In this issue:

Connect with us:


Newfoundland’s Most Pre-eminent Loyalist – Part Two of Two
copyright Stephen Davidson UE
By 1807, John Ryan could consider himself a most fortunate refugee. At the age of 22, he was part of the massive influx of Loyalist refugees who settled in New Brunswick. Having served as a publisher’s apprentice in Rhode Island and then as a publisher’s partner in New York City, he came to the colony ready to establish its first newspaper. As the publisher of The Saint John Gazette and General Advertiser, Ryan enjoyed financial success, survived the occasional conflict with the colonial bureaucracy, served as a captain in the local militia, and rubbed shoulders with Saint John’s leading citizens.
Ryan and his wife Amelia came to New Brunswick in 1783 with one child, but would eventually have a family of seven children. The family home was located near Market Slip in the heart of Saint John’s business district.
And yet for all of personal and professional investment in New Brunswick, John Ryan moved his family to St. John’s, Newfoundland in 1807. Perhaps some form of mid-life re-evaluation led the 46 year-old Rhode Island Loyalist to consider striking out for greener pastures.
Upon his death in 1847, his obituary summarized how the publisher of New Brunswick’s first newspaper came to live in Newfoundland and publish that colony’s first newspaper.
Some years afterwards, {New Brunswick} having rapidly increased in population and importance, Mr. Ryan was appointed to the office of King’s Printer in New Brunswick –which office he continued to hold until the removal of the seat of Government to Fredericton — whither he declined to proceed. In 1807, being on a visit to Newfoundland, he was induced, by offers of support from the Government and Commercial Body, to establish a Press in this Town, and the Royal Gazette by authority was published by him in that year-being the first periodical ever issued in the Colony.”
The historian E.J. Devereaux has speculated that Ryan had always had great hopes of one day becoming the King’s Printer, a government position that would provide a steady income and would carry a great deal of prestige. Despite having founded New Brunswick’s first newspaper, Ryan’s record of two libel convictions may have caused him to be passed over for the position. In 1785, the New Brunswick government appointed Christopher Sower, a Loyalist from Pennsylvania, as the King’s Printer. Following Sower’s death in 1799, the government fulfilled Ryan’s long held ambition and made the Rhode Island Loyalist its official printer.
Given his new responsibilities, Ryan sold The Saint John Gazette, and Weekly Advertiser to his brother-in-law, Jacob Mott. Amelia Ryan’s brother had briefly visited in Saint John in the fall of 1783, but their mother’s disdain for the settlement forced them to return to New York. Sixteen years later, Jacob and his wife Ann relocated to New Brunswick to escape the yellow fever that was raging through their state.
While two Loyalist brothers-in-law now served as publishers in New Brunswick, within five years’ time, they were joined by the next generation of Ryan publishers. In 1804, John Ryan’s 20 year-old son Michael became the publisher of the New Brunswick Chronicle. This was not a successful venture, but it launched Michael Ryan into the family business.
Before his death in 1829, the eldest Ryan son had established The Fredericton Telegraph* –the colonial capital’s first newspaper– in 1806, partnered with his father to publish the Royal Gazette and Newfoundland Advertiser in 1807, and ended his days as the printer of the Barbados Globe.
For eight years, John Ryan served as the King’s Printer, publishing the Royal Gazette while based in Saint John — as had Christopher Sower before him. However, in 1807, the colonial government wanted Ryan to move his printing office to Fredericton. The historian Devereaux thinks that Ryan’s reluctance to move operations up the St. John River might have been as much a factor in his decision to move to Newfoundland as his desire to be the first King’s Printer in the island colony.
Whatever his motivation may have been, Ryan and his family set sail for St. John’s, Newfoundland in 1807. Jacob Mott, Ryan’s brother in law, became the new King’s Printer. After his death in 1814, Mott’s wife Ann tried to continue publishing the Royal Gazette, but the government of the day would not permit a woman to be the King’s Printer.
On August 27, 1807 Newfoundlanders could purchase the colony’s first newspaper, the Royal Gazette and Newfoundland Advertiser — a paper published by a Loyalist from Rhode Island. Essentially a government mouthpiece, Ryan’s paper carried notices, news from other papers, the occasional poem or short essay, and government proclamations in addition to a large number of advertisements.
In partnership with John Collier Withers, Ryan would also publish the Journal of the Legislative Council of Newfoundland and the Journal of His Majesty’s Council of Newfoundland. John’s son, Lewis Ryan, edited the Newfoundland Sentinel and General Commercial Register in 1818. This paper was dedicated to promoting political reform within the colony, so it is no surprise that Lewis was forced to flee the colony two years later after being charged with libel.
John Ryan published his paper with much greater restrictions than the one Lewis had operated. When he was made the King’s Printer, it was on the condition that “he shall submit the perusal of the proposed contents thereof, to the Magistrates in the said Court of Sessions, and not insert in the said Paper any matter which, in their opinion or in the opinion of the Governor for the time being, may tend to disturb the peace of His Majesty’s Subjects.”
The historian Patrick O’Flaherty notes that in addition to publishing the Royal Gazette, Ryan also printed pamphlets and a variety of legal documents used in business transactions. He was a stationer as well, selling books of prayers and hymns, calendars, and school texts. “In addition, he sometimes offered for sale items such as shingles, pork, chocolate, chairs, and lumber. Though a printer, Ryan apparently kept an alert eye on the general requirements of the market-place.”
After being a resident of Saint John, New Brunswick for 23 years, John Ryan lived for another 40 years in Newfoundland. He died in St. John’s on September 30, 1847, just a week before his 86th birthday.
The city where he first established his own newspaper kept a lively interest in John Ryan’s family’s life and the course of his career. An 1817 edition of the New Brunswick Courier noted the wedding of his daughter Leah to John Stayner. Two years later, the City Gazette reported the death of his 17 year-old son, Robert. In 1824, the New Brunswick Courier informed its readers of the passing of 19 year-old Ingraham Ryan, who succumbed to “sanguineous apoplexy” in Barbados. The same newspaper let its readers know that Amelia, John Ryan’s wife of 51 years, died at the age of 72 on May 20, 1832. When John Ryan died, his death notice included the fact that he had arrived with the Loyalists in 1783 and had only one son left alive.
Thus by a very roundabout route that took him from Rhode Island to New York and then onto New Brunswick, John Ryan became the publisher of Newfoundland’s first newspaper No other Loyalist would ever play so pre-eminent a role in Newfoundland’s history.
*(Editor’s note: The electric telegraph was invented in the 1830s, but earlier in the 18th century, the word “telegraph” was used to describe a different communication system, one that involved signaling from one hilltop to the next.)
To secure permission to reprint this article contact the author at

