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Well-to-Do Loyalist Widows Who Sought Compensation. Part Three of Four
copyright Stephen Davidson UE
The widow Isabella McLaurin stood before the Royal Commission on the Losses and Services of American Loyalists (RCLSAL) on November 27, 1784. Sixteen years earlier, she had married her husband Evan McLaurin in Scotland. In 1771, he struck out to seek his fortune in South Carolina. Eventually Evan acquired land at the fork of the Broad and Saluda Rivers where he established a trading post. Having set up residence in the colony’s backcountry, he sent for Isabella, who joined him in 1774.
Life would be relatively peaceful for just one year. When the revolution broke out, Evan affirmed his allegiance to the crown and joined the British forces early in 1775. He became “one of the most leading men for Government” and recruited 500 other Loyalists in the region to stand up against local rebels.
McLaurin first saw action as the leader of a company of loyalists that with 2,000 other militia men laid siege to the rebel held fort at Ninety-Six in November of 1775. This was the first major conflict in South Carolina in the American Revolution. After four days, the loyalist commanders met with the rebel leaders, demanding the surrender of the fort. McLaurin helped to write the treaty that brought about an end to the fighting. The Loyalist troops agreed to withdraw from the town; the Patriots agreed to destroy the fort.
After the Loyalist militia men returned to their homes, Patriot soldiers under the command of Colonel Richard Richardson went through the back country, arresting Loyalists and forcing others to seek sanctuary in British-held Florida. By 1777, Evan McLaurin joined other Loyalist refugees in East Florida, leaving Isabella and their two children on their farm on the Saluda River. However, she was only able to stay at home for another year. She was “obliged to leave it being persecuted for her husband’s loyalty.”
In 1778, Evan was made a lieutenant-colonel in the South Carolina Royalists. He was eventually reunited with Isabella and his children in Charleston sometime after the British occupied the city in May 1780. When McLaurin moved from East Florida, he had with him an enslaved African he had purchased for 50 to serve as a “waiting servant”. This man was “lost” when Patriots briefly imprisoned McLaurin as his regiment marched from Savannah to Charleston.
The McLaurin reunion did not last long. Evan died in June of 1782, “worn out by fatigue”. Six months later, Isabella and her children were among the Loyalists who were evacuated from Charleston along with the British troops that had occupied the city for the past two years. As soon as she arrived in England, Isabella applied to the treasury for a widow’s allowance and received £40 a year. Although there was a provision for the widows of provincial officers, for some reason Isabella’s name had not appeared on the list.
Appearing as a witness on Isabella’s behalf, Colonel Alexander Innes, the commander of the South Carolina Royalists, testified that Evan McLaurin was “one of the most zealous men he ever knew”. Almost a month after she made her appeal to the RCLSAL, Mrs. McLaurin was granted compensation on the basis of her husband’s “meritorious” service. Whether the commissioners had considered all that Isabella had had to endure during the revolution goes unrecorded.
Elizabeth Smith, on the other hand, made her claim and had it decided all on the same day. Both English born, Elizabeth and Michael Smith had left for South Carolina in 1772 where Michael was appointed a naval officer at Beaufort on Port Royal Island. Smith served until the colony’s rebel government removed him from office. By this time, Smith had accumulated a great deal of debt, but that was not his greatest concern. Within days of being removed from office, a splinter got into his hand, and he contracted tetanus. Within five to ten days, Smith’s neck stiffened and after having difficulty swallowing, he finally succumbed to lockjaw.
The doctor who attended Smith in his last days testified on Elizabeth’s behalf. Left in “very distressed circumstances”, Elizabeth decided to return to England, but given the political turmoil of 1776, she could not sell any property. Instead, thanks to Dr. Fraser’s initiative, people in Beaufort sympathetic to Elizabeth’s plight took up a collection (or “subscription”) so that she could “get to her own friends”.
After arriving in England in early 1778, the treasury granted Elizabeth an allowance of £100 a year. In her absence from South Carolina, Beaufort’s sheriff sold the Smiths’ property –including an enslaved African. After hearing testimony from Elizabeth and Dr. Fraser, the compensation board recognized her husband’s service to the crown, but decided to only award Elizabeth an annual allowance of £60 for the remainder of her life.
Dr. John Kearsley had emigrated from England to Pennsylvania in the 1740s. In the years that followed, he married, established a medical practice, sold horses, produced his own brand of throat medication, and operated a vinegar distillery in Philadelphia. The Kearsleys had five children, one of whom eventually married Robert Douglas.
When the doctor’s widow, Mary Kearsley appeared before the compensation board in April of 1785, her testimony was filled with accounts of mob violence against her husband. Twice during 1775, a mob attacked their home. In the first instance, the rioters “destroyed the great part of their furniture”, and then in September, they tore apart Kearsley’s library and medical office after hauling the doctor off to prison in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The jail was known for its deplorable conditions — an extremely dangerous environment for a man in poor health.
Samuel Shoemaker, a prominent Quaker, testified that Kearsley was “a very respectable man in his profession” and that he was “a violent Loyalist — one of the most zealous that he ever knew”. Shoemaker believed this had “hastened his end”.
Although he did not go into details, the Quaker may have been referring to the fact that Kearsley was once wounded in the hand by a bayonet. The mob that had been parading him through town was incensed by his continued shouts of support for the king and threatened to have him tarred and feathered. On another occasion, Kearsley was pulled out into the street and beaten “with the butt end of firelocks” in full view of his family.
The last witness to testify at Mary’s hearing was Charles Steadman, the man who had shared Dr. Kearsley’s cell. He remembered Mary’s husband as “a very distinguished loyalist”. On the day following his release from prison (sometime in late October or early November of 1777), John Kearsley died. In that same year, the doctor’s vinegar factory was destroyed, leaving the family with few assets.
One of those “assets” was James Derham, a 15 year-old boy born into slavery in Pennsylvania. Recognizing the boy’s intelligence, Dr. Kearsley used to take him on his rounds, teaching him medicine one patient at a time. Young James could read and so was able to access the medical knowledge in the doctor’s library. Sold when Mary Kearsley and the children left Pennsylvania, Derham passed through the hands of a number of masters who were doctors.
At the age of 21, he was given his freedom. Fluent in three languages and an expert in diseases of the throat, James Derham eventually set up a small medical consultation. He has since been recognized as the first African American to practice as a doctor in the United States.
Mary Kearsley and her children left for England in 1778. Seven years later, she sought compensation for her family’s losses. Within two days of her hearing, the RCLSAL recognized both Mary and her husband as Loyalists and awarded Mary an annual allowance of £100.
This series on well-to-do widows who sought compensation in London concludes in next week’s Loyalist Trails.
To secure permission to reprint this article contact the author at

