“Loyalist Trails” 2014-19: May 11, 2014

In this issue:
UELAC 1914-2014: A Centennial Celebration
Contemplating the Loyalist Legacy, by Stephen Davidson
Branching Out Reports from Loyalist Gazette Fall 2013 Now Posted
Heritage Fairs and UELAC Outreach
Where in the World are Gerry and Bob Tordiff, June Klassen?
From the Twittersphere and Beyond
Additions to the Loyalist Directory
Last Post: Liliane M. Stewart
      + Response re When did ‘Rebels’ Become ‘Patriots’?
      + Black Population of Nova Scotia
      + Family of Isaac Mann
      + Can DNA Help Prove a Loyalist Ancestor?


UELAC 1914-2014: A Centennial Celebration

There’s still time, but don’t delay – Register today for some or all of the conference.

The Conference Weekend: A Wrap of the 2014 Annual UELAC Conference which will be hosted by Toronto Branch at the Eaton Chelsea Hotel, Toronto on June 5-8, 2014, See conference details.

Thursday, June 5

Membership Committees’ Meeting

Genealogists’ Meeting: Speaker is Kathie Orr UE on “Home District Loyalists”

Displays and Sales: In the Windsor Room we have authors Jennifer DeBruin and Zig Misiak; the Upper Canada Chapter of the DAR; Silent Auction; Promotions Table; 2015 Conference; and more!

Welcome Reception in the evening featuring Peter C. Newman on his new book about the loyalists; Fred Hayward will launch “Loyally Yours”

Friday, June 6

Bus tour to discover Mississauga’s Loyalist Past


Lecture series featuring Jane MacNamara, Marion Press, Stewart Boden of the Archives of Ontario, Leslie Anderson from Ancestry.ca and Todd Braisted on the New Jersey Volunteers.

Sales Table: Global Genealogy will be on site with a wide range of Loyalist material for sale.

Dinner this evening is at historic Burwash Hall with entertainment by Muddy York

Saturday, June 7

Annual General Meeting

Dominion Council Meeting in the afternoon


do the walking tour of historic York with Richard Fiennes Clinton of Muddy York Walking Tours or just have some down time!

Centennial Celebration Gala that evening is a salute to our Past Presidents. After dinner we have a concert performance of “Molly of the Mohawks”

Sunday, June 8

We go to the Chapel of St. Alban the Martyr at Royal St. George College for a service of morning prayer with lunch to follow.

…Martha Hemphill, UE, Conference Chair, Toronto Branch

Contemplating the Loyalist Legacy, by Stephen Davidson

One of the great questions in loyalist studies is “What was the loyalist legacy to modern day Canada?” No less than 40,000 loyal Americans flooded into the St. Lawrence River Valley and the Maritimes, providing a foundation of English speaking settlers for a part of the British Empire that up until 1783 had 150,000 Francophones and only 10,000 or so English settlers in the Atlantic colonies. Was the loyalist legacy simply the “Anglicization” of the old French Empire?

The loyalist refugees had only about 30 years as the majority of the English population of British North America before the first of many waves of immigrants began to arrive in the territory that we today call Canada. In New Brunswick, the colony with the highest concentration of loyalists, the Irish soon became the dominant population, outnumbering the loyalists as the latter had once overwhelmed the original New England settlers in 1783.

Immigrants from Scotland and Great Britain continued to pour into the British colonies of North America by the thousands all through the 19th century. Common sense would dictate that whatever impact the loyalists may have made upon early Canadian society was lost in a society where the majority of its citizens had no immediate connection with the events of the American Revolution.

Nevertheless, scholars and loyalist descendants alike have continued to ponder the legacy of the loyalists. Surely, the thinking goes, even if they were just the first foundation of English Canada, the loyalist must have made some enduring imprint upon our country.

In 1969, this question became the subject of a thesis written by David V. J. Bell when he was completing his PhD program at Harvard University. “The Loyalist Tradition in Canada”, the eighth chapter of the thesis, was reprinted in the Journal of Canadian Studies in May 1970. Dr. Bell is now the director of the York Centre for Applied Sustainability and is a professor of environmental studies at York University. But the ideas he put forward almost forty years ago are still worth considering.

Like any legacy, the loyalists’ contribution to Canadian society, Bell postulated, was both positive and negative. With very few worldly goods, they fled north to find sanctuary in a wilderness where the British government provided for their basic needs. But what they had lost was not merely what could be put in a chest. According to Bell, although they held certain values, the loyalists had no symbols, heroes or identity as their patriot neighbours did. Although they shared a very similar worldview with their rebel contemporaries (except for the form of government that would best suit their needs), the loyalists left their homes wounded by accusations that they were un-American. Weren’t they Americans to the very core? If not, what were they?

As citizens of the United States began to forge a national identity out of their wartime values, the loyalists were compelled to create a new identity for themselves. Unable to call themselves Americans, they would glory in being “British Canadians”. Bell concluded, “The loyalist experience provided the one element of glory in English Canada’s history. All other achievements were subordinated and adapted to the idea of loyalism, which has functioned as the founding and integrating myth of the new society.”

While on the surface, this may not seem bad, it had a threefold impact that inhibited an authentic, unifying Canadian nationalism. Quebecois viewed a veneration of Britain as a reminder of the conquest, making it harder for them to feel comfortable in Confederation. Secondly, anything in Canada’s on-going development that was perceived as “anti-British” was labelled as being “disloyal” – even if it might have been a very good idea. Finally, being pro-British (and dwelling on the events of 1776 and 1812) created a “nationalism” that contained a very strong anti-American element. As Canadians we have a very hard time not comparing ourselves to our southern cousins.

Bell went on to illustrate the positive benefits of the loyalist tradition in contributing to some enduring differences in our political structure and culture which separate us from the United States. Fearful of tyranny, the American Founding Fathers put limitations on the exercise of power within their new republic, constraining them within a constitution. Because of the loyalists, Bell contended, Canadian political developments followed a British pattern. In time, we subordinated the executive and administration’s power to that of the elected assembly in a structure known as “responsible government”.

After the American Revolution, the citizenry felt it had a high degree of influence on its political system, but it did not trust what a government did. (One need only think of recent attempts by Republican Party members to limit the reach and influence of their government.) Due to the loyalist influence, said Bell, Canadians see government in a more positive light. The loyalist refugees looked to the British government for supplies, land, and compensation. The government was a source of aid and advancement (the latter especially so if one were part of the loyalist elite). This difference persists into the 21st century. Many Canadians cite Medicare as one of the greatest advantages of citizenship – and yet this form of government aid has been continually resisted south of the border.

While we still have much to do to improve our relations with First Nations People, Bell credits the loyalist tradition with Canada’s more positive view of its Natives. Joseph Brant, the loyalist Native leader, is seen as a great hero in Canadian history. His counter-parts in American history are portrayed as barbaric villains, standing in the way of western expansion.

Finally, Bell sees the loyalists contributing to Canada’s inclination to be a “mosaic” rather than a “melting pot”. Following the revolution, Americans expected newcomers to embrace the symbols, heroes, and values that had become part of their ideology. According to Bell, however, Canada has an “accommodative” culture of tolerance because of our loyalist founders.

Having created the ideal of the British Canadian who was loyal to the crown, the loyalists demanded comparatively little of immigrants. Despite the diversity of those who settled in Canada after the loyalists, all they had to do was pledge allegiance to the monarch. They did not have to abandon their own peculiar cultures; they could retain them and still be “loyalists” too.

This is a very brief overview of Dr. Bell’s 1969 thesis, but it provides an interesting starting point for a discussion around the legacy of the loyalists. Where do you think Bell hit the nail on the head? Where has time proven his 45-year old thesis to be wrong? It’s all part of the stimulating intellectual activity of contemplating the loyalist legacy.

Branching Out Reports from Loyalist Gazette Fall 2013 Now Posted

Eleven Branching Out reports from the Fall 2013 Loyalist Gazette have now been transcribed and posted to the UELAC website. Grouped together as The Branches of the UELAC, links assigned to both active and inactive branches connect readers not only to a brief statement of the early organization and the charter as well as the connection to the semi-annual reports of branch activities.

Last December, this collection of reports served as a rich resource for branch submissions to Loyally Yours: 100 Years of The UELAC. How the writers reduced the information, from sometimes over fifty pages to a more manageable two pages, is almost miraculous. The end result of over 34 brief histories of branch activities has contributed greatly to this special commemorative book.

Since the posting of these reports began in 2010, we have a much richer and very accessible history for all members, new and old.


Heritage Fairs and UELAC Outreach

One challenge for the education/outreach committees in The UELAC is the need to understand what is happening in the regional and provincial school districts. While the heritage content may remain the same, the approach to gathering and presenting the facts continues to change. This is most evident while visiting one of the local heritage fairs.

In my province, the role previously played by Histori.ca has been assumed by the Ontario Heritage Fairs Association. The OHFA website offers the following description: “The Heritage Fairs Program is a multi-media initiative developed to increase public awareness and interest in Canadian history. The Ontario Heritage Fairs Association offers students the opportunity to explore the many aspects of their Canadian heritage in a dynamic learning environment and to present the results of their efforts in either French or English in a public exhibitions. The program is non-competitive in nature, with an emphasis on the importance of the learning process and the exchange of ideas.”

As a grandparent of one of the participants in the Toronto East Regional Heritage Fair sponsored by the Toronto District School Board and staged at the Scarborough Civic Centre this week, I was most amazed by the quality and the variety of presentations by the students from grades four to eight. In the opening ceremonies of the first day, two students from Bowmore Road PS introduced their approach as being suggested in the Ontario Social Studies, History and Geography Curriculum: “..to assess the effectiveness of their investigations, students must develop the ability to reflect on their work throughout the inquiry process.” Branch education and outreach committees may benefit from reading OHFA’s “Creating a Great Heritage Fair Project Using the Inquiry Model” (PDF). On the second day, while the displays were being adjudicated, the students were involved in workshops lead by Samantha Cutrara of Ontario Archives, Scarborough Museum, Mike Ford presenting Canada in Song, GPS Activities and a Loyalist Lady presentation by Jo Ann M. Tuskin. While it is recognized that other branches also participate in regional heritage fairs, Ms.Tuskin has submitted the following report on her education/outreach activities.

“For several years, Gov. Simcoe Branch has participated in the Toronto Regional Heritage Fairs. These Fairs are the equivalent of Science Fairs, but the focus is projects on History or Geography and the relevance and/or impact on Canada. The Toronto West Fair is held at Fort York and the Toronto East Fair is at the Scarborough Civic Centre. Gov. Simcoe Branch sets up a display table for the day to generate interest and answer any questions. We also look for any projects that relate to the Loyalists or the time period of the Revolutionary War and will offer a certificate and prize for well done work. For the past few years, Jo Ann Tuskin UE, secretary of Gov. Simcoe Branch as well as for The UELAC, has also been one of the guest speakers for the day, presenting her illustrated talk on ‘The United Empire Loyalists, Pioneers of Ontario.’ The students have put a great deal of time and effort into their projects and hopefully have learned more about Canada in the process.” JAT

More education/outreach reports are being planned based on submissions received. Next up will be a report on what is happening in Vancouver.

…Education and Outreach

Where in the World?

Where are London and Western Ontario Branch members Gerry and Bob Tordiff, and June Klassen??

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.

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

  • Ever wonder what living and working accommodations George Washington used during the Rev. War campaigns. Here is a photo and description of an exact replica of his tent – and the first “oval office”.
  • Courtesies, even in time of War. Conducted in Safety and Returned to Boston Unmolested
  • Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture presents it’s 20th Annual Institute Conference on June 12-15th in Halifax, NS. at Dalhousie University and at Saint Mary’s University. Prof. Carole Toxler is one of the participants. For more information visit http://oieahc.wm.edu/conferences/20thannual (Ray Blakeney)
  • The Southern Revolutionary War Institute has its biannual symposium on the American Revolution on October 4, 2014 in York, South Carolina. This program will focus on the British and Loyalists who fought in the Southern Campaigns. Presenters include Todd Braisted ((Hon. VP UELAC), Carole Toxler, Jim Piecuch, Greg Brooking, and others. More program will be announced. More information at http://www.southerncampaign.org/calendar-of-events. (Ray Blakeney)
  • Saturday, May 17 – Burning of Dover Mills Commemoration from 1 – 9pm at the Port Dover Harbour Museum. The goal is to tell the story of the effects of the raid on inhabitants of Upper Canada. (Doris Lemon)
  • The second annual Laura Secord Commemorative Walk organized by Friends of Laura Secord will take place on June 21st.
  • Blood Ties to a Gentle Landscape. A War of 1812 Exhibit at the Hamilton Military Museum (Dundurn Castle) on Sunday June 1st, 2014. Noon official opening. Followed by preview of the film with Bob Rennie as Maj.Gen. Sir Isaac Brock and Doris Lemon in Loyalist period costume telling the story of ancestor Mary Williams as her home is burned in Campbell’s raid. Followed by refreshments. A note of interest: Mary Williams saved only 2 items from the burning house – the hall mirror and her cherry sewing stand. The mirror was donated a few years ago to the Norfolk Historical Society in Simcoe. They loaned it to the Military Museum for this exhibit. And Doris displays the silver thimble, the only item remaining from the sewing stand. (Doris Lemon)
  • Opinion: Five myths about Quebec anglophones by Colin Standish, a member of the Little Forks Branch, UELAC located in the Eastern Townships of Quebec
  • Congratulations to our UELAC Twitter Manager. 1,000 Followers

