Nowlan Family History
Most of the following excerpt is taken from "The Nowlans of Guysborough County"
1783-1990 by Alfred W. Nowlan ( a private publication)
The "Nowlans Of Guysborough County" is now available in manuscript form or Word or  Word Perfect format by contacting:

    The Nowlan side of our family is descended from John Nowland, late of the Kings Carolina Rangers who arrived at The Mount, Country Harbour, Guysborough Co., Nova Scotia on Christmas Eve 1783. John and Margaret Nowland had  four sons and one daughter Sarah. John born c.1772, Sarah born c,.1773, Joseph. born c.1785, David born c.1789, Thomas born 1794. John Nowland's name appears in the original muster roll on the Kings Carolina Rangers.

    Although some refugees reached Nova Scotia early in the war  (1776-1783) the main exodus to Nova Scotia, amounting to between 30,000 and 40,000 people, began with the sailing of the "Spring Fleet” from New York City on April 26,1783 which was under the control of the British until late in November 1783. Sent to Nova Scotia were Provincials of the Central Department , who had served in the Carolinas including the Kings Carolina Rangers in which John Nowland served. Also included were British Regulars who wished to settle in Nova Scotia because their regiment were being reduced,, as well as many civilians.

    Sir Guy Carleton, for whom the town and county of Guysborough is named, and his Commissionaire General Brook Watson were responsible for placing the Loyalists in a new land, he proved to be their protector and defender. In 1789 Sir Guy Carleton ruled that all those who had joined the Royal Standard before the 1783 Paris Peace Treaty should, together with their descendants, be given a “Mark of Honour”. This consisted of the right to affix the letters U.E. (United Empire Loyalists) to their names, this distinction was greatly treasured.

    Caught up in all this were the remnants of the three Southern Regiments: The Kings Carolina Rangers, The North Carolina Regiment, and the South Carolina Royalists. All the officers and the men were given the opportunity to embark on transports to Halifax, Nova Scotia, but not all chose to do so. Those who did left St.Augustine, Florida some time after April 26, 1783.

The Kings Carolina Rangers were organized in June 1779 under Commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Brown, a native of Augusta, Georgia, and a noted Loyalists. The Regiment consisted of nine infantry companies and a troop of dragoons, with a maximum strength of four hundred in all ranks. In June 1782, Captain Joseph Marshall and Ensign Lafford Waldon, who served in the Georgia Loyalists, transferred with their companies to the Kings Carolina Rangers. Both of these officers acquired land in Country Harbour, and along with a considerable number of King's Carolina Rangers stationed in St. Augustine, at the wars end, elected to disband in favour of Nova Scotia.

    In her book “Homeland Country Harbour” Volume 3, pg.114 L.V.Salsman writes: "The east side of Country Harbour was settled on Christmas Eve , 1783 when Empire Loyalists, remnants of the three above mentioned Carolina regiments, disembarked with their families from the transport NYMPH in a snowstorm to take possession of lands which his majesty George lll  granted them in lieu of estates left behind in the sunny south. Counting both men, women and children, both white and black, the number of persons who originally came to Country Harbour included 900 souls". A copy of the Wright Grant gives the names of all the men involved and the amount of land each was to receive when the Town of Stormont was to be laid out oh the east side of Country Harbour in May 1784. Being from a very warm climate, they suffered greatly the first winter. However, they went to work, trees were felled and log huts were built. They had been furnished by the government with food for three years, garden seeds and the necessary tools. Voyages to Nova Scotia were dangerous, especially when taken in the fall or early winter. The NYMPH and the supply ship bringing lumber for house construction met serious storms in route. The supply ship was blown so far off course that it arrived late and depleted of cargo lost at sea.

