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Michelle Hynes

A Brief History of Flat Island Placentia Bay, Newfoundland


I was born on Flat Island on December 18, 1893, baptised and given the name Lettie Collins.

As I am the only one of our family who knows how this little island became inhabited, I will try to put it down so that others will know too. Cousin Phoebe has requested (she was born there, also her two brothers). I know my Daughters and Son would like to know, so here goes.

The following are names of the then young men who left Durham, England, with their Brides by sailing ship and crossed the Atlantic Ocean. Henry Peddle, John Loughlin, Richard Gosling, Henry Crann (his descendents, a Crann and his sons went to the Grand Banks and never returned in 1892.), Walter Parsons, John Kenway, David Broomfield, John Collins and William Butler (our ancestors), Charles Senior, Charles Smith, John Moulton, John Frampton, Gabriel Collins (Joe's Dad's ancestor, no relations of ours until Joe's Dad married Aunt Caroline), Mark Bishop (teacher), J. Peace.

In the early 1800's, they left Durham, England with their new Brides and sailed across the Atlantic. After much hardship, landed on an island in Placentia Bay and named it Flat Island. Onlt one large hill (Usmond Hill) and a few smaller ones. They divided the Island among them, the lease for 999 years. Mr. Bishop was a teacher and Justice of the Peace. it was a safe harbour for many ships when there were storms of winds for many, many years. People kept coming and settled. John Diamond from Trinity Bay, he married Mary, a girl that our grandpa brought up withhis own family, her Mother was Grandpa's sister. William Reeves, my Mother's Dad, a Frenchman from Calais, France, in 1850's. He was a trader and used to sail to other places and take cottons and thread and other necessities. They paid withfish (dry) cod oil. he picked up a Mr. Chollet on the Banks of Newfoundland in a dory, who had excaped from Military Service in france. Chollet settled on Clark's Point. The Dick, Mondons, Jarvis, came as the years passed around 1860 and settled on the Island.

The Island was re-named Port Elizabeth in 1952. A year before that Jim and I went to Newfoundland and visited all over the Island for six months and saw our relatives who were still living there and enjoyed it very much.

Now it is deserted. Only the graves of our loved ones are left, may their spirits guard it well.

Lettie Collins Bland.

PS - My Grandpa, Captain John Collins told me the story when I was nearly eleven years old. As he passed away over at Trepassey Bay on August 16th, 1904. He had a heart attack. This is a true story.


Told by Captain John Collins in 1904 Written by Lettie Collins Bland October 12, 1969 (granddaughter of Captain John Collins) Contributed by Marlene Wilson. April 7, 2011 (Great granddaughter of Lettie Collins Bland)

O. Kennedy (nee Miller) — 03 February 2013, 13:14

My family lived on a very small Island called Flat Island. There is a Flat Island on the map but I'm sure that is not the Island we lived on. The Flat Island my family lived on was very small and in 1935 the names of families were Senior, Keeping, Peach, Miller, Dicks and a few others. Does anyone know how to find this Island on the Map or if anyone lives or has a cottage on the Island today. My family name was Miller.

Jason Counsel — 24 September 2010, 17:02

Ed - might it be Little Brewley?

ed sheehan — 21 September 2010, 10:14

my grandfather a seaman out of new york city had a scheduled run to newfoundland and married a women from little grulie (not sure of spelling) this town is not on a map today but many years ago i did see a map and it was listed. what is it called today?

Paul Shumaker — 10 March 2010, 20:21

My grandmother was born in Burnt Island, Placentia Bay in 1901. I understand it has been renamed to Port Anne. I found a link to an 1898 census of Burnt Island and I see my great-grandfather, Robert Shute, in the report. What I'm not finding anywhere is exactly where the settlement was. Google Earth shows Port Anne as a peninsula. Can anyone tell me where the settlement was and is there anything there today? Is there a road to get there? Are there any history links to Burnt Island anywhere? Thank you Jason for your help.

Pete Rogers — 01 November 2008, 18:53

Born and raised in St. leonard's

jimmy greene — 06 October 2008, 15:58

i was born in presque placentia bay resettle in 1968

dante cioci — 22 September 2008, 09:41

i was on a coast guard cutter in 45 an 46 on sub duty hope to get back an see whats missing

dante cioci — 22 September 2008, 09:39

will i ever see the people i knew when i was there

gerard dray — 27 June 2008, 13:52

born in little bona

Jason Counsel — 28 May 2008, 20:24

Hi Geraldine - I'm not positive, but I've added it to the list above. If you find out any info, feel free to share. Just leave a comment on the St. Anne's page.

Thanks for the question!

Geraldine Murphy — 28 May 2008, 06:39

Where is St Annes? I'm looking for ancestors, my great grandmother, Margaret Sullivan married John Nolan from Fox Harbour. She may have come from St Annes.

Joe Gambin — 20 May 2008, 16:36

I grew up in Clattice Harbour left there under resettlement in 1966

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