“Loyalist Trails” 2011-43 October 30, 2011
In this issue:
– New Brunswick Newspapers Remember: Part One – by Stephen Davidson
– Charles Raymond (1788 – 1878) by George McNeillie
– Free Land in Canada
– War of 1812 – Eastern Division
– The Tech Side: The Paperless Genealogist – by Wayne Scott, UE
– Additions to the Loyalist Directory
It is an ancient piece of wisdom that we do not miss the familiar things in life until they are gone. A large number of “baby boomers” had male relatives who were World War Two veterans. While appreciated in their lifetimes, the fact that these men were willing to sacrifice their lives for Canada is being honoured to an even greater degree now that the number of living veterans is dwindling with each passing year. Being able to look back to a veteran in one’s family tree is a mark of pride for many Canadians. The same was true for loyalist descendants in New Brunswick 200 years ago.
The colony of New Brunswick came into existence due to the overwhelming influx of loyalist refugees from the Thirteen Colonies in 1783. To say that one was a loyalist in the New Brunswick of that era was not worth mentioning in casual conversation. However, in the years that followed the creation of the British Empire’s first loyalist colony, New Brunswick received other immigrants. By the time the last wave of Irish potato famine victims had found refuge in 19th century New Brunswick, they greatly outnumbered the descendants of the loyalist founders. What had been the common heritage and ancestry of New Brunswickers at its founding was changing. With each passing decade of the Victorian era, the term “loyalist” was used to describe one’s ancestors with greater frequency than it had been in the early 1800s.
By searching the vital statistics section of 19th century newspapers in the online resources of the Public Archives of New Brunswick, one can readily see how the general public regarded and valued the province’s loyalist heritage.
New Brunswick’s very first newspaper, the Royal Gazette and New Brunswick Advertiser, was published on October 11, 1785. However, it was not until two years later that the word “loyalist” first appeared in an obituary. Oddly enough the first three loyalist obituaries were for men who had settled in Nova Scotia.
“James Leonard, native of New York, Sailmaker, loyalist” died in Digby, Nova Scotia. He may have been described as a loyalist to help his acquaintances in New Brunswick identify him as an old friend. The second reference to a departed loyalist was a man who had settled near Digby. Dr. Christian Tobias had lived at the Head of St. Mary’s Bay for 17 years since his 1783 evacuation from New York. In 1801, Joseph Durfee, a magistrate from Rhode Island who “removed to Nova Scotia at the close of the American War” died in Shelburne. John Leonard, an “old farmer” was the first New Brunswicker to be identified as a “staunch loyalist” in his obituary.
Three years later, William Clarke was the first to have his military service cited in his obituary. The former Saint John city alderman and Rhode Island native had been a captain in the Loyal New Englanders corps.
In 1809, a Saint John newspaper noted the death of Jeremiah Pecker, a “native of Haverhill, Mass., educated at Harvard, loyalist, in Naval Dept. during Revolution”. Despite a period of 26 years since the arrival of the king’s loyal Americans, only six men’s obituaries included any reference to their loyalist experience.
At this point in time, newspaper obituaries were usually just one sentence in length. The seventh settler to have his loyalist experience mentioned in his death notice had been a hero to many during the revolution and certainly deserved more than a mere sentence. Col. James Moody (simply described as a loyalist) died at 65 years of age in 1809. Nothing is said of the fact that he was the terror of rebels throughout New Jersey’s pine barrens or that he wrote a book about his adventures during the revolution.
The eighth loyalist obituary was for Ebenezer Hatheway who died in 1811. His obituary was the first to carry any significant details of his experiences during the Revolution. It referred to the colony of his birth (Massachusetts) and the fact that patriots had captured him on New York’s Long Island. Hatheway later made a “daring escape” from the “dungeon at Simsbury Mines”. He left a widow and 7 children.
Between Hatheway’s obituary in February of 1811 and Charles Simonds’s obituary in July of 1845, thousands of New Brunswickers died. Yet only 95 obituaries cite the fact that the dearly departed were part of the massive loyalist migration of 1783. Only two obituaries mentioned wives by name before 1820.
Hannah Ketchum is the first loyalist woman whose name appears in an obituary due to the fact that she was the “disconsolate widow” of Jonathan who died in 1811. A year later newspaper readers learned that the Rev. John Agnew was buried next to his wife Theresa in the Maugerville churchyard.
