“Loyalist Trails” 2008-18: May 4, 2008

In this issue:
“Saint John 225” Saturday Morning Seminars: Loyalist of New England Documents & Ghostly Results, by Paul J. Bunnell, UE
One Roman Catholic Loyalist’s Story, by Stephen Davidson
Window for St. Albans Church a long Time Coming
Burlington Workshop GENEALOGY: Exploring Your Roots
OCAPG Seminar: Writing A Narrative Family History
Norfolk Historical Society Receives Grant from New Horizons for Seniors Program
Loyalist Directory
Loyalist Gazette
Last Post: David H. Kemlo
Last Post: Walter Ross Wert, UE (supplement)
      + John Thompson of the Gaspe
      + Responses re James Rogers and DMG
      + Response re Loyalist Quilts


“Saint John 225” Saturday Morning Seminars

Paul will be displaying the type of documents that can be found in New England and other Colonies along with Loyalist homes and structures still standing today in Massachusetts. He will show what kinds of information can be found and where to find it. The talk will end with Paul’s own personal experience with his ghostly Loyalist ancestor and their close relationship.

Paul is an author of over 25 books written on Loyalists, French and Native American Marriages, etc. He lectures on these topics and sells his books at genealogy conferences. Paul is a proven UEL member. He holds many organization positions and edits the only USA produced Loyalist Newsletter. Paul personally met His Royal Highness, Prince Philip at the UELAC conference in 1989 in Quebec. Prince Philip accepted Paul’s first book, “Thunder Over New England, Benjamin Bonnell, The Loyalist” for the Palace Library. Educated in genealogy at Brigham Young University, Paul has over 30 years of experience.

(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}

One Roman Catholic Loyalist’s Story, by Stephen Davidson

No doubt William Keeling thought that his life would always be full of surprises as long as he operated his tavern and store. However, the Irishman who had made Charlestown, South Carolina his home in 1774 was only at the beginning of his adventures. The American Revolution would turn his world upside down, chase him out of Charlestown, and banish him to Britain all within the space of nine years. What makes his story especially fascinating is that William Keeling is someone we know for certain to have been a Roman Catholic loyalist.

Keeling was making a good living in the days leading up to the revolution. His shop on Charleston’s King Street carried such goods as coffee, bacon, ham, sugar and –on one occasion–up to 30 pairs of men’s shoes. Keeling also traded indigo dye and rice, two highly valued products raised on local plantations that were exported to Britain through Charleston’s busy seaport.

His tavern or “punch house” had 200 gallons of rum in its storeroom. He made a handsome profit of four shillings on every gallon of rum he sold. Keelings’ stable demonstrated the Irishman’s success; he had four horses, not just one.

Although Keeling did not refer to his wife and children in his 1783 appeal for compensation, he did note that he had three beds in his house, a table and chairs, £25 of household furniture, and a comfortable parlour chair that cost him £5. His cow provided milk for his wife’s cooking and his children’s meals.

As revolutionary talk grew, Charlestown’s population divided along political lines. Keeling’s loyalty was known from the beginning of the conflict. As the years went by, the Irishman’s friends tried to persuade him to take an oath of allegience to the patriot cause. A witness at Keelings’s compensation hearing testified how the loyalist was “put in the guard house more than once.”

What made life particularly difficult for the loyalists of South Carolina was that their legislature had created an “oath of abjuration of the king”. After 1777, those who were suspected of being loyalists were forced to take the oath to show that they supported the patriot cause. If they refused, they were deported. If they later returned to South Carolina, they would be put to death for treason.

This oath was forced on loyalists in such a methodical manner that it became impossible to avoid taking it. Some loyalists simply said the words of the oath to spare their lives. One refugee later told British officials of how a sympathetic justice of the peace wrote out certificates to prove to patriots that loyalists had taken the oath when, in fact, they had not.

