“Loyalist Trails” 2018-51: December 23, 2018

In this issue:
Unpacking the News of a Christmas Tragedy, by Stephen Davidson
The Story of Ezekiel Younglove, his Estranged Wife Sarah, and Family (Part 2)
Marching Into Valley Forge: 1777
Atlantic Loyalist Connections: Two Seasonal Poems and a Question
Borealia: The Hidden Narratives of Clandestine Communities
JAR: The Loyalist Declaration of Dependence, 1776
Ben Franklin’s World: Slavery & Freedom in Early Maryland
Region and Branch Bits
From the Twittersphere and Beyond
      + Ann Eliza Ryckman
      + Spem reduxit


Unpacking the News of a Christmas Tragedy

© Stephen Davidson, UE

Bad things happen all the time, but when they occur atChristmas or near a loved one’s birthday, the tragedy seems especially sad. Many New Brunswick Loyalists must have felt this deeper sense of loss upon opening the Saint John Gazette on January 19, 1797. There they read of the death of a man many would have known before the outbreak of the American Revolution.

“Patrick McMaster and William Harris lately perished by shipwreck. Friday following, Christmas, bodies found on shore near Dr. Haliburton’s land.”

While details surrounding the life of William Harris have yet to be discovered, Loyalist era documents do tell more of the story of Patrick McMaster – a life marked by financial success, violent persecution, displacement, and second chances.

Our Christmas shipwreck victim was born on March 19, 1741, just a few miles north of the Mull of Galloway. Patrick was the fourth of eleven children born to a Presbyterian tenant farmer. When the oldest sons in the McMaster family realized that their prospects were limited in Scotland, they decided to seek their fortune in Massachusetts.

John McMaster established an import business in Boston in the fall of 1765 that his younger brother James began to manage in the following year. Patrick joined his two older brothers in 1767, bringing with him more British goods for the McMaster store to sell. Daniel, the youngest of the McMasters, was just a teenager when his brothers invited him to work with them.

The business that would become known as The House of James & Patrick McMaster & Company imported tobacco, textiles, silk and linen from factories in Glasgow and London, providing these goods to shops throughout Massachusetts as well as selling them in their Boston store. By the early 1770s, the brothers’ hard work had made their company the chief source of Scottish imports in the colony, importing 15,000 worth of manufactured goods between 1769 and 1774.

But while the McMaster brothers were enjoying financial success, they were slowly falling out of favour with the Patriots of Boston. During the boycott that other merchants were waging between March 1768 and October 1769, the Scottish brothers continued to import and sell British goods. Angry Patriots refused to shop at the McMaster store. When that didn’t work, they broke the McMasters’ windows and doors, smeared their house and shop with filth from the streets, and insulted the brothers in town meetings and newspapers.

On Friday, June 1, 1770 hundreds of men and boys confronted the McMasters in their store, demanding that they leave Massachusetts by the following Monday “or else to expect the consequence”. Refusing to be bullied, Patrick and his brothers closed their store on June 4th, but remained in Boston, apparently trusting that the city’s British soldiers would protect them.

Eighteen days after the threat to “expect the consequence”, hundreds of people surrounded the McMaster’s store. Unfortunately for 29 year-old Patrick, he was the only McMaster at home that day. The mob seized him, dragging him to a cart that had buckets of tar and feathers. It was all too apparent what they had intended to do to the McMaster brothers; it would be Patrick alone who would bear the brunt of the mob’s anger.

Patrick was tied to a chair in the cart and exhibited “through the town”. Patriots beat him, spat upon him and cursed him. Little wonder that the young merchant fainted. Patrick narrowly escaped being stripped, tarred and feathered. In the end, he made an oath that he would leave Boston. The mob dumped the humiliated Loyalist in Roxbury, a town two and a half miles outside of the city.

Patrick fled to Castle William, the headquarters for British 14th Regiment that was situated on Castle Island in Boston’s harbour. He was joined by one of his brothers and at least one other Loyalist family, the Hultons. One of the latter would write that Patrick and his brother looked “like ruined men and forlorn wanderers”.

Following the end of Massachusetts’ boycott of British goods – and the cooling of Patriot tempers – the McMasters returned to Boston. Patrick and Daniel remained to manage the family store, but James decided to establish a second shop in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. John left Massachusetts in 1772 and stayed in London until at least 1785.

Up to this point, the McMaster brothers’ story has been told based on the research of historian Colin Nicolson. To learn what happened after 1775, we must refer to the documents of the era.

In his testimony to the loyalist compensation board that convened in Halifax on December 26, 1785, Patrick told how he, his wife, and his brother Daniel left Boston with the British evacuation of March 1776. He must have been able to take money or goods with him, for he was “settled in Halifax as a merchant” where he carried on “trade within the British lines and at home ever since”.

Patrick’s brother James had to “fly to the woods for safety” following imprisonment and “much distress” in Portsmouth. He escaped from New Hampshire in 1777, arriving in Halifax on the Rainbow, a British man-of-war. The Portsmouth Committee of Confiscation seized the McMaster goods and furniture and sold them to benefit the Patriot cause. James decided to settle in Shelburne, which had become the fourth largest city in North America following the mass exodus of Loyalists from New York.

Since 1783, Daniel (now 32) had been busy trying to collect debts that were owed to the McMaster Company. Daniel evidently moved to Castine (in present day Maine) at some point during the revolution and then relocated with the Loyalists of Penobscot to St. Andrews, New Brunswick in 1783.

Despite their rough treatment during the revolution, the McMaster brothers had sufficient funds to re-establish their business. In 1786, Patrick bought Deer Island off the coast of New Brunswick. Daniel settled in St. Andrews where he married the daughter of the local Anglican minister. He would eventually establish a McMaster store on King Street in Saint John. His older brother James McMaster made his home in the parish of St. Patrick in New Brunswick’s Charlotte County.

John McMaster, who had sought refuge in Great Britain in 1772, is known to have acquired land near Wilmot, Nova Scotia next to fellow Loyalist, Dr. John Haliburton. And this fact brings us back to the news of Patrick McMaster’s death just days after the Christmas of 1796.

The account of Patrick’s death says that his body was found on shore “near Dr. Haliburton’s land”. Beamish Murdoch’s history of Nova Scotia states that Patrick was one of the passengers on a small schooner “lost on the Bay of Fundy shores near Wilmot”.

However, Wilmot is not a coastal community. Later, a village would be established north of Wilmot on part of Dr. Haliburton’s land grant. Situated on the Fundy coast, it was named Margaretsville in honour of Haliburton’s daughter-in-law. It seems reasonable to assume that the schooner on which Patrick was a passenger wrecked somewhere near present-day Margaretsville.

Murdoch’s history provides other details. “Three mutilated bodies were found on the bank, and three others who had been frozen to death in the woods after escaping from the water. Mr. Patrick McMaster, a merchant of Halifax, was one of the three who had been drowned”.

Given that Patrick lived in Halifax, might he have been visiting his brother John in Wilmot for Christmas? Did he then board a schooner to cross the Bay of Fundy to visit his brothers James and Daniel in Charlotte County? These questions remain unanswered, but it is safe to say that the reason for Patrick’s death being recorded in a Saint John newspaper is due to the fact that his brothers James and Daniel were known to be merchants in New Brunswick. Had he lived for three more months, Patrick McMaster would have celebrated his 56th birthday.

Daniel McMaster survived all three of his older Loyalist brothers, dying at 77 on June 16, 1830. His will notes that his estate included a pew at All Saints Church in St. Andrews and property in Halifax. While little is known of the children of the McMaster brothers other than that James had at least two sons and three daughters, Daniel’s will lists all seven of his children: Anne Elizabeth, Samuel James, George Patrick, Jane (Hasluck), Edward Daniel, Thomas Edwin, and Martha Lucy (Strachan).

The McMaster descendants can trace their family story back to Scotland, through days of persecution to the re-establishment of the family fortunes in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. And perhaps one or two of them would remember their ancestor’s brother Patrick and his tragic death just five days after the Christmas of 1796.

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

The Story of Ezekiel Younglove, his Estranged Wife Sarah, and Family (Part 2)

By Hugh Cowan; revised August 2018

Here is how the name Sophie was wrongly connected in error to Ezekiel as his wife. On lot 135 & lot 136 an indexing error occurred that said Ezekiel & Sophie Younglove sold this property 20 May 1828; the deed actually says Ezekiel Woodruff & wife Sarah. These two lots had been previously sold by the Younglove’s 28 years earlier in 1800′ this proves Sophie was not Ezekiel’s wife.

On 11 Dec 1810, son John applied for his Land Grant in York (Toronto) and his letter of request said he was 21 years old, so that meant he was born in 1789. His land grant was in Essex Co. Ontario but it is unlikely he ever lived there. The 1828 census shows him and his family living in Gainsborough Twp. near St Catherines. In his letter he mentions his father Ezekiel of Thorold Twp., but he never mentions whether Ezekiel was alive or deceased.

On 21 Dec 1815, son David applied for his land grant. His guarantor was his mother who signed off on 26 Dec 1815; David received land in Dorchester Twp. London District (some indicate Scarborough). His mother was now Mrs. Paul Wolcott of Scarborough Twp. the former wife of the late Ezekiel Younglove of Thorold Twp. We have since found out that Sarah married Paul Wolcott in York (Toronto) 22 Aug 1814. Paul Wolcott born 1752 in Northumberland Co. Pennsylvania was the husband of the late Elizabeth Ashbridge. She was part of one of the most recognizable old families in York with a bay named after the Family “Ashbridge Bay at the mouth of the Don River” and streets and old homes with their name still affixed. Read about them in the history of Toronto. I wonder if there is any connection between Sarah Younglove; maybe she was born in Northumberland Co Pennsylvania as was Paul Wolcott.

Not quite sure what happen with Sarah and Paul Wolcott but 4 years after they married, on the 25 May1818 Sarah wrote another letter to powers that be in York as Sarah Younglove widow of Ezekiel of Long Point district of London. No longer using the Wolcott name, she was applying for land for herself claiming she lost a son (this would be David as Col. Talbot stated later that David was dead) from disease contacted in the war of 1812 and that her husband had fought in the US Revolution etc. Apparently her request was refused. It’s understood that Paul Wolcott died in 1825 in Findlay Ohio. We have no idea what happened to Sarah, although records show a marriage between a Sarah Younglove & Daniel Walters 5 June 1840 in London District of Ontario. If this is her, she would be close to 80 years old?

In her 1818 letter, Sarah writes that both Ezekiel her husband and David her son are dead; this is where the story gets somewhat interesting. Consider that the Younglove name was not a household name in Upper Canada at the time and as time passed less & less so. Lets look at the Younglove’s who actually came to Canada after the USA Revolution and put down roots, and follow the continuation of the name Younglove. It all started with Ezekiel & his wife Sarah, their sons John & David, daughters Margaret Mclwain, Dorcas Bowman & Mary Bowman. This covers the first & second generations. There was a Samuel Younglove who was in the 1812 War but he deserted and with his wife and young child went back to the US. He was not part of Ezekiel’s family and we have not proven his relationship to the others. There are only two Ezekiel’s, one of Thorold and Ezekiel the son of David born 1834 in Ontario who died 1892 in Iowa USA. The only way the Younglove name would expand was through the children of John & David. John had 9 Children & 3 sons William, John, & Isaac, David who was supposed to have died by 1818 also had 5 children & 3 sons Thomas, Joseph & Ezekiel between 1821 & 1834. In 1851 Canadian Census there are only nine Younglove by name and one is the widowed wife of John living with her daughter Almira Dashwood.

There is enough evidence to believe that David Younglove passed away between the 1856 Iowa State census and the 1870 Federal Census in Iowa USA. His second wife Mary Ann Bradwick (Widow) who he married in 1844 in Elgin Co Ontario was living back in Elgin Co Ontario in 1871. He had previously been married to Sarah ? and had 5 children together before she died 1844. There is lots of detail about David and his second wife Mary Ann and his life in Iowa and hers back in Elgin Co; Mary Ann lived until 1892. This pretty much has proven that David did not die in the war as his mother indicated. There are numerous mentions of David Younglove between his war years and his demise before 1870 in Iowa, all on file.

Ezekiel Younglove of Thorold wife of Sarah (unknown) and the letter writer of all the bad news is the subject of the next mystery. As noted above Ezekiel was deceased in a letter of David’s and we know Sarah remarried in 1814. It’s difficult to find any proof other than these letters, but there is other evidence that Ezekiel is living based on the following items that involve him after 1818.

