ca. 1703 - ca. 1783

James Harvie was born around 1703 in Dalry, Ayrshire, Scotland. He is listed in the Parish register there as being a miller of Dogartland. He was the brother of Andrew Harvie or Highlees Farm, Dalry, Ayrshire. James left Scotland with his sons Archibald and James Jr., daughter Margaret, also known as Marion, and his nephew, son of brother Andrew, John, sometime before 1759. It is assumed his wife Margaret accompanied them as well. It is not known how long they lived in Rhode Island before departing for Nova Scotia.

The Harvie family arrived at Pisiquid (Fort Edward, Windsor, N.S.) from Newport, Rhode Island in May of 1760. They were passengers with other New England Planter families aboard the sloop Sally, captained by Jonathan Lovett.

List of settlers upon the sloop Sally

Family Head

No. in Family

  • Samuel Bentley
  • John Chambers
  • James Hervie
  • John Hervie
  • Nathaniel Reynolds
  • Benjamin Sanford
  • Joshua Sanford
  • James Smith
  • James Weedon

  • 2
  • 1
  • 5
  • 1
  • 4
  • 7
  • 3
  • 6
  • 6

James and his family settled on the Newport side of the Pisiquid River. The local tradition is that the landing place on the Newport side was at Avondale at a site later known as Simpson's Creek.

The most detailed record of the arrival of the settlers is to be found in Charles Morris' letter to Governor Lawrence. The letter was dated at Pisiquid on June 1, 1760 and appears in the Minutes of Council for June 5, 1760. The site of the townsite on the Newport side of the river had not been examined when he was writing his letter. But he stated that he intended to locate a "Place as is within sight of this Fort, and may by signal be relieved". It is important to note that the Seven Years War between England and France had not yet concluded, and the settlers were prey to roaming bands of Indian and French or Acadian irregulars. From the township plan, we know that the Newport townsite was eventually established on the hillside at Avondale, directly facing Fort Edward across the St. Croix River from Pisiquid (Windsor)

The grant of land to the settlers did not occurr until July of 1761, with the settlers gaining access to their acreage sometime afterwards. This meant that the Harvies along with their fellow settlers, faced a long cold Nova Scotia winter, before they could hope to build shelter for themselves. From C. Morris' letter, we know that a palisaded fort was built at the townsite to receive all the settlers in case of an attack by Indians and French guerrilla groups. The palisaded fort at Newport Landing (Avondale), stood on the hillside facing Fort Edward. The land on which it stood remained as Township land until 1801 when it was advertised for sale.

James and his family undoubtedly spent the winter of 1760-61 in the vicinity of the palisaded fort at Newport Landing, perhaps in the fort itself. The family appears to have been well supplied with food for that first and subsequent few winters. Although the British government paid £6:5 to transport the family, their household goods and livestock, the surname Harvie does not appear on the government ration list for the period 20 Dec. 1761 - 30 Apr. 1762, when Indian corn was issued the new settlers. John Raymond of Brisbane, Australia however interprets this information differently. He feels it is questionable that the Harvies' received no government handouts that first winter in Nova Scotia. The planters petitioned the government for 12 barrels of flour for distribution amongst the community. the absence of the Harvie name as a signatory to that petition does not necessarily mean they did not participate in the general handout, which would have occurred when the provisions arrived. Family records for October 1, 1760 do seem to confirm that the Harvie family was well supplied with food. The record shows that James and John Harvie after one summer in Nova Scotia, "boated" 30 bushels of potatoes from Rhode Island. These potatoes would have been grown in Newport N.S. and sold elsewhere, and not shipped from Rhode Island.

How did this family of Scottish immigrants happen to be with the Rhode Islanders when they left for Nova Scotia? The fact that James' name appears as a miller in the Scottish parish records may provide one plausible explanation. The early records at Newport NS have details of the plans to build and operate a Grist Mill on the river in the Brooklyn, NS area. James Mosher and John Chambers were the grantees who proposed to build and operate the mill, but their plans did not get off the ground. In 1765 however, Dr. John Day arrived on the scene and established Day's Mills at the Brooklyn site. The records do not show that James Harvie was ever involved in the mill enterprise.

In the mean time, the settlers had to survive. No specific mention of the James' family is made, but the Newport Township meetings record the concerns and many activities of their first days in their new home. Barely two months in Nova Scotia, the second township meeting of July 4, 1760 records that the main concern of the settlers was the distribution of the Acadian buildings which they had found standing on the old Pisiquid lands. It was resolved that the barn on the town parade would be for the benefit of all settlers. The house and barn on one of the Town lots would be disposed of with the house being reserved for the person who eventually drew the lot and the barn being for the benefit of all settlers. This probably meant that it would be dismantled and the boards used for building purposes. At a later meeting it was resolved that the Acadian houses down river from the "townsite" to the Kennetcook and Cogmagun rivers and extending up these rivers one mile, were to be reserved for the inhabitants. It was also agreed that settlers were to be permitted to dig in the banks of the rivers for the purposes of stoning their cellars and wells.The August 15th meeting was held to regulate the cutting of wood and timber, in preparation for building shelter and providing fuel for the winter. The September 6th meeting saw the appointment of settlers to supervise the distribution of the government issue of corn to the settlers, in preparation for winter.

