REAR... Frances Cullen
                Harry , Baby RUTH, Mother Elizabeth,
                      Father John Daniel,  John William

Father John D. was born in New Glasgow in 1864 and married Elizabeth
HENDERSON in 1895.He died in Westville 19 1952. Elizabeth was born
in 1874 and was married to Benjamin Cullen who died in 1893.
Elizabeth had a daughter FRANCES when she married John D.  Elizabeth 
died in 1923.John D. was a coal miner during his lifetime,and was
   underground manager at Acadia upon his retirement. HARRY was born 
in 1899  and moved to Sydney C1922. He died in Sydney,in 1971. 
 John William was born in 1898 in Westville,and worked for the 
Royal Bank in Winnipeg And Montreal.He died in 1957,and is buried
in Westville. Frances was born in Westville in 1892,lived in
Sydney,before moving to Port Hawkesbury,where she is buried.

Mac Donald/Muirhead from PICTOU County

                  THE OLD MAC DONALD (Daniel John)

 The home of Daniel John MAC DONALD And his wife Jane MUIRHEAD.
Dan J. was born in Little Harbor,Pictou County in 1828 and died
 in 1876. Jane was born in 1836.

Muirhead Research Results

This report highlights the information found for your Muirhead ancestors. The information you provided at the outset stated that your G-G-Grandmother Jane Muirhead was married to Daniel McDonald and that Jane was born 1836 in Little Harbour. There were very few with the Muirhead surname in the early history of the county, and only one family of that name who lived at Little Harbour.

There was not a source found that states definitively the names of Jane (Muirhead) McDonald’s parents. Although one can assume by default that she must have been the daughter of the only Muirheads who settled in Little Harbour, it’s always better to have a source to confirm this. Jane died sometime after 1911, as she was enumerated living with her son Charles McDonald in Westville in that year’s census at the age of 76. As stated in the Westville McDonald report, no headstone inscription was found for Jane in any of the cemetery transcriptions. So, at this point, without a specific death date it is difficult to find an obituary for this period that might confirm the names of her parents.

An option available for you is to order Jane’s death registration. Death registrations after October 1908 to 1954 are now with the Nova Scotia Archives. Currently they have not been microfilmed and one must pay their staff $20.00 to do a search and copy the registration. This fee includes a 5 year search for a record. For every additional 5 year search they charge $10. 

Now, in the death registrations kept until the later teen years (about 1918), they typically did not record the names of the parents of the deceased. On the records after this they did. So, depending on when Jane died, the very least you would gain would be a specific date for her death. With a specific date it is then possible to try and find an obituary for Jane which may record her parents’ names. I’ve seen on some death registrations where they’ve actually recorded where the deceased was interred, which would be a bonus. And many obituaries also state this information. 

Here’s a link to the N.S. Archives site where they give more detail. And if you want my help should you decide to order, just let me know.

	For the purposes of this report, I am making the assumption that Jane is the daughter of the only Muirheads in Little Harbour. If from other records you find this assumption inappropriate, you can personally watch as I eat my shirt J. The information in this report will be presented generally in chronological order of the sources found, starting with the first or pioneer Muirhead to Pictou County. The research completed was not a full-scale gathering of all available information, but rather a focus on those sources to establish a line of descent between the earliest Muirhead to your G-G-Grandmother Jane Muirhead. There are deeds and other records still available to give you a more complete family story.

Andrew and Betsy Muirhead

	Sources tell us that your pioneer and G-G-G-G-Grandfather - Andrew Muirhead served for the British in the 82nd Regiment during the American Revolution. In the Little Harbour McDonald report, I’ve provided the full history of the 82nd Regiment as it was published originally in 1877 in George Patterson’s History of the County of Pictou. In this source Patterson wrote the following about your Andrew Muirhead in Appendix F, page 461 of his book.

Andrew Muirhead. A Lowland Scotchman; first settled at the Ponds. His descendants at Little Harbour and other places.

	Patterson also wrote that Andrew was a Private and that for his service he was given a land grant of 100 acres. The area where Andrew settled – Ponds, is located not far along the Northumberland shore from Merigomish. In the earliest records sometimes the area was called by Ponds and sometimes by Merigomish. Its location on a current-day map is shown below.



