“Loyalist Trails” 2007-48: December 9, 2007

In this issue:
A Lost Loyalist of Britain: Ann DeLancey Cruger — by Stephen Davidson
The Significance of Loyalist Day in New Brunswick
A Visit To Hamilton Branch
In The Spotlight: “Ancestors In The Attic” and Loyalist William Foster UE
Mennonite Migration from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania to Ontario, Canada
Book: The Valley of the Remsheg in Nova Scotia
Abraham DeForest (1767-1842): A Loyalist Haunting
Heritage Canada Foundation’s 2007 Conference Presentations Now Available Online
      + Solomon and John Spafford Families
      + Burial of Soldiers and William Stark in Particular


A Lost Loyalist of Britain: Ann DeLancey Cruger — by Stephen Davidson

Pity poor Ann Cruger. She was the eldest daughter of Oliver DeLancey, the senior loyalist officer during the American Revolution. Her husband, John Cruger, was a former mayor of New York and a prominent loyalist war hero. It was all too easy for her story to become lost in the shadows of the exploits of the men in her life.

To top it all off, Ann was one of thousands of loyalists who sought refuge in Great Britain after 1783. In a country that does not remember its loyalist ancestors, what chance was there that Ann’s experiences would ever be told? However, thanks to Judge Thomas Jones, another loyalist who emigrated to Great Britain, Ann Cruger’s story is no longer lost.

Sometime after Ann Cruger’s husband joined the First Battalion of DeLancey’s Brigade in 1776, she went to live with her parents in their home in Bloomingdale, New York. While the men of the family were away, the DeLancey home came was attacked in November of 1777.

Late one night, the women discovered patriots were breaking into their house. Ann Cruger and her sisters were ordered to leave quickly since the patriots were going to burn the house down. Had one rebel not stopped a companion from striking the DeLancey women with his musket, there would have been more than just a burned house to mourn. As it was, a lighted curtain was thrown on one of the women.

Ann’s younger sister picked up her brother’s baby, and fled into woods. As rebels plundered and burned the house, Ann became separated from her family. She travelled seven miles along bad roads in her nightdress until she was discovered by a loyal innkeeper and was “taken in, cherished, and hospitably entertained”.

Within a year, Lt. Col. John Cruger was assigned to service in Georgia. Rather than staying in the relative safety of British-held New York, Ann decided to follow her husband. In October of 1779 she boarded an old transport that was part of a supply fleet bound for Savannah, Georgia.

A tropical storm scattered the vessels of the fleet. Miraculously, Ann’s ship stayed afloat long enough to be captured by French Admiral D’Estaign who was on his way to lay siege to Savannah. Everyone was taken aboard the French vessel from where they watched their dilapidated ship finally sink beneath the waves.

Instead of being at her husband’s side inside of fortified Savannah, Ann was on a French man-of-war that was attacking the British garrison. As Judge Jones put it, “She heard every gun that was fired. She knew her husband was in the city. What must have been her feelings, her thoughts, her agitations, upon this trying occasion?”

The French and patriots could not defeat the defenders of Savannah, and made ready to sail away. However, before D’Estaign left, he put Ann ashore — including all of her clothes and personal affects. Mrs. Cruger later recounted that she had been “treated… with every kind of politeness” on the French ship. The days ahead were anything but peaceful for Ann.

Within eight month’s of her arrival, rebels captured her husband. He was later released in a prisoner exchange, and put in charge of Fort Ninety-Six in South Carolina. Ann accompanied John to his new posting where she “lived in the garrison, fared as the people did, was beloved by the privates, and … esteemed, and almost adored, by the officers, for her kindness and hospitalities upon all occasions.”

When patriot troops marched on Ninety-Six, Ann sought refuge a mile away in the house of a loyal Presbyterian minister. However, she could still hear the constant gunfire throughout the thirty-day siege of Ninety-Six.

Thanks to military records, we know that Cruger was cited for “vigilance and gallantry” during the siege by his superior officers. In the fall of 1781 John was also commended for his gallantry in the fighting at Eutaw Springs.

Ann almost saw the Battle of Eutaw alongside her husband’s regiment. However, she was able to find safety half a mile from the fighting in a loyalist’s home. For the third time during the Revolution, Ann could hear every cannon and musket that fired, knowing that her John was in the midst of the fighting.

In the summer of 1782 John received the thanks of the loyalists of Charleston in a public address in which it was said his services which would “be ever remembered with admiration and applause”. However, such loyalist bravery was all too soon forgotten with the evacuation of Charleston in the fall of 1782.