Resistance to the Revolution in Saratoga County, May 1777
31 May 2021 at Jay Heritage Center
On April 18th, 1777, during the American Revolution, the New York Provincial Convention received the following letter, dated two days previously:
Dear Sir — Upon my arrival home , I found a letter from the chairman of the county committee, requesting the assistance of our militia to quell an insurrection of the tories in Ballstown, and upon inquiry found that the same spirit prevailed much in my regiment, to such a degree that it appears numbers have enlisted , and have taken the oath of secrecy and allegiance to the King of Great Britain, and that a regiment of royal volunteers is to be raised in the county of Albany, under the command of J. Hueston, as will appear by the enclosed; in consequence of which we have not complied with the request of the chairman. Seventeen of the villains are now in confinement, and by the vigilance of our committee, and militia officers, hope soon to detect the whole and transmit to the Convention the proof that shall be collected.
I am, dear sir, in great haste, Yours, [signed] Robt. Van Rensselaer
The Provincial Convention was the de facto Government of the Province of New York and Robert Van Rensselaer was Colonel of the 8th Regiment of the Militia of Albany County. Although trimmed and its borders optimized in 1772 with the creation of Tryon and Charlotte counties, Albany County was vast, including what are now Albany, Columbia, Rensselaer, Saratoga, and Schenectady counties, large parts of Greene and Washington counties, and the disputed southwest corner of Vermont. The Town of Ballston at the time extended northward to the Hudson River in future Saratoga County.
In his letter, Col. Van Rensselaer, seems to have conflated two related but separate Loyalist (Tory) activities. Read more…

Ridgefield CT 1777 Battle. History Unfolds
When General William Tryon and his troops marched through Ridgefield in 1777, there were probably not three discrete engagements as has been commonly thought, but more of a running battle.
Heritage Consultants LLC, hired by the Ridgefield Historical Society under a National Park Service American Battlefield Protection Program grant, is finding documentary evidence to support this new conclusion.
In their quarterly report to the Battle of Ridgefield Advisory Group, David Naumec and Kevin McBride explained the significant findings and insights that research has uncovered.
It is considered noteworthy that the British launched a diversionary force to threaten U.S. forces along the Hudson River, which drew troops from the First Connecticut Regiment in Danbury to the aid of Peekskill as well as the 6th Massachusetts Regiment in western Massachusetts.
Dr. Naumec told the committee that the diversion suggested a well-thought-out attack. As the research continues, the marching and battle formations of the British and American forces are becoming more detailed. History unfolds; read more…
Ken McCallum

What an Englishwoman’s Letters Reveal About Life in Britain During the American Revolution
By Julie Flavell 16 August 2021, The Smithsonian Magazine
A new book highlights the writings of Jane Strachey, a middle-class woman whose husband worked for the famed Howe family
“My whole soul … is occupied with expectation of more news from you, and tho I am told I must not be surprised if it does not arrive these ten days, I cannot help starting every time I hear the bell at the gate, or the door open.”
These lines, written a month after the United States declared its independence from Britain, evoke the letters written by Abigail Adams to her husband, John, while he was at the Continental Congress. Between 1774 and 1777, the couple exchanged over 300 letters celebrated for their poignant blending of war and politics with domestic concerns and heartfelt devotion.
Yet the words above came from the pen of Englishwoman Jane Strachey, who was separated from her husband by 3,000 miles of ocean. In August 1776, English Member of Parliament Henry Strachey was at the epicenter of the looming confrontation between the British and American armies in New York, serving on the administrative staff of Admiral Richard Lord Howe and General William Howe.
Jane’s letters, composed between 1776 and 1778, are buried in the Strachey family papers at the Somerset Archives in England. The private correspondence of a middle-class English wife, they have been virtually ignored by historians of the home front in Britain during the American Revolution. Yet they open a unique window into the experience of ordinary British women. And their intimate tone, everyday detail and authentic chronicling of wartime events provide a fascinating parallel to Adams’ letters. Read more…

Escape as Resistance for Enslaved Women during the American Revolution
by Karen Cook Bell 27 June 2021, History News Network
Historians once considered Black participation in the American Revolution to be marginal, however, over the past five decades, numerous books and articles on this subject have dispelled that idea. Black participation in the American Revolution is now an integral part of the story of American freedom. However, the experiences of Black women who fled slavery during the American Revolution have largely gone unexamined. A part of the reason why is because historians had previously ignored the experiences of Black women during slavery. This began to change with the publication of Deborah Gray White’s book Ar’n’t I a Woman in 1985. However, even with this publication the consensus in the scholarship was that Black women did not flee bondage because of family ties and responsibilities. In essence, their positions as mothers and wives prevented them from escaping slavery. However, motherhood often served as a catalyst for attempted escape during the American Revolution, a time when chaos of war and the break-down of authority made escape possible for Black women in the North and South. Enslaved women had as much incentive to run away as did men, and perhaps even more since they were abused physically, sexually, and psychologically.
Running away was a revolutionary act of resistance because it indicates that, despite the punishments and penalties White society put in place to punish runaways, enslaved women as well as men rebelled against slavery through one of the most significant expressions of Black rage and discontent: running away…
How enslaved women ran is just as informative and intriguing as why and where they ran. They did not run haphazardly into the woods, but established creative and subversive escape strategies. Read more…

JAR Book Review: Vermont’s Ebenezer Allen
Review by the Editors, 16 August 2021
Vermont’s Ebenezer Allen: Patriot, Commando and Emancipator by Glenn Fay Jr. (Charleston, SC: The History Press, 2021)
Ethan Allen, the militia leader who shares credit for taking Fort Ticonderoga early in the Revolution, is the most recognizable historical figure from early Vermont history. His brother Ira is also famous for his association with the Green Mountain Boys. Their cousin, Ebenezer Allen, is not as well-known, which is a situation Vermont native and historian Glenn Fay Jr. tries to correct in his brief but interesting biography. Vermont’s Ebenezer Allen: Patriot, Commando and Emancipator brings to life the unique and very successful military and business-savvy Allen, whose accomplishments more than exceeded those of his two famous cousins. The biography is also a thorough history of Vermont and its role in the American Revolution.
Allen was born in Northampton, in the colony of Massachusetts, where the Great Awakening minister Jonathan Edwards preached (Edwards even baptized the infant Allen). Ebenezer became an apprentice to a blacksmith, and those skills would be of use to him all his life. He later became a surveyor and travelled all over the New Hampshire Grants, which was what the land of Vermont was known as before the Revolution. Allen became an active participant in the Native American communities in Vermont, mastering several dialects early. He became involved with the Green Mountain Boys, which was a highly motivated and experienced organization by the mid-1770s. The Boys were dealing with both the British and the “Yorkers,” the New York Loyalists who wanted Vermont to be annexed to New York. Fay provides the famous story of the taking of Fort Ticonderoga, in which Ebenezer participated with his cousin Ethan and Benedict Arnold. Details about the bounty taken out of the Fort demonstrate why the victory was so important to the rebel cause. Read more…

JAR: Silas Talbot, Continental Army Mariner
by Louis Arthur Norton 17 August 2021
Silas Talbot was a remarkable Revolutionary War notable who was astute and tactically flexible. He was at various times an artisan, entrepreneur, privateer, Rhode Island Militia officer, Continental Army officer, Continental Navy officer, United States Navy captain and United States Congressman. Talbot’s multifarious vocations, extraordinary exploits and changing fortunes reflect the intrepidity of one unusual Revolutionary War commissioned army officer. Born in 1751 in the Massachusetts Bay colony village of Dighton, Talbot had little formal education and became a self-taught tradesman, stonemason, and mariner. In 1772 he married the daughter of a prominent Rhode Island merchant providing him wealth and an entrance into Providence society. Talbot soon developed a reputation as a clever businessman by speculating in mercantile goods and successfully predicting their demand in the prosperous and growing coastal city.
In spite of his financial achievements under British rule, Talbot joined the Rhode Island militia in anticipation of the revolution. In recognition of his social position, he was commissioned as captain. Talbot’s first assignment was to support General George Washington’s troops in their siege of Boston. Washington learned that the Rhode Islander had both logistical and maritime experience. The general decided to gamble by using a multitalented man, who had, up until this point, very limited military command experience. Talbot was reassigned to move 200 volunteers from New London to Providence, re-organize them, then sail them to Brooklyn Heights fortifications in New York and across the Hudson River at Paulus Hook, New Jersey. In June 1776, a British fleet carrying Gen. William Howe arrived in New York’s harbor transporting a large force whose mission was to sweep American rebel forces out of Brooklyn and lower Manhattan. Read more…

Revolutionary King’s Chapel: An Online Exhibit
On August 11, 1763, the Reverend Henry Caner’s sermon at King’s Chapel, New England’s first Anglican church, celebrated Britain’s recent victory over France in the Seven Years’ War (also called the French and Indian War). Caner offered this blessing:

“Continue…thy favour to our sovereign lord King George, and all that are employed under him…Let no unhappy divisions disquiet his reign, or interrupt the internal harmony of his government.”

The following years failed to answer this prayer. Throughout the 1760s and 1770s, Bostonians were torn by a series of “unhappy divisions” that ultimately led to the American War for Independence.
King’s Chapel, located in the heart of Boston, is well-placed to give insight into this momentous chapter of American history. The stories of the congregation, and of the building where it worshiped, reveal how historic events affected daily life in Revolutionary-era Boston. They are the complex, nuanced experiences of individuals, a church, and city in transition. Read more and enter the exhibit…

Washington’s Quill: A Documentary Lens Benefits Mary Ball Washington: Her Son’s Correspondence on March 21, 1781
by William M. Ferraro, Managing Editor
20 August 2021
Longstanding assessments of Mary Ball Washington have been harsh and critical. George Washington’s mother is presented as selfish, demanding, difficult, and largely uncouth. Some softening has occurred since the turn of the century, with investigations giving her credit for holding her family together despite limited financial means after being widowed in 1743, and for inculcating in her children the rudiments required for a place in respectable society through instruction in basic Christian precepts and proper manners. In particular, two full biographies of Mary Ball Washington have been published that shine a more sympathetic light on her life. A less fully developed but still positive reinterpretation can be found in Alexis Coe’s George Washington biography, which attracted considerable attention.
Very few documents survive with direct information on Mary Ball Washington. That reality has allowed latitude for analysis and conclusions. Arguably, the most important letter prompting a negative view of his mother was one George Washington wrote his friend and Virginia legislator Benjamin Harrison on March 21, 1781. Read more…

