Published on September 20, 2010 by John
Paleo-Indians camped at locations in present-day Nova Scotia approximately 11,000 years ago. Natives are believed to have been present in the area between 1,000 and 5,000 years ago. Mi’kmaq, the First Nations of the province and region, are their direct descendants.
dna testing, dna ancestry testing, ancestry, genealogy, indian genealogy records, paternity testing, turquoise jewelry, native american jewelry
It is most widely believed that the Venetian explorer John Cabot, sailing under the English flag, visited present-day Cape Breton in 1497.
The first European settlement in Nova Scotia was established more than a century later in 1604. The French, led by Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Monts established the first capital for the colony Acadia at Port Royal that year at the head of the Annapolis Basin. Also, French fishermen established a settlement at Canso the same year.
In 1620, the Plymouth Council for New England, under King James VI (of Scotland) & I (of England) designated the whole shorelines of Acadia and the Mid-Atlantic colonies south to the Chesapeake Bay as New England.
The first documented Scottish settlement in the Americas was of Nova Scotia in 1621. On 29 September 1621, the charter for the foundation of a colony was granted by James VI to William Alexander, 1st Earl of Stirling and, in 1622, the first settlers left Scotland. This settlement initially failed because of difficulties in obtaining a sufficient number of skilled emigrants, and in 1624 James VI created a new order of baronets. Admission to this order was obtained by sending six labourers or artisans, sufficiently armed, dressed and supplied for two years, to Nova Scotia, or by paying 3,000 merks to William Alexander. For six months, no one took up this offer until James compelled one to make the first move.
In 1627, there was a wider uptake of baronetcies and thus more settlers available to go to Nova Scotia. However, in 1627, war broke out between England and France, and the French re-established a settlement at Port Royal which they had originally settled. Later that year, a combined Scottish and English force destroyed the French settlement, forcing them out. In 1629, the first Scottish settlement at Port Royal was inhabited. The colony’s charter, in law, made Nova Scotia (defined as all land between Newfoundland and New England) a part of mainland Scotland; this was later used to get around the English navigation acts. However, this did not last long: in 1631, under King Charles I, the Treaty of Suza was signed which returned Nova Scotia to the French. The Scots were forced by Charles to abandon their mission before their colony had been properly established, and the French assumed control of the Mi’kmaq and other First Nations territory.
In 1654, King Louis XIV of France appointed aristocrat Nicholas Denys as Governor of Acadia and granted him the confiscated lands and the right to its minerals. English colonists captured Acadia in the course of King William’s War, but England returned the territory to France in the Treaty of Ryswick at the end of the war.
The Conquest of Acadia was confirmed by the Treaty of Utrecht of 1713. France retained possession of ÃŽle St Jean (Prince Edward Island) and ÃŽle Royale (Cape Breton Island), on which it established a fortress at Louisbourg to guard the sea approaches to Quebec. This fortress was captured by American colonial forces in 1745, then returned by the British to France in 1748, then captured again during the French and Indian War, in 1758.
The British Conquest of Acadia happened in 1710. Over the next forty-five years the Acadians refused to sign an unconditional oath of allegiance to Britian. During this time period Acadians participated in various militia operations against the British and maintained vital supply lines to the French Fortress of Louisbourg and Fort Beausejour.
British governing officials became increasingly concerned over the unwillingness of the French-speaking, Roman Catholic Acadians, who were the majority of colonists, to pledge allegiance to the British Crown, then George II. The colony remained mostly Acadian despite the establishment of Halifax as the province’s capital, and the settlement of a large number of foreign Protestants (some French and Swiss but mostly German) at Lunenburg in 1753.
During the French and Indian War, the British sought to neutralize any military threat Acadians posed and to interrupt the vital supply lines Acadians provided to Louisbourg by deporting Acadians from Acadia. In 1755, the British forcibly expelled over 12,000 Acadians in what became known as the Grand DÃ©rangement, or Great Upheaval. The Acadians were scattered across the Atlantic, in the Thirteen Colonies, Louisiana, Quebec, Britain and France. Very few eventually returned to Nova Scotia.
