“Loyalist Trails” 2014-39: September 28, 2014

In this issue:
The Loyalist Acadians of the St. John River Valley, by Stephen Davidson
Notes from an Interview of Abram Diamond by Dr. Wm Canniff
Widow Sutherland of the River Raisin (McNiff Map)
Vancouver Branch Programme: 2014 Heritage Fair Presentations
Chilliwack Celebrates UELAC Centenary
UELAC Magazine: The Loyalist Gazette Fall Issue in Digital
Loyalist Quarterly by Paul Bunnell: September 2014 Issue Now Available
Where in the World?
Book: The Fenian Raid in Niagara, by Bill Smy
From the Twittersphere and Beyond
Additions to the Loyalist Directory
      + Responses to Query: John Green x3


The Loyalist Acadians of the St. John River Valley, by Stephen Davidson

When one thinks of the Acadians, a number of images may come to mind: the expulsion of 1755, Louisiana’s Cajuns, or their gradual resettlement in the Maritimes. One thing is certain — these iconic images of Acadian history do not include the fact that the Acadian settlers along New Brunswick’s St. John River provided valuable service to the crown during the American Revolution.

It is counter-intuitive to even conceive that a people persecuted and pursued by the British in 1755 should become loyal supporters of King George III in 1776. Fact, however, is stranger than fiction. Thanks to a report compiled in the summer of 1783, we can identify a dozen of these loyalist Acadians.

During the American Revolution the St. John River Valley was in Nova Scotia’s Sunbury County. Fort Howe, which defended the mouth of the river, was under the command of Major Gilfred Studholme. An Irish veteran of the Seven Years War, Studholme supressed several uprisings of patriot sympathizers within the colony and successfully defended it against attack by American forces.

In the spring of 1783, thousands of loyalist refugees from the rebellious thirteen colonies to the south began to arrive at Fort Howe. Needing to find land for these displaced persons, Studholme commissioned four men to sail up the St. John River to enumerate all of the New England Planters and Acadians who had settled along its shores prior to the American Revolution.

The consequent report that Studholme’s commissioners submitted not only revealed the names of the heads of households and the status of their land titles, but it also reported on the political stance taken by the settlers during the war. Some had joined the rebel side and did their best to oust the British. Others, including a dozen Acadian families, had demonstrated their loyalty to the crown in active service.

(An aside: Usually the term “loyalist” is used to describe American colonists who came to modern day Canada as refugees. However, this usage ignores the fact that there were many who were loyal to the crown during the revolution who did not become refugees. Some were loyal in colonies that did not form the new United States (such as Quebec and Nova Scotia), while others accepted the results of the revolution and remained on their ancestral land. When the British parliament struck a board to compensate the losses of loyalists, it divided its faithful colonists into six classifications. The very first one was “those who had rendered services to Great Britain”. The Acadians of the St. John River fit this classification of loyalist although they were not refugees.)

The first Acadian described as having “great merit in exerting himself all in his power for the good of His Majesty’s service” was Jean Martin. He and his wife Ann had five children; they had lived on their 10-acre farm for the past fifteen years. Studholme added his own comments to the commissioners’ report, saying that Martin had provided notice about the movements of the rebels within the colony and “was very active on that occasion”.

Four other Acadian families with the Martin surname also received the major’s commendation. Simon (having a wife and three children), Joseph (having a wife and four children), Francis (with his wife Florisine and four children) and Amant Martin (with a wife and six children) were also described as “good subjects and were active against the Rebels”. Jean Baptiste Gaudin, who had lived along the river for four years, had served the crown to the west in Canada.

What is frustrating to the modern historian is the complete lack of reference to why these Acadians served the crown rather than joining with American rebels. It is interesting to note that back in the summer of 1763, the governor of Nova Scotia had ordered Studholme to remove Acadians living in what is Sainte-Anne (Fredericton). However, the major took no measures to chase the French settlers out of the colony. Was it an enduring gratitude to Studholme that prompted the Acadians of the river valley to join the loyalist side?

While the motivation for Acadian loyalty is still a mystery, the types of service these French settlers provided is not. Joseph Herbert, a resident of 14 years, had been a pilot for Studholme along the colony’s rivers – as had Oliver Cyr/Cire and Pierre Cyr/Cire.

Joseph Daigle served as a courier between the mouth of the St. John River and Quebec. Another Acadian messenger for the crown was Louis Mercure. The commissioners told Studholme that “his character {is} good as a subject and we beg leave to recommend him in the fullest manner.”

Acadian couriers could complete the overland trip between modern day Fredericton and Quebec in just two weeks in the summer – and in four weeks during the winter. Although Natives were often hired as couriers, the British had a greater confidence in the Acadians and entrusted their most important dispatches to them. Comprised of log huts built at intervals of a day’s journey, the Acadians’ courier route was the means by which messages were sent to Quebec from Halifax, New York, and the mouth of the St. John River.

Jean Baptiste Cyr/Cire, a settler of 15 years who had a wife and seven children, had helped Michael Francklin as he sought to secure the loyalty of the Native people of the St. John River Valley. Francklin, Nova Scotia’s lieutenant governor during the American Revolution was also its superintendent of Indian affairs. Assisted by Acadian settlers, his negotiations with both the Mi’kmaq and Wolastoqiyik (Malecite) tribes saw to it that the Natives remained loyal to the crown. This was a crucial factor in Nova Scotia’s remaining a part of British North America.

Francklin could speak French as well as the Native languages. During the late 1760s, he had allowed the Acadians returning to Nova Scotia following the expulsion to settle near the Minas Basin. He also granted them freedom to worship as Roman Catholics and promised them that there would be no further deportations. Having treated the Acadians of the Nova Scotia peninsula with respect, Francklin may have also earned the loyalty of those who were settled along the St. John River.

Despite the thousands of loyalist refugees who acquired land along the St. John River in 1783, we know that the Acadians who sided with the crown remained in New Brunswick. The probate records of the early 19th century indicate that Jean Martin died in 1807 in Kingsclear near Fredericton, while John and Oliver Cyr/Cire and Francis Martin settled near Edmundston.

Had these Acadians not sided with the crown that had once expelled so many of their people, important dispatches would never have reached Quebec, rebel activity along the St. John River would not have been suppressed, and the colony’s natives might not have allied themselves with the crown. Their wartime service is a fascinating convergence of Acadian and loyalist history.

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

Notes from an Interview of Abram Diamond by Dr. Wm Canniff

1st Settlers on the South Shore of Hay Bay

Commencing at No 8. This was bought by Wm Drumbough of someone who drew it, but did not settle altogether there was 300 acres, next was Jas Fletcher; next John Hough; next John Sills, next Abram Dafoe, next Elisha Philips[?]. His sons settled in Huntington. Next was Geo. Sills, who afterward swapper with Wm Wager, and moved to 2nd concession. The next lot was drawn by Vankoughnet, lived on the St Lawrence, who sold it, part to a Diamond, and part to Hough; next Daniel Dafoe; next Lawrence Sills, thinks the next was long vacant; and upon it was a log school house, in which the narrator used to go to school. The teachers name was McDougal. The lot was first occupied by Samuel Miller; next was Squire Jno Embury. He bought some, owned altogether 300. Sons lived on part; between hi and Millers. Don’t remember who settled on next. But James Vandewaters afterwards came from US and settled on it. Next was settled by Andrew Embury; next by (thinks) was Wm Ross. That was the sons name, the father was dead before his recollection; next used to be an old settler Abram Peterson; next Henry Loyst, the narrators uncle who was with Sir John Johnson, at Hungry Bay. Next was settled by the brother also with them. The next when 1st remember was occupied by Comfort Smith. Next by narrator’s father John Diamond; next Michael Dafoe. But his cousin had drawn it, Michael bought it. He was the father of Jenns? Dafoe Tailer? of Bellville. The next was settled by Jno McGraw; next Nicholas Peterson. The next was occupied by different ones none of which stayed long. Garrison lived the longest on it. The next was occupied by different squatters. Afterward, it was occupied by Peter Young, a shoemaker. Don’t know how he came by it. Next Peter Frederick

The next was settled by John Clapp, next by Benj Clapp.

Now come to Adolphustown

The 1st was Jas McMasters, swapped with Peterson afterwards, and moved to Sidney. Next Judge Fisher. Judge of Quarter Sessions(?) Recollects the people coming from Belleville to attend court. Capt Myers among the rest. there was land, several lots, owned along the bay by Fisher, Peterson and Clapp. The next lot was occupied by Paul Huff, next Squire Rheuben Beegle, next James Knox, a Quaker preacher.

Between Hay Bay and the front there was in some places 3 lots, or concessions. In some places not quite 2 and onme-half.

