George Dyes and David Dyes of Nova Scotia, Canada, 1800's (aka Dize, Dyze)
Help! Need any information about a George William Dyes from Nova Scotia.
We feel he may be a relative of George Gideon Dyes and a David Dyes from southern Nova Scotia, around Yarmouth. David arrived in Yarmouth from Kingston, Jamaica in 1813 with his parents James and Lydia Dyes aboard a British "man-o-war". This would strongly suggest the family was loyalist (giving their allegiance to the British crown) and/or they were offered freedom from slavery or servitude to an American. This was a time in history, just after the war of 1812, in which the English were doing their best to thwart American trade interests; by offering plantation slaves and other laborers refuge in British colonies, they thereby interrupted American commerce. (The British monarchy had done the same thing during the American Revolution a few years earlier.) About 2000 such individuals are known to have been moved to Nova Scotia after the War of 1812. What we are certain about is that after arrival in Nova Scotia, David signed an indenture to the Yarmouth coroner Nehemiah Porter (son of the Reverend Nehemiah Porter from Ipswich MA, who had briefly taken up residence in Yarmouth NS). Nehemiah Porter the coroner stayed on in NS after his father's departure, presumably for the rest of his life, and we feel he remained influential in David's life. David successfully completed his indenture in 1820 and became a Deacon (turned pastor later in life) of the African Baptist Church of Greenville, NS. George Dyes gave land to this church and also resided in the area. Research indicates that David was George's uncle, but this is not certain. Although my information is from various sources, I would like to thank Nova Scotia historian and author Sharon Robart-Johnson for her invaluable assistance.
My connection to this group is through my great-grandfather George William Dyes, or so we think. We know from census records that he was born in Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia in January 1846 (although some of his census records vary slightly from that). We are not 100% certain that he was related to the Dyes family above, but there are several important clues that point heavily to this probability. For one thing, this is the one and only record of the Dyes name in that specific area of Nova Scotia during the period. For another, photographs of my Dyes relatives bear some resemblance to that of David's pictures. Lastly, certain unusual names given to some of my George's offspring are names used by the earlier Dyes and Porter families. It is also possible that my George Dyes may also have had some connection to the local Mi'kmaq tribe. My George William Dyes claimed to have served as a cabin boy aboard British Merchant vessels for some years as a youth or young man, a story that is quite possible, as the Royal Merchant Navy and other British shipping companies did recruit help in the area and many young men of all races were pressed into sea service under the Union Jack. This could explain my great-grandfather's crisp British accent. George eventually settled in the Georgetown, Mass area (in the census there by 1880), and lived there until his death in 1942. He subsequently married my great-grandmother, Mary Catherine Long;their eldest child is my grandfather, David T. Dyes.