“Loyalist Trails” 2008-17: April 27, 2008

In this issue:
“Saint John 225” Saturday Morning Seminars: The Black Loyalists by David Peters
Scattered Loyalist Sisters: Sarah, Abigail, and Elizabeth Dibble, by Stephen Davidson
Kawartha Branch UELAC Wins Heritage Award
“Subject or Citizen: Treaty of Paris, 1783” Library and Archives Canada, May 6
Loyalist Ships to Canada
Last Post: Walter (Wally) Ross WERT UE
Last Post: Gordon Franklin Osborne UE
      + Concerning James Rogers of the King’s Rangers fame
      + Information on John C. Jackson’s parents/grandparents


“Saint John 225” Saturday Morning Seminars: The Black Loyalists by David Peters

David J Peters will speak on the topic of “The Black Loyalists” and he is extremely qualified to do so. He is a direct descendant of Black Loyalist Thomas Peters who settled in Nova Scotia. Their land grant there still resides in the Peter’s family hands.

Mr Peters is a retired educator who has been co-developer of a Black History Kit introduced to Saint John area schools. He has lectured audiences from grade school to university on Black History for 24 years. He is also accomplished in the culinary arts and has been an executive chef!

His talk will provide a comprehensive look at the Black Loyalist experience. Where did they come from and what were their backgrounds? How is their experience interpreted in the context of international slavery? Where did they settle and what did they experience in their new land?

(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}

Scattered Loyalist Sisters: Sarah, Abigail, and Elizabeth Dibble, by Stephen Davidson

When Sarah Dibble turned eight years old in 1745, she was one of five children in the family of Lt. Jonathan Dibble of Stamford, Connecticut. Within 40 years, the Dibble siblings would be scattered across the globe and all because of one word — loyalty.

In the years leading up to the Revolution, Sarah, the oldest Dibble, had met and married David Valentine, a land surveyor. Sarah gave birth to their first child in 1755 when she was just 18. When David died in 1774, 37 year-old Sarah had seven children ranging in age from baby Philip to 19 year-old Scudder. Adding to her predicament was the fact that the Thirteen Colonies were about to erupt into rebellion

Sarah’s sister, Abigail, had married Edward Jessup and moved to Glen Falls near Albany, New York. Edward and his two brothers bought large tracts of land from the Mohawks on the west side of the Hudson River. They established a mill and a ferry, and operated an apple tree nursery.

By 1766, 23 year-old Abigail and 31 year-old Edward had two children. The couple had no way of knowing that they had only ten more years to enjoy life along the Hudson.

Sharing in Abigail’s prosperity was her youngest sister Elizabeth who lived close by. Elizabeth had married Ebenezer Jessup, the younger brother of Abigail’s husband. By 1775, 30 year-old Elizabeth and 36-year old Ebenezer had one son and three daughters. Within a year’s time, Ebenezer would leave his wife and family to join the loyalists in fighting for King George III.

As her brothers-in-law were heading off to war, Sarah Dibble Valentine was opening a shop and boarding house in New York City. Sarah’s seven children motivated her to go into business for herself, and provided the staff she needed to maintain her businesses. When the British occupation of New York came to an end, patriots raided the loyalist shopkeeper’s store, stole £733 of stock and carried off clothing, provisions and bedding from Sarah’s home. Clearly, the loyalist shopkeeper could no longer stay in New York.

Sarah’s sisters, Abigail and Elizabeth, spent the revolution fearing that they might never see their husbands again. Edward and Ebenezer Jessup were officers in the King’s Loyal Rangers, a unit sometimes referred to as Jessup’s Rangers. The brothers fought at the Battle of Saratoga in October of 1777 — the first major defeat of the British army in the revolution.

Although they were captured by rebel soldiers, Edward and Ebenezer were later released. But instead of returning home, the brothers continued to fight for their king along the frontier between Canada and New York.

At the end of the revolution, Abigail and Elizabeth were reunited with their husbands. The six-year gap between the births of Elizabeth and Ebenezer’s two youngest children bears silent testimony to the lengthy separation the couple endured. Along with other loyalist refugees, the two Jessup families headed for Canada in the fall of 1783, seeking a fresh start along the St. Lawrence River.

