This section is a potpourri of articles, poems, quotes, links and reminders of our Loyalist Heritage.  There may be some points which bear consideration...  as well as action items of interest for the Loyalist and/or the heritage conscious.

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William Kirby

1817 - 1906















The U. E. Loyalists      

  by William Kirby

The war was over, seven red years of blood

Had scourged the land from mountain top to sea ;

(So long it took to rend the mighty frame

Of England's empire in the western world)

Rebellion won at last, and they who loved

The cause that had lost, and kept the faith

To England's crown, and scorned an alien name,

Passed into exile, leaving all behind

Except their honour, and the conscious pride

Of duty done to country and to king.


Broad lands, ancestral homes, the gathered wealth

Of patient toil and self-denying years,

Were confiscate and lost ; for they had been

The salt and savour of the land ; trained up

In honour, loyalty, and fear of God.

The wine upon the lees, decanted, when

They left their native soil with sword belts drawn

The tighter ; while the women only wept

At thought of old firesides no longer theirs,

At household treasures reft, and all the land

Upset, and ruled by rebels to the king.


'Divided Loyalties' and 'The Broken Chain' are two movies depicting the difficult decisions facing the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Nations at the time of the rebel uprising which surrounded them.


HM King George III

The Crest of the United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada

Six Pence




Preheat oven to 350�

1/2 c. butter 3 c. flour

Cream butter and sugars. Beat in milk, orange juice and egg. Blend in dry ingredients.  Stir in nuts and chopped cranberries.  Spoon on greased sheet.  Bake 10-12 minutes.

Makes 6 dozen

3/4 c. brown sugar 1/2 tsp salt
1 c. white sugar 1 tsp baking powder
1/4 c. milk 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 egg 1 c chopped nuts
2 Tbsp orange juice 2-1/2 c. cranberries


 From Hansard of Wednesday 18 June 2003


Members' Statements


Mr. Toby Barrett, MPP


  " It was six years ago that this government passed a bill proclaiming United Empire Loyalists' Day.  Tomorrow, June 19 -- United Empire Loyalists' Day -- we will once again commemorate the sacrifice and contributions made by thousands of United Empire Loyalists who fled persecution south of the border to make their mark in Canada.  It's my honour tomorrow to host a flag-raising ceremony outside this Legislature to mark the occasion.

   Last year in Norfolk County we welcomed close to 100 proud descendants of United Empire Loyalists for their national conference.   Meeting with the many proud descendants of the Loyalist legacy gave me a chance to reflect on my own Loyalist heritage.  Officially, I am UE through the Bowlby family on my mom's side.  I will mention as well that my middle name is Butler.

   We are all benefactors of the Loyalist vision that founded our province and our Dominion.  Evidence of their hard work and significant contributions to the Ontario we know today can be found throughout this great province.  I urge all MPPs to pay tribute to our Loyalist heritage tomorrow morning. We're getting together at 10:45.

   I wish to end by quoting the very motto of this province, "Loyal in the beginning, loyal remaining," a constant reminder of our Loyalist values.

   God save the Queen. "

Legislative Assembly of Ontario Hansard :  18 June 2003









Col. John Graves Simcoe

1752 - 1806

Did You Know?

   During the battle of Brandywine (September 10-11, 1777), one order from Col. John Graves Simcoe changed the course of history, when he told his soldiers not to shoot three fleeing Americans in the back.


   One of those Americans was George Washington, first President of the United States.

John Graves Simcoe website at the Archives of Ontario

The Crest of the United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada

 Haldimand Proclamation 

On October 25, 1784, Frederick Haldimand, Captain General and Governor in Chief of what will become Canada, issues the Haldimand Proclamation.  The conditions of the proclamation permit "the said Mohawk Nation, and such other of the Six Nation Indians" to settle on the banks of the Grand River (in present-day Ontario).   More precisely, the territory is six miles (9.6 kilometers) on either side of the river beginning at Lake Erie and extending upwards to the head of the Grand River.   Haldimand's term of office ends before he gives (Joseph Thayendanegea) Brant legal title to the land.

Joseph Brant spends much of his time trying to resolve the Grand River land claim.  On January 14, 1793, Lieutenant John Graves Simcoe issues the Simcoe Patent.  This patent grants to the Six Nations 675,000 acres (223,163 hectares) of land along the Grand River.  This parcel is 275,000 acres (111,289 hectares) less than what was stipulated in the Haldimand Proclamation.

By 1828, nearly two-thirds of the Grand River territory is sold, leased or occupied by squatters.  By 1847, the Six Nations Reserve at Grand River is only 49,400 acres (19,992 hectares).

In July 1974, the Six Nations Land Claims Research Office is created. Its focus is to pursue the terms laid out in the Haldimand Proclamation of 1784.

