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preserve Loyalist history

Toronto Branch: The Home District Loyalists Project

Aim: to identify UE Loyalists’ and their sons and daughters who settled in the Home District of 1837, with the emphasis on York

At that time the Home District included York County and Simcoe County. The townships included were -- Adjala, Albion, Brock, Caledon, Chinguacousy, Etobicoke, Essa, Flos, North Gwillimbury, East Gwillimbury, West Gwillimbury, Georgina, Innisfil, King, Mara, Markham, Matchedash, Medonte, Mono, Mulmur, North Orillia, Oro, Pickering, Rama, Reach, Scarborough, Scott, Sunnidale, Tay, Tecumseh, Thorah, Tiny, Tossorontio, Gore of Toronto, Toronto (Old and New Survey), Uxbridge, Vaughan, Vespra, Whitchurch, Whitby, York, and City of Toronto.

Also included are some townships that are now part of Grey Co.: Collingwood, Euphrasia, and St. Vincent.

At this time Peel and Ontario Counties were part of York County.

We would like to gather as much information as possible, including:
- place and date of birth, parents
- military status in the American Revolution, War of 1812, 1837 Rebellion if applicable
- settlement location, township, lot and concession
- time period that they were in the Home District
- the role they played in Home District
- a short biography
- spouse and children
- death and burial

A full profile is our objective, but every mention, no matter how small is valuable. The sources for each piece of information must be fully cited. Copies to include in the files would be appreciated.

For further information: John D. Warburton, Kathie Orr or Martha Hemphill at TorontoUEL@bellnet.ca

Smith, the Honourable Samuel

Samuel Smith, the son of Scottish immigrant James Smith, was born in Hempstead New York on 27 Dec.1756. At the age of sixteen, he became an ensign in the Queen’s Rangers. Later, as a Captain, he was one of the officers who surrendered at Yorktown Virginia. At the cessation of hostilities, he settled in New Brunswick but in 1784 returned to England. When Governor Simcoe reorganized the Queen’s Rangers, he commissioned Smith as a Captain. He went first to Newark but later led the detachment that cleared the town and garrison sites at York (Toronto). He married Jane Isabella Clarke at Newark on 21 October 1799. They would have two sons and nine daughters.

Upon Simcoe’s departure, Smith commanded the Queen’s Rangers until 1802. After the disbandment of the Regiment, he retired to his substantial Etobicoke lands. Appointed a member of the Executive Council, he was twice Administrator of the Province in the absence of Lieutenant-Governors Gore and Maitland. With J.B. Robinson, son of Queen's Ranger Christopher, he acquired land in Toronto Township upon which "the Grange" was built. He died in York Oct. 20, 1826 at the age of 72 years was buried at St. James Church and later moved to the new St. James Cemetery.

Merigold, Thomas

Born in the Province of New Jersey, Thomas enlisted in the New Jersey Volunteers in 1777 and served in the Southern Campaign. His Regiment was disbanded in Nova Scotia (now New Brunswick) and he took up land in Kingsclear. In 1808, he and neighbours Stephen Jarvis and Cornelius Thompson trekked to Upper Canada (now Ontario). He was granted 324 acres in, among others, Lots 29 & 30 in the 3rd Concession South side of Dundas Street in Toronto Township. This settlement of "Merigold's Point" is the present day community of Clarkson in Mississauga.

At the outbreak of war in 1812, Thomas and his sons enlisted in the York Militia. Thomas continued his community service as member and foreman of the Grand Jury and as surveyor of the Western boundary of the Home District. He died at the age of 65 on the 25th of May 1827 and is buried in Spring Creek Cemetery in Clarkson.

For more information, visit the Toronto Branch website.