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Elliott, Bruce, 2004-2005: Emigrant Recruitment by the New Brunswick Land
The Pioneer Settlers of Stanley and Harvey.




What is probably New Brunswick's largest fiddle stands as a monument to Harvey's favourite son, Fiddler Don Messer. Messer was born in Tweedside in 1909, a descendant of immigrants in the 1837 Cornelius party.

Source :  Bruce S. Elliott, 2002

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Cosseted by government after being stranded by the Company, it was the Harvey settlers who sent back to Northumberland the more favourable word of mouth.   By 1843 the number of families at Harvey had grown to 45, some headed by children of the original Wooler settlers, some by later arrivals.   They were producing 15,000 bushels of produce annually and had improvements worth over £4,200.   They reported:


The Climate of New Brunswick agrees well with the Constitution of Englishmen; the Air is salubrious, and the Water as pure and wholesome as any in the World.   During the Six Years of our Location but Two Deaths have occurred, while there have been Thirty-Nine Births without the Presence of Medical Aid.   Six Years Experience has convinced us, that, notwithstanding the Privations to which new Settlers are exposed, Diligence and Perseverance must insure Success.(114)

Despite this optimism, and though the road on which the Harvey settlers had worked had become the post road from Fredericton to St Andrews, direct government action remained necessary to lure significant numbers of new settlers to the vicinity.   A map of landowners in 1878 shows Harvey Settlement (by then in the parish of Manners Sutton) still as a solid block of English and Scots Presbyterians.   To its east was the Cork Settlement, another government project for settlers who found themselves stranded in the colony.   It was established in 1842 in response to a petition from 33 Irish Catholics from Cork and Kerry who had been "thrown out of employment" in Fredericton.(115)   To the north was the smaller Acton Settlement of 1845, the rear lots occupied mostly by a small body of Irish Presbyterians, the front ones by more of the Cork Catholics.


The Harvey Settlers did manage to entice some kin and acquaintances out to join them, but their success was comparatively limited, especially when one contrasts their numbers with the achievements of chain migration elsewhere.   For example, an Irish party of Tipperary Protestants, comparable in size to the Cornelius party, drew nearly 800 families to two locations in Upper Canada over three generations.(116)   At Harvey, the 23 families and several single men of 1837, who had grown to 45 families by 1843, by 1851 numbered only 53 families, and a mere handful would arrive later.   Six of these families were headed by adult sons of the original party, and some two dozen were later arrivals from Northumberland and the Borders.(117)   Only four new families arrived before 1842, and the arrival of eight families in that year likely owed something to the well-publicized arrival of Thomas Craigs Sr the year before:   more of him in a moment.   Even this small accretion stands in favourable contrast to the dismal failure of Col. Hayne's intended publicity tour to Northumberland for the Land Company the same year.   Further scattered families arrived in Harvey from the homeland in 1843, 1844, 1845, 1847, 1849, 1850, 1851, 1852, and 1853 before the chain of migration was severed.




(114) British Parliamentary Papers, Emigration , vol. 4, p. 23 (Irish University Press).


(115) Ibid., pp. 22-5; Royal Gazette , 26 August 1847, p. 3453, quoted in Colleen Kennedy's website on the Cork Settlement: www.colleenkennedy.com/Genealogy/Cork Settlement/.   One can see in the 1851 census that the immigration dates of the Cork Settlement Irish mostly predated 1842.


(116 ) Elliott, Irish Migrants in the Canadas.


(117) Johnston, Notes on North America.   The numbers may be approximately verified from the 1851 census of Kingsclear parish.   The Harvey settlers and the later arrivals there appear on pp. 21-22 and 36-43 of the original return, National Archives of Canada reel C-998.