Intrduction to the O'Briens of Hants County, Nova Scotia.
- Introduction to the O'BRIEN's -
Back in the year of 1695 near Londonderry, Ireland a boy was born by the name of William O'BRIEN and who also is a descendant of the Clan of Brian of Boru.
On August 8th, 1721 William did take a bride by the name of Ester LYNTON. This marriage took place in Ballykelly, in the County of Londonderry, Ireland.
To this couple were born 7 boys and 1 girl and they were christened:
Timothy 1st, January 2, 1725-November 19, 1777.
John 2nd, December 10, 1725- .
Robert 1st, December 14, 1728- .
William, May 12, 1731- .
Jacob, December 8, 1733- .
Ester, March 18, 1736-March 10, 1758.
Isaac, July 21, 1738- .
Joseph, July 21, 1738- .
William died March 2, 1793 at 98 years young, and his wife Ester died March 18, 1758. Both are interred in the Churchyard in Aghanloo, Ireland.
From this point onward we concentrate on the Eldest son of William and Ester, Timothy 1st.
Timothy did on April 17, 1746 take a bride of Scottish decent by the name of Margaret GILMORE, born May 17, 1827 in Dunlap, Scotland, died Jul 28, 1808 in Noel, Hants County, Nova Scotia. Daughter of John & Margaret (STEVENSON) GILMORE. This marriage took place in the Shire of Ayr, Scotland by the Reverend Mr. McLELLAN.
To this marriage were born 5 boys and 2 girls by the names of:
11000 William 2nd, July 14, 1747-c1828.
12000 Robert 2nd, March 25, 1749-May 11, 1818.
13000 Isaac 2nd, April 13, 1752-c1810.
14000 Andrew 2nd, October 8, 1754-February 10, 1832.
16000 Elizabeth, February 20, 1756- .
17000 Eleanor, April 20, 1758-July 13, 1848.
15000 Jacob, June 1, 1761-1832.
Life in Ireland was an unhappy one to say the least due in part to hatred and high rent, so it is not surprising when Timothy and Margaret packed a few possessions and their children and in the spring of 1768 they boarded the ship "Nancy" for passage to the newly promised land, were pheasants could own their own land.
Approximately two months later land was spotted and in time they entered the port of Halifax. After a brief rest period from the cramped quarters of the ship they set out in a westerly direction toward the mouth of the Avon River, to the Town of Piziquid, later to be re-named Windsor, Nova Scotia.
One day when Timothy and the boys were out fishing the tide aided by the wind carried them some distance up the basin. The next tide carried them even further up the shore. This time they put ashore in a cleared field. Once landed they discovered the land was owned by James FULTON, also an Irishman who had come over in 1770.
Timothy and his boys felt contentment here so upon returning to Piziquid they announced that come spring they would move to this place we now know as Noel, Hants County, Nova Scotia.
William however was taken in by a young lass by the name of Lydia HARRIS, and the powers of love being what they are he decided to remain in Piziquid.
The following Spring, probably 1772, they as promised packed their few belonging, said farewell to William and once again took to the water, now known as the Cobequid Bay, and on the second tide reached their destination, Noel, a place for ever after to be known as home.
On August 7, 1771, Governor General Lord William CAMPBELL on behalf of King George III did grant unto Timothy a parcel of land One Mile Square.
In November 1777 Timothy returned to Piziquid to record his Last Will and Testament. On November 19 while on his homeward journey it is thought that while crossing the Tenecape River he must have drowned. His body was never found.
Margaret was apparently a cranky old Scottish Gal who lived on for many more years and made the lives of her children miserable. She died in Noel on July 25, 1803.
Today descendants of Timothy and Margaret can be found throughout North America.
RELIGION OF THE O'BRIENs
The question has often been asked, as to whether the O'Briens were Catholic or not. By way of answer to this oft-asked question, we can only say that Jotham O'Brien while on a tour in the Old Country took advantage of the occasion to visit the land of his fore-fathers; and the records showed them to be Protestants, and they were buried in Protestant cemeteries, in a suburb of Londonderry, as far back as the seventeenth century.
At the present time about all, to the best of our knowledge, are still Protestants, and it is claimed that these are the only Protestant O'Briens in America.