On the north side of Hay Bay

commencing at lot 8. First was Chas Barnhart, next Richart Fichet; next John Jones [Janes?]. He was the first; but not an early settler, next John Forshea; next Ryener Quackenbush; next Peter Quackenbush; next Peter Forshea; next one Post; next Peter McCabe; next the father of the above also Peter; next — Parks; Jacob Huffman, next Squire Parks; next Wm Sloane, whose son is still living and crazy. Next James Parks, next Abram Woodcock; next David parks, next Woodcock, not sure of the next — Outwaters [sic], next he remembers was Firman; next Valleau; next Elias Cornell; next Jas Clark; next Jno Huick [Huyck], who shot himself – next Arch Camel; next Call, next Barnet, Dutch of Barnabas, next Abram Bogart; next Christopher German, next Wm Casey, at the point.

The narrator [Abram Diamond] saw the drowning on Hay Bay. Was in the Meeting House he[a]rd the cries, ran out and saw them hanging to the boat, which would turn over; they would again climb up but the number kept getting less all the time.

[Submitted by Lois O’Hara]

Widow Sutherland of the River Raisin (McNiff Map)

The Widow Sutherland appears on the transcribed list of – which you can find online by Googling the following — Names of Owners of Lots Given in McNiff’s Map Dated 1st November 1786, which simply gives you an easily searchable list of McNiff’s Map 1786. I strongly suspect that she was UEL, but for a fact all persons appearing on that Map are not UEL (See NOTE below).

The Widow Sutherland appears on this McNiff’s Map 1786 sharing Lot 20 with Dn. Grant who is my direct Ancestor Duncan Grant [married to Henrietta Henny McLennan daughter of John McLennan / McLeland ] . They are next door to Donl. McDonell and Rodk. McDonell on Lot 19 on the north side of the South Branch of the Raisin River [which is the exact same place described on McNiff’s Map 1786 as — 2nd Concession South of the River Aux Raisin] . Donl. McDonell is Donald Bhoir McDonell and Rodk. McDonell is Roderick Rory McDonell; both are brothers of my direct Ancestor Allen Bhuide McDonell and all are sons of Captain John Dhu McDonell VI Ardnabie and all served KRRNY. These boys all settled in Charlottenburg and are UEL. I think John Dhu McDonell [VI Ardnabie] was too old to take up any land and probably died at Montreal 1785. Two of his younger sons being Alexander Bane McDonell and Ian Mor [John Mor] McDonell seem to have settled in Lancaster Township though they probably both also received land in Charlottenburg [as you can see there are a great many Alexander and John McDonell and unless you do a lot of research they are hard to tell apart — and harder still because often times seemingly different men turn out to be the same man, and vice versa].

I first found the Widow Sutherland on this McNiff’s Map 1786. Other of my cousins told me that my Duncan Grant and Roderick Rory McDonell’s son John Roy McDonell later bought out and split up this Widow Sutherland’s land. By the way this Duncan Grant and John Roy McDonell were mere boys during the Rev War but Duncan Grant received half of this Lot 20 in his own right, and both Duncan Grant and John Roy McDonell had sworn depositions that they both served KRRNY and obtained their own UEL status so that their kids also received land as children of Loyalists.

The afore mentioned John Duldreggan Grant’s eldest son Alexander Alex Grant married Ann / Nancy McDonell [ who’s father was Donald McDonell KRRNY who was killed at Fort Stanwix NY in 1777] and this Ann / Nancy McDonell later received her own land grant as daughter of UEL said Donald McDonell KRRNY . Family lore has it that this Ann / Nancy McDonell and her Widowed Mother [no name mentioned] settled at Glenbrooke Charlottenburg after the Rev War. Glenbrooke is where the afore mentioned Lot 20 [Widow Sutherland’s] and the Lot 19 [McDonell brothers] are located .

The Widow Sutherland does not appear on your UELAC list. However there is a Widow Nelly McDonell of Eastern District on UELAC list. Might Widow Sutherland and Widow Nelly McDonell be one and the same?

Note: Proof that not everyone on McNiff’s map is a Loyalist is another of my direct ancestors whom I know as John Duldreggan Grant who appears on McNiff’s Map as Mr. John Grant of Lots 25 & 26 on the south side of the South Branch of the Raisin River [making him a close neighbour of my John McLennan KRRNY who appears on this same McNiff’s Map 1786 on Lot 23 but his name is written as John McLeland — but this John McLennan and McLeland are the same man] . Patrick McNiff the Map Maker wrote down names phonetically. Anyhow my John Duldreggan Grant had relatives who were settled in the Mohawk Valley prior to the Rev War, and he wanted to emigrate as well but thought better to wait out the war in Scotland . In 1785 he boarded ship [ship’s name in dispute] with 8 of his 9 children and sailed for the St Lawrence River to settle in Glengarry, but the ship was diverted to New York and they had to walk overland through New York State to Glengarry. John Duldreggan Grant was NOT given UEL status [nor should he have been].

Jay Young would like to share genealogy research of many families in this area. Contact him at jyoung-young AT hotmail DOT com

Vancouver Branch Programme: 2014 Heritage Fair Presentations

Vancouver Branch was treated on Tuesday evening 16 September to its third annual programme of BC Heritage Fair Presentations. Four excited and keen students came with their parents and families to hear the winning students of the 2014 UELAC Vancouver Branch Award held in local schools in March, April and May. This year, the Vancouver Branch presented fifteen, “THE LOYALISTS: Pioneers and Settlers of the West, A Teacher’s Resource” books to participating teachers in the Vancouver School District. The branch also invited Janet Morley to our meeting. Janet is the Vancouver School District Co-ordinator for the BC Heritage Programme.

The four students presenting their projects:

All of the presentations were well researched, informative, and interesting. Students presented their critical thinking project boards and spoke well of their research. Each student also must complete a written as well as a creative component. The students, familiar only with giving these presentations on a “one-on-one” basis with their respective adjudicators during the Heritage Fair did a great job of speaking in front of such a large group. Past President and Vancouver Branch Co-ordinator for the BC Heritage Fairs, Carl Stymiest UE chaired the programme. Carl along with Vancouver Branch President Gwen Dumfries UE and Christine Manzer UE, presented each of them with a CANADA book, a UEL ribbon and George III Cypher pin, a Certificate of Excellence and a 1914-2014 UELAC bookmark.

Mary Anne Bethune UE thanked the Heritage Fair students and the District Co-ordinator, Janet Morley and presented her with a bouquet showing our Appreciation. Light refreshments and “goodies” followed the programme while the members talked with students and their families.

This yearly event is one of the most rewarding “Outreach & Education” programmes that the Vancouver Branch UELAC holds. We look forward to the 2015 projects as adjudicators. We also wish to thank the UELAC Dominion Grants Committee for supporting the Vancouver Branch in this educational endeavour.

… Carl Stymiest, UE, Christine Manzer, UE, and Gwen Dumfries, UE

Chilliwack Celebrates UELAC Centenary

On Sept. 20th, 2014; Chilliwack Branch UELAC celebrated the 100th anniversary of the founding of the United Empire Loyalists’ Association by presenting a plaque to the Chilliwack Museum honouring the many families of Loyalist descent who found their way to Chilliwack beginning in the 1850’s. Their names are memorialized thought the District. President Shirley Dargatz presided over the event which began with Piper Dr. Dan McDermid leading the parade of flags and special guests into the Council Chambers of the Old City Hall (now the Chilliwack Museum). Mayor Sharon Gaetz presented the plaque on behalf of the branch to Museum Director Ron Denman. Then both assisted Marlene Dance UE with the presentation of Loyalist certificates to 9 branch members.

The most senior in attendance at the event was 94 and was awarded her certificate after waiting years for someone to find the documents that would connect the missing links to her loyalist ancestor. The youngest was 4 months and she will hopefully get her certificate next year. About 40 members and friends joined in the event. Refreshments followed.

…Marlene Dance UE Chilliwack Branch

UELAC Magazine: The Loyalist Gazette Fall Issue in Digital

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 2013 Spring and Fall issues of the Loyalist Gazette are available to all.

We appreciate any feedback to webmaster@uelac.org.

…Bob McBride, Editor, Loyalist Gazette

Loyalist Quarterly by Paul Bunnell: September 2014 Issue Now Available

The latest issue of the only U.S. journal devoted to Loyalist studies contains, among others, these topics:

  • Whig Militia Commanders’ Enemies Lists OF 1783 South Carolina
  • Petition of Wives of Loyalists Relief
  • Loyalist Petition in Tryon County New York 1771
  • Claims and Memorials
    • Decision on the Claim of Peter Anderson of Virginia
  • Local Ties to American Revolutionary War, British Loyalists Highlighted During Sea
  • Joshua Knight Tea Table (with Loyalist artifacts)
  • Loyalist Heritage on Abaco Threatened by Greedy Development
  • Loyalists in Jamaica

More information including subscription details at Paul J. Bunnell’s website.

Paul J. Bunnell, UE, Editor/Author

Where in the World?

Where is Bonnie Schepers?

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.

