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Barrington Township’s Forgotten Loyal Migrants – Part Two of Four
copyright Stephen Davidson UE
Following the collapse of the Loyalist town of Shelburne, Nova Scotia, most of its original settlers moved to other parts of the colony. Some travelled westward, establishing new homes in Barrington Township, Cape Negro and Clyde River. Their names would be lost to posterity were it not for the scholarship of Edwin Crowell who recorded their genealogical and biographical details in a history book published in the 1920s.
Some of Crowell’s accounts are very brief, demonstrating how quickly knowledge of Loyalists and their history can be lost. William Dowling was a Loyalist of Irish descent who first came to Shelburne and then settled at Green Hill, a community near Barrington. He became the captain of a ship engaged in trade with the West Indies, and went down with his ship when it was lost at sea. His wife died upon hearing of her husband’s fate. The couple had one son, William Dowling Jr.
Another life rendered in just two lines was that of Nathaniel Horton who left Shelburne with his wife Sarah to live in Upper Port LaTour.
Dennis Lyons had emigrated to New York from Kerry, Ireland, joined the Loyalist cause, and then found sanctuary in LaHave, Nova Scotia before settling in Wood’s Harbour. Lyons’ wife was “Mrs. Lacy (nee Cox)”, and they had at least one son by the name of John.
While stories of Loyalists of European descent can be difficult to collect, it is an even greater task to recount the experiences of Black Loyalists. The largest number of Blacks who had been emancipated during the American Revolution settled in Birchtown on the outskirts of Shelburne. When most of the members left Birchtown in the fall of 1791 to board ships in Halifax bound for Sierra Leone, those left behind had the same choice as the white settlers of Shelburne – stay in the hopes of making a living in a depopulated community or seek new opportunities.
Edwin Crowell listed ten Black Loyalist families who left Birchtown to settle in Barrington Township and its neighbouring communities. He also noted that there were 32 “servants” in Barrington. While the inclusion of these names is a gift to posterity, Crowell did not have access to either the Book of Negroes or the Birchtown muster of 1784 that would have helped him to flesh out the stories of these people.
By consulting the Book of Negroes — a ledger compiled by British authorities in New York City in 1783– it is possible to learn a bit more about the Black Loyalists who made their second Nova Scotia homes in Brass Hill, Green Hill, Port La Tour, Cape Negro, Upper and Lower Guinea, Johnston’s Hill, and Barrington.
For example, Crowell knew that Caesar McKenzie was born in Guinea where he was kidnapped by slavers and sent to the American colonies. He escaped his Patriot master, joined the British and settled in Shelburne. The Book of Negroes says that McKenzie was 32 in 1783 and had escaped his maser in Charleston, South Carolina in 1778. He left New York City for Shelburne in July 1783 as a passenger aboard L’Abondance. The Birchtown muster notes that he was a labourer and had come to Nova Scotia with a company of Black Loyalists led by a man named Perth. At some point after his arrival in Nova Scotia, McKenzie married Lish.
Isaac Blackstone and his wife Betty are simply names in Crowell’s list, but other sources reveal more of their story. In June of 1783, Blackstone left New York for Shelburne on board the Free Briton in George Travelle’s company of settlers. Free born in Virginia, Blackstone was 23 when he left for Nova Scotia. He had been a shoemaker in service to the crown. Within a year, he was married to 28 year-old Betty.