    In the end Governor Parr of Nova Scotia found himself with more than 30,000 refugees for whom to find a home, these refugees had arrived at Halifax in British ships from the American colonies. The question is repeatedly asked: Why were southerners sent into a northern wilderness at that time of winter without provision being made for their shelter?  Why did they not spend the winter in Halifax? The answer is that Halifax was swarming with refugees from the American Revolution. No tents were available in Halifax, earlier refugees had already set up meager shelters in the streets, and the people had to fight for sufficient food. The new arrivals from the NYMPH could not be accommodated and they were not wanted. Their commanding officers therefore considered it better to press on to their destination at Country Harbour. Battling the northern wilderness of ice and snow seemed preferable to spending a winter of bedlam in the overcrowded city. The weather that winter was bitterly cold. Freshets followed deep snow, spring arrived late. Many hardships brought havoc among the settlers and it is said that three hundred died that first winter. It is a miracle that our ancestor John Nowland survived and lived to be the father of additional children.

 John Nowland (2nd) c1772 married Suzzana Hurst  Nov.16, 1802  daughter of Samuel Hurst, 60th regiment.
 They had seven children, the last was John (3rd) 1831- 1918, his daughter Lydia (1862) was my grandfathers mother. John (3rd) was the grandfather whom William Clayton Nowlan 1882-1950 (my grandfather) resided with in his youth. William married Laura Jane Kirby, daughter of Captain Charles Kirby and Elizabeth Sharam of Murray Harbour, PEI, on November 20, 1904 in the Half Island Cove Baptist Church. (Guysborough County)

William C. Nowlan (1882-1950) - Laura J. Kirby (1878-1966)

Children:  1. Blanche D. Nowlan 1905-1972  married Alfred (Ackie) George Allbon Sept.18,1929
                2. Gladys B. Nowlan 1907-1923
                3. Leith W. Nowlan 1908-1979 married Dee (Daisey) Thomas May 3, 1933
                4. David F. Nowlan 1913-1994 married Alice MacKenzie June 26, 1961
                5. Lloyd G. Nowlan 1915-1999 married Patricia McGrath, January 24, 1946
                6. Alfred W. Nowlan 1917- 2001 married Fracncis C Smith, July9, 1940

Alfred W. Nowlan married Frances C. Smith, July 9, 1940.
 Kirby C. Nowlan, born March 9,1941

Kirby C Nowlan married Barbara A. MacPherson July15, 1967 - divorced 1983
Adopted Daughter: Wendy Christine Nowlan, born February 28, 1975

Kirby Clarence Nowlan married Deborah Anne Molyneaux, July 21, 1984
John Evan Nowlan, born June 19, 1987

Frances and Alfred Nowlan
Winnifred and John Molyneaux

Lloyd G Nowlan and sons, Michael, Paul and David
Lloyd G Nowlan, was born in the fishing village of Phillips Harbour, Guysboroug County, served in the army, landed in France on June 10, 1944.



Picture taken in 1960's at Ackies & Blanche's Springhill home.

Left to Right -Leith, Blanche, David, Lloyd, Alfred


Year of The Veteran          

On going through my mothers picture albums I found wartime pictures of which I'll include a few.

There were four WW11 veterans, LAC Alfred Nowlan (RCAF), Lloyd Nowlan (RCA), my mother's brother, Able Seaman, Everett Smith (RCN), my father in law, John Molyneaux (RCA). All survived WW11.

LAC Alfred W Nowlan, RCAF Eastern Passage.

Alfred  in flying gear & on leave in New Glasgow

Alfred  at Nigara Falls while at RCAF St Thomas & on leave in New Glasgow with my mother Frances. (1944) 

Lockeed Hudson bomber, in coastal patrol colors, and in bomber colors.

After training as an aircraft electrician dad was posted to an overseas squadron, but due to the train arriving late in Halifax, they missed their ship. He then was assigned to Squadron 121, RCAF Eastern Passage (now Shearwater Naval Air Station). Their task was coastal patrol (for Submarines, etc) and target towing for the coastal defenses and navy gunners. The Hudson aircraft were too small for active bombing in Europe, so were relegated to other rolls. Dad considered himself fortunate to be stationed at Eastern Passage and to get to see my mother and his son  on occasion. He did considerable flying in his capacity as an aircraft electrician.

