“Loyalist Trails” 2010-45: November 7, 2010

In this issue:
Honouring Our Military Service People
A Time To Remember, A Time To Honour
Conference 2011: The enterprising brothers of Coleman’s Corners – by Roy Lewis
What Will You Trade for a Loyalist? — © Stephen Davidson
Reverend John Beardsley (1732 – 1809) © George McNeillie
Work in Progress: Documentation of Loyalists in “The British Campaign of 1777, Volume II: Burgoyne’s North Americans”
Canadian Kids Magazine Features Dog Rescuing Loyalists from Shipwreck
Wedding Bells: R. Fink & E. Harris
Additions to the Loyalist Directory
Last Post: Dorothy Dickey, UE
      + Tories: Fighting for the King in America’s First Civil War, by Thomas B. Allen
      + The Old Loyalist: A Story of United Empire Loyalist Descendants in Canada, by A.R. Davis, C.E. (Published 1908)
      + John and Anna Eaton
      + Mary Lewis and Lewis Family of Parrsboro NS


Honouring Our Military Service People

Captain Jonathan Snyder, MSV UE is but one of Canada’s Afghan dead. At our recent Fall Fleet Commemoration in Vancouver, we displayed his photo and information and encouraged participants from Chilliwack, Victoria and Vancouver Branches to donate to the scholarship fund that was created in his memory.

There are no better words to describe the links between our Association and our service men and women who defend our country, than those found on the bookmark we left for people to pick up.

The role of the United Empire Loyalists in the defence of the Crown during the American Revolution 1775-1783 and the early development of Canada continues to be upheld by their descendants over the past 225 years to the present day.

This service to our Country is exemplified by Captain Jonathan S. Snyder, SMV UE (1981-2008). HE STOOD ON GUARD

*SMV – Star of Military Valour

The Pacific Branches are happy to report that a freewill donation of $100.00 was raised at the meeting and will be sent to:

Capt. JS Snyder Memorial Scholarship Fund

C/O Len Cox

Penticton Secondary Schools Bursary and Scholarship Foundation

158 Eckhardt Ave. East, Penticton, BC V2A 1Z3

An income tax credit is available to those that wish to donate to this address as well. This is but one way we can honour all of our military service people.

CBC TV will also be offering a 11 Nov Special — On the Afghan Canadian dead.

Dr. Warren Bell, Vancouver Branch President and Wendy Cosby, Past President.

A Time To Remember, A Time To Honour

As Remembrance Day approaches, the media remind us of the contributions of so many Canadians in WWII, Korean War, as well as the conflicts in the Middle East. While a few Branches of UELAC have indicated involvement in community ceremonies this week, many individuals will attend special remembrances in their church or at the local cenotaph. Maybe members of UELAC will be reminded that the role of the United Empire Loyalists in the defence of the Crown during the American Revolution 1775-1783 as well as the early development of Canada continues to be upheld by their descendants. This week, the article on John Babcock UE 1900-2010 as found in the Loyalist Gazette Vol. XLVIII, No. 1. has been added to the Modern Military folder of the Dominion website where the article on Capt. Jonathan Snyder UE was posted earlier. Let us not forget those who have stood on guard. Take time to remember those who have served our country and those on active duty today.


Conference 2011: The enterprising brothers of Coleman’s Corners – by Roy Lewis

Among the prominent Loyalists who first settled in the Brockville region were the Coleman brothers of Lyn, now a small village four miles northwest of the city.

As with many small communities in what was then Upper Canada (Ontario), Lyn owes its development to the presence of flowing water. And the eventual development of a huge water source, several miles north of the village, contributed to the community becoming a flourishing industrial centre.

The village’s story starts with Abel Coleman, his brother, Richard, and their families who came to this area after the Revolutionary War. Abel Coleman, who was a leather tanner by trade – an important craft in pioneer times, was interested in establishing a mill to grind grain for local farmers. The only available power to run such a mill was falling water which in turn pushed a massive wheel that drove the machinery inside the building. Coleman and his brother learned about a falls not far from Brockville and they followed a creek out of the community to a point where it spilled over a low cliff into a small valley.

The site was ideal for the water tumbled down 10 feet when a drop of just three feet would provide enough power for a mill. In 1788, Abel Coleman constructed his first small mill.

Abel died in 1810 at age 46 but his brother Richard continued operating the family businesses which were subsequently run by his offspring. Because of the Coleman family’s importance, the settlement which grew around the industrial complex was originally named Coleman’s Corners. As more settlers came to the area, there was an effort to rename the village. In 1837, the name of Lowell, after a town in Massachusetts where some of the early Loyalist settlers had lived, was suggested. However, there was another settlement in Ontario with the same name. Clear streams in the area that powered the waterwheels at the mills provided an alternate name. Linn, possibly from the Welsh or Scottish word meaning a pool, stream or cascade, was modified into Lyn.

In 1838, a new and much-improved grist mill was built. But as plans were made for the construction of other mills, there was also a need to find more water. The enterprising Coleman family started on a major program to direct more water down the Lyn Creek. Control dams were built on small lakes north of the village and, in 1865, an estimated 700 men were employed to dig, all by hand, a trench 15 feet wide, nine feet deep and three-quarters of a mile long to bring water to the village.

At the mills, water dropped 50 feet developing 90 horsepower, a substantial amount for the time. With this additional water, more mills were built in Lyn which at one time had tanneries, a brick works, shoe factory, foundry, blacksmith shop, harness making shop, woolen, flour and saw mills. Ancillary uses sprung up in the village including three hotels, a sheepskin tannery, wagon hub and spoke maker, vulcanite rubber comb works, iron foundry, carriage maker, butcher and cheesemaker.

But by the late 1800s, the industrial complex at Lyn was in decline. More efficient manufacturing methods overtook the use of water-powered mills. The last operation, a grist mill, closed in 1932. Heritage Place Museum in Lyn has many exhibits of when the village was a vibrant manufacturing centre.

The second of a series of articles describing interesting historical facts about Brockville and the surrounding region of the St. Lawrence River and the 1000 Islands where Conference 2011 “Catch The Spirit” of our Loyalists’ Ancestors will be held. Hosted by the Col. Edward Jessup Branch, the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada’s annual Conference will be held from June 2 to 5.

What Will You Trade for a Loyalist? — © Stephen Davidson

On the night of November 6, 1779, Connecticut patriots kidnapped Judge Thomas Jones, a noted loyalist, from his Long Island home. They needed a prisoner of sufficient importance to exchange for General Gold Silliman, a rebel who had been captured by a party of loyalists six months earlier. Thanks to the memoirs of General Silliman’s wife and the writings of Thomas Jones, we now have a stereoscopic view of this prisoner exchange.

Shortly after midnight on Sunday, May 2, 1779, eight loyalist militia-men crept into the Connecticut home of Gold and Mary Silliman. When Silliman tried to shoot the men with his gun, it misfired, and he was quickly subdued. The loyalists began to break windows in the house, taking “one thing and another” and asking Silliman for money. He replied that he hoped that “he was in the hands of gentlemen” and that they would not plunder his home. These words had their desired effect, and the loyalists only took a sword, a purse, and two pistols in addition to their prisoner.

Patriot neighbours, when they learned of the kidnapping, fired their guns and chased the loyalists for the two miles. However, the loyal Americans secured Silliman in their whaleboat and took him first to Flatbush and then, finally, to New York City.

Efforts to secure the rebel general’s release were stymied by the fact that the patriots had not captured any British general of sufficient rank who could be exchanged for Silliman. Finally, by November 4th, Connecticut rebels decided that Judge Thomas Jones “a great tory and the chief justice of their superior court” would make an ideal prison to swap for Silliman.

Twenty-five rebel volunteers under Captain David Hawley crossed Long Island Sound to capture the loyalist judge. After they arrived on Long Island, it took them two days to travel the 50 miles to the Jones’ house in Smithtown. Hawley later remembered that the judge’s home “looked like a castle”. The rebel kidnappers demanded permission to plunder the Joneses. They felt that they were risking their lives, and if they couldn’t take anything from the judge’s home, they would abort the mission then and there. Hawley “saw that the expedition would be frustrated” and was “obliged to tell them they might plunder”.

It was a Saturday night, and the Joneses had invited friends to their home for a ball. With all the music and dancing, no one could not hear the approaching rebels. Hawley burst in at the front door and found Jones standing in the entry. He told the judge that he was their prisoner and made off with him. The rebels not only walked away with Jones, but took several hundred pounds worth of booty. They stole his wife and daughters’ dresses (“the clothes on their backs only excepted”), bedsheets, and bottles of the judge’s madeira.

The rebels fled with the loyalist judge as quickly as they could, but soon had to slow down as they neared a guard. Jones began to clear his throat, hoping that the guard would hear. Hawley threatened to stab him with his bayonet if he persisted. Jones later remembered that they forced him to “march in two nights, through woods, swamps and morasses, and over hedges, ditches, and fences, sixty miles on foot, and sleep two days in the woods without fire, victuals, or drink (a little mouldy cheese and a hard biscuit, with a little water given him by the party, excepted).”

By November 8th, Jones was in Black Rock, Fairfield County, Connecticut where he was designated a British prisoner of war. This rankled Jones no end. He was every bit as American as his captors were.

When Mrs. Mary Silliman heard that the judge was imprisoned nearby, her “heart was full of sympathy for him and his family” having “so recently gone through the same trial”. She sent her son to invite Jones to have breakfast with her, and soon a rebel guard escorted him to the Silliman home.

After being introduced, Mary told Jones that she wanted to do everything in her power to make his stay a pleasant one until “the purpose of his capture was effected”. She hoped that she and Mr. Jones “would be made happy in seeing each other again”. But Jones was not in the mood for polite conversation. Mrs. Silliman found him “insensible and void of complaisance. Sullen disappointment sat on his brow”.

Mary Silliman entertained Jones in her home for two or three days, but he was “very unsociable all the while he stayed”. Fearing loyalists might rescue Jones if he remained near the coast, the rebels moved him to Middletown, Connecticut, a community that was inland and further north. There he was imprisoned for six months.

In April of 1780, Mrs. Silliman received a letter from Long Island. Anne Jones wanted to thank the general’s wife for her kindness to “her dear Mr. Jones” and begged her to “accept a pound of green tea” as a token of appreciation. Later that month, the terms of the exchange were worked out. Jones was sent by ship down to New York, while Mrs. Silliman hired a vessel to go retrieve her husband. The two ships met along the coast.

Thanks to the fact that Mrs. Silliman had sent a “fine fat turkey for the General’s comfort on his voyage home”, the two prisoners enjoyed conversation over a good meal. Both men were alumni of Yale College; Jones had graduated in 1750 and Silliman in 1752. It is very likely that the two knew one another in their younger days. When their meal was over, each man departed on his own ship and was soon reunited with his family.

Such prisoner exchanges were common during the American Revolution. The story of Judge Thomas Jones and General Gold Silliman is of particular interest because of the fascinating details that have survived over the centuries.

To secure permission to reprint this article, email Stephen Davidson.

Reverend John Beardsley (1732 – 1809) © George McNeillie

After Mr. Crannel’s arrival in St. John he was the first lawyer admitted to the bar of New Brunswick, and being the oldest was known as “Father Crannel”. He was first clerk of the St. John Common Council, at the organization of the City on May 18, 1785, also Clerk of the Peace and Judge of Probate. He died May 24, 1790, aged 69 years, his death being the first among members of the bar of New Brunswick. He had three daughters, one the wife of Gilbert Livingston of Poughkeepsie, one the wife of Thomas Lawton, merchant of St. John, and one the wife of Rev. John Beardsley. It is quite possible that Mr. Crannel may have visited Woodstock at the time when his son-in-law Rev. John Beardsley did, in 1789. At any rate in a plan of the Woodstock settlement, made somewhere about 1790, the lower half of Lot No. 31 is shown as the “property of the heirs of B. Crannel”. This is the farm on which my brother Lee Raymond now lives.

The son of Parson Beardsley, Bartholomew Crannel Beardsley afterwards lived at Woodstock about four miles below our neighbourhood. He was Judge of the Court of Sessions of the Peace and usually called “Judge Beardsley”. My father knew him quite well. He had a clever son, who I think was baptized Horace Homer Virgil Milton Beardsley. “What a name to swell the sounding trump of fame.” I think he only used the initials of Horace Homer. He was one of the earlier members of Carleton County after it was divided from York, about 1832. He had one son Stanley – commonly known as “Tat” Beardsley. He married the belle of Woodstock, “Willie” Nash, and died while quite young. His mother, the widow of Horace H. Beardsley, M.P.P., married Dr. Stephen Smith a well-known physician in Woodstock. To return from this digression to consider the fortunes of the old pioneer missionary Beardsley.

The “Shelter for his family,” which the parson built on his arrival in St. John, no doubt stood on his lot 151 not far from the Charlotte St. entrance to Trinity Church. While he was living here an incident occurred of some interest to the Masonic fraternity. On March 6, 1784, Elias Hardy, Esq., a very able lawyer who figures in the early history of St. John, applied for authority to organize a Masonic Lodge at Parr-town (as St. John was then called) and “a dispensation was granted to the Rev. Bro. John Beardsley, late Junior Grand Warden of the Provincial Grand Lodge of New York, who was installed as first ‘Worshipful Master’.” With this circumstance, we may link three other Masonic incidents. [To be continued]

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

Work in Progress: Documentation of Loyalists in “The British Campaign of 1777, Volume II: Burgoyne’s North Americans”

I read with interest the following article posted in the latest edition of Loyalist Trails.

“Did Your Ancestor Fight at Saratoga? You Can Check By Chris Carola, Associated Press Writer, Thu Oct 21

STILLWATER, N.Y. – Descendants of Revolutionary War soldiers who fought in one of history’s most important battles can now find their American ancestors in a computer database, and some day they might be guided by GPS to the exact spots where their relatives faced musket fire, cannon barrages and bayonet charges.”

I wonder how many loyalists rushed to consult this data base without recognizing that their “American ancestors” weren’t the folks referred to in this news release. Fear not, a new loyalist database is in preparation and will soon appear under the title, “The British Campaign of 1777 – Volume II – Burgoyne’s North Americans” published by Global Heritage Press.

I’ve been working on this new volume for two years and have been blessed with a gift of Todd Braisted’s decades of research to add to my own. Together, we’ve amassed over 160 primary documents on some 1,400 loyalist soldiers and their families – military rolls, lists and settlement details – and claim documents, added to a great many contributions from descendants.

The overall work is monumental when you include Burgoyne’s Canadiens, concerning which, historian, genealogist and King’s Rangers’ reenactor, Albert Smith of St. Jean sur Richelieu is investigating. Close to 1,000 Canadiens participated as Indian Department employees, fighting soldiers, mariners, artificers and carters. Albert and I have found that the records kept on these men is fragmented at best. It would seem that franco-Quebeckers had little interest in remembering their ancestors who served the Crown.

I am also covering the participation of Burgoyne’s native allies who contributed about another 1,000 fighting men. The largest contingent came from the Seven Nations of Canada, i.e. the Canada Indians. The second largest group came from the western Indians – i.e. the Lakes’ Nations from the upper Great Lakes region and the Ohio Nations. And, a late addition was a small number of Six Nations’ Fort Hunter Mohawks who had fought in St. Leger’s right-flank expedition in the upper Mohawk Valley and came to Burgoyne after St. Leger retreated to Oswego. It perhaps goes without saying that very few names of native participants were recorded and fewer still have been found.

For all three categories of North Americans, there will be a section of excerpts arranged chronologically – taken primarily from contemporary, original sources – which will provide a quite complete account of their adventures. In the case of the American loyalists, the excerpts continue after the end of the expedition and explain what happened to many of the men who survived the 1777 campaign.

As to progress – for the loyalist soldiers and the natives, most of the scut work is done and it’s a matter of polishing that material. The Canadiens are another matter and the search continues to find who they were and in what capacity they served. Bottom line – I suspect the book won’t be off-press until 2012, so please be patient.

And, if you haven’t submitted any material about your loyalist ancestor who served under Burgoyne or details of his family, I would be very pleased to receive your findings. Either email: gk.watt@sympatico.ca or post to me at 85 Fog Rd., King City, ON L7B 1A3.

…Gavin Watt, H/VP – UELAC

Canadian Kids Magazine Features Dog Rescuing Loyalists from Shipwreck

The fall issue of R.E.A.L., the Canadian Kids Magazine has featured on its cover Stephen Davidson’s story about how a dog rescued a passenger from a 1783 loyalist shipwreck. The story is based on an article he did for Loyalist Trails in 2008. The magazine can be purchased from its publisher, R.E.A.L. The Canadian Kids’ Magazine, 10520 Yonge St., 35B, # 277, Richmond Hill, ON, L4C 3C7. This is the second time in 2010 that the magazine has had a loyalist story on its cover.

Wedding Bells: R. Fink & E. Harris

Grand River Branch celebrated at the October meeting the marriage of Ronald Fink UE and Heather Harris. Ron and Heather were married in the Baptist Church in Scotland, Ontario, on October 16, 2010. Rev. James E. Files, UE., former President of Grand River Branch and Ron’s long time friend, assisted in the ceremony. Ron is a Past President of Grand River Branch and he served Dominion Council in different capacities. He and Heather reside in Brantford.

…Doris Lemon UE. Grand River Branch

Additions to the Loyalist Directory

As time permits, we add information to the Loyalist Directory. The latest additions and updates are:
– Amey, Nicholas – from Linda Smith with certificate application
– Bond, Captain John – from Robert Custance (Volunteer Alice Walchuk)
– Fraser, Daniel Sr. – from Philip Smart (Volunteer Fraser Carr)

Last Post: Dorothy Dickey, UE

Passed away peacefully at Specialty Care Case Manor, Bobcaygeon on Friday, October 22, 2010 Dorothy Dickey at the age of 92. Beloved wife of the late Marwood “Dick“ Dickey. Mother of Pam Dickey of Buckhorn, Bill (Frances) Dickey of Orillia and the late Louise Diane Dickey. Mother-in-law of the late David Kemlo. Grandmother of Brian Dickey of Waterloo. Sister of Reginald Curtis of Pickering, Elizabeth Clark of Orillia and the late Harry and Keith.

A private family interment will be held at St. Andrews- St. James Cemetery in Orillia.

Funeral arrangements provided by Monk Funeral Home, Bobcaygeon. Messages of condolence and donations may be placed at monkfuneralhome.com (from the Orillia Packet & Times)

Dorothy was a member of Kawartha Branch; Pam, and David previously, have served in many branch executiuve roles.

…Lynne Cook UE


Tories: Fighting for the King in America’s First Civil War, by Thomas B. Allen

Published by Harper, $26.99 (480p) ISBN 978-0-06-124180-2

Drawing on letters, diaries, and other primary sources, historian Allen (George Washington, Spymaster) challenges the traditional notion that all the colonists wanted to overthrow the oppressive British government. Instead, he argues that a substantial portion of Americans remained loyal to Britain. Even families were divided, making the Revolution a civil war that often pitted sons against fathers and brothers against brothers. Yet Patriots and Loyalists changed constantly with the varying fortunes of the war. [ For example, Stephen Jarvis, a young farmer, initially joined the Patriots’ Connecticut militia in order to defy his Tory father; when his regiment was temporarily released from active duty, young Jarvis fought with the Tory army on Long Island.]

After the war, 80,000 Tories left the new United States, many starting new lives in Canada; in 1792, about 2,000 ex-slaves given their freedom for joining the Loyalists, sailed to Africa, founding what is now Sierra Leone.

Allen’s thorough research and fast-paced narrative provide fresh ways of thinking about the Revolutionary War and shed new light on the lives of those, from bankers to small tradesmen, who remained loyal to the throne in the face of vigorous opposition and persecution.

Click here for the publisher’s details.

The Old Loyalist: A Story of United Empire Loyalist Descendants in Canada, by A.R. Davis, C.E. (Published 1908)

The setting is in the Bay of Quinte area, but the story takes you to Kingston, Oswego and north of Lake Superior. All the characters, except Sir. John A Macdonald, are fictitious. It is interesting to discover how the author saw the world in his time. There is mention of slavery and the Riel rebellion. The book is an easy read – something for everyone: adventure and suspense, romance and the mystery of the walnut box.

The book can be downloaded and printed here.

It can be purchased (wide range of price) at websites, including the above (bookfinder4u), Amazon, AbeBooks, alibris, and undoubtedly others as well.

…Lois O’Hara (Grandniece of the author)


John and Anna Eaton

I am looking specifically for Anna’s maiden name. She was born in Johnstown, U.C. in 1791 and married John Eaton in 1812. They settled in Toronto Gore Township in 1826 and moved to Euphasia Township around 1850. I have confirmed two children and possibly a third. Ann Eaton (b. 1820) married Robert Middleton in 1837 and Mary Eaton (b. 1929) married David Steel in 1865. A third possible child is John Jr. (b. 1817) born in the U.S., married Ann Prentice in Collingwood in 1844. Both the 1851 and 1861 census confirm that Anna was born in Upper Canada in 1791. In addition to finding Anna’s (possible) Loyalist parents, I would like to learn more about John Eaton (b. 1787 in the United States). G. Travender’s book “From this Year Hence” describes him as Pennsylvania Dutch. Thank you.

Rev. Michael Kooiman

Mary Lewis and Lewis Family of Parrsboro NS

I am looking for any information that will verify the connection of Mary Lewis of Halfway River or Parrsboro, Cumberland Co., Nova Scotia to the Lewis family of that area. She was married to my g-grandfather Lawrence Coldwell of Gaspereau, Kings Co, Nova Scotia.

I am also interested in contacting any other descendants or anyone interested in the Lewis family.

In a week of what I call “hard-scrabble” searching, I have come to the conclusion that there were three generations of Jesse Oman Lewis’s, a couple of whom were referred to as Oman or Oman Jr.

Jesse Oman 1st was born Dec 30, 1760. He died February 12, 1869.

He married Chloe Olney in 1772 in Parrsboro, Cumberland Co., Nova Scotia. He married his second wife, Mary Fullerton March 11, 1813 in Parrsborough (Parrsboro), Kings County(before Kings County was redistributed.) Marriage Bond signed by Jesse Lewis and Jesse Lewis Jr.

The children of Jesse Oman Lewis and Chloe Olney are;

1. Jesse Oman Lewis Jr. b. 1789, d. January 23, 1868.

Jesse Oman Lewis married first, Jane Fullerton who was born 1795

He married second, February 11, 1826, Mary Ann Fullerton who was born 1806 and died May 7, 1871. Marriage Bond signed by Jesse Lewis Jr. and Benjamin Fullerton.

2. Emile Lewis, Married Alexander Fullerton, March 12, 1812.

3. Cabb Lewis, (probably a mispelling or a nickname for Caleb.) b. 1806, married May 31, 1866 Kesiah Atkinson who was born in 1843.

The children of Jesse Oman Lewis Jr. and Jane Fullerton are:

1. Gaius Lewis b. 1819

2. Mary Lewis b. 1823, d. May 18, 1912, Kentville, Kings Co., N.S. unverified

My g-grandmother, m. Lawrence Coldwell of Gaspereau, Kings Co., N.S.

3. Jesse Oman Lewis 3rd. b. 1825

Married 1st Unknown.

Married 2nd April 26, 1865 Elizabeth Ripley age 24, b. 1841 (Jesse was 40.)

4. Johnston Lewis, unverified

Children of Jesse Oman Lewis Jr. & Mary Ann Fullerton are:

1. Caleb E. Lewis b. 1830

Married 1st, Phoebe Harrison in lower Maccan, N.S. January 29, 1857, two known children. Phoebe was b. 1833, d. March 26, 1870 age 37, of consumption.

Married 2nd., Susan Cutten in Onslow, N.S. December 25, 1883. Caleb was 53, Susan was 54.

2. Sabra Lewis, b. 1833 M. October 13, 1868 George Mason b. 1840.

3. Mary A. Lewis M. James Coates Harrison abt. 1840. Eight children beginning in 1841.

4. Albert G. Lewis b. 1842, d. September 23, 1866, Consumption, age 24.

Any information or connections would be appreciated.

Douglas W. Coldwell, Blomidon, Kings Co., NS