The Maritime Provinces of Canada consist of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. Prior to the 1770s the area was inhabited by French Acadians and native peoples, and only after 1770 did it begin to attract Scots settlers, mainly but not exclusively from the Scottish Highlands.
The Glenaladale settlers in Prince Edward Island and the valiant band of Highlanders in the Hector (1773) proved to be harbingers of the greatest mass immigration the region would ever see. More numerous than the New England planters and Loyalists who preceded them, and outnumbering the contemporary Irish immigration, the Scots put their stamp on Cape Breton Island, the eastern mainland of Nova Scotia, much of Prince Edward Island, and coastal regions of New Brunswick from Restigouche in the north to the shores of the Bay of Fundy to the south.
While they left behind a scattered body of records, it is important to remember that there were two main streams of immigration to the Maritimes, one commencing in the Scottish Highlands, the other in the New England colonies during the period of the Revolutionary War. Fragmentary and scattered though these records are, this book attempts to put names and places to a few thousand of these immigrants in the hope that some readers may find an ancestor or a kinsman.
Based on materials found in the Nova Scotia Archives and the Public Archives of New Brunswick, among others, Terrence Punch, who has compiled four volumes of similar data on Irish immigrants to Atlantic Canada, here presents the first volume of a series devoted to Scottish immigrants. In records ranging from newspaper announcements of marriages and deaths to cemetery records and censuses, and from rare passenger lists to probate records, this initial volume is a unique collection of fugitive records on Scottish immigrants to the Maritime Provinces, naming several thousand people who might otherwise go undetected in family annals. Thus, there are chapters on Scots in local histories, Scots deserters from ships, Sydney County and Cape Breton census records, newspaper records of Scots marriages and deaths to 1843, and much, much more, including maps and indexes of ships and surnames.
Mr. Punch will be inducted as a Member of the Order of Canada in 2011 for his outstanding work in genealogy.
Terrence M. Punch