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Book Review: A History of Barrington Township and Vicinity Shelburne County, Nova Scotia 1604-1870
Posted 17 January 2008
By Paul Milner, FGS Forum



The author expresses his biases by stating, 'it is a leading motive in the production of this book to recognize and estimate the contribution made by New England immigration to this province/ (p. 61) a contribution he feels gets scant recognition from other historians. Barrington township was heavily populated by settlers from Plymouth, Nantucket and Cape Cod. Mr. Crowell puts this into context, by examining the early settlements of the Indians and the French, the to and fro between French and English ownership of the colony, the expulsion of the French, the arrival and settlement of the New Englanders, the divisive effect of the Revolutionary War (with many returning to New Eng- land), and relationships with the loyalists who were settled in nearby Shelburne. Other chapters address religion, legislation, social services, and maritime interests and local industries.

There are extracts and transcripts of numerous original records, including: deeds; proprietor lists; inhabitant re- turns 1762; 1770 census; and early birth, marriage and death records. A large (173 pages) section is dedicated to the biographies and genealogies of township families. These usually give places of origin of the pioneers and then details on their descendants to the third or fourth generation. These are arranged alphabetically by the name of the fam- ily. Birth and marriage dates are included up to about 1870 with most of these coming from Methodist records.

The value of the original publication is greatly increased by the inclusion of detailed indexes created by Richard Nickerson, which can be purchased separately from the compiler. This is a new index for: personal names; place names; vessels; subjects; literary allusions; and sources covering a total of 173 pages. The introduction to these indexes is one of the-clearest I've seen in any publication explaining thoroughly his indexing rules and conventions. This alone is well worth reading by any indexer.

This is a well-written history of Barrington Township, Nova Scotia, highlighting especially the contributions of New Englanders. Its thoroughly modern index greatly increases its usefulness to researchers.

Paul Milner                


This review was first printed in FORUM, the periodical of the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) in the Winter 2007 issue, Volume 19 Number 4. Reprinted here in complete form with permission.

More Information about this book including where to get a copy.


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