“Loyalist Trails” 2011-28: July 17, 2011

In this issue:
I’ve Been to London to Look at the Queen — © Stephen Davidson
Sarah Barlow (1746 – 1821), wife of Silas Raymond: Fifth Generation in America © George McNeillie
The McGinnis / Eldridge Legacy: The Loyalist Connection
Additions to UELAC Visual History
Focus on Commemorations of the War of 1812
Conference: The War of 1812: Memory and Myth, History and Historiography
Acclaimed Pulitzer and Bancroft prize winning author Alan Taylor comes to Amherstburg
Additions to the Loyalist Directory
Last Post: Helen Marie Bruder
Last Post: Edwin Peter Bastedo, UE
      + Offer of Information to Bostwicks
      + The Benjamin Reynolds Sr. Family


I’ve Been to London to Look at the Queen — © Stephen Davidson

Given the amount of excitement generated by sightings of Prince William and Katherine, it makes one wonder what emotions loyalists experienced when they saw their king — the monarch for whom they had sacrificed so much. King George III and Queen Charlotte never visited their North American colonies — although their sons William and Edward did. However, loyalists who sought refuge in the United Kingdom did have the opportunity to see the royal couple. One such man was Samuel Curwen, a loyalist from Massachusetts. He, like the cat in the Mother Goose rhyme, could truthfully say that he had “been to London to look at the queen.”

In August of 1775, Curwen caught his first glimpse of George III. Standing at the gate of a home built by Lord Apsley, Curwen saw the king being carried in a sedan chair. It must have been only a quick glimpse for all Curwen could describe was the royal attire. George III wore a “very light cloth with silver buttons”. Queen Charlotte, who was carried by two porters in a chair, was dressed in a lemon-coloured silk. The royal couple acknowledged those standing by the road, smiled, and nodded their heads as they passed by.

It would be six more years before Curwen saw the king and queen again. By then Queen Charlotte had given birth to four more children: Princess Mary in 1776, Princess Sophia in 1777, Prince Octavius in 1779, and Prince Alfred in 1780. Oddly enough, although he kept a daily journal, Curwen never mentioned the births of these royal children. Curwen’s second royal sighting was at Windsor Castle’s St. George’s Chapel.

For a “chapel” the size of a cathedral, the Sunday morning congregation was a rather small one on July 15, 1781. There were about a hundred at the morning prayers service, including King George, his wife, Princess Elizabeth (then 11 years old), and Princess Sophia (9).

It is clear from the detailed observations Curwen recorded in his diary that he spent more time watching the king and queen than he did listening to the sermon. His descriptions are almost as good as photographs — and equally honest.

The king, said the Massachusetts loyalist, was “was dressed in blue fly — cuffs small, open, and turned up with red velvet, cape of same, buttons white, breeches and waiscoat of white cotton, an ordinary white wig with a tail ribbon, a round black chip hat, small, as used in riding. He is tall, square over the shoulders, large ugly mouth, talks a great deal, and shows his teeth too much; his countenance heavy and lifeless, with white eyebrows.”

Queen Charlotte was “of the middle size and bulk, height five feet and a-half, though far removed from beautiful, she has an open placid aspect, mouth large, foot splay”.

Curwen’s comments seem rather harsh, but he did make some positive observations. In the worship service during the prayers, “their voices often heard, and they appeared devout.” He noted that the royal couple “take no state upon them, walk freely about the town with only a lord-in-waiting.”

At seven o’clock that evening, the king and queen (and at least four of their children) walked on a half-mile terrace “amidst two or three thousand people of all ranks”. During this 18th century “walkabout”, the king was in a full dress blue uniform with sword and cockade while the queen wore a “faintish green silk full dress” and a bonnet with a matching green feather.

Curwen was keen to see the king in all the pomp and glory of London. On December 5, 1782, the Massachusetts loyalist was able to view George III in the House of Lords as he gave the speech from the throne. The king entered the upper house dressed in “green laced with gold”. After reading an eleven page speech, he then left the Parliament Buildings “laced in red”. It was the tradition, Curwen noted, for the monarch to change his garments as part of the ceremony. The king also wore a “broad, flowing and loose” wig known as the “coronation tail”.

Curwen’s very last sighting of the royal couple came on March 30th, 1783. By this time the Revolution was all but over. Diplomats were starting to work out the details of the boundaries of the new United States of America. On a more personal level, Queen Charlotte was four months pregnant with the couple’s last child, Princess Amelia.

