A Brief Introduction...

In 1749, handbills (see below) were advertised throughout central Europe encouraging people to emigrate to Nova Scotia. Between 1750 and 1752, approximately 2400 individuals from Germany, Switzerland and the principality of Montbeliard took up the call to settle in Nova Scotia.

These immigrants came to be known as the Foreign Protestants who, shortly after their arrival in Halifax, settled in nearby Lunenburg County. During their brief stay in Halifax under British protection, many of these early settlers, predominantly farmers and tradespeople, worked on the fortifications in order to pay off the cost of their passage.

The ships they arrived on were named Ann, Betty, Gale, Murdoch, Pearl, Sally, Speedwell, Alderney and the Nancy. The passenger lists for these ships can be found on this website.

In 1753, some 1400 of these settlers moved to a nearby settlement that was named Lunenburg, in honor of King George II, Duke of Brunswick-L√ľneburg. Prior to this move, males old enough to qualify as landholders assembled in St. Paul's Church, Halifax where they drew for lots in the new community. 

Even though they did not have marine skills, they soon became expert fishermen, sailors and boat builders. Over its first 100 years, Lunenburg grew steadily into a bustling town with an economy based on farming, fishing, ship building and ocean based commerce.

Over the next two centuries, most Germans were drawn to Canada by the prospect of farming on abundant and cheap land and preserving distinct religious lifestyles. However, they also played noticeable roles as entrepreneurs, professionals, artists, and tradesmen.  Today, Lunenburg County remains rich in German heritage and tradition, with surnames of our ancestors dotted throughout the region.  We continue to see people from homeland Germany move here or vacation here as a way to stay connected with those who have chosen to make Lunenburg County their permanent home.



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