Saturday, October 31, 2015

My Canadian Branches ~ My Smiths...Not To Be Confused With Your Smiths

I imagine most family historians dread the research into their lines with common surnames, like Smith and Jones. So it was when I began my research into my Smith line. I really lucked out, though, because my Smiths descend from one of the most famous Canadian settler families.

My Smith research really began fifteen years ago, during my last visit to Canada. The year 2000 marked the 225th anniversary of the Yorkshire Migration, when, between 1772 and 1775, over 1000 settlers immigrated from Yorkshire, England to the Chignecto Region of Nova Scotia.

My fifth great grandparents, Nathaniel and Elizabeth (Duck) Smith, with their family, sailed out of Hull, England, aboard The Albion in March of 1774. The ship arrived at Fort Cumberland at the head of the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia during the third week of May after first making port in Halifax. Their oldest son, Benjamin, had emigrated a year earlier and purchased a 1500 acre farm with a house and livestock in Cumberland County on his family's behalf. Nathaniel was 54 years old when he and his family left the village of Upsall, Yorkshire, to join Benjamin in the New World.

The first instance of the Smith surname in my family tree is my grandmother, Harriet Cheney Smith.

There are many great source materials on the Yorkshire Migration. In 2000, I was able to purchase a thick, spiral-bound paperback, entitled "The Descendants of Nathaniel and Elizabeth Smith," compiled by Philip and Joan (Smith) Brides. I refer to it often in my Smith research.

For specific background on Nathaniel Smith, I recommend "Nathaniel Smith : Stranger in a Strange Land," published by the Tantramar Heritage Trust, in conjunction with the anniversary.

There is an excellent bibliography at the website Yorkshire Immigration To Nova Scotia, 1772-1775.