Extracts from Books on the Early Rumbolts in Labrador

From the Labradorians, Voices from the Land of Cain by Lynne D. Fitzhugh:

During its tenure, Slade & Company employed a number of men who would ultimately settle in Labrador. Samuel Acreman; Charles and Mark Anstey; William Blake Sr. and Jr., and John Blake; William Reed; William and John Broomfield; George Dempster; William Brown; John Buckle; Robert Coombs; John and James Davis; William and Daniel Dicker; John, Joseph, Thomas & William Ford; John Lane; Samuel Luscombe (whose surname remains on a brook in Groswater Bay); John Martin; James Gready; Thomas Oliver; John and Joseph Painter; John Peyton; William Phippard; John Rumbolt; William & Jacob Thomas; John Tilsed; Joseph Whittle; and Samuel Wolfrey are but a few of the names in Slade's eighteenth century Battle Harbour ledgers that reappear later among the ranks of Settlers or historical records.

From People of the Bays and Headlands, Anthropological History and the Fate of Communities in the Unknown Labrador by John C Kennedy:

By 1794 Samuel Akerman's stint with the Company had lasted some seven summers and six winters; it was to end in the fall of 1796. Also employed for the 1793 4 year was John Rumbold; his year ended 10 October 1794. By 1802, Akerman and Rumbold are no longer listed as salaried Slade employees. The following year, Rumbold is listed with former Slade employee William Holloway in what appears to be a joint venture supplied by Slades. Holloway had worked at Slade's Hawke's Island sealing post as early as 1793 and was a veteran Labrador sealer. (Another Holloway, perhaps William's son or even brother, Benjamin [1784 18721, is buried at the Catholic cemetery at Cat Gulch, Matthews Cove.) William Holloway and Rumbold purchased shovels, nails, and other building materials from the Slades and rented one of the company's fishing rooms at Fox Harbour (St Lewis). The partners appear to be striking out on their own, supplied with essentials by the Slades. By 1804 5, their supplies include two pairs of women's shoes, suggesting that one or both had acquired a female companion. However, by 1806, their partnership had ended, with each man in debt to the Slades. Rumbold fished on his own in 1809 and also conducted a seal fishery at Square Islands. However, the following year he and Holloway again entered into a joint venture with the Slades; Rumbold and Holloway realized half the income from the 249 seals they netted and the Slades received the other half.

Holloway and Rumbold's on again/off again joint venture illustrates the difficult transition from salaried employee to supplied Settler. But their case also raises many questions. We know little about the relationship Rumbold and Holloway had with their former employer or what, if any, trade relations the two men had with American or Newfoundland fishers. We also learn that their many years of experience alone did not ensure success. These two experienced Labrador hands teetered on the brink of failure, making it easy to imagine how selling several casks of seal oil or quintals of codfish to some transient buyer might have made the difference. While the antiquity of family names such as Rumbolt indicates that John Rumbold (or another Rumbold) eventually obtained some measure of independence and success, it appears that many other incipient planters fell deeper into debt and eventually left the region. Their case also leads us to ask whether the two men were lineal ancestors of subsequent Rumbolts and Holloways appealing in the computer data, and who the women for whom they purchased shoes were. One can only make educated guesses about these questions. However, it seems probable that both were related to later Rumbolts and Holloways. After all, a scant seventeen years separates John Rumbolt from Robert Rumbolt (born about 1826), the earliest Rumbolt listed in my computerized Anglican records. However, to again illustrate the difficulties of reconstructing early settlement, the Moss diary entry from 11 June 1832 records that a 'Robert Rumbold came down from his winter quarters' (1832, 13). While this (and the 17 June 1832 entry 'all the planters arrived this evening [a Saturday] from their winter quarters' [ibid]) clearly establishes that a Settler population was wintering near Battle Harbour by the 1830s, it also raises the question of whether this Robert Rumbold was an uncle of the Robert born in 1826 or, perhaps, John Rumbold's brother. And to return to William Holloway, it is probable that he was the father of Robert Holloway, born near Battle Harbour in 1828 and the earliest Holloway baptized by the Battle Harbour mission. It should also be noted that unlike the surname Rumbolt, that of Holloway disappears from the Anglican records in the late nineteenth century, illustrating another common theme of southeastern Labrador history: individuals and surnames appear in the records, perhaps to fish for a season or more, make their contribution to the region's social and genetic history, and then disappear, either through 'accidents' of marriage or emigration.

And what of the women who wore new shoes in the autumn of 1804? Some possibility exists they were European, but they were more likely Inuit in southeastern Labrador? Such a claim challenges conventional notions of Labrador's aboriginal map, which generally shows no Inuit living south of Groswater Bay.

From Catucto, Battle Harbour, Labrador 1832 - 1833 by C.J. Poole

Page ii
The Moss Diary of 1832 provided the nucleus for this project and the names and activities throughout are derived from this source. I have expanded and added articles; these came from stories and anecdotes that I have gathered over the years. Many of the names mentioned in the Moss Diary such as Stone, Rumbolt, Brown, Snook, Chubbs, Pye. Allen. Bird. Reid. Mangrove, Moores, Davis, Saunders and Pole(Poole) are prominent Labrador names of today which gives a clearer perspective of our heritage and development.

Page 57
The Christmas week was a time for visiting… The Mops made a trip down to Gunning Island to visit the Sweetapples and another day they went over to Matties Cove to visit the Rumbolts, Reeds and Rupells.

Page 88
The ladies from Matties Cove came over for the funeral (Thomas Blandford, died 27th Feb 1833, aged seventy two and had been at Battle Harbour for fourty five years), Mrs Rumbolt, Mrs Reed, Mrs Holloway and Mary Rumbolt stayed at Battle Harbour for the night…..

Page 89
Robert and Thomas Rumbolt came down from Shoal Cove in the very frosty weather and both men had frost bitten faces when they arrived.

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