“Loyalist Trails” 2013-40: October 6, 2013

In this issue:
Eighteen of Fort Haldimand’s Men: Part Two, by Stephen Davidson
Nova Scotia (Halifax/Dartmouth) Branch Meets in Digby
A New York Production of “Molly of the Mohawks”
Part of John Walden Meyers Loyalist Land Grant Goes to the Military
Sir Guy Carleton Branch Library Flourishes in New City of Ottawa Archives
Where in the World?
Loyalists and War of 1812: Abraham Coon and sons Abraham and Isaac
Tecumseh’s Ghost: His Legacy to Canada
From the Twittersphere and Beyond
Comments, Memories and Coincidences
Additions to the Loyalist Directory
      + Find a Grave
      + Responses re Family of Jeremiah Moore, UE
      + Response re Loyalist and the 1837 Rebellion


Eighteen of Fort Haldimand’s Men: Part Two, by Stephen Davidson

Carleton Island was the Gibralter of Lake Ontario; its Fort Haldimand linked the frontier with the settlements of the St. Lawrence River and guarded those settlements against possible invasion. Eighteen loyalists recounted their connection to the island during their testimony at the Royal Commission on the Losses and Services of American Loyalists (RCLSAL). Here are the rest of their stories.

John Christy and three of his sons left their Tyron County farm to join the British forces in the final years of the revolution. After three years of duty on Carleton Island, Christy settled at New Johnstown. As he recounted his losses to the RCLSAL, Christy listed the seizure of two horses and ten horned cattle, farming utensils and two farm sites. A witness at the hearings remembered Christy bringing grain into town on market days and being “a very honest man”. After being separated for three years, Christy was reunited with his wife and younger children.

John Ross also had three cows and a heifer seized by Tryon County rebels. This was a personal tragedy for the young man for he testified that he “had earned these cattle by his labour”. Ross had stayed behind on the family farm to care for his mother after his father joined Sir John Johnson’s regiment. In 1780 he took up arms as well. Three years later, young Ross was among those stationed at Fort Haldimand.

William Crowder served alongside Ross at Carleton Island. This Virginian joined the British army in 1778 at Niagara — as did his six sons. Crowder had once owned a farm at Kinderhook in New York’s Albany County; by 1788, the loyalist had established a new home at Long Sault.

In Finlay Fisher‘s testimony before the RCLSAL, we learn that he was the commissary at Carleton Island, issuing supplies to the garrison. Fisher had come to America from Scotland with his brother Alexander in 1775. Both brothers joined General Burgoyne’s forces and came to Canada following the defeat at Saratoga. Alexander Fisher settled on the Bay of Quinte following the revolution; Finlay made Montreal his home.

Abraham Marsh also had memories of Burgoyne’s defeat at Saratoga. This loyalist had been a tanner in Shaftesbury, New York before the outbreak of war. In addition to his house, shop, mill and tanning house, Marsh testified that his rebel neighbours had also seized 60 leather hides. His witness at the RCLSAL spoke “particularly of his loyalty and good character”. Like other veterans of the 84th regiment who had served on Carleton Island, Marsh had settled in New Johnstown by 1788.

Another loyalist who established his home in New Johnstown following duty on Carleton Island was Colin Hamilton. He joined the 84th Regiment in 1775. This Scot was a carpenter in New York City. He initially enlisted by going aboard the British warship, Asia, which was anchored in the Hudson River. Somehow both his carpenter’s tools and clothing were left behind in New York. These two items were the only things for which Hamilton sought compensation.

Robert McAuley was one of two Irishmen to seek compensation for his service at Carleton Island. This loyalist immigrated to New York in 1764 and settled along Lake Champlain where he worked in the lumber trade. When Benedict Arnold and the rebel army were returning from their failed mission to Quebec, they made a prisoner of McAuley and took him to Crown Point.

After his release, the Irishman returned to Willsbrough where he “for some time gave intelligence to the king’s party” concerning the patriot garrison at Ticonderoga. When local rebels learned of his espionage activities, they imprisoned McAuley in Albany for six months. Freed on bail, the loyalist made a dash for Canada. His loyalty cost him a house, a barn, livestock, grain and 8,000 white oak staves. By the end of the revolution, McAuley was among those serving at Carleton Island. Five years later he had made Cataraqui (Kingston, Ontario) his home.

Valentine Detlor was the second Irishman who made reference to his service at Carleton Island in his claim before the RCLSAL. He came to America in 1756 and settled in the Camden district of Charlotte County, New York. Despite the prospect of losing 312 leased acres, a house, a barrack, a dozen steers, thirteen sheep, a pair of oxen, and furniture as well as his corn and potato crops, Detlor joined the British. He signed on while the army was at Crown Point and served until the end of the war.

As soon as Detlor left with the troops, his rebel neighbours forced his family out of their home. Unfortunately, while the transcript of Irishman’s hearing does refer to the fact that he had been at both Carleton Island and Lachine, it does not say what happened to his family or where he settled after the war.

Joseph Franklin might have met Detlor for he once lived at Crown Point and served on Carleton Island. This loyalist had come to North America as part of the British 27th Regiment. At the end of the Seven Years War (and 21 years of service), he settled on a 200-acre grant that was allocated to disbanded soldiers. Franklin must have been highly regarded; the rebels offered him a lieutenancy in the Continental Army. Instead, he decided to serve the king in the engineers department, thereby losing all that he had to his patriot neighbours. This loyalist is the only one mentioned in the RCLSAL records as continuing to live on Carleton Island after the end of the American Revolution; it is noted that “he has the use of the King’s Lands.”

Although minimal, these transcript records of eighteen men who had once served at Fort Haldimand give us a small glimpse into the experiences that these loyalists might have shared around a campfire on a chilly Carleton Island night. Seizure of land, the death of relatives, and separation from family were the common experiences that gave them the will to continue their fight against rebels despite being on the outer fringes of the American Revolution.

Today Carleton Island is part of the town of Cape Vincent, New York; the Thousand Island Lands Trust owns the ruins of Fort Haldimand. What makes the fort so interesting for American historians is the fact that French or American armies never occupied it. Its ruins are those of a fort built during the American Revolution that remained distinctly British.

Nova Scotia (Halifax/Dartmouth) Branch Meets in Digby

A meeting of the Halifax Dartmouth Branch took place in Digby on Saturday September 28th with over fifty members and guests in attendance. Digby and area was settled by Loyalists and many of the guests came from this area. This was the first meeting the branch has ever held outside the Halifax Dartmouth area. Digby is 228 KM from Halifax and 105 KM from Yarmouth.

The meeting started with a Haddock Chowder, rolls, coffee/tea and apple crumble for $ 5.00 each. The audience enjoyed presentations about:

– Loyalist Reuben Hankinson,

– Rev Roger Viets,

– a virtual tour of Loyalist Cemeteries explaining the symbolism on the tomb stones, plus

– a visit and tour of the Admiral Digby Museum.

A motion was passed unanimously by all registered members that the name of the branch be changed to the Nova Scotia Branch, to better reflect the territory the branch reflects.

Three new members joined the branch at the meeting.

…Jim McKenzie, RVP Atlantic Region

A New York Production of “Molly of the Mohawks”

Molly Of The Mohawks will have a Northern New York performance at 2 p.m. on November 2, 2013 at the Salmon River High School Auditorium in Ft. Covington, NY. We have most of the 2008 original cast: Colby Thomas (Molly Brant) and Eric Johnson (Sir William Johnson) who brought audiences to their feet in the seven performances of 2008. The Canadian tenor, Nils Brown will take on the role of Joseph Brant The music director and conductor is once again Charles Schneider.

In addition, we are engaging the students from Salmon River School as chorus, dancers, drummers and extras for this production. Nikaiataa Skidders is on board as our dance instructor.

The Chorus is under the direction of Emily Robideau of Salmon River School. Noted Mohawk historian, Darren Bonaparte will be our Narrator. David Deerhouse will officiate in the Wedding Scene with drummers from the Freedom School.

This will be an historic event: an opera by a woman, about a Mohawk woman, with Native and Non-Native performers. (p.s. I turned 80 in August)

TICKETS: $8 and $10 – can be reserved by email, acecconibates@hotmail.com

…Augusta Cecconi-Bates

Part of John Walden Meyers Loyalist Land Grant Goes to the Military

Frank Meyers is a direct descendant of Capt. John Walden Meyers, a Loyalist war hero and founder of nearby Belleville, Ont. Frank has farmed a portion of the very same plot of land King George III awarded to his legendary forefather for his service during the American Revolution.

The Department of National Defence has decided it needs this property and eleven others to build a state-of-the-art training ground for the Canadian military’s elite special forces commandos – Joint Task Force 2.

Frank is the last of the twelve property owners to sell, or be expropriated. The “No Trespassing ” signs were to have gone up this past week.

Read more.

Sir Guy Carleton Branch Library Flourishes in New City of Ottawa Archives

Each UELAC Branch faces many challenges in building a collection of resource materials. For some it is storage; for others it is accessibility. The Sir Guy Carleton Branch has been struggling with both for over a decade and now appears to have overcome every obstacle it faced. Over time, there have been hints of the struggles in reports to Dominion Council or AGM, but without a single all encompassing document, the history could be lost to future members of the Branch and to UELAC. Thanks to Dorothy Meyerhof, with assistance from Sylvia Powers, and Serge Barbe of the City of Ottawa Archives, a solid record of the efforts to safeguard the collection and ensure accessibility can be found here (PDF). With volunteers like Bob and Marilyn Adair, Penny Minter, Tom and Dorothy Meyerhof, Sylvia Powers and many others, the collection continues to grow. While it is not marked as a 2014 Legacy Project, the Sir Guy Carleton Branch is solidly prepared for the next hundred years.


Where in the World?

Where is 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 Abraham Coon and sons Abraham and Isaac thanks to Janet Stemmer, UE.

Editor’s Note: We need more as this is the last submission on hand for “Loyalists and the War of 1812.” 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.

Tecumseh’s Ghost: His Legacy to Canada

200 years ago today, in what is now called Moraviantown, Ontario, the great Shawnee warrior, Tecumseh was killed defending Canada against invading American troops during the War of 1812. After waging a fearsome battle with the encroaching American militia for over five years, Tecumseh had struck terror in the hearts of American settlers, soldiers and commanders alike. His alliance with the British General, Isaac Brock, and their victory at Detroit, decisively shifted the early momentum in the War to Canada’s favour. No longer could the Americans boast that victory would be (as Thomas Jefferson promised then President James Madison) “a mere matter of marching.” Indeed, it can be said that it was Tecumseh — as much as any other single individual — who saved Canada in the War of 1812.

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

Comments, Memories and Coincidences

Thanks for putting the lead-in to the old photographs of Toronto libraries [What libraries used to look like in Toronto] in the last UELAC Newsletter. I was particularly interested in the pictures of the Reference Library, where I spent many Saturdays as a teenager in the 1940’s, perusing old volumes of voyages and travels pertaining to the exploration of Canada. Just on entering the reading room, at the top of the long flight of stone stairs and hanging overhead, were a number of historic flags. Along the connector to the circulating library, was the alcove housing the John Ross Robertson collection of historical views of early Canada, which was of great interest to me.

The other Saturday we went to the old Dutch church in Fishkill, New York to hear a talk by Todd Braisted on Dutchess County Loyalists in the military during the Revolution- a very interesting presentation. After the talk, I asked him if he knew you- he said he did. And I told him about the Benedict Arnold letter I found when a group of us were dismantling the Jacob Ellegoode house- hopefully to preserve it- south of Woodstock, New Brunswick. The house was in the way of the Trans-Canada highway, and unfortunately it was not re-erected.

Keep up the good work!

…John & Marion Stevens

Additions to the Loyalist Directory

As time permits, we add information to the Loyalist Directory. The latest additions and updates are as follows:
– Stults, Henry – from Susan Cox

Please help us build the directory by contributing more information for it. Contact loyalist.trails@uelac.org for instructions and guidance.


Find a Grave

A query to the UELAC facebook page asked: “Wondering if there is somewhere that I can find a listing of the people buried in the cemetery at Upper Canada Village?” Several helpful people have pointed out a number of sources:

– Ontario Cemetery Finding Aid. Ocfa(dot)islandnet(dot)com [no www at the beginning]. Search on “Pioneer Upper Canada Village”. 510 name entries (dates not provided by this resource; transcript booklet then purchasable from Stormont Dundas Glengarry Branch of the OGS). But at least one gets a start with the names.

– Find-a-Grave will eventually be the better resource, once someone enters all the names. Currently just 349 memorials there out of the 510 potentials (Ocfa will have a few duplications, as OGS listed every name on every stone, incl wife of, and child of, etc). Search for “Upper Canada Village” to get to the right ‘cemetery mainpage’

– Google find a grave Upper Canada Village. Over the past several years the graveyards in Ontario and across Canada are being brought up on line. If you live by a small cemetery take the time to note it’s name and see if it is on find a grave. The other week in London I tried to find my husband’s ggg-grandfather’s grave. Instead I discovered the child grave of his gg-grandfather’s twin sister. She died at just 9 days of age, in 1865 or so.

Responses re Family of Jeremiah Moore, UE

I have received some great feedback already from your query in Loyalist Trails. (Massey is Mercy. Arrrgh! I should have thought female!)


Moses Moore was a Loyalist in his own right

I think a Moses Moore was a Loyalist in his own right, of Yonge after 1783; listed in the Old UEL List, page 214, recorded as ‘a soldier Jessups Corps for many years, left the province’. There it is is stated that his name was really ‘Hosea Moore’. Perhaps recorded in Yonge MM? However there are several references to a Moses Moore (by that name) who served in the North Carolina Regiment and on 24 July 1782 in Charleston SC, was recorded as a Captain and a ‘Refugee of the Second Class’.

Interestingly from a Pay Abstract as of April 1782, Jeremiah Moore is also serving in the Southern Campaign, same location and campaign as Moses or Hosea Moore.

Soldiers are often recorded with service in various regiments who often turn out to be the same person who was shuffled around as units folded or amalgamated. Troubling times.

I have this and several other records and have wondered about how they all fit together. I also see the interesting MM Records from Pelham. I haven’t researched this family but have saved some records which caught my attention while working on various projects.

…Richard Ripley UE, Genealogist

Jeremiah: A Quaker and a UEL

Jeremiah is unusual as a Quaker in that he actually claimed what was his right – UEL status.

I have no doubt that his church family disapproved, but his name, as I recall, IS included on the “old UE Loyalist List”.

I have over 500 19th and 18th century MOORES in my database spread across 9 early MOORE families, and 500 more in my handwritten notes. These are NOT my Moores and, since I wrote the definitive book about my New Jersey / Grimsby Moores last year my interest in this surname has pretty much been reduced to a smoulder.

You’re probably right about someone named Moses Moore connected with the Canbys, seeing that Jeremiah Senior’s brother, James MOORE Jr., got married a second time (after Rebecca Birdsall) to Jane Canby, dau of Benjamin CANBY and Martha WHITSON. While I have two MOSES MOOREs in my database (from entirely different families), obviously I do NOT have yours.

I am also sending a file of some descendants of your Moores. Think of it as suggested info. I didn’t take the time to write down my sources for every single one of them, but it indicates Jeremiah Sr. had several more children than you noted.

…Paul L Bingle, UE (6 certificates)

Andrew Moore and his Descendants

I come from Jeremiah Moore’s son Jacob and Jacob’s daughter Mary. In a book I read at the Norwich Archives by John Andrew Moore Passmore called “Andrew Moore and his Descendants” Vol.1 page 51. Third Generation No. 18 Jeremiah b 4-22–1745 m 1766 to Mary dau. of Jacob and Elizabeth(Yates) Wildman of Loudon Co. Va. He came to Canada in 1788 from Sadsbury Lancaster Pennsylvania and settled in Stamford County Welland Ont. Canada.

In the Ontario Register Vol 4 1971 No 1 Memberships and Admissions Pelham Monthly Meeting Jeremiah Moore wife Mary, Children James, Andrew, Jeremiah, MASSEY(MERCY) Mary, John from Sadsbury Pa. Jacob 3-12 1800 was Jeremiah’s second oldest son after Solomon.

When I lived in Fenwick I would drive by the Moore-Rice house on Tice Road and down Moore Lane. Jeremiah obtained a lot of land in Pelham as did his sons. But this house was owned by Whitson Moore at one time.

From records he was descended from Jeremiah Moore’s father JAMES Moore’s half brother ANDREW. Whitson’s mother was a Whitson. His father MOSES Moore came from Maryland and settled in Canboro 1822.

…Chone Williams

Response re Loyalist and the 1837 Rebellion

Chris Raible asked “Have any UEL members researched UEL ancestors who took part in the 1837 Rebellion?”

I have a Loyalist ancestor who was put in jail during the Rebellion of 1837: but more interestingly, I have worked on a Loyalist family which was loosely connected to that Rebellion, but very closely connected to the spirit and process of reform.

At first glance, it would not be expected to often see a Loyalist associated with reform or rebellion, even by 1837. They owed their safety, lives, and land to the generosity of the Crown, in payment for their loyalty during the Revolutionary War in America.

Isaac Phillips of Southwold

One of the brothers of my Loyalist ancestor made the mistake of crossing back and forth from Detroit to Windsor, and was thrown in jail in London on suspicion of being a rebel. This was Isaac B. Phillips SUE, 1809-1870, son of John Phillips UE (1751 – 1844). While looking through records, I found this item in a newpaper…

News Items from St. Thomas Standard, 4 December 1845, page 3…

“Isaac Phillips of Southwold – put in London jail during the rebellion (of 1837) for two months, never knew what for. While there, he had a blanket and basket stolen, worth $5.00. In 1838, he was put in Sandwich jail for six weeks, reason unknown to him. While there, he had 6 acres corn destroyed and the planting of ten bushels of potatoes.”

In 1837, Isaac had been married for six years, and two of his six daughters had been born. Highly unlikely that he was guilty, I would think.

Robert F Gourlay and John Sharp

But here another story of reform, in a family story in which the choice of the youngest son of a Loyalist, the choice of reform, affected his entire future. This is not the story of my Loyalist ancestors, but the Loyalist ancestors from one of my professional projects.

Robert Fleming Gourlay is sometimes recorded as the first reformer in Upper Canada, and one of the men responsible for the sowing of the seeds of the Rebellion of 1837. Gourlay is written up in the Dictionary of Canada Biography where his possible role in the reform movement is questioned; but the most authoritative biography of Gourlay, titled Robert Gourlay, gadfly: the biography of Robert (Fleming) Gourlay, 1778–1863, forerunner of the rebellion in Upper Canada, 1837 ([Thornhill, Ont., 1971?]), by Lois Darroch Milani, states that the connection is a fact.

While researching the descendants of Johannes Sharp, U.E. (b. 1765 NY, d. Ernesttown 1816-1818), I found someone, John Sharp b. 1804, the youngest son of Johannes Sharp by his wife Bata Van Allen, who was enthralled by the speeches of Robert Gourlay, and disillusioned by his loyal older siblings and neighbours.

