“Loyalist Trails” 2017-45: November 5, 2017

In this issue:
Canadian English and the Loyalists, by Stephen Davidson
2017 Dorchester Award: Myrtle Johnson, UE
Loyalist Gazette Printed + Digital Version
Scholarship Shines at Dominion Council Weekend
JAR: The Connecticut Captivity of William Franklin, Loyalist
The Junto: Should you write your dissertation as a book?
Ben Franklin’s World: The Revolutionaries’ Army
The Pawlings of Pennsylvania
Joshua Bates
Christmas Gift: The Burdens of Loyalty: Refugee Tales from the First American Civil War
Where in the World?
Region and Branch Bits
From the Twittersphere and Beyond
Additions to the Loyalist Directory
Last Post
      + Bruce L. McCorquodale, UE, BSA, MSc
      + Mary Beacock Fryer, UE
      + Margaret Lois Near, UE
      + Response re James Major Grant and Wife Penuel


Canadian English and the Loyalists, by Stephen Davidson

© Stephen Davidson, UE

No one thinks that he or she has an accent — especially Canadians. And yet, to other speakers of English, we do. Stereotypically, we are distinguished from other Anglophones by ending sentences with “eh”, saying “leftenant” when we see “lieutenant”, and saying “zed” when we come to the end of the alphabet — to name but a few distinctions.

However, (with the exception of some who live in the Atlantic Provinces) when one listens to a fellow Canadian, it is extremely difficult –if not impossible– to determine whether the speaker hails from British Columbia or Ontario, from Alberta or Manitoba. Despite having the second largest land mass of any nation on earth, Canadians do not have the variety of regiona; dialects found in either the United States or Great Britain. There is, to the surprise of many, a General Canadian English. And it all began with the Loyalists.

Although there were English speakers in today’s Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland before the arrival of the American Revolution’s refugees, the largest single influx of English speakers in our history was that of the Loyalists. This fact raises some questions about linguistics and language. What did the Loyalists sound like? Could they be distinguished by their speech? What impact did the English of these refugees have on the English that Canadians speak today?

The Canadian Encyclopedia notes “The colonial American English that the Loyalists brought to Canada was established in the 17th century, before several of the changes that created modern Standard British English had occurred in southeastern England.”

The question about what the Loyalists sounded like does not have a clear-cut answer simply because the refugees of the American Revolution fled from so many different regions of English pronunciation. By the 18th century, the rebellious thirteen colonies had a variety of accents and dialects that could be divided into three regions: New England, the Mid-Atlantic colonies, and the Southern colonies. In turn, each region’s way of saying words related back to where their first settlers had lived in England.

The original settlers of the New England colonies have an accent that can be traced back to the Puritans who originated in the South and East of England. They dropped the “r” in a whole host of words, saying “yodd” for “yard” and “hawvod” for “Harvard”.

Those English settlers who made their homes in Virginia once lived in the West Counties, sounding out the “r” in words such as “heard” and “turn”. Southern colonial English was also influenced by the Pidgin English that enslaved Africans used as a survival tool in the New World.

The English of the Mid-Atlantic colonies was shaped in part by the original Dutch settlers of New York and New Jersey — as well as the Quaker founders of Pennsylvania and the persecuted Huguenots.

At the end of the American Revolution, geography and the availability of transportation ultimately determined which of the three regional “Englishes” the Loyalists carried into what is now Canada. Each region of what would become Canada received a somewhat different assortment of English accents and dialects.

Those with access to sailing ships fled to the eastern provinces. Loyal New Englanders, Mid-Atlantic colonists, and a smattering of Southern Loyalists made new homes in the Maritimes. 36% of New Brunswick’s settlers were from New York; 20% were from New Jersey.

Those Loyalists who initially found refuge in what had once been New France were from Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey. After a short stay in what became Lower Canada, the majority of these refugees migrated to Upper Canada, today’s Ontario. By 1813, 80% of Upper Canada’s people were either loyalists or their descendants — forming a “founding” English that would be adopted by later immigrants.

