“Loyalist Trails” 2017-09: February 26, 2017
In this issue:
– 2017 UELAC Conference: Discover Your Roots
– First Nations Sons and Daughters in the Book of Negroes, by Stephen Davidson
– Further Comments on Loyalist Claims (Part 1 of 2), by John Noble
– Borealia: Jamaican Maroons in Nova Scotia: The politics of climate and race
– JAR: Preventing Slave Insurrection in South Carolina & Georgia, 1775-1776
– Ben Franklin’s World: Andrew O’Shaughnessy, The Men Who Lost America
– Veterans of Lincoln & Welland Regiment Receive France’s Legion of Honor
– Ontario Drivers Last chance: Celebrate Heritage Month with a Loyalist Licence Plate
– Pictures: 60 Tips from the Best Photographers
– Where in the World?
– Region and Branch Bits
– From the Twittersphere and Beyond
+ Help with a Plaque/Monument Cemetery and Grave Parker
– Last Post
+ Ernie Hudson, UE, Assiniboine Branch
+ Marilyn Ann Whatley, UE (1941-2017)
2017 UELAC Conference: Discover Your Roots
June 22 – 25, 2017; London, Ontario
Hosted by: London & Western Ontario Branch and Grand River Branch
First Nations Sons and Daughters in the Book of Negroes
© Stephen Davidson, UE
In 1783, Sir Guy Carleton commissioned the creation of a ledger to record the names of all free and enslaved African descendants who were evacuating New York City at the close of the American Revolution. Scattered among the 2,744 entries in the Book of Negroes are details on nine evacuees that shed light on forgotten participants in the War of Independence. A handful of the loyalist refugees who left the United States to begin new lives in other parts of the British Empire were the children of Africans and Native Americans. Today their descendants live in Canada’s New Brunswick and Nova Scotia as well as in Sierra Leone, West Africa.
Sometimes referred to as “Black Indians”, these men and women of mixed race contributed to the war effort on both sides of the American Revolution. Crispus Attucks, remembered for being the first casualty of the Boston Massacre, was the son of a Wampanoag woman and an enslaved African. Regarded as the revolution’s first martyr, Attucks also became an icon for the 19th century’s anti-slavery campaign.
Lt. Col. Joseph Louis Cook (Akiatonharónkwen) was born to an African father and an Abenaki mother in Quebec. During the War of Independence, Cook became the highest ranking officer in the Continental Army, leading Oneida warriors against the British.
Joseph Brant (Thayendanegea), the Native ally of the British forces, welcomed runaway African slaves and encouraged their adoption into his tribe. After Brant’s people found sanctuary in Upper Canada, an escaped slave named John Morey married Elizabeth, a Mohawk woman.Catherine Morey, their daughter, married John H. Henderson, a Black Loyalist who had escaped slavery in Maryland. Their children became members of a community of blacks in Brantford, Upper Canada (Ontario).
Marriages between Africans and Natives were a consequence of the largely forgotten fact that European settlers enslaved both of these peoples during the colonization of North America. Alan Gallay, history professor at Ohio State University writes, “Both before and during African enslavement in the Americas, American Indians were forced to labor as slaves and in various other forms of unfree servitude. They worked in mines, on plantations, as apprentices for artisans, and as domestics – just like African slaves and European indentured servants. . . All the colonies engaged in slaving and in the purchase of Indian slaves.”
Little wonder then, that loyal “Black Indians” should be among the loyalist refugees who evacuated New York City in 1783. The stories of these nine men and women are only briefly revealed in the Book of Negroes, but they are well worth noting.
In late April, the Lady’s Adventure carried four loyalists of African and First Nations descent to what is now the province of New Brunswick. Both Andrew Hilton and Charles Allen had served as pioneers in the Kings American Dragoons (KAD). (A pioneer in a military context was someone who had a noncombant role. Black Loyalists’ service often involved clearing land, digging latrines, or building fortifications and barracks.) The KAD were given their colours by King George III’s son William when he visited New York, and they was the first loyalist regiment to settle along the St. John River Valley.
Hilton’s mother was a Maryland Native and his father was a slave to the family of Basil Brooks in Benedict County. The 22 year-old’s First Nation’s ancestry could be one of ten tribes: Lenape, Nanticoke, Piscataway, Conoy, Powhatan, Accohannock, Shawnee, Susquehannock, Tutelo or Saponi.
