Monday, September 15, 2014

Beechwood Cemetery and the United Empire Loyalists Association of Canada

Yesterday was a special day at Beechwood Cemetery with a walk guided by two members of the United Empire Loyalists Association of Canada - Sylvia Powers and Dorothy Meyerhof. They did an excellent job preparing the booklet and then leading us to the various graves of descendants of United Empire Loyalists buried at Beechwood Cemetery. This is the 100th year of formation of the United Empire Loyalists Association of Canada.

Myself, I do not have any United Empire Loyalists ancestors. My first emigrant ancestor arrived here in the summer/fall of 1818 well after the American Revolution and the War of 1812-1814.  However, my husband has a number of Loyalists lines both here in Ontario and in New Brunswick. Hence he is a member of the United Empire Loyalists and can use UE after his name.

A quick thought on who United Empire Loyalists were. They were individuals in the American colonies who decided they preferred rule under England to being part of the United States of America. In making the choice it became necessary for many of them to abandon their farms and livelihoods in the old American Colonies and move north to Canada where they could remain under English rule. They came from many many different countries in Europe as well as the British Isles but they were predominantly not English which is rather fascinating in itself. Their losses were, in some cases, enormous and they never recovered their fortune that they left behind. But come they did and their determination to make new homes once again hacked out farms, villages, towns and cities in the wilderness of Ontario and the Maritimes. Canada's greatness today can be measured in part by their success in creating new homes here. It is cold here in Canada and forbiding even yet as soon as you are 100 miles from the Canadian border but the children of these Loyalists moved west and opened up all those lands right to the Pacific Ocean along with others but I am left to wonder if the great movement west would have happened so successfully and quickly without the great numbers of Loyalist ancestors who made the trek.

It was a rather cold day here and my sciatica and arthritis are still with me but will hopefully subside soon. My accomplishment level for the past two months on my research has been rather extremely low. I still hope to return to my transcriptions in early October. It seems strange not to be sitting at my computer for eight hours a day. Mostly I get in just one or two hours and that on emails and maintenance of items for the most part.


JDR said...

I heard from elsewhere that the tour was well put together.
As for your accomplishment level being low, I wish I was as productive as you.

Elizabeth Kipp said...

Thank you John. You are most kind.