Seasonal or Trans-migratory period

The Seasonal or Trans-migratory period constitutes the first phase of English migration to what is now known as Newfoundland. It is defined primarily by summer migration only. This resulted in temporary settlements in Eastern Newfoundland with very few winter caretakers and boatbuilders staying on over the winter when the fishing season ended.

Migratory Fishery and Initial Settlements

The second phase, the Migratory Fishery and Initial Settlements saw control of fisheries by seasonal West England fisherman followed by the arrival of a new type of migrants called the "byeboat-keepers". These were independent fishers not part of a larger fishing company. A minority of migrants stayed over winter but by 1630 nearly 30 harbours and coves were settled by families who have descendants in current day Conception Bay. These families are likely the oldest family line in Newfoundland. This era also saw significant French raiding.

Migratory and Newfoundland Settler Fisheries

In cultural phase three, the Migratory and Newfoundland Settler Fisheries, a new, offshore, bank fishery replaced the ancient English one and expanded north beyond Bonavista Bay, Fogo Island and Twillingate into formerly French settled areas. New settlements were founded and a supply trade with English merchants (who also marketed labour) was developed. The arrival and settlement of the Irish, many who settled in St. John's, came to eventually outnumber the English in the area.

Consolidation and Growth of Permanent Settlements

Phase four consisted of Consolidation and Growth of Permanent Settlements, which brought about a population boom (more babies born and more immigrants arrived). It was during this stage that the French Revolution (1789) took place; the migratory fishery eventually collapsed which was good for those who settled long term. It was a busy time, with expansion into supply trade by merchants in St. John's and Conception Bay. Mercantile centers were established, schools, churches, government offices built. Things were looking good! This inevitably led to phase five.

Decline of English Trade and Migration

The Decline of English Trade and Migration was a period defined by dwindling immigration. Some English merchants continued trade into underdeveloped areas; migration tended to be for jobs in larger settled areas (for churches, schools, etc.) and not for fishing. By the 1850's family fishing was the norm.