The Crugers returned to New York, where they discovered that all of their property had been confiscated by rebels. Remaining in the new republic was clearly not an option.

Ann and John Cruger arrived in London in July of 1783. Like many other loyalists, John made an appeal for compensation. (Interestingly, the trials that Ann endured go completely unmentioned in his long petition.) Whether John ever received fair redress for all of his military service and loses is unknown.

The Crugers became friends with another “lost loyalist”, Thomas Jones, the former supreme court judge of New York. The judge concluded his story of the Crugers by noting that they were living “peaceably, happily, and contentedly at Beverly in Yorkshire, esteemed by the people, the gentry, and the nobility.”

John Cruger died in England in 1807 at 69 years of age; Ann lived 15 more years, dying in Chelsea in 1822. Whether the Crugers ever had children is not recorded. If they did, then the British descendants of Ann DeLancey Cruger have an amazing loyalist heritage.

The Significance of Loyalist Day in New Brunswick

Thanks to Frances Morrisey UE of New Brunswick Branch, there is now a description of Loyalist Day in New Brunswick. It is held each May 18, and the New Brunswick Branch UELAC is instrumental in organizing school and municipal celebrations in Saint John. This description can be seen here (PDF).

…Fred Hayward

A Visit To Hamilton Branch

Angela and I had a most pleasant dinner and meeting with the members of Hamilton Branch UELAC at the Scottish Rite Building. I even met a hitherto unknown cousin on one of my non-Loyalist lines! The timing of the event was very good too, because a winter storm arrived at the end of the day after we had arrived back home. Apparently I am expected to show up in some manner of uniform for such visits, and I chose the New Jersey Volunteers outfit for this one. It turned out to be a good choice as there were several members present who had NJ roots. We tend to think of the area getting down into Niagara as Butler’s Rangers territory, but there were others there too, including several from NJ.

Thank you Hamilton Branch for a fine event.

…Peter W. Johnson UE, President, UELAC

In The Spotlight: “Ancestors In The Attic” and Loyalist William Foster UE

Congratulations to Bill and Laura Lenson as Laura has received her UE Certificate for William Foster UE, and it was on television! It was part of the “Ancestors In The Attic” show which was broadcast Dec 1st. Congratulations also to the Toronto Branch members who were involved and it was especially nice to see Diane Reid in period costume and Richard Atkinson in his King’s Royal Yorkers’ uniform. William Foster UE, by the way was in the King’s American Regiment and although the regiment was disbanded in the Maritimes, Foster made his way to what is now Ontario. Because of such a geographical change I term such Loyalists as ‘The Hidden Loyalists’ as some of them, (although not Foster), are not always as easy to find.

…Peter W. Johnson UE, President, UELAC

Mennonite Migration from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania to Ontario, Canada

Joyce Stevens discovered a brief description (about two page) of the Mennonites in Lancaster County at the time of the American Revolution, how some remained pacifist but others joined the loyalist cause. Some were forced to depart during the revolution. Eventually a number ended up in what is now Waterloo County, Ontario. Over time many more migrated from Lancaster County to Waterloo. This overview by Jay D. Weaver is his summary of that piece of our history. Read it here.

Book: The Valley of the Remsheg in Nova Scotia

Descendants of Loyalists who settled the Remsheg Grant (now Wallace and area), Nova Scotia, and those who married into these Loyalist families, may be interested in the latest update to “The Valley of the Remsheg”. It is expected to be available before Christmas for the price of $48 plus shipping.

To add your name to the list to buy a copy of the latest revision when it becomes available, please send a message with your name and telephone number or mailing address (in case your E-mail changes and they want to contact you) to {valley_of_the_remsheg AT yahoo DOT ca}.   NOTE: This address is only for indicating your interest in ordering a copy of the Valley of the Remsheg.

This book and others related to Cumberland County, Nova Scotia, genealogy and history are also available from the North Cumberband Historical Society. Check out Books for Sale on their web site.

…Ellen Muise

Abraham DeForest (1767-1842): A Loyalist Haunting

Abraham is one of my 4th great-grandfathers I have not yet fully researched. He is on my “to-do” list along with many other projects. Abraham DeForest can be found in ?The King’s Royal Regiment of New York, revised edition by Cruikshank & Watt on page 202.

Abraham is shown enlisted 25 April 1783, as a private, in the 1NY, captured and later listed as a private with the 2ndBn & 2KRR, 1783&84. He married Elizabeth Bowman relocated to the Niagara area and later Halton County, Nelson Township.

