US Citizen descendants of British Loyalists?

I’m a US Citizen, born in the US, who is a descendant of a British loyalist who fled the nacent US and settled in a loyal colony and was granted a farm. Later on, the call of New York had its effect on the family.

Anyone else? Anyone have any similar stories of emigration and re-immigration of individuals or families?

Well, my ancestors rebelled against the US government, got their asses handed to them and then crawled back and pledged never to do it again like good little boys, but that was around 1865ish.

That sounds like a good story; Has there ever been a book or movie made about the rebellion?


I know some of the folks in this family.

Simon Girty (and most of his family outside the Turner branch) is still a “dirty word” around Pittsburgh and probably always will be but in parts of Canada and among other Loyalist descendants they are darn near heroes. And now, even almost 250 years later, sides and lines get drawn. It always struck me as just a little bit strange.

One ancestor was a Hessian redcoat. Got captured and decided to stay.

Also have an ancestor that was captured at Vicksburg. (Lots of POWs in our family.) I have zilch interest in supporting the Lost Cause of either ancestor.

Supposedly on the paternal side we are related to the Scots poet Robert Burns through one of his by-blows. This has not been proven, although my grandfather believed it and was absolutely mortified.

On the maternal side we are descended from William Rittenhouse, who built the first paper mill in America. This is well documented and is even online.

an seanchai

Apparently some Dutch ancestors of mine in Paterson NJ were Tories. Hey, they’d lived a hundred years in the New World and had got along well so far, why change eh? Research a cousin of my father did indicated that some were burned out of their homes after the Yanks won. I’m looking up online right now and finding a number of familiar names and their death dates; it appears that most of them survived the war, and two of my direct ancestors married in 1780 and were having kids soon after.

ETA: There’s a street in Paterson bearing one of the family names. Couldn’t have thought too badly of them or it probably would have been changed.

UAL link here. Titus Finch fled Connecticut and fought against us in the Revolution. Went on to found the Baptist Church in Upper Canada (Ontario) in a settlement on Lake Erie named Long Point. Eventually, his descendant, my great-grandfather, who was a great-great-grandson of Titus, decided it was probably OK by now to tippy-toe back across the border. :slight_smile:

Shame, really… I’d rather have been a Canadian. :slight_smile:

Why would that be ? Burns was a fine poet. Whatever doubtful activities in his private life, or wavering political sympathies, he was soon recognised in early 19th century Scotland as a source of pride in his accomplishments — and that was when they had one of the most depressing moralistic hypocritical liberal puritanical national cultures going…

Don’t care for him myself; but I would be mildly interested rather than displeased.


If he was a Hessian, he wasn’t a redcoat. He was not dressed in the madder red uniform of British line troops. </N>

Of course, neither were Loyalist troops… They wore other colors, and were not allowed, nor issued madder red jackets, though the facings on the jackets may have been red, depending on the unit.

I’m not a descendant of loyalists, but I play one several weekends per year, as a member of the Breakenridge Company of the King’s Rangers. It’s a very interesting role to play, as we really weren’t liked by anyone. The colonial rebels didn’t like us, and the British line troops (red coats) thought us “beneath them.”

My father’s ancestors were Tories who fled to southern New Jersey to escape persecution, and there the family remained until 1978 when he and my mom pulled up stakes for Texas.

i’m distantly related to the house of windsor, so, something like 53rd in line for the throne? i think i’m pretty safe in stating i don’t think i’ll have to pull up stakes and head for the uk any time soon.

if that isn’t enough, i’m also related to katharine howard, mary queen of scots, and one of the louis’ of france (i can never remember which one that is. none of them fared well). why, yes, there IS some seriously convoluted heritage in my background, why do you ask? :smiley:

Hello there, Sophie Amber Lascelles! She’s the current 53rd-in-line, and her father is a first cousin of QEII. Big families, Royals have.

My uncle, who did some genealogy research, claims we are related to Benedict Arnold.

LOL. where’s mom, the friendly family historian when you need her for accuracy… since i’m not sophie, i’m betting must be more like 153rd in line… that’d make little sister 154th in line. :smiley:

:slight_smile: There’s some pedants on wiki who get it to about 2000th place. I doubt the royal family ever sketch it out that far.

154th is Princess Micaela of Prussia

Or perhaps you could be 1544th in line of succession?

Lady Tamara van Cutsem, daughter of the Duchess of Westminster?

Methinks you may be REALLY distantly related. Like your Grandma had tea with the Queen Mom once. :smiley:

I have one ancestor that participated in the Boston Tea Party, one that was a redcoat and one even further back was a Duke. The Duke married into royalty so I don’t think I count for the throne. Both parental sides of my family are mainly English.

Following leads provided by a great-grandmother and a great-uncle, I was able to confirm via the’s database that a branch of my family tree were British loyalists who left New England after the Revolution and settled in New Brunswick in Sudbury County.