Loyalist Research in the Kingston Area
For an introduction to United Empire Loyalists, see the information package prepared by Mr. John Chard, late branch librarian.
The Archives of the Diocese of Ontario house many early church registers. Researchers should bear in mind that until 1832, only Anglican, Roman Catholic and Presbyterian clergy were allowed to perform marriages: people who normally were Methodist, Congregational or of other Protestant denomination may have been married in a Church of England. The Archive is generally open on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. For details on holdings and hours, please see their web site here.
Lennox & Addington County Archives
Some of the Loyalists who settled in "Kingston and District" actually located within Lennox & Addington County to the west of Frontenac County. The extensive Lennox & Addington County Archives, housed in the L&A County Museum -- the building itself is an early jail -- has recently been renovated and expanded. See the web page of the Lennox & Addington Historical Society www.lennoxandaddingtonhistoricalsociety.ca for details on hours and holdings.
Queen's University Archives
Queen's Archives house many early documents from Kingston and the surrounding area, including Land Copy Books, the Land Grant Index, and the papers of several early families. Of particular note for Loyalist research are the Burleigh Papers, an extensive collection by a local historian of unpublished documentation on the Loyalist families who settled in Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Counties.
The Archives is generally open Monday through Friday, with evening hours on Wednesdays. For exact hours, directions, and information on their holdings, see their web site, archives.queensu.ca
Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa
LAC have prepared a summary outlining which Loyalist records they hold. It's well worth reading before anything else. LAC Finding Aid
Kingston Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society
The library holdings of the Kingston Branch of OGS are housed in the Central Branch of the Kingston Frontenac Public Library (see below). This non-circulating collection is available to all members of the public whenever the Central Branch is open. Included are many transcriptions of church registers in the area, indexes and transcriptions of census and cemeteries, and numerous family histories. The material includes a wide geographic range, including several books on the Loyalists as well as materials on early New England and New York settlers who may have become Loyalists.
Kingston Branch, OGS meets eight times per year. Their speakers provide excellent information on a wide range of genealogical topics. Details may be found at their web site www.ogs.on.ca/kingston.
Kingston Frontenac Public Library
The Central Branch, 130 Johnson Street, Kingston houses not only the collection of the Kingston Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society (see above) but also has a good collection of books on Kingston's early settlement. Some of these older items are housed in their Special Collections room; stop at the Reference Desk to obtain access. The KFPL catalogue is available on-line at www.kfpl.ca/. The Kingston Branch OGS collection is incorporated into the main catalogue. Suggested keywords for your research may be "Loyalist," "genealogy" and "family history"
The KFPL web site offers access to Digital Kingston, an on-going project to digitize early newspapers and other Kingston-related materials.
UELAC, Kingston and District Branch Library
The library holdings of Kingston and District Branch, UELAC have recently been placed on permanent loan at the Central Branch of Kingston-Frontenac Public Library, 130 Johnson Street. Kingston. The collection is non-circulating. The books are included in the KFPL catalogue and can be distinguished by the Locator "UELAC". They may be read in the library any time the branch is open.
Queen's University Libraries
Stauffer Library, at the north-west corner of Union Street and University Avenue, houses material that can assist genealogists looking for information on Loyalists, both those who settled in the Kingston area and others across the country. In fact, the library offers a guide to its genealogical resources, at library.queensu.ca/research/guide/genealogy. Its full catalogue is searchable at library.queensu.ca. On-line access to some materials requires a Queen's staff or student ID. Members of the public living in the Kingston area may obtain a library card that gives borrowing privileges, for a fee.
Douglas Library, at the south-east corner of Union Street and University Avenue, is home to Queen's Special Collections, which includes many rare and old books. Please check the library web sites for current hours, as they vary during the university year.
Brock University Library, Loyalist Collection
This library is located in St. Catharines, Ontario, but its catalogue provides an excellent listing of Loyalist materials. If you can't find your information in the Kingston area, consider a visit to St. Catharines. For up-to-date information about open hours and location, check the Brock University Library home page.
Journal of the American Revolution
An excellent article posted January 28, 2015 on what life was really like for the Loyalists: http://allthingsliberty.com/2015/01/the-loyalist-refugee-experience-in-canada/.
A good broad source for genealogical research is always Cyndi's List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet