“Loyalist Trails” 2019-20: May 19, 2019

In this issue:
Loyalist Scholarship: Are you up for a Challenge? 40 Days of Giving, May 21 – July 1
UELAC Scholarship Recipient Jonathan A. Bayer: Video Clip
UELAC Conference 2019: Correction for Conference 2019 schedule
Annual UEL Commemorative Service at St. Alban The Martyr Anglican Church
What’s to Become of St. Alban The Martyr Anglican Church?
The Fourteen Tisdales – A Loyalist Family Saga, Part 1: Finding Sanctuary, by Stephen Davidson
Borealia: U. of Moncton: Call for Papers – Militia Studies in Atlantic Canada, 1700-2000
Borealia Addendum: Recipe collection offers insight into 18th century life in the Maritimes
JAR: Reconciliation between the Colonies and Great Britain – A Close Call
Washington’s Quill: Exploring the “Blank Space” of Washington’s Youth
Ben Franklin’s World: Benedict Arnold
Where in the World?
Region and Branch Bits
      + Grimsby: 225th Anniversary of St. Andrews Anglican Church
      + Ontario Heritage Trust museums open for the summer
      + Laura Secord Weekend: June 22-23, 2019
From the Twittersphere and Beyond


Loyalist Scholarship: Are you up for a Challenge? 40 Days of Giving, May 21 – July 1

40 Days of Giving, May 21 – July 1, 2019

The 2019 Scholarship fundraising campaign begins and ends with a party! The only question remaining is, “Where’s the cake?”

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that UELAC likes to celebrate. The word celebrate is even found in our mission statement. This year we recognize and celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria, granddaughter of King George III. Born on May 24, 1819 her birthday became an official holiday in 1901 and is still celebrated in Canada today. In recognition of Queen Victoria’s bicentennial anniversary, the 2019 Scholarship Challenge begins on May 21. Our closing date is Canada Day.

Join Us

In the spirit of the bicentennial we are asking for a commitment of $200 per branch. This year’s celebration goal is $8,000.00. At $200 per day over the course of “40 Days of Giving,” we will reach that goal. All donations are welcome. A donation tracker is now active on the 2019 Scholarship Challenge page. Please check in often for updates.

Donation Details

For this challenge donations must specify ‘Scholarship Endowment Fund’. For individual donations of $20 or more, a tax receipt will be issued by UELAC Head Office, or by CanadaHelps if donating online. Each donation will receive recognition in Thanks to Our Donors and in Loyalist Trails. Should you wish to make a memorial gift we will ensure that recognition is given to those you wish to honour through your donation.

UELAC gratefully acknowledges the financial support from our generous donors. Now, who wants cake?

…Bonnie Schepers, UE; Scholarship Chair

UELAC Scholarship Recipient Jonathan A. Bayer: Video Clip

Størmerlige Films created a short video clip to help introduce Jonathan A. Bayer as the 2019 UELAC Scholarship recipient. Watch it below or click here.

UELAC Conference 2019: Correction for Conference 2019 schedule

Join fellow Loyalists and friends at UELAC Conference 2019 “The Capital Calls” – May 30 – June 2, 2019, at DoubleTree by Hilton Gatineau-Ottawa, 1170 chemin Aylmer, Gatineau, Quebec, hosted by Sir Guy Carleton Branch.

The schedule for UELAC Conference 2019, appearing in the recently-published spring edition of the Loyalist Gazette, contains an error for events on Thursday, May 30, the opening day of the conference. An earlier version of the schedule, which has subsequently been amended, was inadvertently published in The Gazette. Both the genealogists’ meeting and the membership meeting will take place on Thursday, May 30 but at different times than those listed in The Gazette. The Branch Membership Chairs meeting will be held from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and the Branch Genealogist Meeting will take place from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The conference schedule listed on the uelac.org website also contains the correct times for the aforementioned meetings. The Conference 2019 organizing committee apologizes for any confusion this may have caused for those planning to attend these meetings.

