Kingston Branch UEL Members' Stories

Since the inception of the branch in 1978, members have shared family histories at meetings, and contributed stories of their Loyalist ancestors to the branch newsletter, the Cataraqui Loyalist Town Crier. Perhaps you will find one of your Kingston-area Loyalists mentioned here. To read stories of our members' ancestors who settled in other areas of Canada, click here.

JOHN ESELSTINE DANIEL FRASER MICHAEL GRASS and a second article concentrating on his early history, MICHAEL GRASS - Additional Information JOSEPH HICKS
JOHN HOWARD & related families Clute, Fraser, McMullen, Wemp -- Amherst Island and Fredericksburgh KAST/McGINNIS family MAHLON KNIGHT

Which Isaiah Bartley is the United Empire Loyalist? by Gladys Boice Tolbert of Denver, Colorado - appeared in Cataraqui Loyalist Town Crier (January, 2015), 35(1):1-2

The Dutch had certain customs in naming their children. The first born was named for the paternal grandparent, second born for maternal grandparent. So, Benjamin, Henry & Ephraim Bartley, brothers, and sons of Isaiah and Cornelia Cornelise, each named a son "Isaiah".

It has been put forth that the Isaiah Bartley listed in the Loyalist Directory is the Isaiah Bartley who is the son of Benjamin Bartley. And, horrors! The Poughkeepsie Precinct [Dutchess County New York] Articles of Association for the months of June and July 1775 list Isaiah Bartly [sic] as a signer. It is one of these sons of Benjamin or Ephraim who signed the Articles of Association. One of the three Isaiahs is Isaiah Bartley, son of Benjamin Bartley & Neeltje Buys, who has a church recorded baptism of 9 May 1740 in the Poughkeepsie Dutch Reform Church. The second is Isaiah Bartley, son of Ephraim Bartley and Margaret who was baptized 1 July 1741 in the Fishkill Reformed Church. Both churches were in Dutchess County New York.

However, it most likely the third Isaiah Bartley who aligned with the Loyalist cause and served as a soldier (as did his brother Michael). The King's Royal Regiment of New York by Ernest Cruikshank with Index, Appendices & Master Muster Roll by Gavin Watt, shows the UEL Isaiah Bartley was born 1743 and from New York.

The 1743-born Isaiah Bartley married Eleanor Cammel (as church register reads) and they christened a son Hendericus Bartley in July 1769, who was born in April of that same year. This christening event took place in the Reformed Dutch Church of New Hackensack [Dutchess County New York]. 1743-born Isaiah is a son of Hendrick Bartley and his second wife Elizabeth Palmatier. Hendrick Bartley is a brother to Benjamin and Ephraim named earlier and who also named sons Isaiah.

The 1743-born Isaiah and Eleanor Cammell/Campbell Bartley followed the naming practice of naming children for grandparents and blood line relatives as seen on their children's SUE or DUE land petitions. 1743-born Isaiah's son Henry, and his wife Mary Wright name sons Isaiah and Samuel (Mary's father); the daughter Cornelia Bartley Thompson named a son Isaiah. 1743-born Isaiah's brother, Michael, also named a son Henry.The consistency in naming patterns should place emphasis on naming Hendrick Bartley, brother of Benjamin and Ephraim, as the father of UE Isaiah Bartley rather than Benjamin - if there are submissions showing such.

The 1743-born Isaiah's choosing to affiliate with the Loyalist cause led him to be among the thirty of the least dangerous Tories ordered to New Windsor [Ulster County New York] under the direction of Captain Mechin. The action by the Committee of Rombout Precinct [Dutchess County New York] occurred in 1776. Recorded in the committee meeting minutes of a 1776 interrogation of Isaiah are statements, "that he [Isaiah] had left Long Island last Monday. . . Baltus Van Kleek with whom the examinant [Isaiah] lives. . " Further testimony indicates that an election had been held concerning a local issue and Isaiah had voted in the negative.

Isaiah had several applications for land in Upper Canada in his right as a United Empire Loyalist. A 1791 land acquisition request was for land in Seventh Township [Amelisasburgh]. The names "Asa" and "Isaiah" appear in this document.

Isaiah had property in Fredericksburgh Township. In the year 1787, Isaiah Bartley purchased the east half of Lot 7 in the 4th Concession from John Benn [Sr.] who was the original nominee for the whole of Lot 7. Isaiah's possession or questionable lack of possession of property in Fredericksburgh became a legal issue between him and the heirs of John Benn. Isaiah Bartley had designated a member of the Benn family as his [Isaiah's] agent in performing the required legalities to obtain title to land and the designee titled the land in his own name. 1743=born Isaiah Bartley believed himself to be the owner of E ½ Lot 17 4th Concession, Fredericksburgh. In Isaiah's words:

The petition of Isaiah Bartley of the Township of Fredericksburgh in the Midland District, Husbandman, humbly sheweth, that your Petitioner is a U. E. Loyalist having joined his Britannic Majesty's Standard before the Peace of 1783, that he has been a Resident of the said township of Fredericksburgh ever since the first settlement of it in 1784 [ and purchased from one John Benn . . .] and has erected buildings thereon, cleared aforesaid land & planted an orchard.

This land title error was not discovered until a death occurred in the Benn family and probate matters ensued. In 1825, son-in-law Benjamin Boice, and some other residents of Loughborough Township in Frontenac County circulated and signed a petition to the Crown asking that Isaiah be given a parcel of land in Loughborough that was vacant, in place of the Fredericksburgh property Isaiah Bartley lost.

The legal issues concerning the property which began in 1818 lasted into the year 1826 and it was in March of 1826 the appeal was denied. It is presumed that the now aged, possibly 83-year-old, Isaiah Bartley lived out his remaining life in the home of his daughter Margaret Bartley, wife of Benjamin Boice.

Sources: Upper Canada Land Petitions, "B" Bundle 14, Pt 3 1823-1826 CRG1, L3, Vol 48; Loughborough [Frontenac] Township Papers

report of Lynn Bell's March, 1997 presentation about his UE ancestor - in Cataraqui Loyalist Town Crier (May, 1997), 16(3):4

[Lynn showed a powder horn, made from the horn of an ox, ornamented with etchings of animals and flowers intertwined with elaborate initials W.B.] Lynn said, "The W.B. is for the William Bell from whom [I claim my U.E. descent]. William Bell and his wife, Flora McCorquodale, with their young family came from Castleton, Scotland in June 1772 and settled at Fort Edward at the lower end of Lake Champlain where he became an innkeeper.

William's powder horn received some practical use when the Revolution broke out and he and his two sons became involved on the side of the Tories, even to acting as guides to General Burgoyne in 1777. The powder horn must have been very useful when William participated in skirmishes with Ethan Allen [and the "Green Mountain boys"].

Though he was granted a pass to take his family to Canada and to get him away from the frontier, he stayed where he was and remained defiant. Then he joined his sons who had already gone with Rogers' Rangers to settle in Fredericksburg. It seems he returned to Fort Edward to settle his affairs and "to retrieve his wife and daughters." They settled in Fredericksburg some time between 1784 and 1786.

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report of Philip Smart's talk on his UE ancestor - appeared in Cataraqui Loyalist Town Crier (Nov, 1997), 16(5):2-3

Sgt. Joshua Booth was born 1758, in the Wallkill area, Province of New York. His parents were Mary Bull and Benjamin Booth. Mary (1733-1819) was from Hamptonburg, Long Island; her family had relocated in Wallkill. Benjamin Booth (1728-1783), also from Wallkill, was son of Charles from Southold, Long Island.

Joshua had a brother Jesse, who is listed in the Rose book (Adolphustown Centennial Book 1884), but Jesse never lived out his life in Upper Canada, but rather accompanied his mother back to Wallkill, New York, because she knew that the homestead could be saved. During the Revolutionary War she had helped the rebels while her husband, Benjamin, had served with the Tory Faction. The local bailiff had taken 150 foot frontage off the homestead because of Benjamin's Tory involvement.

Benjamin Booth, father of Sgt. Joshua Booth, died in May, 1783, while waiting in Manhattan for his exodus ship, although some records state that he actually died on Long Island. If true, he would have been outside the pale of redcoat protection. By late September most Loyalists had left Manhattan for a cold winter in Sorel, Quebec. In late May, 1784, Joshua and friends had transferred to bateaux at Pointe Claire for a three-week trip up the St. Lawrence River, which included about 30 portages, as Coteau Landing was the only lock finished at that time. Joshua drew a front piece of land at present-day Amherstview. He also held land beside the mouth of Millhaven Creek where he built a grist mill so the locals would not need to trek to the government mill at Kingston Mills. He also built a lumber mill and the first "Floating Bridge" at Parrott Bay on the present Bath road. Joshua thought of this idea, from reading of how Alexander the Great had arranged for his army to cross the Dardanelles by a floating bridge.

Sgt. Joshua Booth is also listed as an army surgeon. He died on duty, during the 1812-1814 War while trying to save a drowning cadet in October 1813. Joshua had just finished building a stone house to replace his pioneer home, and had lived in 'Stonewatch' several months. He had married Margaret, daughter of Daniel and Sarah Fraser. Margaret, who lived until 1847, was buried in Ernestown Cemetery, on a knoll not far from her daughter-in-law, Catherine Dorland. I cannot find grave markers for Margaret's husband, Sgt. Joshua Booth, or for their son Benjamin Booth, husband of Catherine.

Philip Smart has now updated his family story, as follows:

appeared in Cataraqui Loyalist Town Crier (Sept, 2008), 27(4):5-6

I shall skip three generations, to try and be brief, but I wanted to remind descendants that the Booth folk of Elizabethtown Township [Leeds County] and the Booth folk of Ernestown Township were related. John Booth, 1724-1788, received a land grant north of Brockville, Elizabethtown Township. There have been Booth descendants who have settled in the nearby communities of Schofield Hill and Addison. John was an older uncle to Sgt. Joshua Booth, 1758-1813, who was the first registered owner of lot 40 and the west half of lot 41, Concession 1, Ernestown Township - today bordering Bath Road in Amherstview.

If Joshua’s father, Benjamin (brother of John), had not died while waiting for the exodus boat in May of 1783, he might have pioneered on the waterfront of Ernestown. But Benjamin would have had some 'baggage' to carry had he lived longer. He had not been welcomed by his neighbours in Wallkill, a village north of Goshen, New York. While he was absent, serving on Long Island, he learned that his wife Mary (nee Bull) had assisted her neighbourhood patriots! And although two of his older sons Joshua and Jesse also performed militia duty, son Thomas sided with the patriots!! Their other siblings were underage.

Both Joshua and Jesse are on the UEL list, but about 1962, I began wondering why I had heard no stories of Jesse. Their mother Mary (Bull) Booth dutifully came to Upper Canada, where she later received a letter from a few neighbours of Wallkill, inviting her to return to the old farm lot. Mary asked her son Jesse to accompany her, and perhaps stay to work the farm. A researcher told me that Jesse received a land grant in Kingston Township. Unfortunately, I do not know of any other male Booth descendants except Clement, son of Donald, and Nelson, son of Benjamin Albert, who both passed away in 1935 and were buried in Wilton Cemetery and the Methodist Cemetery, Cataraqui respectively.

But Sgt. Joshua Booth did not enjoy retirement - he died on militia duty, 30th October 1813 after trying to rescue a cadet near the windmill (one of three in Upper Canada) on Fredericksburgh Front. The handsome stone house, which replaced Joshua’s frame house in 1813, still stands at 4423 Bath Road. He had named the house 'Stonewatch' as its location was ideal for spotting enemy American ships. Later owners preferred to rename the house 'Brothers Watch', the three Brothers Islands being in clear view.

Joshua and Margaret (Fraser) Booth lost an infant son Charles in 1799 and later named their youngest son Charles Andrew 1806-1873. The house passed through several relatives even when Charles Andrew was alive. Widow Margaret did not continue to live at Stonewatch and by 1817 she bought an acre of land at what later became Link’s Mills in the 2nd Concession. Perhaps she had learned that her husband had two or three more children from a friendly association with a lady of Kingston. I know that there is more than one Bayard Booth; yet who is the Bayard Booth, father of infant Curtis, buried a stone’s throw from the Booth Plot in the Lutheran Union Cemetery, west of Link’s Mills on Ham Road? Between 1813 and 1836, Joshua Booth, Jr. worked the mill site until his older brother, Benjamin Booth heir-at-law entered into a trade with tenant John Link of Mill Creek (the future Odessa).

In 1869 the house and 300 acres was sold to neighbour Harmon Fairfield save and except the land purchased for right of way by Grand Trunk Railway. Stonewatch still has a few burial plots, now unmarked for the last quarter century. Previously recorded in these plots were three children: infant Charles d. 1799, Abraham (former heir-at-law) age 20, Mehetable age 16; their father Joshua died 1813; a sailor who was pulled from chilly water; an entire family whose boat sank crossing from Amherst Island and perhaps an early household servant.

The following is a genealogical list of descendants of
Charles Booth 1689-1771: Charles, Mary, George, John who relocated in the Brockville area, infant died 1727, Benjamin 1728 - 1783 (mentioned above) and Anne.
Benjamin Booth d. 1783, married Mary Bull, issue: Joshua 1758-1813, Thomas, Jesse, Mary, Eleanor born 1774, Benjamin Jr. who married twice, and probably four infants.
Sgt. Joshua Booth, d. 1813 married Margaret Fraser daughter of Daniel, issue: Abraham, Sarah, Benjamin, Joshua Jr. Hester, John F. (teacher), Charles died in infancy, Charles Andrew, Mehetable, Mary, Eleanor and Harriet.
Benjamin Booth 1793-1862 married Catherine Dorland 1788-1838 daughter of Philip of Adolphustown, had eight children; their third daughter Mary Eleanor Booth 1816-1888 married Parker S. Timmerman 1813-1897, ancestors of compiler Philip Smart.

