In 1766, when New Brunswick was still part of Nova Scotia, a group of German families sailed from Pennsylvania and settled at Hall’s Creek in what is now called Moncton. Some traveled with a company owned by Benjamin Franklin.
June 3rd, 2016 will be the 250th anniversary of the landing of these eight founding families:
Copple, Jones, Lutes, Ricker, Somers, Steeves, Trites and Wortman. Those are the modern spellings of the names, most of which have changed over time. There will be celebrations in June and July in Moncton and the surrounding area, including many family reunions:
Learning about our ancestors helps us better understand who we are—it also creates a family bond, linking the present to the past, and building a bridge to the future.
If you’re interested in more information on these and other early settlers to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, try some of these books:
The Search for Heinrich Stief : a genealogist on the loose by Les Bowser.
Bowser takes us on a genealogical search for his Steeves ancestors from the Moncton area of New Brunswick. He discovers that the founding ancestor was actually a German named Heinrich Stief. Heinrich first emigrated to Pennsylvania, then on to Nova Scotia (New Brunswick was not its own province yet). Somewhere along the way, his name was altered to Henry Steeves. This book touches on the other families that came from Pennsylvania as well. Atlas of the Acadian settlement of the Beaubassin, 1660 to 1755 : the great marsh, Tintamarre and Le Lac / Paul Surette.
Surette gives extensive information on early Acadian families and settlements around what is now the New Brunswick/Nova Scotia border. Some of the families covered are: Cyr, Bourgeois, Arsenot (Arsenault), Richard, Caissie, Poirier, Cormier, Mouton, DeVeau, Doucet, and Buhot.
Often referred to as ‘The Book of Negroes,’ this directory is a detailed list of black slaves, some emancipated by their owners, but most who supported the British during the American Revolution in exchange for their freedom. For their loyalty, they were given passage to Nova Scotia and other destinations where they could live as free persons. Information recorded in this document (also called ‘The Inspection Roll of Negroes’) includes each person’s name, age, gender, physical description, prior owner and residence, and estimated date of escape. This extensive list was created in case it was decided that the previous owners should be compensated for losing their ‘property.’ Today, it has turned into a great genealogical resource and a record of the times.
The Atlantic Canadians, 1600-1900 : an alphabetized directory of the people, places and vital dates / edited by Noel Montgomery Elliot.
These three volumes include more than 500,000 names as well as an index of place names. They are taken from numerous records for New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, the Magdalen Islands (Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Québec), and the islands of St-Pierre and Miquelon (France). Each entry is broken into: name, occupation, year, location, and source code. The directory is available in hard copy or online: