“Loyalist Trails” 2012-07: February 12, 2012

In this issue:
Fifteen Loyalists and Benedict Arnold: Part Two — by Stephen Davidson
Richard Carman (1757 – 1817) by George McNeillie
“Vignettes of Winnipeg”: The Manitoba Legislative Building
Biggest Loyalist Families – Gabriel Purdy (17 children) by Grietje McBride
Inaugural Presentations of Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal
UELAC Pacific Region Invited to Government House
Top Tweets
Media, 1812, and The Battle and Burning of York
A Rose for the War of 1812 Commemorations
Lecture: The War of 1812 in Lower Canada
More Genealogy Resources


Fifteen Loyalists and Benedict Arnold: Part Two — by Stephen Davidson

Depending on your point of view, Benedict Arnold was either the most infamous traitor or the most famous born-again loyalist of the American Revolution. Whether on the battlefield in New York, Canada, or Virginia, Arnold touched the lives of thousands of loyalists. Thanks to the transcripts of the loyalist compensation claims board, we know the personal impact that the general had on 15 different loyalists.

Joseph Anderson lived in Pownall, Vermont at the beginning of the war, but by 1787 he was living in Lachine as a loyalist refugee. Eleven years earlier, Anderson began a journey to Canada to support the crown. At this same time, Benedict Arnold commanded a rebel army marching through the northern woods to attack Quebec City. Anderson recognized old friends in Arnold’s army and joined them, pretending to be a fellow patriot. After observing the enemy, Anderson paid a man to take his intelligence to General Carleton. When Arnold’s men discovered that they had a loyalist amongst them, they arrested Anderson. Thus it was that very early in the Revolution, a loyalist would suffer for encountering Benedict Arnold.

In December of 1776, Joseph Barton had his own “Arnold moment”. Barton had been a member of the New Jersey House of Assembly in 1775, and was the only representative who voted against the impeachment of New Jersey’s last royal governor, William Franklin. Barton joined the British army in November, raising a regiment of 100 men. He rose to the rank of lieutenant-colonel and served throughout the Revolution. Barton eventually settled in Digby, Nova Scotia. When he appeared before a loyalist compensation board in Halifax in 1786, Benedict Arnold was the cause of great resentment. Barton had no papers or deeds to present to the board to verify all that he had lost. The reason? Benedict Arnold had ordered them burned ten years earlier.

In the fall of 1777, Patrick Smyth was living in New York’s Charlotte County. The Irishman had been in America for 20 years and was a committed loyalist. He had served his community as a clerk of the peace and an assistant judge. Because many of Smyth’s neighbours were rebels, at certain times “he durst not speak his sentiments”. He did not suffer for his loyal stance until General Burgoyne led his army down the Hudson Valley. That was when, according to later testimony, Smyth was “taken prisoner by General Arnold and confined to the Town of Albany.”

Despite being a known British supporter, Smyth stayed at home for three more years. Although seeming to offer no threat to the patriot cause, Smyth was secretly carrying dispatches between General Haldimand in Quebec and Sir Henry Clinton in New York. Smyth hid the messages in the hollow handle of the large knife that he carried. Major Jessup would later testify that because of intelligence from Smyth, a party of British soldiers escaped capture in a rebel ambush. When patriots discovered his espionage activities, he fled to New York City. In September of 1783, Smyth joined other loyalists in sailing for Quebec, and settled at Sorel.

Samuel Ketchum met Benedict Arnold in Fairfield, Connecticut. In 1779, British troops under William Tryon were advancing on the rebel supply depot in Danbury. Ketchum was ordered to join Fairfield’s militia and fight against Tryon’s men, but he refused. General Arnold was in charge of the local rebels. He ordered that Ketchum and “few more Torys should be shut up in a house & burnt.” Whether this was actually done or only threatened is unknown. Somehow Ketchum lived to tell the tale, fleeing Connecticut as Tryon marched through. He eventually found refuge near Fort Franklin on Long Island where he cut wood to earn a living. In 1783, he sailed for New Brunswick in the first fleet of loyalist evacuation ships.

In the winter of 1779, Stephen Tuttle fled through the snowy woods of northern New York clutching all of his deeds and legal papers. His journey was a long one. When he finally found refuge in the British encampment on Lake Champlain, Tuttle lost all of his papers as well as the use of his right arm. Six years later, the loyalist compensation claims board had no evidence upon which to base the merits of Tuttle’s request for financial redress. However, they listened to his testimony — a story of service that included an encounter with Benedict Arnold.

