“Loyalist Trails” 2012-20: May 20, 2012

In this issue:
Brook Watson: The Wooden-legged Commissary — by Stephen Davidson
Addendum to Last Week: Maybee Family
Samuel Carman (1782 – 1864) by George McNeillie
“Vignettes of Winnipeg, Past and Present”: The Forts of Red River — Forts Garry
Loyalist Day in New Brunswick, May 18, Saluted by Globe & Mail
Honours for Ablett, Chisholm and Tidridge
New Brunswick Historical Database Available on Loyalist Day
Marker to be Dedicated at St. Mark’s Church, Niagara-on-the-Lake, June 17
Titus Geer Simons, Martha Hemphill and DNA
LAC to Cut or Change Interlibrary Loans
From the Twittersphere and Beyond
Additions to the Loyalist Directory
Last Post
      + Dr. Ralph Maurice Hampstead Malone
      + The Reverend Canon H. Stanley Hanes, C.D., UE
      + Proof That Joanna (Brotherton) Scott was Dau of Alexander Brotherton
      + Sgt. Lemuel Caswell and Family


Brook Watson: The Wooden-legged Commissary — by Stephen Davidson

Some lives are filled to the brim with adventures. By the time he was 48 years old, Brook Watson had lost his parents, gone to sea as a teenaged sailor, had his leg amputated, helped to expel Nova Scotia’s Acadians, rubbed shoulders with General James Wolfe and Joseph Brant, operated a successful trans-Atlantic business, and assisted Sir Guy Carleton in evacuating thousands of refugees from New York. Oh yes — he was also known as being an outspoken loyalist. To many he was remembered as the “wooden-legged commissary”. This is his story.

Brook Watson was born in Plymouth, England in 1735. After his parents’ death, he was sent across the Atlantic at six years of age to live with relatives in Boston, Massachusetts. His uncle was a merchant who traded in the West Indies. By the time Watson was 14, he was a member of a ship’s crew headed for Cuba. While swimming in Havana’s harbour, the teenager was attacked twice by a shark before anyone could come to his rescue. Watson lost both the ankle and the calf of his right leg. Following the amputation of the leg below the knee, Watson spent three months recovering in Havana’s hospital.

His uncle took him back to Boston and put him in the care of a woman who operated a boarding house. However, in time the money that she had been given ran out. Watson would have become a beggar on the streets of Boston, but a man named John Huston took pity on him and adopted the boy. Huston operated a ship that supplied goods to the British army stationed at the newly built Fort Lawrence. The fort, located on the narrow strip of land that links modern day Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, was built to secure Britain’s control over the French Acadians. Huston was so taken with the country that he moved there with his family and Brook Watson.

Something about the orphan amputee’s character impressed General Robert Monckton, Fort Lawrence’s commander. He made the 20 year-old amputee his commissary for the fort. This position put Watson in charge of acquiring and dispensing the food and supplies necessary for the operation of the garrison. It was his first skilled job, and it was a position to which he would return twenty-eight years later in New York City at the end of the American Revolution.

With the overthrow of the French Fort Beausejour, the English gained undisputed control of (today’s) Cumberland County. Their next step was to remove the local French farmers. Drawing on his organizational skills, Watson helped to supervise the expulsion of scores of Acadians from the Isthmus of Chignecto. The commissary must have had an eerie sense of déjà vu twenty-five years later. At that time Watson would be overseeing the evacuation of thousands of defeated loyalists from the United States of America.

After the expulsions of 1758, Watson became the commissary to James Wolfe as the famous British general lay siege to Fortress Louisbourg on Cape Breton Island. In the following year, Watson went to London to seek his fortune. He married Helen Campbell, the daughter of a Scottish goldsmith, in 1760. His connections and partnerships within the British mercantile continued to grow. When Lloyds of London was created, Watson was a member of its very first board and served as its chairman for ten years. Not bad for a man with no social connections, no fortune and only half of a right leg.

As his trading company conducted business between London, Montreal, and Boston, Watson travelled throughout the British colonies. A contemporary of Watson’s wrote that he “ingratiated himself with many leading Americans, obtained as much information on their designs as he could, and transmitted it to his chosen masters”.

Watson was in Montreal when the rebel army attacked it in 1775. He sailed back to England on a ship that had two very notable passengers: Joseph Brant the loyalist Native leader and a rebel prisoner named, Ethan Allen. The latter remembered the one-legged merchant as “a man of malicious and cruel disposition” who he believed behaved badly because of the “junta of tories who sailed with him to England”.

This description of Watson is certainly an exception to the picture that emerges from the memoirs of the period. On another trans-Atlantic crossing, Watson met John Singleton Copley, Boston’s famous loyalist painter. The merchant told the artist how he survived being attacked by a shark, and chuckled over stories of people’s reactions to his wooden leg.

Once he was at an inn where a servant was helping him remove his boots. Watson warned the man that if he pulled too hard, his leg might come off as well. Sure enough, boot and leg came away in the hands of the horrified servant. Laughing, Watson assured him it was only an artificial leg. When the servant asked how he had lost his leg, Watson said he would tell him as long as he promised not to ask a second question. The man agreed. Watson simply told him “it was bit off”. Rubbing his head in frustration, the servant lamented, “How I wish I could ask one more.”

A few years after their conversations, Watson commissioned Copley to make a painting of the shark attack. When it was completed in 1778, it became an overnight sensation. People crowded the gallery to view Watson and the Shark; thousands bought black and white prints of it to hang in their homes.

Five years later, Watson was reunited with Sir Guy Carleton, a friend he had made in Quebec. Carleton had been saddled with the onerous task of evacuating all of the British forces and loyalists from the United States within just eight months. The man on whom he relied most heavily was Brook Watson.

During 1783, Watson became more than the subject of a sensational painting — he became the revered friend of loyalist refugees. That story will be told next week.

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

Addendum to Last Week: Maybee Family

I always enjoy Stephen Davidson’s articles, and was especially interested in the references to Peter and Eleanor Maybee. Peter served in (Jessup’s) King’s Loyal Americans, survived the Burgoyne Campaign but died during the following Winter. Descendants settled in the Bay of Quinte area as did Peter’s cousin and my ancestor Capt. Abraham Maybee UE. Capt. Abraham came from Tappan in Southern NY, whereas Peter migrated north to the Saratoga area. The Mabies of the Mabie Farm House near Schenectaday were another branch of the family, but a Rebel one. Angela and I have had the pleasure of visiting the Mabie Farm, Tappan and the Saratoga area in recent years, and there are references to the Mabie farm in the latest Loyalist Gazette.

…Peter W. Johnson, UE

Samuel Carman (1782 – 1864) © George McNeillie

There remain three members of my Grandfather’s family to speak of but my comments must be brief. It is I suppose impossible to render fitting tribute to the mother who cared for us in our dependent years, and my comments concerning my dear mother will be all too brief. First, however, a few words about our good old “Uncle Sam”.

Samuel John Carman, fourth son of Grandfather Carman, never married. The boys had a warm place in their hearts for “Uncle Sam”. All his life he possessed a reserved not to say shy disposition. In a good many ways he resembled my father, whom I think he greatly admired, although he followed him afar off. He was an exceedingly modest man, though he had clever ideas and was indeed a natural genius. He was very much at home in his little shop, with his tools and turning lathe. He was also, in his shy way, an admirer of the ladies, though sensitive to being made conspicuous – much more to ridicule. On one occasion, a St. Mary’s neighbour, Miss Mary Barkin, drove up to the door of the old home in St. Mary’s and promptly called – “Sam! Come and help me out of the carriage.” Sam, nothing loath, advanced. In attempting to avoid the mud on the wheel, Miss Sally had the misfortune to catch her hoop-skirt on the corner of the dash-board, thereby not only spoiling her graceful spring but throwing her full weight unexpectedly on poor Uncle Sam, whose heels slipped from under him on the soft ground and he fell on his back with the young lady upon him. As soon as she could be disentangled she breathlessly ejaculated, “Heavens! What a tumble!” or words to that effect, but Uncle Sam was greatly crest-fallen.

At the Carmans’ he was always the handy man of the house. I remember he had the most wonderful rosy-cheeked apples, which he would in September produce for the girls and boys out of the fabulous depths of his pockets. Among other accomplishments he was quite a musician, played the violin a little, and sang in the parish choir. He and my father often worked together in various ways and he spent a good deal of his time with us. He was a most exemplary and kindly good man. He attained the ripe age of 89 years.

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, Past and Present”: The Forts of Red River — Forts Garry

Upper Fort Garry

In 1821 more than two decades of conflict between the Hudson’s Bay Company and the North West Company ended when HCB London Director Nicholas Garry negotiated an amalgamation. The HBC absorbed NWC forts and employees, and Fort Gibraltar II was renamed Fort Garry.

