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Ochre Pit Cove, Newfoundland

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Date: 1774 [unknown]
Location: Bay De Verde Peninsula, Newfoundlandmap
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Ochre Pit Cove is named so because of a large ocher deposit in the area. Originally, the cove was inhabited by Beothuk, the Indigenous people who inhabited Newfoundland before European settlers arrived. The Beothuk people painted their skin with the ochre, and there are still stone markers on a hill in Ochre Pit Cove left behind by them[1].

Early Families

The first recorded European settler was a John Keating who is recorded as having two fishing stages there in 1774. Of course, the inshore fishery is what brought Europeans here in the first place, and by the early 1800s some inhabitants were participating in the migratory fishery in the Straight Shore, Bonavista Bay, Hamilton Sound and the Indian Islands. There was also some participation in the Labrador fishery, as in a bunch of other nearby communities.

By 1775, Richard Halfyard, and his wife Elizabeth Churchill, of Bovey Tracey, Devon, England, were living there. Their eldest daughter Elizabeth Halfyard was recorded born there 24 Jun 1775.

In the first census of 1836 the population of Ochre Pit Cove was recorded at 235, and it peaked at 391 in 1874. By 1956 it had dwindled to 158, and is now counted with with Western Bay. Several other communities in Newfoundland are known to have been founded by people who left Ochre Pit Cove including Pinchard’s Island, Ladle Cove, and Gander Bay. Incidentally, Gander Bay is about 54 km from the town of Gander, where I grew up and currently live.

See Ochre Pit Cove One Place Study for 18th Century Families histories https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Space:Ochre_Pit_Cove%2C_Newfoundland_Colony_One_Place_Study Corrections are welcomed.


What links to this page.


  1. ↑ Wordpress blog, "Excursion Around the Bay", Ochre Pit Cove. Steph and Brian, 2017.

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