“Loyalist Trails” 2008-41: November 9, 2008

In this issue:
A Loyalist Widow of New Brunswick — © Stephen Davidson
Friends of the Loyalist Collection Honoured by Brock University
Celebrating the 225th Loyalist Landing, at St. Paul’s Cathedral, London ON
Coupland’s Monument to the War of 1812 Unveiled
Letter from Clarence House
“History of New Brunswick” by Peter Fisher, 1782-1848
Presenting “The Facts behind the Fiction,” by Jean Rae Baxter, UE
Additions to the Loyalist Directory
      + Andrew Butler and Family
      + David and John Hunter Family
      + Response re Jonathan Burnham Family
      + Response re South River
Last Post
      + HOUGH, Donald Harold
      + OWEN, Marjorie Victoria
      + WARTMAN, Gordon Ross, UE


A Loyalist Widow of New Brunswick — © Stephen Davidson

As she neared the end of her life, Sarah Cory began to put her affairs in order. Though she was only able to make an “x” to sign it, Mrs. Cory put careful thought into her last will and testament. It opened with these words:

“The Will of Sarah Cory of Gagetown, New Brunswick dated 11 February 1815. In the name of God, Amen. I, Sarah Cory of Gagetown, Queens County and Province of New Brunswick, widow being far advanced in years but in perfect mind and memory thanks be to God, calling to mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for all people to die, do make and ordain this my last Will and testament. That is to say first of all I give and recommend my soul into the hand of Almighty God that gave it, and my body I recommend to the earth to be buried in a Christian burial at the direction of my executors nothing doubting at the last general Resurrection I shall receive the same again by the mighty power of God. And as touching such worldly estate as hath pleased God to bless me with I give depose of in the following manner and form.”

These words that ring with hope and purpose reveal nothing of the years of persecution and loneliness that Sarah Cory endured as the wife of a loyalist during the American Revolution. She and her husband Griffin lost everything that they had on their three farms. But despite all of her hardships, within 32 years’ time this New York widow was able to leave significant inheritances to her six children and a black slave.

Sarah Cory and her family were among the last of the loyalist refugees to arrive in New Brunswick in September of 1783. By the time the compensation claims board convened in Saint John in February 1787, the Corys had been living in Gagetown for almost four years. Nevertheless, Sarah’s memories of all that her family had endured were still fresh. With her son Thomas at her side, she told the commissioners her story.

Sarah and her husband Griffin lived in New York’s Westchester County at the outbreak of the revolution. Although Griffin was too old to fight for his king, three of his adult sons did. Thomas fought with the New York Volunteers, and Gilbert served aboard a British privateer.

Griffin Cory suffered “greatly from imprisonment and abuse” because of his loyalty, and eventually he had to flee to Long Island in February of 1778, leaving his wife and children behind. Two months later, rebels seized the Corys’ farm, but gave Sarah permission to live in one room of her own home. When they sold the contents of the house, the rebels “allowed her very little” of the money.

Six months later, Sarah and the children joined Griffin on Long Island within the relative safety of the British lines. But Griffin’s health was in decline. Sensing that his end was near, Cory drew up his will in the summer of 1780, leaving legacies to Sarah and his children. However, the patriot victory meant that the Cory family –now considered traitors to the new republic — had lost all of their property. Sarah bravely returned to her home at the end of the war only to discover that the commissioner of forfeited estates had seized it and sold it all to a Mr. Osborn. Included in the transaction were 10 hogs, 30 sheep, corn, farming tools, a horse, 20 cattle, and all of the Corys’ furniture.

But Sarah’s thoughts were on more immediate and irreplaceable losses. Her husband had died in August of 1780; and before the last shot had been fired in the American Revolution, her son John had died in battle. Gathering up her children and Dorothy, her four-year-old black slave, Widow Cory travelled to New York where she boarded the Eagle with other loyalist refugees and sailed off for the mouth of the St. John River. However, the heartaches were not yet at an end. Within four months of settling in Gagetown, Sarah’s son Amos died.

For the next few years, the remaining Cory family members cleared and farmed the land granted to them. When Thomas Cory stood with his mother at the compensation board hearings, he said that it was the wish of the family that Sarah should receive all of the compensation for her husband’s losses.

For the next three decades the Cory family disappears from the public records until Sarah drew up her will in 1815. Although her arrival in New Brunswick had been made in the shadow of great loss and the deaths of three family members, Sarah had obviously prospered since 1783. Morris received the family’s original farm in Gagetown and a bed. Sarah bequeathed her land on Grimross Neck to her son Griffin and daughter Hannah. Thomas received £50; Elizabeth got £40. Gilbert was given a bed; Hannah received all of her mother’s clothing. Silvaneus and Lewis, two sons not mentioned in the will, had died sometime before their mother.

