“Loyalist Trails” 2008-26: June 29, 2008

In this issue:
Regina Branch’s Eighth UEL Day in Saskatchewan
The Loyalists are Coming: Article Noting the Upcoming Conference in Saint John
Were There Any Loyalist Women? by Stephen Davidson
Another Loyalist Doctor: Dr. James Macnab
Loyalist Directory Additions
      + Information on early Burnham Family in Canada
      + Information on Edward Stooks UE, and Descendant Larry Lee
      + Descendents of Sarah Kast McGinness
      + Descendents of Jacob Bowman and his wife Elizabeth
      + Descendents of Abraham Deforest


Regina Branch’s Eighth UEL Day in Saskatchewan

On June 19th, Regina Branch members celebrated UEL Day in Saskatchewan for the 8th consecutive year. A luncheon at the Chimney Restaurant was followed by a short business meeting.

Shortly before 2 PM the members and guests regrouped at the loyalist cairn on the legislative grounds for the program. Following the presentation of the colours and the placement of a basket of roses, master of ceremonies, Ken Fader UE welcomed those assembled and invited everyone to join in singing ‘O Canada’ followed by a loyalist prayer written by Frank Rogers UE.

Gerald Adair UE, RVP for the Prairie Region brought greetings from Dominion Council. Regina Branch member, Fay Smith UE of Moose Jaw read a poem by Alexander McLaclan followed by remarks by Regina Branch president, Logan Bjarnason UE.

Regina Branch president Logan Bjarnason UE and Branch Genealogist, Lorna MacKenzie UE were pleased to present Gerald Adair UE with four certificates. The Adairs have been working with Lorna MacKenzie for a number of years towards proving his lineage back to these four loyalist ancestors.

Regina Branch member, Donald Blair UE of Saskatoon, comment on ‘What UEL Day Means to Me’. The program closed with ‘God Save the Queen’ and the reading by the group of a poem by G. VanKougnett UE entitled ‘Our Pledge to our Heritage’ followed by a rousing three ‘Huzzas’. Shirley Bjarnason gave a rose to each of the ladies present, a memento of eighth UEL Day. With the retirement of the colours the group walked across to the legislative building for a reception in the lower level. From the premier’s balcony above the main entrance, our large loyalist flag, that was presented to our group in 2002, flew for 7th consecutive year.

…Logan Bjarnason, UE

The Loyalists are Coming: Article Noting the Upcoming Conference in Saint John

Published by The Telegraph-Journal Saint John NB on Tuesday June 24th, 2008. By Keith Dow, a member and a former president of the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada, New Brunswick Branch.

Saint John will be the site of the Dominion Conference of The United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada, July 10-13. Delegates will be attending from throughout Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. Hosted by the NB Branch of the UELAC, this year marks the 225th Anniversary of the landing of the Loyalists in the port city.

Whether by virtue of myth or misrepresentation, Loyalists are viewed as a group of British “toffs” or members of the “upper crust elite” (who supported the wrong side of the American Revolution (1776-1783). Historical fact contradicts this erroneous conclusion.

The Loyalists were our first truly multicultural immigrants. Forced into exile by the victorious rebels during the American War of Independence, the Loyalists had their origins in England (18 per cent), Ireland (12 per cent), Scotland (23 per cent) and Wales (4 per cent). Of the remainder, 28 per cent came from Germany, 8 per cent from Holland and 5 per cent from France. There were several thousand free Black Loyalists in addition to a large contingent representing the Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy led by Joseph Brant. Canada’s first Jewish settlers were also part of the forced exodus from the rebellious Thirteen Colonies.

Click here to read the full article.

Were There Any Loyalist Women? by Stephen Davidson

Were there any loyalist women? The obvious response would be “yes”. However, given the place of women in the 18th century, perhaps the answer is “no”.

During the years of the American Revolution, women were seen as being under the authority of either their fathers or their husbands. The man choose the church the family attended, decided how the household income was spent, and held the political beliefs his family would follow. Given this reality, did female American colonists truly choose to be loyal?

The War of Independence divided communities, congregations, and families. Parents differed with their children, brother fought against brother, and even sisters found themselves on opposite sides of the conflict.

It is not easy to find an example of a woman differing with her sister’s convictions where both women are single. Usually a loyalist or rebel husband is part of the equation when sisters supported different views of American independence.

Sarah Frost is just one example. She had to bid goodbye to her patriot parents as the loyalist Summer Fleet prepared to leave New York Harbour in 1783. Their tearful parting had no bearing on anything that Sarah had done.

Her loyalist husband, William Frost, was threatened with execution if he ever returned to his hometown, having led raids against it during the Revolution. His patriot neighbours never forgave him a Sunday morning attack on a church of rebels — a raid that resulted in some of the worshippers being dragged to a British garrison on Long Island.

Sarah Frost’s famous record of a loyalist journey north says nothing of her support for the loyalist cause. It does, however, contain these entries: “I left Lloyd’s Neck, with my family and went on board the “Two Sisters”, for a voyage to Nova Scotia with the rest of the Loyalist sufferers ….My father will come on board in the morning if my husband can go and fetch him. I do so long to hear from my dear mother and brothers and sisters. ” The husband supported the crown; his wife bore the emotional consequences of that choice.

In the cases of loyalist wives in Connecticut, the women were generally allowed to live in their homes unharmed after their husbands had left town to actively support the British. The townspeople recognized that it was the husband who held loyalist sentiments, and so they did not punish the wife for her husband’s convictions. He was the loyalist not she.

Perhaps the claims made to the loyalist compensation board can reveal if there were any female loyalists. Husbands and single men received compensation for their loyalty, but the only women who appealed for funds were either the wives of seriously ill men or were the widows of loyalists. The board’s records recount the stories of men’s loyal actions even when a widow made a claim. The legal system of the day only recognized loyal men and their right to compensation, not the actions and sacrifices of women.

Women whose loyalist husbands died remarried loyalist men. Does this prove that the widows had royalist views? Perhaps, but since the widows of loyalists had no insurance funds upon which to draw to support their family, it can be argued that the women married loyalists out of economic necessity.

Should all female refugees be regarded as only being the daughters and wives of loyalists? Were there any women who were loyalists out of personal conviction?

The good news is that there were, indeed, women who chose to be loyalists without following a husband or father. The first ship to bring loyalists to present-day New Brunswick carried Mercy Harris, the only woman aboard the Union who did not travel with a man. The Rhode Island seamstress could have decided to remain in the new republic, but she chose to step aboard a loyalist refugee ship. Was only one of the Union’s 39 adult female passengers a true loyalist?

It is very hard to know how many loyalist wives actually shared their husband’s political beliefs. Sometimes one has to wait to see how a woman acted once she arrived in British North America. Polly Dibblee became a loyalist widow a year after her ship brought her to New Brunswick. For the first time in her life, Polly had a say in where she would live. Would she remain in her new land or return to her family in Connecticut?

Polly’s brother, William Jarvis, successfully lobbied on her behalf in England and was able to secure financial compensation for all that she had endured since her husband’s death. When Polly received compensation, she sailed back to see her family in Connecticut. At this point she could have remained with her family, but instead, Polly made what must have been a heart-wrenching decision and returned to New Brunswick. She, like Mercy Harris, chose to be loyal.

Ann Bates, the loyalist spy from Philadelphia, is another example of a woman who did more than simply follow her husband. She could have stayed at home, tending her beehives throughout the revolution, but she demonstrated her own loyalty by continually putting herself in dangerous situations to acquire intelligence on patriot troops.

Were there female loyalists? Of course there were. The situations of women given here were no doubt repeated time and again in other parts of North America. While most women who are numbered among the loyalists were refugees because of their fathers’ or husbands’ convictions, it would be foolhardy to deny that some of these women shared those political beliefs. And as this article has demonstrated, there were women who — without benefit of father and husband — did choose to be loyal.

We should never be afraid of great questions, even ones that challenge longheld beliefs. Raising questions that we thought had obvious answers can lead to some interesting discussions, and force us to make fresh examinations of the records of the loyalist period. For further insight into female loyalists, click here.

…Stephen Davidson {stephendavids AT gmail DOT com}

[Stephen will generally approve reprints of his articles in other publications, in return for including a bit about him and his books; please feel free to contact him. This applies to most content in Loyalist Trails. — editor]

Another Loyalist Doctor: Dr. James Macnab

Dr. James Macnab UE with his family had emigrated to Virginia from Scotland in 1761. Because of unrest in Virginia the Macnabs left Virginia for New York. There he was appointed by Sir Guy Carleton (as he then was) to Major Daniel McAlpine’s corp. After the Battle of Saratoga, Dr. Macnab and his family escaped to Quebec and were there by Oct. 11, 1777. Dr. Macnab was with McAlpine when the Major was appointed “Inspector of Loyalists” by Gen Haldiman in late 1778. Major McAlpine was to be responsible for all refugee Loyalists and to see them settled into refugee camps. McAlpine is reported to have established a hospital at Machiche in 1779 as many of the Loyalists were ill. Dr Macnab was at Machiche with his family and there died in Jan 1780 under the care of another Loyalist doctor Dr. Robert Kerr.

Dr. Macnab left a widow and four sons at Machiche. The eldest son, Colin, age 19, went to Nova Scotia and joined a Loyalist regiment, eventually settling in the Niagara area, and was a United Empire Loyalist in his own right. He married and had a family.

The second son, Alexander Macnab, was age 12 in 1780, and joined the Commissary Department where he stayed for several years ending up in Niagara and then York. Alexander left the military to go to England where he joined the British army. He rose through the ranks, fought through the Peninsular campaign and was on the staff of General Sir Thomas Picton as A.D.C., when on the 18th of June 1815 both Alexander and Sir Thomas were killed during the Battle of Waterloo. Alexander never married.

The third and fourth sons were ages 7 and 5 when Dr. James Macnab died. But they were nurtured and educated within the establishment of the times. They somehow were “well-connected” and when they were mature young men were able and ready to make their way in life.

The third son, Simon Fraser Macnab, with his brother James, made their way to Niagara, no doubt to be near their older brothers Colin and Alexander. Simon became a merchant first in York then later in Thurlow Twp where he settled with his wife, Mary Simons, DUE, as well as in Kingston. One of his children was the Rev. Alexander Macnab D.D., who among the many prominent positions he held, was a long time member of the United Empire Loyalists Association, serving as chaplain 1918-1926, Vice President 1904-05 and President in 1906-07. Simon Fraser Macnab died in 1821.

The fourth son, James Macnab, Esquire, settled in Thurlow Twp with his brother Simon. James built a saw and grist mills on the Moira River, where he produced lumber and flour which along with potash produced on his Fredericksburg Twp. property he traded in York, Kingston and as far as Montreal. He married Mary Ann Fraser, d/o Adj. William Fraser UE, KRRNY and Elizabeth Ferguson of Kingston. He was a sucessful businessman and served as a Magistrate many years. He was elected to Provincial Parlimentand and served for eight years. He died at age 44, Mar 5th, 1820. His obituary reads in part…”In all his dealings a most scrupulous attention was paid to honesty, and he hereby gained the respect and esteem of all who knew him. He was an affectionate husband, an indulgent parent and a kind friend…”

…Joan Lucas, U.E., Kawartha Branch {jflucas AT sympatico DOT ca}

[Several Loyalist doctors were noted in Is There a (Loyalist) Doctor in the House? by Stephen Davidson ]

Loyalist Directory Additions

Additional information has been added to the Loyalist directory for the following people. Thanks to those who have provided this additional information. This week information was added for:
– Buck, George of Elizabethtown – from Delphine Large
– Buck, George Sr. of Kingston – from Beth Humphrey


Information on early Burnham Family in Canada

In Loyalist Trails 2008-25, June 22, 2008, the Last Post for HUGGINS, Marguereite shows she was a direct descendent of John Burnham, UEL who was married to Myndert Harris’ daughter. John Burnham does not show in the Directory of Loyalists, which is admittedly far from complete.

I am descended from Lt. John Dockstader (UEL) whose daughter Catherine Dockstader married (1) Chauncey6 Burnham and (2) Lyman6 Burnham. They were both sons of Oliver5 Burnham (d. 29 Mar 1805, Hartford, CT) and Mary Wood (d. 25 May 1815, Hartford, CT). Oliver and Mary also had a son, Oliver6 who married Catherine Huff. Oliver5 is possibly descended as follows: David4, Daniel3 , Samuel2 , Thomas1 of Hartford, CT. I have yet to discover how the Burnhams came to Canada and would like to know anything about John Burnham in case there is a connection – or any information on early Burnhams in Canada. I have information about John Dockstader and his Palatine German ancestors, as well as James Everingham (UEL), originally from New Jersey, whose grandson, James, married Violet Burnham (b. Mar 1828, Dunnville, ON; d. 22 Dec 1869, Onondaga Twsp, Brant Co., ON), daughter (possibly granddaughter) of Catherine and Lyman Burnham. My maternal grandmother was Adelaide Everingham, granddaughter of Violet Burnham Everingham.