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appeared in Cataraqui Loyalist Town Crier (May, 1994), 13(2):2

[At the March, 1994 meeting, member John Buck] began by introducing us to his Loyalist ancestors, George Buck and Elizabeth Hops. George was born in Germany in 1742 and settled with his family at Canajoharie, NY. He married Elizabeth who was born in Dutchess County, NY in 1742. They came to Kingston Township in 1784 where they raised their eleven children. George lived until about 1807. When Elizabeth died about 1830(?), she left 11 children, 39 grandchildren, 77 great-grandchildren and 5 great-great-grandchildren. The descendant to be mentioned most is George Buck junior, born in 1770 and married to Ann (Hannah) Snook, daughter of Martin Snook and Elizabeth Schauerman, both Loyalists.

George and Hannah had seven children who survived: Philip, George, Frederick, John, Adam, Susannah, Catherine, and Elizabeth.

Adam was born in 1807. His second wife was Nancy Kidd Dick, the widow of Robert Dick, both immigrants from Newry, Ireland. Adam and Nancy's family was Mary Ann, Thomas George, John Martin and Martha Jane. Nancy and Adam passed away within a short time of each other in the late 1830's according to the fact that their estate was inventoried in December 1838 for want of a will.

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by Lois Davis O'Hara, UE - appeared in Cataraqui Loyalist Town Crier (January 2007), 26(1):3-4

The first authentic records of the Campbells of Adolphustown show that Alexander obtained lot 28 in the town of Argyle, east of Fort Edward in NY Province in 1766. It is noted he owned 350 acres in this area. It is stated he was a descendant of an old family in Loch Lynne in Scotland, his father being Duncan Campbell of the family of Duntoon, known as "the gentleman" who came to America in the autumn of 1739, with his wife Ann Lenox. They had 3 sons: James, Alexander and Archibald. Their daughter, Catherine "Caty" became the wife of Duncan McArthur. The Duncan Campbell family settled originally in East Greenwich from whence the two older sons joined Gen. Burgoyne as officers in Col. John Peters’ Queen's Loyal Rangers. The third son, Archibald remained with his father and having married Flora McNeill, settled on the home farm and remained in Argyle, NY.

As there were two Alexander Campbells, both officers, it is difficult to ascertain which one is referenced when trying to plot their activity in the American Revolution.

The name of Alexander Campbell appears as a Captain in the ill-fated Queen's Loyal Rangers, commanded by Lt. Col. John Peters, which lost so heavily at the Battle of Bennington on August 16, 1777. Alexander survived the battle but left the Regiment on September 3, 1777. The next record shows Alexander Campbell with a son over 10 years of age, in Montreal in 1779 and that he drew subsistence as a Refugee Loyalist. In the next year, Alexander Campbell is shown as being at Pointe au Fer at the lower, or northern end of Lake Champlain. In the early spring of 1781, he is most likely in Vercheres. At the end of 1781, the King's Loyal Americans and the Queen's Loyal Rangers amalgamated to become the "Loyal Rangers". Edward Jessup was named major-commandant. The Loyal Rangers spent their time on fatigue or garrison duty, guarding border access points and assisting refugees who arrived in search of protection. The Loyal Rangers did a lot of work for the Engineering Department and gained experience in the art of survival in the wilderness. Governor Haldimand ordered some of Jessup's best woodsmen to escort a party of British troops into the woods to instruct them in frontier living skills.

The early 1783 list of Loyal Rangers (taken from Haldimand Papers: B167, p 398) lists Alexander Campbell as Lieut. former NY farmer with military service for 6½ years signed by Edward Jessup, Major Commandant, Loyal Rangers. It states he had one son and two daughters born before 1770. He had two daughters born between 1770 and 1776, plus two daughters born after 1776.

In 1784, Alexander traveled with Major Peter VanAlstyne to Adolphustown, (Lenox County) where he settled on Lot 19 on the 4th Concession. As a Lieutenant, he was granted 850 acres. His only son, Archibald, born 1768 was considered a Loyalist in his own right.

Alexander Campbell died April 1811 at age 82. He is buried at Conger Cemetery (White Chapel), Prince Edward County as he had been living with his daughter prior to his death. This daughter, Elizabeth, married Col. Hildebrand Valleau who lived in Prince Edward County. The other daughters all married successful husbands. Alexander's wife is mentioned in his will, but her name is not provided.

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appeared in Cataraqui Loyalist Town Crier (January, 2007), 26(1):5-6
Information from a poster "Three Loyalist Families" produced by Agnes Etherington Art Centre and Queen's University at Kingston in 1984 for the bicentennial of Ontario with the assistance of the Ministry of Citizenship and Culture through the Celebration Ontario Programme (Wintario) and the Ontario Arts Council

The family story begins with the Loyalist, the Honourable Richard Cartwright (1759-1815). Richard Cartwright's intellectual capacities and business acumen overawed his contemporaries and single him out as an extraordinary figure in the early history of the province.

He was born in Albany, N.Y., and was educated for a career in the church. However, the American Revolution altered his future. He came to Canada in 1778 and served at Niagara as secretary to Colonel John Butler. In 1780, he formed a partnership with Robert Hamilton to become merchant middlemen and provisioners to the military. Together they controlled much of the commerce of Upper Canada, transhipping goods from Montreal and exporting wheat flour, pork, lumber, potash and pearlash downstream from Upper Canada. Cartwright's general store in Cataraqui (Kington), where he settled in 1784, was the most important business in town. Among myriad enterprises, he was active in ship building, owned a blacksmith shop, and the flour, saw and fulling mills at Napanee. By 1801, 25% of the flour shipped to Montreal was Cartwright flour. At his death, he bequeathed 27,000 acres of land situated throughout the province.

Cartwright's interests reached beyond commerce. He served as justice of the Mecklenburg Court of Common Pleas, magistrate of the Court of Quarter Sessions (1788), Legislative Councillor (1792), colonel of the militia (1807) and commandant of the Midland District during the 1812-14 War. He was a close adviser to successive governors of the province.

Concerned for the education of his children, he brought John (later Bishop) Strachan from Scotland in 1799 to serve as tutor and schoolmaster, and was active in church matters. He seems to have been a stern, scrupulously upright individual, with a photographic memory, superior education and intellect, and a mania for detail.

Cartwright married Magdalen Secord in 1784 and they had eight children. The deaths of the four eldest children clouded the final years of Cartwright's life and he died of a lingering illness in 1815. The fortunes of the Cartwright family in Kingston came to rest with Richard Cartwright's twin sons who were aged 11 at the time of their father's death.

John Solomon Cartwright (1804-1845) was educated at Oxford and practiced law in Kingston from 1830. He was Judge of the Quarter Sessions and first President of the Commercial Bank. In 1836, he was elected to the Legislative Assembly. In 1842, he refused the post of Solicitor-General because he opposed union of the Canadas.

The Reverend Robert David Cartwright (1804-1843) was also educated at Oxford, for the ministry. He married, in Ireland, Harriet Dobbs (1808-1887) and returned in 1833 with his bride to Kingston where he served as curate of St. George's under Archdeacon George Okill Stuart. A frail, gentle individual, Robert overstrained his lungs conducting the funeral service for Lord Sydenham, and slipping into a decline, died the next spring.

Most prominent among the descendants of the Cartwright twins was Sir Richard Cartwright (1835-1912). The eldest son of the Reverend Robert Cartwright, he became President of the Commercial Bank of Canada. He sat as a federal Member of Parliament, first as a Conservative, then as a Liberal, from 1863 to 1904, at which time he entered the Senate. He was Minister of Finance under Mackenzie 1873-78, and Laurier's Minister of Trade and Commerce 1896-1904. Sir Richard's brother, Conway, was minister of St. John's Anglican Church, Portsmouth and Chaplain to the Penitentiary.

Of John Solomon's family, James became Master of Osgoode Hall, Toronto, and John became Deputy Attorney General of Ontario. Their sister Anne married Bowen Van Straubenzie of Kingston and it is through her descendants that the Cartwright items of clothing on display came to the Queen's (University) Collection of Canadian Dress.

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report of Philip Smart's talk on his UE ancestor - appeared in Cataraqui Loyalist Town Crier (Nov, 1997), 16(5):3

In 1662 Jan Gerretse Dorlandt first took land at Brooklyn, New York, near the present Brooklyn Bridge. He soon bought part of Flatbush, when it was a corn or wheat field. Of Jan Gerretse's children, my ancestor Elias was the most prolific. He moved to Hempstead, nearby. His son John Dorland (1689-1790) married Mary Bedell, of Huguenot extraction. Their son Samuel Dorland (1721-1809) married Anna Esmond (1726-1801) and produced eleven children. Samuel prospered as a miller, under the British regime, in the village of Beekman, NY.

Gilbert, eldest son of Samuel, came to Adolphustown, but soon returned to Beekman, leaving his daughter Elizabeth, to marry James Noxon (?-1842). Three sons and three daughters did continue to live in Adolphustown. My ancestor, Philip Dorland (1754-1814) drew a lot on Hay Bay, the other half of the lot was drawn beside Paul Trumpour; both a stone's throw from Hay Bay Methodist (now United) Church. Philip Dorland was one of 90 men of 250 persons to arrive in the Peter VanAlstine fleet of bateaux. The bateaux were kept for use rather than be returned to Pointe-Claire.

Philip Dorland became first town Clerk, at the first township meeting ever held in Upper Canada. The first motion recorded was to confine cattle and pigs behind fences within Adolphustown. The second motion was to appoint an inspector of fences.

Sixteen members were elected to represent their territory in the Governor Simcoe Parliament at Navy Hall, which is at the present Niagara-on-the-Lake. Being Quaker, Philip would not take the Oath on the Bible that Governor Simcoe expected, and so was denied his seat. The Lennox & Addington Historical Society has on microfilm Philip's three-and-a-half page letter that he wrote that September evening, to justify his conscience. He rode home on horseback, 250 miles.

Philip Dorland married Elizabeth Bedell (1765-1801), a daughter of Isaac Bedell and Sarah Palmer, originally from Long Island.

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by Sidney Eighmey - appeared in Cataraqui Loyalist Town Crier 25(3):8 (May 2006)

My 6x-great-grandfather, Johan Nicholas Emich(later - Emigh, Eighmey, and in Canada - Amey) was born in Pfalz, Bavaria (then a part of the Palatinate) c 1686. In 1709 he emigrated to America with the first group of Palatines to arrive. They settled in the lower Hudson Valley-Province of New York in what are now the counties of Dutchess and Ulster. Johan chose the Beekman Tract in Dutchess county as his homestead. Shortly after arriving, he married Anna Katrina Mueller and in due time they produced a large family (the norm in those days) - six boys and several girls. The boys were John (Johannes), Philip, Lorentz, Johan Nicholas II, Hans Jury, and Hendrik. John (Johannes), Philip, and Hans Jury are the ones of primary interest here.

John became the father of Nicholas and Jonas Amey (they Anglicized the name) who later joined Major Edward Jessups' Loyal Rangers, scouts and guides for British General John Burgoyne during the Revolution. After the War they settled in Ernestown, Ontario.

Philip, my 5x-great-grandfather, had sons Philip II (my 4x-great-grandfather), plus four other boys including Daniel. Daniel joined Captain Gideon's New York Company of Militia, fought with the Continental Army and was wounded in a battle at Buecker Hill, near New York City.

Hans Jury became a Captain in the Dutchess County Militia (he was in his forties then). When hostilities began, Captain Hans was ordered (by the Continental Congress) to bring his Company into the fray - he refused as he had little enthusiasm for the "cause" and was replaced (service was voluntary back then so no court martial). Nevertheless, Hans was awarded land by the Government after the War for service in the Militia.

So there you have my ancestors. Old Johan Nicholas produced two grandsons that believed and fought for the Loyalist cause, one that fought with the Continental Army and a son that refused to order his militia to battle. Loyalists, Revolutionist, Rebel.

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by Jim Long UE - appeared in Cataraqui Loyalist Town Crier (January, 2005), 24(1):3-4

John Eselstine U.E. was the son of Isaac Esselstein and his wife Elizabeth Kelder. He was baptized on January 31st, 1748 in the German Reform Church at Germantown, Columbia County, New York. John stated in his army discharge of 1783 that he was born in the Parish of Livingston in the County of Albany. This Parish of Livingston owned by Captain Robert Livingston was a large parcel of land from the Hudson River almost to Massachusetts.

John married a local girl by the name of Catherine Cole or Cool and they had a small farm. They had two children, both boys. Abraham was baptized July 10th, 1771; the sponsors were Abraham Esselstein and Margaret Weis. Isak was baptized April 1, 1777 child of Johannes Essetein and Catharina. Sponsors for lsak were Andries Cool and his wife Christina. These were recorded in the Dutch Reform Church, Hillsdale, New York.

At the beginning of the American Revolution the Loyalists considered the rebels as traitors, and at first tried ways to quell them. In 1777 the Test Law came into force and the loyalists then became the targets for charges of treason. Even so, John and his brother Peter decided to side with the British. They joined up with a local resident by the name of Henry Simmons. In total there were twenty-eight men who went with Simmons to Canada on August 17, 1777. When Lieut. Simmons and his men made it to the British camp they joined the King's Loyal (Jessup) American Regiment commanded by Lt-Col. Ebenezer Jessup.

This regiment fought under General Burgoyne at the battle of Freeman's Farm. He stayed in this regiment for five and a half years before being discharged from his Majesty's Provincial Regiment Loyal Rangers on December 24, 1783 at Riviere du Chene, Quebec by Edward Jessup Major Commandant Loyal Rangers. He was in the 7th company under the command of Captain John Jones. In Captain Jones' records John's age is 28 years, height to be 5 feet 10 inches, and time of service as 5 years 4 months. The General Haldimand papers at Quebec City 1784 lists #1989 as John Eselstine from New York Province who was a farmer and leased his land.

A provisional list dated Oct. 7th, 1784 is a list of disbanded troops settling in Township No.2 Cataraqui (Ernestown). It has Lieut. Simmons in charge and completing the list. It shows under Index #B983 John Asselstine with a wife totaling two. Remarks state "woman on her land". We believe this wife was Marie Langlois from the province of Quebec.

