Hampton's history, like all of Canada's, begins with it's Native Peoples. The Micmac and Maliseet, both of the Algonquin family were the two established tribes of Southern New Brunswick. The Micmac's interest lied in fishing, while the Maliseet cultivated maize. The predominant tribe in the region known today as Hampton was that of the Maliseet Indian. This tribe is known to have had various encampments in what they called Ossekeag, a marshy brook, along the Kennebecasis River.
The first European arrival in this area was that of the French in 1604. On June 24, Samuel de Champlain and his associates sailed up the mouth of what they named the Saint John River, the Maliseet knew this to be the Woolastook, a name that still appears today. The French company spent a horrific winter on Doucet's Island, up the Saint Croix River. In the spring of 1605, they left for the Annapolis Valley.
In 1635, Sieur Charles Saing Etienne De La Tour was granted land encompassing part of present day Hampton. By the time of the Loyalist arrival, four Acadian families and a couple of squatters were to have taken residency within today's town limits.
Around 1765, a township was granted to James Amesbury, a Halifax Merchant but like many, the grantees could not comply with the conditions laid out by the English Crown, so the land was reserved for it's loyal subjects in exodus from the newly formed United States of America.
Although a small native and French population had either frequented or settled here, no permanent settlement had appeared until 1783 with the coming of the Loyalists. For their fidelity to the Crown during the trying years of the Revolutionary War in the United States, the June fleet from Connecticut were welcomed with large parcels of land, tools and implements and a few years worth of supplies.
Real development, however, did not begin until the 1850's with the construction of the European and North American railway. Hampton Station was the mid-point on the old rail line between Saint John and Moncton. In 1871, the townshire for King's County was moved to Hampton Station and with it, a stone jail house was moved brick by brick from the Kingston Peninsula.
Also by this time, the two sectors of Hampton, Hampton Station and the Village, were equipped with every amenity a nineteenth century small town needed. Aside from the general service arena, the backbone of Hampton's economy was the Flewwelling Mill Complex. In 1895, G. & G. Flewwelling Mfg. Co. Limited was incorporated and was capitalized at $150,000. The company employed upwards of 200 hands and had it's own sawmill, tug boat and a general store. In 1918, this 54 year old company was sold to Randolf & Baker, Ltd. due to the war, a rapid increase in wages and a growing scarcity of suitable lumber and skilled labour. The operation was moved to Saint John and the Mill was closed.
In 1966, the two burrows, Hampton Station and Hampton Village amalgamated into The Village of Hampton. The origins of the name Hampton is still uncertain. It is though that the area is named after Hampton outside of London, England or "The Hamptons" in New York state. Others contend that the area is named for Abner Hampton, a ferry operator in the area. However, "The Register of Voters" Saint John from 1790-1861 lists 14 people with the surname of Hampton, three of whom had the christian name of Abner.
For more information on the history and genealogies of Hampton can be accessed through the Kings County Historical and Archival Society. Most of the information in this article area taken directly from Reflections: The Story of Hampton, N.B., (ISBN 1111416079) by author David G. Keirstead. Copies of this book can also be obtain through the Kings County Historical and Archival Society, P.O. Box 5001, Hampton, New Brunswick, E0G 1Z0.