Sandy Point

Country Canada
Province Newfoundland and Labrador
Study Area Sandy Point
About the Study My interest in Sandy Point arose from my one-name study of the Messervy surname, which has its origins in Jersey, Channel Islands. The line from which I descend follows the arrival of Philippe Messervy in Newfoundland in the late 1700s and who settled the area that became known as Sandy Point. What is unique about this community is that it has a defined period of existence, from about 1800 to the 1970s. In Newfoundland at that time, the provincial government had a policy of resettlement for communities considered remote and too expensive to provide services. The population of Sandy Point had already dwindled and there were only two residents remaining when it finally became "resettled". Today, the island off the west coast (Bay St.George) has returned to nature and is an official nature conservation site. The Messervy family was a prominent one during the life of Sandy Point and therefore, I have already acquired much information. As well, there are at least two publications that have addressed some aspect of Sandy Point that provide insights into certain lives and history of the community. Newfoundland's Maritime Institute and the Provincial Archives of Newfoundland are rich resources. Its origin was due to the cod fishery that prospered between Jersey fishers and the Atlantic coast waters. The impact of the cod on Jersey was considerable and the impact of the Jersey fishers on Newfoundland was also considerable. Sandy Point is a microcosm of the growth and decline of this era, as well as being an example of transitions occurring after Newfoundland joined Canada in 1949. The families that built Sandy Point, and who are now dispersed throughout Canada and the United States continue to attract my interest.
Population As Newfoundland and Labrador was not part of Canada until 1949, Census information available for Canada did not apply to Newfoundland. However, other sources indicate that at its peak (circa 1850-55) the population was about 750 individuals, and began its decline from that date. A Census conducted in 1935 enumerated 336 individuals.
Contact Peggy Chapman