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Some Hidden Loyalists?

For those with Loyalists in Upper Canada, a major Source is The Executive Council List. For most entries, the Loyalist is named and some sort of residence is listed, usually either a Township or a District. Sometimes there is additional information often referring to petitions. Occasionally, a son or daughter is also named.

The List was compiled in the 1790s during the time of Lieutenant Governor Simcoe. Its purpose was not to compile a stellar list of Loyalists, but to keep track of those designated as UEs, so that land was not distributed casually to folk who didn't qualify and, by extension, their sons and daughters. A lot of land was involved.

Sometimes individuals were removed simply on the suspicion of not being a UE. For example, Henry Redner Sr., of the New Jersey Volunteers, was removed because his petition was deemed to be lacking in detail. He submitted a far more detailed one and was reinstated.

Over time you will find that revisions were made and the Expungements of 1802 was a major one. The purpose again was to reduce the total by weeding out those who were perhaps non-serving younger sons of Loyalists or British or German Regular troops. The List is not perfect. We have found a few not included who meet the requirements and also a few expunged who really did serve.

We've been using The Executive Council List for decades and so have many Branch Genealogists. Therefore it came as a surprise when Branch Genealogist, Patricia Noble UE, posed a question that, as far as I am aware, had never been asked previously. Thanks Patricia!

The basic question was, "Do we have the whole List or is something missing?" I draw your attention to the page beginning with Donald Cameron and ending with John Cameron. The next page begins with John Carll so Patricia wondered if something was missing, given the jump between Cameron and Carll? There is certainly enough of a gap between the two names to make one wonder!

I don't have a ready answer. If pages had been numbered when the List was compiled, that might offer a definite clue, but any numbers therein are much later additions. Any copies that I have seen have that jump from Cameron to Carll. Likely the only way to be sure a page wasn't missed would be to check the original in Ottawa.

Sources: The Executive Council List. RG 1, L7, Volume 52A


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Author:Johnson, Peter W.
Publication:The Loyalist Gazette
Date:Mar 22, 2019

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