“Loyalist Trails” 2014-15: April 13, 2014

In this issue:
Loyalist Great-Grandfathers of Confederation: Part 2 – by Stephen Davidson
More About John Hamilton Gray
No UE Descent, but a UE Connection
Where in the World?
Tribute to D-Day
From the Twittersphere and Beyond
Additions to the Loyalist Directory
Last Post: Gloria Joyce Ghetti (nee Scott), UE
      + Fathers of Confederation with 13 Colony but non-Loyalist ancestry
      + Response re Sir William Pearce Howland


Loyalist Great-Grandfathers of Confederation: Part 2 – by Stephen Davidson

Eight of the thirty-eight Fathers of Confederation are known to have had loyalists among their ancestors. Prince Edward Island’s John Hamilton Gray was the lone loyalist descendant to represent his colony. Not surprisingly, New Brunswick, a province created by loyalists, was represented by Charles Fisher, Edward Barron Chandler, Robert Duncan Wilmot, and John Hamilton Gray — and Sir Samuel Leonard Tilley.

Tilley’s roots went even further back into provincial history than the arrival of the loyalists. James Chase and Elizabeth Douglas were his great-grandparents, “Planters” who immigrated to the colony in the 1760s as members of the New Englanders who settled along the St. John River. Their daughter Mary became the wife of James Tilley who was only three years old when his parents arrived in New Brunswick. Samuel Tilley and his wife Elizabeth (Morgan) were loyalists who had once made their home in Brooklyn, New York. He served with the Westchester Loyalists and after arriving at the mouth of the St. John River on the Montague, Tilley settled up river in Gagetown.

Thomas Peters and Susannah Palmer, a loyalist couple who were passengers on an evacuation vessel that arrived in May of 1783, were also great-grandparents of Sir Leonard Tilley — as were a Hains/Haynes couple whose first names remain a mystery.

Tilley’s loyalist great-grandmothers are especially interesting because one of them left a vivid memory of her arrival in New Brunswick, a quotation that is routinely cited in history books to this day. “I climbed to the top of Chipman’s Hill and watched the sails disappear, and such a lonely feeling came over me that, although I had not shed a tear through all the war, I sat down on the damp moss with my baby in my lap and cried.” Among Tilley’s great-grandmothers, Mrs Susannah Peters (32 in 1783) and Mrs Hains (who had a 10 year-old child listed in 1783) were the only women old enough to have had a baby at the time of the loyalists’ arrival. However, the exact great-grandmother who uttered these famous words has not yet been determined.

Sir Samuel Leonard Tilley began his professional life as a druggist. A gifted public speaker, he entered politics in 1850, and 11 years later became New Brunswick’s premier. He attended all three conferences that led to Canadian Confederation, becoming the country’s first minister of customs and then finance. Tilley is credited with suggesting that Canada be referred to as a Dominion rather than a Kingdom. Knowing that others shared a dream of Canada stretching from the Pacific to the Atlantic and from the St. Lawrence River to the North Pole, Tilley used Psalm 72:8 as his inspiration: “He shall have dominion also from sea to sea and from the river unto the ends of the earth”. Later historians have questioned whether Tilley coined the term, but the Bible verse he selected certainly fit the national dream.

The only Father of Confederation from Nova Scotia known to have a loyalist ancestor is John William Ritchie. His grandfather, John Ritchie, was a Scottish immigrant who went to Boston in 1770. A few years later he moved to Annapolis Royal where he married Alicia Maria Le Cain. By 1779, Ritchie was the captain of the local militia company and the justice of the peace.

When rebel privateers attacked Annapolis Royal in 1781, they kidnapped Ritchie, later releasing him in exchange for an American prisoner of war held in Halifax. In 1783, Ritchie represented his community in the colonial legislature. His son Thomas held the same seat in the 19th century.

John William Ritchie not only held the same seat as his father and grandfather, he also represented the province at the London Conference. In 1867 he became one of Nova Scotia’s first senators in Ottawa, and later served as a judge of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia.

An unexpected discovery amongst the loyalist ancestors of the Fathers of Confederation is Captain Joseph Smallwood of Norfolk, Virginia. Besides the fact that Smallwood was the oldest son of a wealthy slave owner, no other information about this loyalist has come to light. After marrying Margaret Magdalen Macrobie, Smallwood eventually settled on 200 acres of land in Prince Edward Island. This loyalist became the great-great-grandfather of Joey Smallwood, the premier who brought Newfoundland into Confederation in 1949.

The Fathers of Confederation, with the exception of Joey Smallwood, were men of the 19th Century. However, numbered among the “grandparents and great-grandparents of Confederation” were the loyalist refugees of the 18th Century. They had once lived in Massachusetts, New York, Virginia, and Connecticut. Some had only recently arrived in the rebelling thirteen colonies, while others had called it home for generations. They had lost property and careers, been separated from families and friends, and then resettled in a northern wilderness with little financial compensation. And yet within one or two generations, their sons had united four British North American colonies into the Dominion of Canada. Not bad for the descendants of refugees. Not bad at all.

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

More About John Hamilton Gray

As noted in last week’s issue of Loyalist Trails, John Hamilton Gray is buried in Victoria, B.C. This article with photos has more details about him, and his Loyalist grandfather as described in Sabine. Gray is buried in Ross Bay Cemetery, his grave marked by a Province of Ontario marker.

The 2015 UELAC Conference will be held in Victoria. One of the tours will be a walk through Ross Bay Cemetery guided by a member of the Old Cemeteries Society to visit the Loyalist descendants buried there and learn about each of their ancestors.

…David Clark, UE

No UE Descent, but a UE Connection

John William Ritchie (A Nova Scotia participant in the London Conference of 1866) at least had a Loyalist connection by marriage if not by blood.

… John William Ritchie’s grandparents: John and Alicia Ritchie from Edinburgh, Scotland were neither fish nor fowl. According to the DCB they’d come to Boston to join his Uncle’s mercantile business in 1770 but then removed to Annapolis Royal before 1775 so they were really neither Planters or Loyalists.

To the point at hand John William Ritchie’s younger brother William Johnston Richie (later the second Chief Justice of Canada) married 5 May 1856 in Saint John, New Brunswick Grace Vernon Nicholson, daughter of the late Thomas L. and Amy (née Vernon) Nicholson ( at the time of her daughter’s wedding, wife of Vice-Admiral William Fitz William Owen, R.N.) and Great Granddaughter of Captain Gideon Vernon, U.E.

So John William Ritchie had a sister-in-law of Loyalist decent.

…Ed Garrett

Where in the World?

Where is Saskatchewan Branch member Pat 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.

Tribute to D-Day

I read the latest weekly UELAC e-mail and was intrigued by the challenge to find a fallen relative from a UEL lineage. I enquired from the Juno Beach Centre if they have a list of the 359 names of fallen Canadians. They returned a list that they are working from showing by name the rank, regiment, hometown and province for those killed in action – see here(PDF).

They also noted point me towards www.junobeach.org/tribute, which is the webpage for our 70th anniversary campaign, Canada’s D-Day Tribute.

