“Loyalist Trails” 2010-40: October 4, 2010

In this issue:
Men in Wigs — © Stephen Davidson
Reverend John Beardsley (1732 – 1809) © George McNeillie
Butler Information Wanted for “Butlersbury: A Research Project on the House and the People Who Lived There”
Canada’s 28th Governor General and UELAC
Where is Dominion President Frederick H. Hayward UE and what is he doing?
The Tech Side: Technology Overload – Is This You? — By Wayne Scott, UE
      + Compensation Board Hearings
      + Family of Stephen Hess
      + Documentation Showing Elijah Winters as a Child of Henry Winters


Men in Wigs — © Stephen Davidson

Loyalist men wore wigs; it’s a fact. The 18th century was the golden age of male wig wearing. You would be as unlikely to see a man without a wig during the 1700s as you would to see a man without a hat in the 1940s. Although some Americans tried to end the false hair fad in the 1760s, it returned with renewed vigour and only died out after the Revolution. So whether a man was a patriot or a loyalist, it would be safe to assume that he wore a wig whenever he stepped out of his front door.

As with so many fads in fashion, male wig-wearing originated in the French court. In the early part of the 17th century, young King Louis XIII was going bald and began to wear a wig. After the French nobility began to mimic their sovereign by donning false hair, the fad spread throughout the courts of Europe. Eventually, men of the middle and working classes also started to wear wigs. By the mid-18th century men in every corner of the western world — including North America– were walking about with false hair.

18th century wigs were made of horse, goat, cow-tail, and even yak hair. The best wigs were made from women’s hair as it was considered to be stronger than men’s hair. While we tend to think of colonial wigs as being uniformly white, they could also be any shade of brown, black, auburn, or grizzle (a blend of black and white). Although wigs required regular cleaning, the use of bleach would eat away at the hair. So instead of a good scrubbing in lye soap, wigs were coated with various colours of powder. This powder was made with flour, minerals and ground starch — excellent food for lice and vermin.

The best wigs could only be bought by the rich. One wig might cost the same as shoes, hose, a shirt, knee breeches, a coat, and a hat combined.

Wigs also required regular care and maintenance. Only rich colonists could afford to have their wigs cleaned and styled by barbers. Hairpieces were baked in ovens to kill the vermin, a treatment that was usually only effective for seven days. On Saturday afternoons in a large city, it was commonplace to see boys delivering wigs to the homes of the rich so that their wearers would have them in time for Saturday night parties or Sunday church services.

The wealthier citizens of Philadelphia were known to have “wig closets” in their homes. Here the gentleman of the house would cover his neck and face while his valet powdered the freshly cleaned wig that had just been delivered.

The wigs of middle class and working class men did not receive such care. Their wigs were often second hand ones that they won in a public lottery or bought at used wig shops. Boys as young as seven and enslaved Africans also wore wigs. While wealthy patriots and loyalists could order wigs in the latest style from England, the poor colonist had to settle for secondhand wigs that came overseas in barrels. These cast-off wigs from the British aristocracy were put in bags. For a shilling, a poor man put his hand in the bag and retrieved a hairpiece. This practice gave us the phrase “grab bag”.

There were at least 110 styles of wigs for men; their names included the she-dragon, the fox ear, the Adonis, the pigeon’s wing, the staircase, and the Grecian fly. Farmers and other outdoor labourers favoured the “scratch bob” which had an unkempt look that resembled natural hair. A British officer noted that he had seen a band of patriots that wore “great bushy wigs”.

Some styles of wigs became associated with particular professions. Doctors favoured the “lion”; judges wore the “square wig”. Catholic priests wore a hairpiece with a tonsure in the top. Protestant clergy and tradesmen often sported an inexpensive short wig known as the “bob”. Generally, most wigs were chosen by their owners to suit their individual sense of style or their budgets.

To wear a wig comfortably, men either shaved their heads or cut their hair very close. A sudden wind or an accidental knock on the head was to be avoided at all cost. A wigless man was not very attractive, and to lose one’s wig in public was extremely embarrassing.

James Murray, a Massachusetts loyalist, went to court one day to put up bail for a friend. The patriot crowd hissed at him in displeasure and as he was leaving the court, someone yanked off his wig, so that a “pate clean-shaved by time and the barber were left exposed”. Fearing that this insult to the loyalist would be followed by violence, Murray’s friends escorted him down the street. Jeering patriots followed Murray, bearing his wig high on a staff.