*This a quote from the book, “Noel and the Genealogy of the O’BRIENS”, unquote.
The Will of Timothy O'BRIEN -
In the name of God, Amen, I Timothy O'BRIEN, now residing at Petit River, so called, near the Basin of Minas, in the Province of Nova Scotia, Yeoman, being in health and of sound mind, memory and understanding, but considering the uncertainty of this transitory life do make, publish, and declare this to be my last Will and Testament, in manners and form following:
First, I will that all my just debts be paid to my Executors hereinafter named.
And as to the other estate which it has pleased God to bless me, I dispose thereof in the manner following, that is to say, I give, devise, and bequeath, to my sons, Robert, Andrew, Isaac and Jacob, each one-quarter part of all and every my messuages, lands, tenement, hereditaments situate and lying or being at the place known by the name of the village of Noel on the Cobequid River in the Province of aforesaid, consisting of 650 acres which were granted to me by the Government and 2,000 acres more adjoining thereto which were purchased by me of Charles MORRIS, Junior, Esquire:
To have and to hold, all and every the said messuages, lands, tenements, hereditaments and premisses, with their every of their rights members, and appurtenances, subject and charged and chargeable with the payments and conditions hereinafter mentioned to and to use of said Robert, Andrew, Isaac and Jacob, and the heirs of their bodies lawfully begotten, and for default of such heirs them to the heirs of the survivors of them on this express condition, that they, the said Robert, Andrew, Isaac and Jacob do provide for the maintain their Mother during her life in a comfortable and proper manner.
And I do give and bequeath to my son, William O'BRIEN and to Timothy the son of said William, when he shall attain the age of twenty-one years 5 pound of the present currency of Nova Scotia. I give, devise and bequeath unto my daughters, Elizabeth and Eleanor the sum of 20 pound of the currency aforesaid to each, to be paid to them respectively on their marriage or when they shall respectively attain the age of twenty-one years, provided, they behave well and marry at the approbation of their Mother and after her decease to the approbation of my executors hereinafter named, and I will that all those several sums of 5 pounds to my son William, 5 pound to his son Timothy and 20 pound to each of my daughters, Elizabeth and Eleanor, to be paid to them free of all taxes or deductions whatsoever by my said sons, Robert, Andrew, Isaac and Jacob, by each of them an equal proportions out of all and every the said messuages, lands, tenements, hereditaments and premisses aforesaid, on the said Timothy, Elizabeth and Eleanor respectively attaining their ages aforesaid, or the respective marriages of the said Elizabeth and Eleanor and my will also is that if the personal estate where with I shall be possessed at the time of my deceases be not sufficient to pay my debts, that in such case my said sons Robert, Isaac, Andrew and Jacob do pay the same out of the said messuages, lands, tenements and hereditament bequeath to them each their share or proportion of such deficiency.
And I hereby nominate, and appoint Isaac DESCHAMPS, Winckworth TONG and James FULTON, Esquires, Executors of this, my last Will and Testament, desiring that they will please to see the same carried into execution and I do hereby empower and desire my said executors and the survivors of them, his executors or administrators from and after my decease and during the minority of such of my sons as shall not them have attained the age of twenty-one years to cause the share of my estate which I shall leave him or them to be managed and improved for his or their use and according to his or their direction.
And I do hereby revoke all former and other wills by me at any time heretofore made declaring this to be my last Will and Testament.
IN WITNESS thereof I have hereunto set my hand and Seal the 22nd day of June in the year of our lord 1775.
Signed, Sealed, Published and Declared by the said Timothy O'BRIEN.
Tim T. O'BRIEN
As for his Last Will and Testament in the presence of us who have hereunto subscribed our names as witness thereto in the presence of the said testator and in the presence of each other.
Elisha DeWOLF, Johnson WILSON, James CARD.
- Deed Given to Timothy O'BRIEN -
Governor General Lord William CAMPBELL
Nova Scotia, William CAMPBELL.
To all whom these presents come...
