After the American Revolution many Loyalist refugees and disbanded troops fled north, some coming to New Brunswick via Saint John and numbers arriving at Shelburne, Nova Scotia. These new settlers were industrious, home-loving people who would make excellent settlers to fill the expanses of empty land on the Island of St. John. With this thought in mind Governor Patterson offered Loyalists and Disbanded Troops free land if they would come to the Island to settle.
It appears that NICHOLAUS HENCKELL may have been in the Hessian regiment of Knyphausen en route to Quebec from New York in the fall of 1779 when ice conditions prevented the ship from reaching Quebec City. They put into the Island of St. John, where these Hessians under Col. Henn de Borch stayed until June 1780, according to John Stewart in an Account of P.E.I.
From the will of Nicholaus Henckell written and signed on 23 November 1818, we learn that he was known there as Nicolas Jenkins, an anglicized pronounciation of the German name. Nicholas' will is interesting in the light it sheds on the times in which he lived. To his four daughters, "Suzannah, Catherine, Elizabeth and Lenah, (he left) Two Good Merchantable Cows and four Sheep each of them". To his wife he left the farm "during her widowhood or if she does not marry during her Natural life. She was to live with their son Henry, who was to have it after her death. At that time Henry was to pay to his brothers "George, William, Nicholas, and James the sum of Forty Pounds Currency Each ... But as Cash is hard to be got in this Island I desire that it may be paid in the produce of the Country... so that it will not distress my son Henry". To his son John he left "five shillings if he demands it".
It appears that Nicholas settled first in Vernon River, just north-west of the present Roman Catholic Church, according to an undated map at the Public Archives of Prince Edward Island. Some say he then moved to Cherry Valley. We find that he moved to Pownal in 1796 when he bought one hundred acres in Lot 49 from Ann Clarke. From a map of that area in 1810 we see that he had 100 acres next to Frederick Fraught. He owned the Tavern "The Black Bull" in that area.
In the Census of 1798 for Lot 49, "Nicks Jenkins" appears with eleven in the household, one male and one female whose ages were between sixteen and sixty and six males and three females under sixteen.
Many legends exist among the desendants of Nicholas and Elizabeth and often they are conflicting. Little documentation has been found before 1798. It is said that Nicholas Jenkins came here with two children, a son John born c. 1777 and a daughter Susannah born c. 1780 in Germany, according to the 1881 Census. There is no known record of their mother's name, although one legend is that she was a Jenkins from the Scilly Islands. In support of this story would appear to be the fact that one child in each succeeding generation was nicknamed "Skilly".
Tradition says that Nicholas Jenkins married c. 1783 "the Widow" Elizabeth Baum (Ballem) whose husband was killed in 1776 or 1777 in the American Revolution, leaving her with two children, a son, Peter, born c. 1768, and a daughter who was supposed to have been sent back to Germany to be raised in Elizabeth's family.
Nicholas and Elizabeth had eight more children. However, no documentation can be found for their birth dates. Elizabeth Baume (Henckell) Jenkins and Nicholas died two weeks apart; he on 15 July, 1823 and she on 30 July, 1823. According to the burial records for Charlotte Parish, they were buried in the Elm Avenue Cemetery, but no stone exists.
(From an article submitted October 2004 by Douglas B. MacDonald and Beryl Barrett for inclusion in the book "An Island Refuge: Loyalist and Disbanded Troops on the Island of Saint John" as an update to one published in 1983 and incorrectly attributed to Beryl Barrett. The updated book has yet to be published.)
PS: Don't take this as gospel yet, as there has been more info found since then.