“Loyalist Trails” 2007-09: March 4, 2007

In this issue:
Conference 2007: About Essex County: Did you know?
First Black Loyalists to New Brunswick Now Identified
Heritage in the Eastern District (Stormont, Glengary & Dundas) Gets a Boost
Call for Papers for Workshop on Dutch Family History Research by Ontario Genealogical Society, Toronto Branch
“Amazing Grace” The Movie
American Prisoners of the Revolution: Names of 8000 Men
      + Information on Robert Lottridge


Conference 2007: About Essex County: Did you know?

Did you know…

– In 1701, Cadillac and his and party reach the Detroit River and named it Fort Ponchatrain du Detroit.

– The first crop planted in the Detroit area was winter wheat A crop of winter wheat is sown (placing Fort Ponchartrain (Detroit) on its way to self-sufficiency. It is the first wheat ever to be sown in present day Michigan.

– King Louis XIV signs a contract giving Fort Ponchartrain and Frontenac operations to the Company of the Colony of Canada on October 18, 1701.

– Madame Marie Therese Guyon Cadillac and Marianne de Tonti were the first non-native women to arrive at Fort Detroit.

Don’t miss this year’s “At The End Of The Trail” Conference 2007 in Windsor. Visit uelbicentennial.org for conference details.

…Kimberly Hurst UE, Conference Chair, Bicentennial Branch {Gypsygirl2002 AT aol DOT com}

First Black Loyalists to New Brunswick Now Identified

After 224 years, a mystery of New Brunswick’s history has finally been solved. Stephen Davidson, a teacher in Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia, and a Loyalist descendant, has verified the identity of the first two Black Loyalists who arrived in this province over two centuries ago. They were a nine year old girl named Sukey and a twenty-seven year old man named Tom Hyde. They arrived in what in 1784 became the colony of New Brunswick on the UNION, the first ship to bring Loyalist refugees to the mouth of the St. John River.

Sukey was born a free black child; she came to New Brunswick as an indentured servant to the family of Fyler Dibblee, a Connecticut lawyer. Tom Hyde had been kept as a slave by John Hyde in Fairfield, Connecticut. After escaping his master in 1778, he served the British forces for the duration of the American Revolution. At the war’s end, Hyde received a General Birch certificate that declared him to be a free man in the eyes of the British government. Both Sukey and Hyde left Huntington, Long Island as servants with the Dibblee family in April of 1783.

Davidson made this discovery by comparing the information contained in two documents that were both compiled in the spring of 1783. The first source was the passenger list of the UNION. Although this manifest listed the names of single and married men as well as the names of single and widowed women, it only gave numbers for the children and servants who were aboard. According to the manifest, the UNION carried two unnamed servants in the employ of Fyler Dibblee.

To learn the names of the Black Loyalists on the UNION, Davidson consulted The Book of Negroes. This list of Africans was compiled by British government officials as the Loyalists left New York City in the spring and summer of 1783. It listed the UNION as carrying Sukey and Tom Hyde, the two servants of the Dibblee family.

Although the identities of New Brunswick’s first two Black Loyalists are now known,their ultimate fate in the new colony is not. Within a year of their arrival in Saint John, their employer, Fyler Dibblee, committed suicide and the Dibblee home was destroyed by fire. When Dibblee’s widow and her children moved to Kingston, NB, there is no mention of African servants.

Stephen Davidson is a member of a team of researchers under the direction of Margaret Conrad, Canada Research Chair in Atlantic Canada Studies, who are researching the history of the Loyalists in New Brunswick.

[by Stephen Davidson]

Our principal posted the newspaper article (the Bedford-Sackville Weekly News, Fri. Feb. 23, 2007) about the “discovery” of the first Black Loyalists of New Brunswick on our school website. To read a black and white version of the article, click here.

…Stephen Davidson

Heritage in the Eastern District (Stormont, Glengary & Dundas) Gets a Boost

At the annual Heritage Dinner of the Lost Villages Historical Society, a grant of $25,000 for the restoration of the Stuart House, at the Lost Villages Museum, was announced. The Stuart House was originally built by Dr. James Stuart, a United Empire Loyalist, and a surgeon in the King’s Royal Regiment of New York. This house has been moved twice, after originally being constructed in the former “Lost Village” of Wales, Ontario.