John Esselstyne's statement appearing on the certificate at the time of his marriage to Marie Langlois in Quebec in 1784 would appear to be an error, created by wartime and primitive means of communication. In some manner he must have heard that his wife Catharina was dead or may have been injured and reported dying due to local skirmishes in and about Clavarack, New York, then "a Tory hotbed". The wives and children of both factions suffered as homes were raided and burned. The fact that John said that he was a widower, when he could have passed as a bachelor, if he chose, makes it appear that he was innocently remarried to Marie Langlois in Quebec. Isaac, his son and Catharina, John's first wife, came to Canada expecting to locate him, but when they did, he had a wife and young children. What legal adjustment was made, we do not know. But a story related to us by Isaac's granddaughter is that "they found him with a wife and young children, so his first wife was resigned to his responsibility to take care of the young children, and continued life with her son Isaac".

Verbal information, handed down, is that when Isaac and his mother arrived from New York Province, they went to live with his mother's relatives in Adolphustown. From the record of Adolphustown settlers, it would appear the only Dutch Settlers there were from the same area of Columbia County. New York families would be Cool (Cole), Van Dusen and Van Alstine. All three families in early New York records appear much intermarried into the Esselsteyn families.

A provisioning list was made in 1786 which lists John Asylstyne at second Township above Cataraqui (Ernestown). It lists John, his second wife and a young daughter under ten with a ration per day of two and a half. This provisioning list was made by Lieut. Simmons, the same Henry Simmons that guided 28 men to Canada nine years before. John Aselstine Sr. and many more Loyalists did not file their “losses due to war”. As communication was almost nil they could not be made aware of prospects of reimbursement.

In 1784 John Asselstine drew Lot 7 Concession 2 and Lot 17 Concession 4 for a total of 300 acres. In the 1785 location list at Township No.8 Muster Roll #11 we find John Aselstine as index No. E244. On Wednesday April 9th, 1794 the King's Court of Quarter Sessions was hearing the case of The King on the prosecution of Jack. a Negro, vs John Croisdell. John Asselstine was on the jury that found Jack the negro not guilty. ,n 1795 upon orders of Lt. Gov. Simcoe local justices of the peace were to make a list of land owners in Ernestown Township that were worthy of UE designation. John Asselstine was listed as #3184 on these records. Records from the National Archives show that John Asselstine was praying for family lands in 1797. It was recommended that John receive 100 acres of additional land.

On July 22, 1817 John Aseltine made out his will and left his beloved son Isaac five shillings sterling. His son Peter received his farm with his third wife Susanah living on the farm till her death. John Aseltine certifies that this Memorial was registered at the registry office on March 19th, 1822. So we know John was alive in 1822 and must have died after 1822 at the age of seventy-four.

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[report of a talk given by Hugh Henderson on his ancestor] - Cataraqui Loyalist Town Crier (May, 1995), 14(3):3-6

Daniel was born in Pennsylvania in 1735. His first wife was Sarah Conklin. Their first son Daniel Jr. was born in New York Province. Daniel Jr. was also married twice. It was his son Richard from whom Hugh's family was descended. Richard's daughter Emily married Zachariah Henderson as already mentioned. Their son Orton Bruce was Hugh's grandfather and his son Bruce was Hugh's father. Who came to Ernestown? The family, except for Daniel's son John, whom the rebels held in Albany jail, and Abraham and Andrew who were working on farms and were held in their jobs. Abraham did not arrive for 15 years and Andrew for nearly 50 years after.

When the Revolution began, Daniel Sr. was a farmer and wheelwright, a well-established solid citizen on a farm at Half Moon hamlet at the Mohawk-Hudson river junction. He is first mentioned as being on active service in 1777, but was certainly not new to the military. He had fought to defend his province in the French and Indian War, 1756-1763 and saw so well in 1777 the new threat to a settled way of life. He accordingly joined McAlpin's Corps and was commissioned an ensign to serve on the bateaux which supplied Burgoyne's army. Burgoyne was advancing up the Richelieu to Lake Champlain and the Hudson with Albany as his objective and New York as his long range goal.

Daniel was assigned as wheelwright to the artillery supporting the German mercenaries commanded by Col. Baum. That unwritten law "An army marches on its stomach" explains Burgoyne's defeat at Saratoga. His supply lines--300 miles long--were stretched past the limit. He planned to take Albany, before his supplies ran out altogether. It was necessary to take Bennington first which was just over the border in Vermont. These troops were not used to fighting in the woods and so "were badly mauled." Daniel’s brass cannons were captured. Hugh says two of them are now in front of the Vermont State capitol in Montpellier and he plans to see them one of these days. He hopes that meanwhile they are keeping them well polished!

With hindsight we can say that Burgoyne ought to have withdrawn to Ticonderoga instead of advancing on Albany. He was driven back by the rebels, who using the woods for cover, completely surrounded him and forced him to surrender with great loss at Saratoga. This sounds like what happened to Braddock at Pittsburgh in 1756. It was said that the British were slow to learn to fight in the woods, but there was one notable exception: the 60th, which was experienced in forest tactics.

Meanwhile the Revolutionary Committee had its eye on Daniel and his son John, who had recently joined the McAlpins, for suspected skulking activity. The semantics of the word "skulk" need explanation. The rebels used it to describe someone who failed to work zealously for the rebel cause. It implied such people were secretly recruiting for the Loyalist side and passing it information about the rebel plans. This is exactly what Daniel Fraser was doing very successfully "right under the rebels' noses."

But he did get caught and so did his son John and they were confined in Albany jail from the winter of 1777 until the fall of 1778. Prisoners' meals were not provided by the Committee, only by prisoners' relatives living within reach. Prison conditions were very bad from extreme overcrowding and lack of sanitation. Daniel became very ill but did recover sufficiently to escape the next fall by the old trick of cutting through the bars.

During the remainder of 1778 and through 1779, he made frequent, secret visits to his home at Half Moon, where the family carried on the farm while he became very active in carrying reports of rebel activities to the British troops around Ticonderoga. Then when capture seemed likely he transferred his activities to the Richelieu Valley for the next two or three years. His daylight activities, however, were building mills and blockhouses.

In the summer of 1783 while the peace treaty was being drafted the rebels struck and confiscated everything Daniel and Sarah owned except, as June Fraser says, "two books, a dozen spoons and a pair of dancing slippers."1 By the fall Sarah and six of the children escaped to Sorel. As previously mentioned, John, Abraham and Andrew were held back. That winter in Sorel was so severe that one daughter, Rebecca, died. Daniel checked his Ernestown land grant to see that it would make a satisfactory farm and then fetched his family in the spring. They landed at Parrot Bay (Millhaven).

They depended on government rations for the winters of 1785 and 1786. In the summer of 1787 government supplies of food were cut off and the Hungry Year followed. The following spring, Daniel's wife Sarah died. In 1793 Daniel married Elizabeth Davis, widow of a fellow Loyalist. Their son, born in 1794, they named George, a fine name for the son of a Loyalist couple!

Later on they moved to the lakeshore where there was a growing community. Daniel's new interest in public affairs led to his being appointed Magistrate. He also continued his service in the militia almost to the end of his life in 1812. Daniel and Elizabeth had good reason to be proud of their family. In military service Isaac was an ensign and Daniel Jr., a lieutenant. Abraham, who didn't arrive until 1798, served in the War of 1812. After a number of years at Parrot Bay (Millhaven) Daniel and Elizabeth moved to Sophiasburgh in Prince Edward County. After the war three of his sons returned to carpentry and millwright work. It is recorded that they bid on a contract to restore Kingston Mills. Isaac was so successful with his mill south of Odessa that he came to be known as "the squire". That mill, since called Asselstine's, is now at Upper Canada Village.

1Skulking for the King: A Loyalist Plot by June Fraser (Erin ON: Boston Mills Press, 1985). ISBN 0-979183-20-1. It is an intriguing and easily read story of Daniel Fraser. Appendix of claims and losses list of McAlpine's men; notes 16 pp, maps, illus, index, 142 pp

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by Bradley Grass, UE - appeared in Cataraqui Loyalist Town Crier 21(2):5-7 (March 2002)

While making a presentation to a history class entitled "History, they never taught you in school," the question of Michael's personality came up. At the time I stated that very little is known about the Captain's personality, but after some thought, I think many conclusions can be drawn.

Michael's headstone states that "Michael Grass died April 25, 1813 aged 78 years," which makes his birth year 1734 or 1735. He was of German extraction born in Strasbourg, which was under French control at the time, and little else is known of his personal background. Michael arrived in Philadelphia on Friday, September 22, 1752, debarking from a ship called the Halifax after sailing from Rotterdam stopping in Cowes on the Isle of Wight. Jacob Grass who was twelve later settled as a Loyalist in New Brunswick. Ludwig Grass also arrived on the same ship, but there is no other information concerning Ludwig except a Lewis Grass received a land grant in Kingston Township and my ancestor, Michael's grandson was named Lewis.

It has been suggested that Michael was escaping a military conscription, but in any event the three young men were adventurers heading to the New World at such young ages. We can also conclude that they were at least cousins. Jacob's ancestors have been verified, but no birth records have ever been found for Michael or Ludwig.

Shortly after his arrival, Michael married his first wife, Mary Anne who taught him to speak and write English. Many authors comment about his retention of his German characteristics and he retained a heavy German accent throughout his life.

He spent some time in Philadelphia learning his trade as a saddler before arriving in New York City before October 5, 1756 at which time his name appears in a communion record at The Lutheran Church. He married Margaret Swartz at the same church on July 20, 1760. The records show the baptism of his children Eva, July 7,1763, John Michael, October 6, 1765 and Peter February 6, 1769.

Historian Larry Turner determined that Michael served in the 60th regiment during the Seven Years War, but his military service needs to be researched further. However, if he was to end up at Fort Frontenac between 1756 and 1757 he must have been captured by Louis-Joseph, Marquis de Montcalm in August of 1756 at Oswego, New York on the southern shore of Lake Ontario. Family history states that Michael and two other prisoners escaped from Fort Frontenac with an Indian guide, taking nine weeks to make their way through the forests to the British lines in the Mohawk Valley.

The Colonial Militia would have passed through the Mohawk Valley on its way to Oswego providing him with a knowledge of this area as well as Frontenac. Michael likely ended up with his first farm along Canajoharie Creek (Bowman Creek) near Indian Superintendent Sir William Johnson's estate as a land grant for his service in the Seven Years War. He later served as an officer in the Tryon County Militia, first battalion, second company until August 1775 when Colonel Nicholas Herkimer of the Patriot Militia requested that he serve as Captain. By March of 1777, Michael was forced to leave for New York City leaving his wife and family behind on the farm.

He later served in the New York City Militia as a first Lieutenant appointed by Major Paterson in 1780 and was commissioned as a Captain by Sir Guy Carleton in July 1783 to lead the Associated Loyalists to Frontenac.

From his military service we can determine that with the onset of the war, the Palatine community of the Mohawk Valley was thrown into confusion and persecution. The Rebel Militia harassed and threatened the farmers resulting in sides being chosen. Michael felt a loyalty to the King whom he fought for earlier in his life and chose to lose everything for his political convictions.

Michael left Europe likely to avoid conscription, but spent most of his adult life defending his new King and the life style the Colony provided. He was a man of loyalty, commitment and strong personal values.

Exiled in New York City
By early 1778, Michael's saddle-making tools were sold by his wife Margaret, but the Schenectady Committee of Safety demanded she pay the eleven guineas she received as a penalty. They also confiscated the farm and she was forced to depart for New York City.

Michael had agreed to be removed to New Brunswick, but something changed his mind. He actively promoted the settlement of Frontenac to Sir Guy Carleton and organized families willing to settle in the wilderness on the north shore of Lake Ontario. Michael was placed in charge of eight companies of Associated Loyalists with up to a thousand people leaving for Sorel, Quebec in the fall of 1783.

He participated in many petitions to Carleton and Governor Frederick Haldimand making demands for his followers. His main purpose upon arriving at Sorel was to convince Haldimand that his group wanted to settle at Frontenac and he accompanied the Deputy Surveyor General John Collins to Frontenac to assist in the establishment of the new settlement.

Haldimand preferred to send the refugees to New Brunswick as he still worried about Indian relationships west of the Ottawa River after the 1763 Pontiac rebellion. The winter in Sorel led to numerous disagreements resulting in Haldimand threatening to send the Loyalists to New Brunswick. Michael apologized and was allowed to settle the first township west of the new village.

Many of the Loyalists deserted his company, choosing to settle in Quebec or work up and down the St. Lawrence. Michael emerged from the crisis with only about fifty families following him to Frontenac. His group was made up of Provincial Militia and tradesmen and I suggest that this was the best group to settle close to the village centre, since they had the skills required to establish the new community. The military units were given townships to the west of the village along the shore of Lake Ontario.

Michael took Lot 25, Concession 1 which is now Macdonald Park in downtown Kingston. He later sold this lot and moved to his larger holdings in Collins Bay.

The Hunger Years
"There were years of near-starvation, times of grim fortitude, as they planted between stumps of forest clearings and struggled to raise the first crops. But after the 'hungry year' of 1789, the western settlers took firm root and began to flourish...The Loyalists began to build a Canada that was not predominantly French. Modern English-speaking Canada really goes back to them, and to the Revolution that drove them out." J.M.S. Careless, Canada a Story of Challenge, pp114-115

"Captain Grass took a leading part at least during the first years of the settlement at Kingston. He was possessed of some education, and was a man of excellent character, with a strict sense of honour. Although opportunities presented themselves to accumulate property at the expense of others, he refused to avail himself of all such. He was appointed a magistrate at an early period, and as such performed many of the first marriages in Kingston. In religion, he was adherent to the Church of England. Probably he had been brought up a Lutheran..." William Canniff, History of the Settlement of Upper Canada, 1869, p550

Michael's description of the Loyalists' arrival was written in the Kingston Gazette December 10, 1811; "Seven and twenty years ago, scarce the vestige of a human habitation could be found in the whole extent of the Bay of Quinte! Not a settler had dared to penetrate the vast forests that skirted its shores - Even on this spot, now governed with stately edifices, were to be seen only the bark-thatched wigwam of the savage, or the newly erected tent of the hardy loyalist. ... I led the loyal band, I pointed out to them the site of their future metropolis, and gained for persecuted principles a sanctuary for myself and followers a home."