Curwen was at London’s St. James Palace, the site from which George III governed his empire. The Massachusetts loyalist was so anxious to see the king and queen promenade from the palace’s chapel to its Green Room that he crowded himself under the elbow of a servant, gaining “a full view of the king, queen, prince of Wales, and the court train”. A boy who had been waiting for George III, bowed on one knee when the king approached and gave him a petition. The king showed neither offence nor alarm, walked a few steps, and then passed the petition to a lord in waiting.

This was the last time that Samuel Curwen would see the king. A year and a half later, feeling that it was once again safe to return to Massachusetts, Curwen boarded a ship bound for Boston. The elderly loyalist thought that after he and his wife were reunited they would be compelled to move to Nova Scotia by their patriot neighbours. But hostility towards Curwen’s loyalist views had diminished with the passing years, and he remained in Salem, Massachusetts until his death in 1802.

In his final eighteen years, did anyone ever ask Samuel Curwen if he had been to St. James Palace? Had he ever seen the queen? What did George III look like? It is unlikely that his patriot friends ever asked him these questions. But thanks to Curwen’s diary, we know how one loyalist actually visited London and looked at the queen.

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

Sarah Barlow (1746 – 1821), wife of Silas Raymond: Fifth Generation in America © George McNeillie

Nor should the good work of Mrs. Silas Raymond be passed over in silence. The Trinity Church of her day had a large East window and six windows on each side, which were filled with small panes of glass, in size 7 by 9 inches. These panes must have numbered several hundreds, and all were regularly washed and polished by this indefatigable hand-maid of the church. She died on February 9, 1821, at the age of 75 years, having been spared to see the 51st anniversary of her wedding day and to welcome to her home her daughter Grace’s grand-children. Her husband Silas outlived her three years. Her tombstone stands beside the little church she loved in which she and all her family were confirmed and received the Holy Communion together. The inscription to her memory is — “Virtue was her guide, Till death did us divide.”

Various were the circumstances under which her children were born. Grace, Samuel and Jesse saw the light in the home at Norwalk [Connecticut], in a time of peace and quietness; Hannah was born on Long Island amid the clash of arms of the Revolution; Sarah under a tent on the banks of Kingston Creek; Achsah and Charles in the old log cabin which stood nearly opposite the Kingston church; George and Mary Ann in the new house at Kingston which too has now passed out of existence.

This brief mention of Mrs. Silas Raymond would seem to be fittingly associated with the insertion here of two views of Trinity Church in Kingston: One (copyright New Brunswick Museum) and Two [Note — due to the fragility of Raymond’s book, the pictures have not been scanned from it; the views here are instead taken from the collection of the New Brunswick Museum and from the website Anglican National Historic Sites of Canada]. The church in which she was probably confirmed by Bishop Inglis in 1792 and which she kept as carefully in order in the spirit of the Psalmist: “Lord I have loved the habitation of Thine House, and the place where Thine honor dwelleth.”

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 McGinnis / Eldridge Legacy: The Loyalist Connection

We each have our own view of history and our ancestor’s role in it. The following is mine, about the power and influence of the British Crown in North America up to the United Empire Loyalist migration out of the Thirteen Colonies. From the early 1600’s to the late 1700’s, the Thirteen Colonies of the New World were governed, protected and financed by the King of England. During this time, there was continuous fighting with the French from the north and west. In the mid 1750’s, George Washington, an officer under British command attacked and killed some French soldiers and their Indian allies in the Ohio Valley. This incident was one of the major starting points of the war between the English and the French colonies in North America.

Many of the men who fought for the British, to save the Thirteen colonies continued to fight with the British against the rebels during the American Revolution. The McGinnis family can be proud of it’s heritage because Robert McGinnis was one of these Loyalist soldiers who fought with the British against the French under the leadership of Sir William Johnson during the French Indian War. The tradition continued into the American Revolution as Robert’s two sons, Richard and John McGinnis fought with the British against the American rebels under Sir William Johnson’s son, Sir John Johnson.

Robert’s brother William was the Captain McGinnis of the well documented attack on a war party of over 200 French and Indians at Bloody Pond near Lake George in Upper New York State in 1755. By 1759, British soldiers with the Scottish Highlanders, their Indian allies and soldiers from the Thirteen colonies, had gradually taken the French forts on the western front up to Detroit and Niagara. In the east, the French fortification of Louisburg had been destroyed and the final ‘coup de grâce’ was the defeat of the French stronghold of Quebec City. With this conquest the supply line of all the inland possessions of New France was cut off. It has been said that, in effect, the French-Indian War created a nation, Canada. Sir William Johnson and his Mohawks were instrumental in stopping French control in North America.

