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  • The Deladeray (Deladoey) Family of Switzerland and Lunenburg Township, Nova Scotia, 1750-1830

    Kenneth S. Paulsen

    Published Date : October - November 1993

    In the early 1750s a sizable group of German, Montbéliardian and Swiss settlers were recruited by the British Crown to settle in Nova Scotia, the fourteenth colony settled in British North America. The settlers were enticed to come to Nova Scotia with the promise that they would receive 50 acres of land for each head-of-household, and additional acreage for each dependent. They would also receive provisions for twelve months and the implements necessary for farming. This offer was attractive enough to encourage 2460 foreign Protestants to relocate to Nova Scotia. The movement of these people to Lunenburg and the foundation of a settlement (primarily German) falls within the pattern of mid-eighteenth century migration of Germanic peoples to Pennsylvania and neighboring provinces.

    Successful in diverting a large number of settlers to Nova Scotia, the government was still not fully prepared for them, although the idea of their recruitment had been developed at Halifax. The foreign Protestant settlers arrived in Halifax between 1750 and 1752 and languished there until the government finally sent them to Merliguesh Bay to found the township of Lunenburg under military protection and supervision. The cost of the settlement scheme, the problems of settling a large group of people in the wilderness, and the outbreak of the Seven Years War (known here as the French and Indian War) in 1755-56 put an end to further recruitment of Central European Protestant settlers.

    The majority of settlers (about 75% of Lunenburg’s initial population) were from the German States. Contrary to antiquarian sources, the Lunenburg settlers did not come from Lüneburg in northern Germany [1], but from such southwestern German states as the Palatinate (Pfalz), Hessen-Darmstadt, Baden-Durlach, Württemberg, Erbach, Isenberg, Löwenstein-Wertheim, and other small states scattered among them. The German settlers were a mixture of Lutherans and Reformed Calvinists. They also included a number of German and French Swiss (of which our Louis Deladeray was one). The Swiss settlers were generally Calvinists, or possibly Zwinglian, depending on their geographical origins within the Swiss Confederation. The last major ethnic group were the French-speaking Montbéliardians, roughly 15% of Lunenburg’s population. They came from the principality of Montbéliard, a French-speaking Lutheran state in the Holy Roman Empire, under the jurisdiction of the duke of Württemberg. English settlers were very few, mainly local magistrates and their families.

    After the relocation from Halifax to Lunenburg, the Crown surveyed the town, garden and farm lots, which were then granted by lottery. The farm lots were laid out in a series of ranges along the shores of Mahone and Lunenburg Bays and the LaHave River, and on interior land immediately adjacent to the Mahone Bay and South ranges. A total of 597 lots of 30 acres each were surveyed, and 516 were granted through the lottery system [2]. The 30-acre allotment fell short of the 50-acre promise, but given the threat of attacks on the community the government did not want to spread the settlement over a wider area. The shortfall in acreage was corrected in the 1760s when the Crown granted the settlers 300-acre lots [3].

    The settlement had a rough start; the settlers were dependent on government provisions for five years, until 1758. This dependence on the Crown was necessary because Lunenburg had no cleared land for cultivation. Fortunately for the settlers, the government had chosen a site with the only arable land on Nova Scotia’s southern and eastern shores. But the foreign Protestants faced an uncertain political climate which posed a threat to the community and prolonged their dependence on government provisions. The Seven Years War broke out officially in 1756, and led to attacks by the Mi’kmaq (Micmac) on Lunenburg. The Mi’kmaq made several raids on outlying farms and killed several settlers, with a chilling effect upon the development of the community, especially land clearing. After the fall of Québec in 1759, which put an end to the Mi’kmaq raids, Lunenburg began to grow and prosper as an agricultural community (the development of the fishing and boat-building industries for which Lunenburg is famous today did not occur until the nineteenth century).

    Unlike Pennsylvania with its large German population, Nova Scotia was initially an Acadian province (until the Acadians were expelled in 1755) and, after 1760, an English province. Lunenburg was thus an insulated cultural island in an English-speaking province. With a population of 1451 in 1755, the town was the second largest community in Nova Scotia throughout the eighteenth century, surrounded by 8,000 to 10,000 New Englanders in townships they settled, plus 2,000-2,500 inhabitants of Halifax. After 1760 Nova Scotia was essentially the fifth New England colony after Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New Hampshire. Culturally and economically it was an extension of New England.

