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Loyalist Trails UELAC Newsletter, 2011 Archive

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"Loyalist Trails" 2011-44: November 6, 2011

Articles

New Brunswick Newspapers Remember: Part Two – by Stephen Davidson

In last week's edition of Loyalist Trails, we began an examination of the newspapers of 19th century New Brunswick to see how the province's first settlers were described in their obituaries. One surprising discovery was that only 136 death notices identified the dearly departed as being a loyalist – despite the fact that upwards of 15,000 loyalists had settled in New Brunswick. By 1833, the fiftieth anniversary of the arrival of the loyalists in New Brunswick, a mere 26 obituaries made mention of the fact that the recently deceased had been a founding settler of the colony.

It is amazing how long some loyalists lived. In 1837, Jane Clark, the second woman identified in an obituary as a loyalist, died at 87 – the same age as the candle-maker Asa Blakesley, New Jersey's William Clark, Staten Island's Susan McLean, Mary Rebecca Golder who "landed in St. John with the loyalists", Elizabeth Kollock "who took refuge in this province", and Thomas Powell who "came to this country when a young boy". William Wilbour, John Fraser, Edward Jones, Hannah Betts, Joshua Gidney, Jerusha Martin, Susana Brown all died at 88, the latter leaving "6 children, 43 grandchildren and 67 great-grandchildren". In 1839 Roland Bunting died at "upwards of 100 years of age", two months before 95 year-old John Dick. In the next year Johanna Darington died at 95, and Mr Boldween departed at 91. In 1843 Susan Belyea died at 99, leaving "6 children, 55 grandchildren, 27 great grandchildren".

Two years after the 60th anniversary of the loyalists' arrival in New Brunswick, there is a classic example of a death notice that tried to give the dearly departed more significance in death than he had enjoyed during his lifetime.

John Jarvis, who died at 93 in 1845, is described as having come to New Brunswick "at first settlement, sacrificing home and all to his attachment to the British Constitution." The proud descendant who composed the obituary neglected to mention a few facts.

Jarvis was a native of Stamford, Connecticut, a community that was deeply divided into patriot and loyalist factions. John tried to remain neutral, but during a trip to Long Island, he was "forced into British service". He "escaped" in 1776, and returned home where the patriots promptly put him in jail. In 1779, he asked the Connecticut general assembly for clemency.

Jarvis acknowledged his "great offence" and declared that he was "one of those unhappy persons who has been over to the enemy and been in their service, and by his folly is brought into a most disagreeable and miserable situation." In his petition, Jarvis promised to be "a faithful member of the United States". However, the Connecticut assembly did not pardon Jarvis, and he – very reluctantly – fled with the loyalists.

After settling in Kingston, New Brunswick, Jarvis sank into alcoholism. Munson, John's older brother, eventually came to his aid, and bought a house to shelter John's family. Referring to his younger brother, Munson lamented, "liquor has got to be his master". John Jarvis' subsequent glowing obituary is a cautionary tale about how much trust anyone should place in a single source of information for a loyalist ancestor.

When she died in 1850, Esther Williams became the first and only woman of African descent of whom it was said that she "came with the loyalists in 1783". In 1862, the Carleton Sentinel noted the passing of Moses Hodges, a black man "known to be over a hundred years of age. He came to the Province with one of the Loyalist families in 1776 having been a slave previous to that on a southern plantation." Hodges was the only African man to be linked to the loyalists in his obituary.

Some loyalists left many relatives to mourn their passing. In 1852, Robert Sharp died at age 89, leaving a "wife, 8 children, 58 grandchildren 50 great-grandchildren". A year later, Eleanor McKenzie died at 95, leaving "3 children, 21 grandchildren, 53 great grandchildren". Described as "one of the old stock of loyalists", Henry Anthony, died at 77 – a father of 14 children who left 46 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. Nancy Rushton was mourned by 14 children, 90 grandchildren, 89 great-grandchildren, and 2 great great grandchildren when she died in 1858 at 81 years of age. Sarah Theall's 1860 obituary noted that she left 97 descendants: 4 children, 34 grandchildren and 59 great-grandchildren. Three months later, Isaac Bunnell died at 79, leaving a widow, 12 children, 72 grandchildren and 38 great-grandchildren.

