How do you go about locating where a person lived 240 years ago in a place you’ve never been? This was my situation when I started researching New Brunswick loyalist, Gasper Maybee, who was originally from Bergen County, New Jersey. Through using a series of modern and historical maps, first-hand accounts, and some very helpful local expertise, I was able to pinpoint the area where he grew up and inherited land.
First brought to Nova Scotia as a young shoot in 1786, the “Bishop Pear Tree” still stands—gnarled but solid—near the edge of the Ken-Wo Golf Club in New Minas, Nova Scotia. The young tree was carried from Connecticut by Peter Bishop Jr. returning with his new wife to Nova Scotia, two hundred and thirty-four years ago.
Many forgotten and often trivial incidents of daily life can be found by just a quick glance at historical newspapers, including the loss of Basil Rorison’s sorrel mare. Rorison was a member of the provincial loyalist regiment, the King’s Orange Rangers, and misplaced his horse while at Harlem, New York during the American Revolution. We are lucky today that most modes of transportation do not tend to wander off on their own—with our possessions attached!
Clergy were few and far between in the first years of loyalist settlement in New Brunswick, however, records from travelling Anglican ministers based in Gagetown, Queens County provide an early record of baptisms, marriages and deaths prior to the establishment of most churches. Many New Brunswick loyalists and their descendants may be found in these records.
On December 25, 1807, New Brunswick Loyalist Edward Winslow, Jr. wrote in his diary: “Very dull Christmas.”
The provincial loyalist regiment known as the King’s Orange Rangers travelled through the American Revolution, moving from New York to Nova Scotia, then scattering to many parts of the Atlantic World.
Loyalists who tried to return home at the end of the American Revolutionary War often faced the threat of violence. Daniel Babbit was one of those Loyalists. He was left so frightened by his experience, he chose to leave the country rather than risk his personal safety by remaining.
This is the story of an industrious tanner and shoemaker from Redding, Connecticut, and how he found himself on the losing end of the Revolutionary War and on a ship sailing north for the mouth of the St. John River. It will illustrate the risks of choosing sides in a conflict too early and the rewards for sticking with that conviction.
Jamaica was the most famous and wealthy sugar island in the British Empire, but with this wealth came big risks that shaped the experience of plantership. The climate, though, that gave also took away - routine threats of devastation were very real from the impact of powerful hurricanes, as reflected today in the images of hurricane Dorian.