Hillsborough Township 1765-1786 - Albert County New Brunswick

A reprint from We Lived (A GENEALOGICAL NEWSLETTER OF NEW BRUNSWICK SOURCES published by Cleadie B. Barnett)

Hillsborough Township ~ 1765-1786

This is a most interesting document relating to two-fifths of the old Hillsborough Township grant.

This grant was made 31 Oct. 1765, to Robert Cummings (23750 acres); John Collier (29750 acres); Joseph Gerrish (26750 acres); Henry Newton (23300 acres); and James Beautineau (18950 acres). The Township also included an additional 2142 acres in Marsh Land, Glebe Land and Town Plot.

The document I have is not the original grant, but rather a petition made on 26 Aug 1786, by Joseph Gray, son-in-law to Joseph Gerrish, who states the petition is "... in behalf of himself and Numerous family Heirs of the Estate of the Late Joseph Gerrish, Esquire deceased."

This is a lengthy petition of 17 large pages (33 xeroxed legal size sheets) and sets forth Grays claims to the properties through their efforts to establish settlers in various ways. He points out that Joseph Gerrish purchased the holdings of Henry Newton, and that a Michael Franklin now owned another two-fifths, but did not specify which two, not who owned the remaining one-fifth at this time.

Most settlers placed on a tract of land received a years supply of provisions, seed grains, tools, as well as farm animals on a lease. They in turn agreed to specific rent and/or specified improvements to the land, such as dykes, clearing, etc. The earliest settlements were made with seven year leases, then twenty-one and twenty-five year leases, and the latest agreements were for nine hundred and ninety-nine years. Where cash was mentioned as rent due, it was one penny farthing per acre, per year. A tidy sum when one remembers they had 50050 acres to lease.

Life was no easier for the landlord of that day than it is today. Gray's report chronicles the gains and losses. He tells of work well done, of arson, theft, procrastination, of rebel attacks from the south, of settlers who could not make up their minds on where to settle, or those who tried to "out wit" the landlord and get their property free.

The main purpose of this document was to present to the authorities a statement of claims which would prevent this block of land being escheated back to the Crown, and being re-granted to others. If the land was escheated Joseph Gray stood in line for many lawsuits relating from his lease contracts. I have not carried out research to see what happened to this man's petition, and present it here merely to spark your interest.

A list of settlers follows, with brief notations from the statements made about them.

1768/7 year lease = John Babino, Senr.; Paul Babino, Syperian Dupe; Joseph Surat; Germain Tibedo; John Duboy and Jacque Duboy, with their wives and children. All, except Jacque Duboy, were sent from Halifax. They ditched and dyed the land, built homes and barns and left at the end of the seven years and Yorkshire families settled that same year. (Gray built a mill on Turtle Creek, which was burnt in 1778 by "... some Evil minded Persons," later on the iron works for the mill were stolen.

15 Nov. 1775 to 1783 = John Hooper; John Mitten and Thomas Brigs were sent up from Halifax. They left in 1783 and the present families took possession.

1 Nov. 1775 to 1785 = Christopher Horsman was sent up from Halifax. He removed in 1785 and the present families took possession.

1 Jan. 1783/21 yr lease = John Babino, Jr.; Dominick Babino; Grigory Thibedo; Joseph Terio; John Gogan, all with a wife and children, plus John Babino, Senr. They went there in the summer of 1783. (John Gogan has agreed to go off and two French men and two women have agreed to go on; namely: Peter Landry, John Suratts, Mary Landry and Mary Suratts who have gone to Halifax to bring up their families. See later entry)

u 27 July 1785/25 year lease = Paul Gerroy; Julian Collet their wives and children; Joseph Gerroy and Eliux Terrio were sent from Halifax the Spring of last year.

1783/25 year lease = Joseph Voiture & Isaac Tibedo, their wives and children. Peter Voiture, wife and children. The former were "... frightened away by reports prevailing that all the Lands --- was Escheated and given to others, ...". Others who were on this land, pre 1783, were Benjamin Wilbere and Samuel Wilbere.

27 July 1785/25 year lease = Julian Collet, wife and three children, Paul Gerroy, wife and 7 children; Joseph Gerroy and Elixie Terrio (see above)

1 Jan. 1783/21 year lease = John Babino, wife and eight children; Dominick Babino, wife and five children; Grigory Thibedo, wife and five children; Joseph Terio, wife and two children; Peter Landry (a "Batchelor/30 years of age"); John Suratts (Batchelor/30 years of age); Mary Suratts (his sister/aged 20 years); Mary Landry the Mother.

1783/25 year lease = Peter Voiture, wife and four children; Joseph Voiture, wife and five children; Isaac Tibedo, wife and two children; Joseph Prison, an old batchelor; Kathrine, an old maid. (67 souls in the last three groups.)

1768 = sent Peter Jona from Halifax, wife and children.

1768 = sent Martin Hatt from Halifax, wife and children. In 1778 he was driven from premises by Rebels to Fort Cumberland. He enlisted as a Soldier and did not return.

1768 = sent John Brown, wife and children. He too was driven to Fort Cumberland by rebels in an armed boat (1778). He shortly after died there of Small Pox. After John Brown died, Jacque Duboy, wife and children, was settled on his land, but they left in 1784.

= John Steeve was settled on a lot - no date.

fall 1784/999 year lease = Martin Peck, Jr., James Peck, Jacob Peck: sons of Martin Peck, Sr. were settled.

spring 1785/999 year lease = sent John Wilson from Windsor, NS, afterwards his wife and children sent.

spring 1785/999 year lease = sent Patrick Garland from Windsor, NS, wife and children.

1785/999 year lease = James Charters, wife and five children. He wandered "up and down the River Petcoodiack and in other parts of the County of Westmorland for sixteen or seventeen years ..."

1785/7 year lease = Thomas Briggs, wife and four children. A blacksmith, was sent from Halifax. Moved to another lot in 1783.

last summer/999 = James Patterson, wife and six children, from Horton, NS

Spring 1785 = John Beaty of Horton, NS (son-in-law of Joseph Woodworth) was to have pick of lots. He caused great upsets because he would not decide. (several pages long).

Spring 1785/999 year lease = Christian Isler from Windsor, NS, but he has not "done one hours works on said Lots ..."

Summer 1785 = John Bean, wife and family.

= George Jona, John Jona want lots near Stoney Creek.

There is a several page census record accompanying this file. Part of which was published in Issue #12.

Mounted:  17 April 1998