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Loyalist Trails UELAC Newsletter, 2013 Archive

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"Loyalist Trails" 2013-04: January 27, 2013


Three Widows and their Rebel Native Encounters – by Stephen Davidson

The loyalist experience of the American Revolution varied depending upon one's colony, gender, and race. The women who made their new homes in Upper and Lower Canada were, by and large, from frontier settlements scattered along the river valleys of northwestern New York. Consequently, these women were very likely to come face to face with the Native allies of their rebel neighbours. For three of these loyalist wives, a Native encounter during the revolution had especially tragic consequences for their husbands.

In late September of 1787, Elizabeth Nicholas appeared before the Montreal hearing of the Royal Commission on the Losses and Services of American Loyalists (RCLSAL). She hoped to receive compensation for all that she and her first husband, John Cline, had lost on their farm in Tryon County's German Flats (modern day Herkimer, NY).

Elizabeth would have testified with a German accent, having immigrated as a girl to the New World from one of the German states. After marrying Cline, she and her husband raised six daughters on a 100-acre farm, It had been their home since 1766. John Cline was very loyal and "known to be so". Because of his refusal to bear arms for the rebels, Cline had to pay fines to the local patriot committee. (The rebels somehow failed to see that his poor health made him incapable of fighting.)

With mounting violence in the neighbourhood, Cline's loyalist stance became more and more obnoxious. Finally, Natives sympathetic to the rebel cause killed him because "he would not go to fight against the king". Elizabeth resolved not to stay in German Flats, and fled to Canada with her five unmarried daughters soon after John's death. In doing so, she had to abandon a frame house and barn, five cows, three yearlings, four mares, and two wagons in addition to utensils, tools, furniture – and a married daughter.

When loyalists settled Cataraqui (modern day Kingston, Ontario) in 1783, Elizabeth and her new husband John Nicholas were among the community's founders. The RCLSAL noted that they were "good people", but it still required an affidavit of Cline's loyalty and property before it could grant Elizabeth compensation as a loyalist's widow.

Four months later, another widow who had also encountered rebel Natives appeared before the RCLSAL. Mary Anderson's husband Alexander had immigrated to New York's Susquehanna River from Scotland in 1774. After patriots put Anderson in prison because he "would never take part with the rebels", the loyalist decided to seek sanctuary for his wife and three children in Niagara which --in 1779-- was within British lines.

But the loyalist family's hopes for refuge were dashed when Native rebel warriors attacked them, killing Alexander. Mary and her three orphaned children escaped with their lives and made their way to Canada. By 1788, the loyalist widow had married Duncan Reed and settled near Montreal. Two months after his mother appeared before the RCLSAL, John Anderson, the oldest son, testified that all the compensation for his loyalist father's losses should be given to his mother.

On March 5, 1788, Mary Browster told the story of her family's encounter with rebel Natives. She and her Irish husband had lived in Westmoreland, Pennsylvania many years before the revolution began. Joseph Browster also owned land in Kentucky. The fact that he "was always a friend of Great Britain" would eventually ruin the family. Rebels fined Browster for his royal allegiance, imprisoned him, and finally seized his land. The family gathered up its remaining livestock, food supplies and furniture, and decided to seek refuge on their lands in Kentucky. The year was 1779. Along the way, Natives attacked the family, stealing their horses and cows. The flour was "used or sold".

After they got as far as the French village of Post St. Vincent's, the Browsters sold their furniture so that they could buy a house. (The British called the community Fort Sackville; it was about 150 miles above the mouth of the Wabush River.) After securing Mary in a new home with their three children, Margt, Simon, and Martha, Browster decided to join the British forces at Niagara. It was September of 1780. Browster thought that the Native guide he had hired was a loyal subject of King George III. His error was a costly one. As the two men travelled northward, the Native robbed and murdered Browster.

Mary and the children stayed in Post St. Vincent's for two more years, and then decided to seek refuge in Detroit. Once again, the family entrusted itself to Native guides (Mary called them "savages" in her testimony), but these men were not rebel allies, and (despite Mary's low opinion of them) safely led the Browsters to sanctuary within the British lines. The next year, Mary and the children settled in Niagara. In 1784, they moved to Sorel on the St. Lawrence River where they remained for the next four years.

