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Loyalist Trails UELAC Newsletter, 2015 Archive

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“Loyalist Trails” 2015-11: March 15, 2015


Refugees in Her Diary (Part Four), by Stephen Davidson

The year 1796 was the last that the John and Elizabeth Simcoe would spend in Upper Canada. For the past three years, Lieutenant-Governor Simcoe had chaffed under the authority of Lord Dorchester, the Governor-General of all of British North America. The men had not got along very well since 1783 when Dorchester – then known only as Sir Guy Carleton – charged that the Queen's Rangers – Simcoe's regiment – were guilty of "plundering and marauding" on Long Island during the revolution.

After assuming the role of lieutenant governor, Simcoe corresponded directly with the British government rather than writing to Lord Dorchester in Quebec City. Dorchester considered Simcoe his inferior officer, and protested that the government had no right to receive communication from an official subordinate to the governor-general. Simcoe, meanwhile, maintained that, outside of military operations, he was the supreme authority in Upper Canada.

Eventually, this friction led to both men resigning from their respective positions, each taking a "leave of absence" in 1796. Dorchester left for England in July, while the Simcoes sailed from Quebec in September. Although Elizabeth did not make any references to the political bickering in her diary, she did continue to note the family's adventures and their encounters with loyalist settlers.

Her entry for Thursday, February 4, 1796 notes, "We drove three miles to the settlement below the town (across the Don River), and at Mrs. Ashbridge's saw calabashes". Sarah was the widow of Jonathan Ashbridge, a loyalist from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her daughter Sarah married Samuel Heron, a loyalist from New York City. The family's land eventually became Toronto's Ashbridges Bay Park.

Although they would have met many times because of their husbands' close association, Elizabeth mentioned Hannah Jarvis, the wife of the provincial secretary, William Jarvis, for the very first time in her diary in the spring of 1796. Like so many of the husband's social contacts, Jarvis had once been an officer in the Queen's Rangers under Simcoe during the revolution. The two men met again when Jarvis sought sanctuary in England.

In a 1790 letter to his family, Jarvis confided, "Simcoe treats me more like his brother and bosom friend than an indifferent person. I expect every day when I shall be at liberty to give you the particulars more fully". In a later correspondence he said, "Simcoe's friendship increases if possible – he would give me almost anything in his right that I would ask." In the end, what Jarvis received from his former commander was the distinction of being Upper Canada's first secretary and registrar.

Six years later, on Tuesday, May 24th, the Simcoes went riding with the Jarvises "to the mountain" where Elizabeth gathered sassafras buds to make into tea. While the husbands seem to have had a strong friendship, Hannah Jarvis was known to have said that Elizabeth was a "little stuttering vixen". Perhaps this explains the lack of diary references having to do with the Jarvis family.

Over the next few weeks, the Upper Canada House of Assembly prorogued following its fifth and final session. The Simcoes added a temporary ballroom (60 feet in length) to their home in York to provide enough space for 18 dancing pairs and a total of 76 dinner guests.

On the day following the ball, Elizabeth rode as far as the home of Captain William Sheehan. This loyalist had been the clerk in the Indian Department at Niagara before becoming the sheriff of Lincoln County in 1793.

Later in June, the Simcoes set out in a boat to visit the head of Burlington Bay (near present day Hamilton). They came ashore at the home of Richard Beasley, a loyalist from New York. By 1783, he had established himself as a trader with the Native people. Beasley's property impressed Elizabeth (who had seen a great deal of Upper Canada) as "more fit for the reception of inhabitants than any part of the province I have seen, being already cleared."

The last loyalist settler of Upper Canada to appear in the diary of Elizabeth Simcoe was a refugee from New Jersey by the name of Adam Green. Green was attached to the Fifth Battalion of New Jersey Volunteers for a time, and was imprisoned for his loyalist principles in 1777. Although three of his brothers also spent time in jail, they remained in the United States after the revolution.

