A Student of History

April 17, 2007

Was there a Medieval Church in America?

Filed under: Historic Places — John Maass @ 2:16 pm

If the findings of a recently deceased British historian can be substantiated, a Canadian town may well be able to trace its roots back to the late 1400s, around the time of John Cabot’s voyages to the New World. It may also have been the site of the first church built in North America. And the Newfoundland town may also have a new theory on the origin of its name.

According to Dr. Evan Jones of the University of Bristol, if (Dr. Alwyn) Ruddock is right, “it means that the remains of the only medieval church in North America may still lie buried under the modern town of Carbonear.”

Carbonear is among the oldest settlements in North America. The harbour was named by migratory fishermen before John Guy and the other settlers arrived in Cupids in 1610, to establish the first English settlement in Canada. The settlers mention Carbonear by name in their letters and journals. 

The name Carbonear may be French or Spanish. Some people think that the name comes from a Spanish word, carbonera, which can mean either “wood prepared for burning into charcoal”, “charcoal kiln”, or “woman who makes or sells charcoal”. If Carbonear is a French name, it might come from the French word Carbonnier, which is a family name from Picardy and Normandy in France. It might also come from La Carbonnière, which is a place-name in Normandy.

The rest of this intriguing story is here.


Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: