“Loyalist Trails” 2006-19 May 7, 2006

In this issue:
Honorary UELAC President, Peter Milliken UE at Conference
Book Launch at Conference
2006 Census, please help
“Let Loose Our Library” Donation from Vancouver Branch
Proving to First Nations Loyalist Ancestors
Historical Fiction Novels covering the American Revolution Provide Insight
Recruiting Practices of the King’s Rangers
Last Post: Ivan Mitchell
      + Carpentry in Loyalist Times (for a school project)
      + Map of Patents in New York at the time of the American Revolution


Honorary UELAC President, Peter Milliken UE at Conference

Just off the Press. Our Honorary UELAC President, Peter Milliken UE, Speaker of the House of Parliament plans to attend the Sunday events at Black Creek Pioneer Village and will address the group at lunch.

Book Launch at Conference

We are working with Rick Roberts from Global Genealogy to organize a book launch and signing with three authors at our Thursday afternoon and evening displays and “Salute to York” reception. With luck we will have a display of Loyalist books for sale as well.

Gavin Watt is the author of one of these books, as described below.

The History and Master Roll of the The King’s Royal Regiment of New York, Revised and Expanded Edition

Gavin Watt has significantly revisited his original book that was published under the title The King’s Royal Regiment of New York in 1984. This new volume [2006] provides much new content, including corrections, additions and newly discovered sources that have come to light during the 22 years of research since his earlier book. The history of the regiment, and of the men of The King’s Royal Regiment has great significance to those with an interest in the American Revolutionary War and the subsequent resettlement of United Empire Loyalists and others, many of whom migrated to Canada.

For more information, including a list of surnames included in the book, and a complete copy of the table of contents, please click here.

From Kathie Orr UE, Toronto Branch:

Gavin Watt’s long awaited revised edition of “The King’s Royal Regiment of New York”, his earlier work with Ernest A. Cruikshank, is hot off the Global Genealogy press and is entitled “The History and Master Roll of the King’s Royal Regiment of New York rev ed.”.

This book is a significant revision with corrections, additions and a great deal of new material. Gavin has found many new sources and added more details from his notes on Cruikshank’s history of the regiment, the artifacts of the regiment, and the revised master roll of officers, NCOs’, drummers and private men. A comprehensive, cross reference index, illustrations and maps are included along with the following additions:

– Every piece of information in the Master Roll about veterans of the original regiment roll is source coded;

– all the source codes (145 primary, 120 primary transcripts, 117 secondary) are listed in a descriptive bibliography;

– a surname concordance solves the problem of spelling variations;

– and names of many of the wives not found in military sources have been added.

This book proves the point of why we must continue to research and not accept earlier works as the definitive sources. Gavin is well known for the quality of his research in his early books and he has outdone himself with this new volume.

2006 Census, please help

There is a very serious matter that is associated with the upcoming Canadian national census that is being taken on 16 May 2006. There is a question asking you to answer YES if you are willing to allow your answers to be made public 92 years from now, in 2098. If you say NO or leave the boxes blank, your information will NEVER be made available. Period. This is extremely detrimental to anyone in the future who might be trying to research their family history and to future historians who utilize the information contained in the national census returns.

This isn’t an urban legend, a joke, or Spam !!! It’s fact, likely dreamed up by some misguided bureaucrat under a privacy act but, if it goes into place, and if people don’t say YES, the hopes of those trying to do family history searches in the future will be dashed. It’s not only important to ‘descendants’ but to other family members who may find clues through you to other parts of your family. Believe me, a person doesn’t need direct descendants to be important on the family tree!

So please, check YES on your census form, for you and others in your household, and ask everyone you are in contact with to do the same. If we can get the word out soon enough, perhaps we can prevent at least a large part of this disaster from happening.

…Bob McBride UE, Editor, The Loyalist Gazette.

“Let Loose Our Library” Donation from Vancouver Branch

The Vancouver Branch has done it. Their challenge to their membership to raise $1,000 for the “Let Loose our Library” project has succeeded in short order. A cheque was donated last weekend in Fort Langley BC to me by the Branch for $1,000 towards the project – half donated by members and then matched by the Vancouver Branch. Many thanks to then President Mary Anne Bethune and new President John Anderson and the whole branch.

Over the next week or so we will be updating the web site and then after the Conference focusing more on this project once again. Please think about how we can reach our targets.


Proving to First Nations Loyalist Ancestors

If your grandchildren’s status cards have their parentage on them that is a primary source document and proof #1.

If you have their father’s status card listing his parents that would also be proof of the second generation child parent relationship. If the grandfather has his status card also showing his parent, you would have four generations proved… grandchild-parent-grandparent-great grandparent (appearing on the grandfather’s status card.)

Libby Hancocks, Dominion Genealogist, has accepted copies of the pertinent family information from the Draper Manuscripts as acceptable proof, even though an oral history, because often it is the only written historical proof of genealogy that exists in Native families. It LOCATES the family, LIVING in a given area, at a given TIME as recorded at or near to the Time of Settlement, as family members recall. In the manuscripts, Draper interviewed sons, daughters, and grandchildren of the Native ancestor and sometimes even the ancestor himself. They make very interesting reading.