It was Sunday, June 12, 1796 when the Simcoes visited Green's home. Elizabeth was impressed by Green's knowledge of herbs, and she collected a number of healing plants while at his home. She wrote "Green's wife died a year ago and left ten children, who live here with their father in a house consisting of a room, a closet and a loft; but being New Jersey people, their house is delicately clean and neat, and not the appearance of being inhabited by three people, every part is so neatly kept."

Elizabeth's last impression of a loyalist was a very positive one. Here was a man who could look after his orphaned children, keep a house clean, and see to their medical needs with natural remedies.

John Graves Simcoe's difficulties with Lord Dorchester and his poor health (gout and neuralgia) prompted him to seek a leave of absence. On September 10, 1796, the four Simcoes sailed down the St. Lawrence River, heading east for Great Britain. They never returned.

With her, Elizabeth took her diary, her paintings and sketches, and warm memories of the most exciting years of her life. While she spent time becoming re-acquainted with the four daughters she had left behind in England, her husband was on duty in St. Domingo (Haiti). Elizabeth had four more children between 1798 and 1804. Two years after their youngest child was born, Simcoe was appointed as the commander-in-chief in India, but he became sick while on assignment in Portugal, and died at 54 years of age at his estate in Exeter. Elizabeth lived for forty-four more years.

While she lived a life of accomplishment and adventure, Elizabeth Simcoe has earned the eternal gratitude of loyalist descendants and historians for her descriptions of the lives of the refugees of the American Revolution. Her writings as well as her paintings have provided us with a unique glimpse into the early years of loyalist settlement in Upper Canada.

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

In Spite of Diligent Research, Daniel – not Peter – Servos

I believe there is an error in the second paragraph of “Refuges in Her Diary (Part 3).”

The error is understandable as it takes its origin from one of J.R.Robertson's notes in his 1911 book and transcript of Mrs. Simcoe's Diary. The note I'm referring to is at the bottom of page 230 where reference is made to Mrs. Simcoe meeting a Colonel Peter Servos. This is not the man Mrs. Simcoe met. Col. Peter Servos was actually the grandson of Captain Daniel Servos of Butler's Rangers – the old soldier who Mrs. Simcoe met.

At the time of Mrs. Simcoe's visit, Daniel Servos operated a sort of farmers' service centre known locally as "Four Mile Creek Mills" in what is now Niagara-on-the-Lake. This enterprise, just inland from Lake Ontario, included a general store, salt works, tannery, blacksmith shop, weaving business, buttery, potash works, malt grindery, cider mill, huge gristmill, sawmill and a structural timber squaring operation.

Daniel Servos died in 1803 aged 65, leaving his wife Elizabeth [Johnson] Servos (1749-1821) with a young family including teenager John Dease Servos (1785-1847) and eleven year old Daniel Kerr Servos (1792-1857). The Servos Family Ledgers in the Niagara Historical Society Museum collection in Niagara-on-the-Lake show that Elizabeth Servos and these two of her three sons immediately assumed operation of the family mill complex following Daniel's death. John Dease Servos died in 1847 and operation of the mills was taken over by his son [your] Peter Claus Servos (1822-1887). This is the "Colonel Peter Servos" you refer to, referenced in J.R.Robertson's note at the bottom of page 230 in Robertson's "The Diary of Mrs. John Graves Simcoe", published in 1911. Robertson interviewed his daughter Mary [Servos] Snyder while researching his book.

Colonel Peter Servos was a prominent member of the Niagara Township community, served in the local militia and was appointed Justice of the Peace. But he mortgaged the family mills almost to insolvency and was unfaithful to his wife Mary [Ball] Servos (1827-1905). The couple became legally separated and title to the farm/mill complex was transferred to Mary sometime after 1875. Mary raised her four children at the farm and hired outside labour to run the mills, tannery and blacksmith shop. Mary met Janet Carnochan of the Museum and joined the UE Loyalists Association in 1899. She then renamed the Servos farm and mills "Palatine Hill". Mary died in 1905 and was buried on the farm in the Servos family graveyard. The old Servos mill ceased running after her death, then collapsed during a storm in 1911. The historic c.1783 Servos home became vacant and was burned one Halloween night in the 1950's.

