“Loyalist Trails” 2008-16: April 20, 2008

In this issue:
“Saint John 225” pre-conference tours to Fredericton or King’s Landing
The Revolution’s Roman Catholic Loyalists, by Stephen Davidson
Central West Region Does It In Style
Adolphustown UEL Centennial United Church Is Turning 124
Loyalist Longboats and The Order of the Oar
Loyalist Landing 2008 Stamps and Cancellations
Probably Few Loyalists at Camp Security
Additions to the Loyalist Ships List
Ship’s List: Possible Source in British National Archives
Loyalist Descendant – Deric Ruttan – Makes Music
Last Post: Carol Elaine Menhennet, UE
      + Descendants of David and Catherine Gabel
      + Information on Gideon Rogers of Thurlow Township, Hastings County, ON
      + Descendants of Sir William Johnson
      + Sort out ‘George Buck’s in Loyalist Directory


“Saint John 225” pre-conference tours to Fredericton or King’s Landing

A highlight of this year’s conference will actually occur before the main event – the pre-conference tours. On Thursday morning July 10th you can board a bus at the Saint John Hilton (the host hotel) and take your choice of two interesting destinations. Space is still available on the bus!

We have also made arrangements for members of the Saint John River Society to act as our tour guides – pointing out and discussing many areas of interest on our river route between Saint John and Fredericton.

If genealogy is your passion disembark the bus on the University of New Brunswick’s Fredericton Campus at the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick. The Saint John 225 section on the NB Branch website contains a brief note describing the extensive holdings of PANB. Much of the Archives material is searchable online so it is possible to perform a lot of pre-visit planning. Also located on the UNB Campus is the Loyalist Collection at the Harriet Irving Library. Here you will find the muster rolls of the Loyalist Regiments and their claims for compensation.

Those who remain on the bus will continue a half hour upriver to the Kings Landing Historical Settlement. This is a world class facility and recreates life along the Saint John River from the Loyalist period through the turn of the 19th century. Our group will have a guided tour and enjoy a “High Tea” at the Kings Head Inn – a fine and filling Victorian custom.

After leaving Kings Landing we will try to remember to pick up those at the Archives and travel back to the Saint John Hilton – the site of the evening’s Welcoming Reception.

(Thursday July 10 – Sunday July 13): “Saint John 225” hosted by New Brunswick Branch in Saint John NB.

…Stephen Bolton UE, Conference Chair {steve DOT bolton AT gnb DOT ca}

The Revolution’s Roman Catholic Loyalists, by Stephen Davidson

At the outset of the American Revolution, there were 25,000 Roman Catholics in the Thirteen Colonies — about one half of one percent of the total population. If this percentage can be used as a gauge to determine the number of Roman Catholic who were among the 100,000 loyalists refugees, then there should have been about 500 men, women and children who sought sanctuary following the revolution. But far more than this number of Catholics came to modern day Canada after 1783. The story of these loyalists is yet another overlooked chapter in the history of King George’s loyal Americans.

It was not easy to be a practising Roman Catholic in colonial North America whether it was peace time or war. Because of Pennsylvania’s willingness to allow its citizens absolute freedom of religion, the colony became a refuge for Catholics who had been persecuted in the other colonies. By 1776 Philadelphia may have had as many as 1,500 Catholics among its population. Considering that the loyalist Roman Catholic Battalion that Col. Alfred Clifton formed a year later was comprised of 180 men from Philadelphia, it had a significant percentage of the city’s Catholic population.

Maryland, a colony created as a haven for English Catholics, was ruled by a loyalist governor from right up until the rebels’ declaration of independence. During the revolution, a battalion known as the Maryland Loyalists was formed under Lt.-Col. James Chalmers with 425 men.

It should be remembered that a “fourteenth colony”, the former New France, was part of the British holdings in North America. The Quebec Act of 1774 guaranteed that the citizens of the province of Canada had “the free exercise of the Religion of the Church of Rome, subject to the King’s Supremacy.”

Those who sought independence for the American colonies used the Quebec Act as a justifiable reason to overthrow British rule. How dare the crown grant the freedom to practice the Roman Catholic faith!

