Articles written by Branch Members

Private Joseph Goodwillie

Joseph Goodwillie was born in 1753 in Tanshall, Kinglassie, Fifeshire, Scotland. He came to America circa 1775 (according to his tombstone), and worked as a blacksmith in the Mohawk Valley. The rebels seized his tools, chests of clothes and his gun at the beginning of the revolution.

He enlisted in The King's Loyal Americans Regiment, also called Jessup's Rangers, in September of 1777, and served as a gunsmith and armourer, making and repairing musket firelocks and other intricate parts for guns.

He was captured in October 1777 at the surrender of General Burgoyne at Saratoga and was imprisoned in Auburn Prison while most of the captured prisoners were marched south to Virginia where there was more food. He later escaped with several other men and made his way by the Lake Champlaine, Richelieu River route to the St. Lawrence River and Montreal. There he was placed in Sorel refugee camp where he was assigned to King's Service (clearing land, cutting wood, building structures and earthworks).

In 1784 he boarded the brigantine St. Peter with 315 other Loyalists and their families and sailed to Petit Paspébiac, Baie des Chaleurs, Gaspé, Quebec (later Lower Canada).

There he met Anna Maria (Mary Ann) Teague, the eldest daughter of Jacob Teague, U.E. They married and had three children at New Carlisle, Gaspé before he and his family moved to Barnet, Vermont in 1793, to be near his brother Reverend David Goodwillie whom he hadn't seen for 20 years and who had taken over the Presbyterian Church in Barnet.

He died in 1808 and is buried in the Barnet Centre Church cemetery with Mary Ann and a number of his children. Later some of his children moved to the Niagara Peninsula for good farmland and established fruit growing farms and the Goodwillie Preserves Company which operated into the 1900's.

David B. Clark, U.E.
30 November 2011