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sided with England during the Revolutionary War) who moved from the U.S. to Canada after the Revolutionary War. Some, the Wilcoxes and one Seely family, have been and are being researched by many others. Here is a little history of some less well known families. Church records in New York show that all these families lived in New York before going to Canada, in roughly the same area, but I was unable to trace any of them further back. THE LANCASTER TOWNSHIP CONNECTION At the close of the Revolution, three of our ancestors received land grants in Lancaster Township, Glengarry County, Ontario. This township is located on the St. Lawrence River, right below the present border between Ontario and Quebec. It was originally called Lake Township and a "Provision Return" for that township for 25-31 Aug. 1786 shows the names of Thomas Ben (Bain) Ross, Augustus Seley, and James Young. The Youngs and the Seeleys were neighbors during years that Augustus remained in Lancaster, though it would be several generations later that their families intermarried. James Young's son Thomas married Thomas Bain Ross's daughter Christene in 1803. Descendants of both these families are probably still living in Lancaster. Thomas Young was married to Hannah Snyder. Her father, John Snyder, is also supposed to have come to Lancaster, but he died some time soon after the settlement began and doesn't appear in the land records. Hannah Snyder had a sister who married in New York and lived in Lancaster. A glimpse of life in Lancaster in 1800 is given in Lancaster Township and Village by Ewan Ross: "Some prices of goods in 1800 may be of interest. I have translated these into dollars at the rate of $4.75 to the pound. Men's wages $1 per day Servant girl $2 per month Wheat sold for $1.25 per bushel Flour sold for $7.50 per cwt. Salt cost $4.50 per bushel Tea cost $1 to $1.50 per lb. Tobacco cost 63 cents per lb. Madeira wine cost $3 per gallon Rum cost $8 per gallon Nails cost 25 cents per lb. Corn sold for $1.25 per bushel (maize). Candles cost 30 cents per lb. There were three inns in Lancaster (present South Lancaster) in 1800 run by Malcolm McIntosh, John McLennan and Archie Stuart." There was a continuing dispute in Lancaster over a survey line that affected the Young and Seeley property and resulted in a letter written 25 May 1805 that gives a glimpse into their lives: 1 ©Beth Davies AG. Permission is granted to copy for personal use.
"Agustus Sealey settled on Lott No. 25 in the year 1785, Cleared 30 acreds of Land & Builded House an Barn and Stables Sold it. it is now the property of John McLennen of the 30 acres Mr. McDonels line will cut of 24 Acres and all his Buildings. John Young (actually the land belong to James Young, but his son John later lived on it) settled on Lott No. 26 in the year 1786. he has Builded House and Barn pays tax for 10 Acres of Improved land must Losse all his Buildings and 17 Acres of Cleared Land" (Letter written by Jeremiah Snyder who owned lot 24, original spelling retained--letter found in the Lancaster Township Papers for Concession 3, FHL film 1,278,185)
THOMAS BAIN ROSS FAMILY "Two miles east of Lancaster, about a quarter of a mile south of Highway No. 2 on land which gently slopes down to the banks of Lake St. Francis stood one of the oldest homesteads in Glengarry. It is now in Upper Canada Village. The house, a two-storey dwelling, was built in 1784 by Thomas Ban Ross, a United Empire Loyalist. The building is constructed of hand-hewn pine logs. The exterior is covered by frame lumber. Few repairs have been necessary owing to the painstaking work which went into the original building. Thomas Ban Ross first came to Canada with the 91st Highland Regiment. He fought in the Battle of Quebec in 1759, later returning to his home in Sutherlandshire, Scotland, where he married Isabel Ross. Several years later, Mr. and Mrs. Ross sailed for America, where they settled in the Mohawk Valley. Along with other United Empire Loyalists, Thomas Ross followed Sir John Johnson and his father Sir William Johnson to Glengarry in 1784. One year later Indian guides were sent to the Mohawk Valley to escort the families of these men to their new homes in Glengarry. Mr. Ross and five children, Nancy, Donald, Nellie, Thomas and Christie joined Thomas Ban near Lancaster and started hewing their home out of the rugged Glengarry woods. 165 years after the Ross home was built, the original home still defied weather and time. It was then occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Clarence E. Boffin. Mrs. Boffin is Ida Ross, five descended from Thomas Ban Ross. When Thomas Ban Ross settled in Glengarry, 200 acres of land were granted to each family. King George III sent out different kinds of agricultural implements. But before one acre could be prepared for seed, cabins and stables had to be built. With cross-cut saws and axes, trees had to be felled. Roads had to be "blazed". ...In the treasured possession of Mrs. Boffin (once Ida Ross) is the flintlock gun used by Thomas Ban Ross in the taking of Quebec. It measures five feet two inches in length, steel barrel with butt of wood. The accompanying powder-horn is finely carved, with a heavy cord attached for carrying. Another heirloom in possession is the original deed to the grant of 400 acres to her great, great grandfather, Thomas Ban Ross. It is discolored with age, the writing almost illegible. The King's Seal, a beeswax disc, covered with parchment, bearing the coat of arms, is tied to one corner, from which it is suspended." "Lancaster Township and Village" by Ewan Ross, pg. 35-37 "The Gravestones of Glengarry" vol. II, pg. 33 (by Alex W. Fraser) records the following tombstone inscription and indicates in the index that this is Thomas 'Ban' Ross: 2 ©Beth Davies AG. Permission is granted to copy for personal use.
