Chapter 5

Relocation to Nova Scotia

map = Relocation to Nova Scotia Places and years Ethel Davis was located.

In the Peace negotiations in the fall of 1782, Congress recommended that the states provide for restitution for properties confiscated. The individual states did not carry out this order; when some loyal British returned for compensation, they were imprisoned.

The British and the United States concluded their Peace Treaty in Paris, France, in 1783, with compensation for the Loyalists losses . Most states had lists of banished Loyalists and were reluctant to honour the payment of the claims for losses. Ethel Davis “was not on the Loyalist list of confiscatees” in Connecticut.

The Loyalists deeply resented the “utter stupidity” of the British in the armistice. They were frustrated with the “slow progress with regard to the necessary land grants.” In 1783 the British started to document losses, making periodic reports. The last report (number twelve), made in 1790 indicated that the British government had paid out 15.5 million dollars.

“A Loyalist Crucible: Digby, N.S., 1783-1792”, NS Historical Review
Britt, “The Loyalists: Americans with a Difference”
“The Shelburne Loyalists”, NS Historical Review


Adam Hubbard had “a claim” for land in Quebec for service in the Kings Royal Regiment of New York (K.R.R.N.Y.). “Quebec” included Ontario and Quebec. Loyalist refugees were granted land and settled in 93 Eastern Townships; the Western Townships became Ontario.

“The British government assured her disbanded soldiers free land in her colonies with tools and free rations for one year, if only they would accept, settle down and become self-supporting thereafter.”

The Hubbards were among the last group of refugees to leave New York. They left in the third fleet of evacuees early October, 1783. Margaret Davis later stated: “... and when the Loyalists left New York, Oct. 1783, we took passage in the frigate Clinton, ...”. A frigate was a warship with 28-60 guns on the main deck.

On Sept. 18 the vessel was located at East River and off Staten Island on 27 Sept.
184 people were named as receiving supplies on the 20 Sept. 1783.

list number Name age
——————— —— ———————- ——-
Men 48. Ethel Davison
  49. Adam Hubbert
Women 94. Christ’na Davison
  95. Christ’na Hubbert
Children >10 149. Jacob Hubbert 13
  150. Fred’k Hubbert 11
<10 28. Eliz’th Hubbert 8

The fall fleet was forced by a storm into Shelburne in late October, causing a change in plans. Margaret Davis described how
“after being on board the vessel four weeks we put into Shelburne and remained the winter”. A muster of the Clinton, taken at Port Roseway [Shelburne] on October 22, had one less “Supernumeraries”, 383.
“All discharged at Port Roseway, 26 Oct. 1783.”

The Clinton returned for another load of about 300 people. It was in East River, New York on Nov.8, and in Port Roseway in Dec.13, 1783. (Muster Clinton).
Reverend Bernard Houseal, pastor of the German Lutheran Church in New York City, was a passenger on the second voyage of the frigate Clinton with his family. He “called” at Shelburne, and arrived, in Halifax on January 17, 1784. He had possibly baptized Margaret and her sister, who had been christened in the German Lutheran church of New York City. Reverend Houseal later trained in England as an Anglican minister, impressing the Duke of Kent, and becoming the first minister of the “Little Dutch” church in Halifax. He died in Halifax in 1799 and was buried in the basement of the Little Dutch church. The round Anglican church further down the road was built by the old German Lutherans the year after his death.

Adam Hubbard drowned, possibly while helping to operate a temporary light house on McNutt Island in the harbour. Margaret stated
“my father was drowned, April 15, 1784, leaving my mother with a family of five children, two sons and three daughters”.

Adam might have been buried by Reverend Rowland of the Anglican church, but his burial records for the period of December 1873 to November 1874 are missing.

People in Annapolis County were tallied in 1784 during the month of June, one month before the Hubbard family had left Shelburne for Weymouth. Ethel Davis may have been listed somewhere, being still “in the charge of Capt. Goldsberg of the British Army.”; however the Hubbard and Davis family are not found on these lists. Adam Hubbard and Ethel Davis are also not on the Roseway Association list of Loyalists that had organized in New York to settle in Shelburne, probably because they planned to settle in “Quebec”.

Muster list on HMS Clinton, by Davis, Frank. 2001, October.


Margaret Davis stated

“... We left Shelburne for Weymouth, N.S. in July, 1784 … with a number of government vessels”.

They had been offered land grants-—the “Kings Bounty”-— in Shelburne: Ethel Davis on #62 V Lot 14 South, and Adam Hubbard #100 B Lot 2 South. But they did not settle on them.

Sissiboo had been settled one year earlier, in 1783, by Loyalists who planned to make it a large town. Originally named after the French for six owls (“sis hiboux”), it was renamed Weymouth in 1823 by settlers from Weymouth, Massachusetts. The settlement of Sissiboo later became Weymouth North.