See more details, including a flyer, the schedule, speakers, venue, directions, and the registration form. Registration is now open!

Annual UEL Commemorative Service at St. Alban The Martyr Anglican Church

This annual service will to celebrate the 235th anniversary of the landing of the Loyalists at Adolphustown in June 1784 will be held Sunday June 16, 2019 at 3pm.

Guest Speaker: The Honourable Chris Alexander, Former Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

Tea will be served on the rectory lawn following the service.

See the notice.

What’s to Become of St. Alban The Martyr Anglican Church?

St. Alban the Martyr United Empire Loyalist Memorial Church has stood at the centre of the village of Adolphustown for the past 135 years. Built between 1884 and 1888 to commemorate the centennial of the 1784 arrival of the United Empire Loyalists, St. Alban’s served the local Anglican community well into the twenty-first century. Disestablished in November of 2018, and due to be deconsecrated in the next few months, the church now has a very uncertain future.

And Now What?

For St. Alban’s Church one era has come to an end. The new era before it is perilous. Once deconsecrated and sold, the church is a risk of no longer being accessible to the public, or the building may be demolished or lost due to neglect.

There can be no question that St. Alban’s Church has national historic significance as a monument to the United Empire Loyalist settlers in Canada. The memorial tiles within the church tell of the history of Loyalists who settled locally and elsewhere in Ontario. Many of the men who were instrumental in supporting or attending the church found success and influence not only within the local community but also provincially and nationally. Throughout its history the church has lent a sense of community and social connectivity to the inhabitants of the region, and for many today the church, through its memorial tiles and windows, is a tie to their own family history. Read the article from the newsletter of the Adolphustown-Fredericksburgh Heritage Society “A Crisis of the Heart.”

A website with descriptions of the church and tiles has been hosted by UELAC for some years – visit www.uelac.org/St-Alban/.

The Fourteen Tisdales – A Loyalist Family Saga, Part 1: Finding Sanctuary

© Stephen Davidson, UE

Ephraim Tisdale was in his early twenties when he married Ruth Strange in Freetown, Massachusetts on Tuesday, May 19, 1767. The nineteen year-old bride had no way of knowing of the adventurous life that lay before her. Within the next 78 years, Ruth and Ephraim would live in three different British colonies, would have twelve children, and would have 169 descendants scattered from Niagara Falls to Maine and on to the shores of New Brunswick’s St. John River. Grandchildren with the surnames of Lyon, Perley and Hathaway would look back on the Tisdales as their common ancestors. Filled with hardships and triumphs, the story of Ephraim and Ruth Tisdale and their twelve children is an epic saga in the annals of Loyalist history.

When Ephraim was born, Freetown was among the oldest towns in Massachusetts, having been settled by the Pilgrims in the late 1600s. Eighty km south of Boston and about 48 km east of Providence, Rhode Island, Freetown had access to the sea by the Taunton River, allowing its merchants to trade goods with East Florida and the West Indies.

In the years leading up to the American Revolution, Ephraim made his living on the sea while Ruth tended to their ever-growing family. Ephraim Jr., who was born nine months after his parents’ wedding, served as his father’s cabin boy before his eighth birthday. John (1769), Hannah (1771), Elizabeth (1773), and Ruth (1775) all followed in quick succession.

In the year that his third daughter was born, Ephraim had to leave Freetown due to his unpopular loyalist convictions. He found sanctuary in New York City, and worked for the British forces, carrying army supplies to St. Augustine in East Florida. Forced to abandon his ship to escape being captured by Patriots, Ephraim made it safely to land. With hardly any money on his person, he set out to return to New York City, a journey of 2,414 kilometers.

Ephraim finally reunited with Ruth and their five children, but the era’s records are not clear as to whether his family was in Freetown or had re-located to New York. Son Lot was born in April of 1776, followed by Joseph in 1778, and William in 1781.