	As described in Patterson’s history, at the end of the American Revolution in the fall of 1783 the 82nd Regiment was disbanded at Halifax. While in Halifax a random draw was made to determine each man’s lot number for land within a large area reserved for the Regiment along the Northumberland shore of Pictou County. Some men traveled immediately to Pictou County to take up their drawn lot of granted land in the 82nd Grant, others came the following spring and still others went back first to Scotland before returning to Nova Scotia and taking up their land.

	It was in the interest of the British Crown to populate their colonies with people intent on settling. Along with the award of a land grant for their service to the Crown, the men who took up settlement also were promised a year of provisions to start them off. To see how much progress was being made, in the summer of 1784 a representative for the British Crown traveled through the various settlements, and took a Muster Roll of all the men who were settled on their land, regardless of what British Regiment they had served in. This Muster Roll has survived time, and below you will see that Andrew Muirhead was already in Merigomish in July of 1784. 

Source: 1784 Muster Roll, transcribed from microfilm at Nova Scotia Archives

Muster Rolls of the following Disbanded officers Discharged and Disbanded Soldiers, Loyalists and their respective families, who are now actually settled and preparing to settle in the District of Pictou and Merigomish in the province of Nova Scotia taken by order of Major General Campbell this 20th of July 1784.

Names	Rank	Men	Women	Children above 10 years	Children under 10 years	Servants	Situation and Quantity of Lands granted to Each Person	How held	Quantity of Provisions already Drawn	General Remarks
John McDonald	Private	1	.	.	.	.	Merigomish 200	Grant from His Majesty	3 months	Building & Improving
Andr Muirhead	Drummer	1	.	.	.	.	Do 100	Do	None	Do
Robt Dewers	Do	1	.	.	.	.	Do 100	Do	6 months	Do
Hugh Miller	Do	1	.	.	.	.	Do 100	Do	11 do	Do
Archd Cochran	Do	1	.	.	.	.	Pictou 100	Do	None	Halifax

	As an FYI, “do” was an early expression for “ditto”. We learn several details about Andrew from the above source. First it was recorded that Andrew was a Drummer, and it also confirms Patterson’s statement that he was granted 100 acres. The fact that Andrew was tallied singularly suggests he was at this time not yet married. And that Andrew had not drawn any provisions also suggests he may have just arrived in Merigomish.

	Although the men at the time of their disbandment had drawn lots in Halifax for their land, they actually didn’t get their official land grant for their properties until the 10th of February 1785. Andrew Muirhead’s name appears on a Land Grant registered in Book 14, Page 125 of the old land grants collection. His name is written along with 108 other names who would all be men who had served in the 82nd Regiment, and who were awarded grants within the bounds of what is known as the 82nd Grant. Once a Land Grant was given, from that point whenever property was exchanged it was done through the deed registry system.

	The first deed found for Andrew Muirhead was in an indenture dated the 1st of November 1791 (and registered the 20th of November 1791 in Deed Book 1B, Page 26). Donald McDonald sold to Andrew Muirhead of Margomish [sic] 100 acres of land for 15 pounds. The boundaries within the deed described the land as bounded on the east by a lot formerly owned by John Brown Harrington, on the west by said Andrew Muirhead, on the north by the Gulf of St. Lawrence and on the south by vacant lands. So, it sounds like Andrew added to his original 100 acre grant another 100 acres located beside his grant to the east. 

The next record found in its chronological order associated with your Muirheads is a baptism record. In these early days there was but one minister that served the whole County – Rev. James Drummond MacGregor. His marriage and baptism records have survived. Rev. MacGregor didn’t provide us with much detail, and some of his records were written in Gaelic, but they are priceless nonetheless. The following baptism entry was made by Rev. MacGregor.

Source: Rev. James D. MacGregor’s Baptism records 1786 – 1801 

	Baptised:	Oct. 13, 1793 Andrew Muirhead, John

	Where it was Scottish tradition not to wait long after a birth before baptising their children, it is probably safe to say that John Muirhead, Andrew’s son and your G-G-G-Grandfather, was born shortly before this date. Later sources add validity to this premise. This was the only Muirhead entry found within MacGregor’s records.

	You may be familiar with Dr. Allan Marble’s (past president of GANS) published series of “Deaths, Burials and Probate of Nova Scotians, 1749 – 1799, from Primary Sources”. In the event you aren’t familiar with this great source, Dr. Marble went through many primary sources and compiled what he found into an Index of names, dates, and source citations. In Volume 2, Page 43 he lists the death of Andrew Muirhead. The information provided follows.