"In memory of Thomas Ross a native of the Parish of Greigh, Sutherland Shire, Scotland, a U. E. Loyalist, died Aug. 10, 1806, age 77 years, also his wife Isabella Ross a native of the same place, died Aug. 1838, aged 92 years. Also their daughter Nelly died Aug. 8 1850, aged 73 years. Erected by their son Thomas" Thomas Bain and Isabella Ross had 6 known children: Donald, born in about 1768, probably in Scotland, married Margaret McMartin in 1801. His will appears in a Lancaster Deed Book, filed on 21 Aug. 1848. Anna was born about 1773 in the U.S. and married John Monroe in 1796. They lived in the neighboring township of Charlottenburgh. Nellie, born in 1777 (probably in New York) and died in 1850, apparently never married. Hugh was living in neighboring Charlottenburgh in 1802 when he filed a petition for land (I found a possible wife and children, but could not prove that the husband was the right Hugh Ross as Ross was a very common name in Glengarry County). Thomas was born about 1779, probably in New York and married Christian Urquhart in 1809. He died in 1870. Christene (our ancestress) was probably the youngest child. She married Thomas Young in 1803. She is supposed to have died in 1844, but I could not verify this (see Thomas Young, below). Christene was the only one of her family to leave Glengarry county. JAMES YOUNG FAMILY . Ours was the only Young family living in Lancaster, which is fortunate since there were many other Youngs in Canada at the time. James Young married Hannah Snyder, probably in New York. Many of our Young family migrated further southwest along the St. Lawrence river after their marriages, though most had at least some children born in Lancaster. James Young, the father of the family, died in Lancaster in 1811. I found a copy of his will in the Glengarry County: WILL OF JAMES YOUNG In the Name of God Amen, I James Young Senior of Lancaster in the County of Glengarry in the Eastern District of the Province of Upper Canada, being weak in body but of good mind and memory blessed to the Almighty God for the same, do make and publish this my last will and testament in the manner and form following thereunto says firstly, I give and bequeath unto my beloved son John Young the south half of Lot No. 26 in the 3rd Concession of the Township of Lancaster in the County, District and Province aforesaid. Secondly I give and bequeath unto my beloved son James Young the West? half of lot no. 27 back to Mr. McNiffs the surveyor's line in the 2? Concession of the Township of Lancaster Aforesaid. Thirdly, I give and bequeth unto my beloved son Thomas Young the ? half of lot no. 27 in the front of the aforesaid township of Lancaster and the East half of lot no. 22 in the fourth Concession of the said Township of Lancaster; In consideration of which the said Thomas Young is to maintain me decently during my natural life and to give me a decent Christian Burial after my decease. Fourthly I give and bequeth unto my beloved Grandchild Hannah Young, Daughter of the Said Thomas Young, my Son, the bed Whereon I lay, hereby revoking all wills or testaments by me made. In witness whereof I have hereunto signed my hand and ..... this seventh day of March in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Eleven. This will was presented to the court on July 9, 1811. (Glengarry Co. Probate Records Vol. 2(B) pg. 40-42)
3 ©Beth Davies AG. Permission is granted to copy for personal use.