…Erlene Dudley {edudley AT williamwoods DOT edu}

Information on Edward Stooks UE, and Descendant Larry Lee

Edward Stooks, a private in the KRRNY and possibly born in Marbletown, NY about 1745, eventually settled on Lot 48, Vaughan Township, on Yonge Street in 1797 in what is now Richmond Hill.

What must have been his second settlement house, built c1810 and later enlarged, was to have been demolished in 1991 but we moved it to our property near Loretto, Simcoe County and restored it.

One of the items found during restoration was a bayonet that probably belonged to Edward Stooks.

I would like to get more information about Edward Stooks and family, and would like to communicate with anyone who can help. I have discovered that a person by the name of Larry Lee is a descendant of Edward Stooks. Larry received his Loyalist certificate through St. Lawrence Branch in 1991. He used to live in Cornwall but has moved to an unknown location. If anyone knows of Larry’s whereabouts or family of Larry who might be interested, please contact me. I would be pleased to provide Larry with my research on Edward and his sons John C and Richard, and invite him to visit his ancestor’s house.

I’d be quite happy to receive and share any information with anyone.

…David Fayle {fayle AT csolve DOT net}

Descendents of Sarah Kast McGinness

Sarah was my 6th great-grandmother on my maternal side. Her daughter Mary McGinnis married Simon DeForest. Sarah Kast married Tomothy McGinnis abt. 1738 at German Flatts, NY. Known as Teady McGinness, he was a captain in the British North American army. He was fatally wounded in 1754 during a battle with the French near Fort Edward.

In 1777 Sarah Kast McGinness was asked by the British Superintendent of Indian Affairs, Daniel Claus, to live with the Six Nations natives and try to keep them loyal to King George. She was successful in her task and asked to again return in 1778 to live with the natives and keep them loyal to the crown.

I am also interested in communicating with anyone who was involved with the memorial plaque for Sarah Kast McGinness placed in Bath, Ontario in 1991. I am trying to find other descendants who may have proven their UE with this line and to share family genealogy. My goal is to add more information to the Directory of Loyalists about Sarah McGinness.

…Paul Caverly {pcaverly AT rogers DOT com}

Descendents of Jacob Bowman and his wife Elizabeth

The daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth Bowman was Elizabeth Bowman born abt. 1770 NY. She married Abraham Deforest abt. 1791 which is my maternal line.

Nov. 30, 1783 – Eliz Bowman, age 13 enumerated with her parents and sisters on “returns of persons under the description of Loyalists in Capt. George Dame’s company of the Corps of Rangers”, who where living in Niagara.

I am trying to find other descendants who may have proven their UE with this line and to share family genealogy. Elizabeth DeForest (Bowman) settled in the Niagara region. My goal is to add more information to the Directory of Loyalists about Jacob Bowman.

…Paul Caverly

Descendents of Abraham Deforest

Abraham DeForest (1739-1777) was the son of Simon Deforest and Mary McGinnes. Abraham DeForest is buried in the DeForest cemetery, Halton County, Ontario.

History & Muster Roll of King’s Royal Reg. of NY by Cruikshank and Watt – p202 – Deforest, Abraham, enlisted 25Apr.83 (roll of men, 2KRR NY enlisted since 15 Oct. 1781, dated 21Oct.1783.

Pte, 1NY, cap’t 23Jun79 ( James F. Morrison research; details 51 men captured or deserted from NY Contline, levies or Tryon militia regts and served in the two battalions of the KRR NY).

Stone, William L. – The orderly Book of Sir John Johnson during history campaign against Fort Stanwick NY. – includes entries from Nov. 4, 1776 to Jul 31, 1777.

I am trying to find other descendants who may have proven their UE with this line and to share family genealogy. My goal is to add more information to the Directory of Loyalists about Abraham DeForest.

…Paul Caverly {pcaverly AT rogers DOT com}