“Loyalist Trails” 2013-09: March 3, 2013

In this issue:
Nine in a Brave New World (Part 2 of 2) – by Stephen Davidson
New Brunswick Obituary Series Gets an Update
William Odber Raymond (1853-1923) by George McNeillie
Where in the World? Bob McBride
Loyalists and War of 1812: Dr. James Stuart and Son Henry
From the Twittersphere and Beyond
Last Post: Gwendolyn Mavis Lucas (nee Orr), UE
      + Response re Travel from Sussex, NJ to Thorold, ON in 1788
      + Response re Initial index of references for first census of Canada circa 1790


Nine in a Brave New World (Part 2 of 2) – by Stephen Davidson

O, wonder!   How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is!
O brave new world,?
That has such people in’t!

– Shakespeare’s The Tempest

The loyalists who founded Beaver Harbour, New Brunswick came to their northern wilderness home with a clear vision of the “brave new world” they wanted to create. An association consisting primarily of Quakers met in New York City to lay down the principles that would shape their new community. Chief among those was a ban on slavery. Three years after the Quakers erected their log cabins, nine of their number sought compensation from the British government for all that they had lost during the Revolution. The first part of this series spotlighted the stories of four men who had once lived in Monmouth County, New Jersey. Here are the remaining accounts of five Beaver Harbour settlers.

Joseph Williams once lived in Shewsbury, New Jersey — about 10 kilometers from Richard Lippincott’s home. He was not yet 21 when the revolution began and was known to be from “a respectable family”. Rebel persecution forced him to continually seek refuge between 1775 and 1777. He finally joined the British in Philadelphia. In his testimony, Williams noted that he “was then a Quaker by profession”. Given the fact that after 1778 he took up arms with the New Jersey Volunteers and then served under Lippincott in the Associated Loyalists, it seems that Williams turned his back on his pacifist upbringing. He left New York city in the summer of 1783, working as a sailor on a ship that took loyalists to Annapolis Royal. He then joined the crew of a ship “mostly employed in carrying passengers in the Bay of Fundy”. By the spring of 1784, Williams decided to settle among the Quakers of Beaver Harbour.

The only other New Jersey native who settled in Beaver Harbour (who appeared before the Royal Commission on the Losses and Services of American Loyalists) (RCLSAL) was Joseph Thorne. This native of Piscataway (just northwest of New Brunswick, N.J.) sided with the British in 1776 and provided their army with much needed forage. Rebels imprisoned Thorne and his son for three days that winter. Having endured attacks on their home in which patriots stole a horse and destroyed their furntiture, the Thorne family resettled on Staten Island. They stayed there for six years. Thorne was proud of the fact that because he had given the warning concerning General Sullivan’s troop movements, two British regiments on Staten Island were ready to meet the rebel forces and avoided costly losses.

The Thorne family were not among the original signers of the Beaver Harbour association; they first settled twenty miles away on Campobello Island where they stayed for the winter of 1783-84. By the spring, they joined the Quaker settlement.

Three of the Beaver Harbour loyalists who sought compensation had once lived in Pennsylvania. Both John Gill and Evan Thomas were from Buck’s County, situated just across the Delaware River from northern New Jersey. Gill operated a tobacco shop and had an interest in a graphite mine and crucible factory. He exported the graphite to Bristol, England. Although he was “harassed” to join the rebels, he resisted. Being in Philadelphia at the time the British occupied the city, Gill remained there until 1778. When he returned to Buck’s County, the rebels tried to arrest him. He fled to “remote parts” of Pennsylvania and New Jersey for the next two years.

After going within the British lines Gill served as the purser for a transport ship. His noncombatant record indicates that he stayed true to his Quaker principles. It is not surprising that he was one of the 49 who signed his name to original association of Beaver Harbour settlers. Gill’s ability to manage money was no doubt the reason that the citizens of Belle View elected him as one of the five directors to oversee the town’s business in 1785. When he sought compensation in Saint John two years later, Gill cited his mining tools, tobacco shop, and mining apparel among his losses.

