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Seth Burgess

Male 1736 - 1795  (58 years)


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  • Name Seth Burgess 
    Born 22 May 1736  Dartmouth, Bristol, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 10 Jan 1795  Cornwallis, Nova Scotia, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    • Probable death location.
    Buried Kentville, Kings, Nova Scotia, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 
    • Seth Burgess was the son of Dr. Benjamin and Mercy Burgess, of Dartmouth, Massachusetts. He was born May 26, 1736, and died in 1795, aged 59. He married, at the age of 21, Abigail Howe, in Massachusetts, June 5, 1757. She died in 1801. They are buried in the cemetery at Chipman Corner, near Kentville, Nova Scotia. Seth was the eldest of four children, all boys. When he was 10 years old his mother died, and two years later he was bereft of his father. It is probable that, after the death of his parents, he lived with some of his relatives in Rochester, Massachusetts, a few miles from Dartmouth, for the Registry of Deeds at New Bedford mentions Rochester as his address. In this Registry, in Volume 6, page 459, it is recorded that Seth Burgess, of Rochester, eldest son of the deceased Benjamin Burgess, physician, sold in 1758 one-quarter of his father's real estate for 146, 1Ss., 4 d. (The purchasing power of a pound in those days was immensely greater than it is today.) In 1760, three years after his marriage, at the age of 24, he removed with his wife and two children (Mary and Thankful) to Kings County, Nova Scotia. He came as one of the migrating New Englanders who settled on the farmlands from which the French Acadians, because of persistent disloyalty to Great Britain, had, five years previously, been expelled. These New Englanders constituted the second English settlement in what is now Canada. The first was Halifax, founded in 1749 as a military post, by settlers direct from England. Arriving at Town Plot, Seth settled in Habitant, one mile east of Canning, on the Kings-port road. His place later became the Peter Wickwire homestead, and is now the William L. Newcomb property. Seth subsequently moved to a farm within the precincts of Kentville, which, in another half century, became the Ephraim Terry property. Among the household effects which Seth brought to Nova Scotia was the previously-mentioned Medical Record and Account Book of his father; and the fact that he kept some of his own accounts in this book sheds some light on his life. It appears that he conducted a general store in conjunction with his farm, and employed a cobbler to make the shoes he sold. This was the age before the advent of shoe factories. There is also good evidence that when a boy ne availed himself of the advantages of an education in the public schools of Massachusetts, for which (hat state was early noted. He was a good penman, observed correct spelling and kept his accounts accurately and methodically. In religion Seth Burgess, like his Massachusetts predecessors, was a Congregationalist, and he was a member of the Cornwallis Church at Chipman Corner. This Congregational Church was established shortly after the arrival of the New Englanders, the majority of whom were of the Congregational faith. To finance this and other churches in Nova Scotia help was received from the brethren in New England, whence also came the ministers to fill the pulpits; but when hostilities broke out (1775) between the Mother Country and all her English-speaking colonies,--aU save the sparsely populated colonies of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland,--then the cordial relations between Nova Scotia and her neighbors to the south were unhappily and abruptly terminated, and the pulpits of the Congregational churches in the peninsular province became vacant. Because of the identity in religious creed of the Congregational and the Presbyterian faiths, one of the Scottish Presbyterian synods quickly perceived in Nova Scotia this fallow, but fertile, field for its young ministers, to whom the transplanted New Englanders extended a warm welcome, and their churches gradually became Presbyterian. Thus it is explained why so many of Seth Burgess' descendants have been, and are, Presbyterians. (In Canada they are now largely incorporated in the United Church.) One of the early obstacles to complete harmony between the Scottish Presbyterian ministers and their New England-born flocks concerned the question as to which hymnal should be used--the Presbyterian or the Congregational. The ministers claimed their hymns were "inspired," disbelieving in any such inherent qualities in those brought over from the neighboring colonies. One might suppose the Deity to be more interested in uninspired hymns, praises of Himself which He had not at all helped to compose ! According to Eaton's History of Kings County, Seth Burgess was appointed a lieutenant in His Majesty's Army during the early part of the American Revolution, in anticipation of disturbances in Nova Scotia, disturbances that never occurred, and consequently he was not called to active service. His first cousin, Prince Burgess, of East Wareham, Massachusetts, was a lieutenant in the American Army. It is probable that Seth's brothers also served on the American side, and his brother, Benjamin, who was a physician in Goshen, Massachusetts, was not unlikely, by virtue of his profession, an officer. An inventory of the property of the late Seth Burgess, deceased. [:BOLD] The half of a Lot of upland on the North Mountain 150 LBS. consisting of one hundred and sixty two acres with a dwelling house and barn (Currency is British Pounds) [One hundred and fifty acres of upland near Major Conrad= 7 # 10s 1p Mare 8# 8s] [ 1 yoke of oxen= 12#][ and four cows =16# 28s][ 14 sheep= 5#10s 6p][1/2 tons hay= 6 #11s 10p][ 1 pr plow irons 10/ set of harrows teeth 20/ 1 " 10 1 pr chain yoke & bows 7/6 Three short yokes 6/ 13 " 6 Three 6/ Spade 3/ 9 " Two feather beds and bedding & three bedsteads 10 " Table cloths & towels 30/ Books 40/ 3 " 10 Desk & Bookcase 4 Cupboard 20/ 5 " 1pr Still --- 5/ tongs & shovel 12/6 Hand irons 7/6 1 " 5 2 tables 7/6 