The Fort was severely damaged in the 1826 flood and plans were made to rebuild slightly to the west, on the bank of the Assiniboine. This new structure, built in 1835, measured 280 by 240 feet, had massive Tyndall stone walls, four bastions, and a main gate facing the Assiniboine.

In 1850 a north addition doubled the size of the Fort. Due to cost, the walls of this addition were of wood, double logs, with earth between. A large stone gate, the Governor’s Gate, was built on the north wall.

Upper Fort Garry would remain the seat of government of Assiniboia until 1869 when the HBC sold Rupert’s Land to Canada.

In November, 1869 Louis Riel and the Métis National Committee seized the Fort. Riel held a pistol to the head of HBC officer J.J. Hargrave and demanded the keys to the Fort’s magazine. Riel then informed Governor Mactavish that he was under house arrest.

Dramatic events would ensue both within and without the Fort’s walls. In January, 1870 Donald A. Smith, under house arrest, and Louis Riel negotiated the terms of Manitoba’s entry into Confederation.

On March 4th, 1870, the dissident Thomas Scott, who had been convicted of ” insubordination”, was taken outside the Fort’s gate and shot by a six-man firing squad. His place of burial has never been determined.

By the 1880s the Fort was derelict. It was sold to the City and in 1882 was demolished except for the Governor’s Gate. Over the years various structures came to occupy the site: a curling club, a city office building, and a gas station.

In 2007 a developer acquired part of the site and planned to build a high-rise block. A group of concerned citizens organized “The Friends of Upper Fort Garry”, determined to stop the project. They were successful and were able to raise enough money to purchase the buildings on the site. Their plan is to develop an interpretive park to commemorate the Fort’s significance in the history of Manitoba.

As a postscript to the story of The Forks and Upper Fort Garry, this writer would like to recount a “gun” story from the archaeological dig which took place at The Forks on the site of Fort Gibraltar II/ Fort Garry in the late 1980s and 1990s. In the first year we were digging up debris from the Railway era, mostly rusted metal which had to be washed and catalogued. As the years went by we worked down through the nineteenth century charting the flood years, most notably 1852 and 1826. When we got to the fur trade era, things got more interesting, but still most of what we extracted was fish bones and charcoal from fire-pits. A good day was finding a few beads and pottery shards. Then one day I found an ornate piece of silver metal, beautifully engraved. There was much speculation among the professional archaeologists as to what it could be. Finally with the help of an artifacts catalogue from Fort Michilimackinac, it was identified as a trigger-guard of a musket issued to French Dragoons who were posted to Louisiana in the last French Period, from Spain’s cession of the colony to France in 1800, to Napoleon’s selling it to the United States in 1803.

How could an object of such limited provenance make its way to The Forks, a thousand miles away? What a story it could tell.

Lower Fort Garry

After the 1826 flood the Governor of the HBC decided to build a new fort on higher ground some 20 miles north down the Red River. Many locals, used to trading at the Forks, were incensed, calling the Lower Fort “Simpson’s Folly”. He had strong personal reasons for the move. See a York Boat on the Red River at Lower Fort Garry.

Simpson, described by Peter C. Newman as” a bastard by birth and by persuasion”, had just come back from England in 1830 with a young bride, his cousin Frances Simpson. He wanted, he said, to shield her from the “riff-raff that gather at The Forks”, meaning his cast-off “country wives” and his numerous off-spring.

The Lower Fort was the administrative centre of Assiniboia for only two years. While the Governor’s House was the most luxurious in the West, the young Mrs. Simpson was lonely and soon retired to the Simpson home in Lachine.

After the Northwest Rebellion in 1885 the jail at the Lower Fort was briefly occupied by Big Bear and Poundmaker , convicted of” felony treason”, until they were transferred to the newly opened Stony Mountain Penitentiary.

In 1951 the HBC transferred ownership of the Fort to the federal government and it became a National Historic Site operated by Parks Canada. In 2011 Canada’s History Magazine selected it as one of the top ten historic sites in Canada.

Today it has a reception centre with theatres, display rooms, and a café. The buildings within its limestone walls are enlivened by volunteer animators who bring the Fort to life (see the re-enactment of the landing of the Governor) as it was in the mid-19th century.


