of the Bay de Verde Peninsula in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Called "the Grates" by John Guy as early as 1612, the origin of the name is unknown. It has always been primarily a fishing village, and is to this day, although it is also a tourist destination---due to its purported history as the landing site of John Cabot; and its seabirds, whales and icebergs[1][2].

Early History

There is evidence from graffiti carved in the local "Cabot Rock" that Grates Cove was visited from at least the 1600s, starting with the first voyages of John Cabot to North America. The name "Grates" for the area itself is attested to as early as 1612[2]. Permanent European settlement of the village, however, began only in 1790. First four families moved into the area, and by 1801, the village had John Hoskins as the Methodist pastor and schoolteacher[1].
By 1836 Grates Cove had a population of 439 and by 1857, 577. The first road wasn't established until 1872, between Grates Cove, Bay de Verde and Old Perlican. The Railroad didn't reach The Grates until 1913. Until then, most long distance travel was by boat. The highest number of residents came in 1921, when 772 people were recorded. By 1966, the population had fallen to 372, and today, there are approximately 200 residents in the summer, and somewhat less in the winter[2].

Founding Families

Local oral history suggests the first four families were the Coopers, Martins, Snelgroves and Bullocks. In 1801, John Hoskins moved in[2]. By 1795, there is record of a property dispute between John Snelgrove and Thomas Norris[3].

Residence 1800

In 1800-1801, the following heads of families were living in Grates Cove (where m=men, w=women, b=boys, and g=girls)[4].
1Step Head1121
2Geo Lewis1112
3Jas Ballick1210
4Hen Martin1142
5Jos Martin1232
6J Snegrove1242
7H Normore1131
8Jno Hoskins1210
9Geo. Cooper & Son2342
10Jno Janes1133
11Jno Blunden1143
12Jno Doudg1222
13D Browder1260
14E Burrage0132
15P and Jas Murphy2000
16Jno Westwood1000
17Jno Janes Sr1100
18Mar Geary(?)1132
19Robt Rose1141
20Thos Norris 1000


  • There are almost a hundred years of transcribed birth and marriage records for Grates Cove and surrounding areas on the Puddister family tree website [5]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Wikipedia entry on Grates Cove. Accessed 2017.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Beyond Baccalieu webiste ( History of Grates Cove. Accessed 2017.
  3. Rootsweb tree profile for John Snelgrove. Much of the information supplied by Supplied by Susan Snelgrove. Accessed 2017.
  4. NL GenWeb 1800 - 1801 Census Returns, Trinity Bay Region ~ Trinity South District, Grates Cove. Stephen Baker, 2000. Accessed 2017.
  5. Puddister Family Tree website, Lower Island Cove Parish birth records, 1816-1910. Transcribed by Wayne Puddester, 2014. Accessed 2017.

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My GG-GF, William Norman/Normore, married Mary Stansbury in St John's in 1852. He died in St John's in 1878, at the reported age of 54. There are suggestions that one or both had ties to Grates Cove specifically or Bay de Verde generally. I am trying to identify his place of birth, DOB , his parents, etc. I have tried everywhere i can think of, without success. Any advice or suggestions would be welcome. Thank you.
posted by David Norman
There is a Normore in Grates Cove in 1800. My suggestion would be to start working on that profile, and build out their family. That might lead you to the connection.


posted by Brad Foley
edited by Brad Foley