Lloyd G Nowlan, RCA

(unfortunately no picture available at this time of Lloyd in uniform)

Lloyd served in the First Division of the Canadian Army, landed in England in November 1942, and landed in France (Beny-Sur-Mer) on June 10, 1944. Over 2000 Canadians are buried there. Lloyd gave Dad this brief write up for dad's book "The Nowlan's of Guysborough County"

I arrived in England on a wet November day at 5 a.m. in 1942, spent the first three months in Borden, outside of London, it was a long winter.  Spent another winter in Dorking, England, and went to Aldershot, England on a Regimental Training Course.  Times were pretty tough.

One spring, I think it was 1943 shipped off to the Isle of Wight off the coast of Portsmouth, taken on strength of the RCEME, Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, 7th Infantry Brigade, Light Aid Detachment, Detachment 2. I remained with this outfit to the end of the War.  This is the 3rd Division, the brigade as I remember contained the Regina Rifles, Toronto Scottish, etc.  I did administration work.

We sailed with the Infantry, from Southampton one afternoon, June 10th, 4 days after  D-Day, we landed with difficulty around midnight.  I was in the 2nd Light Aid Detachment, the first Light Aid Detachment went ashore on D-Day, I never saw them again.

We landed at Beny-Sur-Mer, I think there is over 2000 Canadians buried there, including a friend of mine Frank Alyward, as well as others.  Many of the Toronto Scottish were lost there.

We went through France, Belgium, Holland and into Germany; crossed the Rhine River on Pontoon Bridges. I was in Lahr Germany when the war ended.

Fifteen of us were misplaced for 3 months, the authorities thought we were home in Canada, but we were still in Germany.  I left Germany on the 12 October, 1945 on my birthday, for the greatest Country in the World, arriving in Canada on Jan. lst 1946".

Able Seaman Everett Smith, RCN 


The first rays of morning light were breaking through the "bowl of night" along the silent beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944, as a solitary ship's electrician stood on the deck of his LC1 and stared at the massive array of ships around him, for Everett Smith, his native Nova Scotia and Canada were far behind him.

"Well like everyone else, I went to Halifax to be recruited and was sent to Sydney for basic training. The training establishment was HMCS Protector. After five months I was sent to Point Edward and later to Cornwallis before being drafted to a refit base in Shelburne, NS.  Here I volunteered for Combined Operations" . (mostly to get out of Shelburne, and see some real action Everett told me last weekend Nov 05) 

In January of 44, Everett was on his way to England. Billeted at Portsmouth, first, the LC1's crew of 22 with a complement of troops, numbering 150, were shipped out to Southhampton where they completed their final preparations and waited. They finally moved out on June 5, LC1 (255), found the channel crossing choppy. Their actual destination  was Gold Beach, the LC1's dashed forward and beached. Holding a long rope the soldiers went ashore under fire. 

"Disaster almost struck us as we headed out again- a British frigate rammed us on one side. We were torn, fore and aft, and were forced to return to England. We, after being "patched up" returned to the beaches of Normandy three days later. From then on our LC1 became a troop carrier, carrying troops to ports behind the sunken vessels at Arromanches."

Following the capture of LeHavre and Cherborg, the LC1's were no longer needed and returned to England. Drafted back to Canada later that year, he was then trained to be a lead torpedo operator. He ended the war clearing mines from the Canadian coast.

" I was proud of my contribution to the war effort - and more than proud to have served my country too" he concluded.

Uncle Everett told me (Nov.05) that when he was in Halifax, getting ready to ship out the next day, Dad (Alfred) spotted him from a streetcar, they got together, and made a phone call home to New Glasgow. Because of censorship all Everett could tell them at home was that he was going to be where Uncle Lloyd had already gone. (Lloyd was in England as of Nov.42).

           Alf and Everett switched uniforms while on leave in 43.

W. John Molyneaux, RCA

John Molyneaux was born in Belleville Ontario and grew up in Toronto. After several postings he was posted to Camp Aldershot (Kentville, NS) as a gunnery instructor.  He met Winifred Moore (Kentville) and they were later married on May 16, 1945 ( wedding picture below).

John & Winnie 1945.

These pictures were taken in 1945 in Kentville.




  tall ships 2000family history

     lakehouse life (Summer at Aylesford Lake)
reflections 2000
      Email to: