“Loyalist Trails” 2015-23: June 7, 2015

In this issue:
Congratulations Are in Order
The Esther‘s Evacuees, Part Four: Their Legacy, by Stephen Davidson
Anthony and Andrew Westbrook (Part 2), by Doug Massey
Battle of Waterloo: Colonel Sir William Howe De Lancey
Loyalist and War of 1812 Plaques to be Placed for Daniel Young Family
Where in the World are Rod and Bev Craig?
Region and Branch Bits
From the Twittersphere and Beyond
Last Post
      + John Rosing Carter
      + Patricia Jean (Smith) Logan, UE
      + Albert Berdan of Woodhouse Township
      + Loyalists and The Battle of Waterloo
      + Seare or Coffin Family


Congratulations Are in Order

Congratulations and a big thank you to the Pacific Region UELAC 2015 Conference hosts on creating a memorable West Coast experience. A sampling of photos show conference attendees at Government House for the opening reception. Truly a night to remember.

…B. Schepers, UELAC Past President

The Esther‘s Evacuees, Part Four: Their Legacy, by Stephen Davidson

A favourite pastime of many a historian is wondering what might have happened if one single event in the past could be changed. What if Kennedy’s car had taken an alternate route through Dallas? What if the royal family had been killed in the London Blitz? For one group of loyalist descendants, a good question might be, what if an evacuation vessel, the Esther, had not escaped shoals and stormy weather in September of 1783? How might the history of Canada been changed?

The Esther carried close to three hundred men, women, children and slaves to the mouth of the St. John River. Its passengers settled in a variety of communities near modern day Fredericton, New Brunswick – and some eventually made their homes in Upper Canada. These are the stories of just some of those loyalists who narrowly escaped death at sea – and the legacy they left to the land that gave them sanctuary.

Elizabeth Post had endured more than most women during the American Revolution. Her husband, Richard Wannamaker died in a rebel jail in Philadelphia in 1780 after fighting for the crown for four years. Elizabeth spent the remainder of the war with the 3rd Battalion of the New Jersey Volunteers. Rebels had seized the Wannamaker hundred-acre farm, making it impossible for her to return home. Sometime after learning of Richard’s death, Elizabeth did what many soldier’s widows were compelled to do – married a man within her husband’s battalion. After sailing on the Esther, Elizabeth and her new husband, Sergeant John Post settled in Maugerville, New Brunswick.

Sgt Abraham Vandereck was one of those Esther passengers who had to spend his first New Brunswick winter in a tent with his cousin, Cornelius Ackerman. Later, Vandereck and his wife Hannah established an inn in Fredericton with Ackerman. They received permission from the colony’s legislature to keep a “publick house and to retail spirituous liquors”. Vanderbeck had served in Lt. Col. Abraham Van Buskirk’s regiment, but his commanding officer opted to settle in Shelburne, Nova Scotia. Benedict Arnold praised Van Buskirk for his great services during the raid on Fort Griswold in New London, Connecticut. The war hero eventually became one of Shelburne’s first mayors.

A history of New Brunswick’s Queens County sheds light on Mordecai Starkey’s fortunes in the province. He eventually settled near other Esther passengers on the Washademoak Lake. The story of how he purchased a yoke of oxen and a cow in Fredericton and then drove them to his home by following along the lakeshore and compelling them to swim across streams was often retold around evening fires. Although a member of the local Baptist church, Starkey’s home was a resting place for travelling ministers of many denominations. The New Jersey Volunteer died at 92; his wife Mary died at 85 in 1855.

Most of the passengers of the Esther arrived in New Brunswick with very little; but some enjoyed great prosperity in the years following 1783. At his death in 1825, John Prince was able to bequeath land, cows, steers and sheep as well as money to his wife Abigail and their adult children (Abraham, Elias, Joel, James, Harry, William, Irion, David, George, Acha and Barbara). Prince’s real estate was valued at £1,700 and “Chattles stock etc” were worth £200. This New Jersey Volunteer did not stay near his old companions, but established his home along the Kennebecasis River in Hampton. Given the number of children he had, there is no question as to how many people living today owe their existence to the safe arrival of the Esther.

