LOYALIST CLAIM DOCUMENT 1
LOYALIST CLAIM DOCUMENTS 2
LOYALIST CLAIM DOCUMENTS 3
William Secord's Loyalist Claim Documents
|Transcription of Document 1,
Claimt. says he came in July. Went up to Majorville. Sent his Claim by Capt. Vand. Was down once.
He lived in Orange Co. Joined the Brit. in 1777. Worked in the Ship yard. Produces Oath of Allegiance, Protection, Passes, Recommendation from De Veber, Justice of Peace. Came here; Lieut. of Company of Loyalists. Produces his Commission from Sir Guy Carleton.
Lost grain in the ground and farming utensils at Newboro. In the year 1766 went to Newboro. Sowed some grain there; left it. Came down to New York; left farming utensils & 1 Cow at Newboro. Moses Hunt took them of whom he had hired ye ground. Lost Household goods. Moses Hunt took some. 2 horses, one at his Fathers, taken by one Ticker after Claimt. went within the Lines. One horse left at Cownkas after, taken by one Smith after Claimt. went within the Lines.
Yoke of Steers, 2 Cows & Heifer left at his Fathers, taken by one Sicker & his Co. Sicker belonged to Militia. Has no evidence.
|Transcription of matching
part of Document 2, as above
Says, he came in July, went up to Magerville, sent his Claim by Capt. Vanderburgh, was down once.
He lived in Orange County, joined the British in 1777, Worked in the Ship Yard. Produces Oath of Allegiance. Protections, Passes, Recommendations from De Veber Justice of Peace. Came here Lieutenant of a Company of Loyalists. Produces his Commission from Sir Guy Carleton.
Lost Grain in the Ground and farming utensils at
Yoke of Steers, 2 Cows and Heifer left at his Fathers, taken by one Sicker and his Company. Sicker belonged to Militia.
Here is the reference for the first claim, on the left:
Second Report of the Bureau of Archives for the Province of Ontario
By Alexander Fraser, Provincial Archivist, 1904.
Printed by Order of The Legislative Assembly of Ontario, Toronto.
Printed and Published by L. K. Cameron, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty, 1905.
United Empire Loyalists.
Enquiry Into the Losses and Services in Consequence of Their Loyalty.
Evidence in the Canadian Claims.
[in microfiche form, attached to "Loyalist Settlements 1783-1789" by Bruce Antliff, Calgary Public Library call number R929.3713 Loy]
The introduction to this work contains some information on the history of the documents on which these records were based. Col. Thomas Dundas and Jeremy Pemberton came to what is now Canada as Commissioners to collect the claims of losses from Loyalists. They spent the winter of 1786-87 at Saint John, New Brunswick.
"The volumes containing the notes of the proceedings and evidence taken before the two Commissioners sent to Canada, were retained by Col. Thomas Dundas, at his home, Carron Hall, Stirlingshire. A transcript from his pages had been placed in the Public Records Office.
In 1844 General Sir Henry Lefroy who had been sent by the British government to Canada to organize a magnetic survey, selected Toronto as the proper site. Two years afterwards he married a daughter of Sir John Beverley Robinson, Bart. In 1860 he married the granddaughter of Col. Dundas and while staying at Carron Hall in 1864, saw the original manuscript for the first time.
Being at that time deeply interested in the Smithsonian Institute at Washington, which had, in addition to its scientific work, issued a circular pointing out the advantages of accumulating all manuscript material relating to the history of America, Sir Henry advised that these papers be sent to that institution. This was done, and there the papers remained for some years apparently neglected, till an Act of Congress was passed transferring all manuscripts in possession of the Smithsonian Institute to the Archives of Congress, where they have since remained."
The work goes on to state that the Librarian of Congress gave permission for the Province of Ontario to have a copy of the manuscript made. It also states that this manuscript "differs from that preserved in the Public Records Office in London in that it contains notes and references made by the Commissioners during the proceedings, many of which are characteristic and sum up the position more pungently than appears in the official record".
It appears from the above that the original version is held in the Archives of Congress in the United States. The first document, on the left above, must be the transcription of this original by the Provincial Archivist of Ontario. The second document, on the right above, is from microfilm B-1160, held by the Library and Archives Canada in their Audit Office records, MG 14, Vol. 25. This must be the transcript from the pages of Dundas, placed in the Public Records Office in London, as noted above.
The document on the left is dated Feb. 17, and the one on the right is dated Feb. 27, 1787, both of which fit with the dates when Dundas and Pemberton were in Saint John. (Along with the Feb. 27, 1787 document are two versions of a list of losses suffered by William Secord, one of which is dated Mar. 17, 1784.) Here are my comments on the version on the left and how it differs from that on the right:
"Claimt. says he came in July." Came to what is now New Brunswick in July, 1783? See http://www.carensecord.ca/locations/NewBrunswick/Secord/WandESecordPassagetoNB.html for evidence that he arrived in July, 1783.
"Went up to Majorville." That would be Maugerville, on the Saint John River, below Fredericton.
"Sent his Claim by Capt. Vand." This was Captain Richard Vanderburg, whose claim also appears in the Ontario Bureau of Archives records. Apparently Richard Vandenburg was planning to travel to England to attempt to settle his own claim for losses and was willing to take others' claims with him. I don't know if he ever made it to England with the claims and if anything ever happened with them there, but then the Commissioners came to New Brunswick to collect the information anyway. According to Esther Clarke Wright's listing of Loyalists in her book "The Loyalists of New Brunswick", Richard Vanderburg had been a captain in Emerick's Chasseurs, was from Dutchess County, NY, and went to Burton, New Brunswick before going on to Upper Canada.
