Monday, October 27, 2014

Hallowell Grant ~ Guysborough County, Nova Scotia

In my recent Surname Saturday post about my Hull ancestral line, I mentioned that Moses Hull arrived in Guysborough County, Nova Scotia, from Connecticut, with the Hallowell Grant settlers.

Guysborough County, Nova Scotia
Wikipedia Commons

As I have mentioned before, my favorite "go-to" book for Guysborough County is Guysborough Sketches and Essays, by A.C. Jost (originally published in 1950 by Kentville Publishing Company, revised edition published Trafford Publishing Co., in 2009). There is a chapter titled "The Hallowell Grant Settlers" which is my source for most of this information.

The Hallowell Grant was a grant of land to one Benjamin Hallowell, a Customs Commissioner from Boston. On October 22, 1765, he officially acquired 20,000 acres of land, located on the north side of Chedabucto Bay, which in the image above is the area of water with the arrow going through it noting roughly where the community of Boylston is. (Manchester is just next to Boylston.)

In 1765, this was barren land with few inhabitants. In fact, this wasn't even known as Guysborough County yet.

As a Customs Officer in the city of Boston at the start of the Revolution, Hallowell was not a popular man. By April 1776, he fled Boston, ultimately returning to London. In 1785, Hallowell wrote to a colleague that he wanted to return to Nova Scotia to "look after his property," but it is not known if he ever did. Hallowell did recognize the value of the land and looked to somehow develop it, in order to improve his financial situation, which needless to say, had declined during the war. Ownership passed to his two sons, Benjamin Hallowell, Jr., a successful British naval officer, and Ward Nicholas Boylston, who had taken the name of a maternal uncle with the promise that he would inherit lands in Boston. (See Ward Nicholas Boylston's FindAGrave memorial here.)

A town plot, named Boylston, in honor of his son, was developed, providing for sixty town lots, with a town common, and farm lots of varying sizes, averaging about 150 acres. The surveying was completed by the summer off 1786, when the settlers arrived. The brothers mentioned above, recruited settlers from the New England states, especially Connecticut. They were referred to as "The New England Colonists" and were more adaptable to the conditions in the area than some of the previous settlers who had come from the Carolinas and New York. (Stephen Pyle came from New York, and George Whitman came from South Carolina.)

For those of you with colonial Connecticut ancestors, you might be interested in the names of the men who settled on the land known as the Hallowell Grant, in Guysborough County, Nova Scotia:
Mansfield Munson          David Smith
Andrew Leet                   Ira Atwater
Gideon Bryant                Samuel Hull [son of Moses, and brother of Elizabeth]
Willis Stillman                William Atwater
Aaron Andrews              Theophilus Yale
Isaac Andrews               Josiah Hart
David Scranton              William Atwater, Jr.
Matthew Hawley             Moses Hull [father of Samuel above]
Walter Munson               Ebenezer Merriman

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