Benjamin Ingraham’s wartime “adventures” included battles in the Carolinas, nearly dying of yellow fever, and recovery from a severe wound sustained at the Battle of Camden. The musket ball was never removed from his hip and he took it to his grave. His children were just eleven and ten years old when the family sailed north on the Esther. His daughter Hannah’s memories and those of fellow passenger Mary Barbara Fisher are two of the most important accounts of loyalist settlement in New Brunswick. Had the Esther gone down at sea, their vivid memories would have been lost to posterity.

Not all loyalist veterans remained in New Brunswick. Sgt Abraham Rattan received an initial land grant of just two acres, but petitioned for 200 more. Perhaps it was his disappointment at not receiving more land that led to his return to New Jersey where he remained for the rest of his life.

Jacob and Elizabeth (Owens) Wood initially settled along the Nashwaak River near Fredericton. Many loyalists found this land to be too hilly and unsuitable for growing crops. Finally, in 1805 the couple and their sons moved to what is now Charlotteville in Upper Canada. The Woods went on to develop lands in Elgin and Kent counties. Like the other passengers on the Esther, they owed their existence to the fact that their ship’s captain was guided away from the shoals off of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

Loyalists sought refuge together with fellow soldiers, fellow townsfolk and with relatives. This was true for Joseph Ryerson and Samuel Ryerse. Nine years apart in age, the brothers stayed geographically close throughout their lives. Born in Paterson, New Jersey, they both enlisted to fight against the rebel forces, both evacuated on the Esther, and both settled along the St. John River in New Brunswick.

By 1799, both loyalist brothers had settled near Vittoria in Upper Canada’s Norfolk County. Joseph Ryerson, who had joined the army at 15, lived to be 93 years old. He and his wife Mehetabel Stickney raised six sons, five of whom became Methodist ministers. One of those five was the Rev. Egerton Ryerson, an influential figure in the development of Upper Canada’s public school system and its Methodist congregations.

Samuel Ryerse (he had retained the Dutch spelling of the family name) died of tuberculosis at the age of 60. The sawmill and gristmill that he built at Young Creek became the basis for the village of Port Ryerse. During the lifetime of this former Esther passenger, Samuel held many important government offices including that of district court judge and was a leader in Upper Canada’s military and administrative affairs.

Other Esther evacuees who are known to have made Upper Canada their final home were Peter Wannamaker, Hugh Alexander, and Jonah Allen. Tyler Price’s father, William, was also a member of the 3rd Battalion who settled in New Brunswick.

This brings to a close the story of the Esther‘s evacuees, loyalists who contributed to the development of Upper Canada and New Brunswick – contributions that were almost nipped in the bud on the stormy waters of the Atlantic in September of 1783.


Author’s P.S.: This series might also have never been written. Benjamen Appleby, my 4-G grandfather, was one of the Esther‘s passengers.

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

Anthony and Andrew Westbrook (Part 2), by Doug Massey

Think of two fires. The first was this spiritual conflagration whose embers still glowed hot after 1771. The second, a civil war called the American Revolution, came of heaping new firewood on these still smouldering coals. The “Great Awakening” was a momentous, revival movement that rocked all church denominations in the British North American colonies, bringing both positive new energy, but also profound division. It started in the Dutch Reformed Church about the year 1727. [4] Soon two warring factions were created. Embracing the “awakening” were parishioners who gloried in new teachings that emphasized free will and individual commitment. Known as the “coetus” party, they strongly supported the ordination of clergy in the colonies. Equally zealous were the “conferentie” folk, who rejoiced in tradition. Seeking to keep things in the “Dutch way”, these congregants strongly supported the education and ordination of clergy at the Classis of Amsterdam in the old country. By 1747 the issue of ordination was resolved in the favour of the “coetus”. However, the damage had been done. Throughout all of Dutch New York and New Jersey, virtually every Dutch church had been torn apart by conflict. [5] Families were divided among themselves — husband against wife, parents against children, and “many indignities were heaped upon one another”. [6] In some cases, individuals holding grudges against significant others, never spoke again. Congregations split, preferring to worship in separate churches. One faction literally locked the church door and kept the other faction from worship. In the Hackensack Valley of New Jersey it came to fists and clubs on the sabbath. Then just as it looked like things might settle down, the war heated up again when the “coetus” pastors announced that all children who had been baptized by “conferentie” clergy would have to be re-baptized by proper “coetus” divines. “Barbarity”, cried the “conferentie” women of the Mackhackemeck congregation. They would have none of that! A child’s very soul was at stake. Only a “conferentie” minister would do. As for the “coetus” women of the church, it had to be a “coetus” dominie or none at all. Infant baptism was a profoundly import and prickly topic.

