“Loyalist Trails” 2005-15 April 26, 2005

In this issue:
Regina “Westward Ho” Conference
Successful New England Historical Society Research trip March 28 – April 2
One Step Done; One to Go: 1911 Census
Oath of Allegiance on Certificate Application
Seeking Information on the Loyal Surrey Rangers
Loyalists Get Press in History Mystery
Population of Canada around the time of the Loyalists
Caleb Lewis Loyalist


Regina “Westward Ho” Conference

One of the Branch newsletters recently showed that the conference this year runs from Thurs June 2 until Sunday 5th, when in fact it begins Wednesday June 1 and runs until Sunday the 5th – just want to make sure you have it right when booking your tickets.

Successful New England Historical Society Research trip March 28 – April 2

Eleven eager Loyalists arrived at the New England Historical Society to do research. Each one found the six floors of available material overwhelming. There were family histories and vital statistics dating back to the first colonial settlers. There was also an excellent English collection. The research staff were most helpful and gave us many valuable clues as to which histories to explore. Gary Roberts, a noted New England researcher, sat down with many of us and provided valuable advice. He told us of family connections. For instance he told Martha Hemphill that she was descended from the Kings of England. Gary Roberts is an authority on American Colonial Royal connections. Ed Kipp also has royal connections. He is a distant cousin of Princess Diana and George Bush too.

Some of us also explored part of the Freedom Trail and walked where many of the American patriots once walked. For those who don’t know it, the Freedom Trail is a route around Boston which visits many of the original Revolutionary War sites. (Ed Kipp notes that there is a good description of the Tory Trail here.)

Some of us also visited the Old South Church. Nancy Conn was thrilled to see the original tombstone of one of her ancestors – John Alden embedded in the outer church wall.

For those who missed it, it was a great trip. There is also a small trip surplus which will go towards the Loyalist Collection at Brock University.

…George Anderson

One Step Done; One to Go: 1911 Census

Okay folks get your letters in – we are half way there – the Senate has passed bill S-18 to release the 1911 plus census records. Now please do you bit to get the House of Commons pass the bill as a non partisan bill. If it does not get pass by the Commons ASAP and an election is called we will have to start the whole process all over again.

Please get your letters in to the people listed below and add your local MP.

Dear Friends,

I am very pleased to inform all of you that by a vote of 51-16, the Senate has passed bill S-18 at third reading. It is now headed to the House of Commons where it must pass 3 readings before it becomes law.

As you all know, it is a minority parliament in Ottawa these days, and as a result, there could be an election at any time. This bill will die if an election is called, and we will have to start again. We need to let Members of the House of Commons know that we want this bill passed before the next election. We also need to urge all parties to get together to pass this bill in one day.

So I’d like each and every one of you to write an email AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, and no later than Friday afternoon to all of the following people:

Tony Valeri – Government House Leader – Valeri.T@parl.gc.ca

David Emerson – Minister of Industry – Emerson.D@parl.gc.ca

Jay Hill – Opposition House Leader (Conservative) – Hill.J@parl.gc.ca

Stephen Harper – Leader of Opposition (Conservative) – Harper.S@parl.gc.ca

Libbie Davies – NDP House Leader – Davies.L@parl.gc.ca

Jack Layton – NDP Leader – Layton.J@parl.gc.ca

Michel Gauthier – Bloc Quebecios House Leader – Gauthier.M@parl.gc.ca

Gilles Duceppe – Bloc Quebecios Leader – Duceppe.G@parl.gc.ca

You should write one email to all of them collectively. It should be a brief note in your own words.

Every email must request that all parties get together to agree to pass S-18 in one day.

Some of the points you may want to make in the email would include:

–   209 current MPs are on public record as supporting the release of historic census records

–   Why the release of the records is important to you

–   The Information Commissioner, Privacy Commissioner, Chief Statistician, National Archivist, Canada Census Campaign, and Canadian Historical Association all support the bill

–   Acknowledge that this is a tough time for the house but that this is a non partisan bill

–   State that you do not take any side on whether or not there should be an election, your only concern is getting this bill through

–   All four house leaders have gold ticks

–   Jack Layton, Stephen Harper and David Emerson ALL HAVE GOLD TICKS

–   Statistics Canada needs a decision on this bill right away so final preparations can be made on the 2006 Census

If you are concerned about writing to a Bloc Quebecois member in English, you may start your email by stating “Je suis désolé, mais je n’écrit pas en Français. J’espérais que vous preniez le temps de considerer cette lettre.”

Please do not forward this email directly to parliamentarians. It is a million times more effective when it comes in your own words.