Michael was a frontiersman, establishing two prosperous farms out of the wilderness. He also continually served his King in the local militias. He was a man of conviction and honour with a strong loyalty to the laws and way of life of the British homeland. He promoted the settlement of Frontenac and became a strong leader convincing Governor Haldimand to open the Indian territory to settlers. He supported education and the church by demanding land be put aside in the new village. He may not have been a major leader of the new community, but we must remember he was well into his 50's by this time. He had presented his proposal to Sir Guy Carleton, who was under tremendous pressure to settle thousands of Royalists. Carleton was so impressed as to demand that Governor Haldimand open Indian territory to the refuges.

I think I can safely say that Captain Michael Grass was instrumental in establishing the City of Kingston and is without doubt a Father of Upper Canada.

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Additional Information related to Captain Michael Grass - His Life before Kingston

by Glen V Grass, Cambridge, ON - revised 22Jun2015
If individuals or organizations wish to use this material, kindly reference this document

The story of Captain Michael Grass has been told before. He was one of the Loyalists who, in 1783, was forced to flee the newly-created United States of America after the American Revolution. The establishment of communities by these Loyalists, in Upper Canada, along the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario heralded the beginning of the creation of the Province of Ontario. Captain Grass led his group to Cataraqui, present day Kingston, in the spring of 1784, after a reconnaisance visit with a survey crew in 1783.

In the past, little was known of Captain Grass' life before Kingston. He had said that he was born in 1735 in Strasbourg, which is in the Alsace Region of France. The Alsace had been, for centuries, part of the German States, but Louis XIV of France had swept through that area in the mid 1600s and subjugated its population, re-establishing the Catholic Church's dominance and diminishing the influence of Protestantism and the German language. In the late 1600s and well into the 1700s, waves of German Palatine immigrants from the Alsace and areas north of there in the German States had fled their homeland for a better life in British America, the Thirteen Colonies. They took the perilous journey from ports like Rotterdam to New York or Philadelphia with the promise of land in the British Provinces like Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia, and others.

Michael Grass was born Johann Michael Gress on 11 Feb 1735 in Roppenheim, Alsace, France, the son of Johann Michael Gress, Sr, and Anna Maria Kramer. He was christened at the Lutheran Church in Roppenheim the next day. There were quite a few Gress/Kress families in Roppenheim and nearby communities of Forstfeld, Kaufenheim, and Lautenheim, and some were Lutheran and others Catholic. The surname Gress was sometimes written as Kress by people in the same family. Captain Michael used Gress when he married in New York, his brothers used Cress or Kress in America. It's easy to confuse the two names, when they're written in the German from that era, as the 'script G' and the 'script K' looked very similar.

Michael was the third child of six boys, all of them born in Roppenheim, and christened at the Lutheran Church there. Of his other brothers, two were older: Johann George Gress, b 15Aug1730, and Johann Ludwig Gress, b 05Sep1732, and three younger: Samuel Balthasar Gress, b 16Dec1736, Johann Peter Gress, b 03Sep1741 and George Jacob Gress, b 26Aug1748. Samuel Balthasar Gress died, at the age of 4, on 01Sep1741, just 2 days before his brother Johann Peter Gress was born. The cause of his death was not mentioned, but the survival rate for babies and young children in that era was not good, and this family fared better than most.

Michael Grass' father, Johann Michael Gress, Sr, was born in Roppenheim on 12May1699, the son of Johann George Gress, b 29Nov1647 and Elizabeth Meder, b 12Oct1646. Michael Grass' parents were married in Roppenheim on 13Sep1729 at the Lutheran Church, which still stands and operates today as a Lutheran Church. It's not known whether Anna Maria Kramer was a Roppenheim girl, but there were other Kramers in town and the birth records for the years 1704-8 in Roppenheim are missing or were not taken. The Kramer name was sometimes written as Kraemer or Kramer with an umlaut on the 'a'.

A notation in a church document says that the Gress father left his Regiment, and apparently Roppenheim, about 1748. That would be the same year that youngest child, George Jacob, was born. The whole family probably left Roppenheim and came to America together. No death/marriage record for any of them appear in Roppenheim after that. A Johann Nickel Gress took the Oath of Allegiance in Philadelphia on 24Aug1750 after disembarking from the ship Two Brothers, which had sailed from Rotterdam some 6 or so weeks earlier. The middle name Nickel, I suspect was Michael. On the same ship was a Johann Peter Kramer (and possibly his family). A person of that name had lived in Roppenheim, and may have been a brother of Anna Maria Kramer. Previous Grass family researchers had put Michael, Ludwig and Jacob (last name Gross) aboard the ship Halifax in 1752, but Jacob would not have been recorded if he was only 4 years of age. I believe these people are not part of the Michael Gress family.

Having reached Philadelphia in 1750 (or so), the Gress family probably stayed together for a while in order to better acquaint themselves with the English language and British customs, getting established and developing skills for finding work. Assuming 1750 as the year they arrived, father Michael Kress would have been 51, mother Anna Maria 40 something, oldest sons George, Ludwig and Michael 20, 18 and 15, and youngest sons Peter and Jacob 9 and 2. Compulsory service in the militia was required for all males 15 to 55, so father Michael and the three oldest sons including Michael would have had to enlist.

Because schools in America were rare, at least for the less affluent, before the American Revolution, the children would have been taught at home. Mother Anna Maria would have wanted her family to learn English and the youngest children would have learned it from her. In fact, Peter and especially Jacob would be English-speaking almost entirely, Michael and the oldest boys less so, having retained a strong German accent throughout their lives. Because the Alsace had been under French rule, and although spoken German was still strong there during the time the Gress family lived in Roppenheim (except for dealing with French authorities, like the government or the military), the oldest Gress family members would know some French. It is known that Michael and Peter learned skills with saddlery, possibly from their father and both of them worked in that trade.

The story about Michael being acquainted with a Mary Ann Schultz and learning English from her could be true, for it may be that this girl was a friend/neighbour of the family and helped them to get established in Philadelphia. Whether she married Michael has not been verified. I'm guessing not – all the children attributed to Michael have been accounted for with his marriage to Margaret Schwartz. A Schultz family was on the Two Brothers ship that came in 1750 with the Gress family.

Compulsory militia service would have given the Gress children, once they were old enough, good training in life skills. Their superior officers would expect them to use English. Unless there were occasions when policing or emergency service was required, the militia men only needed to take part in regular training sessions. They were not paid, so the men had to have some means to earn money. Militia service was generally restricted to each Province of British America; only regular soldiers could be sent anywhere and they were on the payroll. If a male of militia age moved, they would have to enlist in the new area.

Of the Gress children, it is known that Michael moved to the Province of New York, possibly about 1754-5. He would be 19 or 20 then. He married his wife Margaret Schwartz there in 1760. He needed to have had time to get to know her for some time before that marriage. He had to serve in the New York militia. He would have been unfamiliar with New York, being new to the province.

The story about him and two others being in the militia and being captured by the French sometime in the period 1755-8 in the northern part of the Province of New York could be true. The northern frontier of New York was not firmly controlled by either the British or the French. Frequent raids from both sides occurred, but in many cases, those caught were killed. If Michael had been caught as stated, it may be that his knowledge of French may have saved the three of them. Apparently the three captives were sent to Fort Frontenac where they were held for several months. They escaped on the second attempt, after getting help from some Indians whom they had befriended, with sufficient provisions to withstand a long trek through the bush back to a British-controlled area. The British were strengthening their position and the French had just about abandoned Fort Frontenac when Michael and his comrades were captured. It may have been easier to get away and not be pursued under these conditions. It was quite a story if it were not true. Some have discounted this story as fabricated by Michael Grass' son John, who was thought to have glorified his father's life. But, it seems that the other claims that son John had made were later deemed to be true. He was just recounting the stories that his father Michael had told him.

That Michael Gress/Grass was in the Province of New York in the mid 1750s is very likely. His brothers and parents probably stayed in Pennsylvania. It seems that Michael met Henrich Schwartz and his family in Queens, New York where they both lived, probably as neighbours after coming from Philaelphia. Queens is a suburb north of New York City. The Schwartz family was: Henrich, christened 02May1706, his wife Eva (nee Hohl), christened 07Apr1714, and their three children, Peter Bernhard Schwartz, b 09Feb1733, Maria Margaretha Schwartz, b 08Feb1736 and Anna Margaretha Schwartz, b 25Sep1738. Several other children were born to Henrich and Eva in Germany, but the only ones that reached America were the three indicated above. Another child, Jan Simon Schwartz, was born in Queens on 08Feb1756 to Henrich and Eva.

The Schwartzes had immigrated to British America in 1754 from Schweigern, near Boxberg, in the area of northern Baden-Wurttemberg in what is now Germany. This is a different town than Schwaigern (spelling is not the same) which is also a town in Baden-Wurttemberg about 80 km south of Schweigern.

In 1759, the Schwartz family changed churches from the Dutch Church in New York City to the new German Reformed Church which opened its doors in 1758. They had been members at the Dutch Church because the German dialect that they spoke was similar enough to Dutch that they could understand it. They were probably Calvinist, so the Dutch Church, and the German Reformed Church would be a better match to their beliefs than Lutheran. Their background was likely not Dutch, because their forebears had lived in the Schweigern area of Germany for over 100 years.

Johann Michael Gress married Anna Margaretha Schwartz on 20Jul1760 at the Lutheran Church in New York City. On the same day, Peter Bernhard Schwartz married Appolonia Seibel (written as Zeisseling in the records), b 21May1737, at the German Reformed Church in New York City These two churches were just blocks from each other. Appolonia was the daughter of George Seibel and Maria Engeltje Hulss. Appolonia's mother had died before 1760 and her father had remarried.

Michael and Margaretha Gress had 4 children baptised at the Lutheran Church in New York City. They were Andreas Gress, b 01May1761, Eva Margaretha Gress, b 09Jul1763, (another record says Eva Gress bpt on 29Dec1767 at the German Reformed Church in NYC), John Michael Gress, bpt 03Oct1765, (another record says Johann Michael Gress bpt 03Jul1762 at the German Reformed Church in NYC) and Peter Gress, b 27Jan1770. As you can see, this information is confusing, with two baptisms for two of the children. My take on it is that Michael and Margaretha wanted to satisfy both sets of grandparents with baptisms in the two churches.

No further information, about children Andreas Gress and Johann Michael Gress, has been found. Eva Margaretha Gress and Peter Gress and later children came with Michael and Margaretha to Cataraqui in 1784 and lived their lives there. There is some indication that Michael and Margaretha moved from Queens to Cortlandt Manor on the Hudson early in the 1760s. Peter and Appolonia apparently lived there for a time, although it appears that father Henrich Schwartz had bought property near Knox, NY (close to Albany and Schenectady) and later in Tryon County, west of Schoharie, NY. People who lived at Cortlandt Manor operated as tenant farmers, living there in exchange for working on the manor.

After 1770, Michael's sons Daniel Grass, b 23Dec1771 and John Grass, b 23Oct1773, were both baptised at St. George's Episcopal Church in Schenectady, New York. It's likely that Michael and Margaret had moved to that area about 1770 after their son Peter was born. Margaret probably needed help raising her young family, and her mother Eva was there to help; I'm assuming they lived with or close to Henrich and Eva Schwartz, the in-laws.

It is known that Michael purchased 125 acres of land near Canajoharie, specifically Sprout Brook, NY, which was part of the William Dick Patent, in Dec1772. The previous owner was Hendrich Diefendorf who owned a few properties in the area. Michael probably had to build a house, and that would be the reason that Margaret stayed with or near to her mother Eva until after 1773 when John was born.

Mary Grass was born about 1776 and probably was baptised at the Canajoharie Church, near where the family lived. No record has been located for her birth.

The youngest child of Michael and Margaret, Catherine Grass, was born in Sorel, Canada East/Quebec, late in 1783, the same year that Michael had brought, several months earlier, his party of Loyalists to Canada. No record has been found for her birth, but the family had said her birthdate was 02Dec1783. She would have been about 5 or 6 months old when Michael Grass and his party headed from Sorel to Cataraqui in 1784.

Michael had sided with the British during the American Revolution. Apparently he was offered a Captaincy by the rebel commander General Herkimer, which he had turned down, either formally or by not being present to take the command. That certainly would send a signal to the rebel authorities that he was not on their side. At any rate, by 1777, he felt the need to leave his home in the Canajoharie area and seek safety in New York City, still a British-held territory. But he did not take his family, which seems odd, because they might also have been at risk. His family did receive threats when he was gone.

Michael may have been thinking that New York City was going to remain under British control and that the Revolution was going to fizzle at some point, for he went ahead to find a lot to build a house for his family there. It took him until 1780 to get the house completed and then sent for his family. In the meantime, he had joined the local militia, as was his duty, as a Private. By 1780, he was given the rank of First-Lieutenant in the British New York City militia. This rank would be based on his previous militia service. His duties would have been to command a group of junior militia men at keeping order - an increasingly difficult job in a restless city.

The story about Michael contacting the British command about taking boatloads of Loyalists to Canada has been told before. In July of 1783, Michael was appointed Captain of the Militia for a Company of Loyalists who were sailing from New York to Sorel and then, on to establish new communities in Upper Canada. About 900 persons were involved in this displacement. Michael's appointment was signed by Sir Guy Carleton, Commander-in-Chief of all British Forces in North America during the final two years before the Evacuation of New York City. In 1783, Upper Canada (present-day Southern Ontario) was a landscape of thick forests and was almost untouched by humans, save the Indian tribes that had occupied the land for many centuries and the French, who had established but then abandoned fortifications like Fort Frontenac, Fort Niagara and Fort Detroit, when they were defeated by the British.