The Hubbards and Davises were “under the command of Capt. Coonell” but “in the charge of Capt. Goldsburg of the British Army.” This might have been Colonel Sam. Goldsbury, “Collector (of customs) at New Edinburgh or Weymouth from 1784 to his removal about year 1800” and Justice of the Peace for Digby county. It was probably not Samuel Goldsburg, a Scotsman who owned the ship “Woodcock” which conveyed the founders of New Edinburgh from New York on January 21, 1783, although he did have some of Weymouth’s Loyalists on board.

One month after they left, Shelburne people were tallied. The Porter’s Military muster roll, taken possibly August 1, 1784, indicated three men in the Kings Royal Regiment of New York (KRRNY), one with a wife and one child under the age of ten years. This is the closest match of data to Adam Hubbard’s family. There was also a listing of three men, one woman, one child under age 10, with the Prince of Wales American Regiment, mustered and claiming the bounty. This was the closest match of data to the Ethel Davis family.

A listing in 1784 of the remnants of the K.R.R.N.Y. Regiment made in Ontario also includes an Adam Hubor with one daughter and three sons. Jacob Hubbard may have accompanied his mother Catherine, as she was once incorrectly referred to as “the widow of Jacob Hubbard”.

As a landowner, Ethel was able to vote in the election in the fall of 1785 for representatives to the legislature in Halifax. It was proven faulty: one of the districts had to be redone and was carefully documented. Tempers were hot at this second polling. Mr. Bailey, the Anglican church minister at Annapolis, wrote to Reverend Peters in London, describing the friction between two groups of people in his parish.

“The Bluenoses, to use a vulgar appellation … exerted themselves to the utmost of their power and cunning. It was their intention to prevent any Loyalist being chosen except Barclay, whom they wholly dispaired of excluding. They fondly imagined that Granville would never admit of a new comer [Howe], and that the old rebels would never vote for Col. DeLancey and Mr. Seabury.”

Colonel James Delancey had sued the protector of his runaway slave for the value of the slave’s services, and who was said to have been poisoned by another slave, gaining her promised freedom. Slavery was not abolished in Canada until 1833.

Bailey’s is the earliest known use of the term “Bluenoses” to describe Nova Scotians. Bailey had been finding it difficult to establish an Anglican church in the Annapolis area because of “... violent contentions between the Loyalists and the old inhabitants called Bluenoses;” apparently inflamed because “150 Loyalists in Annapolis have not received any grants of land”. One of Mr. Howe’s men was wounded by a spade in these conflicts.

The second poll of Annapolis County, which was later proven faulty, listed an “Ethan Davis” as “freeholder” living in Sissiboo—that is, as owning property worth fourty shillings. This is the only data that Ethan Davis owned property in Sissiboo (Weymouth North) in 1785.

“Ethan Davis” voted in Annapolis Royal for Captain Alexander Howe on January 3, 1786, while most of the Loyalist voters cast their ballot for the Loyalist Seabury. Howe lost the first poll, and requested a re-run, which he also lost. Later he would prove the re-run faulty and replace Seabury in June 1789. However, the slave-owning Delancey won in the State legislature.

Poll List at Annapolis Royal, January 2, 1728
Savary, “The General Election of 1785”
Savary, “Muster Roll of Discharged Officers and Disbanded Soldiers and Loyalists taken in the County of Annapolis”
Davis, Margaret “Paper dictated Before Her Death”, 1858.

Catherine Hubbard’s Land Claim

After Adam Hubbard died, his widow Catherine initiated a claim for lost land in New York. She stated that

“she was informed Just before her husband and self left New York that Compensation was to be Made the Loyalists but as they were so shortly to leave New York prevented its being done their…”.

Catherine went on in her claim to say that

“...after Arriving at Shelburne herself Nor husband did Not Know there was a limited for it, but in the winter of 1784 her husband Made inquiry of Capt. Pell, in whose class they came there, in what Manner he Must proceed, who then told him: it was to late…soon after which on the 15th of April her husband was drowned…”

Catherine said in the presence of a Justice of the Peace at Annapolis on March 6, 1786 that

“... she cannot tell if (her lost farm) be sold Until she goes herself and gets better information and good proof of the whole …”.

In 1786, she probably went back to New York in the end of March, and again in the middle of May and collected “good proof of the whole.” Her baby, Ruth, would have been about one year old at this time.

Statements from officials that were responsible for taking the Hubbard farm in the Mohawk River Valley exist in the Archives. Five statements supporting her claim to lost land are dated two days in March of 1786. Her notes indicate that she spent one day in Albany area, and then one day in New York City, before returning home.

1786, Mar. 27 Tryon,
  27 Montgomery,
  27 auctioned items list.
  28 NY
  28 NY

Catherine’s claim was rejected on April 6, 1786, at Annapolis, less than two weeks after the dating of her last document. After all that trouble and expense, what significant detail had been missed that prevented widow Hubbard from obtaining her rightful assets? She had been told to “go herself and get better information and good proof of the whole” and had only gotten good proof of the part. Did she have to get a statement from the governor?

It is possible that she returned to New York six weeks later. Somehow she obtained a statement dated May 12, 1786 from the governor of New York. The state laws for handling property of state enemies were enacted in 1779, and in 1784 the laws were modified to speed of the sale of confiscated estates.