Henry Dundas: Evidence Suggests He Was Against Slavery
As the fourth generation of my family to live in the picturesque valley town of Dundas, Ontario, I feel compelled to address the acrimonious debate, misconceptions, highly biased and outright fuzzy headed thinking swirling around the controversial Scottish politician, Henry Dundas. My interest in Henry Dundas began a quarter century ago, an interest that continues to this day. I have hosted Dundas descendants in my home, visited his ancestral home, Arniston House; his Edinburgh home, Melville Castle; and his London home, Cannizaro House.
Focusing on the petition coming before Toronto City Council, to remove the name “Dundas” from Toronto public spaces, I’m particularly disturbed by the peer-reviewed research material prepared by 20 academics with whom city staff consulted. What I find disingenuous is that their research has failed to give a full picture of the man or detailed some of the compelling reasons for Dundas’ gradual approach to ending slavery. Andrew Lockheed, chief instigator of the Toronto petition, and academics engaged by city staff, presented their one-sided perception of the truth which resulted in staff’s disappointing review on the Life and Legacy of Henry Dundas. Their failed investigative report, which can best be described as mass manipulation, fake news, alternate realities, disinformation and conspiracy theories fuelled by today’s digital revolution and social media, failed to acknowledge historically based factual documentation or other perspectives on the issue.
Whatever the moral and practical arguments in favour of absolution there was a wide range of defenders of the trade: ship-owners, traders, manufacturers of good exported to Africa, owners of plantations in the West Indies, for whom slavery was fundamental to their wealth, certain MP’s, themselves slave owners, and surprisingly members of the Royal family. King George III supported the slave trade, as did his sons. In his maiden House of Lords speech the King’s son, the Duke of Clarence, said: “Negros were not treated in a manner which agitated the public mind and that when various ranks of society were considered, they were comparatively in a state of humble happiness.” Between 40 and 50 members of parliament were directly associated with the London based West Indies Society of Planters and Merchants, a lobby group comprised of absentee plantation owners, merchants, investors and colonial agents fiercely opposed to the abolition of the slave trade and slavery and intent on preserving it. At the time 80% of Great Britain’s foreign trade revolved in one way or another around the slave trade. Those opposing the Bill argued that France, Spain and Holland would step in to take the trade way from Britain, an issue that remained a great problem for abolitionists. There was in effect a virtual wall of opposition against abolition.
It took the great anti-slave campaigner William Wilberforce nearly twenty years (1788-1807) to get a Bill passed abolishing slavery in the British Empire. The opening parliamentary salvo on slavery was fired in 1788 by the prime minister, William Pitt, who was acting on behalf of Wilberforce, his parliamentary colleague, who was absent from the House of Commons due to illness. It was defeated. Two years later (April 20, 1791) it was again defeated 163 to 88. The following year Dundas’ gradual amendment overturned the earlier defeat and the Bill passed 193 to 125, becoming the first piece of slave legislation to pass in the House of Commons. In subsequent weeks, Dundas moved resolutions naming 1800 as the date for abolition, which after further debate became 1796. The British slave trade would be abolished in four’s years time provided the Lords or war did not get in the way. Any logical argument suggesting Dundas’ 1792 gradual amendment delayed abolition is undermined by Wilberforce’s eight further abolition Bills, all defeated before eventual abolition passed by a majority of 283 to 16 on February 23, 1807.
To pass the Abolition of Slavery Act in the House of Lords, bringing an end to slavery throughout the British Empire, it contained a provision, The Slave Compensation Act, for the financial compensation for their loss of ‘property’ to those engaged in the trade — 20 million GBP (Great Britian Pounds) — the equivalent in 2021 Canadian currency of $3.9 billion dollars. The Act, which passed in the House of Lords on December 23, 1837, compensated owners of slaves; the slaves received nothing in compensation. To compensate the slave owners and investors the British government borrowed the money. It took the government until 2015 to pay off the loan, 178 years after the Act became law and 204 years after Dundas’ death.
While the slave trade had been abolished in 1807 it took another 26 years (1833) to effect the emancipation of the enslaved, 22 years after Henry Dundas’ May 28, 1811 death. The final negotiations between the British state and West India interests, the main group defending the interests of the slave owners, were protracted because of vested interests representing both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The negotiated settlement brought emancipation, but only with a system of apprenticeship tying free men and women into another five years of free labour to achieve ‘full freedom’ in 1838, 27 years after Dundas’ death.
What is being ignored is evidence that 25 years after the critical parliamentary debates abolitionist regretted not following the advise Henry Dundas gave them privately. Historical records of the 1820’s show leading abolitionists including William Wilberforce realized that Dundas had been right all along — that in the late 18th century, powerful opposing forces would have to be appeased before government could abolish the slave trade. They also wished they had taken Dundas’ advice to seek the abolition of slavery and the slave trade together, rather than focusing solely on the slave trade. If they had it’s likely the slave trade and slavery would have ended years if not decades earlier.
Under the direction of Catherine Hall, Emeritus Professor of Modern British Social and Cultural History at the Centre for The Study of Legacies and British Slave Owners, archival researchers from University College, London spent three years putting together a database of 46,000 records of compensation to slave owners and investors. The National Records Office at Kew are rich in evidence on the myriad of Britons who directly benefited from the fruits of slavery — parliamentarians, financiers, bankers. merchants, industrialists, clergymen, widows — its estimated somewhere between 10-20% of Britain’s wealthy can be identified as having significant links to slavery. As reported in the July 12, 2015 issue of The Guardian (The History of British Slave Ownership) there were many famous names hidden within the records: ancestors of the novelist Graham Green, the poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning and the architect Sir George Gilbert Scott, all received compensation for their slaves. As did a distant ancestor of former prime minister David Cameron. What the extraordinary archival records failed to show was the name Henry Dundas listed among those who financially benefited from the slave industry.
For those who have not met them face to face statesmen of bygone ages remain shadowy figures. We have little option than to leave it to their peers who knew them best. From acclaimed Harvard and Oxford historian Holden Fureber’s 1923 book, Henry Dundas, The First Viscount Melville, we learn of Dundas’ personal courage, honour, and integrity where Harold Walpole called him “the boldest of men.’ Of his fairness and honour as an individual, no one was better qualified to judge the man than Lord Cornwallis who wrote “I can truly say that I never met with a more fair and honourable man.” And from William Wilberforce who recalled an earlier meeting with Dundas who stopped and gave him a hearty handshake. Reflecting back on that moment Wilberforce said “I would have given a thousand pounds for that handshake.”
While there is no doubt slavery was evil, there is no reliable evidence showing Dundas supported the slave trade or slavery. At heart he was an abolitionist. The question is — whether we should judge people of the past by today’s standards. Our ancestors were part of the times they lived, not our own time. With calls for statue dismantling and street name changes its no longer enough to have been a man for your time, you must be a man for all time, or higher, probably an impossible standard for mere mortals.
Clare Crozier, Dundas, Ontario (Letter to the Mayor of Toronto about renaming Dundas St.)

