DEATHS, BURIALS, AND PROBATE OF NOVA SCOTIANS, 1749-1799, FROM PRIMARY SOURCES
Allan Everett Marble, C.G.(C)
Publication Number 14
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Table of Contents
DEATHS, BURIALS, AND PROBATE OF NOVA SCOTIANS, 1749 - 1799, FROM PRIMARY SOURCES
This compilation was originally undertaken in order to establish statistics on the causes of death, and the age at the time of death, of Nova Scotians during the period 1749 to 1799. The statistics were to be used in a book which the author was writing entitled: Surgeons, Smallpox, and the Poor; A History of Medicine and Social Conditions in Nova Scotia, 1749-1799. It was realized, however, that the information which appears in the compilation would also be a valuable resource for genealogists, social historians, and historical economists. To the author's knowledge, this is the first time that an attempt has been made to prepare an alphabetical list of all the known deaths which occurred in a province during a fifty year period. The compilation has been restricted to deaths, burials, and probate, taken from primary sources only, and none of the information presented has been taken from secondary sources. This compilation lists all persons who are known to have: died in, lived in, or served in, the Province of Nova Scotia during the period 1749 to 1799. Although Nova Scotia, during part of the 18th century, included the land which is now within the boundaries of New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, no attempt has been made to include in the compilation the names of persons who died in those places, while either was a part of Nova Scotia. However, statistics for Cape Breton, which was under French control during the period 1749 to 1758, and which was a separate colony during the period 1784 to 1820, are included in the compilation.
The information in this compilation is presented in two parts. Part I is an alphabetical list of all persons who died, were buried, or had their estate probated, during the period. It is divided into three sections, the first of which includes persons whose surame is known. The second section includes those persons for whom only the christian name, or first name, is known, while the third section includes information on persons for whom neither christian or surname is known. This third section was considered to be important to include since the age of the deceased, and the cause of death, was given, even though the deceased was anonymous. Part II provides additional or conflicting information on those included in Part I, which, because of the lack of space, could not be presented in Part I. If the user finds a name in Part I which is of interest, Part II should also be consulted to see if additional or conflicting information is presented on that same individual. It should be noted, however, that the author has attempted to include as much information as is known about an individual under the seven headings of Part I, but that not all of the information presented under these headings came from the source cited in column six. The information presented in Part I which is not found in the source cited in column six is found in one or more of the additional sources given in Part II beside the name of the individual of interest.
Primary Sources Consulted
The following is the list of sources in which the deaths, burials, and probate information, contained in this compilation, was found. Many other primary sources were consulted but were not included in the list since no additional information was found in them. Although most of the information was gleaned from records held by the Public Archives of Nova Scotia (PANS), the records of other Archives, Libraries, and Special Collections were consulted as indicated below. The published books included in the following list of sources are restricted to publications of diaries, journals, news- paper vital statistics, church records, and gravestone inscriptions. Beside each record category is given the number of deaths, burials, or probates which that record was found to include. Because the probate records were found to be scattered throughout a number of sources in addition to RG48, a table is presented under RG48 which indicates the other sources in which probates were found as well as the number of probates found in those sources which were not found in RG48.
As can be seen in the following table, Wills, Intestate Estates, Probate Acts, and Administrations, are found mainly in RG48. The author has, however, found 45 estates listed in Nova Scotia newspapers which were not included in RG48. Probate records were also found in RG1 Vols 206, and 526, and RG47, which did not appear in RG48. For some unknown reason, the probate records for Annapolis County for surnames starting with the letters J to M, are not included in the microfilm collection of probate records at PANS. The originals of the twenty-five Annapolis County estates in this category can be viewed at the Annapolis County Court House in Annapolis Royal. Similarily, the first three books of Wills for Shelburne County are not on microfilm at PANS and have to be viewed at the Probate Office in Shelburne. Another observation which the author has made which is worth noting concerns the organization of the Probate records for Halifax County. For each letter of the alphabet, surnames are first listed for persons whose estates were located in Halifax County, and then a second alphabetical list appears for persons whose estates were in Counties outside of Halifax County. This is the reason why, in the table below, one notes that the Halifax Will Books include 37 Wills of persons who resided in other Counties, and the Halifax Estate Records include 201 estates located outside of Halifax County.
Wills of persons who resided in other Counties, and the Halifax Estate Records include 201 estates located outside of Halifax County.