James and Hannah had ten children: Anthony, christened in New York in 1775, married Elizabeth England in 1807. They had several children in Lancaster but were in Scarborough by 1818. John was born about 1777. He married Susannah Snyder and remained in Lancaster. James Young was born about 1780, probably in New York, and married Catherine Mulloy. They had six children born in Lancaster, but may have eventually left. Thomas Young, our ancestor was born in 1781 in New York and married Christene Ross in 1803. They probably moved to Ontario County. Hannah Young was born about 1783 in New York and married Jacob Snider in 1801. They stayed in Lancaster at least through 1812. Elizabeth Young was born in 1783 in New York. She had an illegitimate daughter, Elizabeth, whose father was Jeremiah Snyder, in 1809. In 1814 she married Henry Runnions in Cornwall in the neighboring county of Dundas. They had a child christened there in 1815, but I could find no further record of them. Janet Young was christened in Glengarry County in 1788. She married Ebenezer Blair in 1806. Their marriage and the births of their first three children were recorded in the records of the Williamstown Presbyterian Church. The minister of this church covered a wide area, though most of the individuals recorded in these records lived in the Lancaster area. Temple work for these first three children had been performed through the extraction program, but I suspected there were more children. A check of land records helped me to eventually locate this family in Albion, Peel County. Janet, as the daughter of a Loyalist received a grant of 200 acres of land in Neapean Township, Carleton County. A histroy of this county said that most Loyalists who received land grants in that area did not actually ever live on their land, and this seems to be the case with Janet and Ebenezer. Ebenezer sold this land in 1823. In 1824 he bought Lot 16 in the 3rd concession in Albion. The land transaction said that at that time he was a resident of nearby Vaughan and was a cabinetmaker. This piece of land stayed in the Blair family at least until the 1860's. Ebenezer and Janet both died in Albion and both left wills when they died which named additional children. I was able to find marriage records for some of the children and to identify grandchildren and other spouses through the Canadian census records. William Young was christened in Glengarry county in 1790. "Loyalist Lineages of Canada" claims that he had two wives, Eliza Young and Sarah---. I could find no marriage record for either marriage, but Sarah and William lived in Hawkesbury, Prescott County, David Young was christened in 1793 in Glengarry county. He lived in Ontario County (see below) and eventually immigrated to the U.S. Since temple work had been completed for his family, I did not completely research his life, but in 1850 he was living in Hancock Co., Illinois. Mary Young is named in temple records as being born in 1796 in Ontario, but she does not appear in the Williamstown Presbyterian records where the early christenings and marriages in Lancaster are recorded and I found no other records of her.
THE ONTARIO COUNTY FAMILY James Young's son David and his grandson, James Ross Young, married sisters, Rebecca and Elizabeth Seeley. The Seeley's, and various members of the Young family all lived in Whitby Township, Ontario County, or in nearby townships in the early 1800's. Apparently Thomas Young, father of James Ross Young, moved to that area from Lancaster around 1817--at least he sold several pieces of land in Lancaster in 1816 and 1817. I was not able to find any records concerning Thomas in Ontario County, but there were land and marriage records concerning a number of his children. The Youngs and the Seeleys lived in Whitby when Mormon missionaries visited the area. I found 4 ©Beth Davies AG. Permission is granted to copy for personal use.
several accounts concerning this in histories of the area: "One of them, John Ritson, taught a school on the eastern boundary of Oshawa. In this schoolhouse, and in the woods to the south of it, Joe Smith, the founder of the Mormons, frequently preached and made some converts." (Ontario County, by J.E. Farewell, pg.34, FHL 971.355H2f) "The first Mormon missionary came to Canada in 1830, although active attempts at conversion did not begin until 1832. In that year six ordained elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as the Mormon church is officially called, began active work at Earnstown, near Kingston. These missionaries enjoyed considerable success, and over the next several years the efforts of the church were expanded westward. In 1836, led by Elder Orson Pratt, the Mormons began preaching in the Pickering and Whitby area with some success. In 1837, the leader of the Mormons, the Prophet Joseph Smith, visited Pickering and Whitby, and informed the local converts that all members of the religion were to travel to the "far west". Two groups left Canada in 1837 and 1838, and most eventually settled in Nauvoo, Illinois. Several families from Whitby Township, among them the Magahans, Seeleys and Lamoureaux followed Smith to Nauvoo and later to Salt Lake City, Utah. Mrs. Christiana Gordon Ross of Pickering remembered that when her grandfather, William Gordon, came