“Loyalist Trails” 2006-39 October 1, 2006

In this issue:
UELAC Conference 2007 “At The End of The Trail”: The Countdown Begins
2007 Conference Challenge
Hannah Owens Peters Jarvis, wife of William Jarvis, sister-in-law of Polly Jarvis Dibblee
The Loyalist Linguistic Connection: Nova Scotia and Sierre Leone
Ontario Veterans Memorial
Bicentennial Branch Outreach into the Community
Two Victoria Crosses Coming to St. Catharines
Congratulations to Carl Stymiest
Mohawk Bus Trip 2006 underway
      + Novels of the Revolutionary War Period
      + Information about Cyrenius Parks
      + Response re Elizabeth Betterly, first wife of William Carson
      + Response re Major Sheridan
      + Response re Period Clothing for a Clergyman


UELAC Conference 2007 “At The End of The Trail”: The Countdown Begins

In less than 250 days, Bicentennial Branch in Windsor Ontario looks forward to welcoming you to Conference 2007, Thurs. May 31 through Sunday June 3. Mark your calendar now and start planning your visit. We are planning a wonderful time for you.

Upon arrival Thursday afternoon you will be treated to outstanding hospitality and service at the Hotel Holiday Inn Select, our conference hotel, just down Huron Church Road from the Ambassador Bridge, Essex County’s gateway to the United States. Here are the major plans for the Conference:

– Thursday evening we are hosting a “Reception Along The River” at the Art Gallery of Windsor, with great entertainment, good times and old friends.

– Friday’s speakers are sure to interest you and the tours of Amherstburg and Olde Sandwich Towne, the oldest continuous European settlement in Ontario, will bring history alive right before your eyes.

– An evening of dinner-theatre at Mackenzie Hall will top off the day. “You be the Judge” and jury in this historic mock trial in the Western District’s Grand Old Courthouse.

– Saturday brings the AGM, Costume Parade and Banquet with very special guests and an entertaining speaker.

– Sunday’s Church Service in Olde Sandwich Towne at the area’s oldest Anglican Church will be followed by an old fashioned luncheon.

For those on a longer visit, shop at Devonshire Mall and Windsor Crossings Outlet Mall, or try your luck at Casino Windsor

We will be posting details at our Bicentennial Branch web site soon – we will let you know as soon as it is ready.

2007 Conference Challenge

The Windsor Border Region, on both sides of the border, has a fascinating history. We will be posing a series of questions about that history in future issues of Loyalist Trails. You will be able to find out more details and select your answer on our web site. For each correct answer you submit, your name will be entered into a draw for prizes.

Join in the fun and test your knowledge, and maybe even learn a few things.

Mark your calendar now – Thursday May 31 through Sunday June 3, 2007.

…Kimberley Hurst for the 2007 Conference Committee

Hannah Owens Peters Jarvis, wife of William Jarvis, sister-in-law of Polly Jarvis Dibblee

As you may or may not be aware the William Jarvis …Polly’s younger brother …in the article was also a Loyalist who went on to become John Graves Simcoe’s Provincial Secretary when he was Lieut Governor of Upper Canada.

In an ironic twist of fate his widow who was Hannah Owens Peters also born in Conneticut to an Anglican clergyman( later to become a bishop) also ended up pretty well destitute and living with her daughter in Queenston, Upper Canada …the story in brief follows.

In April 1792 the Jarvis family sailed for Canada to take up her husbands appointment as Provincial Secretary to Lt. Gov. John Graves Simcoe. After a stormy voyage on which Hannah showed invincible courage and a short time in Kingston,the family arrived in Newark( Niagara on the Lake) in September 1792. Jarvis bought a log hut and immediately began to build an addition, a matter of some urgency as his wife was pregnant.

