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Alida Vrooman UE (1), one of the few women to be acknowledged as a Loyalist on the Executive Council List, descended from a long line of resilient Dutch immigrants. Her maternal second great-grandmother came to the New World in 1638.

Around 1710, Alida's paternal grandfather, Hendrick Vrooman, and his brother, Barent, were contracted as carpenters by Queen Anne to build Fort Hunter in the Mohawk Valley (New York) at the place where Schoharie Creek intercepted the Mohawk River. (2)

Alida was born in Schenectady, more than 100 years after her maternal ancestors settled at Beaverwyck, a Dutch West India Company fur trading settlement, near Fort Orange on the Upper North River. The baptism entry from the Dutch Reform Church recorded her birth as 17 June 1747.

Further church records from Schoharie confirm her marriage to Henry Hare (3), on 15 April 1765, shortly before her eighteenth birthday.

Henry, born in 1742 to John Hare, was employed by the Indian Department under Sir John Johnson and various accounts suggest Henry was fluent in many Indian dialects. Johnson is remembered for his collaborative work with the native population.

Henry made his allegiance to the Crown known as early as 1775 when he was one of just two people who refused to sign an association compact with the 'Patriots' in a place now known as Florida, New York. (4)

The Patriots kept a watch on Henry and his family. In September 1776, Henry was captured by the Whigs, and imprisoned in Hartford, Connecticut. He was held for seven months before he managed to escape. A later record reported that his family was kept under arrest in 1778, and listed one woman, four boys and three girls (Mrs. Jane, Ally, Johon, Faulky, William, Peter, Barent, and Caty). (5)

Working from a base in Canada, Henry travelled back and forth and behind enemy lines, scouting with the Indians to gather intelligence for the Tories/Loyalists. He joined with Butlers Rangers and became a Lieutenant.

Various stories and testimonies describe Henry's exploits. One incident describes a hot pursuit over several days when he finally had to destroy important correspondence destined for Sir John Johnson. Another described Henry's involvement in raids alongside Indian warriors participating in attacks against Patriot settlements. He was also accused of a brutal killing of a young woman at Fort Stanwix.

In June 1779, Henry secretly returned to the family home near Fort Hunter. As quoted in the Frontiersman of New York, Jeptha Simms writes, "He brought home for his wife several articles of clothing, such as British calicoes, dress-shawls, Indian moccasins, etc., and on the very day he set out to return to Canada, she was so imprudent as to put them on and go visiting."* Alida had turned 32 that 17 June.

On 19 June 1779, Henry left his family home to meet up with Sergeant Newberry for his trip back to Canada. They were confronted, arrested and were taken to Roof's Tavern where General Clinton had established a camp. The next morning a trial was held in the tent of Colonel Gansevoort. The Patriot camp was situated in Happy Hollow, one and a half miles east of Canajoharie, New York. Henry Hare was found guilty and was sentenced to hang by his neck until dead. Alida pleaded with the Patriots to spare her husband's life. She reminded the accusers that he had a wife and many small children to support. Her attempts to influence the commanders fell on unsympathetic ears.

Alida's loyalty to the Empire was confirmed by the Court Martial testimony of Sergeant William Newberry. "Question 12 posed to William Newberry was 'Who were the persons that gave you the Intiligence (sic) of our movements?' Newberry answered 'Thomas Plato, Wilham Rombauch and Henry Hairs wife - said Hairs wife went backwards and forwards every day to gain Intiligence for us.'" (7)

Henry Hare was hanged on Academy Hill in Canajoharie, New York on 21 June 1779 at 9 o'clock in the morning. His body was released to friends for burial. General Clinton, it is reported, had left the camp at the time of the execution to avoid any recriminations from Hare's friends.

Henry and Alida had several children, including my fourth great-grandmother, Mary HARE, who was born at Fort Hunter in 1771.

Following Henry's execution, Alida and her young children fled to Lower Canada. As with other Loyalist families, she had no means to take care of her young family. She petitioned Sir Frederick Haldimand, Governor of Quebec, for support.

