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Loyalist Trails UELAC Newsletter, 2012 Archive

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"Loyalist Trails" 2012-02: January, 2012

Articles

Loyalist Times and Transcripts: Part One -- by Stephen Davidson

Have you ever read the transcripts of the Royal Commission on the Losses and Services of American Loyalists? Don't let the words "royal commission" or "transcript" frighten you. These documents are anything but dull. Want to hear the story of an individual loyalist's persecution, war service and resettlement? It can be found in the RCLSAL transcripts. Need to know how the common man and woman experienced the Revolution? The transcripts provide that perspective. Want to know the status of a given loyalist? Inventories of lost property and possessions are part of almost every claim. This amazing primary source should be in the library of every loyalist genealogist, UELAC branch, and loyalist historian.

However, before we look at the many ways in which these transcripts illuminate the Loyalist Era, it is worthwhile knowing how the RCLSAL came to be.

Loyal American colonists sought refuge in England throughout the Revolution. As early as 1775, some southern loyalists sensed that a war was brewing. In 1776, Boston's loyalists fled for Halifax and then England. Once begun, the flow of loyalists to the centre of the empire did not stop until well after 1783. The crown gave out allowances to some of these loyalists -- just enough to support them during what the British thought would be a very brief (and victorious) war.

When American rebels won the war, the British parliament thought its days of supporting loyalists were over. The Treaty of Paris contained a clause stating that all thirteen legislatures within the United States would compensate their loyalists for property seized during the war. This never happened. Since the beginning of the Revolution, rebels had been confiscating loyalist land and possessions. With the victory at Yorktown in 1781, seizure of loyalist property only escalated. It is a truth of history that to the victor goes the spoils, and it was no different for the American Revolution.

Most loyalists decided to stay in the United States and make their peace with their patriot neighbours. However, there were 60,000 loyalists who sought sanctuary in other parts of the British Empire. Some abandoned fields that had been forests just before the Revolution; others bade farewell to land that had been in their families since the arrival of the Mayflower. What could the British government do to redress the losses of their loyal Americans?

As governments have done whenever they confront a difficult problem, the British parliament launched a royal commission. Those charged with looking into the "losses and services of American loyalists" had to gather claims for losses, examine pertinent legal documents, determine the value of lost property, and award a just monetary compensation.

At the first RCLSAL hearings in London, loyalists were awarded full compensation for their wartime losses. However, line-ups of claimants continued to grow longer. It became apparent that full compensation would drain government coffers which were already diminished from the expenses of a failed war. Commissioners were also horrified to learn that some early claimants took their cash and returned to live in the United States. This "having your cake and eating it too" attitude soured the commissioners and had a negative impact on the success of later loyalists' claims.

Most loyalists in British North America found the whole experience of seeking compensation to be both intimidating and infuriating. Rather than simply submitting testimony and legal documents to substantiate their claims, loyalists had to endure an intense cross-examination. After surviving this grilling, the claimants then only received a third of the value of their losses. They were stuck between a rock and a hard place: if they did not make the effort to seek compensation, they would receive nothing at all.

Hearings of the RCLSAL were initially held in London (1783 -1785), but later convened in Halifax (December 1785 - August 1786), Shelburne (June 1786), Saint John (October 1786 - March 1787), Quebec City (May 29 - August 21, 1787), and finally, Montreal (August 1787 - May 1788).

Not every loyalist was able to make claims to the RCLSAL. Some were simply too far away. Many loyalists lost their legal papers when they sent them with an agent to act on their behalf at the London hearings. Only the rich loyalists who had fled to the West Indies or Bermuda could afford the two-month round trip to Halifax, the nearest compensation board hearing to which they could make their claims. For loyalists who settled in Canada or New Brunswick, frozen waterways or an absence of news about the hearings prevented them from receiving compensation.

After the last claimant was heard by Royal Commission on the Losses and Services of American Loyalists in 1788, the commissioners had awarded 3,033,091 ($300 million in today's money) to loyalist claimants. However, this was only given out to the 2,291 loyalists who attended the RCLSAL hearings -- just four percent of all American loyalist refugees.

This statistic is discouraging for both the genealogist and the loyalist historian. With only one in 25 loyalists appearing before the board, chances are not great that one's own ancestor sought compensation. The claims made to the board represent such a small sample of the total loyalist diaspora that the historian cannot make broad generalization about the loyalists. (For example, 12 of the 2,291 claimants had libraries -- that's 5% of all who appeared before the RCLSAL. An interesting statistic. But those loyalists, if they were the only ones with extensive book collections, would only represent 0.02% of all loyalists. Not so interesting.)

Nevertheless, the transcripts that were made of the compensation hearings provide glimpses into the loyalist experience that are detailed, fascinating, and poignant. They allow us to "hear" the voices of loyalists who eye-witnesses to one of North America's greatest wars. Despite their limitations, their value cannot be overstated.

