Lyn Winters' Slides to accompany the following paper
OUR NOVA SCOTIA DOANES
A Presentation to the 50th Anniversary of the Doane Family Association Reunion
Barrie, Ontario - 21 July, 2008
L. H. (Lyn) Winters, One of the Barrington Doanes
The Migration of Doanes to Nova Scotia
(SLIDE NO. 1)
Following the expulsion of the Acadians from Nova Scotia in 1755, the New England
Colonists learned of the vacant lands formerly held by the Acadians and made enquiries of the
British Governor about the prospects of immigration.
British soldiers had gone from village to village along the south shore of Acadia (now
known as Nova Scotia), forcing the early French settlers off their land, frequently burning their
properties to ensure they would not return. Many of the Acadians found refuge with the
Mi’kmaq tribe of native indians with whom they were on friendly terms and found shelter with
them. The remainder were sent to Boston aboard several vessels.
In 1758 Governor Lawrence issued a proclamation to the citizens of New England
inviting them to settle in Nova Scotia and occupy choice farm lands vacated by the early French
Within 8 years, 8,000 colonists arrived in Nova Scotia. Today, we know them as the
NEW ENGLAND PLANTERS.
The territory from which the Acadians were evicted was well known to the fishermen
along the New England coast. Many of them turned the bows of their sturdy little boats
northward and took advantage of the rich fishing grounds along the coast of Nova Scotia, finding
shelter in the many coves and harbours along its rocky shores.
Early Doanes to Nova Scotia
(SLIDE NO. 2)
Our Doane historian 1 recounts the early Doane families who left their homes in New
England and made their way to Nova Scotia in the mid-1700's. Three of these families stand out:
Eleazer (David, John, John) - (Doane Book I #27) obtained a grant of land in 1758 on the
Avon River at the head of the Bay of Fundy and did some survey work in that location. He
1 Alfred Alder Doane, born at Little River, N.S., DB I, 406 vii – original author of the Doane
returned to his home in Mansfield, Connecticut but later returned to Nova Scotia in 1785 with
wife and two sons Asa and Nathan and, along with 13 other New Englanders, obtained a grant of
land near the present village of Roseway, southwest of the present Town of Shelburne.
Edmund (Israel, Daniel, John) - (Doane Book I #35) sailed to Nova Scotia in the
summer of 1761. After an early mishap on departure from his home in Eastham, MA., he
reached the shores of Nova Scotia but was blown off course and made landfall at the small
settlement of Liverpool. His wife and family wintered in that location in an old fishing shack
until the spring of 1762 when they again set sail to the southwest along the coast for their
original destination: Cape Sable Island and the nearby village of Barrington.
Thomas (Thomas, Thomas, Ephraim, John) - (Doane Book I #108) came in 1764 with
his family and settled on the Island of Chereau, named for the early Acadian settler who had
lived there (now called Sheroes Island).
(REFER TO FAMILY TREE SHOWING DESCENDANCY FROM DEACON JOHN)
(SLIDE NO. 3)
These Doane families were the 4th and 5th generation from Deacon John Doane, the
progenitor of the Doane family.
History Behind the Migration
(SLIDE NO. 4)
After Governor Lawrence of Nova Scotia issued a Proclamation to the Citizens of New
England in 1758, inviting them to come to Nova Scotia, within 8 years, 8,000 colonists came to
Nova Scotia – they are known today as the NEW ENGLAND PLANTERS.
While migration to Nova Scotia by the New England Planters began in earnest around
1760, one of the first five families to arrive settled in Yarmouth, NS in 1761 – there were no
Doanes among them.
(SLIDE NO. 5)
The Doanes were not Mayflower people who arrived in Plymouth in 1620 and they were
not United Empire Loyalists, as the War of Independence had not yet reached the point in time
when those Colonists who pledged loyalty to the British Crown felt it necessary to leave the New
England Colonies. They were part of the group that we today know as the New England
Planters. In large measure, they were fishermen who had, many years before, discovered the rich
fishing grounds off the Nova Scotia coast.
(REFER TO TIME LINE)
(SLIDE NO. 6)
The Planter Migration Route
(SLIDE NO. 7)
Time will not permit me to introduce you to each of these three branches of the early
Doane Family who made their way to Nova Scotia. As a consequence, I will deal mainly with
the branch of the family I know and from which I descend – that of Edmund Doane, regarded as
the progenitor of the Barrington Doanes.