Finally the day came when Keeling could no longer remain a quiet loyalist. He joined General Prevost at Nelson’s Ferry, but was soon captured by rebels and kept a prisoner for three months. After he was released on bail, the Catholic loyalist joined the British army once again, this time at Charlestown Neck. When the British occupied the South Carolina seaport, Keeling stayed in Charlestown for three or four months before moving on the New York. Upon his departure, patriots seized the Irishman’s store and tavern.

Keeling decided to serve the crown at sea, and volunteered as a crew member of the Royal Oak, a ship which took part in a battle off of Cheseapeake Bay. The ship must not have survived the battle as Keeling returned to New York in another ship, the Roebuck, under Admiral Arbuthnot.

In 1783, Keeling joined other loyalist refugees who sailed for Great Britain to begin a new life far from the new United States of America. Within a few months, the Roman Catholic loyalist stood before a commission of loyalist claims to seek redress for his losses in Charlestown.

Having served the British forces on at least three occasions, Keeling should have immediately been recognized as a loyalist. However, the decision took a week to be made. The commissioners had heard of how difficult it was for those in South Carolina to avoid swearing an oath for the patriot side. How had Keeling avoided doing so? If he had taken it, why was he lying about it now? It was at this point in the hearings that Keeling’s Roman Catholic background helped to verify the sincerity of the Irishman’s claim of loyalty during the revolution.

The record of his hearing concluded with these words: “He is a Roman Catholic by persuasion and being desired to cross himself and give an Answer to the Question whether he ever took any Oath to the Rebels. He swears in the most solemn manner that he never did.”

Had there not been a question about Keeling swearing an oath for the patriot cause, he would not have been compelled to make the sign of the cross to underscore his declaration of loyalty. Without that declaration, we would not have Keeling’s unique compensation claim record — the only one made by a loyalist who was undeniably a Roman Catholic.

…Stephen Davidson {stephendavids AT gmail DOT com}

Window for St. Albans Church a long Time Coming

From the May 2008 issue of The Anglican Journal, complete with a partial picture of the window, comes the following mention:

In the 1880’s, St. Albans Church, Adolphustown, Ont., (diocese of Ontario) commissioned a so-called “rose window” from Robert McCausland Ltd. But the building committee ran out of money since the church’s interior still had to be completed. The window remained in an unfinished state for 119 years. Recently, the congregation has been busy working out a design for the window, which is expected to be completed in time for this year’s United Empire Loyalist Service at St. Albans on June 15.

Burlington Workshop GENEALOGY: Exploring Your Roots

The Burlington Public Library will be hosting a genealogy workshop on Saturday May 10, 2008, 9:45 – 4:30. A full day of informative sessions geared to people with an interest in genealogical research and history.

Topics include:

– Bill Bienia: Family history basics & Ancestry software

– Linda Layton: A Passion for Survival: The True Story of Marie Anne and Louis Payzant in Eighteenth-Century Nova Scotia

– Lunch & Ancestry software display & vendor displays

– Kathie Orr UE: Documenting Your Loyalist Ancestry

– Zig Misiak: Butlers Rangers as Warriors

– Rick Roberts: Which Genealogy Software is best for you

Limited seating; please register early to avoid disappointment. Cost: $25 per person, includes lunch and health break; payable at pre-registration. Location: Central Library. Questions about this event? Please call Karen Logan, Special Event’s Coordinator, at 905.639.3611 ext 132.

OCAPG Seminar: Writing A Narrative Family History

Want to learn how to turn your family research into readable stories? The Ontario Chapter, Association of Professional Genealogists (OCAPG) announces “Writing A Narrative Family History,” a day-long seminar with John Colletta, popular speaker, educator and author. Co-sponsored by the Canadiana Department of the North York Central Library, this is a day that will motivate and inspire your own family history writing: Saturday 27 September 2008 at the North York Central Library, 5120 Yonge Street, Toronto. Visit the A faculty member of the prestigious Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (Samford University, Alabama) and Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, John Colletta has planned the day around all the facets of good writing and good storytelling. One of John’s own family accounts, Only A Few Bones, is a model for narrative writing but he is also known for They Came In Ships and Finding Italian Roots. …B. Merriman, on behalf OCAPG

Norfolk Historical Society Receives Grant from Seniors Program

The Norfolk Historical Society has received a $10,000 grant from the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors program. This money is part of the capital assistance funding for senior’s activities announced by the Government of Canada in 2007. It will be used by the Norfolk Heritage Centre to upgrade some of its equipment in the Norfolk Archives.