In next week's Loyalist Trails we will consider ten ways to use the RCLSAL transcripts to explore the Loyalist Era -- and learn how to acquire digital copies of these amazing primary sources.

Response to Stephen Davidson's "No Such Tyng" (Jan. 1)

In the January 1issue of Loyalist Trails, reference was made to Loyalist William Tyng, Well, I LIVE in a town, near the New Hampshire border, that was named for the Tyng.[Tyngsborough] family! Wow, that's why I try to never miss reading an issue! Fascinating.

...Marie Mosher

UELAC Conference 2012 "Conference at the Confluence"

The annual UELAC Conference is being hosted in 2012 by Manitoba Branch. Titled "Conference at the Confluence", the event is scheduled for June 7-10 in Winnipeg.

Information – program, tours, venue, accommodations, registration and more – is now available on the conference website.

Review the details and mark this in your calendar - hope to see you there.

...Barbara Andrew, Registrar

Col. John Butler Br. New Year's Day With Ontario's Lieutenant Governor

[Click here to read with pictures.] Colonel John Butler (Niagara) Branch President Shirley Lockhart, her husband Jim and Rod & Bev Craig braved the wind and rain in their 1812 attire to greet Their Honours Lt. Governor David Onley and his wife Ruth Ann at Fort George in Niagara-on-the-Lake on January 1st. See them in picture 6 (right of the path) in the Lt. Governor's Album.

Other branch members who attended were Richard Merritt and Janet Hodgkins & David Fowler, Bill & Ivy Stevens and Roy Johnson. Roy was proud to have his picture taken with His Honour, they are descendants of Loyalist John Comfort (see attached).

Their Honours were joined in the receiving line by Branch member, Richard Merritt, co-chair of the Niagara-on-the-Lake War of 1812 Bicentennial Committee, former Lt. Governor Lincoln Alexander and local dignitaries.

The 41st Regiment Fife and Drum Corps entertained more than 1000 guests in the huge tent (see attached), the delicious refreshments, speeches and toasts, tours of the Fort buildings and the cannonade were a fitting introduction to the coming 1812 festivities. (photos by Roy Johnson, UE)

...Bev Craig, UE, CJB Branch

Largest Loyalist Families (A New List)

The second of our "fun" lists notes larger loyalist families. See last week's Loyalist Trails for guidelines. The page on our website will be up soon. Look forward to hearing from you. Send submissions to loyalist.trails@uelac.org Here is the first submission:

Cyrenius Parke, by Beverly Pulver (noted also by Arnold Weirmeir)

Cyrenius Parke is my Loyalist ancestor and also the ancestor of countless others. Eighteen of his children reached adulthood, married and populated Ontario.

Cyrenius was born in Litchfield, Connecticut Colonial America 22 Dec 1754, the 5th child of parents James Parke and Sarah Newcombe. His first wife, Elizabeth Carscallen was born 21 Dec 1755 in Queensbury Township, Charlotte, New York, USA, died 1788 in Albany Township, Albany, New York. Together they had eight children. In 1789 he married a second time to Elizabeth Huffman b. 13 Apr 1770, daughter of Elias Hoffman and Elizabeth, at Camden Valley, New York, USA. She died 9 Dec 1846 at Hay Bay, North Fredricksburgh Twp., Lennox and Addington Co. They had twelve children.

Cyrenius was a colonist who remained faithful to the Crown during the American War of Independence (1775-1783), otherwise known as The American Revolution, and joined General Burgoyne's British Forces to fight the rebels along with his brother James Parke. Cyrenius and his brother James were both captured and later released with guarantee not to serve again during the war.

He had his land confiscated for his known loyalty to the king. They were driven from their homesteads by the rebels and were forced to flee the country leaving all their possessions behind. Then he fled to Canada in the year of 1780 serving as a Corporal in a company known as the James Rogers King's Rangers.

They sailed from New York, reached Lachine, Quebec and continued to Sorel where they wintered in tents and hastily built cabins. The final stage of their journey was on flat-bottomed boats called "bateaux" and they travelled from Lachine up the St. Lawrence River to land at Adolphustown on June 16, 1784.

He took up permanent residence in Upper Canada 1790. It wasn't until 20 Dec 1792 that he was granted 290 acres of land in Richmond Twp. Napanee, Ontario, Lennox & Addington Co., Canada. On 17 May 1801 was once more granted 600 acres of land at Hay Bay, Fredericksburgh Twp. Lennox & Addington Co., Ontario, Canada. On Aug. 10, 1801 he was granted more land, 200 acres of land in Sophiasburgh Twp., Prince Edward Co., Canada.

On Jan 10, 1793 Cyrenius bought a Family Bible at Kingston for 1.10 pounds. The bible is now in the Lennox & Addington Court House and Museum. He has listed there in his own handwriting all names and birthdates of his family, starting with his own parents, and including various marriages and death dates.