Like Hilton, Charles Allen’s mother was also of Native Maryland ancestry. His father was a Spaniard, and the 25 year-old had once been enslaved by Matthew Hobbs of Maryland’s Sussex County.
Two “Black Indian” women on the Lady’s Adventure had also served the KAD, perhaps as cooks or laundresses. Twenty-two year old Sally Terrell had once been enslaved by a master on the island of Jamaica. Although of mixed heritage, Elsie Doughty had been born free on New York’s Long Island. Her Native ancestors could have come from one of thirteen tribes: Canarsie, Rockaway, Matinecock, Merrick, Massapequa, Nissequoge, Secatoag, Seatauket, Patchoag, Corchaug, Shinnecock, Manhasset and Montauk. Before joining the loyalist regiment, Elsie had worked for the Quaker family of Ben Doughty.
Mary State was the only woman of mixed heritage to sail to the mouth of the St. John River in June 1783. She, too, was born free on Long Island and would have had ancestors from the same tribes as Elsie Doughty. Mary travelled without any white escort (“on her own bottom”) on Amity’s Production.
Ephraim was sixty years old when he travelled with Ludwick Cypher’s family on the John and Jane in September of 1783. While it is know that Cypher eventually settled on Grand Lake, the final home of Ephraim is unknown. He is the only person in the Book of Negroes who is described as a “freeborn Indian” with no reference to African ancestors.
Three Black Loyalists with a Native parent settled in Nova Scotia following the American Revolution. Judith Saunders was born free to an African and Native couple in Stonington, Connecticut, but her husband had been enslaved by David Gilbert of New Haven Connecticut. Gad Saunders deserted from the Continental Army (no doubt serving in his master’s place) to serve the crown in 1779. His wife’s First Nations ancestors could have come from one of 16 tribes: Mahican (including the Pocomtuc), Minisink (Munsee) tribe, Mohegan (including the Niantic), Pequot, Nipmuc, the Quiripi tribes (Mattabesic, Paugusett, and Schaghticoke) Narraganset, Wappinger, Paugus-sett Tribe, or the Mashantucket Pequot.
Judith had been an employee of the rebel Thomas Williams. He died at the Battle of Fort Griswold at the age of 60 in 1781. Judith, Gad and their two children sailed for Port Roseway (Shelburne) on the London.
Robert Willet, a 53 year-old bachelor arrived in Port Roseway in April of 1783 on the Stafford. He was described as “half Indian” and “perfectly free”.
The last Black Loyalist of mixed ancestry to arrive in Port Roseway was Dinah Brown. She was born free to a First Nations woman and was later a servant to the loyalist family of Edmund Palmer in Fishkill, New York.
The latter is remembered for being hanged as a spy by the Continental Army in 1777 despite protests from his young wife and the British army. Following her employer’s execution, Dinah eventually joined other loyalist refugees in New York City. There she met and married Bill Brown. Sadly, Dinah and her infant died within a year of disembarking from the Ann & Elizabeth.
The story of Black Loyalists who had a Native heritage does not end with their settlement in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Within nine years of their arrival in the northern British colonies, nearly 1,200 Black Loyalists decided to journey to Sierra Leone, West Africa. Treated unfairly by the colonial governments, the African refugees jumped at the opportunity given them by a British abolitionist society to found a colony of free people.
There are no complete lists of all of the Black Loyalists who left New Brunswick and Nova Scotia for Sierra Leone. It is entirely possible that some of the nine refugees of mixed heritage refugees recorded in the Book of Negroes made their way to West Africa. If so, then today there are those in Sierra Leone who are carriers of First Nations DNA – a genetic heritage that they share with others who settled in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
To secure permission to reprint this article, email Stephen Davidson.
Further Comments on Loyalist Claims (Part 1 of 2), by John Noble
I have now looked again at the Second Report of the Bureau of Archives for the Province of Ontario, 1904 “United Empire Loyalists: Enquiry into the Losses and Services in Consequence of their Loyalty: Evidence in the Canadian Claims” which contains the evidence for the Canadian claims submitted to the Loyalist Commissioners. It does not contain the memorial and statement of loss or supporting documents submitted by each Loyalist before appearing before the Commissioners. The Report has the evidence considered by the Commissioners for all six of the Loyalists mentioned in Stephen Davidson’s article, but it does not contain the determination/decision made by the Commissioners with respect to those claims.
