A record of Seventy Families, Their Homesteads

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Musquodoboit Pioneers

A Record of Seventy Families, Their Homesteads



1780 - 1980

Volumes I & II

original text by

Jennie Reid

Statement from Jim Reid, son of the late author, Jennie


pertaining to this online edition of the book:

It is with a great sense of pride that Dan, Carolyn and I

make our Mother, Jennie Reid's, work of love, "A Record of

Seventy Musquodoboit Families", available for publication on the

Internet through the Nova Scotia GenWeb site. It was her fondest

dream to ensure the information, history and genealogy of the

Musquodoboit Valley become available to anyone who was interested

in her work.

I can remember the many summer afternoons our family

spent searching through the woods and brush; cleaning off old

tombstones buried in moss; and reciting the valuable information

contained on those stones to Mum who meticulously recorded it. I

can remember the many evenings sitting around the dining room

table as Dad revealed the great wealth of stories and knowledge

he had retained from living his full 80 years in the Valley. I

can remember the many interesting people who came to visit

looking for information on their forefathers; they picked Mum's

brain for knowledge as she did likewise to them. But most of

all, I remember the great sense of satisfaction she so often

expressed when she was able to see someone walk out our door with

a much keener awareness of their family background.

Our family would like to express our sincere gratitude to

Carroll Armstrong who encouraged us to put the information

online, and also for her work with Lark Szick, Volunteer

Co-Ordinator for The Nova Scotia GenWeb Project, in co-ordinating

the many volunteers who have given so freely of their time to

prepare the book for publication on the Internet.

I can see the smile of satisfaction on Mum's face expressing

the accomplishment of her fondest dream.


About This Online Edition of the Book:

Musquodoboit Pioneers

Thank you to the Reid family for allowing us to do this project.

When I began this project it was my intent that the online edition

of the book would remain true to their mother, Jennie Reid's,

original text.


This is a transcription of Jennie Reid's original work and any

typographical errors were done without intent. An occasional

typist's note has been added enclosed within [ ] and

initialed by me: "cja", simply to alert the reader that there may

be an error or the data could be confusing.

IMPORTANT EXCEPTION Regarding Personal Data: Some dates after

the early 1900's, and exact addresses that were published in the

original text have been removed from this online edition in order

that we might protect the privacy of persons who may still be

living. No names have been removed.

Changes from the original will be evident in some pages by the

way the material appears on the page - some line breaks and page

breaks may vary slightly from the original; this was done to

make it easier for the reader to follow the text, or to keep

family groups closer together on one page.

ORIGINAL PAGE NUMBERS have been indicated at the END of each

page, as in the original.

IMAGES FROM THE BOOK have been scanned and placed on the Halifax

County GenWeb site and may be accessed via the following URL:








In loving memory of my grandparents,

Charles Henry Morris, M.D., his wife Jane,

and my husband, Kenneth Reid.


" ...... and Time, that grows old itself, bids us hope for no

long duration".

Sir Thomas Browne,

M.D. ( 1605 -1682)


Genealogical Key

The number one (1) stands for the Pioneer settler (male) in the

Musquodoboit Valley. The inside numbers indicate the number of

children in his family. The outside numbers include him and show

the number of his descendants given in the tables.

Example: 1. John Doe md. Mary Smith, they had 2 daus. , 1 son

2-1 Ann

3-2 Mary

4-3 James

Whereas most books are closely restricted as to the use of

contents, we prefer to be generously different. The material in

these volumes is offered freely to anyone interested in history.



Volume I

Edward Annand 1

The Archibald Family 16

Adam Archibald 18

John Archibald 20

Jonathan Archibald 50

Matthew Taylor Archibald 52

Robert Archibald 67

Samuel Burke Archibald 75

Samuel Fisher Archibald 103

William Archibald 129

John Bates 152

Henry Behrendt 165

John Braden 168

The Brown Family 175

George Bell 180

James Benvie 184

Adam Bryson 187

James Bryson 195

Robert Bryson 202

William Bryson 210

James Bruce 214

William Butcher 218

William Henry Cumminger 225

James Cruickshank 226

David Dickie 231

George Scott Dickie 246

James Drady 260

John Dunbrack 262

Robert Ervin 278

Alexander McNutt Fisher 292

John Fox 295

Alexander Fraser 301

William Guild (Gould) 304

Colonel Henry Arthur

Gladwin 326

Hugh Hanna 337

William Hay 344

John Higgins 351

(Owen) Edward Hogan 400

Henry Hollingsworth 405

Johnson Kaulback 417

James Kent 426

John Layton 432

Henry Leck 441

Volume II

John Lindsay 462

Joseph Miller 473

Henry Gloud Morris 478

James Muir 483

James Murchy 485

James Murphy 489

Edward McCabe 495

Thomas McCallum 500

James McCurdy 504

Alexander McCurdy 512

Sarah McCurdy 519

Matthew Archibald McCurdy 520

James MacDonald 523

Alexander MacDougall 531

John McFetridge 533

George McLeod 560

Peter Ogilvie 566

John Ogilvie 578

Samuel Pearson 583

James Reid 584

Robert Rhodes 645

William Scott 647

Rev. Robert Sedgewick 654

Alexander Shaw 662

Henry Sibley 673

Rev. John Sprott 693

James Sprott 698

Captain George Taylor 701

James White 716

John White 722

A Musquodoboit Miscellany 730

Agriculture in The

Musquodoboit Valley 731

The Musquodoboit Creamery 744

Cemeteries, Pioneer and

Hillside 747

Church Buildings 754

History of Presbyterianism

in Musquodoboit Valley 765

The Anglican Church 792

The Congregational Church 797

The Methodist Church 806

Early Settlers in Meagher's

Grant A. B. Lay, 1922 814

(updated to 1980)

