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Loyalist Trails UELAC Newsletter, 2014 Archive

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“Loyalist Trails” 2014-04: January 26, 2014


The Disappointed Loyalist (Part Three), by Stephen Davidson

On the night of March 9th, a terrible snowstorm forced the schooner Patty to go aground on the infamous split rock of Musquash Cove, nine miles south west of Saint John, New Brunswick. As reported in the Royal Gazette, "the violence of the storm [was] so great that she instantly shove to pieces."

Among the schooner's passengers were Joshua Chandler, his 29 year-old son William, and his 27 year-old daughter Elizabeth. They had booked passage to Saint John in the hopes of receiving compensation for their losses during the American Revolution.

Despite the cold and wind, Chandler's son William felt that it was possible for someone to make it to shore from where the ship had gone aground. Intending to secure the schooner to a rock on the shore, William tied a long rope around his waist and jumped into the frigid waters of the Bay of Fundy. Almost immediately the ship moved, crushing William between its hull and the rocks. Thus died a loyalist who had helped the British army enter New Haven, Connecticut in 1779.

Somehow the other passengers managed to make it to shore, scaling a high cliff, and wading through four feet of snow before finding shelter in the forest. They kept moving throughout the night so as not to freeze, and then set out in the morning to try to find shelter. A sudden rain had soaked everyone to the skin.

Joshua Chandler was 61 years old, a man who had described his health as being in "visible decline." He realized that he would only slow the others down. Despite her protests, Elizabeth was persuaded to leave her father and seek shelter with the other passengers. Chandler sought out a high point of land that allowed him to keep an eye out for rescuers. However, he became so numb with cold that he lost his balance and fell 150 feet to his death.

On Sunday, March eleventh, Elizabeth Chandler "perished in the woods" as the shipwrecked passengers desperately sought out shelter. After following the shore for ten miles, the castaways came upon a house. According to later reports, these survivors "were exceedingly injured by the frost."

In the days that followed, searchers found the bodies of the shipwreck's victims and brought them to Saint John. Joshua Chandler, William and Elizabeth were laid to rest beneath slate tombstones in the city's burial ground. Carved into their gravestone are the words "shipwrecked on their passage from Digby to St. John on the 9th day of March, 1787, and Perished in the Woods on the 11th of said month."

Following his father's death, Charles Henry Chandler went to England where he spent a year trying to receive the compensation his father and siblings had sought in 1787. The British government finally declared: "We know your father, Joshua Chandler, was wealthy and had large and just claims, but we do not know how much, and there is no proof of it. We will allow you each, Mrs. Sarah Botsford, Mrs. Mary Upham, Thomas, Samuel and Charles H. Chandler, 1,000 pounds."

It was small compensation for all that the Chandler family had suffered throughout the American Revolution. To their credit, they did not abandon their homesteads in Nova Scotia to return to Connecticut. Despite the disappointments their father Joshua had endured, the Chandlers made the best of their new reality, contributing many public servants to their loyalist colonies' governments in the decades that followed.

Most notable of these was Joshua's grandson, Edward Barron Chandler. Born thirteen years after his grandfather's shipwreck, Edward studied law, but pursued a career in politics. He served as a member of the New Brunswick legislature from 1836 to 1878 and took a prominent part in the building of the Intercolonial Railway. Most significantly, he represented his colony at the conferences in Charlottetown, Quebec, and London which led to the creation of Canada.

Joshua Chandler, the disappointed loyalist who feared being "subjected finally to a Republican system," would have been proud. His grandson, Edward Chandler, became a Father of Confederation for North America's only constitutional monarchy.

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

Capt. George Bennison, Loyalist of St. John (Part 3 of 4), by 4th great grandson Victor L. Bennison

It is possible that George Bennison successfully got out of debtor's prison. But if so, his luck did not last long. For he died within 19 month of filing his petition from prison. On September 20, 1794, his widow placed this notice with the New Brunswick Gazette which published it on October 14: "Notice: All persons indebted to the Estate of George Bennison, late of the city of St. John, (Mariner) demands, to send in their accounts properly attested, to: Mary Bennison, Administratrix, St. John." In the family Bible of Deborah Matilda Lunt Bennison is the entry: "George Bennison, a native of Yorkshire England, died on the ocean, 1794." Whether he died in debtor's prison or on the ocean, there is no tombstone for him.

