“Loyalist Trails” 2008-39: October 26, 2008

In this issue:
Nine Loyalist Teachers — © Stephen Davidson
Loyalist Promotion Items by Christmas
Loyalist Trails Receives Accolade from columnist Ruby Cusack
Additions to the Loyalist Directory
      + Response re Port Mattoon
      + Simon DeLong
      + George Waggoner/Wagner Family
      + Where is South River?
Last Post
      + MOKE, Elva May
      + DORLAND, John Terrance
      + Lois Eleanor Metler


Nine Loyalist Teachers — © Stephen Davidson

The loyalists who were teachers during (and after) the American Revolution are a remarkable group of men and women. Interestingly enough, of the 3,225 loyalists claimants who sought compensation from the British government, only two described themselves as teachers. Research has uncovered a few more. Here is a roll call of nine loyalist teachers.

Walter Bates, who would one day write Canada’s first international best seller, was a school teacher for loyalist children near one of Long Island’s refugee camps. After making New Brunswick his home, he became the sheriff of Kings County.

Black loyalist teachers in Nova Scotia founded Canada’s first two schools for free African students. Catherine Abernathy, a minister’s wife, taught 20 children in a log schoolhouse built by the black loyalists of Preston, just outside of Halifax.

Stephen Blucke, a 31-year-old man of mixed heritage from Barbados and the former commander of the Black Pioneers regiment founded a second school in Shelburne. Blucke was quickly recognized as a leader in the new settlement. In 1784 the governor of Nova Scotia appointed him the lieutenant colonel of the town’s black militia. His fellow refugees noted that Blucke used snuff, wore a cocked hat, wig, and ruffled shirts, and carried a walking stick. In time, he became the schoolmaster of 40 children between the ages of 5 and 11, using the Bible to teach them how to read and spell.

Frederick Dibblee had trained for the Anglican ministry at King’s College (later, Columbia University). His loyalty not only forced a change in his plans; it relocated him to the new colony of New Brunswick. The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (SPG) hired Dibblee to operate a school for Native children near present-day Woodstock. By 1790 be was teaching 22 students English and the trades in a 26-by-22-foot log school he had built himself. Although Dibblee received an allowance for boarding the Native boys as well as an annual salary of £30, he still had to maintain a farm in order to feed his family.

Two of Dibblee’s nephews became teachers after he became Woodstock’s first Anglican minister. Walter Dibblee was only 19 years old when his refugee parents came to New Brunswick, but his Connecticut education must have been impressive enough to warrant the SPG hiring him to teach after he became a married man. He moved to the loyalist settlement of Kingston after a time in Maugerville. In addition to being the jailer of the county prison, Walter also conducted classes in his home. His last teaching position was at the new school for Native children in Sussex Vale.

Walter’s brother, Ralph Dibblee, had tried farming in Woodstock, but he went into teaching like his uncle and became, for a while, the only teacher north of Fredericton. Ralph received £45 a year to instruct both Loyalist and Native children until he decided to try his hand at shop keeping. By 1799, Dibblee was dead at the age of 29.

James Murphy was an Irishman who went to New York in 1771 to seek a new life as a weaver. After settling in South Carolina in 1773, he became a teacher. After four years in the profession he decided, like Dibblee, to become a storekeeper. A loyalist, Murphy joined the British troops in Georgia, but patriots imprisoned him until the time of Charleston’s evacuation. He ultimately fled to England where the government gave him £10.10s to compensate for his losses.

Another loyalist from South Carolina was Alexander Cumming. He started a school in Beaufort with 20 students who each paid him £14.6 a year for his instruction. Within four years, Cumming had 25 boys and 4 girls under his tutelage and was earning £300 to £500 per year. This level of income allowed him to own two African slaves. One of these men was so skilled as a carpenter that Cumming hired him out to work for others. All of this came to an end, however, when Cumming’s loyalty forced him to escape from South Carolina to Jamaica with other refugees.

In the small settlement of Tracadie, Nova Scotia, the SPG built a school and hired Thomas Brownspriggs, a black loyalist, to be its teacher and the Anglican lay preacher. Brownspriggs had earlier demonstrated his leadership qualities by drawing up a petition for a separate settlement for the black loyalists along the Tracadie River — a request that the Nova Scotia government granted.

Loyalist teachers could also be heroes as well as community leaders. Mary Perth was enslaved in Virginia, joined the British in 1776, and settled in Shelburne, Nova Scotia in 1783. In 1792, Mary, her husband Caesar, and their children joined other black loyalists in founding the colony of Sierra Leone. Mary became the housekeeper for the governor’s mansion in Freetown; she also taught several dozen African children who lived nearby.

In September of 1794, the 54-year-old woman watched in horror as five French warships began to fire upon Freetown. After a vicious looting spree, the French sailors set fire to every building in the loyalist settlement. Mary Perth escaped to the outskirts of Freetown, taking her students with her. There she met Pa Demba, the ruler of a nearby Temne village. Perth must have done something in her earlier dealings with the Temne to earn the chief’s respect; he generously offered to shelter both the “Nova Scotian school mistress” and her students.