JAR: The Silence of Slavery in Revolutionary War Art
by Edna Gabler 13 July 2021
“His Britannic Majesty shall with all convenient speed, and without causing any Destruction, or carrying away any Negroes or other Property of the American inhabitants, withdraw . . . from said United States.” These words from the 1783 Treaty of Paris that officially brought the seven-year American Revolution to a close guaranteed America’s independence from Great Britain and the freedom of its citizens to live according to their own terms. Although up to 9,000 Black Americans had served alongside whites during the war, at its end, African Americans were excluded from the freedoms guaranteed to white citizens. Not recognized as citizens but as property, it would take another eighty-two years and a bloody war before the abolition of slavery.
“They were always present, but never seen,” remarked author and historian Erica Armstrong Dunbar of African Americans during the Revolutionary War and the years that followed. Dunbar, author of Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge, could just as well have been speaking about the artwork of the Revolutionary period. As in life, Blacks in the historical paintings of John Trumbull, Charles Willson Peale, and others occupy subordinate positions, are rarely identified by name, and are most often used as props, background accessories, or foils.
At the start of the war, more than half a million African Americans were living in the thirteen colonies, all but 4 percent enslaved. They represented 20 percent of the country’s residents. From 5,000 to 9,000 African Americans served the American cause during the war, many in noncombatant roles such as cooks, waiters, and carpenters. Others fought alongside white soldiers on the battlefield. Rhode Island even formed an all black and Native American regiment headed by white officers to meet its enlistment quota. Read more…