Iron pots 30/ Iron bason 2/6 2 " Flat irons & candle sticks 10/ cans & bottles 2/6 " 16 " 6 Looking glass 4/ ---20/ China & crockery 20/= 2 2 " 4 Chests 30/ Wooden ware 25/ Barrels 4/6 2 " 19 " 6 3 jugs 6/ two ladders 30/ two wheels 20 - 2 " 16 4 chairs 10/ 10 238 " 13 " 6 The above inventory taken this 217th. January 1795 The apprasial was all sworn Capt. Rotchford before me - Judge and the other two by said Rotchford. Thomas Rotchford --- Bentley Tom Morton (note-signatures not certain) DEB Let's take a brief historical look at Nova Scotia as Seth settled in... [:BOLD] The Acadians, the first Europeans to settle in the Horton area, began moving from Port Royal up the Bay of Fundy and into the Minas Basin, perhaps as early as 1650, certainly in large numbers from 1670 to 1682. Most of those moved to Minas were younger sons and daughters of Port Royal set-tlers, and were influenced strongly by the traditions brought with them from their original home province of Brittany. By settling further up the Bay, they hoped to achieve greater safety from English raiders and more freedom frdm the seigneurial control in Port Royal. The Minas settlement became the most important of the Acad ian farmlands, and the population grew rapidly from fifty-seven people in 1682 to 350 in 1693. When Acadia was ceded to the British by the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 the Acadians were reluctant to leave their productive soil. The Minas Basin settlement was retained, and its popula-tion increased by other Acadians from the now British-dominated Annapolis Royal. By 1731, 168 families lived in Grand Pre and Canard (Les Mines). The Acadians built dykes on the rivers flowing into the Minas Basin and grew their crops and grazed their cattle on the dyked land. They produced their own homespun cloth and milled their lumber by windmill, watermills in brooks, and tidal-powered sawmills. They had sufficient produce and livestock to create a surplus for trade. From the New England traders who plied their way up and down the coast of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland they got the goods that they could not produce. This trade was illegal, but, as the French government at Quebec was unable to supply the colonists with these luxury goods, it was permitted. As peasant farmers, successful enough to have a surplus for trade, the Minas settlers were tolerant of other Euro-peans and satisfied with co-existence with the indians. Unfortunately for the Acadians, they were not allowed to continue their quiet life as peasant farmers under British suzerainty, because the authorities at Quebec and in France saw the Acadians as a valuable fifth column and a means of regaining their lost colony. Politically minded priests, who were certain of the return of French domination, informed the Acadians in no uncer-tain terms where their loyalties should lie and would not let them take oaths of allegiance which the English governors of Annapolis Royal were trying to get. When war broke out between Britain and France in 1744, the tur-bulent situation at Louisburg and Port Royal threatened the British sovereignty in Acadia, and that alarmed the colonists to the south, who had suffered much from French and Indian raids. Late in 1747 they established a force of near- ly five hundred around Grand Pre and housed them in the homes of Aca-dians who wanted to be neutral. Early in the morning of a snowy day, February 12, 1748, a surprise attack was made by the Quebec Canadians, with two Indian detachments of sixty, and a number of Acadians as guides. Colonel Arthur Noble was killed in what was called the "Grand Pre Massacre," also two sentries and about one hundred of the Americans. The French claimed they killed 140. Peace was agreed upon, and the Americans troops withdrew to Port Royal. The British fears about the uncertainties of the situation led to establish-ment of a small permanent force at Grand Pre from 1749 to 1753. Orders were sent from England to the King's governors in America to drive the French from their territories by force so that Britain could have supremacy in the colonies. Meanwhile, the Acadians wished only to be left alone and allowed to remain neutral. Although the war had ended, both sides in Acadia geared up for the next round. By this time the British authorities in Nova Scotia were firmly con-vinced of the perfidy of the Acadians. Indians and Acadians had become allies against the British. The Acadians asked for retraction of the order to disarm. In reply, the British demanded complete allegiance. The French refused. A determined Governor Lawrence took quick action to achieve what had long been a British objective - the expulsion of the Acadians. Chief Justice Beicher approved the action but it was not communicated to the home authorities before action was taken. The task was carried out by Colonel John Winslow and his force of New Englanders with all the cruelty and severity of the eighteenth century. The men were summoned to the church where they were held captive until the transports arrived. In September 1755 the British transport came to carry the people into exile. For twenty-nine days, after making their tragic trek to the embarkation place near Horton Landing, the Acadians waited to board the ship. Some 2,182 persons from Grand Pre were transported. After the last vessel, "The Dove," sailed on October 10, the torch was set to Grand Pre, and only one building was left. The sudden uprooting of the Acadian population from a land in which they had lived for a century, the loss of lands, homes, personal belongings, and the transportation to distant countries were severe blows, compounded by the separation of the men from their families. By no means all the Acadians had been removed from Nova Scotia, for many had escaped into the woods and managed to survive somehow. One group seized the vessel on which they were being transported and came back; others journeyed overland from their alien surroundings. By 1764 a few of the Acadians were willing to take the oath of allegiance the British required, and by 1793 they were ready to volunteer for military service.
    Person ID I16319436  7_families
    Last Modified 18 Sep 2005 