to Canada in 1838, he was fortunate enough to buy a fine farm in Pickering very cheaply from a Mormon family who had decided to follow Joseph Smith: Grandfather...bought a large farm in Pickering...two hundred and fifty acres and almost entirely cleared, with the same house as stands there today and which was counted as a very fine one at that date; he bought also horses, two spans, cattle, wagons and everything else just as they stood. This purchase was made from Mr. Lawrence with whom Joe Smith, the famous Mormon leader lived. My mother often told me about it, that grandfather paid cash (L1,000)...and that upon receiving the money, Mr. Lawrence just handed it across the table to Joe Smith. This was sometime in the summer of 1838 and immediately after Joe Smith and all the Mormons left for the states." (History of the County of Ontario, pg. 168, FHL 971.355H2j) "During the summer of that same year (1843) another religious sect, the Mormons, invaded the district and made quite an impact on it. At Butterfield's Corners, now the village of Taunton, a man named John G. Cannon held meetings in the open air and sometimes in the home of settlers who appeared to have leanings towards his belief. Probably encouraged by Mr. Cannon, about that same time, Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon faith of the Latter Day Saints, paid an extended visit to the district, and found it fruitful. He spoke at open air meetings and held camp meetings, as well as speaking in homes. He even attempted to perform such miracles as curing sick persons. He was successful in securing some converts. Among these was a family named McGahon, and all of its members embraced the Mormon faith. They sold their farm for $4000; gave the money to Smith, and went off to join the Mormon colony at Nauvoo, Illinois, and later went on to Salt Lake City. Other families, the Seeleys, Lamoureux and others, did likewise and joined the westward trek. None of them were ever heard from again from their new homes in Salt Lake City, to which they removed after the colony at Nauvoo, Illinois had been broken up. They simply vanished with Joseph Smith and never sent any word to the relatives and friends they had left behind. With their going, 5 ©Beth Davies AG. Permission is granted to copy for personal use.
however, the Mormon movement died out in the district." (Oshawa "The Crossing between the Waters", pg. 186-187, FHL 971.355/C1H20) You will notice that there is a five year difference in the two versions of the story. The 1838 departure date fits with other records. I have baptismal dates in 1837 for James Ross Young and his wife Elizabeth Seeley. Land records in Whitby show the following for our family: James Young, of Whitby, bought Broken Front concession, Lot 29 (on the edge of Lake Ontario), about 80 acres for 80 pounds on 28 May 1828 (Whitby Township Register of Deeds, Book A, #6354, FHL film 179,248). He and Elizabeth his wife sold this land 12 July 1838 (Book B, #15402, FHL film 179,269 David Young, of Whitby, bought part of lot 24, Broken Front concession (69 1/2 acres), on 22 Sept. 1828 for 112 pounds (Book A, #6486, FHL film 179,248). He sold this land to Justus Azel Seely) for 125 pounds on 26 Aug. 1830 (Book A, #7521). James Ross Young seems to have been the only member of his immediate family who joined the LDS Church at this time and left the area. Letter from Verlyn Westwood Bentley, March 7, 1991. "I wanted to answer one of your questions about Elizabeth Seeley Young and her second marriage. Grandma told me once that Elizabeth (Grandma's grandmother) wasn't satisfied, wanted someone higher in the church so she left Grandfather James Ross Young and that she didn't really do too much better for herself, because "all she got was a tithing clerk." I assume that Elijah Mayhew was the tithing clerk Grandma talked about. Anyway Grandma says in her book that her Grandpa Young lived with them when she was a child. She told me that he always lived with them, but sometime it became necessary for the Grandmother to be cared for also, but because the grandparents were separated, and the grandfather already living in the house, a small house was fixed up out in back for the Grandmother." From "Autobiography of Martha Anna Wilcox Westwood Foy" pgs. 1, 4, 5. "My mother, Mary Young, was born at Whitby, Ontario, Canada, sometimes called Upper Canada, 6 June 1831. When she was six years old her parents (James Ross Young and Elizabeth Seely) left their Canadian home and moved to the United States to be in closer contact with the Church. They suffered considerable persecution in Canada and at one time one of the mobsters threw Mary into Lake Erie. Another one asked him why he did that and he answered, "nits make lice"--meaning that she would also join the church as she grew older. By the mercy of our heavenly Father she was able to get to shore by herself, and lived to be almost ninety-eight years of age. ...One evening while Father, Mother, Sarah and Wesley Bills were outside taking care of the stock, we kids decided to play hide and seek. As we did not have any light except that made by the fireplace, we built a big fire in it. Granddaddy Young (James Ross Young) who lived with us always 6 ©Beth Davies AG. Permission is granted to copy for personal use.