Loyalist teachers found themselves in an amazing variety of situations: teaching both white and Native children in New Brunswick, African students in Sierra Leone, freed slaves in Nova Scotia, and wealthy children in South Carolina. They usually had to supplement their meager incomes — and often moved on to other careers — but their contribution to the growth of their communities was very significant.

To secure permission to reprint this article contact the author at {stephendavids AT gmail DOT com}

Loyalist Promotion Items by Christmas

UEL Address/House Number Plaques

To guarantee delivery before Christmas we must receive your order no later than November 10, 2008. Each Plaque is custom made and our supplier requires about 6 weeks to manufacture the Plaque. We require about 1 week to get the Plaque to you.


To guarantee delivery before Christmas on clothing that we have to order from our supplier we must receive your order no later than November 15, 2008. For orders placed after the cut off date delivery will depend on whether we have the size and colour in stock.

If you are thinking about giving any of the Promotional Items as a Christmas Gift, please place your order ASAP. Christmas is not that far away.

See the Loyalist Promotions Catalogue for details. Please contract me with any questions about sizing, colours, availability etc.

…Noreen Stapley {gdandy AT iaw DOT on DOT ca}

Loyalist Trails Receives Accolade from columnist Ruby Cusack

On the 18th October 2008, Ruby Cusack’s column in the Telegraph-Journal drew attention to something we have long suspected – ONLINE NEWSLETTER HOLDS GEMS FOR THOSE WITH LOYALIST ROOTS. Ms. Cusack began with a description of a simple autumn ritual that flowed smoothly into an introduction to the Loyalists with a brief description of Loyalist Trails. She then singled out several articles submitted by fellow Maritimer Stephen Davidson each with a brief synopsis before encouraging her readers to “spend some time reading this online newsletter”. While UELAC is most fortunate to have so many contributors to Loyalist Trails, I would like to acknowledge we are thankful as well that Douglas W. Grant finds the time to regularly polish one of the “jewels in our crown”. Click here for the full article as it appeared in the Telegraph-Journal. Click here for Ruby Cusack’s web site.

…Frederick H. Hayward – President, UELAC

Additions to the Loyalist Directory

As time permits, we add information to the Loyalist Directory. The latest additions are:

– Adams, Isaac – from Ray Adams
– DeLong, Simon – from Rosann Fleischauer
– Allaby (Aliby),Isaac – from Darrell Little
– Munro, Samuel – from Jo Ann Tuskin


Response re Port Mattoon

Port Matoon is the local pronunciation for Port Mouton, a small outport quite near Liverpool and on the road (Highway 103) between Liverpool and Shelburne Nova Scotia. I have a print of the beach at Port Mouton hanging on the wall of my livingroom!

…Marg. H.

Simon DeLong

I have completed a line of descent from Henry DeLong to myself using a combination of birth, death and marriage certificates. However the link I have between Henry DeLong and his father Simon DeLong, who has been added to the Loyalist Directory, is from a transcript of the Last Will and Testament of Simon DeLong and also records which were provided in the published work of Betty Andrews Storey in “Descendants of Simon DeLong, Loyalist and Experience Charleton”. Some information about Simon is available on this page, where it indicates that the will is in the Courthouse in Annapolis Royal, N.S.

Could someone help me get an actual copy of the last will and testament of Simon DeLong, as that would complete my requirements for a UELAC certificate and membership. The distance between my home in the US and the archives of Nova Scotia precludes me from visiting directly.

I would also like to find a birth/death or marriage certificate showing the link between Simon and his son Henry to complete this phase of my research.

I am also interested in confirmation of the birth/marriage or death of Simon DeLong as that document would prove or disprove my existing theory that he is the brother of Aaron DeLong and John DeLong, sons of Conrad DeLong of New York State. Once I have confirmation of this link I am hoping to work on the mystery of which other siblings fought during the American Revolutionary War and where they ultimately settled. Note that several members of the former Fredericton Branch have proved their descent from Aaron DeLong who also appears in the Loyalist Directory.

Thanking you in advance for your help.

…Rosann Fleischauer {rosann DOT fleischauer AT mac DOT com}

George Waggoner/Wagner Family

Looking for UEL or other information on the Waggoner/Wagner family. My name is Michael Wagner. I am a descendant of one George Waggoner. He immigrated to British North America prior to the American Revolution, at the age of about 20 from Germany. I have information that he fought on the American side, but that is in question, as we have no definitive proof of that. He may very well have been a Loyalist. In fact I have a document dating to 1905 that says he was a Loyalist, but he had moved to Canada sometime after 1782. He had a son by the name of John Waggoner, born in Albany N.Y., in 1782. George’s wife was a woman with the last name of “Kelly”, who supposedly was from the Kelly family that later founded the 1st white settlement on Kelly’s island in Lake Erie, not far from Pelee Island (it’s in U.S. waters).

John and his wife Bridget (Conner) are listed as the children of American Loyalists in a document I got from Linda Iler at ECHRS in Essex. Their dates for the O.C. are July 21, 1812, and Aug. 7th, 1834. John had a brother named Emmanuel who was also definitely a Loyalist. Emmanuel had a son named Stephen Lucas Waggoner who was probably a Loyalist. There were undoubtedly others. We have non-UEL information on quite a number of the others.

But the real mystery couple is George and Miss Kelly. We know nothing much about them except that he was a farmer in the Kingston/Frontenac, Ontario area, and died there. The family then slowly migrated from there into South West Ontario to Waterloo, Essex, Windsor, Kingsville, Ruthven, and Leamington. Most were farmers, a few later worked for the railroad. my Grandparents were married in Windsor in 1915. He was born in Leamington, she was born at River Canard (Loiseville).

Thanks in advance for any help.

…Mike Wagner {mjw10250 AT Yahoo DOT com}

Where is South River?

Where was ‘South River’? In tracing my Loyalist ancestors’ journey from NY to Canada, documents show that the family (Widow Catharine Reid Munro Leech and children – see Loyalist Directory) was waiting at Crown Point for a boat to take them down L. Champlain to ‘St John’s in the Lower Province’ (now St Jean sur Richelieu, QC). Other notes mention that they later stayed at South River and possibly Sorel, QC. A reply from the Chateauguay Valley Historical Society (Thank you Burt!) shows that South River is a branch of the Richelieu River at 45.136N/73.252W, near Henryville, between L. Champlain and St Jean.

Query: Was there a Loyalist Refugee camp here? Where were the Loyalists quartered in 1782/3 through the end of the War?

My ancestor settled in Mallorytown when many Loyalists moved into what is now Ontario.

…Jo Ann Munro Tuskin, UE {jmtuskin AT sympatico DOT ca}

Last Post

MOKE, Elva May

Mrs. Elva May Moke of Cornwall and formerly of Osnabruck Township at the Sandfield Place Nursing Home on Friday, October 10, 2008 age 99 years and 7 months. Beloved wife of the late David Moke. Loved mother of Eric Moke (Edith Dixon) of Cornwall. Dear grandmother of Edward Moke (Susan) of Orleans; and Janet Taylor (James) of Embrun. Predeceased by her parents Simeon and Mary (Warner) Baker; infant son Earl; infant daughter Iris; one sister Verna Warner (late Milton); and by one brother Orval Baker (late Hattie). At the WILSON FUNERAL HOME, Cornwall. Interment in Memorial Hill Cemetery, North Lunenburg. Contributions to the First Baptist Church Memorial Fund or the charity of your choice would be appreciated by the family. Online messages of condolence may be made in the obituary section of www.wilsonfuneralhome.ca 11276960 CORNWALL STANDARD-FREEHOLDER

Elva was a member St. Lawrence Branch, Approved 1 June 1982 by Libby Hancocks under ancestor Benjamin Baker. Son Eric is a member.

…Lynne Cook UE

DORLAND, John Terrance

John passed away with grace in his 90th year on Monday, October 13, 2008 at the Belleville General Hospital. Born June 24, 1919 in Wellington, ON son of historian Dr. A.G. Dorland, Terry came from a distinguished Quaker family of United Empire Loyalists who settled in Prince Edward County. In 1944, Terry & his brother Albert volunteered to serve with the Friends Ambulance Service & were posted in both China & India. Upon his return from China, he completed his BSc. in Forestry at the University of Toronto. Terry & May lived for over 40 yrs. in Northern Ontario where he was employed by Kimberly Clark in Longlac & Terrace Bay. Terry is survived by his wife of 64 years, May, daughter Bonnie (Jim), sons Joe (Anne), Arthur (Debby), and Allan (Kathie), six grandsons & one great grandson. Terry was a long time branch member and served on the executive of the Bay of Quinte UEL for many years. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Nature Conservancy of Canada or charity of your choice in Terry’s memory. A private graveside service will be held at Wellington Cemetery, October 20, 2008.

…Brian Tackaberry UE

Lois Eleanor Metler

Lois Eleanor Metler died November 19, 2007 in Ypsilanti Michigan (just west of Detroit) after an extended illness.

Lois is survived by children: Paul (Susan) Metler of Ypsilanti, Susan (Robert) Henry of Brighton, many grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. Lois is predeceased by parents: William and Leda Jackson; siblings: Lila (Leslie) Crockett, Ruth Jackson, Roger (Colleen) Jackson, Gordon Jackson, Burleigh (Lillian) Jackson; previous husbands: John William Metler, Floyd Reister.

Always proud of her Canadian roots, Lois maintained her Canadian citizenship although emigrating to the U.S. in the 1950s with her husband. Her ancestors were some of the early families to settle in S.W. Ontario and she was always proud of her United Empire Loyalist heritage.

Lois learned to be grateful for the sorrows in her life as they taught her “to have a heart.” Through the humility, love and grace exemplified in Lois’ life, many lives were touched and many hearts were comforted. Memorial service was conducted at The Vineyard Church in Ann Arbor, MI, USA.

Lois traced her Loyalist line to Leonhard Kratz (Scratch) but could also have traced her roots to John Wendel Wigle (Weigele) and Juliana Romer.

[submitted by Susan Henry (nee Metler)]