Digging further into the Introduction to the Second Report revealed some answers to questions about how claims were evaluated and how compensation was made. I believe that this introduction was not written by the Loyalist Commissioners but by Alexander Fraser, Provincial Archivist in 1904, who included many of the Commissioners” comments and findings in the introduction.
Page 12 says “As early as May 1782, Loyalists applied for lands in Nova Scotia. Governor Parr recommended that each family be given 500 acres of land, every single man 300 acres, and that 2,000 acres be set aside for a church and 1,000 acres for a school in each township. In 1783 it was estimated that there were 12,000,000 acres of ungranted, cultivable land in Nova Scotia.
The treatment of Loyalists in Upper and Lower Canada was similar to that in Nova Scotia. So far as possible, compensation was to be made in land grants. Surveys were begun in July, 1783. There was no uniformity in the size of the grants, though the rule was to give every adult male and every widow 200 acres. Civil and military officers received larger grants, some as much as 1,200 acres.”
From page 13 “The British Parliament was urged by the King to treat the Loyalists with “a due and generous attention,” hence that body in July, 1783, appointed a commission of five members to classify the losses and services: John Wilmot, Esquire, Daniel Parker Coke, Esquire, Colonel Robert Kingston, Colonel Thomas Dundas, and John Marsh, Esquire, shall be, and they are hereby constituted Commissioners for enquiring into the respective Losses and Services of all such Person and Persons who have suffered in their Rights, Properties, and Professions during the late unhappy dissentions in America in consequence of their Loyalty to his Majesty, and attachment to the British Government”. (This latter language is used in many memorials by claimants).
From page 14: “Claims were first ordered to be presented by March 25th, 1784, but the time was later extended till 1790. On the first date mentioned, 2063 claims were presented, representing a loss of about $35,000,000 in real and personal property, $11,770,000 in debts and $443,000 in incomes, making a total of nearly $47,250,000. Compensation was not allowed for estates bought after the war, rents, incomes of offices received during the rebellion, anticipated professional profits, losses in trade, labor, or by the British army, losses through depreciated paper money, captures at sea and debts. By April, 1788, the Commissioners had examined 1,680 claims on which they allowed $9,448,000”.
From page 15 which contains the First Report of Commissioners (10th August 1784): “the total number of the Claimants is two thousand and sixty-three. But we think it proper to observe, that of the real Amount of their Losses, no reasonable or probable conjecture can in our opinion be formed, because the Estimates delivered in, have, in may instances in the course of our examination, appeared extremely erroneous and imperfect: and in sundry cases where property of considerable value is alleged to be lost, no certain specification or Estimate whatsoever is given, the parties alleging themselves at present unable to frame such for want of sufficient documents or information. . ..”
“The total amount of the specified Estimates of Losses of Property is Seven millions and forty-six thousand Two hundred and seventy-eight pounds fifteen shillings and one penny”.
Page 18: “The principal and most obvious difficulty inseparable from the nature of our Enquiry, is . . . the ascertainment of the value of the Property proved to be lost.”
(Concluded next week)
Borealia: Jamaican Maroons in Nova Scotia: The politics of climate and race
By Anya Zilberstein
Not long after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau handed winter coats to Syrian refugees arriving in Toronto this past December, reports about the immigrants’ problems began appearing in the press. Rent gouging by dishonest landlords. Frustration at delays in receiving permanent housing and full access to medical care. And, of course, that obligatory storyline: the shocking first experiences with a winter cold enough to cause some families to consider returning to the Middle East.
This incident reminded me of a much earlier episode in Canadian history when a political leader welcomed people unwanted in other countries. In that case, the severity of northern winters became the focus of transatlantic controversy over whether or not black emigrants from the Caribbean could survive in the North.
In 1796, Nova Scotia’s Lieutenant Governor John Wentworth offered permanent residence to over 550 men, women, and children expelled from Jamaica. They came to Nova Scotia from the tropical highlands of Trelawny Town, where they formed the largest of Jamaica’s five independent enclaves of escaped slaves, or Maroons – privileged but vulnerable “islands of freedom in a sea of slavery” in historian Richard Sheridan’s vivid words. The previous year, Jamaica’s governor suspected the Trelawny Maroons of plotting an insurrection and decided to deport the entire community.
JAR: Preventing Slave Insurrection in South Carolina & Georgia, 1775-1776
by Jim Piecuch, February 21, 2017
As the colonies of South Carolina and Georgia moved closer to open rebellion against Great Britain in the summer of 1775, leaders of the revolutionary movement found themselves facing a host of potential threats. In addition to the numerous loyalists in both colonies, the tribes of pro-British Indians on their frontiers, and the possibility of an attack from British forces, the risk of a slave uprising loomed large in the minds of the rebels. Even in times of stability, slave revolts were a constant danger; in the crisis resulting from an impending war between Britain and the colonies, a slave insurrection might doom the southernmost colonies’ attempt to resist the British.
In 1775 slaves outnumbered whites by 104,000 to 70,000 in South Carolina, and the disparity was greater in the low country, where the province’s rice plantations were located. Georgia’s white and slave populations were approximately equal, each group numbering about 25,000. Revolutionary leaders in these colonies recognized that their large slave populations made them uniquely vulnerable to a British attack. While attending the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia, Georgia delegates Archibald Bulloch and John Houstoun told John Adams that if the British sent just one thousand troops to Georgia, “and their commander be provided with Arms and Cloaths enough, and proclaim freedom to all the Negroes who would join his Camp, 20,000 Negroes would join it from the two Provinces in a fortnight.” Their only security against the British taking such a step, they told Adams, was that “all the Kings Friends and Tools of Government have large Plantations and Property in Negroes. So that the Slaves of the Tories would be lost as well as those of the Whiggs.”
Ben Franklin’s World: Andrew O’Shaughnessy, The Men Who Lost America
In this episode, Andrew O’Shaughnessy, the Saunders Director of the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello and author of The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution, and the Fate of an Empire, helps us explore the American War for Independence from British points of view.
During our exploration, Andrew reveals how the British government operated during the mid-to-late 18th century; Officers in the British government and the roles they played in the American crisis; And the various roles played in the War for Independence by commanding officers in the royal army and navy.
Veterans of Lincoln & Welland Regiment Receive France’s Legion of Honor
In a ceremony at Canada House in London, England, held on February 16, 2017, three veterans of the Lincoln & Welland Regiment were honoured for their help in liberating France during World War Two. Rear-Admiral Patrick Chevallereau, Defence Attaché from the French Embassy in the U.K., presented to Bill Smith, originally from St. Catharines, Ontario, Albert Cunningham, originally from Welland, Ontario, and Donald Dunlop, originally from Nova Scotia. All three men remained in England after the war.
Bill Smith, pictured in the article, is a U.E. He has received, through the Colonel John Butler Branch of UELAC, certificates for his Loyalist ancestors Nicholas Smith and William May. Nicholas and William fought in Butler’s Rangers during the American Revolutionary War. Following the disbanding of Butler’s Rangers, the Nassau Militia was formed in Upper Canada, with John Butler as its commanding officer. The militia went through various name changes, finally becoming the Lincoln & Welland Regiment. Read more with photos.
…Wendy Broda, UE, Col. John Butler Branch
Ontario Drivers Last chance: Celebrate Heritage Month with a Loyalist Licence Plate!
While the United Empire Loyalists arrived long before Confederation you can still share your pride in their heritage as you celebrate the 150th anniversary. You may remember the special centenary Ontario Licence Plate project that kicked off the 2014 celebrations. With less than forty-eight plates beginning with 02UE, you still have a chance to get a plate that you will remember and cause comments wherever you drive.
SAVE: for the rest of the month of February, you can save $30.00 when you place your order. AND we will also ship your request FREE!
Take these 2 steps now:
1. Email email@example.com with your preferred number chosen from the following: 16-19, 23, 24, 26-32, 34, 36-38, 40, 42, 47,49, 52-55, 57, 59, 67, 69, 72-75, 79, 90-95, 97, 98.
2. Send your cheque for $80.00 and this form to the George Brown House office.
Show your support of the UELAC and your pride in your pre-confederation heritage.
…Fred H. Hayward, UELAC Public Relations
Pictures: 60 Tips from the Best Photographers
Whether you take photos just for your own use, or offer them to your branch newsletter editor, or branch website or social media manager, or submit to “Where in the World”, getting good photos need not be all that challenging. Whatever your skill level is, you are bound to find a simple tip or three here which will help make an improvement.
Photography is a wonderful way to preserve your memories, share them with friends and family, and keep them as special mementos. Some people may tell you that to do this you need an expensive camera, but in fact, the best camera you will ever have is whatever you have. Good technique is far better than an expensive camera. Light plays such an important role in your picture taking, so it is well worth spending some time learning about this, and other techniques that will enhance your colours and composition. After reviewing some of the basics about good photography, you will find that your picture taking produces shots that you will be proud to display! Read 60 Tips from the Best Photographers, by Jacky Miller.
