“Loyalist Trails” 2008-37: October 12, 2008

In this issue:
Sarah Huffnail’s Tombstone — by Jean Norry
2008 Phillip E.M. Leith Memorial Award Presented to Dr. Peter N. Moogk UE
New York State Military Museum Reopens
Additions to the Loyalist Directory
Last Post: Albert A. Dorland
      + Response re Joseph Slack Family
      + John Noble Family and the Winter of 1783 (or 1782) in Port Mattoon NS


Sarah Huffnail’s Tombstone — by Jean Norry

My sister and I went to the UEL Heritage Centre and Park at Adolphustown to check out our 3x great grandmother’s tombstone. It has been stored away under the basement steps for many years and I thought I should take a picture and then hire someone to carry it out to the memorial wall of tombstones and mount it there with the other Loyalist stones. However, as it turned out, there were two big problems.

There are hundreds of graves, perhaps thousands, on this property. It has been used as a graveyard since 1785. Only 15 or 20 big tombstones are standing upright in the memorial wall, and there is no place there for Sarah’s gravestone. So, that is one problem. This wall was built in about 1958. I remember my mother writing letters, as the secretary of the Adolphustown Women’s Institute, asking for financial help to restore the old neglected Loyalist graveyard. The people of Adolphustown, and especially the Women’s Institute ladies, were embarrassed that our historic cemetery had fallen into such a state of disrepair.

Mrs. McLaughlin of Oshawa took on the challenge of preserving this landmark and with her money and her many friends to help her, the job was done. I think she acted as the chairperson and got other people to do the actual work. Everybody in Adolphustown was pleased with the memorial wall of stones.

Sarah’s tombstone is too heavy to move up the basement stairs. My brother in law says it would take four strong men to lift it. The basement entrance has been sealed over. We noticed three other tombstones under the steps and I think all of them may have been stored there since before 1958. I guess I’m going to leave them there. But, I should tell you what I know about Sarah my 3x great grandmother and how she happened to be buried in Adolphustown.

Sarah’s family

In the spring of 1852 she told the census taker she was 75 years old and that she was born on Long Island. She was Sarah Huffnail, a daughter of Arthur and Sarah Youmans. Her son Jacob Huffnail (1796-1880) is probably the one who had four tombstones made for himself and his wife Jane and his father Andrew Huffnail and his mother Sarah Youmans. She died on May 17th, 1860 at 82 years, 11 months and 2 days. So, this means, I think that she was born on June 15th, 1777.

Her father Arthur Youmans (who always spelled his name Yeomans) was in Beverley Robinson’s Regiment, the Loyal Americans, and based in New York City for most of the war. Arthur and his brother James joined on October 11th of 1777… as indicated by the muster rolls. This means he found a place for his family to live on Long Island and then he went off to join the army. He was on guard duty in various places around New York for those 5 years between 1777 and 1783.

Arthur had been a moderately well to do land owner in Smith’s Clove in Orange County before the war. His father Eleazer had been a successful millwright in Westchester County in the 1760s, at White Plains and at Peekskill. Arthur would have known many of the Loyalist refugees and the Loyal American soldiers from Westchester County. On August 22nd of 1783 the Loyal American muster roll has this notation for Arthur, “gone into the country for his family”. They may have left on the last British ship out of New York City. The evacuation took place that fall.

He was spotted in Sorel that winter with his son David. Mr. Dorlandt made a note of this. We don’t know if this was Philip or Thomas Dorland, but it means Arthur didn’t have time to receive any land in Nova Scotia or New Brunswick. Most of the Loyal American Regiment soldiers settled along the St. John River.

I think Arthur must have been partly blind. His signature on a legal document in New York City in 1791 was written as though he couldn’t see what he was doing. So, David, his teenaged son was taking his arm and walking with him in Sorel that winter of 1783. This son David Youmans, born in 1771, was ordained as one of the first Canadian preachers for the Methodist church in Upper Canada by 1813.

