American Loyalists to New Brunswick: the Ship Passenger Lists.
Author: David Bell
Publisher: Formac Publishing Company
Paperback 310 pages [c] 2015 by David Bell
The American Loyalist to New Brunswick is a companion to David Bell's political history of the settlement of 30,000 refugees in New Brunswick in 1783. The 2013 book, titled, Loyalist Rebellion in New Brunswick: A Defining Conflict for Canada's Political Culture, has been previously reviewed in the Loyalist Gazette, Volume LII, Number 2, Spring 2014.
Bell's latest book is a rich source of demographic information pertaining to the Loyalist refugees who left New York City for modern-day New Brunswick in 1783. Within its pages, historians and genealogists can browse through transcripts of passenger lists from almost fifty evacuation ships. Not only has Bell identified thousands of Loyalist families within ship records, but he has also provided the names of those who were issued food rations during the first year of settlement in Parrtown/Saint John. In addition, there is also a 1784 list of grantees for Parrtown and Carleton as well as the names of Loyalists who signed six different protest petitions. Beyond the insights into "typical" Loyalist refugees, historians who pursue the stories of Black Loyalists, Quakers and Baptists will appreciate data on these minority groups that is provided within American Loyalists to New Brunswick: The Ship Passenger Lists.
To say that David Bell has compiled a comprehensive, well-organized collection of extremely detailed information on the evacuation and settlement in New Brunswick would understate the obvious. Incredible attention to detail, concise commentary, and care in making this resource searchable are hallmarks of David Bell's writing.
This book has been percolating in the author's mind, honed and polished for over forty years. Each chapter begins with an introduction and guide giving context to the lists provided as well as cautions regarding usefulness or reliability of the data. Partly based on lists discovered forty years ago in London, England, here is an example of the wider understandings we can learn about, when one views the American Revolution from the detailed British records of the evacuation of New York in 1783.
David Bell is a participant and contributor to the Loyalist Research Network in the Maritimes and a legal scholar, having taught legal and religious history at the University of New Brunswick. His legal background is evident in the thoroughness of his work and presentation.
For genealogists especially, and historians in general, this book is highly recommended.
American Loyalists to New Brunswick: The Ship Passenger Lists, can be ordered from Amazon.ca or directly from Formac Lorimer Books, its publisher, at http:// www.formaclorimerbooks. ca/Book/2880/Loyalists-of-New-Brunswick.html.
Reviewed by Grietje McBride UE
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|Publication:||The Loyalist Gazette|
|Article Type:||Book review|
|Date:||Mar 22, 2016|
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