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Planters and Pioneers

Did you know that many millions of people across North American descended from a large group of settlers who came to Nova Scotia prior to the American Revolution? Did you know that an accomplished historian compiled a comprehensive index of those pre Loyalist settlers but it fell out of print not long afterwards due to the passing of the author? That unique and classic work is available again for a limited time!

Planters and Pioneers, Nova Scotia, 1749-1775 - Revised Edition 2007 Limited Edition Reprint

Until now, Dr. Esther Clark Wright's gem Planters & Pioneers, Nova Scotia 1749-1775 was indeed a rare and valuable find to the avid family historian of Atlantic Canada. Now, for the first time in 25 years, it is available for a limited time to the entire genealogical community!

Planters & Pioneers represents years of research by the renowned Dr. Esther Clark Wright to compile a comprehensive list of pre Loyalist New England and European settlers to Nova Scotia and what is now referred to as New Brunswick. The end result is an index that includes more than 23,000 names (under more than 4000 family leaders) gathered from township records, registry of deeds, probate records, county and local histories, census records, family histories, genealogies, and so forth. It is a wealth of information that would take a modern-day professional researcher years to duplicate even with today's advances in research technology.

Planters and Pioneers is a unique work with virtually no others existing like it. It has application to family history research not only in Atlantic Canada and New England, but across all of North America and beyond because so many people descended from those early Nova Scotia / New Brunswick settlers. It is a great reference tool for researchers who have an interest in the region, or if they only have interest in a few families from the region. It is also a great starting place for many new researchers who have roots in Atlantic Canada.

Quoting Dr. Wright in her opening comments in the book:

" [The] whole story [of the pre Loyalist settlers had] not been put together The settlers who came to Nova Scotia before the influx of loyalists have been relatively ignored, and the importance of their contribution to Nova Scotia, to the Loyalists who followed them, to Canada as a whole, and to North America and beyond, has not been adequately known or emphasized" (P.1)

With that in mind, Dr. Wright set to work compiling an extensive list of pre Loyalist settlers and titled the finished work Planters and Pioneers. "Planters" denotes the Elizabethan term for planters of colonies (as opposed to crops) and is used in reference to settlers in the Annapolis Valley regions of Nova Scotia. "Pioneers" makes reference to immigrants of all other settlements where the term planters did not survive.

The original Planters and Pioneers was published in 1978, and a Revised Edition was published in 1982 through Lancelot Press. The Revised Edition contained many corrections and additions, including a list of names taken from the 1978 version for which no other significant information could be found beyond the name and the ship they landed in. A map of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick was sketched in both editions showing the location of some of the settlements mentioned in the book.

Unlike many genealogy books that are a mix of historical data, narratives, pictures, etc., Planters and Pioneers is 90% organized research information gathered predominantly from primary sources. Ten percent of the book is dedicated to relevant historical information to orient the reader, plus Dr. Wright's biography at the end. The rest is organized data directed to help the reader trace their genealogy to settlers of the period.

Dr. Wright was late in years when the 1982 Revised Edition was published. She had hoped to publish future editions with new/revised information, but the work ended with her passing in 1990. As a result, Planters and Pioneers fell out of publication after the 1982 Revised Edition was printed with only a few thousand copies distributed. Today, these used original copies are quite collectible, not only for their research value but because Dr. Wright signed many of them personally. They are quite rare and asking prices are high, ranging typically from $130 to $180 US each.

The 2007 Reprint is soft-cover, contains 309 pages in total, and measures 6" x 9" inches. It is virtually identical in content to Dr. Wright's 1982 Revised Edition except with one added feature: a complete bibliography of Dr. Wright, courtesy of Acadiensis of the University of New Brunswick. Here is an example of the format:



Lieut. 94th Regt. of Foot, d. 17 May 1823, ae 95. m. Mary, d. 12 Feb. 1832, ae 90. Ch: William, Ann, Mary, Margaret, Robert, Elizabeth.



2 females above 16, 2 males under 16, 1752.



ae 34, Albion, 1774. went to Virginia, 1788? m. Elizabeth Ch: Thomas, William, Charles, Elizabeth, Alice, John, Ann

To order a copy of the 2007 Limited Edition Reprint now, click here.

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