Genealogy Forum NEWS
May, 1998

Loyalist SIG

Nova Scotia Crown Grant Map Index

Gail's Genealogy Wonderland has an interesting new addition....

Crown Grant Map Index for Deep Brook, Clementsvale, Bear River East (Link Updated 10/26/2005)

While you are there, check out Gail's Canadian ancestry, which includes the surnames Simpson, Wright, Potter, Ruggles, Grey, Mehlman, Taylor, Hicks and allied families, Kelly, Bertrand, Jones, Munro and allied families. (Some good Loyalist names here!)

Gail's Genealogy Wonderland Home Page (Link Updated 10/26/2005)

You will also find a link to:

Image Map of Nova Scotia Counties: (Link Updated 10/26/2005)

French & Indian War Lookup Offer

[EDITOR'S NOTE: The following post appeared on the Loyalists-in-Canada mailing list]

Subj: Highlanders /French and Indian Wars

From: (Murray McCombs)

Hello All,

I've just recieved the book, The Fraser Highlanders, by Col J.R. Harper. The 78th Fraser Highlanders were offered the chance to discharge and take Land Claims in British North America in 1763. This book has some of the soldiers names that were discharged and their Land Claim entitlement.

Though the Clan Fraser Association offers muster roll lookups, I thought I'd offer lookups for those that are in the same situation that I'm in...ancestors that can't be traced to a ship list circa 1759 to 1763.

Some Surnames: McPherson, Fraser, McLeod, Sincalir, Burnett, McQueen, Chisholme, Robertson, Gilchrist, Menzies, Henderson, Munro, McNeil, Murray, Nairn, Wood, MacBean, MacTavish, Rose, Babbidge, Baillie, Peacock, Piper.

I'm also looking for the muster rolls for the 42nd Highlanders, 2nd Battalion (the Black Watch). They were disbanded in 1763 as well (presumably in North America). I had a peek today at an old book, at the Royal Canadian Military Institute in Toronto, with the Officer muster lists 1746-1911. No luck for me, though.

Murray McCombs

Archives Awareness Day

The following notice is in regard to Ontario, but it seems an appropriate reminder for all of us who are in pursuit of old records, regardless of where we live. Support your local archives, libraries and societies. Or, support distant archives, libraries and societies if you choose. The operative word here is....SUPPORT! :D


"The Archives Association of Ontario is the provincial Association that represents the interest of archivists and institutions. This year with the changes occurring with municipal restructuring, with the transfer of registry office documents and with the interest in genealogy and other historical research, the Association decided to declare Archives Awareness Day on April 6, 1998.

It is the hope of the Association that people will recognize the importance of local records through their local archives and take the opportunity to support the work of the archives. In the event that no archives is located in a community, this day will make people aware that archives are the appropriate institution to preserve local records. If there is no archival institution in an area, this would be the day to find out why not."

Note of Caution

The March 7, 1998 issue of the Loyalist Chat News contained the following website....

List of British/German/Loyalist Officers (Link Updated 10/26/2005)

If you connect to this site, you will see a title that reads:

An index compiled by Jay Hall from A List of General and Staff Officers on the Establishment in North America, 1755-1782 (originally produced by the British War Office)"

Todd Braisted was kind enough to check this site out for us. Before you rely too heavily on the information it contains, you should read Todd's comments after he viewed it.....

"Thanks for the web site address Nan. I checked it out this morning. The title is extremely misleading. This would appear in some degree to be the 1783 North American Army List, but it is not complete. I have the 1783 NAAL, and this ain't it! Many regiments missing. Also, the transcription is not well done. The person who transcribed it obviously doesn't know about the hard "s"' of the 18th Century (i.e., Insley written incorrectly as Infley). There are also mistakes written on here that are certainly not on the NAAL, such as "Lieut. Col. Cortland DeLancey" of the 1st Battalion, New Jersey Volunteers. It's actually supposed to be Lieut. Col. Stephen DeLancey. That error is not in the 1783 NAAL. One horrible error under the German troops is listing troops from the "Hesse Nassau" Regiment. It's Hesse Hanau.

What this list shows is some of the British, German and Provincial Officers (not all) who served in 1783. I'm such a research snob! Honestly though, I just don't want folks thinking that this list is every officer for decades. It's not even every officer for 1783.


This illustrates a point that can't be stressed too often.....DON'T TAKE AS GOSPEL EVERYTHING YOU READ!! Even if you read it here. :-) In other careful out there!

