Provincial Archives of New Brunswick

Pioneers, Ploughs, and Politics: New Brunswick Planned Settlements

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Growth and Development

The poor tenant farmers, labourers, and tradesmen, who left Scotland for New Kincardineshire, in the 1870s, were looking for independence and an opportunity to improve their economic circumstances. Despite numerous obstacles and disappointments, many of them succeeded in building new lives for themselves and their families in New Brunswick. Less than a decade after arriving on the banks of the Muniac Stream, a number of these Scottish pioneers owned their own farms, worshiped in their newly-constructed church, and sent their children to one of several local schoolhouses.
Captain William Brown had been instrumental in organizing the first party of settlers and transporting them to New Brunswick. He was assisted by his business partners, David Taylor and Robert Stewart, and by government agents in Scotland, who promoted the emigration scheme. Upon arrival in the province, the immigrants were dismayed to find that insufficient arrangements had been made for them and that they lacked the skills needed in a pioneer settlement.
Surveyor General B. R. Stevenson, however, stepped in to provide much-needed assistance, as the colonists struggled to get established. He arranged for temporary shelter, contracted medical assistance, and oversaw the distribution of lots. Although news of the settlers' early difficulties trickled back home, provincial immigration agent George Troup was successful in his bid to bring a second party of Scots to New Kincardineshire. Their arrival in 1874, and the creation of Balmoral, put the colony on a sound footing. Family names such as Fraser, MacNeill, Allen, McPhail, MacIntosh, Johnston, Stevenson, Phillips, Craig, and Scott are still in evidence in southern Victoria County today.
Like many rural areas the population of Kincardine, Kintore, and Bon Accord has decreased over the decades, as their young people have moved away in search of opportunities. Yet, yearly descendants of the first colonists return to the area to celebrate their heritage with traditional music, dance, and song. In doing so, they join with the descendants of the Johnville and New Denmark pioneers in proudly acknowledging their founding roots and their ancestors' contributions to the growth and development of New Brunswick.