Catherine possibly received payment shortly thereafter, since she christened a child and a grandchild and bought land on Brier Island, all within a three week period, two months after the dating of the Governor’s statement. Buying land and a child’s christening as a method of expressing joy after being raised from a depressing circumstance, was later practiced by her daughter Margaret Davis, in 1806.

Personal Estate of Catherine Hubert

“An Account and Estimate of the real and personal estate of Catherine Hubert widow of Adam Hubert who was Drownded at Shelburne on the 15 th of April 1784 formerly of the Mohawk river in the Province of New York who was Obliged by the rebels to take Up Arms with them or elce quit his house and home, which last he Did on the 6th day of August 1777 and went and Joined Sir John Johnson’s Rigement in the first Battallion in Capt. Robt. Duncans Company and was thence to Lancaster Goal where he remained 5 Months and from thence Made his escape and came to New York, and in her said Husband’s Absence After General Borgaine was taken the rebels seized her goods and sold them at Publick Vendue as follows…

a Copper Still compleat L 97. 00. 0
a New Iron tired waggon & gears 28. 00. 0
a wheel Plough 12. 00. 0
a foot Plough 2. 00. 0
a Harrow 1. 10. 0
a Pleasure Sleigh 4. 00. 0
1 …ditto… 6. 00. 0
1 Ox chain and Sythe 2. 06. 0
1 Large Grindstone 2. 00. 0
1 Cow L 6. & 2 Heffiers at L 3. each 12. 00. 0
1 heffier 63/ & 1 stear 50/ 5. 13. 0
a Stack of Oats 5. 00. 0
1 Dutch wheat fan 16/ & 1 Calf 30/ 2. 06. 0
18 Sheep taken from her by the rebels @ 16/ 14. 08. 0
12 Bushells of what, Barley and pease @ 4/ 2. 08. 0
Sundry tools and farming Utensials Value at 3. 00. 0
1 Barrel of Mint water 1. 00. 0
1 Horse taken away by the reels 10. 00. 0
a Mans saddle taken by the rebels 2. 00. 0
1 fat Hog 20/ & a fat Cow L6 by do. 7. 00. 0
a New coat of her Husbands taken by do. 3. 00. 0
a flannel Sheet & 2 Barcelonia Handkerchiefs do. 1. 10. 0
in Cash & Dollars taken from her by do. 0. 16. 0
a fur Cap do. by do. 0. 16. 0
New York Currency L 225. 13. 0

A farm 200 Acres at Turlough on the Mohawk river with a house & Baron on it, About 25 Acres of it cleared with 2 Meadows, she cannot tell if it be sold Untill she goes herself and gets better information and good proof of the whole 3 years her Husband was a Soldier in the Army for which he Never was paid”

Audit Office 13, Vol.25, pgs.298, 9, Reel.B-2284, PAC, transcribed by Frank Davis.

On August 7, 1786, Catherine Hubbard bought 100 acres of land on Brier Island for 25 pounds. Lot 4 was purchased from Alexander McElhenney and wife, of Digby. The purchase was concluded on March 14, 1789, and recorded on July 1, 1790. The location of the lot was not described in the deed. Later, in 1806, this purchase of lot # 4 was interpreted to include both the 100.acre long narrow and the adjacent 200.acre large triangle properties.

Clinton, George “Certificate J. Duane is Mayor of New York”
Curtenius, “Certificate Harper vs. Commission”
Duane, “Certificate P. Curtenius is State Auditor”
Hubert, Catherine, “An Account & Estimate of the real and personal estate of Catherine Huber”
Hubert, Catherine, “Claim for Compensation for losses to the Americans”
Harper, “Certificate for sale of Personal Estate of Adam Huber”
Van Tyne, The Loyalist in the American Revolution


On August 14, 1785, Hannah Naomi Davis was born to Ethel and Margaret. “Hannah” was the name of the Wooster that married Ethel’s oldest brother, Daniel; “Naomi” was the name of Ethel’s oldest sister, in Connecticut. On August 6, 1786, there was a solitary baptism of “Naomi Hannah Davis” at Digby.

Also around this time, Catherine Hubbard gave birth to Ruth Hubbard. On July 24, 1786, Catherine baptized Ruth at the Anglican church in Digby. The time between the date of the governor’s statement and the date of Ruth’s christening was two months and one week.

Two years later, on August 11, 1787 Sarah was born, to Margaret. “Sarah” was the name of Ethel’s older sisters and his grandmothers Sarah Hawkins and Sarah Chatfield. “A female child of Ithiel Davis named Sarah” was baptized in Digby on November 22, 1787. Six more children were born to Ethel and Margaret Davis while they lived on Brier Island: Alice in 1789, named for Ethel’s older sister, Alice Holbrook in New Haven; Adam in 1791, named for his German grandfather, Adam Hubbard; Margaret in 1792, named after her mother; Jacob in 1794 called for his mother’s brother who may have helped them get established at Grand Passage; Amelia in 1797 “a female child of Ethiel Davis, named Parnela”...baptised Anglican “at Long Island, Grand Passage, on 28 Aug. 1798”, and Ethel Jr. in 1799 (Greenwood, 43). Adam Davis probably died before the age of two, judging from the two year age interval of his siblings. Hubbard was born in 1801, on 14th of October; six months after his father died.

