Headquarters Office Papers for Nova Scotia : 1783-1907; predominant 1825-1870

Call Number: MIC-Loyalist FC LMR .G7A7H4N6
Category: Military
Creator: Great Britain. Army. Nova Scotia District.
Description: 19 microfilm reels textual records (46 volumes ) ; 35 mm
            As stated in The Inventory of Manuscripts in the Public Archives of Nova Scotia:  This is the official record of regiments and corps which have served in the Nova Scotian Command since May and October 1783 when the troops arrived from New York after the American Revolutionary War.  Bermuda was struck off the command on 27 April 1868.  Troops were withdrawn from New Brunswick in May and June 1869 and from Newfoundland on 4 October 1870.  In 1871 all Imperial troops were withdrawn from Canada with the the exception of a garrison of 2000 at Halifax.  The Lieutenant General commanding at Halifax became Lieutenant General commanding in North America and in war was commander of all forces in British North America.  He was also second in precedence to the Governor General.  In 1905 Canada agreed to take over the responsibility for the defences of Halifax and Esquimalt.

The British army records contain District, General, and Garrison Order Books including orders  from Fredericton and Saint John, New Brunswick, and from headquarters at Halifax, Nova Scotia; also contains memoranda chiefly from the Major of Brigade's Office in Halifax to officers commanding troops in New Brunswick (1825-1870), as well as compiled data pertaining to the regiments and corps that have served in the Nova Scotian Command, 1783-1907.  These military documents provide an overview of the policies, procedures, daily routines, structure and personnel of the British Army in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, including crime and justice.

Arrangement and Detailed Content for the Headquarters Office Papers:

Vol. 0. Record of Regiments and Corps that have served in the Nova Scotian Command, 1783-1907; contains tabular data compiled by Harry Piers, with the headings - regiment, arrival date, departure date, and remarks or service years.

  • a) Regiments and Corps that have served in the Nova Scotian Command, and their term on the station, 1783-1881 (pp. 75-85); organised into sections such as Royal Engineers and Rifle Brigades, then organised by regiment number within each section; for the 18th century, includes the following regiments of foot:  4th (1787-94), 6th (1786-1791), 7th (1794-1802), 16th (1791-1792), 17th (1783-1786), 20th (1789-1792), 21st (1789-1793), 23rd (Oct. 1783-Nov. 1783), 24th (1799-1800), 33rd (1783-1786), 36th (1783-1789), 38th detachment (Oct.-Nov. 1783), 40th detachment (Oct.-Nov. 1783), 42nd (1783-1789), 47th (1798-1799), 54th (Oct 1783), 57th (1783-1791), 60th 1st Battalion (Oct. 1786-Nov. 1787),  63rd (Oct.-Nov. 1783), 64th detachment (Oct. - Nov 1783), 66th (1799-1800), 84th (1783 disbanded-Oct. 1783)
  • b) Territorial Regiments and Corps that have served in the Nova Scotian Command and their term on the Station, 1881-1900 (p. 95); arranged in sections such as Royal Artillery, etc.; example of an entry:  Royal Artillery 1st Brigade, North Division, no. 5 battery - arrival date15 Nov. 1885 - departure date 18 Oct. 1887 - service years 1 11/12
  • c) Arrivals and Departures of Regiments at Halifax and elsewhere in the Nova Scotian Command, 1783-1907; (pp. 5-59); indicates date and location of regiment if arrived or left Halifax; for example, 1838 - 73rd Foot - arrival from Mediterranean 21 May - departure 13 July to Canada; and in 1815 - 27th Foot, 3rd Battalion - arrival 6 May from Castine - departure 15 May for Canada; note: some of the remarks are found on the opposite side of the page;

Vols. 171-186. Order Books kept at Fredericton and Saint John, New Brunswick; chiefly General Orders issued from Halifax, and Garrison Orders issued from Saint John that relate to Fredericton, 1825-1869.  (Note:  many of the orders from Fredericton can be found in the order books kept at Saint John).  Based on the contents in vol. 182 (May 1864-Feb 1865), the general orders were directed from the Major of Brigade at Headquarters in Halifax (Robert B. Stokes) to: the Town Major (Thomas Jones), or Officer Commanding the Troops in New Brunswick, or Acting Town Major ([Lt.] A. [Arthur] Kemmis of the 15th Regiment of Foot), and related mostly to orders or directions pertaining to the 15th Regiment of Foot, Royal Engineers and Royal Artillery. Topics included court martials (charge, verdict, sentence), personnel (discharges, promotions, leaves of absence, appointments, invalids, transfers, prisoners), administrative protocols, and stores or provisions such as fuel, lights and ammunitions.

