“Loyalist Trails” 2009-20: May 17, 2009

In this issue:
Boston’s Wooden Refugees — © Stephen Davidson
Toronto Branch Workshop to Durham Historica Fair Students
Display & Sales Tables For Conference
UELAC Major Grant #4: Continued Funding to Complete Garrison Pioneer Cemetery Project
Book by Brenda Dougall Merriman, CG, Wins Award of Excellence
Loyalists on CBC Radio
KRRNY – Spring Training
Search Function Added to Loyalist Website
Service to Our Country – Okill Stuart UE
Youngest UELAC Member in Association’s History?
Additions to the Loyalist Directory
Last Post: Dr. James Edward Parks, UE
      + Response re Cornelius Thompson Branch
      + Addendum to Response re Proof Needed in Line from Peter Eamer UE
      + Do I have any Loyalist Ancestors Through a Phillips Line in Leeds County?
      + Looking for Loyalist Descendants Buried in Beechwood Cemetery, Ottawa


Boston’s Wooden Refugees — © Stephen Davidson

The loyalists brought an amazing variety of possessions with them as they sought refuge in British North America: diaries, candles, decks of cards, whaleboats, and even four-poster beds. However, the treasures some loyalists carried with them had nothing to do with furnishing their homes and had very little personal value. Consider the case of Edward Winslow. In addition to his personal affects, he brought tokens of the days when George III was the king and beloved monarch of the Thirteen Colonies.

The loyalist Winslow was a descendant of the Mayflower passenger, Edward Winslow. Born in 1747, Winslow grew up in a home overlooking Plymouth Rock and eventually graduated from Harvard. In 1773 he wrote the Plymouth Protest, a document that called the Sons of Liberty “worthless Raskalls”. This made him so “obnoxious” to the rebels of Plymouth that his position at the court of general sessions was taken from him, and he had to flee to Boston.

After fighting alongside the British army at the Battle of Lexington, Winslow was made the collector for the port of Boston. The eight-month rebel siege of Boston eventually overwhelmed the British, forcing Winslow to make a dreadful decision. In March of 1776, Winslow abandoned his family and fled to Halifax where he was appointed the muster master general of all of North America’s loyalist forces for the duration of the revolution.

However, Winslow did not leave Boston empty-handed. Letters that he wrote nine years after his escape to Halifax reveal that the Massachusetts loyalist had with him two very interesting mementoes — the seal of Boston’s custom house and a wooden coat of arms that had hung in the city hall. How Winslow came to have these tokens of British authority remains a mystery to this day — as does the story of where they were stored for almost a decade.

It is Winslow’s letters to an old Massachusetts friend that reveal what little is known about the custom house seal and the Royal Arms. In January of 1785, Winslow wrote to Ward Chipman with the directive to “give my old Custom House Seal” to George Leonard, a leader of loyalists who settled along the St. John River. What finally happened to the seal is unknown. However, the fate of the royal coat of arms is a matter of history — and is inextricably linked to a tragic chapter in the story of Saint John, New Brunswick.

On March 25, 1785, Winslow wrote a second letter to Chipman, telling him about the cargo on a schooner that was making its way from Halifax to Saint John.

“…In the box with your stationery is a venerable Coat of Arms, which I authorize you to present to the Council Chamber, or any respectable public room, which you think best entitled to it. They (Lyon and Unicorn) were constant members of the Council at Boston, … ran away when the others did, have suffered, are of course Refugees, and have a claim for residence in New Brunswick… “

Ward Chipman, seven years Winslow’s junior, was also a loyalist from Massachusetts. He, too, had left Boston for Halifax in 1776 and then went on to England. In 1777, he sailed for New York City where he served as a deputy to Edward Winslow in the muster general department. During the course of the revolution, he became a lawyer, and at it’s conclusion, he settled in New Brunswick.

By 1785, Ward Chipman was the solicitor general, city recorder, and advocate-general of the court of the vice-admiralty in Saint John. And now, thanks to his friend, Edward Winslow, he was also the guardian of a refugee artifact — the Royal Arms of Boston’s council chambers.