The Norfolk Historical Society has been in existence since 1900 and over the ensuing years has amassed an unrivalled collection of archival documents pertaining to the history of Norfolk County. Aging equipment has created several technical challenges for the many seniors who volunteer at the Norfolk Heritage Centre, and the hundreds of people who journey to Simcoe from around the world in pursuit of their family histories. A desperately needed brand new microfilm reader-printer has been purchased with this grant and will be immediately put to use by genealogists, researchers, staff and students.

This is the second New Horizons for Seniors grant for the Norfolk Historical Society. Earlier in the year they received another $8,000 to redesign and enhance the digital content of the Society’s website. Volunteers are now diligently making much of the valuable 18th, 19th and 20th century information contained within the Archives ready to post online.

The Norfolk Heritage Centre is located at 109 Norfolk St. S. in downtown Simcoe. Visit the website for more information.

The annual spring luncheon on May 27th, this year has the theme ‘Loyalists at Table’ with Dorothy Duncan presenting. Tickets are limited and are on sale now for $25 each. Call the Norfolk Heritage Centre (aka Eva Brook Donly Museum) in Simcoe at 519-426-1583 or email for more details and to reserve.

Loyalist Directory

Whittle, Richard – from descendant Adams Gaines

As well, basic information (Loyalist name, date of issue and branch name where the applicant is a member) from certificates issued from September 2006 until January 2007 has been added to the Loyalist Directory. If you were one of those applicants and you would like your name included,or your name and email address, please let me know. If you would like to provide more data about your Loyalist ancestor,just ask for instructions.

Doug Grant

Loyalist Gazette

An expanded/annotated table of contents of the Fall 2007 issue of the Gazette is now available on our publications page. In addition, the Spring 2008 issue went into the mail, ahead of the May 1 objective, on April 28. If you are a member or a subscriber, you should receive yours soon. As it is shipped bulk rate, delivery may take longer than you might anticipate.

Last Post: David H. Kemlo

Passed away in Peterborough on Sunday April 27, 2008. David Kemlo of Buckhorn in his 65th year. David was an active community member, a director of the Greater Harvey Historical Society, received the Heritage Preservation Award from the County of Peterborough. Retired after 30 years with the RBC in Toronto. Loved and missed by his wife and best friend of 35 years, Pam Dickey. Also son Steven (Maryanne Malchuk) of Brantford, sister Elizabeth “Betty” Lehman (Wilfred) of Buckhorn, mother-in-law Dorothy Dickey of Bobcaygeon, brother-in-law Bill Dickey (Frances) of Orillia and nephew Brian Dickey of Waterloo. Predeceased by his parents Jimmy and Audrey Kemlo. Memorial donations may be made to the charity of one’s choice as expressions of sympathy. Friends may arrange flowers, donations or condolences at www.hendrenfuneralhome.com.

Last Post: Walter Ross Wert, UE (supplement)

Walter Ross Wert, UE – Wally died peacefully April 23, 2008 in his 91st year. Born July 3, 1917 in Avonmore, Ontario, he graduated from Radio College, Toronto as a Commercial Radio Operator in 1937. During WWII, Wally served in the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals (#2 Special Wireless) and was awarded a special mention in dispatches for his work in Britain and Europe. He married Aleen (nee Walton) in England on July 31, 1943. At the end of the war, they settled into their first home in Montreal, where later their three daughters were born. Wally resumed work at RCA Victor, aligning and testing the first television built in Canada in 1948. In 1957 the family moved to Chalk River, Ontario, where Wally designed and built their home while working as an instruments technician at Atomic Energy of Canada. For 18 years he partnered in “Electronic Services”, a home- based radio and television repair business. Wally retired in 1978 and two years later moved with Aleen to White Rock, BC, where he continued to document his family genealogy until the end of his life. He self-published two books of his family history and a third about his war experience in Special Wireless. Predeceased by daughter Joyce (Fairbanks), survived by wife Aleen, daughters Anne (Sze-Yin) Yuen and Karen (John) Richardson, son-in-law Bryan Fairbanks (Rebecca), grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. A celebration of Wally’s life is planned for July 3, 2008, in Surrey, BC.