Grand Passage, Long Island on the Left, Brier Island on the Right, 1779.

On June 11, 1789, the missionary pastor Reverend Roger Viets of the Anglican church of Digby Parish baptized eight people, one adult and seven children, at Grand Passage, on the Long Island side: among these were “A male child of Christian Clinkshire named William”, the son of Christine Hubbard Clingshire. Others in the baptismal group were David Welch, the oldest Brier Island settler, and four Bailey children from Brier Island.

Margaret’s other sister, Elizabeth Hubbard “of Brier Island,” married “William McKinney of Grand Manan”; in the Anglican church at Digby, on October 21, 1796 by Reverend R. Viets. McKinney had sold 100 acres on Brier Island to David Welch twenty years earlier.

On December 9, 1794, Margaret “Klingser”, the third child of Christine and Christian Clingshire, was baptized in Anglican church at Annapolis Royal. Baptized at the same time was “a male child of Wm. McKinney, named Frederick”, probably the first child of newlywed Elizabeth Hubbard.

Although the Brier Islanders’ religion had been Anglican, from 1799 to 1809 most would attend the Baptist church at Weymouth.

Bible Record, Brier Island
Greenwood, History of Freeport, Nova Scotia, 1784 – 1934

Long Island

While living at Sissiboo, Ethel Davis acquired a grant of 200 acres of land on Long Island. “Neil McNeil + 28 others” together had applied for a grant for land on Long Island on August 1, 1785. “Some of them were ex-officers in the army, some fourteen were the soldiers formerly under the command of Neil McNeil, some of them important figures among the early Loyalists.” (Sabine, 10). During the winter of 1782-83, Ethel served under McNiell at Bensonhurst, in the Brooklyn Borough on Long Island in New York City, and was his Sergeant in the P.W.A.R. at New Utrecht, N.Y. Ethel Davis and his mother-in-law Catherine Hubbard were not on the list of original grantees, but later were on the list of allotted lots.

Loyalists drawing Lots for their lands [1784]. (Ferguson, Glimpses into Nova Scotia History; and: Hilchie, Refuge: the Loyalists Come to Nova Scotia. )

The lots were laid out and then assigned, probably in the summer of 1786. The properties were given out to twenty-nine people by having each person withdraw a card from a container, in the presence of three men. The cards had roman numerals marked on the unseen side. Drawing of lots had been the standard method for distributing divided land.

Rough survey map of Long Island – 1787 by J.Greben; ( in: Greenwood, History of Freeport, 1934, and in: Outhouse, Glimpses of the Past from Long & Brier Islands. 1998. )

One of the three supervisors of the land allotment process was Christopher Clingshear, who was at the time either courting, or married to Margaret Davis’ sister, Christina Hubbard, and thus was Ethel’s brother-in-law.

100 acre lots called “farm lots” running across the island, were surveyed and numbered from 1, (near Freeport), to 56, (near Tiverton); lot # 56 was a half lot. Half of the twenty-nine people got one lot each, some got two lots, and four people got three lots. One of the recipients was Christian Clingsher – 250 acres. Another was Charles McNeil, brother of Neil and possibly Ethel’s former Captain in New York (300 acres). There were also five Joneses. The Jones’ father returned to Massachusetts to sell his abandoned land and died. The total land in the grant was 5,550 acres.

The grants for the 100 acre farm lots required clearing or payments for a clear title. Land not showing improvements was liable to be escheated — taken over by the crown. Thus, although Ethel Davis and the Hubbard family owned the land, they may have rented it out to others so that the land would be improved to meet the grant requirements. Flax and hemp may have been grown as a condition of the Long Island grant. If the renters gave so much hemp to the local justice, they could occupy the land undisturbed.

A “list of proprietors” of the 56 “farm lots” shows their numbers:

Catherine Hubbard 16 18 25/2
Ethel Davis 24 —— 32
Chr. Clingshear 4 17 —— 47

Another list shows lot 25 shared by Catherine Hibert + Barth. Haines.

Detail Plan of “Home Lots” in Freeport, Long Island, NS.

The claimants also each received one “home lot” of land, located in three groups of lots in Freeport. The Northern Peninsula had 20 lots, Nos. 21 to 26 at the northern cove, and the third grouping was located on the south-east side of Northeast Cove, Grand Passage, between two Common land areas. Fourteen home lots, numbered 27 in the North, to Lot no. 40, adjacent the Dartmouth Point Southern Commons.

A resident in 1956 thought that Long Island had been first settled in 1786, one year before the date on the map displayed in Haines’ store. Land granted to the military was occupied before the grant date, and soldiers were given provisions for a year.

Christiana Clingsher settled home lot 34, and had her son William baptized, along with six other children and one adult, in June 1787. The Clingshers land was initially named for Greben.

Home Lot No. 37, which contained thirty acres, was owned by Catherine Hubbard. It was referred to as “fishing lot no. 37” when sold to Evan Powell on January 4, 1796 (Annapolis County Deeds).

