Loyalism in the Hoosick Valley, by Bernard C. Young

Reviewed by Phyllis Hamilton

The Sir John Johnson Centennial Branch U.E.L.A.C. recently received a complimentary copy of a book titled “Loyalism in the Hoosick Valley” written by Bernard C. Young of Vermont, U.S.A. His interest in the history of a group of 19 settlers in the Manor of Rensselaerswyk in the colony of New York, precisely in the valley of the Hoosick River, recounts the hardships endured from the Indian raiders under General Rigaud de Vaudreuil in 1746, later by friends of Governor Wentworth, whose Grants were meant to evict them from their land and finally by the Patriots who drove them to Canada. The book relates to many of the families that settled in both Ontario & Quebec.

The group of settlers consisted of 3 families of Dutch origin namely Vosburgh, Bratt & VanAernam , and the remainder were of Deutch or German ancestry. The earliest arrivals began in 1735 and continued until they were forced to leave around 1777 when they were faced with the alternative of signing the oath of Allegience to the Patriot Cause or joining the Loyalist Cause.

Many of the families with names such as Ruiter, Best, McGillivray, Lampman and Kreiger are still listed in our area and this book relates an interesting background for their loyalty. Young has documented the family genealogy of these settlers at the time of their arrival in America until the Loyalist migration which would serve as an aid to anyone documenting their ancestry from these families. Names mentioned are : Bratt, Peter Backes, Johannes Ruiter, Henry Litche, Hans Lampman, Barent Hogel, Johann Brimme, Keller, Jacob Best , Petrus Vosburgh, Bastian Deal, Frans Burn, Johann Kreigger, Henry Young (Jung) Devoet (perhaps Dafoe) as well as information about the Vanaernam family. The strong loyalist influence of the Gilead Lutheran Church of Center Brunswick, New York is also documented.

Young has submitted Subsistance Accounts for Captain Leake’s Corps, a Service Roll of the 2nd Battalion K.R.R.N.Y, Muster Lists of Colonel Francis Phister and his successors as taken from the Haldimand Papers, as well as lists of Loyalist soldiers who fought, died or were taken prisoner at the Battle of Bennington.

The 75 page book published in 2008, appears to be well researched with listed bibliography and proves to be a very interesting & historically helpful read. Mr. Young can be contacted at the following address : 136 Highland Way, North Ferrisburgh, VT. 05473 or e mail: bcyoung@pop.gmavt.net

Second Edition with Revisions: The first print run of the book has sold out and much of the interest came from Canada. The second edition has now been printed and is available directly in Canada. The second edition is slightly different:

  • The book is registered with the Library of Canada (ISBN 978-0-9734926-0-6)
  • The print font is a bit larger
  • All of the militia listings have been rearranged to the back
  • Indexing has been somewhat improved
  • Maps have been reproduced in colour which makes them a little clearer
  • 74 pages, 8.5 by 11 inch, wire loop bound
  • Cost including shipping $15.00

From Canada, for new ordering and payment instructions, click here. To order from outside Canada, contact Jim Keller at jim {‘AT’} jgkeller {‘DOT’} ca.