...Bob Miller, President, Canadian Chapter, Society for the Preservation Of Old Mills (SPOOM)

Stephen: Thanks for your clarification regarding Elizabeth Simcoe meeting Daniel Servos rather than Peter Servos. As you deduced, I relied on J.R. Robertson's notes and trusted that they were both thorough and accurate. I will correct the name in my files.

Fear God, Honour The King: Bishop Charles Inglis, Loyalist (Part 1)

By Brian McConnell, UE

Charles Inglis, born in County Donegal, Ireland in 1734, was as steadfast a supporter of the Crown of Great Britain as he was to his Anglican faith, the Church of England. Through service as Rector of Trinity Church in New York during the American Revolution, and Chaplain to the 1st Battalion of the New Jersey Volunteers, then evacuation and appointment as the first colonial Bishop of the Church of England in Nova Scotia his loyalist nature remained strong.

Reverend Archibald Inglis, Rector of Glencolumbkille, Ireland, was the father of Charles Inglis. The family had roots in Scotland.(1) Charles Inglis was one of three sons but was only 11 when his father died. His older brother Richard, who had been educated at Trinity College, Dublin and succeeded his father as Rector, took over responsibility for the education of Charles which mainly consisted of tutoring. At age 20 Charles emigrated to America to teach in a School at Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He was ordained in the Church of England in 1758 and appointed missionary to Dover, Pennsylvania (now Delaware). In his work he was the only missionary to admit blacks to the communion table. Four years later he married Mary Vining but she died within a year. He relocated to New York and was elected assistant at Trinity Church in 1765. Kings College, New York awarded him an M.A. largely due to an "Essay on Infant Baptism." He became Godfather to John Deseronto (Odeserundiye), a Mohawk chief who fought valiantly for the British during the French - Indian war, and during the revolution. After the American Revolution, the Mohawk chief resettled on the Bay of Quinte, in modern day Ontario, where the town of Deseronto was named after him.

Charles Inglis was accepted onto the Board of Governors for Kings College, New York in 1771 and became President. In 1773 he was selected Rector of Trinity Church, New York. The same year he married his second wife, Margaret Crooke, and together they had four children, Charles (1774), Margaret (1775), Anne (1776), and John (1777), all born in New York.

Like many loyalist leaders of his time in America, Charles Inglis believed worsening relations between Britain and the Thirteen Colonies were caused by excessive colonial liberty. He was made very upset by Thomas Paine's pro-revolution inflammatory pamphlet published in January 1776 called "Common Sense", which sold an estimated 20,000 copies within a few months. He responded with his own pamphlet entitled "The Deceiver Unmasked". Inglis said of Paine's work "It was one of the most virulent, artful, and pernicious pamphlets I ever met with, and perhaps the Wit of man could not devise one better calculated to do Mischief." When Inglis' pamphlet "Deceiver Unmasked" was advertised in a New York newspaper, members of the rebel group Sons of Liberty broke into the printer's office and destroyed all copies. Inglis published new copies and later in the year released the work under the title “The True Interest of America Impartially Stated.”(2)

(Continued next week.)


(1) See Inglis Family Tree

(2) See: Charles Inglis, “The True Interest of America,” in The Annals of America, II: 1755-1783, Resistance and Revolution (Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc., 1968); and A Loyalist Viewpoint, 1776: Charles Inglis (PDF).

...Brian McConnell, UE

Sampler by Adella, Granddaughter of Loyalist Cornelius Hyatt

Upon reading Loyalist Trails issue 2015-#09 and the article “The Loyalist Coat,” submitted by Heather Darch, Missisquoi Museum, which was an entry in “The Indentity of English-Speaking Quebec in 100 Objects,” I wish to let you know that Little Forks Branch also held a winning entry: A Needlework Sampler made by Adela Hyatt, granddaughter of Loyalist Cornelius Hyatt. I am attaching the story on the sampler written by Brenda Hartwell along with a photo for your interest.

“I am the sampler made by Adela Hyatt in 1851. When needle and wool thread met my fabric, I was transformed. I was ‘worked’ and used to inspire and teach young girls. Tidy letters and sweet motifs are my decoration. Adela left her mark in time.”