The family’s African slave, Dorothy, was now 36 years old and had children of her own. Her inheritance was perhaps the most valuable of the treasures that Sarah bequeathed. The widow’s will declared that Dorothy and her family were “to be free from slavery with her bed and bedding and wearing clothing without any demands of my children”.

Sarah Cory’s story shows how crucial the “dry” legal records of the loyalist era can be. If we simply had the transcripts of the compensation board hearings, we would only know of Sarah’s hardships and losses. If we just had her will, we might suppose that she was a rich and prosperous loyalist refugee. But with both records in hand, we can appreciate all that Sarah endured and overcame to begin a new life far from the battlefields of the American Revolution.

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

Friends of the Loyalist Collection Honoured by Brock University

Brock University was the site of a well attended reception on Sunday October 26 to honour the contribution made by The Friends of the Loyalist Collection at Brock University.

In his remarks, University President Jack Lightstone stated, “The Loyalist Collection is a growing resource of primary and secondary sources that document the history of the United Empire Loyalists in Canada. It has a keen interest in the approximately 5000 Loyalists who settled in the Niagara Peninsula at the conclusion of the American Revolution 1783″.

His address concluded with, “Thanks to your work, Brock University is building a research centre of excellence in Loyalist History.”

Chairman of the Friends of the Loyalist Collection at Brock, Edward Scott UE gave an outline of the origin of the Organization which was founded in 2002 as a registered charity.

The collection to date contains some 500 rolls of microfilm including the personal papers of Sir Frederick Haldimand, Sir Guy Carleton, along with Niagara Loyalists the Merritt Family, Joseph Brant, the Claus Family, Jarvis and Powell Families, Robert and Abraham Nelles, Col. John Butler, and John Graves Simcoe. The largest group of films are the Loyalist Petitions for land in Upper Canada and New Brunswick. These petitions are an excellent source of information on those individuals who were United Empire Loyalists.

For more information please visit our website or email {loyalist AT becon DOT org}

— from the Welland Tribune, November 1, 2008

[submitted by Ed Scott UE]

Celebrating the 225th Loyalist Landing, at St. Paul’s Cathedral, London ON

On that date members from across the Central West Region, with family and friends came together to honour the lives of their ancestors, many of whom in fact arrived first on the east coast of Canada then made the long trek to Upper Canada. Although an exact count was not made, it is believed that there were about 100 in attendance.

Invitations went out to politicians, knowing that they would not likely be able to attend, but we used this opportunity to do a little education or re-education. The Honourable Christopher Bentley, MPP and Attorney General for the Province of Ontario kindly send a scroll, recognizing the contribution made by the Loyalists, especially in the Province of Ontario.

On behalf of the Government of Ontario it is my pleasure to celebrate the 225th Anniversary of the landing of the United Empire Loyalists. This date over two centuries ago proved to be a defining moment in our country’s history. We all owe a great deal to those who came before us for creating a peaceful and free country. I wish all those in attendance a happy celebration and best wishes in the future. Kindest personal regards. Chris Bentley MPP London West.

Following the church service the Anglican Church Women offered a reception and some of the Branches brought displays. There appeared to be a genuine interest in the displays and since the September 21 service I have had members of the congregation speak to me about how much they appreciated learning about this history and seeing the many members who attended in period dress.

Click here for pictures.

…Sue Hines UE, Councillor, Central West Region, UELAC

Coupland’s Monument to the War of 1812 Unveiled

While attending a recent unveiling of public art, I was intrigued by the semantics of what is a “monument.” UELAC has attempted in the past few years to document our many monuments to the United Empire Loyalists across Canada. Our progress can be found here. With a few exceptions, those posted images could be classified more as memorials than works of art.

As the bicentennial of the War of 1812 approaches, we will witness a renewed interest in that early conflict which involved so many of our ancestors. The unveiling of The Monument to the War of 1812 by Toronto’s Deputy Mayor Joe Patalone on November 3 stands as one of the many upcoming links to that period in our history. Created by Douglas Coupland, B.C. author and artist, the innovative monument was inspired by toy soldiers he discovered at nearby Fort York. Coupland admitted he was amazed at the considerable research that was necessary to ensure the uniforms were correct down to the buttons and stripes. Greatly changed in scale, the large gold and silver figures representing the 1813 Royal Newfoundland Regiment and the 16th U.S. Infantry Regiment were created in Calgary of styrofoam over a steel armature and coated with resin. With the four-metre tall RCN soldier towering over the recumbent American figure, the sculptor emphasized that it was his response to the history revisionists who attempt to portray the Americans as the winners of the war.

