DesBarres (family)

Identity area

Type of entity


Authorized form of name

DesBarres (family)

Parallel form(s) of name

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence


Joseph Frederick Wallet DesBarres (1721-1824), army officer, military engineer, surveyor, landowner, and colonial administrator, was born in Paris or Basel and was educated at the Royal Military Academy in England. Following his service with the British Army during the Louisbourg, Quebec, and Newfoundland campaigns, DesBarres surveyed the coasts of Nova Scotia from 1764 to 1773 and published the results of the survey in The Atlantic Neptune. While in Halifax in 1764, he met Mary Cannon (ca. 1751-1827), with whom he had six children: Amelia Louisa Matilda Lutterell (d. ca. 1856); John Frederick William "William" (d. 1800), had one son William Frederick (1800-1805) who became solicitor-general and puisine judge of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia; Spry Ann (d. 1842); Martha Sophia "Sophia"; Mary (b.1784) and an unidentified daughter (d. 1783). While DesBarres was in England overseeing the publication of The Atlantic Neptune, he met Martha Williams and fathered eleven children by her, including: James Lutterell (1787-1831); Augustus Wallet (ca. 1793-1866); Dolben Windham; Joseph Frederick (d. 1817); Martha Frederica; Isabella Matilda (ca. 1786-1832); Clara; Louisa; and Grace Frederica. In 1784 DesBarres was appointed Lieutenant Governor of Cape Breton Island and subsequently became Governor of Prince Edward Island in 1804. He died at Halifax in 1824, predeceased by Martha Williams in 1821. From 1773 to 1794 Mary Cannon was appointed administrator of DesBarres' extensive land holdings. She lived at his estate, Castle Frederick, at Falmouth until her death in 1827.


Legal status

Functions, occupations and activities

Mandates/sources of authority

Internal structures/genealogy

General context

Relationships area

Access points area

Subject access points

Place access points


Control area

Authority record identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion




Maintenance notes

  • Clipboard

  • Export

  • EAC

Related subjects

Related places