There are many prominent loyalists who have been the subject of extensive research, such as Edward Winslow, John Saunders, and Johnathan Odell; however, there remains much to uncover about a myriad of loyalists that came to New Brunswick as refugees as a result of the American Revolution. We challenge you to engage in the recovery of these “Lost Loyalists.”
During the War of 1812, an estimated 2,000 slaves escaped America and arrived at Nova Scotia.
With the scarcity of sources for people of African descent in North America during the eighteenth century, the Book of Negroes is an amazing resource—particularly for those individuals who immigrated to what was to become eastern Canada. The Book was produced at the end of the American Revolution in New York and it nominally recorded Black Loyalists during a time when people of African descent were all too often recorded as mere numbers.
The poem now commonly known as “The Night Before Christmas” was originally published anonymously in 1823 by the Troy Sentinel (New York). It has been integral in the formation of the modern North American vision of Christmas; in particular, the appearance and role of St. Nick or Santa Claus. A unique hand-written copy of this poem is included in the Odell Family Papers which are part of The Loyalist Collection.
Following from last week’s post, you will find in this entry a listing of practical “Tricks” to help in identifying surnames in primary documents, as well as a collection of resources which will aid in this undertaking.
As a continuation to the last post, Who is That?!: Help with Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Given Names, here are some “Tips” to assist in the interpretation of last names with a focus on Maritime Canadian resources, although many of the following suggestions are applicable elsewhere.
Dorcas, Nehemiah, Mehetabel, Eliphalet . . . If you have done any research with early North American documents, you have probably noticed that some names were fairly common in the past that are certainly not common today. This change over time in naming traditions may leave the modern reader puzzled. There are, however, some background knowledge and tricks that will help in the interpretation of early Canadian and American given names.