Did Michael know about the Cataraqui area and notify the British in New York City in 1783 that it would be suitable for settlement. In 1811, in a writing he sent to the newspaper, he says "Seven and twenty years have rolled away since my eyes, for the second time, beheld the shores of Cataraqui". It could be that he was talking about his first visit in 1783, during the survey visit, and then in 1784, when they finally settled there. The British had taken control of Upper Canada after the French relinquished their influence in America with the Treaty of Paris in 1763. After that time, they may have gained some knowledge of the north shore of Lake Ontario and the St Lawrence River, such that they felt confident that it would be suitable for settlement.

Many have questioned whether the various earliest Grass families of Canada are related.

I believe that Michael's brother, George Jacob Gress, is in fact the Jacob Grass who left America for the Sunbury area of New Brunswick, in 1789, as a Loyalist. There he married Pruella (later called Priscilla) Mills, daughter of John Mills and Lydia Webb, who came from Connecticut as Loyalists. I also believe that the Sebastian Kress, who settled in the same Knox area of New York as Henrich Schwartz and his wife Eva, was a cousin of Michael Gress. There were several men named Sebastian Kress brought up near Roppenheim, Alsace in the Michael Gress era. More work needs to be done on this idea.

The Sebastian Kress that settled in the Knox area married Margaretha Seibel, another of George Seibel's daughters, on 03Jan1760 in Schoharie, NY. They had a family of 3 boys and 1 girl. One child, Michael Kress, who had been in Butler's Rangers, a Loyalist militia based out of Niagara, NY, turned down filing his petition for land as a Loyalist to look after his aging parents in the Knox area. He finally settled in Niagara, Upper Canada, in 1801 and had a large family. In the war of 1812, this Michael Grass (name change from Kress to Grass) was killed serving in the militia. It was his oldest son David who finally petitioned for land on his father's behalf for the other family members. This family represents the ancestors of the Western Ontario branch of the Grass family.

The facts in this article are based on information gleaned from many reliable sources. The opinions are based on what I feel probably happened. They formed an important part of allowing me to make progress on finding out the story of the Grass family. If you wish further information, please contact Glen Grass. My email address is:

General References for this document have been provided to the Central Branch, Kingston Frontenac Public Library in Kingston, Ontario, along with the original and revised copies of the document.

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by Terry Hicks, UE - appeared in the Cataraqui Loyalist Town Crier 22(5):4-5 (November 2003)

My former colleague of many years, Mr. C.J. (Jack) Brown, is an extremely accomplished gentleman and a genealogical sleuth. It is to him I owe the inspiration and skill in my search.

My father had always told me that the Hicks family were of Loyalist heritage. He remembered my great grandfather Eli Hicks and that Eli's mother was an Ouderkirk. In August 1989, Jack and I went to Ogdensburg, New York where my grandfather Hicks, a methodist minister, had retired and passed away in 1934. Through his will we were pointed to Kars in the Ottawa valley. A visit there revealed the well-kept graves and markers of Eli, Joseph Hicks (Eli's father) and Maria Ouderkirk, named as the wife of Joseph. Joseph had died in 1866 at the age of 72 years. From this it appears he was born in 1794. In Thomas B. Wilson, Marriage Bonds of Ontario 1803-1834 there appears the following entry:

Hicks, Joseph, Yeoman and Miss Mary Outerkirk, spr.
Both of Williamsburg - 16 March, 1817 at Williamsburg

In the Leeds and Grenville Branch of the O.G.S. News and Views, March 1990, Jack learned the details of a Marlborough Township census of 1802. The only Hicks family in the whole list contains the names of Elizabeth, 38, Sarah, 14, Gertrude, 12, Thomas, 10, and Joseph, 8. Thus, this Joseph was born in 1794 in agreement with the inscription on the tombstone in Kars. The evidence seemed to point to Elizabeth as my ggg grandmother.

The scene then shifted to a Genealogical day held in Morrisburg on the 10th August, 1991. In "Early Lutheran Church Records - District of Matilda, Williamsburg and Osnabruck 1790-1830" the following item appears:

No. 141 Joseph Hicks ux,eq Elizabeth Infantes Thomas born July 17, 1792. Baptized Aug. 19, 1792.

We concluded from this that the Thomas Hicks born 17 July, 1792 was the Thomas Hicks listed in the Marlborough Township census of 1802 as being 10 years old in 1802. It would appear that the husband of Elizabeth Hicks in that census was another Joseph Hicks - Joseph Hicks Sr., possibly deceased prior to the census.

On the 19th August, 1991 a visit to the National Archives in Ottawa uncovered a wealth of information including an application for a land grant in Joseph Hicks' (Sr.) own beautiful handwriting dated 10th June, 1791. He was granted 200 acres although the documents do not say where. Other documents show that he was living in Kingston in 1794 when Elizabeth filed a land claim as a daughter of a Loyalist, Joshua Losee, who had served in Jessup's Corps. In another document appeared the following statement: "I do certify that Joseph Hicks named in the annexed Certificate served last war as a Soldier in Major Edward Jessup's Corps until the reduction 1783 - Thos. Fraser". Jack instantly recognized the significance of this statement as he knew that Thomas Fraser was a most distinguished citizen - a Captain in Jessup's Corps, a member of the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada and the receiver of a reward of 4000 acres from the Crown.

Another lead in our Morrisburg visit came from the Ouderkirk family history confirming Maria's marriage to Joseph Hicks Jr. and a suggestion that the family originally came from Schoharie, N.Y.. A visit to Fonda, N.Y. turned up information in the "First Census of the United States, 1790, New York". There were six Joseph Hicks living in the state. From the Marlborough Township census we knew that "my" Joseph Hicks would have 3 females and no males in his household (Elizabeth, Sarah, born 1788 and Gertrude, bom 1790). The only one of the six Joseph Hicks whose census information met this requirement came from Schenectady, a few miles to the east. This led to the "Marriage Record of Schenectady Reformed Church 1694 - 1852". The following entry for 1786 was discovered:

8.30 Joseph Hicks         Clifton Park
        Elizabeth Losee 873 Clifton Park

So the marriage had taken place in Clifton Park, a suburb of Schenectady, N.Y. on the 30th August, 1786.

While at the Archives, Jack expressed a desire to consult the book The Parish Register of Kingston Upper Canada 1785-1811. The index quickly revealed the only entry for a Hicks was Joseph Hicks who died on the 24th May, 1890 and was buried in St. George's Burial Ground. Hence his failure to appear in the 1802 Marlborough Township census. On our return to Kingston this was quickly confirmed in the original record book held in the Anglican Diocesan office. This office identified St. George's Burial Ground as being located at the corner of Queen and Montreal Streets. St. Paul's Church was built on the burial ground in the early 1840's. Some graves, as we know, are outside the current structure. Joseph Hick's grave is not one of the few remaining. So one aspect of our search was complete. Joseph Hicks Sr., UE., my ggg-grandfather was buried on the site where our branch has its regular meetings!

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by [the late] Catherine Evans - appeared in Cataraqui Loyalist Town Crier (April, 1983), 2(2):5

Johanne Jorg Kast, born 1679 in the Palatinate, sailed with his wife Anna and their four children from Amsterdam in 1705. That winter they spent outside London in tents, waiting for passage to New York under the emigration scheme planned by Queen Anne of England.

In the New York Colony, these Palatinate refugees cut spruce for the ships of the British Navy. At the end of one year, they had repaid their fare. They were interested in farming and were granted 1100 acres of land at German Flats (Herkimer), New York. There, their daughter, Sarah, was born in 1713.

Sarah married a fur trader, Timothy McGinnis, who owned 26,000 acres of land near the Canada Creeks, which he is purported to have bought from the Indians. He was killed at the battle of Lake George in 1755 during the French Indian Wars. Sarah, her son George, and daughter moved to Oswego, Albany, Carlton Island, Montreal, Cataraqui, then Amherst Island. Since they had lived near the Six Nation Reserve, Sarah had learned the Mohawk dialect. She acted as an interpreter for the British against the Americans during the Revolution (see "A Tale of Loyalist Heroism" by H.C. Burleigh, Ontario History, XIII No.2:91-99, 1950). Her son George was a Lieutenant in the Indian Affairs Department. He was granted 200 acres of land on Amherst Island. When each of his children reached the age of 21, they too received 200 acres of land.

One of George's children, Catherine (b. 1795) married George McLeod (1798-1874) and they settled in Portsmouth. Their son, Alexander, married Frances Vosburgh (also of U.E. descent). They had a daughter, Catherine (Blacklock) (1860-1940) who was my grandmother.

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by the late Barbara J. Knight Cruchon - appeared in Cataraqui Loyalist Town Crier (Jan. 1998), 17(1):4-5

My Loyalist ancestor, Mahlon Knight, was a Quaker, son of Isaac and Elizabeth (Wright) Knight, born 30 September 1744, Abington township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, a few miles northeast of Philadelphia. His Knight ancestor came from England to Philadelphia about 1683. Mahlon grew up on his father's farm, and learned the tailor's trade. He apparently left there around 1770 (leaving behind an unpaid debt), and we have no further word of him until he, his wife Rachel, and two young sons took ship in New York City, arriving at Annapolis, Nova Scotia, 19 October 1782. (It's thought his wife's surname was Bowen.) Two of his brothers, Joshua and John, were also Loyalists; Joshua was leader of a group of Quakers and Anabaptists who settled Beaver Harbour, New Brunswick, in 1783.

Mahlon and his family are included on a 1784 Return of Loyalists then quartered in Montreal, and the following year they are on the lists of settlers at Cataraqui (now Kingston), and Mahlon is among those who have drawn town lots. He also received considerable acreage in Kingston Township, where he had his farm on lots 11 and 12 in the third concession.

Mahlon served on a number of juries in Kingston, and was a member and benefactor of St. George's Church. In 1804 he returned to his Quaker faith, and received a certificate from Abington Monthly Meeting of Friends to Adolphustown Monthly Meeting in Upper Canada. His father, Isaac, died in 1794, back in Abington, and bequeathed to his son Mahlon £280, as well as payment of that as-yet-unpaid debt.

As a United Empire Loyalist, Mahlon received much land from the Crown, including lots 37 and 38 in the fourth concession of Sidney, Hastings County, where his grandson, Jonathan Knight (my great-grandfather), settled in 1832. Mahlon sold his three town lots in Kingston to Richard Cartwright in 1804. The fine limestone Cartwright house stands today on part of this property, at the comer of King and Gore streets.

Mahlon Knight "of Kingston, tailor" made his will on 1 March 1810, "weak in body but of perfect mind and memory, thanks be given unto God." He carefully divided his several thousand acres of land among his four living sons, Isaac, Cornelius, John and Peter, and his daughter Mary, mentioning also grandchildren Mahlon, Rachel and Joshua Knight, and Mahlon Knapp. His wife Rachel was given separate property, and together with youngest son Peter (then unmarried) received the home farm, with all livestock, farm utensils and furniture. His oldest son Isaac, as executor, registered the Memorial of his father's will in 1819; it is uncertain just when Mahlon died, probably around 1815 or 1816.

His descendants today are widely scattered throughout Canada and the United States. Those of us who have researched the Knight family and have discovered Mahlon among the past generations are proud to make his acquaintance.

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appeared in Cataraqui Loyalist Town Crier 21(5):1-2 (November 2002)

William Losee was the first Methodist circuit rider preacher in New York State and in what was to become Upper Canada. Born June 30, 1757 at Duchess County, N.Y., Losee came from Dutch stock, his parents being John Losee and Nellie Golden. The family had lived in the Oyster Bay area before some of them moved further north including John and Nellie. In his will John Losee mentions that he gave his son William a black colt.

The family were known as quite outspoken in their views and were supporters of the British forces. William Losee at one point joined DeLancey's Brigade, also known as the Westchester Refugees, whose job it was to man some of the guard posts around New York City in the years when New York was held by the British forces. This force was the second largest of the Loyalist forces, the New Jersey volunteers being the largest. The orderly books of the time relate the day-to-day activities of these forces which included foraging for food and guarding American prisoners.

Following the settlement of the war, the members of Delancey's Brigade were given a block of land in Cumberland County, Nova Scotia near what is now Truro. William Losee received 250 acres near Amherst, Nova Scotia in an area settled by a group of former Yorkshire Methodists.

In 1788, Losee may not have yet linked up with the Methodists and was probably still a member of the Dutch Reformed church. However, shortly thereafter, he offered himself as a traveling speaker and he was approached to cover the Lake Champlain circuit. He was ordained by Bishop Asbury in a private ceremony (noted in Bishop Asbury's journal) in 1789. His ordination as a deacon was a necessity to prevent his detention when on the American side of the border. In 1790 he was asked to come to the Kingston area and his circuit was between Kingston and Adolphustown. He was at this time also given a piece of land in the inner town of the young settlement. He traveled assiduously and extensively in pursuit of his preaching duties and held many meetings in settlers' homes in the district, church buildings as such not being available.

In his personal life, Losee fell in love with Katherine Detlor, the daughter of a Loyalist family at Fredericksburg and asked her to marry him. Katherine, however, chose Darius Dunham, the second Methodist circuit rider in the Bay of Quinte circuit. Badly wounded emotionally, Losee shortly thereafter returned to the Hempstead area, Long Island. Losee was only in Canada for approximately three years although he continued to preach for many years following his return to New York State but not as a circuit rider. He made his living on a day to day basis by other means including at one time as a fisherman. He later married Mary Rushmore, widow of William Rushmore, and the couple continued to live in the Hempstead area. They were both buried in the burying ground of Hempstead United Methodist Church, New York. Their gravestones were removed during the widening of the street many years later but were preserved and were recently brought back to Canada. They are now erected in the cemetery of Hay Bay Church, Adolphustown.

Losee is known for being responsible for the implantation of Methodism in this area. Methodists had an itinerant system of preachers who were called to "holiness of life". It became an official denomination in the United States in 1784 which was before it was recognized as such in England. In the late 1800s up to 30% of the population in this area belonged to the Methodist church and in Ernestown Township the numbers approached 70% of the population. In the twentieth century most Methodist churches joined with the Presbyterian church to form the United Church of Canada.

