“Loyalist Trails” 2011-10: March 13, 2011

In this issue:
One of the Most Rabid Tories — © Stephen Davidson
Editor’s Note: Special Issue
Conference 2011: Loyalist Land for Old Stone Church – by Roy Lewis
John Moore (1730 – 1827): Fourth Generation in America © George McNeillie
UELAC Members and the Media
Saint-Lambert’s Legionnaire – Okill Stuart – 90 Years Young
News From BLHS
Update to UELAC Honours and Recognition
Are You Looking for More Resources to Search for Your Ancestors?
Maple Leaf Tartan Named an Official Symbol of Canada
The Tech Side: Help Is On The Way – by Wayne Scott, UE
      + Rates of Pay
      + Reuben Hawley
      + Loyalist Era Puppets
      + George Schryver


One of the Most Rabid Tories — © Stephen Davidson

Loyalist history is full of surprises — much to the embarrassment of an entire nation. Guess whose mother was a staunch supporter of King George III!

We will let an eyewitness to the American Revolution reveal the secret. Louis de Clermont-Crevecoeur was a French soldier who fought with the patriots. In 1782, he decided to visit the mother of one of his American comrades. His journal records these words, “We went to call on her, but were amazed to be told that this lady, who must be over seventy, is one of the most rabid Tories. Relations must be very strained between her and her son.”

De Cermont-Crevecoeur was visiting Fredericksburg, Virginia. The woman he and his friends went to see was none other than Mary Washington, the mother of General George Washington!

In his book, George Washington’s Legacy of Leadership, A.W. Burian described Mary Washington by saying, “She did not agree with her son’s politics and remained a Loyalist all her life.”

Both mother and son were noted for being strong-willed. Who was the more embarrassed? The loyal mother whose son was the first president of the United States as a son — or the patriot son whose mother was a tory “traitor”?

Mary Washington was born to Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Ball in Lively, Virginia in 1708. By the time she reached her teens, both of her parents had died. Mary was noted for loving horses, having a deep Anglican faith, and being very strong willed. In appearance she was of medium height and had a high, intelligent-looking forehead, a strong jaw (“jutting” in some accounts) and thick, dark eyebrows. Her famous son would share many of her features.

During a visit to England, Mary met a young Virginian widower named Augustine Washington, a member of the colony’s gentry. After a short courtship, the couple was married on March 6, 1731. Over the next seven years, Augustine and Mary had six children. When Mary’s firstborn son, George, was six, her husband moved the family to a 600-acre farm on the Rappahannock River.

Augustine died in 1743, leaving Mary a widow to raise six children (her three stepchildren were at school in England) and operate a plantation. Her lifelong fear of being destitute may have begun in these first years of widowhood. According to the terms of her husband’s will, she would only receive an income from the estate until George came of age. Sometime after her husband’s death, Mary began to smoke a pipe of Virginian tobacco. Apparently it calmed her frazzled nerves.

The historian Paula Felder described Mary in this way: “She was a simply educated woman with no great social polish or breadth… She was evidently a stern parent, presiding over her household with a rudimentary common sense which some have characterized as stubbornness.” Scolding and complaining became second nature to her.

Having lost her parents and husband, Mrs. Washington did all that she could to keep her oldest son George near her. Despite his trips into the countryside to conduct surveys or his visits to the home of his half-brother, Lawrence Washington, George was not allowed to go very far.

History would have been radically altered if George had followed his heart and joined the British Navy in 1756, but his mother forbid his going to sea. For the rest of his adult life, George’s relationship with his mother would be strained and formal.

Although Mary always had doubts about George’s ability to make good decisions, she did approve of her son’s marriage to Martha Custis, a widow from a prominent family. When George inherited Mount Vernon from her oldest stepson, Mary must have felt that he had finally settled into a respectful life. Mary never visited Mount Vernon — a testimony to the strained relationship between mother and son.

In 1772, George bought his mother a house in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Within just three years, he became the commanding general of the Continental Army. His mother was horrified at the choice her son had made.

The historian, James S. Olson, notes that “Mary griped constantly, condemning the rebellion, praising the British, and insisting that George reconsider his loyalties.”

In the Landon Family Research Quarterly of April 1993, Betty Brassington wrote that Mary “was known to belittle her son for leaving her “to chase after those poor Torys” when she needed him at home!” Mary must have made these complaints to George’s siblings; there is no record of any correspondence between Washington and his mother during the entire Revolution.