Buck’s County second native to settle in Beaver Harbour was Evan Thomas, a farmer who joined the British army at Philadelphia. Throughout the revolution, Thomas saw action as a member of the Buck’s County Volunteers under the command of his brother, William. Thomas sailed to New Brunswick with the spring fleet and initially settled in Burton near present day Oromocto. However, by 1787 he had established a home in Beaver Harbour.

The other Pennsylvanian Quaker who appeared before the RCLSAL in 1786 was Jacob Buffington of West Bradford, a community northwest of Philadelphia. He was a carpenter who sided with the British and followed them to sanctuary in New York in 1778. After settling in Beaver Harbour, Buffington went on to serve as an elected director charged with overseeing the town’s business. He was also a land surveyor. Richard Buffington, one of the original 49 signers of the association, may have been Jacob’s brother. Both men came to the colony without any family. Jacob Buffington eventually returned to the United States.

Three years after they sought compensation for their wartime losses, the nine loyalists from Beaver Harbour witnessed the utter destruction of their settlement. Within hours, a raging fire had destroyed a dream for a “brave new world” that seven years of poverty, inclement climate, and hunger had not been able to quash. The transcripts of the Royal Commission on the Losses and Services of American Loyalists permit us to see the “beauteous mankind” who founded Beaver Harbour and to appreciate all that they endured because of their loyalty during the American Revolution.

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

New Brunswick Obituary Series Gets an Update

Back in October and November of 2011, Loyalist Trails published Stephen Davidson’s four-part series about the obituaries of loyalists (and their descendants) found in New Brunswick newspapers of the 19th century. Since then, Davidson has found 56 more loyalist-related obituaries. The new discoveries include stories about Thomas Brown, the son of a loyalist who became a leader in the 1838 Lower Canada Rebellion, Nancy Rushton, who lived to be mourned by 90 grandchildren, 89 great-grand children and 2 great-great-grandchildren, and John Coffin, who had fought in the Battle of Bunker Hill as well as in the southern colonies. In light of the new data, Davidson has corrected and revised his original series. Once containing 3,857 words, the loyalist obituary series now has 5,002 words offering further insight into how loyalists and their descendants memorialized lives in newspaper death notices.

Read the updated series New Brunswick Newspapers Remember: Part One, Part Two, Part Three and Part Four.

…Stephen Davidson

William Odber Raymond (1853-1923) © George McNeillie

In my Junior year at the U.N.B. I gained as a prize, which I valued highly, the Compound Achromatic Microscope of the value of $40.00. In 1876 I graduated at the head of the class with honours in Mathematics and Natural Science. Under a new regulation, then very lately adopted, I became the first “Honour Graduate” of the U.N.B.

Subsequent to graduation I took the degree of M.A. in course, choosing as the theme of my thesis, “The United Empire Loyalists”. The thesis was afterwards printed as a pamphlet, and the original manuscript is in the old cabinet at my daughter’s home in Toronto.

Twenty-six years after my graduation at the University in 1876, my son W.O. Raymond Jr. graduated as B.A. in the Class of ’02, and on the same day my old Alma Mater did me the honour to confer on me the degree of LL.D., honoris causa. Four years later came the unlooked for honour of F.R.S.C. (Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada). So much for literary achievement in a small sphere.

My military experience began in the winter of 1867 when, as a tall, overgrown boy of fourteen, I was elected a member of the Woodstock Volunteer Battery of Artillery. As a Gunner I assisted in firing the salute which, on the 1st day of July, 1867, heralded the birth of the Dominion of Canada.

In December, 1869, I entered as a cadet the Military School in St. John, which was then conducted by the 78th Regiment of Highlanders, about the last of the British Regulars stationed in New Brunswick, and at the end of three months received the usual certificate, classed as “A”.

In the Battery I passed through the grades of the non-commissioned officers, Bombardier, Corporal, and Sergeant, and at the age of 18 years received my commission as 2nd Lieutenant. Afterwards was promoted senior 1st Lieutenant in command, but retired (previous to receiving the Captaincy) on the eve of my ordination, having served nine years in the Battery.

