“Loyalist Trails” 2007-16: April 22, 2007

In this issue:
“At The End Of The Trail”, UELAC Conference: Did You Know? – more about Windsor Area
Conference Special – Loyalist Roses
Conference Bus From Toronto Area to Windsor, and Return
Redcoats and Pox Americana: 1775-1782
Forgotten Allies: The Oneida Indians and the American Revolution, by Joseph T. Glatthaar and James Kirby Martin
Congratulations Ed and Vera Scott
Did your ancestor petition for land in early Upper Canada?
New Chapter SAR: Valcour Battle Chapter
Note about Alexander Galt
Last Post: CASSELMAN, Audrey Elizabeth Dorothea (nee Froats), B.A., U.E.
UELAC Website Updates: Loyalist Directory
      + Information about Abraham Deforest and family
      + Responses re John Ross who settled in Hopetown, Gaspe


“At The End Of The Trail”, UELAC Conference: Did You Know? – more about Windsor Area

– In 1793 Governor Simcoe came to Detroit where he viewed the “Bloody Bridge” where Pontiac made his stand.

– The Hudson Bay Company had a trading post established on the Detroit River. It was later renamed the “Moy”.

– The Western District was previously named Hesse District (in honour of Germanic King George III).

– Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac selected the North Shore of the Detroit River to settle Fort Ponchatrain (Detroit) instead of the south side (Windsor) because of its higher shore, the fact that it provided a better harbour and it was on the outer curve of the Detroit River.

– In 1788 the punishments for crimes were the following:Hanging, banishment to the United States, whipping and or imprisonment.

The countdown continues! Only 39 days until we meet for the 2007 AGM and annual Conference being held in Windsor, Ontario. Spaces are filling up quickly and there are only a couple left for the Amherstburg Tour and just a few more for the Olde Sandwich Towne Tour. Send your registration forms in to be sure you reserve your seat on the bus.

Rooms at the Holiday Inn Select are being held until May 12th, 2007. Please book early to get our Conference room rate using the code LOY. Click here for contact information or visit our branch web site.

…Kimberly Hurst, UE, 2007 Conference Chair {Gypsygirl2002 AT aol DOT com}

Conference Special – Loyalist Roses

Loyalist Roses have been specially grown for this conference and will be available to purchase by our Conference Registrants. They are available on a first come first serve basis for $10.00 and for your convenience they will be packaged for easy transport. After the Conference the regular price is $25.00 plus shipping and handling.

Conference Bus From Toronto Area to Windsor, and Return

Are you wondering how to get to Conference. If your trip brings you through Toronto, Hamilton, London, or you are from there, join the “At The End Of The Trail” bus. Leaving Toronto first thing Thursday morning, we will pick up at several points and lunch near London. A slower pace for a while along Longwoods Road to Chatham will take us past a number of monuments and plaques (Tecumseh, Battle of Longwoods etc.) and a stop at the Fairfield Museum. A plaque there reads:

FAIRFIELD ON THE THAMES: Here stood the village of Fairfield, destroyed by invading American forces following the Battle of the Thames, 5th October 1813. Its inhabitants, Delaware Indian exiles brought from Ohio to Canada in 1792 by Moravian missionaries, were re-established on the opposite bank of the river after the Peace of 1814.

We have a number of seats open and would like to have more people share the fun we have when any group of Loyalists gather, and discover another part of our heritage along the way. We will arrive in Windsor in time for registration and the welcoming reception, and return on Sunday after Church.

Doug Grant

Redcoats and Pox Americana: 1775-1782

Pity the poor British forces who had to fight in the American Revolution. They wore red coats that made them easy targets during a battle. They were further from home than if they were fighting in a European war. They were fighting in unfamiliar terrain. The enemy wasn’t easy to identify — rebels looked and sounded just like the friendly loyalists. And while the American rebellion raged around the redcoats, the century’s worst outbreak of smallpox was slowly killing 130,000 colonists.

But because the British were fighting in the midst of this epidemic, they had an extremely valuable military advantage over the enemy. The redcoats were immune to smallpox.

It was a cruel reality of life in Great Britain that “one’s child was not one’s own until it had survived smallpox”. The variola virus was everywhere in Europe — a part of everyday life just as cold germs are endemic to Canada. Britons usually contracted smallpox as children. Anyone infected between ages five and fourteen had the lowest mortality rate. A childhood variety of smallpox was prevalent throughout Europe, but not the Thirteen Colonies. Anyone who contracted this variety of smallpox had protective antibodies for the rest of their lives.