    Sir Frederick Haldimand. Painting, copy of Abbott Messer's original painting, by Mabel B. Lemuel-Francis    National Archives of Canada, Ottawa

Cemetery Preservation

Grand River Branch applauds and supports the initiative and effort of the Ontario Historical Society in its mandate of preserving cemeteries and ancestral burying grounds from encroaching development and private concerns not in the public's best interests.

To keep abreast of the latest news and issues related to defending Ontario's ancestors' eternal resting places, please review the updates on the Ontario Historical Society's Cemetery Preservation page, which opens in a new window.

The wishes of those who can no longer speak must be expressed by those who are presently capable.


Joseph Brant Memorial, Brantford

In 1886, the bronze and granite Joseph Brant Memorial was unveiled in the centre of  Brantford's Victoria Park. One of the first pieces of statuary of its kind in North America, the memorial to Joseph Brant and the Six Nations Confederacy was sculpted by Percy Wood, winner of the international competition.

 Wood made two visits to Canada to make sketches of the Six Nations peoples. The figure of Brant and those representing the Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, Senecas and Tuscaroras are cast in bronze. The bronze, from cannons used at the battles of Waterloo and the Crimean War, was donated by the British government in honour of Brant and the Six Nations people's support of the British during the American Revolution.

( more details and photos  �����  To next page ... )

 New!  Handwritten letters of Joseph Brant




Who Were the Loyalists?

by F. Eleanor Chapin

The story of the Loyalists is a fascinating narrative of loyalty, courage and hardship. As British subjects living in the American colonies, they maintained their loyalty to the Crown in 1775 when a large number of dissidents chose to rebel against their king, George III, break away from Britain and form a new nation. However, about a third of the population in the Thirteen Colonies wished to remain under British rule. They were ordinary folk--farmers, tradesmen, merchants and a few professionals of various ethnic origins, as well as many native people who fought alongside the British.

The 'U.E. Loyalist' was one who resided in the American colonies prior to the Revolutionary War, joined the British forces, and as a result had his property confiscated. Eventually forced to flee to Canada, England, Florida or the West Indies, the Loyalist had to be in Canada by 1789.

Large sections of territory were acquired from the Indian nations and in July 1783 King George III decreed that the Loyalists should be granted land. Those who had "adhered to the 'Unity of the Empire'", as well as their sons and daughters, were eligible to receive grants of 100 acres, without fees, from the Land Boards. The Loyalists and their families eventually made their way to Upper Canada and eventually received compensation for their losses. They received rations and tools to support themselves during the first year. When the land was surveyed, Loyalists received land commensurate with their position in the army. A private received 200 acres while a general received a thousand or more. All the children would each receive 100 acres on reaching the age of 21. A minimum of 10 acres had to be cleared on each 200 acre lot and a building erected before a deed would be issued; otherwise, the land reverted to the Crown. Many received grants that were located miles away from where they had first settled and found it impossible to reach. As more settlers arrived, the unclaimed lands were given to the new arrivals.

Regular British and German soldiers were considered to be 'military claimants.'

The Loyalists who returned to England, whether by choice or not, received payment for their losses in England; they became known as 'Treasury Loyalists.' Afterwards, if they decided to return to Canada to settle, they were no longer entitled to free land. The Loyalists who settled in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick received free land but their children did not. Within a few years, many who settled there moved to Upper Canada. When Simcoe was named Lieutenant-Governor in 1791, he asked many of his old officers who had settled in the Maritimes to come and help him with his settlement plans in Upper Canada; many did. Some of them had their names recorded in the 'U.E. List,' but they had to prove that no land had been given to them in the Maritimes.

In Nova Scotia there were the 'Pre-Loyalists' who had settled in the colonies, sided with the British and left before the war broke out. Some of them did fight for the British, others did not.

There were also Loyalists, mainly of French origin who came from Kentucky and Tennessee, who settled in Lower Canada and in the Detroit-Windsor area. Some Scottish settlers went from Glengarry to man the fort at Detroit. Loyalist settlements around Detroit, Niagara and Michilimackinac, near Sault St. Marie, began as early as 1779.

The 'Late Loyalists' or 'Simcoe's Loyalists' from New York and Pennsylvania were offered free land for pioneering but were charged patent fees. They may have remained loyal to the Crown during the war, but they did not take up arms at that time and as a result their properties were not confiscated. While their patriot neighbours troubled them for being partial to British rule, when they decided to move to Upper Canada, they sold their properties and retained their assets. Since they are not deemed to have actually suffered for their attachment to the Crown, they do not bear the 'U.E.' title.

Loyalists included people from many backgrounds, including Dutch, German, Scots, Negroes, native Indians and some English; at times it is difficult to determine the Loyalist's exact nationality.

Loyalists fought in one of the corps such as the King's Royal Regiment of New York or Butler's Rangers. They may have been with the Indian Department, with one of the transport corps driving a supply wagon, working in a bateau or as a member of the spy network. Many of them assisted persecuted families to cross the border, especially Quakers whose religion forbade them to bear arms but who still wished to remain under British rule.

