“Loyalist Trails” 2012-01: January 1, 2012
In this issue:
– No Such Tyng — by Stephen Davidson
– Addendum to Stephen Davidson’s Six Loyalists Remember Christmas (Dec 26)
– Meeting With Peter Newman
– Oldest Loyalist
– Largest Loyalist Families – A New List
– Induction Biographies for 2011 Additions to Loyal Americans Hall of Honour
– UELAC, Communications And Networking
– War of 1812: NY State to Honor Brits, Canadians
– Additions to the Loyalist Directory
– Last Post: Eleanor Isabel Moult
– Editor’s Note
+ Response re Fetterly Family
+ A Roblin Family Missing Link
A few months ago I did a feature on the loyalist street names of old Saint John. For the most part, they had to do with the royal family and British government officials. However, a handful of Saint John’s streets carry the names of the city’s founders. William Tyng, a New Massachusetts loyalist, was one of those so honoured.
Tyng Street was no small thoroughfare. It extended from Courtney Bay on the east side of the city’s peninsula to the harbour on the west. However, if you look at a map of Saint John today, you will not find Tyng Street. It was renamed Princess Street over 200 years ago. What had happened to make a city of loyalists disown a fellow refugee? This is the story of Tyng Street and how it disappeared.
William Tyng was born in Boston, Massachusetts on August 17, 1737. While in his late twenties, William became a prosperous merchant in Falmouth in Massachusetts’ Cumberland County (present day Maine). A member of Boston’s Masonic Lodge since he was twenty-five, Tyng organized Maine’s first lodge in 1769, and was its first master. At 30 years of age, William became the sheriff of Cumberland County. He married Elizabeth Ross, and, three years later, represented Falmouth in Massachusetts’ General Court.
Tyng’s loyalist principles first became evident when he fled to Boston after the Battle of Lexington. Then, in October of 1775, British forces under the command of Captain Mowatt, sailed into Falmouth’s harbour. After giving the townspeople 18 hours to evacuate, Mowatt’s ships bombarded Falmouth. Angry patriots plundered and destroyed Tyng’s store when they learned that Mowatt had stopped his soldiers from burning the loyalist’s house. However, local rebels attacked Tyng’s home, destroyed his furniture, stole his silverware, and made off with his gold-laced hat.
Elizabeth Tyng’s reunion with William in Boston was brief. In March of 1776, Massachusetts loyalists and the British army hastily fled to Halifax. When British forces took command of New York City that fall, Tyng was among their number. Two years later, Massachusetts banished the loyalist, forbidding him to ever return to the colony.
From 1776 to 1783, Colonel Tyng served in the Commissary General Department where he dispensed food to the British troops and loyal refugees. Another loyalist who supervised the distribution of food rations was Brook Watson. It is interesting that Saint John’s first settlers named two of their city’s streets in honour of Watson and Tyng. They obviously had fond memories of the men who kept them from starvation during the Revolution.
At the end of the war, William and Elizabeth settled in Saint John. Although the couple had no children, Tyng had many mouths to feed. As the agent for the crown, he oversaw the settlement of the loyalists and distributed food rations to the newly arrived settlers. Although they had land lots in Saint John, Tyng and his wife moved up the St. John River to Gagetown in 1785.
Sometime during that year, Tyng and his mother-in-law returned to Maine to settle their financial matters. Despite the animosity his Falmouth neighbours had for Tyng, they did not arrest the 48 year-old loyalist as a traitor. Tyng also visited the nearby community of Gorham. When he appeared at the door of the local church, no one offered him a seat. Then a patriot named Carey McLellan rose and guided Tyng to a pew. There had been a debt of honour between the two men. During the Revolution, McLellan had been incarcerated on a British prison ship in New York City. After Tyng recognized his former neighbour, he pled on his behalf. McLellan was given aid –perhaps even released– because of Tyng’s intervention. While not forgiven for his political views, Tyng discovered that some patriots still respected him.
In the early winter of 1787, Tyng appeared before the loyalist compensation claims board when it convened in Saint John. The fact that Tyng had returned to the United States to see to his property did not help his case. The commissioners knew of far too many Americans who –once they had been compensated by Britain– promptly returned to the new republic.
In the years following his arrival in Gagetown, New Brunswick, Tyng was appointed the second sheriff of Queens County. He made friends with James Peters, a New York loyalist who had become a Queen’s County magistrate. The regard the magistrate held for the sheriff is seen in the fact that he named his second son William Tyng Peters.
But such honours were not uncommon. Saint John had named one of its streets for William Tyng — a fact noted in a 1783 probate record’s reference to the address of a deceased loyalist. However, the honour was only short-lived. An 1817 will referred to property on “Tyng or Princess Street in Saint John”. Thereafter, there are no longer any references to Tyng Street. Why had the loyalists stripped William Tyng of this honour?
Despite his service to the crown, his losses in the Revolution, and his position in the growing colony of New Brunswick, William Tyng went back to the United States. Loyalty to his old home was “thicker” than loyalty to his far-off monarch. He and Elizabeth settled in Goreham, Maine in 1793, never to return to New Brunswick.