Name:		Andrew Muirhead
Date:		26 August 1795
Place:		Merigomish
Source:	RG48 Reel 414(I)
Comments:	Yeoman

	The source citation is a reference to the Nova Scotia Archives Record Group (RG) 48, which is their Court of Probate collection on microfilm. The original Probate records (wills, estate papers) for Pictou County are available locally in the town of Pictou. However, prior to 1811, Probate Court was held in Truro and any original estate files for this period are located there versus in Pictou. And in the period of Andrew’s death any estate files to do with the Pictou County area can also be filed with the Halifax County records, as we were once a part of that county.

	At the back of Dr. Marbles publication is a section that gives more notes, when applicable, for any of the names in the earlier pages. Here is what is recorded on Page 169 for Andrew Muirhead.

RG48 Reel 510 gives his estate papers and identifies him as Andrew Moorhead. RG48 Reel 413 lists him as Andrew Moor in an administration dated 7 July 1795.

	According to Marble’s notes, it looks to me that there are papers associated with Andrew Muirhead’s estate located on three different microfilm reels (423, 414 and 510) at the N.S. Archives. And that he mentions Administration typically applies to when someone has died intestate or without a will. I expect if there were any family names mentioned within these sources then Dr. Marble would have noted them.

	So, apparently your G-G-G-G-Grandfather Andrew Muirhead died around 1795, about two years after his son John was born. There was no cemetery marker or death notice found for Andrew.

	The boundaries stated in the earlier 1791 deed when Andrew purchased 100 acres located beside the land he already owned suggests these properties were located on the coast (where it was bounded on the north by the Gulf of St. Lawrence). However, according to the source shown below, 200 acres of land owned by the “Heirs of Andrew Muirhead” were located inland from the shore. This latter source is a reproduction of a map of the area copied from a collection of old surveyor’s plans (maps) on microfilm at the N.S. Archives. The map is undated, but by the names referenced on it, it appears to reflect what was true in the early 1800’s. 

	In 1812 John Muirhead would be about 19 years of age. For an agreement made in that year, there was an interesting indenture registered on the 28th of April, 1814 and recorded in a Deed Book. I had never seen such an agreement in a deed book before. The Indenture describes the terms and conditions of an apprenticeship which John Muirhead undertook to learn to be a Blacksmith. This document is transcribed below, as best I could.

Source: Registry of Deeds Pictou, Deed Book 5 Pages 72 - 73

[Page 72]
Indenture John Muirhead
with Thomas Thompson Regd the
28th April 1814 on the Oath of Wm Kerr

This Indenture made the twenty fifth day of ? in the Year of our Lord One thousand Eight hundred & twelve, Sheweth that is contracted finally ? and agreed upon between the following parties Thomas Thompson Blacksmith of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and John Ferguson as Cautionn and taking Burthen on him for the said Thomas Thompson on the one part, and John Muirhead of the Gulf Shore farmer of the Gulf aforesaid and David Murray Yeoman of Maragomish [sic] as Cautionn and taking Burthen on him for the said John Muirhead of the other part 

[Page 73]

in manner under written, That is to say the said John Muirhead with Consent aforesaid, hereby  becomes bound apprentice & servant to the said Thomas Thomson in his profession and employment as a Blacksmith for the term of Three Years & three months from the Date hereof, being the Commencement of his Entry to the Trade during which space the said John Muirhead binds & obliges himself That he shall be satisfied in being a faithful diligent & obedient apprentice to his said Master, that he shall not obstruct himself from his Work by Day or Night when purpity? requires without liberty first asked & given, under the penalty of serving two Days for each Days absence after the expiry hereof, that he shall not reveal his Masters Secrets or Embezzle his Goods & effects otherwise he shall pay two pence for each Loss, nor see nor ? his hurt but ship? the same to the uttermost of his power & advantage? him thereof, neither shall he play at Cards or Dececrarry? unlawful Game, frequent taverns, Keep brase? or disorderly Company, whereby he may be led unto vice & immorality, but shall in all respects demure himself as becomes an Honest and dutyful apprentice. Further which Causes and on the other part the said Thomas Thomson binds and obliges him to teach learn & instruct the said John Muirhead in his trade & Vocation as a Blacksmith in all its different branches as practiced by himself & to conceal no part thereof from him in so far as he knows or his said Apprentice is capable to conceive & take up, as also to uphold him in Bed board, washing & maintenance during the Currency hereof - Lastly both parties Bind & oblige themselves to fulfill and implement the premises to one another under penalty of Twenty pounds Currency to be paid by the party failing to the party performing on, willing to perform by and over the performance & they consent to the registration hereof in the Books of Council & Leprins? or others Kept for the preservation of the same, that all needful execution may pass herein inform as effices? & further they constitute their ? on. In Witness whereof they have subscribed their presents unto on the Gulph of St. Lawrence day and date first mentioned in presence of these Witnesses.

