Sunday, December 31, 2017

Gilbert PURDY 1721-1777 - our United Empire Loyalist connection

United Empire Loyalists, aka UE or UEL, were those who not only supported the British against the rebellious 'Americans' in the Revolutionary War [1775 to 1783], but also moved to Canada. Many had all their land and goods confiscated by the Revolutionaries, and were hounded out of their homes and out of the country. In British-governed Canada, they were rewarded by the British government with land grants. Click on the link at the beginning of this paragraph for more details.

After starting my genealogy research about 12 years ago, I heard from a cousin that my ex-husband's Lewis family had UEL ancestors, but no one knew his name. Hmmm. How to prove UE links was a bit of a problem, as early Ontario - where the Lewis family had lived during that time period of the late 1700s - had scattered records. I assumed I would find a Lewis UE ancestor eventually, but we all know about the errors of assumptions!  

I had a breakthrough when looking through some Lewis family trees and found several referring to early AIKIN and PURDY families as "UE families". Exciting clues! My friendly helper at our BC Genealogical Society  Library, Marvellous Marvin, in 15 minutes had a pile of applicable UEL books, and two websites for me to do searching! Wow! The link was through the mother of Isaac LEWIS, [my children's great-grandfather], born in Ontario: Alma Jane AIKEN. 

I have only bits and pieces of reserch as yet, and need to do much more digging, but this is what I have to date:

Gilbert PURDY [sr.], b. about 1721 in Newburgh, Ulster, New York, married Mary DORLAND about 1755 and had at least 9 children that we know of.  He was a shipwright, and before he joined the British Army in 1777, he had a 40 Ton sloop just built, up in stocks at his property. 

In 1777, Gilbert died at Chesapeake with General Howe's Army, en route to Philadelphia. This army under Gen. Howe was overwhelmed by the Revolutionary soldiers under Gen. Washington. 

Gilbert and Mary had the following children, born in the Newburgh region of NY:
   1.  David, b. 20 Oct 1756, m. Abigail Ostrum [dau of a UEL soldier], settled in Ernestown, ON
   2.  Mercy, abt 1758, m. about 1785 to Major John Everett [UEL soldier], settled in Kingston ON
   3.  Mary, b. about 1761 [no information]
   4.  Gilbert [jr.] ancestor, b. 9 Jan 1763, d. 5 Jan 1851 Kingston ON; m. Ann E. JENNINGS [1771-1844]; settled in Kingston region ON [Cataraqui]; 8 children, eldest daughter Martha is ancestor
   5.  Micajah, b. 10 May 1766, d. 1844; Kingston ON
   6.  Rhoda, b. 15 May 1768, d. in NY state, USA
   7.  Catherine, b. 24 Aug 1770 [no information]
   8.  Charlotte, b. 25 Aug 1773, d. Kingston ON; m. abt 1795 to Nicholas Herchmer
   9.  Samuel, b. 25 Mar 1775, d. Kingston ON
As is obvious, I need to do research for more information on each child, spouse.

Gilbert joined General Howe's "Pioneers & Settlers" Army, sometimes called "Regiment Guides and Pioneers", and died in 1777. His widow and their children were hounded in New York by those hostile to the British rule, and wanting an independent country.  Goods, animals, and property were confiscated from her over a period of time. 

As the British government began to provide land grants to the loyal soldiers and their families, Mary took her children up to the Kingston region, and petitioned for land. At first her petition was rejected, but eventually, I could find Orders in Council [OC] accepting the petition for various members in the family starting in about 1800, one at a time, over about 10 years. One daughter, Rhoda, returned to New York state, likely to marry, and she did not receive any land.  Mary had petitioned for 200 acres for herself and 350 acres for her 7 children who qualified.

Mary DORLAND Purdy fought vigorously for her children, and the final OC grants were provided in 1810.  She died January 16, 1813 in Kingston Ontario, aged 79 years.  

Our line goes from Gilbert and Mary as follows:
     Gilbert PURDY & Mary DORLAND -> 
     son, Gilbert PURDY [jr.] & Ann Elizabeth JENNINGS ->
     dau, Martha PURDY & Robert AIKIN [AIKINS] ->
     son, John Lewis AIKEN & Eliza Jane BAKER ->
     dau, Alma Jane AIKEN & Isaac Charles LEWIS ->
     son, Charles Wm LEWIS & (1) Ada RICE -> 
            son, Charles LEWIS
                                                & (2) Reba K. RICE -> 
            sons Bill LEWIS & Jack LEWIS  

More information will be coming later in the new year, as I continue to dig further to be certain of each link. I have a list of items to search, such as land grant details, petition details, maps, vital statistics, more information on the spouses, to be certain I have the correct connections. Our PURDY connection is based on information given from a specific person's claims to the UEL Association of Canada, sources as shown on the UELAC website:
   1) BMD - Original Certs
   3) THE OLD UNITED EMPIRE LOYALISTS by Milton Rubincam, 1976
   4) THE LOYALISTS IN ONTARIO, by William D. Reid
   5) Genealogical Records (Family Tree) by Ron Makin (
   6) VOYAGE OF A DIFFERENT KIND, by Larry Turner, 1984
   7) LOYALIST LINEAGES OF CANADA, by Toronto Branch, UELAC, 1991, Vol 2, pps. 896-897

= = = = = = = = = = = = // = = = = = = = = = = = =

I am certain there may be errors of one sort and another as this is my first dive into UEL records, so do feel free to correct my information and/or provide me with information on how I might find more accurate details. I will be in touch with the UEL Association of Canada of course, as well as digging for more Ontario resources.  You can contact me through the address at the bottom of the blogs.