And so the citizens of Saint John changed the name of Tyng Street to Princess Street. How could one of the city’s main avenues, they must have reasoned, bear the name of a loyalist who returned to the land of his persecutors? The last acknowledgement that his loyalist neighbours ever made of William Tyng’s existence was a single line of type in The New Brunswick Royal Gazette that noted his passing on December 10, 1807.
Lorenzo Sabine summed up Tyng’s last years this way: “He was devotedly attached to agricultural pursuits, and to the enjoyments of social intercourse. His house was the seat of hospitality, and of instructive and delightful conversation.”
To secure permission to reprint this article, email Stephen Davidson.
Your mention of Oswegatchie in the latest UELAC Newsletter, 2011-51, interested me; partly because I live nearby in Potsdam, NY. You are correct, of course, that it is near modern day Prescott, Ontario but it might have been mentioned that it was British Fort Oswegatchie in New York which undoubtedly attracted William Grant; it is present day Ogdensburg, NY. The British did not vacate their border forts until 1796. I wonder if William Grant and any other Loyalists remained on the American side of the St. Lawrence River. Probably not in view of the support being provided by the British government to the Loyalists creating new settlements on the British north shore in Upper Canada.
…William Evans Davidson
On December 19, 2011, my wife, Grietje, and I hosted a meeting at our farm with Peter C. Newman and former UELAC President, Peter Johnson, together with his wife, Angela. (see Photo l-r, P Johnson, P Newman, B McBride)
Peter Newman came well prepared and we spent a pleasant afternoon examining his many books about Canadian history. We talked about the scope of his book outline, Hostages to Fortune, which will ambitiously, and with journalistic style, explore the Loyalist plight from all angles: political background, major players, conflicts, hardships, struggles against American continentalism in the years after the American Revolution and the legacy of enduring British influence on the Canadian fabric.
The value in writing this book over the next several years will be in Newman’s ability to zero in on the big picture of the Loyalist experience in addition to the anecdotal stories that we cherish. His aim is to entertain as well as to educate and commemorate. We are as excited about Peter Newman’s new book as he is in writing it.
I see his project as an important arm in our continuing efforts to advertise our organization in a positive and forward thinking way. It is in ways such as Newman’s book that the Loyalist story is told to many. Teamwork encourages active members!
…Robert C. McBride, UE, UELAC President
I have noted the List of Oldest Loyalists. More entries are welcome; but it is time to start a new list – see below.
In Loyalist times, before global warming, winters were cold, winter nights were long and there was no social networking, Internet, TV or even radio to occupy one’s evenings. Is that why families from those times seemed large, at least by today’s standards? Or was it purely practical – the farm was expanding and more hands were required to till it?
– Whatever the case, tell us about your largest loyalist family. Some guidelines:
– the Loyalist or Loyalist’s spouse is one of the children, or
– the Loyalist or Loyalist’s spouse is the parent of all the children and both are a parent of at least one of them
– the children of a second or successive marriage by the Loyalist or the Loyalist’s spouse count in the total
– Minimum family size is a baker’s dozen – 13.
– In your submission, please have one or two paragraphs which describe the Loyalist and family (where settled before the war, some wartime notes, where settled afterwards, anything noteworthy about the Loyalist or family. (For most readers, this is the interesting part; for the family historian interested in your family, the children’s names are more important)
– Then list the children with whatever you know in the format:
+ child 1 b. (date) d. (date) m. (date) spouse b. (date) d (date)
+ if there is more than one spouse, separate into separate lists by spouse
…Look forward to hearing from you. Send submissions to email@example.com.
Induction Biographies for 2011 Additions to Loyal Americans Hall of Honour
While brevity is often appreciated in initial electronic news items, there will come a time when a deeper resource is needed for further understanding or additional research. In the December 18th issue of Loyalist Trails, an article referred to the posting of the 2011 inductees into the Bay of Quinte Branch Loyal Americans Hall of Honour wherein descendants of United Empire Loyalists who made significant achievements were “identified and celebrated”.
This week, links to photographs and the original documents of induction for William Dempsey UE, Audrey Kirk UE and Col. Roscoe Vanderwater UE have been added. The provision of such detail will be of greater use for UELAC historians in the future. Click here to see the changes.
At the fall meeting of the Dominion Council on October 29, UELAC Web Manager Doug Grant conducted a workshop designed to make branch and UELAC communications more efficient and/or effective. As he said, the focus would be on “little things which could be done tomorrow or next week – not things we would need to ‘boil the ocean’ to implement.” Prior to the meeting, a survey was conducted to determine which of the many different types of communications were being used within the Association. The resulting information, charted and graphed, served as stimuli for a broader discussion on what is being done and what could be done in the future.