William Kerr							Thomas Thompson
Ronald McDonald	Witnesses				John Ferguson
								John Muirhead
								David Murray

	As you can tell from my transcription, the original document is quite hard to make out. I have a copy of it for you. There were some terms used that were unfamiliar to me. Such as “Cautionn and taking Burthen”, which I expect were old legal expressions. I attempted to find a description of the terms on the internet. One site ( described burthen as “a burden” and a legal term site stated that a Caution “signifies, sometimes, security, or security promised” (Bouviers Law Dictionary 1856 Edition at So it seems that the other two men, one for each party, were perhaps taking on the burden of securing the deal. Whatever the case, what a wonderful document for your family story!

	At about the time when John Muirhead’s Blacksmith apprenticeship would be ending, on the 29th of December 1815 he sold property. An abstract of this deed follows.

Book:		 	5, Page 317

Indenture date:	29 December 1815
Registered:		16 February 1816
Grantor (Seller):	John Muirhead Son and Heir of the late deceased Andrew Muirhead
Grantee (Buyer)	George Walker of the East River of Maragomish [sic], Yeoman
Sum of:		60 pounds Current Money of the province of Nova Scotia
Land situated:	beginning at a Corner of Land belonging to James Robinson
Boundaries:		...on the North by Line of the first Division of the Eighty Second Grant by Lands 
belonging to George Morrison one hundred and twenty Rods in front till it comes to the West line of Lands belonging to Robert Dunn thence South Two hundred & Eighty Rods to untreated lands thence West one Hundred & twenty Rods to lands of James Robertson thence North to the place of beginning…together with all and singular the improvements and buildings on the same…as the said Tract of Land is more particularly described in the said Grant of the 82nd Regt…
Acreage:		not stated
Signed:		John Muirhead, Elizabeth Williams X her mark
Witnesses:		Andrew Hugan Junr., Nicholus P. Olding, Noty. Public

	It is rare that a deed would not describe the number of acres being sold, but if you compare the names mentioned in the above boundaries to the neighbors showing on the earlier undated map, it appears the deed is selling the same lot of 200 acres. As to how the Muirheads originally secured this property remains a mystery. It may be that it was a second land grant and if this is the case there may exist a land petition written by a Muirhead requesting the grant. The land petitions are available on microfilm at the N.S. Archives. They are interesting documents in which typically the petitioner described how long they’ve been in the province, where they were “of” (typically North Britain or Scotland), and how many were in the family. In the Muirhead case a land petition if written by son John may give more details on his father’s death.

	Of special interest in the last deed is the female who signed the deed with John Muirhead – Elizabeth Williams. When Andrew had died without a will, by law his land would have passed to his wife and children as his heirs. And because they would all own equal share of the property, they would also have to sign the deed relinquishing their title. So, this female could be a married sister of John Muirhead. A later source shows that John’s mother’s name was “Betsy” a familiar form of Elizabeth. So the above woman of the same first name could very well be John’s mother. It was not uncommon in these early deeds that a woman would sign her name using her maiden name. Or a third scenario could be that John’s mother remarried to a Williams, although I found no one of that surname in the first census enumerated two years later.

	At the time of the first census for Pictou County in 1817, John Muirhead would be about 24 years of age. These early censuses just listed the name of the Head of the Household. The following census page shows the Muirhead household.

