This year marks the 250th anniversary of a courageous group of people who left Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts to seek a new home in Nova Scotia and what is now eastern New Brunswick. Called the “New England Planters”, more than 8,000 people responded to an invitation of Governor Lawrence to come to Nova Scotia to accept free land grants. Farmers were desperately needed to till the fertile soil left untended after the English expelled the French-speaking Acadians a few years earlier.
These settlers predated the loyalists of the American Revolutionary period by more than a decade.
In 2004 Ruth and I visited south western Nova Scotia and the nearby eastern part of New Brunswick to see where some of her ancestors made their new home. Both parents of Ruth’s grandmother, Angie Stiles, came from these “Planter” families. In Kentville, Kings County, Nova Scotia we visited the Kings County Museum, where there is an exhibit on these immigrants.
More information about the New England Planters can be found at these websites:
- From the Chipman Family Papers at the Nova Scotia Archives: Planters of Cornwallis
- A Plan for the Town of Cornwallis (Nova Scotia Archives)
- Note: Nathan Stiles lot is in the 2nd column from the left, 3rd lot down.
- Samuel Porter’s lot is on the right column, 11th from the top
- The history of Kings County, Nova Scotia, heart of the Acadian land, by Arthur Wentworth Hamilton Eaton, especially chapter 5, “The Coming of New England Planters” p 58ff and pp 74-75