After his death, his wife and four children under the age of eleven, likely suffered. Of his eldest child, John Bennison, nothing is known beyond the fact that he seems to have been alive in 1793 when his father said he had four children to provide for. There has been some speculation about a John Bennison who shows up in Nova Scotia, but further research needs to be done. Mary Bennison married John Lester in Waterborough on October 17, 1799. They lived in Gagetown, and her mother moved in with them. They had one known child, John Lester, Jr., who died young at sea. More on them below. Son George Samuel Bennison married Mary Caroline Perley and was a farmer in Gaspereau Forks. They had eight children, all but one of whom lived to be married. Much can be found about their family in the bookThe Perley Family by M.V.B. Perley p. 634 ff. Son Edward Bennison married Deborah Matilda Lunt, a native of Massachusetts and had ten children. He was a farmer. Deborah Matilda Lunt Bennison published a book of poetry which can be found various libraries. The poetry reveals a lot of family information though somewhat veiled. Many of their children ended up in the United States. They apparently separated, as she died in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1852, and Edward died in St. John in 1861.

The family kept in touch with widow Mary Strong Bennison's family back in Devonshire. Two very interesting letters exist at the New Brunswick Provincial Archives in Fredericton, from their daughter Mary Lester to her uncle James Strong, one before widow Mary's death and one after. They are very interesting not just because of the family information they contain, but for the slice of life depicted for that period. I reproduce them below with spelling and punctuation corrected for ease of reading:

Letter from Mary [Bennison] Lester to James Strong, Exeter (England), forwarded by Mr. Edward Bennison, St. John, May the 20, 1820:

Dear Uncle and Aunt,

I take this opportunity of writing by my Brother Edward Bennison as he is going to pay you a visit to England with Capt. Proctor and by him I have sent Aunt a tea Caddy of this country wood called birds-eye maple and hope it will be accepted. I thought as there is none of that wood grown in England, as I understand, it would be a curiosity there and I have endeavored to get as handsome a one made as could be out of the wood by one of the first workmen in St. John. Dear Uncle, I want you to purchase me an iron oven called a perpetual oven about two feet or two and half long and one foot broad and one foot high. It is such as they put in the side of jams of chimneys and I think they are far preferable to a brick oven. You will please give the bill of it to Edward and I will pay him or the captain as you think proper. There is an English woman that lives in the house with me that has one and that is the first I ever seen. There is no such thing in St. John to be had and we are going to build in the course of a month and I want one of those ovens instead of a brick one. Dear Uncle I was very sorry to hear of the Death of Uncle John and more especially the manner of his death. It was very hard indeed to think how very suddenly he was called away from this troublesome world. He soon followed dear Uncle Robert and I sincerely hope that both have made a happy exchange and meet in heaven at rest from the toils of this world. I have nothing in particular to write as Edward will tell you all the news of St. John. Please give my kind love to Aunt and Cozens and tell them I expect letters from them all by the return of my Brother and from all my Aunts, as it is Mother's particular request for Edward to see them all if he possibly can before he returns. My husband joins in love to you all and likewise my little John with me. No more at present but I remain your dutiful muse.

– Mary Lester

Mary Bennison, widow of Capt. George Bennison, died in Gagetown on November 20, 1826. Her husband's financial troubles may have followed her to her grave, and deprived her children of what little she had left, for the Royal Gazette of September 11, 1827 announces: "Sheriff's Sale. The sale of George Bennison's property to have taken place (at Hume's Tavern in Gagetown) on the first Monday in July inst., is postponed until the last Saturday in September next when the same will be sold to the highest bidder. N. H. DeVeber, Sheriff, Gagetown, July 4, 1827." [to be continued next week]

...Victor Bennison

2014 Annual UELAC Conference: Friday Lectures

The UELAC Centennial Celebration will be hosted by Toronto Branch at the Eaton Chelsea Hotel, Toronto on June 5-8, 2014, See conference details.

Option 2 for Friday June 6th, is to attend the lecture series. We have gathered together a great line up of speakers at the hotel:

Todd Braisted: The New Jersey Volunteers, 1776-1783; A genealogists guide to the military records of the largest Provincial Regiment of the American Revolution. This presentation will give attendees a proper background into the personnel of the corps and its structure during the conflict, as well as what records are available today to help in their quest.

Archives of Ontario: Accessing and Preserving your Family Heirlooms. During this presentation developed with the help of the Archives of Ontario's senior conservator, you will learn how to care for family history documents at home, including detailed instruction on proper storage and handling. Information on digitizing private collections will be included.

