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Lists of Early Settlers in Charlotte County

Many descendants of soldiers from the 74th Regiment are familiar with a document titled "Roll of the Disbanded Men, Women and Children of the 74th Regt. present at St. Andrews, Passamaquoddy Bay, Nova Scotia, May 24th 1784". It appears on the Internet in several places. The LDS church has the document on microfilm number 1430169. The Provincial Archives of New Brunswick (PANB) also has a copy of it. This list contains 125 men, 32 women, and 47 "Children above 10". The lack of children under ten makes no sense. Obviously this document is a copy, and the copier neglected to insert the heading for children under ten. An answer of sorts to this question appeared in an issue of Generations, which is the quarterly publication of the New Brunswick Genealogical Society. A series of articles by Esther Clarke Wright on pioneer families of New Brunswick was printed in the Saint John Telegraph Journal in 1943. These articles are being reprinted in Generations. An article on the Grierson family, contained in the Spring 2000 issue, mentioned the 74th Regiment, as James Grierson was a member of it. Wright says, "When they were mustered in the summer of 1784, there were 125 men, 32 women, 15 children aged ten and over, 33 children under ten in the group belonging to the 74th." Wright must have been looking at a different version of the list. That gives us a breakdown of the children, but those numbers add up to 48 rather than 47.

The New Brunswick Museum has a number of early Charlotte County settlers' lists in their New Brunswick Historical Society Fonds, F212A. I asked for copies of the lists, but the roll for the 74th is exactly the same version as the one found at PANB and on LDS film 1430169.

It was R.C. (Bob) Brooks of Maine who found the answer for me. He pointed out that the Library and Archives Canada (LAC, formerly the National Archives of Canada) has Loyalist musters in the Ward Chipman papers. The reference is M.G. 23, D 1, Series I, Volume 24, pages 1-470. The microfilm in which these documents are found is C-9818, and the pages of interest here are 161 through 184. These are the same lists as the NB Museum has, but the LAC ones appear to be earlier versions.  Page 161 contains a letter from Gillam Tailer, apparently written to Ward Chipman. Here is the text of the letter:

Agreeable to orders received I send you enclosed Returns of the Loyalists in this part of the Province. - I beg leave to inform you I have done every thing in my power to comply with the Instructions I received, but the Loyalists are so scattered thro an extensive Wilderness of Country at a great distance apart, that I have not been able to see every Person returned. - The greatest I mustered and know to be present , the others I am informed by numbers of the Principal Men are present in the District, but poor, and set down in such places without Boats that they have it not in their power to get off when they please to attend a muster, therefore I have returned them in the Muster as present but shall take care not to issue Provisions for them till I see them.

I am sir your obedient & very humble servant

Gillam Tailer

On pages 162 and 163 is the roll of the 74th Regiment. This list contains 125 men, 32 women, and 48 children. The LAC list is in different handwriting than the NB Museum version, but it lists the same people except for an extra child: another Peggy McLean, who appears immediately after Murdock McLean in the third last place on the list of children. However, as in the NB Museum version of the list, there is no heading for children under ten. Fortunately, a summary of the numbers from each roll appears on page 184. For the 74th Regiment, the numbers given are 125 men, 32 women, 15 children over ten, and 33 children under ten, which matches Esther Clarke Wright's numbers.

The missing heading for children under ten on the 74th list confirms that the LAC lists are themselves copies of earlier versions. I don't know if those earlier versions are still in existence. Peggy McLean is not the only name that appears on the LAC lists but not the NB Museum versions. For instance, the LAC list of Loyalists with Nehemiah Marks has Duncan Campbell and William Campbell in fifth and sixth positions, respectively, on the list of men. The NB Museum list has Duncan Campbell but the copier missed William Campbell and his name doesn't appear in that version at all. There are other examples.

Note also that, just as the NB Museum versions of the lists have copier errors, doubtless the LAC versions have them as well. For instance, Bob Brooks has pointed out that the Penobscot Loyalists list has surnames Towers, Sowers and Jowers. According to Bob, Ann Jowers is actually Ann Towers. This casts some doubt on the identities of the children listed under those surnames. Please be aware of this when using these lists, and check for spelling variations.

I have tried not to introduce additional copier errors in my transcriptions, but it's always a possibility. If you have doubts about a name and would like me to check the LAC documents, please email me.

I transcribed each list as it appears in the LAC papers, and then I sorted the men, women and two groups of children in alphabetical order by surname, except for the very short lists. These are the links to "original" and "sorted". I then combined all of the men, women and two groups of children from all of the lists into four master lists, also alphabetically sorted.