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appeared in Cataraqui Loyalist Town Crier (January, 2007), 26(1):6
Information from a poster "Three Loyalist Families" produced by Agnes Etherington Art Centre and Queen's University at Kingston in 1984 for the bicentennial of Ontario with the assistance of the Ministry of Citizenship and Culture through the Celebration Ontario Programme (Wintario) and the Ontario Arts Council

Irish born Robert Macaulay (1744-1800) immigrated to Willisboro, N.Y. in 1764. His farm and lumber business there were confiscated or destroyed by the rebel forces during the American Revolution and Macaulay was twice imprisoned. In 1778, he escaped to Canada. In 1780, he was established as a merchant trader on Carleton Island and was captain of the Associated Loyalists on the Island. When the British garrison moved to Cataraqui (Kingston) in 1784, Macaulay did likewise, forming a trading partnership with Thomas Markland. The partnership was dissolved in 1791, but Macaulay's business continued to flourish with a store and wharf opposite his house (at the present intersection of Ontario and Princess Streets).

In 1791, Macaulay married Ann Kirby (1770-1850) at Crown Point. There were three children: John (1792-1857), William (1794-1874) and Robert (1796-1823), age 8, 6 and 4 respectively when their father died. One of the executors of Robert's estate was the Honourable Richard Cartwright. Ann Macaulay continued the Macaulay business in conjunction with her brother, John Kirby until her son John was grown.

The Honourable John A. Macaulay (1792-1857) was born in Kingston, the eldest son of Robert and Ann Macaulay. A lawyer, he also became agent for the Bank of Upper Canada and postmaster of Kingston. For seven years, he owned the Kingston Chronicle. In addition, he had a distinguished career of public service. He served a term as Chairman of the Court of Quarter Sessions, was a Commissioner of Inland Navigation (1822) and in 1828 served on a commission with regard to prison systems. He became a Legislative Councillor and Surveyor General of Upper Canada (1836). In 1838, Macaulay became civil and private secretary to Lieutenant Governor Sir George Arthur, and Inspector General of Public Accounts, a post he resigned on principle in 1842 when the office became an elected one. Thereafter, except for six months as Collector of Customs for the Port of Kingston, he confined himself to his law practice and business affairs.

John Macaulay married twice: in 1833 to Helen Macpherson (1807-1846) and in 1853 to Sarah Phillis Young (1816-87). He was survived by three of his eight children: John Kirby (b. 1842); Frances Jane (b.1845) and Charlotte Jane (b. 1855).

William Macaulay (1794-1874), John's brother, was Anglican rector at Picton for forty-seven years. Brother Robert (1796-1823) was a lawyer.

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appeared in Cataraqui Loyalist Town Crier 26(2):3 (March 2007)

Letter to the Editor, November 7, 2006, Kingston Whig-Standard from Philip SMART, UE [responding to a previous item entitled Railway to Freedom"]

Ontario was Ahead of Britain in Abolishing Slavery

The father and grandfather Mink of John Tobias Mink were not part of the underground railroad to Canada. The original Mink was a black slave of John Jost Herkimer, younger brother of the hero Nicholas, at the Battle of Oriskany. Nicholas was a patriot who lost his leg and died about 10 days later.

John Jost Herkimer received a land grant for war services as a Loyalist for the old government. The land was at Lemoine Point. Mink accompanied Herkimer into what became Ontario in 1784.

In 1796, the provincial government, then chaired by Lt.-Gov. John Graves Simcoe, passed an act to the effect that no new slaves should be imported. Blacks under 18 years of age were declared free. Blacks who did stay on with the household were then paid minimum wage. No Ontarian was going to hunt down a healthy slave, for there was no price on their head. A similar law was passed in the legislature of Nova Scotia in 1798. This all happened before Wilberforce (remember him in British history?) declared in 1807 that one could not buy or sell a black slave. There was no slavery within the British Empire as of l833. Thus, Ontario/Upper Canada was a few years in advance of Wilberforce, and this fact did not get mentioned in our school texts of pre-1953.

Tobias had several uncles, the most prosperous being George Mink of Kingston, who owned a livery stable on Clarence Street, middle of the block, and part of the post office building of today. George Mink got the contract for stagecoach customers to Toronto. The stage stopped in Odessa at 4 a.m., bringing the mail for the Odessa region. George also gained the contract for Montreal. This east-west route lost out to the Grand Trunk Railway in 1856. George still had routes to such northern villages as Yarker, to connect with the railway. The oldest uncle of Tobias, James Mink, owned a hotel in Toronto and his story has been filmed for television.

Next time you drive over Mink's Bridge, between Newburgh and Napanee, think of Tobias - his house was immediately north of the bridge on the east bank.

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report of Lynn Bell's March, 1997 presentation about his 3rd-great-grandmother - in Cataraqui Loyalist Town Crier (May, 1997), 16(3):3-4

Nancy Nicholson was born in Cambridge, New York in 1785 to William and Comfort Nicholson. By age eighteen in 1803 Nancy was married to William McKim, son of Sgt. James McKim of Jessup's Rangers, U.E.L.

The McKims had lived nearby the Nicholsons. After their Loyalist trek in 1786, they settled in McIntyre's Corners just north of Bath. Their son William, 17 years later, returned to Cambridge to marry Nancy. They then travelled up Lake Champlain and on to Sorel, and up the St. Lawrence in the spring of 1804. Among their few possessions then was Nancy's table, a 20-inch Pembroke-Hepplewhite table made in Baltimore, Maryland between 1790 and 1800 and given to her as a wedding present. Nancy and William too lived at McIntyre's Corners and then moved to tenth township, later named Selby, north of Napanee.

The venturesome spirit of these McKim ancestors appears in several details. Before 1813 William and Nancy and their baby made one more winter trip back to Cambridge. They travelled by horse and open sleigh along the St. Lawrence to Montreal and then south to Cambridge where they settled their affairs. Nancy closed her bank account and on the return journey held the baby in her arms and kept the thousand pounds from the bank tucked into her bosom. William tested the weakened river ice by walking ahead of the horse.

Nancy's table passed down the generations of McKims, Switzers and Bells until received by Lynn's grandmother, Olive Switzer Bell about 1940. Many coats of paint left it chocolate brown in colour. When this was stripped off they found this 20-inch top, beautifully crafted table was solid mahogany inlaid with maple and walnut. To quote Burns "O what a glorious sight--If only it could talk!"

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by Doreen Hooper O'Brien, UE - appeared in Cataraqui Loyalist Town Crier (Sept. 2005), 24(4):4-6

Cataraqui was first settled by Loyalists, many of them Methodists who, in 1784, came from New York State under the leadership of Michael Grass. It was with his Company No. 5 under Captain John Everitt that Gilbert Purdy died on passage to Philadelphia under Gen. Howe. His widow, Mary, her four sons and four daughters came to settle in Cataraqui area. Some of Gilbert and Mary's children moved a little further afield but names of their descendants are well known to the larger Cataraqui area. Mary's daughter, Mercy, married John Everitt and later married Peter Grass, a son of Michael Grass. Daughter Rhoda married, first, John Wartman, and on his death married Barnabus Day. Daughter Catherine married Joseph Ferris and daughter Charlotte married Nicolaus Herchmer. It appears from family tree notes and from "The Purdy Connection" compiled by Ruth Law that widow Mary's eldest son David lived in the Collins Bay or Bath area and her youngest son, Samuel, when married moved to Elizabethtown. That leaves sons Gilbert and Micajah who remained in Cataraqui and whose descendants have been associated with the Methodist church ever since.

Gilbert Purdy (1763-1851) - His grave stone is in the United Church cemetery near the road, south of the church and states "he was a member of the Methodist Church for 64 years". This means he became a member in 1787. Gilbert married Ann Elizabeth Jennings and they had 13 children. The branches spread out but some remain close by. Gilbert's son, Jesse (1794-1881) had a son Robert (1836-1896) whose daughter Hester Jane (1868-1958) married John W. Edwards. We do know that Dr. J.W. Edwards and his wife Hester Jane as well as their children Edna (Edwards), Worden, Sadie (Loney), Evelyn (Packer) and Elizabeth (Haggart) did live in Cataraqui and contributed much to the life of the Methodist Church in the early 1900's.

Gilbert's son, Samuel (1795-1859), who married Pamela Ferris, started the first regular stage coach between Kingston and York (Toronto) on Jan. 4, 1817. (From "Canadian History for January" by E.A. Taylor in Methodist Sr. Sunday School Paper, Kingston). Their home was in Sandville on the third concession of Kingston Twp. They belonged to the Wesleyan Methodist Church but it seems their children went further afield - at least two sons went "out west".

Gilbert's son, David (1808-1876), who married Mary Elizabeth Rees, appears to have the most descendants who remained connected with the church in Cataraqui. They lived in a stone house on con. 3 Lot 16 (where John Baker later lived) and they had 12 children.

Micajah Purdy (1768-1844) was the other son of widow Mary who remained in the Cataraqui area. His grave stone is directly across the highway from Cataraqui United Church and his death notice stated he was a Wesleyan Methodist. He was five times married - Elizabeth Sands, Mercy Sands (sisters), Ann Detlor, Mary Embury and Hester Jane Holmes - and when he died he was survived by his last wife and nine of his 23 children. His daughters married into the families of Guess, McCrea, Switzer, VanAlstine, Beach and Beamish. Micajah established mills along the Cataraqui Creek and also in Loughborough Twp. He owned several lots and it is known that he owned Lot 17 Con. 3 east of the Cataraqui Cemetery as early as 1814. He is remembered even today by the name "Purdy Mills Road" in Cataraqui. It appears that most of Micajah's children lived elsewhere except John whose son John is listed as a steward in the 1884 Circuit Register; Philip whose wife Charlotte, I believe, is named in the Circuit Register and also a daughter Hester. Micajah's son Valentine (1814-1892) lived on the homestead by the Cataraqui Creek all his life and cared for his step-mother after his father's death. He married Harriet Hughson and they had 8 children.

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by Jean Rancier Carson, UE - appeared in Cataraqui Loyalist Town Crier (May, 2006), 25(3):5-7

Andres Rantzir, presumably born in Germany in 1731, was married to Agnes (Nenny, Nenjie, Anna) whose maiden surname, birth and death dates are unknown. The baptism records of St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Schoharie, provide data for most of their eleven children. Sons George, Johannes (John), Joseph and Wilhelm (William) were involved in the War of Independence along with their father, Andres.

During 1760-1767, Andres Rantzir served with the American Army in Stephen Schuyler's and Starerbergh's Companies, and Dutchess County Militia. Turning Loyalist, he served as 'Andrew Ransier' in 6th Battalion of New Jersey Volunteers and Queen's American Rangers from 1777 until 1783. His U.E.L. grant was Lot 160, Niagara, and Lot 2 of Concession 5 of the first map of Clinton Township, Niagara District. Andres' date of death was 1789, and his grave is unlocated.

Andres’ oldest son, George, born in 1752, married Elisabeth Coon in 1776 in Schoharie, N.Y. He joined the British forces, leading to confiscation of his N.Y State property. His daughter Rebecca told of harsh treatment by the rebels. During 1778-1783 George served with both Butler's and George Dames's Companies of Rangers at Niagara. George's U.E.L. land grant was Lots 5 and 6, Concession 5, Clinton Township, Niagara District. In 1804 he was listed as a Captain in the Second Lincoln Regiment. George died after 1804, probably in Grimsby, Ont.

Andres’ second son, Johannes (John), born on May 19, 1755, fought in the American Army for the war's duration. From 1777 until 1783 he was with Col. Gose Van Schaick's 6th Company, First N.Y. Regiment and Baron Steuben's Guard, serving at many locations. John married Eva Dietz in 1784 at Schoharie, later moving to Rensselaerville, N. Y. He received 600 acres of military Bounty Land at Pompey, N.Y. and owned land elsewhere in N.Y. About 1811 he joined family in Canada, and in 1819 applied for land at Grantham, Ont. as the son of U.E.L. Andrew (Andres). Due to his U.S. war record, he received a U.S. pension until 1839, presumed date of death.

Records for Joseph, born in 1761, fourth son of Andres, indicate his service in George Dame's Company, Corps of Rangers at Niagara, 30 November 1783. Aged 22, he was identified as younger brother of George Ransier. Joseph's birth date was unrecorded at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Schoharie, but the above records indicate a 1761 birthdate. No records of land applications for Joseph have been found. There are no records of a marriage, but two children are presumed for him. Some believe that he may have settled in Kingston, Ont., as these children made their homes in and close to Kingston.

The author's great-great-grandfather, Wilhelm (William) Ransier, born on July 23, 1759, third son of Andres, served in the American Army from Oct. 1776 until Aug. 1777 in Col. Gose Van Schaick's 6th Company (a.k.a. Capt. Andrew Frinck's Company) along with older brother, Johannes (John). Unlike John, Wilhelm (William), deserted and joined Sir John Johnson's King's Royal Regiment of New York after making his way north to Montreal. It is considered likely that his service was spent working on fortifications at Montreal and/or nearby posts.

William's 1784 U.E.L. land grant was in Township No. 1, 4th concession, in the Cataraqui area of Kingston. On June 6, 1793, William married widow Elizabeth Babcock McFarlane. After 1797 William was granted Lot 17, Conc. 3, Kingston Township and Lots 15 and 16, Conc. 4. His wife Elizabeth Babcock McFarlane Ransier was granted 200 acres on November 17, 1797 as daughter of U.E.L. Benjamin Babcock of Orange County, who died a soldier in His Majesty's service.

William owned other land, including Lot 20, Conc.l, Storrington, and property held jointly with Jno Stuart, Micah Purdy, and Samuel Babcock. William, his wife and three children were shown in Portland Township, in the first census of Frontenac County in 1819. William died in 1834 at age 74 at Loughborough. His burial place has not been ascertained. William and Elizabeth had six children who lived in the Kingston area, most of whom applied for U.E.L. land grants.