Book: The Fenian Raid in Niagara, by Bill Smy

2016 marks the 150th anniversary of the June 1866 Fenian Raid into Niagara. Much has been written about the battles fought at Ridgeway and Fort Erie, but little of the march of 2,000 men of Colonel Peacocke’s force from Chippawa to Fort Erie. My book, The 19th Battalion Volunteer (Infantry) Canada and the Fenian Raid in Niagara, June 1866, examines this gruelling trek, the bureaucratic incompetence, and the influence of the force on the Fenian’s objectives. It also contains nominal rolls of the militia from Grimsby St Catharines, and Clifton (Niagara Falls) who participated. The book will be available from The Lincoln and Welland Regiment Museum (c/o 81 Lake Street, St Catharines, Ontario) in October.

…Col. Bill Smy

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

  • High Fashion in Colonial America, c1760. Too often the perception of fashion in colonial America is skewed by patriotic myth, of no-nonsense people wearing plain, sturdy clothes they’d made themselves from cloth that were also spun and woven at home. In truth the latest London fashions were only a few weeks away by ship, and fashion was important not only for self-expression, but also as a matter of status.
  • The 2015 Newport Antiques Show has announced that the Museum of the American Revolution will present the Show’s loan exhibit, to showcase treasures from its collection in advance of the Museum’s opening in late 2016.
  • The first map of the United States drawn and printed (in 1784) in America by an American was, until a few years ago, hardly known at all. Only seven original copies exist, and the best preserved is now on display for the first time, as the centerpiece of “Mapping a New Nation,” an exhibition at the Library of Congress. Even in 1784 America, it was impossible to make a map without infuriating someone.
  • Invasion of NY was a very real threat in 1814. Excavations in Central Park find traces of anti-redcoat fortifications which were never needed
  • The Bostonian Society operates a museum at the Old State House in Boston. During restorations, a lion statue was brought down from the roof. The Society has now confirmed the presence of what had long been rumoured to be a time capsule from 1901 tucked away inside the copper statue. The contents will be revealed, possibly this week. The Boston Massacre took place just outside the building in 1770 and the building once served as the seat of Massachusetts government.
  • From her small Alaskan cabin more than 4,800 km from the Pelham hamlet of Ridgeville, Barbara Haney solved a mystery 200 years in the making. As a result Brad Smith will be placing a plaque in front of the graves of three brothers who served in the War of 1812 and survived. All three are buried at the Hillside Cemetery in Pelham. The headstone of Matthew Haney, close to those of brothers Leonard and James, is pictured. (might there be a Loyalist connection?)
  • Interested in photography? Although photos are obviously more recent than the Loyalist era, but the Notman Photographic Archives – part of the McCord Museum – in Montreal has 1.3 million photographs. See this selection of “Old Photographs of Canada from 1858-1935” including one of two locomotives which crashed head on on the Bay of Quinte Railroad in 1892

Additions to the Loyalist Directory

As time permits, we add information to the Loyalist Directory. The latest additions and updates are as follows:

  • Nova Scotia Loyalist names from the Muster Roll at Gulliver’s Hole, S. Mary’s Bay and Sissiboo from “Supplement to the History of the County of Annapolis” by A.W. Savary, Toronto, William Briggs, 1913, Appendix G (see transcription pages 7-9 of James Moody and the Loyalists of Weymouth by Brian McConnell). Of the sixty names, fifty-eight are new additions to the directory.
  • Day, John – from Fran Rose
  • Green, John – from David Clark
  • Sutherland, Widow – from Jay Young
  • Wood, Caleb – from Joyce Luethy with certificate application

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


Responses to Query: John Green x3

The John Green in Grimsby is the brother of Adam Green of Saltfleet Township. Both came from Johnsonburg (Log Gaol) New Jersey. John was here in 1789 if I remember correctly and Adam followed in 1793 after John had made a 1792 return trip to New Jersey to sell off some land he had inherited. This John Green is not from the Maritimes nor did he travel there and then to Grimsby so I suspect that the John Green of the Maritimes is another John Green. Possibly related to Charles Green, Reuben Green and Henry Green of Lundy’s Lane, who were cousins of John and Adam according to DNA testing. The John Green of Marysburgh does not appear to be the John Green of Grimsby so I suspect that there are 3 John Greens, the Maritime John Green being not proven at this time.

…Dave Clark

John Green in Grimsby came up from N.J. (John from Log Gaol N.J.) and settled with 20 + other families there. The first Municipal Council in U.C. was formed in Grimsby. The meeting (and others) were held at the house of John Green. My ancestor, John Moore was the Secretary for the founding meeting – on April 5, 1790. John Green also was mentioned by Simcoe and in Lady Simcoe’s diary because I THINK they stayed with John Green at Grimsby.

…Judy Nuttall