[submitted by Lynne Cook ]


John Thompson of the Gaspe

As of yet I do not belong to any loyalist society, but I am looking at joining the closest to the Gaspe in Quebec, as my Great Great Great Grandfather John Thompson emigrated there from New York around the end of the Revolutionary war. He was born around 1780. I am looking to find out if he was indeed a Loyalist, or son of a Loyalist. He was Married To a Margaret Gallon In Gaspe. She was the Daughter of John Gallon and Christine Smart.

Some say that John’s Father was a Andrew Thompson born in New York New York around 1744, he was married to a Mary Leonard. I am hoping that some one may have found information on this family during searches for Loyalists,orcan point me to sources where I may be able to learn more.

…James Thompson {mywlc AT yahoo DOT ca}

Responses re James Rogers and DMG

Saw your question in Loyalist Trails. Would be great if you could scan the document and send it to me and to Peter Johnson. We’ll see if we can make it out. I have several 1783 dated Discharge Certificates that I checked and cannot see any initials such as those, but your document is of course later.

…Gavin Watt, H/VP UELAC

With respect to your query in the Loyalist Trails, James Rogers Commander of the Kings Rangers, died in 1790 and it is likely the signature is that of his son David McGregor Rogers (1772-1824) who would have been 25 at the time. He frequently signed his name DMG Rogers and was a member of the legislature for Upper Canada later in life. About this time he likely was performing a government function on behalf of his late father. If you could provide a copy of the document by return e-mail, I could verify the signature from my files.

…Robert J Rogers UE

Response re Loyalist Quilts

In response to a question from a Nova Scotia library: “We have a patron who teaches quilting and wants to focus on quilt patterns of the Loyalist period. Do you have any suggestions re pattern books or perhaps pamphlets or booklets that might help out with this request” we have this.

Your request is most timely as just this morning, at a classroom Loyalist presentation, I actually got to describe the pattern, construction etc. of an ancient log cabin quilt. Usually, the students have been more interested in the brown bess replica that I transport inside the quilt.

I don’t have any files that relate directly to Loyalist design, but I have a few suggestions bearing in mind that quilt designs will be affected by the family heritage of those who settled in your area of Canada.

My first recommendation is a book called “300 years of Canada’s Quilts” by Mary Conroy and published by Griffin House in 1976 ( ISBN 0 88760 077 8). Chapter 7 deals with Loyalist quilts but the patterns are more what I consider to be traditional in that the are variations of pieced quilts such as Log Cabin or Court House Steps. There are comments as to the different kinds of design relating to the colony, ethic background, and access to materials. In addition to the pieced quilt and appliqué quilt, there is a reference to quilted design on the “linsey-woolsey” quilt.

I had another book entitled “The Pieced Quilt, A North American Design Tradition” by Jonathan Holstein, McClelland and Stewart Ltd, 1973. ( ISBN 0 7710 4232 9) This book is more limited with the focus more on the 19th and 20th Century quilts. There were a few images of New England quilts c 1785-90.

I am also reminded of Suttles and Seawinds of Mahone Bay in NS. They might have some resources available but my memory recalls chiefly 19th century designs that they adapted clothing. Perhaps there may be a quilt display at Digby or Shelburne in July as they celebrate the 225th anniversary of the arrival of the United Empire Loyalists.

I would appreciate forwarding more resources that could be applied to this query.

…Fred H. Hayward {fhhayward AT idirect DOT com}