Tuttle lived fifty miles outside of Albany, New York. In addition to keeping a farm, he was the colony’s deputy surveyor general and a justice of the peace. He was so highly regarded that when the Revolution began, he was offered the command of a rebel company. Tuttle refused, testifying later that he “steadily and uniformly acted a loyal part”. When he would not take an oath of allegiance to the patriot cause, rebels threatened him.

Despite such growing opposition, Tuttle continued to serve the crown. He “took every opportunity of assisting the Loyalists and British prisoners”, including furnishing arms and ammunition. He also supplied manpower to the loyalist cause; his five sons served in the British army. Tuttle would have followed his sons’ example and joined Burgoyne’s forces as they advanced through New York, but local rebels prevented him.

Finally, Tuttle’s loyalty infuriated no less a rebel than General Arnold himself. He declared that Tuttle should be hanged from the gallows. Sometime after this threat, Tuttle fled through the woods to find refuge with the British. The New York farmer settled in the loyalist refugee camp at Yamachiche near modern day Trois Rivieres. In 1785, the man who was almost hanged by Benedict Arnold was recognized as a loyalist and compensated for his losses.

Six other loyalists had stories about Benedict Arnold that they told the compensation board hearings. What they remembered will be revealed in next week’s Loyalist Trails.

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

Richard Carman (1757 – 1817) © George McNeillie

There is pasted in the “Annals of the Diocese” an extract from a Fredericton paper, I think from the paper of Geo. E. Fenety, (an old newspaper editor and personal friend of Mr. Carman), which contains a striking tribute to his worth. In it Mr. Fenety says:- “Mr. Carman was eighty years of age. Upwards of thirty years he was clerk of the Supreme Court, and at the fusion of the courts of Chancery and Common Law had become Clerk of the former. He was courteous and affable to all. Born in Northumberland County in 1804; admitted to the bar Oct. 15, 1825; and at the close of his life the oldest living barrister in the province, and his brother Richard of Northumberland is now the oldest. He was elected M.P.P. for the County of Northumberland. On the resignation of Col. Shore he became Clerk of the Pleas, and on the death of D. Ludlow Robinson in 1860 was appointed Clerk in Equity. As a court officer he was noted for exactness and correctness. Never perhaps did a citizen of Fredericton pass away in possession of affection and respect more universal, deep and sincere than our late beloved friend.”

Cousin William Carman was a little older than his youngest Uncle, Stephen. The poet Bliss Carman and his sister Jean Murray, who married my friend, Dr. Wm. F. Ganong, Professor of Botany in Smith College, Northampton, Mass., were children of Mr. Carman’s second marriage to Sophia Bliss. The poet, William Bliss Carman, was born April 15, 1861, and his sister in June, 1864. The latter died in 1920, greatly lamented by all who knew her.

Only a few general remarks can be made concerning the descendants of Richard Carman, outside of my mother’s family; there were so many branches. We were quite intimate with those who lived at Oromocto, Musquash, Presquile, etc. Also with those intermarried in the Miles, Perly and Treadwell families of Maugerville. The family of Gerhardus Clowes Carman had a fine property at Musquash which came to the family through Colonel Mount, whose daughter Eliza married Gerhardus Clowes Carman. Colonel Mount purchased from Captain Frederick De Peyster, an officer who had served in the Revolutionary War in the “New York Volunteers” (one of the Loyalist regiments), a valuable farm at Musquash, distant some fourteen miles from St. John. To this was added the land originally granted the soldiers whom Col. Mount brought out. This fine property was given by Col. Mount in 1819 to Mrs. Gerhardus Clowes Carman, and later was lost by the Carmans, largely through mismanagement. Miss Mary Carman, the last survivor of the older people, died about 1919 within a year or two past at the age of 95 years, the last of her generation. She had a remarkably accurate memory of early events.

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

“Vignettes of Winnipeg”: The Manitoba Legislative Building

[Manitoba Branch is hosting Conference at the Confluence 2012, the UELAC annual gathering and annual meeting from June 7 to 10 in Winnipeg. These vignettes will provide some of the local history and whet your appetite for more. Now is a good time to plan your trip to the conference, and join us there. You can view an expanded version of the following, with photos.]

The present Manitoba Legislative Building is the third to house the Manitoba Legislative Assembly. The Assembly first met in 1871 in the home of Andrew G.B. Bannatyne, Braeside, a large log structure at Main and McDermot.

In 1883 an Italianate structure was built on Kennedy Street near Government House. By 1912 this building was deemed to be both out-dated and inadequate. Manitoba had just expanded to its present dimensions, immigrants were pouring in, and both the province and its capital city were booming. A grander seat of government was needed to reflect this spectacular growth.