Source: 1817 Census, transcribed online at

Page 42   Back to Finding Aid                                         

Name of the Master                Number in Each Family     Total No.
or Mistress of Each  Men >  Men >16   Boys   Women   Girls  of Persons
Family                 50    & < 50 
Carried Forward         382     1584    1769    1122    2236    7093
MCLEAN  Donald          1       1       1       1       3       7
GILLIS  Mary            -       1       1       1       3       6
MURDOCH William         1       -       2       1       1       5
THOMPSON Thomas         -       1       2       1       4       8
KOUGH   James           2       -       1       -       -       3
VINCENT George          1       2       4       1       6       14
PATTON  John            1       1       4       1       6       13
ROBERTSON Donald        1       2       -       1       4       8
STEWART Duncan          -       1       -       1       3       5
PATTERSON George        1       2       3       1       3       10
OLDING  Michael         -       1       -       1       1       3
FRASER  Gilbert         -       1       2       1       3       7
MUIRHEAD John           -       1       1       1       -       3
MCDONALD Angus          -       1       1       1       1       4
CAMPBELL Alexr.         1       3       1       1       1       7
MCDONALD Rory           -       1       2       1       3       7
MCDONALD Donald         -       1       2       1       2       6
MCDONALD Lauchlin       -       1       4       1       4       10
MCDONALD Ranald         -       1       3       1       2       7
MCDONALD John           -       2       3       1       6       12
MCDONALD Angus          1       2       3       1       4       11
MCGILVERY John          1       3       2       1       4       11
MCDONALD Donald         -       1       -       1       1       3
MCGILVERY Hugh          1       3       4       1       3       12
MCGILVERY Alexr.        -       1       2       1       4       8

It is difficult to know by the ages and genders tallied in the Muirhead household whether John was enumerated with a wife and young son, or whether with his mother and a younger brother. But I think more likely, since John’s father died about 1795 when John was two, that in the above census we are seeing John, his wife, and their son.

	Eleven years after the census in an indenture dated the 18th of December 1828, John Muirhead sold what appears to be his father’s property on the coast. An abstract of this deed follows.

Book:		 	12, Page 401

Indenture date:	18 December 1828
Registered:		24 December 1828
Grantor (Seller):	John Muirhead of Ponds of Merigomish
Grantee (Buyer)	George McLeod of Merigomish, Esquire
Sum of:		86 pounds
Land situated:	in the Settlement called the Ponds at the lower end of Merigomish
Boundaries:	...on the east by James Henderson, on the south by lands claimed by Thomas Murray, on the west by the Heirs of John Patton and on the north by the Gulf of St. Lawrence 
Acreage:		200 acres more or less
Signed:		John Muirhead
Witnesses:		John McLeod, John McGrigor

It was not until seven years later in 1835, when John Muirhead was about 42 years old, did he purchase his property in Little Harbour. An abstract of this deed follows.

Book:		 	17, Page 305

Indenture date:	11 March 1835
Registered:		20 May 1835
Grantor (Seller):	Angus McDonald of Little Harbour & Betsey McDonald his wife
Grantee (Buyer)	John Muirhead of Merigomish
Sum of:		200 pounds
Land situated:	Little Harbour
Boundaries:		...on the North by the Gulf of St. Lawrence on the East by Lands owned by 
Allan McDonald on the South by Lands owned by James Small on the West by Lands of John McDonald
Acreage:		100 acres more or less
Signed:		Angus McDonald X his mark, Betsey McDonald X her mark
Witnesses:		Geo. McLeod, D. McDonald

	Based on deeds found for your G-G-Grandfather Daniel McDonald and mentioned in the Little Harbour McDonald report, I believe the John McDonald mentioned in the above property boundaries to be Daniel’s father. It appears that Daniel McDonald and his wife Jane Muirhead would have been next door neighbors as they grew up in Little Harbour.

	The next transaction in the same Deed Book shows that in the same month John Muirhead took out a mortgage for his new property. An abstract of the mortgage follows.

Book:			 17, Page 306

Indenture date:	16 March 1835
Registered:		21 May 1835
Grantor (Seller):	John Muirhead of Little Harbour, Yeoman 
Grantee (Buyer):	George McLeod of Merigomish Esqr
Sum of:		44 pounds
Land situated:	at the front settlement of Little Harbour
Boundaries:		...on the North by the Gulf of St. Lawrence on the East by Lands owned by one 
Allan McDonald on the South by Lands owned by James Small on the West by Lands of one  John McDonald...being a Lot sold & conveyed by Angus McDonald Miller to said John Muirhead by an Indenture bearing date the fourteenth Instant... 
Acreage:		100 acres more or less
Mortgage terms:	...the full sum of Forty four pounds Lawful money of Nova Scotia [paid] on or before the sixteenth day of March 1836...
Signed:		John Muirhead, Geo McLeod
Witnesses:		David McPherson, D. McDonald

	Three years later in the 1838 census John Muirhead and family were enumerated within the Township of Egerton. Their household is shown below.