In 1796 he settled at Hay Bay, Fredericksburgh Twp., Lennox & Addington Co. Upper Canada Lots 5,6, 7 Con 4. He died 22 Aug 1828 at age 74. He is buried at the Parks-Sherman Loyalist Cemetery, Hay Bay, Ontario, Fredericksburgh Twp., Lennox & Addington Co., Ontario, Canada.


Children of 1st wife (8) Elizabeth Carscallen

Nathaniel b.21 Apr 1776 m. Rebecca Pine
Sarah b.7 Dec 1777
Cornelius b.13 Apr 1779
Joseph b.27 Mar 1780
James b.10 Feb 1782
Deborah b. 6 Aug 1783
Archibald b.4 Jan 1786
Elizabeth b.10 Jan 1787

Children of 2nd wife (12) Elizabeth Huffman

Clarinda b. 24 Oct 1790 d.? m. 20 Jul 1822 William Blake
John Cyrenius b.14 Dec 1791 d. c.1866 m. 13 Oct 1812 Catherine Brunk
Cyrenius Jr. b. 14 Sept 1793 d. 16 Apr 1836 m. 4 Dec 1809 Elizabeth Taylor
James Cyrenius b.27 Feb 1795 d. bet 1862-1870 m. (date unknown) Eleanor Reid
Mary b.3 Apr 1797 d. ? m. 16 Oct. 1816 John Rightmeyer
Elias T. b.26 Oct 1798 d. 1837 m. c. 1821 Sarah Pine
Daniel b.25 Oct 1800 d. 30 Jul 1880 m. Sarah Wilson
Charlotte b.12 Dec 1802 d. 25 Apr. 1869 m. 3 Jun 1826 Peter Huffman
Hannah b.22 Dec 1804 d. 12 Jun 1850 m. c. 1827-28 Alexander Forshee
David b.21 Oct 1807 d. 25 Nov. 1858 m. c. 1829 Nancy Wilson
Susanna b.22 Apr 1810 d. 7 May 1873 m. 4 Jan 1830 John Alexander Watson
Mylo b.2 Oct 1812 d. 20 Feb 1900 m. 11 Feb 1834 Bathsheba Rose Lazier

Sources for children: Will (in Ontario Archives) and Langhorn and McDowell baptismal records, Family Bible in Napanee Museum.

War of 1812 - events in the "Western Corridor"

Learn about the events that occurred in the "Western Corridor" during the War of 1812, and learn about some of the projects that communities in the Western Corridor are planning for the bicentennial. Hosted by historian Bill Darfler, this seven-minute video is a good watch.

1812: Pathways to Peace Art Card Exhibition now at Balls Falls Centre

The Pathways to Peace exhibition has now moved on the Balls Falls Centre for Conservation. The Gift Shop is stocked with some of the books and art merchandise. Please come and enjoy the venue and enjoy our exhibition. It is a great place to take a winter walk after viewing the 1812 artwork and history panels!!!

There are a number of special days:

- January 6 to April 30, 2012 -- exhibit is on display.

- Jan. 7 @ 1 p.m. -- guest speaker Cheryl MacDonald will speak about Women in the War of 1812.

- Feb. 20 is Family Day -- lots of hands-on activities suitable for all ages.

- March 15 -- Zig Misiak will give a presentation on the role of Six Nations natives in the war. Zig will also be signing copies of his book -- "Western Hooves of Thunder".

- March 17 @ 1 p.m. -- Cheryl MacDonald will speak about the lives of children who lived through the war

- March 31, the band, Muddy York, will entertain and Rev. Cannon Robt. Brownlie will talk about the Ancaster Assize. Tickets for this event are $15 and should be ordered soon/

To buy tickets or for more information about the events, please contact Balls Falls 905-562-5235, ext. 26.

...Linda Stanley, BiNational 1812 Art Collection

[submitted by Doris Lemon]

The Tech Side: Sending and Receiving Large Files by Wayne Scott, UE

There are times when we want to send a large file to someone. Do you know what the attachment size limit is for your ISP (Internet Service Provider)? Cogeco lists their limit at about 20MB. G-Mail will also allow 20MB files to be transferred between users. If your file was just written material with very little formatting, you could send hundreds of pages. When you add pictures and a lot of formatting, the number of pages diminishes substantially. I ran into this very issue a few months ago when I wanted to send a short video that I had created to a friend. The video was 87MB in size and was needed immediately for a project we were working on. We found a work around to Cogeco's file size limitations.

Dick Eastman wrote an article on this issue a couple of weeks ago. He pointed out that there are a number of services available that will allow you to send large files of 300MBs up to a couple of GBs. These are large files.