A History of Manitoba: Rupert’s Land to Riel, ed. Gregg Shilliday

Caesars of the Wilderness, Peter C. Newman

Winnipeg: Where the West Begins, by Eric Wells




[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 UE, Secretary, Manitoba Branch

Loyalist Day in New Brunswick, May 18, Saluted by Globe & Mail

The Globe & Mail‘s “Moment in Time ” on Friday was for May 18, 1783, by Patrick White and included the painting of the Landing of the Loyalists from Library and Archives Canada:

They arrived at the mouth of the St. John River by the boatload, eager to build a new empire out of the flotsam of the old. Within months, the tiny settlement of Parrtown, N.S., heaved with thousands of weary Loyalist evacuees who had fled persecution in New York after the Revolutionary War ended. But their new home brought new animosities. Old inhabitants of Nova Scotia looked down on the Loyalists, who remained suspicious of a colonial government in Halifax that had, at times, appeared sympathetic to the American cause. British administrators recognized the divide and partitioned the colony, creating New Brunswick on Aug. 16, 1784. A year later, the Loyalists consolidated Parrtown and neighbouring Carleton under a new name – Saint John, British North America’s first incorporated city.

Honours for Ablett, Chisholm and Tidridge

Recognition of the honours bestowed on UELAC members and supporters is vital to our network of volunteers across Canada. At the recent Central West Regional meeting in London, a few of the representative branches shared the names of those who received the Ontario Volunteer Service Awards so far this year. This week, we learned of three special honours that are deserving of further mention.

On April 19, 2012 M. Marie Ablett UE was named “Woman of the Year’ for the city of Kelowna, BC. Marie, a charter member of the Thompson-Okanagan Branch of the UELAC, was its first vice–president. She has also served many years as genealogist and librarian for the branch. In addition to her many interests, Marie has been very active with the Kelowna Branch of the Canadian Celiac Association. Further details accompany the picture here (PDF).

George Chisholm UE of the Hamilton Branch UELAC has been nominated for the Town of Oakville Community Spirit Awards in the Heritage and History Division to be presented in June. While George and his family have been members of UELAC since 2005 when he received his Certificate of Loyalist Lineage from his namesake, he has been active in the Oakville Historical Society for twenty years, serving as president for the past seven. The Heritage and History Award, sponsored by Genworth Financial Canada, recognizes those who have made an outstanding contribution to Oakville’s heritage and history by aiding in the preservation and celebration of Oakville’s natural, built and cultural heritage.

On Tuesday May 22nd, The Honourable David C. Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, (descendant of John Comfort) will host Their Royal Highnesses, The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, who in turn will present six Diamond Jubilee medals to a small group of extraordinary Ontarians who exemplify Her Majesty’s 21st birthday pledge, “I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service”. One of the six will be Nathan Tidridge whose support of UELAC has been noted many times in Loyalist Trails. The media release (PDF) states that he “is a celebrated high school teacher of history and government in Ontario. Tidridge teaches at Waterdown District High School, and was awarded the Premier’s Award for Teaching Excellence (Teacher of the Year) in 2007. Most recently, Nathan wrote ‘Canada’s Constitutional Monarchy’ about its history, heraldic symbols, role in the constitution, and the evolution of the Crown in Canada. His superb writing and teaching abilities are to the benefit of his students and the citizens of Canada.”

Well done! As HRH the Prince of Wales stated in the May 18th issue of the Globe and Mail, “Through service to others, we build strong communities”.


New Brunswick Historical Database Available on Loyalist Day

The Microforms Department of the University of New Brunswick Harriet Irving Library is pleased to present to the public the Marianne Grey Otty Database. The site, available at http://vre.lib.unb.ca/motty on May 18th, offers information useful to genealogists and historians, as well as students. Anglican Church records from the Gagetown, New Brunswick area provide vital data on Loyalist settlers and their descendants, a group with a significant influence on early New Brunswick history.

A series of travelling ministers tending to scattered communities in New Brunswick kept extensive records from the years 1786 to 1841 detailing marriages, baptisms, and deaths along with anecdotal notes. The original materials were transcribed by author and local historian, Marianne Grey Otty (1890-1963). The records centre geographically on Gagetown, Queen’s County and particularly focus on the New Brunswick communities of Fredericton, Saint Marys, Lincoln, Grand Lake, Waterborough, Long Island, Wickham, Hampstead, Maugherville, Petersville, Sheffield, Kingston, Springfield, Greenwich, and Saint John. Entries, however, as far flung as Nova Scotia, Ontario, Maine, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and New York are included.

The Marianne Grey Otty database of The Loyalist Collection provides an opportunity to explore family connections, as well as providing a glimpse into eighteenth and nineteenth century New Brunswick. See the poster (PDF) about the new database.

Marker to be Dedicated at St. Mark’s Church, Niagara-on-the-Lake, June 17

A special service “Community Remembrance on the Eve of the Declaration of War” will be conducted by Rev. Canon Dr. Robert Wright at St. Mark’s Church, Niagara-on-the-Lake on June 17th at 2:00p.m. A granite marker placed in St. Mark’s Cemetery by Donald L. Combe, UE will be dedicated. It is inscribed:

Nearly a hundred members of the Militia
and the British Army who fought in the
War of 1812 lie in graves marked and unmarked
here in the oldest burial site still in use in Ontario.

Until 1834 this was the community cemetery
serving all denominations as well as the First Nations.
Memorials include those of Butler’s Rangers and United Empire Loyalists.
As well as of prominent Canadians
such as Addison, Ascher, Cowan, Dickson,
Forsythe, Geary, Heron, Kingsmill, Plumb,
Rousseaux and veterans of twentieth century wars.

Marker placed in 2012 by Donald L. Combe UE. Donald is a proud descendant of Butler’s Ranger, John Garner. He is a founding member of St. Mark’s Archives Committee and a member of the Publishing Committee. Their latest publication is “Robert Addison Scholar Missionary Minister.” It was written by Fred Habermehl, Donald Combe and the Archives Committee to commemorate the 220th Anniversary of the arrival of Rev. Addison in 1792. The catalogue of the 1300 volume Addison Library, the oldest library west of Quebec, is available here.

…Bev Craig UE

Titus Geer Simons, Martha Hemphill and DNA

Congratulations to Martha Hemphill who was featured front and centre on the front page of the Hamilton Spectator.

The Military Museum, at the front of Dundurn Castle, is having DNA tests performed between dried blood on the coat of her third gr-grandfather, Titus Geer Simons and Martha and her relatives. The blood was from battle wounds suffered by Titus in the War of 1812 at Lundy’s Lane.

The special testing is being performed by Lakehead U biology prof Carney Matheson.

Read the article with photo.

…Ruth Nicholson UE

LAC to Cut or Change Interlibrary Loans

The Federal Budget, released in late March 2012, included a number of cuts to Library and Archives Canada (LAC). Library associations and other stakeholders across Canada have been seeking more information since the budget’s release. The Canadian Library Association (CLA) posted the following message to their website on May 7, 2012:

In our recent press release on the impact of cuts at Library and Archives Canada and other federal department libraries, CLA indicated that LAC was ending ILL [interlibrary loan service], which caused discussion on a number of lists.

I have asked for clarification, and LAC has confirmed that it is the end of ILL as we have known it.

LAC is looking at a variety of models for making their holdings widely available within their financial constraints.

The current service will end February 15 2013; the successor to the current ILL program will be announced in the fall of 2012.

…Deb Shunamon (Vancouver, BC) dshunamon@shaw.ca

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

Additions to the Loyalist Directory

As time permits, we add information to the Loyalist Directory. The latest additions and updates are as follows:
– Brunson, Daniel – from Ken Bronson

Last Post

Dr. Ralph Maurice Hampstead Malone

November 25, 1924 – May 13, 2012. It is with sadness that Colonel John Butler (Niagara) Branch announces the passing of long time member Dr. Ralph Malone, beloved husband of Dr. Elizabeth Oliver-Malone (Anesthesiologist), father of Ann Louise (Felix Munoz-Garcia) and Sharon (Bill Langman), grandfather of Ben, Josh, Olivia and Gabriel and uncle to Clement and Susan of London, England. Born and raised in St. Kitts, British West Indies he attended high school at Harrison College in Barbados. Ralph received his Bachelor of Science from Sir George Williams College, Montreal and later graduated in Medicine from Queen’s University, Belfast. He went on to specialize in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Ralph returned to Barbados to practice. He enjoyed flying light aircraft and instructing student pilots in his spare time. He and Elizabeth married in Toronto in 1969 and returned to Barbados to live and work.

They moved to Toronto with their two young daughters in 1974, moving to St. Catharines in 1976 where Ralph and Elizabeth worked until their retirement in 1998. As in Barbados, Ralph, was an advocate for the Family Planning Association, working with the organization for many years. In 1999, Ralph and Elizabeth moved to Niagara-on-the-Lake. Ralph will be fondly remembered for his compassionate attitude, kindness, sense of humour, love of travelling, painting, photography, fishing and patron supporter of The Arts and Heritage Museums. He is predeceased by his parents, Sir W. Clement and Lady Ethel Malone, and his older brothers, John (Pat) and Sir Denis (Lady Diana). A memorial service will be held at St. Thomas Anglican Church, 99 Ontario St., St. Catharines on June 2nd at 11:00 am with a lunch reception to follow. Donations to St. Thomas’ Anglican Church, The Lymphoma Society, Alzheimer’s Society or the Suzuki Foundation or charity of your choice. Memories, photos and condolences may be shared at Morgan Funeral Home.