If you have ever written a letter in support of this campaign, I ask that you take this one additional step for us. This is without a doubt the most important email request we’ve ever made. We need all hands on deck for this one.

Please write immediately and make sure that your email is sent out by friday if at all possible. The House is not sitting next week and we need to keep up the momentum.

Thank you so much for all of your help, and we hope that we can count on you this one last time.

…Jeff Paul, Policy Advisor, Office of the Hon. Lorna Milne

…Kathie Orr

Oath of Allegiance on Certificate Application

In regards to ” Signing The Oath of Allegiance ” to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, I feel that any American and Dual Citizen U.E.L.A.C. member should be able to sign it.

The Loyalist Regiments of 1775-1781 consisted of American colonists who were British, and they swore allegiance to His Majesty, King George III. Why can’t their descendants swear allegiance to Her Majesty? The established authority of The American Colonies was England.

Could it be an Act of Treason if an American were to sign the oath? Not at all. No one is re-fighting The American Revolution.

As an American citizen, every day I have to live with seeing many of my countrymen waving flags of The Confederate States of America, whether it be in front of their homes, on their vehicles, or worn on their clothing. Seeing so many of them in Northern states, one would swear The Confederacy won, and believe me, some Confederate descendants are fighting the Civil War today. (Some do the noble thing and strictly honour their ancestors, which is fine.)

The Confederacy rebelled against the established authority of The United States, which is treason. It jeopardized American National Security between 1861 and 1865.

The Mexican War, fought thirty years earlier, resulted in America acquiring Texas, and it became a state within The United States. Many Texans regard it as The Republic of Texas. Honestly, how can there be a country within a country, especially within The United States???

We are proud of our Loyalist ancestors; therefore, all members should be able to sign The Oath of Allegiance . . . to remain loyal. God Save The Queen!!!

…Xavier Allen, Descendant of Loyalists of Georgia and The Carolinas, 1775-1781

Seeking Information on the Loyal Surrey Rangers

Abraham is shown enlisting in WO 12/4060 on 14 September 1789 and then embarking from England to Canada on 17th April 1790. In WO 12/4061 Abraham Unsworth is indicated in 1800 as transferring from the 24th Regiment to the Loyal Surrey Rangers. At this point he was still a private soldier. He never had been a commissioned officer. I have copies of the records from the War Office.(WO).

The Surrey Rangers was a special unit raised by a British MP named Pollen to support the British in Canada. They recruited in Britain and then left for Halifax, Nova Scotia, around 1799, swelling their ranks once they had disembarked. Abraham Unsworth remained with this unit until it was disbanded in December 1802. He joined as a private but had reached the rank of sergeant by the time he left the unit.

As the British were keen to populate Canada – and ex-soldiers who had served honourably were seen as good candidates – I think that Abraham Unsworth probably took his chance when the 24th left Nova Scotia in 1800 and returned to Devon. Whether he visualised being discharged by 1802 in the Loyal Surrey Rangers I cannot say but he probably had some good reason for staying in Canada nevertheless.

Since I have found out he was a loyalist through the land record index. He was given 2 parcels of land in Windsor, ON Shows that he made Sergeant. How can I get information on the Loyal Surrey Rangers, is there any books? I have found his will (Abraham Unsworth) and he has left quite a history trail behind him. Any information you can give me would be appreciated.

…(name withheld)

Loyalists Get Press in History Mystery

Loyalists got the front page treatment in the April 19th edition of the The Recorder & Times in Brockville this week. A production crew from the U. S. public television network was in town to film the first Canadian segment for History Detectives. This program focuses on solving historical mysteries and searching out facts of local folklore, family legends or interesting objects. For the development of the story of Loyalist Sgt. Daniel Dunham, sections will be shot on location in such places as the Dunham homestead in Augusta, the Brockville Museum and just east of the Mallorytown Landing where a 32-foot wooden bateau provided by the Thousand Island River Heritage Society will be used. The paper also suggested that filming of part of the Col. Edward Jessup Branches annual general meeting at Toledo on Saturday may also take place. On the first day of filming in the area, Branch President and Genealogist Myrtle Johnston and Dominion Education Chairman Fred H. Hayward were interviewed for the program and Brandt Zatterberg of the Loyalist Centre in Adophustown was part of the crew of the loyalist bateau. No date for the showing of this Loyalist storyline has been determined but History Detectives will start airing its next series on Mondays in June.

As a Recorder and Times reporter was present at the Mallorytime site, the UELAC may get more good press in the Col. Edward Jessup area.

