“Loyalist Trails” 2011-13: April 3, 2011
In this issue:
– Law and Order: Loyalist Edition — © Stephen Davidson
– John Moore (1730 – 1827): Fourth Generation in America © George McNeillie
– Chasing Loyalists Jacob Tague and Joseph Goodwillie
– Central West Regional Meeting, April 16, in London
– Dr. Earle Thomas, UELAC Honorary Vice-President
– Loyalist Quarterly: April Issue Now Available
– Rebels Launch A Sortie Into The Digital World: SAR Applications to go Online
– Additions to the Loyalist Directory
– Last Post: David William Morgan, UE
+ Need Proof in Frederick Baker UE Line
The television program “Law and Order” has been so popular that it has spawned a number of spin-offs. While it’s very unlikely that television executives will ever contemplate featuring loyalist crimes in a historical version of the franchise, that doesn’t stop us wondering how a program spotlighting the first loyalist murder trial might be presented.
In the fall of 1784, a Black Loyalist named John Mosley had died under suspicious circumstances due to blows to his head. By October 6, there was enough evidence to charge Nancy Mosley with the murder of her husband.
The trial did not convene until February 3, 1785 — almost four months after the murder. Twelve white men sat in the jury; Chief Justice George Ludlow and Judge Putnam presided. Whether the accused, Nancy Mosley, was kept in a prison cell in the months leading up to her trial or given her freedom within Parrtown is not recorded. No defense lawyer is mentioned, but as we will see, someone must have given Mrs. Mosley some very valuable legal advice.
Mosley was arraigned and tried on a Friday. The fact that the loyalist woman’s attack on her husband occurred during a domestic dispute indicated that it had been a crime of passion rather than a premeditated act. She may not have intended to do more than simply harm John Mosley, given that she assaulted him with a fork. With these facts in mind, the jury made its verdict: Nancy Mosley was found guilty of manslaughter. The African woman’s days of freedom — if not her life — were at an end.
Mosley came before the judge on the following day and stood at the bar to receive her sentence. Also in court that day were two men of mixed heritage who had been found guilty of burglary. Only one had been “recommended to mercy”. Two white men charged with highway robbery and grand larceny were sentenced to be hanged on Parrtown’s Gallows Hill. (In the end, two of the criminals were banished from the colony; only two were executed.) It must have been very unnerving for Nancy Mosley as she waited for her sentence.
But Mosley knew something about English common law. There was a way that she could escape the gallows and suffer nothing worse than being branded. Standing before the bar, the loyalist woman prayed that the judges would grant her “the benefit of clergy”.
To the modern ear, this request might sound as if Mosley was simply asking for the counsel and prayers of a clergyman as she faced the prospect of her execution. But this would be a false assumption. What Mosley was asking for was the benefit that English common law gave to a clergyman who was charged with a serious offense. This “benefit” spared the cleric from being executed, tortured or imprisoned. In effect, Nancy Mosley was asking that she be treated as a member of the clergy and that she receive their “benefit” which English courts had granted since the Middle Ages.
Clearly, the black loyalist woman was neither a priest nor pastor. However, another strange loophole of the English legal system said that if a person could read, he or she would be recognized under the law as a clergyman. Anyone on trial for his or her first offense who could read from the Bible was given the “benefit” afforded clergyman. Psalm 51, with its plea for mercy, was a popular portion of Scripture. To escape execution, convicted felons only had to memorize the passage and recite it as they looked down on the Bible’s pages. Sixty years before Mosley’s trial, the benefit of clergy had also been granted to women and African slaves.
The “benefit” that Nancy Mosley begged to receive was to have her left thumb branded instead of being hanged. Barbaric as it may sound, this punishment provided first time offenders with a degree of mercy. Although painful, a branding was far less severe than a hanging. Should the offender be arrested a second crime, the courts needed only to look at her left thumb. There would be no mercy for a second offense, and the criminal could expect to receive the full consequences for her actions.
The request for the “benefit” was so common in the Thirteen Colonies that most courthouses had their own branding irons: “T” for thief and “M” for manslayer. When the judge granted the benefit to a felon, the sheriff applied the hot iron to the “brawn” (base) of the left hand’s thumb for about one second. The pain was said to have lasted for five minutes, and the hand would be sore for at least three days. The branding was done in open court before the judge, jury and those assembled.