JAR: The Troubled Relationship Between Clinton and Cornwallis and their “War” after the War
by John Ferling 15 July 2021
A search for scapegoats is certain to follow a lost war, and in the wake of the British disaster at Yorktown in October 1781 a long list of potential targets existed. Both Sir Henry Clinton, who had commanded Britain’s army in America during the four years leading to Yorktown, and General Charles, Earl Cornwallis, who commanded—and surrendered—the British army at Yorktown, immediately suspected that they would be in the bullseye of those who searched for answers and culprits.
Clinton and Cornwallis met in the 1760s while serving in the Seven Years’ War and were reunited in America in 1776. Having long enjoyed a cordial relationship, the two worked well together early that year while Cornwallis served as Clinton’s second in command during a fruitless mission in the Carolinas. Their warm friendship was shattered that summer when Clinton learned that Cornwallis had related to Gen. William Howe, commander in chief of the British army, critical remarks about the commander that Clinton had uttered in a private conversation.
The two seldom saw one another during the next three years, though during that period the strains in their relationship gradually mended. Early in 1779 Cornwallis, about to return to America after a leave in England and once again become Clinton’s second in command, wrote his commander pledging to loyally serve him and proclaiming his joy at the opportunity to “share fortunes” with him. Clinton expressed his “great satisfaction” at the prospect of their reunion and at having an officer of such “rank and experience” at his side.
Cornwallis arrived in America in July 1779 and for the next several months, including during the early phase of the next spring’s campaign to retake Charleston, the two were on friendly terms. Throughout the approach to the city, Clinton consulted with Cornwallis on every major move. But the seeds of renewed discord between these two had been planted. Read more…

Washington’s Quill: Identifying George Greive
by Jeffrey L. Zvengrowski 16 July 2021
Where possible, the editors at The Papers of George Washington write an “ID” (short biography) for each individual mentioned in Washington’s correspondence. Any ID made appears in the annotation for the document in which the individual is first mentioned.
One of the most compelling IDs in volume 31 of the Revolutionary War Series is that for George Greive, on whose behalf Silas Deane, a former United States diplomat in France, had written General Washington from Paris on May 2, 1781:

Mr Grieve will do himself the honor of waiting on you with this, & I take the Liberty of assuring you in it, that he has on all occasions been the warm & zealous Friend of America…

Like many IDs in The Papers of George Washington, Greive’s is perforce truncated. However, a fairly expanded version of his career will be presented here simply because he was a rather important, somewhat shadowy, and highly intriguing figure in American and European history whose life briefly but interestingly intersected Washington’s. Read more…

Abigail Adams and Family are Vaccinated for Smallpox
“I yesterday was with all 4 of our little ones inoculated for the small pox. God grant that we may all go comfortably through the distemper.”
Abigail Adams 13 July in 1776. They would not be released from medical care until August 31.
Boston July 13, 1776

I must begin with apoligising to you for not writing since the 17 of June [Abigail to John, 17 June 1776] . I have really had so many cares upon my Hands and Mind, with a bad inflamation in my Eyes that I have not been able to write. I now date from Boston where I yesterday arrived and was with all 4 of our Little ones innoculated for the small pox. My unkle and Aunt were so kind as to send me an invitation with my family. Mr. Cranch and wife and family, My Sister Betsy and her Little Neice,Cotton Tufts and Mr. Thaxter, a maid who has had the Distemper and my old Nurse compose our family. A Boy too I should have added. 17 in all.
Read more of the letter from Abigail to John Adams written over two days.

Silence Dogood Rides Again: Blogging the frontiers of early American history
by Ann M. Little
(Editor..starting at about fourth paragraph, there is an interesting section about Benjamin Franklin)
As many of the readers of this journal know, pseudonymity launched the career of Benjamin Franklin nearly 300 years ago. In an outrageous act of literary transvestism, the sixteen-year-old Franklin wrote in the voice of a middle-aged widow he called Silence Dogood, and under cover of night, slipped her letters under the door of his brother James’s newspaper, The New England Courant. For six months in 1722, the satirical dispatches attributed to Dogood appeared in the Courant and poked fun at Boston’s Puritan establishment. Franklin explains the elaborate ruse in his Autobiography:
But being still a Boy, and suspecting that my Brother would object to printing any Thing of mine in his Paper if he knew it to be mine, I contriv’d to disguise my Hand, and writing an anonymous Paper I put it in at Night under the Door of the Printing House. It was found in the Morning and communicated to his Writing Friends when they call’d in as usual. They read it, commented on it in my Hearing, and I had the exquisite pleasure, of finding it met with their Approbation, and that in their different Guesses at the Author none were named but Men of some Character among us for Learning and Ingenuity.
Franklin’s “young Genius. . . for Libelling and Satyr” was not the direct cause of his brother’s censure and month of imprisonment for offending Massachusetts authorities in the summer of 1722. Nevertheless, the Courant’s fame spread, and it continued to publish Silence Dogood’s missives as young Benjamin took over the day-to-day operations of the newspaper while his brother was jailed. Read more…

