“Loyalist Trails” 2004-15 September 19, 2004

In this issue:
Hamilton Branch newsletter
Fall Gazette
Newsletter subscriptions
Annotated Nominal Roll of Butler’s Rangers
Hurricane Hazel Plaque
The Loyalist Quarterly
Edifice Magazine
The First Owners of the World Trade Center Site
Branch Projects and Events
      + Col. John Butler
      + Col. Edward Jessup
      + Little Forks
      + Bicentennial
      + Grand River
      + Chambers
      + Hartley
      + Nationalities of Loyalists


Hamilton Branch newsletter

The Hamilton Branch UELAC has posted its September Newsletter to the Publication folder of its website. This issue features articles on the Sir John Johnson Vault, Tory Trail, Loyalists John Cornwall and Jeremiah Johnson and also includes the address given by Peter George, President of McMaster University on 19 June 2004, UEL: Day in Ontario.

…Fred H. Hayward, UE, Past President, Hamilton Branch, UELAC

Fall Gazette

The fall 2004 issue of the Gazette is coming along very well. Michael Johnson, with his regular efficiency, is right on schedule. I expect to see the galley proofs by the end of September, as the proof readers are pretty well finished their task.

…editor, Bob McBride

Newsletter subscriptions

Requests come in at about one per day for subscriptions to our Loyalist Trails – here is one:

“Could I subscribe to your on-line newsletter? I have visited Canada many times, and I have a detailed knowledge of Canadian history; I have friends in both Ontario and Québec. I am a member of the Sons of the American Revolution, and, in a literal sense, could not subscribe to the goals of Loyalists; however, I consider myself to be a friend of Canada. Thanks,

…Bill Volonte, New Jersey

Annotated Nominal Roll of Butler’s Rangers

An Annotated Nominal Roll of Butler’s Rangers, 1777 – 1784, With Documentary Sources. Compiled and Arranged by Lieutenant Colonel William A. Smy. Lieutenant Colonel William A. Smy is recognized world wide as the foremost authority on Butler’s Rangers. This new book represents a life-time of research on the men who volunteered to serve their King as Butler’s Rangers during the American Revolution. With approximately 900 names, and a brief biography of each man who served, this book is a wealth of information for genealogists, historians, and re-enactors portraying Butler’s Rangers today.

The cost of the book is $40.00 plus $10.00 postage and handling, Canadian Funds. It can be ordered by mail with payment enclosed from: The Friends of the Loyalist Collection at Brock University, P.O. Box 23041, RPO Seaway Mall, 800 Niagara Street, Welland ON Canada L3C 7E7, or online with your credit card here.

Hurricane Hazel Plaque

The Ontario Heritage Foundation and the Humber Heritage Committee will be unveiling a provincial plaque commemorating the 50th anniversary of Hurricane Hazel in King’s Mill Park, Toronto, on Saturday, October 16, 2004. Directions: From the Old Mill subway station, walk north to Old Mill Road and then east. The entrance to King’s Mill Park is on the south side of Old Mill Road. The plaque is between the subway bridge and the Bloor Street Bridge. Parking is available near the subway bridge.

The Loyalist Quarterly

Paul Bunnell has a website listing all his loyalist books, plus research, articles, etc. He is now starting the only USA generated loyalist newsletter “The Loyalist Quarterly” this month (September). It will be published and mailed out 4 times a year for $18 US and $22 Canadian. His contact information is listed on his website.

…Paul J. Bunnell, FACG, UE

Edifice Magazine

Edifice Magazine, a Canadian magazine, focuses on architectural details and restoration of built heritage in Canada. Edifice Magazine editorials provide valuable information on how-to renovate, restore and decorate each period and features before and after renovation stories. Also featured in each issue, “Edifice Road Trip”, a visit to a municipality in Canada with a highlight of its architecture and “Our Heritage”, which showcases a Canadian museum or historic site. Edifice endeavours to share with its readership all of the wonderful things to see and do in our beautiful country. Their new and improved web site can be found here.

…Christopher Cooper Ph.D., Editor-In-Chief, Nena Wagner: Publisher

The First Owners of the World Trade Center Site

To mark the third anniversary of the tragic events that occurred on September 11, 2001, NEHGS member Don Parrish of Downers Grove, Illinois, contributed this interesting history of the original owners of the site of the World Trade Center.

On April 25, 1644, Jan Jansen Damen, a prominent leader of the Dutch colony, received a land grant in lower Manhattan from Wall Street north to Fulton Street and from the Hudson River to almost the East River. In today’s terms it is more than twenty square blocks. Jan owned about seventy percent of the World Trade Center site above the water (Greenwich was the shoreline then) and the West India Company owned the rest. This is documented in Iconography of Manhattan Island (vol. 6, pp. 86, 64i [map]). See a map of the site and additional references online here.

My eleventh great grandparents, Ariaentje Cuvilje and Guleyn Vigne, were Walloons who fled religious persecution in Valenciennes, which was then in the Spanish Netherlands and today is a city in France. They arrived in Leiden in 1618 when this tolerant Dutch city was also giving refuge to the Pilgrims. The Vignes sailed to New Amsterdam in the spring of 1624 on the Eendracht or Nieuw Nederland, the first two ships with colonists. Their son, Jan Vigne, was the first male child born in Manhattan. Their descendants include Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Thomas Edison.

After Guleyn died in 1632, Ariaentje married Jan Jansen Damen, who was about twenty years her junior. This marriage consolidated their adjacent land holdings that are worth billions today. Ariaentje was called the “Matriarch of New Amsterdam.” An article by that title appeared in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly (35:65-69 [1947]). It even describes an infamous incident after a preemptive battle against the Indians when she “amused herself in kicking about the heads of the dead” [Indians]. When Jan died childless in 1651, Ariaentje, as his heir, became the second owner of Ground Zero. She died in 1655.