"To his Excellency Frederick Haldimand Esqr. Governor and Commander in Chief of the Province of Quebec &c &c &c

The Petition of Abigal Hare, Widow of the lateLeiut (sic) Henry Hare, of the Indian Department. Humbly shewth,

That Your Petitioner, is a Poor Widow, with six small Children, without any means to support them, the want of Every necessary of life and the Continual Insults of the Rebels obliged her to leave the Province of New York and Come off to this.

Your Petitioner's Husband, two Brothers and nephew, distinguished themselves as friends to Government, On the Breaking out of the present Rebellion and Entered into his Majesties Service-One of the said Brothers, a Capt in the Indian department, was killed at Fort Stanwix in 77, (1) the other, is now a Capt. in Leuit. Col. Butlers Rangers, (2) and the nephew a Leuit. in said Corps. (3) Your Petitioners, Husband and three Brothers served during the last War, in the Indian Department, under the late Sir William Johnson Bart. And your petitioners said Husband being Ordered on a Scout, last Summer, was taken by the Rebels: who Charged with being a Spy -

Tryed him for the same. an Unjust Tryal Condemn'd him, in Consequence of which, he was Executed, whereby your Petitioner is Rendered Miserable, poor and Needy - her Situation emboldens her to Crave your Excellency Support and Protection Humbly praying, Your Excellency will take the same into Consideration, and Allow such a Yearly supply or Aid, as your Justice may see fit, in Order to Assist her and her Distressed Children.

And Your Petitioner, will Ever pray, as in duty bound

Montreal the 1 Oth May 1780

You are hereby authorised and directed to pay to Mrs. Abigal Hare, Widow of the late Henry Hare, a Lieutenant in the Indian Department, in Consideration of her Misfortune and Distress, above related, the Sum of Twenty Pounds Sterling, as a yearly Pension to be continued to Her during Her Life, for the Maintenance of Her and Her Children, which Sum is to be charged in the Contingent Account of Expenses of the Six Nation Indian Department.-
Given under my Hand
at Quebec this 25 th day of May 1780
Fred. Haldimand
To Colonel Johnson
Superintendent of Indian Affairs
By His Excellency's Command--R
Mathews Sec
[On Reverse Side]
Authority to Pay to the Widow Hare
a Yearly Pension of 20 Ster" (8)

Alida married First Sergeant Adam P. Empey sometime around 1780. They lived in Soulanges, Les Cedres, Lower Canada, and together they had more children. Later, Adam Empey was granted land around Cornwall, in the Eastern District.

Alida and her children appear in multiple Land Petitions including:

* In 1798, Alida petitioned on behalf of five children; John, Barnabas, William, Mary and Katherine, all married and living in Eastern District. (9)

* In 1807, Alida (Allada) further petitioned the government, with the assistance of her son-in law, Jacob Weegar, to have her late husband, Lieutenant H. Hare, added to the List of UE. She now names only four children, John, Barney, Mary and Catherine, to benefit from Lord Dorchester's decree and become eligible, as children of those who joined the Royal Standard before the Treaty of Separation in 1783, to receive land grants. (10)

My fourth great-grandmother, Mary Hare, married Captain Jacob Weegar UE and together they had twelve children. In the family bible currently held in the archives at Upper Canada Village, the sponsors noted for their eldest child, Caty, were Mary's mother and stepfather, Alida and Adam Empey.

Mary Weegar, nee Hare, submitted her own petition, as the daughter of Lt. Henry Hare, in 1807." Her sister, Catherine married David Summers and then settled in Eastern District. Mary's brothers Barnabas and William filed a Land Petition Claim with Allada Vrooman in 1802. (12)

The Hare family members were early settlers in the place we now call Ontario. Numerous entries, seventy-six in my most recent query, appear on the search results for the name 'Hare' in the "Land Petitions of Upper Canada, 1763-1865." The petitioners include children of Lieutenant Henry Hare, and also his brothers, Captain John Hare, who was killed at the Battle of Oriskany in 1777, and Captain Peter Hare, head of the pioneer family that settled outside Niagara in a town known today as Lincoln. They paid a price for their beliefs and their loyalty to their monarch. Yet, we so often overlook the contribution of their spouses and children, making this most recent acknowledgement confirming the loyalty of Alida Vrooman, my fifth-great grandmother, so special.