"Was down once." Down to Saint John, presumably?
"He lived in Orange Co." Orange County, New York, is one of the original counties of that state, and was formed in 1683, according to http://www.rootsweb.com/~nygenweb/county.htm. According to the same source, one other county, Rockland, was formed from Orange County in 1798. William may have lived in either of these present-day counties, then.
"Joined the Brit. in 1777. Worked in the Ship yard." Likely this was in or near New York City?
"Produces Oath of Allegiance, Protection, Passes, Recommendation of De Veber, Justice of Peace." Gabriel DeVeber, a Justice of the Peace, lived in Maugerville.
"Came here; Lieut. of Company of Loyalists. Produces his Commission from Sir Guy Carleton." For a long time, I assumed this meant that William served during the Revolutionary War as a lieutenant of a Loyalist regiment. I was never able to find out which regiment. I also assumed that William must have been on half-pay after the war, as he should have been entitled to that as an officer. I felt that was why he didn't apply for a pension for military service during the war, as Elias did. Then I saw a reference to Carleton's Loyalist Index and ordered it to check for information on William Secord. There is just one mention of William in the index. This says that he was commissioned at "St John's River, NS" on June 1, 1783 as a first lieutenant in the militia, so that explains his comment about being a lieutenant of a company of Loyalists. (Note that he must have been commissioned in New York as he did not come to what is now New Brunswick until July, 1783.) It's unlikely that William had any military service during the Revolutionary War, and it seems possible that he continued to work in the shipyard, as he noted above. This would explain why I have not been able to find any record of his service with any regiment and also why he didn't apply for a pension as Elias did. See http://www.carensecord.ca/locations/NewBrunswick/Secord/WandESecordPassagetoNB.html for more information.
"Lost grain in the ground and farming utensils at Newboro." Where is Newboro? There is a Newburgh in present-day Orange County, and that is probably it. There is no Newboro in the state of New York at this point, and I don't see one at http://www.rootsweb.com/~nygenweb/places/names.htm either. That site lists old New York place names and their current replacements.
"In the year 1766 went to Newboro." See http://www.carensecord.ca/locations/NewBrunswick/Secord/WmSecordLoyalistClaimBackground.html for information that suggests this date was actually 1776.
"Sowed some grain there; left it. Came down to New York; left farming utensils & 1 Cow at Newboro. Moses Hunt took them of whom he had hired ye ground. Lost Household goods. Moses Hunt took some." Presumably William went down to New York no later than 1777, when he joined the British, and perhaps earlier. William's wife was Ruth Hunt, so Moses Hunt may have been a relative of hers.
"2 horses, one at his fathers, taken by one Ticker after Claimt. went within the Lines." William says he joined the British in 1777, so this was probably when he "went within the Lines?" If so, his father was apparently still living at that time. The second document, on the right above, calls this person Sicker, which matches the man listed later in the document.
"One horse left at Cownkas after, taken by one Smith after Claimt. went within the Lines." The second document clears up this mystery, as I can't find any place in New York, past or present, with the name Cownkas. Evidently the transcriber mistook "Cornelius Akers" for "Cownkas after".
"Yoke of Steers, 2 Cows & Heifer left at his Fathers, taken by one Sicker & his Co. Sicker belonged to Militia." Sicker is not a name that appears in the 1790 census index for New York, but as this is likely a misspelling of it, it's hard to say what the name actually was.
"Has no evidence." The information above indicates that the first version on the left should contain some "notes and references made by the Commissioners during the proceedings, many of which are characteristic and sum up the position more pungently than appears in the official record". These three words, "Has no evidence," appear to be these "notes and references" for William's claim, and may have had the most significance for William. There is nothing with these records to indicate what reimbursement, if any, was made to these claimants for their losses. With no evidence, William may have received little or nothing.
A third set of related documents (LOYALIST CLAIM DOCUMENTS 3) appears in the Library and Archives Canada collection, microfilm B-2188, in their Audit Office Records, MG 14, Bundle 15. The first page of this record is likely the original account of the losses of William Secord, possibly in his own hand. The page that follows it seems to be a copy, probably done in the hand of Gervis Say, Justice of the Peace, whose name appears at the bottom. (The first two pages of the second set of documents, as linked to above, are also apparently copies of this original version.) The last document in this third set is a copy of a power of attorney in which William and Elias Secord give Captain Richard Vanderburg the right to act on their behalf in attempting to get reimbursement for their losses as Loyalists.
The statement "left the contery April ye 4th 1777" appears to indicate that William went to New York City to go within the British lines at that time.
The most important piece of information that comes from this third set of documents is the statement that William and Elias came from Keakett in Orange County, New York. Unfortunately, there is no current or former place called Keakett in New York. However, according to http://www.rootsweb.com/~nygenweb/places/names.htm, there was a place called Kakiat which is now New Hempstead in Rockland County. As noted above, Rockland County was a part of Orange County until 1798. New Hempstead is perhaps 20 miles north of New York City, and just a few miles west of the Hudson River. Given that the document that gives the place name as Keakett is a transcription of the original (the signatures appear to be in the same handwriting, and the wax seals are just drawn on), it seems possible that Kakiat or some similar version could be misread as Keakett in transcribing it.