Loyalists are coming, 225 years later

Diana
Diana Tibert
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Look out, this summer is going to be a blast - a musket blast, that is. The Loyalists arrived in Canada 225 years ago and this summer, their descendants are going to remember, celebrate and re-enact their history.

Look out, this summer is going to be a blast - a musket blast, that is. The Loyalists arrived in Canada 225 years ago and this summer, their descendants are going to remember, celebrate and re-enact their history. When the American Revolution wrapped up, British subjects loyal to the crown needed a safe place to live. The majority of them were not willing, or could not return to their former homestead for fear of persecution from the American soldiers and those loyal to the revolution. Soldiers for hire brought into the colonies to fight alongside the British and who did not want to return to Europe needed a safe place to settle. Loyalists were a varied lot. They belonged to all levels of social class and among them were shipbuilders, servants, coopers, bankers, politicians, farmers, fishermen, carpenters, soldiers, teachers and many other professions. Loyalists included freed men, former slaves who were set free or escaped, and slaves owned by army officers or wealthy Southerners. Ethnic origins of Loyalists included English, Scottish, Irish, Dutch, German, German-Swiss and African, and they were also American-born. They were men (military and civilian), women and children of all ages. Although some Loyalists trickled into Canada as early as 1774, the vast majority arrived in 1783. Some sailed directly from Boston to Halifax. Many more gathered at New York awaiting ships to take them to safety. Although some Loyalists were dispatched to other places on the map, some 30,000 arrived in Atlantic Canada. Large settlements sprouted up over night as land grants were drawn and the clearing for homes and fields began. The large number of Loyalists landing at the mouth of the St. John River paved the way for a new province. At that time, the area was known as Nova Scotia, but with the sudden population growth, it was realized a separate colony was needed and New Brunswick was born in 1784. A decade or two ago, it might have been difficult to locate information on Loyalist ancestors, but times have changed. An Internet search with the keyword Loyalist on Google (http://www.google.ca) produces thousands of results, including the On-line Institute for Advanced Loyalist Studies website (http://www.royalprovincial.com/). It contains information on Loyalist history, military, muster rolls, clothing and genealogy. This summer, history comes alive in many Loyalist settlements around Atlantic Canada. Come Home to Your Loyalist Roots is taking place at Wallace (formerly Remsheg Grant) from June 28 through to June 30. To learn more, visit the Remsheg Grant website (http://remsheg225.wetpaint.com/) or contact the Wallace and Area Museum, PO Box 179, 13440 Hwy 6, Wallace, Cumberland County, NS, B0K 1Y0. The Loyalist Landing 2008 Society of Shelburne has dedicated the entire year to celebrating and remembering. Just a few of the events taking place at the place formerly known as Port Roseway by the Loyalists, include the Grand Re-enactment Weekend (July 17 - July 20) and Founders Days Weekend (July 24 - July 27). For details on these events and others, visit their website (http://www.loyalistsatshelburne.com/). Researchers File Seeking information on Mary A. Gregory, daughter of Charlotte and Edward Gregory of Lot 44, P.E.I. Born about 1868, Mary went to Boston where she married Robert F. Smart and had two children: Margaret Josephine (1889) and Ida Estelle (1890). Mary last found in 1893 at Halifax with brother, Charles Gregory. Contact: Debbi Langill, 13 Dane St. Peabody, MA 01960 USA; email: dindin514@yahoo.com Diana Lynn Tibert is a freelance writer living in Milford, NS. Submit a query. Its free!: RR#1 Milford, Hants County, NS, B0N 1Y0; email: tibert@ns.sympatico.ca,

Organizations: Wallace, Google, Institute for Advanced Loyalist Studies Area Museum Loyalist Landing 2008 Society of Shelburne

Geographic location: Atlantic Canada, Nova Scotia, Boston Halifax Europe New York New Brunswick Milford Cumberland County Port Roseway Hants County

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