Added to the momentous news that the United States had won its independence from Great Britain in 1783 was the more shocking realization that as Loyalists Ephraim and Ruth were no longer welcomed in the land of their birth. Patriots confiscated their home and property. Unwilling to recant their Loyalist convictions, Ephraim and Ruth packed what belongings they could take to the evacuation vessel the British government had prepared for them and thousands of other Loyalists.

The young family set sail on The Brothers, a ship bound for the mouth of the St. John River. In addition to having to keep an eye on eight children ranging in age from 2 to 15, thirty-five year old Ruth Tisdale was due to give birth at any time. Perhaps this is why the family unit also included a servant. (The name and gender of this servant has been lost to posterity, but as the person’s name does not occur in the Book of Negroes, he/she was neither a slave nor a Black Loyalist.)

William Walker, the captain of The Brothers, guided his ship out of New York’s harbour on Sunday, April 17th and set its course northward to the Bay of Fundy. Three days later, Ruth Tisdale gave birth to her sixth son, a boy that she named Walker in honour of the ship’s captain which Tisdale family lore long remembered “for the care and attention which he bestowed upon the mother and child”.

Two weeks later, The Brothers anchored off Parrtown at the mouth of the St. John River (which would in two years’ time become the city of Saint John). Its passengers built makeshift shelters out of logs or old army tents and waited to learn of the land grants that the British government had promised them. The Tisdale family received land in the interior of the colony. As genealogical records maintain that Samuel, the tenth Tisdale child, was born in Saint John in 1784, it seems that the family remained in the city for at least their first year in the colony.

In the months that followed, Ephraim Tisdale once again assumed the command of a merchant vessel. Sailing out of “the Port of Parr” on December 13, his schooner was bound for Barbados with 80,000 shingles in its hold. On the sixth day, “a very hard gale of wind” threatened to sink the vessel, and Tisdale had to order all of his cargo thrown into the sea to save the lives of his crew. The Loyalist returned to Parrtown, and in the following year was in command of The Polly.

Ephraim’s sailing voyages may have caused Ruth too much anxiety. She may have found the demands of caring for their ten children during his absences too overwhelming. Whatever the reason, Ephraim abandoned his life at sea and tried to make the best of a life as a farmer. The only souvenir of Ephraim’s time at sea still in the possession of his descendants one hundred years later was a “punch-dipper” (ladle) that he had carved when he “plowed the raging main”. Settling in Waterborough, a Loyalist settlement on Grand Lake, the Tisdales could still access the St. John River to travel up to Fredericton or down to Saint John.

(In 1785, a seemingly trivial event brightened the life of 14 year-old Hannah, the oldest Tisdale daughter. She was given a hand-made dress. Was it a birthday gift? Was her mother showing appreciation for her oldest daughter’s assistance in housework and childcare? The reasons for the gift dress are not known. What is known is that Hannah never parted with it. A century later, her great-niece, Maggie E. Palmer, proudly showed this family heirloom to those who visited her home in Vittoria, Upper Canada.)

Just a month after their 20th wedding anniversary, the Tisdales welcomed twins into their family: Joanna Josslyn and Matthew Hodges. The couples’ 12 children now ranged in age from newborn to nineteen years old. Soon, the oldest Tisdales siblings would be venturing out into the world and starting families of their own.

The story of the fourteen Tisdales continues in next week’s Loyalist Trails.

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

Borealia: U. of Moncton: Call for Papers – Militia Studies in Atlantic Canada, 1700-2000

The Institut d’études acadiennes at the Université de Moncton, the Gregg Centre for the Study of War and Society at the University of New Brunswick, and the Department of History at the University of New Brunswick including the Network for the Study of Civilians, Soldiers and Society are creating a new bilingual research network with the support of a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Partnership Development Grant (2019-2022). This research network centres on historical study of Atlantic Canadian militias. By asking new questions about militias over decades of peace, as well as periods of war, we are seeking to complement – and at times challenge – the more common analysis of the impact of war and military culture on civilian culture. It is our contention that militia service and the legislative and local debates around it are a neglected aspect of our collective history that was fundamental to the emergence of Canada and civil governance. The tradition of militia service is particularly strong in Atlantic Canada, where a specific institutional and political culture dating back to before Confederation fostered close ties with Great Britain, but also sparked intense local debates about loyalty, obligation, and order. With its collection of cultural communities including Acadians and Indigenous peoples, as well as its patchwork of rural and urban landscapes, this region is home to a variety of local identities.

We are searching for researchers interested in contributing a paper to our forthcoming collection of essays to be submitted to the Atlantic Canada Studies series of the University of Toronto Press.

Read more.

Borealia Addendum: Recipe collection offers insight into 18th century life in the Maritimes

You’re not going to find the latest recipe for avocado toast, but a new collection of recipes is offering an insight into early colonial life in the Maritimes, including advice for making your own medicine, desserts, and even how to catch a rat.

“People had to figure out how to live – not just what to eat, but how to stay dry, get well, grow food and build and maintain houses. Recipes helped with all of that,” said Edith Snook, an English professor at the University of New Brunswick.

Snook and Lyn Bennett, an associate professor of English at Dalhousie University and a team of research assistants have spent the last three years digging through archives to find recipes written in the Maritimes before 1800.

Read more.

NOTE: This references the subject of the last three Borealia items in Loyalist Trails:

JAR: Reconciliation between the Colonies and Great Britain – A Close Call

by Richard J. Werther, 16 May 2019

There were many attempts, before and during the American Revolution, to avoid armed conflict via negotiation, or to stop the war after it began. I’d like to tell you about one of the early ones, the most serious push for reconciliation to occur between the Stamp Act crisis and the Declaration of Independence. The outcome of this attempt is shrouded in mystery.

The scene was the First Continental Congress, the year 1774. A total of fifty-six delegates from twelve colonies convened on September 5 in Philadelphia. This extralegal body was missing only Georgia, which was being assisted by Great Britain with Indian conflicts and therefore reluctant to risk the Crown’s enmity by participating. The colonies were attempting to pool their collective wisdom to determine a strategy going forward in the wake of the Boston Tea Party and subsequent siege of Boston.

The most significant action taken by the Congress in that session was the Continental Association, a non-importation agreement among the member colonies, agreed upon by fifty-one of the fifty-six representatives, cutting off commercial dealings with the mother country.

Included in those “aye” votes were two members of the Congress who would later choose to remain loyal to the crown and never again serve in colonial or American politics. One, Isaac Low, played a relatively minor role overall and eventually faded into history. The other stubbornly refused to be ignored by history. His name was Joseph Galloway.

Read more.

Washington’s Quill: Exploring the “Blank Space” of Washington’s Youth

Peter Stark’s newest book, Young Washington, is a biography which details the eventful frontier expeditions of the young George Washington. Like Stark’s other books (which include the bestseller Astoria), Young Washington is meant to be read as a “wilderness adventure,” according to Stark. It includes vivid descriptions of the cultural and physical environments that Washington encountered during his journey, and involves the reader in the experiences that molded the ambitious young traveler into the Washington we know today. Interested to learn more about Stark and his engaging style of writing about history, communications specialist Katie Blizzard, joined by former Washington Papers editor in chief Theodore Crackel, sat down with Stark in late April to discuss Young Washington.

Read more.

Ben Franklin’s World: Benedict Arnold

Stephen Brumwell, an award-winning historian, joins us to explore the life and deeds of Benedict Arnold and his stunning metamorphosis from hero to traitor.

Using details from his book, Turncoat: Benedict Arnold and the Crisis of American Liberty, Stephen reveals how Benedict Arnold’s early life and childhood influenced the trajectory his adult life would take; Arnold’s heroic acts as an officer in the Continental Army; And, details and evidence for why Arnold made the decision to betray the United States and defect to the British.

Listen to the podcast.

Where in the World?

Where are Pacific Regional VP Carl Stymiest and Pacific Regional Councillor Frans Compeer, both members of Vancouver 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 loyalist.trails@uelac.org.

Region and Branch Bits

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

Grimsby: 225th Anniversary of St. Andrews Anglican Church

A tea will be held on Saturday, May 25th, 2 to 4 p.m. Tickets $20.00 each – in advance only available from the Church office 905-945-8894. See Church’s announcement.

This will also celebrate the coming of the United Empire Loyalists who established this, one of the first Towns in Upper Canada, built the church, and grew our community from “The Settlement Of the Forty Mile Creek” to “The Town of Grimsby” as we know it today.

The church faces the all important Niagara Escarpment in Grimsby where from Beamer’s Point in the Conservation Area the annual Hawk Watch is just finishing up for another year. It is also along what was once known as the “Hamilton Queenston Road” or footpath under the escarpment where for decades cars used to “follow a blossom route” sightseeing, the beautiful old homes along Main St. West. We are blessed with so much rich cultural heritage and beauty here.

There are thirteen Loyalists resting in St. Andrews graveyard – there will be a cemetery tour as part of the celebration – as identified by my bother, Paul Bingle UE in 2012 for the two hundredth anniversary of the War of 1812-14 and the then Grimsby Historical Society Heritage House Tour that year. They include:

• David Palmer UEL 1734-1814

• Mrs. Ann Wilson UEL 1736 to 1815

• Captain John Moore UEL 1738-1803

• William Walker UEL 1743-1819

• Peter Marselis UEL 1753-1826

• Sergeant Ahijah Chambers UEL 1755 -1839

• Andrew Pettit UEL 1756-1819 (for whom St. Andrews was named)

• Lieutenant Allan Nixon Jr. UEL 1757-1813

• John Beamer Jr. UEL 1759-1854

• Squire John Pettit UEL 1761-1851

• Col. Robert Nelles UEL 1761-1842

• Lawrence

• Muir

See the newspaper article (it is a bit difficult to read).

…Catharine Bingle-Gonnsen, UE

Ontario Heritage Trust museums open for the summer

If you’re looking for a compelling experience in your community or across the province, then check out one (or more!) of Ontario Heritage Trust’s museums this summer. These provincially significant sites explore Ontario’s shared history and bring it to life through interactive public tours, exhibits and special events. For example, Homewood Museum, Maitland (near Brockville) is one of Ontario’s oldest houses dedicated to interpreting the life of Dr. Solomon Jones (1756-1822), a United Empire Loyalist and the area’s first physician. Read the release. Visit Ontario Heritage Trust.

Laura Secord Weekend: June 22-23, 2019

Each year, the Friends of Laura Secord host the Laura Secord Walk along the Laura Secord Legacy Trail from Queenston to Thorold. It’s an annual event that recreates her heroic 32 km journey to warn the British of an impending American invasion. Since its inception, thousands of people have walked all or part of the trail to commemorate her legacy.

• Sat. 22 June: Laura Secord Walk

• Sunday: The Laura Secord Sesquicentennial Concert

• Sunday: Walking Tour by historian Jim Hill – Laura Secord Homestead to Queenston Heights

