Loyalist History & Genealogy

There are many sources of information about the Loyalist era, the Loyalists, their families, and their family histories and genealogies. Some of these resources are available within the branches of the UELAC and the Association itself. Many more are in libraries, archives and research centres.

Jump to: UELAC Branch Libraries | Other Loyalist Libraries | Online Resources | CD/DVD | By Subject

 

Branch Library Resources

 

Other Loyalist Library Resources

 

Online Resources

A growing number of resources for the researcher are available online, where the data is directly available to web surfers. This is a short list which we would like to increase. It is not meant to link to information about one family (see our Loyalist Directory), but to resources which are broader. Check the Research Data List below:

  • Notes by John Noble about the determination/decision made by the Commissioners with respect to claims submitted.
  • Notes and links by John Noble about Searching Loyalist Claims on Ancestry.ca and Elsewhere.
  • National Library of Scotland: Loyalists in Revolutionary New York, with special notes on Myles Cooper and John Inglis
  • Library and Archives Canada has tremendous records about Loyalists, some of which have been moved online.
    • Loyalists in the Maritimes — Ward Chipman Muster Master’s Office, 1777-1785 — Ward Chipman the Elder, (1754-1824), a Massachusetts lawyer, was also an army administrator in the State of New York between 1777 and 1783. In 1784, he settled in New Brunswick, where he served as solicitor general until 1808. The Ward Chipman Papers contain muster rolls of Loyalists, and their families, who were members of demobilized regiments and who settled in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. This research tool provides access to nearly 19,000 references to Loyalist families and a searchable database.
  • Nova Scotia Births, Marriages, and Deaths — Early vital records of Nova Scotia including one million names found in birth records from 1864 to 1877, marriages from 1864 to 1930, and death records from 1864 to 1877 and 1908 to 1955
  • First Families of New Brunswick — Since it was established in 1967, the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick has received a large number of family histories donated for the purpose of preservation, and for availability to current and future researchers. This compilation contains information on 7,414 of the first families to arrive in New Brunswick. The public index of names includes the names of the heads of families for whom there is a profile; the profiles themselves are available only to members. Each descriptive family entry contains the following information:
    • name of the head of the household
    • his date and place of birth
    • his date of death
    • his parents’ names
    • name of the community, parish and county where a family settled
    • date and place of marriage
    • name of wife
    • her date and place of birth
    • her date of death
    • her parents’ names
    • names of the children
    • their dates of birth and death
    • their wives’ names
    • their wives’ dates of birth/death
    • their wives’ parents’ names
    • description of the record source or sources at the Provincial Archives (sufficient for a researcher to locate the material)
  • The Ward Chipman Papers — Ward Chipman the Elder, (1754-1824), a Massachusetts lawyer, was also an army administrator in the State of New York between 1777 and 1783. In 1784, he settled in New Brunswick, where he served as solicitor general until 1808. The Ward Chipman Papers contain muster rolls of Loyalists, and their families, who were members of demobilized regiments and who settled in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. This research tool provides access to nearly 19,000 references to Loyalist families. The Ward Chipman Papers
  • Index of Owners and Tenants in the Mecklenburg District, 1790
  • New York State Confiscations — a free (uncopyrighted) downloadable book, the list of Confiscations are in the Appendix at the end
  • Loyalists of Chaleur Bay
  • Loyalists named in NY 1779 Attainder Act and Loyalists escorted North towards Montreal, document by Rick Porter, NY Historian
  • Contact details for USA county and local government offices. www.countyoffice.org is a site a great number of local county and state offices – nationwide – with phone numbers, addresses and directions. Find Government Offices in your USA County.

 

Loyalist Resources Available on CD/DVD

More and more reference books and materials are available on CD and for personal and library acquisition:

Biographical Sketches of Loyalists of the American Revolution with an Historical Essay

by Lorenzo Sabine, 1864
ISBN #1-933828-18-8   Dated 2006
CD by Archive CD Books USA

When viewing this Archive CD Books USA disk I find it very user-friendly with an explanation page telling the reader how to get around the CD giving navigation, searching, and Adobe Acrobat Reader options. Listed in the ‘Bookmarks’ folder is volume 1 and 2 of this book. Each page is very clear with large print. A must for us blurry-eyed senior researchers. I found the scrolling very smooth and easy, but could not find anything in the ‘Signatures’ and ‘Layers’ tabs of the options listing. Under the ‘pages’ folder was another story as my pick of page numbers had very quick and easy access. Each choice in this folder had large page numbers referenced and the scroll bar made it quick to use. Every page is clear with no markings of age or poor quality copies.

For those of you who are not familiar with Sabine’s work; each listing is in alphabetical order and where there can be a biographical sketch, lots of material has been added. Military, family, settlement and any other historical outlines has been added. Volume 1 contains the Title Page, Preface, Historical Essay, and alphabetical listings starting with ‘A’ surnames through ‘K.’ Volume 2, continues with ‘L’ through ‘Z.’ There is an end section called ‘Fragments’ that was an additional listing of added Loyalists, pages 469 through 600. This book is considered one of the main research tools for Loyalist studies.