Coupland’s first permanent installation was commissioned as a public art contribution (1% of construction costs) by Malibu Investments, developers of the 32-storey condominum at the northwest corner of Fleet and Bathurst in Toronto. Thus, with a cost of $500,000, it is hard to visualize a comparable portrayal of the United Empire Loyalists in time for 2014.

Also attending the unveiling were the former governor-general, Adrienne Clarkson, and her husband, John Ralston Saul, author of the recently released A Fair Country: Telling Truths about Canada, and varied representatives of the Toronto media.

Was it a monument? One definition for “monument” found in the Dictionary of Canadian English describes the word as “ anything that keeps alive the memory of a person or an event”. With that in mind, Douglas Coupland’s Monument to the War of 1812 is more than a piece of art. It serves a timely reminder that we are approaching another key anniversary in our Canadian history.


Letter from Clarence House

This week Dominion Office UELAC received a note of appreciation from Clarence House. In anticipation of the 60th birthday of HRH Prince of Wales, congratulatory greetings had been sent on behalf of all members of UELAC. In the response, special mention was made regarding the kindness of our observation of this personal milestone as well as the interesting connection between HRH Duchess of Cornwall and the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada.

…Frederick H. Hayward UE, President UELAC

“History of New Brunswick” by Peter Fisher, 1782-1848

Originally published in 1825 under the title: Sketches of New Brunswick : containing an account of the first settlement of the province, with a brief description of the country, climate, productions, inhabitants, government, rivers, towns, settlements, public institutions, trade, revenue, population, &c., by an inhabitant of the province.

As originally published in 1825 (With a few additional Explanatory Notes), then re-printed jointly by the Government of New Brunswick and WilliamShives Fisher (Grandson of the Author) under the auspices of the New Brunswick Historical Society, Saint John NB 1921.

Publisher’s Notice: The tale of the Loyalists; their loyalty to high ideals of national duty–to fulfil which they underwent untold losses, privations and sufferings when they abandoned their homes and their all, and sought new homes and commenced a new life in a northern wilderness–is a story that appeals wherever patriotism is an honor and self-sacrifice a virtue. In this Province of New-Brunswick, settled mainly by families torn and rent by the American revolution and whose descendants are reaping the reward of their sacrifice, it is of peculiar interest.

In 1825, when Peter Fisher published the first Historical work, the Province of New-Brunswick had received the loyalist immigration forty-three years before, at which date it was constituted a separate Province. The progress of the country during a period when its political institutions and industrial life were in a formative condition is of deep interest. The account given of it in Mr. Fisher’s work is of sufficient value in the opinion of the New Brunswick Historical Society to warrant its being reprinted. In addition to the original work, there has been embodied with it, notes and observations prepared by the Venerable Archdeacon Raymond and published in Vol. X of the records of the Society. A copy of the history not being available, this is printed from a photostat copy furnished by the Dominion archives.

Available from Project Gutenberg as an ebook.

Presenting “The Facts behind the Fiction,” by Jean Rae Baxter, UE

I was very pleased to see Ruth’s article and review of The Way Lies North included in the November 2 issue of Loyalist Trails. Perhaps some branches will be interested in having me present my illustrated talk, “The Facts behind the Fiction,” at one of their meetings.

This is a PowerPoint presentation that I developed from materials gathered in the course of research for The Way Lies North. It consists of forty-five images­portraits, drawings, maps, and political cartoons, most from the 1770’s. They show the political situation in New York Province and the plight of Loyalists living there. I have given this presentation at schools and libraries and to UEL groups and others with an interest in Canadian history. On November 4 I shall present it at a luncheon meeting of the Burlington Lakeshore Rotary Club. Depending on the time available and the type of audience, its length varies from 30 minutes to one hour.

Interested groups may contact me at jeanraebaxter@sympatico.ca by telephone: 905-543-0023.

…Jean Rae Baxter UE

Additions to the Loyalist Directory

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

– John Chatterton

– Andrew Butler by Carolyn Cragun


Andrew Butler and Family

ANDREW BUTLER: I am trying to obtain some help with my ancestors Andrew Butler (son of Colonel John Butler) and Ann Clement (daughter of Lewis Clement). Ann was buried from Saint Mark’s church (church records) on 22 May 1804 in Niagara. Their son Thomas was christened a few days later on 27 May 1804 (St. Mark’s church records). When did Andrew die? Vivian Spack, a Butler family researcher in the 1950’s told me he died on 21 May 1804 ( Did Andrew die before Ann in 1804 and if so, why is this not in the church records with Ann’s burial?) Is there a will? What happened to his land gained as a UEL? Who raised Thomas? Can anyone help me? (More details about Andrew and his family are in the Loyalist Directory

…Carolyn Cragun, UEL, 801-492-9353 or {carolynh AT cragun DOT com}

David and John Hunter Family

A member, I have proved my descent from David Hunter. David’s deposition has information about a younger brother: “… John who served with the British Fleet …”.