No wonder Roman Catholic colonists decided to remain loyal to the king. They realized that they could very easily become a focus of persecution if their patriot neighbours created an American republic. In Canada, Catholic leaders came to the same conclusion. The 1776 pastoral letters from the bishop of Quebec were strongly in favour of Britain, encouraging local priests to preach loyalty and obedience to the crown.

New York had the most active Roman Catholic loyalists. Back in 1685, “liberty of conscience” was granted to Roman Catholics throughout the colony, but this was revoked within fifty years. Nevertheless, the earlier tolerance of Catholicism led a number of immigrants to settle in the northern portion of the colony in the years before the revolution.

Father John McKenna, an Irish Catholic priest, immigrated to the Mohawk Valley along with 300 settlers from Scotland in 1770. Six years later he urged his fellow Catholics to remain loyal to the king and fight for the British side. For the next two years, McKenna served as a chaplain for the Canadian militia, hearing confessions in German, Gaelic, and French as well as in English.

Although “papists” were not allowed to join the army in Britain, special permission was given to form two loyalist regiments that were made up entirely of Catholic colonists — the Roman Catholic Volunteers and the Volunteers of Ireland. These two volunteer units eventually merged. By the end of the revolution, the combined unit was designated a regular British regiment, titled the 15th Regiment of Foot.

Other battalions such as the Royal Highland Emigrants, the New York Volunteers, and Butler’s Rangers also had a fair proportion of Catholics. It should be remembered that some of the Hessians –the German mercenaries who fought in the revolution– were also members of the Church of Rome. A battalion of the Royal Highland Emigrants drew Catholic recruits from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and modern-day Prince Edward Island, but was limited to guard duty in the eastern colonies.

One loyalist regiment known to have recruited a large number of Roman Catholics was the King’s Royal Regiment of New York (also called the Royal Greens). The soldiers and families of the Royal Greens’ first and second battalions made up almost half of the loyalist refugees who settled in present-day Ontario.

Roman Catholic Irish, Highland Scots, and Canadians served in these two battalions, but it is hard to determine their exact number. It is impossible to distinguish Roman Catholic soldiers from their Protestant counterparts by looking at regimental muster lists. One’s surname alone did not indicate one’s faith. The question of one’s religious convictions was not asked at later compensation hearings either. Nevertheless, it is clear that a significant proportion of these loyalists were Roman Catholic.

Forced to leave the highlands of Scotland because of their support for a Stuart prince, clans from Glengarry and Knoydart emigrated to New York’s Mohawk Valley before the revolution. Despite all of the hardships they had endured in Scotland, these highlanders chose to remain true to King George III at the outbreak of conflict in 1776.

With the defeat of the British forces seven years later, these Roman Catholic loyalists settled in Ontario’s Glengarry and Stormont counties. By June of 1785, loyalists who attended the Church of Rome made a sizeable proportion of the refugee settlers in the Bay of Quinte area. Father Roderick MacDonell petitioned the British government to be allowed to receive an allowance for his services as their priest. The settlers were described as Scots Highlanders and “other British subjects of the Roman Catholic persuasion”.

Much of the story of Canada’s Roman Catholic loyalists can only be told by recounting the exploits of regiments or the migration of American settlers. However, a handful of Catholic loyalists can be identified by name because they shared their experiences with British officials. One such Roman Catholic loyalist will be featured in the next edition of Loyalist Trails.

…Stephen Davidson {stephendavids AT gmail DOT com}

Central West Region Does It In Style

Congratulations to Central West Region for conducting an interesting and informative Regional Meeting in London ON today, (Apr 19th). Special thanks to Regional VP Bonnie Schepers, Councillor Robert McCarey, and the London and Western Ontario Branch President June Klassen and her members, who were the hosting Branch. This Region also voted to return Bonnie Schepers as Regional VP and put in Sue Hines as the new Councillor. My thanks to retiring Councillor Robert McCarey.

…Peter W. Johnson UE, President, UELAC

Adolphustown UEL Centennial United Church Is Turning 124

Adolphustown U.E.L. Centennial United Church, located at 5179 County Road 8, is celebrating its 124th anniversary on June 15, 2008. The guest speaker for this special service, held at 11:00 a.m., will be the Rev. Dr. John Young.