Additions to the Loyalist Directory

As time permits, we add information to the Loyalist Directory. The latest additions and updates are as follows:
– Kelsey, James – from Garry Kelsey
– Mersereau, John – from Harry Currie

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

Last Post: Liliane M. Stewart

Passed away on May the 3rd in Montreal at the age of 85 Liliane M. Stewart.

Wife of the late David M. Stewart and mother of the late Roberta Spengler she is survived by her stepchildren, Diana, Catherine, (Joe Heiss) , Elizabeth, David Jr and by 5 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren.

She was closely associated with the many endeavours of her late husband with whom she established the Macdonald Stewart Foundation in 1973. Her leadership, interest and commitment to culture, Canadian heritage, medicine, education, international cooperation and youth have enabled significant projects to be carried out here and abroad.

Service to be held at Notre-Dame Basilica, 110 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest, Montreal, QC H2Y 1T2, Tuesday the 13th of May, at 11 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations to a charity of your choice would be appreciated.

…FHH – from G&M, Wednesday May 7, 2014


Response re When did ‘Rebels’ Become ‘Patriots’?

In last week’s Loyalist Trails, Bob Phillips posed that question. Here is Stephen Davidson’s response:

Bob Phillips asks a very good question. When did the word “patriot” come to be a synonym for “rebel”? Obviously, the British or the colonists who remained loyal to Britain did not use it in this manner. The American Revolution was a battle of words long before it resorted to muskets and cannon. As the rhetoric of those who opposed taxation of the colonies increased in the latter part of the 18th century, word choice became a popular weapon.

In any issue, controlling the vocabulary of the political debate means controlling the argument. This can be seen in the 20th century’s debate over abortion. One side used the word “fetus” while the other said “baby”. One used “terminating a pregnancy” while the other said “infanticide”. One side said it is “pro-choice” rather than pro-abortion, while the other said that it was “pro-life” rather than anti-abortion. One side talked about the rights of the mother while the other emphasized the rights of the child. Each side of the argument used its own vocabulary and did not pick words from its opponent’s lexicon.

The same thing happened in the rebelling colonies. The Whigs (those who felt British taxation was wrong) did not want to think of themselves as traitors, revolutionaries or rebels – or as treasonous persons. All of those words were very negative. They preferred to style themselves as “patriots” – those who loved their homeland. Britain, which had been described as the motherland up until the “troubles”, was re-labelled by Whigs with the word “enemy”, and its king was called a “tyrant”. Those who maintained their loyalty to the “foe” were called Tories or traitors – not “loyalists” or counter-revolutionaries.

As early as the spring of 1774, a letter to James Rivington’s New York Gazette spoke of the two political sides in the colonial conflict as being “either patriot or ministerial minions”. (Note that this was a year before the first shots were fired at Lexington.) No doubt “patriot” was used by other Whigs even earlier than the letter composed in 1774. It certainly was not used by loyalist to describe their opponents. This battle of words surrounding the participants in the American Revolution continued long after the firing of the last musket.

For example, in the 19th century, Yale University published a history that included biographical sketches of the hundreds of the school’s graduates. The editor was stymied by the fact that he had to talk about approximately 30 alumni who sided with the crown during the American Revolution. What would be the proper way to describe these students who were an embarrassment to an institution that prided itself on being intensely American? Calling a graduate of Yale a traitor or Tory just wouldn’t do.

The editor’s solution is a brilliant example of 19th century political correctness. Without using the words “traitor” or “Tory”, he referred to the 30 loyalists’ political views using a variety of euphemisms. The loyal Yale alumni “espoused the cause of the British government, “adhered to the Royal cause”, “chose to side with the mother country”, “declared sympathy with the mother country”, opposed “the popular side”, had “sympathies with the British”, were “on the unpatriotic side”, “remained loyal to the King” or were “outspoken in support of the mother country”. Contrary to Shakespeare’s observation, in the case of the loyalist alumni of Yale, a rose by any other name did somehow smell sweeter.

