Early Inhabitants of the Prospect Area

...My Lord, I computed 250 decent, Sober well looking people, and tho’ Irish Roman Catholic, yet a blessing to the State in which they live for sensible that they enjoy their Opinion without being molested, it is a pledge of their behaving properly...
— Extracted from a report of James Burrows of British Customs Department, dated 9th to Governor William Campbell on the state of (Prospect) fishery (NSA, MG 100, vol. 211, #6)


by: Ed Rogers

In carrying out research at the Provincial Crown Lands Record Centre of the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources, various documents were found containing maps and lists of names pertaining to Prospect. These maps and lists, only one of which is dated, cover what is now known as (Upper) Prospect, Lower Prospect and the islands in between. The names and their locations in each document have been shown in a table entitled Names and Locations of Some Early Inhabitants of Prospect and the columns have been arranged in a chronological sequence based upon the information available.

A description, by column, of the documents listed in the table as well as comments by name, where applicable, follows to assist any researchers who may be interested in this area. Hopefully the information will be of use.

Documents in Table

It is to be noted that the references to fiche numbers pertain to microfiche index numbers of the Halifax West Portfolio maintained by the Provincial Crown Lands Record Centre. Index titles are not provided as they in most instances do not provide an accurate description of what the fiche actually contains.

It is to be noted that an overlay of the original map by a current map revealed a number of differences.

  • Identification of locations in column "A" to those on current maps.
  • An undated document (Fiche 50, not shown here), entitled "List of Persons who Occupy Fish Rooms at Prospect". The letters are not in order due to matching of names.
  • An undated list of names on Fiche 44 entitled List of Persons who occupy Fish Rooms at Prospect which do not completely match the names on the map portion of the same fiche. Note that, although the title is the same as in C, the list is not.
  • Document dated 1788 entitled Monday, 9th June of 1788 examined the Fishery at Prospect (Fiche 51) describes various aspects of the fishery and appears to identify the locations of the people by number. It is to be noted that all location numbers were not found on a map. However, location number 7 appears from Fiche 52 to be a part of (Upper) Prospect, namely, Redmans Island and the harbour.
  • Undated map, containing names which shows Redmans Island and the harbour portion of (Upper) Prospect, as part of Fiche 52, "Old plan and report re: fish lots at Prospect". Two versions of this map are presented:
  • An identification of names which appear in 1791-93 Nova Scotia Poll Tax- Prospect Village. The area covered by the poll tax appears to be from Lower Prospect to Dover.
  • An identification of names which appear in 1827 Upper Prospect Census.

Comments by Name

Dennis Meagher

  • Locations # 1&9 have not been identified, by number on any map. However, it is assumed that they refer to Marrs Island and a large part of what is now Terence Bay.
  • Location #3 was purchased by Meagher from Beamish and settled by his son-in-law Whalon.

Richard Mullins

  • Location (11) Hennesseys Island settled twelve years, that is, 1772.

Sherlocks People

  •  Location (12) Laceys? Island, occupied since 1785.

Maurice Poor

  •  Location (13) Lower Prospect settled for 5 years, that is, 1783.

Peter, Maurice & Roger Poor

  • Location (10) Roger Poor Island. No information is available as to why Maurice is listed twice in various documents. Peter Norris and Roger Power (Poor?) had a license (1773) to occupy Hog Island, formerly Mason's Island, now Saul Island.

John Millea

  • Had a license (1772) to occupy Norris or Rocky Island (now Norris Rock) as well as a fish room on the southern side of Mason's (now Saul) Island. The location was identified as Herring Cove.


  • There are two Fitzgeralds in the 1791-93 Poll Tax, namely Matthew and John. However, Matthew has been identified as a planter and it is assumed that he is the one named in the examination of the fishery.

Tim Mullins

  • Location in Column E is shown as #10. However, this area has never been identified on any map. The same name received a license in 1772 to occupy a fish room on Saul Island, is identified as a planter in the 1791-93 Poll Tax, appears in the 1827 Census for Lower Prospect, and is identified on Indian Point in (Upper) Prospect on a grant map. It is therefore most likely they are different persons.


  • The "1788" document has a phrase "Duggans occupied by Mullin". No explanation is available. The map in column F has a phrase Duggans formerly Norris and the location is on the Cove Road in (Upper) Prospect. It is assumed that the Widow Norris in the lists is the mother-in-law of two Duggans, i.e. Patrick and John who married Norris girls. Two Duggans also appear, namely Patrick & James in the 1791-93 Poll Tax.


  • John Whealons is identified as occupying White's Island in Prospect Harbour. It is unknown if there is any connection between the Whalon who was Dennis Meagher's son-in-law.

John Cody

  • Had a license (1776) re: Calahans Island, described as a small island in Prospect Harbour. The specific location remains undetermined.

The following names are from sources other than those listed in the table:

  • Frederick Ott had a license (1772) to occupy Masons or Sauls Islands
  • Margaret Ott a relict (widow or related to) of the late Charles Mason - 1772 - Masons Island - In the fishery
  • John McDaniel McDaniels Island at Prospect, location unknown
  • Maurice Marah Petitioned for land grant at Ketch Harbour in 1773 (1775?). He stated he was "driven from Prospect by American privateers 5 years past".