I’ve been looking through my family tree a bit lately, especially being in a Maine history course and currently going over the colonial period. One of the things that I have found very interesting is trying to trace back the “why” for the move for my maternal grandfather’s family from Rhode Island to Nova Scotia. I think I might have it, but it would be so much better if I had more time to delve into this today. I’ll share what I have so far.
The family member I’m talking about is David Vaughan, II. He was born in 1704 in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, and died 1761, Beekman, New York. The only reason that we know he and his family went to Nova Scotia at all is because of the passing date of his wife, Dinah (1772 in Nova Scotia) and that a few of his children decided to remain in Nova Scotia and the surrounding area. Because all of his children were born in Rhode Island and the oldest, Anthony, was born in Rhode Island in 1751, it seems that they moved after that time.
For the bits of research I’ve found, the earliest date that applies is 1749, but that would be before the oldest boy was born. However, it is important to note this:
1749 Halifax is founded by British to counter French presence at Louisbourg
So, already the British were developing a colony in the area. Shortly after this the expulsion of the Acadians begin. From a journal dated 1751 in the original printing, there is this:
Read a letter from his Grace the Duke of Bedford, dated the 30th January, 1750–1, signifying his Majesty’s approbation of the Board’s proposals for contracting with Mr. Dick for the transportation of 1,000 foreign protestants to Nova Scotia and of Monsieur Pasquier transporting 300 Swiss.
Ordered that the Secretary do write to Mr. Dick to acquaint him therewith, and that the Board is willing to agree with him for the transportation of 1,000 foreign protestants to Nova Scotia upon the following terms to be ascertained by a regular contract, viz.:—
That 1½ ton of shipping be allowed to each person.
That there be allowed to all and every the said foreign protestants from the time of their going on board during their voyage and for fourteen days after their arrival, unless debarked sooner, good and wholesome provisions according to the terms of the agreement made by their lordships last year with Mr. Heyliger, who transported the settlers from hence.
That the said foreign protestants be embarked on or before the 10th of April.
That one-third at least of the said foreign protestants do consist of labouring men from the age of 15 to 45.
That in order the better to preserve the health of the people during the voyage, a ventilator be fixed up in all and every the ship or ships employed by (fn. 1) him in this service for which purpose an experienced person shall in due time be sent hence to Rotterdam.
Read a letter from Mr. Scrope, Secretary to the Lords of the Treasury, dated this day, inclosing a memorial of Mr. Chauncy Townshend to the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury for a contract for victualling the settlers, artificers and labourers at Nova Scotia for the year 1751 upon which memorial their Lordships desire the opinion of this Board.
David would have been 46, which would have been a little over the desired age, but because of the large family including 8 boys, there’s a chance that they were given passage as a few of these 1,000. Then, back to the first source, we have:
1759 Proclamation issued by Governor of Nova Scotia invites New Englanders to settle there