The Acrobat’s Search feature (binoculars icon) can find any word, surname, place name, etc., in the text. A lot of companies distribute images without going to the trouble that as Archives CD Books has done. It is an important characteristic for researchers. Also, you can copy the contents of several Archives CD Books onto your hard drive, and can do one searches across all books at the same time. Just tell Acrobat’s Search feature to look in “All PDF documents in (the folder).” You can also zoom in and out to affect the text size.

Archives CD Books USA has contributed much to the Loyalist records by keeping this work available on CD for $29.95 (U.S.) in a smart plastic case.

Review Results: I would definitely add this to your collection.

Reviewed by Paul J. Bunnell, UE (April 2006)

 

The Loyalists of America and Their Times: 1620-1816

by Egerton Ryerson, D.D., LL.D. (1803-1882)
published 1880 (2 Vols.), CD # CA0182
CD by Archive CD Books USA

This CD comes up with the help of Acrobat Reader to the contents list: Content, CA0182-1, CA0182-2, License info, Readme instructions, and Search Help. The first page has clear lettering and has high quality pages as other products of Archives CD Books and a table of contents is listed on the left side of the screen. This version is produced by their Canadian partnership segment of the business, but is sold by the U.S. location listed above.

Volume 1 sStarts off with a photo of the original books, something I enjoyed seeing. The author starts off with a large narrative of the history in the colonies and the government structure that developed from the English system. The 513 pages describe a comprehensive history from the beginning of all the settlements of the colonies culminating up to the American Revolution. The purpose of the text was to explain how and why the loyalists took the position they did. It is done very well.

Volume 2: There is a selection under ‘Options’ that is designated to go to the volume. This 459 page section deals with Congress, France, England and issues during the American Revolution. I was impressed with so many details in military and governmental processes and historical notes. There are lots of loyalist narratives and historical references and finally many letters and opinions from interested parties and press sources leading up to 1880.

The Acrobat’s Search feature (binoculars icon) can find any word, surname, place name, etc., in the text. A lot of companies distribute images without going to the trouble that as Archives CD Books has done. It is an important characteristic for researchers. Each page is clear with no marks of any kind that make it a pleasure reading. Also, you can copy the contents of several Archives CD Books onto your hard drive, and can do one searches across all books at the same time. Just tell Acrobat’s Search feature to look in “All PDF documents in (the folder).” You can also zoom in and out to affect the text size.

I would recommend reading and learning from this very large work if one is interested in our North American history, especially in our Loyalist studies and heritage. I applaud Archives CD Books Canada for helping to save and making available this great work. Cost: $30.95 (U.S.)

Review Results: I would definitely add this to your collection.

Reviewed by Paul J. Bunnell, UE (April 2006)

 

The Loyalists of Massachusetts and the Other Side of the American Revolution

James H. Stark, Boston, 1910
ISBN #1-933828-02-1
CD by Archive CD Books USA

The Acrobat’s Search feature (binoculars icon) can find any word, surname, place name, etc., in the text. A lot of companies distribute images without going to the trouble that as Archives CD Books has done. It is an important characteristic for researchers.

This section is smartly done by an original photo of the old book giving the reader that archival and historical feeling of seeing an actual copy of the work. Also, you can copy the contents of several Archives CD Books onto your hard drive, and can do one searches across all books at the same time. Just tell Acrobat’s Search feature to look in “All PDF documents in (the folder).” You can also zoom in and out to affect the text size.

The contents are clear with sections entitled: Contents, Acrobat Reader, Getting around, License agreement, Loyalists of Massachusetts, and lastly, a Maps section.

After the front page appears, I can scroll very easily through each, finding them all very clear and readable. The print is large enough so there is no strain on the eye. The table of contents directs you to any titled section you wish to jump to.

The author, James Stark was a very sympathetic Loyalist writer who explains the plight of these British supporters and their hardships. He first starts at the very beginning with the settlement of the colonies where he thinks the seeds of the American Revolution started. Descriptions of the incidents leading up to the war is very detailed with many prominent loyalist family histories, confiscation lists.

There is a surname index at the end of the book making it a quick reference to one of the best loyalist sources for Massachusetts of its time. Archives CD Books USA has done another wonderful job in preserving this old book from disappearing into decay. Cost $19.95 (U.S.).

Review Results: I would definitely add this to your collection.

Reviewed by Paul J. Bunnell, UE (24 April 2006)

 

 

 

Loyalist and Related Resources by Subject

Some researches have assembled information and sources for types or groups of subjects. If you are researching within one of these groups, this information may help you find something more.

 

 

→ See also: Loyalist Education & Outreach