Anthony Davis was a Black Loyalist who had once been enslaved by a rebel along the Delaware River. Three years after he escaped his master, he was a 29 year-old member of Levin Johnson’s Company on the Mary bound for Shelburne. Described as a farmer in 1784, Davis was married to Venus and had a 3 month-old son named Billy.
One local landmark, Brass Hill, was named for a Black Loyalist named John Brass. He died while at sea with a local fisherman named Samuel Hopkins. Sometime after his burial on Brass Hill, his widow married another Black Loyalist named Joseph Dickson and moved to Green Hill.
Dickson came to Nova Scotia at the age of 25 on the Esther. He had left Virginia with its last royal governor, Lord Dunmore, and worked in the British army’s engineering department. The Birchtown muster notes that Dickson was the captain of a company of Black Loyalist settlers.
Argyle and Jane Keeling, sporting a name common in Virginia, are remembered as having a large family: William, Joseph, Moses, Grace, James, Cecilia, Augustus, Nancy, Patience, John, and Rebecca.
The other Black Loyalists whose names were retained in local lore were Joshua and Nancy Berry, Nathan and Esther Tasco/Tasker, Solomon Batt, Joe Robertson, Robert and Sarah Warwick, Abe King, Jacob Turner, John Fells, and Henry Cuff. The historian Crowell concluded his all too brief description of the Black Loyalist community by saying it “had many excellent citizens. Their general gift of song was well-cultivated and afforded pleasure to all who heard their concerts.
Samuel Perry was a Loyalist who had once called Long Island, New York his home. He and his sons, Samuel and Silas, “were in active service for the king in a privateer of their own” during the course of the American Revolution. All three received grants in Shelburne, but later moved away.
While Perry’s wife is not mentioned, the wife of another Loyalist enjoys a rare moment in the spotlight in Crowell’s history of the Barrington area. Christiana Wyle married Archibald Wilson while the two lived in Edinburgh, Scotland. The couple immigrated to Boston, Massachusetts where he was employed as a block and pump maker in the shipbuilding industry.
When British soldiers and Loyalists fled Boston for Halifax in March of 1776, the Wilsons were among the evacuees. Later, the couple moved to Forbes Point at Woods Harbour to the west of Barrington. Wilson made supplies for vessels that were being built in the area. While transporting a boatload of his wares up the coast to Pubnico, Wilson’s vessel sank. He and a son drowned.
Forced to be the sole provider for her remaining children, Christiana Wilson moved to Cape Sable Island and became a school teacher. The Loyalist woman was remembered in local lore as “a cultured woman whose educational work was of vast benefit to the youth of her time on Cape {Sable} Island.”
Christiana’s career provided for her children until they were ready to strike out on their own. Her daughter Elizabeth married Joseph Cunningham, her son George became a carpenter and moved his own family to Annapolis Royal. Robert Wilson eventually settled at Pubnico Beach where his descendants were still living in the 1920s.
Many of those who relocated from Shelburne to Barrington Township and its environs were loyal British citizens, but did not fit the definition of American Loyalist refugees. Their stories will be told in next week’s Loyalist Trails.
To secure permission to reprint this article contact the author at