In August of 1774, Massachusetts patriots forced the loyalist, Timothy Paine, to quit the colony’s governing council by publicly reading his resignation. As he stood before 3,000 rebels, Paine’s wig fell (or was knocked) off his head. A humiliating moment to be sure. He later gave the “dishonoured wig” to his African slave, and never wore another hairpiece for the rest of his days.

So as we try to imagine the male loyalist refugee who trudged north to the Canadas or sailed for the Maritimes, we need to see him in a wig. Only a very few of those loyalist wigs would have been expensive ones; most would have been small, secondhand, and unkempt.

By the late 1780s, only conservative, older men still thought that it was fashionable to wear wigs. When the British parliament began to tax wig powder in 1795, it was the death knell of a male fashion that had lasted over a century. No doubt the fad died an even earlier death in British North America. After all, where would a loyalist find a good supply of wig powder or a barber who knew how to clean his hairpiece?

You can email Wayne Scott to get in touch with questions or comments.

Reverend John Beardsley (1732 – 1809) © George McNeillie

I consider the decision of John Beardsley to go to his expatriated friends as one of the finest things connected with the Loyalist emigration. It was far better than to remain idle at New York. He was needed at the River St. John, where there was no one to baptize a child, to minister to the living, visit the sick, or to bury the dead. He could cheer and advise his old friends, provide a shelter for his own helpless family, ere they came to him, and see what prospect there was for his comrades-in-arms in the new country.

I have not been able to ascertain the name of the transport vessel in which he sailed. It was not one of the fleet under convoy. In a letter to the Secretary of the S.P.G. he mentions the date of his arrival in St. John, which was on the 26th of July, 1783. His friend Col. Edward Winslow, the muster Master-General of the Loyalist troops, had been sent to Nova Scotia earlier in the year to look after the settlement of the troops, which were to be disbanded there and settled on lands laid out for them by Government on the St. John River.

We have a reference in a letter written by Winslow some twenty years later, in which he thus mentions Chaplain Beardsley: – “With them [the Loyalists] came one or two clergymen of the Church of England, exhausted and despondent, men who had spent their early years in peace and contentment, and until that time had been buoyed up with the expectation of once more returning to their former homes — now mixed up with a promiscuous rabble, shocked by continual acts of licentiousness [i.e., lawlessness] and without a habitation to shelter them. In this forlorn state, however, one of ‘em in particular had sufficient firmness to commence the operations of duty – a church was opened, a congregation was collected and the service of the Church of England carried on with solemnity and effect. The Rev. John Beardsley, who is referred to, is now [1804] at a very advanced age, sinking under an accumulated weight of hardship and distress. He was Chaplain to Beverly Robinson’s regiment all the war and highly-esteemed by him. Since his retirement from his parish he has no income but the miserable pittance of half pay.” [Equivalent to 80 cents a day].

Excerpt from Book of Family History, by The Ven. William Odber Raymond, LL.D, FRSC. © 2009 George McNeillie – all rights reserved [published here with permission; see footnote].

George McNeillie

Butler Information Wanted for “Butlersbury: A Research Project on the House and the People Who Lived There”

Written and compiled by Rick Porter and Marianne Miles, © 2010 by Finger Lakes House Histories and Milescapes Art

The history of this house is unique in many ways. Probably built in 1742 on land overlooking the Mohawk River Valley, it has stood as a silent witness to many events that shaped the history of this part of New York State. Britain’s early attempts to encourage settlement of the Province came in the form of royal land grants to British subjects willing to move to the wilderness.

Walter Butler, holder of one such grant, was a military man assigned to Fort Hunter who came here from Connecticut,. He is listed as the commandant there as early as 1733 and in 1742 brought his wife and young children to live here with him. Surely many of the descendants of Walter Butler have heard this story before. It is our intention to gather all the separate pieces of Butlersbury’s history together into one comprehensive narrative.

And there was so much more to come. Children grew up and married. Grandchildren were born and some family members moved away from Butlersbury. The men continued to be active in Law while remaining busy with William Johnson as interpreters and Indian agents. They were hardworking farmers and loyal military men. The years of the War for Independence would be particularly heart rending.

For a longer article, pictures and sources, go here.