In 1911 the Manitoba Government purchased a 30 acre tract of land, part of the Fort Osborne Barracks, from the Federal Government, and the next year advertised a contest, asking architects to submit designs. The prize was $ 10,000.The winning design was that of Frank Worthington Simon and Henry Boddington III of Liverpool.

The architects’ conception exhibited the neo-classical style popular at time throughout North America.The basic structure is Tyndall stone, quarried locally. It is topped by a copper dome of Greek design on which the iconic “Golden Boy” strides into the future, the north, holding a sheaf of wheat and a torch.

A local historian, Frank Alba has done a detailed study of the buildings dimensions, sculptures, carvings, murals, and has concluded that it was designed to be a re-creation of the temple of Solomon, rife with Masonic symbolism. His book, The Hermetic Code, expounds this theory.

The original estimated cost of construction, $ 2 million grew as building progressed. In 1915 a Royal Commission was called to investigate. It found many irregularities and a lack of appropriate oversight. As a result, the premier of the time, Sir Rodmond Roblin, resigned in May, 1915. Scrutiny focused on the chief contractor, Thomas Kelly, who was eventually charged with theft and fraud.

Today the building is priceless. It is the site of protests, ceremonies, and celebrations. On New Year’s Day the Lieutenant Governor hosts a levee that is attended by thousands. Members of the Manitoba Branch of the UEL and the Living History Society attend in costume. Visitors are entertained by various choirs and sleigh rides are available for a tour of the grounds.

In 2010 the Legislature played host to one of the original copies of the Magna Carta, to mark the Queen’s symbolic laying of the cornerstone of the Canadian Museum of Human Rights, a stone brought from the field of Runnymede.

…Mary F. Steinhoff, Secretary, Manitoba Branch

Biggest Loyalist Families – Gabriel Purdy (17 children) by Grietje McBride

Sergeant Gabriel Purdy UE is my third great grandfather. He was born on 18 May 1754 and lived in Philipse Manor, White Plains, Westchester County, Province of New York. At the age of 21 he joined the British and fought in the Battle of White Plains on 28 October 1776. He was made a Sergeant at the end of the battle and served as a non-commissioned officer during the war. Gabriel served from 16 November 1779 to 04 February 1780 as a sergeant in the Corps of Westchester Refugees and Light Infantry commanded by Isaac Hatfield. On 05 February 1780 he continued as a sergeant in his brother’s, Captain Henry Purdy’s, Company of Light Infantry commanded by Colonel James DeLancey. As a Loyalist and to escape from Patriot soldiers, Gabriel hid in a barrel filled with tow, which is unwashed hemp, flax or fleece ready for processing into rope or wool. A Patriot officer thrust a sword into the barrel, cutting a gash into Gabriel’s head, and he had to wear a silver tube thereafter to drain the wound.

The tombstone of Sergeant Gabriel Purdy UE, located at Rose Cemetery, Cumberland County, Nova Scotia, on part of his farm, reads “GABRIEL PURDY ESQ. AGE 92 YRS.” The Halifax Times recorded on 25 May 1841: “Died at Westchester, Cumberland Co. on Saturday 8th instant Gabriel Purdy, Esq., aged 87 years. Mr. Purdy was born at West Chester in the State of New York, 1754.” His military history supports the age of 87 years as his lifespan rather than the tombstone date of 92 years. In his remarkable life he married 5 times and, at the time of his death, had 17 children, 170 grandchildren, and 52 great grandchildren making a total of 239!

Click here for a 4-page PDF containing Gabriel Purdy’s biography, an annotated list of his children, and a photo of his tombstone.

See more of the Biggest Families and note there the submission guidelines if you have a larger Loyalist Family you would like to contribute.

Inaugural Presentations of Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal

[Read this article (PDF) with photos]

Monday, 06 February 2012 marked a very special occasion commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the Accession to the Throne of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. To mark the occasion, His Excellency The Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, and The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, presided over the Inaugural Presentation of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal to sixty deserving recipients.

60,000 Diamond Jubilee Medals are being awarded this year to honour Canadians who follow Her Majesty’s tradition of commitment to service that enriches the lives of other Canadians.

Central East Regional Vice-President, Roy Lewis UE, and his wife, Helen, accompanied my wife, Grietje, and me to this special event. More than ever we were aware of teamwork encouraging action as each deserving recipient received the medal.

