“Loyalist Trails” 2014-38: September 21, 2014
In this issue:
– Unpacking a Loyalist Moving Sale Ad, by Stephen Davidson
– James Moody & the Loyalists of Weymouth NS, By Brian McConnell, UE
– Benjamin Becraft UEL (full article), by Doug Massey, UE
– Notes from an Interview of Abram Diamond by Dr. Wm. Canniff
– Beaver Harbour New Brunswick Settlement in 1783
– UELAC Magazine: The Digital Loyalist Gazette Fall Issue
– Where in the World is Barb Law?
– Loyally – Royally – Yours for Saskatchewan
– Burning the White House
– World War II: RCAF Memorial (Addendum)
– From the Twittersphere and Beyond
– Additions to the Loyalist Directory
– Last Post: Gwendolyn Smith, UE (née Meeks)
– Last Post: Gordon Frederick Dandy
+ The Diamond–Loyst–Shewman Connection
+ John Green and John Green and John Green?
At eleven o’clock on the morning of Thursday, September 22, 1791, the bargain hunters of loyalist Saint John gathered at the corner of King and Canterbury Streets. One of the city’s most prosperous merchants, a former loyalist officer, had hired John Chaloner to auction off most of his family’s wordily goods. They would be moving to England in three months’ time and needed to liquidate some of their assets.
The ad that the officer placed in the Royal Gazette did more than list the “quantity of household furniture” for sale, it also demonstrated the level of success that this Connecticut loyalist had attained in New Brunswick. The items to be auctioned off ranged from a chandelier to a coalscuttle and from card tables to fire screens. Let’s follow the bargain hunters, and see what we can learn about the loyalist officer and his family as their things go up for bid.
Contemporaries described the officer’s house as “quite a pretentious home”. It was situated in a neighbourhood favoured by the rich and powerful in the heart of the “Upper Cove”, the city’s business district. The house was just a block away from the site at which so many loyalist refugees disembarked from the ships of the first evacuation fleet out of New York in May 1783. Where the first arrivals lived in surplus army tents, the officer and his family lived in a two and a half story oak home that was well finished, had large rooms, and was warmed by several fireplaces. Three dormer windows looked out onto King Street from the gambrel roof.
The officer put aside his uniform to become a West Indies merchant. In addition to ships, he owned a warehouse, wharves and an office on the harbour front. When his ships took West Indies’ goods to England, he was able to buy the finest furnishings in the latest fashions, turning his Saint John house into a showplace for his wealth as well as a comfortable home for his wife, their seven children, and their servants.
The loyalist and his family certainly slept well. In addition to selling bedroom furniture pieces, they also auctioned off several “excellent” feather beds. The master bedroom contained a four-poster bed made of mahogany, a wood found in the West Indies.
The loyalist’s wife had a weakness for blue and white. Her cabriole chairs, sofas, and curtains were all in blue damask; in the parlour she served her guests tea with two serving sets made of Nankeen china that featured blue and white designs. The Wedgewood gilt ware that her husband bought in England was sold as well as a “variety of glassware”. Such goods would not be found in the loyalist settlements along the St. John River. The disbanded soldiers and refugees would take their meals from bowls and plates made of pottery or wood.
Almost a century later, New Brunswickers whose ancestors had attended the moving sale could trace various family heirlooms back to the officer’s auction. In 1883, a city merchant was happy to display a “massive copper coal scuttle of English design” that bore the officer’s signature. Arthur Hill in nearby St. Stephen had a chair that had been bought at the same auction. One of these chairs, which may have been made by the officer himself, is part of the collection of the New Brunswick Museum. It is painted white, trimmed in gold, and upholstered in the wife’s signature blue damask.
As the auctioneer’s hammer signalled the end of individual purchases during that Thursday morning, shoppers walked out of the loyalist’s home with fire screens, small tables and mirrors. A globe of the world would no longer sit near the secretary desk (worth five to eight thousand dollars today). “A great quantity of kitchen furniture” would be scattered over a number of homes in Saint John, but only the richest shoppers could have purchased the girandoles and lustres. Girandoles were luxurious candelabras of French design that either stood on a table or projected from the wall. Lustres were chandeliers made of cut prismatic glass pendants.
Some of the officer’s possessions were seen outside his home on a regular basis. The auctioneer sold the wife’s sidesaddle and bridle, gear that she would have used while riding her horse through the city’s streets. There was also a sedan chair, a clue that the family must have employed a number of servants. This device was an enclosed chair that two porters carried between horizontal poles. Given the steep slope of the streets of Saint John, it must have been strenuous work to transport the officer’s wife on her errands about the city.
Soon the auction was over. The bargain hunters and those who had just come to gawk returned to their homes. Over the next three months, the officer sold both his home in Saint John and his house in Fredericton, the latter selling for £325. After the family arrived in England, the loyalist wrote back to a friend in Saint John with bitter words, “I cannot help viewing your great city as a shipwreck from which I have escaped.”
His wife was a little more nostalgic. “I hear much of the gaiety of your little city, but find party spirit, especially among the ladies, still rages with violence. I shall always regret my separation from many valuable friends.”
It is often the children who have the greatest difficulty leaving the only place they have known to be their home. James, the fourth of the officer’s sons, was just eight years old when the family moved to England. In the early 1820s, thirty years after he had last been in Saint John, James went back to the house at the corner of King and Canterbury. Witnesses recalled how he “wept like a child” at the sight. Eleven years later, King William IV made the loyalist’s son an aide-de-camp.
Henry and Richard, two of James’ older step-brothers, settled near Brockville, Upper Canada where their father had been granted land. Their descendants no doubt live among us still. Their two younger brothers found success in England; Edward as a banker and George as an army officer.
As for their parents, history has not always been kind in remembering them. In fact, most people are unaware that Benedict Arnold and his wife Margaret ever lived in Saint John, New Brunswick — or had a most memorable moving sale in the fall of 1791.
To secure permission to reprint this article, email Stephen Davidson.
At the end of the American Revolution it was United Empire Loyalists who settled Sissiboo, now Weymouth, Nova Scotia. Sissiboo was renamed Weymouth in 1823 after Weymouth, Massachusetts. During the period 1783 -1787 Americans who had chosen to defend the Crown of England had to flee their homes in the United States to start a new life in Canada. Many of these United Empire Loyalists are buried in the cemetery at St. Peter’s Anglican Church in Weymouth North, N.S. overlooking the Sissiboo River. Here are the gravestones of James Moody and his wife Jane. He was a New Jersey farmer who for refusing to pledge loyalty to the United States had his life threatened. He fled the area with other Loyalists to behind British lines and joined a Loyalist provincial corps to serve against the rebels. After the war he settled at Sissiboo with other Loyalists.
This 5-page article with a number of photos and notes also includes some details and reference to:
– One Loyalist who settled near the mouth of the Sissiboo River, Stephen Jones
– John Taylor was a Captain in James Moody’s battalion of the New Jersey Volunteers
– There are many other graves of Loyalists at St. Peter’s Cemetery in Weymouth North. These include Josiah Jones.
– Captain Reuben Hankinson, born in Shrewsbury, Monmouth County, New Jersey.
– Captain Benjamin McConnell and his brother James McConnell.
– Captain John Cosman, also appears on the Muster Roll of Loyalists in 1794 for Sissiboo.
The Muster Roll for Sissiboo taken in June, 1784 includes 49 names of Loyalists who settled in Sissiboo and nearby St. Mary’s Bay. The muster roll with its details is included as a three page appendix.
Read about James Moody and the Loyalists of Weymouth (PDF).
…Brian McConnell, UE
Abram Diamond born in Fredericksburgh in the year 1795. Fathers name was John who was born near Albany. Mothers name was Loyst born in Phil. Ancestors came from Germany. His father had several brothers one older than himself was drafted to the rebels but he ran away from them. Was concealed in a house sick for some time the doctor had to go see him every day and the house was suspected. Went to examine it. The refugee was in bed, which was so made that it did not look at first as if one was in it. They however detected the heaving of the clothes caused by the breathing. They then required his father to go bonds for him 1200 dollars. When he got well he was taken away. He again escaped and was caught. Then hand cuffed with another prisoner. His father went to see. Told him to avail himself of place where a short cut would be taken to knock the guard on the head. This was done with a stick. The two then ran through the would [sic] for life. One went one side of a sappling the other on the opposite side. Enough to break their arrests?. They rubbed the hand cuff against a rock until they could break it. They then escaped to Canada.
When the father (John) came old enough he was drafted but he ran away. Afterwards two others were taken prisoners carried off and never heard of. John also escaped to Canada., Montreal. Enlisted in Major Rogers Regiment – was in a small engagement near Champlain. Discharged at the close of the war. Came with regiment to Fredericksburgh. This township was for his Reg[iment]. The officers were each to draw 200 acres only the privates 100. But they each drew 200 elsewhere. His father drew his in Richmond. There was not enough land in Fredericksburgh for all so a portion of Adolphustown was taken; for major Rogers had been promised that all his Regiment should be together. He was determined that they should. Was nearly having a fight with some one Adolphustown about it. (Probably major Vanalstine). The Fred Additional was to secure the necessary land for all the men together.
Capt Myers used to stop at his fathers in Fredericksburgh. He and his father used to carry despatches through the enemies country. His mother also did it often. Her friends were living on the Mohawk river. When Sir John Johnson came that way her two brothers joined him. They then got lost and came out at Hungry bay, so called from their nearly starving here. They returned when gone to Oswego. They had to work “touch wood”. Finally got relief from Oswego. His mother stayed a little longer on the Mohawk and then escaped into Canada, the Yankees having taken everything she had.
Father & mother were married in Lower Canada before the Reg came up to Fred. Major Crawford and Col Spencer belonged to the Reg and settled in Fred.
When the regiment arrived they expected to find the land all surveyed, but it was not. They came up in the spring but did not get on their land till fall. They only brought their clothes with them. Half rations were served for a year. Some had money though. Through the summer they slept under a pine tree, got in some grain in the fall. Fathers lot was in 2nd concession East half number 9 on Hay Bay. The next year thinks was the “Hungry Year” . Father had plenty but others had not. They gave away ?? till they gave away all they had. The next summer they had to boil grain once before it was ripe. (This was close calculation in giving and saving for self W.C.) many lived on Beech leaves for a long time. Some who had money would send to Oswego or Montreal for food but they were few.
The grain was taken to a mill 4 miles north of Kingston on a little stream. This belonged to Government, thinks. Afterwards a windmill was built in Fredericksburgh by Russell. Remembers this, Russel thinks was an officer at least he had 200 acres, which none but officers drew (He perhaps might have bought 100 acres. W.C.) This Russel lived in Kingston during the war of 1812, was engineer in the works there as overseer.
Remembers Rev Mr Langhorn well, thought he was his enemy because he made him have the catachusm [sic]. Baptized all of the family, no doubt before the 8th day after birth. Was very particular, especially as to time. Persons sometimes who came to get married not being on time were sent away. His neighbour Davis* was so served. He would always exact from the groom three coppers for his clerk; for himself he was indifferent. If the groom gave anything he would give it to the bride. The Rev was a little excentric [sic] but a devout preacher. He did not preach for money – would go in all weather. Was often at his fathers. Remembers his coming with feet frozen. Had to extract the foot slowly was for a long time lame. When the war of 1812 broke out he thought the Yankees would take Canada, and he would not be allowed to pray for the Queen. This he could not stand so went home to England.
Remembers Rev Mr Dunham (Meth) he had the credit of having effected great reform in the 5th towners who had been dirty and miserable. After his preaching they much improved.
NOTE: * that could be my ancestor
On August 10 in Loyalist Trails we noted “Celebrate the Arrival of the Loyalist ship Camel in Beaver Harbour, NB on Sept 14 – 231st Anniversary! Beaver Harbour Museum, Black History Society and New Brunswick Br UELAC”
On Sunday September 14, 2014 at the Beaver Harbour Museum the anniversary was celebrated. The gathering included descendants and relatives of the following members of the Quaker Company which settled Belle View (Beaver Harbour, New Brunswick) in September 1783: Jessie Walton, Benjamin Brown, Joseph Tomlinson, Elias Wright, Samuel Fairlamb and Captain Gideon Vernon (Associated Loyalists).
