Genealogy: Where you confuse the dead and irritate the living. – Unknown
by Lark Blackburrn
Port Roseway (now called Shelburne, Nova Scotia, Canada), was chosen for settlement by a group Off United Empire Loyalists being evacuated from New York in 1783 before it fell into American hands. Port Roseway was selected for its easy access to the lumber trade on the River St. John and the Bay of Fundy, and for the access that its harbour would give them to the European trade. Trade was an important part of the lives of the prospective evacuees, as a look at the occupations for the men on the list will show:
An Association was formed to organize those wishing to be evacuated to Port Roseway. With the closing of the Association's Membership roll on 25 March 1783, many families who remained loyal to Britain signed up for the anticipated evacuation of New York and Boston. By March 27th, there were more than 400 Loyalist families in New York waiting to be transported to Port Roseway. Such was the enthusiasm in New York about Governor Parr's promise of land in Nova Scotia, that the Associates' numbers doubled in a short time.
With 400 families -- or some four to five thousand people -- in New York waiting for transportation to Port Roseway, a committee had to be formed to handle the everyday problems. This committee was empowered to petition and transact business with the Commander-in-Chief on behalf of the people waiting to go to Port Roseway. The associates sub-divided into small groups called militia companies. These groups selected a man to act as a captain to represent each company.
Here is a list of the captains chosen by committee members who were given the responsibility to act as magistrates. These formed the "Loyalists Associated for the purpose of removing and settling at Port Roseway":
Andrew Barclay, Richard Brazel, Thomas and Richard Courtney, James Dole, Nathaniel Dickinson, Joseph Durfee, Joseph English, John Graham, John Johnson, John Lownds, Peter Lynch, William McLeod, John McLinden, James McMaster, Dr Flemming Pinkstone, Thomas Perry, Joseph Pynchon, Alexander Robertson, Gideon White, Robert Wilkins and Pelham Winslow.
As the April 1st evacuation date drew near, arrangements were made for those individuals who were unable to travel with the group of Associates on the day appointed. Only the main body of passengers leaving on April 1st were looked upon as members of this Association. Those whose names appeared on the list but were unable to travel had a fourmonth grace period from the date of sailing on April 1st to make their appearance in Port Roseway and thus be included as members. Four months would allow for the unpredictability of sea conditions for travel, and give them ample time to arrive and claim their membership.
However, for various reasons, some of these 400 men and families eligible to receive these grants decided not to make Port Roseway their home. Some of the names listed below never went to the area but moved on to settle in different parts of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, or St John's Island/Isle St Jean (now called Prince Edward Island); others returned to the United States. Many of these people also died between the years 1783 and 1801.
Upon arriving in Port Roseway, some were so discouraged with what they saw that they soon after continued on their way, to find a better place to make a home for themselves and their families. The families that did stay knew that they must achieve or perish. They built their houses and planted their gardens on town lots that were assigned to them and tried to make a life for themselves.
Each captain had been told to be very careful in the members he admitted to be part of the Association. Listed below are the names of the men who were eligible to receive grants in Port Roseway. Many of the Captains supplied the names just to fill their quotas. However, it seems that these did not show up on time to register their membership and guarantee their claims to land grants as part of the Port Roseway Associates.
This work is dedicated to these brave men and women whose names were listed as being part of this group. There may be some errors and ommisions, but none intentional.
Watson, Andrew. From Virginia. He was a ship's master and went to other parts of Nova Scotia.
Much has been written on this subject. Many records are located in Libraries and The Public Archives of Canada and also in the Public Archives of Nova Scotia where information can be obtained to locate your lost ancestors who might have been part of this group. By checking different sources such as muster rolls, ration returns, minute books, land grant petitions, land grant records and loyalist claims, etc… much additional information can be obtained.
There is much controversy over who was and who was not a member of this elite group; the text supplied here is strictly to provide information concerning our ancestors and not to prove or disprove any membership to the Port Roseway Association.
Always check primary sources to confirm transcribed materials. We acknowledge that these pages may, and probably do, contain technical and/or typographical errors.
Sources used in compiling this article include:
· Norman K. Crowder, British Army Pensioners Abroad, 1772-1899, Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, 1995, reprinted 2012
· Elva E. Jackson, Cape Breton and the Jackson Kith and Kin
· Born Wood-Holt, Early marriage Records of New Brunswick, Saint John City and County from the British Conquest to 1839
· W.A. Calnek, History of the County of Annapolis, Including Old Port Royal and Acadia Published by William Briggs, 1897; New edition published by Global Heritage Press, Milton 1999
· A. W. Savary, Supplement to the History of the County of Annapolis Correcting and Suppling Omissions in the Original Volume Published by William Briggs, 1913; New edition published by Global Heritage Press, Milton 2001.
· Rev. D J. Rankin, A History of the County of Antigonish, Nova Scoti. Published by The MacMillan Company, 1929; New edition published by Global Heritage Press, Milton 2005
· Raymond A. MacLean, History of Antigonish County, volumes 1 and 2
· J.L. MacDougall, History of Inverness County, Nova Scotia published in Truro, 1922; New edition by Global Heritage Press, Milton, 2005
· James F. More, The History Of Queens County, Nova Scotia. Published by Nova Scotia Printing Company, 1873; New edition published by Global Heritage Press, Milton 2003
· John V. Duncanson, History of Rawdon and Douglas Townships, Nova Scotia, Mica Publishing, Belleville, cir 1970
· Patterson, History of Victoria County
· Brian Tennyson, Impressions of Cape Breton
· Marion Robertson, Kings Bounty, A History of Early Shelburne
· Marion Gilroy and D. C. Harvey, Loyalists and Land Settlement in Nova Scotia. Published 1937; New edition by Global Heritage Press, Milton, 2006
· L. H. Smith Jr., C.G. & Norma H. Smith, Nova Scotia Immigrants to 1867
· Martha Ford Barto, Passamaquoddy - Genealogies of West Isles Families
· M.A. MacDonald, Rebels and Royalists
· B. Wood-Holt, The King's loyal Americans
· U.E.L.A.C, The Loyalists of Quebec
· Christopher Moore, The Loyalists, Revolution, Exile, Settlement
· Sharon Dubeau, The New Brunswick Loyalists - A Bicentennial Tribute
· Paul Bunnell, The New Loyalist Index
· Marion Robertson, The Port Roseway Associates, an article in the Nova Scotia Historical Review Loyalists; NSHR#3:1 (1983)
· Neil MacKinnon, This Unfriendly Soil, The Loyalist Experience in Nova Scotia 1783-1791
· Passengers On The Ship "APOLLO" 1783
· Minutes Of The Proceedings OfThr Port Roseway Associates 178
· Names Submitted To Be Part Of The Port Roseway Association 17833
Note: Originally posted April 15, 1998. Originally contributed By Lark Blackburn Szick, proof read by Randal Oultonand and Gail Facini