“Loyalist Trails” 2004-19 October 29, 2004
In this issue:
– Death Notice: John Eaman
– Wiltse Pioneer Cemetery Dedication
– Archives of Ontario
– Sir John Johnson Branch UELAC Honorary Presidents
– Celebrating 160 Years in Huntingville
– Privacy and Names in the Gazette
It is with sadness that we announce the passing of John A. Eaman, U.E. of London, on October 19, 2004. For the past 2 years, John had been in failing health but his outlook remained bright and positive.
John served the Association as Dominion President from 1980 to 1982. He was the Charter President of London and Western Ontario Branch from 1973 to 1975 and he was a Charter Member of St. Lawrence Branch. His documented Loyalist ancestors were Jacob Eaman and Samuel Moss, both of whom served in the King’s Royal Regiment New York and later settled in Onsabruck Township. John was a dedicated Loyalist and very proud of his heritage.
Among the many community groups John supported were his church, the Canadian Monarchists League, the Kiwanis Club, London Middlesex Historical Society, as well as numerous Educational Associations.
John Eaman will be missed. (If you would like to send a note to the family, ask me for contact information — Doug)
On October 2nd, 2004 the Colonel Edward Jessup Branch of the United Empire Loyalists dedicated the Wiltse Pioneer Cemetery. Work had continued on the restoration throughout the summer and all September and, though the week leading up to that date was the beautiful fall weather, the long range weather forecast for Saturday ranged from 40% to 100% chance of rain.
However, there was no changing plans. The executive came Saturday morning with extra umbrellas and ponchos, keeping the chairs under a tarp till the last minute. But only a few sprinkles of rain preceded the 2:00 pm opening by which time sixty five people had gathered.
Branch president, Myrtle Johnston opened the proceedings with words of greeting and a brief history of the cemetery where Benoni Wiltse, his wife Rachel Marks, brothers John & James, other members of the Wiltse family and community were buried between 1795 and 1867. Also mentioned were the reasons for choosing this as a branch and 2014 UELAC project. Thanks were extended to the companies, private citizens and Wiltse descendants who had contributed to the project. Lisa Monroe, on behalf of the Brockville Memorial Works, accepted a special certificate of appreciation for the exceptional gift of the inscribed memorial stone.
Special guests who were introduced and spoke to the crowd were Herb Scott, Reeve of Athens Township; Joanne Faye from Minnesota, on behalf of the U.S. Wiltse descendants; John Dancy, on behalf of the Canadian Wiltse descendants; Marg Hall, Vice President of the Central East Region of the UELAC representing President Doug Grant, who was unable to attend and Bernice Flett from the 2014 Committee of the the UELAC, who has been a strong supporter of this project.
Reverend David Davidson, Branch Chaplain, then took charge of the Dedication service. After openinge prayers, he invited family members to walk the boundary of the burying ground while Duncan MacDonald played the bag pipes in the back ground and the other participants joined in repeating the 23rd Psalm. This was most memorable and poignant for those involved.
Reverend Davidson completed the dedication with a prayer for the departed and benediction.
The United Empire Loyalist plaque was unveiled by Marg Hall, the Wiltse plaque by Joanne Faye and the Memorial Stone by Bernice Flett. The significance of the Flag of the Union was explained, then with Duncan playing the pipes, our flag was raised by Don Galna, unfurling perfectly at the top of the flag pole, a proud moment for all Loyalists present.
All were invited to share in punch and a special cake inscribed “Wiltse Pioneer Cemetery 1795 – 1867” and decorated with the Loyalist Flag. The guest book, which remains at the cemetery, was signed by those attending.
As clean up was being completed the threatening clouds opened and the last of the helpers were drenched but we were blessed that the down pour began after our guests were safely on their way.
…Myrtle Johnston UE, President, Col. Edward Jessup Branch
Have you read the article by Ian Urquhart in the Sunday Toronto Star about the government killing the new building for the Archives of Ontario where we all go to access our records?
We have to speak out about this matter and let the officials know that we want the Archives to have a new building that is accessible and where we can do our research under proper conditions.
Please do not bash the government officials; from my work as a volunteer in the heritage community I have learned that you need to let officials know we are aware and we will work with them but we want action. Below are the people we have to contact:
– The minister responsible and the person we really have to get our message to is Hon. Gerry Phillips. He is the member for Scarborough – Agincourt and the Chair of Management Board of Cabinet. The Archives of Ontario is part of Management Board. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org. You can write to the Minister at Management Board Secretariat, 77 Wellesley St W, 12th Floor, Ferguson Block, Toronto ON, M7A 1N3 This constituency office is at 204 – 4002 Sheppard Ave E., Scarborough ON M1S 4R5
– We also need to contact Premier Dalton McGuinty. You can go to this page to send an email directly to the premier’s office or email him at his constituency office in Ottawa. His mailing address is Queen’s Park, Rm 281, Main Legislative Building, Toronto ON M7A 1A4
– You should also contact your local MPP — for their contact information see this page.
Your emails or letters need to emphasize:
– your use of the Archives
– its importance to the province of Ontario
– that users have put up with the poor working conditions and health hazards at the Grenville St site because we understood the Archives facility was moving to a new location
– that are pleased that the new offsite storage building is being built
– that these are our records and it is our right to have access to them under proper conditions and without fear of injury to our health.