The descendants of Henry and Alida may claim the mark of Honour, U.E.--Unity of the Empire.



Persistent and curious, Cynthia spent the first few years of her retirement researching her genealogy. Her mother came from many lines of Loyalist ancestors. Her great-uncle worked for decades sifting through records in church offices, cemeteries, archives and municipal offices to trace lineal descent to a number of their Loyalist ancestors, creating a roadmap for the family. Through his efforts he proved descent to seven Loyalists. Assisted by the depth and speed provided by today's technology, Cynthia adds depth to his research and is now transforming the data into narrative non-fiction stories for her children, grandchildren, cousins and their families. Cynthia joined the Governor Simcoe Branch of the UELAC and has proven her lineal descent to four Loyalists: Jacob Van Allen UE, Jacob Weegar UE, Henry Hare UE, and his wife, AlidaVrooman UE.


I was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania. My maternal grandfather grew up in Smiths Falls, Ontario. I taught mathematics in Allentown for thirty-one years. I do volunteer tutoring at a community college. My parents and I started working on genealogy in about 1981. I have ancestors who fought in the Revolutionary War on both sides.

(1) Alida Vrooman, alternate spelling variations for surname include Woman and for first name; Alida/ Alita/ Alada/ Allada/ Aita/ Abigail/ Abigal/ Elatta/ Elata

(2) In 1710, the Mayor of Albany along with 4 Indian Chiefs, travelled to London, England for an audience with Queen Anne.They begged her for protection from the French, who had been raiding their communities. In exchange, the party pledged their loyalty and offered to help re-settle the Palatine immigrants who had been promised safe passage to the colony. Queen Anne ordered construction of a fort and encouraged settlement.

(3) Henry Hare name variations for surname include Heer/ Hair/ Haire/ Harr and for first name include Henrich/ Heinrich/ Henrick/ Harry.

(4) Frontiersmen of New York Vol. I Simms 1882 pp 503,504

(5) A List of Persons in the hands of Congress belonging to the Corps of Rangers, Royalists & Their Families."

(6) The Frontiersman of New York, Jeptha R. Simms, Albany, N.Y, 1883, VOL. II, pp 241-244.

(7) Captain Andrew Porter's Journal, ed. Jay H. Jakovic, Dutch Settlers Society of Albany Yearbook, Vol. 44, 1972-1974, Albany, N.Y, pp 6, 7, 9, and 10.

(8) Extracted from an article by Morrison, James F, A Hanging in Canajoharie (Henry Hare), published in Morrison's Pensions:

Source provided: Special Collections and Manuscripts, New York State Library, Albany, N.Y., Willis T Hanson Collection, Document No. 12769

(9) The Petition of John, Barnabas, William, Mary, Katherine Hare, children of the late Lt. Henry Hare; Upper Canada Land Petitions "H" Bundle 4, 1798; RGI, L 3, Vol. 224 (a), Petition No. 14, Public Archives Canada, Microfilm Reel C 2044.

(10) The Petition of Allada Hare; Upper Canada Land Petitions "H" Bundle 8, 1806-1807; RGI, L 3, Vol. 226, Petition No. 72, Public Archives Canada, Microfilm Reel C 2046, Image 58,59,60.

(11) The Petition of Mary Weegar Upper Canada Land Petitions "W" Bundle Misc, 1791 - 1838; RG I, L 3, Vol. 547, Petition No. 112, Public Archives Canada, Microfilm Reel C 2969, Image 242,243,244.

(12) The Petition of Barnabas, William Hare, children of the late Lt. Henry Hare and Allada Vrooman; Upper Canada Land Petitions 1796-1837, "V Misc" Bundle; RG I, L 3, Vol. 224 (a), Petition No. 17, Public Archives Canada, Microfilm Reel C 2842.
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Author:Young, Cynthia; Raub, Tom
Publication:The Loyalist Gazette
Article Type:Biography
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Mar 22, 2019
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