It is our hope that by publishing this here, in Loyalist Trails, Butler descendants who have information pertinent to our research may come forward to help us tell their family’s story. We have completed exhaustive research in the most obvious historical resources and are currently deeply entrenched in first person accounts and lesser known civil records.

And if anyone knows where old Walter (died 1759) and his son Walter (listed as “missing in action” at Ft George during the French-Indian wars) are buried.

Marianne Miles

Canada’s 28th Governor General and UELAC

On Friday, October 1, as the guest of the Hon. Peter Milliken, M.P. , UELAC’s Honourary President, I was privileged to witness the installation of Canada’s twenty-eighth Governor General. As there will be considerable coverage of the swearing in and speeches in the various media, I will not detail the ceremony at this time. No doubt you have heard the sound bites about the hockey connection and are acquainted with the various academic and political rolls held by His Excellency, David T. Johnston. His first address introduced the three pillars on which he will focus during his term of office. He indicated that he intends to champion families and children, reinforce learning and innovation, and thirdly, to encourage philanthropy and volunteerism.

Seated at the opposite end of the Senate Chamber where the oath of office was conducted, I was in an excellent position to appreciate the presentations of talented musicians from across our country: The Kidsingers, Les Deux Rives, Terry Kelly CM, Kerson and Stanley Leong, Christ Church Cathedral Girl’s Choir, Quatuor Despax and the trumpeters of the Governor General’s Foot Guards Band. The installation of the Governor General was truly a once in a lifetime experience.

The reception which followed in the Hall of Honour enabled me to “introduce” UELAC to a variety of government officials and supporters. Having the opportunity to meet both former prime ministers and the Queen’s representatives encouraged me to follow up on an important concept mentioned by both Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Governor General David T. Johnston – the role of Queen Elizabeth II in Canada’s constitutional monarchy form of government. In our Vision Statement (#6), UELAC is called to defend and promote “the values and institutions fundamental to Canada’s United Empire Loyalist heritage and, in particular, the Constitutional Monarchy, the Commonwealth, Parliamentary Government, the Rule of Law, Human Rights and Unity. “ With that in mind, where have you seen pictures of Queen Elizabeth with each of her eleven Canadian prime ministers or eleven governors general. How have we ensured that the next generation can understand the continuity offered by our constitutional monarchy if we cannot present a visual image of either line of succession. Having worked on this special project for over a year now, I came away feeling that UELAC is a lot closer to building a photo gallery of images of our monarch with her Canadian representatives and her prime ministers.

CBC has provided a very interesting resource entitled Their Excellencies: Canada’s Governors General Since 1952. With seven TV clips and four radio clips from the CBC digital archives, you can see and hear the eleven Governors General of Canada, namely Vincent Massey (1952-59), Georges Vanier (1959-67), Roland Michener (1967-64), Jules Léger (1974-79), Ed Schreyer (1979-84), Jeanne Sauvé (1984-90), Ray Hnatyshyn (1990-95), Roméo LeBlanc (1995-99), Adrienne Clarkson (1999 to 2005), Michaëlle Jean (2005-10) and David Johnston, (2010- )

Who was the first governor general to serve as the Patron of UELAC? How long has UELAC enjoyed the special relationship with the Queen’s representative in Canada? The search continues to find any archival proof beyond the first edition of The Loyalist Gazette in the early seventies that indicates the honourary position. In the mean time, we will follow protocol to ensure that the tradition continues.

…Frederick H. Hayward, President

Where is Dominion President Frederick H. Hayward UE and what is he doing?

With his finger on the pulse of the nation, our intrepid Dominion President has been tirelessly crisscrossing the country representing the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada at every turn. One would think he is campaigning for the upcoming election the way he hits the ground running.

Since the beginning of September, Fred has managed to attend UEL events in Niagara, Bay of Quinte, Shannonville, and the St. Lawrence. Winging his way west, he ended the month by participating in a weekend of activities planned for the Prairie Regional in Winnipeg.

Friday, October 1, at the invitation of Speaker of the House Peter Milliken, Fred found himself in Ottawa. The purpose of his visit? To attend the investiture of the new Governor General of Canada, David Lloyd Johnston. During the reception in the Hall of Honour, Fred took the opportunity to promote the UELAC to various government officials.

In his capacity as the face of our organization, Fred carries the vision statement of the UELAC to the public wherever he travels. Meeting former prime ministers and the Queen’s representatives gave added incentive to the pursuit of projects under development for our organization. Loyalist contributions to Canada – political and social, and the Queen and Prime Ministers of Canada – a photo gallery, are two that stand out at this time.

Before the year ends, there are three more stops in October – one on each coast, first to Atlantic Canada and then to the Pacific Region with the Dominion Council meeting in Toronto closing out the month. Heritage Branch hosts the Dominion President in November.

We offer our thanks to Fred Hayward UE for his efforts on behalf of the Association during his extended term of office and look forward to the successful completion of initiatives undertaken during his tenure.

…B. Schepers UE, Central West Region VP

The Tech Side: Technology Overload – Is This You? — By Wayne Scott, UE

Does this sound at all familiar? I wake up in the morning, check the time on my clock radio and mentally begin thinking about my schedule of things that need to be done today. Grab a cup of coffee, already brewed and waiting. The TV is first to be switched on then the computer. Read any emails that arrived over night and diminish Outlook to the system tray. Sit in front of my TV and watch a news program, while opening the morning paper, all the while listening for the tell-tale sounds of an incoming email. I’ve only been awake for less than half an hour and already I’m triple tasking. Am I the only one doing this? I don’t think so.

It seems that no matter what we do, we are being bombarded with stimuli from multiple sources. Is this creating that feeling of nirvana that the purveyors of ‘gadgets’ claim will result from using their gizmos?

While waiting in the doctor’s office some people answer a few emails and grab a minute to look up symptoms from a medical website. While having a conversation with a friend over coffee we allow our cell phone to interrupt a couple of times. And I thought that technology was going to simplify life.

With all of this information bombarding us, one would think that we are learning all the time. Researchers at the University of California found that rats that were given a novel situation to master and immediately given new tasks, did not remember the new experiences as well as those that were not given new tasks to learn. Does this equate to humans also? The researchers thought so.

In another study, researchers at the University of Michigan found that people learned significantly better after a walk in nature preserve than after a walk in a busy urban environment. This suggests that being bombarded with a lot of stimuli may leave people too fatigued to learn.

On the first day of school one year I started off by giving my grade 5 students a simple timed addition quiz, with quiet surroundings. Later in the morning, I gave them a parallel quiz with age appropriate music playing. As suspected, students did significantly better with quiet surroundings. Can humans work as efficiently with distractions?

No matter how we look at it, we need to fill every idle moment with entertainment. It is as though we have an itch that needs to be scratched. Technology allows us to scratch our itch.

Another interesting observation comes to light. There was a time when we would put an L.P. on the turntable and really listen to it. In this day and age, statistics show that our attention span is much shorter. Even game makers have realized this. Many of the new games which are played on the iPod or iPhone only take a couple of minutes to play. Many people become ‘bored’ if they have to spend more time on a game. Maybe this is why most songs are between 2 and 3 minutes long.

I am not suggesting that we shun all technology. When one considers the advances in medical technology and treatment, how can we not endorse and encourage continued advances. But maybe we need to consider how technology affects us and what pitfalls we should be looking for.

Why not try this. When you decide it is time for exercise, instead of jumping on the treadmill, turning the TV on and the volume up so it can be easily heard over the treadmill, try something different. Go to a local nature trail for a walk. Most communities have at least one. You can walk as fast as you think best. Work up a sweat. Lastly, relax your mind. It is far better for your well being to go home physically tired than to be physically tired and mentally fatigued.

Many people report a feeling of utter fatigue at the end of a day particularly if there has been a lot of electronic input. We are not giving the brain a chance to calm down and relax after processing all of the stimuli that we take in. If you think about this, the really important stuff that the brain should be processing out of your day, is probably less than half of what it is forced to process. Technology is good, but it can really put a tremendous burden on our senses and our brains.

One way to get a proper handle on technology is to use one techno item at a time. When computing, don’t listen to music, avoid using the telephone – you do know that most phones have voice mail, don’t you?

Social networking can be a marvellous thing, if it is augmented with reaching out and really touching someone. Make time to talk to people. Get out and join clubs, play bridge, etc. and leave your iPod and cell phone home.

My last word of advice would be to play Simon and Garfunkel’s 59th Street Bridge Song, (Feeling Groovy), really listening to it. Maybe we will give our brains a chance to ‘chill out’ as they say in the new vernacular. “Slow down – you move to fast – you got to make the morning last …”

You can email Wayne Scott to get in touch with questions or comments.


Compensation Board Hearings

I read with great interest Stephen Davidson’s article, “Another Circle of Friends” (September 26) about the commissioners for the loyalist compensation board holding their hearings in Montreal for Lower Canada loyalists.

Where were the Upper Canada hearings held? When? Are there compensation board records for those, too and where can they be found?

I would appreciate learning more about this aspect of our loyalist history. Any information or pointers would be welcomed.

Jean Rae Baxter

Family of Stephen Hess

I am looking for the parents of Stephen Hess born Dutchess Co., NY, died Sidney, Hastings, Ontario.

He married Catherine Vandervoort daughter of Francis Vandervoort about 1811.

There is a Jacob Hess listed in Sons and Daughters of American Loyalists, by Reid. However, he is probably a son of Stephen.

In the Loyalist Lineages of Canada Vol II Part I there is a Jacob Hess b 1760 d. Nov 1826 bur Ernestown Cemetery. Could he be the father?

Any help would be appreciated.

Edward kipp

Documentation Showing Elijah Winters as a Child of Henry Winters

I am looking for “proofs” that my great great grandfather, Elijah Winters, of Osnabruck and Cornwall was one of the 13 children of Henry Winters and his wife Nancy McWilliams (we have the evidence of the marriage). We have not been able to find a birth record or an obituary for Elijah. We have:

– his birth year as 1821

– a Brockville Recorder newspaper report on June 29, 1893, of the railway accident which led to his death about 3 days later (during which time he prepared his will)

– his will (not helpful – there was no mention of any of his siblings or parents, who were both deceased)

– 1852 census report which has a young man named Joseph Winters, age 24, an apprentice at that time, living with Elijah – we believe that this is Elijah’s younger brother Joseph, but the census did not record relationships – so this is only a tenuous link.

– Marriage documents, being copies of the original handwritten record, and the typed report from the Ontario Register; the latter shows Henry Winters as a witness to Elijah’s marriage to Margaret Dunbar on April 1, 1846 by Rev. Joseph W McCallum, Wesleyan Methodist minister. Henry is not identified as the father, and these records do not reveal the relationships. Elijah was 25; he had a younger brother named Henry, age 21. But whether it was his father or his brother, this is another link to the family, but apparently not a “proof”.

Elijah’s youngest brother, born some 22 years after, was William Wesley Winters, and he was called “Wesley”.

Elijah named his first son Wesley Joseph Dunbar Winters after 2 of his brothers (and his mother’s maiden name). It seems to be fairly distinctive. It appears that this son was called “Joseph” in his early years to distinguish from his young uncle “Wesley” who was only about 4 years older, judging from the Cornwall census reports in 1852 and 1861, although he is “Wesley” in the 1871 census. My grandmother’s family always referred to him as “Wesley”. The naming of this son is another tenuous link. Wesley knew about his UEL background and this is part of the oral history.

We also have:

– the obituary for Joseph Winters (Cornwall Standard April 28, 1911) which confirms the number of children as 13 in father Henry’s family, and confirms and provides some other background information on the family, including the identity of the grandfather, Frederick Winters.

– the obituary for Cyrus Winters (Cornwall Standard August 31, 1906)

Elijah died before at least most of his siblings and he is not mentioned in the above obituaries.

His sisters were, and married, as follows:

– Lucinda, to Alex Forsythe

– Asenath, to James Forsythe

– Minerva, to George Thompson

We have the wills for 2 of Elijah’s children, being Rebecca and George. As expected, there is no mention of any uncles or aunts, although Rebecca leaves assets to several relatives; Rebecca in her later years went to Watertown, New York State. She named two nieces (Annnie E. Clow, Margaret Randolph), one grand niece (Kathleen Pennock) and one nephew (Keith Clow) as beneficiaries in her will (August 12, 1941).

I have been combing Ontario records and have failed to find proofs for Elijah.

I am thinking that one of your readers has a document or another source that will provide us with sufficient proof that we can get our UE quest completed to both the Winters and the McWilliams lineage.

My relative Norma Raynor had attended a Cornwall conference some years ago and had been talking to a lady there, a Cornwall resident, whose husband had Winters background. She told Norma that her husband knew Elijah as a family member. We don’t know how to contact this lady, or if it is possible.

We are working with our branch genealogist Marilyn Lappi and the Toronto Genealogist is also assisting. Any information anyone can provide would be most appreciated.

Heather Traub, Member, Edmonton Branch