Mary’s political views (which she would not have been reticent to express) could hardly have gone down well with the patriots of Virginia. Willard Sterne Randall, who wrote George Washington: A Life, states that “only George Washington’s stature protected her from being driven out of the community by resentful neighbours”.

Despite all of the many significant events that unfolded over the next few years, Mary’s only involvement in her son’s accomplishments was a brief appearance at a Peace Ball. For George’s inauguration as the first president of the new republic, Mary put on a new white cap and a clean apron to honour his visit to her home in 1789. She later told a neighbour “these great folks expected something a little extra.”

Mary’s final years were painful ones as she fought a losing battle with breast cancer. She was so thin in 1787, that George’s sister begged him to come and see his mother before she died. Mary lingered for two more years, dying on August 25, 1789 at the age of 81.

Given her loyalist views and her strained relationship with her son, it is interesting that Mary Washington went on to become a venerated woman. Her house in Fredericksburg is a museum; both a hospital and a university bear her name. More than a century after her death, Virginians erected a fifty-foot tall granite monument in her honour. One cannot imagine that Mary Washington would have been very amused.

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

Editor’s Note: Special Issue

This issue is a special one. It is a good-sized one, but not the largest we have had. It has good content, but then that has to be assessed in your eyes. It celebrates our country, our ongoing family research, our history, our annual conference and you the people – all with a loyalist reference point. That said, it is really special because the article above, by Stephen Davidson, is his 200th contribution to Loyalist Trails. I suspect I echo the thoughts that most of you might well have, that Stephen has brought to us a breadth and depth about the loyalist times and story of which few of us had much comprehension.

Stephen, on behalf of the readers of Loyalist Trails (and many others who have read some of these articles as reprinted in other publications – recently in an SAR chapter newsletter), a big hearty thank you.


Conference 2011: Loyalist Land for Old Stone Church – by Roy Lewis

The site where a small stone church was constructed northwest of Brockville 174 years ago was donated by a Loyalist. And thanks to a small but dedicated group of volunteers, the Old Stone Church in the rural hamlet of Yonge Mills has been preserved.

Land for the church was donated by Capt. Peter Purvis, a United Empire Loyalist who, with his family came to this area in the mid-1780s following the American Revolution. For his service to the British Crown during the revolution, Purvis was granted land for a farm. It was from this property he severed off a parcel of land for the church.

Initially, Purvis and his family had worshipped at First Presbyterian Church in Brockville. A man of strong faith, Purvis believed in deeply religious principles and there is a story that he once broke the bow of a musician playing a bass viol (a string instrument similar to a violin only much larger) at First Presbyterian Church. Purvis felt the instrument was inappropriate to be played inside the house of worship.

But the horse and buggy ride to and from Brockville each Sunday was onerous and Presbyterians near the Purvis farm decided in 1837 to build their own church. The Yonge Mills Presbyterian Church, as it was originally known, was constructed of stout stone walls, large windows for the time and included a balcony, a feature not always found in smaller rural churches. With the additional room provided by the balcony, the church can seat about 115 people.

Regular services were held at the church for over 50 years but by the early part of the 20th century, the building had fallen into disrepair. However, funds were collected and repairs made in 1909. A pedal-powered organ, still in use today, was purchased for $145.34.

Attendance at the church slowly declined because automobiles allowed worshippers to attend larger churches in other locations. After being a Presbyterian church for 90 years and a United church for 40 years, the church finally closed in 1968.

Over the next decade, the church again started to fall into disrepair but a handful of area residents were determined not to lose this landmark building. In July of 1979, a restoration committee was formed and started efforts to upgrade the Old Stone Church as it is now known. A new roof and carpeting was installed, the exterior woodwork was repaired and the mortar in the stonework was replaced.

An annual anniversary service continues to be held there on the first Sunday in June. By holding at least one service a year, the church committee avoids having to pay property taxes for the site. The church is also used for weddings and funerals.

Maintenance is also relatively inexpensive since the church has few amenities. Coal oil lamps are still used at some services. At one time, the church had electricity but that convenience was disconnected when the congregation could no longer afford to pay the hydro bill. However, the electric lights still work and a portable generator supplies enough power to keep them on for the length of a service.