For the most part, the “conferentie”- “coetus” clash that engulfed Mackhackemeck Church and the Minisink settlement involved two pastors – Johannes Casparus Fryenmoet (1741 — 1756), and his successor Thomas Romeyn, (1760 — 1772). Both dominies were very well known to Anthony Westbrook and his family. Fryenmoet was “very popular with his people.” [7] It’s just that not all the congregants of Minisink were so charmed. After 1747, in the midst of the re-baptism altercation, Fryenmoet’s fervent “conferentie” affinity offended certain influential pillars of the church, who called in a “committee or Circle of the Coetus” and succeeded in having him removed in 1756. [8] In 1772 the “coetus” elements acted again to expel the moderate “conferentie” Thomas Romeyn. However, Fryenmoet was far from done as we shall see later.

Anthony Westbrook could not have escaped taking a side in this bitter, internecine feud over child baptism. But just exactly where did he stand? The whole baptism controversy at Mackhackemeck heated up in the 1760’s as indicated by the chaotic nature of the baptismal records during that period. [9] It was during those turbulent years, 1764 — 1769, that three of Anthony’s and Sara’s children were baptized by the moderate “conferentie” Dominie Thomas Romeyn. [10] But there is no record of their three later children, Johannes, Andrew and Haggai, being baptized at Mackhackemeck at all! Nevertheless, it is easier to see Anthony and Sara as being a moderate “conferentie” rather than “coetus” in the religious crisis. And if Anthony were “conferentie”, this would go a long way to explain why he fought for King George.

From his careful study of Dutch Reformed Church records for Bergen County in nearby New Jersey, Adrian Leiby came to the conclusion that Bergen County Dutch who were “conferentie” almost without exception supported the British cause, and often very actively, (my emphasis) in the Revolution, while “coetus” people, almost without exception supported independence. [11] Leiby’s impressive work is supported by similar correlations from secular data done by Alice Kenney on the Dutch in Albany County, New York. [12] And records of the Pougkeepsie and Kingston Dutch Churches do not conflict with this model of Dutch Reformed life. [13] Given this “definite pattern” that surrounded the Mackhackemeck congregation on all sides, there is merit in applying it also to Anthony Westbrook, who was, beyond a doubt, a very active supporter of the British cause in the American Revolution. As we will see, he served tirelessly with Joseph Brant throughout the war at great cost to himself and family.


[4] James W. Van Hoeven ed., Bicentennial Studies of the Reformed Church in America, 1776-1976, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publ., 1976, pg. 10

[5] Adrian Leiby, The Revolutionary War in the Hackensack Valley: The Jersey Dutch and the Neutral Ground, 1775-1783, Rutgers University Press, New Jersey, 1980, pg. 20

[6] Ibid., pg. 180

[7] J. P. Snell, History of Sussex and Warren Counties, New Jersey, Everts and Peck, Philadelphia, 1881, pg. 366

[8] R.W. Vosburgh, op cit., pg. xxvii

[9] The handwriting disintegrates. On page 147 the following appears, “The Manuscript from 1760-1771 is so poor that in many instances the copying is mere guesswork.”