cut all the wood and carried it in for the night. When we had burned most of the wood, Grand-daddy told us to quit, so he would have plenty of wood to build the fires in the morning, but we didn't obey him. We would sneak in and get another stick and throw it on the fire. Finally he said, "I'll see that you do quit," and he was going to give us each a lickin'. Wes and I crawled under the bed. We thought he couldn't reach us there, but he reached in and got hold of Wes's boot and pulled one off. Wes said, "Hold on there, Granddaddy." Grandpa said, "I'll hold on all right," and reached in and got hold of the other boot, but it came off too. So he reached in a little farther and got hold of his foot, pulled him out and gave him a sound spanking. The rest of us all got out of sight until Granddaddy went to bed, then we came out of hiding and went to bed too. We didn't burn any more wood that night. Another time on Sunday, Ellen, Hannah and I had been to Sunday School and Ellen's young friend Kazziah (Kizzie) Brandon came home with us. She and Ellen were cooking dinner and Hannah and I were sitting in the rocking chair singing. Kizzie kept asking us to sing another song, but Granddaddy got tired of our singing and told us to stop. As the older girls told us to keep on singing, we did. He told us to stop again, but we kept right on, then we saw him coming after us, and we made a break for the outdoors. He chased us around the block. Hannah got away but he caught me, and pulled nearly every hair out of my head, at least so it felt. I told him, "You'll be sorry. You'll see when Mother and Father come home. You'll just have to find another place to live." But when I told them my pitiful story, they just said, "You should have minded." However, with all my meanness, Granddaddy loved me the best, and a was always giving me something. He was usually good and kind to me." THE THOMAS YOUNG FAMILY James Ross Young was the oldest of Thomas' family. He had two brothers (Anthony and Thomas) and five sisters Ann (Nancy), Hannah, Isabel, Ellen (Nelly or Elenor), and Margaret. I found no records that could be positively identified as his brothers, but found records of all of the sisters but Ann. Hannah and her husband Joseph Carle were living in Whitby with four children in the 1851 census, but I found no other record of them. Isabel married O'Callaghan Hyde Holmes Aug. 2, 1829 in Whitby. "In 1821 "the four Irishmen" arrived from Ireland. They were John Borlase Warren, William Warren, Laurence Hayden and O'Callaghan Holmes. They were County of Cork men and there entered into an agreement to emigrate to Canada and carry on in partnership agricultural pursuits. They settled north of Hamers' Corners. Messrs. J. B. Warren, Hayden and Homes were commissioners of the Court of Requests for Whitby and Reach....Mr. Highfield, of Pickering...bought out the four Irishmen." (Ontario County, by J.E. Farewell, pg. 22, FHL 971.355H2f). "In 1826, four young men started from the port of Kinsale in Ireland, to seek their fortunes in Canada. They were John and William Warren, Lawrence Heydon, then only 16 years old, and Callaghan Holmes. With a hired servant, Pat Deashy, they took passage in a brig. "The Grace of Ilfracombe", determined to follow farming and agricultural business in the distant colony. In due time they reached Quebec, and proceeded up the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario until they reached York, where Dr. Baldwin, a kinsman of the Warrens, gave the adventurers a warm welcome. 7 ©Beth Davies AG. Permission is granted to copy for personal use.
Gathering information as to available land, they decided to settle in Whitby township. Jointly, they bought 100 acres on the third concession of Whitby township. These four settlers were the first from Ireland to settle in the district, and were popularly known as "The Four Irishmen". After a time, the four youths found the task of clearing the land and creating a farm too onnerous. They cooked their own meals, baked their own bread, did their own washing and mending; but they were almost entirely ignorant of farming. At length, the Warrens and Homes sold out their interest to Mr. Heydon. Callaghan Holmes died of cholera in 1838." (Oshawa "The Crossing between the Waters", pg. 81-82, FHL 971.355/C1H2o) O'Callaghan Hyde Holmes actually died in 1834. He appears to have been a wealthy man. In his will he left his wife Isabella (Young) 100 pounds a year until their youngest son reached 21 (he was less than a year old when his father died), and 50 pound a year after that. To his oldest son Thomas he left "my rights, title and interest in and to the Lands of Derygrea in the County of Cork (Ireland). Out of that rents on that land, Thomas was to pay 1000 pounds to his younger brother O'Callaghan when he reached 21. To his daughters Catherine and Isabella, he left 500 pound each to be paid within 1 year of their marriage. (York County Probate Records, Vol. 4, pg. 355, FHL film 817,972). I made one attempt to find records in Ireland on O'Callaghan Holmes, but was unsuccessful. Catherine Holmes may not have been Isabella's daughter. In 1835, Isabella filed an avidavit, which appears in the Home District Marriage Records, swearing that she was married to O'Callaghan Hyde Holmes and giving the birthdays of the other three children. I thought perhaps Catherine had died between when her father wrote his will and when Isabella filed the paper, but I found in cemetery records for Ontario County: Catherine Hyde