Join the UELAC and be part of the family that enjoys history, especially that of the Loyalist era. Share family stories. Learn more about the Loyalists. Receive our Loyalist Gazette and Branch newsletters. Be part of the group that had significant impact on the shaping of our country in its relatively early days.
To join the UELAC, you join a branch. With twenty-seven of those across the country, there may well be one local to you. We recommend that you join that one so you can share in events and network with others. However, some people in Canada, or from other countries round the world, are remote from a branch. If you have Loyalist ancestors, we suggest you join a branch near where they originally settled. Some people belong primarily to a local branch, and additionally to branches where their ancestors settled, in order to receive newsletters etc. from those locations.
For those who believe they have Loyalist ancestry, you have the option of proving that ancestry. Once a member, work with the Branch genealogist to verify that your ancestor was a Loyalist and collect the genealogical proofs between yourself and that Loyalist. The genealogist will provide direction and guidance. However, being a volunteer like the rest of us, the branch genealogist generally is not free to do the research. You can then submit a certificate application form, available from the branch genealogist, with proofs and a fee to our Dominion Genealogist for review. If all is in order, you will receive a certificate attesting to your Loyalist ancestry.
We have members in several countries, with most of those outside Canada residing in the USA. Some of these members have proved their Loyalist ancestry; others have joined because of an interest in all aspects of the Revolutionary War/Loyalist era. It is intriguing that quite a number of members both in Canada and in other countries have proven ancestors who were Loyalists and others who were Patriots. We can't do anything about the ancestors we have inherited, so why not celebrate them all.
For a list of branches, contact emails and web sites, visit our Branches page.
Very simply, the general guidelines are as follows:
- Either male or female, as of 19 April 1775, a resident of the American colonies, and joined the Royal Standard prior to the Treaty of Separation of 1783, or otherwise demonstrated loyalty to the Crown, and settled in territory remaining under the rule of the Crown; or
- a soldier who served in an American Loyalist Regiment and was disbanded in Canada; or
- a member of the Six Nations of either the Grand River or the Bay of Quinte Reserve who is descended from one whose migration was similar to that of other Loyalists.
As noted these are general guidelines. If you think you may have Loyalist ancestry, why not join and undertake the journey – at a minimum you will learn more about your family.
Being a proved Loyalist descendant confers no special status in Canadian or other society, but many members use the post-nominal letters "UE" after their name, in consequence of Lord Dorchester's Order in Council in 1789, conferring recognition of the service of the Loyalists in defense of "The Unity of Empire."
Everyone who is a member of UELAC, which is accomplished by joining a branch, will be classified as one of the following three types of members.
Any person who joins a branch of the UELAC, and who thereby supports the aims and purposes of the association and wishes to participate in the association’s activities, will be called an Associate Member. An Associate Member may be elected to a branch executive and, in special circumstances, may assume the office of President. However, an Associate Member may not vote at Dominion Council nor be a voting delegate to the Annual Meeting, a right which is restricted to Regular Members. An Associate Member who is descended from a Loyalist may become a Regular or an Affiliate Member by proving that descent.
Regular membership may be granted to an applicant who can fully document lineal (ie bloodline) descent from a United Empire Loyalist ancestor, and take the Oath of Allegiance to the Crown. A certificate is presented to the applicant with this type of membership. A Regular member is entitled to vote and may be elected to any position at the Branch level or the Dominion Council.
Affiliate membership may be granted to an applicant who can fully document lineal (ie bloodline) descent from a United Empire Loyalist ancestor but because he or she is not a Canadian citizen, member of a Commonwealth country or a British subject, cannot legally take the Oath of Allegiance to the Crown. A certificate is presented to the applicant with this type of membership. An Affiliate Member, as a Loyalist descendant, may use the letters UE after his/her name. An Affiliate Member may be elected to a branch executive and, in special circumstances, may assume the office of Branch President. However, an Affiliate Member may not vote at Dominion Council nor be a voting delegate to the Annual Meeting, a right which is restricted to Regular Members.
Additional Branch Membership
Most people who live close to a branch will join that branch in order to participate in branch events, meet with others who have common interests in the Loyalists, work with the branch genealogist to complete a certificate application etc. A portion of the dues paid to belong to that branch are passed to Dominion Office to support Dominion Office functions, including two issues of the Loyalist Gazette each year.
Many people choose to join one or more additional branches, in many cases a branch in the geographical area where a Loyalist ancestor settled originally. This membership is called an "Additional Branch Membership", and is normally offered at a reduced rate as this additional branch does not submit fees to Dominion Office for such members. Such Additional Branch Members would otherwise enjoy the same branch benefits as other members, subject to type of membership as noted above.