By 1830 Hannah Jarvis was living most of the time with her daughter Hannah Owen Hamilton ( the wife of Alexander Hamilton) in Queenston,helping her cope with a big house and frequent pregnancies. She was there in 1839 when Hamilton died leaving his pregnant wife and nine children penniless. Their sole income was her pension of $100 per year. Hannah Hamilton took in sewing earning 2s6d a shirt, while her mother now in her late 70’s looked after the house and young children, assisted by her older granddaughters, and did all the work in the poultry yard and vegetable garden except the spring digging. She who once had 8 servants and slaves, now spent her days washing and scrubbing ,ironing, mending and cooking. She had owned the first carriage in Upper Canada now traveled in a borrowed lumber wagon. She died September 20, 1845 at the age of 82.

She was my fourth great grandmother.

…David Ricketts O.N., UE, CIP, CPD {ricketts AT interlynx DOT net} how do I email him?

The Loyalist Linguistic Connection: Nova Scotia and Sierre Leone

Most history buffs can probably name two countries that came into being because of the American War of Independence — the United States and Canada. However, few realize that the west African nation of Sierra Leone was another country founded by the Revolution’s loyalist refugees . Black Loyalists from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick first settled in Freetown in March of 1792. There are still clues of this loyalist connection in the very words used in some parts of Sierra Leone.

A few years ago I met a woman who had once practiced nursing in the small west African country. She described her work as being in the “back country” of Sierra Leone and not on the coast where the Black Loyalists first established a settlement. Later, she also did nursing in East Preston, Nova Scotia — a community that was founded by Black Loyalists in the 1780s. In the course of one of her home visits, the nurse was thrilled and amazed to discover someone using an expression that she had first heard back in Sierra Leone.

During a visit with an East Preston family, the nurse heard an old man say that he “was going to take a blow.” Her eyes widened in a thrill of recognition. The man was about to tell her what he meant, when the nurse proudly declared that she knew he meant he was going to take a nap! She had heard people in the interior of Sierra Leone use the same expression!

Clearly, “going to take a blow” was a two hundred year old expression that had been used by Black Loyalists in Nova Scotia. They carried it across the ocean where it has continued to be used by their descendants in modern day Sierra Leone. For Black Loyalist historians, hearing that kind of story is like a paleontologist finding a dinosaur fossil — it is wonderful evidence of something that happened long ago– a clue to a story that spans an ocean.

…Stephen Davidson

[The author first learned about Black Loyalists as a student at Acadia University. A portion of his 1975 thesis, Leaders of the Black Baptist Church of Nova Scotia: 1785-1835, was the basis for his contribution to Volume VII of the Dictionary of Canadian Biography.]

Ontario Veterans Memorial

In last week’s Loyalist Trails, Peter Johnson noted the unveiling of Ontario’s Veteran’s Memorial, and that the Loyalists are mentioned in the overview. During the last two years, during my term as President, Major John Fisher UE was in touch with me about the project. Our thanks to John, as without his assistance, the Loyalists would not have been mentioned. In his words:

All was under wraps until the official wording was approved, but now it’s for the public to read and reflect upon for generations to come. In terms of the committee work, I represented UELAC on both the Queen’s Park Veterans’ Memorial Project Committee (co-chaired by The Hon Gerry Phillips and Major General (Retd) Richard Rohmer), and its sub-committee, the Veterans’ Memorial Unveiling Group. The project began in the spring of 2004, so two and a half years later, it’s nice to see it come to fruition. The main committee came up with the parameters of the design, and then chose the winning submission. The group planned the events of 17 September. I was glad that I was part of both.

John notes that he proved through “Quinte Branch, certificates MC 9267-1 David Shorey and MC 9470-2 Jeptha Hawley. Also of UEL note, Nicholas Hagerman and Christopher Hagerman are a ggggrand uncle and 1st cousin 5 times removed, respectively.”