Most of the children of Johannes Sharp claimed their 200 acres in the area of Ernesttown in order, soon after their twenty-first birthdays, which was the custom. I have found and read all of their petitions. They and their descendants later became prominent settlers and pioneers in the area of Belleville. However, Johannes Sharp’s youngest son, John Sharp, did not make such a claim. We wondered – why did he not claim his land as an SUE? The answer, we found, was that the young John Sharp was completely out of step with his older brothers and sisters. In fact, young John Sharp was out of step with most of the establishment in the Ernesttown area. Furthermore, he had been born in the area of Kinderhook New York, on one of his father’s many return trips to the family home in the area of Kinderhook, and so he was American – whereas many of his older siblings had been born in Canada during the early settlement periods of Johannes Sharp UE . As such, he was the subject of a local prejudice in the community and in legislative circles, especially as set out by Lieutenant Governor Francis Gore, whereby American emigrants could not own clergy reserves (these are prime surplus farmlands which had been reserved for clergy but never claimed as such, so were available by payment of small fees to families with money). Gore wanted to keep all the precious available clergy reserves for the English-born wealthy settlers who were then arriving in the area.

The remarkable movements of Johannes Sharp UE back and forth from the family lands at Kinderhook to the new lands in Ernesttown, Williamstown, and Fredericksburgh are all noted in his various petitions for lands as a UE and then for more lands as a UE.

In 1818, when John Sharp was only 14 years old, but tall and appearing older than his age, a petition was circulated by Robert Gourlay, asking for the repeal of the prohibition of clergy reserve acquisitions by Americans. Petition: Ernestown, Hallowell, Cramahe, Percy , Signed by 238 men in support of Robert Gourlay, 1818…

3. “Inhabitants of Ernesttown Township” …

John Sharp Jr… (many other names)

This petition may be viewed here, courtesy of research by Randy Saylor.

I asked Randy for a copy of the images of the signatures, and found the signature clearly signed “John Sharp Junior”; and comparing it with the signatures of his father and siblings from their land petitions, and with a later signature of John Sharp, it is clear that this was the SAME MAN.

In other words, I believe that a UE certification application by one of the descendants of this John Sharp, could be proven on the basis of handwriting analysis. This has not been attempted by the descendant whom I have worked with; it would be very interesting to try it out.

Would it be unusual for a fourteen year old boy to sign a petition? Perhaps. I looked at several of the other signatures, just on the section which Randy Saylor provided, and using other records, I found several underage boys, one as young as nine years old. There are prior examples of boys as young as nine being signed up in Loyalist regiments by their fathers, usually to serve as drummers etc. It is worth noting that Gourlay’s petition of 1818 came to nothing in itself, except to get Gourlay in trouble with the authorities. He was sent to trial, found guilty, and banished to the United States on 21 August 1819. But he was going to return to Upper Canada. Those who signed his petition simply melted away, their cause disgraced.

Now here is another part to this story. We lose track of John Sharp Jr. until the mid 1830s, when he is far from Ernesttown, down at Dereham Township in Oxford County. He was far from his siblings, who had not stood by him at the time of the 1818 petition; no one else in the family had signed it. Why should he be near Tillsonburg? Well – Robert Gourlay owned land in Dereham Township, and he seems to have hired John Sharp Jr. to work on his land. This was perhaps to offer support to this young man who had signed his petition and then become an outcast in Ernesttown. By the late 1840s, John Sharp appears to be a land owner. I am waiting for the arrival of land records, which may show exactly how John Sharp Jr. came to own land there – whether he purchased it or was given it, by Robery Gourlay.

But for sure, there was NO OTHER John Sharp Junior in Eresttown in 1818.

In fact, Robert Gourlay did return to the area of Tillsonburg. In 1856 he returned to Upper Canada to settle on his land at Dereham. At age 80 he contested the riding of Oxford and married Mary Reenan, his 28-year-old housekeeper. Neither venture proving successful, he left Upper Canada for Edinburgh, living there until his death.

John Sharp Jr. is not seen after the 1851 CDN census, and he may have died either in the area of Tillsonburg, or at Lynn, St. Clair County, Michigan, where most of his children are found at the time of the 1860 US Census.

Here we have a Loyalist son who became involved with the politics of rebellion, and received the consequences of that choice.

Reminds me of…

Time past and time future
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
– T.S. Eliot, Burnt Norton.

…Richard Ripley UE, Genealogist