Early Settlers in

Musquodoboit 817

Early Land Grants in

Musquodoboit 824

The Medical Profession in

the Musquodoboit Valley

(doctors, midwives, 830

hospital, clinic)

Musquodoboit Railway 839

Temperance Divisions in the

Musquodoboit Valley 841

Women's Organizations 847

Bibliography 852



History is like a continued story of which the beginning is

lost in unrecorded time and many chapters are missing when we try

to read it. This seems to apply particularly to local village

histories where so many things which are considered of no

importance at the moment they occur, assume a large significance

as time goes by. The whole story can never be told. Professor

Garnet Sedgewick, one of the more illustrious sons of this

valley, said once that he would like to write all he knew of

Musquodoboit and them take the train out next morning!

Consequently, he just gave a little slice; a teasing taste as it

were, and these volumes about seventy Pioneer families will

endeavour to do the same.

Daniel Reid, my father-in-law started it all. He was born

here in 1860, lived in the district all his life, and for many

years owned and operated a General Store in Middle Musquodoboit.

Keenly interested in everything that went on in the small world

of the valley, Mr. Reid's position as storekeeper enabled him to

discuss with everyone the affairs of the day and of yesterday.

Admitting to a great curiosity about local history, his own mind

replete with memories, he daily extracted stories and information

from his older friends and neighbours, happy to idle away an hour

chatting in the shop. Daniel had known many of the Pioneer men

and women, intimately. As a child, he had


probably stood beside his grandfather, James, and watched the

first church taken down; the very building which the old man

helped to build when he was young.

As Bobby Burns remarked in one of his poems, "A chiel's amang

us takin' notes and fain will prent 'em," so eventually, Daniel

Reid gathered up the historical material garnered over the years

and wrote a series of articles which appeared in the Truro Daily

News during 1935-36. These little accounts of Musquodoboit

families, their arrivals in the valley and their Settlings, met

with great public favour and are still treasured in numerous


Kenneth Reid, my husband, Daniel's son, took over the family

business and he, too, with an interest in history and very

retentive memory, enjoyed talking to people about old days and

old ways. Kenneth was of great assistance to me when the

formidable task, of putting Daniel Reid's work, together with my

genealogical tables, into possible book form, was undertaken.

The genealogical research for these seventy families has

occupied all my leisure time for twenty years. My stepfather,

the late T. H. Lodge, a very enthusiastic genealogist, gave me

much help and encouragement in this gigantic project. The work

has been a labour of love, perhaps needless to say, and it was

always my hope that upon completion, a private printing would be

possible. When this could not be arranged, it


seemed I must be resigned to let the manuscript gather dust on

archival shelves forever more!

Most happily however, this was not to be. In 1979, the

Musquodoboit Enterprisers Historical Committee applied for a New

Horizon Grant to publish the book. This was received, and a

donation from the Nova Scotia Department of Culture paid for the

typing. The balance had been raised by pre-publication orders.

All the work of preparing the material for the printer was

undertaken by the voluntary Committee; as is usually the case,

the Secretary, of the group has "borne the burden in the heat of

the day." It is impossible to express my gratitude to Mabel

Smythe who has been largely responsible for this production. It

was she who, with the inception of the idea, prepared the Brief,

which obtained the Grant, and has assisted in pruning, revising,

and editing an unwieldy mass of manuscript into manageable form.

Mrs. Smythe has contributed the "History of Presbyterianism in

the Musquodoboit Valley", as well as much of the complied

material in the latter part of Volume Two.

It is a great joy to me that at last my book, long known as

"Jennie Reid's History" is being published. It deals with

seventy Pioneer Families, their genealogies and homesteads, and

is offered to everyone with an interest in the Musquodoboit

Valley. In so far as it has been possible to ascertain, the

information in these pages is as correct


as human fallibility will permit. In any work comprising eight

hundred and fifty pages of fine print, errors may be found, but

they must be put down to accident and not intention.

In gathering this data over the years, it has been our

experience that even within families, members often disagree as

to events, the people concerned and applicable dates. Births,

marriages, and deaths are always kept with great care, but even

these may be wrong, "chance times", as we say in this valley.

Almost all my genealogical information has been taken down from

Family Bibles, Church records and cemetery tombstones.

Sometimes, no doubt, the dates had been inscribed in the

"Good Book: by the shaky hand of a dim-eyed grandfather, and the

figures are not easily decipherable. Perhaps at times, a

stonecutter was absentminded, or the chisel slipped and the

gravestone tells the wrong story. In a few cases, where no

records exist, a family has given me an approximate date, which

must serve until amended. Over the past year, great publicity

has been given to the publication of this book, and everyone

concerned invited to bring or send corrections and revisions.

Many of these have come in and have been scrupulously

incorporated, where appropriate.


In coming years, we hope this book, which is being published

in a limited edition of only five hundred copies, will prove to

be a well-read treasure for succeeding generations of men and

women. May they seek and find their roots in its pages, and

proudly proclaim themselves descendants of these Musquodoboit


Jennie Reid

October, 1980

Middle Musquodoboit


In 1979, When Jennie Reid presented this Committee with her
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