[10] R.W. Vosburgh, op cit., Johannes — pg. 146, Alexander — pg. 149, Elizabeth — pg. 156

[11] James W. Van Hoeven, op cit., pg. 24

[12] Ibid.

[13] Ibid., pg. 25

© Doug Massey, UE.

Battle of Waterloo: Colonel Sir William Howe De Lancey

With the upcoming bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo on June 18, we should remember a Loyalist descendant who was mortally wounded during the battle: The Duke of Wellington’s Quartermaster-General, Colonel Sir William Howe De Lancey, KCB. He was the only son of Stephen De Lancey (1748–1798), Lieutenant-Colonel of the 1st New Jersey Loyal Volunteers and the grandson of Major-General Oliver De Lancey, of DeLancey’s Brigade, and was one of the first professional Staff Officers in the British Army.

His Grace, Field Marshal the Duke of Wellington recounted: “Colonel De Lancey was with me, and speaking to me when he was struck. We were on a point of land that overlooked the plain. I had just been warned off by some soldiers (but as I saw well from it, and two divisions were engaging below, I said “Never mind”), when a ball came bounding along en ricochet, as it is called, and, striking him on the back, sent him many yards over the head of his horse. He fell on his face, and bounded upwards and fell again. All the staff dismounted and ran to him, and when I came up he said, “Pray tell them to leave me and let me die in peace.” I had him conveyed to the rear, and two days after, on my return from Brussels, I saw him in a barn, and he spoke with such strength that I said (for I had reported him killed), “Why! De Lancey, you will have the advantage of Sir Condy in ‘Castle Rackrent’ you will know what your friends said of you after you were dead.” “I hope I shall,” he replied. Poor fellow! We knew each other ever since we were boys. But I had no time to be sorry. I went on with the army, and never saw him again.”

His wife (they were newlyweds) wrote the most poignant and loving account of her nursing him, which one of her relatives had published about a century later. Charles Dickens having been shown a manuscript copy by her brother remarked “I shall never forget the lightest word of it … I shall dream of it … from this hour to the day of my death.”

A Week at Waterloo, Magdalene, Lady de Lancey

Lady De Lancey at Waterloo: A Story of Duty and Devotion, David Miller 2000

Sir William DeLancey: An American at Waterloo, All Saints’ Church, Belgium

Ed Garrett

Loyalist and War of 1812 Plaques to be Placed for Daniel Young Family

I have been working with the City of Hamilton along with Dr. David Faux and Tom Nelson to honour our ancestors Daniel and Elizabeth (Windecker) Young (my 4th great grandparents) by placing a plaque on their UEL grant homestead and by placing a Veteran of the War of 1812 marker at the same site.

More about the first event (both Loyalist and War of 1812) which will be held on Saturday, June 13 near Ryckman’s Corners in Hamilton can be read here.

On July 11 at 10:30 the morning a Veteran of the War of 1812 graveside plaque will be placed at the grave of Peter Young (husband of Hannah (Riselay) Young), son of Daniel and Elizabeth (Windecker) Young at the Caledonia Old Methodist cemetery in Caledonia.

For more information, contact me.

Bill Young, UE

Where in the World?

Where are Col. John Butler Branch members Rod and Bev Craig?

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.

  • In honour of some of the Nova Scotia earliest Black settlers @NS_Museum Black Loyalist Heritage Centre opens this weekend.
  • Author Elaine Cougler who writes tales of the Loyalists in the American Revolution and about the War of 1812 will be a guest lecturer on a cruise ship this Fall, leaving New York on October 10 and travelling to Halifax and Saint John with other stops. See details.

