“Loyalist Trails” 2015-04: January 25, 2015

In this issue:
Congratulations to Stephen Davidson
Rebels of the St. John River Valley (Part Three), by Stephen Davidson
2015 Conference Loyalists Come West: See Ross Bay & Government House
Canadian Society of Mayflower Descendants Celebrates 35
Where in the World?
Region and Branch Bits
From the Twittersphere and Beyond
Additions to the Loyalist Directory
Last Post
      + Peter Leroy Doan, UE
      + William Robert (Bob) Waugh, 1917-2015
      + Responses re Escaping from the Rebels
      + 1936 Cord and L.L. Merrill; with Response
      + Seeking Parents of David House m. Hannah Elizabeth


Congratulations to Stephen Davidson

With a great sense of appreciation, I congratulate Stephen on the publication of this his 400th article in Loyalist Trails. I am sure many of you readers also say thanks to Stephen from time to time when you read yet another of his articles which offers a piece of information which you find interesting, and new. While assembling Loyalist Trails each week, I learn a lot about the Loyalist era. The history he has uncovered and presented has been a significant contributor to my understanding of the Loyalist era. Thank you, Stephen.


Rebels of the St. John River Valley (Part Three), by Stephen Davidson

Besides the fourteen settlers who had risen up against the crown in Nova Scotia and attacked Fort Cumberland in the fall of 1776, there were at least nineteen other patriot sympathizers who lived along the banks of the St. John River. There stories have not been passed down in any detail by their descendants, but can be found in brief references in the report commissioned by Major Gilfred Studholme and the probate records of New Brunswick.

These men are interesting, not only for providing a different perspective on the story of the American Revolution in Nova Scotia, but for the fact that they are also ancestors of those who are the descendants of loyalist refugees. In the years following the revolution, the children of rebels married the children of loyalists, creating the foundation of modern Canada.

J. Edward Coy, who was noted in 1783 as having been a “rebel committee man” in Gagetown has the most detailed biography. In 1770, Colonel William Spry leased 200 acres to Coy in nearby Maugerville. A year later, the Coys’ daughter Mary was born. Within four years, the double threat of attack by Natives and rebel privateers was so fearful that Coy took his family further upriver to Sheffield.

Despite being so far from New England, the Planter settlers who had made their homes on the St. John River met in May of 1776 to consider the cause of the rebellious thirteen colonies. Edward Coy was made a member of the rebel committee which passed a number of resolutions in favour of joining the revolution. By the fall of that year, he watched his son Amasa join Jonathan Eddy in an unsuccessful raid on Fort Cumberland.

In the spring of 1777, both Edward and Amasa took advantage of the British government’s offer of clemency, swore the oath of allegiance to King George III and were “thenceforth loyal subjects”. Two years later, larger concerns occupied the Coy family. Smallpox was spreading through the valley settlements. Gambling on a new medical technique, Coy had his family inoculated. He and his wife almost died; they survived but their second son did not.

Joseph Clarke, who was remembered by Major Studholme as “a very bad subject and a very troublesome fellow”, may have been the doctor who oversaw the inoculation of J. Edward Coy’s family. When he died in 1814, only his son Joseph Clarke Jr. was mentioned in the probate records.

By 1783, the Coy family had cleared 15 acres of land and were living in a log house at Upper Gagetown. Their daughter Mary remembered “My heart was filled with pity and affection when I saw them in a strange land, without house or home, and many of them were sick and helpless. I often looked upon them when they passed by in boats in rainy weather and wished for them to call and refresh themselves and was glad when they did so.” Her father opened their home to a loyalist family that first winter, providing accommodation until the refugees could build their own home.

Mary Coy, the daughter of a rebel, later married a loyalist named David Morris on February 15, 1793. The couple moved from Gagetown to Saint John where they lived until Morris’ death in 1817. Mary remained in the city, marrying Leverit Bradley. Despite the fact that she only had a few months of formal schooling, Mary wrote a memoir in 1849 that covered the dramatic events of over sixty years, including the arrival of the loyalists and the 1837 fire that destroyed 100 buildings in Saint John. Mary had a passion for spreading the Christian gospel, willing £1,800 to hire a Methodist minister to preach in central New Brunswick, her “native place.”

Mary’s brother, Amasa Coy, had been one of the rebels to attack Fort Cumberland. In later life, he became a merchant in Fredericton and, like his sister, was very involved in the religious life of New Brunswick. He left his Congregational church and became a founding member of the Fredericton Baptist Church in 1814. Local authorities looked suspiciously at this development as Baptists were perceived to be pro-American. Amasa’s biographer notes that this former rebel’s use of his wealth was a key factor in the growth of Baptist influence in shaping New Brunswick’s society.

When he died in 1795, Mary’s father, J. Edward Coy, made sure that he provided for his wife and their surviving children: Amasa, John, Edward, David, Benjamin, Sarah, Lavina, Hannah, Mary, and Anna. Other significant names in Coy’s will were those of former rebels Thomas Hartt and Silvanus Plummer/Plumber.

In 1783, Silvanus and his partner Jacob Barker Jr. were noted as being “bitter rebels”. Barker eventually married Sarah and had Jacob, Asa, Isaac, Peggy and Betsy before he died in Burton in 1798. Nine years later, Silvanus Plumer (sic) died in Sheffield, leaving property in both New Brunswick and Massachusetts to his wife Sarah and his children, John, James, Amassa, Rebeckah, Anna and Lavina.

John Shaw Jr. did not take up arms against the crown, but he was known to have provided intelligence to rebels who were being pursued up the St. John River by the king’s troops. His information allowed the rebels to escape capture. John was still alive in Queens County in 1810 when his father John Shaw Senior (also a rebel) died.

A nearby neighbour of Shaw’s was also a rebel. Timothy Robertson was remembered as being “a very great rebel and of a general bad character”. Whether his ten children carried this stigma through their lives goes unrecorded. Other rebels who had farms along the St. John River were Israel Kinney, Bethuel Wood, Moses Esty, Benjamin Branch, Zebulon Roe, Gain Bartlett, Benjamin Branch, Salathiel Robertson, Zebedee Ring, John Booby and the blacksmith, Richard Bartlett. Unfortunately, all that we know of them is that Studholme’s report labeled them rebels.

Most of the New Englanders who had made the St. John River Valley their home before the American Revolution retained their loyalty to the crown. They suffered violence at the hands of Yankee privateers and those Natives who had joined the rebel cause. While they were the majority, it is interesting to note the actions of rebels within Nova Scotia and to see how they fared in the years after New Brunswick’s creation. As has been seen, they were “forgiven their trespasses” and allowed to stay on their land. The crown was far more merciful to its erring citizens than the rebel governments were to the loyalists who decided to remain within the United States.

Both the stories of the loyalists who did not leave the United States after 1783 and the stories of how loyal Nova Scotians fended off rebel attacks during the revolution will one day be told in future editions of Loyalist Trails.

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

2015 Conference Loyalists Come West: See Ross Bay & Government House

Ross Bay Cemetery Tour

Although not the oldest or first cemetery in Victoria, it is the last resting place of both the ordinary and elite. The property was originally part of the farm of Isabella Ross. She was the first woman to hold title to land in BC and was the widow of a former Hudson’s Bay Factor.

John Adams, who will be conducting the Walking Tour, is well known as a historian and for his very popular Ghost Tours in and around Victoria.

Government House Garden Tour

Government House, the third building on this site, is home to British Columbia`s Vice-Regal representative of the Canadian Monarch, Queen Elizabeth II The Honourable Judith Guichon, OBC, is the Queen`s current representative.

Considered a Royal residence, the gardens of Government House reflect the status of the building.

Read more details about both, with photos (PDF).

See the details for Loyalists Come West – the 2015 UELAC Conference in Victoria, B.C., May 28-30, 2015.

2015 Conference Planning Committee, Victoria, B.C.

Canadian Society of Mayflower Descendants Celebrates 35

In 2015, we’re celebrating 35 years since we were established as the first (and still the only) Mayflower Society outside of the United States.

Of the more than one hundred passengers on the Mayflower, almost half died during the harsh first winter of 1620/21 after reaching New England in 1620. Today, millions of North Americans are descended from at least one of the 51 Mayflower passengers known to have had descendants.

Many early Mayflower descendants made their way to Nova Scotia individually or as part of the New England Planters migration before the American Revolution, and afterwards, many more followed as Loyalists to Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Upper and Lower Canada.

Membership in the Canadian Society of Mayflower Descendants is open to any person over the age of 18 who can document their direct bloodline descent back to a Mayflower passenger. The CSMD welcomes membership inquiries. Take the first step today: obtain a worksheet from our co-historian at cohistorian@csmd.org.

More information here.

…Margaret Dougherty, Deputy Governor, Canadian Society of Mayflower Descendants

Where in the World?

Where is Toronto Branch member Bob Jarvis?

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.

Region and Branch Bits

From the UELAC branches, news and events of interest to others.

  • Spring Meeting, Nova Scotia Branch, Saturday, April 18, 2015 in Lower Sackville, N.S. Noon for members for a business meeting and a light lunch (cost $5) at 1 p.m. and Guest Speaker. Event open to Public at 1 p.m. Guest Speaker is Loyalist Author Stephen Davidson speaking on “Sir Guy Carleton’s Book of Negroes: A Ledger’s Legacy.” See flyer. Confirm attendance with Carol Harding. cmharding@bellaliant.net or 902-245-1205. Brian McConnell
  • Mark your calendar for the Sat. May 23 (re-enactments, genealogy/historical society bourse area, batteaux landing, encampment, mock battles etc.) and Sunday May 24 (re-dedication of the Loyalist Monument) at the Loyalist Cultural Centre in Adolphustown, Bay of Quinte Branch. Ontario. More details to come.
  • The “Fundy Loyalist.” All Canadians have a chance to take part in the naming of a new Ferry that will cross the Bay of Fundy from Saint John, New Brunswick to Digby, Nova Scotia, two communities founded by Loyalists. The Government of Canada is asking Canadians to submit names. Based on the criteria that the name include geographic and historic elements I have submitted the name “Fundy Loyalist”. I wish to encourage others who take pride in the Loyalist history of Canada and wish to see it recognized also to do this. The page with the criteria and submission form is www.ferries.ca/naming/. Your assistance is requested by Brian McConnell, UE Nova Scotia Branch.

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

  • Madness and Haranguing at Boston Town Meeting – a comment on the state of dissension about 1769. Who was a radical; who was not – yet.
  • Admiral Howe and the British fleet gathering off Staten Island, the Narrows behind, 1776. Illustration.
  • When Paul Revere was asked to create paper currency for Massachusetts in 1776, he reused an earlier design, replacing the Magna Carta with the word Independence. Happy 800th birthday Magna Carta!
  • Ancestors in Toronto. Find the history (and cool historical images) of your neighbourhood! Assembled by the Toronto Public Library.
  • As we celebrate our loyalist history and African Heritage Month/Black History Month, listen to this musical video on YouTube featuring a 2007 song called “Black Loyalist“.
  • What were hemp and flax used for in colonial America? Probably not what you are thinking! On the other hand, given that we are all historians to some degree, maybe it is what you were thinking. Good article. Photo.
  • The Fort Plain Museum is proud to announce to First Annual Conference American Revolution in the Mohawk Valley. The conference will be May 1 through 3, 2015 and it will be held at the Museum. We have the following presenters confirmed so far with one and possibly two more to be added:
    • Don Hagist – The Revolution’s Last Men, the Soldiers Behind the Photographs
    • James Kirby Martin – Forgotten Allies, the Oneida Indians and the American Revolution
    • Glenn Williams – The Year of the Hangman, George Washington’s Campaign Against the Iroquois
    • Bruce Venter – The Battle of Hubbardton: The Rear Action That Saved America
    • Jack Kelly – Band of Giants, the Amateur Soldiers Who Won America’s Independence
  • Make your own Scotch haggis for Robbie Burns Day, January 25 – in memory of our Scot Loyalist ancestors.
  • Not into hagis, then explore this Ossington (Toronto) restaurant bringing Canadian [food] history back to life. So would these old recipes be healthier?
  • How about quiche? Seems like a more recent dish. But Chicken Pudding is the 18th century name for what we now called quiche.
    Recipe (18th century & modern). Photo in a colonial kitchen, probably Williamsburg.
  • Turning to clothing but more recent than our Loyalist era. See the chipper wool bustle dress, white & cranberry, c. 1887. Note strong nod to military detail. In the McCord Museum in Montreal
  • What’s the difference between Genealogy and Family History? Which strategy is right for you? Explanation and reference information at Library and Archives Canada (LAC)

Additions to the Loyalist Directory

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

  • Bell, John – from Ernest Clarke (volunteer Brian McConnell)
  • Currier, Issachar – from John Noble
  • Depue (Depew), John Sr. – from Anne Neuman
  • Horning, Peter – from Rev. Charlotte Moore
  • Mott, Reuben – from Stephen Botsford with certificate application
  • Palmer, David – (volunteer Sandra McNamara)
  • Robinson, Christopher V. – (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

Last Post: Peter Leroy Doan, UE

Suddenly on Sunday, January 18th, 2015 at the age of 60. Loving husband of Angela (Pitman). Dear father of Alex, Greg and Carissa. Loved son of Alice and the late Clinton ‘Baldy’ Doan. Survived by sisters Sandra Doan and Susan (Bob) Young. Predeceased by brother Tim Doan.

Peter worked for the District School Board of Niagara for 39 years, retiring in 2013 as Human Resources Senior Manager.

The family received friends at the HAINE FUNERAL HOME & CHAPEL, Thorold, Ontario. A private funeral service was held with interment at Doan’s Ridge Cemetery. If so desired, donations to St. Ignatius of Antioch Orthodox Church or charity of your choice would be appreciated by the family.

Peter was a former member of Col. John Butler (Niagara) Branch UELAC. He was very proud of his Loyalist ancestor Joseph Doan Sr.

…Bev Craig, UE

Last Post: William Robert (Bob) Waugh, 1917-2015

Died on Thursday, January 15, 2015 in St. Catharines after a brief illness, at the age of 97. Beloved husband of the late Audrey Bernice Graydon Waugh U.E. (June 1, 2009). Loving father of Peter & Stephen (Christine), cherished grandfather of Daniel (Carmela and their children Enrica and Nico), David (Emily) and Peter, all of California & Jesse, England, dear brother of Elizabeth Mayfield (Bill), Toronto. Bob will be missed by many nieces, nephews and friends. Predeceased by brothers; John and Ross and sister; Margaret Bailey.

Bob was Lieutenant Commander RCNVR during WW II. He retired from General Motors – Canada and USA after 51 years of service. After retiring Bob continued with the Financial Executive Institute of Canada, with Canadian Institute for the Blind and also gave his time generously to many charitable organizations. Bob’s ashes are being placed in the family plot in Cambridge’s Galt Cemetery. Those who wish may make a memorial donation to a charity of one’s choice. Memories, photos and condolences can be shared at www.morganfuneral.com.

Bob spent his most of his career with General Motors Corporation, eventually serving as CFO of GM Canada until his retirement in 1982. He remained on GM Canada’s board of directors until 1990, and served as Financial Executives International Canada’s President from 1983-1987.

“We’ve lost a wonderful man,” said Maureen Kempston-Darkes, past President of GM Canada, who first met Bob in 1975 when she joined GM. “He was a great mentor to me but also a great friend.”

Kempston-Darkes said Bob was a man of great intelligence and humour, who took a strong interest in mentoring young people. “He was ahead of his time in valuing diversity in the business and he was actively engaged in involving more women and minorities,” recalled Kempston-Darkes.

Bob was a long time active member of Col. John Butler (Niagara) Branch. He was very interested in Loyalist & early Niagara History. For many years he organized a history group at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Library. They met monthly to listen to interesting, informative speakers. He will be sincerely missed by CJB members and the historical community in Niagara.

…Bev Craig, UE


Responses re Escaping from the Rebels

In last week’s issue, a query about an escape route north from the Valley: Utica to Ogdensburg: ca 1784 (??) was posed.

In response to my query as to the feasibility of my ancestors escaping north from the Mohawk valley to the St. Lawrence via the Oswegatchie river, I had some great feedback from several individuals.

The distance as the crow flies from Utica to Ogdensburg, is about 130 miles, so it is not an impossible walk.

The key feature of the land north-east of Utica (Rome, Herkimer, Schoharie etc) are the Adirondack mountains surrounded by lands filled with a multitude of quite long but modest sized rivers. The Oswegatchie is about 137 miles, the Raquette,146, the Black, 125 and the Indian River about 100 miles. Canada Creek runs generally north from Herkimer for about 75 miles.

One responder provided a quite detailed route commencing with the south flowing Canada Creek near Herkimer, 25 miles north to Boonville, portaging to the Black river flowing north to Ft Drum and Watertown, east to the Indian River and then again to the head waters of the north flowing Oswegatchie. No doubt Indian guides would have been a necessity to face these quite wild areas and cataract filled rivers. They would indeed provide a viable canoe route to the St. Lawrence.

Another responder remembered that a few years ago, some re-enactors portrayed the route taken by a detachment of soldiers marching from Ft. de la Presentation (present day Ogdensburg) to Ft Bull about 100 miles south. That was during the French and Indian war.

Another route of escape was that taken by Sir John Johnson on the east side of the Adirondacks, to St. Regis. A compromise route would have involved skirting west of the Adirondacks and using the Raquette river discharging opposite Cornwall.

I am pleased to be able to believe that the escape was a viable process, even for a family of seven children, and while Gt Uncle Willie mentioned flat boats they could have been the final transport on Hoople creek.