Some twenty-five years afterwards, when living in St. John, I was gazetted Chaplain, with the rank of Captain, of the 3rd Regiment Canadian Artillery, and continued as such until 1916, when my health broke down while doing duty on Partridge Island with the men training for service overseas in the Great War.

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

Where in the World?

Where is UELAC President and Kawartha Branch member, Bob McBride?

To participate, submit a photo of yourself in UELAC promotional gear at a place of some note and tell us where it is. If you are a member of a branch, please indicate that as well – send to Jennifer Childs.

Loyalists and the War of 1812

Thanks to those who have contributed to the slowly growing index of Loyalists and the War of 1812.

We have added a new entry for Dr. James Stuart and Son Henry thanks to Elizabeth Stuart of British Columbia.

If you have a family ancestry which qualifies (see the heading of the page with entries), please submit to loyalist.trails@uelac.org. Our rich history continues to emerge through these family histories.

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

Last Post: Gwendolyn Mavis Lucas (nee Orr), UE

Passed way peacefully at the West Haldimand Hospital, Hagersville, Ontario on Thursday, February 28, 2013 in her 90th year. Wife of Richard Lucas. Mother of Reverend Marian Lucas-Jefferies (Graham Jefferies) of Public Landing, New Brunswick and Kathleen Lentz (Brian Flynn) of Burlington, Ontario. Grand and Great Grandmother to many. Sister of Shirley Brown (Don) of Brantford, Ontario.

Gwen will be fondly remembered by her many friends and relatives in Canada and abroad. She was a member of St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church of Carluke and a member of the Grand River Branch of the United Empire Loyalists Association of Canada and a member of Fieldcote Memorial Park and Museum in Ancaster, Ontario. Visitation at the MILLER FUNERAL CHAPEL , Caledonia on Saturday, March 2 and Sunday March 3, 2013 from 2 – 4pm. Service in St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church, Carluke, ON on Monday, March 4, 2013 at 11am. Interment in Grove Cemetery, Dundas, Ontario. Donations to St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church, Carluke, or the West Haldimand General Hospital Foundation or the Canadian Foodgrains Bank would be appreciated.

Gwen’s loyalist ancestor was Staats Overholt. Both she and husband Dick were dedicated and regular attendees at Grand River Branch meetings and supporters of all branch activities and projects.

…William Terry, Grand River Branch


Response re Travel from Sussex, NJ to Thorold, ON in 1788

The query in Loyalist Trails is absolutely one of my favorite topics. I live in Michigan, and am a direct descendant of Charles Green UEL. I have been to the Sussex area multiple times. I have a brother in that area, and I am in contact with my Green family in and around the Welland, Ont area. I have only dabbled at family history over the years, but luckily for me, my ancestors are fascinating!

I was so excited to see your Query, because I have imagined this journey many times. I too have very little information. I even proposed to my brother that we take a few weeks vacation and make the hike, documenting everything. But just for fun, not a book. He is into hiking, not me. My family information describes the journey with a pregnant wife, on horseback with 2 babies. Then Dad goes back for the other children. I have lots of family information in Sussex, and lots in Niagara area, but is a gap in between.

It does seem there is a lack of information around this trip. I have also come across, different references suggesting different routes. At first, I imagined it was a very secretive, escape, travel by night, etc., because my relatives were jailed for their beliefs and eventually made the journey you describe. But now I see it was more of a mass exodus, probably still very difficult and dangerous.

It will take research to piece together lore from multiple families preparing for the journey, and experiencing life afterwards, plus any accounts of the journey itself, to develop any conclusions.

I would be happy to share anything. I plan to be in NJ this summer, and will visit Niagara Falls and relatives there again. I hope you get lots of responses to your query.

Bob Kyle

Response re Initial index of references for first census of Canada circa 1790

Brock U. have a copy in their “Special Collections-Stack”, Number CS83 L967 1970. You may be able to borrow it through inter-library loans. Once you get it, you will see many names of Loyalists that have not made to the lists of reference.

…Claude Montpetit