Marion Press: Local History Online: Adding Social Context to Your Family History. One of the most enjoyable aspects of genealogy is expanding knowledge of a family by studying the local history of the area where ancestors lived. But it is sometimes difficult to find local history sources for very small rural areas or specific parts of a large town or city, especially if you are researching an area where you do not live. This is where the Internet is very helpful, as local libraries, historical societies and local history-specific web sites are filling the gap online. This presentation covers the various local history sources available online – both ones that are genealogically-specific and ones that provide social context – and how to find ones relevant to personal research.

Jane MacNamara: Early records of inheritance, such as Prerogative, Probate, and Surrogate courts, as well as wills in land records. Terrific sources of information for the Loyalist time period.

Lesley Anderson: Pre-Confederation Records on Explore the Loyalist, British Military in Canada, the Revolutionary war and early Immigration records on

...Martha Hemphill

Sir John Johnson: A Webcast by Raymond Ostiguy

The Stewart Museum in Montreal has developed a website about the War of 1812 titled "1812: Archive Secrets"

On this website are a number of resources. One of these is a series of webcasts/videos (see the drop down list near the top of the page).

One of the webcasts which you can watch is about and is titled "Sir John Johnson." The person presenting is Raymond Ostiguy, a member of the Sir John Johnson Branch, UELAC.

Louise Chevrier (Raymond is her husband) is an author. There is a feature about her book "Marguerite Les chroniques de Chambly."

...Adelaide Lanktree, UE, Sir John Johnson Branch

Bicentennial Branch Hosted Genealogy Workshop

On 18 January 2014 Bicentennial Branch of the UELAC hosted a four hour Genealogy Workshop at the Essex and Community Historical Research Society in Essex, Ontario. Speakers were Kathryn Lake Hogan UE (Former Genealogist), and M. Stephen Botsford UE (Current Genealogist).

Topics covered ranged from General Genealogy, Primary Sources, Secondary Sources, How to Cite Sources, Putting Together Your Lineage, The Where's of Information, to Land Petitions, Land Bonds, What Isn't Proof, and Preponderance of Evidence.

The article ECHRS hosts UEL ancestral research workshop in the Essex Free Press contains a photo showing (L-to-R) Kathryn Lake Hogan, Linda Iler (Bicentennial President), Stephen Botsford.

...Stephen Botsford

1814 Book Owned By Cyrenius Parke Discovered At Auction

At a recent auction, Magret Paudyn purchased several boxes of old books. One of these cartons contained a very interesting book entitled "Geography Made Easy" (PDF), published in 1814. On the inside flap there was a signature of Cyrenius Park and on the outside flap, the birth date December 22, 1754 and date of death as 1827. She was curious to know if there were any descendants of Parke who may have an interest in this text book.

He definitely had descendants. During a search for the largest United Empire Loyalist family, Beverly Pulver responded with the names of his twenty children who "lived to adulthood and populated Ontario." Since 1972 alone, more than 51 "Certificates of Loyalist Lineage" have been earned across Canada by members of Sir Guy Carleton, Kingston and District, Kawartha, Bay of Quinte, Toronto, Col John Butler and Victoria Branches.

Beverly also reported that the 1793 Family Bible that Cyrenius bought at Kingston for 1.10 pounds is now in the Lennox & Addington Court House and Museum. Here is a chance to safeguard another artefact of the United Empire Loyalist epoch.


Loyalist Descendants Make Music: Ray Griff

In the April 20, 2008 issue of Loyalist Trails, Peter W. Johnson UE, President of UELAC at the time wrote the short article, "Loyalist Descendant – Deric Ruttan – Makes Music." The article describes how this music maker who comes from Bracebridge, Ontario, then currently in Nashville, had just released his second CD. Derik Ruttan is a descendant of Capt. Peter Ruttan.

There is another very well known country western musician who is descended from Loyalists – in this case from Henry Winters and John McWilliams. This is Ray Griff. Ray has lived a lot of his life in Nashville, but divided time between Nashville and Calgary. He has written about Winfield, Alberta where he first got started in a band with his brother Ken Greff. Ray is a singer who also plays the guitar, piano and keyboard, accompanied by a band. Ray, often referred to as "The Entertainer" for his stage performances, has many accomplishments to his credit:

He was inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame (1989) and the Canadian Country Music Hall of Honour (1998). Awards include:

- SOCAN Lifetime Achievement Award

- 7 BMI Citations for song writing and publishing

- 47 ASCAP Achievement Awards for Artistry and Producing

- 40 ASCAP Achievement Awards for Song Writer and Publisher

- Hall of Fame Walkway (Nashville)

- Kentucky Colonel

- Georgia Lieutenant Colonel

- Calgary White Hatter

He has written over 2000 songs (over 700 recorded), published music for over 50 years, hosted Network Television Shows, and the Country Classic Radio Show "Raymond's Place", toured throughout Canada and the United States, made guest appearances on major radio and television shows including (a condensed list) Dean Martin, Grand Ole Opry and Hee Haw. Many of the great country music stars including Dolly Parton, Porter Wagoner, Mel Tillis, Hank Snow, Ferlin Huskey, Tommy Hunter, Wayne Newton, George Hamilton IV, Conway Twitty, Jerry Lee Lewis, Stonewall Jackson, Eddy Arnold have recorded his songs.

