Ship Harbour Parish

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Ship Harbour Parish

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

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Biographical history

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 microfilm records with handwritten transcriptions documenting baptisms, marriages, burials, and church minutes from churches within the parish ca. 1847-1982. Parish churches include St. Stephen’s (Lower Ship Harbour), St. John’s (Oyster Pond), St. Matthew’s (Owls Head), and St. James (Upper Lakeville).

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No copies allowed without permission from the rector. Apply at NSA.

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The history of Ship Harbour (Anglican) Parish (originally Eastern Shore Parish) began in 1821 when Rev. John Burnyeat, a travelling missionary with the Diocese of Nova Scotia, first visited the area in an effort to locate and minister to the isolated members of the Church. The area had been visited before, however, by Bishop Charles Inglis in 1805 during an unofficial visit to East Ship Harbour, where his vessel had stopped for fresh water. During Rev. Burnyeat's visit, he observed that there were seventeen families living in Ship Harbour and he held Divine Service for them in a private home, as there was no church. In 1831, Rev. John Stevenson first came to visit. He had great influence on the people of Ship Harbour, as they still had no resident clergyman, and he encouraged them to erect a church. Each family contributed the costly sum of about four or five pounds, and by 1833 the people of Ship Harbour had completed the building, located near the old cemetery on the east side of the road, just north of the present church. The new church was consecrated by Bishop John Inglis (son of Bishop Charles Inglis) in 1834 during his first regular visit. The church was named St. Stephen's, in honour of Rev. John Stevenson, who had encouraged them to build it. The parish came to include St Stephens (Ship Harbour), St James (Upper Lakeville), St John's (Oyster Pond), and St Matthew's (Owl's Head). In 2010, in the face of financial struggles in Ship Harbour Parish and an abundance of clergy leaders in Musquodoboit, the two parishes decided to unite and today operate as the Anglican Parishes of Ship Harbour and Musquodoboit. Their churches include St James (Head of Jeddore), St Thomas (Musquodoboit Harbour), St James (Upper Lakeville), St John's (Oyster Pond), St Stephen's (Ship Harbour), and St Matthew's (Owl's Head). All are still in use, although services now alternate on a weekly basis between the two parishes. St George's (Ostrea Lake) had also been a part of the Parish of Musquodoboit, but it has since been deconsecrated and torn down.

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Parish of Musquodoboit. Season of Pentecost July-August- September 2012: Historical Corner: Parish of Ship Harbour. Retrieved Feb. 5, 2017 from

Parish of Musquodoboit. Shared Ministry of the Anglican Churches of Ship Harbour and Musquodoboit: Our Story. Retrieved Feb. 5, 2017 from

Parish of Musquodoboit. Shared Ministry of the Anglican Churches of Ship Harbour and Musquodoboit: St George's Church 1884-2007. Retrieved Feb. 5, 2017 from

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