Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Loyalist Units: Westchester Refugees; Butler's, Roger's, Hayden's King's Rangers

From a posting on DearMYRTLE's Message Board at RW/Ancestry:

From: Carol Anne Shiels
My research seems to indicate that participation in Rev War units was for a short time period. Also the unit names changed almost as frequently as the members. Surnames: WILLIAMS, SYPHER/SYPES, EACHARN/ACORN. I am looking for detailed personal and military information on the following:
-- Capt Frederick Williams - James Delancy's Westchester Refugees/Cowboys, father-in-law of
-- Jacob Sypher/Sypes - Butler's Rangers (wife's given name unknown)
-- John Eacharn/Eachorn/Acorn - Robert Roger's Kings Rangers - 3rd Battalion disbanded PEI 5/17/1782; also Samuel Hayden's Kings Rangers disbanded on PEI 6/12/1784. (Married to Eleanor Williams 1788 & settled on the Isle of St John' - now PEI)

Frederick and Jacob settled in Digby Township, Annapolis, Nova Scotia, arriving in 6/5/1783 on the ships THETIS, NICHOLAS AND JANE.

Can you advise me how to further research these individuals and their military activities? I am running out of internet options.

"Loyalists" during and after the US Revolutionary War is a marvelous topic to research. Some did move to Canada, as you stated. Loyalists, for those who haven't heard this term before, are the folks that chose to remain true to the British Crown. They did not favor the cause of freedom espoused by the colonists in America who were frustrated by a number of things including taxation without representation in the British Parliament. They did not support the development of a new nation. Sometimes they were called "Tories." The term "Loyalists to Canada" speaks of the emigration of loyal British citizens from the rebellious colonies, to British soil in the north. From Dictionary.com we find our word for today:

To·ry ( P ) Pronunciation Key (tôr, tr)
n. pl. To·ries

1. A member of a British political party, founded in 1689, that was the opposition party to the Whigs and has been known as the Conservative Party since about 1832.

2. A member of a Conservative Party, as in Canada.

3. An American who, during the period of the American Revolution, favored the British side. Also called Loyalist.

4. (often tory) A supporter of traditional political and social institutions against the forces of democratization or reform; a political conservative.

Your online study might include:
I googled to locate this site which includes an annotated roll of members of the rangers.

-- CANADA RESEARCH OUTLINE (from the folks at the Family History Library in Salt Lake.)

-- NOVA SCOTIA RESEARCH OUTLINE (from the folks at the Family History Library in Salt Lake.)

-- PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND RESEARCH OUTLINE (from the folks at the Family History Library in Salt Lake.) http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/Search/RG/frameset_rhelps.asp

-- CANADA CHAT - Maritimes & Newfoundland. Sunday, 8-9pm in the MapleLeaf Room with hosts GFSChuck & GFSJanice. http://www.genealogyforum.org

-- CANADA GENWEB http://www.rootsweb.com/~canwgw/html/e-index.html

From Genealogical Publishing Company: "The term "Loyalist" is generally applied to those colonists who sided with the British during the Revolutionary War. Also called "Tories," Loyalists came from all social classes and occupations and by some estimates made up as much as one-third of the colonial population. The Loyalist cause was strongest in the southern colonies, in Georgia and the Carolinas, especially, and in the mid-Atlantic colonies, particularly New York and Pennsylvania. Sentiment against the Loyalists led to various proscriptions and restrictions, but it was the confiscation of their land and property that led to the creation--unintentionally, of course--of some of the most useful Revolutionary War-era genealogical records available today."

Of particular interest to you would be item #1, also available in book format: Loyalists and Land Settlement in Nova Scotia by Marion Gilroy.

-- THE OLD UNITED EMPIRE LOYALIST LIST, with an introduction by Milton Rubincam.
http://www.genealogical.com/item_detail.asp?afid=&ID=5870 From Genealogical Publishing Company: "The "List" contains the names of the thousands of United Empire Loyalist settlers who left the American colonies during and after the Revolutionary War and settled, first, in 1783, in what is now New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, and then, in 1784, in Upper Canada, or what is now the Province of Ontario. After the war, additional settlers came from the United States to claim the protection of the Crown, and so the "List" contains additions down to 1798, the terminal year of the Loyalist migrations. The 156-page main "List" contains the names of the heads of upwards of 5,000 Loyalist families, with such information as places of residence, military service, and family relationships. A supplementary 52-page listing contains about 2,000 additional names."

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
6023 26th Street West PMB 352
Bradenton, FL 34207

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