Where are Martha Hemphill, Gloria Howard, and Pat Blackburn of Hamilton Branch)?
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 your submission to the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the UELAC branches, news and events of interest to others.
- Col. John Butler (Niagara) Branch Monthly Luncheon Meeting on Saturday, March 4, 2017 at 11:45 sharp, at Betty’s Restaurant, Chippawa. $20 per person. Guest Speaker: Donna Ford. Richard Pierpoint, UEL, is the topic of Donna Ford’s presentation. As a teenager, Richard Pierpoint was stolen away from his home in Senegal and sold into slavery. During the American Revolution, he earned his freedom by fighting as one of Butler’s Rangers. Like so many other members of Butler’s Rangers, he settled in the Niagara area. When Upper Canada was threatened in 1812, Richard Pierpoint urged the formation of an all-black unit, which he joined, to fight against the invading Americans. All his life he pined to return to Africa, but the wish of this veteran of two wars never came true.
From the Twittersphere and Beyond
- John Malcolm (died 1788) was a sea captain, army officer, and British customs official who was the victim of the most publicized tarring and feathering incident during the American Revolution. A Bostonian, Captain Malcolm was a staunch supporter of royal authority. During the War of the Regulation, he traveled to the province of North Carolina to help put down the uprising. While working for the customs service, he pursued his duties with a zeal that made him unpopular. The fact that he was a loyalist during the Tea Act, the three-pence tea tax detested by the patriots did not help his reputation. In November 1773, sailors in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, tarred and feathered him. Malcolm got off relatively easy in this attack, since the tar and feathers were applied while he was still fully clothed. Read what next…
- GPP: Analog King in a Digital Age. King George III’s prodigious intellectual curiosity is reflected in his stunning collections of clocks and scientific instruments, his library, and his writing. When we convert this very analog King to digital form, what do we gain? In one of the most poignant examples of the King’s attention to the American crisis among the newly digitized materials in the Georgian Papers Programme, he begins with the exclamation “America is Lost!” A number of scholars, including in pieces now posted on the Programme’s websites, have considered the character and meaning of this essay. Like many of his contemporaries, and in the case of this essay, George III copied extracts of his reading, collecting and remixing them in a style familiar to many keepers of commonplace books. Still even if not all of the text originated with the King, the essay seems to reveal his thinking at a key moment in the last stages and the early aftermath of the American Revolution. Read more – and take the side-trip to the Scientific instruments (Who knew?)
- Today in History: Lars D.H. Hedbor @LarsDHHedbor (see his page for associated photos)
- 19 Feb 1777 Colonel Benedict Arnold is passed over for promotion by Congress, prompting his eventual treason.
- 20 Feb 1776 Royal Gov. Dunmore offers to negotiate w/Parliament for Virginia; Committee of Safety chooses Congress.
- 21 Feb 1776 Congress debates details of Continental currency to be issued to finance the war.
- 21 Feb 1777, George Weedon, Fredericksburg innkeeper & future mayor. promoted to Brigadier General of Virginia Regiment of Continental Army.
- 22 Feb 1776 Congress demands that New-York explain what efforts had been made to raise troops for its own defense.
- 23 Feb 1778 Prussian Gen. von Steuben arrives at Valley Forge to drill Continental Army into a professional force.
- 24 Feb 1782 American forces, surprised by British attack, try retreat across Wambaw Bridge in SC; bridge collapses.
- 25 Feb 1778 George Rogers Clark heads to Ft Sackville in present-day IN, ending British hold on Western frontier.
- Food of the Enslaved: Kush; the fourth and final video of a series that focuses on historic foods of the enslaved African community of North America.
- Brian McConnell on Loyalist Trail in Nova Scotia passing Port George, named for King George III & Margaretsville after daughter of Bishop Inglis.
- Found rare Loyalist Days (Saint John, New Brunswick) Souvenir Dollar – June 22 – Sept 4, 1981 – Brian McConnell
Help with a Plaque/Monument Cemetery and Grave Parker
I’m a descendant of UEL John Blackburn of Chatham Township, Kent County, Ontario and I also happen to be the coordinator with the Blackburn Family Association. Our Association has been involved in a number of projects across North America. We’ve recently proposed to Arnold Cemetery in Chatham Twp (Louisville) that a monument be placed at the entrance of that cemetery to recognize the contributions of the early settlers there, including the fact that they came as Loyalists. We are wondering if you have a historian we could work with to help craft and design such a monument/plaque for the cemetery. We would welcome your expertise in this regard.
