As you likely have done already, I looked at NS phone listings - www.canada411.com - for this name and found 22.
14 are in the northern mainland counties of Cumberland (Amherst, Pugwash, Maccan, Southampton), Colchester (1 in Truro) and Pictou (1 in New Glasgow). There are one each in Bridgewater, Lunenburg Co, and in Steam Mill, just outside Kentville, Kings Co, NS.
The remaining 6 are in the Halifax-Dartmouth capial city area (including Hammonds Plains and Lower Sackville).
I strongly suspect they are all related. The fact that 12 out of 22 are "clustered" near Amherst in Cumberland County tells me they probably landed there as a group, either two or three related families, or as part of a larger group - very possibly United Empire Loyalists after the Rev War (1783-4) or as late as 1791, when many were granted land in Parrsboro, Cumb Co, NS and moved there from places like Halifax or the Annapolis/Kings County areas.
The ones in Halifax area most likely could tell you something about the "California branch" if you contact them. If you are calling NS, time there is ONE HOUR LATER than U.S. Eastern (NY) Time.
Try some of the following sources of info:
GOVT OF NS (VITAL STATISTICS) - http://www.gov.ns.ca/snsmr/http://www.gov.ns.ca/snsmr/ - births, marriages, deaths, etc. or - http://www.gov.ns.ca/nsarm/gene/looking.htm/http://www.gov.ns.ca/nsarm/gene/looking.htm/ - NS Archives collection of maps, directories, land records, photographs, registry of deeds, newspaper, cemetery and church records indexes, etc.
- http://www.gov.ns.ca/nsarm/using/http://www.gov.ns.ca/nsarm/using/ - Public Archives of Nova Scotia - Tel: (902) 424-6055 FAX: (902) 424-0628
**NOTE: On Thursday, August 30, 2001, the Public Archives of Nova Scotia officially opened the Community Access Program (CAP) site. Along with Internet access, the site includes a cluster of computers, laser printer and a scanner. Of course, it also connects with the massive array of online resources now available through the Archives. People who want to create a family tree, or to search out their roots for whatever reason, will find the archive site offers free public access to quality Web sites from around the world devoted to genealogy. Among other things, the site offers access to the genealogical software, Family Tree Maker, a range of historical resources and the Internet in general.
In additional to local researchers, the public archives is used by researchers from across the U.S., other parts of Canada and around the world. Provincial Archivist Brian Speirs says only the National Archives in Ottawa is busier than the Halifax location.
Halifax County, NS - http://www.rootsweb.com/~nshalifa/http://www.rootsweb.com/~nshalifa/ - largest in area and population in NS, location of capital city Halifax (1749), sister city Dartmouth (1750). 400,000 of NS's 1 million people live here. Political, financial, commercial, and cultural centre of NS; largest urban centre north of Boston and east of Québec. Halifax has 5 universities and major teaching and treatment hospitals. Canada's largest military establishment and a major port and shipping centre are here.
- http://www.halifaxinfo.com/welcome.htmlhttp://www.halifaxinfo.com/welcome.html - New (1999) Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) website about History, General Info, Tourism, etc.
At St. Paul's Anglican Church, Halifax (1749), there may be an actual copy of the original St. Paul's records, but copying is not allowed (only by permission of the minister at St. Paul's).
Cumberland County NS - http://www.rootsweb.com/~nscumber/http://www.rootsweb.com/~nscumber/ - on the border with Province of New Brunswick, only land link from NS to rest of North America. French settlements and forts from 1650 to early 1700's became English in period 1748-1758. Many records of French and English settlers including Yorkshire farmers who bought and settled on land around Oxford and Amherst in 1770's [and also next door in Dorchester and Sackville, soon to be part of the new province New Brunswick], and United Empire Loyalists fleeing American Revolution and settling places like Parrsboro in 1784-1790. The Tantramar Heritage Trust hosted "Yorkshire 2000", a gathering of the descendants of Yorkshire settlers who emigrated from northern England, going to Nova Scotia during the period 1772-1775. Go to - http://www.tap.nb.ca/tht/york2000.htmlhttp://www.tap.nb.ca/tht/york2000.html - or access it through Cyndi's List for Nova Scotia.
Colchester County NS - http://www.genealogynet.com/Colchester/http://www.genealogynet.com/Colchester/ - first settled early 1760's by New England Planters who sometimes occupied former Acadian French land after the Expulsion of 1755 - http://www.rootsweb.com/~nscolche/index.htmlhttp://www.rootsweb.com/~nscolche/index.html - also consult the
Onslow, NS, Colchester County Book of Records.
- http://www.genealogynet.com/resident/genejane/home.htmhttp://www.genealogynet.com/resident/genejane/home.htm - An excellent new database by Jane Wile on surnames of Colchester County - when you get there, click on the tab for surnames. This will bring up about 2 dozen surnames.
Colchester Historical Archives include: - Index to Colchester County Deeds 1771-1870 - Colchester Deeds 1770-1845 - Vital Statistics from newspapers from 1760-1908 - Township Books - Truro, Onslow and Londonderry, Westchester, Cumberland County, Guysborough County, Kings County, Annapolis County - Maps of early Colchester County
Kings Co, NS - http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Acres/2946/http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Acres/2946/ - site of earliest continuous French settlements around Grand Pré and St Charles des Mines (1620's), now called Minas Basin. Earthen dikes at Grand Pré built 1600's by hand are 5½ MILES (8.8 km) long (as long as Mount Everest is high), and still keep out the world's highest tides of the Bay of Fundy (ca 50 FEET high here, and 60 feet as you go north-east). Best farm land in NS, centre of Annapolis Valley farming area, produces apples, tobacco, and wine grapes. Some of earliest English settlements started here after 1755. Home of Acadia University at Wolfville, NS.
NOTE: Kentville NS up until 1823 was called Cornwallis Township. Someone born in Cornwallis Township, or anywhere within 20 miles of present-day Kentville, may still have called it "Cornwallis" after 1823. Cornwallis was one of three Townships in Kings Co, NS. The Cornwallis Township Records are transcribed by Lorna Woodman Evans of the Family History Committee of the Kings County Historical Society. The Aylesford Township Records are another of the three townships.
Genealogical Association of Nova Scotia (GANS) - Leland Harvie, newsletter editor - P.O. BOX 41, Halifax, N.S. CANADA B3J 2T3 - 902-443-9107, Halifax - 2,500 members - http://www.rootsweb.com/~canns/http://www.rootsweb.com/~canns/ - with LINKS to many interesting sites.
"Genealogical Research in Nova Scotia" by Terrance Punch - ISBN 1-55109-235-2 - Terry is a professionally accredited Canadian genealogist who specializes in immigration from Ireland, Germany and Montbéliard (Huguenot Protestants French-Swiss border area). Terry also investigates the origins of surnames. He hosts a program on CBC (public radio) every 4 weeks (Mondays or Wednesdays) and will answer questions by E-Mail to - firstname.lastname@example.org - or check out the Website at - http://www.halifax.cbc.cahttp://www.halifax.cbc.ca -
- http://www.library.ns.ca/regionals/http://www.library.ns.ca/regionals/ - NS Regional Libraries (for your enquiries, try the ones marked *, or 1 (first choice), 2, 3, etc. first):
4 Annapolis Valley Regional Library
_ Cape Breton Regional Library
3 Colchester-East Hants Regional Library
2 Cumberland Regional Library
_ Eastern Counties Regional Library
1 Halifax Regional Library
5 Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library
_ South Shore Regional Library
_ Western Counties Regional Library