Earltown is a district in northern Nova Scotia nestled in the Cobequid Mountains. For hundreds, if not thousands, of years it was a winter hunting and encampment area for the First Nation people. In 1765 the district became part of a large 200,000 acre grant awarded to the Philadelphia Company. The company was to settle the grant with protestant immigrants with British background. The company had some success in bringing settlers to the Pictou area but the Cobequid uplands in Colchester remained a wilderness. In 1809 the grant was eschewed after which the Crown took over the task of opening up new settlements.
In 1813, two settlers arrived on the eastern boundary of Earltown. They were natives of Sutherlandshire, Scotland, who had lived for a few years at Roger’s Hill in the Pictou District. Over the next 20 years, they were followed by several dozen families direct from the eastern parishes of Sutherlandshire. They formed a distinct community of Gaelic speaking Presbyterians with a peak population of over 1,200 and influenced a larger trading area of approximately 2,000 people with roots in the northern highlands of Scotland.
Over the past thirty years, a database of 40,000 plus people with connections to Earltown and neighbouring communities has been developed. In the process many stories, most factual and some simply entertaining, came to light. With the aid of modern on line resources, people from these communities have been located in many of the infant communities of Western Canada and the United States.
This blog is an attempt to share some of those stores.