What was advertised in a colonial American newspaper 250 years ago today?
Boston Evening Posdt 15 July 1771
“Buy worth a Dollar, when you come, / And you may drink a Glass of Rum.”
Lydia Learned received some free advertising in the July 15, 1771, edition of the Boston Evening-Post. She distributed a handbill that listed a variety of items available at her shop “Near the Sign of the Punch-Bowl” in Brookline. Intrigued by the advertisement, Thomas Fleet and John Fleet, the printers of the Boston Evening-Post, inserted it in its entirety along with a note advising, “The following advertisement, copied from one in the Punch Bowl Tavern in Brookline, we publish for the Amusement of out Poetical Readers.” Indeed, the poetry, not the assortment of goods offered for sale, attracted their attention. Few advertisers attempted to transform their inventory into poetry in newspaper notices or on broadsides and handbills, helping to make Learned’s advertisement more memorable. Read more…

Query: Loyalist Samuel Griffis (also Griffiths/Griffins) of Nova Scotia
The Genealogy Department of the Admiral Digby Museum is looking for more information for Loyalist Samuel Griffis [also found spelled Griffiths/Griffins etc] . It is believed he lived in New Brunswick, possibly Saint John area, before coming to Nova Scotia.
He was born in NY and married his Nova Scotian wife Sarah Doty [Daughter of Samuel Doty]. Samuel & Sarah were married in St Peter’s Anglican Church Weymouth, Digby Co, Nova Scotia 10 Feb 1830 [microfilm]. They had children Justus, Elias, Samuel, Jacob & Sarah. It is believed they returned to the USA around 1840 and lived in Newburyport, MA.
We are looking mostly for information in Nova Scotia & New Brunswick as we have the USA census etc after they moved. Their son Justus is found in the Baptismal records for St Peter’s [16 Oct 1835] and there is marriage listed in the same microfilm records. Beyond this information we do not have much on their stay in Nova Scotia.
Any information or direction is appreciated
Sue at the Admiral Digby Museum

Ridgefield CT: Battlefield Research Blog: Entry #2 & 3
NOTE: Previously mentioned in Three Skeletons Found Under House In CT, More: Skeletons Found Near Ridgefield Battle Site, Research Continues: Skeletons Found Near Ridgefield. Update on Skeletal Remains Found in Ridgefield CT and The Latest Update.

Battlefield Research Blog: Entry #2, April 2021
Heritage Consultants’ research team — David George, Kevin McBride and David Naumec — continued gathering and assessing historical resources for the Battle of Ridgefield study during April, with the continuing goal of creating the most detailed historical narrative possible. Mapping of the entire battlefield also continues. Read more…

Battlefield Research Blog: Entry #3, May 2021

During May, the Heritage Consultants team continued working through documents and organizing resources for the Battle of Ridgefield narrative and also made contact with people who have significant relics from the Revolutionary War era. They also spoke with another historian who wrote about the Battle. Read more…
Submitted by Ken McCallum

Walk along the Moira river and learn (Belleville ON)
By John Spitters 12 July 2021, QuinteNews
The Moira River runs through the heart of the City of Belleville and is the reason behind settlement of the area. The river powered the 19th century mills that were the basis of economic growth. Now you can learn about the history of the bridges, buildings and sites along the banks of the Moira with a new self-guided walking tour.
Stroll of Discovery: Riverfront Trail was developed by the Hastings County Historical Society in partnership with Community Archives of Belleville and Hastings County.
Illustrated by contemporary and historic photos, the Stroll of Discovery takes you along the Riverfront Trail — from Meyers Pier, through downtown Belleville and up into Riverside Park near Highway 401. The Moira River is rich in history — from the Anishinaabe people to United Empire Loyalist settlement in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, to the present day. Press article… and Tourist info…

Newsletters from Branches (for Members)
For several years, branches have had the option to submit their branch newsletters. These were then distributed to a contact at each branch, where they could then be further distributed to members. This resulted in a lot of email messages.
Carl Stymiest UE as chair of the Communications Committee has implemented an alternative approach. Branches which elect to make their newsletters available to all members submit their newsletter to Carl who has it posted to the website in the member’s section.
Now, those members who have set up a member’s account at can check for newsletters, sorted by branch, whenever they wish. A number of newsletters have now been submitted and are available under the heading “Newsletters: Branch publications for UELAC members“.
One example of an interesting article is in the recently posted newsletter from Saskatchewan Branch. It is part one of a two part family history.