The sixth 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.

John Moore (1730 – 1827): Fourth Generation in America © George McNeillie

The cradle of the Moore Family in America was in Newtown, about three miles east of Brooklyn on Long Island, now I believe included in the Brooklyn city limits. This little place, Newtown, and the vicinity, was the camping ground of a good many of the Loyalist Regiments at the close of the Revolutionary War. Newtown was also the home of our Hallett ancestors, and the Horsfields lived quite near them. The Carmans lived at Hempstead, not far away, and the Raymonds spent several years on Long Island also, during the Revolutionary War.

Our information concerning the Moore Family is chiefly derived from Riker’s Annals of Newtown, Queen’s County, Long Island, published in 1852. The book is now rare and, according to Victor H. Paltsits of the Lenox Library, copies have been sold at auction at $20.50 (this 25 years ago).

Several families of English extraction bearing the name of Moore are said to be descended from Thomas de Moore, who came from Normandy with William the Conqueror in 1066. His name is enrolled in the ancient list of those who survived the Battle of Hastings, Oct. 14, 1066, in which Thomas de Moore had a considerable command. From him two English families of distinction claim descent, namely the Earls of Mount Cashell and Drogheda.

The more immediate ancestor of those of the name in America, however, was the Rev. John Moore, who was the immigrant ancestor. He was an “Independent” minister, the first at Newtown, and this place was for years the cradle of the family. The part of England from which he emigrated and the exact date of his arrival in America are not known. After his arrival in New England he was permitted to preach, but not authorized to administer the sacraments. After this manner he officiated “for many years”, till his death in 1657. He was reputed a good preacher. He married Margaret Howell about 1640, perhaps a little earlier. The date of his arrival in America was probably about the same time as that of the Raymonds, Carmans, Beardsleys and others of our ancestors – compare the genealogical tables in this book. It will there be found that most of these families have been the same number of generations in America.

In consequence of his interest in the purchase of Newtown from the Indians, the town, some years after his death in 1657, awarded eighty acres of land to his children. His widow after his death married Francis Doughty. Our remarks concerning the first generation of the Moores in Newtown must be brief as our knowledge is rather limited.

1. Reverend John Moore (In America 1630-1657). – (First Generation in America.) –

The Rev. John Moore, who has just been spoken of, had by his Margaret Howell four sons, John, Gershom, Samuel, Joseph; and one daughter, Elizabeth, who married Constant Titus.

[Editor’s note – more information has come to light about John Moore since Raymond died in 1923. The following excerpt is taken from the newsletter of the First Presbyterian Church of Newtown, May 1994:

John Moore (Minister 1652-1657), by Robert Singleton

Rev. Moore was an English immigrant who settled in New England when he was about twenty. In 1644, he moved to Southampton, Long Island. In 1646, he completed his studies at Harvard College, near Boston. In that same year, he obtained a license to preach. Since he was not a regularly ordained minister, Moore was not authorized to administer the sacraments. He moved to Hempstead, preaching the gospel there, as he had done at Southampton.

In 1652, he moved to the newly formed Newtown and became the first minister in the village. In the winter of 1655-56, he returned to England, probably to receive ordination. Moore returned to America in 1657, and died in September of that year.

Moore, described as an educated man and excellent preacher, had descendants who were prominent and influential in the town and church, including two bishops of the Episcopal Church, two presidents of Columbia College, and Clement Clark Moore, the author of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. The Moore family developed the Chelsea neighborhood in Manhattan. The Moores’s ancient home in Newtown was tom down a few decades ago. A park off Broadway marks its location.

Rev. Moore lies in the Town Burying Ground, now in a playground near Macy’s. No stone marks his grave; its exact location is unknown.]

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

UELAC Members and the Media

From a public relations point of view, any press is better than no press at all. This past week we have had several items that would have gone unnoticed if were not for the postings on the Internet and the universality of our communications by email or on Facebook. Even when the UELAC is not mentioned, we celebrate the achievements of our fellow members across our country.

For me, it started with a simple phone call on the first Tuesday afternoon in March from a reporter in Ottawa wanting to know what I thought about the possibility that the Prime Minister might not attend the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. The next morning, my mailbox kept filling with responses to the comments of the President of the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada as quoted in the National Post, as well as the Ottawa Citizen, Windsor Star, and Calgary Herald. When I received one message from an editor asking whether it was policy or protocol that was restricting the acceptance of the invitation, it was time to turn the question over to the Prime Minister’s Office.

