How William and Elias Secord and their families travelled to New Brunswick
For anyone researching Loyalists in New Brunswick, I recommend two books by David Bell. One is Early Loyalist Saint John and the other is American Loyalists to New Brunswick/The Ship Passenger Lists. This author found New York musters and passenger lists for Loyalists in the UK's National Archives.
William's entry in Appendix VIII of the earlier book (Early Loyalist Saint John) states that he was in civilian militia unit 31. Elias was in civilian militia unit 23. These militia units were formed in New York before the members came to what is now New Brunswick. David Bell states that there was no actual militia service involved. The Loyalists were formed into these units to make it easier for administrative purposes. At first I wondered, because William and Elias came on different ships, how closely connected they had been before coming to what is now New Brunswick. The second book makes it clear that they originally intended to come together. Both William and Elias appear on a list for Company 23, headed by Joseph Forrester, of Loyalists intending to travel together from New York to New Brunswick. William and Elias were both listed as sawyers from "Orreng Co," which must have been Orange County, NY. William's household consisted of one adult male, one adult female, one child aged ten and up, and four children under ten. Elias's household consisted of one adult male, one adult female, one child aged ten and up, and one child under ten. (Some families "promoted" their children who were under ten to over-ten status to get more rations.) The author says that the people on this list were intending to travel together but there is no guarantee that they actually did. And in fact William and Elias came on separate ships. Elias came with unit 23 on the ship Bridgewater in June 1783. A passenger list has survived for this voyage. Something must have delayed William and his family and they were forced to wait for a later ship. They came with unit 31, on the ship Aurora, in July 1783. Unfortunately the passenger list has not been found.
I have gone through the appendix of the earlier book to find those in unit 31 who came on the Aurora, and they are listed below. The five columns with family statistics in the table below are taken from victualling lists, first in New York before boarding the ship, then onboard ship, then shortly after the families arrived in what is now Saint John at varying times in 1783, and then at the two dates indicated. It appears that the lists taken at New York and onboard the ship for this unit have not been found, as there is no data for either category for any of the members. The first of the five digits gives number of adult males; the second, adult females; the third, children ten and over; the fourth, children under ten; and the fifth, slaves.
|Head of Household||Family at NY||Family on Ship||Family on Arrival||Family May 1784||Family June 1784|
|Carson, Thomas||No Data||No Data||10000||10000||10000|
|Conrad, Jonathan||No Data||No Data||10000||10000||No Data|
|Crabb, John Sr.||No Data||No Data||No Data||11210||11210|
|Crabb, John Jr.||No Data||No Data||No Data||10000||10000|
|Crabb, Stephen||No Data||No Data||No Data||10000||10000|
|Cromwall, John||No Data||No Data||11020||11010||No Data|
|Fowler, Josiah||No Data||No Data||11000||11000||No Data|
|Fowler, Miriam||No Data||No Data||No Data||No Data||01000|
|Glover, Andrew||No Data||No Data||11200||11200||11200|
|Grisdale, Thomas||No Data||No Data||10000||10000||10000|
|Kingsland, Aaron||No Data||No Data||10000||10000||10000|
|Oblenis, John||No Data||No Data||11010||11010||11010|
|Purdy, Gilbert||No Data||No Data||No Data||11210||11210|
|Purdy, Thomas||No Data||No Data||No Data||10000||10000|
|Secord, William||No Data||No Data||11230||11210||No Data|
|Simpson, William||No Data||No Data||11030||11020||11020|
|Talbot, Michael||No Data||No Data||11040||11020||11020|
|VanWart, Jacob||No Data||No Data||11000||11000||No Data|
|Vincent, Burling||No Data||No Data||10000||10000||No Data|
|Vincent, Charles||No Data||No Data||11300||11200||No Data|
|Washburn, Joseph||No Data||No Data||10000||10000||No Data|
|Washburn, Zephaniah||No Data||No Data||10000||10000||No Data|
|Weir, George||No Data||No Data||11000||No Data||No Data|
|Wood, James||No Data||No Data||11130||11120||No Data|
The Crabbs and Purdys seem to have missed out on the victualling lists taken on arrival. My guess is that Josiah and Miriam Fowler were husband and wife, and he died or perhaps was away during the May/June 1784 period, leaving Miriam listed as head of household. The people who have no statistics after arrival had likely moved on to other areas by then.
Going back to David Bell's earlier book, Chapter 2 lists the names of ships in the various fleets and the militia units associated with them. The number of passengers on a ship can be estimated from Captains' Certificates and from victualling lists. For the Aurora and unit 31, the former number was 52 and the latter was 53. If you count all of the people from the Family on Arrival column, above, you get 53 if you leave out the Crabbs and Purdys. I think that they travelled on other ships. Some people were known to travel on private ships, and these two families may have been among them.
In William Secord's Loyalist claim, he said that he came in July. This fits with the coming of the Aurora in the July fleet.
On arrival, William's household apparently consisted of one adult male, one adult female, two children ten and over, and three children under ten. His first child wasWilliam, born in 1775, and eight at the time of their arrival. (See information on Ruth Hunt, William's wife.) On the earlier list, above, one of William's children was listed as over ten and on arrival two were over ten. This must have been an attempt by William to receive more rations for his family as children under ten received smaller portions. The numbers indicate that they had five children born between 1775 and their arrival in July, 1783. In May, 1784, they were listed as having two children who were over ten and one who was under ten. I think this was an error as there is fairly solid evidence that they had five children who lived to adulthood who were born in New York. (See William and Ruth (Hunt) Secord's children.)