Ben Franklin’s World: Merchant Ships of the Eighteenth Century
Phillip Reid, author of The Merchant Ship in the British Atlantic, is an expert in the history of the British Atlantic World and maritime technology. He joins us to explore the technology of the eighteenth-century British merchant ship and the business of transatlantic shipping.
During our exploration, Phillip reveals details about the eighteenth-century British merchant ship and its technological development; Information about ship building and what ship buyers looked for when purchasing a new vessel; And, how and why shipowners undertook the important work of risk mitigation when it came to conducting their transatlantic business. Listen in…

Treaties 1 and 2: reflecting on the 150th Anniversary
By Sheila North, August 3, 2021 at Canadian Geographic
This year marks a century and a half since the first numbered treaties were signed
One of the most startling views from anywhere in southern Manitoba is from an open field at sunrise or sunset. Standing under the vastness of the sky on a cloudless day can make you feel small and even take your breath away. The scenic river basins and fertile lands have made the region an alluring place to live for thousands of years.
This land is where Canada started to take shape as the country it is today. This land is where treaties 1 and 2 were signed in August 1871 between the British Crown and some of the original people from these lands — Treaty 1 was with the Anishinabek and Swampy Cree of southern Manitoba, while Treaty 2 was with the Anishinabek of southern Manitoba. These were the first of 11 numbered treaties signed that expanded Canada — with promises made to the original people of the area in exchange for large tracts of land.
Negotiations over Treaty 1 started in July 1871, with about 1,000 First Nations attendees. “How are we to be treated?” wondered Chief Mis-Koo-Kinew (also known as Henry Prince) of what is now Peguis First Nation. “The land cannot speak for itself. We have to speak for it; and we want to know fully how you are going to treat our children.”
The treaties laid out where lands reserved for settlers and original peoples would be. Promises were made… Read more…

Four Black Canadian Historical Sites to Visit
Explore this curated #VisitList by, 4 Black Canadian Historical Sites to Visit, and discover sites that preserve Black Canadian history across the country. is Canada’s online magazine for Black Canadian experiences and they graciously contributed to this year’s Canada Historic Places Days, which had a record-breaking year with more historic sites registered and more virtual tours than ever, bringing Canada’s diverse history into your home via Zoom and social media. Read about and visit virtually:

  • Africville Museum, Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • Nazrey African Methodist Episcopal Church, Amherstburg, Ontario
  • Amber Valley Museum, Alberta
  • Buxton National Historic Site and Museum, Merlin, Ontario

National Trust for Canada

Ontario Research, Pre-confederation. Free until August 27
On August 20, Janice Nickerson’s presented a webinar about pre-confederation Ontario research via Family Tree Webinars.

So you have traced your family’s history back to an ancestor who lived in Ontario (or its predecessors, Canada West and Upper Canada) before civil registration. Now what? This lecture provides an overview of the six key record groups for pre-civil registration research (before 1869), what information you can expect to find, and where you’ll find it.

Janice covers 6 areas to search: census, land, church, tax, estate, gravestone and burial records.
Nancy Conn UE


Gov. Simcoe Branch “The Loyalists of New York Province” by Todd Braisted 8 Sept @7:30 ET

Todd Braisted noted historian and author will speak about The Loyalists of New York Province – at 7:30PM EDT
At the time of the American Revolution, New York was one of the most heavily populated colonies in America. Then, as now, it had a diverse population, ethnically, racially and politically. It also provided more soldiers for the British Army than any other province, making New York’s battles a true civil war. Join us as we examine the roles of New York’s Loyalists in their attempts to subdue their rebellious countrymen and their fate at the end of the war.
Todd Braisted is an author and researcher of Loyalist military studies. His primary focus is on Loyalist military personnel, infrastructure and campaigns throughout North America.
Register today, and see more about Todd as well

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

  • Gravestone for Pegg in First Settler’s Cemetery at Mabou, NS. inscribed: PEGG – AN EARLY SETTLER – BORN – GEORGIA, USA SLAVE – TO N.S WITH THE LYLE FAMILY – 1784 – DIED HILLSBOROUGH CIRCA 1815 – A FREE PERSON – REMEMBERED AS A CAREGIVER
  • Colonial newspapers contributed to the perpetuation of slavery. Advertised 250 years ago today: “for Sale … Male and Female Negroes, new and second hand Chaises, two convenient Houses near the Center of the Town, and sundry other Articles.” (Boston-Gazette 8/19/1771)
  • This Week in History
    • Portrait of the Gore Children, 1755 by John Singleton Copley . Comment by J L Bell: The boy on the right was shot in a political demonstration fifteen years later. He participated in the Boston Tea Party in 1773 and in the following year helped spirit Boston’s militia cannon out of armories under redcoat guard.
    • 17 Aug 1775 Major Roche, “bearing a large purse of Gold,” raises recruits in Cork, Ireland for American effort.
    • 15 Aug 1776 First of 18,000 Hessian troops land in New-York, reinforcing British ahead of their victory in the Battle of Long-Island.
    • 20 Aug 1776 Washington asks Gen. John Sullivan to relieve the ill Gen. Nathaniel Greene in defense of Long Island.
    • 16 Aug 1777 At Battle of Bennington, Vermont militia, aided by Massachusetts troops, wipe out force of 800 Hessians.
    • 15 Aug 1778 Newport, RI. Gen John Sullivan begins siege operations & sets up several batteries & drives the British from their outer works.
    • 19 Aug 1779 Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee successfully leads daring raid on British at Paulus Hook, New-Jersey.
    • 15 Aug 1780 Patriots at Camden ordered into battle despite widespread food poisoning, suffer “total defeat.”
    • 18 Aug 1780 Americans & British clash in two different places in SC, with a victory — and a defeat — for each.
    • 15 Aug 1813 – Nabby Adams Smith the daughter of John & Abigail Adams died of breast cancer at age 49 #OTD 1813. She endured a mastectomy w/out anesthetic in 1811 in her parent’s home in Quincy, MA. The cancer returned. A month after Nabby’s death, Abigail wrote John, “The loss is irreparable.”
  • Clothing and Related:
  • Townsends
  • Miscellaneous
    • Card case, 1820–40
    • 18 August 1833 – On this date, the steam-powered ship Royal William, with 7 passengers and a load of coal, left Pictou, Nova Scotia for England, becoming the first Canadian ship to cross the Atlantic entirely under steam power. It arrived at Gravesend after a 25-day passage. Built at Québec, the Royal William had been commissioned by brewer John Molson and a group of investors (including Samuel Cunard from Halifax) and was launched from Quebec in 1831.
    • London Mudlark: Most of today’s finds tell a late Georgian story of sailing ships, trade, import and empire, oyster dinners, taverns, coffee shops, war and tea parties. Can you spot the bone die, musket ball, tea bowl base, red wax dipped clay pipe stems, hazelnut shells?

Last Post: ATKINSON UE, Richard
November 15, 1944 – August 7, 2021
Richard was born in Sackville New Brunswick on November 15 1944, son of Mildred and Gerald Atkinson. His two younger sisters, Judith and Phyllis have remained close. In his early years Richard joined the Air Cadets – his brother Doug (deceased) was in the Canadian Air Force.
Richard was an adventurer who regularly hitchhiked with his friends to go to the dances in Amherst Nova Scotia…even in the winter. In the late sixties he moved to Toronto and subsequently sailed to Europe on a student ship to hitchhike around Europe for three months. Nine months in London followed and that was the start of his love of Rugby. Back in Toronto he played for the Toronto Nomads Rugby Club, and partied. In 1969 he met Gina by the beer fridge at one such party…fresh off the boat from England. She was charmed….
Richard was an accredited Real Estate Appraiser (AACI).
Tragically Richard was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2000. Despite this, he remained amazingly fit and was deemed as his Neurologist’s star patient. His huge achievement was completing the New York marathon in November 2010.
As a member of the Kings Royal Regiment of New York, he participated in a reenactment on the Plains of Abraham in Quebec, where his ancestor had also fought in the original battle with the same regiment. Amazing. Richard and Gina continued to travel; he enjoyed woodworking and family history research.
Sadly, after a bad neck injury in 2019 Richard went to live at Rayoak Place in Toronto. Moving to British Columbia at the end of January2021, he then resided at Sidney All Care. Richards’s sister Judi was able to make a last minute trip from California to be with him and Gina. He passed away the day after she left.
Richard was an amazing person, he never complained about his situation and remained stoic until the very end of his life. A life well lived , with many wonderful supportive family and friends…plus his wife of fifty years by his side. Full death notice at
Funeral arrangements: September 9th at York cemetery and Funeral Centre at 2pm, followed by burial. Note: The Funeral service will be streamed live; information at and (not listed yet on Aug 21)