Rev. Dr. Young joined the faculty of Queen’s Theological College in 1991. In 1998 he was named the Director of Rural Ministry. He teaches in the areas of Practice of Ministry and Church History. “His current research interest is, as part of a four person research project, examining how various denominations in Canada and the United States responded to the changes faced by rural communities in the 20th century” (QTC).

New to the area? Haven’t been to a church service in a long time? Have no concerns as you are welcome to attend this, or any other, service at Adolphustown United. Plan to stay and have lunch with us downstairs following the service. We look forward to seeing you.

– The Napanee Guide Online

[submitted by Brandt Zatterberg UE]

Loyalist Longboats and The Order of the Oar

The Shelburne Longboats are proceeding almost on schedule for the launch of the first boat on the actual day of the 225th Loyalist Landing Anniversary on May 4th when the ships from the Spring Fleet out of New York arrived at Port Roseway. The latest images and some video clips can be found here, so take a look and see how we’re getting on. This project has been an eye opener for everyone involved and has given a real insight into the challenges facing wooden ship builders of the 18th Century who didn’t have the advantages of the power tools we’re using although much is done by hand and by eye using traditional methods.

Finally and also with regard to the Longboats, we’ve instituted the “Order of the Oar” to enable anyone who would like to assist us defray some of the costs of the 20 11ft oars for the longboats. We’re looking forward to having some Order members visit us and get photographed in the boats with their oar and maybe even try it out should circumstances permit. Click here to request details.

Also for the Halifax & Dartmouth UELAC Branch members who have already kindly assisted us with fitting the boats out and, who can’t get to us this year, our boats are planned to be a part of the 250th Anniversary of the Royal Navy Dockyards in Halifax in 2009 and we’ll see you then.

…John Oswell, Loyalist Landing 2008 Society

Loyalist Landing 2008 Stamps and Cancellations

Also for May 4th, actually Monday, May 5th, we have our own Postage Stamps and our own Postal Cancellation launched and available. For the rest of 2008 all mail leaving the Shelburne post office will have our cancellation. Please see here for all the details as well as pictures of the stamps, a cachet envelope and the cancellation. There is already interest from across the country for first day covers and Keepsake sheets.

Probably Few Loyalists at Camp Security

I doubt there are any Loyalists from the Burgoyne Campaign buried at the site of those prisoner camps. Under the terms of the Convention of Saratoga, the Loyalist units were paroled and sent north to Canada. Only a few teamsters carted the baggage to Boston. Keep in mind, the Convention Army was to return to England, not to be kept in prison in America. Therefore it made no sense for the Loyalists to go with them, as they weren’t from England. When Congress abrogated the Convention and made true prisoners of Burgoyne’s Army, the British in Canada released the Loyalist troops from their limbo.

Where some people get confused is looking at returns of the Convention Army in captivity and seeing a unit bearing the name “Canada Companies.” There were indeed 3 companies of Canadians raised and serving in 1777, two of them with Burgoyne. However, that is not what is being referred to on the returns. The returns refer to the light infantry and grenadier companies of those regiments in Canada that did not take part in the campaign, such as the 29th & 31st Regiments. The rolls of prisoners at Lancaster and other places clearly show this.

There were hundreds of Loyalists captured in the fighting leading up to October 17th, and those are exclusive of the Convention. Those prisoners were scattered all over the place- New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts for sure. A number were eventually released over time, either paroled or exchanged. Probably some died, but who, where and when would be impossible to say.

…Todd W. Braisted, HVP, UELAC, www.royalprovincial.com

Additions to the Loyalist Ships List

Some updates this week to the Loyalist Ships List. Check out the family connection of Robert Wilkins UE, President of Heritage Branch to the ship Apollo. Also, more information for Esther, and a copy of the diary entries of Sarah Scofield Frost who came to New Brunswick onboard the Two Sisters, thanks to James C. Fosdyck.

May 1783. – I left Lloyd’s Neck with my family and went aboard the Two Sisters, commanded by Capt. Brown, for a voyage to Nova Scotia (New Brunswick) with the rest of the Loyalist sufferers . . . we expect to sail soon as the wind shall favor . . . there are two hundred and fifty passengers on board.

