Vroom articles on Cape Ann Association - 1895



The Cape Ann Association

by James Vroom, 1895

Note: The following is a very slightly modified version of two articles that appeared in 1895 in the St. Croix Courier newspaper, published in St. Stephen. The series, called Glimpses of the Past is available on microfilm F354, NB Provincial Archives, Fredericton, as well as having a rather error-rich transcription on paper at the St. Croix Public Library in St. Stephen.


The land in St. David granted to William Clark and associates, known as the Cape Ann Association Grant, was laid out in two divisions, called Wentworth's Division and Fanning's Division. The names chosen, as in the case of Bulkley, Parr and Morris divisions in the town of St. Andrews, were those of officials in the Provincial Government at Halifax.

William Clark, whose name stands first because the first lot fell to him, came from New Boston, NH in 1784; and was an extensive farmer and surveyor of land. He made surveys for the association in Charlotte County, but early withdrew from the company and returned to New Hampshire.

The compass, scale and chain used by William Clark in St. David are now (i.e. 1895) in the possession of his great-grandson, R. C. Mack, Esq. of Londonderry, NH, to whom we are indebted for this information, and the fact that there is a slight error in the length of the chain, which may account for the very noticeable inaccuracy in the lines of the Cape Ann Association lots.

Francis Norwood, spoken of as the leader of the Association, is said to have carried on a fishing business at Passamaquoddy after the close of the war, and probably induced other Cape Ann men to join him in the enterprise. He was probably the Francis Norwood, son of Jonathan Norwood of Goose Cove, near Gloucester. He was born in 1736 and had a brother Jonathan and a nephew Jonathan Jr., as well as a brother Gustavus, a brother Samuel and a cousin James. There is nothing in the Gloucester records to indicate that any of these emigrated to New Brunswick.

Jesse Saville was an officer of the British Customs at Gloucester in 1770, at the expense of much unpopularity on account of which he may have contemplated a removal from that town; but if so the purpose was not fulfilled, for he lived and died there. He had a brother Thomas of whom nothing more is known.

The names of Lufkin, Sargent, Dennison, Parsons, Cleves, Dana, Goss, Stevens and others in the list are familiar names in Gloucester; but there is nothing to indicate that there was any considerable exodus from Gloucester at the time.

Several of those who became permanent residents of St. David were from the neighbourhood of New Boston, NH, and were the descendants of a colony of Scottish Covenanters from the north of Ireland who settled in Massachusetts and New Hampshire in 1719. Particular reference will be made to some of them in the next article.

Anyone who can contribute matters of interest from family records of traditions, relating to the Cape Ann Association people, will confer a favor by doing so. (email: tmoffatt@nbnet.nb.ca)


From an unpublished genealogy of the Moore Family (soon afterwards published as a 'Memorial to the Moores, Hitchings & Livingstones') we learn that the names of Moore, Porter, McAllister, McLaughlin, Todd, Christie and Clendenin were among those of a company of persons in Co. Derry, Ireland (Coleraine and River Bann area), who in 1718 formed an association for emigration to America, and whose ancestors, a century before, had migrated from Argyleshire, Scotland.

On their arrival in Massachusetts, the greater number of these emigrants remained in Boston and the neighbouring towns; but one company of sixteen families continued on to Falmouth (now Portland, ME) and thence went early in the following year to the site of the present town of Londonderry, NH. Here they were soon joined by others of the association, and a charter or grant was received from the Crown in 1722.

William Moore, born in Ireland about 1680, though not of the original 16, is supposed to have been one of the early settlers of Londonderry. He was the father of William Moore of the Cape Ann Association, who settled in New Boston, NH, about 1756, and came from that place to St. David with his large family, probably in 1785. He built the first mill t Moore's Mills, where his son Tristram Moore succeeded him in the business. His wife Hannah Livingstone was a remarkable woman, of whom there are many quaint and curious tales.

Jane Christy, a daughter of the William Moore first mentioned, is supposed to be the maternal ancestor of Peter, James and John Christy who settled in this country. Peter Christy, before mentioned as the purchaser of several lots at Stillwater (now Milltown, NB) in 1793, was at the head of extensive lumbering operations there; and the place was for many years known as Christy's Mills.

The children of William Moore who accompanied him to St. David were Robert, Hannah (Brown), Mary (Christie) (Hitchings), John, William, Martha (Connick), Tristram, and Elisabeth (Chase) (Buntin). A younger daughter Anna, who married Joel Whitney, was born in St. David.

David Clindenin also came from New Boston, NH and settled in St. David. He is the ancestor of the Clindenins of Clindenin Ridge.

William Vance of New Boston settled in St. David. He afterwards (circa 1805) removed to Upper Mills, NB, and from there to the western side of the St. Croix, where he founded the village known for a time as Vance's Mills, now the town of Baring, ME. He owned timber lands at the outlet of Chiputneticook Lakes, where now stands the town of Vanceboro.

His wife Jane Clindenin died in 1800 and her headstone, a beautiful lettered slab of slate, still stands in the little cemetery at "Meeting-House Corner" (near the present residence of J. A. Maxwell) on St. David Ridge. (Note: This cemetery in 2000 has no standing stones, and is totally abandonned to forest).

Vance carried on business at Baring for many years, but finally removed to Austin (?), and died there. One of his sons James P. Vance afterwards removed to some part of the western states, where he became a noted preacher. Another son died at Baring some years ago, over one hundred years of age. Another, David Vance, is still living at Cooper, ME. His sister was the wife of Samuel Datling, and one of his daughters the wife of Hon. Lot. M. Morrill, formerly Governor of Maine.

Family tradition says that Ninian Lindsay was a nephew of the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin, and that he came to America to live with a rich uncle in Philadelphia, who was to make him his heir; but the uncle speaking disrespectfully of the King, Lindsay left him in anger, and eventually joined the Loyalists at St. Andrews. He was a merchant at St. Andrews for a time; and subsequently removed to St. Stephen, where he married a daughter of Captain Nehemiah Marks.

Daniel McAllister and John Mowatt will be mentioned later.

Moses Gerrish and others named in the grant will be found in a list of grantees of St. Andrews; and the occurrence of their names may be taken as evidence that Gerrish or some other resident of Passamaquoddy was working in concert with Francis Norwood in organizing the company, though Norwood's connection with it clearly gave it the name Cape Ann Association.

Henry Goldsmith, first named in the second grant, is the Captain Goldsmith erroneously mentioned among the St. Andrews grantees. We are at present unable to connect him with the Richard Goldsmith of the first grant. As a mill owner at Waweig, and a Militia officer at St. Andrews, he was a prominent man in this country a hundred years ago. (i.e. 1795).

Thomas McLaughlin, whose name stands at the head of the list of 1810, was a boy at the time of the emigration from Londonderry, Ireland to Londonderry, NH. It is possible, but not at all probable that he was the same as the John McLaughlin of the first grant in St David. He seems to have settled first at Salem, MA, but soon removed to New Boston, NH, where he married. He brought a family of young children with him to St. David.