Although the first male loyalist’s obituary appeared in 1787, it would require a thirty-three year wait to read about a deceased woman who was identified as a loyalist. In 1820, Ann Kean, “relict of Adjutant William Kean”, became the first female loyalist to have her passing noticed in the newspapers. She was one of only 11 women to be so identified over the next quarter of a century. Susanna Maria Robinson’s death notice was the first for an unmarried woman who arrived with the loyalists. Her father had been colonel of the Loyal American Regiment. Abigail Drake, the widow of Peter Drake, was just 19 days short of her one-hundredth birthday when she died in Saint John on March 18, 1837
Clearly there was an appreciation for the sacrifices made by New Brunswick’s early settlers, but it was not a pride that involved a great deal of chest-thumping or flag waving. Usually just the word “loyalist” or the phrase “came with the loyalists” appeared in the 92 obituaries published between 1811 and 1845, but now and then a bit more of the venerable ancestor’s exploits were considered worthy of mention.
Captain William Stewart, a New Jersey loyalist, is noted as having raised a Troop of Horse, had a commission in the Kings American Dragoons, and commanded an outpost on Staten Island where he fought against the rebel, General Sterling. There was also a pride of origin in some loyalist obituaries. William Campbell and Charles McPherson were noted as being Scottish immigrants to America before becoming part of the loyalist exodus. Thomas Bean, a “house carpenter” was a native of Ireland.
George Leonard, who died in 1826, was remembered for fighting at Lexington, the “first battle fought with Americans”. He later defended Boston, participated in the capture of New York and was the commissary in Clinton’s expedition to Rhode Island. James Taylor had emigrated from Scotland to New York in “early life” and then had to decide which side to support in the Revolution. Taylor was described as “actively engaged in Revolutionary War in support of royal cause. Came here with loyalists in 1783”.
After dying on May 12, 1838, John Coffin’s life was summarized in the largest obituary of any loyalist up to that point in time. His military career began at the Battle of Bunker Hill. He later fought at the Battle of Savannah and the Battle of Eutaw. In New Brunswick, Coffin became a member of the house of assembly and raised a regiment to fight in the War of 1812. (The fact that Coffin had the bad habit of challenging others to duels failed to make it into his death notice.)
John Wright was a loyalist who died at the age of 110. He had witnessed the death of General Wolfe on the Plains of Abraham and –during the revolution—had fought under General Burgoyne and General Cornwallis. The native of Edinburgh, Scotland was survived by a son who, in 1838, was a Roman Catholic priest in Montreal. Roland Bunting was another “one of the loyalists who came to this country in 1783”. He died near Saint John at “upwards of 100 years of age”.
John Dunham’s death notice records that “from loyalty to his King, left the land of his birth and in 1783 came to this Province to share in the hardships and privations peculiar to the settlement of a new country”. While these are the type of obituaries we would expect for loyalists, they only represent fifteen of the thousands of New Brunswick founders who died between 1811 and 1845.
In the next three editions of Loyalist Trails, we will see how New Brunswick’s pride in its loyalist heritage grew during the last half of the 19th century.
[Update, 24 Feb 2013: the article has been revised and expanded by Stephen Davidson]
To secure permission to reprint this article, email Stephen Davidson.
My father had a distant recollection of his great-grandmother Dibblee [editor’s note: Polly Jarvis, widow of Fyler Dibblee] who, he told me, taught him to roast an apple, suspended on a string before the open fire, by twirling it so that it should bake evenly on all sides. Father was then a child of about six years of age.
I very well recollect the house in which my Grandfather lived and have slept in it. It was there that my first playmate lived, a little girl of about five years old named Alice Clowes. The old house was torn down about the year 1863. It had been occupied by George Clowes as tenant. His wife was, I think, a daughter of the widow Beardsley. The Clowes family went across the river to Northampton to live.
Grandfather Charles Raymond was an active man in the community. As Deputy Sheriff of the old County of York he travelled from Eel River to the Grand Falls, nearly 100 miles – sometimes by canoe, often on horseback. In those days imprisonment for debt was quite common. In the summer, men were commonly employed in making and repairing roads under the superintendence of local road-masters. At this season on the appearance of the deputy-sheriff’s white horse over the crest of a neighbouring hill men would often abandon their work on the roads and take to the woods amidst the laughter of their friends.
On one occasion a man, on whom the deputy-sheriff designed to serve a writ, threatened murderous violence if arrested. He seized a large butcher’s knife and made use of dire threats. Grandfather steadily though slowly advanced. The man, gradually retreating, seized a rolling-pin that lay in a flour barrel. Satisfied that the fellow did not really intend to use the knife, Grandfather closed with him, took the knife from him and threw it into the fire-place. He would soon have overpowered his man, but the entire family, wife and children, attacked him from behind, and the chap got out the door and escaped. A sensible neighbour who arrived, assured the woman that her husband had made a fool of himself in resisting the law. This proved to be the case, for Grandfather, with a party, arrested him a few weeks later, hustled him out of his bed at midnight and took him to Woodstock jail, where he was eventually released on bail.