I feel there were two main causes of the American Revolution (which could also be called the First American Civil War). Land speculators, could see the potential riches in westward expansion by pushing out the Indians and taking their land, but a proclamation in 1763 stated that Indian land could not be claimed without the approval of the Crown. The big land speculators of the Thirteen Colonies did not approve of this perceived interference. The price of waging and winning the French Indian War was very costly for the British. Who should bear the burden but those they had saved from French rule! The British started to levy taxes on the Colonists. This was provocation in their eyes and they rebelled.

There were many in the Thirteen colonies (30% to 50%) who were loyal to the British crown. Some joined the British forces. Some moved north to settle in British North America (1770’s to 1790’s) where they were rewarded for their loyalty with free land. Others, like the Eldridge (Eldred) family who had arrived in Boston from England in 1634, moved north in the late 1700s because of the mistrust they had for the new regime and it’s leaders who had aligned themselves with the French during the rebellion. This alienated many colonists because the French had been their enemy during the French-Indian Wars. Those who had sympathies for British rule felt betrayed. This prompted Sir John Johnson to help in the establishment of many Loyalist settlements in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Quebec and Ontario.

My Loyalist ancestor, Robert McGinnis, (1709 -1796) of Scottish/Irish descent, had his property confiscated during the Revolution and fled with his family to Canada. He is buried at Christ Church Cathedral in Montreal. The McGinnis papers in the public archives of Canada indicate that Robert and his son, John, are on the “Property Confiscation List of Tryon County” in New York State.

Robert’s oldest son John (1741-1833) and his very military brother Richard (1745-1830) were on many campaigns as members of Butler’s Rangers. Richard describes in great depth in his journal, his participation in a revenge attack on Wyoming Valley in Pennsylvania (Wyoming Massacre, 1778).

John’s son, William McGinnis Sr. (1795-1880), relocated to Christieville (later to become Iberville) in 1833 when he was appointed by Major W. Plenderleath Christie to manage his estate there. One of his sons twice served as mayor of Iberville. Another, my direct ancestor, William McGinnis Jr. (1830-1858) with his wife, Elizabeth Chillingworth, raised 9 children there.

According to family history, in 1901, Elizabeth Inez McGinnis, (1870-1957) the daughter of William McGinnis Jr. and her friends had left the ‘fast’ life of Iberville for a country farm vacation at Sunny Acres, the home of William and Azuba Eldridge on Tibbits Hill. Inez met their son Forest at that time. They married and eventually took over the home farm where they lived for the next 40 years until it was passed on to their son, Howard McGinnis Eldridge (1905-1976) and his wife Ruby Harden.

Howard was most interested in the family history and this interest was passed on to their children. His eldest son, Anthony, who makes his home in Calgary but retains strong ties to our area, has done much research on our family genealogy and the Brome County Historical Society has been the fortunate recipient of much of his research done on other Brome County families. Howard’s lifelong quest was to find proof of the family’s Loyalist roots. That pursuit was fulfilled, in part, by the diligence of his second son, the late Richard M. Eldridge (1939-2006), who succeeded in finding the ‘missing link’. The Eldridge family’s Loyalist status was acknowledged in January 2000 when the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada was provided with acceptable documentation proving direct descent from Robert McGinnis, and members of the family are now registered with this Association. Howard would have been proud.

…Douglas Eldridge, UE

Additions to UELAC Visual History

This week three more Branch Charters were posted to the UELAC website adding to our accessible and visual history.

At the AGM 2010 in Vernon, the Regina Branch was granted permission to rename itself as the Saskatchewan Branch. Both the charter from 1984 as signed by President Charles J. Humber and Secretary Jean Goodger and the one from 2010 signed by President Frederick H. Hayward and Secretary Diane Reid mark key events of the branch history.

The charter granted to the New Brunswick Branch in 1967 was photographed in its location just inside the front door of Loyalist House in Saint John. It is signed by President E.J. Chard and Secretary Sherril Dorling.

The 1956 charter for the Bay of Quinte Branch is quite unique in that it consists of two typewritten pages and six signatories including President T.L. Harding and Secretary Macaulay Pope.