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

  • What can John Hancock’s suit tell you about the man who wore it? The clothing a person wears tells you a lot about them: Whether they are rich or poor, what kind of work they do, what colors they like, and what they value. We know that John Hancock was a wealthy merchant and prominent politician, but did you know that his suit reveals even more about his life and personality than the documents and portraits he left behind? Museum professional and textiles expert Kimberly Alexander joins us to explore the world of 18th-century fashion and material culture and what objects like John Hancock’s suit communicate about the past. Listen to the podcast at Ben Franklin’s World
  • What has become of the English language? Read more of the banter between Dr. Thomas Young and Joseph Warren in Impertinence of Every Petulant Jackanapes (read the commentary at the end for the context)
  • Follow that ship! The French tall ship replica Hermione in the vicinity of the Battle of Virginia Capes off the East Coast of the United States on June 2. Then on June 5, forty-eight days after the start of its voyage, and 237 years since its story began, the French tall ship Hermione maneuvered into the York River at Yorktown VA on Friday morning, and as its gilded-lion figure¬≠head came into full view, hundreds of people on the beach waved and cheered. Ed Garrett
  • The statue to Sir Isaac Brock was unveiled recently at Brock University in St. Catharines to much fanfare. But does it realistically represent him? In a letter to the editor of Brock Press, Guy St Denis who has been researching Brock for some time argues that the Sir Isaac Brock Statue is inaccurate.
  • For the daughter or more likely grand-daughter of our (more wealthy) loyalists. June is the month for brides, and here’s an 1836 wedding gown with matching slippers to usher in the season. Two nerdy history girls.

Last Post

John Rosing Carter

1923 2015 John is survived by his wife of 68 years Margaret, their four children John (Ursula Halsmeier) Vancouver, BC; Greg Vancouver, BC; Harriet (Charles Schiele) Minnesota/Florida; Hilary (Jussi Alto) Calgary, AB; his brother Lionel (Monica) and sisters-in-law Marnie in Vancouver, BC and Sheran Carter in Pincher Creek, AB. He was predeceased by his parents Charles Gregory Carter and Edith Rosing Carter, brothers Maurice and Howard and sister Shirley Milton.

John was born September 25, 1923 in Winnipeg. He attended General Steel School for four years and then Mulvey School before matriculating from Gordon Bell High School in 1939. Upon graduation, John joined the family automobile business, Carter Motors that was started by his father in 1926. In 1941, he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force and spent the next four years as a Flying Instructor with the Commonwealth Flying Plan in various airfields across Canada. He was honourably discharged in 1945 with the rank of Flying Officer.

After the war, he rejoined the family automobile business, and upon his father’s death became the owner of the General Motors dealership, a long-standing and well-known landmark of Winnipeg located at the corner of Portage and Maryland. In the mid-1950s John established Carter Holdings Inc., a commercial real estate business. In 1995, John retired from the automobile business.

In 1946, he married Margaret Hunt and they settled in Fort Garry, then Tuxedo. Summers were spent at Star Lake, Manitoba until 1977 when they moved to an old camp on Coney Island in Kenora, Ontario.

John was the president of a number of organizations in Winnipeg including the Manitoba Motor Dealers Association, the Winnipeg Executives Association, and the Manitoba Badminton Association. He was a life member of the Winnipeg Kiwanis Club. He was active in Westminster Church. He was a supportive member of the Manitoba Branch of the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada.

John loved all sports and was active in golf and tennis, but badminton was his passion. He played exhibition matches with World Champions from Malaysia as well as competing in many local, national, and North American championships.

A funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, June 12, 2015 at Thomson “In the Park” Funeral Home, Winnipeg. Donations may be made to the Salvation Army. Condolences may be sent to www.thomsoninthepark.com (Winnipeg Free Press, May 30, 2015)

Patricia Jean (Smith) Logan, UE

After a brief illness, at Hamilton General Hospital on Saturday, May 30th 2015 at the age of 74. Pat will be greatly missed by her two sons, Tim of St. Catharines and Jamie of Dunnville. She will also be sadly missed by good friends Marjorie and Wayne Ettinger and many special friends. Special thank you to the nurses and staff at West Lincoln Memorial Hospital and Hamilton General Hospital for the great care given to Pat. The funeral service was held in the Ballard Minor Funeral Home Chapel, 315 Broad St. E., Dunnville, on Wednesday, June 3rd 2015, burial followed at Zion Cemetery. If desired, donations to the No. 6 RCAF Dunnville Museum or Haldimand-Norfolk Senior Support Services would be sincerely appreciated.

Pat was a loyal member of Col. John Butler (Niagara) Branch and was very proud of her loyalist ancestor Christian Sencebaugh/Sensabaugh. She was very active in several Haldimand County associations and received the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for her significant contributions as a long-time volunteer with the No. 6 RCAF Dunnville Museum, the Dunnville Agricultural Society, Haldimand Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society, the Dunnville Heritage Society, her church and the Inman Road Women’s Institute.

She will be truly missed.

…Bev Craig UE, Col. John Butler Branch


Albert Berdan of Woodhouse Township

One of my ancestors is Albert Berdan who died February 8, 1818 Woodhouse Twp. He was born in Bergen County, New jersey July 19, 1753. I have heard rumors that he was a UEL and he also was a town crier. If you could help me as to how I go about this research, I would be very appreciative. This is my father’s side of the family. He and my mother have been trying to figure it all out and have hit dead ends on this ancestral line of the family. My parents will celebrate 60 years of marriage in two years; I would love to see if we can solve this for them.

Thanks in advance.

Vicky Jones

Loyalists and The Battle of Waterloo

With the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo June 18, 1815 only a few days away, does anyone know of connections between our Loyalist ancestors and that Battle in addition to the one above on Colonel Sir William Howe De Lancey? There were a good number of family connections between the Loyalists and the War of 1812, which would be expected as that war was fought here. The Battle of Waterloo a little more distant.

Any connections would be appreciated

…Doug, Editor, loyalist.trails@uelac.org

Seare or Coffin Family

We are currently researching our ancestors for an Astwood family Reunion in Bermuda this summer (July, 2015). We know we descend from Frederica Coffin Seare who will have been born during the year 1810/1811. We suspect that she hailed from North America (probably Canada), but ended up in the Turks and Caicos Islands where she is recorded to have definitely had 5 and maybe 6 children with her husband James Prudden Astwood commencing with the birth of their first child on 20th January, 1839. She would have been 28 years old. We have not located a record of their marriage, but she died in Bermuda at age 66 years on 19th June, 1877.

In addition to her husband, children and grandchildren mourning her passing, her death notice in our Royal Gazette also records one sister. Although the name of her sister is not mentioned, Frederica is mentioned as a beneficiary in the will of Catherine Harriott Adams, niece of Catherine Elizabeth Adams (Grand Turk) on 6th July, 1881. In this will Hester Richardson’s name is mentioned along with Frederica’s, who may have been her sister?, we do not know for sure because although the will is indexed, it cannot be located at the Bermuda Archives.

Due to Frederica’s age 28 years and her husband being aged 22 years at the birth of their first child, it is possible that she may have married a Seare and become a widow with maybe one child. Or her maiden name was Seare. Either way, the fact that Coffin appears in her name has us very curious. Would anyone have any leads which might narrow the search in the Seare or Coffin families that might link to Frederica Coffin or Frederica Coffin Seare born in Canada around 1810/1811?

We have a picture of Frederica and her youngest son Walter (the names are written on the back of the picture). Her father-in-law was named Anthony Astwood and he was listed initially as a sailor (we do not know his rank). His birth date is during the year 1768 as he died on 29th August, 1843 at age 75 years. It is very likely that he would have traveled between Bermuda and Turks and Caicos as Bermuda relied heavily on the salt trade during that era. The salt would have been transported to Newfoundland and sold or exchanged for goods to take back to Bermuda. Then the cycle would begin again. We can only theorize that Frederica somehow met James Prudden, they married, lived in Turks and Caicos and had their children there before moving to reside in Bermuda. Either way she would not have been welcome in the US and would have received better treatment in the West Indies if her family were British Loyalists, who were escaping persecution by the newly formed United States of America.

Any help is appreciated.

Susann Smith