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Loyalist Directory: Robert Dove

(For a short explanation of each row, click on the row title ex. "surname")

Surname : Dove
Given name : Robert
Rank : Captain
Where Resettled : Parrsboro, Cumberland County, NS
Status as Loyalist :  
Proof of Loyalty :  
Notes (Expunged, Suspended, Reinstated) :  
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Date & Place of Birth :  
Settled before war : Philadelphia
Date & Place of Death :  
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Biography :

Few records were found in Nova Scotia about Captain Robert DOVE, UEL. But he was flexible and industrious, playing an important role in helping settle the Loyalists and Militia whom he transported to Nova Scotia. A few irrefutable Loyalist documents of origin were found while researching a man from his Militia.

Robert was a leather cutter by trade, working and living in Philadelphia as early as June 1775 where he already was publicly charged by the Supreme Executive Council in a Proclamation. Commanded to appear in Court, he "... rendered himself to the Justices of the Commonwealth charged "with aiding and assisting the Enemy ". He was to appear at the next Court of Oyer and Terminer in September 1778 for his "legal tryal". Bond was £1,000. On June 17th 1778 his name was on an attainted list in the Philadelphia Packet, as "Of the City": There were a number of such records and lists. He was charged with the crime of High Treason, but was 'discharged'.

1778 List of Men from Pennsylvania who joined the British Army from www.olivetreegenealogy.com)

The following individuals are reported in the June 17, 1778 edition of the Pennsylvania Packet as having joined the British Army and were therefore proclaimed traitors to the United States. Some, but not all, had Quaker ancestry or were Quakers themselves.

All now or late of the County of Philadelphia:
all now or late of the Northern Liberties township
Robert Dove, leather cutter

From Leather Cutter to Mariner, Robert DOVE is next recorded in the Carleton Papers (on the Library and Archives Canada website) as being in New York in January, 1783 where he is the Shipmaster of the Charming Jenny on at least two trips carrying Tobacco, then on 02 October 1783 is in the return of troops in New York as Captain, on a list of 'officers destined for NS'. The full list of those he brought to NS is mentioned as attached to his memorial, but not found with the petition.

On his petition for a grant dated Halifax 26 December 1783 "for himself and the Loyalists of his company" (Company 2) he describes himself and them, "That your memorialists having been obliged from their attachment to the British Government to abandon their interests in the more Southern Provinces, and had been recommended by His Excellency Sir Guy Carleton as intitled to the favours intended ...to men of their description". He states that Sir Guy was pleased to order vessels to convey themselves and their families to Nova Scotia and most of them have arrived and they are in hopes of land. They have heard of unappropriated land lots near the head of the Bay of Fundy. He is quite specific where they want to go: "particularly on the peninsula between Chignecto Bay and Minas Channel taking in both shores of Apple River where they feel they can conceive of settling." This was at first called Mill Village by the Loyalists, but changed to Parrsboro after the surveyor John Parr who laid out their lots. It borders on the Minas Basin, and there is some thought that early on this area was considered part of Kings County, but today it is incorporated into Cumberland County. Once there was a ferry service to Wolfville. Across the water it is little more than 3 miles to Horton where both Pudsey and Elderkin did move later. Family ties and fertile land for orchard farming likely made it more to their liking.

So their first petition of 1783 was approved by John Parr and off they went. However, by the 1793 census a decade later, Robert Dove is a Shopkeeper in Halifax. In 1796, Robert Dove, Captain of Militia, and 2 of his company, Hugh Pudsey and Joseph Elderkin, all Loyalists, petition then Lieutenant Governor Sir John Wentworth for help as they have never received clear title to their grant land. They relate that they were not able to support their family as their children were too small to help clear land so they were obliged to resort to the City of Halifax to work. While they were away working they learned newcomers were trying to 'defraud them' by getting surveys done of the lands where they had lived and made improvements for almost eight years, building houses, barns and a mill. Their title was granted to them.

In 1803 (registered in 1810) Robert DOVE was still in Halifax when he and wife Jesse sold their 900 acres at Apple River to George Johnson, Yeoman, for £123. (This land abutted 'George Johnson and Company' land and was likely the Mill they had shared). Robert may have died ca.1809.

One of the witnesses on the deed of sale was Joseph ELDERKIN, UEL. As it happens, this man was an uncle of the wife of Hugh PUDSEY, UEL. Both Elderkin and Pudsey eventually relocated to Greenwich area, Horton Township, Kings County. Both have descendants living in the same area. The names are still well known in the Annapolis Valley today. All the mentioned records are found online in various sites.

Proven Descendants :  
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Sources : Information submitted by Carol Harding of Nova Scotia Branch, UELAC.
Reserved :