Thirty acre home lot no. 36, identified by “Daves” located between land owned by Evan Powell on lot 37, and Reuben Clawson on lot 35. Ethel Davis may have lived on his home lot, improving the land, fishing, and later working on building a sailing vessel. Ethel sold this land to Raymond in 1800.

Satelite Photo of Freeport, Long Island, NS.

Annapolis County Deeds.
History of Freeport
Outhouse, Glimpses of the Past

Brier Island

1788 was the year Ethel Davis’ wife Margaret remembered that they had settled on Brier Island. “After having remained in Weymouth for four years, We moved to Brier Island”. Ethel with his wife and two daughters quite possibly lived in a log cabin with their widowed mother-in-law and her newborn baby, son and daughter. Margaret’s mother was later recorded as “Catherine, widow of Jacob Hubbard, a pioneer of Brier Island”. The Davis’ raised sheep, milked cows, plowed the land with oxen, planted an orchard, and built log homes. They traveled by row-boat or sail-boat and learned to watch the strong tides and the weather. They caught fish and tended their sheep in the summer and carded and spun sheared wool in the winter.

Margaret Davis described them as “being the seventh family on the island”. The first six were as follows: Welch in 1763, Morrell in 1769, Coggins, Denton, Fillis, and Bailey. Two homesteads were already well established, having been settled earlier: “Messers Hubbard and Fillis settled on this Island at the Harbour before arrival of the Loyalists”. The main settlement Westport was called “the Harbour” in 1794 and was later known as “Grand Passage, Brier Island”.

The Loyalists which followed them settled in the middle of the island. In 1783 eleven families cast their lot on Brier Island, and 2,000 acres were granted to eleven men in November of 1784, but only a few of the grantees actually settled on their land. Still in possession of their land ten years later were four men: Pye, Loutitt, Aikins, and Lincoln. Pye and Loutitt probably lived on their home lots in the town of Digby, and Aikins lived in Digby in 1793. Bailey may have purchased Lincoln’s lot # 2 (Deed 3A- 394). Loce Denton was one of eleven refugees from the American Colonies, and he erected a dwelling house 20’ x 16’.

Ethel Davis purchased a piece of land from shoemaker John Hickey, of Brier Island, for 10 Pounds, in October and December of 1790. Hickey lived in the town of Digby around 1784, and had a daughter, Martha, baptized as Anglican at Grand Passage, Brier Island in 1785. The Hickey lot extended from Grand Passage, on the east side of the island, back across the island to the Bay of Fundy, on the west side, however, the location is not clear. The Hickey lot may be the unmarked strip between Welch and Cherry on the 1794 property map; it had bordered on land owned and fenced by David Welch when it was purchased. Ethel sold the Hickey lot in 1792, when it bordered on Johnathan Payson’s farm lot. The Payson and Davis families would later be connected by a marriage: Johnathan Payson’s great-grand-daughter Alice Bailey would marry Ethel’s grandson Samuel Bancroft Davis.

At the start of the summer of 1794, Ethel Davis purchased lot 4 from Catherine Hubbard for 30 pounds: “Etell Davis of Grand Passage paid to Catherine Hubbert”. The deed was recorded in Deed Book 1B, on p. 467 on September 26, 1794. The lot was described as 40 rods wide “along the shore,” between lot 3 of late Capt. Luttit, and lot 5, and extending back to St. Marys Bay at Gull Rock Bar. This may have been the lot that Margaret Davis later called “her homestead” in her will, as well as the homestead lot mentioned in Hubbard Davis’ will. The residence of Mrs. Davis is indicated on the 1864 map of Westport.

1794 Properties on Brier Island.

The lot was ten chains, or forty rods, in width and thus would have had to be at least 100 chains or 400 rods long to make a minimum of 100 acres. In 1974, Gull Rock Road followed the approximate direction of the property lines of the original grants (Walling, Topographical Township Maps of Digby County).

Catharine Hubbard purchased lot 5 from James Atkins of Digby for 30 pounds in 1793, but the deed was not recorded till August 13, 1795. Her name might have been on the map if her deed had been recorded earlier. She sold the lot to McDormand for 150 pounds five years later. Catherine Hubbard moved to Digby town sometime before selling the same lot to J. McDormand on November 6, 1798. She probably sold her Long Island land: farm lot nos: 16, 18 and half of no. 25.

In 1839, Nov.28, Catherine, 99 years old, was “in indigent circumstances” residing at Deer Island, N. B. Christiana Catherine Huber applied for government money in 1839 at Charlotte County, New Brunswick. Queen Victoria had offered “relief of old Soldiers of the Revolutionary War and their Widows”. ( Document C2-02-1840c, p01 – 150kb 645×876 ). She received 10 pounds in 1840. ( Document N5b-37-1839, p01 – 196kb 595×916 ).

( from Thomas F. Moffatt,, 2008,Dec.)

