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Loyalist Trails UELAC Newsletter, 2008 Archive

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"Loyalist Trails" 2008-13: March 30, 2008

Articles

The Jewish Loyalists of Newport, RI, by Stephen Davidson

At the beginning of the American Revolution there were about 2,500 Jews in the Thirteen Colonies. They made their homes in New York, Pennsylvania, Georgia, South Carolina, and Rhode Island. Jacob Marcus, the American historian, estimates that one in every one thousand colonists was a Jew. If one can assume that that statistic held true for the 100,000 loyalist refugees who left the United States at the end of the war, then there could have been as many as one hundred loyal Jews among the refugees. The story of the Jewish loyalists of Newport, Rhode Island is certainly worthy of note.

By the late 1750s the Jewish population of Newport, Rhode Island was sufficient to merit building a synagogue. Finished in 1763, the Jeshuat Israel Synagogue was attended by members of families bearing the names of Lopez, Hays, Hart, Mendes, Pollocks and Rivera. Some in the congregation were shopkeepers; others were involved in the thriving commerce of Newport, especially the outfitting of its privateer vessels.

As with Christian congregations, the members of the Jewish synagogue were divided between rebels and loyalists at the outset of the American Revolution. Tensions were so bad that Aaron Lopez, a patriot merchant, and 70 members of his extended family left Newport to find refuge in Massachusetts. It must have been difficult to have been a patriot worshipper at the synagogue. Its spiritual leader, Isaac de Abraham Touro, was an avowed loyalist.

Before serving Newportís Jewish community, Touro had escaped the Spanish Inquisition, moved to Amsterdam where he trained for the ministry, and then settled in Jamaica before moving to Rhode Island. Touro met and married Reyna Hays in 1773. Within just a few years, Reyna's brother, Moses Hays, fled Newport for Boston with other patriot Jews. The revolution divided the rabbi's family as well as the membership of his synagogue.

Despite his diminishing congregation, Touro decided to remain in Newport. When the commander of the British occupational forces approached the Jewish leader about using the synagogue's sanctuary as a hospital for soldiers, Touro agreed. Not only did this allow the rabbi to demonstrate his loyalty to the crown, it also secured the synagogue building against attacks by patriots.

However, when it was apparent that the British would lose the war, Touro gathered up his wife and children and took refuge in Jamaica. The Newport loyalist died within a year of arriving on the Caribbean island. Having no one to provide for her young children, Touro's widow left Jamaica and sailed for Boston to live with her patriot brother. It is interesting to note that even though he was a loyalist throughout the revolution, Rev. Touro was held in such high regard by the members of his Newport congregation that they later changed the name of their house of worship to the Touro Synagogue.

Isaac Hart, who had helped to finance the building of the Newport synagogue, was one of the city's best known Jewish loyalists. Hart was a wealthy merchant, the owner of an estate valued at £2000. Both the president of Yale and the governor of Rhode Island were among his friends.

In July 1780, Rhode Island banished a number of its Jewish loyalists, including Isaac Hart, declaring that they would be arrested if they returned to the state. Within three months, Isaac Hart died in the defence of a British garrison during the Battle of Long Island. Rivington's Gazette reported that Hart was "inhumanly fired upon and bayoneted, wounded in fifteen parts of his body, and beat with ... muskets in a most shocking manner in the very act of imploring quarter, and died of his wounds a few hours later."

Isaac Hart's nephew, Moses Hart, was a Newport shopkeeper who served the king in a more clandestine manner. In the course of his workday, Moses quietly collected information about rebel plans against the British. So as not to draw attention to himself, Moses had his mother and sister deliver the data he gathered to a loyalist ship owner named George Rome who then passed it along to the British.

Mrs. Hart and Miss Hart must have been very effective in delivering Moses' reports. Patriot suspicions about spy activity in Rhode Island grew to such an extent that it was rumoured that Newport's Jews had organized themselves into an intelligence network to funnel secrets to London. By 1780, the spying Harts were discovered and had to flee Newport.

Moses Hart served in the New York militia for the next three years; finally sailing for England with his father, mother, and sister in 1783. His former contact, George Rome, also fled to Britain and appeared on Hart's behalf at loyalist compensation hearings. Rome testified that he considered the Jewish refugees "altogether a loyal family".

The records have little to say about the fate of the Hart family. Moses' father died within a year of their arrival. His mother, who had served the crown by passing along intelligence to the British, received a small allowance for her husband's loyalty that she shared with her son. Oddly, the services Moses rendered to the crown were not considered worthy of a separate compensation. In the absence of any more information, one is left to suppose that Moses Hart must have drawn upon his entrepreneurial skills to reestablish himself in England. He, like the other loyalist Jews of Newport, paid dearly for having chosen the losing side in the War of Independence.

UELAC Central West Region Meeting in London on April 19

The Annual Regional meeting for Branches of Central West Region will be held in London, Ontario at the Westmount Branch of the London Public Library, 3200 Wonderland Rd. S. just south of Southdale on Saturday April 19, 2008. The seminar will start at 9:30 a.m. and run until 3:00 p.m.

All members of the Central West Region Branches are welcome to attend. A registration fee of $5.00 per person to be paid at the door will cover meeting expenses. Morning coffee and refreshments will be provided by London and Western Ontario Branch. We will be stepping out for lunch on our own at a selection of nearby restaurants.

The program features Dominion President Peter Johnson, Past President Doug Grant, Senior Vice President Fred Hayward and Loyalist Scholarship Recipient 2007-2008 Timothy J. Compeau. Branch Project Presentations, RVP and Councillor Election and Project 2014 Promotions Market complete the day.

The Promotions Committee led by Noreen Stapley will bring all items that are in stock to the Regional Meeting. If you have any questions pertaining to items now, please ask. If you want something specific set aside, or a package of items to take back for your Branch sales table, please contact us for availability and we will gladly do so. Contact Noreen and committee at {gdandy AT iaw DOT on DOT ca} how do I email her?

Please RSVP about attendance with Name, Branch and number attending by April 10, 2008 to B. Schepers at {bschepers AT govital DOT net} how do I email him?

Kingston Branch Visit March 29th

Thanks to Kingston Branch for the hospitality, a chance to address the Members and a chance to chat afterwards. Angela even met a Bell Family cousin. The meeting was held in a Church Hall next to the cemetery where Molly Brant UE is buried.

...Peter W. Johnson UE, President UELAC

Heritage Project Goes Hi-Tech at Rose Cemetery

On March 20th I had the pleasure of attending Geology (not Genealogy) Project presentations by Queen's University students in Kingston. Of particular note was the project carried out by Sarah De Jonge and Heather Wells. Briefly, the project involved the use of ground-penetrating radar to determine areas where the ground had been disturbed in the past, hence leading to the location of unmarked graves. The site for the project was the Rose Cemetery, near Waupoos in Prince Edward County ON. This early cemetery is the resting place of some disbanded German Regulars, probably some disbanded British Regulars, and quite likely some Loyalists too. It is a pleasant location by the water south of the Rose House Museum, and the cemetery is still in use. The project was the idea of John Lyons who has Bongard ancestors buried there. Yes. There were indications of quite a few unmarked graves, and this is not surprising.

Peter W. Johnson UE, President, UELAC politician from Prince Edward County was at the presentation and gave the students certificates on behalf of the County, the local MP, and the local MPP. I also gave the students congratulatory certificates on behalf of the UELAC, as this project keeps Heritage issues in the public eye, (through some good local press coverage), and helps our understanding of the early days of settlement in this Province. More details will follow in the Fall "Loyalist Gazette".

...Peter W. Johnson UE, President, UELAC

Loyalist Connection to "In Flanders Fields"

In the March edition of "Loyalist Northern Lights", the newsletter of the Edmonton Branch, is an article about the Helmer Loyalists by Betty Scharff UE. It concludes with the following paragraph:

One of the interesting military aspects in the Helmer Family was a cousin, the most notable, Brigadier General Richard Alexis Helmer (1864-1920). He was a most highly esteemed and efficient officer and expert in musketry. He was a qualified chemist and was Mayor of the City of Hull. His son, Lieutenant Alex Helmer was killed in Belgium in May of 1915. It was from the burial of Lieutenant Alex Helmer that Col. John McCrae wrote his famous poem of remembrance "In Flanders Fields", for his friend, Alex.

More on William Rawlins Beaumont

After being educated at various private schools Beaumont became a student at St. Bartholomew's Hospital, London. From there he went to Paris. At that time Paris offered to students of medicine many inducements, especially in the subjects of anatomy and surgery. Before returning to England, Beaumont attended for a short period the University of Brussels. In 1826 he became a member of the Royal College of Surgeons.In 1844 he was made an honorary fellow of the College. His mind was still turned in the direction of new and improved instruments. In 1836, he invented and perfected an instrument for suturing in the operation for cleft palate. It served as the model for the Singer sewing machine. He also invented an instrument for tying polyps, a spectrum, and many others of surgical merit.

In 1841, he arrived in Canada and took up residence in Toronto. From 1845, Beaumont held many important positions, from Professor of Surgery in King's College to Dean of that institution. He also worked at the Toronto General Hospital, where he delivered clinical lectures in surgery.

His last days were clouded by much suffering. In 1865 he lost the sight of his right eye. Deprived of the ability to practice his profession he withdrew from his old associates and lived a life of seclusion with his family.

The Beaumont's are of noble extraction being descended from Louis 2nd son of Charles, King of Jerusalem & Sicily. Thomas Beaumont created Baronet, Feb.21 1666. The surname Beaumont is derived from a city of that name in France on the river Larite in Maine.

...Bob Jarvis

OGS 13th Genealogy "Summer Camp", Toronto, June 8-13, 2008

Genealogy "Summer Camp" is a unique program that brings out-of-town and local family historians together in Toronto for an intensive week of tutorials and hands-on research at the many archives and reference libraries in Toronto. We keep the group small to allow lots of help from our experts. Some tutorials will emphasize Toronto sources, but most repositories have holdings from a much broader area. Researchers with ancestors anywhere in Ontario will benefit from Summer Camp.

The fee for 2008 is $210 (US dollars at par). This covers approximately 7 hours of lectures and tutorials, 30 hours of supervised research, all worksheets and handouts, and public transportation to venues. For complete details, including lists of venues, resources and tutorials, accommodation information and an application form, please visit: http://www.torontofamilyhistory.org or call 416-733-2608 (voice mail). The application deadline is May 2, though earlier contact is appreciated.

...Paul Jones, Past Chair, Ontario Genealogical Society, Toronto Branch

The Ancestry of Diana, Princess of Wales

The NEHGS sales department is happy to offer The Ancestry of Diana, Princess of Wales, for Twelve Generations for only $29.95, a $5.00 savings off the cover price.

The Ancestry of Diana, Princess of Wales, by Atlanta-based genealogist Richard K. Evans, is an exhaustively researched account of the late Princessís forebears, tracing her ancestors from the British Isles to northern and eastern Europe as well as to the United States and the Far East. This noteworthy book shows that she descends from kings and commoners, scholars and their patrons, murderers and their victims, prime ministers and barmaids ≠ and at least one court jester.

Click here for more details. This special pricing is good until April 6, 2008.

[submitted by Margaret Carter UE, Manitoba Branch]

Hillary Clinton a Descendant of George McDougall

US Senator, Hillary Rodham Clinton, is a descendant of George McDougall, Captain of the 84th Regiment, who died at Carleton Island, 8 April 1780. McDougall is remembered for his service during Pontiac's seige of Detroit in 1863.

"Lieutenant. George McDougall of the Royal American Regiment, a native of Scotland, who was at Detroit during Pontiac's siege. A few years after this event, he obtained title to Hog Island (Belle Isle) and thereby started a controversy which is still of interest to the people of Detroit. He died at Carleton Island, April 8, 1780. In 1763, he had married at Detroit, Mary Frances Navarre, daughter of Robert Navarre and Mary Lootman dit Barrios." -- from Michigan's Dept of Military & Veteran's Affairs

P.S. Yes, it is true, Senator John McCain and Senator Barack Obama are distant cousins through the Rolfe family.

...Brandt Zatterberg UE Bay of Quinte Branch

Last Post: Wilbert Walt UE

Angela and Peter Johnson UE thank the members of Bay of Quinte Branch UELAC who attended the funeral of Wilbert Walt UE on March 24th. Your presence was much appreciated.

Thanks also for the expression of sympathy both by regular mail and online.

...Peter Johnson UE, President UELAC

Honouring Military Veterans Everywhere

I have uncovered the gravesite of a former member of 83 Regiment of Foot, John Francis Johnston. John Francis Johnston was born in County, Monaghan, Ireland, in 1830. Before arriving in the United States Johnston served in the military with the 83rd Regiment of Foot. Then when the American Civil War broke out, already being in the United States, Johnston enlisted at New Liberty, Illinois into "A" Co., 48th Illinois Infantry, commissioned with the rank of Captain; on February 16, 1862.

After arriving in Australia, John Francis Johnston died on May 10, 1886 at 56 years of age and was buried in Launceston, Tasmaniaís Cypress Street Cemetery; which in 1953 was closed and all headstones and burials removed to make way for a park for the schoolchildren of Broadland House School.

As such, I am trying to acquire enough information on him, his life and military service so we can add him to the Australian Memorial veterans website, and acquire a bronze memorial plaque to commemorate his life and military service. All such veterans deserve to be recognized and remembered.

If you can supply me with any information at all that I can use, especially news clippings or pictures relating to him, it would be greatly appreciated.

...James Gray {jamesmgray AT bigpond DOT com} how do I email him?

Information on Family of Lorne Lawrence

The article in "Loyalist Trails" UELAC newsletter 2007-48 Dec. 9, 2007, "Mennonite Migration from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania to Ontario, Canada", parallels my family history. A document is referenced and in it is:

By December of 1778, those who refused the loyalty test were barred from voting or being elected to any office. A decade later, many Mennonites were packing up and leaving for Upper Canada. An Abraham Beam who was arrested for expressing loyalist tendencies, lost all his possessions, and made a successful claim as a loyalist for a land grant in Upper Canada near the village of Chippewa. There he and his son Martin became prosperous and eventually owned 1450 acres.

Aaron Beam, who is the first cousin twice removed of Abraham Beam, married Sarah Miller and they had a daughter, Rebecca Catherine Beam, b. 9Oct1860

Sylvester Lawrence, my grandfather, in his first marriage, married Rebecca Catherine Beam at Teeterville, Norfolk County, Ont. She died on 12Jul1888 at childbirth, yielding a son, Lorne Beam Lawrence who had been born the day before - there are conflicting reports whether the birth was in New York or in Teeterville, Ontario.

He was raised by his grandparents, Aaron and Sarah, until he migrated to Buffalo, N.Y., where he is found in the 1901 census:

- 36; 125 Bram Aaron M Head W Aug 20 1826, 74 (Aaron BEAM)

- 37; 125 Lawerce Lorne M Grandson S Jul 11 1888, 12 (12 YEARS OLD)

In household 125, the enumerator wrote the surname as 'Lawerce', a suggested alternative surname is 'Lawrence?'.

Aaron Beam died in 1908, Teeterville, Norfolk County, Ontario, when Lorne was 18 years old.

Lorne married Eleanor M. ______, b. 1890 in N.Y. They have a daughter, Dorothy E. Lawrence, b. 1913, Buffalo, N.Y. Lorne appears in the 1920 US census in Buffalo.

I am trying to trace any family of Lorne's.

...Howard Lawrence {howardl AT inreach DOT com} how do I email him?

Potential Loyalists in Ralph Connor's Books?

I just finished reading Ralph Connor's book The Runner. I was slightly disappointed but, overall it was not a bad book for its time, printed in 1929. It was not until the last 100 pages was there any mention of a date although I was aware the book was about the war of 1812 and took place in the Niagara Region.

Rev. Charles W. Gordon, pen name Ralph Connor (1860-1937), Canadian novelist whose writing presents the views of middle-class Canadians in the early 20th Century. Click here for more.

Although he was a fiction writer much of Gordon's early subject matter came from the stories his parents told, and from his own youth in Glengarry County, Ontario, where several of his novels, including Glengarry School Days (1902), were set.

I purchased my copy through "Abe's Books" for $10. I noticed the book contained a list of 25 books written by Ralph Conner. Perhaps the readers could comment about some of the other titles the take place in early Canadian history that possibly feature stories of Loyalist families.

Books by Ralph Connor:

Beyond the Marshes, Black Rock, The Sky Pilot, Ould Michael, The Man From Glengarry, Glengarry School Days, Breaking the Record, The Prospector, The Pilot of Swan Creek, Gwen, The Doctor of Crow's Nest, The Life of Dr. James Robertson, The Foreigner, The Angel and The Star, The Dawn by Galilee, The Recall of Love, Corporal Cameron, The Patrol of the Sun Dance Trail, The Major, The Sky Pilot in No Man's Land, To Him That Hath, The Gaspards of Pine Croft, Treading the Winepress, The Friendly Four and Other Stories.

...Paul R. Caverly, PLCGS, UE

Names of Ships Bringing Loyalists to Canada

Further to the query in the latest edition of Loyalist Trails (Name of ship which took William Hayman and the Royal North Carolina Regiment to Nova Scotia in 1783), is there a source that lists the names of all the ships that left New York carrying loyalist evacuees? I have seen some ship's names in the Book of Negros which piqued my curiosity.

...Dorothy Meyerhof {meyerhof AT magma DOT ca} how do I email her?

[Editor's note: If there isn't a list available somewhere, shall we undertake to build one on our web site. We have informaiton there now about the HMS Clinton. From our Research Resources section, see "Loyalist Passengers on HMS Clinton in 1783 New York to Nova Scotia" ....doug]

Black Settlers from NS to London Township, ON

It seems that prior to 1861, but probably in the late 1850's, 33 Blacks (about 11 families, the rest individuals) settled in London Township next to the municipality of London. Most were labourers, some were farmers and skilled crafstmen.

