“Loyalist Trails” 2012-15: April 15, 2012

In this issue:
The Prison Ships of Esopus: Part 1 of 4 — by Stephen Davidson
“Vignettes of Winnipeg: Past and Present”: The Forks – Part 2
Biggest Loyalist Families – Hector Dickie (13 children) by Alex Lawrence
Loyalist Ontario Licence Plates: A UELAC Project
Book: Anderdon: Some Folks Down the Road, by Mark Warren
Loyalist Reference Books, Special Sale, Loyalist Lineages II
The Tech Side: PC or Mac? The Best of Both Worlds – by Wayne Scott, UE
      + Reponse re James Kinsey
      + Loyalist Information for John Kelly Family
      + Seeking 1907 Photo from Wentworth County


The Prison Ships of Esopus: Part 1 of 4 — by Stephen Davidson

An almost completely neglected aspect of the American Revolution is the imprisonment of loyalists on rebel prison ships. As the jails of the Thirteen Colonies started to fill with loyalist inmates in the early years of the bitter civil war, some rebel governments decided to confine their fellow Americans in the holds of stationary sailing ships. Sometimes referred to as “vessels for the disaffected”, places of “detention for disloyal and unsafe men” or “fleet prisons”, these anchored ships were used to incarcerate loyalists from 1776 to 1782. Historical records and personal testimonies indicate that at least three colonies kept their prisoners of war in floating jails, those being Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York.

The “fleet prison” of Kingston, New York is the best known of these rebel jails. Although it was a floating prisoner of war camp for less than a year, nevertheless it played a pivotal role in the stories of many loyalists who later found refuge in modern day Canada.

As early as December 1775, the Provincial Congress (or Convention) of New York voted that the Ulster County jail located beneath the Kingston court house would be used for the incarceration of loyalists. However, by March 18, 1777 the prison was “so full and the prisoners so neglected, and in such a horrid state” that the convention passed a new resolution.

The living arrangements for the prisoners confined beneath the convention chamber had become “unwholesome”. A “very nauseous and disagreeable effluvia” rose from their cells. Since this might endanger the health of the convention’s members, it was moved that the members were free to smoke in the convention chamber “for the preservation of their health”.

Of course, this only masked the stench of a crowded prison and did nothing for the prisoners. Two months later, the convention decided to establish prison ships to house the loyalists. A committee was appointed to prepare “two or more vessels” and anchor them in the Rondout River near Kingston, New York. This old Dutch settlement became the first state capital of New York in 1777. It was 146 km north of New York City (then held by the British), and 90 km south of Albany (considered a likely target for a British attack from Canada). Kingston was once known as Esopus, the name favoured by loyalists when they told of their imprisonment.

The exact number of rebel prison ships is difficult to determine. One account says that “several ships” were built in May and June to serve as floating jails. Other ships were simply seized as “tory property”. The convention ordered the seizure of a brigantine that belonged to Joseph Towers and David Mallows, “two inveterate enemies of their country”. Rebels took a Mr. Spranger’s vessel for a prison ship, the same fate which befell a sloop owned in part by John Dole. Only two of the ships in the prison fleet are known to have names: the Camden and the Hutt.

Two weeks after the rebel convention ordered the creation of the prison ships, 175 loyalists were removed from Albany’s court house jail and put aboard the vessels at Esopus Landing. Anyone found on shore after being put on the ships was to be immediately executed. In less than a month the loyalist prisoners’ “great complaints … of starvation and cruelty” prompted the convention to issue a set of rules for the care and custody of their inmates. It fell to John Sloss Hobart, John Jay and Jacob Cuyler to regulate the fleet prison and appoint the required officers.

They appointed Henry Benson as warden and clerk, Charles Giles as victualler, and Cornelius Elmendorph as commissary. On paper, it looked like the prisoners would be receiving humane treatment.

Benson was responsible for keeping the vessels “at all times clean and neat”, identifying which prisoners could not provide their own provisions, and making out the accounts for what the prisoners owed the state when they were released. Friends of the prisoners could “send them Necessaries”, but could only visit if they had a written order. No letters could be passed to prisoners without permission from the Committee of Safety. As clerk, Benson was to receive six shillings and a sixpence from every loyalist prisoner who was discharged.

Giles regulated the wood given to the prisoners for fuel and doled out the rations: three quarters of a pound of meat (beef, pork or mutton), one pound of bread, and a “reasonable allowance of salt and vinegar”. These rations were to be given out at least three times a week in the warmer seasons and twice a week in winter. (The British gave their rebel prisoners a pound of biscuit, a pound and a half of flour, a pint of oatmeal, a pound of beef, two pounds of pork, two pounds of suet, two ounces of butter, and a half pint of peas each week.) For his troubles, the victualler was paid 9 pounds a month.

Elmendorph received twice that amount as commissary. He made sure the victualler had the provisions he required and kept an account of how money was spent. It was also his job to see that all of the hides, tallow, and wool that came from the livestock he purchased were preserved — presumably as a source of income. Elmendorph also had to see to it that local militia men were posted to prevent inmates from escaping the fleet prison. These soldiers were drafted for a week’s duty, often guarding men they had once called their friends and neighbours.

Within a month, the prisoners’ rations were considered “too great” and subsequently reduced. By September 1st, the convention authorized Dr. Luke Kierstead to visit the fleet prison at least twice a week or whenever called on by the warden. Two days later Elmendorph, the commissary, was chastised by the convention for failing to supply the prisoners with bread.

How those prisoners fared while in the prison ships will be told in next week’s Loyalist Trails.

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

“Vignettes of Winnipeg: Past and Present”: The Forks – Part 2

In the mid-twentieth century, The Forks, which had seen so much history, was a deserted, largely abandoned rail yard rarely seen by any but the occasional rail worker or the hobos who camped on the river banks.

In the 1960s and ’70s there were many discussions of the worth of redeveloping what a local commentator called “this most glamorous stretch of land”.

Finally, in 1986 an event took place that paved the way for the re-development of the area: a tract of land from the confluence to the Provencher Bridge was declared a National Historic Site, to be owned and operated by Parks Canada. This tract was to be a multi-use site for special events, festivals, and heritage programs.

Negotiations began between the Federal Government and CN. Finally, in 1987, the Federal Government traded a $ 12 million office tower in Vancouver for 58 acres at The Forks, with CN retaining several acres along the tracks.

Before re-development could take place the site had to be cleared of a century of railway debris. During this process, archeological excavations took place, partly through a public archeology program which ran from 1987 to 1994. The surface debris was cleared by 1989 and the site was officially opened in September of that year.

Salvaged cobblestones were used to pave a central plaza, two abandoned horse stables were joined by an atrium to form The Forks Market, and the Johnston Terminal, a former cold storage plant, was transformed into a facility for shops, restaurants, and offices. The oldest building on the site, a round house called the Boiler and Brakes Building, was given new life as The Children’s’ Museum.

Since then hardly a year goes by without an addition to The Forks, be it a new amenity or a work of art. The Forks is home to an elegant hotel, The Inn at The Forks, the Manitoba Theatre for Young People, a world class skate-board park, and a recreated tall grass prairie garden.

In 1999, when Winnipeg most recently hosted the Pan Am Games, The Forks was the site of many events, some attended by 50,000 people. Every night during the Games The Forks hosted a concert which ended with a fireworks display, culminating on the closing day with a performance by Great Big Sea attended by 60,000.

The Forks has become a major venue for Canada Day celebrations, with entertainment and events from noon to midnight, ending with a concert by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and a spectacular display of fireworks. Throughout the summer The Forks sponsors heritage programs, festivals, concerts, and dance events.

Winter activities are not neglected. Three rinks are created, one in the Plaza under the Canopy, another a trail encircling the site and another on the Rivers, touted as the longest rink in Canada. Take that, Rideau Canal!

At the heart of The Forks are the heritage events: annual treaty days, Aboriginal summer solstice ceremonies, pow- wows, and tours by costumed Parks Canada interpreters.

In 2008 The Forks was a major stopping place for the canoe flotilla celebrating the bicentennial of David Thompson’s journey down the Columbia to the Pacific (photo of a descendant of David Thompson).

The Forks today bears little resemblance to what it was during the first years of the archaeological digs, derelict and weed-ridden. Landscaped and groomed, it welcomes visitors of all nations to its lively ambience under the towering spires of the beautiful Esplanade Riel and the Canadian Museum of Human Rights.


Cross Roads of the Continent: A History of The Forks of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers, Ed. Barbara Huck.

The Heritage Beneath Our Feet. The Forks Visitors Guide.

[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.]

…Mary F. Steinhoff, Secretary, Manitoba Branch, UEL, and , and former Forks Ambassador

Biggest Loyalist Families – Hector Dickie (13 children) by Alex Lawrence

Hector Dickie, with 13 children, has been added to the List of the largest Loyalist families – submitted by Alex Lawrence. See more of the Loyalists’ biggest families and note the submission guidelines if you have a large family you would like to contribute.

Loyalist Ontario Licence Plates: A UELAC Project

Ontario members and supporters may soon have the chance to show off their Loyalist heritage on their licence plates. After a proposal was approved at March’s Dominion Council Meeting, we hope to be able to make graphic licence plates emblazoned with the UELAC badge available in Ontario before the 2014 centennial celebration.

The cost for standard plates bearing the badge and an alpha-numeric sequence containing the initials ‘UE’ (e.g., 00UE01) would be approximately $100 per set. The Association would need to purchase a minimum of 200 sets before the plates would be produced by Service Ontario and distributed. We will not proceed until we can be sure we can sell that many, so it is important that we hear from you. These plates can easily be given as gifts as well – they will come with an easy-to-use transfer letter that can be taken to any Service Ontario outlet for a licensing sticker.

Options for personalized plates allowing for the badge and six characters at $336.90, and for decorative sample plates (not approved for use on a vehicle) costing about $35, would be available only after the first 200 sets of sample plates are sold. It would help to know if anyone is interested in these.

To see a mock-up design of the plates, and if you are interested in purchasing plates, or giving them as gifts, visit the Loyalist Ontario licence plate project page to make your request. No money is required at this point — we are merely gauging interest. Once we begin selling the plates, we will contact you directly.

We hope to have the plates manufactured, sold, and distributed ahead of the Association’s centennial in 2014. Our objective is to have enough commitments to go to the next step by the end of September 2012. So, why delay, take that step, send in your request today.

As we expect that the primary group which will buy these plates are members of Ontario Branches (note that we welcome orders from anyone), I will be looking to each of the Ontario branches to really promote this project at meetings and through their branch communications: websites, newsletters, email notes etc. If there is a main person in your branch who would take the branch lead on this, please send their contact details to me at plates@uelac.org.

I am delighted to be leading this project. Special thanks to Doug Grant and Fred Hayward for their considerable assistance.

…Benjamin Thornton, Toronto Branch, plates@uelac.org

Book: Anderdon: Some Folks Down the Road, by Mark Warren

A new book, Anderdon: Some Folks Down the Road, has been published about the pioneer history of Anderdon Township 1790-1920. Anderdon is in the SW corner of Ontario, generally in the Amherstburg and Windsor area.

The book itself is 429 pages of adventures, disasters, heartbreak and stories of great courage and determination. Images are from many local and international archives, including the Smithsonian Institution and Library of Congress in Washington, the Museum of Civilization in Ottawa, the Stark Museum in Texas, and the Archives of Ontario. These are matched by intriguing photos from family albums… over 100 of them! There are many newspaper clippings from (among others) the Essex Free Press, the Amherstburg Echo, the Windsor Evening Record and the Canadian Emigrant and Western Advertiser.