    Louis Deladeray and his wife Susannah Rösti were early Lunenburg foreign Protestants, the circumstances of whose lives and deaths are unknown; perhaps they were atypical in not prospering and surviving as a family in Nova Scotia. Louis Deladeray’s life there was short, while that of his wife (who remarried) was only a few years longer. Louis left Susannah with two children whom she subsequently left, presumably with the family of her second husband. At some point, the children left Nova Scotia, although one returned, married, in 1782, during the War for American Independence. The paper trail is sparse.

    Like many other new settlements Lunenburg experienced a period of demographic instability and fluctuation during its first decade. Many settlers left for more [153] established communities, either at Halifax or in the lower thirteen colonies. Many wandered back and forth between Halifax and Lunenburg before settling at either place. Large numbers of settlers died in the early years, as seen in local Anglican church records; the deaths of many more went unrecorded.

    Records and documents for early Halifax and Lunenburg are generally very good (although not flawless). While it is possible to reconstruct family histories from extant church, probate and poll tax records, victualling and ship passenger lists, deeds, and other documents, gaps do exist. The Deladeray history is a good example of family reconstruction when familiar, traditional methods are lacking and the existing evidence is confusing and contradictory.

    The surname “Deladeray,” variously spelled, disappears quickly from Halifax and Lunenburg records, although Louis and Susannah left descendants certainly through their daughter and possibly their son as well. The European origin of Louis Deladeray is unknown. He appears on the passenger list of neither the Ann in 1750, nor any of the ships carrying foreign Protestants in 1751 and 1752, nor the 1749 fleet which brought settlers from England to found Halifax. The Alderney, which arrived in 1750 with foreign Protestants, is the only possible ship on which he could have arrived in Halifax. Its passenger list is no longer extant, but a large number of Swiss settlers were in Halifax by late 1750. The surname “Deladoey” is present in the Aigle and Yvorne in the Canton of Vaud and may be the origin of “Deladeray.” At this point, however, any connection between the two surnames is purely speculative.

    The origins of the Rösti (also seen as Rösty or Rusty) family are equally obscure. The Rösti family, of German Swiss origin, arrived on the ship Speedwell in 1751. The relationships in this family are not entirely clear, but it seems likely that Susannah Rösti was the daughter of Kilian (Guillaume/ William) Rösti and his wife Elizabeth, who died at Halifax in August 1751 (St. Paul’s Anglican Church records, on microfilm at the Public Archives of Nova Scotia [PANS]).

    The later history of the Deladeray family concerns the children of Louis and Susannah, and was reconstructed largely from Lunenburg County deeds and German-language records of Zion Lutheran Church in Lunenburg. The church records and deeds provide evidence that Johanna Deladeray and her brother Louis were in New England during the War for American Independence. Johanna returned to Lunenburg about 1782; her second husband Friedrich Salzmann appears in local church records and deeds (Lunenburg Deeds, PANS, RG 37, [LU], vol. 3, nos. 35-36; Zion Lutheran Church records, PANS, MG 4, vol. 88). What cannot be determined is when she and her brother left Nova Scotia for (presumably) Connecticut. The Zion church records state that “Hannah Hahn” was the widow of Joh. Hall of “Gnädyketstadt in Neuengland”; “Gnädyketstadt” seems to be a phonetic spelling of “Connecticut State” as it would have sounded to the German minister at Lunenburg. Deeds refer to her as the heir of Louis Deladeray and wife of William Hall; the marriage record to Salzmann connects her to Hall as well.

    Friedrich Salzmann appears in Lunenburg records following the War for American Independence, a good indication that he may have been a “Hessian” soldier. His origins in Germany can be determined from the Zion Lutheran Church records. Salzmann, Salsman, Saltzman and Salzman descendants of Friedrich and Johannah/Hannah (Deladeray) (Hall) Salzmann (and through them, Louis and Susannah [Rösti] Deladeray) can be found today in Country Harbour, Berwick and Kentville, Nova Scotia, and other places in Canada and the United States, including Boston.