Source: 1838 Transcribed Census, Township of Egerton, available online at

Names of Heads of Families	Occupation	# Males< 6	# Females< 6	#Males< 14	# Females< 14 	# Males> 14	#  Females> 14	Total # inFamily
MCNEIL	__ (Mrs)	widow	0	0	2	3	4	2	11
GRANT	Peter	farmer	0	1	0	0	2	4	08
MCQUEEN	Angus	farmer	0	0	3	2	2	3	11
CRANDALL	Donald	farmer	3	1	0	0	0	1	06
MCQUEEN	Donald	farmer	0	0	1	1	2	3	08
MCDONALD	Duncan	farmer	1	2	0	0	0	1	05
MCDONALD	John	farmer	2	1	0	0	1	2	07
PERRY	David	cordwainer	3	0	0	0	0	1	05
GRANT	John	farmer	0	2	0	0	0	3	06
GRANT	John	farmer	0	1	0	0	2	3	07
GRANT	John	farmer	1	1	0	0	0	1	04
GRANT	_____ (Mrs)	widow	0	0	1	0	4	2	07
MCDONALD	Allan	farmer	1	0	2	2	0	3	08
MCDONALD	_____ (Mrs)	widow	0	0	0	0	3	2	05
CHISHOLM	William	farmer	3	1	1	1	1	2	10
MCDONALD	Alexander	farmer	0	1	1	0	1	2	06
MCDONALD	John	farmer	0	2	2	1	0	2	08
MUIRHEAD	John	blacksmith	3	1	2	2	1	1	11
COLQUHOUN	William	carpenter	0	0	0	0	2	3	06
RANKIN	_____ (Mrs)	widow	0	0	0	0	2	2	04
CAMPBELL	Lauchlin	farmer	3	0	0	0	2	3	09
MCMASTERS	Samuel	farmer	1	0	3	2	0	1	08
SMALL	John	farmer	0	2	2	2	0	1	08
SMALL	James	farmer	2	1	2	0	1	3	10
SMALL	William	farmer	0	0	0	0	0	1	02

	The above source is the first to show that John must have completed his earlier Blacksmith apprenticeship. In the 1838 census the Head of the household did not get a tally in the numbers by gender and age, so it looks at this point that John and his wife had six sons and three daughters. Given Jane Muirhead McDonald’s birth year in later sources, she would be the female less than 6 years old in this census.

	In April of 1850 the following notice was printed in the Eastern Chronicle newspaper.

Source: Transcribed Vitals from the Eastern Chronicle, compiled by Vangie Way; Newspaper issue date: 11 Apr. 1850

	9 April 1850 – Two men of Little Harbour, Mr. Muirhead and Mr. McDonald, were drowned when their skiff upset.

	There is an unusual “source” that provides more detail as to the identity of the Muirhead mentioned in the above notice. Fast forward in time to 1953. A man by the name of Harry Munro then owned the Muirhead house and property at Little Harbour. Mr. Munro decided to build a porch on the house and began digging up the ground for that purpose. He unearthed a tombstone with the following inscription:

In memory of
Son of John &
Janet Muirhead
Apr. 8, 1850
AE 20 yrs.

The next census available for Pictou County was enumerated in 1851. Unfortunately there is only available within Pictou County a transcribed version of this census, the original on microfilm only available at the N.S. Archives. Below is a copy for what has been transcribed for John Muirhead’s household, enumerated in the census district of Little Harbour. In 1851 Jane Muirhead would be about 15 years of age.

Source: Transcribed 1851 Census of Pictou County, issued by the Hector Centre Trust

Census District: 14. Little Harbour

Head of Household:	John Muirhead
1 male, 1 female – Between 10 and 20 years old
2 males, 1 female – Between 20 and 30 years old
1 female – Between 40 and 50 years old
1 male – above 50 years old

Number in School: not given; 2 married; 2 Farmers; 1 Mechanic; Religion: Presb. Church of N.S.

	By 1851 John and Janet Muirhead’s sons would be coming of age. The first deed activity for who appears to be a son was in an indenture made on the 30th of May 1853 (registered on 31 May, 1853 in Deed Book 37, Page 517). On that date Andrew Muirhead, Mill Wright of Little Harbour purchased 12¼ acres of land from William Fraser, located at “Big Brook, West Branch” (present day Lorne). 

	In the next census of 1861, John Muirhead’s family were enumerated as follows at Little Harbour.