The Voyage of Edmund and Elizabeth
(SLIDE NO. 8)
Edmund and his capable wife Elizabeth, left their New England home in Eastham in the
late summer of 1761 – they had with them their seven children of her third marriage (to
Edmund). We have learned from our historians that Edmund dismantled his Eastham home,
loaded it on the vessel along with household effects and set sail for the south west coast of Nova
Picture, if you will, Elizabeth, then an elderly (by pioneer standards) lady of 47 years,
with her seven children ranging in age from 11 years down to the youngest at age 2. The three
eldest were boys: Israel aged 11, Samuel Osborne aged 9 and Prence aged 8. No doubt these
young boys were acquainted with the sea and were able to lend a helping hand to their parents.
They set off with only their crude compass and the stars to guide them. There were no lights as
we know them today – only candles. No flush toilets. Satellite imagery was unheard of. There
were no lighthouses or beacons to guide them on their way and avoid the dangerous reefs along
the rocky shores. Their little craft was propelled by the wind and by oar – no outboard motors or
diesel engines. Can you hear the children saying: “Are we there yet??”
These pioneers were not out for a sail on a lake – they were crossing the Gulf of Maine –
essentially part of the Atlantic Ocean, where in late summer and early fall, hurricanes rip up the
coast toward the Maritime Provinces.
After crossing this hazardous body of water, heading for Cape Sable, they were caught in
a gale and blown off course, past their destination and finally made landfall in the little village of
Liverpool where, after losing many of their possessions in trying to make safe landfall, they took
refuge in a fish shack and there spent the winter living off fish and whatever could be found.
The following spring, after the ice had left the harbours, Edmund and Elizabeth resumed
their voyage to Cape Sable Island and the little pioneer village called Barrington.
Reasons for the Migration
(SLIDE NO. 9)
The Doanes, while not strictly Puritans as we have come to know them, were imbued
with many of the same tenets and beliefs. Most Puritans held that:
* People were personally responsible for their own actions and beliefs.
* People must be educated to read and interpret the Bible.
* People should not allow themselves to follow a corrupt minister.
* Literacy and education should be highly regarded.
These qualities and beliefs must surely equate with the historical account of the early
Doane families who arrived in what is now Nova Scotia. They were clearly responsible people
and their beliefs were soundly based. They were well educated and their lives were based on
biblical teachings. They were conscious of the need to seek out an honest and respectable
Minister of the Gospel. And lastly, there are many examples by our early Doane ancestors of
their emphasis on the importance of a sound education – many Doanes became school teachers,
lay preachers, and as time progressed, supervisors of schools.
Religious Disputes the Cause?
(SLIDE NO. 10)
Why did Edmund and Elizabeth choose to leave a comfortable home in Eastham to
pioneer on the rocky coasts of Nova Scotia? Was it truly the lure of better fishing? Certainly
farming along the rocky south coast of Nova Scotia was not the answer. Let us look at
Elizabeth’s early life and exposure of her father Samuel Osborn to religious “back biting” and
acrimony that was prevalent in the New England Colonies during this period:
“During her (Elizabeth’s) childhood her father was Congregational minister at Eastham
on Cape Cod. He was known as a man of “wisdom and virtue” who showed his parishioners
how to prepare Cape Cod peat for fuel. Osborn came by this knowledge naturally because he
had emigrated to America from Ireland, where he had attended college, possibly at Trinity in
But the Rev. Samuel Osborn was dismissed from his church in 1738 after a pastorate of twenty
years as the result of a bitter theological dispute. For a time he preached in his own home to his
followers but was fined by the justices of the peace for doing this because only established
Congregational ministers were allowed to preach. Enemies in his former congregation
prevented him from obtaining another church, and he returned to school teaching.”
o The Nova Scotia Historical Quarterly Vol. 5, Number 2, 1975 by Phyllis R.
Blakely entitled “And Having a Love for People”
Courage and Luck
(SLIDE NO. 11)
The journey by sea from Eastham, MA. to the coast of Nova Scotia entailed crossing the
Gulf of Maine – to make this trip in 1761 with their home and all personal effects, not to mention
their children, required great seamanship and a great deal of luck.
Their Vessel - a Shallop ?
(SLIDE NO. 12)
It is my presumption that their vessel was a Shallop (Chaloupe in French) a small, stoutly
built boat propelled by oars and sails, 25 to 45 feet in length, with one or two masts. Such a
vessel could accommodate 25 people. The Shallop was commonly used during this period by
explorers and early settlers. It was often uniquely constructed in two parts which could be fitted
together on board the larger ocean gong ship and, with an addition to the keel, launched from the
mother ship on reaching destination. These stout little boats were used by the early explorers to
make their way into the coves and coastal inlets.