…Bev and Rod Craig

The Reverend Canon H. Stanley Hanes, C.D., UE

Entered into rest on Saturday, May 12, 2012. Canon Stan Hanes was a retired canon of the Anglican Cathedral of All Saints, the Diocese of Edmonton. Canon Hanes is survived by his loving wife Shirley (nee Agar) and five children: David (Mary Ann), Brian (Chris), Kathryn (Ed Buckle), Patti (Tim Hand), and Doug Hoskins (Catherine), numerous grandchildren and other close relatives. Cremation has taken place. Memorial visitation at St. Paul’s Anglican Church, 45 Russell Street West, Lindsay on Thursday, May 24th from 12:30 p.m. until a memorial celebration of the Holy Eucharist at 2:00 p.m. Interment of cremated remains will be a private family time at Union Cemetery in Clarksburg at a later date. Memorial donations to Alzheimer Society Kawartha Lakes or a charity of your choice. Mackey Funeral Home, Lindsay. (The Lindsay Post)

…Lynne Cook UE


Proof That Joanna (Brotherton) Scott was Dau of Alexander Brotherton

A new member of our Thompson-Okanagan Branch is looking for proof that Alexander Brotherton UE. (his 4th great-grandfather who resided in Paspebiac QC) had as a daughter, his 3rd great-grandmother, Joanna Brotherton.

Joanna married James Scott in 1797.

Loyalist Lineages 1, page 128, shows Alexander Brotherton b 1749 Scotland, d 19 Oct 1821, as a proved Loyalist. His family shows there with five children: Isabella, Joanna, John Alexander, Adam and Margaret. The loyalist line which was proved then by a lady from the State of Washington – a member of Vancouver Branch – was through the eldest son, John Alexander, b. 1789, d. 8 July 1861 bur Paspebiac QC). This suggests that Joanna was probably born not long before 1789.

Any help locating appropriate proof or preponderance of evidence would be greatly appreciated.

…M. Marie [Loyst] Ablett UE, Genealogist/librarian, Thompson-Okanagan Branch, dougmarieablett1@shaw.ca

Sgt. Lemuel Caswell and Family

An exhaustive search for the ancestry of my g-g-grandfather, William Cary Caswell, has led to the conclusion that he may have descended from a Loyalist family. However, parts of the story are still circumstantial.

Sgt. Lemuel Caswell, who had been captured as a spy with Thomas Lovelace during the American Revolution, arrived with his father, Stephen Caswell, in Fredericksburg Township near the Bay of Quinte where they were given lots. Very soon they moved to Elizabethtown Township in Leeds County where they built a mill at what became Lyn. In a document dated July 10, 1785, Lemuel Caswell stated that he had come with a wife and two children. Caswell researchers have not been aware of these two children, and have only recorded a later family.

Lemuel Caswell also acquired a lot in the 12th concession of the Rear of Lansdowne Township, Leeds County. At the same time in the mid 1790s, a William Caswell received a lot nearby in the same 12th concession and settled there. We think William was one of the children that Lemuel brought with him from the U.S.

This William Caswell put UE after his name in two documents, and in a third one stated that he was loyal to the King. His wife’s name was Mercy, and among their children were Harriet Caswell born c1797 and Dianthe Caswell born c1802.

Close neighbours of William and Mercy Caswell were the Patterson brothers, sons of William and Abigail (Cary) Patterson. Most of the Pattersons moved to Whitchurch Township, York County, north of Toronto in the early 1800s. We think the William Caswell family moved there as well for Harriet Caswell married John Johnson of Whitchurch and Dianthe Caswell married in 1817 William Gernon of Markham Township. A record shows that Abigail (Cary) Patterson also had moved to Whitchurch.

My g-g-grandfather, William Cary Caswell, born c 1810, was also from Whitchurch. Was he a son of William and Mercy Caswell, and was his mother a part of the Patterson family resulting in his middle name being Cary?

We have looked at petitions, deeds, township papers, Clergy and Crown Reserve records, Quarter Session records, etc., but haven’t found those elusive documents that would prove this story. Suggestions will be appreciated.

…Allan McGillivray, husband of Caroline McGillivray UE, amcgillivray@xplornet.ca