JAR: John Adams and the Rule of Law
by Stuart Hatfield 26 May 2022
In the Spring of 1776, as the American Revolution was underway the movement of the Colonies towards independence was just starting to gain steam. In the Second Continental Congress, John Adams, with an eye towards the future, championed a resolution that would allow each of the “united colonies” to assume the powers of government and to “adopt such a government as shall, in the opinion of the representatives of the people, best conduce to the happiness and safety of their constituents in particular, and America in general.” When this passed each of the colonies began the process to set out the kind of government that they wanted.
In 1777, the Massachusetts legislature attempted to create a document on their own but this attempt was turned down by the voters. For the next attempt, they called for a constitutional convention, asking each town to send representatives to put together the next version of the document. In 1779, John Adams, who had just returned from France, was selected by the people of Braintree to be their representative. Once the convention started the 312 delegates chose John Adams, his cousin Samuel Adams, and James Bowdoin to draft the document. Soon the other two left the work to John Adams who finished the document in October 1779.
In his document, Adams sets up many tenets that would later be reproduced in the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights such as separation of powers, freedom of the press, trial by jury, and freedom of worship. The one concept that he drew forth though that had the greatest impact was the idea of the “rule of law.” Read more…

Boston 1775: All should be ready to yield Assistance to Rhode Island
J.L.Bell 23 May 2022
We can see the logic of the London government’s decision to try people suspected of attacking H.M.S. Gaspee on 10 June 1772 in Britain, not Rhode Island.
For one thing, the colony hadn’t convicted anyone for the similar torching of the Customs ship Liberty in 1769. Or for earlier assaults on government vessels.
For another, a couple of the men accused of helping to storm the Gaspee were county sheriffs, and others were highly influential merchants and office-holders. The Crown controlled none of the branches of the Rhode Island government.
But by deciding on that plan, to be backed up by the army and navy, secretary of state Dartmouth gave Rhode Island’s Whigs a threat they used to rally other colonial leaders to their cause. Read more…

Ben Franklin’s World: Freemasonry in Early America
Mark Tabbert, the Director of Archives and Exhibits at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial Association and the author of Almanac of American Freemasonry and A Deserving Brother: George Washington and Freemasonry, joins us so we can investigate and better understand Freemasonry and its role in Early America.
During our investigation, Mark reveals the origins of Freemasonry and its activities; How Freemasonry made its way to North America and became an American institution; And details about Freemasonry’s role in the American Revolution and in the formation of the new United States. Listen in…

Sharp Family Reunion — A Big Gathering, 1920
Submitted by Barb Pearson UE
On the 18th day of May, A D. 1783, the United Empire Loyalists landed at Parr Town, now the City of Saint John NB. Among these Loyalists were Samuel Sharp and his son Robert Sharp from Staten Island, New York. On their arrival they went up the Long Reach on the St. John River, where they lived a short time, afterwards removing to the Millstream, where they settled on the old Sharp farm near the school house.
On Tuesday, August 3rd 1920, nearly one hundred of these descendants met at the residence of George Snider Sharp at Lower Millstream, in the house where his grandfather lived his life. Those present were reminded of the age of the buildings and of its surroundings. When this house was built by Samuel Sharp, there were no roads to get to it, only a bridle path, and bears were so thick and plentiful that Mrs. Sharp would put fires around the house to scare them away when her husband was away from home. The old well they then used is still in good repair. The old loom house still exists as does the old loom. Other old relics are seen here. At the Reunion.

‘How We Got Here Genealogy’ Interview with Brian McConnell UE
On Saturday 21 May 2022 I enjoyed doing a presentation and answering questions on the first Live YouTube episode of ‘How We Got Here Genealogy‘ as a Guest of Brian Nash discussing my recent book “The United Empire Loyalists & You”.
The book answers three questions:

  • Why do the United Empire Loyalists matter?
  • What does the United Empire Loyalists Association of Canada do?
  • How do you obtain a Certificate of Loyalist Descent, also known as a ‘UE” Certificate.

There is also information on over 100 proven UE Loyalists from the Maritimes of Canada. The book is available on Amazon in kindle, paperback, and hardcover format. It is free with kindle unlimited. See:
A recording of my presentation can now be viewed at
I hope you find this of interest.
Brian McConnell, UE, President, NS Branch, UELAC

The loss of HMS Royal George 1782 – Not in Battle
The disaster that overcame the first-rate ship of the line HMS Royal George in 1782, while anchored in calm water in sight of shore, was to have as strong an impact on the contemporary public mind as the loss of the RMS Titanic was to have one hundred and thirty years later. The tragedy was all the more terrible for the fact that it would have been avoidable if the simplest of precautions had been taken – and without them over 900 men and women were to die. Read more…

UELAC Scholarship Endowment Fund Challenge 2022
Branches and individual members across Canada are asking if there is a UELAC 2022 Scholarship Endowment Fund Challenge this year as we begin to get things back to pre-pandemic ways. The Challenge continues because donations to the fund are always needed and appreciated.
Donate Now in support of the UELAC Loyalist Scholarship Endowment Fund.