This past week, one of the many ideas was implemented. While readers of Loyalist Trails are more aware of the growth of @uelac, our Twitter account with the link on the home page of the dominion website, little attention has been drawn to the other major social media phenomena, Facebook. For several years now, the Hamilton Branch has secured the name of “United Empire Loyalists Association (UELAC)” and recently expanded its use as a resource for video and documents posted to other media. The focus of the Facebook pages of the Grand River, Saskatchewan and the Manitoba Branches is on branch activities and coming events. The Toronto Branch page serves to “increase the public awareness of the Loyalist contributions to Canada, particularly the Greater Toronto Area.” Visitors to the UELAC Branches folder will now discover which branch offers Facebook and be able to click on the button provided. Developing awareness of our resources is key to strengthening our UELAC communications.
At the same time the UELAC communications status was being studied, Jennifer Nelson spoke to the MA Public History Program at the University of Western Ontario about social media and networking. In keeping with the traditional end-of-the-year activity, she has provided her Top 10 Tips for Networking Newbies. As that label may apply to most of us, I would encourage LT readers to check her blog for some easy ways to increase the productivity of branch outreach. While # 5 may be simple Canadian etiquette, # 1 may provide more of a challenge. Perhaps some of the ideas may be “little things which could be done tomorrow or next week.”
An announcement titled “State to Honor Brits, Canadians Killed in War of 1812”, appeared on Tuesday, 27 Dec 2011, in the Plattsburgh Press-Republican, Page B-7, as follows:
“New York State to create a monument to the British and Canadian soldiers killed in a battle fought along the eastern shore of Lake Ontario during the War of 1812.
The Watertown Daily Times reports that the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Presevation will place the monument at the Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site, with the help of a local group that helps support the site.
Officials say it’s believed about 30 British and Canadian troops were killed during an attack on the American shipyard at Sackets Harbor on May 29, 1813. The Americans buried the dead, but the exact location isn’t known.
The state parks office and the Sackets Harbor Battlefield Alliance plan to erect the monument prior to the bicentennial commemoration of the battle in 2013″.
As time permits, we add information to the Loyalist Directory. The latest additions and updates are as follows:
Peter’s regiment was the King’s Royal Regiment of New York(KRRNY), which was also known as the King’s Royal Yorkers, Royal Yorkers and Sir John’s regiment; however, the name “Rangers” never appeared in the regiment’s records. Now, this may seem like picking at nits, but the fact is, if you’re looking for your ancestor’s background and you’re looking under King’s Royal Rangers, you won’t find much.
The reason that the name was distorted by early historians is that Roger’s King’s Rangers also served in the Canadian Department with the Royal Yorkers and, when elements of both regiments settled in Frederickburgh Township, the two names were conflated. I cannot imagine how that confusion occurred for settlers such as Fetterly in Williamsburgh Township, but these things happen.
Peter enlisted in the KRRNY on 26 October 1779. He is known to have been in Major James Gray’s Company in 1781 and 1782. He may have served in that company throughout his time in uniform, but records have not been found to prove that. Circumstantially, he likely was still in the Major’s Coy at the time of settlement, as it was Gray’s company settled in RT No.4 (Williamsburgh).
I have not found more specific information about Peter’s activities during his service; however, if he was in the Major’s Company in 1780, he very likely went on the largest raid ever mounted by the regiment in October of that year, when the regimental commander, Sir John Johnson, led 227 Royal Yorkers with a great many other Provincials, British and German Regulars, and Six Nations’ Indians deep into rebel territory to destroy the harvest in the Schoharie and lower Mohawk Valleys. Fetterly’s personal knowledge of the Helleburgh area, which, as you know, borders on the Schoharie Valley, may have been useful to his officers.
If you want more information on the King’s Royal Yorkers, this link takes you to the publisher.
If you want detailed information of the massive raid into the Schoharie and Mohawk Valleys, the publisher also sells this book.
…Gavin Watt, H/VP UELAC
We are trying to connect Stephen Roblin back to his Parents and having difficulty finding a credible source documentation. His parents, with some anecdotal evidence but nothing concrete, may be Jacob Roblin (1796 — 1876) married 18 Aug 1816 Sarah Van Dursen/Dusen/Dussen (c. May 1798 — 12 Dec 1883).
Roblin, Stephen b. 18 Feb 1819 Sophiasburg, Prince Edward Co. and d. 17 Dec 1887 Picton, Prince Edward Co.
He married 3 Nov 1845 Werden, Julia Ann b. Aug 1828 and d. 30 Dec 1913 Picton, Brighton, Northumberland.
The children are:
– Albert Spencer b. 12 Nov 1846
– William A. b. 3 Feb 1849 (names parents on bap Sophiasburg Twp., Prince Edward Co.)
– David H. b. c. 1852
– Stanley A. c. 1856 m. 16 Oct 1883 Clap, Kate (names parents on marriage)
– Sarah Emma b. 17 Oct 1858 m. 29 Dec 1886 Foster, James A (names parents on bap & marriage)
– Ellen C. b. c. 1861
Hoping someone can provide some assistance.
…Alice A. Walchuk, UE, Manitoba Branch Genealogist