New Brunswick

New Brunswick map

From 1759, during the Seven Years' War and after the expulsion of the Acadians by the British, the area of modern New Brunswick was included in the colony of Nova Scotia.  Later, on August 16, 1784, it was designated a British colony separate from Nova Scotia and named in honour of King George III of England who was descended from the House of Brunswick (Braunschweig) in Germany.

Westmorland and Albert Counties (originally one county) are areas of our family interest and it's helpful to know something of the dates of historical boundaries when interpreting old records:
1759 -
The area of future New Brunswick is included within the jurisdiction of Cumberland County, Nova Scotia.
1765 -
All the area of Nova Scotia north of the Isthmus of Chignecto (including the future area of New Brunswick) is designated Sunbury County.
August 16, 1784 -
New Brunswick becomes a separate colony from Nova Scotia.
1785 -
New Brunswick is divided into 8 counties by the first Governor, Thomas Carleton.
1786 -
Westmoreland County (only much later spelt without the ‘e’) is divided into 5 parishes, most of which are loosely based on old Nova Scotia Townships.  These parishes are Monckton (later permanently miss-spelt Moncton), Sackville, Westmoreland, Hopewell and Hillsborough.  Boundaries between parishes shift somewhat over the years.
1787 -
The additional parishes of Dorchester and Salisbury are defined.
1805 -
The new parish of Botsford is set apart.
1827 -
The new parish of Shediac is set apart.
1828 -
Coverdale Parish is set apart from the northern part of Hillsborough Parish.
1838 -
Harvey Parish is set off from the west end of Hopewell, making a total of 11 parishes in the old Westmoreland County.
March 27, 1845 -
South of the Petitcodiac River, Albert County is set off from Westmoreland County taking with it the parishes of Coverdale, Hillsborough, Hopewell, Harvey and the southern portion of Salisbury, leaving Westmoreland County with 7 remaining parishes.
1847 -
Elgin Parish is set off from Salisbury Parish in Albert County.
1855 -
Alma Parish is set off from the west end of Harvey Parish, giving Albert County a total of 6 parishes.

Westmoreland County
Parishes prior to 1805
Parishes between 1845 and 1847

Westmoreland small
Albert small
Parishes and Communities of Westmoreland
Parishes and Communities of Albert

Our first ancestors to come to British North America were a group of Germans from the Rhine region in southwestern Germany who emigrated first to Philadelphia in the mid 1700's and later came to Monckton Township (encompassing present day Moncton).  A humble group of farmers seeking a better life, they came under contract with Benjamin Franklin and Co., a land speculation company headed by John Hughes of Philadelphia.  The company's five families departed April 26 or 27, 1766 accompanied by the company's agent John Hall, along with six other families from other companies, and arrived at the bend in the Petitcodiac River on June 3, 1766 to settle land that had been vacated by the Acadians, evicted by the British some eleven years previously.  Genealogist Les Bowser's research has unearthed the name of the ship carrying the 11 families, namely the 50-ton single-masted sloop Lovey captained by Nathaniel Shiverick.  As reported by Bowser in the Winter 2008 issue of "Generations", the names of the ship, captain and destination were published in the weekly Pennsylvania Gazette on Apr 24, 1766 (before departure) and May 1, 1766 (after departure).

Les Bowser's book "The Search for Heinrich Stief, A Genealogist on the Loose" (Nimbus Publishing Limited, 2001) reported the discovery of an extremely informative list of the 5 families' members from 1766 which lists the children in descending order of age:

After a rough start, the families were tremendously prolific with much intermarrying leading to thousands upon thousands of "cousins". Anna Adelia Jones of Moncton (b. 1857) was one such person, descended directly from three of the family heads listed above: Matthias Summer (Sommer), Charles Jones (Carl Schantz) and Jacob Trites (Treitz).  Jacob Trites would become known as the "Father of Moncton" because the location of his subsequent land grant was in present-day downtown Moncton.

Albert County
The ancestral area including the Petitcodiac River with Moncton at 'the Bend', Hillsborough farther south and the Little River to the west.