The life of Catherine Hubbard was reviewed at a “Gathering of Loyalist Descendants” 2008, July 10. at Digby Resort, N.S. Dorothy Outhouse role played Catherine Hubbard in a costume for a 20 minute dissertation. D. Outhouse organized the Islands Historical Society & Archives at Freeport, Long Island, Digby County, N.S.

The activities of the 225 Anniversary of the Loyalists’ Arrival were reported in the Long and Brier Island News, “Passages” v.10, issue 8, Aug. 2008. and in Annapolis Royal 2008 Visitors Guide “EXPLORER”

Calneck, History of the County of Annapolis
Greenwood, History of Freeport, Nova Scotia, 1784-1934
PANB (Public Archives of New Brunswick) RS148-N-5-b-37.
Readings in Canadian History, Pre-Confederation
Wilson, Geography and History of the County of Digby

Land Sales

In 1794, the Province collected a tax on all males over the age of 21; The Capitations Tax Act required either 50 cents per head; or two dollars for land holders. Perhaps this tax prompted some of the land sales which occurred around that time.

On August 11, 1794, Christian Klingsher sold land on Long Island “commonly known as my home lot no.8 containing eleven acres” to Barth. Haines for two pounds (Deed Book 4, 190). The Klingshers may have moved to “Fish lot # 34 on the annexed plan contaigning eleven acres” on the south side of the harbour “the said lot having been occupied and possessed by … Christian Klingsher.”

Ethel Davis “of Long Island” sold his home lot to Peter Raymond for six pounds on December 31, 1800, in a “quit claim”, (Deed Book 5, 196). The witnesses to the signing of the deed were Bedds Smith and Hannah Davis, Ethel’s 15-year-old daughter.

Sometime after 1789, Ethel may also have sold his land in New Haven, Connecticut, United States: three acres of land located in east Ansonia, near Beaver Brook known as “the pasture”, inherited when his father Dan Davis died in 1789.

Margaret Davis sold land in Freeport to William Moore (Deed Book: 1A, 177). On April 16, 1813, she also sold two half lots to John Moore for twelve pounds: half of lot 25 adjacent to the half lot of Barth. Haines, and half of lot 24, adjacent to the land of her son-in-law John Durkee (Deed 5, 112). She then sold lot no. 18 to M. Finnegan in 1833. When she died in 1858, Margaret Davis had still owned the half of lot no.25 that her mother had shared with B. Haines. In 1855, Margaret Davis said in her will that those occupying her land could buy it, if they paid “the expenses of the grant and the interest thereon”.

Margaret Davis’s brother in-law John Christian Clingshire died at 68 on November 25, 1815, in “Dutchtown”, Halifax. On October 19, 1827, Margaret Davis was given “power of attorney” to sell her sister’s land on Long Island, lots 4, 17, 35, 47 of 100 acres each and Fish Lot 2 at 11 acres. The “power of Attorney” was registered in Halifax on June 17, 1828, and again on November 25, 1833. Margaret Davis sold “farm lot” no.35 on October 19 1827, to Deborah Robinson of Digby, and the east half of lot no. 4 in 1830 for her sister. Christiana Clingsher also sold lot 47 to G.Laffity in 1834. Christiana died on August 17, 1835 in Halifax.

Annapolis County Deed Book
Calneck, History of the County of Annapolis
Davis, C. M. , “Will” and “Codicil”


On February 1, 1801, Ethel “was severely injured at the launching of the first sailing vessel built at Westport” (Brown, 1944), when he “fell from a vessel’s mast and broke his leg” (Margaret Davis). On May 13, 1801 he wrote his will “being very sick and weak in body”. His signature on the original will indicates his poor health, as well as his ability to read and write.

Ethel Davis died May 15, 1801, two days after signing his will, which was witnessed by Charles McNeill, and brothers Borden and Samuel Thurber. In the will Ethel Davis left to his six children – “all my stocke to be equally divided among them. Namely: 1 pair of oxen, 3 cows, and 21 sheep” and “all my Estate and household goods together with two boats” to his wife, Christiana Margaret (Hubbard) Davis. One month after Ethel Davis died the will was probated by Wm.McNiell, judge; Margaret Davis was appointed “executrix” on June 16, 1801. Borden Thurber “made Oath on the Holy Evangelist of Almighty God” as witness. ( A descendent of Thurber worked for a descendent of Ethel in Halifax ca. 1968, when Fishery Officer Lyn Thurber’s son was a summer student doing fish process technology for Ralph Davis at Federal Fish Inspection.)

Six children were named in the will of Ethel Davis; four daughters: “Naomi, Sally, Margaret, Pamelia”; and two sons: “Jacob and Ethel” . “Naomi” is Hannah Naomi, aged 16; “Sally” is probably Sarah, aged 14; “Margaret” is aged 9 and “Pamelia” is Amelia, aged 4. “Jacob” is aged 6 and “Ethel” is aged 2. Two of the nine children had died “in infancy”; probably Adam and Alice. Hubbard Davis was born on October 14, 1801, six months after his father had died. He was baptized at or near her home as “Frederic Hubbard”, with his father’s surname left out of the record. His listing as “Frederic” might have been due to a mix-up with Margaret’s sister’s son Frederick McKinney.