Holmes, beloved wife of Charles A. Lynde, died Dec. 17 1889 aged 60 years (making her born in 1829). Isabella remarried on Jan. 1, 1839, in Toronto, James Young (no known relation to Isabella's family--he was born in England) and had additional children. This family also appears in the 1851 census for Whitby. She died in 1866 and is buried in Oshawa, Ontario County, Ontario. Ellen Young married Joseph Moore. Joseph died in 1858 and is buried in Oshawa also. He left Ellen $80 a year if she didn't want to stay on the family farm. Ellen (Eleanor) was living with her son David in East Whitby as late as 1891, but I was unable to find a death record for her. Margaret Young, the youngest daughter of Thomas Young, was listed in family records as married to John Leonard Campbell. I found an earlier marriage in 1840 in Whitby to Lloyd Hodges. This appears to be our Margaret Young because the witness for the marriage were Joseph Moore (a brother-in-law) and Thomas Young (either her father or her brother). Margaret married John Leonard Campbell in 1848 in Holt County, Missouri. Temple ordinance dates that I found for Margaret indicated that she joined the Mormon church in 1850. John Leonard Campbell had two brothers who had previously joined the Church. By 1854 John and Margaret were living in North Ogden. They were sealed in the Endowment House in 1855. I found a death date, but no place, listed for John in the Ancestral File. Assuming he died in Utah, I checked the Salt Lake Obituary File and found an obituary for him (but not for Margaret). It said: "Logan, July 3 (1914)--John L. Campbell, a pioneer of this state, died here last night after a brief illness...the body will be taken to the former home of the deceased at Maitland, Missouri where it will be interred. Brief funeral services were held at the residence of Dr. Henry Campbell, a grandson.... Mr. Campbell lst came to Utah in 1850 and after residing in Ogden for some time he returned to Missouri where he stayed a short time and then revisited this state. He did not remain long but went to Hold (Holt) county, Missouri where he established a home. He came to Cache seven years 8 ©Beth Davies AG. Permission is granted to copy for personal use.
ago and has made his home here since that time." (Deseret Evening News, July 4, 1914, pg. 9, FHL film 26,994). Census records in Holt County, Missouri confirmed the obituary. In 1860, John and Margaret had four children. The oldest was born in Missouri about 1850. The next three were born in Utah during the 1850's. Margaret apparently died sometime between the 1880 census and the 1900 census. In 1900, John had been married to an Emma---for six years. It appears that early deaths ran in Margaret's family. I found marriages for two of her sons in the 1870's. By the 1880 census, one of the wife's was a widow (living with John and Margaret) with a 4 year old daughter. The other married son died in 1899, age 45. His obituary indicated he was survived by his father and a sister, meaning that the 3rd son had died by then also. I could not find a death record for Margaret, or solve the mystery of what happened to her lst husband and how she came to be in Missouri in 1848.
THE AUGUSTUS SEELEY FAMILY AUGUSTUS SEELEY DOES NOT BELONG TO THE SAME FAMILY OF SEELEYS THAT ELIZABETH SEELEY (WIFE OF JAMES ROSS YOUNG) BELONGS TO--THERE IS NO KNOW RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE TWO FAMILIES! The first known record concerning Augustus Seeley is the christening of his daughter Mary in the Dutch Reformed Church at Schaghticoke, Rensselaer County, New York. Loyalist Lineages of Canada, (FHL 971D21) claims that Augustus was born in Boston, Massachusetts, but I found no record there of any Seeley or Zieley family. Augustus' last name was spelled various ways in the Dutch Reformed records and the Archives Family Group Sheet for his family spells it Zieley, but in Canada I found it always spelled with an "S"--usually Seeley. I found the following information in the August 1993 Seeley Genealogical Society that might pertain to our family: "The Seeley family of upstate New York has a misleading English connotations, as the family is of French origin. David Usilie emigrated from Calais on the ship "Gilded Otter" in 1660 with a nursing child, presumably the Pieter Uzie from Manheym who married, 1868 (this is obviously the wrong year, but that's what the article said) , in the Dutch Reformed Church of N.Y.C. The family lived in Dutch neighborhoods, and attended the Dutch churches of Brooklyn, Albany, Kingston, Scholarie, etc. The emigrant signed with what he considered the Dutch form of his name: Pieter Uzielle; wills of the Schoharie group show the further change in name; Useely (1746/7), U. Zieelie (1795), Zielie (1808), and Seeley (1862)", Augustus Seeley was a Loyalist--that is he sided with the British during the revolutionary war. "Details concerning the Seely family are scarce.....According to Joseph Seely, his father had served under Jeffery Amherst during the Seven Years' War and in a corps commanded by Captain James Campbell during the American revolution." (Dictionary of Canadian Biography, Vol. 5, pg. 747). Augustus Seeley left Lancaster and was living in Elizabethtown, Leeds County, Ontario by 1796. There were two other Seeley families living there who may have been related: Justus Seeley, who was the son of Joseph Seeley (this is not the Justus Seeley who is Elizabeth Seeley's father or 9 ©Beth Davies AG. Permission is granted to copy for personal use.