Submitted by 6x Great- Nephew of Captain Gideon Vernon, U.E. and related also to Samuel Fairlamb, Edwin A. Garrett IV who is second from the right in this photo.
From Twitter, a photo of the monument and plaque at the Quaker Burial Ground in Beaver Harbour, N.B. In memory of the first Quaker settlers of 1783. The man by the monument is Joshua Thomson, U.E. This photo was taken on the day of the ceremony.
The Reverend Philip Williston UE led the group in prayers at the monument.
The UELAC publishes semi-annually the Loyalist Gazette periodical. If all goes according to plan, it should be mailed about the first of November.
As a member of UELAC or as a subscriber to the Gazette, you can receive it in digital form:
– get it earlier when the paper version goes to the mailing house
– get it in colour – not just the front and back covers, but all through
– enjoy the advantages that a digital copy offers when reading
– help keep the costs down by saving on paper, printing and mailing
If you haven’t previously requested the the Spring issue of the Loyalist gazette – just go to Request the Digital Version
The Loyalist Gazette 2013 issues, Spring and Fall, are available to all.
Once again we would appreciate any feedback to email@example.com
…Bob McBride, Editor, Loyalist Gazette
Where is Col. Edward Jessup Branch member Barb Law?
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.
On Thursday, Sept 18 a few members of the Saskatchewan Branch gathered, in period dress, at Government house to greet HRH Prince Edward. We had the pleasure of speaking with Prince Edward and presented him with a copy of “Loyally Yours” to which he responded “was this some home work”. It was a beautiful afternoon, warm and sunny and the Prince was very personable as he proceeded on his walkabout.
See the pictures on the Saskatchewan Branch Facebook page for your enjoyment.
…Gerry and Pat Adair
August 24, 1814. British Forces under Major General Robert Ross defeated American forces at Bladensburg, Maryland and proceeded to Washington DC (which had a population of about 700 at the time) and burned the Capitol, the presidential mansion (now known as the White House) and other public buildings.
August 23 & 24, 2014…Major David Moore UE led a contingent of Canadian Fencibles (a Canadian based 1812 reenactment regiment) to Bladensburg and Washington to remind its citizens of the events of 200 years ago. Major Moore planned and, with considerable cutting of red tape, organized a guided tour of the Capitol (in uniform. . . entering the original part of the building through the very door used by the British 200 years ago), a visit to the Canadian Embassy, participation in the reenactment of the Battle of Bladensburg, presentations at the Museum of American History and Freedom Plaza and a photo op outside the White House. We were not invited in!
The absolute highlight of the trip had to be marching, in uniform, colours flying, carrying (unfortunately unlit) torches, up the centre of Pennsylvania Avenue towards the White House with the Capitol to our rear.
The Canadian Fencibles were the only group, British or American, celebrating (oops, I mean commemorating) this bicentennial. Without the efforts of Major Moore this piece of history would, undoubtedly, have gone unnoticed in the city.
You may have seen newspaper articles regarding the British embassy being forced to apologize for Tweeting a photograph of a cake looking a lot like the White House decorated with sparklers. The Canadian Regiment of Fencible Infantry under Major Moore did not apologize!
– The Fencibles have a Facebook Page (might be a closed group?) with more photos
…Capt. Alex Lawrence, UE, Canadian Regiment of Fencible Infantry
Last week, the World War II: RCAF Memorial was referenced.
Barb Andrew of Brandon notes that the names were taken from the book “They Shall Grow Not Old” that was published by the museum about 20 years ago. The hard cover book of over 800 pages is in its second printing and available at the museum. The book includes 18,000 biographies.
More details and an order form are available on the website.
- British Loyalist businesswoman Abigail Stoneman in Newport, RI. Abigail Stoneman (fl. 1760-1777-84) was a feisty loyalist businesswoman active in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, & New York. It is difficult to construct a biography of her early years, because there is no known record of her maiden name or birth. Read on.
- Legal privateer or pirate – are they all that much different? Lots of the former in the Revolution, and maybe more than a few of the latter. But how did pirates talk? Who knows – but read a bit more about pirates.
- Join the Friends of Fort George as we commemorate the 202nd anniversary of the Battle of Queenston Heights. Our staff will be offering Commemorative guided tours of the battlefield on October 11th and 12th at 11:00 am, 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm. Tours start at the base of Brock’s Monument. Cost: $4.50 per adult, $3.50 per child. Call 905-468-6621 for more information.
As time permits, we add information to the Loyalist Directory. The latest additions and updates are as follows:
Becraft, Benjamin – from Doug Massey
DeForest, Abraham (information about son Simon) – from Paul Caverly
Green, John – from Hugh Christie with certificate application (Volunteer Jo Ann Tuskin)
Merritt, Robert – from Fran Rose
Moody, Col. James – from Brian McConnell
Powley, Johann (Jacob) – from Wayne Hovdestad (volunteer Linda McClelland)
Snyder, Marcus – from Wayne Hovdestad (volunteer Linda McClelland)
Please help us build the directory by contributing more information for it. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for instructions and guidance.
It is with sadness that we announce the peaceful passing of Gwendolyn Marguerite Smith (nee Meeks) on Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at the Poseidon Personal Care Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Gwen was born August 15, 1921, grew up in Bellrock, Ontario – the fourth of five children. In her early adult years, she moved to Kingston, Ontario where she worked and attended the Kingston Business College. In 1944, she married Crawford Smith, the love of her life. While Crawford remained in the military until being discharged after WWII, she lived for a brief time in Brockville. At the end of the war, they moved to their long-time home west of Bath, along Lake Ontario. While lovingly restoring their Georgian-style brick house, they raised three children. Once her children were all in school, Gwen returned to the workforce at Millhaven Fibres where she was a secretary in the Research Lab and later for the factory’s comptroller. She retired in December 1984.
Gwen had a passion for music, and researching family history. She took piano and singing lessons and for many years directed the Junior Choir and played the organ for services once a month at Bath United Church, where she also taught Sunday School. Gwen was also a proud descendent of many United Empire Loyalists (Jeptha Hawley, Sheldon Hawley, James Johnson, Joseph Jenkes, Amos Martin, Philip Switzer, and Mathias Rose). She served as President of the Bay of Quinte Branch (joined in 1957 – a charter member) of the United Empire Loyalist Association of Canada (UELAC) as well as Dominion President of the UELAC 1984-1986. One of the proudest events of her life was being presented to Queen Elizabeth II at the official opening of the Loyalist Parkway in 1984 [Photo of Gwen and Crawford UE taken at the time of the opening]. In 2003, Gwen was inducted into the Bay of Quinte Loyal Americans Hall of Honour.
Gwen is predeceased by her parents Arnold Clair Meeks and Mary Rosetta Reppard; Crawford, her husband of over 50 years; daughter Susan Simpson; sister Delesslyn White and her husband Freeman; and brothers Oakland Meeks and Maitland Meeks. She is survived by two children – Malcolm Smith (Chuck) and Jennifer Clarkson, as well as her youngest bother Leland Meeks (Kae), grandsons Peter Clarkson (son of Jennifer) and Duncan Simpson (son of Susan), sisters-in-law Bessie and May, four great-grandchildren and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. She will also be missed by Diane, Maureen, Fran, June, Jennifer, Kelly, May, Audrey, and Maggie who were part of her “Winnipeg family”.
Many thanks to the staff at the Poseidon Personal Care Centre for the wonderful care they provided Gwen for the last eight and a half years. Thanks also to the friends and relatives who showed their love for Gwen over the last few years through cards, letters, phone calls and email.
Gwen will be laid to rest with a private service and burial for family and close friends at McDowell Cemetery in Sandhurst, ON. A pubic celebration of Gwen’s life will be held on Saturday, October 11 at 1:00 PM at Payne Funeral Home in Odessa, Ontario . For those who wish, donations in memory of Gwen can be made to the UEL Heritage Centre and Park, the Alzheimer’s Society, or a charity of choice.
