“Loyalist Trails” 2014-08: February 23, 2014

In this issue:
“Unpacking” a Loyalist Wedding Announcement, by Stephen Davidson
Where in the World is Gerry Adair?
2014 Jarvis Family Reunion in Fredericton
African Methodist Episcopalian Methodist Church, Oro-Medonte, ON
From the Twittersphere and Beyond
Additions to the Loyalist Directory
Last Post: CARR UE, Fraser William


“Unpacking” a Loyalist Wedding Announcement, by Stephen Davidson

It was a 1799 style wedding notice – only one line in length – and yet it recorded the linking of two lives that had endured many things and would go on to do more. Not mentioned in the announcement was the fact that the bride had been a child refugee and that the groom had fought for the crown during the American Revolution. Indeed, the single line hid far more than it revealed.

Here is the story that was previously locked deep within a loyalist wedding announcement.

Tucked away in the May 6, 1800 edition of The New Brunswick Royal Gazette was a notice that might have caught the eye of its Fredericton readers: “m. 21st Oct., by Rev. Addison, Lt. Col. Samuel SMITH, Commandant Garrison, York, Upper Canada / Jane d/o Dr. Joseph CLARKE, Maugerville”.

Jane Isabella Clarke, the bride, was just 20 years old; she married Samuel Smith shortly before his 39th (or perhaps 43rd) birthday. Like many who married during the years of loyalist settlement, the young lovers would never have met had it not been for the American Revolution. Jane was one of ten children born to Dr. Joseph and Isabella (Alleyne) Clarke in Stratford, Connecticut. Jane’s future husband, Samuel, was born to James and Anne (Searing) Smith, Scottish immigrants who had settled in Hempstead on New York’s Long Island. In 1775, the future lovers were living in two different colonies separated by 100 kilometers and the waters of Long Island Sound.

With the advent of the American Revolution, Jane’s father, Dr. Clarke, “declared his determination to support the British Government”. He had been a surgeon with the British army during the Seven Years War and was not about to change his loyalty over the empire’s poor taxation system. Clarke left his wife and children in Stratford, seeking sanctuary within the British lines in New York. Armed with a captain’s warrant from Montfort Browne, he recruited thirty-three men for the Prince of Wales Volunteers. He later saw to the surgical needs of the British troops stationed at Fort Franklin at Lloyd’s Neck, just across Long Island Sound from his wife and children.

After being separated for seven years, the Clarke family was reunited long enough to pack up their belongings and sail for New York. Patriots had already seized their house that had been “genteelly furnished” and where they had once “lived in good style”.

Disembarking from one of the evacuation fleet’s thirteen ships in July of 1783, the Clarkes and other passengers were overwhelmed with gratitude for the treatment they received from the Bridgewater’s captain. In an address they made to Captain Adnet, they said “Your humanity, and the kindness and attention you have shown, to render as happy as possible, each individual on board your Ship, during the passage, and till their disembarkation, has filled our hearts with sentiments of the deepest gratitude, and merit the warmest return of acknowledgements and thanks, which we most sincerely desire you to accept, wishing you a prosperous voyage to your intended port; we are your very much obliged and humble servants.”

After bidding good-bye to the captain, the Clarkes made their way up the St. John River to Maugerville, where Jane’s father resumed his medical practice. Jane would have been only four when her family settled into their new home. No doubt her mother worried about how she would find husbands for her nine daughters in so forsaken a place. Mrs. Clarke had to wait for the arrival of disbanded loyalist soldiers for one of her future sons-in-law to make his appearance.

Samuel Smith began his career as a loyalist soldier when he joined the Queens Rangers in November of 1776. He was wounded almost a year later while fighting at the Battle of Brandywine near Philadelphia. Smith’s comrades-in-arms included John Graves Simcoe and William Jarvis as well as Stephen Jarvis whose memoir chronicled the adventures of this loyalist corps. It all came to an end when the Queens Rangers were part of the British surrender to General Washington at Yorktown, Virginia on October 10, 1781. Like many other members of the Queens Rangers, Smith eventually moved to New Brunswick. However, at some point he was transferred to England and then back to North America, being stationed at Niagara in Upper Canada.

Sixteen years passed between the 1783 arrival of the loyalists and the 1799 wedding date for Jane and Samuel Smith. During that time, Jane’s father had been made a Judge of the Court of Common Pleas for Sunbury County. In the same land record abstracts that document Dr. Clarke’s initial land grant, there is also the record of land being given to a Samuel Smith in nearby Oromocto. It may be that the loyalist officer and the young Jane met at some gathering that brought the two river settlements together; the records are all too silent.

However that first meeting occurred, by October of 1799 the couple had been wed and were living in York, Upper Canada (now Toronto, Ontario). (The Rev. Robert Addison who married the Smiths, went on to become a prominent Upper Canadian Anglican; 13 years later he officiated at Sir Isaac Brock’s funeral following the Battle of Queenston Heights.) After retiring, Samuel Smith moved Jane and their family to a thousand acre estate in Etobicoke. By 1813, he was the representative for this area on the colony’s Executive Council. As Samuel ascended into the hierarchy of Upper Canada, Jane was kept busy raising their nine children.

In 1817, Samuel’s political career reached its apex with his appointment as the Administrator of Upper Canada. Since 1791 when Samuel’s former Queens Rangers commander, John Graves Simcoe, had been made Upper Canada’s first lieutenant governor, a British military officer had always governed the colony. Now, for the first time, this colony of refugees was being governed by one of their own in the person of Samuel Smith. (Prince Edward Island was the first colony to have a loyalist lieutenant governor; Edmund Fanning of New York was appointed in 1786. Nova Scotia followed in 1792 with the appointment of John Wentworth, the former governor of New Hampshire.)

The reviews of Samuel Smith’s year in office (and a three month term in 1820) are mixed. While considered an ineffective administrator by some, he is remembered for imprisoning the reformer Robert Gourlay for calling an illegal assembly in York.

It is the estate on which Samuel and Jane Smith lived which became the couple’s greatest legacy. John Strachan bought some of their land for the original campus of Trinity College. In the 1970s, Toronto turned the loyalist’s property into Colonel Samuel Smith Park. Parkview School was built on the remains of the Smith homestead, and when it was later sold to a French school board, people were pleased to know that children could still play in the open spaces around the school.

Samuel Smith died on October 20, 1826, one day before his 27th wedding anniversary. Jane, the daughter of a loyalist doctor, had become a widow at forty-seven.

And that’s the story that can be discovered when one “unpacks” a loyalist wedding announcement.

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

Where in the World?

Where is Gerry Adair?

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.

2014 Jarvis Family Reunion in Fredericton

Friday – Sunday, 3-5 October, 2014, Fredericton, NB

Descendants of Munson, William and Polly Jarvis and their siblings; and of Samuel and Stephen, sons of Capt. Samuel Jarvis – all from Connecticut. Join your cousins from England, the USA and Canada for a jam-packed weekend of receptions, a major art exhibit, a reunion day and more!

For details, e-mail jarvisfamilyunited@gmail.com or phone Bill in NB (506) 855-6660 or Audrey in Toronto (416) 656-0812.

African Methodist Episcopalian Methodist Church, Oro-Medonte, ON

As I was researching and writing this article – noting Black History Month, our commemoration of the War of 1812 and of course our Loyalist roots – I learned a lot more than I’d originally understood about the old African Methodist Episcopalian Church (PDF). I’ve always been intrigued by it and have several photos . . . one of my mother looking in the window too. There is a cairn with the names of the dead who are buried there in unmarked graves, and also a plaque that was erected in 2000 by the Ontario Government.

The church is currently being restored to its original log style and there are other plans for its preservation in the works. I know my Ruttan ancestors had slaves that came with them to Upper Canada, making this all the more personal.