The following is a short version of my extensive documentation for the Hunter (and Viele) family:

– David Hunter emigrated to New York from Ulster in 1774 at age 14, with his parents, 2 brothers. and a sister. David joined Jessup’s Rangers in 1779. The Hunter family was divided:

– David went to Canada at the end of the war when warrants were issued for his arrest.

– Francis (David’s older brother) remained on the family farm in New York.

– John (David’s younger brother) “… served with the British Fleet …”.

– Mary (David’s younger sister) remained in New York and married Nathaniel Millard, a cousin of President Millard Filmore.

– David’s parents died in 1782 and 1783.

– James Hunter (born 1803), one of David’s sons, married Mary Willis, moved to the St. Mary’s, Ontario area, and then moved to Michigan.

– George Hunter, one of James and Mary’s (Willis) sons, married Francis Ann Wright.

– James Hunter (born 1856), one of George’s sons, married Mary Minerva Viele. Mary Viele’s great great grandfather (Philip) fought in the Battle of Saratoga as a Patriot and is recognized by the DAR. Therefore, descendants of the Hunter and Viele family merger are of Loyalist and Patriot ancestry.

– Ethel Hunter, one of James and Mary’s (Viele) daughters, married my grandfather James Downes.

The Loyalist directory lists a John Hunter. How can I determine if the John Hunter in the directory is David Hunter’s brother and

where can I find more information about John Hunter and his service with the British Fleet?

I am willing to share my information and provide copies of my documentation for the Hunter or Viele families.

…Jean Clark, Carlisle, Kentucky {clark_pr AT hughes DOT net}

Response re Jonathan Burnham Family

Jonathan Burnham’s father, Jacob Burnham, left England with his family (he had a number of sons but it is not known how many) and came to the United States. The whole family settled in some part of the United States except Jonathan who came on to Sackville and settled with Stephen Milledge who lived near the Botsford place in West Sackville. Some time after his marriage with Mary Carnforth he settled on the Carnforth homestead and lived there until his death. For some time after his death his eldest son, William, carried on his business until finally he sold out and moved first to Eastport, Maine and then to some other part of the United States. Thomas another son married a Miss Smith from Dorchester and settled on the Bulmer place at Frosty Hollow. After a time he also went to the United States and finally died while on his way to California. John the third son of Jonathan Burnham went to Petitcodiac, married a young lady from that place and lived there until his death. There were five girls in the Burnham family who all married and went to live in different parts of the country. Mary married John Dobson; Ann married Robert Dobson; _____ married Thomas Fawcett; Mary married Benjamin C. Scurr.

He occupied what was known as Carnforth’s Island being the district east from Cape Railway Station.

Burnham was the first Customs officer in Sackville; his son, William, succeeded him. The others in turn were: Dr. Backhouse, Jonathan Black, James D. Dickson, Wm. C. Milner, Josiah Anderson, F. W. George.

Source: History of Sackville, New Brunswick, by Milner, 1934

…Paul Cusack {paulcusack AT rogers DOT com}

Response re South River

“Loyalist Trails” Newsletter 2008-39 contained a query: “Where was South River?” and then further asked: “Was there a Loyalist Refugee camp here? Where were Loyalists quartered in 1782/3 through the end of the War?” Newsletter 2008-40 continued on the subject. Here is more:

My wife and I have an old schoolhouse in Alburgh, VT (Caldwell’s Upper Manor), just about ten miles south of a bridge where Quebec Rte-225 crosses the South River, between the villages of Noyan and Henryville. We stop at the bridge often. Robie is a photographer and she stalks a big old blue heron who fishes there.

Much has been published about the ships that brought Loyalists to Canada­to the new settlements at Nova Scotia, or up the St. Lawrence River to Quebec and Montreal. They also came aboard ships on Lake Champlain, from Crown Point and other gathering places at the south end of the lake, to safety “within the lines of British Forces” at the north end of the lake. The refugee families were put ashore at Isle aux Noix or at Fort St. John, where new, yet primitive, roads would take them to by foot to the St. Lawrence at La Prairie, and thus across to Montreal, or north past the rapids of the Richelieu to Sorel, and thus across to the refugee camps at Machiche (Yamachiche).

The preferred mode of travel would have been on a ship, possibly aboard HMS the Lady Maria, which is known to have carried many families into Canada. You took a ship if one was offered, and if you could get to it, at one of the gathering places such as at Crown Point. If the wind was right, the ship took you from Lake Champlain right on into the Riche­lieu River and all the way north to St. John. If the wind was not right, you might be put ashore at the Loyal Blockhouse at Dutchman’s Point on Long Island, or at Windmill Point­either way, you were now safely within the British lines, and from there a well traveled road along the east bank of the Richelieu took you to the mouth of the South River.

But most walked. By 1782 there were hundreds of families being pushed out of their homes throughout northern New York, and throughout northern and western New England. Many were far from British protection in the port cities, where the evacuation ships were. They were forced to travel to Canada via inland routes. There were primitive roads and portages up both shores of Lake Champlain and also up the Connecticut River and then across the mountains to the lake. Eventually, almost all of these routes reached the Quebec border at High Gate, Vermont, and then followed a well traveled portage trail (“a smuggler’s road”) from Missisquoi Bay to the South River. From the mouth of the South River it was an easy journey on to Isle aux Noix, or to St. John.

Once arrived at the South River, many of these families, especially those yet to be convinced that they wanted to crowd into one of Gov. Haldimand’s wretched refugee camps to await transport to the new Townships in Upper Canada, the prospect of simply settling near the South River was very attractive. Obliging, active sales promotion by Henry Caldwell, Gabriel Christie, and John Campbell offered surveyed farm sites both north and south of the South River. The original query asked: Where were Loyalists quartered in 1782/3 through the end of the War?” For many hundreds of families, these old seigneuries, Caldwell Manor, Christie Manor, and Noyan became their new home.

Sources include:

Andre Charbonneau, “The Fortifications of Ile aux Noix”, 1994, Parks Canada, Ottawa.

Francoise Noel, “The Christie Seigneuries”, 1992, McGill-Queens University Press, Montreal.

…Lewis Kreger, UE, member SJJCB UELAC and Alburgh Historical Society {lkreger60 AT comcast DOT net}

Last Post

HOUGH, Donald Harold

Peacefully at Helen Henderson Care Centre, Amherstview on Friday, October 24, 2008, in his 91st year. Beloved husband of the late Jean (nee Trumpour). Loving father of Duncan (Ruth), Sillsville, Robert (Jane), Sillsville, Ken (Heather), Ayre, and Bruce (Beth), Richmond Hill. Sadly missed by 10 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren. Predeceased by his sister Phyllis Camm. Survived by his brother-in-law Ken Trumpour, Orangeville and his many nieces and nephews. Don was a charter year member of the Bay of Quinte Branch UEL and noted for his research into the history of the Hay Bay area.

[submitted by Brian Tackaberry UE]

OWEN, Marjorie Victoria

Born August 19, 1931 (34 Year Employee of Victoria County Board of Education, Longtime Volunteer of Lindsay Humane Society, and passionate Environmentalist). Entered into rest at the Ross Memorial Hospital, Lindsay on November 4, 2008 in her 78th year. Marjorie is predeceased by parents Stanley and Evelyn Owen, and siblings Philo, Ruth, Fred, Clyde, Evan and Grace. Forever loved by nephew Garry Edwards and niece Debbie McCullough. Fondly remembered by many nieces, nephews and friends. Memorial donations to the Humane Society of Kawartha Lakes. Online condolences may be made at the Mackey Funeral Home website.

Marjorie Owen, UE was a valued long time member who served on several Kawartha Branch committees over the years. She was a great supporter of the Branch and will be missed.

…Charles (Chuck) Geo. Ross, UE; President, Kawartha Branch

WARTMAN, Gordon Ross, UE

Entered into rest at the Providence Continuing Care Centre, Kingston on Sunday November 2, 2008. Gordon Wartman in his 80th year. Survived by his friend and loving partner of 58 years, Shirley (Gilmour). Father of Catherine (Roy) Curzon; Kenneth; Wendy-Ann and Ronald (Ellen). Predeceased by his daughter in law Darlene. His greatest joy was being a doting grandfather. Predeceased by his parents Ross Wartman and Maude (Ferguson) of Kepler. The youngest of six, survived by sisters Shirley (Larry) Mann of Bancroft and Marie Coulter of Toronto, predeceased by Olga, Alvin and Jean. PAUL G. PAYNE FUNERAL HOME, Odessa Interment Sydenham Cemetery. Donations to the Kingston Alzheimer’s Society or P.C.C.C. (Ward 26). Retired Dupont Canada, Kingston.

…Lynne Cook