grandfather--he had a different wife and children) and Peet Seeley.. Elizabethtown took a number of early census' of its inhabitants. The 1796 census shows only the heads of families, but the 1801 census lists Augustus, his wife Mary, and children Sarah and Joseph. By 1802, Sarah had married Hazard Wilcox and only Joseph was listed. In 1803, Augustus was no longer listed, but in 1804 I found his wife Mary and son Joseph listed, so Augustus probably died about 1803. I have found records of eleven children for Augustus and his wife Mary Brisbin. His oldest son James left the most records and I was able to trace his family for several generations. James was married twice: lst to Elizabeth Manhart and after her death to Mary (Polly) Servos, and had a number of children by each wife. A land petitions filed by James' sons, Joseph and Augustus, showed that James had served as a young man of 16 for the British. Joseph's petition said that his father (James) lived in Lancaster until 1792, in Matilda until 1817, then moved to Leeds township. In 1807, James was "of Matilda" when he sold several tracts of land in Lancaster as the "heir at law" of Augustus Seeley, deceased (Stormont County Deeds, Book B, pg. 254-256, #448, 449, 450, FHL film 201,747). In 1851, when a census was taken in Canada that named all the members of a household, James and his 2nd wife, Polly, were both still living and were living with his oldest son from his lst marriage, Richard, in Elizabethtown. I found no record of James' death, but Polly was still alive, age 97, in the 1871 census and was living with her son Phillip in Augusta. Augustus had one other son, Joseph. He was one of the youngest children in the family and as noted above was still living with his mother in 1804. In 1812, Joseph was granted land in Lansdown township, in the same county as Elizabethtown. Land records for his grant show him receiving the original grant (Abstract Index Book, Lansdowne Township, Leeds County, Ontario, Lot 22), but do not name him or any other family members in further transactions where this lot was bought and sold. The mystery of what happened to him was partially solved when I found the following article in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, Vol. V, pg. 747-749: "By 1801 they (the Seeley family) were in Elizabethtown where Joseph took the oath of allegiance the same year. Six years later he petitioned for 200 acres of land as the son of a loyalist and received a patent for a lot on Lake Gananoque in Leeds and Lansdowne Township on 24 March 1812. Here Seely might have spent a life toiling in happy obscurity for the intervention of the War of 1812. "As became a good subject," he volunteered for duty and served nine months with Captain Charles Jones's dragoons. He then enlisted in the lst Leeds Militia, enticed by Captain Adiel Sherwood's "promise of a Sergeants situation and rations for my small family." The higher pay must have seemed a boon to a prospective young farmer and the supply of provisions essential to a family dependent upon the male to clear, sow, and harvest the land. In April 1813 the newly enlisted men were ordered to Prescott, where they were divided into companies the following month. Seely's hopes were quickly scotched. Since Sherwood had failed to recruit the required quota for his unit, Seely was assigned to Captain Archibald McLean's company as a private. The promotion to sergeant was not forthcoming and the rations for his family were never issued. After serving briefly under McLean, Seely was transferred to the "Engineer Employ." Aggrieved, dispirited, and no doubt anxious about his family, the young soldier deserted in late August. About 20 November he was captured "in the Enemy's Camp" on the American shore by a party of Leeds and Grenville militia led by Captain Herman Landen. ....Charged with desertion to the enemy and with aiding "in piloting one of the Enemy's boat's, "Seely was tried before a court martial at Kingston on 9 and 10 Dec. 1813. The court was composed of 13 of the leading militia officers of the Johnstown, Midland, and Eastern district. The 10 ©Beth Davies AG. Permission is granted to copy for personal use.