Uninfected British solders were inoculated with the live virus before going into service. Although this put them out of service for two weeks, by the time the troops set sail for the Thirteen Colonies, they were ready to fight and need never fear smallpox again. However, after recovering from the variola virus, the soldiers were contagious for two more weeks. This characteristic of smallpox explains, in part, why it spread so easily. Apparently healthy patients were allowed to resume their normal activities, infecting everyone with whom they came in contact.

On the other side of the Atlantic, American soldiers were very susceptible to smallpox, reaching adulthood without ever encountering the virus. Inoculation was expensive and required a level of funding, discipline and organization which the Continental Army did not yet have. If just part of the army was inoculated with the virus, it would increase the risk of exposure for those who were not. If the entire army were treated, they would be defenceless against the king’s forces for two weeks. Quarantines were ineffective. The volunteer soldiers often chose which orders they would obey, and those who refused to observe the quarantine become infected themselves or infected others.

It soon became apparent to the American rebels that the British were immune to smallpox. Without fear of fatalities from the virus, the redcoats could march into any town or combat any resistance no matter how infected the colonial population might be.

In no time, rumours began to spread that the British were not only immune, but that they were using smallpox as a biological weapon. Stories of the redcoats sending infected civilians or clothing across the American lines spread like wildfire. While this made for great propaganda against the British, the tactic backfired. Reports of the use of smallpox as a weapon produced panic within the colonial ranks, demoralizing the rebel troops.

As early as 1775 General Washington suspected that the British were allowing smallpox carriers to leave besieged Boston in the hope of spreading the disease to the Continental Army. A Boston doctor later admitted to giving the virus to those who left the city.

In 1777 the rebel forces which attacked Quebec claimed that General Guy Carleton deliberately sent infected people out to the enemy’s camp. That same year saw the publication of a book by Robert Dunkin, a British officer. He made the suggestion that arrows should be dipped in the smallpox virus and shot at advancing American troops. In 1781 General Leslie of the British forces considered sending 700 Africans down a Virginian river to infect the plantations.

Elizabeth Fenn, in her book Pox Americana: The Great Smallpox Epidemic of 1775-82″, credits the rumours that the British did indeed use smallpox as a weapon. However, there is only one document from the war’s end in which the idea is proposed, and there is no proof that the idea was ever applied.

The impact of smallpox was not always positive for the British. It is important to remember that the virus was just as deadly to the redcoats’ colonial allies as it was to its enemies. Natives, enslaved Africans, and loyalists were just as susceptible to smallpox infection as the rebels. A large number of men who could have lent support to the king’s forces were disabled or killed by the epidemic during the course of the war.

The British forces went into battle at the beginning of the American Revolution with superior discipline and organization, with war time experience and seasoned generals — and with an army that was immune to a deadly epidemic sweeping the colonies. And yet they were defeated. It is little wonder that American patriots felt it was their manifest destiny to be an independent republic by the end of the revolution. How the epidemic affected the rebel forces will be explored in the next edition of Loyalist Trails.

…Stephen Davidson

Forgotten Allies: The Oneida Indians and the American Revolution, by Joseph T. Glatthaar and James Kirby Martin

Hill & Wang, 434 pages, $37.95

In 1825 the Marquis de Lafayette, French hero of the American War of Independence, was the honoured guest at 50th anniversary celebrations of the war in Oriskany, N.Y., near Utica. After the usual slew of local dignitaries got through with him, the Marquis started reliving old times with veterans who had fought at his side in 1777.

That’s when he noticed that something was missing – the Oneida Indians, Lafayette’s old allies and comrades-in-arms. He wanted to see them.

Lafayette’s request caught his hosts with their pants down. Not only had the Oneida not been invited, but most of the Frenchman’s American admirers were too young to remember the Oneida role in the war. The old veterans who did know, preferred not to recall – otherwise they’d also have to remember that they’d just driven the Oneida off their lands.

When Lafayette’s hosts hastily drummed up an Oneida delegation, the Marquis immediately recognized two old friends and made a point of inviting the Indians to a private audience, the only one he gave that day. From them he learned that their world was already disintegrating.

Dispossession, desolation, alcoholism and degeneration seem a pretty shabby reward for helping the Americans in their fight for nationhood, but that’s the poignant tale of Forgotten Allies: The Oneida Indians and the American Revolution by Joseph T. Glatthaar and James Kirby Martin, two much-published professors of American history and fine writers both, one from the University of North Carolina, the other from the University of Houston.