Would Chief Justice Ludlow grant Nancy Mosley’s request? Would loyalist law continue the practices of the rebel colonies? Or would Mosley become the first woman to be hanged in New Brunswick?
Ludlow granted Mosley’s request. Whether she actually recited a portion of Psalms goes unrecorded. (The practice of making the offender read from Scripture had been eliminated in the courts of Virginia in 1732 and may have been the common practice in all the colonies by the time of the Revolution.) Instead of being hanged, Mosley was sentenced to be branded on the “brawn of the thumb” of her left hand in open court. After being branded with the letter M for manslayer, Mosley was discharged — her life spared. Whether she remained in Parrtown or moved to a Black Loyalist settlement within the colony goes unrecorded.
In 1789, the New Brunswick legislature ended the practice of branding thumbs. Thereafter, whoever received the benefit of clergy for any crime but manslaughter would either be fined or whipped.
The murder of John Mosley, his post mortem examination, and the trial of his wife Nancy, provide fascinating glimpses into colonial “law and order” in the first years of a loyalist settlement.
To secure permission to reprint this article, email Stephen Davidson.
There were five daughters in the family. The oldest, Elizabeth, was betrothed to one of the Robinsons, who came to New Brunswick from New York at the close of the war. She came to New Brunswick also, and spent one winter with her brother James, intending to be married in the Spring, but Mr. Robinson died during the winter – I presume at Fredericton – and she never married, though she lived to the age of 74 years.
Anna, the second daughter, married John McVicker. Their son, Dr. Benjamin McVicker was quite a famous man in his day.
Patience, the third daughter, married John Charlton Dougan of New York, a descendant of Governor Dougan and reputed to have been heir to the title and estate of the Earl of Limerick. He was rather a dissipated young fellow and died in a foreign country in 1810.
Mary, the fourth daughter, married Dr. Richard Lawrence, and after his death became the wife of William Stewart. She was an accomplished woman and her letters are highly entertaining. One or two will be quoted in these pages.
Abigail, the fifth daughter, married Thomas Billopp, a son of Colonel Christopher Billopp, the magnate of Staten Island. Thomas Billopp joined the secret expedition which sailed from New York early in the last century under Miranda, who has been termed the first martyr in the cause of freedom in South America. The expedition resulted in disaster and Billopp was among those taken captive and put to death.
At the close of the American Revolution James Moore secured a grant of land at Granville, N.S. He came soon afterwards to St. John, where he met his fate in the person of Elizabeth Seaman, a young widow, the daughter of Capt. Samuel Hallet [sic] of the 2nd Battalion of General De Lancey’s Brigade. They were married in May, 1785. She was then in her twenty-third year. She was Capt. Hallet’s [sic] eldest child by his second wife, and was born on October 4, 1762. After his marriage James Moore settled at the lower line of the County of York, on the east side of the River St. John, in Lower St. Marys, where he secured a tract of 600 acres of land. The farm extended back from the river 4 3/8 miles (or as it was termed, “4 miles and a quarter and a half a quarter”) with a frontage of 81 rods along the river. It was originally the property of two sergeants and two privates of the disbanded Maryland Loyalists. There is, in the old cabinet, a deed to James Moore, of Maugerville, of Lot No. 1, containing 100 acres granted to Daniel Fukes, “as a reduced soldier of the said corps of Maryland Loyalists” – the “consideration” (25 pounds) was received at St. Anns, September 3, 1785.
Meanwhile, about the time of his marriage, James Moore bought on May 10, 1785, from his father-in-law, Capt. Hallet [sic], lots 2 and 3 in the same tract, comprising 300 acres, for the sum of 52 pounds, ten shillings Sterling. On April 23, 1793, he completed his tract of 600 acres by the purchase of 200 acres, from James McComb, of the Maryland Loyalists, for the sum of 45 pounds Sterling. A house was built on the farm, between the highway road and the river, in 1789, and in the same summer the father John Moore, paid his son a visit of several months duration.
He arrived early in May and was so delighted with the outlook that he talked seriously of becoming a resident of New Brunswick.
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].
Miraculously, after decades of research on my one known Loyalist ancestor, Adam Green, I was told in January, 2011, that I had two more; neither of whom I, nor any family member had ever heard about.
I had always wondered how some UELAC members had as many as 8 or more Loyalist ancestors and I could only have had one. But that problem was now solved. I had at least three UEL ancestors, but were these two new ancestors provable?