Vols. 193-194. Memorandum Book A, 1865, and Memorandum Book B, 1868 mainly from Major of Brigade's Office, Halifax to officers commanding troops in New Brunswick at Fredericton and Saint John, etc.; a few memos from Fredericton and Saint John are also included, mostly in Book B.

Vols. 195-196. General Orders issued from Halifax, 1839-1845.

Vols. 187-192. District and Garrison Orders issued from Fredericton, 1845-1865; District Orders sometimes contain Halifax General Orders reissued at Fredericton as District General Orders

Vols. 197-212. Order Books kept at Saint John, NB, mainly General Orders issued from Halifax, NS, and District Orders issued from Fredericton, NB, 1845-1870.

Vols. 213-216. Garrison Orders issued at Saint John, New Brunswick, 1830-1863 (some years missing);  volumes 213-215 (May 1830-Nov. 1848), Town Major at Saint John was John Gallagher, except for 23 Feb. to 20 March 1833 when Captain G. Rexton of the 34th Regiment of Foot was Acting Town Major; includes also: 

  • Vol. 214 (end) - Monthly Return of troops in garrison at Saint John 30 April 1839?; includes number of officers, sergeants, drummers, rank and file for - Royal Artillery, regiments of foot - 36th, 65th, 69th, 93rd and Militia;
  • Vol. 215 (end) - 1.) Garrison Roster for captains and subalterns for garrison duties at Saint John, 1846-50 from Royal Regiment, Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers, and 33rd Regiment of Foot; 2.) Officers Roster for garrison or district court martials, Saint John, 1846-8; 3.) Garrison Roster for captains and subalterns on Boards of Survey, 1847-8; (note:  shows dates of commision in the army for some of the officers listed)

Volume 216 (1862 - 30 Sept.1863) shows the Major of Brigade in Saint John was R.L.O. Pearson, and at Halifax, it was R. B. Stokes, and based on the first few months, much of the content revolves around the troops on march from New Brunswick to Riviere du Loup (or Canada), appointments and transfers of personnel, and general garrison duties such as working parties to help with supplies from specified vessels, etc..  The military units include the 1st Battery Rifle Brigade, Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, 2nd Battalion Scots Fusilier Guards, and regiments of foot - 1st Battalion 15th, 16th, 63rd, and 96th.

Other unrelated titles were microfilmed by the Nova Scotia Archives with this collection:

  • Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection (MG 100, volumes 93 nos. 1-29, 94 nos. 1-26, 199 nos. 1-21, 200 nos. 1-17); see separate catalogue record
  • St Paul's Home for Girls: Directors of Management Minute Books,1867-1892 (MG 20, volumes 1325 and 1326 no. 1).  The Minute Books of the Directors of Management for the St Paul's Home for Girls are organised chronologically, and also include a summary of the contents of the minutes, written by Frank Kempster in 1983.  The St. Paul's Alms House was originally founded in 1867 at the instigation of the Reverend G. Hill, Rector of St. Paul's Church in Halifax, for the 'protection, training, and instruction of poor or friendless female children' belonging to the parish who were generally between the ages of ten and fourteen.  Meant to be something similar to the Industrial School for Boys and fit girls to take positions as domestic servants. The name changed in 1903 to St. Paul's Home for Girls, in 1970 to St. Paul's Residence for Girls, and in 1982, St. Paul's Home for Girls.  All pertaining to the topics of children and benevolent organisations.
Originals: The original records are held by the Nova Scotia Archives (NSA), previously known as the Public Archives of Nova Scotia (PANS).
Archival Ref. No.:

(NSA) PANS MG 12 vol. 0; MG 12 vol. 171-186; MG 12 vol. 193-194; MG 12 vol. 195-196; MG 12 vol. 187-192;MG 12 vol. 197-212; MG 12 vol. 213-216

(NSA) PANS MG 20 vol. 1325 numbers 1-5; MG 20 vol. 1326 no. 1

Finding Aids:

List of Contents (available on the microfilm reels, and for some, electronically, see Electronic Finding Aid section):

  • Volumes 182 and 184 (available at the end of the volume)
  • Volumes 187-192
  • Volume 216, Jan. to March 1862 only (available at the start of the volume)

Microfilm Shelf List is available to indicate the microfilm reel numbers and date coverage for each volume and is located in The Loyalist Collection red binders and electronically (see Electronic Finding Aid section).

Electronic Finding Aid Record: Microfilm Shelf List.pdf
Document List Vols. 182 and 184.pdf
Document List Vol. 216 (partial).pdf
Part Of: St. Paul's Home for Girls Records, Series A Directors of Management Minute Books is part of a larger collection entitled St. Paul's Home for Girls Fonds held at the Nova Scotia Archives, containing Series A to H for the years 1867 to 1976. The Loyalist Collection has two volumes from Series A only: volume 1325 complete, and volume 1326 document number 1 only.
Other With: