Before New Brunswick was partitioned from Nova Scotia, it consisted of Cumberland and Sunbury Counties. Counties were at the top of a three-layer local government system. Below each county were parishes (townships), Some, but not all, parishes were then further subdivided into municipalities. The exception to this was the municipality of Saint John which was not in a parish but was a sub-division of Saint John County.
With the New Brunswick Equal Opportunity program in 1966, county councils were abolished. Counties continue to be used as an organizational unit, along with parishes, for registry of real-estate and to some extent taxation thereof. They figure prominently in residents' sense of place and continue as significant threads in the Province's cultural fabric (i.e., most citizens always know which county they are in). They still appear on most maps.