At the same time, we plan to place a monument in that cemetery specifically for John and Mary (Mains) Blackburn. I have some wording worked out, but thought it might be interesting to ask if there are other UEL stones that contain particular wording to donate UEL status that might be a good example for me.
Any advice is welcome; if anyone is close by, even better. Thank you for your assistance in this matter.
…Kevin Howley, Blackburn Family Association
Last Post: Ernie Hudson, UE, Assiniboine Branch
Ernest “Ernie” Albert Hudson was born Friday, April 20, 1945 in Ste. Rose du Lac, Manitoba and passed away in The Pas, Manitoba, Tuesday, January 10, 2017, at the age of 71 years.
Ernie grew up on the farm in East Bay until 1957 when the family moved to Dauphin where he continued his education. Later he worked for a number of years at St. Paul’s Personal Care Home before switching to the Dauphin Bus Depot. In 1976 he was transferred to The Pas for “two weeks” but ended up staying for the next 40 years.
Ernie was especially proud of being accepted as a member of the United Empire Loyalists. He was a faithful member of his church.
Ernie will be sorely missed by his surviving siblings: Nora Smart (Duncan, BC), Wilfred Hudson (Dauphin, MB), Ethel Hominick (The Pas, MB); sister-in-law Gertrude Hudson (Ste. Rose, MB); numerous nieces and nephews; and by his longtime friend George Miles.
Ernie will also be missed by many friends in Dauphin and The Pas, as well as by many with whom he corresponded by letters, emails and Facebook.
Ernie was predeceased by sisters Alice Hogarth, Laura Green and Mabel Wells; brothers Herbert, Edward, Ralph, Edgar and Howard.
Last Post: Marilyn Ann Whatley, UE (1941-2017)
With inexpressible sadness Marilyn Ann Whatley of Acton, passed away peacefully at Oakville Trafalgar Hospital February 17, 2017 with her family at her side. Marilyn is survived by her husband of 53 years, Gordon, sons Kyle (Mary Anne), Chris (Irene) grandchildren Connor, Taylor, Carter, Eric and Shawna and grandchild Naiyha, sister Kathy (Mike). Predeceased by her parents Rev. Arthur Welburn Jones and Jessie Jones (Marshall), Marilyn’s daughter Elizabeth Ann and brother Doug.
During her early career in education she taught in Grimsby but spent the majority of her teaching time in the North York Board of Education teaching Primary and Junior grades. Marilyn loved her gardens and plants and got her “exercise” tending to their well being.
Marilyn was “Akela’ to the Limehouse Cub Pack, led the parents committee for the Queens York Rangers Cadet Corps and worked for many years helping run the Ontario Rifle Association Annual Matches.
She was a founding Life Member of the Ontario Chapter of the MG T Register and a member of the New England MG T Register with her MG TD. Marilyn’s goal was to visit every state and province in her MG. (just missed). Many auto enthusiasts will remember her as the CEO (BOSS) of Octagon Auto Supply and the Armchair Motorist as she encouraged them with their automotive adventures, reading and repairs. Marilyn thrilled in driving her MG at racetracks like Lime Rock, Watkins Glen, Mosport and driving across the USA to California and eventually Pike’s Peak and to the Arctic Circle in Alaska. Her many MG friends will miss her sense of humor and adventure and her vast knowledge.
Marilyn’s passion, beyond her family, was her genealogical family. Over the last 50 years she has strived to “bring to life” her ancestors so that they would not just be a name on a stone or in a list. Initially, she had all sorts of family rumors so she set out to investigate what was fact from fiction. She is a United Empire Loyalist via her Merritt, Wetmore and Galloway lineage and a Daughter of the Revolution via her Ferris ancestors. These are very exciting families and some go back to the Norman Invasion in 1066 in the UK. Marilyn would light up when she was nearing a solution to a complicated lineage as her “three proofs” sometimes took years to establish.
A celebration of her life will be held in the Spring.
Marilyn and Gord were members of Col. John Butler (Niagara) Branch for more than 10 years; the members are saddened by her passing and offer our deepest sympathy to Gord and the family.
…Bev Craig, UE