Widow Margaret Davis had Ethel’s body buried in the burial ground at the top of a hill, in a grave located at the north end of the cemetery. Other settlers buried their dead atop the same hill, but on their own properties. Ethel’s burial was not recorded in the Trinity Anglican Parish book of “burials” in Digby.

The stone marking his grave faces the Bay of Fundy, and the inscription is on the side of the stone facing away from the town: the name can be seen when sitting a car on the road heading down the hill towards Westport. Margaret probably could see the gravestone from her house, a common burial practice of the time. But the stone may have been erected after Ethel’s wife had died, as she had no money. The inscription on the gravestone of Ethel and Margaret Davis refers to the nice smell of their names:

“Hear what the voice from heaven proclaims
For all the pious dead:
Sweet is the savor of their names.
And soft their sleeping bed, – J. A. Lambert.”

Davis, C. M. “Copy of Paper dictated by Christiana M. Davis a few days before her death”
Will of Ethel Davis
Brown, 1944.

Descendants of Ethel Davis

6* Ethel DAVIS, b. 15 Feb. 1756, Derby, New Haven Co., Conn.; bp. May 9, 1756, St.James P.E.Church, Derby; Prince of Wales American Regiment in New York and Charlestown. Married Aug. 17 1783 at New York City, Christiana Margaret HUBBARD, b.Dec. 22, 1764, New York. They left New York city as Loyalist refugees Oct. 24, 1783 for Quebec; landed at Shelburne, Nova Scotia, left July 1784 for Weymouth, N.S. Seventh family to settle on Briar Island, Digby Co, 1788. Ethel became a farmer, died of broken leg from fall on first ship built in harbour May 15, 1801, Westport.

Children born at Weymouth:

1. Hannah Naomi DAVIS, 1785, Aug. 14-, m.Captain John DURKEE
2. Sarah DAVIS, b. 1787, Aug. 11, bpt. 1787, Nov.22 Anglican.

Children born on Brier Island:

3. Alice DAVIS, Nov. 27, 1789
4. Adam DAVIS, 1791, Jan. 30
5. Margaret DAVIS II 1792, May 20- , m. Samuel BANCROFT
6. Jacob DAVIS, 1794, Oct. 17, d. ca. 1855
7. Amelia DAVIS, b. 1797,Jun.6, bpt.1798, Aug.28 Freeport, d.1886, m. Samuel Rust.
8. Ethel DAVIS II, b. 1799, Jun. 4, d. 1886, Mar. 9; m. 4 wives
9. * Frederick Hubbard DAVIS, b. 1801, Oct. 14, d. 1883; m.Azuba McGREY

5. Hannah Naomi Davis, b. 1785, Aug. 14 at Weymouth; bpt. 1786, Aug. 6 at Digby, Anglican. d. 1877, Jul. 10, bd.Yarmouth; m. John DURKEE, sea Capt. lived Brier Is., Yar.

1. Almira DURKEE b. 1801 d. 1895 m. Laban Balcolm
2. Lucinda DURKEE b. 1810 m. Capt. Wm Brown
3. Amasa DURKEE m1 Mary Killam, m2 Georgiana Fleet
4. Hannah DURKEE b. 1814 m. Andrew Homer
5. Amelia DURKEE b. 1816 m.Capt. Samuel Killam
6. Alice DURKEE m. Capt. Abram Pinkney
7. Helen DURKEE m. Albert Perr

5. Sarah DAVIS b. 1787, Aug. 11, at Weymouth; bpt. 1787, Nov.22 Anglican. m. Butler Stayner. lived in Halifax; one child ?. / Sarah, ( wife of Henry Stayner ?) died 26 Dec. 1829, aged 43 years. Sarah was buried under a flat sandstone slab near Spring Garden Road in the “Old Burying Ground”, Barrington Street, Halifax. Moved to fourth headstone from Spring Garden Road in the first row closest to Barrington Street.

5. Margaret Davis (II), b. 1792, May 20 at Westport, m. Samuel BANCROFT, b. 1789

1. Sarah Bancroft, m. Capt. Baker
2. Margaret Bancroft, m. Gillis
3. Almira Bancroft, m. D. Fowler

5. Jacob Davis, b. 1794 at Westport, d. Ontario; m. Lydia.

1. Ethel Davis (III) b. 1823, d. 1899, m1. Phebie, m2. Hannah Dedrick.
2. Hubbard Davis b. 1828 Wesport, N.S.
3. Carey Davis b. 1837.
4. W. W. Davis 1840, Ontario.
5. Almira Davis 1844.