Many of us will not want to send huge files on a regular basis. In this case, many of the online file transfer sites offer a free service for the casual user. A Google search will point you to a number of services, many with free access for a limited file size, but often accompanied by advertising.

With most services, the user uploads their file(s) to a server. The user's name and email address are needed so that the recipient knows where the file is coming from. The recipient will receive an email telling them to log onto a url where your file is stored. It is up to the recipient to download the file. Some services will allow unlimited downloads of a file while others allow only a certain number. It would be safe to say that with a free account, there will be a limitation on the number of downloads available.

Another consideration that should be taken into account is the amount of file storage on the server. Free services will limit the amount of file storage, and will limit how long the file will be stored. Information of these limitations are usually spelled out clearly on the company website.

Some of the more popular services include www.yousendit.com. You can send up to 100MB without creating an account. The service is ad supported. A fee based option ($5.00 a month) will give you a 2GB file transfer maximum and no ads.

The site preferred by Dick Eastman is www.transferbigfiles.com. A free account will allow files of 100MB in size to be transferred, however, the files will be made available for download for only 5 days.

Often the larger the file size allowed with a free account translates into more aggressive advertising. After all, the service provider needs to create income one way or another.

7 Large file transfer sites are reviewed here. There are other service reviews available on Google.

It seems to me that when there is a group of people researching the same family, it makes sense to have the option to share large files among its members. The large file transfer services become another tool that will help make the process easier for the genealogy enthusiast.

You can email Wayne Scott to get in touch with questions or comments.

Last Post: Helene Karvonen (nee Barrowclough), UE

Regarding the parents of Stephen Roblin, suspected to be the son of Jacob Roblin: this is confirmed to a high standard on page 703, of Pioneer Life on the Bay of Quinte, including Genealogies of Old Families, and Biographical Sketches of Representative Citizens, where all the information is found. In fact, a large amount of information is given there, on the two Loyalist Roblin brothers, Stephen and Owen, in great and fascinating detail. Oddly, the family seems to have been skipped in the 1851 Census, as Jacob & his family, including son Stephen, is not reported there. Jacob and his family lived in Sophiasburgh and Demorestville.

Pioneer Life can be read online, thanks to the University of Toronto, which holds an illustrated copy which may contain family images.

It would be well worth looking at the original book, just to view and copy the incredible images of people and places. It is long out of copyright.

...Richard Ripley UE, Loyalist Genealogist


The Owen Roblin family tree in "the Pioneer Life on the Bay of Quinte" shows Rebecca as the oldest and Jacob as the second child, (your person of interest) and Stephen as the third child of Owen and Mary Ruttan. This Stephen (the uncle of the Stephen you are interested in) was the ancestor of the Roblins in Adolphustown who lived near my Davis family and were related to us in two or three marriages. I've worked away on these Roblin genealogies along with many other confused relatives, and I've corresponded with Linda Herman who has done a wonderful re-sort of this Stephen Roblin branch.

I found Stephen and Julia Ann's marriage recorded (with no parents named of course) as of 2 Nov. 1845, just as you had it in your query, and Nathan Roblin was the witness. Nathan was the older brother of Stephen and I found these two brothers living close together in the '61 Census and the '71 Census in Tyendinaga Twp. in Hastings County at Shannonville..( Geographically, that is very close to where they grew up) Nathan was a carriage maker and Stephen a yeoman.

The minister in 1845 was Rev. Conrad VanDusen who seems to be the husband of their aunt Mary. And their Aunt Elizabeth also married a Van Dusen, maybe relatives of Sarah their mother?

Nathan Roblin is a much easier name to research on Ancestry.ca and there are too many Stephens..I thought it would be nice to find evidence that Nathan was the oldest son of Jacob and Sarah VanDusen and then you could point out that he was the witness at Stephen's marriage because he was the brother. It was a nice thought, but I couldn't find any proof that Nathan was s/o Jacob and Sarah, except in the Pioneer Life on the Bay of Quinte.

...Jean Norry

Queries

Response re Roblin Family Missing Link

Peacefully at Scarborough Centenary Hospital, on Monday, January 2, 2012. In her 85th year, Helene is reunited with her loving husband Eddy. Wonderful mother to daughters Ellen Kristiina and Melody, son Daniel and his wife Kathy. Beloved and proud grandma to Cassandra and Jake. Loving sister, aunt, cousin, godmother, teacher and friend to many. She was an angel among us that has finally been given her wings.

Friends and family may gather at McDougall & Brown Funeral Home (Scarborough Chapel), 2900 Kingston Rd. 416-267-4656 on Thursday, January 5th from 5-8 p.m. Service to be held at Scarborough Bluffs United Church, 3739 Kingston Rd, Toronto, Friday, January 6th at 10 a.m. Donations to the Canadian Cancer Society would be appreciated. From NORTHUMBERLAND TODAY

...Lynne Cook, UE

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