*Other refers to various townships in the province of New Brunswick.
RG60 Shelburne County Court Records 3
MG1 Papers of Families and Individuals
MG3 Business Papers
Vol.141 William Best's Account Book, Halifax, 1752-1759 2
MG4 Church and Community Records
The only place mentioned in the following list which is not found on contemorary maps of Nova Scotia is Lorembec. Big and Little Lorembec (also referred to as Big and Little Lorraine) were fishing villages located between Mira and Garbarus Bays on the east coast of Cape Breton. La Baleine exists on modern maps as Baleine.
MG4 Township Books
MG4 Cemetery Inscriptions (included with Church Records)
To the right of each cemetery listed below appears the number of individual eighteenth century inscriptions which were found in that cemetery. The number in brackets indicates the number of individual eighteenth century gravestones in the cemetery if the number of stones was not the same as the number of inscriptions.
MG5 Cemetery Inscriptions
All of the eighteenth century gravestones listed in the MG5 Collection at PANS (except for St.Paul's Cemetery) were viewed by the author to establish that the inscriptions had been recorded accurately, and corrections were made if the inscriptions recorded in MG5 were found to be in error. The chance of making errors in the copying of gravestone inscriptions is high as illustrated by comparing the three lists which exist of the inscriptions found in St.Paul's Cemetery. The last burial in this cemetery was in the 1840s, and therefore it would be expected that anyone copying the inscriptions in that cemetery in the twentieth century would record approximately the same number of stones and that the inscriptions recorded would contain the same informa ion. In 1902, George Mullane published "A Complete List of Those Buried in St.Paul's Cemetery". This was published as A Monograph of St.Paul's Cemetery and printed by Burgoyne in Halifax in 1902. Mullane listed 149 eighteenth century gravestones and a total of 177 inscriptions. Thomas Vardy Hill, who copied the same cemetery in 1909, found 293 eighteenth century gravestones and 387 individual inscriptions, and did not include twelve inscriptions which were in Mullane's ÒComplete List!Ó In 1985 Deborah Trask was in charge of a project to copy, photograph, and assess the condition of, the stones in St.Paul's Cemetery. The resulting compilation, which is undoubtedly the finest example of gravestone copying the author is aware of, lists a total of 317 eighteenth century gravestones and 424 inscriptions. Surprisingly, the twelve inscriptions which Mullane copied in 1902, but which were not copied by Hill in 1909, were also not found by Trask's team. As a result of these three compilations, the author has concluded that there were at least 329 individual eighteenth gravestones erected in St.Paul's Cemetery while it was used as a burying place and, that it contained at least 438 individual inscriptions.
MG12 Great Britain, Army
MG13 Great Britain, Navy
MG20 Societies and Special Collections
MG100 Miscellaneous Papers
C.O.217 Colonial Office Papers
Micro-Cemeteries-Hants County-Duncanson Collection
Misc 'A' (Armies-Colonial)-Army Returns, 1757-1817 125
Diaries, Letters, and Journals
Letters and Papers
A study carried out by the author to determine the number of issues of eighteenth century Nova Scotia newspapers held by the Public Archives of Nova Scotia revealed that PANS had a collection of 1,942 of the 4,231 issues which were published during the period 1752 to 1799 inclusive. According to G.E.N. Tratt's Thesis A Survey and Listing of Nova Scotia Newspapers 1752-1757, prepared to satisfy the requirements for the Master of Arts Degree at Dalhousie University in 1957, and Maria Tremaine in her Early Canadian Imprints, 1752-1800, there were 162 issues of Nova Scotia newspapers in various Institutions which were not also held by the PANS. It could be concluded, therefore, that only 49.7 per cent of the issues of eighteenth century Nova Scotia newspapers have survived. The number of estate notices which appeared in eighteenth century Nova Scotia newspapers totals 416, however, as pointed out in the comments preceding the table on probate, only 45 of the newspaper estate notices were unique in that they were not found in RG48. It should be noted that Mr.Terrence M.Punch compiled Nova Scotia Vital Statistics from Newspapers, 1769-1812, and this was published by the Genealogical Association of Nova Scotia as their Publication Number 5, in 1981. It is still available from the Association.