Now three years after the terrible attack of September 11, 2001, construction has begun anew on this hallowed ground. Many surprising and amazing things have occurred on the Twin Towers site since the Damen land grant. A June 2004 article by Eric Lipton, a New York Times reporter, surveyed three and a half centuries of Ground Zero history.

…George Anderson from the New England Historic Genealogical Society newsletter

Branch Projects and Events

Col. John Butler

Our Niagara Parkway Project is well underway. The mapping of each original land grantee along the Parkway is complete and many biographies of the original settlers and those who came after is progressing well.

…Gail Woodruff

Col. Edward Jessup

The restoration of the Wiltse Pioneer Cemetery has been almost completed. To celebrate the completion of this project, Col Edward Jessup Branch has planned a formal rededication of the cemetery for Saturday 2nd Oct 2004 at 2:00 pm.

…Myrtle Johnston

Little Forks

On Saturday, Sept. 18th.,members of Little Forks Branch UELAC manned a table at Townshippers Day in Magog. We met a very interesting crowd and possibly tied down a loyalist descendant or two!

The “Milby Women’s Institute” ladies have reserved our school for their October 7th. meeting. It is great to have them back as they owned this building from the time that it stopped being used as a school, I believe 1948, until they sold it to the Lennoxville-Ascott-Historical & Museum Society in 1989. Little Forks purchased it in 1994.

…Bev Loomis


Bicentennial Branch recently participated in the Harrow Fair . We had a great set up with two tables. It was great. We met a lot of distant cousins, made some marvelous new friends and had a great time finding new Loyalist Descendants and getting them signed up to get their Certificates.

…Kim and Sarah

Grand River

Grand River Branch celebrated their 30th Anniversary with a dinner in Simcoe on Sat. Sept 18, 2004. About seventy, including several past presidents, attended. Guest speaker David Moore challenged the audience to learn more about their Loyalist ancestors and try to determine the real reason(s) for their loyalty. Congratulations were received from many.



Robert Chambers. My research is centered around the Chambers surname. Is it possible to access lists of Loyalists online? Specifically, a Robert Chambers received landgrants, part of the DesBarres grant. He shows up in 1806 in the Tatamagouche, Colchester County area. of Nova Scotia. The only information I can find on this Robert Chambers is that he was an “old soldier” who had two sons, James and Samuel. If you could lead me in a new direction it would be greatly appreciated. If you have any suggestions for Jeanne, please contact her directly and copy me.

…Jeanne Sandford {jpsandford AT aol DOT com}


Many queries are submitted through the UELAC web site. Here is one:

Having seen your ad in Maclean’s magazine I thought you might be able to answer the following question: “I am descended from a British army officer (Hartley) who came to New Brunswick about 1784 and settled in the Fredericton area. There has always been some family discussion about whether or not we are “true” Loyalist descendants. The definition on your page is not clear. Based on this limited information what would be the opinion of the society? Thanks for your assistance. David “Hartley” Chandler.

To qualify as a UE, one’s Loyalist ancestor has to essentially meet three criteria:

1. have been settled in the American Colonies when the revolution broke out in Sept 1785

2. have displayed overt loyalty to the Crown

3. have settled in what became Canada by the time of the Treaty of Separation in 1783

Further discussion showed that the officer in question was in His Majesty’s Forces, not a settler in the American Colonies, in 1775.

Nationalities of Loyalists

I heard somewhere that about 1/3 of Loyalists who went to Ontario were of German descent, and about 1/10 were Dutch. Yet Loyalists today are largely seen as the archetypal Canadian WASPs. Is there a lot of undercounting of German and Dutch heritage and overcounting of “British”, particularly in eastern Ontario in the census?

…Matt Fodor {mattnfodor AT hotmail DOT com}

Hello Matt: My research over many years has focused on the loyalists of Eastern Ontario and I can tell you that nearly all loyalists that went to Glengarry were Scots from the KRRNY principally and the majority of these were catholic, some were protestant and they were both highlanders and lowlanders; Stormont and Dundas were almost all German, Dutch and Scots with a high degree of intermarrage; Leeds and Grenville and the Kingston group quite unique and I’ll leave that to others to discuss.

My main point is that the eastern Ontario loyalists who were the soldier founders of Ontario were a far more multicultural group than is usually recognized in the old histories: the majority were farmers from the Mohawk who were not only not English, they didn’t speak english either..think of an evening around a KRRNY campfire and you would hear more German, Dutch, Gaelic, Mohawk and French (spoken by Canadien and Scots) than English…

My secondary point is that it is a mug’s game to try to do an ethnic statistical calculation…it makes no more sense to do it for that period than for today as we are all mongrels..I’m proud of my UE ancestry but that is very selective geneology if you consider the ancestry of the mothers and where many of these Europeans came from..there was no Germany in 1776, many of the Palantines had inter-married by then, the Scots were very much not pure Scots. none of the Mohawks were pure Mohawk and too many UEs forget about the ancestry of the their mothers now and then. For example, my guy John Marselis(KRRNY) ggf came from what is now the Netherlands in 1669 to New Amsterdam but they inter-married almost immediately…his wife Elizabeth Kling was also a third generation American by 1776 and was a German speaker from the Rhineland that was sometimes in France and sometimes in Hesse but she also spoke Dutch and English by the time of her death. I recently saw the large Merkel(Merkley) family described as German but they were Rhinelanders who had inter-married with Casselmans(Hesse), Schwerdfagers(Palantine), Marselis(Dutch-American), and Mohawks before the War of 1812.

…Ronald L. Doering UE Ottawa