P.S.: In Jean Rae Baxter’s novel, The Way Lies North, her pseudo-family takes a route from the Mohawk Valley west via Lake Oneida where they meet up with Indian guides who take them in canoes, to Oswego and up the east shore of lake Ontario to Carlton island at the head of the St. Lawrence near Kingston.

…Richard Poaps, UE

1936 Cord and L.L. Merrill; with Response

My name is Terry Cockerell and I reside in Australia, north of Sydney in New South Wales. I am a member of the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Car Club and the proud owner of a 1936 Cord 810 sedan (PDF) that was originally sold in Canada.

I have a list of the cars previous owners of whom a Mr Lionel Leeland Merrill of Hamilton, Ontario was mentioned. Apparently he owned the car between 1937 and around 1954. This particular Mr LL Merrill worked at the International Harvester works as an executive of some sort. I have noted that a Mr Lionel Leeland Merrill was a past president of your organization, the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada, during the mid-1930s.

Are you able to supply any further information on this person and where he normally worked? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

…Terry Cockerell


Thank you for the documentation of your 1936 Cord. You have more information on your car than UELAC has on the lives of its early presidents! While researching materials for our centenary publication, Loyally Yours: 100 Years of The UELAC (PDF), I did discover his “official picture” and can confirm that he was a dominion president from 1954-1956. He was also a president of the Hamilton Branch UELAC from 1935-1936. As for his employment with International Harvester Canada or other activities in Hamilton we have no information in our archives.

Perhaps readers of our Loyalist Trails newsletter will respond to public.relations@uelac.org with more personal information for your records.

…Fred Hayward, Public Relations

Seeking Parents of David House m. Hannah Elizabeth

[This is an update of the David House family query from Loyalist Trails 2011-#46, Nov. 20, 2011.]

The Loyalist Directory lists several people with the surname HOUSE, several of whom are of the Hermanus HOUSE family. One of these is Joseph HOUSE, who is shown as “suspended.” We believe that this Joseph HOUSE had a younger brother, George HOUSE, born 28 June 1773 in Montgomery County, N.Y. George HOUSE was granted lands next to Hermanus HOUSE in Clinton Township, Upper Canada. George HOUSE married at least three times to (1) ????, unknown, (2) 1813, Mary Ann FRENCH, and (3) ????, Fanny (nee unknown). George HOUSE and Mary Ann FRENCH, we believe, had a son, David W. HOUSE, married c. 1847, unknown place, Hannah E. (Elizabeth) (nee unknown). [Note that The District Marriage Registers of Upper Canada, Talbot District 1837-1857, Provincial Archives of Ontario, Toronto list, Hannah Eliza SMITH, Townsend, Norfolk County, Ontario as being married in 1847.] Alternatively, David W. HOUSE might have been a son of Andrew HOUSE, the oldest son of George HOUSE by his first marriage to an unknown spouse.

David W. HOUSE and Hannah Elizabeth (nee unknown) are found in the 1851 Census for Windham Township, Norfolk County, Upper Canada with their two children, as follows: (1) Theresa HOUSE, born 05 OCT 1847, Grimsby, Lincoln County, Upper Canada, married John ROWE died 12 Oct 1939, Brantford, Brant County, Ontario, Canada, buried Greenwood, Brantford, Brant County, Ontario, Canada; and (2) Eliza Lija L. HOUSE, born c. 1851, North Grimsby, Lincoln County, Upper Canada. In that 1851 Census, the family is living with Nancy Matida HOUSE who is married to William MARLATT. Nancy Matida HOUSE is the presumed sister of David W. HOUSE. Also living with them is Mary J. DOHERTY, a presumed niece of Nancy Matilda HOUSE, married 1872, Erin Township, Nicholas ROGERS.

A third child of David W. HOUSE and Hannah Elizabeth (nee unknown) was born later in Waterford. Elizabeth J(ulia?) HOUSE, born 15 Apr 1857, Waterford, Townsend Township, Norfolk County, Ontario, Canada, married 04 Jul 1877, Brantford, Brant County, Ontario, Canada, Abraham Abram Abrahm WEAKLEY WEEKLEY, died 20 May 1928, St. Catharines, Grantham Township., Lincoln County, Ontario, CANADA, buried, Mt. Hope, Brantford, Brant County, Ontario, Canada.

We are seeking names of the parents of David W. HOUSE and Hannah Elizabeth (nee unknown). Any additional information would be much appreciated.

Howard Lawrence