This is the time of year to look carefully in our own UELAC organization for those people who show this kind of teamwork and service that benefits our organization and others. Nominations for the Dorchester Award, established in 2007 exemplifying Volunteer Excellence and Participation and presented annually at the Dominion Conference, should be sent to:


c/o UELAC Volunteer Awards Recognition Committee

50 Baldwin Street, Suite 202,

Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5T 1L4

E-mail: ggm3rd@sympatico.ca

Every one of us is part of the teamwork that encourages active members!!!

…Robert C. McBride UE, Dominion President

UELAC Pacific Region Invited to Government House

On February 6, 2012, ten members from the Pacific Region of The United Empire Loyalist Association were invited to a tea at Government House, celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of the Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s ascension to the throne. The event was hosted by His Honour The Honourable Steven Point, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia. Robert Ferguson, Past President of the Victoria Branch, was indeed honoured to sit at the head table with the Lieutenant Governor. A number of members from the Victoria and Chilliwack Branches were dressed in period costume. The other attendees to the event were members of the Commonwealth Society and the Monarchist League, all of whom are supportive of the Monarchy. On the 5pm newscast by CTV, our group was easily identifiable in this large group due to the period costumes.

…Bob Ferguson UE

Top Tweets

Subscribers to Loyalist Trails have more than a passing interest in history. Our readers appreciate the value of celebrating the traditions of the past. As descendants of United Empire Loyalists, there is the added advantage of personal ties to many significant events in Canadian history. That’s what makes us such interesting people!

Because of that significant legacy, we have the opportunity to time travel with our ancestors from the early settlement of the Colonies through the brutal years of the Revolutionary War. We can experience the upheaval and displacement of the first winters spent by our forebears in Canada. Perusing letters, diaries and newspapers we are able to piece together the role our ancestors played in critical historical events.

Could our ancestors ever have imagined the ease with which we trace the steps they took two hundred years ago? With the short form communication of Twitter we can glimpse the past from the comfort of our homes. The reason it works is because behind Twitter there are real people with a heart for history willing to share their amazing discoveries. And UELAC is there.

This week’s finds include some fashion, some photography and some fascinating reading!

1. Two Nerdy History Girls is a blog created by writers Loretta Chase and Susan Holloway Scott. They tweet as @2nerdyhistgirls describing their contributions as “gossip about history, writing, and yes, shoes.” Through them I found At the Sign of the Golden Scissors 18th Century Costume and Research blog discussing the history of clothing and the website of Mrs. Hallie Larkin offering reproduction 18th century clothing and accessories. If you like to window shop, this is the place.

2. The Last Muster – Images of the Revolutionary War Generation is a collection of photographs by author Maureen Taylor. Maureen Taylor is a lover of the daguerreotype and an internationally recognized expert of history, genealogy, and photography. “The Last Muster is a collection of rare nineteenth-century photographic images, primarily daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, and cartes de visite (paper photographs) of the Revolutionary War generation.” Maureen has compiled photographs of Rev War veterans, their wives, widows, Loyalists, Native Americans, African Americans and Quakers. Maureen Taylor is also known as The Photo Detective discovering stories behind family photographs. How’s that for a dream job?

3. My last find this week is some intriguing reading. A two volume set titled The American Revolution Through British Eyes – A Documentary Collection by James and Patience Barnes. The book is described as ‘eyewitness accounts of the War of Independence by British observers and participants’. Who could resist?

Our Twitter feed is available on the Dominion website. On the top right beside the Google search box is a blue letter ‘t’. When you click on that it brings you to the Twitter home page of the United Empire Loyalists’ Assoc. Or join me and actively participate by opening an account at twitter.com. You know you want to.

…B. Schepers, VP UELAC

Media, 1812, and The Battle and Burning of York

While the official launch of War of 1812 commemorations is still months away, related feature articles have already made their appearance on the magazine shelves. The latest can be found in Esprit de Corps (Canadian Military) a magazine previously recommended for its series on Loyalist soldiers which eventually was published as a book Shadow Soldiers of the American Revolution by the author, Mark Jodoin in 2009. The December 2011 publication, or Volume 18 Issue 11, continues the documentation of “The Fight for Canada” with The Battle and Burning of York (PDF) by Michael Hurley.

