How to Research Loyalist Ancestors

Loyalists, sometimes known as Tories, Royalists, or King’s Men, were American settlers who continued to be faithful to the British Crown throughout the years leading up to the American Revolution (1775-1783). Historians estimate that as much as 500,000 people -15 to 20 % of people from the Colonies- opposed the revolution. A number of them were active within their opposition, positively reporting in from the rebels, serving with British units throughout the war, or supporting the King and the forces as couriers, spies, guides, suppliers, and pads. Others were more passive within their selection of position. Loyalists were contained in large figures in New You are able to, a refuge for persecuted Loyalists from September 1776 until its evacuation in 1783. There have been also large groups in Nj, Pennsylvania as well as in the southern colonies of New York, Sc and Georgia.1 Elsewhere these were a sizable minority of people but least numerous in Massachusetts & Virginia.

Existence like a Loyalist

Due to their beliefs, Loyalists within the 13 Colonies were frequently treated as traitors. Active Loyalists might have been coerced into silence, stripped of the property, or perhaps banished in the Colonies. In areas under Patriot control, Loyalists couldn’t sell land, election, or operate in jobs for example physician, lawyer, or schoolteacher. The outright hostility from the Loyalists both during and following a war ultimately led to the flight of approximately 70,000 Loyalists to British territories outdoors the colonies. Of those, roughly 46,000 visited Canada and Quebec 17,000 (mainly Southern Loyalists as well as their slaves) towards the Bahamas and West Indies and seven,000 to Britain. One of the Loyalists numbered not just settlers of British heritage, but additionally Scots, Spanish people, and Nederlander, plus individuals of Iroquois ancestry and former African-American slaves.

Start with a Literature Survey

For those who have effectively tracked your ancestry to a person residing in America throughout the American Revolution, and clues appear to suggest to him as being a possible Loyalist, a survey of existing printed source materials on Loyalists is a great place to start. A number of these can really be researched online through free sources that publish digitized form of historic books and journals. Use search phrases for example “loyalists” or “royalists” as well as your area (condition or country of great interest) to understand more about available sources online in the search engines as well as in each one of the historic books collections indexed by 5 Free Sources for Historic Books Online. Types of what found on the internet include:

Siebert, Wilbur H. “The Loyalists of Pennsylvania.” The Ohio Condition College Bulletin, 24 (April 1920). Digitized copy. Archive.org. http://archive.org/stream/pennsyloyalist00siebrich#page/n3/mode/2up : 2013.

Lambert, Robert Stansbury. Sc Loyalists within the American Revolution, second edition. Digital book. Clemson: Clemson College Digital Press, 2010. http://world wide web.clemson.edu/cedp/cudp/pubs/lambert/lambert.pdf : 2013.

When searching particularly for historic publications, try various mixtures of search phrases for example “U . s . Empire Loyalists” or “loyalists pennsylvania” or “sc royalists.” Terms for example “Revolutionary War” or “American Revolution” can change up helpful books too.

Periodicals are another really good resource on Loyalists. To locate articles about this subject in historic or family history and genealogical journals, conduct searching in PERSI, a catalog to in excess of 2.25 million genealogy and native history articles appearing on the net of a large number of local, condition, national and worldwide societies and organizations. If you can get a college or any other large library, the JSTOR database is yet another good source for historic journal articles.

Look for Your Ancestor in Loyalist Lists

After and during the Revolution, various lists of known Loyalists were produced which might name your ancestor. The U . s . Empire Association of Canada has most likely the biggest listing of known or suspected Loyalists. Known as your directory of Loyalists, their email list includes about 7,000 names compiled from a number of sources. Individuals marked as “proven,” have been proven U . s . Empire Loyalists the remainder are generally misguided names found identified in a minumum of one resource or individuals who’ve been proven To not be Loyalists. The majority of the lists printed throughout the war as proclamations, in newspapers, etc. happen to be located and printed. Search for these web based, in U.S. condition archives, in Canadian provincial archives, as well as in archives along with other repositories in other locations where Loyalists settled, for example Jamaica.

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