Because the story unfolds mostly in the New York theatre of war, it also concerns us. The American War of Independence was, after all, a civil war between the English-speaking inhabitants of British North America. One of its outcomes was English Canada (or most of it), when refugees from the loyalist stronghold of Fort Niagara, N.Y., began settling across the river in what is now Ontario but was still at that time Québec. (Ontario – Upper Canada – was carved out of Québec in 1791.)

More directly, the story concerns the Iroquois nations. Upper and western New York state was the ancestral homeland of the Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy (Mohawk, Onondaga, Seneca, Cayuga, Oneida, Tuscarora). With the exception of the Oneida and the Tuscarora, they remained loyal to the Crown, thanks to charismatic Mohawk chief Joseph Brant, the diplomacy of Sir William Johnson and Col. John Butler – plus a British promise to look after their interests in peace talks with the rebels.

That was, of course, the first thing the Brits chose to ignore when they made their peace with the Americans in 1783. When the Americans finally made their peace with the Iroquois in 1784, the Mohawks refused to return home. A vicious search-and-destroy mission by the Continental Army, which totally devastated the Mohawk Valley in 1779, had already shown them the shape of the future. That’s when the British – evidently in a fit of guilt – gave the Mohawks a huge tract of land along Ontario’s Grand River. (Hence Brantford.)

So you’d think the Oneida, being on the winning side, would have come out of this rather well. They had been indispensable to the rebels in three decisive turning points of the war: Oriskany (1777), Saratoga (1777) and Valley Forge (1778), and even helped them with what is now quaintly known as “rendition.” At Saratoga, for instance, loyalist captives were handed over to the Oneida for torture to get them to talk. Apparently the threat was enough, and, unlike cases closer to home these days, no real harm came to the prisoners.

For a while it even looked like the first U.S. president, George Washington, and Congress meant to do well by their faithful allies. Their magnanimity, however, was somewhat tempered by the fact that both Washington and Congress were calculating that population pressure would ultimately marginalize the Oneida and open their territory to American land speculators.

But “ultimately” was too slow for Gov. George Clinton of New York. Afraid that Pennsylvanians might beat him to all that prime Indian real estate in western New York, he was determined to alienate Oneida land by fair means or foul, mostly – well, you can guess.

By the early 20th century, the Oneida nation in New York, which had once held 6 million acres of land, had only 32 acres left. In 1823 some Oneida had already begun migrating to Wisconsin, and in 1840 others migrated to land they bought south of the Thames River in Ontario. More recently, the Oneida have been buying back some of their ancestral land, and U.S. Supreme Court decisions in 1974 (Oneida I) and 1985 (Oneida II) have upheld their claim to limited compensation – without, however, recognizing their sovereignty and tax-exempt status on the reclaimed land. Litigation is ongoing.

…Hans Werner (the Sunday Star)

Congratulations Ed and Vera Scott

Congratulations to Association Past President Edward Scott and his wife Veronica (Vera) who will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on April 27th, 2007.

Their family are hosting an open house for them at Hunter’s Pointe Community Centre in Welland on Sunday, April 22nd.

Ed has been an active member of the Association for almost 25 years, honouring his Loyalist ancestors Abraham Maybee and Staats Overholt.

He served the UELAC as Treasurer, Web Master, Senior Vice President and as Dominion President from 1998 – 2000. He donated many hours reorganizing the Dominion Office and setting up office procedures. During his tenure as Dominion President, Ed and Vera visited most of the UELAC Branches across the country and enjoyed the camaraderie and hospitality of many members.

While he was Dominion President Ed was an integral part of the Colonel John Butler Branch, Conference 2000, planning committee. He invited then Ontario Lieutenant Governor, Hilary Weston to participate in the Conference and was honoured to introduce her to members during the Wine and Cheese Reception and to accompany her in the Annual Banquet procession.

Ed has been very active in Colonel John Butler (Niagara) Branch, serving in many capacities. He was Branch President for 7 years and started the process of developing a small, inactive Branch into one of the largest Branches in the Association. Ed recruited new members and provided interesting programs to increase the membership. Currently Ed is Chairman of the Friends of the Loyalist Collection at Brock University.

Ed and Vera have 3 children, Terri (Spinney), Tom and Mark and 3 grandchildren Ashley and Aaron Spinney and Noah Scott. Terri and her husband Bruce Spinney were married on Ed and Vera’s 25th wedding anniversary and are celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary on April 27th. Congratulations to Terri and Bruce.

[submitted by Rod and Bev Craig]

Did your ancestor petition for land in early Upper Canada?

