Wilmot, Nova Scotia & Black Loyalists

A burial entry for Jeffery Jenkins, Black Loyalist, in the Anglican Parish Church records of Wilmot, Nova Scotia provides a remarkable insight into the history of the area.  Other information about the Black Loyalists in the area is found in the baptisms as well as in land and census records.

Wilmot was one of four townships in Annapolis County set up in Nova Scotia in the late 1700s following the arrival of Loyalist refugees.  The other townships were Annapolis, Clements, and Granville.  It as been described in the "History of the County of Annapolis" by W.A. Calnek as:

"This noble township contains more good land than any other in the county, and is bounded on the north by the Bay of Fundy; on the east by Kings County; on the south by other lands of the county and the Annapolis River; and on the west by its sister townships of Annapolis and Granville,”

The Baptism records of the Parish of Wilmot also provide information for Jeffery and Jenny Jenkins. (Wilmot Parish, Anglican, Records 1789 – 1973, Public Archives, Halifax, NS, Microfilm Reel 12000) In addition to the burial record for Jeffery in 1857 at the age of 100, another was found as follows:

“1865: Aug. 14 – At Trinity church Mrs. Jenkins (coloured) aged 59 years”

The land records for Annapolis County do not include any listings for persons of the name Jenkins during this period.  However, a deed dated July 18, 1787  indicates that  "Samuel Balcom and his wife Mary of Wilmot in the County of Annapolis" conveyed 17 acres to "Samuel Brown (a Black man) of the County & Province aforesaid, Farmer" (Book 7 Page 145, Doc. # 70145). The price paid was 7 pounds 10 shillings."

Brown record
Samuel Brown, land deed, Wilmot, Annapolis County, Nova Scotia.

Other deeds that appear in the land records which contain descriptions of the parties as including a Black man were found for persons with the surname Hill.   The name Hill also appears in the burial records for the Parish of Wilmot.  The older burials are without gravestones, but more recent ones are marked.

For several years Charles Hill served as Sexton, or the person responsible for maintenance of the church property.  An entry for him states:

“1883: Jan. 26 - In the Pine Grove Cemetery Charles Hill aged 80 years. Many years Sexton of the Church (Coloured man)”

HIll deed
Charles Hill land deed, 1877,  Annapolis County, Nova Scotia.

In 1887 Charles Hill sold land described as being at Lower Middleton as appears on Nova Scotia Propery Online.  By deed dated February 3, 1877 and recorded March 4, 1877 ( in Book 72  at Page  509, Doc. # 502463493) "Charles Hill of Middleton in the County of Annapolis and Province of Nova Scotia, coloured and Maria his wife"  conveyed property to Arthur W. Phinney, merchant. The price paid was One hundred dollars.  Charles and his wife Maria executed the Deed by making their mark with an X indicating neither was able to sign their name or write.

Hill gravestones
Hill family gravestones, Old Holy Trinity Church, Middleton, Nova Scotia. (photo by Brian McConnell)

The entire burial records identified for "coloured’"persons in the Parish records as they appear are:

“1837:  Sept. 4 - At Robert Clarks, Granville, S. Bush, a coloured man, aged 47 years

1857: Nov. 4Th – At Trinity Church Jeffery Jenkins, coloured, originally a slave, liberated since he came to Nova Scotia with the Loyalists of 1783.  He was one hundred years of age

1860: Jan. 2 – At Trinity Church Xenophon Zachariah, son of J & S. Hill – aged 4 years (Coloured)

April 5 – At Trinity Church Maria Jane, infant daughter of Thomas and Mary J. Hill aged 18 months (coloured)

1861: March 11 – At Trinity Church Lorinda Hill aged 68 years (Coloured)

May 30 – In Trinity church yard Bessie, infant daughter of Thomas and Mary Jane Hill, aged 6 months (coloured)

1862: April 28 – In Trinity Church yard Charles Riddoch Hill, son of William and Sally Ann Hill, aged five years - coloured

1864: Jan. 2 - Sarah Hill, wife of William Hill, coloured, was buried in Trinity church yard – age 35 years

1865: Aug. 14 – At Trinity church Mrs. Jenkins (coloured) aged 59 years

1866: Oct 11 – At Trinity Church, Rebecca Ann Hamilton (coloured) in the sixty – third year of her age

1876: March 26 - In Trinity church yard Xerxes Zachariah Hill, coloured, in the 22 year of his age