    Jean-Louis1 Deladeray/Deladoey was born probably at the Canton of Vaud, Switzerland, and died at Halifax, Nova Scotia in August 1757 (register of St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Halifax, N.S., hereafter SPAH). He married at Halifax 13 October 1752 Susannah Rusty/Rösti, born probably in Switzerland, who died at Lunenburg, N.S. prob. 2 January 1762 (register of St. John’s Anglican Church, Lunenburg, N.S., hereafter SJAL). She married (2), as his second wife, at Lunenburg 6 June 1758 (SJAL) Johann Georg Wurth/Worth, born ca. 1720 in the Palatinate, died ca. 1803. J.G. Worth married (3), as her second husband, Anna Maria Huy, who was born in the Palatinate and died before November 1766, widow of Johann Wilhelm Huy; Worth married a fourth time thereafter. Susanna (Rösti) (Deladeray) Wurth was probably the “Catherina Wirt” whose death was recorded 2 January 1762.

    The surname “Deladoey” is found in two Vaud communities - Aigle, on the Rhône southeast of Geneva, and Yvorne. Jean-Louis Deladeray arrived in Halifax from Switzerland in 1750, probably on the Alderney for which no passenger list exists. After his arrival “Del’Terre” shared lot B-2 with Peter Chauson in the North Suburbs of Halifax.

    Louis Deladeray removed to Lunenburg in the spring of 1753 with the other foreign Protestants. Apparently he had been appointed as a constable at Lunenburg; Col. Patrick Sutherland’s account of the Lunenburg Insurrection of December 1753 mentions that “a Constable, one LaDerey, then present, refused doing his duty to apprehend one of the Ring-leaders...” The Return of Arms in December 1753 shows him as residing in Rudolf’s Division; according to the Return of the Divisions taken in July 1754, Louis “Delaterrai” occupied lot C-9 in Rudolf’s Division, adjacent to Killian Rösty’s lot at C-b. Deladeray’s [house] lot was not improved in any manner according to the return, which stated there was no house of hut; however, his “land lot” was under improvement (Bell’s Register, microfilm MG1, no. 109-11, at PANS).

    In the 1753 lottery for 30-acre lots, Louis de la Deray drew LaHave lot D-20, and in the livestock distribution for 1754, Louis “Laderry” with Louis Billon drew lot no. 150 for five sheep, one sow and one goat. Like most Lunenburgers, the Deladeray family appears on the various victualling list of the 1750s. According to the registries of 30-acre farm lots and of town lots in [154] 1760 (three years after his death), Louis Deladeray had had possession of a 30-acre lot at Mahone Bay A-1 (a 90-acre lot divided between Guilliaume Rösty, Christian Rösty and Louis) and of town lot C-9 in Rudolf’s Division (Killian Rusty had lot F-6 in Strassburger’s Division). The lots were still registered in Louis’s name in 1760 as his two children were his heirs (Bell’s Register).

    Children of Louis and Susannah (Rösti) Deladeray, born Lunenburg, N.S.:

    1.      James Louis Deladeray, b. in Sept. 1754, bp. Lunenburg 8 Oct. 1754 (SJAL); may have d. in New England. At some point in the early 1770s [James] Louis Deladeray and his sister went to New England. J.L. Deladeray may have married into a Patriot family, although his sister married a Loyalist, William Hall. Nova Scotia property records of the 1780s and 1790s refer to Louis Deladeray’s rights as a co-heir of his father’s estate. He did not return to Nova Scotia.

    2.      Johanna/Hanna Deladeray, b. ca. Jan. or Feb. 1757, bp. Lunenburg 27 Feb. 1757 (SJAL), d. Martin’s River, N.S. after Oct. 1813; m. (1) prob. in Connecticut William Hall, b. in Conn., d. Lunenburg before 17 Dec. 1782; (2) Lunenburg 25 March 1783 (register of Zion Lutheran Church, hereafter ZLL), Casper FriedrichSalzmann/Saltzman, son of Isa[a]c Salzmann, b. at Malchin (“Malchs” in ZLL), Mecklenburg, Germany ca. 1746, d. Martin’s River 28 Nov. 1832 (SJAL).

    Records of Zion Lutheran Church, the German Reformed Church, and St. John’s Anglican Church in Lunenburg, as well as of St. Stephen’s Anglican Church in Chester, N.S., were checked but revealed no death record for William Hall or [Jo]hanna (Deladeray) (Hall) Salzmann; it is unlikely Johanna would have received a Methodist burial, but we cannot be sure as early nineteenth-century Lunenburg burial records for this denomination no longer exist. Johanna may have died before May 1815. In 1813 she stood godparent to a Kedy grandchild; a year earlier, however, a Catherine Elizabeth Salzmann, who seems to be Friedrich’s wife, sponsors another grandchild.