The Williams family left Manchester England seeking a new life in Canada in 1817. From Liverpool, they ended up in Watsons Corners (We are referring to Watson Corners, now called Burwell Corners, in Elgin Co., Ontario). The Williams were not poor as Williams had been a silk manufacturer in Manchester. They were people of substance; they brought many goods with them. They finally arrived at Colonel Talbot’s residence at Long point. The Colonel harshly asked Williams what he wanted. Williams stated his desire for land to settle upon. The Colonel told him to take the Ezekiel Younglove lot, which was Lot 8 on the north side of Talbot Road, Watson Corners – the former settler being too lazy according to the Colonel. The Colonel asked for $50.00 (equiv) for improvements he had made to the property. Ezekiel Younglove had lived on this site for four years and then moved north of York (Toronto). (Vol 1 of Sim’s History of Elgin County page 59-60 by Hugh Joffre Sims.)

(To be continued next week.)

…Hugh Cowan, UE, Assiniboine Branch

Marching Into Valley Forge: 1777

December 20, 2010

On a cold Sunday evening when most people were finishing up their Christmas shopping at the nearby mall, we took a different path. We headed off across the moonlit fields of Valley Forge National Historical Park, and followed the path of General George Washington and the Continental Army as they marched into their winter encampment on 19 December, 1777.

Valley Forge is one of those rare historical names that almost all Americans recognize, a landmark in our war for independence. Yet despite how often the “battle” of Valley Forge may be invoked by confused politicians, there was no battle fought here. Eighteenth century armies followed the seasons, and hostilities ceased during the winter months. In 1777-78, the majority of the English army spent the cold months in the captured city of Philadelphia. The Continental army wintered about twenty miles west of the city on farmland near Valley Forge, building fortifications and thousands of small log cabins for shelter.

Read more.

Atlantic Loyalist Connections: Two Seasonal Poems and a Question

19 December 2018

The following handwritten poems were unexpectedly found among the more predictable administrative documents of the Records of Shelburne County Court of General Quarter Sessions (originals held by the Nova Scotia Archives). They were penned in the town of Shelburne, Nova Scotia in the early 1830s and signed by Olivia Rosamond/ Rosomond Enslow.

• “Christmas”

• “For New Years Day” (1832)

Can you help with our big question? Who was Olivia Rosamond Enslow?

A clue: Isaac Enslow was Clerk of the Peace for Shelburne County, Nova Scotia at the time the records were created, so it is reasonable to assume that she was a relative.

Thanks in advance for your help with this mystery!

Read more.

Borealia: The Hidden Narratives of Clandestine Communities: Digital History and the Religious Minorities of New France

by Stephanie Pettigrew, 3 December 2018

French Canadian history has always been locked in a struggle to define its history and separate it from its nationalism. Even when discussing the origins of French settlers in New France, Leslie Choquette had to contend with a nationalist mythology which contradicted her own work.

The history of Huguenots is long and complicated – too complicated to discuss here in any depth. For a long time, many people believed that there were no Huguenots in New France, a viewpoint that is still held by some. This attitude is due in large part to the French government’s active hostility against Huguenots as well as their refusal to allow anyone not of the Catholic faith to settle in New France. While Huguenots were guaranteed certain rights by the Edict of Nantes (1598), by the 1620s, religious civil war broke out again, creating not only bad feeling but also a wave of war refugees. However, research by scholars such as, Marc André Bédard, J.F. Bosher, and Leslie Choquette, has shown that there were small communities of Huguenots scattered across the French colonies of the New World.

Read more.

JAR: The Loyalist Declaration of Dependence, 1776

by Sandra McNamara 20 December 2018

Our ancestors often believed in fate, and so do I. It was fate one day that brought me to the Fraunces Tavern in New York City. Fate that day that the waiter overheard me talking to my daughter. Fate that that same waiter told me of the museum on the top floor of the Fraunces Tavern. Fate that allowed me fifteen minutes prior to closing to view the museum.