William Taylor was one of seven loyalist brothers – and Robert Caldwell was one of four loyal brothers – who came to New Brunswick in 1783. Both died in 1854.

It was in this same year that one obituary writer noted that with the death of 86 year-old Peter Yeamans, "the fast diminishing band of old loyalists has lost a time honoured member." When Capt. Anthony Barker died in Fredericton at 87 years of age, the newspaper reported, "One more of the good old stock is gone."

By the 80th anniversary of the arrival of the loyalists in New Brunswick, a total of 161 obituaries had cited the recently deceased as loyalists, Only 14 more obituaries would carry that same identification. In April 1864, The Religious Intelligencer recorded the death of Mrs Mary (Jacob) Holder, "one of the last loyalists and the mother of descendants in this Province and Canada". A Fredericton newspaper reported the passing of the 99 year-old loyalist, Capt. Andrews, in Digby, Nova Scotia. He had died "not from bodily infirmities, but by accidental injuries. He was born in Philadelphia in 1767 and when the loyalists had to flee, he came to the Province of New Brunswick and ... helped to build the first house in the city of Saint John."

Thomas Thorne, who died at 86 in 1867, is described as having come to "this province with his parents, who, for their loyalty, left home for this strange land". Robert Smith's 1871 obituary noted that he came with his parents, "being at that time two years of age." Mrs Susanna Leonard died the next year at 89. She was described as the first female born in Saint John after the landing of the loyalists. She "was the mother of 12 children, 8 of whom are living." When Mrs Robinson, "one of the old loyalists", died at 99 in 1878, she had no family left to bury her. A Mr T.W. Daniel "kindly interested himself in making arrangements for the funeral as befitted the social position of the deceased lady".

1883 was the 100th anniversary of the loyalists' arrival in New Brunswick. Astoundingly, there was still an original settler living as late as April 19th of that year. Mrs Eliza Pearson, the grandmother of Fredericton's W. H. Belyea, was 12 years old when her parents arrived in Saint John. This remarkable woman was 112 years old and living in Scarborough, Maine.

Next week, our look at 19th century obituaries will reveal New Brunswickers' growing appreciation of their loyalist heritage.


[Update: the article has been revised and expanded by Stephen Davidson, 24 Feb 2013]

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

Charles Raymond (1788 - 1878) © George McNeillie

He was also an active member of the Church of England and a warm friend of the Rev. S.D. Lee Street, who for more than forty-one years was rector of the Parish of Woodstock and a near neighbour.

As I recollect him Grandfather was in person a fine looking old man. Not tall, but stout, and weighing 180 lbs. He loved his newspaper and was find of general reading, though not much of a man for company. He was a very temperate man, and never used tobacco or snuff, and I can scarcely recall a single occasion in which he made use of an oath of any description, nor did I ever hear him relate a questionable story.

I do not remember my Grandmother, who died when I was less than two years old. She was said by those who knew her to be a very attractive woman. She suffered much from dropsy and died at the comparatively early age of 61 years. After her death in 1855 Grandfather came to live with my father at "Rosebank," and all our early recollections are closely bound up with him. He was a very industrious man about the farm, and had charge largely of the barn, cattle, sheep and pigs. He usually churned the butter, prepared the kindling, made the fires and, until a late period in his life, did the marketing. He taught us to milk, to use the hoe, and farm work in general. The boys of the family – myself, Lee and Arthur were in turn his bedfellows. He taught us to swim, and we were much with him in our young days. He hardly ever had an illness until his final sickness, which did not at first seem alarming, but he always insisted that he would not get better, and did not want to live to be a burden to his family.