Monday, May 26. – . . . We lie at anchor in Oyster Bay the whole day, not having got all our passengers on board.

Tuesday, May 27. – At 8 o’clock we weighed anchor at Oyster Bay, with a fair wind, for New York . . . We went on with a fair breeze through Hell Gate; but as we got through, the wind and tide headed us, and we had like to have gone ashore, which put us all in great surprise. They tried twice to go on, but at length were obliged to anchor at the mouth of Harlem Creek (2 miles east of Rikers Island where highway 278 crosses the East River between the boroughs of Bronx and Queens), where we lay that night.

Wednesday, May 28. – We weighed anchor at Harlem Creek at a quarter after six in the morning, with a fair breeze, but the tide being low we struck a rock. We soon got off, but in a few minutes struck again. At half past seven we got off and went clear, and at ten we anchored at the lower end of the City of New York, the tide not serving to go round into the North River as we had intended. An hour later I went on shore . . . ..

Saturday, June 28. – Got up in the morning and found ourselves nigh to land on each side. It was up the river St. John’s. At half after nine our captain fired a gun for a pilot; an hour later a pilot came on board, and at quarter after one our ship anchored off Fort Howe in St. Johns River. Our people went on shore and brought on board spruce and gooseberries, and grass and pea vines with the blossoms on them, all of which grow wild here. They say this is to be our city. Our land is five and twenty miles up the river. We are to have here only a building place of forty feet in the front and a hundred feet back. Mr. Frost has now gone on shore in his whale boat to see how the place looks, and he says he will soon come back and take me on shore. I long to set my feet once more on land. He soon came on board and brought a fine salmon.

Sunday, June 29. – This morning it looks very pleasant on the shore. I am just going ashore with my children to see how I like it. Later – It is now afternoon and I have been ashore. It is, I think, the roughest land I ever saw. It beats Short Rocks, indeed, I think, that is nothing in comparison; but this is to be the city, they say! We are to settle here, but are to have our land sixty miles farther up the river. We are all ordered to land to-morrow, and not a shelter to go under.

Thus, ends the 660-mile journey from Long Island to New Brunswick as recorded in the pages of the diary of Sarah Frost. The date was July 5, 1783. (See the full diary of the voyage.)

Did your family come to Canada on board one of the loyalist Ships? If you know the ship and if it made more than one sailing, the voyage, please submit what you know so we can add the information to the list.

Ship’s List: Possible Source in British National Archives

I was once told that the ration list for the Loyalists fed on these ships exist in the Treasury Papers in the British National Archives. They were submitted by the ship’s captain, and list the individuals in each household. The lists even include ships which went to Bermuda and the Caribbean.

I was told that for the ships that went to Bermuda due to storms, a comparison of the before arrival and after departure would enable the compilation of a list of Bermudian Loyalists.

They have not been transcribed nor microfilmed.

This is all hearsay, but if that is true, what a treasure it would be to have them available on microfilm.

…Bill Smy, UE

Loyalist Descendant – Deric Ruttan – Makes Music

While I am definitely not a follower of Country & Western Music, I have become aware of a singer in that genre who almost certainly has Loyalist ancestors. The person in question is Deric Ruttan who comes from Bracebridge ON, but is now based in Nashville. He released his second CD this month.

He is very likely a descendant of one of the two Bay of Quinte Ruttans – Capt. Peter Ruttan UE or his brother William Ruttan UE. A quick check of Henry N. Ruttan’s book on the family indicates that Deric is a descendant of Capt. Peter Ruttan UE.

…Peter W. Johnson UE, President, UELAC

Last Post: Carol Elaine Menhennet, UE

MENHENNET, Carole Elaine U.E. – After a courageous battle with cancer died peacefully at Brantford General Hospital on Friday, April 11, 2008 in her 67th year. Wife of the late John (Jack) Menhennet (2006); mother of Michelle and her husband David Gowling, Mark and his wife Kristine; grandma to Laura and Alannah. A private family service will be held at Farringdon Independent Church with interment to follow in Farringdon Burial Ground. www.dennistoll.ca 11047925 – BRANTFORD EXPOSITOR

[submitted by Lynne Cook]


Descendants of David and Catherine Gabel

It came as a great surprise last week to read Stephen Davidson’s article on the Jewish Loyalist David Gabel. My 5th great grandmother was Eve Gabel who married Samuel John Austin Sr.. Her parents were David and Catherine(Rhinehart) Gabel. I never knew that I had a Jewish background in my family tree. I have reason to believe that there were other children besides David Jr.. I have found that there may have also been a John Gabel, Margaret Gabel and an Elizabeth Gabel and of course my Eve.