(SLIDE NO. 13)
Our historians tell us that Edmund had a two storey home in Eastham and in preparation
for the move to Nova Scotia, he cut it down to one storey, dismantled it, loaded it on the boat in
sections and carried it with them on the vessel – an 18th century version of a present-day modular
The Doane Legacy
(SLIDE NO. 14)
Apart from the Township of Barrington where the early Doanes settled, their descendants
moved along the coast of Nova Scotia in a south westerly direction to Argyle, Tusket, Roberts
Island, Little River Harbour, Yarmouth and Digby. Others moved to Truro and Halifax. During
the latter part of the 19th century, a number of our Nova Scotia Doanes returned to their origins
in the state of Massachusetts where industrialization was the primary reason.
Descendants of Edmund and Elizabeth Doane became prominent members of Nova
Scotia communities – they became:
* Fishermen (SLIDE NO. 15) This slide shows a typical Cape Island fishing
boat at anchor – there is a mast mounted on the stern which carries a
sail and it in turn keeps the boat head to the wind, permitting the
fishermen to tend their traps or lines – this mast and sail termed a riding
sail, seems to be unique to the Doanes living along the Roseway coast.
* Woolen Mill Operator (SLIDE NO. 16) This slide shows the old Barrington
Woolen Mill, an initiative of Warren Smith Doane (Doane Book I #423) --
He established the mill in 1882 and it continued under his leadership for a
number of years and then handed over to a succession of Doanes until
1962 when it closed its doors. It is now a museum operated by the Cape
* Whalers (Capt. Benjamin Doane (Doane Book I #487), the author of Following
the Sea was one such whaler who travelled the world on whaling ships.
One of his direct descendants is present at this reunion: Barbara Doane of
New Jersey who delivered a paper on this interesting member of her
family at the 1984 Doane Reunion in Halifax.
* Lighthouse Keepers (SLIDE NO. 17) Shown on the right is the Seal Island
Light, a replica of the light located on Seal Island off the south shore of
Nova Scotia where many ships foundered in days gone by. The second
lighthouse is The Beacon, located just inside the Yarmouth harbour – the
keeper of this light was William Joshua Doane, my great grandfather, who
kept the light for 31 years. He raised a family of 12 children within the
confines of this small building. His service to the country as a keeper was
recognized in 1905 with the award of the Long Service Medal which he is
shown wearing on his left breast. (SLIDE NO. 18).
* Shipbuilders (SLIDE NO. 19) Warren Smith Doane (Doane Book I #423) ran
a shipyard in Barrington from which he launched 57 ships which plied the
oceans of the world.
* Adventurers (SLIDE NO. 20) Four brothers of Warren S. Doane left
Barrington in 1852 bound for the gold strike in Australia – although
finding no gold, one brother, Joseph Atwood Doane, became an architect,
journeyed to London, returned to Australia and became the Mayor of the
Town of Ballarat, the site of the gold mining activities.
* Teachers and Supervisors of Schools
* Accountants and Marine Insurers
* Musicians (J. Chalmers Doane who was inducted into the Order of Canada by
Governor General Adrienne Clarkson on Sept. 9, 2004. His daughter
Is a well known entertainer: Melanie Doane. They will be found in Doane
Book #2 1465a ii.
* Wood carvers
In this thumbnail sketch, I have attempted to introduce you to the Nova Scotia Doanes. I
make no apology for concentrating on the Doanes who settled in the Barrington area, as they are
the most familiar to me.
Assisting me in this work was Maureen Scott of nearby Orillia – she is attending this
Reunion and is seated among you. She has worked tirelessly in producing displays of the Nova
Scotia Doanes – these displays may be viewed in the research office of our Historian Katherine
K. Blair – they are well worth seeing. You are all invited to attend and view Maureen’s work.
Finally, a word about the Nova Scotia Doanes as they relate to the Doane Family
Association. While a great deal of work has been done by individual Doanes in recording their
family lines, unfortunately not all of this has reached our Historian for inclusion in the Doane
Books. There is a great need for someone in Nova Scotia to step forward and take the initial
steps to form a distinct Chapter to include not only those Doanes in Nova Scotia, but those
Doanes who now live in the other Maritime Provinces.