Know ye that I, Lord William CAMPBELL, Captain General, and Governor-in-Chief in and over His Majesty's Province of Nova Scotia or Acadia and its dependencies, Vice Admiral of the same, yea, yea, yea. By virtue of the power and authority to me given by his present Majesty, King George the Third, under the great seal of Great Britain have given, granted and confirmed and do by these Presents, by and with the advice and consent of his Majesty's Council of said Province, give, grant and confirm unto Timothy O'BRIEN, his heirs and assigns, a tract of land situate lying and being, beginning at the North-Western bound of land granted unto William READ, and Charles MORRIS Junior, Esquires, at village Noel. Thence to run South eighty-two chains of four rods each on said land. Thence West eighty chains on ungranted land. Thence North on ungranted land to the water's edge on the Cobequid Bay. Thence to the bound by the several courses of the said Bay to the bound first mentioned, containing in the whole by estimation, six hundred and fifty acres more or less with allowance for roads. Yea being all wilderness land with all and all manner of mines unopened, excepting mines of gold, silver, lead, copper and coals. To have and to hold the said granted premises with all privilege, profits, commodities and appurtenances thereunto belonging unto the said Timothy O'BRIEN, his heirs and assigns forever. Yielding and paying by the said grantee, his heirs and assigns which by the acceptation hereof he binds and obliges himself, his heirs, executors and assigns to pay to his Majesty, King George the Third, his heirs and successors, or to any person lawfully authorized to receive the same for his Majesty's use, a free yearly quit rent of one farthing per acre for every acre so granted the first payment of the quit rent to arise from and after the expiration of two years from the date hereof and so to continue payable yearly thereafter forever on default thereof, this grant shall be null and void. And provided also that this grant shall have been registered at the Registrar's Office and a Docquet thereof entered at the Auditor's Office within six months from the date thereof, otherwise this grant shall become null and void. And the said grantee binds and obliges his heirs and assigns within three years from the date hereof to clear and work three acres of or for fifty acres in the tract hereby granted in that part of the tract which he or they shall judge most convenient and advantageous or clear and drain three acres of swampy or sunken grounds, or drain three acres of marsh if any such be within the bounds of this grant or put and keep on his lands within three years from this date hereof three neat cattle to be continued upon the lands until three acres for every fifty be fully cleared and improved. But if no part of said tract be fit for present cultivation without manure and improving the same, then the said grantee, his heirs and assigns shall be obliged within five years from the date hereof to erect on some part of the said lands one dwelling house to contain twenty feet in length by sixteen feet in breadth, and to put on said land three neat cattle for every fifty acres. Or if the said grantee, his heirs or assigns, shall within three years after the passing of this grant begin to employ thereon and so to continue to work for three years then next ensuing in digging any stone quarry or other mine one good and able hand for every for every hundred acres of such tract, it shall be accounted a sufficient cultivation and improvement. And every three acres which shall be cleared and worked as aforesaid and every three acres which shall be cleared and drained as aforesaid shall be accounted a sufficient seating, planting,
cultivation and improvement to save forever from forfeiture fifty acres of land in
any part of the tract hereby granted, and the said grantee be at liberty to withdraw his stock or to forbear working in any quarry or mine in proportion to such cultivation and improvement as shall be made on the plantable lands or upon the swamps. Sunken grounds and marshes which are included in this grant. And the said grantee, his heirs and assigns having seated, planted, cultivated and improved the land or any part thereof according to conditioned above mentioned, may make proof of such seating, planting, cultivation and improvement in the General Court or in the Court of the County, District or precinct where such lands lye and have such proof certified to the Registrar's Office and there entered with a record of this grant, a copy of which shall be admitted on any trial to improve the seating and planting of such land in witness whereof I have signed these presents and caused the SEAL of the PROVINCE to be hereunto affixed at Halifax this six day of August in the eleventh year of reign of our sovereign Lord, George the Third, by the grace of God, of Great Britain, France and Ireland. King Defender of the Faith and so forth. And in the year of our Lord, one thousand, seven hundred and seventy-one.
By His Excellency's Command with the advice and consent of his Majesty's Council.
Entered in the Book of Records, Vol. 242.
Halifax, August 20th, 1771.
Registered by Arthur GOULD.
Halifax, August 7th, 1771.
Entered at the Auditor's Office,
M. W. RIPTON, Deputy Auditor.
My files contain a chapter for each of Timothy & Margarets children, a way to much data to post here, but I will share apon request.