What is interesting to note is how quickly the regions settled by loyalists could identify outsiders by their English. In 1836, Nova Scotia’s Thomas Chandler Haliburton published The Clockmaker, a series of sketches about a Yankee salesman named Sam Slick. The main character complains at one point that Nova Scotians could tell that he was from New England by his speech.

Only 70 years earlier (the span of a single lifetime), this same colony’s fishing villages had been settled by New Englanders. (Haliburton’s mother, it should be noted, was a loyalist from New York.) Nevertheless, the descendants of the revolution’s refugees could already distinguish an outsider’s accent as being different from their own.

In Upper Canada, Susanna Moodie, a British immigrant, noted that a local man “spoke with such a twang that I could not bear to look at him or listen to him.” Loyalist English, it seems, was neither British (to Moodie’s ears) nor American (to Haliburton’s).

The English spoken across Canada is a variation on American English because the Loyalists continued to speak the language of the colonies where they were raised. The settlers of Upper Canada spoke the English heard in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and the western New England colonies.

World Englishes (edited by Kingsley Bolton and Braj B. Kachru), explains what happened next. “These people became the founding population of inland Canada. Socially, they brought with them the manners and mores of the middle American states where they originated, as distinct from the Yankees north of them in New England and the planters south of them in Virginia and Georgia. Linguistically, they brought with them the sounds and syntax of those same middle states on the Atlantic coast … Canadians sound American. That is the heritage of the Loyalists founders.”

Despite the fact that there were even larger migrations of English speakers from Scotland, Ireland, and England in the years following Loyalist settlement, newcomers adopted the English that they heard around them in church, the schoolyard, and in the courts of law. The first schoolteachers and government officials were loyalists. They set the standard — the “founding language”.

With the opening of the Canadian West in the early 1880s, the English variant that had been forming in Ontario for almost a century became the standard for the provinces that sprang up on the prairies and west coast. Those born and bred in Ontario led the migration to the west, providing it with teachers, newspaper writers, administrators, and clergy — four key sources for an English that would eventually be adopted by the thousands of Europeans migrating to Canada.

Given our American English past, it is no surprise, and then, that Canadian English sounds “American” to Brits, but has a vocabulary that is perceived as “British” to Americans. The language of the Loyalists has not remained stagnant; each decade’s new words and expressions became part of General Canadian. It is estimated that there are now at least 10,000 words and expressions with Canadian origins.

Some Canadians fear that they sound too much like Americans — a strange paranoia given that so many of them are the descendants of American refugees. However, Katherine Barber, a former editor of the Canadian Oxford Dictionary offers some encouraging insights: “We have already managed to maintain our linguistic distinctiveness despite living right next door to this behemoth for almost 250 years, with citizens travelling back and forth freely between both countries and Canadians bombarded constantly by a barrage of American publishing and media, the likes of which other English-speaking countries never experience. I believe that Canadian English will continue to survive and thrive.”

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

Another Maritime Loyalist who as Stephen Davidson wrote was “Goin’ down the road” (see Part 1 and Part 2) was Gideon Vernon, U.E., who was a Captain in the Associated Loyalists, and a member of the”Quaker Company” that settled “Belle View” Beaver Harbour, New Brunswick. Although mentioned by Sabine there is much greater detail available than Lorenzo Sabine gives.

Following the destruction of the Beaver Harbour settlement in two devastating forest fires Captain Gideon Vernon, U.E., his wife and his five younger children returned to Chester County, Pennsylvania. Following an apology to Chester Monthly Meeting of Friends he was reinstated on 3 Mo. 25, 1799. In the same year he removed to Goshen Township, Chester County; six years later he removed to Darby, Delaware County, and in 1807 he removed yet again, his letter of removal going to Southern District Monthly Meeting in Philadelphia. On March 29, 1809 Gideon his wife Phoebe and three of their children: William, Joshua and Peyton were granted a certificate to Yonge Street M.M. in Upper Canada. There he resided in York County (his children more specifically in Whitchurch Township) and died 2 September 1829.