This brings this our visual representation of original charters up to three quarters of the number of our present and active branches.


Focus on Commemorations of the War of 1812

According to Steven Chase of the Globe and Mail, the approach of the Canadian government to the upcoming Commemorations of the War of 1812 will be “energetically embracing military exploits and valour during the conflict – standing fast against invaders, for instance – while taking extra care to avoid inciting anti-American sentiment.” Key possibilities for further discussion are found in remarks made by Jack Granatstein, Canadian military historian, and Heritage Minister James Moore.

Mr. Granatstein states that much of the work was done by British troops…but over time “the role of the British was swept aside and the role of the locals was given predominance’.”

Mr. Moore said the main thrust of 1812 celebrations efforts are really ” an internal message to Canadians” about the beginnings of this country. ” This was the fight for Canada.”

The full article can be read on the Globe and Mail website and was also reported on UELAC Twitter.

Conference: The War of 1812: Memory and Myth, History and Historiography

2012 will be the bicentennial of the beginning of the War of 1812-14. Once described as the ‘forgotten’ war, there are already indications that there will be widespread commemoration ceremonies across North America, mostly sponsored and organized by national, state and provincial governments, by tourist organizations, and by local historical societies. We have therefore decided that it would be an appropriate time to hold an international conference that revisits the scholarly literature and scholarly debates over the causes, conflicts and consequences of the War as well as the way in which the War has been remembered and commemorated in Britain, Canada and the United States over the past two centuries. As the Conference title indicates, we are particularly interested in papers that challenge existing interpretations and offer new approaches. It is our intention to produce a volume of essays selected from those given at the Conference.

The conference will be held at the University of London from 12-14 July 2012. These dates were chosen to overlap with the annual conference of the Transatlantic Studies Association, which will be held in Cork from 9-12 July 2012 so that scholars who wish to do so can attend both. Further details on the Transatlantic Studies Association can be found on its website.

The conference on ‘The War of 1812: Memory and Myth, History and Historiography’ will be held in partnership with the Institute for the Study of the Americas at the University of London, Canterbury Christ Church University, and the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich.

…UNB professor Dr. Bonnie Huskins (via Stephen Davidson)

Acclaimed Pulitzer and Bancroft prize winning author Alan Taylor comes to Amherstburg

The Town of Amherstburg 1812 Alive committee will host a book signing and seminar by acclaimed author Alan Taylor on Tuesday, July 19, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. at the legendary Christ Church at 317 Ramsay Street, Amherstburg Ontario

Taylor, who teaches American and Canadian History at the University of California, Davis, is previous author of The Divided Ground (Indians and settlers on the northern borderland of the American Revolution), Liberty Men and Great Proprietors (the Maine frontier), and the Pulitzer-winning William Cooper’s Town (novelist James Fenimore Cooper’s father and the settlement of Cooperstown, N.Y.)

“Dr. Taylor’s new book The Civil War of 1812: American Citizens, British Subjects, Irish Rebels, & Indian Allies is a truly spellbinding narrative. Unlike other books on the War of 1812, which tend to be military histories, The Civil War of 1812 is about the hearts and minds of the people who planned it, fought it and lived through it. Almost every page brings a revelation.”

“For all that, The Civil War of 1812 is easily the best book I’ve read on the war, a definite must-have for a bicentennial that will soon be upon us” Hans Werner is a frequent contributor to the Toronto Star

“Instead of a traditional narrative of the war…his book is structured topically. This neat and methodical organization…presents an enormous amount of material without overwhelming the reader” New York Times Review

For tickets call 519 736-8320 $7.00 donation to the 1812 Alive Amherstburg committee

For more information: John McDonald, Chairperson of Amherstburg Heritage Committee and 1812 Alive Committee 519-736-2573 mcdonaldjster@gmail.com

See poster here.

