“Loyalist Trails” 2005-4 January 28, 2005

In this issue:
Westward Ho to Regina 2005, UELAC Conference
Resources on the Web (Biographies)
Celebrating our Loyalist ancestry
A new DAR chapter in Montreal
Gail Webb (obit)
Book Recommendation: Oliver Wiswell
Antique Paints
Instant Success of Porridge
      + Responses re Finding Books
      + Responses re Architecture


Westward Ho to Regina 2005, UELAC Conference

The Regina Branch is very excited about hosting our first National Conference. Plans have been underway since 2003. The tours will involve things unique to Saskatchewan! Tour A will include the RCMP training center and museum, the only one in Canada and Tour B will take you to a large seed cleaning plant with a large display of modern machinery and a new flax processing plant. As well as everything else exciting at the Conference, the focus of the extended weekend will be the unveiling of our new cairn, which will be adorned with its plaques by that time. For any other information please feel free to contact Gerry or Pat Adair by phone 1 306 646 4952 or e-mail gerry.pat@sasktel.net. Looking forward to seeing you June 1-5, 2005 in Regina, Saskatchewan! (Details in Fall 2004 Gazette, or from Gerry)

…Gerry Adair and the Conference team

Resources on the Web (Biographies)

The Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online, by Library and Archives Canada. “It is with great pleasure that we invite you to explore the history of Canada’s inhabitants and their culture, thanks to the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online. There, you will meet people who played an important role in the formation of what is now Canada. This first phase presents persons who died between the years 1000 and 1930 or whose last known date of activity falls within these years. We are certain that this new means of consulting the Dictionary of Canadian Biography/Dictionnaire biographique du Canada (DCB/DBC), a major research and publishing project launched by the University of Toronto and the Université Laval in 1959, will provide a much easier access to the published biographies and the information that interests you. There is an alphabetic listing by surname, as well as a search facility. There are some 278 biographies of people whose surname begins with the letter “A”. I have printed off pages on Gilbert Hyatt, Sir John Johnson and Sir Isaac Brock.

…Bev Loomis UE, Little Forks Branch

Celebrating our Loyalist ancestry (an unpublished response to a newspaper letter-to-the-editor decrying new immigrants)

I am a Canadian of Loyalist stock and I have tried to impart the meaning of this heritage with my three daughters. By understanding the diversity of their Loyalist ancestors it is my hope that I have given them the tools to accept others as equals and to cherish the impact of immigration on Canadian culture.

Johan Ernst Devoe spent the war traveling on foot between New York City and Quebec City. He died at the refugee camp at St. John, Quebec in 1784. He was fifty-eight years old. Having lost a son at the Battle of Bennington, Johan did not live to see his family resettle and grow on their Bay of Quinte land.

Hannah Perry was born at the refugee camp at Machiche, Quebec in 1781. Her mother Jemima had already been at the camp for almost three years and would remain there for another three. In Ernestown, Hannah’s family went on to become leaders of the Methodist church movement. Her daughter married the son of a Roman Catholic who had been shot in the chest at the Battle of Bennington.

Johan Devoe’s grandfather was a German Palatine, a Protestant, forced from his home by a Catholic monarch. Many of his descendants would marry people who traced their ancestry to the Dutch of New Amsterdam (now New York City). One of my daughter’s ancestors was one such Dutchman who married a Mohawk. The Mohawk, Ots-Toch, was the daughter of the Turtle Clan and of Jacques Hertel who was born in Normandy in 1603.

The first Loyalists that settled at Adolphustown in 1784 were 37% Dutch, 20% French, 15% German, 20% British, and 2% Norwegian.

Did some of my daughter’s ancestors own slaves? Yes. Did some of their ancestors behave badly toward their neighbours? Probably. Did their ancestor’s contribute to the decline of the native nations of North America? Yes. But I do know that one German ancestor, Sarah Magin, was a good friend of Molly Brant and had grown up among the Seneca. Sarah was an old woman and had already been widowed for twenty years when the war began. When men that she knew and trusted came and threw her and two of her two daughters in prison she did not relent. When neighbours burned her house with her handicapped son in it she did not give in to their demands. Sarah Magin stayed true to her beliefs. For that she deserves my respect. That one reason alone is enough for me to proudly place the “U.E.” after my name – the name given to me by my grandfather who emigrated from Sweden in 1923.