One thing the lives of these “down the road loyalists” calls into question is the standard theory of Upper Canada Late Loyalism (see Professor Jane Errington’s The Lion, The Eagle, and Upper Canada) where such late arrivals from the U.S. have been viewed as being economic migrants, yet as can be seen some of them where indeed Loyalists who had fled to the Maritimes, returned for various reasons to the U.S.A. and then removed to Upper Canada.

…Ed Garrett

Hi Ed. Yes, eleven would be the correct number of loyalists that Sabine identified as heading off to Upper Canada. Somehow, I missed Gideon Vernon in my original research. That’s where sharp-eyed Loyalist Trails readers such as yourself make sure that the complete story is told.

…Stephen Davidson, UE

2017 Dorchester Award: Myrtle Johnson, UE

The UELAC Dorchester Award, established October 2007 by Dominion Council exemplifies Volunteer Excellence and Participation, by conferring recognition on recipient(s), for their lengthy contribution to the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada. Exclusive to the UELAC membership, this Award salutes the “best in volunteerism” amongst our members within the Association

The Honoured Recipient for 2017 is Myrtle Johnston, UE – Colonel Edward Jessup Branch. Read more about her award.

Congratulations, Myrtle!

2017 Dorchester Award: Myrtle Johnson, UE

The UELAC Dorchester Award, established October 2007 by Dominion Council exemplifies Volunteer Excellence and Participation, by conferring recognition on recipient(s), for their lengthy contribution to the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada. Exclusive to the UELAC membership, this Award salutes the “best in volunteerism” amongst our members within the Association

The Honoured Recipient for 2017 is Myrtle Johnston, UE – Colonel Edward Jessup Branch. Read more about her award.

Congratulations, Myrtle!

Loyalist Gazette Printed + Digital Version

The Fall 2017 issue of The Loyalist Gazette was to be delivered by the printer to the mailing house on Friday, which means it will likely be mailed sometime this coming week.

The digital copy has been posted to a password-protected part of the website. Those who requested the digital version, either by itself (thank you for reducing costs and being green) or with the paper copy as well, will be given by email instructions about access sometime today (I hope!).

You too can still read a copy before the paper copy is delivered. NOTE: to be eligible, you must be a current paid-up member of a branch of UELAC, or separately a paid subscriber to the Gazette.

…Publications Committee

Scholarship Shines at Dominion Council Weekend

Good news for scholarship! Unanimous approval was received for a motion requesting that UELAC allocate capital to the Helen Huff Scholarship Seed Fund. The Helen Huff Scholarship Seed Fund was established by Council in 2016 to be invested with the sole purpose of generating scholarship income.

At the October 28 Dominion Council meeting the board of directors agreed to allocate capital in the amount of $12,000 annually to the Helen Huff Scholarship Seed Fund. This action by Dominion Council signals a firm commitment to academic research in the field of Loyalist studies. With a target of $250,000 accumulated capital, our goal is to make UELAC scholarship self-sustaining within 10 years.

Funds available are currently limited to an annual allowance as approved in the yearly UELAC budget. This amount is supplemented through fundraising campaigns. A planned program of giving will allow UELAC to increase the number and/or size of three-year scholarships awarded.

By providing funding to young academics we are building relationships with educational institutions and with committed students as they begin their professional careers. This places the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada on the cutting edge of new research as each completed graduate dissertation is added to our resource library.

We need you! You can have a hand in shaping the future of Loyalist research. In 2016 — 2017, with your enthusiastic participation we raised over $20,246. We now have a long-term goal and reaching it depends on you. Henry Ford reminds us, “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” We are already seeing results.

