Bay de Verde, Newfoundland

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Date: 1662 [unknown]
Location: Conception Bay, Newfoundlandmap
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Bay de Verde is the northernmost community in Conception Bay. The central part of this fishing village lies between two hills, while on both sides, the low-lying area slopes towards the ocean. On the southwestern side is the harbour, called the foreside, where fishing boats are moored. The other side of this low-lying area, called the backside, was once also used for fishing rooms[1].


According to D. W. Prowse (1895) the earliest documented inhabitant of the 'Bay of Arbs' (today known as Bay de Verde) was Isaac Dethick, an English planter who was expelled from Placentia in 1662 when the French took over that town. There is no doubt that there were settlers such as the Taverners already established at Bay de Verde when he arrived. In 1675 seven families and their servants, numbering close to 150 people, had erected eleven rooms and stages in the harbour.

The best record of the period comes from the journal of Abbe Baudoin, dated February 2 to February 6, 1697. Baudoin, who travelled with Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville's raiders, noted that "there were in this harbour fourteen settlers well established and ninety good men." During King William's War, the village was destroyed in the Avalon Peninsula Campaign. These French raiding parties destroyed the community and killed a number of inhabitants again during Queen Anne's War in 1705.

Many of the established planters then left and moved to more fortified locations like St. John’s and Trinity. In 1708 there were only 30 people at Bay de Verde[2]. However, another group of settlers began to arrive after 1713 when the Treaty of Utrecht declared that Newfoundland was owned by Great Britain. The French were given fishing rights along the northeast coast. These new settlers now included Irish as well as English and although the English had more rights, the Irish began to establish themselves as well late in the 1700's. By 1753 the population of Bay de Verde was 128 comprised of 69 English and 59 Irish. The Plantation Book Records of 1804-5 show that the established planters were of English descent but the Irish were now beginning to obtain their share of property as well.

Early Families

One of the early family names of Bay de Verde is Taverner. According to H. F. Shortis (1910) William Taverner was a naval officer and surveyor on a British man-of-war who later worked on a Newfoundland map of 1745.

The main road in Bay de Verde is Masters Road named after John Masters, apprenticed to William Taverner about 1700–1701. The Taverner family of Poole and Bay de Verde – a moderately well-off group which divided its time between Poole and Newfoundland.

Abraham, William Taverner's brother, an obscure figure, was the Newfoundland agent for the London merchant, James Campbell, who had extensive plantations at Bay de Verde. Campbell was financial agent in London for Captain John Moody who had been commander of the Newfoundland garrison during Major Thomas Lloyd’s absence in 1704–1705 and who was an avowed adversary of Lloyd. Although many of the Newfoundland planters tried to keep away from both Lloyd and Moody, William Taverner led a group which, early in 1708, complained about Lloyd’s exploitation of the colonists.

In 1804, George Garland established a trading post in Bay de Verde and in 1823, John Lynch was teaching the school in the cooper shop of Timothy Dineen.

For a more comprehensive list of surnames, adapted from the Town of Bay de Verde homepage, genealogy section[3], see the Bay de Verde Surnames space page.


What links to this page.


  1. Wikipedia article for Bay de Verde, Newfoundland. Accessed 2018.
  2. Town of Bay de Verde website Our History. Accessed 2018.
  3. Town of Bay de Verde, Geneology. Profiles of Family Names of Bay de Verde. Accessed 2020.

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