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Gordon Frederick Dandy at the age of 74 years. A lifelong resident of the City of Welland, Gordon passed away on Thursday, September 18, 2014 at the St. Catharines Hospital. Gordon was the loving partner of Noreen Stapley for 35 years. Predeceased by his wife Joan (Rohaly), father Frederick, mother Madge (Betty) and sister Sharon Dandy, Gordon will be greatly missed by Noreen’s sister Marilyn Johnman, her children Michael Johnman and Kerrie Bezemer (Rick), and their children Maclean and Cynthia Johnman and Sienna, Derick and Lucas Bezemer. He also will be greatly missed by his Kuroki 8 Hunt Club and his Tim Horton coffee klatch, where Gord would often be seen with his faithful retriever Brady.
Gordon was a tireless supporter of the UELAC. Gordon and Noreen were always a highly effective team and worked together on many projects. They became actively involved with Colonel John Butler (Niagara) Branch in 1998 and helped to make the UELAC Conference hosted by the Branch in 2000 a great success. Gordon was the co-chair of the CJB Loyalist clothing committee and at Past Dominion President Bernice Flett’s request co-chaired the “Project 2014 Promotions Committee” from 2002 to 2011. The Promotions Committee helped Branches raise funds for their 2014 centennial celebrations and projects. and provided a visible means of promoting the Association. Gordon was responsible for sourcing, ordering, storing, promoting, selling and shipping the large selection of clothing and other promotional items that were available. He also used his cargo van to carry the display to many UEL Branch meetings and Conferences across the country. People are still wearing that clothing.
In 2004 Gordon started the successful Loyalist Burial project in Niagara for Colonel John Butler (Niagara) Branch ; 33 cemeteries were plaqued and a CD was produced and sold.
Gord was the “go-to” person.
He always said “Wear and Use your Loyalty with Pride”.
Gordon’s unique ability to repair anything manmade will be greatly missed. He would quietly offer his repair and building skills to whoever was in need. Later in life he designed and built training aids that assisted Police Departments in both Canada and the United States to better develop their Police Service Dogs, without accepting compensation for his efforts and time.
The family will receive friends at the H.L. Cudney Funeral Home, 241 West Main Street, Welland on Friday September 26th from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. followed by a service to celebrate Gordon’s life at 12 noon in the Cudney Chapel. As an expression of sympathy, donations to the Welland Humane Society, Heart & Stroke Foundation or Lion’s Foundation of Canada would be appreciated. Online condolences available at www.cudneyfuneralhome.com
…Fred Hayward and Bev Craig
I recently proved to and received a certificate as a descendant of John Diamond and have contributed my certificate application and other information to share with others.
John was married to Christiana Loyst (B. 1765), daughter of Johann Chebin Loyst. Christiana’s subsequent step father was William Frederick Shewman. I am looking for information on Christiana (nee Loyst/Shewman) Diamond of the Fredericksburgh, Lennox & Addington Co., (Napanee) ON, area.
William Frederick Shewman is listed in the In the Loyalist Directory as proven with descendants as follows:
– Bay of Quinte 1978.02.07,
– Bay of Quinte 1989.05.27,
– Kawartha 1997.01.19,
– Toronto 1977.05.3; and,
– St. Lawrence 2009.08.31,
– Manitoba 2012.04.30.
There is an Attorney General’s FIAT to her benefit for 200 acres dated 20 March 1826, of which I have a copy. In addition, a publication identifies her as a British Courier during the Revolutionary War.
I am seeking more information and documentation about Christiana and the families she was part of. I would like to share with others who have proved to those families or have an interest in them. If Christiana was a British Courier, then she may be a UEL in her own right, or if her blood father was a Loyalist, then there is another opportunity for certificates.
There are currently three entries for “John Green” in the Loyalist directory. They are listed as having settled in St. John NB, Marysburgh ON, and Grimsby ON.
Can anyone help with information which would show that two or even all three of those are the same person.
Also, a number of people have proved to a John Green (Marysburgh and Grimsby show as proven). If there are John’s in each of those places, are the proven descendants listed under the correct “John”.