The registration of the Newport Township Grant of land the the settlers is dated July 22, 1761. The grant, dated the day before lists James Harvie and John Harvie his nephew as having a Place of Origin: Ayr shire, Scotland via Rhode Island. Both men were granted one full right or share. James' sons Archibald and James, Jr. are listed as being from the same place of origin, and are granted one half right or share each. However, the settlers did not immediately take posession of their land. Surveys still had to be finished on the large track of land. The Newport grant consisted of 58,000 acres on the east side of the Pisiquid from the mouth of the St. Croix River to a point one mile north of the mouth of the Cogmagun River, and then to the eastward ten miles into woodlands, then south until it reached the road between Halifax and Pisiquid, then westerly on that road to the lands granted to George Scott and others "and is bounded by the River St. Croix to Pisiquid River and thence by the Pisiquid River till it comes to the boundaries first mentioned."

The time between the granting of the land in July of 1761, until the actual drawing of the lots on February 22, 1762 must have been filled with the everyday chores of existance. The township books records none of the everyday events, but does give an extensive review of the efforts made in surveying the land. These give us a glimpse of the events that ocurred during these trying times two centuries ago. The settlers laid out 70, six acres lots as "town lots" and proposed the building of two roads to join them together. The lands along the St. Croix, Cogamagun and Kennetcook rivers was surveyed for farm lots. It included the remains of three former Acadian villages. Included in the survey for farm lots were dykeland. This valuable farmland was made up of land that had been reclaimed by the Acadians. The dykes were in poor shape, having been severely damaged in the great storm and tide of November 3rd and 4th of 1759.

The long awaited and greatly anticipated draw for the Newport Township Farm and Great Dyke lots finally took place on February 18, 1762, a year and three - quarters after the arrival of the settlers at Newport Landing. There was some objection to this draw, probably based on the results of the survey and plan of the lots, but a majority decided to proceed. Philip Mosher was appointed to draw the names, Benjamin Sanford was chosen to draw the numbers and divisions, and James Juhan acted as clerk to record the the results, assisting the "proper Clerk" Ecom Sanford. There were seventy tickets in the draw of which forty five farms had a lot in the Great Village, to adjust for nonarable parts of their farm lot. The results of the draw saw the following:





Status in Crown Grant
July 21, 1761

Archibald Harvie

1/2 C



1/2 share

James Harvie Jr.

1/2 C



1/2 share

John Harvie




1 share

James Harvie




1 share

The life of James Harvie from this point forward, until his death is remains a mystery. It is known that his son Archibald lived with his father until he married in 1766. Son James married in 1768, and may have stayed with his father. Margaret (Marion) was probably married sometime before the birth of her first son in 1772. The tenure of James on his original farmland is not easy to determine. James Harvie is listed in the Roll or Estates in the Township of Newport on December 30th, 1772. He is also present on "A list of persons in Newport Township, Nova Scotia, qualified to serve on Juries, 1781.

James Harvie Sr, the founder of the Nova Scotia branch of our family, died sometime before 19 Dec 1792, the date on which his estate was probated at Windsor N.S.His will dated at Newport, June 26 1786 read as follows:

This is my last will and testament, I recommend my soul to God and my body to the grave. I will and bequeath to my well beloved daughter Margaret, all the lands belonging to me in Newport in Nova Scotia together with all right and title of my personal estate at present (my just debts being fully paid) at my decease. Exception being made of three __ being severally distributed twixt my 3 sons namely John, Archibald and James having given to my sons Archibald and James my right of my Second Division which I intend to be their proportion to which I have set my hand and seal this day and date above mentioned.

his mark (X) James Harvey

According to Duncanson, by 1797 James' farm property was indeed in the possession of Barzillai Mosher, his son-in-law. However John Raymond casts slight aspersions on this claim. Nephew John later built a magnificent Georgian House called "Roseway", on his Uncle James Property. However, if he had waited until long after 1797, John would have been over 70 years of age. He feels from the records of land tractions available, that the land may have been sold to John by his cousins James & Archibald. However, it may have been possible for Margaret to have inherited the property from her father, and later sold it to cousin John. Further research of Mosher land transactions will be necessary to answer this question definitively.

Children of James Harvie

James Harvie Sr. married Margaret Boyle at Dalry on April 30, 1735. They had five children, all born in Scotland and baptised in the Parish of Dalry.

  1. Margaret, b. 23 Mar 1736 possibly died young.
  2. John, b. 6 Jan 1738, bpt. 8 Jan 1738 remained in Scotland.
  3. Archibald, bpt. 13 Mar 1743; m. Amy Mosher dau. of James & Lydia (Allen) Mosher.
  4. James, pt. 16 Mar 1746; m. Alice Wilcox, dau. of Benj. & Ester Wilcox.
  5. Margaret (Marion), b. 29 May 1752, bpt. 31 May 1752, d. 1836 at Avondale NS, m. Barzillai Mosher (1751-1836) son of James and Lydia (Allen) Mosher. Barzillai was a sea captain who at the age of 85 was lost at sea. They had a family of 6 sons and 4 daughters.

Hense Margaret and Archibald Harvie, sister and brother, married Barzillai and Amy Mosher, brother and sister.


Duncanson, John Victor. Newport, Nova Scotia: A Rhode Island Township,1985.
Harvie, Leland H. The Harvie/Harvey Family of Hants Co. Nova Scotia, 1984.
Raymond, John. Brisbane, Australia.

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Little Arch