He was the last survivor of Silas Raymond's large family. The united ages of the nine children were 747 years, an average of 83 years each, which considering the many vicissitudes that attended them in the early days is a wonderful record. The oldest son Sam attained the age of 94. Sarah, the child born in the tent on the bank of Kingston Creek, died at the age of nearly 70, while my Grandfather attained the age of 90. He deeded his real estate to his only son in his life-time, a policy since continued in the family. Today his mortal form rests with that of his wife beside the flowing river in the quiet country churchyard at Woodstock.

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

235th Anniversary of the British Invasion of New Jersey

The Bergen County Historical Society commemorates the 235th Anniversary of the British invasion of New Jersey with a weekend of living history and scholarly presentations at the site of the Bridge that saved a Nation. On November 20th, 1776, 5,000 British, Hessian and Loyalist troops under the command of Lt. Gen. Lord Cornwallis ascended the Palisades at the lower Closter Dock and commenced their march to capture Fort Lee, the principal remaining fortification on the Hudson of the fledgling United States. An alert officer, a quick decision to evacuate, an escape by New Bridge allowed the rebels to secure their retreat across New Jersey and live to fight another day.

At 7:00 PM on Saturday Night in the Steuben House Todd W. Braisted, a Bergen County Historical Society Past President, will present a lecture on new research of the British invasion, including the identities of the British guides up the Palisades, the discovery of the actual person who warned the garrison, and the pitched battle that nearly occurred between the British and Americans that night. For pictures and more details, click here (PDF).

Heritage Branch Welcomes UELAC President at Charter Dinner

Robert Wilkins UE and his wife, Maura, have an innovative solution to increase the joy of getting together for a formal meal and socialization. Each year they invite friends from far and near, along with the Executive of Sir John Johnson Branch, to join them to create a buzz of conviviality and "bonne humeur" at their Annual Charter Dinner, held this year at the Officers' Mess of the Black Watch Armoury in Montreal, Quebec, on Wednesday, 26 October 2011.

It was indeed a pleasure to take a small part in the evening's festivities and to listen to the presentation by Dr. Lawrence Ostala, Director General of National Historic Sites from Parks Canada, about the planned celebrations for the bicentennial of the War of 1812. Larry had much to tell us. Enthusiasm was infectious and the youthful Branch Genealogist, Mark W. Gallop UE, announced that he was equally eager to receive new applications. Heritage Branch Librarian, H. Gordon ("Gary") Aitken UE, received his Loyalist certificate as a descendant of John Brecken UE who settled in Prince Edward Island following the American Revolution – see photos (PDF).

...Robert C. McBride UE, UELAC President

Dominion Council Meeting

On 29 October 2011 the Dominion Council met at 51 Donlands Avenue in Toronto. All regions across Canada were well represented by twenty-four delegates and two guests. Testing a new format, we completed the business portion - reviewing executive and committee reports, approving the 2012 budget, voting on a variety of motions and dealing with items of new business - of the meeting by lunch time and held a workshop on communications, presented by Doug Grant UE, in the afternoon. The discussion that ensued was very valuable as it brought forth both strengths and weaknesses in our organization as well as highlighting areas for growth in our communication ability in this rapidly changing technological world.

Communication works hand in hand with opportunity and teamwork. Teamwork encourages active members!

...Robert C. McBride UE, UELAC President

Christmas is Coming - Support Your Heritage

Christmas is just around the corner. Why not consider a gift from Promotions UELAC?

Promotions has brought back the Black Valise with the UEL Flag embroidered on the front. The valise comes with a carrying handle and a shoulder strap. It has a clear plastic window for your name or business card. Cost is $ 24.00, all taxes included, shipping is additional.

Why not a UEL Flag? The flag is 3 feet by 5 feet and costs $ 22.00 all taxes included. We'll even ship the flag free of charge as a special Christmas Gift from Promotions UELAC.

What about an item of clothing with the UEL Flag embroidered on the front? To ensure delivery of clothing please place your order as soon as possible. We do not stock all sizes and colours. It takes three to four weeks for Promotions UELAC to receive items from our suppliers. If you wait too long you may not get it in time for Christmas.

Buy for yourself, a relative or friend an Address Plaque. It shows your Address and indicates that you have a Loyalist Connection as well. It also makes it easier for Santa to find your house on Christmas Eve.