The studies of history and genealogy go hand-in-hand. A useful means for understanding historical events is to learn about the experiences of one's family.

The Loyalists faced many difficulties. Virgin forests had to be cleared, a makeshift home erected and a crop planted. They built the first roads, churches, schools, mills and villages. Maintaining their health was difficult; failure meant disease, inability to support the family and often death. At that time, only half the newborn babies would reach the age of five while the average life expectancy was about 35 years.

In 1789 Governor Sir Guy Carleton (1724-1808), declared that, as a mark of honour, all those who had remained loyal to the principle of a United Empire and who had joined the Royal Standard in America before 1783 should "be distinguished by the letters U.E. affixed to their names." A list was compiled of those who qualified but some names were never entered.

Much information is available about the Loyalists in the 'Loyalist Claims.'




Letters of Incorporation of

The United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada


4 - 5  GEORGE V .

CHAP. 146


An Act to incorporate The United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada.

[Assented to 27th May, 1914]



WHEREAS the United Empire Loyalist Association of Ontario are

incorporated under the Revised Statutes of Ontario, 1907, chapter 172,

being An Act respecting Benevolent, Provident and other Societies; And

whereas the said Association have by their petition prayed to be

incorporated by the Parliament of Canada so that they may extend their

operations to all provinces and territories of Canada under the control of

one central body, and it is expedient to grant the prayer of the said

petition:  Therefore His Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:--



1.  Colonel George Sterling Ryerson, M.D., Toronto;  Lieutenant-Colonel

George Taylor Denison, Toronto;  Lieutenant-Colonel George Alexander Shaw, Toronto;  Sir John Beverly Robinson, Bart., Edgewater, New Jersey;  Sir Charles Hibbert Tupper, K.C., Vancouver;  Sir Allen Aylesworth, K.C.,Toronto;  Major W. Napier Keefer, Toronto;  The Reverend Canon Alexander Wellesley Macnab, Toronto; Lieutenant-Colonel William Hamilton Merritt, Toronto;  His Honour Hedley Clarence Taylor, Edmonton;  George Dunford, Montreal;  Rufus Shorey Neville, K.C.,Toronto;  Mary E. Dignam, Toronto;  John Stewart Carstairs, Toronto;  Allen Ross Davis, Toronto;  Charles Egerton Mac Donald, Toronto;  Helen M. Merril, Toronto;  Victor A. Hall, Toronto;  Alfred Brown, Halifax;  George H. Ham, Montreal;  John Alexander Macdonell, K.C., Alexandria;  Albert J. Hill, New Westminster;  J.J. Gregory, Lacombe;  Arthur Edmund Preston Hill, C.E., Vancouver; Eugene Alexander MacLaurin, Toronto;  H.S. Seaman, Winnipeg and their associates and successors are hereby created a body corporate and politic by the name of "The United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada," hereinafter called "the Association."


Head office.

2.  The head office of the Association shall be in the City of Toronto, in the province of Ontario.



3.  The purposes of the Association shall be:--

(a)  to unite together, irrespective of creed or political party, the descendants of those families who, during the American revolutionary war of 1775 to 1783, sacrificed their homes in retaining their loyalty to the British Crown; and to perpetuate this spirit of loyalty to the Empire;

(b)  to preserve the history and traditions of that important epoch in Canadian history by rescuing from oblivion the history and traditions of the loyalist families before it is too late;

(c)  to collect together in a suitable place the portraits, documents, books, weapons, flags, monuments, memorials and all other articles and things relating to the United Empire Loyalists, which are now scattered throughout Canada and elsewhere;

(d)  to publish an historical and genealogical journal or annual transactions;

(e)  to erect, construct and repair buildings, monuments and also to purchase real estate and other things that may be considered desirable to perpetuate the memory of the United Empire Loyalists;

Central Council.

4.  The Association shall be governed by a central council the number of

whose members as well as their term of office and mode of election shall

be determined by by-law of the Association.



5.  The Association may make by-laws for the guidance of its officers and members, the control and management of its funds and generally for regulating every matter and thing proper or necessary to be done for the good of the Association and the prosecution of its objects and business.


Power to hold property.

6.  Subject to provincial laws, the Association may acquire by devise,

bequest, purchase, gift or lease, such real property not exceeding in

aggregate the value of fifty thousand dollars, as is required for its actual

use and occupation and carrying out its objects, and may sell, lease or

otherwise dispose of the same.


Rights of U.E.L. Assn.

7.  The Association may succeed to and take over all rights and property now held and enjoyed by the Association known as the United Empire Loyalist Association of Ontario upon the consent being obtained of a majority of the members of the United Empire Loyalist Association of Ontario present at a meeting called for the purpose, of which due notice has been given, as far as practicable, to all the members of the said Association.



8.  The transfer to the Association of such rights and property shall

however be made subject to any liabilities due by the United Empire

Loyalist Association of Ontario.




Printer to the King's most Excellent Majesty.



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