Ray's website tells his story, and also includes a store.

...Heather Traub, UE

Where in the World?

Where is Jennifer DeBruin?

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.

Loyalists and the War of 1812

New submissions to Loyalists and the War of 1812 are welcome and will be published as they become available. If you have a family ancestry which qualifies (see the heading of the page with entries), please submit to Our rich history continues to emerge through these family histories.

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:
- Baker, Frederick – from Barry Baker, with certificate application
- Bertran (Bertrand), David Sr. – from Myrna Perry, with certificate application
- Boggs, Dr. James – from Robert Rogers
- Moss, Samuel – from Kathleen Roys Lynch (Volunteer Sandra McNamara)
- Stillman, George Adam (Volunteer Sandra McNamara)

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

Loyalist Directory: Descendant Names From Sept to Dec Approvals Posted

On the UELAC website, there is a directory (by no means complete) of Loyalists, possible Loyalists and even a few who have been proven to not be UE Loyalists, but are related.

When a descendant proves to a Loyalist, UELAC at that point officially acknowledges that the ancestor was in fact a UE Loyalist. The record in the directory is so noted.

For several years, people have been welcome to submit information about any person in the Loyalist Directory, or to add an appropriate new person. These are noted in this newsletter as they are posted.

When a certificate is issued, the "Proven Descendants" field in the record is subsequently updated to show that a certificate has been issued.

Recently, the names of the applicants whose application had been approved during September through December of 2013 have been added to the directory – most the applicants in those months gave permission to include their name. The date of approval, branch name and applicant name have been added.

We may not get to this every month, but will try to keep reasonably current in the postings.

Would you like to add your name? If you are a proven descendant and would like your name added to your loyalist ancestor's record, please send an email to with the following:

- Loyalist ancestors name as it is in the directory
- The branch to which you belonged when you received your certificate
- The date the certificate was issued (should be on the certificate; approx. will work)
- Your name as it would be on the certificate
- Your name as you would like it in the record (explain if different)
- In the email subject line, put “Loyalist Directory: [ancestor's first and last name] by [your name]

...Doug, Chair of the Loyalist Information Committee


John Leman Family, Eastern District

My great great grandmother's father (my 3rd great grandfather) was a soldier who served in the 84th Regiment in 1784/86

John LEMON (LEMAN) b. Abt. 1765 USA d. 1810 Lancaster, Glengarry,

ON bur. St. Raphael's (Of Lot 13, Con 1, Lancaster) (British Soldier in the 84th Regiment in 1784/86;

Also in the "Old UEL List" is the following entry: Leman (Lemon), John ... East District, Lancaster, single man, P.L.2d, 1786

My family tree shows that John Lemon had a father also by the same name who d. c1810 in Glengarry.

In the Loyalist Directory there is an entry (not proved) with little data for a John Leman.

If anyone has any information about the Leman family, any help would be appreciated.

...Wayne MacDonald

Oldest Loyalists and Biggest Families

Regarding the largest loyalist families and the oldest loyalists – how do you add to this list exactly. My ancestor Gilbert Orser (1765 – 1851) had 15 children from the same spouse, was 86 at the time of his death. He assisted in the original survey of Kingston and Townships in 1783 and later testified in court to how it was done. He was also the first paid Clerk of Rev. Stuart's church in Kingston.

...David Woodward

Editor's Response:

In order to help us all appreciate better the life and times of the Loyalists, we have explored different aspects of their characteristics and habits. We have this sense that in times past, families tended to be larger. The submissions to Largest Loyalist Families certainly showed that children were often plentiful.

With our high quality and advanced health services (relatively speaking) and with so many safety features built into many things we do, the sense is that everyone in Loyalist times died young. As we found out in Oldest Loyalists, quite a few lived to a ripe old age – although 128 does make one sit up and wonder.

David, take a look at the submissions and write up something for us – we are looking for some "meat on the skeletons" (family story to go along with the list of names) to make the entries interesting. Send the information to me directly.


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