Bicentennial Branch Outreach into the Community

A. Olde Sandwich Towne Heritage Festival, September 15th-17th

On behalf of the Bicentennial Branch’s Education/Outreach I was fortunate enough to attend the yearly Heritage Festival in Olde Sandwich Towne. The day (Saturday) was spent at the Duff-Baby Loyalist House giving information on the United Empire Loyalists and the house itself. With well over 300 people passing through it was a very successful event for all involved. Visit the town’s web site to see pictures and events that were held:

B. Doors Open Windsor, September 24th, 2006

The Bicentennial Branch was invited to participate in this well known event at the McGregor-Cowan House in Olde Sandwich Towne. I spent the day in costume giving the history of the Loyalists, the house and inviting potential members to a meeting hosted by the Branch. I lost count after the first 100 people passed through. It was well attended and it increased awareness of not only the area but of our Loyalist Ancestors. Click here for the web site showcasing all the buildings that were on display for Doors Open Windsor.

…Kimberly Hurst UE, Bicentennial Branch

Two Victoria Crosses Coming to St. Catharines

Niagara residents and military history buffs will have an almost unprecedented opportunity to view two original Victoria Crosses, the most famous military medal in the world, when the only two examples connected to the Niagara region go on display at the St. Catharines Museum in the week preceding Remembrance Day 2006 and only from November 5th to November 12th.

Lance Corporal Fred Fisher’s Victoria Cross was the first awarded to a Canadian soldier in World War I. Fisher is a St. Catharines native who joined the 13th Canadian Infantry Battalion C.E.F. (Royal Highlanders of Canada [The Black Watch]) in Montreal. He received his award during the Second Battle of Ypres in April 1915, the first major battle for Canadian troops of that War. Fisher helped support the actions of the 10th Field Battery, a St. Catharines artillery unit. Fisher lies in an unmarked grave in Flanders. His VC is held by the Black Watch in Montreal.

The other VC is a rare example of the medal being granted to a veteran of both world wars. It was awarded near the end of the First World War to Colonel Graham Thomson Lyall who had enlisted with the 19th Lincoln Regiment, now The Lincoln & Welland Regiment of St. Catharines. Lyall spent the early part of the War guarding the Welland Canal and Niagara power generating facilities before going overseas. He earned his VC in a series of spectacular actions over several days, in which he and his men captured more than 100 enemy prisoners. Lyall died of natural causes while serving in North Africa in 1941, and is buried there. His VC is on long-term loan from his family to the Royal Electrical Mechanical and Engineers Museum in England.

[contributed by Bill Smy]

Congratulations to Carl Stymiest

The latest issue of “West – The Western Canada Quarterly” Issue 6, Fall 2006 beginning on page 12 has an article by Diane Selkirk called “Close to Home”. It is an article about family, across generations, seeking and understanding that history be it recent generations or more distant. For most of page 16, Carl’s genealogical efforts are noted:

Vancouverite Carl Stymiest , a Branch Genealogist for the United Empire Loyalist Association, has noticed the same transformation in people he has helped with family searches. “It redefines them once they find out,” he says. Stymiest became interested in his own family history when his father presented him with the gift of a list of 200 names of ancestors and relatives. After years of research, his list has grown into a book of 67,000 relations, spanning the years 1198-2006.”

Mohawk Bus Trip 2006 underway

George and Janet Anderson and Ed and Elizabeth Kipp met a whole bus load of us early this morning in Ottawa and Cornwall. We enjoyed good Fall colours as we wound our way through the Adirondacks to Johnstown. First stop: Johnson Hall. A good overview of the home of Sir William Johnson and Molly Brant led to time to tour the building on our own.

The latter part of the afternoon was in the centre of old Johnstown where we were welcomed by the Mayor and were given brief presentations in the Courthouse and Saint John Episcopal Church. We were welcomed by interpreters in the Drum House and Johnstown Historical Society. A good first day which ended with a fine dinner – and lots of enthusiastic discussion among the people on the tour.