Abstract: Adela Hyatt's sampler dated 1851, was hand-stitched with coloured thread on linen and is now preserved under the glass of a serving tray that is housed in the Archives of the Hyatt One-room Schoolhouse in Milby, Quebec. Samplers were traditionally used to teach young girls the art of needlework and included the alphabet, decorative borders, figures and motifs. The complexity of the needlework depended, to a large degree, upon the skill of individual teachers and their knowledge of various stitches. Samplers can be found throughout Quebec and are often the only record of a woman's existence in the historical record.

Read the full article (2 pages), very interesting.

...Bev Loomis, Little Forks Branch

Appointment of Kathryn Lake Hogan as Dominion Genealogist

It is with great pleasure that Dominion Council announces the appointment of Kathryn Lake Hogan UE, PLCGS as Dominion Genealogist of the United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada. A motion to appoint Kathryn as Dominion Genealogist for an initial term of three years received unanimous support at the March 7, 2015 Council meeting in Toronto, Ontario.

Kathryn Lake Hogan, a member of UELAC since 2007, is a proven descendant of Loyalist Johannes Ryckman of Barton Township. Kathryn has six years of experience as a branch genealogist and extensive knowledge in the area of United Empire Loyalist lineage research. Since 2012, Kathryn has participated as a webinar host and moderator for the Ontario Genealogical Society and is known as an enthusiastic public speaker in the field of genealogical research.

Kathryn holds a Professional Learning Certificate in Genealogical Studies (PLCGS), Canada Research, England Research and General Methodology. She is currently Director-at-Large of the Association of Professional Genealogists, an international organization dedicated to supporting those engaged in the business of genealogy through advocacy, collaboration, education, and the promotion of high ethical standards.

The Dominion Genealogist is Chair of the Dominion Genealogical Investigating Committee and as such ensures that the functions of that committee are carried out. The Dominion Genealogist receives applications for Certificates of Loyalist Lineage from branch genealogists and processes them in accordance with UELAC procedures.

Digital Gazette: Order Your Spring 2015 Issue Now

People who are paid-up members and Gazette subscribers can now register for the digital copy of the Spring 2015 issue (and get access to the Fall 2014 issue in the same place). Each request is processed at Dominion Office (to check that the requirements are met) before the access details are returned (the office is open Tues, Wed, Thurs).

Those who received access last year will need to reapply, as the address and password are new.

Register today if you are into digital at all (you can still get the mailed copy).

We hope you will enjoy this year's issues of the Loyalist Gazette in digital full colour.

...The Publications Committee

Where in the World?

Where is Nova Scotia Branch member Brian McConnell?

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.

Region and Branch Bits

From the UELAC branches, news and events of interest to others.

  • Sir Guy Carleton Branch, Spring Social & Annual General Meeting on Saturday, April 18, 2015 at Best Western Hotel, 1274 Carling Avenue, Ottawa. Speaker: Brian Tackaberry; Topic: Loyalist Settlements of Eastern Ontario including the Rideau Valley (More information)

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

  • Rough sketch of the British landing at Kip's Bay, 1776 - Kip's Bay is on the east side of Manhattan. Washington narrowly evaded capture! More details.
  • Dunmore's Proclamation promised freedom for slaves who fought for British. Few were freed. An article from Colonial Williamsburg.
  • Listen in as Tavern Keeper Gretchen Bulova discusses 18th century taverns (90 second video)
  • Enjoy this article from The Guardian showing 18th century trade routes using 21st century tech. It compares traffic and routes of different countries, and a month by month comparison.

Additions to the Loyalist Directory

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

  • Cornwall, John - from Ruth Nicholson
  • Ferguson, John Sr. - (volunteer Sandra McNamara)
  • Glover, Jacob - from Bev Craig, with certificate application
  • Holder, Jacob - from Bob Moore
  • Moore, James - from Bob Moore
  • Moore, Jeremiah Sr. - (volunteer Sandra McNamara)
  • Sharp, Samuel - from Bob Moore
  • Sutherland, George - (volunteer Sandra McNamara)

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

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