    Father Benjamin Burgess, M.D.,   b. 9 Nov 1709, Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 Sep 1748, Dartmouth, Bristol, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 38 years) 
    Mother Mrs. Mercy Burgess,   b. 1710, Duxbury, Plymouth, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 4 Jul 1746, Dartmouth, Bristol, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 36 years) 
    Married Abt 1729  Duxbury, Plymouth, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F5294566  Group Sheet

    Family Abigail Howe,   b. Abt 1738, Of, , , Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1801, , Nova Scotia, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 63 years) 
    Married 5 Jun 1757  Duxbury, Plymouth, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Children 
    +1. Mary Burgess,   b. Abt 1758, Duxbury, Plymouth, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
    +2. Thankful Burgess,   b. Abt 1759, Duxbury, Plymouth, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
    +3. Benjamin Burgess,   b. 19 Jan 1762, Kentville, Kings, Nova Scotia, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Apr 1853, Woodville, Kings, Nova Scotia, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 91 years)
     4. Earl Burgess,   b. 1764, Kentville, Kings, Nova Scotia, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1778  (Age 14 years)
    Last Modified 24 Sep 2003 
    Family ID F5323347  Group Sheet

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 22 May 1736 - Dartmouth, Bristol, Massachusetts Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 5 Jun 1757 - Duxbury, Plymouth, Massachusetts Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 10 Jan 1795 - Cornwallis, Nova Scotia, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Kentville, Kings, Nova Scotia, Canada Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Maps 
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    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Sources 
    1. [S371943] Burgess Genealogy - Hiam, Katharine W. Hiam, (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1997), Lee Drew library., 276 (Reliability: 3).

    2. [S371660] Burgess Genealogy, Ebenezer Burgess, (Boston : Press of T.R. Marvin & Son, 1865), Lee Drew library., 42 (Reliability: 3).