Chipman worked out of a room in a temporary building that belonged to the city’s Anglican parish. The city did not really have the kind of “council chamber or respectable public room” that Winslow had suggested, and so the royal coat of arms was put in the building that served as government offices through the week and a house of worship on Sundays.

When Trinity Church was finally built as a permanent house of worship for Saint John’s Anglicans, the old church was sold. Its bell and organ were installed in the new building — along with the Royal Arms from Boston’s council chambers. It was decided that it would be most appropriate to hang the coat of arms on the wall over the pew where the Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick sat to worship each Sunday.

The Royal Arms were flanked by a Lion and Unicorn, just as the Canadian coat of arms are today. The shield they supported bore the arms of the House of Hanover, not those of Great Britain. Since King George the First ascended the throne of England in 1714, it is possible that the coat of arms could have been as much as sixty years old when they were taken from Boston’s council chambers, which would make them almost three centuries old today. However, the exact dates for the creation of the Royal Arms and their placement in the council chambers are unknown.

The horrific Great Fire of 1877 that reduced the historic downtown area of Saint John to ashes almost accomplished what the Boston rebels of 1776 did not. Trinity Anglican was destroyed in the conflagration, but someone managed to enter the church and rescue the communion vessels, the parish records, and the coat of arms. Within two years the cornerstone of a new Trinity Anglican Church was laid, and when the building was completed, the Royal Arms were once again placed upon the sanctuary’s walls as a reminder of the city’s loyalist founders.

The wooden refugees of Boston can be viewed at Trinity Anglican Church to this very day. They are an amazing artifact from the loyalist era, quiet witnesses to turmoil and triumph.

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

Toronto Branch Workshop to Durham Historica Fair Students

On Tuesday May 2 the Toronto Branch of the UELAC participated for the second year in the Durham Region Historica Fair held this year at Cullen Central Park in Whitby. The fair featured 150 history/heritage projects from grade 3 to 8 students attending local public and catholic schools. The day included the adjudication of the projects along with workshops for the students and their parents.

The Loyalist workshop was very popular. The students were divided into groups and rotated through the various workshops. The Loyalist area welcomed about 20 students for 45 minutes per rotation. It featured a lady (Diane Reid), a minister’s wife (Linda Fawcett Young), a native (David Hill Morrison), a farmer’s wife (Karen Windover), 2 members of the King’s Royal Yorkers (Alex Lawrence and Richard Atkinson) and a camp follower (Anne Lawrence) all dressed in period reproduction clothes. Props included muskets, a tent and other period appropriate accessories. When the students arrived at the workshop they split between 3 different ‘stations’ where topics included how to load and fire a musket, the role of natives, what did people wear, socially accepted behaviour, survival in these times, etc. The students were very inquisitive and asked many good questions reflecting their interest in the time period.

It was a very rewarding day for both the students and the workshop participants.

…Karen Windover UE, Toronto Branch

Display & Sales Tables For Conference

There will be some LIMITED table spaces available to any interested UEL branches for the upcoming Dominion Conference. The table areas will be open during the Thursday and Friday evening events at the Strathcona Center and can be left overnight with security available.

During our Loyalist Landing events open to the public on Saturday at the UELHCP there will be a genealogy sales and display area in the park with over 15 different historic and genealogical groups already booked to participate, including Global Genealogy from Milton. Keep in mind this is taking place at the same time as the AGM. Your branch could set up a table for display and sales during the day and have people to man the booth as well.

To book space at either or both locations, please let chairman Brian Tackaberry know as soon as possible by email at {btacka AT trytel DOT com} to book a spot. There is no charge to a UEL branch for a table.

