DEATHS, BURIALS, AND PROBATE OF NOVA SCOTIANS, 1800-1850, FROM PRIMARY SOURCES
Allan Everett Marble, C.G.(C)
Publication Number 22
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Table of Contents
DEATHS, BURIALS, AND PROBATE OF NOVA SCOTIANS, 1800 - 1850, FROM PRIMARY SOURCES
Only the first four pages of the complete forty six page Introduction is provided here.
This compilation was 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 1800-1850. These statistics are presented in a book which the author is writing entitled: Physicians, Pestilence, and the Poor; A History of Medicine and Social Conditions in Nova Scotia, 1800-1867. 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. 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 1800 to 1850. Although Cape Breton was a separate colony during the period 1800 to 1820, deaths, burials, and probate for that Island for that period are included in this compilation.
The information 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 surname 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 frequently given, although 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 a list of sources in which deaths, burials, and probate information, contained in this compilation,was found. Although most of the information was gleaned from records held by the Public Archives of Nova Scotia (PANS), the records of several other Archives, Libraries, and Special Collections, were consulted as well and are listed below. The published books included in the following list of sources are restricted to publications of diaries, journals, newspaper 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 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 probate was found as well as the number of probates found in those sources.
It should be noted that the numbers in the Table which follows represent only those Probated Wills and Administration Papers which the author found legible. The writing in some probate papers, especially five or ten per cent of those for King's County, was illegible. The letters used to denote the type of probate record cited are: Wills (W); Administrations (A); and Inventory (I), in that order In other words if a Will was available it would be cited over an Administration or an Inventory. If the date of death of the individual was given in the Administ- ration papers the letter (D) was included with the source and the date given in column two for that individual was the death date. Will Books for Annapolis County prior to 1879 were not available at PANS. It was noted, however, that the Estate papers for Annapolis County, which are at PANS, contained 362 Wills. An additional 17 Wills were found in Family History Library microfilms 0817440, and 0817442, and were abstracted by Wayne Walker in his excellent work entitled Abstracts from the Court of Probate Records for Annapolis County, Nova Scotia (1763-1938), compiled in 1994.
Cumberland County probate records are in the worst state if disarray of any, with very little alphabetical or chronological arrangement and a mixture of Wills and estate papers, some of which, for the same individual, appear on several different reels of microfilm. The Reel (19,256) of Cumberland County Wills contains 70 Wills and 83 Administrations of Estates, whereas the 55 Reels of Cumberland County Estate papers (19,264-19,319) contain 25 Wills and 74 Administrations for the period 1800-1850. The first three Will Books for Shelburne County were not microfilmed by the Church of Latter Day Saints and are, therefore not at PANS. The author visited the Shelburne County Municipal Office on July 6, 1998 and studied these three Will Books. Twenty-one Wills and thirteen Administrations were found in the Will Books, for the period 1800-1850, which were not found in the Shelburne Couty Estate papers held by PANS.
A very important fact to be aware of is that prior to 1842 the Estate papers for Halifax County contain two distinct sections for each letter of the alphabet. The first section includes Estates for Halifax County, which prior to 1836 included Colchester and Pictou Counties, whereas the second section for each letter contains estate papers for Counties outside of Halifax County. It will also be noted from the Table that several estates which were advertised in various Nova Scotia newspapers are not included in the Court of Probate Records suggesting that these estate papers were lost or misplaced and were not microfilmed by the Church of Latter Day Saints in 1968 and 1969.
This is the end of the first four pages of the forty six page Introduction.
The compiler gratefully acknowledges the friendly and helpful assistance given to him by the Staff of: the Public Archives of Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History, Dalhousie University Specical Collections, Acadia University Archives, Legislative Library of Nova Scotia, New England Historic Genealogical Society, and the Centre d'études acadiennes. One particular individual who the compiler is particularly indebted to is Dr. Allen Robertson. He brought to the compiler's attention the cemetery listings for the Old Burying Ground and for the Little Dutch Church which had been prepared by William D.G. Smith and which were published in the Acadian Recorder in 1880 and also the listing of the gravestone inscriptions of the Little Dutch Church Cemetery prepared by Thomas Burton and published in the Acadian Recorder in 1888.
Total Number of Individuals included in this Compilation: 49,202.