It had been over a decade since I had received my certificate for Adam Green and research on the Internet was now within the realm of possibility. In 1999, there were no available census records or old digitized out-of-print books on the Internet. There were many obstacles to finding original documentation in those days, not the least being the fact that I lived several thousand miles from the Ontario and National Archives. However, Internet communication was now more widely used and therefore it was possible to contact those archives and other document recording sites without using the mails.
The project now was to find the original documents for these two new Loyalist ancestors: Joseph Goodwillie and his father-in-law, Jacob Tague.
The fact that their descendants were the same was a bonus as it meant I had to only trace one family line to get back to at least Joseph Goodwillie and maybe farther, to his father-in-law.
Two weeks spent at the computer Googling every combination of their names, checking the ‘royalprovincial’ website, a forum on Jacob Teague, searching for books that might mention either Loyalist, checking their genealogical and military histories, and a general outline of the route I had to research was assembled. Now came the search for documents.
I had been informed that the Dominion office only keeps one document per generation no matter how many proofs that were provided to the genealogist. Something about microfilming – they only want the minimum necessary to establish your line back to the Loyalist ancestor.
I already had everything I needed back to my maternal grandparents. Genealogical birth certificates for myself and my mother, my grandmother’s birth certificate issued for the North West Territories before Saskatchewan was created in 1905, and a Burlington newspaper wedding announcement stating she was the daughter of William T. Blyth, my great-grandfather. Now I was only three generations to Joseph Goodwillie and four to Jacob Tague. This seemed to be going quite well. Then – the trap snapped shut.
Jacob Tague had multiple names including: Teague, Take, Tage, Tegg, Deek, Deak, Deeck, and others. Finding records that were cohesive might be a problem!
Joseph Goodwillie had also complicated my search by moving from New Carlisle, Cox Township, Bonaventure County, Gaspé, to Barnet, Vermont, in 1793. Good, good! Now I had to search in the USA too.
Jacob Tague, and his wife Margretha Weberin and up to 6 children, had been forced to flee their home in Tryon County, near Lake Otsego, New York, when he refused to join the Whigs (rebels). He joined Butler’s Rangers for 2 years and then became a private in the King’s Royal Regiment of New York for the remainder of the rebellion. In 1784 or 1785, he and his family proceeded to New Carlisle, Baie des Chaleurs, Pétit Paspébiac, Gaspé to homestead. His daughter Mary Ann Tague married Joseph Goodwillie who settled on the next lot to the Tague family.
Joseph Goodwillie was a gun maker and served in the King’s Loyal Americans Regiment (Jessup’s Rangers) repairing weapons. He was captured at Saratoga when General John Burgoyne surrendered his forces in October of 1777. Unlike most prisoners who were marched away, he was jailed in Auburn or Albany Prison but escaped with two other prisoners and made his way north along the Lake Champlain and river route to Montreal where he did garrison duty until the end of the rebellion. On 9 June, 1784, he boarded the brigantine St. Peter and sailed to Baie des Chaleurs, Gaspé, arriving on the 18th of June, 1784 to homestead. The Loyalists’ ship was met by Lieutenant Governor Nicholas Cox and after some sailing around and argument over where to settle, they chose New Carlisle on the 24th of June.
After 8 years, Joseph Goodwillie heard that his brother, the Reverend David Goodwillie, had arrived in Barnet, Vermont, from Scotland, to preach and after making the long voyage to see him for the first time in 20 years, he decided to move his entire family to Barnet in 1793. He died there in 1808.
Descent Line for Jacob Tague, U.E.
Jacob Deak, U.E. + Anna Margretha Weberin
=> Mary Ann Deeck + Joseph Goodwillie, U.E.
=> Mary Goodwillie + Thomas Young
=> Eliza Young + Robert Blythe
=> William T. Blyth + Elizabeth T. Foster
=> Nettie Y. Blyth + Theron B. Dynes
So now I was stuck. There were no churches in Gaspé at the time of the marriage of Joseph and Mary Ann Goodwillie about 1786 or 1787. There were two JPs but where were their records? The Drouin Collection which is supposed to hold all of the early records for Quebec makes no mention of any of the members of these families.