Source: Original 1861 Census of Pictou County

Census District: 14. Little Harbour, Abstract 1

Head of Household:	John Muirhead
1 male – Greater than 3 and less than 4 years old
1 male – Greater than 15 and less than 20 years old
1 male – Greater than 20 and less than 30 years old
1 married female – Greater than 60 and less than 70 years old
1 married male – Greater than 60 and less than 70 years old

	One can see in the above household that since the last census the Muirhead household has been reduced in number. Jane Muirhead does not appear to have been enumerated at home in this census.

	In the year after the census in 1862 John Muirhead and his wife Janet sold a portion of their property to an Allan McDonald of Little Harbour. In the property boundaries it is described as located along the eastern side line of Allan McDonald “John’s son”. I do not believe the Allan McDonald who purchased the property and the Allan in the boundary who would be your Daniel’s brother are the same Allan. I will elaborate more on this in the Little Harbour McDonald report. An abstract of this deed follows.

Book:		 	49, Page 432

Indenture date:	12 May 1862
Registered:		13 November 1862
Grantor (Seller):	John Muirhead of Little Harbour and wife Jannet, Andrew Muirhead of the 
			West Branch of the East River, Mill Wright and Sarah his wife
Grantee (Buyer)	Angus McDonald of Little Harbour, Farmer
Sum of:		$153.50
Land situated:	Little Harbour
Boundaries:		...Beginning on the western side line of the lands of James McDonald and on 
the south side line of the Black Brook, so called, and running from thence on the said south side line south forty five degrees west one hundred and eighty rods or until it comes to the line of the lands formerly or now owned by James Small thence on the said line north seventy two and three quarter degrees west forty one rods to a stake there placed and marked, thence on the eastern line of lands of Allan McDonald John’s Son north forty five degrees east one hundred and eighty six rods or until it comes to Black Brook aforesaid thence along the said Black Brook the several courses of the same down stream until it comes to the place of first boundary or place of beginning…
Acreage:		42 acres and 51 square rods more or less
Signed:		John Muirhead, Janet Muirhead
Witnesses:		George Grant

	The above deed is unusual for two reasons. One is the amount of the sale. It’s the first time I’ve seen in a deed a sum of 50 cents as part of the dollar amount. The other unusual point is that it appears that John’s son Andrew Muirhead and his wife Sarah were required to also give up their title to the land in this sale. I cannot explain why this would be necessary. There were no earlier references found in the deeds whereby any title to the property was given to Andrew.

	Five years later in 1867 was published by A.F. Church a map of Pictou County, showing the surnames and first initials of those associated with the properties. Below is an excerpt from this map, the left showing the area and the right zooming in on the Muirhead property.


	In the same year of 1867 John Muirhead deeded the remainder of his property at Little Harbour to his son David Muirhead. An abstract of this deed follows.

Book:		 	63, Page 289

Indenture date:	7 November 1867
Registered:		14 October 1872
Grantor (Seller):	John Muirhead of Little Harbour Yeoman
Grantee (Buyer)	David Muirhead of Little Harbour Yeoman
Sum of:		$800
Land situated:	Little Harbour
Boundaries:		...bounded on the west by Thomas McQueen, on the north by the waters of 
Little Harbour, on the east by lands of Angus McDonald and Heirs of the late James McDonald, and to the south by lands belonging to Allan McDonald…
Acreage:		80 acres more or less
Signed:		John Muirhead x his mark
Witnesses:		John Grant, Thomas McQueen

	Two years later in December of 1869, John Muirhead died at Little Harbour. His death was registered, and the record is transcribed below.

Source: Pictou County Death Registrations, 1869 Page 68, Entry 292

Name: 		John Muirhead, Farmer
Sex: 			M [male]
Age: 			75
Condition: 		Married
Place of Birth: 	Merrigomish [sic]
Parents: 		Andrew & Betsey Muirhead, Farmer
Date of Death:	15 December 1869
Place of Death:	Little Harbour
Cause:		Sore Leg [+ illegible note – “not shd”?]
Informant:		Andrew Muirhead
Recorded:		22 December 1869 by John Grant

	No death notice or cemetery inscription was found for John. 

	In the 1868-69 McAlpine’s Directory for Nova Scotia, it was John’s son David printed in the listings for Little Harbour. A portion of the original image from this directory page follows.

Source: McAlpine's Nova Scotia Directory, 1868-69, Page 644, available online at



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