Charles Raymond, “gentleman”, was commissioned a lieutenant in the 2nd Battalion of the York County militia on June 24, 1824. Four years later he was promoted to be captain and Adjutant. He was a good drill Instructor and quite a prominent person on the occasion of the Annual General Muster.
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].
In the October 16th issue of Loyalist Trails, Bonnie Schepers offered her choices of the top three tweets on our Twitter account that week. For one of them, the theme continues. Originally, Brenda Dougall Merriman, author of United Empire Loyalists: A Guide to Tracing Loyalist Ancestors in Upper Canada, had posted her blog Loyalists: Call the Cops for her Facebook friends. Subsequently the article was sent out to the UELAC followers of Twitter as well as readers of Loyalist Trails. This week Brenda has pursued the topic further with “Loyalists: ‘O Give Me Land, Lotsa Land…'” The brief article appears to be part of a proposed series in which she clarifies her terms “free Land” and “in Canada” mentioned in the earlier blog.
There are many resources available to those interested in commemorative activities for the War of 1812 planned for Eastern Ontario. This link represents the St. Lawrence War of 1812 Bicentennial Alliance. Look for the “Top 5 Things to do at a Re-enactment” as an introduction.
Oh, I can hear the ‘hue and cry’ already! What is this guy talking about? Has he lost all of his faculties? Let me explain myself.
Back in the 1970s a Business Week article predicted the Paperless Office, where tons of files would be stored digitally. File cabinets would be sent for scrap and the photocopier would be relegated to a back room where it might be turned on once or twice a week. Obviously this prediction hasn’t come true.
If you really think about why this hasn’t come about, you might begin to see that we are addicted to paper. We insist on paper receipts. We save years and years of bank statements. Almost every home has a filing cabinet or two. We talk a good story about wanting to be live greener, but lag when it is time to do it, not just talk about it.
Imagine the impact on our environment with the number of trees cut down just to satisfy our insatiable hunger for paper; hence the “hew” of the expression ‘hew and cry’. Add to this the countless ink cartridges we use, the binders used for storing paper records, and of course the acid free acetate page protectors to hold our research, all in the name of genealogy. Not to mention the converted bedroom used as a work room bursting at the seams with paper.
For those of you who may wish to look harder at a ‘paperless’ option there are a few suggestions. First of all, your computer will have to be set up with a filing system to store the electronic files. Create the files you need in “My Documents”, “Pages” or your preferred office software. It is relatively easy to even nest folders within folders for easy information organization. Give some thought to naming folders in a way that makes sense to you.
I am sure that there have been times when a particular paper record is needed for the work you are engaged in. Where did I put it? I saw it just a few days ago. The search begins. With a paperless system, the file or even part of the contents of the file is entered into a search box and within seconds the missing information can be found.
Getting your information into the files that were just created is not difficult either. Scanners come in all price ranges. A number of writers suggest investing in a good scanner. The Fujitsu Snap Scan s1500 is a top choice, ($456.00 at Staples). This model is an upright scanner that can hold over a dozen or more records and automatically scan them. They can be scanned at a high resolution that is best suited for using “optical character recognition” or OCR software (that comes bundled with your scanner). OCR is not perfect, however results of 95% accuracy is more the norm these days. Many people opt for saving the files in PDF format.
There are a number of other great scanners available, such as the Epson Workforce GT1500 ($330.00 at Staples). Another scanner talked about previously is the hand held scanner Magic Wand ($85.00 at Wal-Mart). When shopping for a scanner, some options that will prove the most beneficial include sheet feed, 18 or more pages of scanning per minute, bundled OCR software and a USB 2.0 connection.
Another piece of software that is critical to the Paperless Office is a program to create and edit PDF files. If money is no object, Adobe Acrobat (starting at $299.00) is the industry standard. There are other options such as Nitro PDF which sells for about $100.00. This program will allow you to do a variety of things with PDF documents such as combining documents into books, into electronic binders, and gives the ability to edit the PDF files.
Of all the advantages of the Paperless Office, it is the ability to search by title, date, or even phrases that should stir one’s interest. Of course, many genealogists are using programs like Family Tree Maker which store your research in a very organized manner. Having supporting documents readily available will help make the genealogists work easier.
An acronym which is growing in popularity is L.O.C.K.S.S. (lots of copies keeps stuff safe). It is far easier to create backup copies of files electronically. They can easily be stored on optical disks or in a ‘cloud’ server, which makes them accessible to you wherever you happen to be.
Is a Paperless Office in your future, maybe not? This doesn’t mean that you can’t cut down on excessive paper use, and save some trees in the process.
You can email Wayne Scott to get in touch with questions or comments.
As time permits, we add information to the Loyalist Directory. The latest additions and updates are as follows:
– House siblings: John, Joseph, Philip – from David Clark
– House, Daniel – from David Clark
– House, George – from David Clark