St. George's Anglican Church

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St. George's Anglican Church

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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 photocopies from microfilm baptismal, burial, and marriage records from St George's, as well as the registers of birth, marriages, and deaths kept by Rev. Bernard Michael Houseal who was a former Lutheran minister and rector of the Dutch Church, St George's Parish from 1784 until his death in 1798, with some later entries to 1807. Records span the years 1784-1935.

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In the mid to late 1700s, in addition to residents of Halifax, many South Shore and Eastern Shore residents used St. George's Anglican Church in Halifax for baptisms, marriages, and deaths. Many were the families of disbanded Hessian soldiers who had participated in the American Revolution and the descendants of the German settlers known as Foreign Protestants who had remained in or returned to Halifax rather than move to or remain in Lunenburg in 1753. Some were also British military personnel. The first St. George's was the Little Dutch Church, which is today the second oldest church in Halifax. It was converted from a small house and moved to their burying ground in 1756 by the Foreign Protestants. It was consecrated four years later by John Breynton. The Foreign Protestants were evangelical Lutherans. Having no pastor, the services were lead in German by lay leaders with visits from clergymen from St. Paul's to celebrate Communion following the rites of the Anglican Church. In 1786, Loyalist refugee and evangelical Lutheran Bernard Houseal of New York became the first rector. He was ordained as an Anglican priest in order to qualify for an allowance from the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. He served as rector until 1799 and attracted many non-German people to the church. The church's congregation was outgrowing the building, necessitating the construction of a second St. George's Church in 1800 with the support of the British government. Edward, Duke of Kent who was commander of the forces in Nova Scotia and son of King George III, played a vital role in the design and planning of the new building, which was perfectly round initially and later saw the addition of a porch and chancel between 1822 and 1827. St. George's became the city's second parish in 1827, with the original Little Dutch Church still being used for occasional services and as a school. St. George's is still in operation today.

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Roper, Henry. A brief history of St George's Parish. Retrieved Feb. 4, 2017 from

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