Family history–300 years of Loyalist research

Sept. 29, 2012

Last entry on the page relates to Samuel Boone–I can’t make it out

I flew to RI four days early so I could do more family research on my mother’s mother’s side of the family. Because they had been Loyalists in the Revolutionary War and were expelled from their land in RI and sent to Canada, the genealogy had some missing generations. Thanks to  G. Timothy Cranston, I found material in the No. Kingston library about my mother’s Boone ancestors, which I copied and brought to Fredericton, NB with me in the summer, to the University of NB Archives, and connected the puzzle all the way back to the original ancestor in England. On this second trip to Rhode Island, I again wandered in Wickford, and with Timothy’s guidance, found the original Boone cemetery from the early 1700’s where my mother’s family had lived, where one of the large farms had been 300 years ago, confiscated by the Colony of RI to pay for a war. There’s nothing new under the sun…

The records in the North Kingston Town Hall from the 1700’s are partly missing due to a fire 250 years ago or so. This is an example of what I was reading to correlate my records with what was in the town hall. My relative, Samuel Boone’s name is in that last entry on the bottom of the page, what there is left of the page.

I couldn’t see the cemetery from the road, so knocked on a door where the map, and Timothy’s directions from his next book on Wickford’s old homes, said it should be. A kind neighbor whose home is in front of the cemetery, lead me back to it, and introduced me to his neighbor whose home is also in front of that old cemetery. They’ve worked on cleaning it up for ten years, ridding it of brush and briars, so the stones are again visible, all still standing (except one, and they found the pieces of that and he showed it to me, put together as a puzzle, so I could photograph that, too). It mystified me to see more vertical stones without inscription than those with the person identified. If they had had slaves, that information did not come down the family story. Who were all those vertical stones marking, I wonder? There must be four times as many of those as of the inscribed stones. If children, they’d have marked the stone, wouldn’t they? It doesn’t make a tangible difference, but it feels so good to have completed the work my mother started many years ago, before the WWW existed, which allowed me to find a great deal of information from the Canadian archives, but only back as far as their census went–around the 1850’s. There was no central recording of family records before that.

Now that I understand better what the Loyalists endured in the unbroken wilderness of New Brunswick, it’s no wonder there was not that sophistication until much later. It took 40 years for them to build the first church, since there were no roads, no railroad, only a navigable river part of the year when it wasn’t frozen. They lived in tents provided by the kindness of the English, until they could cut down the forest and build a home of logs (one old journal said they heaped pine boughs on top of the tent, and when it started to snow in October, it covered them like an igloo, and they were relatively warm inside). They had subsistence rations for two years, after which time they were expected to have cleared their land, planted it, and have crops to sustain them and their livestock, have built a house and barn, and whatever other outbuildings they needed. My ancestors are buried in the Pioneer Cemetery in Fredericton Junction, and some in the Tracy Cemetery, about 25 miles south of Fredericton, the capitol of New Brunswick. I wish Mom could have come with me there–or maybe she was…

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1 Comment

Filed under Aging, community, Family, Friendship, Healing, Life is a cycle, Satisfaction

One response to “Family history–300 years of Loyalist research

  1. I would love to know more of the Boone family – I descend from William of Rhode Island a loyalist who went to New Brunswick with his wife and children – please email if you happen to get this note LindaHaLLittle “at” gmail.com

    Thanks!!!!

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