Land Grant Petitions and Genealogy Information
By Ruby M Cusack
It seemed I wasn’t around when the artistic talents were being given out but I prided myself on my ability to do neat colouring.
Aunt Ethel had given me a box of 36 wooden crayons for my birthday as well as a geometry set. These were going to be really helpful for my homework project on the Loyalist.
Mum assisted me in cutting a sailing ship from a Nabisco Shredded Wheat box. My sails were made from some scrap material of a flour bag. The masts were thin sticks that Dad cut from a piece of kindling. My red, white and blue flag appeared to be waving in the wind.
Now came the hard part. I was to write a paragraph on the Loyalist and their land.
I asked Mum, if they bought their farms from the Indians. She explained that they were given land with conditions that needed to be met.
As the years have passed, I have learned about the granting of land to the Loyalists in recognition of their loyalty to the crown. In reading many of their petitions, it often amazes me at the amount of genealogical information that can sometimes be found in these documents, even though the petitioner may not have necessarily received the desired property.
Although many of the Loyalists received their grants in 1783, others applied or reapplied at a later date.
In 1784 a petition for land by Lieutant Michael Ambrose, late of the P. W. A. Regiment, to form a settlement upon Salmon River, eastward of Quako Head upon the Bay of Fundy lists fifty names.
Jorden Cock stated, he arrived in this province in the month of November 1783 after suffering the loss of his estate by the rebels. He has a large family.
Alex Fairchild, carpenter advises that he served in his majesties services about seven years in the Prince of Wales American Regiment. He mentions he built the King’s store near Fort Howe.
In 1785, John Caleff, late of Ipswich, Province of Massachusetts Bay, now of New Brunswick, a surgeon, states that he served forty years as a servant of the Crown of England in civil and military employments. He listed the names of his children: Margaret Page, Mary Dutch, Robert, Samuel, Jediah, Jewet, Dorothy, Sarah, Sussanah and Mehitable.
Elnathan Appleby had drawn a lot far up the St. John River and he now wants a lot on the great Kennebuckacis (sic) above Darling Island. He had formerly belonged to his Majesty’s late Queen Rangers in which he was a sargeant from 1776 to the time of their being disbanded.
On January 7, 1785, John Hamilton wrote from Mahogany that he had arrived in Halifax in November of 1782 with upwards of 300 Loyalists from South Carolina, where he formerly lived and being under the necessity of going to England was just now petitioning for land on Belleisle Bay.
I do not know if John Hamilton was related to James Hamilton of Cobiqued, Nova Scotia, who requested 1400 acres at Quako on October 5, 1801, for his sons, Peter, William, James, Joseph and son-in-law William Brown, who was settled there with a numerous family.
There are land petitions on microfilm at the Saint John Free Public Library, the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick and at other research institutions.
An Index to Land Petitions: Original Series 1783-1918 can be found on the PANB database at http://www.gnb.ca/archives/e/default.asp
Hamilton - (By the way, if anyone has information on Peter Hamilton, born in either Nova Scotia or New Brunswick who married Ann Young in Kingston Parish, Kings County, New Brunswick in 1821 and had children Hiram and Louisa, or any clues about his father John Hamilton who purchased land in 1790 on the Kennebecasis River in Kingston Parish, Kings County, New Brunswick - I would like to hear from you. Contact Ruby at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Wiggins - Briggs - Slocum: I am researching the following families and would like to exchange information with anyone concerning these families. Jacob Wiggins was born April 28, 1797 at Waterborough, New Brunswick. He died August 18, 1859 at Grand Lake, New Brunswick. He married Permassa Briggs on January 4, 1815 at Waterborough. His parents were Jacob Wiggins and Elizabeth Ruth Slocum.
-Ralph Buzzell at 4124 N. Noble Pl., Oak Harbor, WA, USA, 98277. E-mail email@example.com.
McRae - O’Connell - Tippett: I'm looking for any information on the McRae family from Campbellton. Specifically, William Lyon McRae, a shoemaker who was born circa 1835 and died March 29,1899. His first wife was Sarah, 1847-1870?, and they had 3 boys, James Alexander,1864-1912, David Ritchie,1866 -June 29,1960, and William, 1871-?. His second marriage on December 12,1874 was to Mary O'Connell. They had at least 8 children, one of whom, Frederick John, was my grandfather. Fred married Pauline Tippett of Saint John on October 17,1916.
-Peter McRae, 19 Roxborough Street West, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5R1T9. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ruby is a genealogy buff. Readers are invited to send their New Brunswick genealogical queries to her at email@example.com. When E-Mailing please put Yesteryear Families in the Subject line. Please include in the query, your name and postal address as someone reading the newspaper, may have information to share with you but not have access to E-mail. Queries should be no more than 45 words in length.