In those fifteen minutes I scanned the exhibits and discovered a small posting regarding a declaration signed by 547 Loyalists in late November 1776 which declared their loyalty to the Crown and Great Britain. The voices of my ancestors and their friends kept calling to me from that document, asking me to not forget them, and to search out their names and signatures. To discover their lives, beliefs, and reasons for their actions.

After searching and making inquiries through social media, phoning museums and not giving up, two and a half years later I finally found someone, who on February 11, 2015, knew what I was talking and asking about. Charles Casimiro of Philipse Manor Hall State Historic Site, New York, informed me the document, the Declaration of Dependence, was housed in the New-York Historical Society. He was even able to provide a transcription.

Read more.

Ben Franklin’s World: Slavery & Freedom in Early Maryland

Jessica Millward, an Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Irvine and author of Finding Charity’s Folk: Enslaved and Free Black Women in Maryland, leads us on an investigation of slavery and freedom in Maryland during the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

During our investigation, Jessica reveals: How slavery started in Maryland and how early Marylanders practiced slavery; The story of Charity Folks, an enslaved woman who gained her freedom; And, what Charity Folks’ story reveals about how some slaves experienced a transition from slavery to freedom.

Listen to the podcast.

Region and Branch Bits

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

  • Manitobans To Celebrate New Year’s Day with Lt.-Gov Janice Filmon. Start the New Year off with an afternoon of fun and celebration at the annual New Year’s Levee. Members of the Manitoba Living History Society and the United Empire Loyalists Associations will attend in heritage costume.

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

  • UELAC Scholarship recipient Dr. Sophie H Jones: This is my support team: the people who drive me to the airport so that I can do research abroad; who celebrate all of my successes with cake (esp. the minor ones); and who help dust off my shoulders whenever I suffer a setback. They’re wonderful
  • Exhibit at the Smithsonian. “The American Revolution: A World War” June 23, 2018 to July 9, 2019. View the American Revolution through a global lens in The American Revolution: A World War, which examines the 1781 victory at Yorktown and the Franco-American partnership that made it possible. The exhibition features the paintings The Siege of Yorktown and The Surrender of Yorktown, created by Louis-Nicolas van Blarenberghe in 1786 as copies of those presented to King Louis XVI, and George Washington’s early 1780s portrait by Charles Willson Peale, united for the first time in a national museum since their display together in the 1700s. They appeared in the Comte de Rochambeau’s chamber as a reminder of the French general’s partnership with the American general.
  • On 2 October 1795 Loyalist John Leitch formerly of the Royal North Carolina Regiment was granted 150 acres in what became known as Leitches Creek, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia (Brian McConnell UE)
  • Today in History: Lars D.H. Hedbor @LarsDHHedbor (see his page for associated photos):
    • 21 Dec 1782 British attack & capture three American vessels at Battle of the Delaware Capes.
    • 21 Dec 1781 Great Britain declares war on the Netherlands.
    • 20 Dec 1782 Three British frigates catch sight of and give chase to three American ships off Cape May, NJ.
    • 20 Dec 1776 Gen Charles Lee’s division of 2,000 troops arrived in Washington’s camp under command of Gen John Sullivan. Lee was captured a week earlier. Gen Gates’ 600 men also arrived. Wonder why the Patriots are together?
    • 19 Dec 1776 “These are the times that try men’s souls,” Paine urges militia to re-enlist. Published in Penn Gazette, Thomas Paines’ “The American Crisis“: “These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of this country.”
    • December 19, 1777 the Continental Army marched into Valley Forge suffering from cold, hunger, and fatigue.
    • 18 Dec 1775 A company of American foot rangers raids Sullivan’s Island, SC to retake fugitive slaves from British.
    • 18 Dec 1777 The United States observe their first national day of Thanksgiving, celebrating victory at Saratoga.
    • 17 Dec 1777 King George III pledges renewed efforts after defeat at Saratoga.
    • 16 Dec 1780 Militia “Overmountain Men” ward off attempted attack by British-allied Cherokee at Boyd’s Creek, TN.
    • 16 Dec 1773 Sons of Liberty throw tea shipment into Boston Harbor to protest Tea Act.
  • Townsends:
  • When 21 year old Deborah Thaxter married Capt. James Todd 18 Nov 1773, her mother had died few years earlier. The young bride wore these brocaded silk shoes, made from the fabric of her mother’s wedding dress
  • Five golden riiiings! Mourning ring in five views, enamelled with skulls and bones, for Samuel Nicholets of Hertfordshire 1661. It is also hollow & contains a lock of his hair.
  • Complex linen embroidery for a top sheet, ca 1600-1650 – including: satin and stem stitch, counted thread work and lacework
  • 18th Century riding habit, c.1780
  • 18th Century dress, c.1785-1795, Spitalfield’s silk
  • 18th Century dress, Robe à la Française, 1770’s
  • 18th Century Robe à la Française 1770s
  • 18th Century men’s silk waistcoat, French, 1760-75
  • 18th Century men’s court suit, with waistcoat, French, c.1790
  • 18th Century men’s silk waistcoat with embroidered floral springs & bullfighting scenes, 1790’s
  • 18th Century men’s court coat and waistcoat ensemble, silk with detachable cuffs, c.1765
  • Surgeons’ Hall Museum: Upper end of the right femur of a solider wounded by a musket ball at the Battle of Waterloo, 18th June 1815. The impact of the musket ball has created a deep cavity in the neck of the femur in which the ball is almost completely embedded.
  • All Things Georgian: The Truth about the Eccentric Jane Lewson who died aged 116. Where do we begin with this story? Let’s begin with the accounts of Jane’s life as repeatedly recorded ad nauseum since her death in 1816 and which has entered into folklore … after all, why let the facts get in the way of a good story! Except that for those who read our articles will know we have a penchant for setting records straight. Read more…
  • Obstinacy. Deceit. Irritability. Vanity. Wrath. Selfishness. The Christmas cards, or, The good and bad passions.

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

The winter solstice has passed and the Christmas commemoration and festivities are in mid-flight. Take time to think of those less fortunate. Then time to prepare for the New Year celebrations; what will be your resolution?

A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and yours.



Ann Eliza Ryckman

My great grandmother, Ann Eliza Ryckman, was born in Canada. She died in New York (Brooklyn) on April 30 ,1895., age 74 years, 11 months and 14 days. I calculate she was born May 16, 1820. Her death record says her parents were born in New York, but I do not have their names, nor the names of any of her siblings. The death record also notes that she had lived in the US for 72 years, so she moved when two or three, probably with her parents.

The next record I have of her is when she married my great grandfather in NYC. The issue of 3 July 1841 The New World: “Married June 21 , by Rev. Mr. Le Fevre, Mr. Zephaniah Smith and Miss Ann Eliza Ryckman , all of this city.”

I have searched NY wills to see if any Ryckman wills record a daughter Ann Eliza Ryckman Smith. Border crossings between Canada and the U.S. in the 1820-1823 period do not seem to exist. I looked through land grants, the Ryckman genealogy online. “Loyalty and Reprisal, The Loyalists of Bergen County New Jersey “by Ruth Keesey follows the Bergen County Loyalists. It says of the 107 who fled to Canada, 7 returned to the US, 3 of the 7 to Bergen County, some to NY. Unfortunately she only follows those who returned to New Jersey and does not name those who came to NY. Tappan and Bergen County are very close. The Tappan and Bergen County Historical Societies were not able to find anything on returning Ryckman families.

Thank you for your help in posting in your newsletter. I have no Purser names in my family, but my DNA matches come up with an extraordinary number of people with that name and just recently one match also had a Ryckman family with the name Edward Ryckman UEL 1767-1846 Sophiasburg Ontario. The match did not have a complete family list , but it may indicate what family I should concentrate on.

I have not been successful finding which Ryckman family she belongs to. There were many NY Ryckman Loyalists. I posted an inquiry a couple of years ago in your newsletter. Since then there are many DNA matches with me with Purser and Camden surnames. I wondered if you would post a message asking if anyone has a Purser or Camden with Ryckman connections. Thank you in advance for any suggestions.

…Christine Izzo

Spem reduxit

Regarding Robert L. Dallison’s Hope Restored: The American Revolution and the Founding of New Brunswick, I had thought that Spem reduxit as the motto of New Brunswick had come from Ward Chipman and Edward Winslow.

Perhaps one of the other readers knows whether this is true?

..Ed Garrett.