Jost Biographies:

Johann Georg Jost and John Casper Jost


First Generation--grave of George and Susanna
George’s full name was Johann Georg Jost. It was a practice in Germany that the first given name was a christening name, and the child would actually go by the middle name. So it was with George. He and Susanna named three of their sons John! The Betty’s passenger list states simply that he was from Strasbourg. The list gives his name as Jean Georges Jost, the French version of his name, but his own signature on the indebtedness list was "Johann Georg Jost," showing that he was a German speaker, and thought of himself as being ethnically German rather than French.

He was born May 30, 1727, according to the birth records of St. Aurelians’ Lutheran church in Strasbourg. This tallies with his age (25) when he boarded the Betty in May 1752. But it means he was actually 48 years old when he died in 1775, rather than 49, as was recorded on his gravestone. The birth record tells that his father was a locksmith--the same occupation George gave when he boarded the ship.

According to the World Book Encyclopedia: "Alsace-Lorraine became part of Charlemagne’s empire in the 700’s. But it fell to Germany when his grandsons divided his empire. Alsace-Lorraine remained under German rule until the 1500’s, when France gained control of them by slow stages. The people fought all efforts to turn them into Frenchmen. But the French Revolution of 1789 brought a change of heart. The Alsatian people became so French in spirit that more than 50,000 moved to France when Germany got their territory in 1871." In searching Strasbourg’s Lutheran church records from the early 1700’s, I found that the records were still kept in German, meaning that George was definitely a German speaker!

In 1749, Halifax was founded. The British wanted to outweigh the French Catholic influence in Nova Scotia, and so recruited "Foreign Protestants" from Europe (Germany, Switzerland, France) to help settle the city of Halifax. Meanwhile, in Alsace-Lorraine the pressures to become French and Catholic were increasing. George, probably wanting to remain faithful to the teachings of Luther, and attracted by the promise of free land in Nova Scotia, left his home at that time, and joined the "Foreign Protestants" who were settling in Halifax. So he escaped the French Revolution.

The settlement of "Foreign Protestants" in Nova Scotia began in 1750, and the last of them arrived in 1752, totalling about 2500 people. In May 1752, in Rotterdam, Holland, George embarked on a ship, the Betty, giving his home as Strasbourg, and his occupation as locksmith, and his age as 25. He was unmarried at the time. He landed at Halifax, where he remained until May 1753, when the British government resettled the "Foreign Protestants" in a distant wilderness surrounded by hostile Indians--the farming settlement came to be known as Lunenburg. There, the next year, George married Susanna Catherine Morash, who with her family had left Kleinheubach, Germany in 1751. During George and Susanna’s time in Lunenburg, the settlers were ravaged by Indian attacks--several of the settlers were carried off, and an entire family was scalped.

Little Dutch ChurchGeorge and Susanna’s first son, John Michael Jost, was baptized in Lunenburg on Sept. 18, 1757. Their daughter was born the previous year, but escaped being recorded, as happened often in the early days of record keeping. They returned to Halifax ca. 1759-1760, where the rest of their children were born. Whether they returned to Halifax out of fear of the Indians, or because the employment opportunities were better for non-farmers, we don’t know. His will states that he had worked as a blacksmith in Halifax. But in his will he included 150 acres "in the Range of the Five Houses," a peninsula of Lunenburg. In 1765, he was granted a 150-acre parcel in Halifax, and on Dec. 5, 1771, George bought a house and lot in Halifax. He died only four years later, at 49 years of age. Susannah remarried, to a Mr. Drillis, and had another daughter, Catherine.

George and Susanna were buried together in the cemetery of the Little Dutch Church in Halifax, where they worshipped with their family. Their grave can still be seen there.

According to the plaque on the wall, The Little Dutch Church in Halifax was built in 1755 by the earliest German Lutherans in Halifax, and was the first Lutheran church in Canada. It is only about 12 by 6 yards in size! Actually, the settlers found a small, unfinished house, and drug it to its present location, then finished it there. The spire was built later, with George’s help, according to family tradition--being a blacksmith he may have actually made the rooster weather vane. The schoolmaster who led the services was a Johann Jorpel [or Törpel]. The church was taken over by the Anglican Church years ago, and is now a historical landmark.