On the following Monday, the Globe and Mail article Walking Through the Grief in the Life section, featured photographs of Carl Stymiest, President of the Vancouver Branch UELAC. Carl’s involvement with the Vancouver Hospice Society’s walking group for the bereaved five years ago lead to his special training as a hospice volunteer. Carl is a shining example of one “who walks the talk”.

When I joined the UELAC in 1998, Lois Dickinson was the Chair of the Education Committee. Her interest in making history more accessible to our young people is still evident in her message to the Dominion Office this week. She wanted to share an article that she had just read in the London Free Press on the use of graphic novels or comic books in the classroom.

In a very unique way, the media increasingly help us to keep up to date with our fellow members of UELAC wherever they may be. A video from the NY Times brought us assurance that Peter Rogers, President of the Manitoba Branch was weathering the recent troubles in Egypt. Dr. Catherine Tanser, a former UELAC Trustee, quickly advised her friends in the Hamilton Branch of her distance from the earthquake in New Zealand. While the media provide the big picture both locally and around the world, we continue to look search for news on people we know.


Saint-Lambert’s Legionnaire – Okill Stuart – 90 Years Young

A crowd gathered on Saturday, March 5, in the elegant surroundings of the Macdonald Stewart Foundation’s headquarters in Montreal, to celebrate the birthday of former Dominion President Okill Stuart, who turned 90 on March 10. The venue was the still sumptuous mansion of the late Senator Louis-Joseph Forget (1853-1911), the first French Canadian stockbroker, situated on Sherbrooke Street, in the very heart of Montreal’s “Golden Square Mile”. The party-goers included a veritable legion of men and women belonging to different organizations with which Okill has been involved over the years, including, among others, the 78th Fraser Highlanders, the UELAC, the Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem, the Military and Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem, the St. Andrew’s Society of Montreal, the Royal Commonwealth Society, the Royal Heraldry Society of Canada, the Royal Canadian Legion, Bishop’s College School, the Saint-Lambert Lawn Bowling Club, etc., etc. Friends and neighbours were there in force too, as well as family members.

After words of welcome were spoken by Lt. Col. Bruce Bolton, Executive Director of the Macdonald Stewart Foundation, and Major Peter Ferst, Officer Commanding the Fort Ste-Hélène Garrison of the (re-raised) 78th Fraser Highlanders Regiment, a large birthday cake was piped into the main room of the mansion by a piper of the 78th Frasers in full 18th century regimental uniform, and the assembled multitude joined in lusty choruses of “Happy Birthday” and “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow”. Okill, sporting his finest Highland day wear and miniatures, then cut his cake with a claymore to the cheers of the crowd. Unfortunately, the smoke from the sparklers set off the fire alarm in the old building, with the result that Montreal firefighters, sporting their full regalia, soon arrived on the scene and, after being informed of the cause of the alarm, were invited to join in the celebration (they gracefully declined).

Robert Wilkins, at Okill’s request, read a message from H.R.H. the Prince Philip, Okill’s one-time classmate at Gordonstoun School, noting that he too would become a nonagenarian this coming June, and a covering letter from the Prince’s Private Secretary. A second message was read, from His Excellency David Johnston, Governor General of Canada. Robert then read the touching inscription on the beautiful certificate issued to mark the occasion by The United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada and signed by the Dominion President and the Secretary. The “Ode to a Loyal Heart”, a poem first composed by Mr. Wilkins when Okill turned 80, and lengthened several times since, was read by its author, with a further addition to take account of the great man’s 90th birthday. Wally Charron, a Saint-Lambert friend, also read his poem honouring Okill.

The whole atmosphere was a heartfelt tribute to a man who had touched all present and inspires us still, and to his devoted wife, Sylvia. Mark Jodoin, the well known author of Shadow Soldiers of the American Revolution, put together a moving video (YouTube) of Okill’s life from photos stretching back over the last nine decades. The video has the haunting melody of Lili Marlene playing softly in the background. Major Ferst took many photos of the event and Warren Thwing did a video of the party. The guests gorged themselves on delicious refreshments prepared or ordered by Maura Wilkins, Social Convenor of Heritage Branch and other contributors. The great man thanked all present and invited them to return for an even bigger party when he turns 100. Knowing Okill, it might be wise to save the date right now.