Their fifth child, George Ransier, born in 1805, was the author's great-grandfather. His wife, Jane Milligan, was born in 1798 in County Armagh, Ireland. George petitioned for land in 1826. The 1851 census records George as farming on Lot 7, Concession 9, Storrington Township, Frontenac. The 1871 census shows him as owner of 100 acres at Lot 19, Concession 11. Jane died on January 14, 1867, and George died on September 30, 1871. Both are both buried in Sand Hill Cemetery, Battersea, Ontario.

This article is based on research by many family historians including Esther Rancier, Ronald Ransier, Shireen and Norman Rancier U.E., Hanlan Hutcheson, Lawrence Snell U.E. and Jean Rancier Carson U.E. Bibliographies exist.

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appeared in Cataraqui Loyalist Town Crier (May, 1997), 16(3):4-5

Mr. Russell Simmons [speaking at the March meeting] retraced history right back to the final days of the Revolution when the family was well established at Claverack in the lower Hudson Valley. He described the trip his Loyalist ancestor, Lieutenant Henry Simmons took from Claverack to Quebec City in 1777-1778. For this part of the family history he had the help of Lieut. Simmons' Journal.

It is interesting to see how Henry became involved in momentous events of the times, how the chain of events from the siege of Quebec by the rebels in 1775 to the second battle of Saratoga in 1777 led to Henry's painful flight northward. The siege of Quebec was raised in the spring of 1776; by November the rebels were driven south by way of Lake Champlain; the British under General Carleton ended the campaign by occupying Crown Point. Then a British army under General Burgoyne headed for Albany.

The Loyalists who had been persecuted, fined, and imprisoned, flocked to the Royal Standard as Burgoyne proceeded southward. Henry left Claverack on August 16, 1777 with 27 men and travelled 75 miles northward hiding in thickets by day. They went to the King's Loyal American Regiment commanded by Lieut. Col. Jessup. Henry became a lieutenant in Christian Wehr's company. Henry's group was without uniforms and several were without arms. Two of his men spent 23 days going back to Claverack for an additional 18 men, bringing Henry's strength to 45.

In October 1777 the second battle of Saratoga was fought. The British were surrounded and being short of supplies were forced to surrender. By the terms of surrender all Americans who had joined Burgoyne had to proceed to Canada. There was nothing else they could do--all their property had been confiscated. There was nothing else for them to return to.

Their walk through the wilderness in late October with rain and snow and chilling winds was a wretched experience. Still, they did average 10 miles a day on foot and 12 miles a day for a total of 80 miles on the waters of Lake Champlain. At St. John they entered the French Community. They were now 4 months and 275 miles from home. They reached the St. Lawrence just west of Lachine at the end of December and Quebec City by spring. So ends Henry's Journal.

Six years later, in 1784, Lieut. Simmons and 437 men, women and children of Jessup's Loyal Rangers came as the first settlers in Emestown. The men numbered 143, the women 68, and the children 198. Of the original 27 men, 11 settled there. Among these were Henry, John, and Baltus Simmons, Henry Finkle, Andrew Miller, Jacob Hess, Frederick Baker. John and Peter Asselstine, Jacob and David Huffman. Nine of these men were in their teens and 10 were in their 20s.

Henry was granted 1300 acres--lots 36 through 42. On Nov. 22, 1811, Henry sold to his son Nicholas parts of lots 37, 38, 39 for £500. In Nov. 1826 Nicholas died leaving five boys, three girls, his widow Sarah and no will. The 5 boys agreed that Henry, the eldest should have the farm and the others should each receive 70 acres from lots 38 and 39 subject to a dower for their mother. Austin being the youngest eventually owned the mill property. [The Simmons Mill...] could be said to have produced [the village of] Wilton.

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by William Stinson - appeared in Cataraqui Loyalist Town Crier (May 2004), 23(3):5-6

John Stinson's parents were part of a group of Scots-Irish immigrants from the Londonderry area of Northern Ireland. They crossed the Atlantic and settled in Londonderry, New Hampshire in 1728, joining friends and relatives from Ireland who included the Starks, Nichols, and Hogg families who had emigrated a few years earlier.

John's parents' burial place in East Derry Cemetery (now called Mount Forest Cemetery) is still clearly marked by a double slate gravestone: John Stinson died Feb. 6, 1785 in the 89th year of his life and Mary Hogg Stinson died Oct. 4, 1793 in the 90th year of her life. John Sr. and Mary had 11 children, 8 boys and 3 girls; the eldest, William, accompanied them as a 3-year-old on their voyage to the Colonies.

The seventh child, John, born 1739, along with his siblings William, Samuel, David, Mary, Archibald, and James settled in new territory being opened up west of the Merrimack River in southern New Hampshire. This land, part of the Masonian Grant, was granted to Archibald Stark of Londonderry, N.H. in 1751 for the establishment of a new township. This settlement was called Starkstown (now called Dunbarton N.H.). The founding settlers of the area included, in addition to a number of Stinsons and Starks, James Rogers and his sons James and Robert Rogers of Ranger fame. It should be pointed out that John Stark, son of Archibald Stark became a General in the revolutionary forces, even though his early military training came through service in Robert Rogers' Provincial Ranger Companies.

John Stinson, son of the Londonderry settlers, John and Mary, married Elizabeth Smith in late 1762 or early 1763. They settled on land in Starkstown where they had 3 children, John jr. born Mar. 2, 1764, Jean born Feb. 6, 1766, and Nancy, born in June 1768. With a young family it took courage and determination for John to remain loyal and refuse to sign the Rebels' Association Test when confronted in Dunbarton in 1776 especially when many of his friends and neighbours, including all of his brothers, then living, failed to follow his example. In September 1776 John, along with William Stark, went over to the British at New York. This not only was the beginning of 8 years of disrupted life and separation from his family but also led ultimately to the founding of a Loyalist family in Upper Canada. In New York under the British military John was posted to several other units before he finally received a warrant as a Captain in Col. Robert Rogers' Battalion of Kings' Rangers, authorized under General Sir Henry Clinton, Commandant of the Central Region.

In 1781 after a recruiting expedition out of New York, Capt. John Stinson rendezvoused with 40 recruits at Castine on the Penobscot River in Maine. On returning to New York from Castine by ship the vessel was captured and taken into Newburyport. John was held prisoner, taken into Boston and held there, at times being on parole. On Dec. 18, 1781 one Robert Smith recognized John Stinson and reported that he had been seen repeatedly passing between New York and Dunbarton. As a result the Governor of Massachusetts cancelled his parole and ordered him confined to jail. Later the military transferred him from place to place, finally holding him prisoner in Castletown, near Rutland, VT.

On Aug. 10, 1782, he was released on parole to be exchanged for a rebel prisoner, a Captain John Smyth held by the British in Quebec. He made his way to St. John's, Quebec and reported to Major James Rogers on Aug. 21st, who sent him to General Haldimand, the Commander-in-chief of the Northern region. Haldimand finally agreed to the exchange but ordered John Stinson to Quebec City immediately so that he could return by ship to New York via Halifax.

Being back in New York when peace was proclaimed April 19, 1783, John immediately proceeded to Dunbarton to arrange for his family and to get evidence of his losses. He was seized and imprisoned from mid-June 1783 to late May 1784, even though the Treaty of Separation was signed Sept. 3, 1783. As a result of this long imprisonment he lost his half-pay and was unable to arrive in Upper Canada until mid-summer 1784.

His first land grants in Upper Canada consisted of lots 10, 14, 16, and 1/2 of lot 13 on the West side of West Lake in the 2nd Concession of Hallowell Township in Prince Edward County. This grant was formally registered Nov. 20, 1801, approx. 700 acres.

Subsequently John Stinson, as a Captain in the King's Rangers, along with Peter Van Alstine, John Huyck, Paul Huff, and Peter Dorland - all officers in Cuyler's Corps - petitioned at the weekly meeting of the Land Committee on Friday, July 2, 1790, "to have all officers of every American Corps settling in the province put on the same footing as those in the 84th Regiment." This was later approved by the Governor-General on January 17th, 1791. As a result of this ruling, John Stinson received an additional 2,150 acres, made up of a 100-acre portion of lot 35, concession 4 of Cramahe Twp in Northumberland County, and 2,050 acres west of Consecon [then part of Ameliasburg Twp, now part of Hillier Twp].

John Stinson remained settled on his original land grant between Bloomfield and Wellington. It was here that he was buried in July 1813, alongside his first wife Elizabeth's marked grave of Aug. 16th, 1796. Their son John followed them here in Jan. 1842. This John was appointed one of the first Justices of the Peace of Hallowell Twp when it was established in 1797. He was also elected to the Upper Canada House of Assembly for the 5th Parliament in 1811-12, as well as for the 6th Parliament, 1812-1816. Such activities are measures of the Loyalist John's contribution through his son to his new country.

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appeared in Cataraqui Loyalist Town Crier (Sept. 1994), 13(4):2-3 reporting on a talk by Dr. Earle Thomas

Joel Stone is an interesting though somewhat puzzling character, whose activities help us to know him. He was born in 1749 and brought up in Connecticut where he planned to make business his career. Because of his views on the situation in 1776, the rebels confiscated his property. He fled to New York and fought with the British forces until captured in 1778 and was imprisoned in Fairfield near Bridgeport, where he suffered very cruel treatment until he managed to escape to New York again, this time with a price on his head. He became a captain in the militia and married the lovely Leah Moore.

He left for Britain in 1783 leaving behind Leah and their young son to fend for themselves while he fought the London bureaucrats for compensation for his losses in Connecticut. Endless delays prevented his reaching Quebec until 1786.

He settled temporarily in Cornwall, a base for this search for the ideal spot--good land, river transport, water-power, a fine vista for a home. In the spring of 1787 he found it where the Gananoque River joins the St. Lawrence and had his agent at Quebec submit a memorial to the Land Board for 500 acres on each side of the river mouth.

[Unfortunately this land was also requested by Sir John Johnson, Loyalist leader, former commandant of the KRNNY, and superintendent of the Indian Department, generally expected to be appointed lieutenant governor of the new province of Upper Canada.] He seems to have been in search of land grants to bolster his prospects and already had acquired Amherst Island and the tract between Lake St. Francis and Williamstown. Unaware of Joel's memorial, he petitioned for exactly the same lots.

It seems to have taken all the Land Board's talent for bungling and incompetence to create a dilemma out of what was a simple matter of recognizing Joel's prior claim. ... Joel would not easily believe that Sir John would deprive him unjustly of his right to the property. It would be so uncharacteristic of him who had been his friend. In fact, he had received a letter from Sir John acknowledging his right.

... But there were problems in the Quebec Land Office and also in the Joel Stone household in Cornwall that were to affect his hopes. Shortly after this his marriage collapsed. Leah just couldn't stand the wilderness. He sent her back to New York and applied for a legal separation. The other problem was at the Land Office: it was about to grant Sir John Johnson's petition when it discovered Joel's prior claim.

[After arguments and correspondence with the Land Board, Sir John received 1000 acres on the east side of the Gananoque river mouth, and Joel Stone received 700 on the west side, enabling him to erect saw and grist mills to take advantage of the Gananoque River.] The other conflict, the domestic one, concluded with an ad in the Montreal Gazette which was "to forbid anyone to credit my wife, Leah Stone, on my account as I will not pay any debts she may contract." He removed his children, William and Mary, to a school in Hartford, Connecticut and settled alone at the west side of the Gananoque river mouth. There he was to become the founder of the town.

Joel did remarry, a lady from Sarnia, Abigail Dayton, who was an excellent help and looked after him well, including "making a Methodist of him." He lost his son through tuberculosis - a grief he never got over. His son-in-law was a great help with the mills and expanding business.

Joel Stone became a prominent official in the new town and a stickler for good order and good standards. He also became the local J.P. in 1800 and later a colonel in the Leeds Militia.

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by Doris Wemp UE - appeared in Cataraqui Loyalist Town Crier (Sept, 2002), 21(4):4-5

The Staring name [or Starin, Stauring, Storing or Starling] has roots far back in the history of the German people. The "ing" ending in German names was common in Westphalia, a German province which borders the Netherlands southwest of Gelderland. The first spelling of the name in New York City was Staringer which is found in southern Germany on the border of Switzerland at Lake Constance. Today, in the United States the families spell it Storrings and in Canada, Storring.

George Staring, also known as Storring, was the son of Jacob and Catherine Staring and was born on May 29, 1764, baptized June 6, 1764 at Stone Arabia, Tyron County, New York. George participated in the Sullivan-Clinton Expedition and was on the list of Captain Serat Putman's Company.

On May 8, 1780, Jacob Staring/Storring and son George enlisted in the Second Battalion of the King's Royal Regiment of New York, commanded by Lieutenant Col. Sir John Johnson. George was 16 years old and his records of service show that he was five feet seven and a half inches tall.

George returned to New York after the war and married Anna Hen Zimmerman on June 6, 1786 at the age of 22, in the Reformed Church, German Flats, New York. Anna was the daughter of Henry and Catherine (Fox) Zimmerman. They had eight children, four were born in the United States: Dorothea, bap. Sept. 20, 1788; Anna, bap. May 8, 1791 (died as an infant); Jacob, bap. Oct. 13, 1793; Lawrence, birth date unknown. George entered Canada during the years 1796-99 with wife Anna and these three children. They had four children born in Canada: George Jr., bap. Sept. 1800; Henry, bap. Dec. 17, 1804; John, birth date unknown; and a daughter, Catharine, birth date unknown.

George Storring qualified for 200 acres of land in Mecklenburgh District, Upper Canada, on June 25, 1794, but it is not known whether he took up this land. In 1808, he is described as being "of the Township of York."

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appeared in Cataraqui Loyalist Town Crier (June, 1987), 6(3):1-2

Okill Stuart, a descendent of Kingston Loyalist, Rev. Dr. John Stuart, gave a most interesting and entertaining talk to the branch on the Stuart family. John Stuart was the son of Andrew Stuart, who had migrated to America from County Tyrone, Ireland and settled in the then-named Province of Pennsylvania. John was born in Pennsylvania, March 10, 1740 and was first a schoolmaster there. He was drawn to enter the ministry, however, partly through his friendship with William White (later Bishop of Pennsylvania), and in 1770 travelled to England where he was ordained. He and his wife, Jane Okill Stuart, took up residence following at Fort Hunter, New York, where he was missionary to the Mohawk Indians. Joseph Brant lived with the Rev. Stuart, acting as his interpreter during this time and the two worked together translating parts of the Bible into the Mohawk language. It is reported that during the troubles of the Revolution John Stuart temporarily buried the church silver from the Chapel of Queen Anne in the church grounds. The chapel is still standing and can be visited.