This little family of Arthur Youmans and his wife Sarah stayed in Montreal for four years. They had another son James, born there in 1787. Their son Arthur (1774- 1858) may have gone to school in Montreal and the oldest son Eleazer (1764 – 1844) probably worked on the docks at Lachine. That story turns up in a Dowling family recollection told many years later by a grandson. And it is possible that David learned to be a blacksmith at Lachine. I’m really guessing at this, however, when David was a Methodist preacher and circuit rider in Upper Canada, his occupation was written down as a blacksmith.

They arrived in Kingston in 1788 to apply for Loyalist land. As we all know, most of the Loyalists had been granted land by lot four years earlier in 1784. Arthur and his son David were awarded 200 acres each on the 5th Concession of Thurlow Twp., in Hastings County. I doubt if Arthur, the father, ever took his family to Thurlow Twp. He could have lived with his oldest son Eleazer in Kingston. By 1790 he had decided to go back to New York to appear at a court case involving a farm he had sold in Smith’s Clove before the war, but for which he hadn’t paid off the mortgage. So, Arthur and his wife Sarah left Canada. Maybe their son Eleazer went with them.

It looks as though they rearranged their family so that the baby James would stay with Eleazer in Kingston and David, who had married Sally by now, would look after Sarah and Arthur in Picton. In the meantime David had acquired another farm on the high shore of Prince Edward County in Hallowell Twp., at lot 19, overlooking the Bay of Quinte.

There was another daughter Jemima Youmans who married William Yerex in Kingston on November 29th, 1789. William’s father Isaac Yerex was a friend of Arthur Youmans (and also a second cousin) and I can imagine they arranged this marriage of their children before going back to New York. Larry Turner in his book’ about the Adolphustown and Kingston Loyalists, “Voyage of a Different Kind”, wrote that Isaac Yerex went back to New York.

How did Sarah meet Andrew Huffnail?

But, now back to Sarah Youmans. She was 13 when her parents left Canada. For New York. How did she meet Andrew Huffnail? It is possible that her brother Arthur was a good friend of Andrew Huffnail. In 1794 Arthur Youmans was 20 and Andrew Huffnail was 23. They had both lived through the American Revolution as teen-agers. Andrew had been a drummer boy They might have met out in the Bay of Quinte in their row boats. Andrew had a farm near East Lake but he lived with his mother and two little sisters in Adolphustown. Arthur had land at Cherry Valley, as the son of a Loyalist, and he built a mill there. Arthur and Andrew were very much alike, and it shows up in their handwriting and their wills and their way of doing things. They would have liked each other, but I don’t have any stories or records to verify they were friends. It is not ridiculous to suppose Andrew Huffnail went home with Arthur Youmans for supper, so he could meet his brother David and wife Sally and also, Arthur’s little sister Sarah.

Andrew and Sarah were married around 1795 when Sarah was 18. Peter Van Alstine was the Justice of the Peace in Adolphustown, who in all likelihood performed the marriage. His note book has never been found, but Stephen Conger, the Justice of the Peace in Picton kept his book of marriages and his burial records. From those records we can be certain that Arthur and his family went to the White Chapel in the east end of Picton for many years.

Andrew and Sarah had only one child, a son Jacob in 1796. Jacob married Jane, possibly a daughter of Daniel Steel in 1817 and they had seven daughters. In 1852 they lived in South Fredericksburg Twp., on the 2nd Concession Additional. Jacob had a lumber mill on this farm. In the 1851 Census Sarah was a widow of 75, Jacob was a widower 55 years old, and Cynthia, the youngest granddaughter was 18. The other grand daughters lived nearby.

Jacob was named after his grandfather Jobst Huffnail (or Hofnagel). Sometime around 1875 Jacob had four tombstones made for himself and his family in the old Loyalist Cemetery in Adolphustown. As far as we know now, he didn’t get tombstones for his grandparents Jobst and Margaret Huffnail and I think this indicates they are buried on their original farm at lot 14 Concession 1 in Adolphustown Township on the Bayshore Road.

Sarah’s tombstone is in good shape. The printing hasn’t corroded with acid rain. It is certainly in safe keeping under the stair steps. Maybe I should do something about this but I’m not sure just what.

Sources used:

– Loyalists in the Southern Campaign, Book 3

– Kingston Before 1812 by Richard A Preston, page 349

– Voyage of a different Kind by Larry Turner, pages 122 and 161

– To Their Heirs Forever, by Eula Lapp, page 253

…Jean Norry UE

2008 Phillip E.M. Leith Memorial Award Presented to Dr. Peter N. Moogk UE

Dr. Peter Moogk is the second recipient of the Phillip E.M. Leith Memorial Award.

This annual award, exclusive to UEL Pacific Regional membership, was established in 2007 by the Vancouver Branch and recognizes the member who exemplifies the “best in voluntarism” through their contribution to one of the Pacific Regional branches or to the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada at large.

Peter has been a member of the Vancouver Branch for 27 years and during that time he has served as Branch President, vice-President and newsletter editor as well as Pacific Regional Councillor. He was instrumental in helping to establish two other Pacific Regional branches, Chilliwack and Thompson-Okanagan. Peter taught Canadian History at the University of British Columbia where his focus was French-Colonial, pre-Loyalist history. He also has a strong interest in Canadian Military history. He is the author of a number of books among which are Building a House in New France; La Nouvelle France: The Making of French Canada and his most recent, Frontenac: the Courtier Governor. Now that Peter has retired he has taken on one of Vancouver Branch’s 2014 projects, a book on the Loyalist descendants in B.C.

Congratulations, Peter!

…Mary Anne Bethune

New York State Military Museum Reopens

The New York State Military Museum and Veterans Research Center, Saratoga Springs, reopened to the public on Wednesday, October 1. The museum was closed for the month of September for the construction of a new entryway.

Several new items have been put on exhibit while the museum was closed. A 1700’s British naval swivel gun found off of Valcour Island in Lake Champlain has been added to the Revolutionary War gallery. The New Acquisitions Gallery has several recent additions, including: a World War I era YWCA worker’s uniform, a painted tin insignia of the 247th Communication Squadron, New York Air National Guard, ca. 1955, two original Thomas Nast military cartoons (1868), a collection of Civil War Union and Confederate belt plates and a uniform jacket and a Protestant Chaplain’s kit of a New York chaplain who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The museum houses over 10,000 artifacts dating from the Revolutionary War to the Global War of Terror that relate to New York State’s military forces, the state’s military history and the contributions of New York’s veterans. The artifacts include uniforms, weapons, artillery pieces, and art. Click here for more information.

…Bill Glidden

Additions to the Loyalist Directory

As time permits, we add information to the Loyalist Directory. The latest addition is Hayman William by Claire Hayman Lincoln

Last Post: Albert A. Dorland

DORLAND, Albert A. Passed away at Hillel Lodge in Ottawa on October 6, 2008. Born January 11, 1922 in London, Ontario, Albert came from a distinguished Quaker family of United Empire Loyalists who settled in Prince Edward County. He studied math and history at Western and since Quakers cannot serve as combatants shipped out with his older brother Terry to China, where both served in the Friends’ Ambulance Unit. Albert went on to become Secretary-General of the Red Cross in China at age 24, a heady period in which he met such notables as Chiang Kai-chek, Chou En-lai and Madame Soong Ching-ling, who became the first president of the People’s Republic. Returning to America via Paris, Albert met and married Janine Grumbach (1923-1990) and they would have two boys together, Michael and Philippe. Albert won a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship to Cornell University for post graduate studies in Chinese history, writing a dissertation on Franco-Chinese diplomatic relations. Albert and the family moved to Montreal in 1952 where he worked for the British and Foreign Department of the Sun Life Assurance Company, with responsibilities for Sun Life’s holdings in South Africa. In 1970, Albert joined the federal civil service at Statistics Canada, from which he retired in 1987, after a successful career there as Deputy-Director. A man of varied interests, and a skilled carpenter, Albert built a number of fine pieces of furniture. He is survived by his sons and his grandchildren. If you would like to remember Albert, please give to the charity of your choice.

[Published in the Ottawa Citizen on 10/9/2008]

…Lynne Cook UE


Response re Joseph Slack Family

According to Thad. Leavitt’s 1879 “History of Leeds and Grenville” (which generally falls somewhere between a primary and a secondary source) the Joseph Slack he was inquiring about is identified as a UEL from near Albany NY, and as a UEL he drew Lot 9 in the 10th Concession of Yonge.

George L. Slack – son of a Joseph Slack – and Catherine Broad (daughter of my 4th great-grandfather William Broad, R.E.) married on 19 Feb 1860 in Kitley Township, Leeds & Grenville, ON. The citation for this is in the marriage returns of Hugh Nichols, Minister of the regular Baptist Church in Kitley, Microfilm MS 248, Reel 9; it reads: “George L. SLACK, 24, Canada, Yonge, son of Joseph and Margaret, married Catherine BROAD, 21, Canada, Yonge, daughter of William and Elizabeth, witness: Mary WILSON of Bastard, 19 Feb 1860.”

It’s possible that George L. Slack’s father, Joseph, was the grandson of the Joseph Slack whom you’re seeking and was somehow expunged from the list of Loyalists. After George L. Slack’s death on 11 Oct 1887, his widow Catherine (Broad) Slack married Brockville-born, but Chicago resident, Abner D. Moore on 14 April 1896 in Athens, ON. If Catherine (Broad, Slack) Moore returned to Chicago with her 2nd husband, it’s possible that some of her adult children moved to the US with her and their step-father Abner D. Moore. Moore seems to have predeceased Catherine, however, and she was buried in ON on 15 Oct 1929.

If this sounds like it just might be your branch of the Slack family of eastern ON, I can add that birth, marriage, and death records indicate that George and Catherine (Broad) Slack had at least 7 children: Lucy C., Fanny, Martha, Mary (a.k.a. “Minnie”), Florence (a.k.a. “Flora”), George Lewis, and Charles MacKenzie Slack. All the children were born in the Athens /Yonge area near Brockville in eastern ON between 1863-1878. Lucy and Fanny both died in Athens, ON in 1877. I do not know where the other Slack children ended up.

If the names of any of these Joseph and Margaret Slack > George and Elizabeth (Broad) Slack descendants sound familiar to you, feel free to contact me and I’ll e-mail you the documents I have on file.

…Michael Broad, UE, MA

John Noble Family and the Winter of 1783 (or 1782) in Port Mattoon NS

Apparently, ggg grandfather John Noble was in the Delaware Line and was captured by the British at Camden, South Carolina, along with a lot of other soldiers. He was sent as a POW to New York where he joined the British military rather than be imprisoned. His marriage certificate shows that he and Jemima were married by a British chaplain.

My ggg grandparents, John Noble and Jemima (Purdy) Noble were part of the group of Loyalists brought from New York to Port Mattoon in 1783 (or possibly 1782). After a bad winter there, they went with Capt. Nehemiah Marks to what is now St. Stephen, NB.

According to my cousin, her ggg grandmother, Eunice Purdy (Jemima’s sister), married a James Lane at Port Mattoon and the two of them went with Nehemiah Marks to St. Stephen and later to Calais, Maine, as did my ggg grandparents, John and Jemima (Purdy) Noble.

Along with more information about the Noble Family I would like to find out more information about the winter in Port Mattoon. Apparently a large number of people died. One of my distant cousins said she read a book about the winter they spent there. Does anyone know of such a book?

…Doug Noble {dnoble AT innercite DOT com}