The Yorkers
Richard joined the Yorkers in June 1994 initially with the Colonel’s Company then Duncan’s. He was a quiet spoken man, but with a great sense of humour. Richard was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2000 and had to reluctantly step away from the regiment and the hobby. …Col. Reg James

Toronto Branch UELAC and Loyalist Ancestor
Richard had been a member of Toronto Branch for over 20 years and was our office administrator for several years. He successfully documented his ancestry to his loyalist ancestor Thomas Bain Ross of the KRRNY. He was determined to find the parentage of Margaret Martin who he believed was a daughter of another loyalist. Maybe he knows now?
Richard was always ready to volunteer. If we were going out to an event Richard would don his KRRNY uniform and was a draw to our table; researchers would always find help in his skills in our library and he would continue to research for them after they left; mention a potential project and he would run with it for me.
Always cheerful, a neat sense of humour that showed in the twinkle in his eyes and a lover of chocolate ( and a fine dram of scotch). His determination to live life to the fullest by cycling, running the marathon, travelling with Gina and his family despite the Parkinsons.
Richard was there for us and I hope we were there for him. He will be missed by all of us at Toronto branch. …Martha Hemphill and Linda Young

Last Post: WARDS UE, Shona Barbara (nee Cameron)
It is with great sadness that the family of Shona Barbara Wards announces her sudden passing from an abdominal aortic aneurysm on Tuesday, August 10, 2021. Shona is happy to be reunited with her predeceased husband, Jack Wards. She will be greatly missed by her daughters, Jennifer (Bill) Shalapay, Allyson (Dwayne) Mandrusiak, Linda Cochran.
Shona was a dedicated and tireless worker for the Edmonton Eskimos (38 years) and the Eskimo Alumni; the Rebels (you know who you are); and too many community organizations to name.
At her wish, there will not be a Funeral service and cremation has taken place. More details, To send condolences, and donation details at Foster and McGarvey
In 2005, Shona Wards and Al Dodds planted a Bur Oak tree on the Alberta legislative grounds as a special educational project for the Edmonton Branch of the UELAC. In 2007, a small plaque was added in recognition of a visit by Queen Elizabeth II to commemorate Alberta’s 100th birthday. A larger plaque and base were added by Shona in 2010.

The plaque reads:

United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada
This bur oak tree commemorates the visit of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in celebration of Alberta’s Centennial 1905-2005.
Placed by the descendants of the United Empire Loyalists who are members of the Edmonton and Calgary Branches.
The roots of this tree symbolize the ancestral roots of Loyalists who fled the Thirteen American Colonies during the American Revolution (1775-1783) and remained faithful to the British Crown. Oak leaves have long been held as a symbol of loyalty to the Monarchy since the time of Charles II. Just as the branches of this tree grow and spread, similarly many Albertans are descendants of the original Loyalists.
Note: more about the plaque

For the UELAC, Ivy Trumpour recalls that Shona contributed much. She was an Edmonton Branch president and Membership Director. She organized and participated in formal Branch dinners, the School Visitation Program, parades, annual Conferences, and promoted the UELAC at every opportunity.
Shona joined Calgary Branch too. She attended meetings regularly and assisted where possible.
Shona’s Loyalist ancestor was Daniel Keith, who settled in new Brunswick. The certificate was obtained in 2001.
Suzanne Davidson UE

Published by the UELAC
If you do not now receive this free newsletter directly but would like to, you can subscribe here.