I’ve read many stories of families split by wars, split in terms of members taking opposing sides. This situation is often mentioned particularly in annals of the U.S. Civil War, probably because that is the most recent war in which this was an issue.
Here is just a brief description of my baker’s dozen of Patriots and Loyalists, all through my mother’s family lines, which came together with the marriage of my great great grandparents, Calvin Segee Adams and Nellie F. Tarbox on 1 February 1875 in Calais, Maine.
First, the Patriots:
1. Joses Bucknam, born 6 March 1761, Malden, MA; married Abigail Hay and they moved to Mason, Hillsboro, NH, where Joses died on 18 April 1835. He was a private captured by the British and sent to the notorious Old Mill Prison in Portsmouth, England. It was first thought that he had deserted, but he was actually a prisoner.
2. Samuel Scripture, born 27 April 1727, Groton, Middlesex, MA; married Mary Green. He died about 1817, probably in Nelson, Cheshire, NH. Samuel was a Minuteman who answered the call to arms and fought at Breed’s Hill, commonly called Bunker Hill.
3. James Scripture, born 11 January 1749, Groton, Middlesex, MA; married Sibbel Shepley. They also removed to Mason, Hillsboro, NH where James died on 19 June 1810. James served several enlistments, attaining the rank of sergeant.
4. William Hay, born 18 September 1744, Stoneham, Middlesex, MA; married Phebe Brown. William died after 23 April 1803, possibly in Addison, VT. He served as a private with a militia unit from nearby Reading, MA.
5. John Haskell, born 7 January 1744/45, Gloucester, Essex, MA; married Hannah Parsons. They removed to New Gloucester, Cumberland, ME where John died on 4 October 1828. John gave civil service during the war, holding two town jobs. (If you have an ancestor who performed civil service, such as holding a town office, the Daughters of the American Revolution recognizes such a person as a patriot and descendants qualify for membership in DAR.)
6. Samuel Tarbox, born 23 May 1731, Gloucester, Essex, MA; married Deborah Sayward. They also removed to New Gloucester, Cumberland, ME where Samuel died on 26 July 1809. Like John Haskell, Samuel served as a town officer during the war.
American patriots fought long and hard for their independence from England. While I am very proud of my ancestors’ stands, I also respect the actions of my Loyalist ancestors, as each of them not only stood up for their beliefs, they sacrificed (read: lost) everything when they sailed for Canada at the end of the war. Their new life in New Brunswick was hard and some died almost penniless.
1. James Astle, born about 1745; died before March 1815 in Ludlow, Northumberland, New Brunswick, Canada; married Elizabeth McLean. James Astle and his family departed from Schenectady, Schenectady, NY as the war drew to a close and they settled in Canada. James has no known military or civil service for the Crown.
2. Robert Carlisle, born about 1760; died in Charlotte, Washington, ME in 1834; married Catherine (MNU). Robert is on the Loyalist lists, although I wouldn’t technically consider him a Loyalist as he apparently only lived in the Nova Scotia area during the war. He did serve in the British military, but only to guard Nova Scotia. The Carlisles didn’t move to Maine until the 1820’s.
3. John Adams, born about 1740, probably Fairfield County, CT; married Sarah Coley. The Adams group was a well-to-do family, split by political loyalties during the Revolution. The last mention of John Adams describes him as a squatter on Adams Island in the West Isles of New Brunswick, Canada. The family turned to fishing to make their living when they sailed with the fall 1783 fleet from New York to Canada.
4. Benjamin Burt, born 29 December 1741, Ridgefield, Fairfield, CT; married Rebecca Follett. The Burt family was another torn by political divisions. This family also left CT for Canada at the close of the war. Benjamin died on 10 August 1785 in Burton, Sunbury, New Brunswick, Canada.
5. Jonathan Parker Jr., born about 1764, probably in NY; wife is unknown, but he had at least six children. He died after 1811 probably on Campobello, West Isles, New Brunswick, Canada. Campobello is best known as the summer island home of President Franklin Roosevelt. Jonathan is another with no known military ties, but he is found on a list called Return of Loyalists called Anabaptists enrolled in Caleb Barrett’s Company who have actually _____ on board the armed ship Camel bound for St. Johns River.
6. Phillip Crouse, born about 1761 in Zeeland, Netherlands; married Sarah Burt, daughter of Loyalist Benjamin Burt. Phillip died on 21 February 1857 in Keswick, York, New Brunswick, Canada. Phillip lived in North Carolina during the war, but settled in Canada after the war ended.
7. Walter Stewart, born about 1750; married Elizabeth Briggs on 3 March 1774 in Poughkeepsie, Dutchess, NY, but both were residents of Fishkill, Dutchess, NY at the time they married. They likely had a very large family, but those probably born in NY are unknown. They had at least six children born in Canada between 1785 and 1798. The Stewarts left NY for Canada sometime between their marriage and the 1785 birth of son John. Walter died about 1820, probably in Sussex, Queens, New Brunswick, Canada, where the family eventually settled.
Interested in joining a hereditary society? There is one around for almost every group imaginable and, yep, there is one for those with both Patriots and Loyalists. It is aptly named The Hereditary Order of the Descendants of Loyalists and Patriots of the American Revolution.
If you are a descendant of any of these men, I love to meet new cousins, so please leave a comment.