1877: Feb. 12 – In Trinity church yard George Hill - coloured – aged 38 years

1883: Jan. 26 - In the Pine Grove Cemetery Charles Hill aged 80 years. Many years Sexton of the Church (Coloured man)

1901: Nov. 19 – In Holy Trinity church yard, Mary Stevens (colored) who died November 17, 1901.  Aged 86 years"

The complete list of baptisms includes three which appear as:

1800: Oct. 26 - Hannah, a negro – born Feb. 1789 – Parents: Sam & Hannah Brown of Aylesford

1852:  June 24  -  Jeffery Jenkins  - An Adult Coloured – Residence  Wilmot – By Whom Baptized – The Lord Bishop

August 15 – Jenny Jenkins – A coloured Adult – Residence Wilmot – By Whom Baptized – Henry Stormer

According to the 1871 Canada Census available online there were then residing in the Wilmot area at the communities of Middleton and Nictaux numerous persons identified under origin as African (Black) with the surnames Hill and Jenkins, also sometimes spelled as Jinkins, Charles Hill and his wife Mariah who executed the deed for land at Wilmot appear in the extract from the census for Middleton in the table below.  As his age was 64 and place of birth in Nova Scotia, it appears he was born about 1809 and likely the son of a Black Loyalist.

1871 Census; District: Annapolis; Sub-district;  Middleton - African (Black)

Name

 Age

Religion

 Occupation

Place of Birth

Charles F.  Hill

  64

Church of England

  Farmer

 Nova Scotia

Mariah Hill

  41

 Wesleyan Methodist

 

        “

In the census taken at Nictaux it indicated two with the surname Jinkins.  Amy Jinkins age 75 and George Jinkins age 70, both born in Nova Scotia. There were also listed family members.    Another Hill family as well appears in Nictaux, although younger.

1871 Census; District: Annapolis;  Sub-district; Nictaux – African (Black)

Name

Age

Religion

Occupation

 Place of Birth

Amy Jinkins

 75

Baptist

 

  Nova Scotia

George Jinkins

 70

Baptist

Farm Labourer

          “

Sarah Jinkins

 38

Baptist

 

          “

Thomas Jinkins

 12

 

 

           “

James Jinkins

 12

 

 

           “

Amanda Jinkins

 19

Baptist

 

           “

Henry Jinkins

 25

Baptist

Farm Labourer

            “

Eunice Jinkins

  5

 

 

            “

Thomas Hill

 43

Baptist

Mason

            “

 Mary Hill

 35

     “

 

             “

 Bessie Hill

 11

   

 

             “

 Carrie Hill

  9

 

 

             “

 Rosa Hill

  7

 

 

             “

 Sarah Hill

  3

 

 

             “

 James Hill

 15

 

 

              “

A Charles Jenkins and his wife Ann Jenkins were enumerated in Broad Cove.   Both show their place of birth as Nova Scotia and ages at 62 and 61.  Other family members also are listed.

1871 Census; District: Annapolis;  Sub-district; Broad Cove – African (Black)

 

Name

Age

 Religion

 Occupation

         Place of Birth

Charles Jenkins

 62

  Baptist

 Labourer

         Nova Scotia

Ann Jenkins

 61

 

 

                     “

Sarah Jenkins

 40

  Baptist

 

                     “

Alfred Jenkins

  17

 

 Labourer

                      “

Georgie Jenkins

  16

 

 

                       “

Emma Jenkins

 10

 

 

                       “

Annie Jenkins

   3

 

 

                      “

 Chas Jenkins

   1

 

 

                       “

One African (Black) servant was also enumerated in Broad Cove with the name of Margaret Jenkins, aged 13.

Name

Age

Place of Birth

Occupation

Other

Margaret Jenkins

 13

Nova Scotia

Servant

Residing in household of Andreas Bohaker

 

Brian McConnell is a retired lawyer, historian, genealogist and author.  He is also the President of the Nova Scotia Branch of the United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada.

 

SUBJECTS: Black Loyalist, loyalist, Nova Scotia, Annapolis County, land, burial, religion

 

 

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Comments

Beautiful cemetery at Old Holy Trinity Church, Middleton, NS.
We were in Halifax in 1969, my husband being in the Federal Gov't at the time. We moved from Fredericton, NB., for the posting.
I remember Africville at the time, even driving through the settlement. I think without checking that soon after all the black
citizens were moved out of Africville and it was demolished. At the time I didn't know the story of the Black Loyalists. The subject was not taught in NB schools or Teacher's College. Possibly UNB.

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