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

  • Happy Loyalist Day today, May 18th, to friends in New Brunswick! ProclamationHoisting the flag for Loyalist Day today in New Brunswick. Brian McConnell
  • Happy Loyalist Day, New Brunswick! The province was created in 1784 to give a new home to 14,000 Americans – a population the size of Boston in 1775. Visit the vibrant, engaging place that NB is today by checking out @destinationnb. Størmerlige Films
  • Gravestone of Jane Moody, wife of prominent United Empire Loyalist Lt. Col. James Moody is beside his on land they donated to the Anglican Church in Weymouth North, Nova Scotia
  • Gravestone for Private John Craig of Royal Highland Emigrants – 84th Reginent placed by descendant Cal Craig author of “The Young Emigrants: Craigs of the Magaguadavic”
  • Read about Abraham Van Buskirk: United Empire Loyalist Opposed to the American War of Independence by Rolf Buschardt Christensen in The Bridge, Journal of the Danish American Heritage Society, Volume 29, Number 1, 2006 – go to page 67.
  • Today in History: Lars D.H. Hedbor @LarsDHHedbor (see his page for associated photos):
    • 17 May 1775 The Continental Congress bans trade with Britain’s Canadian Colonies.
    • May 17, 1768, the 50-gun warship HMS Romney arrived in Boston harbor. Capt. John Corner began impressing sailors from incoming ships to supplement his crew. Both Gov. Francis Bernard & Lt. Gov. Thomas Hutchinson protested this action. NOTE: By 1768, Boston had a long and strained history with the Royal Navy’s impressment of sailors, including nasty riots in 1747 – read more…
    • 16 May 1775 Hannastown, Pennsylvania, Resolutions assert it’s the obligation of Americans to resist British tyranny.
    • 15 May 1781 Rebel forces take Fort Granby, South-Carolina, without the loss of a single man.
    • 14 May 1787 First delegates arrive in Philadelphia to revise Articles of Confederation; create new Constitution.
    • 13 May 1776 Antigua-based British Adm. Young relays intel to Jamaica that Americans plan to attack West India ships.
    • 12 May 1780 Charles-Town, South-Carolina falls to British General Clinton, marking terrible defeat for rebel forces.
  • HUB History: In this week’s podcast, we learn how an inexperienced Massachusetts army besieged and defeated the French fortress at Louisbourg in 1745, the strongest fortification on the continent at the time. Listen now!
  • 17 May 1799 Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, fourth son of King George III, is made Commander in Chief of British Forces in North America at age 27. Two years earlier (1796), the Duke had arrived as Commander of the Halifax garrison. He later become the father of Queen Victoria.
  • History lies beneath a parking lot in Fort Erie. Archeological dig across from Old Fort could reveal remnants of first military installation in Upper Canada. “We’re hoping to find evidence of the fort itself,” Triggs said as he checked out the site on Thursday. “It existed from 1764 to 1805.” Read more…
  • The University of King’s College is located in Halifax. Established in 1788, King’s is the oldest chartered university in Canada, and the first English-speaking university in the Commonwealth outside the UK. King’s College has a link to Columbia University (formerly King’s College). Read history.
  • Aultsville: The Village That Was Burned To The Ground for Science. Aultsville was once the home to many families, but one it was marked for destruction scientists decided it was an opportunity not to be missed. The town of Aultsville was founded as Charlesville in the late 1700s. Founding members of the town were United Empire Loyalists and its population peaked around 1880. Read more…
  • Health & disease in Vast Early America – The smallpox epidemic of 1775-1782, analyzed in Elizabeth Fenn’s book Pox Americana  See this map for hot spots.
  • Townsends
  • Doing a bit of research on Georgian reticules for a workshop I’m giving in September and ran across this little French beauty made around 1800 from the fabric of an 18thc gentleman’s waistcoat.
  • This 1760-65 open Robe à la Française and petticoat was believed to have been worn by Ann Willing Francis, the daughter of a prominent and successful Philadelphia merchant trading in textiles, a founder of the University of Philadelphia and Mayor in 1748 and 1754.
  • 18th Century dress, Polonaise gown, British, c.1775-1780
  • 18th Century 1780s gown, via National Museums Northern Ireland
  • Rear detail of 18th Century dress, Robe a la francaise, c.1760’s via the Bunka Gakuen Costume Museum
  • 18th Century men’s Court suit, embroidered silk frock coat and waistcoat, 1785-1790 via Fashion & Lace Museum, Brussels
  • 18th Century gentleman’s matching frock coat, waistcoat & breeches, French, c.1755
  • 18th Century men’s matching suit, French, 1765-1775
  • The Royal Birth: The folks at Walt Disney commissioned a brief Winnie-the-Pooh animation as their gift to the Sussexes on Archie’s birth.