In the peaceful years of settlement that followed the vicious civil strife throughout the New York frontier, Elizabeth Nicholas, Mary Reed, and Mary Browster would be haunted by memories of loss and separation – not because of their patriot neighbours' aggression, but because of their encounters with rebel Natives.

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

Charles William Raymond (1820-1901) © George McNeillie

Following in the steps of my father and his sister, who married a brother and sister in the Carman family, my Brother Arthur and sister Fannie married a brother and sister, Charles L. and Emily Perkins, who then lived in the old Rectory below the Parish Church. My sister was married on June 20, 1881, and my brother on December 12, 1883. The two young wives were school friends and very intimate before their marriage, and their parents regarded the exchange of daughters as an admirable arrangement. Both young couples began their married life very happily, but the two young wives each died in the prime of life of septicemia following child-birth. Another near relative, our Cousin Julia Carman, died in like manner a few years previously, and thus three bright young lives went out where probably under modern methods of treatment they might have been saved. A leading physician and surgeon, Dr, Covernton of Vancouver, not long since said to me, "Under former methods of practice, happy was the mother whose child was born before the doctor arrived."

In this chapter of our Ancestry nothing need be said of my dear mother as she will come in under the Carman genealogy. Nor do I feel that I am able to write in detail of my good brothers and sister who are living, but I may perhaps add a few words respecting my dear sister Fannie. Grandfather Raymond, to whom I once observed in conversation that my sister Fannie was very even-tempered and never seemed to get angry, said, by way of explanation, "She is like her mother." And I think he was right. She certainly was devoted to her mother and I think there was rarely a week when she did not visit her after she was married. She was very musical, and she and my brother Arthur used to play on the violin and organ (or piano) as father and his sister Mary did before them. Fanny [sic] had an open-hearted generous disposition, and was always so appreciative of any little kindness bestowed on her. She was so modest and unassuming. So genuinely good. So bright and merry and happy. There are none but pleasant memories of sister Fannie.

The first four of mother's children were boys, and as in turn they were taken to the church to be baptized, the old sexton smiled approvingly and said, "Boys is always the best." But when my sister arrived he condescended to say "Well girls is most as good as boys." But as for mother's boys it was a proud day when our baby sister came to town.

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

Prairie Region Councillor Barbara Andrew Honoured

At the recent AGM of the Manitoba Genealogical Society, Prairie Region Councillor Barbara Andrew was awarded the Florence Cox Award for outstanding volunteer service to MGS.

The presentation included the following comments: she "was active in the registrations for the MGS seminar held in Brandon in 2003. She has served on the executive and the program committee and has been involved with the three workshops offered by the branch over the past years. Barb is currently on both the finance and library committees and is involved with the cemetery transcriptions as well as the United Empire Loyalists' Association. Barb also worked with the branch website designer and is currently one of the web masters."

A few years back, Barb was also honoured by the South West Branch of the MGSI as a recipient of the Ruth Tester Award in recognition and appreciation of contributions to the South West Branch of the MGSI and to genealogy in Southwestern Manitoba. Humbled by these awards, Barb acknowledged that so many other folks who volunteer so much in so many areas of society never get acknowledged. Those who have witnessed her leadership within UELAC are very much aware that these honours are well deserved.


Radio Interview of Jean Rae Baxter

If you have an hour to spare, you might like to hear this interview. I talk about my writing life and about my Loyalist trilogy. The focus is on a story I wrote about Molly Brant for inclusion in an anthology titled In the Wings. I believe that there is quite a bit in the interview that would interest members of UELAC.

The interviewer is Bernadette Rule, who teaches in the Broadast Journalism program at Mohawk College in Hamilton. She is the editor of In the Wings.

Click here to listen to the interview.

...Jean Rae Baxter, UE

Where in the World?

Guess where Nancy Conn was!

To participate, submit a photo of yourself in UELAC promotional gear at a place of some note and tell us where it is. If you are a member of a branch, please indicate that as well – send to Jennifer Childs.