Historians in the late 20th and early 21st century have had to make the same sort of choices. Should American historians continue to call people with loyal political principles “traitors” or “Tories”? Those colonists called themselves “loyalists”, so that term should be used even in American textbooks. Should Canadian historians refer to the victors of the American Revolution as “rebels” or use the words the winners preferred, “patriots”? Using the emotionally- and politically-charged words “rebels” and “Tories” betrays the perspective of the historian. When referring to the first inhabitants of the New World, writers no longer use descriptive words that reflect a European perspective (such as “Indian”). Instead, they use “Native”, Aboriginal or “First Nations” – words that the aforementioned people prefer. In the same way, in an attempt to use more neutral words, historians use “loyalist” instead of “traitor” and “patriot” instead of “rebel”. These are, after all, the terms that each group used to describe itself.

And that’s why, even in a newsletter such as Loyalist Trails, the reader will find the word “patriot” – the word used by the friends, family, and neighbours of American loyalists over 230 years ago—to describe American rebels.

…Stephen Davidson

Bob adds:

It is interesting how the evolution of language, culture, and political philosophies parallel one another. I had to look up “patriot” in an etymological dictionary, to see how it evolved from a derisive word to one of pride. Cultural value systems can and do evolve. The next task, in my mind, is to see just how the American Rebellion 1776-1783 grew out of the English Civil War 1642-1651, and the Enlightenment Period. I believe that this exercise will better help us to understand the difference in our cultural values, especially in regards to the relationship between Canada and the United States.

Black Population of Nova Scotia

Luren Dickinson of Ohio noted in last week’s article by Stephen Davidson that ten percent of the Refugees were Blacks, but today they make up only two percent of the population. Why? Stephen responded:

It’s great to be answering a question that originates from Ohio! Warning: brevity is a virtue I am still striving to achieve.

The descendants of the Black Loyalists declined in number (as did the descendants of the white loyalists) for many reasons. People stay in – or leave – a geographical area largely due to their ability to make a living. That includes not only economic survival (putting food on the table and a roof over one’s head), but acceptance in a community (religious and ethnic), the enjoyment of political rights, and (yes, even) climate.

As with many other places in North America, the original numbers and racial make-up of Nova Scotia’s population changed over time. Philadelphia, for example, was once the largest city in the United States, but was eclipsed by New York. Philadelphia also had a huge black population in the years before the Civil War because the Quaker-dominated city was a refuge for men and women fleeing slavery in the south. Once slavery ended, much of that black population migrated to industrial cities such as Detroit and Chicago to find work. So both Philadelpia’s population and its ethnic ratios varied over time.

Loyalist history is filled with the same sort of demographic shifts. Thanks to the loyalists, Shelburne, Nova Scotia was once the fourth largest city in North America and the largest in British North America (what became Canada). It’s poor soil, inability to develop shipping, and lack of hinterland saw it become a virtual ghost town within decades. Shelburne is just one of many examples of loyalist “boom towns” that died within ten years of settlement.

Allow me to play with numbers for a moment longer, let me share some statistics that will be featured in an upcoming Loyalist Trails feature on New Brunswick, the first loyalist refugee colony.

Nowadays, “it is easy to dismiss the significance of New Brunswick. After all, it only represents 0.7% of Canada’s land mass and 2% of its population. But when loyalists founded the colony in 1784, it represented the largest concentration of displaced Americans anywhere in the world. Of the 60,000 loyalists who fled the United States of America during and following the War of Independence, only about 6,000 settled in what is now Ontario and Quebec. 8,000 made homes in Great Britain while about 5,000 sailed for colonies in the West Indies.

On the other hand, no less than 33,000 loyalists found refuge in Nova Scotia. That’s over half of all of the Americans dispersed throughout the British Empire – more than five times the original loyalist population that sought refuge along the St. Lawrence River. If this ratio had been maintained throughout the succeeding 230 years, the population of what is now New Brunswick and Nova Scotia would be about 65 million compared to Ontario’s present-day 13 million.”