This is history, as well as genealogy. Anderdon had been a First Nations Reserve, so its gradual demise and the enfranchisement of its band members receive special treatment. The War of 1812 is covered, along with the Patriot Rebellions, and the American Civil War. Seventy-four immigrant families are traced in detail, and hundreds of surnames are mentioned in the text. The appendices contain official government documents, personal letters, accounts of land auctions, a list of homesteaders, crown patents that were issued and census information. There is a strong 32-page index.

An overview of its content can be found at www.anderdon1812.com. Copies may be purchased on this site using PayPal. Also there, you will see a number of unique maps. These are in the public domain and can be downloaded without cost to you.

…Mark Warren, Dartmouth, NS, mjwarren@eastlink.ca

Loyalist Reference Books, Special Sale, Loyalist Lineages II

Toronto Branch is pleased to offer to UEL Branches and Members (and readers of Loyalist Trails) the two volume sets of Loyalists’ Lineages II at a beneficial price.

These sets are well made, hard-bound, durable, and printed on acid-free paper. They are an excellent gift of quality, and a valuable research tool. More details can be viewed on the Toronto Branch website under publications.

This is your opportunity to obtain sets at a most exceptional price. The terms of the special offer:

– set orders only

– taxes as applicable and shipping charges are extra and not included

– price: one set = $62.50 (3 or more sets $31.25/set)

– to order, contact Toronto Branch (Tel: 416-489-1783; Fax: 416-489-3664; Email: torontouel@bellnet.ca).

…F. E. Cass, UE, Chair, Publications Committee, Toronto Branch, UELAC

The Tech Side: PC or Mac? The Best of Both Worlds – by Wayne Scott, UE

I am one of those people who have both a PC running Windows, and a Mac running Mac OS X. It has taken some time to get used to the new operating system, but I do like the way the MacBook operates. It is faster than my PC and handles graphic and video projects quickly and easily. That being said, I like my PC for other functions, particularly when creating newsletters using Microsoft Publisher. The problem is that without some help, the Mac operating system will not run Publisher.

The help I am referring to begins with a Mac routine called Boot Camp. Essentially what Boot Camp does is makes the Mac into a dual boot computer. Check out this support.apple.com link for more information. After installing the program, you will have to install a fresh version of Windows. Once done, Windows programs can be loaded onto your Mac and they will run just like they would on a PC. When you turn your Mac on, you will be given the option of loading OS X or Windows.

For many people this is the best solution but there are drawbacks to consider. While using Windows, you can cut and paste material between Windows programs only. If you wanted to use a picture from your Mac in a Windows (Publisher) document, you cannot do it. What is produced in Windows (or Mac) stays in the Windows (or Mac) part of your computer. In order to move between the two operating systems, a reboot must be done and the desired operating system selected. This seems like a lot of trouble and a waste of your time.

There are other options. A virtual Windows computer can be created inside the Mac computer. Windows is treated just like any regular program and allows for transfer of material from either Windows or Mac software. In order to do this a program that creates a virtual computer such as VMware or Parallels is the way to go. Windows programs will run faster while running under the Mac operating system.

The two programs, Parallels and VMware differ somewhat. Many of the differences can be found here. Both programs work well. VMware Fusion 4 is available from Amazon.ca for under $60.00. Parallels sells for about $80.00. I need to point out that you will also need a fresh version of the Windows software distribution that you want to use. The two programs may cost upwards of $200.00, depending on the version of Windows you opt for. It pays to do some comparison shopping.

Just like with Boot Camp on your Mac, with VMware or Parallels loaded, Windows programs can be installed. Files produced in either Windows or Mac are stored in the same location on the Mac. In fact, if you clicked on a Publisher file in the Documents portion of the Mac hard drive, Windows automatically boots up, then Publisher and the file will open. Yes, it will take a few minutes, but you have the program you want running on your Mac.

Can you run Mac programs on your PC while running Parallels or VMware? I have read that it is possible but this is not legal at this time. The Mac OS License does not allow it to operate on anything but a Mac computer.

I have concentrated this article on just two operating systems, Mac OS and Windows. There are other operating systems that will load onto your Mac just as easily. Many Linux distributions (which are either free or low cost) can become another Mac operating systems option.

You can email Wayne Scott to get in touch with questions or comments.


Reponse re James Kinsey

I read with interest, your query about the possible Loyalist status of your ancestor, James Kinsey. I did find a relevant land claim for James’ cousin, Benjamin Kinsey. It is enough to arouse the interest of Loyalist researchers.

On page 3 of a Land Petition (reel C-2116, K3, Petition 4) – Dorothy (nee Doan) Kinsey, widow of Benjamin Kinsey, receives a 200 acre grant of land in the third concession, Lot number 12, of Humberstone Township, County of Lincoln, on behalf of her deceased husband, on July 5, 1795. On page one of this petition, completed by Benjamin Kinsey himself before he died, he states that he came to this province in Canada ‘from pure motives of Loyalty’, and that he has a wife and seven children with him. He is not applying on the basis of being a soldier, but according to the rules of the time, as a settler. But on page 2 of the petition, dated 2 May 1797 in West Niagara, we see that Benjamin has died, and his widow Dorothy is taking up the claim. This is presented on her behalf by John Hansen, Justice of the Peace of Humberstone, and her seven children are named, viz. Rebecca, Zenas, David, Cinthia, Patrick, Hannah, and Samuel.

Family researchers say that Benjamin Kinsey, father of James, was born 1756, a son of John Kinsey and Margaret Kitchen, married May 21, 1777, a Quaker family whose records are found in Buckingham MM, transferring to New Garden MM in 1790,all in Pennsylvania. His land application above, proves that Benjamin died before July 5 1795, in Humberstone Township, Lincoln County.

As you noted in your query, the land application of James Kinsey is missing. It is supposed to be in Volume 270, film C-2117, RG1 – L3, petition 11. But there is simply a note at that place in the book, that the petition is missing. Most petitions around that missing one, are land applications of settlers and not specifically of Loyalists. But James may have said something there, which would have given credibility to his status as a Loyalist or son of a Loyalist.

Your James Kinsey, born 12 Dec 1761, was the son of Joseph Kinsey and Hannah Yeates, who were married 17 March 1749 in Buckingham, Bucks Co, Pennsylvania. Joseph and Hannah & children were in Canada by about the time that James was born, and according to the records at Yonge Street MM in Newmarket, Ontario; in other words, James was born in Canada. However, this may be just the record of his acceptance in the Yonge Street MM, and he may in fact, have been born in Pennsylvania.

This would make your James Kinsey and Benjamin Kinsey who filed the land petition and came to Canada “from pure motives of Loyalty”, were second cousins. In such a close-knit Quaker community family, they would have know each other very well, and would very likely have shared political loyalities.

In other words, it seems safe to assume that the family of your James Kinsey came to Canada over issues of Loyalty. However, Quakers were forbidden to wage war or join an army or even a militia, so they may not quality as Loyalists under Guy Carleton’s (ie. Lord Dorchester’s) original rules of 9 November 1789, as follows..

“Those Loyalists who have adhered to the Unity of the Empire, and joined the Royal Standard before the Treaty of Separation in the year 1783, and all their children and descendants, are to be distinguished by the following Capitals, affixed to their names: U.E., alluding to their great principle, The Unity of the Empire.”

More recently, it has become possible to argue that some Quakers and others may be considered Loyalists, when there is some evidence that they assisted the Loyalist cause in some other way, prior to 1783, other than joining the Royal Standard.

However, some family researchers say the following…

“James Kinsey left PA about 1790 with some other members of the Kinsey family and settled in Ontario. Some Kinseys were given grants in Upper Canada in Humberstone Twp near Welland, around 1794-1796, James settled at Newmarket and operated the first flour mill there. he ground the first wheat into flour before charistmas 1801. They were Quaker, United Empire Loyalists. U.E.L. were people who remained loyal to England. Some of them were in the English army during the American Revolution. Life was intolerable for them after that so many came to Canada.” (From a family researcher in Alberta, who gives no proof of Loyalist qualification)

James and Mary are buried near Newmarket at what is now a historical Quaker site.