III. Other Archives, Libraries, and Special Collections
Acadia University Archives, Wolfville
Annapolis County Court House, Annapolis Royal
Dalhousie University Library, Special Collections, Halifax
Nova Scotia Genealogical Association
Legislative Library, Province of Nova Scotia
Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston
New Brunswick Genealogical Society
New England Historic and Genealogical Society, Boston
IV. Church Records and Gravestone Inscriptions which have been Published
A total of fifty-six eighteenth century Nova Scotian gravestone inscriptions have been photographed and published by Morse and Trask, and appear in very legible form in their publications cited below. Morse in his Gravestones of Acadie included a total of five photographs of stones at Annapolis Royal, Lower Granville, West Paradise, and Digby. In his The Land of the New Adventure , Morse included 34 photographs of legible gravestone inscriptions from cemeteries in Halifax, Shelburne, Lunenburg, Granville, Annapolis Royal, and Grand Pr.. Deborah Trask in her Life How Short, Eternity How Long, has photos of 17 stones from cemeteries in Lunenburg, Mahone Bay, Alma, Hackett's Cove, Annapolis Royal, Barrington, Chebogue, Halifax, Liverpool, Chipman's Corner, Upper Canard, and Windsor.
V. Gravestone Inscriptions Collected by the Author and Others
The surnames contained in this compilation are presented using the spelling of the names which appeared in the primary sources consulted. This was done in order to maintain the integrity of the information given in the primary sources, and to allow the researcher to interpret the primary source information as he/she saw fit. The compiler has, however, provided a list of names which appear in two or more variations in Part I and Part II. It is also important to be aware of the fact that some of the surnames of the early Lunenburg German settlers were presented in the records using one spelling for males, and a second spelling of the same surname for females. The difference between these two spellings is that the female version of the surname is constructed from the male spelling plus a suffix, ie.: Fink (male), and Finkin (female), or Goetz (male), and Goetzin (female).
Arnberg (male), and Arnebergin (female) Annenberg, Arenberg, and Arnberg
Explanation of Column Headings
The seven column headings in this compilation each require a detailed explanation to ensure that the user is absolutely clear as to the source and meaning of the information presented.
Column 1: In this column which is headed Name, each person's name is recorded exactly as it appears in the Source listed in column six. If a second source spells the person's name differently, or if the author is aware of the correct spelling of the name, this information will appear in Part II, opposite the name which appeared in Part I. Additions or corrections made by the author based on his own knowledge are presented within square brackets.
Column 2: The date which appears under the column headed Date represents a death, burial, inquest, or probate, as indicated by the primary source listed in the column headed Source. All dates appear in new style and are based on the Gregorian Calendar which came into effect in Nova Scotia in September 1752.
Column 3: Under the heading Place in column three, is listed the location where the person died, was buried, or lived prior to death. The only place listed under this column which may be difficult to locate is Oakland. It is about two miles east of Mahone Bay on the north side of Mahone Harbour.
Column 4: The fourth column which is headed Age gives the age of the person at the time of death if known. If the age was given in the primary source in months, it is listed in column 4 as a fraction (i.e.: two months is given as 2/12, whereas twenty-one months is given as 21/12.)
Column 5: The fifth column gives the next of Kin of the deceased, as given in a primary source. The name included under this heading is either the spouse, or one of the parents of the deceased. If the name of the spouse and the parents are known, the name of the former will be given in this column.
Column 6: This column which is headed Source is undoubtely the most difficult to understand, and also the the most important to be able to understand. The source given for the information presented on any particular individual is one of the primary sources listed in the previous section entitled Primary Sources Consulted but, because of space limitations, these sources are presented in an abbreviated form in this column. It is noted that each source given is followed by a letter within round brackets. The letters which have been used refer to the type of information contained in the particular source, and are identified as follows:
If a number of these sources were found for an individual, the source which is listed in column six is the one which most pecisely identifies the date of death. The remaining sources which were found for that individ- ual appear after his/her name in Part II.
Column 7: In this column entitled Addendum, additional information is given on the individuals listed. If more than one item of information was known about an individual, the entry in this column was selected based on the following categories which are listed in order of precedence.
Explanation of Abbreviations
The compiler gratefully acknowledges the friendly and knowledgeable assistance given to him by the Staff of the Public Archives of Nova Scotia, the Nova Scotia Museum (particularly Deborah Trask), and at the Annapolis Royal Court House. He is also indebted to Mr. Terry Punch who proof read the manuscript, offered valuable advice, and suggested primary sources which should be consulted.