Some of the province’s great leaders have come from the United Counties. Two premiers, Sir James Pliny Whitney and John Sandfield Macdonald, called our riding home. The latter is buried in the historic cemetery at St.Andrew’s West, along with the great Canadian explorer, Simon Fraser. Built in 1938, the stone fence that surrounds the historic monuments has fell into a deplorable state of repair, not only because of its age but also from the exposure to the elements. By working last year with the former Minister of Culture, the Honourable Madeleine Meilleur, I was able to secure a $50,000 grant which assisted in the restoration of the fence. It was my pleasure to announce, on February 14, 2007, that the government of Ontario, through the office of the Minister of Culture, the Honourable Caroline Di Cocco, would be providing a further $100,000 to the Cornwall Township Historical Society to finish the restoration of that fence. Click here for full article.

From a column in the Cornwall Seaway News, March 2, 2007 by MPP Jim Brownell

[submitted by Michael C Eamer CD UE, St. Lawrence Br]

Call for Papers for Workshop on Dutch Family History Research by Ontario Genealogical Society, Toronto Branch

The Ontario Genealogical Society, Toronto Branch will hold a day-long workshop on Saturday, August 11, 2007, at the North York Central Library Auditorium, 5120 Yonge Street, Toronto, Canada to acknowledge the important and long-standing contribution of people with ancestry from the Netherlands to our city and province.

We are seeking proposals for presentations on any aspect of Dutch family history, including (but not limited to) sources, research techniques, historical background, Dutch migration or settlement in Canada or other parts of the world, language or paleography, libraries, archives, and online resources.

Workshop participants may have immigrated from the Netherlands themselves, or have more distant Dutch ancestry­ perhaps through New Netherlands or other Dutch colonies. We hope to include topics of interest to all these groups.

We are looking for both very focused, and more general presentations, at various skill levels. Each session will be one hour long, including 5 or 10 minutes for questions. Presentations should be illustrated­we can provide a computer projector or overhead projector. Speakers will also be expected to provide a handout (maximum 4 pages) which we will copy for all registrants.

Speakers will receive an honorarium of $100 per lecture, plus modest expenses.

Please send your proposal(s) by e-mail, and keep them brief and informal, at this point. (We can ask for more details later.) Include your postal address, telephone number, and a brief biography.


To submit proposals or ask questions about the event, please contact Jane MacNamara at info@torontofamilyhistory.org. NOTE: All presentations will be in English, but if you prefer to correspond with us in Dutch, we have the ability to translate.

[contributed by Nancy Conn]

“Amazing Grace” The Movie

In response to the message concerning the 200th anniversary of the end of slavery in the British Empire, I highly recommend the newly released film, Amazing Grace. Not only was it factual, it was also very well done.

William Wilberforce led efforts as a member of Parliament in 18th-century England to end slavery and the slave trade in the British empire. Wilberforce was elected to the House of Commons at 21 and took on the issue of slavery, successfully assembling a diverse coalition that went up against the most powerful men of his time.

It tells of the source of the song, Amazing Grace as well as describing how Americans were involved in slavery and how Wilberforce outwitted the slavers.

This movie is so well done that I wonder how it wasn’t shown in art theaters instead of being released generally.

A trailer is available through a Google search entering Amazing Grace the movie.

…Joyce Stevens

American Prisoners of the Revolution: Names of 8000 Men

The British used the ships at Wallabout Bay, later the site of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, for naval prisoners on this side of the Atlantic. The prisoners included men captured on American privateers, merchant ships, French, Spanish, and Dutch vessels. After April 1780, the Jersey was the receiving ship where names were entered into records. Click here for more.

[submitted by Chuck Ross UE, Kawartha Branch]


Information on Robert Lottridge

Would anyone have copies of the Haldimand Papers that reference Robert Lottridge?

…Jill Sybalsky, sybalsky.com/genealogy {jms AT top2bottom DOT net}