If you wish the Loyalist story to be recorded for generations to come, consider a bequest or an annual donation. Please give to the Scholarship Endowment Fund and join us in building a legacy. Your efforts today are an investment in the future.

Thank you for your continued support and encouragement.

…Bonnie Schepers, Scholarship Chair

JAR: The Connecticut Captivity of William Franklin, Loyalist

By Louis Arthur Norton, November 1, 2017.

War, an odious invention of man, attempts to portray the enemy as subhuman, unworthy of normal sympathy. Civilized societies respected the sanctity of human life; but enemy prisoners were a byproduct of conflict and open to abuse via military policies designed to debase and dehumanize. Historically, prisoner-of-war internment facilities were harsher than those used for civilian populations.

Although it was generally agreed that prisoners of war possessed basic rights to be treated humanely and then to be released at the end of hostilities, the application of these rights frequently was not carried out and progressed to grievances and disputes. Inhumane and cruel treatment in unsanitary environments produced disease, as well as emotional and physical trauma. Atrocities committed by empowered men against helpless weakened prisoners resulted in callous indifference to human suffering, filth, uncontrolled disease and inhumane conditions; obnoxious stenches, vermin infestations, rotten food, polluted water and despicable living situations; of waiting for someone to die to gain their space closer to better ventilation avoiding bodies of the retching or recently dead to gain access to an overflowing “necessary bucket” in the dark.

Read more.

The Junto: Should you write your dissertation as a book?

By Tom Cutterham, Oct. 30, 2017.

Impostor syndrome comes in many forms in academia, and this is how it comes for me: I shouldn’t be a doctor, because I never wrote a dissertation. I just wrote a book. It’s not that I regret the choice. But since that book came out, I’ve had the chance to think about what can be gained, and what lost, by writing your dissertation as a book. This is not a pro-con list. It is a pro-pro list. The hitch is, you can only pick one.

Read more.

Ben Franklin’s World: The Revolutionaries’ Army

Between 1775 and 1783, an estimated 230,000 men served in the Continental Army with another approximately 145,000 men serving in state militia units.

In this episode, we continue our exploration of the men who served in the revolutionaries’ military forces by exploring the development of the Continental Army, partisan militia groups, and Native American scouting parties.

Our guides for this exploration are Fred Anderson, Randy Flood, and Brooke Bauer.

During our exploration our guest scholars reveal what motivated the men who served to take up arms and join the army; Soldiers’ experiences in the Continental Army and militia units: And the participation of Native Americans in the revolutionaries’ fighting forces.

Listen to the podcast.

The Pawlings of Pennsylvania

Benjamin and Jesse Pawling were brothers from Montgomery County Pa. It was Philadelphia during the American Revolution. They descended from Henry Pawling who came to New York in 1664 as an English soldier to convince the Dutch that New Amsterdam belonged to Great Britain.

Jesse and Benjamin were my 2nd cousins 7x removed. I believe they were with Butlers Rangers. They had a brother that who fought for the Americans as did most other Pawlings of that generation.

I have visited the new Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia where a Pawling wallet is on display. It says “John Pawlings 1775”. I was pleased to see the family connection in the Wallet.

…Fred Fonseca, West Chester Pennsylvania

Joshua Bates

The last item in “From The Twittersphere And Beyond” in the last Loyalist Trails mentions the new mural in Athens. Therein Joshua Bates is referred to a a Loyalist.

In fact, Joshua Bates was the son of George Bates who was not a Loyalist. His mother was Patience Churchill, whose brother Mark was a Loyalist.

…Myrtle Johnston UE

Christmas Gift: The Burdens of Loyalty: Refugee Tales from the First American Civil War

By Stephen Eric Davidson

The Burdens of Loyalty recounts the tales of over one hundred loyalist refugees who were evacuated to present day New Brunswick. The rich and complex tapestry of their experiences will be explored by following the course of one refugee couple, John and Hepzibeth Lyon.