To save on the cost of shipping, talk a couple of friends or fellow branch members into ordering something as well and combine the order into one and save on the shipping.

Checkout the above items in the online Promotions Catalogue as well as other items.

...Noreen Stapley, UE, Promotions Chair.

Community Outreach by Grand River

Grand River Branch staffed a display at the first genealogy fair organized by the Kitchener Public Library and held in Kitchener City Hall, Saturday, October 29th, 9:30-4:00. They were surprised at the number of people attending and, especially, the number seeking Loyalist ancestors. They kept the four Grand River members on their feet all day.

At 3:00 in a separate class room Doris Lemon gave a two-part talk "How to do Genealogy" and "Documenting your Loyalist in the UELAC" and Cynthia Stappels outlined helpful websites.

Branch appreciation was expressed to Alison Smith UE, Donna Smith UE, Cynthia Stappels UE and Doris Ann Lemon UE for this extended education-outreach program.

...Doris Lemon UE

Top Tweets - November 4, 2011

Some days I feel that tapping into Twitter is like strolling through a flea market. There are heaps of unusual or eye-catching bits of information. Without fail, one feels the need to pick up something to look more closely asking the question, "Now what do you think this could be used for?" The interesting thing to me is that there is so much activity happening throughout a day and like thrift shopping it is entirely possible to stumble across items of value. This is where the fun begins!

1. This week through Twitter I found my way to a digital collection hosted by the Atlantic Canada Virtual Archives titled Loyalist Women in New Brunswick 1783 - 1827. This one is a real treasure! The ACVA is a joint initiative of Margaret Conrad, Canada Research Chair in Atlantic Canada Studies, and the Electronic Text Centre at the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton. There are 62 letters and primary documents of the Winslow family who settled in New Brunswick in 1785, a section of biographies of women who were contemporaries of the Winslow family, and a beautiful image gallery of artifacts, portraits, and newspaper articles dating to the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. This site is a treasure trove of Loyalist women's culture in colonial New Brunswick.

2. My second favourite pick this week began through a tweet from one of our followers @maineroots. This fellow tweeter is located in Boston, MA and has become engaged with UELAC to the point of re-tweeting information specific to our organization. With his help our message of who we are and what we do went out this week, not only to our own followers, but to the 1,060 people who follow him! And thanks to @maineroots I found @HeritageMuse who writes and maintains the Annapolis Royal Heritage blogspot. Here one finds writings on Loyalists, lost heritage, cemeteries, and historic sites of Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia. There are book reviews and photographs and wonderful stories. We are now in communication with @HeritageMuse opening another door to a lively heritage resource.

3. My last pick for this week came through an on-line search for items specifically related to United Empire Loyalists. If you are into vintage, you will appreciate this You Tube video titled Paths of Rebellion (Loyalists). This is part two of a 3-part series. I have a strong feeling that some of our members may recognize faces in this 10 minute production.

So, if you would like to join us and do some Twitter flea market browsing of your own, you know how to find us. You can read our Twitter feed from the Dominion website: at the top right beside the Google search box is a blue letter 'T'. When you click on that it brings you to the Twitter home page of the United Empire Loyalists' Assoc.

As always, if you would like to become a follower and actively participate (which we encourage) go to twitter.com to open an account. I look forward to seeing you there!

...B. Schepers VP UELAC

Organizing Your Genealogy Notes

Are you surrounded by mountains of paper? Can't decide how to set up your genealogical information or where to file documents you find?

Mary E. V. Hill has taught her method at the Family History Library for over 10 years, where I have heard her presentation twice. She provides an excellent system for keeping track of all your research, including people, places and subjects. She also shows how she sets up digital records.

Mary authored a book on her Loyalist ancestor: "Saga of a Southern Loyalist : William Riddle of Virginia and North Carolina : His Ancestors and Descendants", available at the Family History Library.

Until November 14, her hour-long presentation is available free from the Legacy web site: Family Roots organizer.