As genealogists, we all make use of family stories, secondary sources, transcriptions, the work of other genealogists and things we find on the internet, and that's perfectly acceptable. These types of sources can be invaluable for narrowing down a search to a particular area or subject or as pointers for further research. But, even though genealogy is only a hobby for most of us, each of us has an obligation to research responsibly and with intellectual rigor. So don't be satisfied with drawing your research conclusions based on any old source you happen across!

Be judgmental about your sources. Learn to discriminate between those that are trustworthy and those that are something less and rate them. Seek out original documentation to confirm the information you find in secondary sources, transcriptions and the like. Where original documentation cannot be located, build a "preponderance of the evidence" case for your conclusions using the best secondary sources you can find. When sources conflict, use your rating system to help you determine what to believe, and support your beliefs by seeking corroboration elsewhere.

Here is the method I use for rating my sources. This works for me, but it is certainly not the only method, and I offer it simply as an example. You'll notice that I never discard a source even when it is known to be wrong (pack rat mentality) just gets a low rating. One of the side benefits of using a method like this is that it lets you see, almost at a glance, areas where you want to spend research time augmenting your documentation.

3 - A primary source or original document recorded at the time the event occurred or information provided by the individual to whom it applies, primary sources or original documents not meeting these criteria but which are supported by other evidence (e.g., a death certificate as a source for date of birth when date of birth agrees with another, independent, source)

2 - A source document or transcription from a well respected historical or genealogical society, historian or genealogist for which original source citations are provided, secondary sources such as obituaries or newspaper accounts, some primary sources and original documents that do not meet the criteria to be rated a 3 (e.g., a death certificate as a source for date of birth when no other source for date of birth is available)

1 - A source document or transcription known to contain some errors, of unknown origin or of an origin suspected to be less than scholarly, conclusions deduced from other information (e.g., date of birth calculated from age on a census record), family stories and recollections, information received from others without source documentation

(That website's a 1 in my methodology, unless I'm a descendant of Lieut. Col. Stephen DeLancey or one of the Hesse Hanau, in which case it's a 0!)

0 - An outright guess or a source document known to be in error for the event for which it is cited

Some Rules to Research By

On a similar note, the following guidelines published by the National Genealogical Society provide some good rules to to guide you in your research.

Remembering always that they are engaged in a quest for truth, family history researchers consistently:

-- Record the source for each item of information they collect.

-- Test every hypothesis or theory against credible evidence, and reject those that are not supported by the evidence.

-- Seek original records, or reproduced images of them when there is reasonable assurance they have not been altered, as the basis for their research conclusions.

-- Use compilations, communications and published works, whether paper or electronic, primarily for their value as guides to locating the original records.

-- State something as a fact only when it is supported by convincing evidence, and identify the evidence when communicating the fact to others.

-- Limit with words like 'probable' or 'possible' any statement that is based on less than convincing evidence, and state the reasons for concluding that it is probable or possible.

-- Avoid misleading other researchers by either intentionally or carelessly distributing or publishing inaccurate information.

-- Study carefully and honestly the results of their own research, and acknowledge all use of other researchers' work.

-- Recognize the collegial nature of genealogical research by making their work available to others through publication, or by placing copies in appropriate libraries or repositories, and by welcoming critical comment.

-- Consider with open minds new evidence or the comments of others on their work and the conclusions they have reached.

[Copyright (c) 1997 by National Genealogical Society. Permission is granted to copy or publish this material provided it is reproduced in its entirety, including this notice.]

Allen County Public Library Online

The Fred J. Reynolds Historical Genealogy Department of the Allen County Public Library is one of the largest and most respected genealogy research institutions in the United States and includes a significant collection of Canadian records. It is also another source for American Loyalist Claims, both Series I and Series II.

The Library has an extensive presence on the internet and a number of searchable electronic databases, including PERSI. It is worth a visit.

Allen County Library Home Page (Link Updated 10/26/2005)

Historical Genealogy Department Online (Link Updated 10/26/2005)

Searchable Surname Databases (Link Updated 10/26/2005)

And, if you aren't familiar with PERSI, you should become familiar with it, because it's very useful. You can read all about it here.

PERiodical Source Index (Link Updated 10/26/2005)

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Content 1999 GFNEWS, a monthly publication of the Golden Gate Genealogy Forum, Inc. of Franklin, MA. (America Online Keyword: roots.) The Editors welcome your ideas and articles, success stories, favorite genealogy research tips, comments and suggestions. The Genealogy Forum is a proud member of the FGS - Federation of Genealogical Societies