Can you Guess the Purpose of an Eprouvette?

The picture will give you an idea, maybe. The description below the picture will tell you about it. For more than that brief description, follow the "link" below the description, and for a high quality photo look at the National Firearms Museum where you can look at the finest details.

...Alan Fraser

Loyalists and the War of 1812

A number of Loyalists who had participated in the American Revolution also took up arms again in the War of 1812. A greater number of sons, daughters and family members of Loyalists also joined the war effort. See the collection at Loyalists and the War of 1812.

A few submissions have been received. If you have Loyalist ancestry, or know of other, that meets the criteria above, please contribute to this collection. Submissions of about 500 words would be great, but size within reason is not a big concern.

Thanks in advance for your help; submit articles to

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

Additions to the Loyalist Directory

As time permits, we add information to the Loyalist Directory. The latest additions and updates are as follows:

- Haines, Joseph Sr. - from Earline Bradt

Please help us build the directory by contributing more information for it. Contact for instructions and guidance.

Last Post: James Craig Hughes, UE

Peacefully at his residence on Friday, January 18, 2013, Jim passed away in his 59th year. Loving son to Donald and Patricia, he will be sadly missed by his family and friends. Jim was a long-time member of Colonel John Butler Niagara Branch of the UELAC. He was very proud of his loyalist ancestors Christopher and James Craig.

The family received friends at the Hetherington & Deans Funeral Chapel, Niagara Falls on Wednesday, January 23rd from 1-2 pm. The Funeral Service followed at 2 pm in the chapel. Interment was at Lundy's Lane Cemetery. Memorial donations to a charity of choice would be appreciated.

...Bev and Rod Craig

Last Post: Margaret Joyce Tiplady, UE

(November 23, 1930 - January 15, 2013, a member of Vancouver Branch UELAC)

Joyce passed away peacefully at the Kiwanis Care Centre in North Vancouver. She was predeceased by her husband Donald, sisters Edith and Joan, and brother, Bruce. She is survived by her daughter Ann (John) and son David (Amanda), and grandchildren William, James, Jacqueline and Warren. Joyce's life was replete with many friends and interests. Her passions included travelling, gardening, and genealogy, and she was very proud to be a member of the United Empire Loyalist Association of Canada. Joyce will be remembered for her smile, and her energetic, vivacious, and loving nature. A service to celebrate Joyce's life will be held at Dunbar Heights United Church, 3525 West 24th Avenue, Vancouver on Monday, January 28, 2013 at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations to the Alzheimer Society of BC, or the Canadian Cancer Society. (Vancouver Sun and/or The Province on January 22, 2013)

Margaret Joyce Tiplady UE received her long sought after UE certificate on 04 June 2005 at the Gala Banquet of the Annual Conference in Regina, SK. Joyce, who has lived most of her life in Vancouver, BC, was born in Moosejaw, SK. It was a thrill to see Joyce's surprise when Doug Grant UE, UELAC President, called Joyce to the podium to receive her certificate and Loyalist pin [Loyalist Ancestor: Arthur Orser UE] from Vancouver Branch Genealogist and Pacific Regional Councillor, Carl Stymiest UE. (The Loyalist Gazette September 22, 2005)

...Carl Stymiest, Vancouver Branch

Last Post: Delbert Lawrence Jackson, UE

Passed away peacefully at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto on Wednesday, January 23, 2013, Delbert L. Jackson, in his 81st year, devoted husband for 57 years of Eleanor Margaret Leavens, formerly of Bolton. Loving father of David Lorne (deceased) and Margaret Lisa and dear father-in-law of Raymond Bédard. Proud grandfather of Jacqueline Margaret.

A celebration of Del's life will be held at Rosedale United Church, 159 Roxborough Drive, Toronto on Friday afternoon, February 1 at 2 o'clock. Interment will take place in the family plot, Laurel Hill Cemetery, Bolton at a later date. If desired, memorial donations in Del's name may be made to the charity of your choice. Arrangements by Egan Funeral Home, Bolton 905-857-2213. Condolences for the family may be offered at

Delbert was a member of Toronto Branch.

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