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The People of Western Kings 1785 to 1901
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Introduction

What is included in the list?
 

                Basically the records I used to compile this list are the Census Records from 1838 to 1901,  The Township Tax Roll for 1792, The Township Book of Aylesford Township,  The Cemetery Records for Kings County,  The Marriage and Probate Records for Kings County and the church records for St Mary's Anglican, Auburn, St John's Anglican, Kentville and Wilmot Trinity Anglican, Middleton.
The Census Records for 1838, 1851 and 1861 are Head of Family lists only and other data on spouses and children is given as a count by age groups and gender and these census are full of obvious errors and contradictions making them difficult to work with and somewhat unreliable.  The 1861 census is testimony to the ability of victorian bureaucracies to produce convoluted nonsense that competes well with more contemporary efforts.  The 1861 census has only one name, the head of household, and the rest of the information is contained in a matrix of tick marks under a series of headings which give age, sex and martial status.  The matrix spreads over 4 pages.  Imagine a semi-illiterate person filling in this matrix on the back of a wagon with gale force winds blowing off the Bay of Fundy.  The results can only be describe in varying degrees of terrible.  The only reliable information on this census is the name of the head of household, for the rest the tick marks are mostly in the wrong column or on the wrong line.  The post confederation census records for 1871, 1881, 1891 and 1901 are lists of names by household and show ages and some rudimentary data which differs from census to census.

The Township Tax Roll for 1792 has a list of names which I consider to be as close as can be got to the original loyalist settlers of the area.  Many of the names can still be found within 10 miles of St Mary's in Auburn.  However many of the names disappeared within 10 years and never returned to the area.  The habit of shuffling back and forth between the eastern seaboard of the United States and Nova Scotia continued until after World War II.  Many families, like my own, have more American members than Canadian.

The Township Book of Aylesford needs special attention.  Aylesford Township had almost nothing to do with the present day village of Aylesford and this has been a source of a lot of confusion.  If you have to look at a map of Aylesford Township you will see that it included all of the western portion of Kings County.  Many early references show people's abode as Aylesford meaning the township but the people actually lived in Morden, Auburn or Kingston.  The township system of government was discontinued in 1851 but the book and the name struggled on for years.

St Mary's Anglican in Auburn was the religious center of the early township.  However it had no rector before 1817.  Before that time the ministers traveled mostly from Wilmot Trinity Anglican in Middleton but sometimes from St John's Anglican in Kentville.  Therefore many of the entries in the registers of those churches are really for people who lived in Aylesford Township.  To make matters even more complicated, before 1790 when St Mary's was built the records seem to be exclusively contained in St John's register.  Edwin Gilpin became rector of St Mary's in 1817 and noted:

    "Many baptisms, marriages and burials of this parish previous to this date [April 1817] are registered in the parish of Wilmot and in a small book attached to them"
I haven't been able to locate that small book, it may be lost, because I have seen very few records of the births which occurred between 1801 and 1817 other than that contained in the Township Book.

When I was using the Cemetery Records I used names of deceased people whether or not they were born after 1901, thus contradicting the title.

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