…Robert C. Wilkins, President Heritage Branch UELAC.

News From BLHS

2011 has been declared the United Nations International Year for People of African Descent. More than another designation, it is to be year to promote education and respect for the diverse cultures of people of African Descent, and to increase inclusion in all areas of society. Shari Shortliffe of the Black Loyalist Heritage Society has asked that we share their electronic newsletter, Volume One Number One Spring Edition. The link can be found on their home page. Of particular interest to our many readers will be the Birchtown Quilting Project to be conducted this year to “showcase the legacy of the Black Loyalists and trace their journey from slavery to freedom.” Also, look for Race to Sierra Leone by Jackie Race-Retfalvi, the first account of a November journey to personally trace the steps left by the Black Loyalists in Freetown.


Update to UELAC Honours and Recognition

The UELAC Honours and Recognition section is a good example of what we mean as “in a state of progress”. Created in May of 2010 to focus on the recognition of the contributions to UELAC by so many volunteers over the years, it also serves as a resource for our 2014 celebrations. Much of the history of our association is found in the stories of those honoured at the local, regional and dominion levels. Putting a face to these people is another challenge. This update has included photographs of Honorary Vice-Presidents, first published in The Loyalist Gazette, the UELAC Dorchester Award as well as the Phillip E.M. Leith Memorial Award.

First off was Todd Braisted, UE (PDF), elected in 2007. His photograph and autobiographical submission is a great addition to our resource. In the coming weeks, we will attempt to complete the research for other Honorary Vice-Presidents who do not have documentation in the folder.


Are You Looking for More Resources to Search for Your Ancestors?

Here are Four Possibilities:

1. Legacy software company provides access to free seminars on the web (ie webinars) covering genealogical topics.

For the first month after they take place, listen to them free. After that, the cost is $10 – 13 US for a CD version.

2. Similarly the National Archives from Kew, England produces podcasts which can be heard after their live presentation

3. The Society of Genealogists in England have posted handouts from more than 30 presentation given at the Who Do You Think You Are? Live event held in London in February.

Topics include: How do I research before 1837?; National Wills Index; Beyond the Census and BMDs; Understand your Ancestors through their Handwriting; Lesser known sources for Family History.

4. A free course called Social Media for the Wise Genealogist is available until March 15th from the National Institute for Genealogical Studies at University of Toronto.

It covers social media tools vital to today’s genealogical research, such as: social networking sites, RSS, bookmarking, and more. Written by Brenda Wheeler, it requires a text book, Social Networking for Genealogists, by Drew Smith.

To register, visit the National Institute’s website.

…Nancy Conn, UE, Gov. Simcoe Branch

Maple Leaf Tartan Named an Official Symbol of Canada

Following on the items in last week’s issue of Loyalist Trails about Tartan Day on April 6, it is now official! Canada’s Maple Leaf Tartan, which has been our unofficial national tartan for many years, has now become an official symbol of Canada.

“The Maple Leaf Tartan has been worn proudly and enjoyed by Canadians for decades, but has never been elevated to the level of an official symbol–until now,” said the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.

Read the announcement.

…Jo Ann Tuskin UE

The Tech Side: Help Is On The Way – by Wayne Scott, UE

Computers can often be confusing. Software that we like using often comes out with reversions long before we have truly mastered the old versions. The result is that we sometimes need help using our computers.

Help files are sometimes as confusing as manuals can be. All too often when we search for help with a specific feature, we are left with little help. Would you like someone to give you a hand? I may have found a resource that you can use.

I personally like video tutorials. A video tutorial can walk me through the specific steps needed to accomplish a task. The exact steps to use, and in which order can be followed on the computer screen. We also need to find tutorials that speak a language that we understand. Complex tasks need to be broken down into doable parts.

A tall order to be sure, but help truly is just a few mouse clicks away. Take, for instance, the site www.teachparentstech.org. Here you can find simple, easy to understand video tutorials covering many topics. The 52 free video tutorials cover a wide variety of topics such as: finding restaurant reviews, determining whether an email is real or a phishing scam, how to unsubscribe to an unwanted newsletter, getting stock quotes, transferring files from one computer to another or just resizing a picture. Each video is up to 1 minute long. The young people giving us help speak clearly and explain each step. These video tutorials are good for computer users of all ages.

