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.
Membership may be granted to an applicant who supports the aims and purposes of the United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada and who indicates a desire to be associated with, and to participate in, the activities of UELAC.
To join 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 and applying for a Loyalist Certificate which would attest to the facts that your ancestor was a UE Loyalist and that you are genealogically descended from that person. See Applying for a Loyalist Certificate below.
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."
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.
Loyalist Certificate Application
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.
But what is a certificate application and what does it look like? Several completed applications have been posted in the Loyalist Directory, but note:
- personal information has been removed for privacy reasons
- a signature and permissions page would follow the list of proofs page, but has been removed
- the proofs would be appended to the application; these too have been removed
A picture is worth a thousand words; we hope this example of a certificate application by Margaret Hayward to Loyalist Sergt. Robert Douglas Campbell helps.
These certificate application guidelines may help you as you gather your genealogical proofs and prepare to complete the application, which is available in digital form or on paper from your branch genealogist.
When members apply for and receive a Loyalist Certificate, they indicate whether they would like to have their name listed in the Loyalist Directory and give permission for other publishing of the material.
These specific permissions were first requested in December of 2012. One of them was to print the applicant's name and Loyalist ancestor's name in the semi-annual Loyalist Gazette magazine. In the future and for ongoing reference, this same list from the magazine with additions as they occur month by month is now on the website:
Click here for the list of certificates issued since December 2012. Newly issued certificates will be added on an ongoing basis.