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, 2010 Archive

Previous Issue   |   Index   |   Next Issue

"Loyalist Trails" 2010-17: April 25, 2010

Articles

"Beyond The Mountains 2010": UELAC AGM Conference, Vernon, B.C.

Conference time is getting close - June 3, 4, 5 & 6 - and the planning committee from the four branches of the Pacific Region UELAC are doing a bang up job to make sure all the delegates and guests will be wonderfully entertained. Something different being planned this year is "STAKE A CLAIM." Delegates will be able to bid by purchasing tickets on some great claims (prizes). Believe me when I tell you that the prizes are going to be something well worth staking for. Make sure you don't miss out on this opportunity to win something truly exciting.

There are some other events going on in the Vernon area the same weekend as our conference, so when you get here also look into the "Creative Craft Show" Western Canada's largest craft fair now in its 39th year.

Reminder: April 30th is the last day to take advantage of lower prices for the conference. It is also the last day the Sandman Inn will hold rooms at a reduced rate in Calgary if you are going to be taking the Rocky Mountain Bus Tour.

So folks, the Pacific Region is awaiting all of you with open arms to show you our wonderful western hospitality. A good time to be had by all is guaranteed. See you all here.

...Darlene Gerow Jones UE, Thompson Okanagan Branch, Vernon BC

Catharine Van Cortlandt: The Rest of Her Story -- © Stephen Davidson

As I researched the events surrounding the letters that Catharine Van Cortlandt wrote to her husband while he was fighting in a loyalist regiment, it was very difficult to stop my investigations with the year 1777. What happened to the Van Cortlandt family after the American Revolution came to an end? Were they ever reunited? Did Catharine safely deliver her eleventh child? What happened to their ten children while Philip Van Cortlandt was off at war? Here, then, is the rest of the story of the loyalist wife who was left "home alone" in the winter of 1777.

Like any newlyweds, the Van Cortlandts could hardly have imagined what the years before them would hold when they exchanged their marriage vows on August 2, 1762. Catharine (Kitty) would only be turning sixteen that fall; her new husband was not yet 23. Within a year, the couple had their first child. Twin girls arrived the next year, followed by twin sons in 1765. Space for such a large family was not a problem for the Van Cortlandts lived in a spacious manor. Five more children were born to the loyalist couple before 1777. But by that time rebels had seized the manor, making it a virtual prison for Catherine and her children.

A letter that the pregnant Catharine wrote to Philip in February of 1777 indicates that she planned to leave the manor and find refuge behind the British lines. Her husband's words, she wrote, "afforded balmy comfort to your afflicted Kitty who now begins to want support in proportion as her trials grow severe."

With no husband by her side, Catharine was the one who had to seek out permission to move her belongings, organize the servants to pack her goods, and find transportation to New York for staff and children. Not bad for a pregnant mother with ten children in an era where women were considered the weaker sex!

Such traumatic events did not complicate the birth of Jacob Van Cortlandt who arrived later in 1777, the first of his siblings to be born outside New Jersey. The following year little Richard died in New York City. He was only a year old when the rebel soldiers occupied the Van Cortlandt mansion in Hanover. Whether his death was a result of the deprivations the family suffered or due to the smallpox epidemic is unknown.

Philip and Catharine commissioned a small painting of their youngest children before the arrival of Henry in 1780. Philip Junior is absent from the painting, perhaps because the 14 year-old was an ensign in the same regiment as his father, the New Jersey Volunteers. His twin brother Stephen died sometime during this period. The toll these deaths took on Catharine can only be imagined.

The last of the Van Cortlandt children to be born in North America was Charlotte (1782). Then -- like over half of the loyalists who fled the United States-- Catharine's family sailed for England. Little Jane was born in Hailsham in 1783. Three more children were born in England: William, Arthur, and then --in 1789-- Sophie. Catharine bore children over twenty-six years -- from 1763 to 1789! She must have lost a number of her babies, as one source says that the Van Cortlandts had as many as 23 children. Five sons and seven daughters survived to adulthood.

Philip and Catharine settled in Hailsham in England's Sussex County. Philip entered the British army and was in charge of the new barracks. They had been built to house soldiers manning the Martello towers that defended the coast from Napoleon's navy. As the wife of the commanding officer, Catharine must have begun to enjoy some of the comforts stripped from her when she had to abandon their New Jersey estate.

Philip Van Cortlandt Junior eventually returned to North America. The British army appointed him the barrack master general for Lower Canada during the War of 1812. He married Mary Addison, but their son George died young.

Catharine Van Cortlandt's daughters married into the aristocracy of early 19th century England. Elizabeth married William Taylor, the lord chief justice of Jamaica. The Taylors eventually settled in New Jersey, Elizabeth's birthplace. Her twin sister, Catharine, married Dr. William Gourlay of Scotland. Mary, the oldest Van Cortlandt child, became Mrs. John M. Anderson; Margaret became Mrs. O. Elliot-Elliot, but died childless. Gertrude and Admiral Sir Edward Buller had children, but her sister Sarah died a spinster. Charlotte married General Sir John Eraser, and Sophia, the baby of the family, married Sir William Howe Mukaster.

Jacob, the baby born after the family abandoned their New Jersey estate, became a captain in the British army and died in Spain in 1811. Henry joined the 31st Foot; Arthur was a captain with the 45th foot. They died as bachelors in India. Catharine was in her sixties when she received the news of her sons' deaths.

Philip Van Cortlandt died six months before his 75th birthday in May of 1814. He was buried in Hailsham's St. Mary the Virgin Church where Catharine had a mural monument erected to his memory. Catharine must have gone to live with one of her daughters for 14 years later she was buried in Torquay in Devon County.

The north wall of the Torre Church chancel has a tablet to her memory; her grave is beneath a slab on the floor of the south aisle. Remarkably, this loyalist woman who had suffered so much persecution, had borne 23 children, and who had endured so many "severe trials" lived to be 81 years of age. Catharine's memorial tablet simply describes her as her husband's "relict", ignoring entirely eight decades of a most remarkable life. Her descendants are in the United Kingdom to this day, a living legacy of the unprecedented displacement of loyal Americans following the War of Independence.

See the portrait of the Van Cortlandt children.


To secure permission to reprint this article, email Stephen Davidson.

Ebenezer Dibble (1715-1799): Fifth Generation in America (Part 10 of 13; © 2009 George McNeillie)

(See parts I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, and IX.)

When the Revolutionary War broke out Peter Berton [Editor's note - Berton was an ancestor of Canadian journalist and historian Pierre Berton] was a New York merchant. He was also interested in shipping and was master of a ship from 1756 to 1770. he early declared himself on the side of the Mother Country, and in consequence was severely persecuted and obliged, in February, 1776, to seek refuge on Long Island. He had here a store, which was plundered in August, 1776. He bought a farm of about 22 acres near Newtown for fifteen hundred pounds N.Y. currency.

At the close of the war he came in the "Summer Fleet" to St. John. The fleet included 15 vessels, with a British frigate in convoy, and brought nearly 2,000 passengers with their possessions. Peter Berton's company was not a very large one - 132 persons in all. The fleet sailed from Sandy Hook on the 16th of June and arrived at Fort Howe in St. John harbour, on the 27th of the same month. Mr. Berton at once went up the River to Oak Point, a distance of 24 miles. Among his neighbours was Simon Flaglor of Dutchess County in New York, who settled the Point and it was for a time called Flaglor's Point.

Peter Berton was one of the first to interest himself in the erection of a church there. He donated the land, and the building was erected and enclosed at the time of Bishop Inglis' second tour of the River in the summer of 1792. the Bishop writes in his diary, under date, Kingston, Tuesday, August 7, 1792:

"Here I learned that the Church which I saw at Flaglor's Point, is a Church of England, built by the Inhabitants with the assistance of one hundred pounds of the money allowed for building a Church in the Parish of Kingston, of which parish Flaglor's Point is a part."

A further reference to the building of this Church is to be found in the Kingston Parish Vestry minutes under date Sept'r. 14, 1790. "At a meeting of the Wardens and Vestry it was voted that fifty-dollars of the money received from Government be appropriated to the use of the Church at Oak Point in Long Reach - and also one third part of the money that remains with Governor and Council, when obtained. Voted likewise, that the Inhabitants in the Kanabeckatious should have equal with them for the Propagation of a Church on that River near James Hoyt's."

The Church at Oak Point was then regarded, it seems, as belonging to the Parish of Kingston, though separated from it by the St. John River, and we find that Peter Berton was chosen a member of the Kingston Vestry in the years 1786, 1787, and 1788.

Excerpt from Book of Family History, by The Ven. William Odber Raymond, LL.D, FRSC. © 2009 George McNeillie - all rights reserved [published here with permission; see footnote].

...George McNeillie

Nova Scotia Newspapers from 1785, and More

The Public Archives of Nova Scotia have just launched a website featuring scanned images of provincial newspapers that go back to the mid-18th century. Loyalist researchers will want to read the half dozen issues of The Port Roseway Gazetteer and The Shelburne Advertiser from 1785 as well as other newspapers. To see what was news in a loyalist community just two years after its initial settlement, click here.

The Tech Side: Publishing your Research - Websites and Blogs, by Wayne Scott

Publishing a hard copy of your research can be quite gratifying, however, there are limitations to this form of publishing. Once information is committed to paper, it requires a re-write to edit or add new information, whereas with publishing electronically, information can be amended quickly. However, the process of updating pdf copies at download sites, or in the hands of relatives, is not instantaneous. Websites and blogs (web logs) can be a viable alternative.

No matter what type of publishing, the "heavy lifting", or main task is the same for all options; the gathering of your information, references and pictures. Some print options don't leave a lot of choice as to how your work will look. With a web publication, there are many templates that are free, attractive and professional looking. I am sure you know of Cyndi's List. It has thousands of Genealogy websites relating to all aspects of both Genealogy and web sites. It is an excellent place to begin looking for help in building websites.

Reading the many pages of help and suggestions will lead to a few basic ideas to keep in mind. First of all, update your website on a regular basis if possible. The more often people visit your site the more interested they are, and possibly they have information that is of interest to you. Next, it is wise to have your site easy to read. Not everyone is interested in sifting through columns of names and dates. It is handy to have a section where an interested person can leave a note and contact information so that you can contact them if so desired. With the technology of today, a podcast can be added to the site outlining new information, without needing a lot of technical expertise.

You don't have to be a computer geek to produce a great website. There are many free templates to use for this task also. Some of these can be found at: Genealogy Web Creations, I3D Themes, or the service you pick to host your website. Many great templates are free, not all hosting options are free. Cyndi's List offers some free alternatives and a complete website guide. There are online services where you just plug in your information either directly or uploaded right into your site. There is no need to know HTML or invest in programs to produce your site; check out Wix's customizable Flash templates. Check with your internet service provider, 123-familytree.com, your genealogy program, or the free hosting options outlined in Cyndi's List.

Free is really good, however, ask yourself the following: if there is no charge, how long can the company afford to offer a "free" service, is their server secure, do they offer help, is there any guarantee of upload or download speed or reliability? Sometimes the $5.00 - $9.00 a month on average for a paid site, in addition to the annual fee of about $15.00 for your own url, isn't too much. Many "free" sites hosting services place advertising on your website without your approval as a condition of not paying for your site.

Some people begin with a Blog. It is generally more simple and usually quite easy to manage. The most popular of the free blogging sites is Blogger.com. It is quite easy to get started. Many people prepare their blog in their office program, edit, then upload to their blog. There are more sophisticated options such as having a paid blog site (e.g. GoDaddy) or using a program called Word Press for blog writing. Blog sites usually have templates which are free to use. Blogs usually have a 'comment' tab where people can leave a message and sometimes contact information. Lorelle Van Fossen has some good blog building advice at "Building a Genealogy Blog". It is worth checking out.

Whether using a website or a blog, be sure to have Cyndi's List add your url to their list. There are many other places to post your url including complanies such as Ancestry.com, Family Tree Maker, Roots Web, etc.

I want to thank those of you who have taken the time to comment on Publishing. In the May 1st issue I would like to forward these comments and suggestions to round out this topic. If you wish to add yours to this article, contact Wayne Scott.

Loyalist Trees - Part 2: Softwoods

Softwoods also have significance for Loyalist descendants. In the Jan 10 issue of Loyalist Trails, Denis Robitaille, Ph.D, Président de la Société d'histoire Forestière du Québec, tried to verify a familiar anecdote about plantation of white pines and the immigration of the Loyalists into the province of Quebec. He had heard that the inhabitants sensible to the Loyalists cause living close to the U.S. border (Frelighsburg, Saint-Armand, Sutton, Knowlton, Dunham, Bedford, ...) planted three white pines in front of their house to tell Loyalists that they were welcome to their home. To date no reference has surfaced.

However, as it played a significant role in the economic, social and cultural development of Ontario, the white pine was chosen as the arboreal emblem of Ontario during the Bicentennial year. A white pine specimen was planted and dedicated (plaque) in May 18 1984 outside Upper Canada Village by the Hon. J.A.C. Auld, former Ontario Minister of Natural Resources and chairman of the St. Lawrence Park Commission.

Back in 1996, Doris Lemon, then Regional VP for Central Canada, was looking for information on Jubilee Trees planted in 1897, a date which coincidentally was the year in which the United Empire Loyalists Association of Ontario was formed and the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria was celebrated. She discovered that there were two major provincial plantings to reforest Ontario. The Ontario Legislature passed legislation in 1871 to encourage tree planting along perimeters of properties and up and down farm lanes, and again in 1883 with the Ontario Tree Planting Act. (See here (PDF), page 9.) (You could purchase 12 Norways @ $3.98 from a nursery in Grimsby back in 1897). Although she could not connect the Norway spruce to the United Empire Loyalists or their descendants, she strong feels that" the unique appearance of Southern Ontario can be attributed not only to the Norway Spruce but also to farmstead architecture. The Ontario Cottage architectural style was created by the United Empire Loyalist settlement after 1783. Loyalists had to build a habitation, 16' x 24'. Eventually, as they prospered, they built a larger house of brick or stone as an el - right-angled to the cabin. The original habitation became the back or summer kitchen. So ... Ontario's special landscape is provided by early Upper Canadian Loyalist house design and Norway Spruce Trees which together created a farmstead architecture different from Ohio, Michigan and Quebec.

Finally, in the October 4 issue, David Hill Morrison reminded us of the importance of our natural forest through his explanation of the Prayer of Thanksgiving.

"We now turn our thoughts to the Trees. The Earth has many families of Trees who have their own instructions and uses. Some provide us with shelter and shade, others with fruit, beauty and other useful things. Many people of the world use a Tree as a symbol of peace and strength. With one mind, we greet and thank the Tree life. Now our minds are one."

He concluded, 'Canada was built from the forests that stretched from one ocean to another and the lumber produced from this natural bounty built ships that sailed these same oceans. Indeed, trees are majestically inspirational in their presence and form the inspiration behind the Haudenosaunee Tree of Peace; a White Spruce, with the weapons of war buried beneath, grows as a sentinel warning of the futility of needless warring. Redwoods, oak, and the ubiquitous Maple all have meanings associated with their kind and Canada is indebted to its trees for their quality of environment and life.'

Similarly we are inspired by the tales of heroism and endurance of our ancestors. The forests they encountered in their new land may never be seen again, but we are free to create our own arboreal association that will reflect our knowledge of those early years in Canada.

...FHH

Footnotes.

1. Since the publication of Part One, it has been revealed that it was not a black walnut that was planted in the Halifax Public Gardens back in 1983. Halifax-Dartmouth President Lewis Perry went for a walk in the park to confirm that the original tree escaped the wrath of Hurricane Juan in 1983. When the then president, Ray Blakeney said that they were, "in fact, replacing a cherry tree that had been chopped own, over two hundred years ago, by a young lad named George Washington", it should have been our clue. The cherry tree continues to commemorate the bicentennial of the arrival of the Loyalists.

2. Since the first Earth Day celebrated on April 22, 1970, Arbor Day increasingly has become an event of the past.

Central West Region Annual Meeting, April 17, 2010, London, Ontario

A full day of activities was planned and Central West Region branch members came through in support of another successful Annual Regional Meeting. It was encouraging to have a number of first time participants making a total of thirty-six in attendance.

Special features included branch presentations on genealogy, Outreach and Education, and the growth of the Loyalist Burial Site Plaque projects. We are privileged to have Dominion President Fred Hayward as a member of the Central West Region. His analogy of our association as a reservoir of information emphasized the combined resources available to us. Advances within the Dominion website under the direction of Doug Grant UE have proven instrumental in placing important executive information at our fingertips. One area of focus in 2010 is the Loyalist Directory, a project begun in 2004.

Our guest speaker Glenn Stott provided a remarkable glimpse into information gleaned from War Losses Claims of 1812 - 1814. Along with interesting facts he entertained with personal observations about his favourite 1812 Canadian heroes.

Following elections at the 2010 Regional Meeting Bonnie Schepers UE is acclaimed as Central West Regional Vice President for another term and Sue Hines UE, acclaimed as Central West Councillor.

Funds received over and above the 2010 meeting expenses will be donated to the Loyalist Scholarship Fund. Thank you to all who assisted in making this day a success. The 2011 Regional Meeting will take place April 16 at the Westmount Library, London, Ontario.

The photo is Dominion President Fred Hayward UE, guest speaker Glenn Stott 1812 Historian, and Bob Tordiff UE of London and Western Ontario Branch - click here.

...Bonnie Schepers RVP

"Branching Out" Extracts Now Online

The suggestion at the Central West Regional meeting of extracting Branch reports from the Branching Out section of the Loyalist Gazette had a lot of merit. Along with documenting a running history of Branch activities and notable events, it's a great way to inspire pride and rekindle memories.

Towards this end, the Grand River Branch has added a section which contains our Branching Out reports starting with April 1988 through the Fall of 2009 editions of the Loyalist Gazette to its website under History. These were copied from past Gazettes generously given to me by Doris Lemon UE, as well as from the Free Library website, which has past Gazettes (viewable at no charge) back to Spring of 1996. Unfortunately, only the articles' text appears - no graphics or photos. Some Gazette editions were missing Grand River Branch reports and as I locate the missing editions, I'll add them.

See the Grand River Branch Branching Out reports.

As with Grand River Branch, I'm sure the other Branches have some remarkable histories that deserve to be highlighted. As we draw closer to our Association's centenary in 2014, I feel recalling and documenting our history becomes more of an imperative.

...David Hill Morrison, Webmaster, Grand River Branch.

My Parks Pass

On Earth Day April 22, 2010, the Honourable Jim Prentice, Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada announced the launch of "My Parks Pass" a program partnering initiative with Nature Canada and the Historica-Dominion Institute. It is planned that over 400,000 Grade 8 students will be able to enter Parks Canada administered national parks and national historic sites for free for twelve months. Scattered across Canada, these historic sites such as the Sir John Johnson House serve as a great springboard to our collective national history.

...FHH

Last Post: John Howard Martin, UE, Second World War veteran

Peacefully at Queensway Carleton Hospital on Saturday, April 17th, 2010 in his 100th year. Predeceased by his wife, Violet (Bassindale). Father of Joan Darby (Fred), and Joyce Jackson (Dan). Grandfather to many. Predeceased by his parents John and Ethel (Gage) and siblings Guilford, Irene, and Roy. Survived by his brother-in-law Harvey (Eleanor Bassindale).

Howard was born in Fruitland, Ontario and spent his first 82 years in the Hamilton area before moving to Richmond, where he lived for the past 18 years. Born on a farm he maintained his love for gardening throughout his life. He was a proud veteran of the Second World War and a member of the Canadian Legion until his death. He spent the majority of his working career with T.H.& B. Railway in Hamilton, Ontario. A devoted historian he was a supporter and frequent contributor to the Hamilton Branch of the Ontario Geological Society. Howard delighted in a life long pursuit of knowledge, and possessed an excellent ability to share that knowledge. He will be sadly missed by his friends and family, but will be forever remembered.

A Memorial Service was held for friends and family at the Richmond Legion on Friday, April 23, 2010. An Interment Service will be at St. John's Anglican Church in Ancaster, Ontario on Sunday at 3 p.m., May 2nd, 2010. Published in the Ottawa Citizen from 4/21/2010 - 4/22/2010

...Lynne Cook UE

Queries

Assist With Gavin Watt's Next Book, I Am Heartily Ashamed

Dear members - as many of you will recall, I've been promising for several years to publish a master roll of the loyalists who served under John Burgoyne during his 1777 expedition. These men were in companies and regiments commanded by Ebenezer Jessup, John Peters, Samuel Adams, Hugh Munro, Francis Pfister, Samuel Mackay, Daniel McAlpin and Peter VanAlstine.

There's been a delay of several years for the writing of my two-volume series - "Dirty, trifling, piece of business" and "I am heartily ashamed."

When I started to work on writing the narrative for the Burgoyne book last year and developing the rolls of names, it occurred to me that there were other North Americans who deserved equal treatment - Burgoyne's Canadien troops and his natives. As my capability with the French language is nothing short of pathetic, I enlisted the help of Quebec genealogist and King's Rangers' re-enactor, the bilingual Albert Smith. Albert is combing through various Quebec depositories for the names of the Quebeckers who served in Burgoyne's two fighting companies, which were with the expedition from its outset, and for the fighting volunteers who supported the campaign in August and September. Also, throughout the campaign, there were Canadiens serving in the Provincial navy on ships and boats, and in labour corvées as artificers, waggoners and general labourers. And, not to be forgotten, there were many very accomplished Canadien officers and interpreters in the Quebec Indian Department. At this stage of the study, I don't think we have much hope of getting all the Canadien names, but the effort is very worthwhile and long overdue.

For any of you who have searched the records for names of natives, you'll realize that there isn't much hope of finding them. It is possible to locate a few names of native politicians and military leaders and a handful of individual warriors, but, considering that Burgoyne was supported by close to 1,000 Indians, it is clear that their identities will remain a mystery. However, what I have been able to develop is a great deal of narrative material which proves the extent and value of native support.

As to Burgoyne's loyalists, I've been extensively supported by the amazing Todd Braisted of New Jersey, who, as you know, is a New Jersey Volunteer re-enactor. Todd has to be the most knowledgeable individual in North America regarding the loyalists. In addition to my own large collection of original documents, Todd sent me a veritable flood of material (and continues to regularly add more) and, I can confidently say, that, together, we have these fellows nailed down.

My first task was to assemble a master roll of Jessup's King's Loyal Americans, as this was the first of Burgoyne's regiments to be raised. I not only want to identify all the men who participated and in what capacity, but also to include details of their later service during the war and anything that can be found about their country and year of birth, the location of their home at the time of joining, the given and maiden name of their wife, her birth date, their date of marriage, the size of their family circa 1784, his trade or profession, his blood relationship to other men in the regiment, where they settled in lower or upper Canada - all that type of material. I'm not looking for details of the men and their families after the settlement; that just gets too much to deal with.

For those of you who have bought my Master Roll of the King's Royal Regiment of New York or Volume 1 of The British Campaign of 1777 which dealt with St. Leger's Expedition, you'll know exactly what I'm aiming for.

After working on the rolls for Jessup's KLA and Peters's Queen's Loyal Americans, I found that a substantial number of men joined those regiments (and the others as well) after the 1777 campaign, in fact, so many that the rolls would become unwieldy if they were included. So, reluctantly I decided to stick to my knitting and list only those who participated in Burgoyne's 1777 expedition.

When it came time to prepare a roll for Adam's Independent Company of Rangers, I was blessed with the solid research done by Christopher Armstrong, a Royal Yorker re-enactor, who is descended from Adam's Rangers. Chris had uncovered a wealth of the exact details I needed, so that company's roll is well in hand.

Here's where I need assistance.

First, if any of you have an ancestor or a collateral ancestor whom you know fought under Burgoyne in 1777 and you have details such as I have listed above, I would be very pleased to receive them by email or post. I may already have your information; however, in the game of building master rolls, it is always better to be safe than sorry.

Second, I have a number of photocopied pages of original lists of the names of men and women (and some children) who lived in the Asylum in Fort William Henry in Sorel for the years, 1801, 1806, 1808 and 1809. Some of these men were soldiers serving under Burgoyne. Unfortunately, whoever sent these photocopies to me years ago forgot to include the citation or 'call sign' for where these pages came from. Does anyone have similar lists in their possession with a citation?

Here's the 'working' title page for this new book. Due to the sheer volume of material to be covered, I don't anticipate having the manuscript complete until 2012, so there's lots of time to send me material.

THE BRITISH CAMPAIGN OF 1777
Volume 2
~
THE BURGOYNE EXPEDITION
-----
Burgoyne's North Americans
Gavin K. Watt and Albert G. E. Smith
With the research assistance of Todd Braisted

My address is: 85 Fog Rd., King City, ON L7B 1A3 or email

...Gavin Watt

Ancestor Samuel Mackay

I'm looking for any information on Captain Samuel Mackay. If this is the same gentleman in my family tree, I'm trying to search out the genealogy (parents) and his accomplishments.

"Mackay's/Pfister's/Leake's Corps of Royalists. One of the units raised during the Burgoyne Campaign. Francis Pfister, an old officer of the 60th Regiment, was killed at the Battle of Bennington. The regiment afterwards passed to the command of Captain Samuel Mackay and Major Robert Leake, before being drafted into the King's Royal Regiment of New York and the Loyal Rangers." (from the On-Line Institute for Advanced Loyalist Studies, here)

My ancestor Samuel Mackay was born in 1737 in Hungary and died 5 April 1779 in Montreal. He served as lieutenant of the 60th Royal American Regiment under the command of Major General Jeffrey Amherst when Montreal fell into British hands in 1760. As part of the British occupation troops, he has the distinction of being one of the first British officers to have married a Canadian (French) after the conquest. Their descendants took the language of his wife and are considered French.

Any information about the family would be appreciated.

...Lisa Cripps

Sarah Catherine Goodnight and her husband & family

"In 1780, from Fort Detroit, Captain Henry Bird of the 8th Regiment of Foot led an American Indian army of 100 men, accompanied by a 150 Europeans (Detriot Volunteers and bombardiers of the Royal Regiment of Artillery), against the settlers of Kentucky. The settlements of Martin's Station and Ruddle's Station (also called Riddle's Station) were easily overwhelmed but lack of provisions compelled a retreat. Over 300 prisoners were carried back to Detroit." (Dictionary of American History by James Truslow Adams, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1940).

One of the women prisoners from Ruddle's Station was Sarah Catherine Goodnight (Sarah Katrine Gutknecht). Her parents George and Catherine Goodnight/Gutknecht were killed by the Indians during their attack on Ruddle's Station (also called Riddle's). Sarah was taken along with the other prisoners and was sold as a slave in Detroit. She became a house maid to one of the officers there and later married him, approximately 1784.

They then moved to England. If anyone has any information concerning these two or know how to find information, I would greatly appreciate it.

...Estel Murdock

Back to Top   |   Loyalist Trails index   |   Subscribe Now