As he writes, “after a number of reversals in the Niagara Peninsula, an American invasion force set its sights on the lightly defended capital of Upper Canada. The capture and brief occupation of York proved to be a major setback for the British forces.” Hurley provides a good chronological development of the events with all the appropriate names and places. The mention of Glengarry Light Infantry Fencibles, Royal Newfoundland Regiment of Fencible Infantry, and 3rd York Militia Regiment or leaders such as Brigadier-General Zebulon Pike or Captain John Beverly Robinson may spark memories of other aspects of our history. However people not familiar with the Toronto area may be puzzled in the visual location of Grenadier Pond or Canadian National Exhibition grounds. The full spread of “Toronto 1812” by Owen Staples does give a strong reminder as to how underdeveloped York was at that time. The flagpole has the same dominance in the landscape as the CN tower does today. The Battle and Burning of York should stimulate further interest in specific events of the War of 1812 in the months ahead.

Loyalist Trails is grateful to Julie Simoneau, Production Manager of the Esprit de Corps magazine, for the provision of the Michael Hurley article as a PDF for our website.


A Rose for the War of 1812 Commemorations

The Ontario Horticultural Association is still taking orders for the 1812 rose, a floribunda best suited to zone 5 and up. Characteristics are old fashioned, scented, very large and full crimson red blossoms. It is a repeat bloomer and can grow from 3 to 4 ft. Disease resistant and hardy, it has been grown and tended by Palatine Fruit and Roses, a family-owned nursery in the Niagara region. Previously orders have been available with the local horticultural societies in Ontario, but access to the order form is now available online.

…The Loyalist Gardener

Lecture: The War of 1812 in Lower Canada

This lecture about the War of 1812 will focus on events that took place in Lower Canada (now Quebec) and the Battle of Chateauguay. Speaker Luc Lépine is one of the leading experts on the War of 1812 and author of the book “Lower Canada’s Militia Officers, 1812 – 1815.”

Saturday, March 10, Presented by Luc Lepine

10:30 am – Briarwood Presbyterian Church Hall, 70 Beaconsfield Blvd., Beaconsfield

A Free Public Lecture by QFHS

The Quebec Family History Society is the largest English-language genealogical society in Quebec. Founded in 1977 to encourage the study of genealogy in Quebec and around the world, the QFHS helps people of all backgrounds research their family history.

…Lorraine Gosselin

More Genealogy Resources

My compliments to Wayne Scott for his list of free resources which can be used to search Loyalist and other ancestries on the web.

To ratchet up the list a bit, to include pay sites and resources which sometimes offer amazingly good sources, is Ancestry.ca or Ancestry.com. One can either join the .ca or .com, but I find the .ca membership is better in some ways, as it immediately offers Canadian-only resources. It is possible to find the same thing on their .com membership, but the Canadian resources are hidden in a long list of drop-down list possibilities. It is possible to find proofs there, which are accepted by UELAC for descendant UE membership. I used some of these resources to prove my own UE membership.

Members of Ancestry.com who choose to do so, will often post family trees in the member trees area. These can be very helpful, but remember that many contributed American trees, are often determined to show that their ancestors were not Loyalists, whom they brand as Tory traitors. Also, they tend to copy back and forth from each other among the member trees, and describe such borrowing as sourced records.

There are some books which are very valuable. I recommend The Long Point Settlers, by R. Robert Mutrie. It contains detailed records, including wills and cemetery notices, amongst other things. Many of the Loaylists & their children who first landed in New Brunswick in 1783, but found the land grants to be very barren and useless, travelled over to the better prospects of Long Point to start again. From Long Point, many of them moved on again. Records found there are also accepted by UELAC for membership. The author, Robert Mutrie, will also accept phone calls asking for help.

An excellent book with quite a few narrative and detailed records about Loyalists who touched down in Kent County, Ontario, is Romantic Kent, The Story of a County 1826-1952, by Victor Lauriston.

There are many others. Google on the topic and specific titles to get prices and availablity.

Expect to spend years and much money to get to the true story with viable records, of your Loyalist or other ancestry, unless you get very lucky using free resources. And even if your free research proves fruitful, you will still need hard paper records to bet your lineage accepted by UELAC.

In the end, after you have exhausted, or become hopelessly confused by, the free resources, or by Ancestry.ca, then a professional genealogist may be the best way to get extensive and accurate records about a possible Loyalist (or other) ancestry. I am such a professional genealogist. Some of my findings have been reported in comments and notes here, at Loyalist Trails. I have an extensive network of other partner researchers, and access to Archive and other sources of Loyalist records. I have been able to solve many mysteries in the early records.

I do not receive any fees or commissions from Ancestry.ca, or any of the other books or resources which I have mentioned here.

I am not the only professional genealogist, but you can visit my website or just send me an email with a query: nffgfamily@hotmail.com. I don’t charge anything for a quick reply to a short query, in which I can state whether or not I can be helpful.

…Richard Ripley, UE