At the same time the British Crown began bestowing land grants in Nova Scotia on favoured subjects to encourage settlement and trade with the mother country. In June 1764, for instance, the Boards of Trade requested the King make massive land grants to such Royal favourites as Thomas Pownall, Richard Oswald, Humphry Bradstreet, John Wentworth, Thomas Thoroton and Lincoln’s Inn barrister Levett Blackborne. Two years later, in 1766, at a gathering at the home of Levett Blackborne, an adviser to the Duke of Rutland, Oswald and his friend James Grant were released from their Nova Scotia properties so they could concentrate on their grants in British East Florida.
The colony’s jurisdiction changed during this time. Nova Scotia was granted a supreme court in 1754 with the appointment of Jonathan Belcher and a Legislative Assembly in 1758. In 1763 Cape Breton Island became part of Nova Scotia. In 1769, St. John’s Island (now Prince Edward Island) became a separate colony. The county of Sunbury was created in 1765, and included the territory of present-day New Brunswick and eastern Maine as far as the Penobscot River. In 1781, the French Navy successfully fought the Naval battle of Louisbourg against the Royal Navy, as a result of the Franco-American alliance against Great Britain. In 1784 the western, mainland portion of the colony was separated and became the province of New Brunswick, and the territory in Maine entered the control of the newly independent American state of Massachusetts. Cape Breton became a separate colony in 1784 only to be returned to Nova Scotia in 1820.
Ancestors of more than half of present-day Nova Scotians arrived in the period following the Acadian Expulsion. Between 1759 and 1768, about 8,000 New England Planters responded to Governor Charles Lawrence’s request for settlers from the New England colonies. Several years later, approximately 30,000 United Empire Loyalists (American Tories) settled in Nova Scotia (when it comprised present-day Maritime Canada) following the defeat of the British in the American Revolutionary War. Of these 30,000, 14,000 went to New Brunswick and 16,000 went to Nova Scotia. Approximately 3,000 of this group were Black Loyalists, about a third of whom soon moved themselves to Sierra Leone in 1792 via the Committee for the Relief of the Black Poor, becoming the Original settlers of Freetown.
Large numbers of Gaelic-speaking Highland Scots emigrated to Cape Breton and the western part of the mainland during the late 18th century and 19th century. In 1812 Sir Hector Maclean (the 7th Baronet of Morvern and 23rd Chief of the Clan Maclean) emigrated to Pictou from Glensanda and Kingairloch in Scotland with almost the entire population of 500. Sir Hector is buried in the cemetery at Pictou.
About one thousand Ulster-Scots settled in mainly central Nova Scotia during this time, as did just over a thousand farming migrants from Yorkshire and Northumberland between 1772 and 1775.
Nova Scotia was the first colony in British North America and in the British Empire to achieve responsible government in Januaryâ€“February 1848 and become self-governing through the efforts of Joseph Howe. Pro-Confederate premier Charles Tupper led Nova Scotia into the Canadian Confederation in 1867, along with New Brunswick and the Province of Canada.
In the provincial election of 1868, the Anti-Confederation Party won 18 out of 19 federal seats, and 36 out of 38 seats in the provincial legislature. For seven years, William Annand and Joseph Howe led the ultimately unsuccessful fight to convince British imperial authorities to release Nova Scotia from Confederation. The government was vocally against Confederation, contending that it was no more than the annexation of the province to the pre-existing province of Canada:
“”…the scheme [confederation with Canada] by them assented to would, if adopted, deprive the people [of Nova Scotia] of the inestimable privilege of self-government, and of their rights, liberty and independence, rob them of their revenue, take from them the regulation of trade and taxation, expose them to arbitrary taxation by a legislature over which they have no control, and in which they would possess but a nominal and entirely ineffective representation; deprive them of their invaluable fisheries, railways, and other property, and reduce this hitherto free, happy, and self-governed province to a degraded condition of a servile dependency of Canada.”
â€“ from Address to the Crown by the Government (Journal of the House of Assembly, Province of Nova Scotia, 1868)
A motion passed by the Nova Scotia House of Assembly in 1868 refusing to recognise the legitimacy of Confederation has never been rescinded. Repeal, as anti-confederation became known, would rear its head again in the 1880s, and transform into the Maritime Rights Movement in the 1920s. Some Nova Scotia flags flew at half mast on Dominion Day as late as that time.