A Shipwreck from Two Hundred Years Ago

The Brig Trafalgar left Hull, Yorkshire, England “soon after” June 1, 1817. The passengers were immigrants bound for the New World to start a new life in either Saint John, NB, or Quebec City, QC. After being at sea for less than two months, the brig arrived off the coast of Nova Scotia. It sailed…

Scottish Genealogy Symposium in Halifax October 15th

I suspect there are more people with Scottish ancestry per capita in Nova Scotia than in any other Canadian province. If that is the case, the Genealogical Association of Nova Scotia’s (GANS) Scottish genealogy symposium in Halifax next month should be a big success. …to read more about this, visit the Scottish Genealogy conference in…

Column: Did An Ancestor Arrive on the Ship Hector?

Between today and Wednesday, my genealogy column, Roots to the Past, is available in the following Atlantic Canada newspapers: Saturday: The Citizen (Amherst) Saturday: Times & Transcript (Moncton) Wednesday: The Lunenburg County Progress Bulletin (Lunenburg County) Title: Did An Ancestor Arrive on the Ship Hector? Snippet: On September 15, 1773, the Ship Hector sailed into Pictou Harbour, NS, and landed at Brown’s…

Nova Scotia Cemeteries Website

Cynthia Simpson of Halifax is creator of Nova Scotia Cemeteries, a website that shares information (both in words and pictures) about the cemeteries of Nova Scotia. On her about page, she writes, “I am a historical researcher with a Master’s Degree in Atlantic Canada Studies from St. Mary’s University, Halifax.  Coupled with my academic background…

Column: The Baronets of the Maritimes

Between today and Wednesday, my genealogy column, Roots to the Past, is available in the following Atlantic Canada newspapers: Saturday: The Citizen (Amherst) Saturday: Times & Transcript (Moncton) Wednesday: The Lunenburg County Progress Bulletin (Lunenburg County) Title: Column: The Baronets of the Maritimes Snippet: Back before the great wars (1914-1918 and 1939-1945), confederation (1867), the Marco Polo (1851), New Brunswick (1783), the Loyalists…

Private John Angus McNeil

John Angus McNeil was the second of six children—four sons and two daughters— born to Donald “Brown” and Sarah (Grant) McNeil of Malignant Cove, Antigonish County, NS. Donald passed away around 1886 and the couple’s two youngest children—daughters Catherine and Isabelle—died before 1891, leaving Sarah to care for four young boys. While Sarah’s eldest son,…

Private Henry Scott Hart

Henry Scott Hart was the fourth of six children—three sons and three daughters—born to George Wilberforce “Will” and Ella Blanche (Smith) Hart of Canso, NS. A native of Guysborough County, Will served with the 66th Regiment, Princess Louise Fusiliers, rising to the rank of Major before retiring to Canso, where he established a mercantile business.…

Column: Acadians and French-Canadian Genealogy

Between today and Wednesday, my genealogy column, Roots to the Past, is available in the following Atlantic Canada newspapers: Saturday: The Citizen (Amherst) Saturday: Times & Transcript (Moncton) Wednesday: The Lunenburg County Progress Bulletin (Lunenburg County) Title: Column: Acadians and French-Canadian Genealogy Snippet: The Acadian & French-Canadian Ancestral Home website is celebrating its 17th anniversary. Since 1998, the site has grown to include…

Nineteenth-century Cape Breton: a historical geography

“This thesis is an historical geography of Cape Breton Island in the nineteenth century. It aims to provide a geographical synthesis of the Island over a hundred years, elucidating the changing relationship between the Island’s population and their environment. “The Island is considered as a region and the scale of enquiry is at the regional…

Column: Enjoying Everything Scottish

Between today and Wednesday, my genealogy column, Roots to the Past, is available in the following Atlantic Canada newspapers: Saturday: The Citizen (Amherst) Saturday: Times & Transcript (Moncton) Wednesday: The Lunenburg County Progress Bulletin (Lunenburg County) Title: Column: Enjoying Everything Scottish Snippet: Ceud Mìle Fàilte (A hundred thousand welcomes) Do you have Scottish blood in your veins? Or do you simply love Scottish…

Nova Scotia Historical Vital Statistics Update

The annual accrual of Historical Vital Statics is now available on the Nova Scotia Genealogy website. Time Frame for Records Births: 1864 to 1877, 1908 to 1914 (including delayed registrations from 1830 to 1914): 300,334 records Marriages: Bonds from 1763 to 1864; Registrations from 1864 to 1939: 235,854 records Deaths: 1864 to 1877, 1908 to…

Column: One Province Becomes Two

Between today and Saturday, my genealogy column, Roots to the Past, is available in the following Atlantic Canada newspapers: Tuesday: The Kings County Record (Sussex) Wednesday: The Lunenburg County Progress Bulletin Thursday: The Western Star (Corner Brook) Saturday: The Citizen (Amherst) Saturday: Times & Transcript (Moncton) Title: One Province Becomes Two Snippet: June 18, 1784…

Nova Scotia Families in Pictures

Earlier this week while searching for one thing I discovered a fascinating website with connections to my family tree. Isn’t that the way things always happen? Look for one trail, get lost on another. The Internet is packed full of things waiting to be discovered. We just have to keep our eyes open. The reason…

‘Dit Names’ Add Confusion to Surname Search

The following Roots to the Past column was originally published in March 2006. ———————— Recently, I followed a discussion on a mailing list between several members regarding ‘dit names’. I had never heard of ‘dit names,’ also called compound surnames, and wanted to learn more. The discussion began when a member wanted an explanation of…

Researching Down East

Down East has a nice ring to it. It was what my family said when we packed our bags and fishing rods and headed to where my father had been born and raised: Liscomb Mills. I spent many joyous times throughout my life down east. Where were you last week? “Down East.” Where are you…

The Missing Grave of Three Moxon Children

There’s a plain white headstone resting at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, Halifax, NS. It records the deaths of three young children during an epidemic in 1888. This memorial would not have taken up residence in the museum if not for another tragic event: the Halifax Explosion. The nearby plague tells the tragic tale…