Dutch Reformed Church, Lunenburg

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Dutch Reformed Church, Lunenburg

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  • [ca. 1972-2002] (Creation)
    Stevens, Robert Kim, 1941-

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Robert Kim Stevens was born March 20, 1941 in Alexandria, Virginia, and lived near Fort Hunt, Virginia. He attended Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio from 1958 to 1962, and after graduating travelled by foot to the Panama Canal. Stevens lived in Washington, D.C. for a year before enrolling as a graduate student at the University of Barcelona, Spain for the 1963-1964 term. Later, he attended Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana, also as a graduate student. In 1965, Stevens married Revalee Renick, with whom he had two children.

Around 1965, Stevens joined the United States Department of State as a Foreign Service Officer, which led him to move first to La Paz, Bolivia and then to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In 1972, Stevens returned to the Washington, D.C. area, and lived there until 1977, when he moved to Rome, Italy. In 1989, he returned again to Washington, and then lived again in Rome from 1992 to 1995 before retiring in 1996. In 2002, Stevens moved to San Pedro, California.

Stevens’ interest in the history and genealogy of the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia began around 1972, when he began researching his ancestry, and learned that he had ancestors there. His paternal grandfather, Robert Nelson Stevens (1880-1944), was born in Musquodoboit Harbour, Halifax County, Nova Scotia and immigrated to New England in 1904. Stevens began contacting and collaborating with other Stevens family researchers and in 1977 produced the book, The Stevens Families of Nova Scotia with C.J. Stevens (first published 1979). After moving to Rome, Stevens continued researching via correspondence and other means, and produced some local books under the general title North American Records in Italy. In the winter of 1985-1986, he began working on what would eventually become the Eastern Shore Families series of books (1998-). In 2002 Stevens began corresponding with the Lake Charlotte Area Heritage Society and in 2003 agreed the society’s archives would receive his archival and research material and also publish his Eastern Shore Families books, with all proceeds from the sales remaining with the society.

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Series includes handwritten transcriptions documenting baptisms ca. 1818-1837.

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In 1751 and the years thereafter, many emigrants from Holland, Germany, and Switzerland came to Nova Scotia, arriving first in Halifax and then settling in Lunenburg. They were members of two divisions of Protestants from continental Europe: the Lutherans and the Reformed. Both groups followed the Calvinists in doctrine, but in terms of government and worship, the Lutherans identified with the English Episcopalians whereas the Reformed resembled the Presbyterians. The Lutherans who arrived in Lunenburg connected with the Church of England, but for sixteen years the Reformed did not have a Presbyterian minister who could preach to them in their language and they were eager to find one. They erected a church in 1769. In July of 1770, after unsuccessful attempts to obtain a minister from the Reformed Church in Philadelphia, they were able to have one of their own people, Mr. Bruin Romcas Comingoe (known as Mr. Brown), a native of Holland, ordained in Halifax. This was the first meeting of a presbytery and the first ordination of a Presbyterian minister in Canada. Mr. Comingoe served as minister of the Reformed congregation of Lunenburg until his death in 1820 at age ninety-six. The next minister was Rev. Adam Moschell, a native of Germany, who served for twenty years. After this, the congregation became affiliated with the Synod of the Church of Scotland and was served by the Rev. Donald A. Fraser.

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Gregg, William. History of the Presbyterian Church in the Dominion of Canada. Toronto: Presbyterian Printing and Publishing Company, 1885, p. 68-75. Retrieved Feb. 5, 2017 from http://www.ourroots.ca/page.aspx?id=202464&qryID=cb91d802-8f6a-48e3-a832-2a4ff6cdd060

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