I would appreciate it if someone there could provide some background of the times as to why "coloured" Nova Scotians would leave that province in the late 1850s and settle in a township near London, Ontario. General information would be helpful, information more specific to similar migrations of the time in this direction, or the same migration, would be more so. Thanks for your help.

...Michael Murphy {murfy AT sympatico DOT ca} how do I email him?

Response re Information about Sgt. Kelly and Wife

Thank you to Mr. Winston Dobson U.E., who kindly shared with me the following information regarding my g g grandfather, Sgt. Major Martin Kelly Sr., who had been since 1776, a Corporal in the Kings Loyal Americans, and later, a Sgt. Major in Jessup's Loyal Rangers.

On June 9, 1784 three hundred and fifteen men, women and children sailed from Quebec City to the Bay of Chaleur. There were passenger lists for these sailings. On July 11 another 31 men sailed for Chaleur Bay and a further 36 on July 31. No passenger lists have been unearthed for these 77 people.

These 1784 settlers drew for lots during that summer and Sgt. Major Martin Kelly, a single man, is on the Draw-of-Lots list. (source: Draw of Lots 1784, transcribed from A.D. Flowers "Loyalists of Chaleur Bay" Orig. List in NAC). In 1785 there was a list prepared for all Loyalists and others entitled to receive provisions and Martin Kelly is found on the New Carlisle list. (A source book by Norman K. Crowder, pp 118-119, New Carlisle Muster Roll 21; Ontario Archives, MS 400 Reel 16, Series RG1, A-IV vol 80). In 1786 there was a list compiled for the men who signed the Oath of Allegiance to the Crown. Martin Kelly was one of those who took the oath before Lt.-Governor Nicholas Cox.(source: Library and Archives Canada, R64 A1, vol 29, pp 9416- 9426; Civil Sec. Quebec and Lower Canada, Series S). The ggg grandfather of Mr.Winston Dobson, John Man (former Quartermaster in Jessupís Corps) was the clerk of the land board in the Bay of Chaleur and he compiled a list of the land certificates issued between April 10, 1790 and May 1, 1791. Martin Kelly is on the list as having received 200 acres at Point St. Peter, between Gaspe and Perce, Quebec.(source: NAC Microfilm, C-2546, pp 67823-67825).

Sometime between 1791 and ca. 1800, Martin Kelly apparently sold his land at Point St. Peter, and purchased a residence in Edwardsburgh Township, Ontario. He is shown to be a Lieutenant in the Grenville Militia in 1803, and ca. 1805, he married the very young Rosannah ( - ? - ), and they had three children, the oldest, Martin Jr., born 1806, is my great grandfather. He is also on the Augusta twp tax rolls from 1805-1809. It is believed that Martin Kelly Sr. died ca. 1811.

Should anyone know of information as to the family of my g g grandmother, Rosannah; the location of the Kelly home in Edwardsburgh Twp; and the burial site of Sgt. Major Martin Kelly, it would be truly appreciated. Now, this is a very good day; since I have just received my three certificates, I will with pride, and for the very first time, place the letters, following my name!

...John W. Kelly, Sr., UE {balbal AT charter DOT net} how do I email him?

Response re James Rogers, and Margaret & Mary McGregor

Colonel James Rogers and Major James Rogers are indeed the same person. James was the Major Commandant of the Kingís Rangers during the war and was appointed Colonel of the local militia following the settlement in Upper Canada. His wife was Margaret McGregor, daughter of the Rev David McGregor. Of her three sisters, Mary Anne married James Hopkins, Jane married Robert Hunter, and Mary married Robert Means.

...Robert J Rogers UE

Response re Ship which took Hayman & RNC Regiment

I searched records for Nova Scotia and found: in Nova Scotia Immigrants to 1867, Vol.1-Part 2, p370, CD#274 which says "Hayman,William. B. Scotland: Loyalist from St.Augustine on ARGO 1784; to Country Harbour, then Tatamagouche (353:2)." so he came on the ship ARGO.

Public Archives of Nova Scotia, Loyalists & Settlers, p128, 1784 - County Harbour East, 100 acres. RNC Reg't, CD#274

Also, there are several entries published in 'Loyalists in the Southern Campaign' which show Hayman on Muster Rolls of the Royal North Carolina Regiment.

...Donald J. Flowers, UE

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