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The Wandering King's Orange Rangers Veterans.

On a personal note, I have been a re-enactor since late 1977 when I 'accepted the King's shilling and joined the King's Royal Regiment of New York, and I have maintained membership ever since. Joining the King's Royal Regiment of New York was, I suppose, a life-changing event. While having a Loyalist ancestor has never been a qualification for joining, I didn't happen to have a KRRNY ancestor, although Angela has more than her fair share!

Aside from a Loyalist in the Pensioner's Company of Jessup's Loyal Rangers, I have to go farther south to find Loyalist regiments harbouring ancestors. The two that come to mind are the 4th Battalion, New Jersey Volunteers, and the King's Orange Rangers (KoR). The New Jersey Volunteer re-enactors are based in New Jersey and the King's Orange Rangers are in Nova Scotia. Thus, when I turn out in the New Jersey Volunteer kit, it is for a talk or presentation usually, and not a full scale re-enactment.

Last year I had the pleasure of meeting Brian McCONNELL UE, a fine historian, active member in the UELAC, and a member of both the King's Orange Rangers and the 84th. Thanks to his suggestion and efforts, I acquired a King's Orange Rangers tunic in June and I am very pleased with it. It is almost certainly the only such one west of the Maritimes. It is red with orange facings, so it represents the later clothing period when red replaced green in many Loyalist corps.

For many years, I have been interested in researching a group of Loyalists I have referred to as "The Hidden Loyalists". While in Upper and Lower Canada, much land was taken up by Loyalist regiments in the Northern Department. Among those disbanded in the Maritimes, numbers of them made their way from there to what is now Ontario. Some did end up on the various Loyalist lists in Ontario but others, for various reasons, did not, and these are the Hidden Loyalists. There were also members of regiments who disbanded in the Maritimes, who never did settle there, apparently out of the regiment before it moved north. Some of these made the trip to Upper Canada directly from New Jersey and lower New York. Perhaps the "poster boy" of Hidden Loyalists is Peter STONEBURGH UE of the New York Volunteers. He left the Maritimes circa 1805 and settled in Upper Canada, but is not found on the Loyalist lists for Ontario.

To narrow this down, I am selecting several King's Orange Rangers veterans who settled in the Quinte area or elsewhere in present-day Ontario.

Selected Sources

Leefe DCL, ECNS. Hon. John G. History Of The Royal Provincial Regiment. King's Orange Rangers. Published privately, 2017. Turner, Larry. Voyage of a Different Kind: The Associated Loyalists of Kingston and Adolphustown. Belleville: Mika Publishing Company. 1984.

Wright. Esther Clark. The Loyalists Of New Brunswick. Moncton: Moncton Publishing Company Ltd. 1972.


1. Matthew BENSON UE. Came from Bergen County, New Jersey, and arrived in Canada in 1783 with the Associated Loyalists. Arrived in present-day Ontario the following year and settled eventually in Prince Edward County.

2. James DEMOREST UE. Served as a Sergeant in the King's Orange Rangers. Settled in Fredericksburgh Township, south of Napanee, Ontario, but had also been in New Brunswick.

3. Peter FREDERICK UE. Served as a Sergeant in the King's Orange Rangers and was a blacksmith by trade. He resided in New Brunswick for a time, but later settled in Fredericksburgh Township. His 1811 grave marker at Old Hay Bay Church is the earliest surviving at that site.

4. Matthew HOWELL UE. Served as a Sergeant in the King's Orange Rangers. Settled near Trenton, Ontario, for quite a few years. He was from the Goshen area of Orange County, New York, and arrived in Canada in 1789. He is the best example of a Hidden Loyalist in this group.

5. James JOHNSON UE. Came to Canada in 1791 with other Bergen County New Jersey families with ties to either the King's Orange Rangers or the New Jersey Volunteers. Settled in Prince Edward County, but died circa 1833 near Port Hope, Ontario.

6. Ebenezer JONES UE. Served as a Sergeant in the King's Orange Rangers. Settled in the Home District, so a fair distance west of Eastern Ontario.

7. Frederick POST UE. Settled in Fredericksburgh Township, south of Napanee, Ontario.

8. Basil RORISON UE. Served as a Lieutenant in the King's Orange Rangers. Settled initially in New Brunswick before relocating to Elizabethtown Township in Eastern Ontario. Other names worth mentioning are Captain Peter RUTTAN UE. He served in the New Jersey Volunteers, but later did some recruiting for the King's Orange Rangers. He arrived in Canada with the Associated Loyalists. Also arriving with that settlement group was the long-lived Daniel COLE UE, 1731-1806. He is mentioned frequently as having served in the King's Orange Rangers, but I have yet to see primary proof. Names needing further research are Jacobus WANNAMAKER UE and the puzzling John FREDERICK, the latter of whom may or may not have served. This brief list is certainly not exhaustive. Let's find more Kings Orange Rangers veterans!
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Author:Johnson, Peter W.
Publication:The Loyalist Gazette
Geographic Code:1U2NJ
Date:Sep 22, 2019
Previous Article:PETER OLIVER The Loyalist Perspective on the American Revolution.

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