Even if this Loyalist connection were to be true, even by more recent standards, it would mean that the Loyalist of James immediate family must have been his father Joseph Kinsey. James himself would have been only 6 years old when the war ended in 1783. However, I don’t see a land petition or other Loyalist record for Joseph Kinsey. James’s missing petition might have described this connection.

So, with James’s land petition missing, the best hope would be to find some diary or Bible or other records, which might prove that James Kinsey or more likely his father Joseph, gave some kind of material support to the Loyalist cause in Pennsylvania.

…Richard Ripley UE, Genealogist

Loyalist Information for John Kelly Family

John Kelly (ca 1760 – between 4 September 1824 and 29 October 1825) married 1st. Unknown; 2nd Mary Unknown (ca 1771 – ca 1845). John Kelly, who was probably born in New Jersey, died in York County, New Brunswick, Canada. According to a deposition at Kingsclear, New Brunswick, when he was sixty years old, John Kelly enlisted in the 4th Battalion of the New Jersey Volunteers in March 1777 in New York City.

John Kelly was, according to Sabine, Jones and all other written sources, from Gloucester County, New Jersey. This information, gathered from official records, contradicts online genealogical information suggesting he came from Monmouth, New Jersey. In the Land Petition of the British American Corporation of 1784, John Kelly, who is listed as John K-e-l-l-e-y, is grouped with a Luke and William Kelly. Both Luke and William appear with a surname spelling of K-e-l-l-e-y. Esther Clark Wright lists the three men together and states that John Kelly was a sergeant in the 2nd New Jersey Volunteers; Luke Kelly served in the 3rd New Jersey Volunteers; William Kelly was a sergeant in the 2nd New Jersey Volunteers. More research is needed to substantiate that Luke and William Kelly are brothers of John. Luke Kelly supposedly returned to the United States. Further information suggests that John had two other brothers named Leonard and Henry. Henry Kelly drowned.

It should be noted that William S. Stryker in Official Register of the Officers and Men of New Jersey in the Revolutionary War (on the American side) lists as privates, on page 652, a John Kelly in the First Battalion of Salem County; also in the New Jersey State troops and the Continental Army; a Patrick Kelly in the Third Battalion of Gloucester County and the Continental Army; a Uriah Kelly in the Third Battalion of Gloucester County.

William Kelly, who appears to be John Kelly’s brother, married Hannah Unknown. William Kelly, who lived in Prince William, New Brunswick, had a will drawn up and signed with a legal signature of William K-e-l-l-y on 26 November 1835. The will was registered in the New Brunswick Deed Registry Books for York County, volume 21, pages 23, 24 and 25, on 26 January 1836.

A William Kelly, who is listed as a weaver, owned a house and lot in Salem Township prior to 1685. He gave a deed for 22 acres in the town of Salem, West Jersey, on 2 April 1685.

Between 1760 and 1769, a John Kelly was living on the Westerly Side of Raccoon Creek, adjoining the Delaware River in New Jersey.

I am looking for any information on this Kelly family. The documentation in New Brunswick and Maine is quite extensive, but the cluster of confusion in New Jersey is overwhelming. The Kellys may have been Quakers and have been part of the John Fenwick Colony. They became Anglican quite early, but many of them became Baptist in the mid-1800s. Maiden names for the wives would be a godsend.

D McBreairty

Seeking 1907 Photo from Wentworth County

In 1947 the Women’s Institute of Troy, Ontario (Beverly Twp, Wentworth County) published a booklet A History of the People of Troy. Along with a general overview of the area and the town, the booklet contains brief sketches and family trees for a number of the Loyalist families who settled in the area. There is a photo (pg 17) of 10 elderly ladies from these families. The photo was taken by Roy Humphrey in 1907 at the home of Mr & Mrs D Shelley. At least four of the ladies are members of my family. Unfortunately, the printed version of the photo is not of very good quality. A copy of the image as printed is here. I am hoping that a reader of Loyalist Trails has an original of this photo and would be willing to share a copy with me.

Faye West, UE