THE MEMOIRS OF MRS. ELLEN (DIXON) TEECE 28 APRIL 1960 who notes “I have thought since, that it might interest some of the young generations in the future, to read of some of the things we experienced when we first came to Canada, prior to coming to Saskatchewan.”

(Although her trip to Canada was in 1871, many of the experiences were probably similar to what our Loyalist ancestors experienced when they arrived at a newly assigned lot in the forest.)


Fort Plain: American Revolution Mohawk Valley Conference, 6-8 Aug 2021

The American Revolution Mohawk Valley Conference includes 11 Speakers and a Bus Tour. Includes

  • Andrew Jackson O’Shaughnessy – The Architect of the British War for America: Lord George Germain
  • John Knight – Banastre Tarleton and the British Legion: The Elite Loyalist Regiment Fighting for the King
  • Todd W. Braisted – In Reduced Circumstances: Loyalist Women and British Government Assistance, 1779-1783

More details and registration

Researching New York State Ancestors, Toronto Branch OGS, Sept. 15 & 22 @7:30 EDT

Attend a special two-part series highlighting untapped resources in the Colonial and Loyalist Records at the New York State Archives. Unique resources and collections from various research repositories for Western New York will be explored.
Sept. 15, 7:30 pm: Part 1. The New York State Archives holds records of the colonial governments of New York. Tapping into the underutilized resources of the colonial Dutch and British governmental records, as well as Loyalist records, can jump start your New York research for these periods.
Sept. 22, 7:30 pm: Part 2. Explore unique resources and collections held by public libraries, county archives, town historians, historical and genealogical societies
Details and Registration now open. Fee: $15 OGS members, $20 non-member.

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

Last Post: BORDEN UE, Karen Eileen – 17 Feb 1943 – 4 July 2021
Karen was the middle of the three ‘Cronk Girls’ as they were known in the Blenkinsop Valley where they grew up. She and sisters Gail and Rhodena were raised by parents Ken and Eileen Cronk on the farm where her grandfather homesteaded in 1903 and where her mother was born. To Karen, family history was very important. She loved researching family genealogy. She traced her roots back to places in Ontario, England and beyond. She sought out her United Empire Loyalist roots and proved her descent from four different loyalists. She traveled extensively across Canada and to New York on many genealogy-related research and conference trips, always with her friend Catherine – they had a lot of fun on those trips.
In her youth Karen was an avid Girl Guide and 4-H member. She was one of the first girls in BC to join a 4-H Beef club. She won accolades for her beef judging skills and her sewing skills in the Saanich 4-H Home Arts club which she encouraged her mom to start. She attended the Toronto Royal Winter Fair as a 4-H delegate in 1961, one of 10 youth who were selected for this honour.
She met Bruce in 1957 when he arrived at her house on horseback with a friend who was interested in Karen. Story has it that Bruce and his big mare Shawnee kept getting in between Karen and the other suitor. The rest is history as they say. The engagement happened on her seventeenth birthday and November 10, 1962 was the big day. They were the first couple married in Gosworth Road Community Church which was built by her grandfather.
Karen and Bruce had three children, Carolyn, Natalie and Ross. Son-in-law Steve added a new dimension to the family. Then along came four grandchildren, Rebecca, Susannah, Ethan and Michaela and grandsons-in-law Chris and Jon.
As a result of her upbringing on the farm and her life-long membership in Girl Guides, Karen believed in being a good steward of God’s creation. She was passionate about eradicating invasive species and could frequently be found somewhere on the farm digging up any she could find. She was also a recycler long before curbside recycling came to be.
More details, condolences and an expanded version of the above at Karen Borden UE.
Karen was an integral member of the Victoria Branch and will be sadly missed by Catherine, and everyone else in the branch who knew her.
Catherine Fryer UE

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