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Census Nova Scotia 1767

· Fine Book Collecting,Census Data,Nova Scotia,1767,Settlements

Raven & Gryphon Fine Books acquired a book a few months ago and last night I was writing up its description for uploading onto Abebooks. The book was W. O. Raymond’s Colonel Alexander McNutt and the Pre-Loyalist Settlements of Nova Scotia; The Royal Society of Canada, 1912. I won’t go into a lot of detail about the book but this link will give the reader the book detail as uploaded onto our sales website. But, in a nutshell McNutt was responsible for bringing the new England Planters to Nova Scotia following the expulsion of the Acadians as well as a large number of people from Ireland. He was one of the very first immigration agents for the Province of Nova Scotia!

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My discovery in this little treasure was a double fold-out summary of a census of the Province of Nova Scotia in 1767. To clarify, it was not a complete census of the Province but rather “A General Return of the Several Townships in the Province of Nova Scotia, the first day of January 1767.” Reprinted from the Collections of the Nova Scotia Historical Society. The title reflects a modern definition of Nova Scotia, since in 1767 it was not a Province of anything. This data reflects the population statistics of 30 townships in Nova Scotia which accounts for the small number of Indians reported in the data – i.e. these were the Indians living in those townships at the time.

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Here is some of the fascinating information to be gleaned from this sheet of paper:

  • The data was broken down by Males and Females, sub grouped as Whites, Indians and Negroes
  • The total population of the 30 townships was 13,374. The count excludes Navy and Army personnel – which would have been substantial. The 10 largest settlements in descending order were Halifax, Lunenburg, Cornwallis, Island of Breton, Horton, Liverpool, Canso, Island of St. John’s (PEI), Annapolis and Granville.
  • The number of Indians living in those settlements was only 28 and Negroes was 104.
  • The split on Religion was 11,228 Protestant and 2,146 Roman Catholic. I assume that they treated Indians as Roman Catholics?
  • Country of Origin, which total to the 13,374 – Americans 6,913; Irish 2,165; German and other Fore’rs 1,946; Acadians 1,265; English 912 and Scotch 173. Of course, this was before the nineteenth century influx from Scotland.
  • This census data went beyond humans. There were 7,837 Sheep; 5,475 Young Neat Cattle; 4,861 Cows; 3,479 Swine; 2,266 Oxen and Bulls; 1,237 Horses and 22 Goats.
  • There were 31 Sawmills, 30 Gristmills and 1 Hempmill. Oh, so they smoked back then too!
  • There were 357 Fishing Boats; 119 Schooners and Sloops and 3 Square Rigged Vessels
  • The crops were Wheat, Rye, Pease, Barley, Oats, Beans, Hemp and Flax

And, finally here are statistics relating to the “Alteration of Inhabitants Since Last Year”


  • Males – 310
  • Female – 260


  • Males – 92
  • Females – 45
  • Males – 287
  • Females – 205
Left the Province
  • Males – 83
  • Females - 34

And we track these very same numbers today. Gotta love those historic ratios!