    At some point in the early 1770s Johanna/Hannah Deladeray went with her brother James Louis to New England, where she married William Hall of Connecticut (“Joh. Hal of Gnädyketstadt” in ZLL), who held property in Lunenburg by dower rights. The Halls returned there at some time during the American Revolution.

    The first indication of Johanna/Hannah’s return to Lunenburg was the sale in December 1782 of her father’s property. On 18 December she sold town lot C-9 in Rudolf’s Division to John Vogely for £4.16.0, and her 30-acre share of the 90-acre Mahone Bay A-1 to Casper Jung for £336 (RG 47 [LU], vol.3, nos. 35-36). These deeds do not mention her brother Louis. After Hannah’s marriage to Friedrich Salzmann, the latter bought half of Indian Point lot 1 from Anthony Halter on 21 June 1784, for £83 (RG 37, [LU], vol. 3, no. 190). On 24 Sept. 1784 Friedrich mortgaged his Indian Point property to Casper Jung for £84 as security on Mahone Bay A-1 against the possible return of his wife’s brother (RG 37, [LU], vol. 3, no. 206). This move was to secure [James] Louis Deladeray’s share (should he claim it) of his inheritance from his and Johanna’s father. On 14 Oct. 1784, for £60, Friedrich Salzmann bought about 100 acres (or half the lot) from Timothy Lynch at Western Shore! Gold River lot 3, and shortly thereafter mortgaged it to Casper Jung as further security against Mahone Bay A-1 (RG 37, [LU], vol. 3, nos. 211 and 302).

    Friedrich/Frederick Saltzman and George Melchior Zwicker bought what is now Zwicker Island off Indian Point on 28 Jan. 1796, paying David and Jacob Bourgogne £24 (RG 37, [LU], vol. 4, no. 358). On 28 Dec. 1798 Friedrich sold his share of the island at Indian Point for £15 (RG 37, [LU], vol. 5, no. 30). On 12 Dec. 1797 Friedrich bought a lot of land at Murderer’s Point, Chester Township, N.S., from George Knickel, and in May 1815 and September 1816 transferred this property in two shares to his sons Michael and Casper, respectively. The deeds of 1815 and 1816 give Friedrich’s wife as Catherine Elizabeth. He last appears in deed records when, under sheriff’s order, he was required 10 Feb. 1823 to sell his property at Martin’s River for debt (RG 37, [LU], vol. 8, p. 60).

    Friedrich Salzmann was probably a “Hessian” soldier in the War for American Independence, stationed at Halifax when the war ended. He is listed as being at Oakland (which in this enumeration included Indian Point) in the 1792 poll tax, paying one shilling (RG 1, vol. 444, no. 49). The 1793 poll tax lists him at Indian Point, paying two shillings, seven and ha’pence. He owned four neat cattle and 15 sheep, and was assessed at a rate of an ha’penny per sheep and three pence per neat cattle in addition to the poll rate of one shilling (RG 1, vol.444-1/2, nos. 2-6). In 1794, as a farmer at Oakland (which on this tax list, as before, included Indian Point), Friedrich paid tax of two shillings, nine and ha’pence. He owned five neat cattle and 13 sheep and was assessed a rate of three pence per head of cattle, ha’pence per sheep (RG 1, vol. 444-1/2, nos. 67-71). At some point after 1795 Friedrich removed from his half-30 acre lot at Indian Point lot #1 to land bought at Murderer’s [Martin’s] Point. Some of the younger children of Friedrich and Hannah (Deladeray) Salzmann may have been born at Murderer’s Point rather than Indian Point. The reference to Mahone Bay as the place of birth refers to Mahone Bay Range A (now known as Martin’s Brook), not to the modem town of Mahone Bay.

    Children of William and Hannah (Deladeray) Hall:

    i.         Elizabeth Hall, b. Mahone Bay, N.S. 24 Dec. 1782, bp. Lunenburg 9 Feb. 1783 (register of Dutch Reformed Church, Lunenburg, hereafter DRL).