…Brandt Zätterberg, U.E., Napanee

A new DAR chapter in Montreal

“The Francis Duclos Chapter will officially come into being in Montreal in April 2005. Ancestor to Upper Canada DARs three Brennan sisters, Marian, Bridget and Barbra Brennan McConnell, we learn that “Duclos was a Naval Officer who commanded three ships during the Revolutionary War and was part of the Continental Army, and was also married to George Washington’s niece. The Duclos family is a prominent family in Quebec and Montreal history and can trace their ancestry to the first settlers of New France.” We have eight and possibly nine DARs who will be the founding members!”

…Helen Hatton, past Regent, Upper Canada Chapter

Gail Webb (obit)

We are very sad to announce that Gail Margaret Webb (nee Warner) passed away on January 18, 2005 at The Gateby at the young age of 56 years. She survived Breast Cancer and battled Heart Disease, Alzheimer’s and Diabetes for many years of her short life. Born in Vernon March 28, 1948, Gail is survived by her loving husband Dennis of 27 years and her children Audra (Jason) Eckert of Vernon, Donald (Sarah) Webb of Calgary, Scot (Serena) Kozak of Vancouver and Dennis’s children Sean (Shellie) Beland and Klaire Beland of Halifax. Her two sisters Lyn (John) Doyle and Donna Warner both of Vernon. Gail is predeceased by her mother Peggy Warner (April 1972) and father Don Warner (September 1981).

The last few years were strewn with hardships and she saw only the good and fought to the end with all her might to maintain her dignity and to keep her family caring and loving – what a lady, what a mother what a wife! Her humor above all was the key and she kept it with her and shared it with all who came in contact with her. She leaves behind her a lasting legacy.

Gail was the wife of Dennis Webb, Pacific Region Councillor.

Book Recommendation: Oliver Wiswell

I have just finished reading Kenneth Roberts’ historical novel Oliver Wiswell which was originally published in 1940 and is largely out-of-print today, although can be found in some libraries and used bookstores. It is considered a reasonably accurate depiction of life throughout the Revolutionary War, the progress of the fighting, the treatment of rebels and loyalists by each other, and the conditions both sides lived and fought through. It was among the 10 most popular new books of 1940 — in company with Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises. I found it fascinating and the conclusions it makes as to the reason why the revolution was a success (or failure, depending on your perspective) do not reflect very well on most of the British politicians and military leaders, or for that matter on the competency of the rebels. Also, it bears out the comments in the Jan 21 2005 issue of ‘Loyalist Trails’ by both George Washington and John Reid about the Halifax of the day.

…Jack Freeman

Antique Paints

Old Village Paint sells a colour called Loyalist Green. It seems the paint colours they sell are historic colours. “Old Village Paint Colours” are authentic reproductions of those used by the traveling craftsmen of 1790 and the village painter of 1840. The colours were of the same families for that entire time and were used in a variety of ways, indoors and outdoors.

Most of the Old Village Paint Colours are made with natural earth pigments from around the world, including oxides from Spain and Italy and linseed oils from America’s own Midwest. The colours are warm and friendly in accordance with Colonial, Federal, and Victorian architecture. They also create striking backgrounds for modern settings. Old Village is a family-run business dedicated to high standards. Suffice it to say, with the exception of Society Hill Blue and Rittenhouse Red,all of the colors are somewhat subdued.”

