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Peter Bubikoffer (abt. 1718 - 1789)

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Peter Bubikoffer aka Publicover
Born about in Palatinate, SW Germanymap
Ancestors ancestors
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married in Halifax, Nova Scotiamap
[children unknown]
Died in Petite Riviere, Lunenburg County, Nova Scotiamap
Profile last modified | Created 25 Jan 2012
This page has been accessed 431 times.

Categories: Palatine Migrants.

Peter Bubikoffer was a Palatine Migrant.
Join: Palatine Migration Project
Discuss: palatine_migration


The following is from the website of a direct descendent (Wally Gray, along with Frances Gray), who based his account on Winthrop Bell & a book by Scott Winston Teal on the Publicover family. (Saves me just replicating it!). Note that the Grays' website (see Sources, below) has many live links that are inactive in the following copy:

John Peter Bubickhoffer, a Biography by Wallace F. Gray

John Peter Bubickhoffer (the surname has many spelling variations: See The Publicover Family) and Sources of Publicover Surnames) was born in the Palatinate, Germany, which is in the Rhineland of Southwest Germany, about 1718. He was a farmer, probably working under a landlord. In 1750 leaflets started coming into the area advertising the need for people to go to Canada. John Dick, an agent of the Board of Trade in London, had sent men out through the Palatinate, eastern France and Switzerland to seek people. The leaflets painted an ideal life in the New World. The "poor Palatines," as they were called, seemed prime targets for recruitment as emigrants. Gov. Edward Cornwallis of Nova Scotia, who had arrived in Halifax, Canada, in 1749 to become governor, had persuaded the British government to recruit foreign Protestants to settle in the new country.

Apparently Peter (as he was called) decided to take the agent up on his offer. He probably had little money because he was indebted for his passage for the sum on money referred to as fl. 89.12.0, and upon arrival was provided with food, being expected to work in Canada to pay the debt.

Boards the Sally In Germany he had lived west of the Rhine and north of the French border. It would take about four to six weeks to travel (in a wooden raft) down the Rhine for Rotterdam, Holland, where he would pick up his ship. Peter boarded the Sally in Rotterdam. His ship, one of the nine ships that were making the trip to Halifax during a three-year period, encourtered the worst storms. The Sally started out on May 30, 1752, with 258 passengers and crew. Of that number, only 218 landed at Halifax. Even their captain or master John Robinson died on the voyage. See Sally Passenger List.

In the 1750s, sea travel was not as comfortable as today. For example, each person had a bunk between four to six feet in length. Some had to share bunks. The food was poor. The water was foul. Using the bathroom was done with little or no privacy into a bucket. During storms, and there were many with the Sally, passengers had to remain in the foul quarters below. (See Early Protestant Settlers Had Terrible Time in N.S. for account of the immigrants who came between 1750 and 1752.)

Following the three-month ordeal on the high seas, hampered by the storms and cursed by the high mortality and sickness among the passengers, under adverse sanitary and eating conditions, the tired passengers, upon docking, found they were under a three-week quarantine. They were bedraggled, exhausted, ill. Some of the children arrived as orphans, their parents having died at sea. Marries Sabina Catharina Himmelman Peter probably worked off his debt in part before he and others were given property iin May 1753, in Lunenburg County to settle on. He was married to Sabina Catharina Himmelman who had been a passenger on another ship, the Gale which had left Holland and arrived in Canada at about the same time. Whether they knew each other in Germany or met in Canada is not known. Sabina had come with her family, while Peter had come alone.

Peter and Sabina became the forebearers of all the Publicovers of Nova Scotia according to Winthrop Bell who in a letter to me written on May 22, 1959, stated:

"All Publicovers, at least in so far as they have come from Nova Scotia go back to one, Peter Bubickhoffer, who emigrated from the Palatinate and came to Nova Scotia in 1752 at the age of 34."

See The Publicover Family for more information on the source of the Publicovers. (Linked below.)

In 1754 the couple was assigned lot G-10 in Rudolf's Division [in Lunenburg town], which included a house and a garden. They also received one cow and one sheep. Soon they were given a 30-acre lot on the La Have River, lot C-27. As their family began growing they continued to be provided food by the government, appearing on the victualling lists at least from 1756-1757.

Peter served in the British militia as a private and participated in the Indian Patrol in 1758 where he joined in fighting Indians until 1760.

In a drawing he received a 300-acre lot (Third Division, G-15) in December 1764.

It is reported that in 1770-1771 he made "a very small donation" toward the building of the Lutheran Church.

A crown land map shows Peter taking up land in New Dublin Township, near Crescent Beach.

The family, or at least Peter and Sabina, spent their last years in Petite Riviere, Lunenburg, where he died on June 28, 1789. His will was drawn up in January of 1789.

For more detailed information on Peter's emigration (and those of his contemporaries) and early years in Canada, see Teal's Presenting the Publicovers, pp. 8-13.

The PASSENGER LIST of the Sally has been restructured (in 2001) by Gary Horlacher. He has restructured the list by locality from the southwest and to the northeast. Go to this link for the restructured list which includes some interesting information on the ship, its departure and arrival and the voyage. This is the link: [1].

See Bell's Notes on John Peter Bubickhoffer for a detailed account of highlights in Peter's life based upon notes which Dr. Winthrop Bell made from various sources. [This is the Register, listed in Sources, below.]

See Chris Young's Web site on Lunenburg County Land Grants which gives an excellent explanation on the lots and leads to maps of the lots and of the town of Lunenburg. [That link in Gray's text is now inactive. But Young has published all those maps in print - see Sources, below. - JdeR.]

Sources on John Peter Bubickhoffer. From Bell's Notes. Birthdate is computed from his age on the ship Sally. Cannon Harris notes include sketchy information on Peter and his family. IGI (marriage) Batch F500551, sheet 0029. See FHL # 1396443 for both marriage and individual submissions.

Winthrop Bell's classic The "Foreign Protestants" and the Settlement of Nova Scotia is rich with information on the people that came to Canada at the same time as Peter did. The book has been described as follows: ". . . a most thorough investigation of a self-contained unit of eighteenth-century transatlantic emigration based on a surprising variety of authentic information; names of the migrants, their places of origin and occupations, the manner of their recruiting; conditions on shipboard, even to details of the rations dealt out; the conditions the migrants encountered in Halifax; and details of their permanent settlement. From this store of material, often found in scattered items in the Nova Scotia Archives and the Public Archives of Canada, Dr. Bell has traced the full story of the Lunenburg settlers of the 1750's."

Sources on other members of family: Some in Bell's Notes as stated above and in Cannon Harris. PANS MG4, no. 91, FHL #1126294, 0884726, 1421320, 1059090 give various listings.

[See Wally Gray's link, in Sources, below for descendents of Peter & Sabina.]


  • Bell, Winthrop Pickard. 2003. Register of the Foreign Protestants of Nova Scotia (ca. 1749-1770). 2 vols. Compiled & prepared for publication by J. Christopher Young, Guelph ON. Sackville NB: Mount Allison University.
  • Gray, Wallace F, & Frances M. Gray. 1998-2006. "Sharing Our Links to the Past." Personal genealogy site - public access, at: [2], accessed 26 Jan 2012.
  • Young, J. Christopher. Maps Associated With Lunenburg County History. 2003. Guelph, ON: J. Christoher Young.

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Peter is 16 degrees from William Brewster, 23 degrees from Skye Driggs and 24 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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