...Nancy Conn, UE

Book: Chasing Freedom, by Gloria Ann Wesley

Young Adult Historical Fiction

A story of the struggle of Black Loyalists and their arrival in Nova Scotia.

The American Revolutionary War is being waged, and the fate of slaves in the colonies is on the line. Sarah Redmond, a slave on a South Carolina plantation, watches with a heavy heart as her father steals away in the dead of the night to join the British army, enticed by promises of freedom, land and provisions for his whole family. But before her father can return, the war draws to a close and the Loyalist slaves are all freed – including Sarah and her grandmother, Lydia. Uncertain of their future, Sarah and Lydia join the thousands who are rounded up and sent to New York to prepare for their journey to a new home somewhere in the British colonies.

After months of waiting, the Redmonds are assigned to a ship bound for the first all-black community in North America: Birchtown, Nova Scotia. With their Certificates of Freedom in hand, Lydia and Sarah wait anxiously, hoping beyond hope that their new life will bring acceptance and happiness. But once they reach Birchtown they find that their new home is barren, cold and isolated — and in a world slow to forget old fears and hate, their Certificates offer them freedom in name only.

Chasing Freedom is the story of a young woman struggling to discover who she is and what she can become in a world that offers her few opportunities. Can Sarah and her family find the strength and determination to persevere against all odds?

Paperback ISBN: 9781552664230, $18.95 CAD, Sep 2011, 240 pages

Reviews: by Quill & Quire; and by Atlantic Monthly here.

...Guylaine Petrin

War of 1812: Reenactment of The Flight of the Royal George

As the winter of 1812-13 approached, it was obvious by the American naval personnel that a decisive victory on Lake Ontario, accompanied preferably by the capture of Kingston, would virtually guarantee the success of their western armies and the capture of Upper Canada. An advocate of this theory was Commodore Isaac Chauncey, commander of the American squadron on the lake.

Beginning on Nov. 9, 1812, for three days, the Americans pursued the Royal George into the Bay of Quinte and thence to Kingston. In the end, the Americans went home for the winter and the Royal George was repaired in Kingston harbour.

Book your calendar now for the Canada Day weekend, Fri June 29 until Sunday Canada Day July 1 to watch the re-enactments and events in Bath and Kingston.

Read a review of the events as they happened then; study the planned activities, and book your calendar.

...David L. Smith and Brandt Zatterberg

Additions to the Loyalist Directory

As time permits, we add information to the Loyalist Directory. The latest additions and updates are as follows:
- Anger, Frederick Sr. and Loyalist children Augustus, Charles and Frederick Jr. - from David Clark
- Bender, Philip George - from Maggie Parnall
- House, John - updated by Marian Pettit and David Clark
- Rupert (Ruport), Adam and Loyalist children Francis, Peter (Pader), Peter and John - from Guylaine Petrin

Queries

Descendants of War of 1812 Veterans

The Canadian Press is looking for descendants of veterans from the War of 1812, and thought that some our readers would be interested in participating. The following outlines their request:

As the national media prepares to mark another Remembrance Day, the Canadian Press is casting a spotlight on many of the historic battles in which Canadian troops played a role. One conflict that often receives scant attention is the War of 1812. I am hoping to rectify this for this year's Remembrance Day, as well as to establish contacts that could help provide coverage as the bicentennial anniversary approaches.

If you have ancestors that took part in the War of 1812 and are willing to share that connection with the Canadian Press, I would be delighted to talk to you.

If you would be willing to take part in a brief telephone interview, please feel free to contact me directly, either by phone at 416-507-2140 or by email at michelle.mcquigge@thecanadianpress.com.

I am working to a fairly tight deadline and would appreciate hearing from you by Tuesday, Nov. 8. If you receive this note after that time, you're still more than welcome to get in touch and will be kept in consideration for future projects.

Many thanks and all the best, Michelle McQuigge, Reporter/Editor

About the Canadian Press, Canada's trusted news leader: The Canadian Press delivers credible, comprehensive news reporting from Canada and around the world in multiple formats, serving newspapers, broadcasters, websites, wireless carriers, magazines, government and corporate clients.

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