Researched and Written by Marissa Rodriques, iMOVE
Before Gottingen came to be there was a small village in Germany called Gutingi, around the time of 953 AD. The 7th century is when the first archaeological evidence is first found towards settlement. The first historical mention was in a document by the Holy Roman Emperor Otto in 953 AD. The town of Gottingen however, was not found until between the times of 1150 and 1200 AD, to which it then adopted its name. During medieval times, the town of Gottingen was known as a fairly wealthy town for it was a part of the Hanseatic League; an economic alliance of trading cities that dominated trade along the coast of Northern Europe. The name of the village is said to derive from the word Gote, which was the name of a small stream that at one point in time flowed through it.
In 1749, the British colony in Nova Scotia was mainly filled with native Mi’kmaq and 10,000 French-speaking and Roman-Catholic Acadians. They wanted to settle Protestants in the area but because their fellow Britain’s would not emigrate, a plan was developed aggressively to recruit foreign Protestants. The recruits mainly occurred in Germany, with some being from France, Netherlands and Switzerland. When the foreigners arrived in Halifax they were put in temporary quarters. The final settlement occurred from 1750 to 1752. About a year later in 1753, most Germans relocated to Lunenburg. However, some Germans remained in Halifax on Dutchtown Street, the street named after all of the Germans in the area. The following year of 1764, some of the Germans that still resided in Halifax, petitioned the government to name their street Gottingen as a sort of homage to the British monarch of the time, George II, who was of German ancestry, descended from the Gottingen line. He founded Gottingen University in 1734. By doing such they commemorated the district of Germany with the same name. The petition was granted, and the previous street name Dutchtown became Gottingen. This occurred on April 6th, 1764. This is a notable event in the evolution of Halifax.