Google Blogger is still not allowing me to directly answer any comments, but do know that I appreciate that this information may be useful to others. And if you do comment, please know that you will make my day!  Cheers.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Siméon Le ROY 1711-1790, 6th great-grandfather in TERWILLIGER line

Siméon Le ROY is my 6th great-grandfather on my maternal TERWILLIGER line in New York state.  His surname ROY is variously spelled of course, as the Dutch heard the French pronunciation of LeRoy or Le Roy, and spelled it Larwa, Larowa, Larroway. Some descendant lines apparently kept the original French form of [Le] ROY, while others took the LAROWAY/LARAWAY spelling.
Image: current iteration of the first 1647 Notre Dame Basilica Cathedral, Québec; Wikipedia.   

As one might suspect from the surname, this Le ROY family travelled from Québec in the early 1700s down to Kingston in northern New York, settling eventually in Schoharie.

Siméon was the grandson of his name-sake, the original French settler from Normandy to New France in the mid-1660s, who married one of the almost-800 Filles du Roi [King's Daughters] in 1668. (That's a different story for another blog post.)

Siméon was baptised 15 Jul 1711 in Kingston, Ulster, New York, of parents: Léonard-Rémi LE ROY  dit AUDY and Maria ZIELLE/UZILE. For details on French-Canadian dit names, click here. For various reasons related to how names were pronounced by Dutch authorities, his father, Léonard-Rémi, became known as Jonas LARROWA. Already there are too many names and variant names, plus spelling variants. It's an interesting challenge to keep who's who straight.

On October 29, 1733, Siméon married Jantje VANDERVOLGEN in Schoharie, New York. Jantje was bap. Oct 28, 1716 in Schenectady, New York. I am still searching for more details on her line.
Sept. 29 [1733];  Simeon Larwa YM  / and / Jannetje VanderVolgen YD 
                    bo[th] at Nesketha / both liv here  Marr. Oct.29 / bo at Schenectady

Children of Siméon and Jantje, all born in Schoharie:
   1. Sara, [ancestor] bap 17 Nov 1737, d. unknown; m. 20 Sep 1754  to Dirk TERWILLIGER, Albany, NY;  5 known children
   2. Maria, bap 29 Jul 1738
   3. Neeltje, bap 12 Oct 1740
   4. Dina, bap 7 Sep 1742

Jannetje VANDERVOLGEN must have died between 1742-1744, although I haven't found a burial record as yet. However, there is a second marriage in the marriage registers of the Dutch Reformed Church, with widower Siméon, on Dec 6, 1744, with Jantje Valkenburgh [single].
Dec. 6 [1744];  Simeon Larrowa, widr & Jantje Valkenburgh YD;
both Schenectady

Children of Siméon and the second Jantje, all born in Schoharie:
   5. Lydia, bap 11 Nov 1745
   6. Jannetje, bap 10 Jun 1753
   7. Isaac, bap 21 Nov 1756

Jantje in various spellings is a quite common woman's name in the Dutch community. I was confused at this second marriage, thinking that perhaps Valkenburgh and VanderVolgen had been mistakenly heard/written, and were the same person. However I have since seen there are several Vandervolgen families in the region. As you can see by the children's birthdates, there is a 7 year gap between the 5th and 6th child. The cause of this gap is not known at this point. Jantje Valkenburgh died after birthing her son Isaac, the only boy in the family, on 21 Nov 1756.

Unfortunately Siméon's second wife died in childbirth with Isaac, the only known boy in this family. I have not yet done further research on the parents of the two Jantje wives, nor of the marriages of the 7 children. I have a list of research, who/where/when.

Siméon died in 1790 in Schoharie, having outlived both his wives. He would have been about 45 years old at the death of his second wife; possibly he moved in with one of his 6 daughters, or his only son's family.

I have additional details still to research: his occupation, taxes, land records, will or probate, and any further church records available... One never stops searching!
= = = = = = = = = = = = = // = = = = = = = = = = = = 

If these are your ancestors as well, please feel free to contact me via the email address at the very bottom of the blogs. I am always happy to share, and to correct any details I may have incorrect.  

Google Blogger still isn't allowing me to reply to any comments, but I do read them and enjoy knowing others find the blog posts interesting. If you comment, you make my day!  


Family, friends, and others - I hope you enjoy these pages about our ancestors and their lives. Genealogy has become somewhat of an obsession, more than a hobby, and definitely a wonderful mystery to dig into and discover. Enjoy my writing, and contact me at celia.winky at gmail dot com if you have anything to add to the stories. ... Celia Lewis