UELAC Major Grant #4: Continued Funding to Complete Garrison Pioneer Cemetery Project

UELAC Amount Granted: $1200.00 for the completion of this project. (See description of the Grants)

Description of Project:

This cemetery is located at Lot 3, Concession 3, North Side, Northwest Corner of Tyendinaga Township, Hastings County, just west of Blessington. This cemetery for years has been officially named “Abandoned Cemetery” Registration No. 01494, License No. 3277542, and owner Tyendinaga Township. The original name on the linen blueprint was Garrison Cemetery. I have now received correspondence from the above Township that the Cemetery has been renamed and registered with the Ministry of Government Services as “Garrison Pioneer Cemetery”. This property was obtained from the Crown in 1834 by Caleb Archibald Garrison who married my 4th great aunt, Catherine Ross, daughter of William Ross and granddaughter of Zenas Ross, U.E., King’s Rangers, 84th Reg. KRRNY.

Caleb Garrison donated this section of property to the Methodist Church and Cemetery. A large number of the 102 persons buried there are Loyalist descendents of Zenas Ross, U.E.

Kawartha Branch members have voted this as a Branch Project, to install proper signage, of which there is none, a new entrance gate and repair broken and damaged grave stones. Later to have the cemetery proclaimed as a historic cemetery and a historic plaque erected.

Anticipated Revenues and/or Benefits: I have received pledges for donations from as far away as Michigan, USA and numerous Ross relations in the province. Donations are slowly coming into the Branch. It is unknown at this time the amounts that will be collected through said donations. Upon completion it is hoped to have a photo op, which would include the local MPP, Reeve, Council Members, Dominion Representatives, several members of Kawartha Branch and the press. This would appear in the local newspapers and would be a great promotion for the United Empire Loyalist.

…Carl Stymiest UE, UELAC Senior Vice President, and Chairperson, Grants Committee

Project Follow-up & Letters of Thanks:

Garrison Pioneer Cemetery Project. Kawaratha Branch

On behalf of Kawartha Branch, UELAC I wish to thank you and the Grants Committee for your support in assisting us to continue to refurbish and repair this historic site to make it a fitting memorial to our Loyalist ancestors.

With luck and our member’s assistance, we would like to have a dedication sometime this fall, possibly in September. Invitations will be going out to the Executives from Dominion Headquarters, local MPP, Tyendinaga Township Reeve and Council members. The local press and cable TV network will also be invited. Here is an April 2009 picture of the Gates of the Cemetery.

…Charles (Chuck) Geo. Ross, UE; President, Kawartha Br., Publicist & Chairman Garrison Cemetery Project.

Book by Brenda Dougall Merriman, CG, Wins Award of Excellence

It’s my great pleasure and indeed a thrill to report that my book, United Empire Loyalists: A Guide to Tracing Loyalist Ancestors in Upper Canada, won the prestigious Award of Excellence: Genealogical Methods and Sources, sponsored by the National Genealogical Society (NGS): “Presented to an individual or nonprofit organization for a specific, significant single contribution in the form of a book, an article, or a series of articles published during the past three years that discusses genealogical methods and sources and serves to foster scholarship and/or otherwise advances or promotes excellence in genealogy.”

The 2008 NGS awards were announced at their annual banquet on Friday 15 May 2009. Global Heritage Press publishes both a hard cover and a coil bound edition.

…Brenda Dougall Merriman, CG, Toronto, brendadougallmerriman.blogspot.com

Loyalists on CBC Radio

On Saturday morning while driving, I heard the United Empire Loyalists mentioned on CBC Radio. The show was called GO, Saturday mornings on CBC Radio One at 10:00 with producer British Pete. Pete “wants nothing more than to become a Canadian citizen. He’s been hitting the books and hopes to ace his citizenship exam later this year. Pete knows EVERYTHING about Canada. And that got us wondering… how well do the rest of us know our own country?”

One of the questions Pete posed was “Who were the United Empire Loyalists?” We actually got mentioned a second time as well.

You can listen to the show on the CBC website – just click the red arrow in the button on the left side,.

…Mette Griffin

KRRNY – Spring Training

The weekend of May 2-3 saw the annual Training School of the “Northern Brigade” for the upcoming re-enactment season. The school is designed to instruct members of the various units on both practical and theoretical aspects of re-enacting. Therefore things like new military evolutions, like “changing front to the rear” are taught and practiced. Instructions on how to speak to the public, both in a formal setting and just casually at an event, were given. As well information on the period was presented to give the members of the Brigade more facts to share with the public over the season. The most dramatic part of the training is always the preparation for the upcoming war games in the States this summer where speed and maneuverability are vital. This year the school was hosted at Appleby College in Oakville. The students were able to sit in on the lectures and see history come to life on the playing fields and forests of the campus. Despite poor weather the school was a great success.

…Sgt.Major David Moore

[Moore will be the keynote speaker at the UELAC Gala Banquet held at the Strathcona Paper Centre in Napanee on June 1 — ed.]

Search Function Added to Loyalist Website

One of the 2009 objectives for the website committee was to add a “search” function. Search is now available in the upper right corner within the top banner in most ever page on the site. This was relatively easy to implement – thanks to Corcoran Conn-Grant for doing the research and then implementing. As it turned out, google offes this function to non-profits free of charge. By using an “off-site” tool, we also avoid the ongoing inntermnal maintenance we would have incurred if we had implemented our own.

As an added bonus, the search function also includes all the websites of the UELAC branches when a search is first performed. On the “results” page, one can then refine the search by searchign only the branch websites, or only the UELAC web site (a UELAC-site-only search does however include those branches which are hosted at the UELAC site).

We hope you will find the search function useful.

Service to Our Country – Okill Stuart UE

As the Membership Chair, it is one of my challenges to keep up to date with the many achievements of my fellow members of the Sir John Johnson Branch. Following on the fine tribute to Jonathon Snyder in the Loyalist Gazette, I would like to suggest a similar story of service to our country as found in another source. As the Legion Magazine is dedicated to serving veterans and their families and the perpetuation of remembrance, it covers stories about Canadians, Canada’s institutions, its military and its heritage. The latest issue is built around the theme “That Normandy Summer”. The activities of Okill Stuart , Dominion President (1996-1998) and Additional Branch Member SJJCB are described in the article “On the Water, On the Beach”. While I can echo his final statement “And we must never forget those brave young men who were left behind 65 years ago”, I can also suggest that we never forget the contribution of all our young men in that war.

Okill will not be able to join us at conference this year. Nominated by Cliff Chatterton to represent the National Council of Veterans Association of Canada, Okill and Sylvia Stuart have been invited to join the Minister of Veteran Affairs Greg Thompson, on a unique tour of the Normandy region in recognition of the 65th anniversary of the battle. Okill is also President of the 14th Cdn Field Regiment Association which will meet gather in Gananoque later in June.

…Adelaide Lanktree, Past President, Sir John Johnson Centennial Branch.

Youngest UELAC Member in Association’s History?

At the Kawartha Branch Annual General Meeting, 19th April, 2009, Chuck Ross, UE gave the Branch Treasurer Shirley Lowes, UE the membership application and fee for his forthcoming grandson. On the 20th April, 2009 Chuck & Pat’s daughter Kerri-Ann Ross, UE went to the Peterborough Regional Health Center and at 1:40 p.m. Aiden Philip Anderson Ross-Ford, UE entered this world weighing in at 9 pounds, 13 ounces and 22.5 inches. Aiden’s certificate application and proofs have been completed and given to the Branch’s Genealogist Joan Lucas, UE. Aiden is the 8th great grandson of Loyalist Zenas Ross, UE.

…Charles (Chuck) Geo. Ross, UE, P.P.

Additions to the Loyalist Directory

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

– Dease, John – Updated with information from Warren Bell

– Green, John – from David Clark

– Wylly, Cpt. Alexander

– York, Pvt. Christian

– York, Pvt. George

– York, Lewis (bugler/drummer)

Last Post: Dr. James Edward Parks, UE

PARKS, Dr. James Edward D.C., U.E. Ted – Passed away peacefully at the Royal Victoria Hospital Barrie, on Thursday May 7, 2009, with his family by his side, after his courageous battle with Leukemia . Ted, in his 72nd year, husband of Margaret and the late Carolyn Jean (Nee Thompson). Father to Lorraine Vonk (John), Charlene Poirier (Maxwell Cranford), Neil Parks (Sylvia) and Jamie Morrison (Rachel King), predeceased by daughter Kimberly. Proud Grandparent of many. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Royal Victoria Hospital Regional Cancer Care Centre in Ted’s memory. Interment Barrie Union Cemetery. Condolences may be forwarded to the family through www.steckleygooderham.com. (From the Barrie Examiner.)

…Lynne Cook UE, St Lawrence Branch


Response re Cornelius Thompson Branch

Yes, there was a Thompson Branch, based in Penetang’ -Midland area c.1970, in the after glow of Canada’s Centennial season. Yes Spohn was chairman, national level. In those days, rules of order be they from Berinot or Robert did not help when a chair over ruled poorly to save the proclamation of a former chairman, esteemed as a doctor, Dillane. The great debates we had at our annual meeting were fun to a point; Audrey Richardson Kirk and Mary E. Robertson McGillivary knew Robert’s Rules rather well. Yes, the business part of our meetings are relatively orderly now.

At an annual meeting in Hamilton, before Proxy votes were limited by by-law, I was asked twenty minutes before the meeting to supervise “Proxy vote holders”. John Chard held signed sheets of paper from absentee members, totalling about 25 votes or more, while three others had 10 votes and perhaps two others with 4 votes. I was trapped by my ignorance and naiveté. By the next year’s meeting, each branch was limited to four votes plus one for the Branch President. (committee of Philip Smart and Steve Maybe.) Was that meeting held in Toronto on campus??

I remember an annual meeting in which Howard Warner of Ottawa Branch chaired, and presented the Conrad Swan heraldry development for the UELAC. John Chard had some time earlier initiated the work to have the UELAC armorial bearings developed. Like many organizations, if we could fairly chronicle all the politics and even the rivalries amongst our members, some of which came front and centre at various AGMs and others that many of us never discovered, we would have an interesting story.

…Philip Smart UE

Addendum to Response re Proof Needed in Line from Peter Eamer UE

Regarding the Eamer quandary, I now think that the Peter Eamer in question may have in fact been the son of Jacob Eamer after all, despite my earlier message on the subject. After looking through the records, here is what I discovered.

Some of Jacob Eamer’s family remained on Barnhart Island, while Jacob, his wife, and some of the children, moved across the St. Lawrence River to nearby Cornwall. Barnhart Island was established by Loyalist George Barnhart UEL 1737-1812, Sergeant K.R.R.N.Y – four of George Barnhart’s sons were also battlefield UE Loyalists.

George leased the island from the Mohawks at St. Regis in 1796, and renewed in 1806 for 999 years for $60 a year. The island was to be their home and bulwark, for a thousand years, against the rebels just across the river in New York State. However, a few years after George’s death, when the Treaty of Ghent was signed to end the War of 1812, the signatories dashed the family’s hopes – the island was exchanged for strategically important Wolfe Island, protecting Kingston Harbour. In the ensuing territorial exchange the title to the island was given to American brothers named Ogden, in 1823, but the island is now uninhabited.

Many of the descendants of the Barnhart family, and their Loyalist friends, did remain on Barnhart Island for a time. This included some of the Eamer family.

However, Barnhart Island was no longer part of Canada. Therefore, it is fruitless to look for records in Ontario. In censuses, the family members were enumerated in St. Lawrence County, New York. Some are found in the nearest town, Massena. Others are found in the town of Louisville. For example, Mary Ann Eamer (1832-1918), daughter of Daniel Eamer UE (1802-1838) and his wife Mary Bender (1805-1836), married Russell Harvey Hubbard (1824-1896) in 1849 at Louisville, St. Lawrence, New York. Daniel Eamer UE was the brother of Jacob Eamer UE (1797-1882). Jacob Eamer UE is assumed to be the father of the Peter Eamer in the original query.

The necessary records to prove the UE status for Peter Eamer’s family, will possibly be found in St. Lawrence County, New York. The problem is made more obscure by the wide range of spellings used for this surname. For example, in her marriage to Russell Harvey Hubbard, Mary Ann Eamer was recorded as ‘Mary Anne Aemer. One also sees ‘Aymar, ‘Esmer’. etc. This is a real challenge for a researcher, but is achievable.

…Richard Ripley {nffgfamily AT hotmail DOT com}

Do I have any Loyalist Ancestors Through a Phillips Line in Leeds County?

PHILLIPS: I have long researched my family’s history in the US but with the exception of a little correspondence to historical repositories, I have not ventured into researching my roots in Canada. I have a sense that we may have Loyalist ancestry and I would really like to learn if this is the case. It seems that the dates and locations lend themselves to that possibility.

My maternal Grandfather, William John Owen PHILLIPS, known to all as Owen, came to Jefferson County, NY in 1896. He was born in Tincap, Leeds County, Ontario. When he was living he delighted in telling me that he was Canadian and came to the US at the age of three. When I was quite young, he took us to see the little red house where he was born in Tincap and we also visited an overgrown cemetery. I remember my Dad took a push lawn mower across the border with us to try to spruce the ancestors’ grave sites up a bit. How I wish I knew where that cemetery was now.

Back to my grandfather’s birth in Canada: There was no record of birth as far as I know and it was always said (prior to his obituary) that he was born in Hammond, NY. This has always been a mystery to me but I suspect that made paperwork easier stateside. It was important to him that the truth be known by the family. I do not know of any family in Hammond BUT we visited a cemetery there that had many PHILLIPS tombstones. Sooo there is more to that story.

I know that gramp’s (Owen) father’s name was John PHILLIPS and his mother’s name was Mary Ann STEWART PHILLIPS. John’s parents were Peter PHILLIPS and Angeline LAGO PHILLIPS. Peter was born on 12 February 1827 somewhere in Canada according to family records. I have no primary source to substantiate that. I have a listing of Peter and Angie’s twelve children including birth dates, hand written by my grgrandmother, Mary Ann STEWART PHILLIPS. The paper was inserted in her well used Bible which I have had restored. The PHILLIPS family lived in and around Glen Buell, Plum Hollow, Spring Valley and Brockville. These places were listed in an autograph book belonging to Mary Ann. Mary Ann was renowned for being an expert cheese maker having taught many that skill in the states and having earned a medal at the Chicago World’s Fair. I believe her family lived in the Athens area at some time.

I have no information beyond Peter and Angeline. I do have evidence that Peter and Angie may have moved back and forth between Ontario, Canada and Jefferson County, NY at least once.

If any of this information is familiar to you, I would love to hear from you. I welcome any suggestions and advice about where I should start to learn more.

…Diana Law {dianalaw AT twcny DOT rr DOT com}

Looking for Loyalist Descendants Buried in Beechwood Cemetery, Ottawa

If anyone knows of a Loyalist descendant who is buried in Beechwood Cemetery, 280 Beechwood Avenue, in Ottawa could you let one of us in the Sir Guy Carleton Branch know about it. Since its inception in 1873, Beechwood remains unmatched in its display of memorial history. As an unparalleled oasis of monument architectural design for over a century, Beechwood is home to a series of stunningly crafted and magnificent scaled monuments, including the thousands of honoured individual memorials that traverse the ages. Beechwood is the final resting place for more than 75,000 people of varied ethnic and cultural backgrounds, including many individuals who helped to shape Ottawa and Canada. Here is a sampling of some of the remarkable individuals who helped Beechwood earn its honour as one of Canada’s most historic cemeteries.

We are contemplating putting together a small brochure for the Beechwood Cemetery tours. We would need enough names and sufficient information about the Loyalist and the descendant to make up such a document.

…Sylvia Powers, President, Sir Guy Carleton Branch, {carletonuel AT hotmail DOT com}