Meanwhile the oldest Dibble daughter, Sarah Valentine, was making her own preparations for life as a refugee. At some point in 1783, she married Drummond Simpson, a warrant officer on the Camel, a British warship. After serving in the navy throughout the revolution, Drummond decided to remain in British North America. He and Sarah joined a group of loyalists comprised of 249 Quakers and Baptists that planned to establish a slave-free community in New Brunswick.

Sarah’s four oldest children — ranging in age from 22 to 28 — remained in the new United States. Her three youngest children — who were between 11 and 20 — left New York in August of 1783 with Sarah and their new stepfather. By September 29, the Simpsons were disembarking from the Camel to found the coastal settlement of Beaver Harbour.

At 46 years of age, it must have been very difficult for Sarah Simpson to begin a new life with a new husband in a new land. It is very unlikely that she ever heard from her two sisters again.

Abigail’s new life in Upper Canada was not as bleak as Sarah’s. Edward Jessup was granted 1200 acres, and, by 1810, some of his land was made into the first town lots for Prescott, Ontario. Abigail enjoyed the prestige that came with her husband’s appointment as a member of the executive council of Upper Canada, a judge of the court of common pleas, and the head of the local militia. Before her death at age 66 in 1809, Abigail Dibble Jessup had celebrated the arrival of 11 grandchildren.

Elizabeth and Ebenezer Jessup initially settled in Canada, but their lives took a dramatic turn when they went to England to seek compensation. Ebenezer was offered a position with the British government in India, a posting that was too good to refuse. In the years following the Jessups’ arrival in Calcutta, Elizabeth welcomed three sons-in-law into her family. Elizabeth, the “baby” of the Dibble family, died India in 1813 at the age of 68.

The final fate of the oldest Dibble sister is uncertain. When Sarah stood before the compensation board that convened in Saint John in 1786, her home had changed a number of times. The Simpsons had moved from the Quaker settlement of Beaver Harbour to Digby, Nova Scotia, and then crossed the Bay of Fundy to live in Saint John.

When Sarah Simpson was finally laid to rest in a New Brunswick grave, had she died with the knowledge that her sister Abigail was buried in Prescott, Ontario and that Elizabeth’s tombstone was in a cemetery in Calcutta, India? The scattering of the Dibble sisters is just one example of how devastating the consequences could be when one declared herself a loyalist in the American Revolution.

…Stephen Davidson {stephendavids AT gmail DOT com}

Kawartha Branch UELAC Wins Heritage Award

Published in the Peterborough Examiner on Friday April 25, 2008 on page “A7” first section.

Historical Award.

The Peterborough Historical Society has announced the winners of the society’s Heritage Awards, sponcored by BMO Financial. Recipients will be onhoured at a ceremony on Wednesday, April 30 at 7:30 p.m. at Empress Gardens on Charlotte Street, Peterborough.

The five awards are named in honour of former citizans of Peterborough who made significant contributions to the Peterborough area. The awards committee, Art Turner, Louis Taylor and Graham Hart chose the 2008 winners.

The Samuel Armour Award reconizes the involvement and exposure of students to local historical

opportunities, programs and/or development of curriculum based on local history. It was awarded to the “United Empire Loyalists, Kawartha Branch, for that group’s efforts toward historical education pertaining to the United Empire Loyalists in Peterborough County.”

This is a great big feather in our Tricorn and we must keep it going, with your assistance.

…President Chuck Ross UE

[editor’s note: I am sure many people in the Kawartha branch have made significant contributions to this achievement. Congratulations to all of you!]

“Subject or Citizen: Treaty of Paris, 1783” Library and Archives Canada, May 6

Get your fix at the Political Junkie Café, where the hot topics of the past and present are on the table for discussion and debate. The inaugural Café on May 6th will jump into the issues raised by the new exhibition Subject or Citizen: Treaty of Paris, 1783. Special guests will share their thoughts on Canada-US relations, and an engaged audience will keep the panelists on their toes with questions, ideas, and opinions. Free democracy!