5. Ethel (II) Davis, b.Westport, Jun. 4, 1799; d.Westport, Mar. 9, 1886.
m1.Lucy-Ann Cooper, d.Nov. 17, 1835

1. Margaret Davis (III) Mar. 25, 1824, m.Gilbert Wellington Welch.
2. John Durkee Davis Apr. 7, 1826,-Apr. 16, 1827.
3. John Durkee Davis Jan. 7, 1828.
4. Edward Butler Davis Mar. 23, 1830.
m2.Eliza-Ann DENTON, d.Feb. 3, 1851.
5. Lucy Ann Davis Nov. 19, 1839, m.Glonin.
6. Amelia K.Davis Jun. 14, 1841.
7. Ethel (IV) Davis 1844 – 1922, m. Amelia B.
8. William Hubbard Davis Jun. 30, 1847-Sep. 1, 1864.

m3. Rebecca, d. Oct. 11, 1878, buried on Brier Island.
m4. Mehitable Potter, daughter of Franklin Potter, d.Aug. 11, 1852, buried Yarmouth Mtn.Cemetry.

Ralph Davis’ children (l-r): Erik and Alexandra; Christopher, by the gravestones of their great-great-great-great-uncle Ethel Davis II and his three wives at Mountain cemetery on Brier Island, 1977. (photos by Cynthia Davis)

5. Amelia Davis , b. 1797, Jun. 6, bpt. 1798, Aug. 28 Freeport, d. 1886 at Beverly, MA.
m. Samuel Rust of Yarmouth (second wife).

1. Margaret Rust 1840, m. John G. Dexter of Granville, N.S.

5* Frederick Hubbard DAVIS, b.Westport, Oct. 14, 1801, Bpt. Anglican Dec. 9, 1806, d.and buried Westport, Sep. 11, 1883 ( See Chapter 6 )

4. Amelia DURKEE, m.Capt.Samuel Killam. (Brother of Izaak Walton Killam’s father.)

1. Sophia KILLAM, m. Caie.

4. Ethel Davis (III), b. 1823 (Westport) d. 1899 at Elgin Co. ON.

m1. Phebie b. 1832 at Niagara. m2. 1864: Hannah Dedrick b. 1827.

1. Samuel Davis b. 1855
2. Lydia Davis b. 1856
3. Emma Davis b. 1860
4. Warren Davis b. 1863
5. Lewena Davis b. 1865

4. Ethel Davis (IV), Westport, b. 1844, Jul. 28, d. 1922, Dec. 5, bd. Yarmouth.
m. Amelia BROWN b. 1845, d. 1941, bd. Yarmouth

1. Ethel Davis (V) d. 1986, May 13

3. Sophia KILLAM, m. CAIE; ch: Clara; Yarmouth

Land distributed by random draw. (Ferguson / Hilchie.)

Lineage of Christiana Margaret Hubbard

7. Adam HUBBARD d. Shelburne, N.S. 1784, Apr. 15. m. Catherine.

Children Christened in Lutheran Church of New York City:

1. Catherine Marg. HUBBARD , Dec. 25, 1763; chr: Jan. 1, 1764, m. Christian Klingsher.
2. * Christiana Margaretha HUBBARD, Dec. 21, 1765, chr: Dec. 25, 1765, married Ethel Davis;
3. Elisa. Barb. HUBBARD, 1768, Oct. 28; chr: 1768, Nov. 6; d. 1770, Oct. 16
4. John Jacob HUBBARD , 1771, Feb. 1; chr: 1771.?
5. Elizabeth HUBBARD, m.Wm.McKinney at Digby, N.S.: 1796, Oct. 21
Children Christened Anglican at Digby, Annapolis County, N.S.
6. Ruth HUBBARD, b.before Dec. 25, 1784, chr. Jul. 24, 1786, at Digby, N.S.

Adam was literate in GERMAN. Owned 200 acre farm valued at 1400 pounds in Turlough township, Tryon County, today Schoharie County, Mohawk Valley, New York. Loyalist volunteer in British Army 3 yrs. Aug. 6, 1777, Sir John Johnson’s Regmt., 1st.Battalion., Capt. Robt. Duncan’s Company. Captured by Rebels, prisoner at Albany & Lancaster; escaped to NewYork. For a time, keeper of Sandy Hook light, New York city harbour. Left New York as ‘Loyalist’ Oct. 24, 1783, with wife and 5 kids. Drowned at Shelburne. His widow, Catherine obtained land grants on Long Island ca. 1786, and Brier Island, Mar. 14, 1789.

6. Catherine Hubbard, New York 1763, Mar. 3- ; m. Christopher Klingshear; address: Grand Passage, Long Island. Religion: Episcopalian.

Children Baptised at Long Island

1. William KLINGSHER, bpt: 1787 Jun. 11
2. Gilbert Greben KLINGSHER, bpt: 1791, Sep. 23
3. Margaret KLINGSHER, bpt. 1794, Dec .9

6. Christiania Margaretha HUBBARD, b.NewYork City ca. 1765, Dec. 21; chr: 1765, Dec. 25 in Lutheran Church of N.Y.City; d.Westport, Briar Is.Feb. 14, 1858. m.New York 1783, Aug. 17: Ethiel DAVIS. They left New York as ‘Loyalists’ in 1783, Oct. 24 for Quebec with her family. Landed in Shelburne; left 1784, Jul. for Weymouth; lived at Siseboo; arrived: Westport, Briar Is., 1788, 7th family on Island. In 1828 she walked to Halifax along Annapolis Road for Long Island deed. She was Baptised in 1839. ( For children see Ethel Davis )