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Matrimonial link in two stories.

One seldom sees two articles in the same issue of a magazine that are pertinent not only to two of one's ancestors but also to the link between them. I refer to the article Robert Land Sr. UE (1736 -1818)-British Spy and Indian Agent, on pp. 20-27, and your article, An Exploration of the Relationship Between The United Empire Loyalists And Freemasonry in Upper Canada, now Ontario, pp. 28-34. The article about Robert Land UE refers to my fourth great-grandfather, Ralph Morden UE, who was hanged in America by the Rebels for allegedly helping Robert Land UE escape to Canada. Your article refers to St. John's Lodge of Friendship No. 2 on the West Bank of the Niagara River. My third great-grandfather, Gilbert Field UE, was a founding member of St. John's Lodge of Friendship No. 2 and remained a member for years. From 1799 to 1804 the Lodge's monthly meetings were held at his inn located almost exactly equidistant between Niagara and Queenston. The connection is that Gilbert married Ralph Morden's daughter, Eleanor, who had moved to Canada with her mother, Ann Durham. Eleanor's sister, Elizabeth, married John Chrysler UE who was also a member of the Lodge. John was a cousin of the John Crysler UE upon whose farm the Battle of Crysler's Farm was fought during the War of 1812. He was also an ancestor of Walter P. Chrysler who founded the American automobile company. Gilbert served one term as the W. Master and many terms as the Lodge Treasurer, a post John Chrysler UE also held for a number of terms. Robertson is my source for most of this information about the Masons.

--William S. Field.


Editor's Notes:

* Gilbert Field UE, born 1765, appears on the Muster Rolls, Butler's Rangers Sixth Coy, [Great Britain, British Library, Additional Manuscripts, No. 21765, folios 53- 54], 10 July 1778-24 October 1778, as well as on the List of the Persons who have Subscribed their names in order to settle and cultivate the crown lands opposite Niagara. July 20th 1784 as follows: No. 4 Disbanded Rangers etc. Gilbert Field [unmarried] [Corlene Dwyer Taylor UE, Early Settlers in Niagara Including the First "Census" 1782, 1783, 1784, 1786, 1787, (The Ontario Genealogical Society, Niagara Peninsula Branch, Box 2224, Station B, St. Catharines, Ontario. L2M 6P6, October 1992), Haldimand Papers B 168, p. 23], on List 3. Loyalist Victualing List at Niagara Mr. Tenbroeck's District, 14 Feb. 1786: Heads of Families who personally Draws Provisions, as Gilbert Field [married with one daughter under age 10] [Taylor, 1992, p. 29, citing National Archives, RG 19, Vol. 4447, Parcel 3] and on the Return of Disbanded Troops and Loyalists settled in No. 1 Township, District of Niagara, September 17th, 1787 as having seventeen acres cleared, with six bushels of wheat sown [Taylor, 1992, p. 33, citing Civil and Provincial Secretary Lower Canada "S series," p. 11002 (RG 4, A1, Vol. 34)].

* On 1 January 1784, Gilbert Field UE received a Crown Grant for Lot 15, Niagara Township, including the Broken Front [St. Catharines Land Registry Office]. Gilbert was the son of George Field UE who had also fought in Butler's Rangers and was the first settler on Lot 15 [Alexander Fraser, Provincial Archivist, Second Report of the Bureau of Archives for the Province of Ontario 1904, (Toronto, 1905), 839. Claim of Rebecca Field, Widow of George Field, late of Pensa, 29 August 1787, Montreal, before Commissioner Pemberton, pp. 979 - 980].

* Richard Merritt states: "As early as 1792, Loyalist Gilbert Field had established an inn on the River Road halfway between Newark and the Landing [Queenston]. He was the first innkeeper in the area to receive his licence-in December 1792." [Richard D. Merritt, Early Inns and Taverns, Capital Years-Niagara-on-the-Lake 1792-1796, ed. Richard Merritt, Nancy Butler, and Michael Power, Dundurn Press, Toronto, 1991, p. 213.]

* Following the 1785 death of George Field UE, his son, Gilbert, built his home on Lot 15 around 1799, a Georgian-style red brick two-storey home that still stands. It originally had three stories with a high pointed roof but, after a fire, became a two-storey home with a much flatter roof. During the War of 1812, the house was used as a and and possibly as a barracks by the militia [Alexander Servos, Historic Houses, No. 5, Niagara Historical Society, The Times Book and Job Presses, Niagara-on-the-Lake, 1899, p. 13.]

* "The Field House was occupied by members of the family until about 1925, after which it went through various hands until it was acquired by the Ontario Heritage Foundation which saved it from destruction in its then rundown condition." [Niagara Parkway Project, Lot 15, Niagara Township, URL: pdf]

* Robertson's History of Freemasonry in Canada states that "From March 18th, 1799, to 25th June 1804, the lodge met at the tavern of Bro. Gilbert Field, Queenston." [J. Ross Roberts*n, Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Canada, The History of Freemasonry in Canada From Its Introduction in 1749 Embracing a general History of the Craft and its origin, but more particularly a History of the Craft in the Province of Upper Canada now Ontario in the Dominion of Canada, Volume I, The Hunter, Rose Co., Limited, Toronto, 1899, p. 506.]

* For more information about Ralph Morden UE please refer to The Hanging of an Innocent Man-Ralph Morden UE, written by Alan Emerson Morden UE, that was published in The Loyalist Gazette, Volume XLIII, Number 1, Spring 2005, pp. 11-13.
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Author:Field, William S.
Publication:The Loyalist Gazette
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Mar 22, 2008
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