Our guests:

Mike Eamon, Canadian curator, Subject or Citizen: Treaty of Paris 1783

Dr. Jason Bristow, Canada West Foundation

Moderator: Jeff Davis, Embassy Newspaper

Want to Come? rsvp@lac-bac.gc.ca Tuesday, May 6, 2008, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Free Admission. Exhibition Room A, 395 Wellington Street, Library and Archives Canada

Can’t come? The Political Junkie Café series will be recorded and available on our website after each event. Click here to visit us online.

Loyalist Ships to Canada

Information about some ships continues to arrive and we are posting more as we find time. Check out the Loyalist Ships section if you haven’t already.

Addendum: Black passengers on board the Clinton

When the Clinton sailed in August of 1783 it had 243 Black Loyalist passengers. when it sailed in September it had 7 Black Loyalist passengers, and when it came to Nova Scotia a third time, it had eight blacks enslaved by loyalists. That’s 250 free blacks and 7 slaves that were overlooked in the listing on the ship site. Perhaps something needs to be added to the list to let people know that the Clinton had a “few” more folks than the ones given.

…Stephen Davidson

Last Post: Walter (Wally) Ross WERT UE

I wish to advise your membership that my father Walter (Wally) Ross WERT UE (Chilliwack branch) died April 23rd. Wally was the last direct male descendant of our branch of the WERT family tree (John Weart). Although Dad wanted still more time to be with his family, he was unafraid of death and faced his mortality with grace and dignity. He was aware of his family members’ presence until the moment he took his final breath.

Private cremation will be carried out soon but a gathering for friends and extended family members is planned for July 3rd 2008 (Wally’s 91st birthday) in Surrey BC.

He wished me to continue the genealogical work he started nearly 30 years ago. I am proud to carry on, Dad, with all my love.

[submitted by his eldest daughter, Anne (Wert) Yuen]

Last Post: Gordon Franklin Osborne UE

OSBORNE, Gordon Franklin – Peacefully at the Lennox and Addington County General Hospital on Friday, April 18, 2008, in his 95th year. Husband of Nettie (nee Valleau) for 72 years. Father of Harley and his wife Anna Ruth of Napanee and their children, Andrea (Mike) Geoff (Jennifer); Gary and his wife Inta of Bath and their children, Shelley (Glen), Kathleen, Marcy (Simon) and Alison (Greg) and Diane Brisley and her husband John of Northport and their children, Melanie (Shigeru) and Kip (Tracy). Great grandchildren, Victoria, Alexandra, Nicholas, Anna, Emily, Julien, Samantha and Harrison. Predeceased by his sister Audrey Hott. A private family service will be held.

Mr. Osborne was a former President of the Bay of Quinte Branch, UELAC. His Loyalist ancestors include Young, Dyer, Trumpour and Roblin.

[submitted by Brandt Zätterberg]


Concerning James Rogers of the King’s Rangers fame

I have a copy of a document signed by Rogers, in York on July 1st., 1797, certifying that my wife’s ancestor served in the King’s Rangers.

The signed name is preceded by what looks like three initials D M G (I think). Can anyone verify what the initials are, and what they mean? His first name is James, and I don’t know what his rank would be in 1797, so the initials don’t seem to fit.

…Ron Olesen, husband and father of UEL members {rkolesen AT auracom DOT com}

Information on John C. Jackson’s parents/grandparents

I’m trying to determine if my direct ancestor and greatgrandfather, John C. Jackson (1815-1896)…who was born somewhere in Pennsylvania USA (possibly in Chester County), and who had Jackson parents (first names unknown) who were somewhere in Canada before they came to Pennsylvania…was of Loyalist stock.

His male parent, I speculate, MIGHT have been a son of one of the Loyalist Quaker Jackson families who left the US, including people from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Long Island, NY in around 1783, and who settled in either the Penn’s Field Colony (Beaver Harbour) area of what was then Nova Scotia, or in the Niagara Peninsula area of Upper Canada.

I further speculate that John C.’s parents, and especially his father, returned to Pennsylvania some short time before 1815, following the end of the War of 1812 hostilities, when, as I understand it, certain former Quaker Loyalist families and their descendants decided to return to their families’ original home grounds in the States.

Looking for Jacksons who might be long-ago relatives is not easy because there are so many of that name, then and now, in the English-speaking world. Please contact me if anyone has a potential connection. Thank you.

…Bob Wilson wilso127@yahoo.com