Nova Scotia Forsyths

The New England Planters were settlers from the New England colonies who responded to invitations by the lieutenant governor (and subsequently governor) of Nova Scotia, Charles Lawrence, to settle lands left vacant by the Acadian Expulsion of 1755. Eight thousand Planters, largely farmers and fishermen, arrived from 1759 to 1768 to take up the offer. The farmers settled mainly on the rich farmland of the Annapolis Valley and in the southern counties of what is now New Brunswick but was then part of Nova Scotia. Most of the fishermen went to the South Shore of Nova Scotia, where they got the same amount of land as the farmers did. Many fishermen especially wanted to move there because they were already fishing off the Nova Scotia coast.

The Planters were the first major group of English-speaking immigrants in Canada who did not come directly from Great Britain. Most of the Planters were Protestant Congregationalists, in contrast to the largely Roman Catholic Acadians. They were soon joined by Ulster and Yorkshire emigrants from Britain and United Empire Loyalists who left the New England colonies after the American War of Independence in 1783. The latter influxes greatly diminished the Planter political influence in Nova Scotia. However the Planters laid the foundations of a large number of the present day communities of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and their political and religious traditions had important influences on the culture of the region.

The Planters have been the subject of considerable scholarly research in recent years, led by a series of Planters Studies conferences at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. They are also commemorated by a Parks Canada exhibit at the Kings County Museum in Kentville, Nova Scotia.

Official Document which began the process of re-populating Nova Scotia. The immigrants were called “The Planters”. The word Planters is an old-English term for colonists.

Gilbert and Mary (Bishop) Forsyth and Family settled in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. Gilbert ran a grist mill along the Gaspereau River.

One share was 500 acres! A lot of free land for the time.

Original Grantees of Township of Horton

In the files of the Nova Scotia  Archives at  Dalhousie  University,  Halifax, Nova  Scotia,  there is the  original  grant of  the township of Horton to the following men “all from Connecticut”:-

One and one-half shares:  Major  Robert  DENNISON, Joseph OTIS,  Amos  FULLER, William  WELCH,  Jonathan  PALMETEER,  James  CLELLAND,  Abner  AVERY, Labeus HARRIS, Abraham HARDING,  Ephraim HARRIS, Jonathan HAMILTON, Asa HARRIS, John FLICKS,  Newton RANSOM,  Joshua WELCH, Oliver BULKELEY, Elijah BUELL, William COLDWELL, Samuel THOMSON,  Alexander WHALLY,  James NEWTON,  Charles DICKSON, William  PRIDE,   Nathaniel  FULLER,  Moses  WHEELER,  John  BISHOP,  Gilbert FORSYTH,  Samuel REED,  Eleazer MATHER,  Joseph MATHER, John MATHER, Benjamin MATHER,  Capt.  Elisha  LOTHROP,  Stully  SCRANTON, Samuel  COPP,  Johnathan SWEETLAND,  Nathaniel  FISH,  Jacob  BURNHAM,  Peleg  SANF. {?} MASON, Silas CRANE, Thomas MARTIN, Joshua  JONES, Stephen  HARDING,  Capt. John STANTON, Cornelius  PHELPS,  Noah  FULLER,  Samuel FISK {or FISH}, Andrew LISK, Nathan WEST, Robert AVERY, Cornelius PHELPS,Jr., Joshua RATHBONE, Arthur SEAFIELD, Thomas SPENCER,  Simeon  BRAINARD,  Samuel  PECK,  Gabos {?} LOTHROP, Brotherton MARTIN, Isaac FOX, Samuel DEWAY{?}, Abijah FULLER, Joseph DENISON, Cornelius RICH, Abraham PERKINS, Obadiah HOLFOLD.

One Share:  Jeremiah COGSDON, William DICKS, James LOCKHART, John DETRICK, Ebenezer PALMETTER, Jonathan  CHAPPELL, Christopher MINARD, Darius MINARD, James WEBB,  Silas STARK,  WIlliam  FRINK,  James WICKWIRE,  John TENNANT, Lemuel HARDING, John GRANT, Thomas MINARD,  John COPE, Daniel DODGE, Amos DODGE,  Zebediah WICKWIRE,  Peter GRAVES,  Nathaniel ROGERS,  Asa KILBURN, Elisha SCOVILL,  Jacob  BROWN, Isaac  THOMSON,  Thomas  THOMSON,  Sherman DENISON, Joseph WILLOUGHBY, Thomas JOHNSON, Joseph CHESTER, William BOOTH, Joseph COMSTOCK,  Augustus  ROGERS,  William ATWELL,  Charles MORRIS, Jr., John TAGGART, John DARROW, John COLLWELL, Timothy FORSYTH, John TURNER,Jr.,
Walter WATERHOUSE, Jeremiah COMSTOCK, Rufus  COMSTOCK, Nathaniel CHAPPELL, Andrew  CHAPPELL, Stephen  BAKER, Jabez  HUNTLY, Ameriah LYON, John HATCH, Joshua  KNIGHT,  Obadiah STARK,  Joseph PITTS,  Jacob BACON,  John ATWELL, David JOHNSON, John WHITNEY, Lemuel FOX,  Eleaser GRAVES, Stephen EMERSON, Samuel GRIFFIN, Jedediah WILLIAMS, William BABBIT,  Benjamin  PECK, Andrew DENISON.

One-half  share:  Ezekial  GARDNER,  John  BURDOCK,  James JONES, Jonathan HARRIS, Jr., John DICKSON, Daniel HAMILTON, Thomas HARDING, Matthew LEWIS, Joshua  PERKINS,  Edward  LOVERIDGE,  Charles  RANDAL, Elisha CHAPMAN, Asa JONES,  Bryant  BROWN,  Benjamin  FITCH,  John  BISHOP,  John MASON, Isaac
THOMSON, Jr., Benjamin ATWELL, Peter BISHOP, Timothy BISHOP, Micajah PRIDE, Solomon CHAPMAN,  John CARR,  John  HAMILTON,  Jacob  BACON,  Ezekial  FOX, Oliver  FOX, Isaac  FOX, Jr., James  HAMILTON, Jr.,  Samuel  PARSONS, Eben STAPLES, Nathaniel THOMSON, John OWEN,  Uriah SOUTHWARD, Jonathan BLACKMAN, Oliver THORP, William LISK, Joseph WATTS, Joseph OTIS, Jr., Daniel TENNANT, Elisha  BLACKMAN, Elisha  BLACKMAN Jr., JOHN  ENGLES,  Richard  BOSS{Bass}, Ezekial FITCH,  Nehemiah PALMER,  Isaac RATHBONE, Joseph SILL, 3rd., Samuel DENISON, Joseph ALLEN,  Daniel COGSDALE,  Ezra COGSDALE, Noah WESTON, Silas PECK, Jr., Joseph  HACKETT,  Samuel  PECK,  Joseph  SPRAGUE, Timothy BUELL, Jonathan GRAVES, William SOUTHWARD,  Jesse WILLIAMS, Haines GRAVES, Ichabod BUELL.

Gilbert’s wife Mary (Bishop) Forsyth’s grave at the Old Burial Grounds, Wolfville. Evidently this unnamed stone carver’s work is well-known in the area and cost some $$$ back then to have such an ornate type treatment.



  1. I am a descendant of the original Gilbert Forsysth. My maternal grandfather was Gilbert Fowler Forsyth formerly of Coldbrook Farm and later of Margaretville, NS. My mother was Lora May Forsyth Gardner, born in Kingston, NS. I would like to corresspond with my Canadian cousins

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