The year 2025 will mark the 250th anniversary of the American War for Independence and the first of many chapters of our Loyalist story. Our current and past Scholarship winners are joining others now writing new research that challenges the mythology of the American Revolution. Some of us truly understand that the plight of the loyalists has been misrepresented or ignored in some popular teaching and film making.
As individuals we are not spending money to come in person to the 2022 conference, so please consider giving a portion of that “savings” to the Scholarship Endowment Fund if you are able to. The Challenge continues!
As Acting Chairperson of the Scholarship Committee I thank you.
Christine E. Manzer UE

Who are the People In The Picture?
Go to Who’s In The Picture (WitP). This photo by Gerald Rogers (Ref. Code 2-15-9) was likely taken on May 20, 1989 during the banquet. The caption identifies Charles and Olive Cartmel (right and centre) however the woman in the red dress is unidentified.

Can you help resolve the question?
If so, please send an email to Carl Stymiest, Leader of the Library and Archives Committee at — please note the date and reference number of the photo. Any additional relevant comments are welcome, and appreciated.
Carl Stymiest

UELAC Loyalist Directory: New Entries
Entries which have been added, or revised, this week, with thanks:

  • From Susan Baumann for a a Loyalist ancestors:
    • Nathaniel Taylor previously in Boston resettled at Quebec City with spouse Sarah Minot
  • Thanks to Kevin Wisener UE for a new entry
    • Robert Elmar who received a land grant at Bedeque, Prince County, Prince Edward Island.
  • Information about Samuel Sharp has been added.
  • Information from the Nova Scotia Branch newsletter has been added to the record for
    • Henry Stultz from New Jersey settled in Nova Scotia in 1783 and later Moncton New Brunswick

If you are willing to submit some information, send a note to
All help is appreciated. …doug

In The News:

Discover Squamish: Squamish is a boomtown

by Pat Johnson 22 May 2022. Here’s what that means for a few of those who live here.
Linda Simpson’s roots in eastern Ontario are deep. Her family traces back to the United Empire Loyalists, who fled the American Revolution in the 18th century.
Simpson was born and raised in Brockville, on the St. Lawrence, due south of Ottawa. But last November, Simpson pulled up stakes at age 72 and relocated to Squamish “with all flags flying,” she says.
With a son in Squamish and another in Whitehorse — and two grandkids in each town — Simpson was making frequent trips across the continent.
“I would come here for a couple of weeks and then go to Whitehorse for a couple of weeks,” she said, adding that the two communities share a similar vibe. Read more…

Rhode Island patriot says “cease and desist” to those denying Revolution’s first shot was fired here.

The Gaspee was the British tax ship burned to the bilge by local patriots, yet that silly tea party in Boston gets all the billing. Even more galling is the claim that the alleged first shot of the Revolution was at Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775.
Providence’s Bob Burke went to file a legal action to stop the madness. His counterclaim: Three years before the Paul Revere saga, the revolution’s real first bullet was fired here, at the Gaspee’s captain, with considerable result. Read more..

Upcoming Events

Gov. Simcoe Branch: Rebels in the River, Wed. 1 June @7:30 ET

“Rebels on the River: The American Revolution and New Brunswick” — Presentation by Major (Ret’d) Gary Campbell, PhD
More details and Register here
The presentation will be about the American Revolution and Sunbury County, Nova Scotia (present day New Brunswick). This is the only area that rebelled against British rule and where the rebellion was successfully suppressed.
Gary Campbell is a retired CAF officer who is interested in the military history of New Brunswick.

Book Launch “The Knotted Rope” Jean Rae Baxter 4 June at Bath ON

On Saturday June 4th between 2:00-4:00pm, attend the Book Launch of “The Knotted Rope” by Jean Rae Baxter at Books on Main, 368 Main Street, Bath ON. (Live event). See flyer

German Genealogy Society: Palatine Research Center, Germantown NY, Sat 4 June

Hybrid (In person and via Zoom)
The New York Chapter, Palatines to America, German Genealogy Society Spring meeting will feature the Henry Z. (“Hank”) Jones Jr. Palatine Research Center. Also a lecture about the Palatine Germans who are buried at the Cheviot, First Reformed and First Lutheran cemeteries located in the early Palatine settlement areas of Germantown.
See flyer for more details and registration information.
Garry Finkell, Past President

St. Alban’s Centre’s inaugural concert Sat 4 June 7:30PM.