Through correspondence with Stephen this past week we have come to the agreement that indeed Eve most likely was the daughter of David although she is not mentioned in his or Catherine’s wills.. The closest connection that I could come up with that Eve is the daughter of David is that David and Samuel John Austin were both registered for land at Maquapit Lake.

The Grantbook Database for NB shows that Samuel Austin and David Goebel both registered for 200 acres of land at Maquapit Lake, Sunbury county, on July 6, 1786. Samuel Austin also registered for 500 acres of land in 1783/09/03 in Waterborough, Queens Co. See PANB for information. French Lake, Maquapit Lake, And Douglas Harbour, NB are all in close proximity to each other.

This would have been in 1786, two years before Samuel and Eve married. At this time Samuel was still married to Mary Connors although it is near the time of her passing. Samuel and Mary had a daughter Mary Elizabeth in 1786. By Nov 23 1788 Samuel married Eve leading me to believe that Mary died late in 1787 or early 1788. Samuel and Eve went on to have 11 children of their own.

I am looking for others who descend from David and Catherine Gabel or have any connection to Samuel Austin who was born in 1763 in Virginia and died Aug 27 1824 by accidental drowning on the Grand Lake. He and his first wife Mary Connors arrived in Saint John as Loyalists in 1783. Others researching this family please feel free to contact me.

(Through my correspondence with Stephen Davidson this week about the Gabel family we came to discover that we are also cousins through Hendrick Belyea, which was quite a pleasant surprise for both of us. Thank you Stephen for your help.)

…Cori Leigh Landry {canadarock1970 AT gmail DOT com}

Information on Gideon Rogers of Thurlow Township, Hastings County, ON

At one point Gideon was in Fredericksburgh Township Lennox and Addington County. We know he married Catharine Lindsay 29 March 1814 in Marysburg, (Rev. Robert McDowall Register). Catharine was the daughter of James Lindsay UE of Fredericksburgh Twp and his wife Losina Wright.

Gideon and Catharine (Lindsay) Rogers’ issue unknown. Gideon and Catharine settled in Thurlow Twp, as did James Lindsay and family.

Sometime later, Gideon is supposed to have married Marie O”Brien, b. Ireland. This second marriage produced a daughter, Catherine “Kitty” Rogers who married James Albert Wannamaker.

Our search is for any information about Gideon Rogers, his parentage and his issue. Any assistance would be most appreciated.

…Joan Lucas, UE {jflucas AT sympatico DOT ca}

Descendants of Sir William Johnson

As a result of writing an article for our community newspaper about the Loyalist Flag I fly at my home, I met Bob Beach. His mother’s name is Elizabeth Ann Johnson from Quebec, Noyen. She was the founder of the Women’s Institute in Quebec. The farm was about 50 miles south of Montreal and south of Cowansville. Bob has been there and plans to go again and hopes he can find someone who speaks English. He has searched some cemeteries too.

Bob’s ancestor is Sir Wm Johnson, who had many children. He is looking for any assistance and wonders if there has been much research on his extended family? His e-mail is {gbeach11 AT sympatico DOT ca}

…Irene MacCrimmon

Sort out ‘George Buck’s in Loyalist Directory

In the Loyalist Directory there are three entries for George Buck, one Sr., one Jr. and one just plain George. Reid’s Loyalists in Ontario indicates that the first two Georges settled at Kingston and a third George at Elizabethtown.

If you know who one or more of the George’s married and who their children were and where they settled, please let me know so we can add some differentiating information to each entry.

Also, the third George entry lists many certificates issued to a George Buck ancestor. If you can identify to which George any one or more of those certificates was issued, ie Geo. Sr of Kingston, Geo. Jr of Kingston or Geo. of Elizabethtown, I would appreciate it.

Doug Grant