More research on the web. It turned out that Joseph Goodwillie had all of his Canadian children baptised when he arrived in Barnet and had settled. Saved! An email to the Barnet Presbyterian ‘Center Church’ produced a confirmation that a baptism record for Mary Goodwillie, their oldest child, existed and it showed Joseph Goodwillie as her father. An email to the town clerk’s office produced a marriage record for Mary Goodwillie and Thomas Young and a genealogical history of the Goodwillies from a 1923 book The History of Barnet by Frederick P. Wells. Confidence rising, I launched into the search with renewed vigour.
From Ancestry.com came a copy of the original marriage record for Jacob Deak and Margretha Weberin in the Stone Arabia Dutch Reformed Church, and the baptism record for their daughter Mary Ann Deeck (Tague) from 1769. She had been born two years earlier in 1767. From the Barnet Center Church Cemetery Association came the burial record for Joseph Goodwillie and Mary Ann (Tague) Goodwillie – linking those two.
At this point, I had the first 3 generations and the last 3 and was only missing the middle two connecting generations. Those came from the 1851 Canadian census for Canada West, York Co., Etobicoke Twp. on Ancestry.ca. It connected William T. Blyth, my great-grandfather to Eliza Blyth and Robert Blyth his parents. Eliza (Young) Blyth was connected to Thomas Young and Mary Goodwillie by William D. Reid’s Marriage Notices of Ontario which named Eliza, bride of Robert Blyth, as the daughter of Thomas Young.
Done. Two months total. My Adam Green certificate of a decade ago took 36 years of snail mail research to finish. The digital age is truly a help in finding original source documents – but I still have to wait for snail mail to bring the documents to my house – the agony!
…David B. Clark, UE
The Central West Regional Meeting on April 16, 2011 is fast approaching. This is going to be a great day filled with entertainment and information – see details here (PDF). We would love to see all branches of our region represented with a good number of members in attendance as we welcome Stephen Davidson on his first out-of-Maritime speaking engagement. Another important item on the agenda is the election of Regional Vice President and Councillor for the Central West Region.
The RSVP date is Thursday, April 7. Please advise CWR Councillor Sue Hines of the names and number of those attending from your branch.
Branch Presidents are asked to bring an item to donate to the Door Prize Draw.
…Bonnie Schepers, RVP Central West Region
While you were reading 2014 Legacy Project Designation: The Sir John Johnson Family Burial Vault in last week’s edition, you may have explored the SJJ Branch website for further information on Sir John Johnson. In 2007 when the website was being developed, every attempt was made to create a rich resource for the story of Sir John Johnson. One author of many of the articles was Dr. Earle Thomas of the Kingston and District Branch UELAC. Earlier in 2005, he was created an Honorary Vice-President for his considerable contributions to our United Empire Loyalist libraries. For more information check out the Honours-Recognition folder.
The latest issue of the only U.S. journal devoted to Loyalist studies contains, among others, these topics:
– Inside the Loyalist Wilderness Home
– Our Canadian UEL Cousins Branch News
– The United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada 2011 Conference
– Other UEL Branch News
– Library and Archives Canada go 100% Digital
– Loyalists All Vol 2: Biographical Sketches of New Brunswick Loyalists – Submissions Requested
– Loyalist Discussion with Stephen Davidson, Loyalist Educator
– BETSY ROSS AND THE MAKING OF AMERICA
– Saint-Lambert’s Legionnaire – Okill Stuart – 90 Years Young
– Pittsfield Mass NARA (National Archives Needs Our Help)
More information including subscription details at Paul J. Bunnell’s website.
…Editor/Author Paul J. Bunnell, UE
Before anyone decides to jump on me about this article, let me state that I am merely submitting this for information’s sake, and I am neither advocating the idea nor dismissing it. It is good to be informed about what other lineage societies are doing to keep up with the times.
As you are likely aware the DAR (Daughter of the American Revolution) and SAR (Sons of the American Revolution) are more or less the Rebel equivalents of our UELAC in the United States. Recently the SAR embarked on an ambitious project in conjunction with Ancestry.com.
Both the SAR and the DAR have an application/documentation system somewhat like ours in the UELAC. By 2012 the SAR plans to place information from applications up to and including 1970 online at www.Ancestry.com. As most of the members who joined in that time period are now deceased, information such as their Social Security numbers are, already, a matter of public record. For those who are living, they will be asked to either approve or decline having the information placed online.