Novels of the Revolutionary War Period

I encountered the UELAC website while searching for a bibliography of the works of author John Brick.

I am particularly interested in novels that relate to the revolutionary war period. I’ve read The Rifleman and The Royal Rangers, and much of Kenneth Roberts, and I would be grateful for any recommendations.

…Jock Elliott Troy, NY {lightkpr AT nycap DOT rr DOT com} how do I email him?

Information about Cyrenius Parks

Typical of genealogy, here’s a roundabout tale. I have a query from a reenacting friend of mine, Paul Loding, who lives in Glen Falls, NY and is the Kingsbury Town Historian.

Gary A.F. Ellis of Madoc, ON wrote to Paul early this year hoping to get information on Cyrenis Parks. As a number of UEL members are related to Cyrenis, I hope someone can answer Gary’s questions.

First, what was the maiden name of Cyrenius’s first wife, Elizabeth? Their first child, Nathaniel, was born on April 21, 1776, so they were married before that year. Circumstantially, Gary opines her maiden name was ‘Harris’ and that she may have been the daughter of Gilbert Harris Sr., but he has no firm proof of that supposition. Can anyone help?

Second, Gary is trying to locate the exact location of Cyrenius’s farm in Kingsbury. Has anyone tracked that location down to lot number or some other location parameters?

…Gavin K. Watt, HVP, UELAC {gk DOT watt AT sympatico DOT ca}

Response re Elizabeth Betterly, first wife of William Carson

Regarding the (10 Sept) further query about Elizabeth Betterly, first wife of William Carson, there is a record at Christ Church Anglican Cathedral, Montreal, that William Carson “soldier” married Martha Gant there on 9 October 1777. Martha’s surname has a variety of spellings. The Quebec Family History Society transcribed these marriages 1766-1850. Unfortunately I have no information about his first wife.

…Brenda Dougall Merriman

Thanks, Brenda. That is a key piece of information that I was missing. That helps me narrow down the time period during which I should be looking for Elizabeth.

…Larry McGrath

Response re Major Sheridan

I can see one problem with Major Sheridan. I’m not a military person and I don’t know much about settlement in New Brunswick, but I was splotching through this book (I’ll scan the cover for you) , trying to figure out where Delancy’s Regiment served.

This short write up on the New York Volunteers has the name of Major Sullivan as a hero at the battle of Eutaw Springs. He got his men barricaded into a brick house and they couldn’t be dislodged? That’s what it says here. I think it should be Major Sheridan. In the list of majors on pages 32, 33 and 34 there is a Major Henry Sheridan, the one you are interested in, but there is no Major Sullivan. I think somebody has switched the two names and this author has copied the mistake.

This will take three scan pages on your e-mail. One for the cover , one for the list and another form the description of the New York volunteers. I can send you the whole book if you like.

The Book is called “Loyalists in Arms, (and not Loyalist at Arms as I called it first ). 1775-1783, A Short History of the British American Regiments with the Roll of Officers”, by W.O.Raymond

Inside first page says” Originally published in New Brunswick Historical Society, Collection, No.5 St. John NB The Sun Printing Co., Limited 1904.

I have the receipt inside the front cover. I bought it in 2001 at Global Genealogy;

…Jean Norry

Response re Period Clothing for a Clergyman

I saw the follow-up in the Loyalist Trails. The response to my query was almost instantaneous. Within two days of receiving Loyalist Trails I received 14 responses plus one query as they are also interested in the same subject. Three sites were suggested: www.trackofthewolf.com, www.dixiegunworks.com, www.Jastown.com. As well, a few suggested Butterick Pattern #3072 . I also have some e-mails that I hesitate to provide without their permission but if anyone is interested, I would get that permission and pass them on. The Chaplain from the King’s Rangers even supplied pictures and descriptions of his outfit.

Again, thanks everyone for your help.

…Eugene Oatley UE {ero DOT uel AT cogeco DOT ca}