The Ontario Genealogical Society has recently produced a new CD called “Index to the Upper Canada Land Books”.

It contains 87,795 names, covering all petitioners who came before the Executive Council of the Land Board, from February 1787 to February 1841.

This is a summarized version of the series of books published earlier by OGS. All the surnames within the petition, as well as details about residence, occupation or location of the land grant, are included.

Cost: $ 29.95 plus tax

Click here for more information.

[submitted by Nancy Conn, U. E.]

New Chapter SAR: Valcour Battle Chapter

Yesterday (April 21, 2007) in Plattsburgh we chartered a new chapter in the Empire State Society, SAR, the Valcour Battle Chapter. Although there was some discussion about possibly naming it the Benedict Arnold Chapter, but we thought that might make too much of a fuss (I know that this might disappoint Adelaide though). I believe this makes a total of 19 chapters in the state. In the afternoon all attended the memorial gravemarking at Riverside Cemetery in Plattsburgh to honor the Revolutionary War ancestor, Adoniram Parrot. During the ceremony, historical recording artist, Stanley A. Ransom, “The Connecticut Peddler” sang “The Noble Lads of Canada” during the ceremonies at Riverside. Parrot loved to hear this song. It was a song connected with the War of 1812, in which he also took part. Compatriot Ransom is the new Vice President of the Valcour Battle Chapter, SAR.

The Valcour Battle Chapter, SAR, has as its next activity the ceremonies at Fort Chambly, Quebec, on the first Saturday in June.

[submitted by Bill Glidden, historian of the new Valcour Battle Chapter]

Note about Alexander Galt

It was interesting to read the reference to Alexander Tilloch Galt (last issue’s “John Galt” Died This day, father of Alexander) as he lived here in Sherbrooke. When they tore down his house, much against the wishes of the historical society, we were able to get a set of door knobs that came out of his house.

…Bev Loomis UE, President, Little Forks Branch

Last Post: CASSELMAN, Audrey Elizabeth Dorothea (nee Froats), B.A., U.E.

February 7, 1909 – April 13, 2007 – Passed away peacefully, in her 99th year, on Friday, April 13, 2007, at home in St. Catharines. Wife of the late Hubert William Ezra Casselman (married June 12, 1934). She is survived by children Alyce (Alan) Sutherland, St. Catharines; John (Lois) Casselman, Bath, by many grandchildren and great grandchildren and her sister Lucille Munroe, Chesterville. Predeceased by her parents Alice Maude (nee Casselman) and Malcolm Asa Froats of Froatburn, brothers Kenneth and Harold Froats. Her greatest energies over the years were always focused on her family. Throughout her life, she devoted herself to the service of others through membership in the Eastern Star, the Women’s Institute, and various other church and community organizations. She was a charter founding member of the Casselman Ancestral Society and a direct United Empire Loyalist descendant.

(She was a member of the Original Casselman Family Executive. Her grandmother Kate Casselman was a sister of Levi J. Casselman who was the great grandfather of Mahlon Cook, and the great great grandfather of Lynne Cook. Audrey was a super person [didn’t like Friday the 13th] and her whole family kept the Casselman Reunion 1984 front and foremost throughout the planning and execution of the Reunion. Her whole family were members of The St. Lawrence Branch U.E.L.)

…Lynne Cook UE, St. Lawrence Branch

UELAC Website Updates: Loyalist Directory

Loyalist Directory: information about these Loyalists has been added to the directory this week:
– Franks, William John – from Helen Frank Aukerman


Information about Abraham Deforest and family

Abraham Deforest – (b1767 Albany NY- d 1842 Halton County) – son of Symon Deforest, 1784, UEL with 2nd Batt. K.R.R.N.Y. with Sir John Johnson’s Royal Rangers.

Abraham’s father Symon Deforest was christened 1739 Albany NY, 1777 imprisoned in Albany, shot and killed trying to escape; residence was Halve Mann, Albany NY. He married Mary McGinnes. Mary McGinnis followed retreating troops under Lieut. Co, Barry St. Leger to Canada. She waited out the rest of the war in a refugee camp, Machiche, near Montreal.

I am researching this family and would like to share information, hopefully leading to a UE certificate. I am descended through Abraham’s son Simon Deforest, II b1789 Niagara, d1861 Halton County.

…Paul Caverly UE {pcaverly AT rogers DOT com}

Responses re John Ross who settled in Hopetown, Gaspe

[John married Catherine Morrison, daughter of Hector Morrison, a loyalist who moved to the same region in 1784 to a town called New Carlisle.]

