Nova Scotia Ancestors: Lunenburg County GenWeb

Lunenburg is more than just the home of The Bluenose. One of the major immigration groups in Canada came just after the Acadian Expulsion. In an effort to boost the non Catholic population in Nova Scotia, England recruited settlers from southwest Germany, and the Montbeliard region of what is now France and Switzerland. This group of 1453 settlers became known as the Foreign Protestants. After first being housed in Halifax, they were then sent to what would become Lunenburg. They were soon joined by other Germans from the New England area of the United States in the decade leading up to the Revolutionary War. If your family tree has names like Eisenhauer, Hubley, Zwicker and Boutilier, then chances are you are related to some of these original settlers.

One of the best places to begin searching your Lunenburg roots is the Lunenburg County Genealogy page hosted by rootsweb. This is a fantastic resource that needs to be bookmarked on your browser.

Beware: This is another one of those resources that you should book a block of time for. There\’s no \”just a quick search\” here. Many thanks to Gail Edwards and others who have obviously put an incredible amount of time and devotion into this site. I stumbled upon it about 10 years ago when I first started researching my Lunenburg ancestors, and it has been a huge help in my research.

Scroll down the main page and you\’ll get a list of headings:

  • Lunenburg County Genealogy Resources
This handy page has links and information on where to find BMDs, court records, land records, cemeteries, genealogy groups, and census records. They also have the contact information for the various institutions you\’ll want to communicate with.
  • Personal and Family Genealogy Pages
Here are links to over 50 different genealogy pages that relate to the Lunenburg area.
  • Surname Resources
Links to two different sites. The first one, Lunenburg County Surname Registry, allows you to register your contact information under the surnames you are researching. Great for cousin finding. The second, Maritimes Most Wanted, has a link that is no longer valid.
  • Birth, Marriage and Death Records
This section is worth visiting the site all on its own. Along with links and instructions on ordering from Nova Scotia Vital Statistics, you can also access the Chester Township Books. But the jewel in the crown is the Don Shankle database. A database of more than 50,000 birth, marriage and death entries, you can access it in three different formats. The first separates Lunenburg County entries from Queen\’s County entries. The second is births arranged by parents\’ names. These are arranged alphabetically by father\’s name, but you will also find illegitimate births by mother\’s name mixed in. If you see two dates, the first is the birth date, the second is the baptism or christening date. To use as an example, here\’s what it says about my 5x great grandparents, Valentine Eisenhauer and Anna Margaret Knickle:

\”EISENHAUER\”,\”Valentine & Ann Margaret\”,\”Cath Barbara\”,\”1805-05-08\”,\”1805-05-25\”,\”DRL\”,,,\”B\”
\”EISENHAUER\”,\”Valentine & Ann Margaret\”,\”Cath Regina\”,\”1812-12-06\”,\”1812-12-17\”,\”DRL\”,,,\”B\”
\”EISENHAUER\”,\”Valentine & Ann Margaret\”,\”Christina Margare\”,\”1803-03-24\”,\”1803-04-08\”,\”DRL\”,,,\”B\”
\”EISENHAUER\”,\”Valentine & Ann Margaret\”,\”Michael\”,\”1806-11-06\”,\”1806-11-20\”,\”DRL\”,,,\”B\”
\”EISENHAUER\”,\”Valentine & Ann Margaret\”,\”Sarah\”,\”1807-12-29\”,\”1808-10-07\”,\”DRL\”,,,\”B\”
\”EISENHAUER\”,\”Valentine & Ann Margaret\”,\”Sophia\”,\”1809-09-12\”,\”1810-08-20\”,\”DRL\”,,,\”B\”
\”EISENHAUER\”,\”Valentine & Ann Margaret\”,\”Susanna Margaret\”,\”1805-05-08\”,\”1805-05-25\”,\”DRL\”,\”twin\”,,\”B\”
The third option is that you can download the entire database to your computer as a zip file for free. It is set up as a spreadsheet. Now, if you noticed on the extract above, there is the abbreviation of DRL in my ancestors\’ entries. This stands for Dutch Reformed Church, Lunenburg. A list of abbreviations for the source citations is explained in the first two Shankle database sections. Now, this is a transcription database, and we are taught to never totally trust a source that is not the original record. However, it has detailed source citations, so you can follow the trail to see the original source.
  • Genealogy E-Books
A link to a free download of the book, Descendents of Ulrich Hubley of Nova Scotia, in e-book format.
  • Church Records
These are transcriptions of church records from across Lunenburg County. You\’ll find Methodist, Lutheran, Baptist, Anglican, and Roman Catholic records. You\’ll also find Evangelical, Presbyterian, United, and even some civil marriages.
  • Census Records
Here you\’ll find extracts of various census returns, ranging from 1770-1911.
  • Wills
Two links here. The first are extracts from over 700 wills in Lunenburg County, as well as an index for them. These are set up as PDF downloads. The second is an index to wills for Lunenburg County covering the years 1770-1996. Unfortunately, the link provided no longer works.
  • Lunenburg County Obituaries
Here you will find transcriptions of obituaries and death notices ranging in years from 1804 to present day. These files are downloadable right to your computer.
  • Cemetery Listings
Another great resource. Here you can find a downloadable searchable index of Lunenburg County cemetery transcriptions. Also included in the index are burials at sea. Next down the page are headstone transcriptions for well over 100 cemeteries. Don\’t just look at the main list though. The next section entitled Master Surname Index has transcriptions for cemeteries not on the main listing.
  • Passenger Lists
Not only will you find transcribed passenger lists of the ships that brought the Foreign Protestants, you can also find reconstructions of passenger lists for the Lydia in 1742, and the Cornwallis group arriving in 1749. As well, there is an index of over 1100 names that arrived on over a dozen ships in 1749. You can also get histories of the Cornwallis groups, and the ships themselves. They even have a transcription of the advertisement placed to recruit settlers for the Cornwallis Ships. The index is available for download in Excel format.
  • Victualing Lists
These were lists made of provisions supplied not only to military regiments, but to the Lunenburg settlers when they first arrived. Here you\’ll find lists for the brief time the settlers were in Halifax, as well as when they first started settling Lunenburg.
  • Military Records
These are transcriptions of muster rolls for the Lunenburg County militias from 1808-1819. 
  • Diaries and Personal Papers
Downloadable transcriptions of the diary of D.J. Rudolph, the memoirs of James Albert Hirtle, and the family record of David Ueltschi.
  • Lunenburg County Links
A series of links relating to the history and culture of the area.
  • Nova Scotia Links
This section gives you links to helpful webpages that deal with Nova Scotia as a whole. It needs updating though, because almost all of the links either gave me the dread 404 message, or the site has moved to a new web address.
  • Canada Links
The same as above, but pertaining to Canada wide resources. Unfortunately, none of the links seemed to work for me.
  • World Links
Links to Swiss and German genealogy pages. The one titled Switzerland Genealogy doesn\’t work, but the other three do.
  • General Genealogy Links
I did not try all the links, but beware that as with the ones above, these may or may not be outdated.
  • Genealogical and Historical Societies
Links to groups around Nova Scotia.
  • Books-Maps-Software Supplies
Just what the name says. A series of links to build that personal library collection.
  • Queries

 A place to connect with other researchers. 

  • Look Up Library
A rather unique page that has a listing of various Nova Scotia genealogy and history books. Under each title is the name of a volunteer that will look up information for you from that book. At first I couldn\’t figure out how to contact the person. Then I realized if you hover your mouse over the name, at the bottom of the screen pops up an email address for that person. It may be different on other devises, but I was using a Windows desktop.
  • Photo Gallery
Pictures of the Lunenburg area, as well as pictures of people.
The last four headings gives you links to other GenWeb projects in Nova Scotia, Canada, the US, and world wide.
For more information on the history of Lunenburg, you can look at these sites:

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