I forgot to mention that there is quite an extensive genealogy done on Joseph Brant and is either at the Woodland Cultural Centre or at the Band Office at the Grand River Reserve.

…Joan Lucas UE, co-chair, Genealogy Committee, Kawartha Branch

Historical Fiction Novels covering the American Revolution Provide Insight

I have enjoyed reading “Loyalist Trails” for over a year now. I have learned a great deal and discovered many new resources from my readings. I managed to locate some of the books discussed in the newsletters. I hope members will recommend other possible books.

I read Kenneth Roberts, Oliver Wiswell a year ago. I enjoyed the read and am sure many others have to. I find it especially insightful from the fact it dealt with New York State where many UEL members have their lineages. I managed to purchase my copy from a used book dealer for $1.00. The soft cover pocketbook was in bad shape but the pages were all accounted for. When I completed the book I passed it on to my OGS branch secured together with elastics.

I have just about finished reading John Brick’s The Rifleman. I have enjoyed this book as well and again this book dealt with New York State. Although fiction, the writer does outline the county and people in enough detail for the reader to get a good understanding of the times and country. This can help many of us understand conditions our forefathers lived in. I am always surprised how well some managed to make a life for themselves and create what I consider a very acceptable homestead. The ingenuity of our forefathers has always fascinated me.

I have also purchased a copy of John Brink’s The King’s Rangers for my next read. Both of these books are hard cover and again I found them at on-line used booksellers. One book cost me $2.75 the other $1.00 but they both cost me $10 each for shipping. The books are in excellent condition and when I finish my reading I will be passing them on to others who are interested.

I look forward to learning more at the UELAC Conference next month.

…Paul R. Caverly, Quinte Branch

Recruiting Practices of the King’s Rangers

I saw your enquiry in Loyalist Trails about the recruiting practices of the King’s Rangers. I don’t think you’re going to find a Holy Grail answer.

James Rogers was repeatedly criticized by other loyalist officers for what they viewed as sniping and sharp practices. When the bickering became so persistent, Governor Haldimand set up a board of officers to would review every recruit who came in to the lower province to determine which corps he intended to enlist in.

However, I’m sure that isn’t what you’re referring to. Perhaps you’re wondering from where Rogers drew the majority of his recruits. His mini-battalion had been sent to Canada by the Commander-in-Chief at New York City on the theory that the Rogers brothers had excellent contacts in the New England States and they would be closer to the source if they were in Quebec. Governor Haldimand was not amused and the little corps languished for almost three years without being accepted into the Canadian Department. Haldimand simply viewed them as interlopers competing against recruiters from the 84th RHE and the KRR NY – his two favoured regiments.

When James got into his stride, he seemed to draw most of his recruits from New Hampshire and the independent republic of Vermont. And, he did have moderate success recruiting in Canada.

I know of no Orderly Book for the King’s Rangers that’s survived. Muster Rolls are in fact pay rolls, as it’s on the basis of the troops who are mustered that pay is calculated. So, if you can get copies of all the muster rolls, you’ve got a goldmine of KR info.

If you obtain a calendar of the Haldimand Papers, you will find volume numbers relating to correspondence with James Rogers and with officers commanding at Fort St. John’s, where the King’s Rangers did the majority of their service. That may give you a bit more info on recruiting practices and conflicts.

…Gavin Watt, Honorary VP, UELAC

Last Post: Ivan Mitchell

Ivan Mitchell, who was a branch president of the Sir Guy Carleton Branch in the late 80s, passed away on May 2nd of a stroke. Ivan, whose loyalist ancestor was Anthony Rogers, started the first newsletter for the Sir Guy Carleton Branch. He was 76 years old. He leaves his wife, Beverly who is also a member of the branch, children and 17 grandchildren.

…Sylvia Powers

Ivan was a very nice guy who did a lot for the branch. He was also previously a branch editor and also heavily involved in the “King’s Names” Project at the beginning.

…George Anderson


Carpentry in Loyalist Times (for a school project)

Hello! My name is Reese Koerber and I am in Grade 4 at the Halifax Christian Academy. I am doing a project on Loyalists. On carpentry in those times. Can you help me find stuff? Thanks. My project is due on May 15.


(we have checked with Reese’s parents and they have approved the use of this query).

Please respond to Heather Koerber: {livethelife AT accesswave DOT ca}

Map of Patents in New York at the time of the American Revolution

(Re: “It would also be good if a knowledgeable UEL put out a map and book showing the different patents and describing them. It would be a great help to an novice like myself in tracing forefathers.”)

Reply: Kingston and District Branch UEL, P.O. Box 635 Kingston Ontario K7L 4X1 still has for sale reprint copies of a very detailed Map of the Province of New York, dated 1779, which does show Patents and which you might find very useful – size about 22″ x 28″. Cost is $15 (includes revised mailing cost) must be prepaid with order, cheque to “Kingston and District Branch UEL”.

…Sharon Cadieux