As we follow the thread of the Lyons’ lives through the tapestry of the revolution we learn the stories of other loyalists who they encountered while making their way to a final refuge. The deep divisions of the War of Independence appear in the day-to-day lives of the citizens of Redding, Connecticut, where brother fought brother. There are further accounts of the impact of this devastating civil war when Nova Scotia-bound ships evacuated the loyalists who sacrificed everything for a united empire,. Finally, as John and Hepzibeth settled in the wilderness of the St. John River Valley, there are tales of how their fellow war refugees began to build new lives in a land far from their homes and loved ones. What price did these displaced people pay for their burdens of loyalty? The answer is to be found in the refugee tales of this book.

This book is available from the New Brunswick Branch UELAC – visit their shop.

Where in the World?

Where is Gov. Simcoe Branch member Doug Grant?

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 loyalist.trails@uelac.org.

Region and Branch Bits

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

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

  • On the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month, remember Canada’s Veterans.
  • Over 1,000 graves of United Empire Loyalists can now be viewed in this online reference source prepared by Brian McConnell UE.
  • Today in History: Lars D.H. Hedbor @LarsDHHedbor (see his page for associated photos):
    • 4 Nov 1782 American forces attach foraging party on John’s Island SC, last battle before Treaty of Paris drafted.
    • 3 Nov 1777 Washington learns of conspiracy to convince Congress to replace him with Gates as Commander in Chief.
    • 2 Nov 1776 American officer deserts to Lord Hugh Percy, delivers plans for Ft. Washington on Manhattan.
    • 1 Nov 1765 Parliament passes the Stamp Act to pay off debts from French and Indian War.
    • 31 Oct 1776 George III addresses Parliament, celebrating victory at Long Island, warning of more fighting to come.
    • 30 Oct 1776 Congress approves sharing prize money with Continental Navy sailors who help capture enemy ships.
    • 29 Oct 1777 John Hancock resigns as President of the Continental Congress.
  • A fine and rare French & Indian (Seven Years) War period English flintlock musket-bore officer’s fusil, by HOLDEN, ca. 1760: In overall fine+ original flintlock condition.
  • This British brass tobacco box bears the seal of Great Britain, and measures around 7.8″ long.
  • Prince Edward Island is named after Queen Victoria’s father, Prince Edward who lived in Halifax in the 1790s.
  • Townsends: Body Snatchers of the 18th Century. Professional historical interpreter Carol Jarboe shares her persona “Maggie” with us in this special interview. Happy Halloween!
  • An Engaged Community, A Living Mill. 40 Years of volunteer involvement at the Corporation du Moulin Légaré. Built in 1762, the Moulin Légaré is the oldest continuously operating water-powered grain mill in North America. In 1976, it was classified as a historic landmark by Québec’s Ministry of Cultural Affairs. In 1999, it was classified as a national historic site by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada. An Engaged Community, A Living Mill is an exhibition that tells the story of the people who have worked for forty years to ensure that the mill would continue to operate, at a time when its existence was threatened.
  • Our Loyalist Scholar at work: Fab paper by @sophiehjones1 at @NWSeminar on loyalists & the dangers of drinking the king’s health in post-revolutionary New York
  • Historicist: Fixing the Broken Column. William Lyon Mackenzie King encountered his grandfather’s grave and decided that something just wasn’t right. In this article are mentioned Samuel Lount and Peter Matthews. Peter Matthews, a United Empire Loyalist farmer enlisted by Mackenzie to be a reformer, had, like Lount and Mackenzie, gone down to political defeat in the highly contested election of 1836. Mackenzie had set Matthews in command of an eastern detachment set to divert the governor’s forces from the Yonge Street assault, but they had accomplished nothing beyond setting the Don Valley bridge on fire and then retreating in haste toward Pickering. The loyal forces captured him at a farm in East York.
  • The 2017 Top 10 Endangered Places List presented by the National Trust for Canada. Places matter. They tell Canada’s story, connect us to our roots, and are the building blocks of a sustainable future. Each year, the Top 10 Endangered Places List shines a national spotlight on historic places at risk due to neglect, lack of funding, inappropriate development or weak legislation. See the top ten…
  • There is renewed excitement in the community of Cape Traverse, P.E.I. — thanks to an event that happened more than 100 years ago. That’s when the last ice boat — which carried mail, supplies and passengers from the mainland — crossed the Northumberland Strait to Cape Traverse. Read on…
  • New England Historical Society: Nine Apple Cider Traditions That Are No Longer With Us. Today the roadsides of New England are littered with apples trees, often ignored or painted and photographed for their scenic charms. But from the very first days of the country, the apple tree was a mainstay of any New England farm — and cider was the national drink. Here are nine apple cider traditions, now mostly gone by the wayside. Read more…:
  • Officials from Nova Scotia’s Department of Natural Resources announced Monday that a 53-foot-tall white spruce has been selected for the annual holiday-lighting ceremony on Boston Common and will be chopped down next month to mark the centennial of the Halifax Explosion of 1917, when nearly 2,000 people were killed and 9,000 more were injured. Boston quickly dispatched medical personnel and supplies to the region for assistance.