    Children of Friedrich and Hannah (Deladeray) (Hall) Salzmann, b. Indian Point (although see above):

    i.         Charlotta Salzmann, b. 22 Dec. 1784 (ZLL), bp. Lunenburg, N.S. 24 Jan. 1785 (ibid.)

    ii.       Johann Casper Salzmann, b. 6 May 1788, bp. Lunenburg 17 July 1788, d. Sable Island, N.S. in December 1836; m. Lunenburg 25 May i816 (SJAL) Catherine Tanner, b. Lunenburg 24 Aug. 1797 (SJAL), d. Country harbour, N.S., dau. of George and Dorothea (Burns) Tanner.

    iii.      Regina Salzmann, b. 5 Sept. 1789, bp. Lunenburg 23 Dec. 1789 (ZLL), d. Oakland, N.S. in 18i4 (SJAL), bur. 1 April 1814; m. Lunenburg 20 Nov. 1810 (SJAL) Johann Peter Kedy, b. ca. 1787, d. poss. Northfield, N.S., son of William and Magdalena (Halter) Kedy.

    iv.     Joanna Salzmann, b. 23 Jan. 1793, bp. Lunenburg 6 Feb. 1793 (DRL).

    v.       Johann Friedrich Salzmann, b. 1 Feb. 1795, bp. Lunenburg (DRL), d. there 8 Oct. 1810 (ZLL).

    vi.     George Michael Salzmann, b. 22 Dec. 1796, bp. Lunenburg 16 Jan. 1797 (ZLL), d. Sherbrooke, N.S. 4 Feb. 1862 (register of Christ Church Anglican, New Ross, N.S.); m. Lunenburg 7 Jan. 1821 (ZLL) Catherine Margaretha Ernst, b. Oakland, N.S. 6 July 1794, bp. Lunenburg 26 July 1794 (ZLL), d. New Ross, N.S. 24 May 1873 (N.S. VRs), dau. of Matthew and Magdalena (___) Ernst.

    vii.    Anna Barbara Salzmann, b. 17 Oct. 1798, bp. Lunenburg 19 Nov. 1798; m. Lunenburg 5 March 1818 (SJAL) William John Turner, b. prob. Oxfordshire, England ca. 1789, d. Northfield, N.S. 10 June 1872 (N.S. VRs), parentage unknown (ancestors of the author).

    Child of Johann Georg and Susannah (Rösti) (Deladeray) Wurth:

    John Wurth, b. Lunenburg in Sept. 1759, bp. there 24 Sept. 1759 (SJAL).


    [1] Lunenburg, Nova Scotia was named by the governor of Nova Scotia in honor of the House of Hanover, the ruling family of both the kingdom of Great Britain and the electorate of Han[n]over. The town of Luneburg lies in the jurisdiction of Hannover.

    [2] “Farm Lotts in the Township of Lunenburg” [1754], Mss., Public Archives of Nova Scotia, RG 20, Series C, vol. 90A, no. 1.

    [3] Winthrop P. Bell, The ‘Foreign Protestants’ and the Settlement of Nova Scotia (1961, repr. 1990), pp. 468-75, 569.

    [4] Ibid., pp. 502-517.

    SOURCES (in addition to census, vital, land and probate data, consulted mostly at PANS or NEHGS)


    Winthrop P. Bell, “Bell’s Register,” unpublished mss. compiled largely from church records; MG 100, vol. 180; 0/S no. 243; RG 1, vol. 382; and RG 20. vol. 90a, no. 1.1

    Province of Nova Scotia, Census of the Poll Tax [Halifax, 1792-1796] (RG l, vols. 444-444-1/2).

    Parish records: Christ Church Anglican Church, New Ross, N.S.; Dutch Reformed/Presbyterian Church, Lunenburg, N.S.;

    St. John’s Anglican Church, Lunenburg, N.S.; and Zion Lutheran Church, Lunenburg, N.S.


    Winthrop P. Bell, The ‘Foreign Protestants’ and the Settlement of Nova Scotia (1961, repr. 1990).

    Mather Byles DesBrisay, History of the County of Lunenburg, 2nd ed. (1895, repr. 1980).

    Kenneth S. Paulsen, Technical Services Assistant for Acquisitions at NEHGS, received his M.A. degree in history from Northeastern University, Boston. He is working toward a Ph.D. in Canadian history from the University of Maine; his dissertation concerns the settlement and early history (1753-1800) of Lunenburg, N.S. Interested readers may contact him c/o the Society.

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