Anna Jones was descended also from Robert Cummings through his daughter Elizabeth. Cummings and four other members of the Nova Scotia Council were granted the large township of Hillsborough south and west of the Petitcodiac River on October 31st, 1765.  Robert's portion was 23,750 acres and he was land agent for the settlement. Nothing is known of his ancestry at this time but he was a nephew of Adam Hoops, an entrepreneurial land speculator from Pennsylvania.  Cummings fathered a child with Rosanna Trites, who was the daughter of Jacob Trites mentioned above. This daughter, Elizabeth Cummings, was born in 1770, possibly in Monckton.  (Unfortunately, Cummings thereafter returned to Baltimore, Maryland where it appears he had a wife in the wings!  He built an estate outside Baltimore called "Monckton Mills").

Another ancestor was Robert John Colpitts.  Robert first came over from England in 1775 on the ship Jenny in search of a better livelihood, landing at Fort Cumberland.  He returned to England to collect his family but their final emigration was delayed until 1783 after the American Revolution had died down.  They settled an area near the mouth of the Little River, a tributary south of the Petitcodiac.  When New Brunswick was established in 1784 this area was still contained within Westmorland County. 

Circa 1799, Robert Colpitts' son William married Robert Cummings' daughter Elizabeth after she was widowed from her first husband, and they settled in Middle Coverdale (just west of Riverview).  In 1815 their youngest daughter Delilah (Adelia) Colpitts must have been born there since the home was still in the Colpitts family until at least 1900.

The four "Coverdales" from west to east: Upper Coverdale, Coverdale, Middle Coverdale (not marked but just west of Riverview) and Lower Coverdale

In 1903, the Little River post office was renamed Colpitts Settlement in honour of the by-then well-established Colpitts family.

Colpitts vicinity
Colpitts Settlement on the Little River and Pollett River to the west.  Grub Road in between.

West of here, in 1808, Charles Jones (the grandson of Carl Schantz mentioned above) and his wife Deborah Somers (granddaughter of Matthias Sommer) settled on the Pollett River, in Salisbury Parish.  Presumably that is where his son Abner was born four years later.  (Charles Jones and his father Henry were buried in the Old Pioneer Cemetery on Grub Road, between Pollett River and Little River.)  In 1835 Abner would marry Adelia Colpitts, granddaughter of Robert Colpitts, and later move from Salisbury Parish to Moncton where their youngest daughter Anna Adelia Jones was born in 1857.  Abner Jones' home address is marked on an 1862 Moncton map on the north side of Main St. just east of the "European and North American Railway" tracks.

John Givan first came to St. John, New Brunswick in the 1820's where he was a merchant on Water Street. At that time St. John was a busy port settlement with a population of 8,488. He chartered ships to bring goods and passengers to and from Ireland. Later he settled back in Nova Scotia where the rest of his family lived, but three of his children later returned to New Brunswick as follows:
William Roger Givan went to St. John where he married Mary Elizabeth Rising and later settled in Moncton. 
Mary Givan moved to Moncton where she married Charles Jones, a son of Abner. 
Captain Henry Peel Givan likely moved first to St. John and then to Moncton where he married his brother-in-law's younger sister, Anna Adelia Jones.  They later moved to Shediac Cape, north of Shediac. William Roger, Mary and Henry Peel are buried in Elmwood Cemetery in Moncton along with members of their families.

Shediac Cape

This map shows Shediac Cape, an ocean front community north of Shediac.  This is where ship captain Henry Peel Givan settled with his wife Anna Adelia Jones and their children.  As well, Reverend A.F.B. Burt moved here with his wife Matilda Sutherland and two children Frances and Percy in 1893.  Here young Harry Edward Givan met Frances Burt, and much later they were destined to marry and settle in Toronto, Ontario in 1929.

Interesting Links:

1) New Brunswick GenWeb Project.
2) The New Brunswick Genealogical Society - publisher of the quarterly journal "Generations".
3) New Brunswick Provincial Archives.

4) Atlantic Canada Newspaper Survey. Index of goods and services advertised in East Coast newspapers before 1900.
5) Albert County GenWeb site.  Includes history of Albert County and historical information on past Colpitts reunions.
6) History of New Brunswick, Canada with info on counties and parishes.
7) David Rumsey Historical Map Collection.  

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Site maintained by Norman Franke. Last modified December 22, 2008