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Dr. J. Christopher "Chris" Young I8540

Dr. J. Christopher "Chris" Young I8540

Dr. J. Christopher Chris Young passed away on January 29, 2018, from complications of Parkinson’s disease. Nearly 2 million living Foreign Protestants descendants have lost one of their most passionate and prolific advocates of the historical and genealogical study of these reliant and creative initial 1,453 immigrant settlers to Lunenburg in 1753 who were so important to the economic and cultural development of not just the Nova Scotia and Canada, but all of North America.

The Short Story of Chris Young's Life
Although he never lived in Lunenburg, Dr. J. Christopher Chris Young’s original connection to Lunenburg is through both his parents and their links to at least 40 other Lunenburg Foreign Protestants Founding Families (Jung & nee Corkum). Chris was born in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island and shortly thereafter moved with his family to Sackville, New Brunswick, where he grew up.

Chris’ immersion in the culture of Lunenburg began early and continued well into his teens when family vacations were spent in the home of his maternal grandparents, Captain Leo Corkum and Mary Deal-Corkum, just above the Lunenburg shipyards (304 Pelham Street.) His grandfather purchased an inshore fishing boat for the family’s use and taught his grandchildren rudimentary seamanship: steering to a fixed point, steering on a given compass bearing, and how to read charts.

Thus began Chris’ fascination with maps. This training served him well while in Royal Canadian Navy officer training where he absolutely loved the navigation courses. Chris claims never to have been lost, although on occasion he did not know where he was. (The two are not the same - he could always get back to a familiar landmark!!) Chris’ formal education culminated with a Ph.D. in organic chemistry. Along the way, he has been a high school teacher and a university lecturer. However, most of his professional career has been spent as an analytical chemist with Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada in Ottawa, Ontario, and more recently in Guelph, Ontario.

In anticipation of the 250th Anniversary Celebration of Lunenburg's, Chris became of one of the primary driving forces behind planning and organizing this celebration (July 10-14, 2003) of The Grand Family Reunion. This gathering was attended by about 1453 Foreign Protestants descendants…..about the same number of settlers who had landed from Halifax on June 8, 1753.

Although not a professionally trained historian or genealogist, his training as research scientist and his professionally developed organizational skills that when coupled with his passion for the history of Lunenburg and of the Foreign Protestants helped Chris not only to make the Grand Family Reunion as part of Lunenburg's 250 Year Celebration highly successful BUT also resulted in one of the most important historical and useful assemblages on the history of the Foreign Protestants!! 

Chris’ Foreign Protestants family heritage fueled his passions in applying his exceptional analytical and writing skills to further extend the heritage discovery and preservation efforts of Dr. Winthrop Pickard Bell’s historical book The “Foreign Protestants” and the Settlement of Nova Scotia. He spent thousands of hours completing Dr. Bell’s unfinished goal of developing a registry of the 1st 1,453 immigrants from Germany, Switzerland, and the Montbeliard region of France and Holland who landed on June 7, 1753, in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada.

The result was the Register of The Foreign Protestants of Nova Scotia (ca. 1749-1770), written by Dr. Winthrop P. Bell, Edited and Published by Dr. J. Christopher Young, (2003), ISBN 0-9730393-2-9, with 873 pages in two volumes.

To ensure the historical accuracy of his book, Chris also enlisted a contributing team of some of the foremost Foreign Protestants historical and genealogical researchers:   

Dr. Terrence M. Punch: a retired history teacher, a past president of the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society, and founding president of the Genealogical Institute of
the Maritimes
, and of the Genealogical Association of Nova Scotia, and was also
formerly Trustee of the Public Archives of Nova Scotia. He wrote the section on the Genealogical Significance of this Register and located and transcribed the 1770 Census records. In collaboration with Dr. Paulsen, he wrote the section on Lunenburg’s early history. He was consulted on the overall layout of this manuscript. Dr. Punch’s connection to Lunenburg is through three of his grandparents and he has links to about 15 families covered herein.

Dr. Kenneth S. Paulsen: a historian who while conducting research for his Ph.D. thesis on eighteenth-century Lunenburg was the recipient of the Winthrop Pickard Bell Fellowship in Acadiana at Mount Allison University in Sackville, NB. He wrote the section on Bell’s Sources of Information and provided the citations to the original sources in the key section co-written with Dr. Young. He also collaborated with Dr. Punch in the writing of the section on Lunenburg’s early history. Dr. Paulsen has personal family links to about 40 Lunenburg Foreign Protestants families through both his parents.

Heather Johnston: a great-niece of Dr. Bell designed the cover.

Dr. Peter B. Waite: a History Professor Emeritus at Dalhousie University in Halifax.

Chris prepared from Dr. Winthrop Pickard Bell’s original handwritten notes and the Indebtedness Lists, Signatures of the Foreign Protestants in digital format, the Key to Deciphering Bell’s Register, the listing of Alternate Spellings of Family Names, and the concluding Index of Names, and consolidated all the various sections into the final manuscript and was also the book’s publisher.

Chris’ editing and publishing efforts also yielded the Maps Associated With Lunenburg County Family History also published in 2003.

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