Memoirs of John Casper Jost

This was found in an old copy book, apparently written by Rev. Cranswick Jost in about 1880. We have two versions of this. One version contains some of the previous history about George and Susanna Jost, as well as scriptures and admonitions to the reader. Otherwise they differ only in wording in a few places. I have used the shorter version, as copied by Clara Jost Marr.

Casper the friendly Jost

During their stay upon earth they are respected by such as love God and when they cease to live here while their spirits are associated with the blest in glory, their memory shall be perpetuated on earth with everlasting profit to the living.

John Casper Jost's father [George Jost] died when he was ten years old. But what he had seen and heard of that which was good deeply impressed him and profitably so. He frequently referred to those days and believed that his mind was powerfully moved by the Spirit of God leading him to fearlessly reprove popular customs of the day which tended to evil.

But notwithstanding the gracious impressions made upon his youthful mind, it was not until the Rev. Wm. Black visited Halifax as a messenger of grace that he became fully convinced of the necessity of personal salvation.

Mr. Black in those bygone days frequently preached in the open market place and often amid showers of stones, but the words spoken were to John Casper Jost "quick and powerful". He felt, he fled, he prayed to God, who, in Christ, soon manifested Himself as his reconciled Father.

He now attended the ministry of the Word, regardless of all persecution, for frequently, while going to the place of worship, he was molested by several young men, some of whom, he has been heard to say, met a sudden and untimely death.

Mr. Jost attended and eventually united with the "Methodist Society", in which important step his wife joined him, for she, too, had become a partner in the pardoning mercy of God.

After many years of uninterrupted union with the church, Mrs. Jost was called to her eternal reward followed three years after by her partner.

Mr. Jost sustained the office of class-leader and chapel-steward for many years and indeed continued in these posts of duty until he exchanged life here for immortality. His faith was made manifest by his works.

If Christian sobriety, if a meek and quiet spirit demonstrated by real piety, then we may favorably judge of Mr. Jost's religious character, for these gracious truths were made manifest in him.

From conscientious convictions he was a Wesleyan Methodist but at the same time he ever cherished the most kindly feelings towards any who loved the Lord Jesus Christ. On the means of Grace he set the highest value, regarding them as being divinely appointed to promote Christian character and a personal experience of God in the soul. Consequently for many years his presence in Argyle St. Church in Halifax was as regular as the services observed in that edifice, hallowed by a thousand association.

He departed this life as he had lived and died.

As usual he conducted family prayers in the evening and although he had been previously indisposed he appeared quite comfortable and he conversed freely and cheerfully on retiring to rest. Early the following morning his daughter, Mary, on approaching his bedside thought that he slept--not a feature was distorted. His position and his countenance all indicated that he slept soundly. But it was the sleep of death.

Most truly without a parting groan "he had the welcome word received". Thus in the eighty-sixth year and after more than fifty years connection with the church this man of God finished his course.



The following is an obituary notice of John Casper Jost, which appeared in the Nova Scotian, a Halifax paper, June 13, 1850.

"Died on Thursday morning, June 12, at an advanced age of 86 years, John Casper Jost, a native of this city and one of its oldest inhabitants. His death was as his life, calm, quiet and unobtrusive, claiming no attention except that which he had sought and no doubt obtained--that when the energy of tired nature failed and 'the weary wheels of life stood still at last' his freed spirit should be received in the bosom of his Father and his God. He retired at the usual hour and was found dead in his bed in the morning. Happy were it for the world if all passed through life as harmlessly and blamelessly as he."

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Jim Drysdale
Writings of Clara Jost Marr
Writings of Dr. Arthur Cranswick Jost
The "Foreign Protestants" and the Settlement of Nova Scotia, by Winthrop Bell, 1961
Records of St. Aurelian's Lutheran church, Strasbourg

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Allan Jost's gedcom of our Jost family:

Halifax County, Nova Scotia GenWeb Project:

Guysborough County, Nova Scotia GenWeb Project:

Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia GenWeb Project:

Lunenburg First Families

Antecdotal Histories of Life in Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia, by Nancy Shaver:

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The Lord is righteous in all His ways, and kind in all His deeds!
The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth!
Psalm 145:17&18 (NASB)