…Bonnie Schepers

Additions to the Loyalist Directory

As time permits, we add information to the Loyalist Directory. The latest additions and updates are as follows:
– Bowen, William. – from Marguerite Hanratty
– Kilbourn, Benjamin – from David Clark
– Lutz, John – from Allan Kennedy (Volunteer Wendy Cosby) with certificate application
– Markle (Maracle), John – from Kirsten Bowman
– Markle (Maracle), William – from Kirsten Bowman
– McGinnis, Robert – from Douglas Eldridge
– Reynolds, Benjamin Sr. – from Gaylaine Petrin

Last Post: Helen Marie Bruder

Colonel John Butler (Niagara) Branch member, Helen Marie Bruder passed away peacefully on Wednesday July 6, 2011 at the age of 83. Beloved wife of the late Warren Bruder. Dearly loved mother of Kim Evershed (Jay Hildebrand). Cherished grandmother of Ryan and Chelsea Evershed and Cindy Garant and step-grandmother of Warren Hildebrand. Sadly missed by her best friend Peter Giura. Helen worked as a librarian at the Chippawa Public Library for many years. She was proud of her Loyalist ancestor Isaac Gilbert.

…Bev Craig, UE

Last Post: Edwin Peter Bastedo, UE

Edwin Peter Bastedo, UE: December 6, 1924 – July 13, 2011. Peacefully at Sunnybrook Veterans Hospital.

A veteran of the RCAF World War II, Peter was engaged in property development in Canada and the U.S. and consulting in England and Israel. Peter is predeceased by his wife Patricia, son John, his sisters Helen, Catherine, and Betty, as well as Benjamin, his Airedale and his best friend. He will be missed by his sons, Robin and Brian, his daughters Judith, Carol, Annabelle and his 15 grandchildren.

Post retirement he was the family historian, researching records dating back to Spain in the 1400s from the Inquisition to the New World and the family’s military participation in the formation of Canada. This endeavour is and was much appreciated by his children and grandchildren. A private family memorial service will be held at Thornhill Cemetery at a later date.

Edwin received his Loyalist Certificate to ancestor Jacob Bastedo in 1991 as a member of Toronto Branch.

…Mette Griffin


Offer of Information to Bostwicks

Are you a descendant of John or Henry Bostwick who were colonels in the War of 1812? If you did not know that their loyalist father was a graduate of Yale, contact me for further details.

Stephen Davidson

The Benjamin Reynolds Sr. Family

I have done some research on Benjamin Reynolds UE of Etobicoke (Different from Benjamin Reynolds UE from Lower Canada). It looks like both of them served in KRRNY but they then took very different paths.

A timeline/chronology of information about Benjamin Reynolds UE of Etobicoke and his family, with an entry about the other Benjamin Reynolds, has been posted in the Loyalist Directory.

In the timeline, in the second entry, it looks like he was the #2 on KRRNY, but he was probably born in 1756 per his enlistment papers even though his son claimed he was born in 1746 (over 70). The curious thing is that even though Benjamin Reynolds appears on the 1784 Provision list for Cornwall, there is a note that he is at Carleton Island and his family is at Lachine, so I don’t think he was ever settled in Cornwall. The OLRI has reference to a list of members of KRRNY with land set aside in Cornwall for them, but no location ticket was issued to Benjamin Reynolds and the land was given to other people and eventually patented by other persons.

So the path followed by Benjamin Reynolds was quite unique. He was discharged in 1783, he married a woman named Mary ? He had at least one son Benjamin Junior and 2 daughters Margaret and Mary. Possibly another daughter who died. He joined the Canadian Volunteers probably in Montreal, and quite early 1794, and moved to Upper Canada, settling in Etobicoke after he was discharged from the Canadian Volunteer in 1802. I wonder where he was exactly during 1785 and 1794, when his daughters were born.

Other discharged Canadian Volunteers also settled in the Home District., so he might have known other soldiers in that area.

It is pretty certain that it is his son Benjamin Reynolds JR who married Dorothy Prentice Lemars. They are both alive in 1834, when they signed a deed in Vaughan. Benjamin Reynolds JR is still alive in April 1838. Benjamin SR is still alive in 1820, but I can’t find any more information about their death or moving away.

Benjamin Reynolds JR had at least 2 children with his first wife. No idea with his second wife Dorothy, but she was still young at the time of the marriage in her mid-twenties.

Daughter Margaret Reynolds married James Finch, had children, and moved to Gwillimbury. James had an Inn in York township at some point. James Finch was probably the son of James Finch who was on the UE list but was Expunged around 1803. So potentially there could be descendants, but they might not know much about their ancestry, or that they could claim UE status through Margaret.

Can anyone provide more information about this or the other Benjamin Reynolds?

Someone from the Sir John Johnson Branch proved to a Benjamin Reynolds, but 25 years ago – is there any information from that family?

Does anyone have any information about James Finch and Margaret Reynolds.

Guylaine Petrin