The SAR states that other organizations who have gone this route have seen a considerable increase in traffic to websites, and the ultimate goal is an increase in membership. The article was by Joseph W. Dooley, Genealogist General- which is the title given to their head Genealogist, rather like our Dominion Genealogist. It’s in the current issue of The SAR Magazine.
Would such a scheme be feasible for the UELAC?? Likely it would be the cause of endless debate. The main UELAC problem is probably the quality of our pre-1970 applications, when documentation was not much regarded.
…Peter W. Johnson, UE, Past President, UELAC
As time permits, we add information to the Loyalist Directory. The latest additions and updates are as follows:
– Frelick (Fralick), Benjamin – from John Haynes
– Goodwillie, Joseph – from David Clark
– Pierpoint, Richard – from Wendy Cosby
– Rose, Alexander – from John E. McLeod
– Sills, Conrad – from Linda Smith with certificate application
– Stymiest III Jr., Benjamin – from Carl Stymiest (Volunteer Wendy Cosby) with certificate application
– Tague, Jacob – from David Clark
– Zufelt, Henry – from Pat Blackburn with certificate application
100 years old, died Sunday, March 13, 2011, in Halifax. Born in Hartland, N.B. in 1910, son of the late Edmund and Alberta (McAdam) Morgan. Joined the Bank of Montreal at 18 years; worked at various branches throughout New Brunswick with final posting in Halifax. Retired 1969 with over 40 years service, at time of his death had been retired for over 41 years. David was a charter member of Bayers Road United Baptist Church, where he served in many capacities and was appointed Honourary Deacon. He was a member of the Atlantic Swells (Barbershop Chorous) for many years. An avid gardener, he took pride in growing and gifting his roses. Survived by Doris (Albright), his bride of 71 years and sweetheart for 82 years; daughter, Alberta; son, Larry (Lois); six grandchildren; two great-grandchildren. Predeceased by daughter, Margaret (Marnie); great-grandson, Benjamin David Clarke (Aaron and Julie); sister, Mabel; brother, Walter. A celebration of David’s life took place Thursday, March 17 in Bayers Road Baptist Church, Rev. Leslie McCurdy officiating. An Interment will be held at a later date in Hartland, N.B. In lieu of flowers, please give someone a rose. A Good Man; Good Life; God Bless.
David had been a member of the Halifax-Dartmouth Branch. He, along with his daughter Alberta and grandchildren, Aaron & Naomi (three generations ) were presented with their certificates to ancestor William Orser by the Lt. Gov. of Nova Scotia at the UELAC AGM that was held in Halifax in 1996.
…Lew Perry, Halifax Branch
I am trying to trace my family lineage back to Frederick Baker UE. I am having a problem coming up with a proof for one of the generational links.
The Loyalist is Frederick Baker m Elizabeth Davy UEL settled in Ernestown following the Revolutionary War. According to the Loyalist Directory, several people have proved to Frederick. He and Elizabeth had several children: Peter, Mary, Henry, John, Elizabeth, William, Thomas, George and Margaret, all of Ernestown (Reid: all of whom received land grants as SUE/DUE between 1811 and 1837).
Henry Frederick Baker was born about 1790 in Millhaven (Bath), Ernestown Tp. Lennox and Addington Co. About 1822 he moved west to Sim’s Locks, Seneca Tp., Haldimand Co. where he married Patience Skinner and about 1820-32 they built a mill on the Grand River. He was buried on September 4, 1872 at St. Paul’s, Caledonia, Ontario. Henry and Patricia had twelve children. I have proofs for the above generations.
One proof I am missing is to one of their twelve children, Thomas Sinclair Baker, b. about. 1823 in Millhaven. He married Anna Galbraith in June 27, 1853 in Hamilton, Ont. They soon moved to Stirling, Hastings Co. where he died at a young age on June 9, 1855.
A second proof I am missing is from Thomas and Anna to their son Thomas Sinclair Austin Cubaleer Baker who was born in 1855 at Stirling. He would later marry Sarah Kemp in the late 1880’s maybe in Campbellford. He died in 1952 and is buried in Gravenhurst.
The next in my line is Frederick Thomas Baker m. Getrude Nettie Fraser. He was born in 1792 in Peterborough.
I have several documents relating to the two missing proofs but so far none shoe the parent-child relationship I need for my Loyalist Certificate Application.
Any help would be much appreciated.