“Loyalist Trails” 2010-49: December 5, 2010

In this issue:
“Boomerang” Loyalists: Part Two — copyright Stephen Davidson
Reverend John Beardsley (1732 – 1809) © George McNeillie
The Loyalist Collection at Brock University
Bay of Quinte Branch Releases Its DVD “Unity of Empire: The Loyalist Settlement in Canada”
Railroads in Brockville: Mark Twain Visits
Additions to the Loyalist Directory
Last Post: Dorothy Jane Coyne (nee Thompson)
Last Post Addendum – John Lewis (Jack) Roblin, UE
      + Response (#3) re Mary Lewis and Lewis Family of Parrsboro NS
      + Response re Documentation Showing Elijah Winters as a Child of Henry
      + Henry Winters – One or Two of Him?


“Boomerang” Loyalists: Part Two — copyright Stephen Davidson

“Boomerang loyalists” is not an academic term, but it is a good description for those loyal Americans who, having sacrificed livelihood, lands, and possessions for the crown, found themselves battling homesickness in places far from all they had known and loved. In the decades that followed the Revolution, these loyalists, like well-thrown boomerangs, returned to their places of origin. This week we will consider the stories of a Massachusetts printer and a New York shipwright.

John Hicks’ family had lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts since 1652. When he finished his apprenticeship in 1773, Hicks became a partner with his friend, Nathaniel Mills, in a Boston printing firm. The two young men bought the Massachusetts Gazette and Post-Boy. Its editorial slant was decidedly loyal. Lorenzo Sabine noted that “His paper was conducted with much ability, spirit, and vigor”. Regular contributors included colonists of “great political knowledge and judgment” as well as a number of British officers.

Two years later, the outbreak of the American Revolution would –as it did for thousands of others– forever change Hicks’ life. The first tragedy was the death of his father. John Hicks senior was accidentally killed by a stray British bullet as the king’s forces passed through Cambridge while retreating from the Battle of Lexington. Given that young John had been among the patriot throng at the Boston Massacre in 1770, one would expect that the death of his father would position Hicks firmly in the rebel camp. But when the British evacuated Boston in March of 1776, John Hicks was among the 1,100 loyalists who fled with them to Halifax.

Hicks and Mills, his publishing partner, went to England where they stayed until 1777. The two loyalists then set up both a printing press and a stationery shop in British-occupied New York City. Wives and children, if the men had them, are not mentioned in any of the records of the period. In their Register, Hicks and Mills printed the rosters for both the German mercenaries and the loyalist regiments, information not found in the official lists published in Great Britain. These records were greatly appreciated by future loyalist historians. In a joint venture with the Robertson family, Hicks and Mills began to publish the Royal American Gazette in 1783. But as this was the year that marked the end of the Revolution, their loyalist paper did not go through very many editions.

As they had done seven years earlier, Hicks and Mills left the Thirteen Colonies for Halifax. Mills eventually settled further down the coast in the loyalist settlement of Shelburne. John Hicks stayed in Halifax for a few years, but then — whether out of homesickness or the prospects of a more profitable career– began to consider returning to Massachusetts. Like many other loyalists he had been “proscribed and banished” by angry patriots, so he could not just step off a ship and put down roots in republican soil.

Hicks, the loyalist publisher, had to apply for permission to return to Massachusetts. Despite the red-hot ardor of patriot sentiment in Boston, Hicks’ application was accepted. Perhaps it was the fact that as a young man he had opposed the British during the Boston massacre — or because his father had been killed by British troops. Whatever the crucial factor was, Hicks left Halifax and made his home in Boston. He eventually bought a “fine estate” in nearby Newton, and lived there until his death in 1794. It was hardly the final resting place one would have imagined for a man who had so ardently defended the British cause in print for over a dozen years and had suffered so much displacement for his loyalty.

Samuel Sneden and his wife Mary lived in Eastchester, New York at the outset of the Revolution. In 1775, Sneden was a 25 year-old shipwright and a man of property who –thanks to an inheritance– owned a portion of Sneden’s Landing on Long Island Sound. For the next year, Sneden spoke out against the rebels as did his great-uncle Sam and a neighbour, Captain Jonathan Fowler. What happened to the Snedens during the course of the Revolution has been lost to history. But given that they lived in British occupied territory near Connecticut, they probably experienced a number of rebel raids and witnessed fleets of navy ships travelling along the Sound.

In 1783, like other loyal New Yorkers, the Snedens had to abandon their home. They boarded an evacuation ship and became part of the thousands of settlers making new homes in Shelburne, Nova Scotia. Samuel and Mary travelled with two sons; a daughter named Polly was born to them in Nova Scotia. Given the promise of Shelburne’s harbour, the prospects of trade with England, and the large population of the loyalist settlement, Samuel Sneden had every reason to believe that he could find prosperity as a shipbuilder in the settlement.

The loyalist shipwright kept in touch with his family back in Eastchester. A letter that has survived from May of 1784 to Sneden’s mother announces the birth of a fourth child. In 1788, the shipwright cut his last ties to New York, selling his portion of Sneden’s Landing to his patriot brother, John.

Shelburne, however, failed as a dynamic and prosperous loyalist settlement. Its founders moved on to greener fields in New Brunswick, Halifax, and even the United States. By the early 1790s the Sneden family was among the latter group of loyalists. A 1795 receipt reveals that Samuel and his son Benjamin had spent six months building a sloop for two New York businessmen. Five years later, there are no references to Samuel, but a Mary Sneden is noted in an 1800 census. Little Polly Sneden, the refugee baby, married a John Myers in 1802.

Thus, today the state of New York has amongst its population the descendants of Samuel and Mary Sneden, “boomerang loyalists” who –despite their sacrifices and displacement as the king’s faithful subjects –returned to the United States.

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

Reverend John Beardsley (1732 – 1809) © George McNeillie

On a subsequent visit to this region the Bishop [Charles Inglis] writes on July 19, 1792:- “I procured a horse from Gervas Say, Esq. I chose to ride from here to the Beardsley’s [sic], 12 miles, as the road is good and I wished to see the country. Sheffield and Maugerville lie on the East side of the river and form a line of as beautiful country, for upwards of 20 miles as in anywhere to be seen. The bank looks like a continued village and resembles the banks of the St. Lawrence in Canada, for on both rivers the houses are scarcely more than 40 perches asunder, and the chain is seldom interrupted. The land at Maugerville is level and fertile. I proceeded to Mr. Beardsley’s, where I met Judge Hubbard, Sheriff De Webber, and Dr. Clarke. These gentlemen are staunch members of the Church of England. Dined at Mr. Beardsley’s in company with the above gentlemen.

” … Monday, July 30, 1792. Prepared this morning to set out from Fredericton for Maugerville, on my return to St. John … Proceeded after dinner by water to Mr. Beardsley’s.

“Tuesday, July 31, 1792. Felt much indisposed this morning, having caught cold, and some symptoms of a flying gout. Rode to see the new church, four miles below Mr. Beardsley’s. It is tolerably neat, the shell finished, and the whole completed so as to be fit for consecration.

“Wednesday, August 1. Prepared to consecrate Christ Church in Maugerville and hold a confirmation. Went by boat to the church, four miles. A heavy rain came on which wetted all who were exposed to it. The congregation very numerous notwithstanding. The church was consecrated, 125 persons were confirmed, and the Communion administered to 52 persons.”

The church at Maugerville was the first to be consecrated in New Brunswick. This speaks much for the zeal and energy of the missionary.

Governor Carleton was a zealous churchman, and as the Fredericton people made slow progress in the completion of their church he occasionally attended divine service in the Parish of Maugerville. The distance was twelve miles and return, but in fine weather the trip down the river and back in his barge was a pleasant one; or the ride on horse-back over a good road was not a formidable undertaking. A pew in the church was reserved for the Governor with a canopy over it, to signify that it was the pew for the King’s representative. The Governor was friendly to Mr. Beardsley. When the King’s New Brunswick Regiment was organized in 1793 for the defence of the province in any emergency that might arise in the war with France, the Rev. John Beardsley, as a retired army chaplain, was commissioned the chaplain of the regiment. His military duty was not arduous, and his parish so near Head Quarters that he was enabled to do the duty of Rector of Maugerville as well as that of chaplain of the regiment. The regiment was disbanded in 1802, when he again reverted to half-pay at 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

The Loyalist Collection at Brock University

Currently the Loyalist Collection at Brock University contains 594 reels of microfilm – see the list here.

The records for the academic year, September 2009 to June 2010, indicate that 68 researchers used 247 microfilms. This use of the Collection was exceptional considering that Special Collections was closed for renovations for 5 months from October to February when the Loyalist Collection was unavailable to the public.

…Bev Craig UE

Bay of Quinte Branch Releases Its DVD “Unity of Empire: The Loyalist Settlement in Canada”

The Bay of Quinte Branch UEL is pleased to announce the completion and release of its DVD which tells the story of the Loyalist Settlements, primarily in Ontario. The DVD runs 22 minutes and describes the background to the American Revolution, the plight of the Loyalists, and the eventual areas of settlement throughout what would become Ontario, using still images and live footage from re-enactments. The second part of the video looks ahead to the 225th Anniversary of the arrival of the Loyalists, with much of the footage taken at the Dominion Conference hosted by the Bay of Quinte Branch in June of 2009. There are also bonus interviews with David Smith and Peter Johnson, concerning the Loyalist Brigades and the life of the early Loyalist settlers.

This DVD is an excellent promotional video for educational outreach by Loyalists for presentation to either student or adult groups, as well of being of general interest to anyone keen on Canadian History from the Loyalist Settlement Period. The Video was produced by Wandering Journalist Productions Media and financed by the Bay of Quinte Branch UEL. Copies of the DVD are available for $15 each plus $5 to cover shipping and postage.

To order copies of the DVD, please pay to Bay of Quinte Branch UEL and send to:

June Dafoe, Branch Sales, 4150 Old Highway #2, RR #4 Belleville Ontario, K8N 4Z4

Alternatively: Phone 613-962-1777, Email adafoe1@cogeco.ca

Railroads in Brockville: Mark Twain Visits

As an interesting addendum following the piece last week by Roy Lewis about Railroads in Brockville, Taylor Roberts contributes an article about a visit by rail of Mark Twain to Brockville in 1885. His article was published in the Brockville Museum Monitor in April 1993.

For another piece of history, go here.

Additions to the Loyalist Directory

As time permits, we add information to the Loyalist Directory. The latest additions and updates are:
– Booth, John Sr. – from Carrie C. Mackenzie
– Crysler, Geronimous – from Earle Fladager
– Hawley, Jehiel – from Linda Smith with certificate application
– Hunter, James – from James Hunter
– Sharpe, William – from Carl Stymiest (Volunteer Wendy Cosby) with certificate application
– Smith, Richard – from Doug Smith
– Tompkins Family – from Debra Mann

Last Post: Dorothy Jane Coyne (nee Thompson)

Died peacefully surrounded by her loving family in Mississauga, Ontario on Friday, November 26, 2010 following a brave 41/2 year struggle with melanoma. Born on December 27, 1933, and raised at Elmlawn Farm, Terra Cotta, Ontario. Dorothy attended Toronto Normal School, graduating in 1953. She taught underprivileged children for three years in Toronto, followed by several years as a teacher in Waterloo, Ontario. Gardening and volunteer work were two of her passions. For sixteen years she was a team member in the Surgical Waiting Room at The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto. She was a faithful member of Clarkson Road Presbyterian Church, serving on the Board of Managers and heading many fund-raising projects.

Wife of Gordon for 54 years. Mother of James (Bev) of Bradenton, Florida; Julie Coupland (John) of Atlanta, Georgia; and Carolyn Galin (Mike) of Richmond Hill, Ontario. She was cherished by her grandchildren.

A Service of Remembrance was held at Clarkson Road Presbyterian Church, on Monday, November 29. Cremation has taken place. Interment Brampton Cemetery.

“It is the greatest pleasure my days bring to me to go out to my garden every morning and see what new blossoms have opened overnight” – Lucy Maud Montgomery

Gordon Coyne is a member of Toronto Branch and has been until 2010 a trustee of UELAC for several years.

Last Post Addendum – John Lewis (Jack) Roblin, UE

Original posting here.

Jack was the longest continuing member of Bay of Quinte Branch UE, joining our branch in its Charter Year in 1956, and was very active in branch activities, especially in working with the UEL Park and UEL Cemetery grounds over many years. He also was actively involved in Municipal Council in Adolphustown, the restoration of the Township Hall, the UEL United Church at Dorland, and working with various other local historical groups.

…Brian Tackaberry, President Bay of Quinte Br.


Response (#3) re Mary Lewis and Lewis Family of Parrsboro NS

With Richard Ripley’s information, I revisited the Nova Scotia Vital Statistics pages . I had been previously aware of the older Gaius Lewis, but now with his birth year (1788), I realize that he was a son of Jesse Oman Lewis and Chloe Olney and the older brother to Jesse Oman Lewis Jr.

Jesse Oman Lewis Jr. was married to Jane Fullerton, as the marriage record of their son Jesse Oman 3rd to Elizabeth Ripley shows (NSHVS – Registration year 1865, Book 1809, Page 5, Number 4). That Jane Fullerton was from Horton is interesting; many of my family are from there and I was raised on the Horton Bluff Road. There were also Fullertons in Hantsport.

Richard Ripley gives the birth years of Mary Lewis and her brother Oman, (Jesse Oman Lewis 3rd) to be 1823 for each, which could indicate that they are twins – I had already connected them as brother & sister. Mary Elizabeth Lewis-Coldwell is my g-grandmother.

For me it is especially important to realize that there were three “Jesse Oman Lewis’s”. Sometimes he is called Oman. One entry has him as Aman. However, when they signed their names, they always signed “Jesse Lewis”. One bond was signed Jesse Lewis and Jesse Lewis Jr.

Gaius Lewis & Phillip Freeman made a bond of marriage between Gaius Lewis and Mary Ann Freeman. (NSHVS – Registration year 1805, Book 1800, page 2048)

I have not seen the book “Fenwick”, by Mrytle Chappell, but I am anxious to find it. I am very grateful to Richard for his help.

…Doug Coaldwell, Blomidon, Nova Scotia ( Twenty minutes from Parrsboro by boat)

Response re Documentation Showing Elijah Winters as a Child of Henry

From his UCLP the Henry Winters who married Nancy McWilliams was born in New Hampshire in 1793 (I sent her that information already) and he served in Stormont Milita, First Flank Company from July 1812 to December 1812. It is not yet established whether this younger Henry is related to the other Henry Winter who settled in Osnabruck or not. According to his son’s obit, his father was a Frederick Winters, but unsure if the same Frederick Winters who served in Butler’s Rangers. If it is, he does not seem to have drawn land or petitioned for land, at least not in Osnabruck. According to the same obituary of Henry’s son Joseph, his father Henry was a son of Frederick Winters and a woman named Daniel. He was one of many children, but they all moved back to the US except for Henry who settled in Osnabruck.

During the War of 1812, there were 3 Winters in the Stormont Militia, Henry who married Nancy McWilliams, dau of John McWilliams, Frederick Winters who married Sophia Mattice dau of Adam Mattice UE. And George Winters who died and appeared as a casualty.

Both Nancy Winter and Sophia Winter petitioned for land as DUE on the same date in 1817. They received land on the same date. My guess is that they were sisters in law, but not sure how to prove it. Their husband did NOT petition for land as SUE. Both Frederick and Henry did later petition for land grant as Veteran of the Militia in War of 1812.

Someone applied for land on behalf of George Winter who was a casualty of the War of 1812, and the person who was named on the warrant was Hiram Winter, eldest son of Frederick Winter, elder brother of George Winter. The land granted was in Orillia, but it does not look like it was patented, and Hiram Winters stayed in Osnabruck and died there, unmarried. So George and Frederick Winters were brothers, and Henry was possibly a younger brother as well. Proving is a bit tricky.

…Guylaine Petrin

Henry Winters – One or Two of Him?

As part of the research into the Henry Winters family or, at the Archives of Ontario, I looked through the Townships Papers RG 1-58 – http://www.archives.gov.on.ca/english/archival-records/interloan/crown-land-township-t.aspx

The Township paper is an interesting collection, sometimes there is nothing about a lot (most frequent) or sometimes there are whole files about ownerships. In my experience, it is quite unusual to find Discharge papers in the Township papers. In this et, in different locations, I found the Discharge papers for Peter Winter of KRRNY, Jacob Winters of KRRNY and Henry Winters of the Butler’s Rangers. Here is the list with the citations.

28 May 1779

Discharge papers of Henry Winter Senior, late a Ranger in Major Butler’s Corp. Being too old to serve (so he cannot be 38).

He has suffered imprisonment and many losses for his Loyalty. He has at present two sons upward of two years in Major Butlers Corps of Rangers. Signed at Niagara by Walter Butler and Mason Bolion.

Source: A.O. Township Papers RG 1-58, Osnabruck, # 001686 lot 8, conc. 8. MS 658 reel 368

24 June 1784

Discharge papers of Jacob Winter of 2nd Battalion of KRRNY, in Captain Jacob Maurer’s Company. States that Jacob Winters is 20, and native of parish of Hoosick, in Albany County and has served faithfully for 4 years.

Source: A.O. , Township papers RG 1-58, Osnabruck, conc. 2, lot 30. MS 658 reel 366

24 June 1784

Discharge papers of Peter Winter of the 2nd Battalion of KRRNY. Peter Winter was a drummer in Captain William Redfort Crawford Company. Peter is aged eighteen and born in Town of Hoosick in the County of Albany and has served faithfully for 4 years.

Source: A.O. Township papers RG 1-58, Osnabruck, conc. 8, ,lot 9, #001687-001698, MS 658 reel 368.

The three discharge papers, although in different places in the files, must have been submitted together since I also have a letter indicating that the discharges of Jacob and Peter Winter are enclosed. As papers are arranged by lot number, they must have been separated when the brothers received different lots.

The discharge papers for Henry Winter Senior (that could be important) indicates that he is discharged because he is too old. As I have a birth date for Henry Winters in 1741, it would seem unlikely that at 38 years of age he could be considered too old.

Two of the books I have used for research on the Loyalist Winters:

Smy, William A., and Friends of the Loyalist Collection at Brock University. An Annotated Nominal Roll of Butler’s Rangers 1777-1784 with Documentary Sources. Ridgeville, Ont.: Friends of the Loyalist Collection at Brock University, 2004. p. 200

Fryer, Mary Beacock, and William A. Smy. Rolls of the Provincial (Loyalist) Corps, Canadian Command, American Revolutionary Period. Toronto: Dundurn Press, 1981

I am wondering – are there TWO Henry Winters. For example the SMY book notes that Henry Winters was discharged 8 February 1778 from Butlers’ Rangers, but the discharge papers above note 28 May 1779? How can he be discharged both in 1778 and in 1779? Also the 1779 discharge, talks about Henry Winters Senior – that would suggest that there must be a Jr somewhere. The problem is how are they related.

It am postulating that there was an old Henry born probably more likely around 1725, son of Johann George and brother of Johannes born 1732. And another Henry Winter born around 1741.

This older Henry married Catharine Basson, sometime before 1756 as I have found 3 baptisms so far for children of Henry and Catharina one in 1756 (Frederick), one in 1764 (Jacob) and one in 1773 (Jeremias). As each is in a different parish register, it is quite possible there were more children.

There is no record thus far of Peter or Elizabeth, who another source indicates are children of Henry Winter UE. In 1777 old Henry and two sons (no name so far) joined the Butler’s Rangers, per his discharge papers. Could those 2 sons be Frederick and Nicholas, who are listed as prisoners in Smy’s book?

The discharge papers noted above show that 2 sons Jacob and Peter joined the KRRNY in 1780 aged 16 and 13. Could those sons have been in Butler’s Rangers beforehand? Or were they too young and only joined in 1780?

Is it possible that another Henry Winters (Junior, but not necessarily his son) enlisted in the Butlers Ranger and was discharged in February 1778, and then joined the KRRNY. In the list at Quebec from Fryer and Smy’s books dated 1783 he is listed as enlisted for 3 years, age 42. Which Henry Winters joined the KRRNY after being discharged from the Butlers’ Rangers? The one who is TOO OLD or the Henry Winters Junior?

Which Henry Winter deserted on 2 April 1784 (Smy’s book page 200). Why would someone desert when the war was over? Were people sometimes listed as deserters because they had switched to another company and could not be found?

If there are two Henry Winters, which one settled on the Susquehanna? Which one joined the KRRNY after Butler’s Rangers? Where did the other Henry Winter settle after the War and is he related to old Henry and Peter and Jacob?

Any help sorting out what appears to be TWO Henry Winters of Butler’s Rangers, and the various Winters families and relationships would be greatly appreciated.

Guylaine Petrin