…Brenda Terelly UE, Gov. Simcoe Branch, Toronto

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

  • On 5 March 1775, the second anniversary of the Boston massacre, Joseph Warren delivered the first of four such annual orations. This is an abridged version.
  • Story of two British spies sent in 1777 to turn an American and capture Fort Ticonderoga prior to Burgoyne’s march south – Journal of the American Revolution
  • Canada’s Oldest Regular Cemetery: Garrison Cemetery, Annapolis Royal, N.S.
  • From the Charleston Museum, light blue satin shoes with silver braid, c. 1770 which once belonged to Eliza Lucas Pinckney. And a Martha Washington silk gown, from Washington’s Library
  • The Tale of the Wandering Washington: A wooden statue of General Washington, 10 feet high
  • Two centuries ago, Craig Smith’s United Empire Loyalist forebears fled the United States and took up farming in the rich soil near Ancaster because they no longer felt welcome south of the border. Now, after six generations of farming the same parcel of land, he says he feels unwelcome in a changing landscape and ponders another dramatic move like his ancestors before him.
  • Black History Month, United Empire Loyalists, and Slavery in Canada
  • Our UELAC 100 year anniversary pin is featured on the UELAC Facebook page!
  • Baltimore’s celebration of the “Star-Spangled Banner” bicentennial rolls out a pair of websites – one of which shows live video of Fort McHenry offering views similar to what Francis Scott Key would have seen during the Battle of Baltimore.
  • When you interview a family member to gather information for your family history, do you eve run out of questions. Here are 150 questions that should keep you going.
  • UELAC Patron and Governor General of Canada watch Olympic Men’s Gold Hockey Game in Delhi, India. Governor General is seated at extreme right, second back row of seats

Additions to the Loyalist Directory

As time permits, we add information to the Loyalist Directory. The latest additions and updates are as follows:
– Keithland Philip – volunteer Sandy McNamara
– King Jr., Constant – volunteer Sandy McNamara
– Roblin, Philip Sr. from Barry Baker, with certificate application
– Rutter, George – volunteer Sandy McNamara
– Shibley, John – volunteer Sandra McNamara

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

Last Post: Fraser William Carr, UE

In Brockville on Monday February 17th, 2014 at the age of 77 years. Fraser Carr, beloved husband of Ann Carr (nee Steck). Father of Stephen, Donald, Lori Ardron, Michael (Dorothy) and Scott. Grandfather of Tyler, Brittany and Jeffrey.

A Memorial Service will be held at St. Paul’s United Church, 290 Dibble St. West Prescott on Monday February 24th, 2014 at 11 AM. Interment to take place in the spring in Prescott Cemetery. MACKAY Funeral Home. Send flowers, light a memorial candle, place a donation to St. Paul’s United Church Choir or share a special memory of Fraser at .

Fraser received his Loyalist certificate from the UELAC through the Colonel Edward Jessup Branch in 1997. His mother, Laura Fraser Carr who passed away in 1983 had been one of the very early members of the branch. They were descendants of Daniel Fraser, Sr., an artificer during the Revolution, a magistrate and Loyalist settler in Ernestown.

Fraser volunteered in so many ways – in his church, St. Pauls United; in Prescott at community events such as Loyalist Days; delivering Meals on Wheels; as a driver taking cancer patients and others to appointments in Ottawa, Kingston, Brockville – wherever there was a need.

From the time he joined the Colonel Edward Jessup Branch he was active in promoting Loyalism. He served as Vice President, President and continued with the executive as a director and photographer. He came up with innovative ideas to promote the Loyalist cause. Many helped immensely, but due to lack of resources some just didn’t happen. For every Annual and Charter meeting he contacted a long list of potential attendees via email and phone with follow up reminders when necessary. When the branch had displays around the Counties, he was there greeting people, searching his books for a Loyalist family connection, encouraging involvement in our activities. He enjoyed his time at Council meetings, Conferences and visiting neighbouring branches, accompanied by his wife Ann who is another faithful member of our executive He was also famous for lightening the moment with an appropriate pun.

At our latest executive meeting, less than a week before his passing, though unable to attend, he was in touch by phone, making suggestions and learning about our decisions. A Loyalist to the last. He will be missed.

…Myrtle Johnston, UE, Col. Edward Jessup Branch, Brockville, ON