…Andrew Stillman, UE

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

  • Gananoque Cemetery’s monumental mystery. Even engraved in stone, the stone monument to the Loyalist Joel Stone could lead you astray.
  • The day following the Battles of Lexington and Concord, Joseph Warren reached out to Governor General Thomas Gage in a personal letter. Gage’s forces were penned up in Boston as the Siege of Boston coalesced. The immediate concern was to come to an understanding governing the exit of Patriots and their belongings from the newly besieged city and the entrance of Loyalist refugees. I Have Many Things which I Wish to Say to Your Excellency Cambridge, April 20, 1775
  • For king and (new) country: United Empire Loyalists came north from America to pray, play and parley in Norfolk
  • Lovers of marine art should be pleased by this traveling maritime art show, “1812 Star Spangled Nation: Commemorating the Bicentennial of the War of 1812,” that is unveiling some artwork not seen by the public before at the The Connecticut River Museum, at the foot of Main Street in Essex, CT until June.
  • Why wasn’t education so interesting when I was there? University of West Florida time travel course: Securing the American South: The Creek War and War of 1812.
  • Many – most? – of us who read Loyalist Trails volunteer for something and I suspect many in the field of history. Did you know that the number of volunteers at Canadian museums has tripled over the last ten years?
  • Entirely irrelevant; a little nonsensical fun. International Pillow Fight Day, London

Additions to the Loyalist Directory

As time permits, we add information to the Loyalist Directory. The latest additions and updates are as follows:
– Gardiner, George – from Barry Gardiner
– Gray, Joseph – from Dave Clark
– Powley, Johann (Jacob) – 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: Gloria Joyce Ghetti (nee Scott), UE

Passed away peacefully with her family by her side after a short battle with cancer on Sunday April 6th, 2014. Wife of the late John (2008). Mother of John (Courtney) of Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Donna Sattin (Tim) of Milton. Grandmother of Scott, Joshua, Julianna and Evan. Gloria was an active member of St. Saviour’s Anglican Church, Queenston. She was also a volunteer for over 50 years with the Canadian Cancer Society, she volunteered at Upper Canada Lodge and was the Past President of the St. Davids & District Lioness. Family was Gloria’s world especially her grandchildren.

Cremation has taken place. Gloria’s family will receive friends at MORSE & SON FUNERAL HOME on Thursday April 10th. A service under the auspices of the St. Davids & District Lioness will be held at the funeral home on Thursday evening at 7 p.m. A service to celebrate Gloria’s life will be held on Friday morning at St. Saviour’s Anglican Church, Queenston. Memorial donations to St. Saviour’s Anglican Church, Queenston, the Canadian Cancer Society or Upper Canada Lodge. Memories, photos and condolences may be shared at www.morseandson.com.

Gloria was a proud member of Colonel John Butler (Niagara) Branch of the UELAC. She was delighted to receive certificates for her Loyalist ancestors David Scott and Alexander Brotherton.

…Bev Craig UE, Col. John Butler Branch


Fathers of Confederation with 13 Colony but non-Loyalist ancestry

Stephen Davidson has provided details about the Fathers of Confederation who had UE Loyalist ancestry. This raises a question whether any Fathers of Confederation had roots in what is now the USA. To define it a little more specifically, which Fathers have one or more ancestors who immigrated to Canada from what is now the USA before 1812 but were not UE Loyalists. Has anyone in their research discovered one or more of these?

…Chris Raible

Response: Sir William Pearce Howland

This does not quite fit the query as he was born in the USA and came to Canada well after 1812 – but of interest nonetheless.

Sir William Pearce Howland, PC, KCMG, CB (29 May 1811 — 1 January 1907), served as the second Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, from 1868 to 1873. He was one of the Fathers of Confederation. Born in 1811 in Pawling, New York, William Howland was educated at Kinderhook Academy. In 1830 he settled in Cooksville, Upper Canada, and became a naturalised British subject in 1841. He operated Lambton Mills and later a grocery business in Toronto.

In 1857, Howland became a Member of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada, and later served in the cabinet as Minister of Finance, Receiver General, Postmaster General and Minister of Finance. He became a Member of Parliament in 1867 and was Minister of Inland Revenue from 1867 to 1868. He was created a C.B., 1867. Howland was appointed Ontario’s second Lieutenant Governor in 1868 and served until 1873. He was created a K.C.M.G., 1879. He was knighted in 1879 and died in Toronto in 1907. He is buried in Toronto’s St. James Cemetery.