By the Treaty Of Fontenbleau in 1763 Ile St Jean was ceded to Great Britain, ending French Rule, and the name was changed by translation to St John's Island. In 1798 it was renamed Prince Edward Island in honour of Prince Edward. To set the scene for immigration, the island was divided into sixty-seven lots (townships) of about twenty thousand acres each, and a grand lottery was held in England allocating the lots to absentee landlords. Each lot was then divided into plots of two hundred acres to be sold or rented to immigrants for the purpose of farming, logging or fishing. Two hundred acres would be equivalent to an area of half a mile by five-eighths of a mile, a little larger than the quarter sections (one hundred and sixty acres) that were the basis for the later homesteads in Western Canada.
In 1815 the new immigrants included a family of Dumvilles from England: father James Sr (39), sons Thomas (15), Joseph (11), Edward (6), and Samuel (5), and a pregnant wife who delivered a son, Thomas Jr, after landing. The ages are approximate.
Twenty-six years later the census of 1841 shows the sons grown up and married with children. The next census, taken twenty years later in 1861, shows that only Samuel and James Jr remained on Prince Edward Island. It can be assumed that James Sr and his wife died of old age. No trace could be found of Edward, and Thomas and Joseph had moved to New Brunswick.
The censuses of 1841 and 1861 enumerated the heads of the family by name but other members were only counted by gender and age. The numbers are difficult to interpret since servants or relations could be included, but nevertheless they are a great aid in reconstructing their movements. The next general census was not taken until 1881. This one did enumerate all family members.
Many descendants of James Sr believe he was the son of Henry Dumville (born in 1725 in Ireland, died in 1789 in Scotland) who was the son of Edmund Dumville (born in about 1701 in Ireland, died in 1762 in Olney, Buckinghamshire). In any case, the sons of James Dumville Sr all claimed English origin on their census forms.
This information was copied from the introduction to a book by Clifford Dumville, 'The Dumvilles of Prince Edward Island, Restigouche County, New Brunswick, and The Gaspe, Quebec'.