It is interesting that from this site, you can send a video to a parent or others on specific topics. The approach is a bit condescending, however, there is great value in the tutorials and they are aimed at users who want a simple approach to learning.

Onlinecomputertips.com has a few video tutorials aimed more to customizing your windows environment. The site also has a number of tutorials and help files.

There may be times when you are asked to help solve a computer problem, or a software difficulty. Sites such as above, will allow you to not only give verbal advice, but also offer another user a video helper. In most cases, the video would explain things in a far easier to understand manner than a written explanation.

From a simple Google search, a number of such sites were listed. You may also find video help on Ask.com or other help resources. I caution you to be wary of sites that first ask you to ‘join’ by giving email and password information. It is true that some sites will offer more help than others. Find one that suits your needs and technical know-how, and bookmark it for future use.

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


Rates of Pay

I was looking at the original pay list for the company of Walter Butler in the Haldimand papers at the Archives of Ontario.

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

From December 25 1777 to October 24 1778, Frederick Winter and Henry Winter are listed as a Private in Walter Butler’s Company.

I looked at the original paylist in the beautiful handwriting, and I noticed that Frederick and Henry were paid for the same period, but at different rate:

Frederick Winter is paid 4 pennies a day (like most other privates) but Henry Winter is only paid 2 pennies a day for the exact same period. I can forward the paylist image if you want.

I am curious why one private would be paid half the other?

Guylaine Petrin

Reuben Hawley

Reuben Hawley: b. 25, Oct., 1745 Woodbury, Litchfield, CT; d. 3 Mar 1810, Noyan, Missisquoi, Quebec; m. 1768, Rachel Hurd; thought to have two daughters, Rachel who married Gershom Cutting, and Elizabeth who married Josephus Vaughan.. Reuben Hawley is listed on the Loyalist Index as proven. Would appreciate any information or help finding information on Reuben Hawley.

Linne Haddock

Loyalist Era Puppets

Our museums are trying to incorporate some activity areas for young children and we’re interested in acquiring some “pioneer puppets” (or even better ‘Loyalist puppets”) — a search online has come up with nothing. If anyone has contacts they could share it would be appreciated. The puppets do not have to be elaborate…the simpler the better in fact.

Jennifer Lyons, Head Curator, Museums of Prince Edward County

George Schryver

I have been researching my family and discovered that one of my ancestors served with the KRRNY. I believe he may have been in Johnson’s company, because of his connection to a Michael Carmen, who shows on the roll dated Jan. 1777. I think Carmen recruited him. Would you have any info on a GEORGE SCHRYVER with the regiment. Many thanks.

…Frank Schryver

George is quite a famous guy to a couple of us Royal Yorker reenactors. As you may know, George was indentured to Michael Carman and Martin and Mary Walter and one of my buddies has his original certificate. Rather neat!

George enlisted in the 1st battalion, King’s Royal Regiment of New York (Royal Yorkers) on 19Jun76. He was one of Sir John Johnson’s followers who escaped over the Adirondacks to the St. Lawrence River and, as Carman and Walter were tenants or employees of the baronet, they and George were placed in the Colonel’s Company.

That moniker doesn’t mean that Lieut-Col Johnson actually led the company. That role was given to a junior captain called a Captain-Lieutenant. Johnson was nominally the company’s captain and was paid as such. This was the case in all British regiments, so it wasn’t graft of any kind; it was simply one method by which a lieutenant colonel received his pay.

Nonetheless, being placed in the Colonel’s Company had a tiny measure of cachet, as Johnson no doubt took an interest in ‘his boys.’ The Colonel’s Coy saw a great deal of active service during the war. I suggest you look in our website. http://royalyorkers.ca/

George continued in the Colonel’s Coy throughout the war. He had an interlude of rather different activity in 1779 when he worked as an artificer in the King’s works at Sorel where massive military construction works were underway. Specifically, he and Michael Carman were ‘blockers.’ I haven’t been able to discover the exact definition of that work, but I think it relates to timber construction.

After the regiment disbanded on 24Dec83, George settled as a single man at Royal Township No.5 (Matilda).

Here’s a link to a history and master roll of the KRRNY and several other books about the regiment.

Thanks for your inquiry.

…Gavin Watt, HVP, UELAC