prosecution was handled by the acting judge advocate general, Edward Walker. Seely was left to conduct his own defense--a daunting task for a mere private: he pleaded not guilty. Walker and two privates form Landen's party. Walker's aim was simple: to establish that Seely had served with the militia until late August and that at his capture he was in an enemy camp within the United States. An unabashed Seely handled his defense with marked aplomb. He did not deny the charges but rather emphasized a family and personal history of loyalty, a laudable record of military service, and a reasonable motive for desertion--the breaking of the promise that had occasioned his enlistment. Seely's previous military record was not disputed. In testifying to his loyalty, Landen, who had known the prisoner for 16 or 18 years, stated, "No one would I have ventured my life with sooner..." He also mentioned that Seely had fought with "some Americans...on account of their celebrating the Independence." After his capture Seely's behaviour was extraordinary. Landen related how he "cried very much and said although you were a prisoner, you were going to a Country you loved, and that you had not been contented since you left it." Seely's speech in his own defense did not attempt to prove his innocence but rather addressed the circumstances of the case. His loyalty was instinctive, inspired by the attachments of f amily and by traditions learned from a loyalist father. "I reluctantly left the Country In which I have been brought up from my childhood and to which I was attached by all the ties of Loyalty, Friends and Kindred not with smallest or most distant ideas of aiding or assisting in the service of an Enemy that I have always been taught to detest...With such a parent to instil the Principles of Loyalty into his Family, it is almost impossible for any member of it, to have any attachment to any other Government than that to which he belongs..."His motivation was simply a sense of injustice--"I considered my promise to serve as void." All the conditions of his enlistment had been broken. Although he had been an acting sergeant for a few days, Seely's application for permanent rank was rejected when McLean called attention to his lack of education. The extra rations, which Landen stated were "the reason that many men with large families engage," were not delivered. Although Seely was on the ration list, his family was not "in consequence of their being such a number." The court found Seely guilty of desertion but acquitted him of the second charge. He was sentenced to be transported for seven years but in spite of Rottenburg's approval of the court's judgement he did not meet his fate. Rottenburg had intended to pardon Seely on condition that he enlist in the New Brunswick Fencibles. On 29 Jan. 1814 Rottenburg wrote to his successor, George Gordon Drummond, on this and other related matters. Drummond acted accordingly and on 18 April 1814 issued a "full, and unlimited Pardon" with the suggested proviso attached. It does not seem that Seely complied with the terms. Neither did he return to his land on Lake Gananoque; it was sold in two installments many years later. Seely might have fared worse. Another militia private tried for desertion at the same court martial was promptly shot. What distinguished the two cases was Seely's adroit defense. His ability to combine a sense of just cause and personal loyalty no doubt resulted in the milder sentence and later the pardon. Robert Lochiel Fraser III Dictionary of Canadian Biography, Vol. 5, pg. 747-749
Augustus' daughters who married all lived originally in Elizabethtown except Sarah. Margaret Seeley married Livius Wickwire and after his death married Benjamin Salt. Ruth Seeley married Samuel Judson. Mary Seeley married Joseph Falkner in 1792 while the family still lived in Lancaster, but she and Joseph lived in Elizabethtown until at least 1810. Anny Seeley married 11 ©Beth Davies AG. Permission is granted to copy for personal use.
David Lakin and Jane Seeley married John Elliot. Sarah, from whom we are descended, married Hazard Wilcox. Land petitions in Ontario indicate Hazard lived in Loughborough. Because others have and are researching the Wilcox family, I did not attempt to trace Sarah's family in Ontario. Sarah's son, John Henry Owen Wilcox, joined the Mormon church and Sarah emmigrated to Utah with his family and died in Manti in 1856. Of Augustus three other daughters, only this is known: Elizabeth was christened in 1776 in New York. Carrie appears on the original Archives Family Group sheet and is listed in Loyalist Lineages of Canada, but I found no record of her. A 2nd Mary appears in the Williamstown Presbyterian Church records as the daughter of Augustus Seeley, with no mother mentioned, christened in 1798, but born in 1796. The minister from this church covered a circuit that at one time included Elizabethtown and Mary's father is listed as of Elizabethtown (this church's records also cover Lancaster). Mary does not appear in the 1801 Elizabethtown census, the first census that names all family members there. She would have been 30 years younger than Augustus' oldest child, James, and it is possible that the minister made a mistake in naming her father. James had a daughter Mary who was born some time before 1801.
12 ©Beth Davies AG. Permission is granted to copy for personal use.
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