In 1781 John Stuart, his wife and three eldest children moved to Montreal where John became the chaplain to the Second Battalion. In 1785 he moved to Kingston and became minister to the residents of the town and missionary to the Mohawks at the Bay of Kente (Quinte). He travelled extensively and established missions for his church from Cornwall to York. He was asked to serve as one of the first judges of the Court of Common Pleas in Upper Canada but declined the honour feeling that his parochial duties came first. His house in Kingston was near the water. He died at the age of 71 and is buried in St. Paul's churchyard.

His eldest son, George Okill Stuart, having been ordained in 1801, was asked to succeed his father as rector of St. George's Church, and he served in this position for 50 years. Archdeacon Stuart, as he became, built three houses in Kingston, two of which are still standing. The most famous is Summerhill built on what is now part of Queen’s University campus and home to principals of the university for many years now [note: no longer a home, but used for official receptions and alumni offices].

The third son of Rev. John Stuart was James Stuart who became solicitor general of Lower Canada and later attorney general. In 1840 he helped draw up the Act of Union and he was named Chief Justice in 1841. He was later given a baronetcy.

Okill Stuart [who addressed Kingston Branch in March, 1987] is a descendant of Andrew Stuart, second son of the Rev. John Stuart.

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appeared in Cataraqui Loyalist Town Crier (May, 1999), 18(3):7-8
contributed by the late Nora Valleau, who stated it was published many years ago by a family member

The first Valleau (pronounced "Vallo") to cross the Atlantic was Isaiah, born in 1638, who married a Suzanne Descard and became a successful merchant at St. Martin, France. He and his wife were among the religious fugitives, the Huguenots, who fled from France at the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, October 18th, 1685. They escaped with their lives and all their personal effects were confiscated.

The Valleau family reached New York in 1685 after a long and dreary voyage, settling at a place called by the refugees "New Rochelle", near the shore of Long Island Sound, a short distance from New York. Probably in calling this place of refuge after the city from whence they fled, they managed to soften the bitter recollections they must have had of their mother land. At this place they became prominent citizens, land owners and artisans. The old home which first sheltered the Valleau family is still standing, having been built in 1700, and is known as the old Drake homestead.

The second son of Isaiah Valleau and his wife, Suzanne Descard, of New Rochelle, was born in 1751 and remained loyal to the British Crown. It is from this Peter that was established the Valleau family in the Bay of Quinte district. Peter married Jannetie Lazier, widow of Andrew Zabriskie, in Bergen county. Peter was one of those patriots who at the time of the American Revolution left their homes to remain under the British flag. With his two sons, Hildebrand and Cornelius, he joined the company of Loyalists who, in 1784, settled in the neighbourhood of the Bay of Quinte. He and his family are among those listed in Adolphustown records of 1795. Their last child, Mary, was born in Canada. Here they were compelled to begin life anew, to face privations and suffering which only pioneers can fully know.

Peter Valleau, also called Petrus, lived in Adolphustown for eleven years before settling permanently on the High Shore in Sophiasburg. The old homestead contained some 300 acres of land. It is worthy of note that five generations of Valleaus have lived in this old home.

Later, in the records of the town meetings in Adophustown, the name of Peter Valleau is frequently mentioned. The record of a town meeting held in Sophiasburg, Prince Edward County on the 3rd of March, 1800, refers to him as "one of the most respectable inhabitants". He was township treasurer at the time.

Peter Valleau had two sons, Hildebrand and Cornelius, and one daughter, Mary. He lived his later years with Mary, then Mrs. John Benson, dying at the advanced age of ninety-four. He and his wife lie buried in the old Conger Methodist burying ground, with son Hildebrand and his family, and daughter Mary and her family.

Cornelius Valleau, son of Peter, was seven years old when the family came to Canada. He married Ann Rowe in 1798. He had a large and influential family numbering eight children of whom Peter Valleau of Hillier was the eldest. Peter was one of Hillier's most respected and prosperous citizens and left behind a large family. He died at the age of eighty and lies buried in the Burr Cemetery, nearby the home he had built and lived in for nearly sixty years.

William Valleau, the second son of Cornelius, was by all accounts a man prominent in church work and was referred to as "one of the sweet singers of his day". He and his wife, Catharine German (Germaine) raised eight children and are buried in the old Methodist burying ground at Selby, near their home.

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appeared in Cataraqui Loyalist Town Crier (March 2004), 23(2):8-9
contributed by Lilyan Durkee of Southbury CT

The Walker family of Ernestown Township had its origin in America, in Rehoboth, Mass., when the widow Walker and her two children arrived from England about 1630. Her name appears in the town records of 1643 and 1646.One of her great-grandsons, Daniel Walker, was born on October 10, 1706. He married, January 1, 1729/30, Mary, daughter of Jasiel Perry.

During the war for the Conquest of Canada, Daniel joined the army under General Wolfe and was present at the battle of Quebec in September, 1759. He was then 53 and was employed as an artificer. After the war he received his discharge in Canada. Then, in the company of others, he undertook the long journey home overland, in the winter of 1760 or 1761. They journeyed up the St. Lawrence River to Sorel, then up the Richelieu River and across lake Champlain to the mouth of the Otter River. Then up that river and across the hills to the Connecticut River, down which they proceeded to Long Island Sound, and on to Rhode Island and Massachusetts, finally reaching his family the following year.

In 1768 the region which is now known as northern New York and Vermont, was open for settlement and Daniel gathered his 12 children and grandchildren, from Coventry, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, and started the long journey to the Otter River Valley, on April 1st, 1768.

The genealogy of the family, entitled, "Walkers of the Old Colony", has this to say about Daniel, Jr. (born March 11, 1735/1736): "He married Jerusha Bates, and then Mary Young, an English woman by whose influence he espoused the side of the British in the revolution. The Committee of safety, of which his brother Gideon was a member, notified Daniel that if he was found off his farm, he would be declared an outlaw. He at once, with five other Tories, started for Canada. His property in Clarendon was confiscated and his family soon followed." Daniel Walker, Jr. had settled on one of the finest farms in Vermont, three hundred acres of valley land in Durham County and Clarendon Town. A dispute arose between New York and New Hampshire over ownership of the new settlements. New York 'won' and under Ethan Allen, the Green Mountain boys took matters into their own hands, beating Benjamin Hough, a justice of the peace. They also warned Daniel Walker Jr. that he could "not with any degree of safety return home without danger from the said rioters".

War broke out and from the Clarendon settlement Daniel Walker, Ebenezer Washburn, Robert Perry, and David Shorey joined Lt-Col. John Peters' Queen's Loyal Rangers, to become part of the Loyalist regiments with Burgoyne. Daniel Walker was at the Battle of Bennington in August and at the Battle of Saratoga the next month.

At the family home in Clarendon, Vermont, things went badly. The farm buildings, live stock and implements were seized on January 30, 1778 and sold at public auction. His family continued to reside with his parents. In 1779, Daniel's name appeared on a list of those persons who were attainted and threatened with seizure and death if they returned to Vermont. This was revoked and Daniel returned home, likely with the idea of removing his family to Canada. He became ill and remained there until January 1781; not long afterwards, his family is recorded in Canada.

Daniel and Mary Walker are shown living at Riviere Du Chene from July, 1781, until their removal to the Bay of Quinte region in June, 1784. At that time Daniel and Mary Young Walker, were accompanied by daughter Mary, aged 14, and Daniel, aged 12. The other daughter Esther had already married Solomon Ball, a young Loyalist from Vermont. Mary and Daniel were soon baptized by the Rev'd John Langhorn.

The Walker family arrived at Cataraqui about the middle of June and remained there until arrangements had been made for their settlement in Ernestown in early July, where Daniel Walker drew the east half of Lot #9, in the second concession. Older sons William and Weeden finally came to Canada in 1788. By that time they had married, and both were fathers of two small children. Daniel travelled to Montreal to present his claim for losses of property during the war.

Daniel died in 1795 in Ernestown.

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appeared in Cataraqui Loyalist Town Crier 25(1): 5 (January 2006) - contributed by Clara Snook, UE

There are two stories about the beginnings of my ancestor, Abraham Wartman.

The first claims he was born in Amsterdam, Holland in 1735, a fine looking cooper by trade. He married Christiana Wessenberg, the only child of Bartholdt Wessenberg of German-Bohemian extraction. Bartholdt was chair of astronomy at a German university. They eloped to the New World in 1758 and settled on the Susquehanna River near Tunkhannock near Scranton, PA. They had five boys (one died young) and three girls. They remained loyal to the king when war broke out. They left via Niagara Falls to Kingston Township where he received land.

The second seems a more viable story. Abraham Wartman was born in Germany in 1725 and came to America with his parents, Hans Adam and Elizabeth Wartman and a sister, Mary. They sailed from Rotterdam on The Samuel and docked in Philadelphia on August 16, 1731. They settled in New Hanover where his father helped build a stone Lutheran church in 1767.

Prior to 1756 Abraham had married Catherine Baumann/Bowman born in 1732 from Bacharach in West Germany, Rhineland Palatinate. The family settled along the Hudson River, then along the Mohawk Valley in Herkimer County, N.Y. Children born there were Adam and Peter. They took up land along the Susquehanna River. In the 7-8 years before the war Abraham built a house and barn, and cleared 24-30 acres of land. He had a mare, colt, a horse, a yoke of oxen, two heifers, sheep, hogs, furniture and utensils.

Abraham remained loyal to Britain. His sons Adam and Peter as well as Catherine's two brothers joined the Indian Department of the Butlers Rangers. Peter became a sergeant in the Rangers. Adam married in his 20s and was killed at his house in a skirmish. Adam's wife and younger children soon left their confiscated property. Abraham received his discharge from the army in 1780.

Abraham and Catherine with sons Peter, John, Barnabas and daughters, Susannah, Jerusha and Christianna came to Canada via New York by sea in 1783 in the ship, Camel to Sorel and by bateau to Cataraqui. Abraham's lot was #10, Concession 1 on the lake. He saw rocks projecting out of the water into the lake and wanted that land. He built a log cabin and died three years later at age 62. Their son Peter and wife Eva Grass built the stone house now standing there.

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appeared in Cataraqui Loyalist Town Crier 27(5): 8 (November 2008) - contributed by Jim Long, UE

John, the son of James was born in 1742 in the British colony of New York Province. By 1769 he was living in Albany County, New York. On July 11, 1769, he married Mary Rees (Maritje Reisch) in the Albany First Dutch Reform Church. Their first five children were baptized at this church in Albany:
1. Susanna born January 10, 1770 to parents Hannes Wiesch & Marjnitje Riesch. Sponsor Jacob & Elisabeth Van Woert
2. David born August 23, 1771 to parents Hannes Wiesch & Marjnitje Riesch Sponsor Johs & Elisabeth Fryer
3. Johannes born September 15, 1773 to parents Hannea Wiesch & Maria Riesch. Sponsor Guy Young & Dinkje Winne
4. Helena 1776 to parents Hannes Wiesch & Marytje. Sponsor Edward Davis & Lally Bell
5. Petrus born February 22, 1778 to parents Johs Wiesch & Maria Rees. Sponsor John & Maria Think
Other children from Loyalist Lineage are Ann Jerany, William, Elizabeth and Mary. It was noted that John was a tenant farmer west of Pownall (now in Vermont).

John Wiesch and his wife were members of the Albany Dutch Reform Church whose Dominie (Minister) was a warm supporter of the American cause for independence. During the war, he offered daily prayers for safety and victory. He often ministered directly to the troops. This did not stop John from joining the "Jessup Loyal Rangers" in 1780. He served in the 10th Company under Captain Thomas Fraser. John was forty years old and stood 5 foot 8 inches tall. His origin was America.

John was in Lachine, Quebec with his wife and six children by 1782. In 1783 the first registered deeds of Ernestown Township show John Wees granted part of lot 1 and all of lot 8, concession 5. In the 1784 Provisioning List of disbanded troops we find John Wiest with his wife, two boys over 10 years old, two boys under 10 years old, two girls over 10 years old, and one girl under 10 years old. Total in family was nine receiving a ration of 7 ½ per day. The Weese family had two acres cleared. His Regiment Lieut. Henry Simmons from Jessup’s Loyal Ranger signed this provisioning List.

On a Muster roll of Loyalists in 1785 at Township No. 2 above Cataraqui (Ernestown) we found John Wiest as number #569 on the muster roll.

In 1786 the Provisioning List at the Second Township above Cataraqui (Ernestown) showed John Wiest and his wife with two sons over 10 years and two sons under 10 years. It also shows two daughters over 10 years and two daughters under ten years for a total of 10 people. A total of eight rations per person were given out. Signed by Lt. Henry Simmons and certified by Neil McLean, Department Inspector of Loyalists.

In 1795 Lt. Gov. Simcoe, first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada, had local justices of the peace to make up rolls of U.E. settlers in Upper Canada. We find in Ernestown Township #3174 to #3176 John Wist and his sons David and John Jr.

In the records of the Court of Quarter sessions held at Adolphustown, January 24, 1797, the following jurors were excused from serving in the future on account of their age. The men were John Cook, John Wees, and Ruloff Ostrum.

On May 24th, 1815, John Wees made his last will and testament as his health started to fail. In his will it states "John Wees of Ernestown County of Addington in the Province of Upper Canada a yeoman and being sick and weak in body but perfect in mind and memory". In the will John gave his son David Wees lot number eleven in the seventh concession of Ernestown Township containing two hundred acres of land.

John Wees died in early 1816 and Mary Rees Wees was still living after 1816. It is believed that John and his wife, Mary are buried on their farm Lot 1 Concession 5 in Ernestown Township, Lennox and Addington county.

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page last updated June 27, 2015