Connect with us online:

Ontario Loyalist Licence Plates
Make a donation and help preserve Loyalist history
Make a donation and help
preserve Loyalist history

Loyalist Trails UELAC Newsletter, 2008 Archive

Previous Issue   |   Index   |   Next Issue

"Loyalist Trails" 2008-29: August 17, 2008


Editor's Note

Since the last issue of Loyalist Trails in mid-July, Nancy and I have boated along rivers and lakes between Moscow and St. Petersburg,a trip which was long on our wish list and which we thoroughly enjoyed. This past week I focused on my real job, but there were over 230 Loyalist messages in my in-basket earlier this week; my apologies for those items which should have been included in this message, and to those to whom I have yet to respond. I will endeavour to get caught up over the next few weeks. Enjoy your summer!


Welcome from New President Fred Hayward UE

As the last issue carried the final comments of the outgoing president, it is fitting that this issue contain a few pertinent yet general comments from UELAC’s 35th president. Back in 1914, our newly formed association was centred in Toronto. Ninety-four years later, I find that the travels of the president will take me back and forth across our country. From the 2008 inauguration in Saint John to the AGM in Vernon, B.C. in 2010, I hope to meet increased numbers of members in their own regions and communities. Within a week of celebrating the 225th anniversary of the arrival of the Loyalists in the Maritimes, I witnessed the certificate presentation to Ruth Onley UE, consort of The Honourable David C. Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario at the meeting of the Grand River Branch. My personal planner already indicates participation in the Central West Region’s Service of Celebration and Remembrance of the Loyalists to be held at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London on September 21 followed quickly by the Pacific Region Mini Conference on September 27 and the Col. John Butler Niagara Branch meeting on October 4. November will see me travelling to Regina for the Prairie Region Mini Conference and Ottawa for the meeting of the Sir Guy Carleton Branch.

Buoyed by a euphoria generated by the excellence of the Saint John 225 Conference, and with the support of UELAC’s elected and appointed leaders, I am confident that we will move forward to build our membership and strengthen our role in Canada’s heritage community. If you have not yet heard of the intent behind “Recognition, Resolution and Relevance” as outlined at the AGM, you will be more familiar with those words in the coming months.

Finally, what ever you do this summer, whether it be travel, research, hobbies or simple relaxation, I hope everyone returns to the work of UELAC reinvigorated for the year ahead.

...Frederick H. Hayward, UE, President, UELAC

Prelude to The Toast to Our Loyalist Ancestors at UELAC Conference 2008 in Saint John

Storm-tossed they landed on this Fundy shore,
The clash of arms still ringing in their ears.
They faced a green but lonely wilderness
With lofty hopes and many nagging fears.

With axe and musket o`er stout shoulders slung,
They set to work to build new homes and town,
And laid the groundwork of a vast new land,
Where peace and freedom wear an ancient Crown.

At table now, their praise we haste to sing,
Their deeds we tell for all to hear and see.
Our glasses filled, our hearts full high upraised,
Let's toast with pride their faith and loyalty.

I was honoured to be asked to propose the toast to our Loyalist ancestors at the banquet in Saint John, on this 225th anniversary year of the arrival of so many on those shores.

...Robert Wilkins UE, President, Heritage Branch

Congratulations to Fred Hayward

Congratulations to Fred Hayward as new Dominion President of the United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada! It was great to read about Toronto Branch President Karen Windover's summer travels in the Maritimes in the Toronto Branch newsletter Fidelity.

I was also in Nova Scotia this summer for some 225th anniversary Loyalist Landing celebrations and personally witnessed Governor Parr re-naming the site from Port Roseway to Shelburne. A day in Birchtown was a poignant reminder that minorities often have a long struggle to be heard and succeed, even in our beloved Canada.

...Brenda Dougall Merriman, CG

Pictures from Conference in Saint John NB

Ann and I enjoyed our involvement with the St. John Conference. Ann has made up a page of pictures.

...Fraser Carr UE

An article printed in the Saint John Telegraph-Journal on Saturday, July 12th was based on interviews with Stephen Bolton and Stephen Davidson. See here. For a radio interview by CBC of two delegates at the UELAC Conference, click here and look under July 11.

Reading the Minister's Diary, by Stephen Davidson

The American Revolution interrupted Frederick Dibblee's theological training in 1776. After operating a store on Long Island, marrying his sweetheart, migrating to New Brunswick, and teaching in a school for First Nations children, Dibblee finally fulfilled his lifelong dream of serving God in the Church of England. In 1791, at 38 years of age, he became the first Anglican clergyman in the loyalist town of Woodstock, New Brunswick.

In his 50th year, Rev. Dibblee began to keep a diary. Except for the summer, he took time almost every day over the succeeding 22 years to record the seasonal changes, family occasions, and community events that he thought were significant. The diary provides a fascinating glimpse into both the life of a loyalist settlement and the mind of a refugee. Let's take a moment to indulge in something we would never consider doing with a contemporary clergyman -- let's have a look in his diary.

The first entry in Dibblee's journal was made on November 8, 1805. "We have had a very fine Fall to this Date warm and pleasant; no Snow or Frost; but a great Quantity of Rain." Dibblee had a passionate interest in the weather and the water levels of the St. John River. (Later that year, he would note that there were 5 foot snowdrifts.)

In fact, his theology seemed closely tied to his meteorology. This comment is typical of the only references to God the minister ever made in his diary: "Thanks be to God, the author of all Good, for this Blessed Season. The Weather Constantly Warm - Dry, and most of the Nights - and wet enough for every Kind of Vegetation - Surely Our Hearts must be Thankful."

Dibblee's entries were generally filled with the routine stuff of life: animal feeding habits, funerals, ice conditions, marriages and sprained ankles. And then suddenly, there is mention of a "ball" at a neighbour's home. Despite the fact that Woodstock was still in its pioneer phase, balls were apparently a regular feature of the community -- especially near Christmas. Flying in the face of our assumptions, Rev. Dibblee loved to attend balls, and they fill his diary almost as much as his duties as a pastor.

On March 5, 1816 there was a "Great Ball" at the Cunliffe home, followed by another at the Upham's. Sixteen days later there was a "very exclusive ball" which included "all the young people in the parish" at the Bulls' house. Later still there was a series of balls resulting in "girls and boys all completely tired with dancing". In 1821, his diary notes that Dibblee's sons "William and Henry came from the Great ball at Break of Day".

Tea parties were also significant social events in the loyalist settlement. "Capt. Bull celebrated the season with a tea party" in 1810 that had eleven guests. "A very pleasant evening".

World and community events are all intermingled in the diary as is the case for 1820. "March 23rd -Clear and very Pleasant - Thaws much - An Express from St. Andrews brought the Intelligence of the Death of Our Good Old King - He Died January the 29th - 33 Minutes and 13 Seconds after 11. The Duke of Kent died on the 22nd of the same Month." In that same year there are reports of a "mowing frolic", the arrival of a new schoolmaster, candle-making, the beginning of a "Singing School", and the "largest congregation we ever knew at Christmas".

The diary also gives one an idea of the early loyalist diet. Dibblee mentions planting parsnips, strawberries, cucumbers, onions, peas, early white bluenose potatoes, turnips, lettuce, buckwheat, oats, watermelons, sage, radishes,corn, apple trees, beans, carrots, beets, Scotch kale, "pepper grass", parsley, "Bountiful Sprouts", broccoli, leeks, asparagus, spinach, squash, currents, cherry trees, and gooseberries. Six bushels of wheat, we discover, became 273 pounds of flour. Dibblee's farm had geese, cattle, sheep, hogs, turkeys, hens, and horses. Cats and dogs are never mentioned.

Every year Dibblee described the maple sugaring process. Oddly enough, he sometimes referred to the syrup as honey. "They are only Taping a few trees for Honey and bring the Sap to the House." On one occasion the maple sap was boiled to make beer.

The 22 years of diary entries reveal regular rhythms to early loyalist life. Scarecrows were put up in June, dung was "cast" on fields in the fall, and April first was celebrated as All Fools' Day. In 1822, April 22nd was recorded as being the last day Dibblee's parishioners could travel to church by sleigh.

In June, the clergyman writes of traps being made for pigeons, "there being plenty of them". Back in 1809 the "Pigeons {were} so thick that they injure the Crops very much." No doubt these were passenger pigeons, a plentiful North American species that eventually was over-hunted into extinction.

Dibblee's adjectives reveal his passion for fishing. "June 1823 - Caught a Noble Salmon, Supposed to weigh 12 lbs. in long Net."

Mail came to Woodstock by canoe, usually delivered by friends and family. The arrival of "the English mail" was always noted as a special occasion. The newspapers that came by post were windows on the outside world and a treasure to be shared. "Mrs. Nicholson called with Her Paper."

Of particular interest to historians of the loyalist settlement period are Rev. Dibblee's' eyewitness accounts of 1816, The Year Without Summer ("Eighteen-Hundred-and-Froze-to-Death). In April 1815, a million and a half tons of volcanic dust was spewed into the atmosphere from an eruption in Indonesia. The dust reduced the sunlight North America received the following summer, resulting in agricultural disasters.

Dibblee's diary notes that in June the ground was frozen "considerable hard". There were snow squalls all day on the 7th, and by the 10th people had been wearing their "great coats" for eleven days. Some even were found plowing in their winter clothes. July was "too cold for such tender plants". In October, Dibblee wrote that "frost has destroyed the wheat crops throughout the province and almost all of the oats. Not half a crop of potatoes. Corn entirely killed. No vegetables. Scarcely a cabbage head ...The country was never in so distressed a situation".

On June 29, 1825 the Rev. Frederick Dibblee made the last entry in his diary of 22 years. At age seventy-one, the native of Stamford, Connecticut was still noting the activities of his children, the weather conditions, and the fishing news -- always in gratitude to a generous God. "Clear after a fine Rain in the Night - Henry and the Men gone to Richmond chopping. Never a better season. Thanks be to God. One Salmon."

Dibblee died in the following year. He not only faithfully served the people of his day, but gave posterity a fascinating glimpse into the early years of loyalist settlement.

...Stephen Davidson {stephendavids AT gmail DOT com} how do I email him?

[Stephen will generally approve reprints of his articles in other publications, in return for including a bit about him and his books; please feel free to contact him. This applies to most content in Loyalist Trails. -- editor]

Commemoration of the 194th Anniversary of the 1814 Battle of Plattsburgh: September 6-14

Re-enactments on land and water and an 1814 authentic encampment bring the decisive 1814 Battle of Plattsburgh to life. Speakers from the U.S. and Canada discuss the significance of the battle and guides in period attire provide interactive demonstrations on a variety of skills, such as weaving, spinning, shingle making etc. that were essential in the early 19th century.

Four separate memorial services honor the casualties, on every side, both land and naval battles, who fought bravely for their countries.

This is a family event with fireworks, clowns, jugglers, kids' games, a kids muster followed by the kids own special parade. On Saturday, the 13th of Sept, a spectacular old fashioned parade with 3 marching bands, several pipe and drum, as well as fife and drum units, followed by a heart stopping beat retreat performance. In the evening, swing your partner at the Macomb Fancy Dress Ball or enjoy a two hour concert by Her Majesty's Royal Marine Band of Cobourg, Ont. On Sunday one of the nation's finest military bands, the U.S. Navy Northeast Ceremonial and Marching Band present a concert of traditional military marches as well as swing music and jazz.

For more information and a complete schedule of events, see the Battle of Plattsburgh web site.

...Bill Glidden and Sally Booth

Book Review: Loyalism in the Hoosick Valley, by Bernard C. Young

The Sir John Johnson Centennial Branch U.E.L.A.C. recently received a complimentary copy of a book titled "Loyalism in the Hoosick Valley" written by Bernard C. Young of Vermont, U.S.A. His interest in the history of a group of 19 settlers in the Manor of Rensselaerswyk in the colony of New York, precisely in the valley of the Hoosick River, recounts the hardships endured from the Indian raiders under General Rigaud de Vaudreuil in 1746, later by friends of Governor Wentworth, whose Grants were meant to evict them from their land and finally by the Patriots who drove them to Canada. The book relates to many of the families that settled in both Ontario & Quebec.

The group of settlers consisted of 3 families of Dutch origin namely Vosburgh, Bratt & VanAernam , and the remainder were of Deutch or German ancestry. The earliest arrivals began in 1735 and continued until they were forced to leave around 1777 when they were faced with the alternative of signing the oath of Allegience to the Patriot Cause or joining the Loyalist Cause.

Many of the families with names such as Ruiter, Best, McGillivray, Lampman and Kreiger are still listed in our area and this book relates an interesting background for their loyalty. Young has documented the family genealogy of these settlers at the time of their arrival in America until the Loyalist migration which would serve as an aid to anyone documenting their ancestry from these families. Names mentioned are : Bratt, Peter Backes, Johannes Ruiter, Henry Litche, Hans Lampman, Barent Hogel, Johann Brimme, Keller, Jacob Best , Petrus Vosburgh, Bastian Deal, Frans Burn, Johann Kreigger, Henry Young (Jung) Devoet (perhaps Dafoe) as well as information about the Vanaernam family. The strong loyalist influence of the Gilead Lutheran Church of Center Brunswick, New York is also documented.

Young has submitted Subsistance Accounts for Captain Leake's Corps, a Service Roll of the 2nd Battalion K.R.R.N.Y, Muster Lists of Colonel Francis Phister and his successors as taken from the Haldimand Papers, as well as lists of Loyalist soldiers who fought, died or were taken prisoner at the Battle of Bennington.

The 75 page book published in 2008, appears to be well researched with listed bibliography and proves to be a very interesting & historically helpful read. Mr. Young can be contacted at the following address : 136 Highland Way, North Ferrisburgh, VT. 05473 or e-mail {bcyoung AT gmavt DOT net} how do I email him?

...Phyllis Hamilton UE, Sir John Johnson Centennial Branch

Book: Three Battalions of Loyalists Commanded by Brigadier-General Oliver De Lancey

Orderly Book of the Three Battalions of Loyalists Commanded by Brigadier-General Oliver De Lancey, 1776-1778, To Which is Appended a List of New York Loyalists in the City of New York During the War of the Revolution; compiled by William Kelby (originally published 1917).

This historical reprint by Global Heritage Press. This book is a military diary outlining the activities of three battalions of Loyalists that were raised for the defense of Long Island. The orderly book includes much detail including many names of specific individuals. An appendix listing 1500 Loyalists who resided in New York during the American Revolution follows the main content of the book. ISBN 1-897446-93-5. Click here for more information.

Ontario Archives Improves Access to Ontario Land Record Index

How many times have researchers searched the Ontario Land Record Index fiches found something and then had problems knowing what microfilm reels they need to look at? Well the Archives of Ontario has now put online a guide to the complete process. They have added to the original research guide 205 - How to Use the Ontario Land Records Index ca. 1780 - ca. 1920. They have now added an online guide to how to find the microfilm.

Archival Reference (ARCHIVAL REF)

To understand the archival reference code and to identify the microfilm reel that contains the original entry, consult the Ontario Land Records Index: How to Find the Reel of Microfilm You Need available in the microfiche binders in the Main Reading Room or online.

There is now a link to Guide 205 from the OLRI section on the Interloan catalogue as well. This is great news because when the AO original produced the OLRI they gave it away to any library that requested it and had a fiche reader.

And just in case you have not visited the AO website in the last while, the Archives of Ontario wants your feedback. They have a customer service survey they would like you to fill in. Give them your feedback and you have the chance of winning $200. Click here for more.

...Kathie Orr, Toronto Branch

Census Records of Canada Online

From Dick Eastman's online genealogy newsletter, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has now uploaded indexed digital images of the 1881 Census of Canada; the index and the linked images are all freely accessible.

The digital images of the 1881 Canadian census schedules are being made available for the first time, but the index has been online for some time at (and has been available on CD even longer). The digital images will now be added to FamilySearch as well, so that both index and images will be freely available through both the LAC and FamilySearch sites.

This is a good summer for research in nineteenth century Canadian census schedules; as I noted in my e-mail to you of July 22, has uploaded an index to and digital images of the 1891 census of Canada. I have confirmed that the 1891 database has also been uploaded to Ancestry Library Edition, which is freely available to all Toronto Public Library (TPL) cardholders at all TPL branches.

What follows is a summary of comprehensive nominal indexes to Canadian censuses which are now online, linked to digital images of the census schedules.

- (subscription site) or Ancestry Library Edition, as above
- Partial index: Automated Genealogy
- LAC, as above. Index and images freely accessible.
- FamilySearch, as above. Index freely accessible; digital images not yet uploaded.
- (subscription site) or Ancestry Library Edition, as above
- (a) (subscription site) or Ancestry Library Edition, as above. Numerous data fields keyed; one can search on one or more, in any combination.
- (b) Automated Genealogy. Index and images freely accessible. Keyed data is limited. Enhanced interface here.
1906 (Northwest Provinces)
- (a) (subscription site) or Ancestry Library Edition, as above. Numerous data fields keyed; one can search on one or more, in any combination.
- (b) Automated Genealogy. Index and images freely accessible. Keyed data is limited.
- (a) (subscription site) or Ancestry Library Edition, as above. Numerous data fields keyed; one can search on one or more, in any combination.
(b) Automated Genealogy. Index and images freely accessible. Keyed data is limited.

The National Archives (TNA) (at Kew)

Freely-searchable indexes to the following series, linked to pay-to-view digital images, have been added to DocumentsOnline on TNA's website:

(a) Indian Army First World War medal index cards (pieces WO 372/25 to WO 372/29)

(b) Extant Royal Navy officer's service records (from series ADM 196) for officers who joined the Royal Navy between 1756 and 1917.

Click here for more information.

Pennsylvania Archives Military Records

The Archives Records Information Access System (ARIAS) is designed to facilitate citizen access to archival records created by all branches and levels of Pennsylvania State Government. Records series currently online include a broad coverage of military records, including Revolutionary War Military Abstract Card File - click here for more.

...Chuck Ross, Kawartha Branch

Family History Day in Middleton NS focuses on Loyalists

The Digby Annapolis Museum Committee will be hosting its second Family History Day event on Saturday, September 13th at the Annapolis Valley Macdonald Museum in Middleton. As this is the 225th anniversary of the Loyalists arrival in Nova Scotia, the genealogy seminar will have a Loyalist theme this year. The day begins with registration at 8:30 a.m. At 9:00 am keynote speaker (TBA) will talk about the Black Loyalist experience in Nova Scotia. Other guests include Wendy Robicheau from Acadia University Archives on Use of Finding Aids, Peggy LeBlanc/Pierre Cloutier on Genealogy Databases, Luella Marshall on How to find your Loyalist Roots, Dr. Allan Marble (past president of the Genelogical Society of Nova Scotia) on Loyalist Physicians and How to Publish your Genealogy, Deborah Trask providing a graveyard tour of the local Old Holy Trinity Church cemetery, and author Steven Kimber on his recent book Loyalists and Layabouts, which will be available for sale and signing by the author. The day will end with a splendid fashion show of Loyalist costumes put on by the Annapolis Heritage Society Costume Committee. Promotional tables are available to organizations or groups that provide genealogical services for $20.00 per table.

The members of the Digby Annapolis Museum Committee who are organizing and hosting this event are the Islands Historical Society in Tiverton, the Admiral Digby Museum in Digby, the Annapolis Heritage Society in Annapolis Royal, the James House Museum in Bridgetown, and the Annapolis Valley Macdonald Museum in Middleton. Registration is $45.00 per person, lunch included, until September 4th. After that date, registration will be $40.00 with lunch on your own. Registration is limited. One may register by visiting the Annapolis Valley Macdonald Museum website or phoning (902) 825-6116. The Macdonald Museum is located at 21 School Street in Middleton.

Canadian Calendar of Genealogy and History Events, Announced by CanadaGenWeb

CanadaGenWeb has organized a Calendar of Events to promote genealogy and history events across Canada. It's hoped that having one spot for all known upcoming genealogy & history events in Canada will help increase awareness of the many time-worthy events that occur year round. This national calendar can provide cross-promotion for everyone. It will be a great tool for anyone seeking upcoming events in their local area as well as in an area they plan to visit. The calendar is linked from our main page:

Everyone is welcome to add events, up to a year in advance; repetitive events can be added easily.

The calendar allows visitors to set reminders for an event. By entering an e-mail address they will be sent a reminder e-mail x number of days prior to the event.

To enter your event click on the day it occurs then choose either 'add event' (on left) or 'add appointment' (on right). In the title please start off with the province/territory in which the event takes place (ie. ON: Genealogy Fair). Then fill in the other fields as requested on the form. Be sure to include either your web address or an e-mail address so interested parties can learn more about your event.

To help prevent spam we've protected the calendar with a password. The current password is LEAF but if at any time you misplace the password or it no longer works it'll be noted on the calendar (on the menu at the top) or it can be requested by e-mail (

...Sherri Pettit, CanadaGenWeb Coordinator, {}

Addenda to Closing of Lyons Creek United Church

My name is Martin Hurst. I reside in Langley, British Columbia. I saw in a previous issue the article about the Lyon's Creek United Church closing. I am related to the brick mason, Rueben Buchner, who is mentioned in the article. In fact, in addition to Rueben, my Great Great Grandfather, Alexander Hurst (Rueben's son-in-law), was responsible for the wood framing construction of the church.

"Lyon's Creek Wesleyan Methodist Church: Carpentry by Alexander Hurst and Rueben Buchner"

Architectural Notes: The church was built in a vernacular Italianate style with a balanced facade and segmental arches. Carpentry in the church was done by Alex Hurst and the brickwork by John Sennet. Iron reinforcement bars have been installed on the upper walls at the level of the window arches some of which exhibit stress cracking.

...Martin Hurst

I seem to remember that the UELAC newsletter or Gazette or a branch newsletter had a story and pictures of the UEL plaque and the large oak tree some time ago. Can anyone direct me to the source?

I am a 5th Great Grand Nephew of Johan Heinrich "Henry" Buchner [1734-1817]) and Anna Eva Maria Dell [c1733-c1803]

...Harry Dell {mahdell AT gvtc DOT com} how do I email him?

Last Post: Stewart Young

YOUNG, Stewart A. Entered into rest at the West Haldimand Hospital, Hagersville, on Tuesday, July 1, 2008, Stewart Young of Caledonia, in his 89th year. Beloved husband of the late Gladys Moore. Dear father of Bob and Cindy, Betty and Paul Yundt and Emily Mae and Lewis Vanderzanden. Predeceased by his daughter Gwen. Dear grandpa to many grandchildren. Also survived by his sisters Margaret Fleming and Lillian Stephens. Predeceased by his brothers Frank and John.

Stewart was a member of the United Empire Loyalists and an active member of the Young Family Memorial Society, and a long time member of the Haldimand community. If so desired, memorial donations to the Young Family Memorial Society or the West Haldimand Hospital, Hagersville, would be appreciated by the family.

Stewart, Gladie and Marnie Bruce envisioned and paid for the YOUNG Memorial from their own pockets to proudly and permanently display a fitting recognition of the role played by Adam & Catherine YOUNG and the families of their sons Lt. John (of the Indian Department), Sgt. Daniel and Pvt Henry (both of Butler's Rangers) who sided with the Crown during the American Revolution and who ventured north into Canada at the end of that conflict to start a new life and new country on this side of the Niagara River.

Stewart, Gladie (and family) have been the hearts and souls of the renewed interest and promotion of our YOUNG Family Loyalist history and the restarting of the YOUNG Family Reunion 10 years ago, and they will be in our thoughts and prayers whenever we speak of our Loyalist ancestry.

Stewart was a large presence both physically and charismatically, and he will be greatly missed by all, and by me personally.

...Pat Kelderman UE

Back to Top   |   Loyalist Trails index   |   Subscribe Now