The following is extracted from material received from Yvan Goulet a direct descendant of Alexander, son of Barbara Morrison.

“Barbara , 1st. married to Hector Morrison, Loyalist, whose farm – according to Burleigh’s list of confiscated lands – was at Kortright’s Patent, Tryon County, State of New York and was confiscated in 1783.

In Return of Royalists & their families, dated 05 Sept. 1779 at Machiche Camp, Mrs. Morrison is listed as having three children with her.

On March 25,1781 she is referred to as a “poor widow” – 4 children, 2 under age 6 and 2 above.In one document concerning refugees, Barbara is reported as having been born in Scotland, her name appears among those of other women who came from New York, Pennsylvania, England, Ireland… She is unattached to any military unit.

Then we find that Barbara was married to a Donald Fraser and in 1784, Barbara (Barbary) married Duncan McCraw (McCrawd) (McKra) in the Anglican Church, Three Rivers and settled at St.Cuthbert as a farmer, which was near Machiche (Yamachiche).

Duncan McCraw died 10 June,1803 and in his Will he gives the names of his wife’s four children borne from Hector Morrison and then the names of his own nine children”

Hector Jr, Alexander, Barbara, Marianne are believed to be Barbara & Hector Morrison’s children. Alexander m: Julia Revour (Yvan’s ancestors).

Names of the other children (by Duncan McCRaw) are – Mary b: 16 June 1785, Ann b: 05 July 1786, Isabella b: 25 July,1787,Twins: Donald & Jennet b: 27 Aug. 1789, Duncan Jr. b: 17 July,1791, Alexander 19 Jan. 1793, Sarah b: 01 Feb. 1795 and Elizabeth b: 31 May, 1798.

[Unless a middle name, perhaps Catherine was from a different family?]

…Bev Loomis UE, Little Forks Branch

John ROSS, was born c1756 and was baptized on the 26th May 1760 at Clungunford, Shropshire, England. His parents were John ROSS, Sr., and his mother was Anne, surname unknown to me.

He joined the 53rd Regiment of Foot – The King’s Shropshire Regiment and served as a Private. In 1775-1776, the Regiment was sent to Boston. In May 1776, the regiment was sent to relieve Quebec.

In October 1777, they fought at Saratoga; were defeated and surrendered, and returned to Quebec.

In 1778, the regiment fought at Fort Ticonderoga on Lake Champlain, in New York’s Washington County. There it won the last British victory in the American Revolutionary War.

The 53rd remained at QUEBEC and in 1783, following the Treaty of Paris; some members were discharged at Quebec. John ROSS was discharged at Sorel.

Suggest you read: ‘The British Invasion from the North. The Campaigns of Generals Carleton and Burgoyne From Canada, 1776-1777’. With the Journal of Lt. William Digby, of the 53rd, or Shropshire Regiment of Foot (Albany, 1887). Edited by James

Phinney BAXTER.

In 1784, John Ross was Passenger #80 on the Liberty with the Loyalists, discharged soldiers and other refugees when it sailed from Quebec, bound for the Chaleur Bay, later the town became known as Carlisle, Chaleur Bay. He had answered the call for free land and as a Military grant of 100 acres.

From my records and extensive searches, John Ross was married prior to 1784 “as Mrs. Ross was at Sorel” in 1784.

In the British Muster Roll #21 of residents at Carlisle in 1785, John ROSS is shown as #135. In August 1784, he shared a Military Grant with John Grant, 100 acres, Lot #148.

This Mrs. Ross was not Catherine Morrison as she was born in 1773. She married John Ross around 1790. They settled at Hope, now known as Hopetown, Bonaventure County, Quebec.

Church records were not kept to any extent on the Gaspé until around 1800 and there were regular minister or missionaries for the Church of England until 1820 when the Reverend Richard Knagg was sent to Carlisle, Chaleur Bay.

There were marriages performed by Lt. Nicholas Cox and other appointed J.P’s including many of my Loyalist ancestors.

My records show that John and Catherine Morrison Ross had at least 12 children. Many of those married sons and daughters of Loyalists, so that Mr. Gaudin does have a claim to several Loyalists ancestors.

I could not find a record of John Ross’s death, possibly he died at sea. There is a record of the burial of Catherine Morrison Ross, showing she died 12 May 1848, in the St. Andrew’s Anglican Cemetery Records.

However, John ROSS, in my opinion, was not a Loyalist. He was regular in the British Army.

Countless descendants are scattered throughout Canada, the USA and most likely other countries.

(I am not related.)

…Donald J. Flowers, UE, Toronto Branch