St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church

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St. Peter's Roman Catholic 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 and marriage records from St Peter's Roman Catholic Church ca. 1857-1910. The first Catholic Church in Sheet Harbour was built in 1856 at Quillan's Point near Hen Island.

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General note

The first St Peter's church in Halifax was built in 1784. It was not until about 1830 that the name St. Mary's was adopted. St Mary's Cathedral recommenced construction in 1829 and was completed in 1833. The original name, St Peter's, followed the church to Dartmouth when a new Catholic chapel was built there at Ochterloney and Edward St. Some of the materials from the old church were moved across the harbour and used in the new church. The Wardens from St Mary's offered the new church anything that might be of use from their vacated church, which is likely where the altar for the second St Peter's came from. St Peter's Parish is the second oldest Catholic parish in metropolitan Halifax-Dartmouth. In 1882, in light of a growing congregation, construction began on the second St Peter's Church in Dartmouth on the corner of Maple St and Crichton Ave. This church opened on Feb. 7, 1892. For nine years, only the basement section was used until 1901 when the upper floors were opened. Much of this church was destroyed by fire in 1966 and a third St Peter Church in Dartmouth was built in 1969. The first Catholic Church erected in Sheet Harbour was in 1856 at Quillan's Point near Hen Island.

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St Peter Roman Catholic Parish (n.d.). St Peter Roman Catholic Parish Dartmouth, Nova Scotia: History and pictures. Retrieved Feb. 5, 2017

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