…Susan Henry, UE, descendant (proven) of Leonard Scratch and Wendel Wigle, connected to Zavitz, Smith and May lines

Instant Success of Porridge

For centuries, porridge was a traditional staple of the Scottish diet, but by the 1970s it had fallen out of favour as working men and women looked for a faster way of starting the day. All those pots to clean didn’t help either. In recent years, however, that winter warmer has enjoyed a new lease of life – thanks to the convenience of microwave varieties such as Oatso Simple. Despite its corny (or should that be oatie?) name, “instant porridge” has become a success and according to statistics, porridge is now challenging brand leader (Weetabix) for top spot amongst breakfast cereals. Ready to eat in just two minutes, it comes without the traditions and myths which used to surround porridge making and eating. Gone are wooden spurtles (stirring spoons), stirring only clockwise and, unless you are really in a hurry, there is no need to feel guilty about ignoring the tradition of eating it standing up. Of course, the single portion, instant varieties no longer continue the days of cold porridge in a drawer, available to be cut up and taken onto the hills (??)- thank goodness… However, some enthusiasts for the original porridge point out that 100 grammes of leading brands of the instant variety are seven times more expensive than simple porridge oats and water.

…Nancy Conn UE [from a Scottish email newsletter]


Finding Books (several notes)

I collect Loyalist-related books and have found a number of online resources to track down some of the hard-to-find titles. One of the first sites I usually go to is www.bookfinder.com which is fairly comprehensive. It lists out-of-print as well as current titles and where they may be bought as well as the prices for comparison purposes … it lists both used and new books and gives a good idea of the range of prices for a particular title in both Canadian and U.S. dollars and markets.

I’ve also purchased books from Amazon.com and Alibris with no problems; Ebay.com consistently has a few Loyalist titles for auction, if you are so inclined. A search on “United Empire Loyalists” will list a variety of UE items … and (knock on wood) I’ve never had a problem with billing or receiving the item as described. Caveat Emptor, though. Of course, there’s always Chapters, although some of the older titles might be difficult to find.

…David Kanowakeron Hill Morrison UE, Grand River Branch UELAC

The answer for book searching is ABE books – ABE stands for Advanced Book Exchange. This website has been created by some entrepreneurs in Victoria BC. I believe it has over 25,000,000 used books listed on it today, by dealers from around the world. Often there is a good description of the content; and always a good description of condition. Entry to a search is via title and/or author. Would be interesting to simply enter “Loyalists” as title and see what comes up.

Another option is to use it to see what books some particular author has written.e.g enter Mary Beacock Fryer and see what comes up.

There are other similar book-selling websites, but I find ABE has met my needs admirably for many years. Many books offered are “as new”. The searcher can specify hard cover or soft cover….offered by a Canadian dealer, or offered worldwide; signed by author, etc.

…Gordon Coyne UE

Architecture Query (cont’d from last issue)

He should check that book “The Settler’s Dream. A Pictorial History of the Older Buildings of Prince Edward County” by Tom Cruickshank, a pictorial history of the older buildings of Prince Edward County.

…Nancy Conn, UE and Peter Johnson, UE, Sr. VP, UELAC

In addition to the answers you’ve already received from Brandt. This is a complicated topic, as the loyalists came from areas that were dominated from many different styles. For example, in the Brockville area, many of the loyalists were New Englanders and brought that style of house building and detailing with them. The loyalists who settled south of Napanee on the lake at Bath and South Fredericksburgh, were both Yorkers from New York and New Englanders from the New Hampshire Grants. Both of their areas of origin had their own styles with Yorker homes reflecting Dutch, German and British characteristics. As Brandt said, Fairfield house just on the west end of Kingston is a lovely example of NE loyalist architecture.

In South Marysburgh, where many British and German Regulars settled alongside the loyalists, there are some interesting examples. In Waupoos, there’s the house above the Anglican Church where Waupoos Winery is located. It was built by an ex-surgeon of Brunswick troops with the surname David. Further east in East Waupoos, there’s the museum called the Rose House. This building is far less grand than the David house, but is reputedly another example of an ex-German regular’s housing.

You might visit the Prince Edward Museum in Picton and pose your question. They will have other suggestions, but you must remember, there are almost no buildings that date back to the first settlement of 1784. Usually, the oldest houses are 19th Century, rather than late 18th. At the Picton side of the Glenora Ferry, there is a very old commercial building built by Peter Van Alstine, a Yorker loyalist.

…Gavin Watt, Honourary Vice President, UEL Association