Cape Ann Association Records

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Cape Ann Association

Records & Articles

INTRODUCTION (necessary reading)

The CAPE ANN ASSOCIATION granteees were 'economic Loyalists' rather than refugees from direct persecution. After the Rev. War's end the British Government wanted to increase settlement in the border area and offered enticing free land and support. In this case settlers were actively recruited in the New Boston, NH and Gloucester, MA areas especially.

Why leave the US? Many were fed up (or beggared) by the US Government's policies that saw money inflated to valueless paper, and some rather bizarre twists in the political landscape. They saw the New Brunswick environment as being more promising, especially with stable currency.

The lists of the Cape Ann Association reflect another reality. Names were added in St. Andrews for administrative reasons. In other words, a Loyalist family not officially part of a group would be added to the Cape Ann list to qualify for provisions and land. An example in the Cape Ann Association list may be Paul Dusten with his family of 7.

In the end many of those recruited thought better of their actions, and did not move at all. Others came, and after a few years drifted away, either to their original communities or elsewhere, for some of the lands in the Cape Ann Grant were hard to reach, and some were not very fertile.

In some cases an individual man came up to clear the land and build a small house, and only then brought up his family. That would appear to be backed up by the initial Muster List in St. Andrews.

The lands were NOT on the water. Around Oak Bay lands had already been given out to the Penobscot Association. Instead the lands were north of Oak Bay, inland.

The pattern of development of the Cape Ann Association Grant is interesting - it was based on two roads leaving the top end of Oak Bay - one now called the BACK ROAD up on to St. David Ridge, continuing all the way to Moores Mills. The second is the present HIGHWAY 755 going north to Tower Hill (named for William Towers).

In both cases the road location avoided all but minor stream crossings, which was a factor in gaining access to the settlement lands. Eventually when mill machinery arrived in 1795 for the Moores at Moores Mills, it came in via the Back Road and over ST. DAVID RIDGE.

There were later re-evaluations of vacant lands on the Cape Ann Association Grant, and twice vacant lands were redistributed. And naturally lands were sold and purchased. William Towers, for example, sold his lots in St. Andrews and on Pagans Cove, given as part of the Penobscot Bay Association Grant, and purchased considerable lands in what is now named for him - Central
Tower Hill.


Cape Ann Association ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT copy of muster in St. Andrews - This 1785 list contains only a modest portion of the full complement of names. The original list may still be in the NB Provincial Archives but no one seems to know where. I have a photocopy of the original, kindly forwarded by Roger Nason through Philip Christie. The original was apparently in a 'MISCELLANEOUS' box, making it almost impossible to track down. Cape Ann's Association Muster in St. Andrews - a text version

New Boston Loyalist Community - a superb article was written for Acadiensis in 1997, and now is on their website. This is a dowloaded .pdf of the article - this is required reading to understand these members of the Cape Ann Association! Click here

Cape Ann Association full land Grantee list of 1785/86
Alphabetically arranged list
Block and Lot number arranged list
MAP of settlement in 1785/86 - | online .jpg | download quality .pdf map (153kb)
Cape Ann Association List of Absentee Proprietors 1788
Cape Ann Association Partial List of regrants in 1790
Cape Ann Association 'State of the Settlement Report' ca. 1797 to 1804
MAP of land of St. David Parish, including post-loyalist lots, up to about 1830 -
online .jpg | detailed .pdf (115kb)
This latter map includes the lots within the former Admiralty reserve, including those at the lower end of the St. David Ridge Road.
Vroom Articles on the Cape Ann Association - 1895, from St. Croix Courier