…Fred Hayward, Hamilton Branch

Population of Canada around the time of the Loyalists

So, what was the population of Canada when the Loyalists came? Have a look at this page, which says in 1790 about 161,000 people. In there it suggests 40,000 Loyalists came to what is now Canada. Take out the Loyalists and some increase in their numbers, say 44,000 by 1790, and you have a non-Loyalist population of about 117,000 in 1790. Then take out their natural growth again and the non-Loyalist population of 1784 could have been about 112 – 115,000.

Does this include First Nations people? In some quick looking it appears that even then the First Nations population was not large, although it spanned the country.

Someone suggested to me that 40,000 Loyalists came with their families. The Statistics Canada numbers above imply that the 40,000 includes family members.

I found another source here which shows a big decline from 374,000 in 1770 to 240,000 in 1801. I have less faith in those numbers, and would personally go with the Stats Can numbers, even with questions.

Can anyone provide more definitive numbers or further sources that we should check out?


Caleb Lewis Loyalist

Dr. Benjamin Lewis, son of Ebenezer, was born Sept 21, 1701 at Wallingford, Connecticut. Benjamin was married twice (first wife unknown) and had a total of sixteen children. In his will dated Sept 1, 1788 he mentioned his second wife, Mary Maltbie and daughters Elizabeth, Ester, Hannah, Mary and his sons, Bela, Benjamin, Barnabas, Amassa and Caleb. Benjamin died on January 31, 1789 at Chesshire, Connecticut.

Caleb Lewis, son of Benjamin Lewis was born at Wallingford, Connecticut, May 22, 1736. He married Abigail Moss on March 13, 1760. Abigail Moss was the daughter of Benjamin and Abigail-Cole Moss. Caleb Lewis apparently refused to take part against the British Crown in the Revolutionary War of the Colonies. Caleb was arrested because of his Tory sympathies. His property was confiscated, his family broken up. Caleb escaped from prison with one John Fordice. He was taken away from the dead body of his wife (reason for death unknown). For eight days these two men lived on roots and berries. On one occasion, hiding in the dense branches of a friendly tree they saw troopers who were searching for them. As the troopers rode by Caleb and John heard them swearing and threatening to shoot the fugitives at sight.

They walked through Maine to freedom in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Caleb Lewis and John Fordice secured from the government of Nova Scotia a grant of land. The lot contained 85 acres and was described in the deed as lying and being on the road between Partridge Island and Fort Cumberland, extending from the road on one side to Muddy Brook. Caleb Lewis felled the first tree between Partridge Island and Maccan.

Caleb Lewis dared not write home to his family as he thus now was an United Empire Loyalist.

Five or six years after Caleb and John escaped from prison, Caleb’s son Jesse searched out his refugee father. In Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada, Jesse Lewis had heard his refugee father was living near Parrsboro Village, Cumberland County, Nova Scotia, Canada. Jesse Lewis found his father Caleb near Parrsboro. The 85 acres of land was deeded to Jesse.

When the Revolutionary War ended, Caleb Lewis and John Fordice returned to the new United States for their families.

John Fordice, found that his wife (name unknown) thinking he was dead had married again. John did not upbraid her. It was her choice to remain with her wealthy husband in his fine home or return with him to frontier hardships. She chose her first love and returned with John Fordice to Nova Scotia, Canada. John took back with him his two unmarried daughters named Lois and Martha. Lois afterwards married Daniel Holmes of Half Way River.

Caleb Lewis died April 28, 1827.

Jesse Lewis (born Dec 30, 1760 in Wallingford Connecticut) lived on the Lewis homestead in Half Way River, Nova Scotia, Canada. He was confirmed in St George’s Church by the Bishop of Nova Scotia on Aug 10, 1779. Before the Union Church was built, Jesse opened his house for the services of the Church. He, with due authority officiated at the services of worship, ceremonies of marriage and burial. Jesse Lewis was a leader in starting the Union Church at Half Way River.

Jesse Lewis married Chloe Olney Fullerton and they had seven children (six names unknown) one of whom was Oman Lewis. Oman Lewis (records are not clear as to dates of Oman’s birth and death) married Mary Fullerton and they had four children (3 names unknown) one of whom was Gaius Lewis. Twice married with a second family of three (two names unknown) one of whom was Oman Lewis Jr. who was killed felling a tree on the Lewis farm.

Gaius Lewis (born 1819) married Eliza Barnes of Maccan, Nova Scotia, Canada on July 17, 1860. They lived in a log house on the farm at Half Way River, Cumberland County, Nova Scotia Canada.

…Roland Bradley Lewis (Roland has contributed more on the Lewis family, back to the 1600’s and forward to more recent times – if you wish a copy, ask doug)