The hopes that Maritimers had that Halifax or Saint John would become the Canadian equivalents of Boston or New York – or that the economic and political power of the country would be concentrated in the east as it was in the United States – were dashed by the growth of Ontario.

“While some loyalist refugee colonies experienced great difficulties, Upper Canada did especially well. In time it became Ontario, Canada’s most populous province and the centre of the nation’s industries, media, entertainment and politics. Today Ontario’s population is nine times that of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia combined. But 230 years ago, Upper Canada’s loyalist settlers amounted to only a mere sixth of the multitude of loyalists who found refuge in Nova Scotia before its separation into three colonies. In other words, five out of every six loyalists living in British North America were to be found in Nova Scotia. This fact of history has been largely forgotten in the subsequent 230 years, but it is significant nevertheless.”

And now (finally) to answer Luren’s question. As Doug pointed out, a good number of the Black Loyalists left the Maritimes to found Sierra Leone. However, not every Black Loyalist knew about the opportunity to go to Africa (or qualified), and so there was still a sizeable African population in the region following the exodus of 1792. Almost from the beginning of loyalists in the Maritimes, there was a drift to the west to seek better lives. White loyalists who initially settled in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia sought fresh opportunities in Upper Canada. Diaries from the early 1800s mentioned people from Fredericton bumping into one another in the streets of Toronto. Many loyalists (or their children) never got over being homesick for their original states and returned to the USA once the fear of persecution had subsided.

The Black Loyalists and their descendants did not have the luxury of returning to the United States – they would be immediately enslaved once again. But economic opportunities in the Maritimes were just as limiting for them as for their white counterparts. They sought better lives, but could not consider going to the States. As Doug pointed out, their reduced standard of living would lead to poor medical treatment, poor diet, poor housing and thus to higher death rates. But this would not account for all of the decline in the African population of the Maritimes. Black Loyalists and their descendants could head west to Ontario, east to England, or find employment in the vigorous merchant shipping of the British Empire or its Royal Navy.

Once emancipation had been declared in the United States, then the descendants of the Black Loyalists (and the Black Refugees of the War of 1812) could begin their migration to the States, following the well-trod path created by white Maritimers who sought better lives in the southern republic. The industries of the burgeoning cities and the expansion to the west of the Mississippi River drew Maritimers as well as European immigrants and Americans from the well-populated eastern states. One did not need a lot of skills to work in a factory or farm, and these attracted Maritimers of all races.

So, to re-cap, the racial ratio of the loyalist settlement era might have remained the same in the Maritimes up until the 21st century had there been the same economic and social advantages that were to be found in the “west” (be it the Canadian or American frontier). However, the Maritimes did not develop along the same path as the New England states, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, and the descendants of both white and black loyalists hitched their wagons to other stars.

I hope this provides some clues as to why Canadians of African descent no longer make up ten per cent of the Maritimes’ population. (However, Nova Scotia still has the highest per capita number of black citizens of any province in Canada.)

Family of Isaac Mann

I have begun researching my family’s military history. It appears that I am a direct descendant of Colonel Isaac Mann. I see that he listed in the Loyalist Directory where some additional information has been contributed.

My great grandfather was James Mann, but I don’t yet have the connection between him and one of the children of Isaac.

I would be interested in hearing from anyone who has researched the family or is likewise descended from Isaac as I would love to learn more about my family.

Doug Pflug, Guelph

Can DNA Help Prove a Loyalist Ancestor?

A question has come up about the use of DNA to prove descent from a Loyalist ancestor. As I have only a very rudimentary understanding of how DNA is being used in genealogical research (perhaps other readers fall into the same group), I would like to draw on the knowledge of those who know more.

This question will hopefully become a series of questions and responses over time.

To keep it simple, assume we have a record of two Loyalists: Loyalist Dad is father to Loyalist Son and both of them served in a Loyalist Regiment. They show on a muster roll and both received Loyalist land grants.

We also have one descendant who has successfully proven genealogical descent from Loyalist Son and from Loyalist Father, and received two Loyalist certificates. A name for this person: Proven Descendant.

I believe I am also a descendant of Loyalist Dad but I have records only back to my Grandparents. I am missing about 4 generations.

Can DNA show that I am a descendant of Loyalist Dad? (I am not looking for a lot of technical details – I am sure that can be found elsewhere – but what are the few steps that would have to be done to show this, if it is possible). We can explore issues and other circumstances as follow-on queries.

…Doug, loyalist.trails@uelac.org