Please spread the word to others and write to express your concern.
…Kathie Orr, UE, Toronto Branch
Like you I was appalled to read Ian Urqhart’s story in Sunday’s Toronto Star. I was trying to find out where and to who I could express my concerns, your email answered that question. My email will go off first thing in the morning.
Perhaps Gerry Phillips and Dalton McGuinty should be reminded as to what Arthur Douglas, Dominion of Canada Archivist (1904-1935) had to say in regards to preserving Canadian history… “Of all of our Nations assets, Archives are the most precious. They are the gift of one generation to another, and the extent of our care of them marks the extent of our civilization.”
Thank you for sending this message along.
…Clare Crozier, heritage enthusiast (submitted by Gloria Oakes)
The UELAC has a number of Honorary Officers, who are listed in each issue of the Gazette. Many Branches of the UELAC also have honorary officers – this note from Sir John Johnson Branch
1. Sir John Paley Johnson (1907-1976), 6th Baronet of New York
Honourary President of Sir John Johnson Branch (1967-1976)
When Sir John Johnson Centennial Branch named its officers after it had received its charter on December 17, 1967, Sir John Paley Johnson M.B.E., 6th Baronet of New York was named honourary president. He and Lady Johnson visited the branch in1968 and he and his family kept in close contact with members of the branch. Our first lady president, Gwendolyn Norris Fuller, was a personal friend of theirs and visited them in England.
2. Sir Peter Colpoys Johnson (1930-2003), 7th Baronet of New York
Honourary President of Sir John Johnson Centennial Branch UELAC (1976-2003)
Son of Sir John Paley Johnson, 6th bart., Sir Peter Johnson became honourary president when his father died. Sir Peter was an avid, renowned yachtsman who wrote many books on yachting and held many offices in the yachting world. Yachting World included a beautiful tribute to Sir Peter in its May 27, 2003 edition.
Sir Peter had hopes of visiting the Sir John Johnson Centennial Branch and viewing the site of the Johnson Vault.
3. Sir Colpoys Guy Johnson (1965- ), 8th Baronet of New York
Honourary President of Sir John Johnson Centennial Branch (2003- )
Sir Colpoys Guy Johnson, son of Sir Peter Johnson, 7th bart., visited Toronto in June 2004 while he was here to take part in the ceremony of the Presentation of Colours to the King’s Royal Rangers of New York at Fort York. He had hoped to meet members of Sir John Johnson Branch UELAC at that time but as their children had remained in England he and Lady Johnson spent only one weekend in Canada. Sir Guy hopes that he and Lady Johnson and their children will be able to schedule a visit in 2005.
Footnote: Sir William Johnson (1715-1774) received the title of 1st Baronet of New York in 1755. His son, Sir John Johnson(1742-1830) the 2nd Baronet of New York is the Loyalist for whom Sir John Johnson Centennial Branch was named.
…Adelaide Lanktree UE, President, Sir John Johnson Branch
One hundred and sixty years ago in the Township of Ascott, a group of dedicated Universalists, many of them early settlers whose families had formerly arrived from New England, decided to build a Meeting House to gather. They chose Huntingville and a plot of land was donated by Seth Hunting. The foundation was laid in the spring of 1844: building began immediately on this typical New England Meeting House with a balcony and closed pews with doors to keep the draughts away. The building was completed in 1844 and dedicated on Jan. 1,1845. In 1867, the church became the Huntingville Universalist Church.
Through the years many changes took place but the building basically remained the same. In 1951, the church was closed, and in 1956 the Grace Christian Chapel Society held meetings there until 1970. In 1995, a group of interested citizens joined together under the name Patrimoine Huntingville- Heritage Huntingville and created a committee to restore the church to its original state by reopening the upper gallery and repairing the foundation and other features. This work was begun in 1998 and the church is alive once more! Two or three services are held each year, and concerts are held to help maintain the building.
On October 24, a 160th. anniversary celebration was held in the church at 2 p.m., commencing with a service in the church building followed by a reception in the historic Hyatt Schoolhouse in nearby Milby. Everyone was welcome and if you have a story to tell about this treasured building share it with us!
…Phyllis Emery Skeats
The UELAC has been publishing the names of descendents of Loyalists who have been granted a certificate. Does anyone know how the Privacy Act will impact on the publication of these names?
Both of those however, and more, can be done when permission is granted. When an applicant completes his/her certificate application, one question on the signature sheet asks if we may publish the information on the sheet. For those who say yes thus giving permission, we publish their name, the Branch name and the Loyalist ancestor name in the Gazette, and if the branch so chooses, in the Branch newsletter.
Note from Doug
The Council meeting a week ago went very well, with people from both the Maritimes and Pacific Region attending. A very good turnout and a productive meeting. One small part of the meeting was the privacy issue, and you can see some early results noted in the privacy item above.
I enjoy attending Branch events, speaking at Branch meetings and having the opportunity to meet you. I am looking forward to a bit of a busy stretch between Nov. 18 and 27 when I am scheduled to speak at four branch meetings.
Many branches have outreach events and special meetings or dinners in the fall months. Be sure to send a short description to share with others on this mailing list. Since we revised the newsletter in May this year, it has been wonderful to realize how many things you are doing: events, meetings, projects etc. Keep it up, and lets tell people about them.