Here lies a ghostly tale. Abraham is buried in DeForest Pioneer Cemetery in Halton County along with some of his descendants, relatives and friends. My cousin recently found some spooky details on a web site for the “Southern Ontario Paranormal Society”. The society investigated the DeForest Cemetery and found examples of strange occurrences (and ghosts). Several of the Paranormal Society made reports about disturbing feelings, shadow images and malfunction research equipment. They concluded the Deforest Cemetery is legitimately haunted, calling it the “Real Deal”. On 03 Nov. 2007 some of the Society members returned to the Deforest Cemetery and found evidence of possible unexplained rituals where some markers were moved and candles placed in front of them. Details can be found here.

Are my Loyalists ancestors trying to send their descendants a message or are there some hidden skeletons in the ground, so to speak?

…Paul R. Caverly, PLCGS, UE

Heritage Canada Foundation’s 2007 Conference Presentations Now Available Online

The Heritage Canada Foundation, a national organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Canada’s historic buildings and places, announced today that its 2007 Big Plans for Old Places: Heritage and Development in Canadian Communities conference presentations are now available on line.

Held in Edmonton, Alberta in October, the conference drew together national and international experts in the areas of heritage, development and government. Delegates, who ranged from planners, architects, and heritage conservation educators, to students, volunteers and advocates enjoyed the presentations by New York’s visionary urban critic and author Roberta Brandes Gratz who examined the “best and the worst” of urban revitalization today; a National Blue Ribbon Panel on Heritage and Development where several of Canada’s leading heritage developers shared their project experiences and answered questions about how to level the playing field; and representatives from Alberta’s Main Street Program and Quebec’s Fondation Rues principales, the National Trust Main Street Center and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission in the United States, who presented cutting-edge commercial and residential area revitalization strategies.

The presentations are all available, in the language of the presenter, on the Heritage Canada Foundation website.

Click here for a copy of the 2007 conference program in PDF format.

The Heritage Canada Foundation’s 2008 conference, “Work That Endures: Power to the People Keeping Places Alive,” will be in Quebec City.


Solomon and John Spafford Families

I am looking for information on the Spafford family lines that migrated to Ontario after the American Revolution. In particular, I am seeking information on Solomon Spafford, who settled in Cherry Valley, Athol, Prince Edward County. He was b.1759 in Salisbury, Connecticut, d.1837 in Prince Edward County and married Sally Sheldon. Solomon is my direct ancestor.

Also, I am looking for Solomon’s nephew John Spafford, b. 1781 d. 1863, who married Sarah Cascallen and settled in the Ernestown area, Lennox and Addington County. I suspect that either Sally Sheldon or Sarah Cascallen have Loyalist roots but I am not so sure about the Spaffords themselves.

I would love to correspond with anyone who has an intersecting line.”

…Gerald Britton {gerald DOT britton AT gmail DOT com}

Burial of Soldiers and William Stark in Particular

William Stark, is my great, great, great, great, great, grandfather. During the War for Independence, William chose to remain Loyal to King George III.

William: b. Apr 01 1724 n Londonderry, Rockingham, New Hampshire; d. Aug 1776, Long Island; m. Stinson, Mary, Feb 22 1754

Manchester, Hillsboro, New Hampshire d. Oct 15 1817

“He was a man of plausible address, possessing a chivalrous spirit and undaunted courage. He was distinguished as a captain of the rangers on the northern frontier; was with Amherst at the capture of Louisburgh, and fought under the victorious banners of Wolfe on the Heights of Abraham. He repaired to New York in 1776, and became a colonel in the British service. He was soon afterward killed. “We have in possession a powder-horn thus inscribed: `William Stark, his horn. Sandy Hook, 1757 or 1759,` the last figure being indistinct. It is a well-made article, with a metallic mouth-piece, ornamented with sundry devices, and was the work of Captain William Stark… HRG, from “American Biography” A few details are at this page.

He died on maneuvers in Long Island in 1776, as a Lieutenant Colonel of Loyalist soldier.

William has been entirely forgotten by the Stark family in the United States. I only became aware of him when I began to do my own genealogy.

I am really interested in finding out where William might be buried. I have appealed to the British Crown and to the British army, but thus far to no avail. Where would those who fell during maneuvers be buried? Were records kept and if so where might I find them?

Thanks in advance for any help.

…John David MARTIN and STARK {juanstark AT hotmail DOT com}