Presenting Turpin’s Trail, a Kingston, Ontario, based band. The musicians play over a dozen instruments and perform original and traditional songs and music. Details and tickets

Fort Plain: American Revolution Conference, June 10-12, Johnstown, NY

The American Revolution Conference in the Mohawk Valley is expanded to include 13 Speakers and Starts 1:00 pm on Friday, June 10th, Continues all day Saturday, June 11th and Ends about 12:30 pm on Sunday June 12th. Location: Johnstown, NY. For details, registration etc.

Nelles Manor Museum, Grimsby ON: “Joseph Brant Museum” 12 June @2:00

Discover the story of the Brant House, the iconic landmark at the head-of-the-lake. Beginning with a brief biography of Joseph Brant, then tracing his arrival in Burlington, and the legacy of his house, from family home to community museum. Details, tickets. Honouring Indigenous Month.

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

  • During American Revolution, John Small, a British officer from Scotland, organized Royal Highland Emigrants & commanded 84th Regiment of Foot, 2nd Battalion, headquartered in Nova Scotia. Afterwards he settled for a time in Douglas Twp,. Hants Co., Nova Scotia. He settled on lands provided for discharged soldiers of Regiment & built manor house called Selma Hall. On August 20, 1784, prior to move to Douglas Twp., he purchased house & land on north side of Main Road leading to Annapolis from Round Hill in Annapolis County that sold. Brian McConnell UE @brianm564
  • This week in History
    • 24 May 1774, the Virginia House of Burgesses protested the Boston Port Bill by voting for a day of fasting, humiliation, and prayer. Gov. Dunmore responded by dissolving the assembly on May 26.
    • 21 May, 1775 Ethan Allen arrives at Ft. Ticonderoga, after being repulsed at Ft. St. John’s in Canada.
    • 24 May 1775 John Hancock elected 4th President of Continental Congress, serving to 1777, so 1st to sign Declaration.
    • 26 May 1776 President of Virginia Convention warns Maryland of approaching British fleet.
    • 27 May 1776 Representatives of the Haudenosaunee Confederation appear before Congress, discuss concerns.
    • 23 May 1777 Col. Meigs’ expedition seizes British fort, burns several ships at Sag Harbor on Long Island.
    • 22 May 1781 Rebel forces besiege Fort Ninety-Six, SC; forced to retreat 19 June, but British depart anyway 1 July.
    • 25 May 1787 Constitutional Convention convenes, exceeding charge to amend Articles of Confederation, starts fresh.
  • Clothing and Related:
  • Townsends:
  • Miscellaneous
    • “really Canadian” Wallpaper From Sears, Roebuck and Co. Not sure of this date, possibly 20s or 30s? Check the pattern – how more Canadian can you get?

Last Post: HAMILTON UE, Phyllis Edna (Buchanan)
Phyllis Hamilton died peacefully on March 21, 2022, in her home in Ottawa, at 96 years of age. She was active until about a month before, when she started to have several smaller health issues, which together made it too difficult to continue kidney dialysis, and she died of kidney failure. Her family misses her very much.
Phyllis was born in Cowansville, Quebec, and lived most of her life in Cowansville and Granby. She graduated from the nursing programme at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal as a registered nurse in 1947. Later in life, she spent many years nursing in the pediatric department at the Brome Missisquoi Hospital in Cowansville. She and husband, Ken, were married for 56 happy years. They were involved in many volunteer community service activities together, and also enjoyed travelling.
Phyllis was very proud of her United Empire Loyalist background, and while still living in the Townships, along with Ken, was very active in the Sir John Johnson Branch of the Loyalist organization. Read more…
Phyllis received her Loyalist Certificate in 1984 as a descendant of Peter MIller and another in 1987 from Daniel Scott.

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