Additions to the Loyalist Directory

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

  • Bastedo, Jacob – from Dennis Wally Reid
  • Denike, Andrew – from Joyce Deyong (volunteer Jo Ann Tuskin), with certificate application
  • Harris, Boltus – (volunteer Jo Ann Tuskin)

Last Post

Bruce L. McCorquodale, UE, BSA, MSc

Bruce passed away surrounded by his family at Hospice Wellington on Saturday, October 28th, 2017, in his 88th year.

Beloved husband of Margaret (nee Innes) for over 63 years. Father of Karen Harvey (Peter), David (Christine), Murray (Cassie) and Paul (the late Sarah — 2012). Papa of Jennifer, Cassandra, Caitlin, Megan, Eric, Cate, James, Sarah, Abbey, Hannah and Kate. Also survived by a sister Lois MacLeod (the late John). He will be fondly remembered and greatly missed by numerous relatives and friends.

Bruce grew up on a farm near Lakeside, ON, and graduated with BSA from OAC in 1953. After graduation he worked with Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food in Picton/Napanee, and Stratford. He completed his Masters at Cornell University in 1962 before continuing with OMAF in Peterborough and Guelph, retiring in 1988. Always involved in supporting people and organizations, from church, OAC ’53, 4-H, Junior Farmers, Square Dancing and whatever his kids were involved in. He was a long time member of Trinity United Church, Guelph Horticulture Society, and Guelph-Wellington Men’s Club. He was proud of his Scottish and United Empire Loyalist heritage. In retirement he was a Winter Texan, lived for 17 years in Village by the Arboretum and traveled with friends, traveled to meet new ones and to visit his far-flung family.

Friends will be received at the WALL-CUSTANCE FUNERAL HOME & CHAPEL, 206 Norfolk St., Guelph, Wednesday from 2-4 & 7-9 pm. Funeral service will be held at Trinity United Church, 400 Stevenson St. N., Guelph on Thursday, November 2, 2017 at 11 am. Reception to follow. A Private family interment will take place at Woodlawn Memorial Park. Memorial contributions to Hospice Wellington or Trinity United Church would be appreciated.

…Ellen Tree, Grand River Branch

Editor’s Note: Margaret boarded at our place on the farm when she taught at the country schoolhouse on the corner of our farm near St Marys for one or two years before I started school at age 6. When I was 14 and in 4H, Bruce was the local Ag Rep. At one of the evening meetings when we were judging 4 cows at a local farm, after we had each given our reasons individually to him, he put me on the spot to explain my judging to the group (I could not even remember what sequence I had judged them, let alone why!).

Marg and Bruce visited my dad in hospital just before he passed away a year ago – although they had not visited for some years, Dad recognized them instantly.


Mary Beacock Fryer, UE

“And I will purge thy mortal grossness so / That thou shalt like an airy spirit go.” A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act III, Scene I

Sadly we announce the death of Mary Elinor Fryer (May 24, 1929 – October 29, 2017), née Beacock. She is much mourned by her husband Geoffrey Fryer, their children Barbara (John Vandenbroek), Elswyth (Andrew Welch) and Alex (Claudia), and their beloved grandchildren Caleb, Andrew, Adam and Timothy.

Mary was born in Brockville, Ontario, to William G. Beacock and Hazel Seaman Beacock, who traced her ancestry back to the United Empire Loyalist Caleb Seaman. She attended the University of Toronto, graduating with Honours in Geography in 1952. She then attended the University of Edinburgh, graduating with a Master’s degree in Historical Geography in 1954. After returning to Canada, she worked as a librarian and teaching assistant in the University of Toronto Geography department. In 1957 she married Geoffrey.

As their children grew, she began teaching geography at Scarborough College and started to write Canadian history books under the name Mary Beacock Fryer. They cover the period from the American Revolution into the nineteenth century. Escape: Adventures of a Loyalist Family is a fictional children’s novel based on her ancestors. King’s Men: The Soldier Founders of Ontario was presented to the Duke of Edinburgh in 1984. Loyalist Spy is about John Walden Myers, the founder of Belleville. Bold, Brave and Born to Lead is about Isaac Brock, With co-author Christopher Draycott she wrote a biography of John Graves Simcoe, the founder of Toronto (then called York.) She wrote biographies of Simcoe’s wife Elizabeth Gwillim Simcoe (to whom we owe a great deal of knowledge about early Toronto) and their son, Francis Simcoe. She contributed to many other books including Loyal She Remains, a major pictorial history of Ontario. Her services to Canadian history were recognized by the award of a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.

Her funeral will take place Friday November 10th, 1:00 pm at Trull Funeral Home, 2704 Yonge St., Toronto.

…Martha Hemphill, Toronto Branch

I was greatly saddened to read Mary Beacock Fryer’s death announcement. Mary was a giant among the United Empire Loyalists. Her early works of popular history brought many loyalist heroes to the fore; men whose deeds had faded from active memory were thrust into the light as they so richly deserved. Mary’s in-depth research shone through in her books and was a great inspiration to me when I launched my second career as a writer of history. She was never one to hold back her opinions, and was very critical of my first narrative, which she believed was crammed full of far too much detail to appeal to a general audience. I chose not to react to her chiding, but I did heed another of her criticisms and have never regretted it since. She was a great friend to me and a constant supporter. The loyalist ‘movement’ has lost a most important promoter.

…Gavin K. Watt

See also a tribute at Dundurn Press.

Margaret Lois Near, UE

Margaret Near, a longtime resident of Toronto, died peacefully on Sunday, October 22, 2017 at Allendale Nursing Home in Milton. She is survived by her sister Audrey Bester (Near) and her husband Jim and many nieces and nephews. A service of Thanksgiving for the Life and Witness of Margaret Near will take place on Saturday, October 28th at 2:30 p.m. at Calvin Presbyterian Church, 26 Delisle Avenue, Toronto. Lovingly remembered always by friends and family.

Margaret had been a member of Toronto Branch, UELAC since 1977. She was very proud of her ancestry working to have War of 1812 plaques placed and having just had a certificate application for another Loyalist, John Reilly, submitted last month. Margaret had received loyalist certificates to Joseph Petrie, Sr. , John Rily (O’Reilly) and Mattias Zimmerman. A lovely lady, we will miss her.

…Martha Hemphill, Toronto Branch


Response re James Major Grant and Wife Penuel

Eleven years ago, on July 2, 2006, Rebecca Grant posed a query about her Scotland roots (“Families of James Major Grant and Wife Penuel aka Widow Grant”). Here is an answer!

The Gentleman’s Magazine, From July to December 1824, Volume XCIV

Mrs. Grant

Feb …At Paddington, aged 80, Penuel, relict of the deceased James Grant, esq. of Linchurn (clan Duncan), Major in the King’s American Regiment, daughter to the late Alexander Grant, esq. of Auchterblair (clan Allen), and granddaughter to Grant of Ling-all of Strathspey, N.B. In life she was respected by her friends, beloved in her family, and in death is honoured and lamented by all her acquaintance.

In the endurance of peril and privation through a course of warfare, few passed a more arduous ordeal than Mrs. Grant, having with an infant family accompanied her husband from the highlands of Scotland to America, where, previous to the rapture with our colonies, he purchased land, and settled in Albany County; from whence on the breaking out of the war, Major Grant (then an officer on half-pay of Keith’s Highlanders, with which and the Black Watch he had served many years in Germany) joined the British standard, leaving his wife and children without the lines; who after his departure were confined to their farm, from which on hearing her two elder boys were commissioned in the English army, from regard to their safety, the mother was impelled to escape with them in disguise.

Under the guidance of Tailor, the celebrated spy, sometimes walking, at others on horseback without saddles, they pursued their way, till near Nackinsack Ferry, they were observed and hailed by the scouts, on which the party endeavoured to push forward when a sentinel presented his piece at Mrs. Grant, which missed fire three times; no other alternative offering, they were obligated to surrender to the Americans, by whom Tailor was thrown into prison, and Mrs. Grant and her children placed under restraint, from which they seized the first opportunity to free themselves.

The mother and sons (the elder eleven years old) after a walk of 49 miles through the woods and by-paths, with much difficulty succeeded in making their way to New York, near which Major Grant was stationed in command of the King’s American Regiment. During this hazardous journey of 170 miles from Albany to Long Island, when in durance at Nackinsack, Mrs. Grant had in her possession the silver token that passed between the British commanders; she was thus the means of having it safely conveyed to the hands of Gen, Sir Henry Clinton.

Having united with her husband, and placed her young soldiers under a fathers protection, Mrs. Grant had time to indulge the fears of a mother anxious for the safety of four infants left at the farm in charge of servants, and committed to the protection of congress and Ismsel Van Tambrooke, the proprietor from whom the Major had purchased land, and for whose tender care of and attention to the welfare of their helpless pledges, Major and Mrs. Grant could not sufficiently express their gratitude.

At an early subsequent period, that great man Washington sent the children to their parents, with all the comforts which his benevolent nature could provide for them.

July 1782, after an honourable and distinguished service on the continents of Europe and America, while campaigning at the Savannah, Major Grant lost his life, leaving a beloved widow and eight orphans; their sole provision his gallant achievements; the eldest child a youth of about sixteen; the youngest, a posthumous boy born six hours after his father’s death.

On the peace of 1782, the two elder sons, Lieutenants Alexander and Joseph, from the reduction of their regiment, were placed on half-pay, and ultimately they proceeded to the island of Antigua, where under to auspices of a maternal uncle, Lauchlan Grant, esq. they settled as planters till 1792; then called in, they joined the army under General Sir Charles Grey, were at the capture of the West India Islands; and at Guadeloupe, led on by Brigadier-General Symes, whilst attacking the enemy, both brothers were killed, most unfortunately for their family, as they had afforded a liberal support, which ceased on their fall.

A third son James Lauchlan Grant, lost his life in an engagement, heading a party of seamen from his Majesty’s ship Inconstant, to attack a French settlement on the coast of Africa.

Major Grant, five sons and two grandsons, have served as officers of the British artillery and infantry, in a continued series from 1739 to this date, a period of 85 years.

Mrs. Grant had three brothers and three uncles, all of clan Grant, officers of reputation in their native Highland corps.

…Rebecca Grant