Largely due to the efforts of Kingsville resident Jean Arner Walton U.E., the Bicentennial Branch of the United Empire Loyalists’ Association (UELA) was founded in 1984 - the 200th anniversary of the arrival of the first UEL settlers to Upper Canada. This Branch, which serves all of Essex County, is one of 29 in Canada. The first executive consisted of Sharon Kominar U.E., President; Jean Walton U.E., Secretary; Gwendolyn Malkin U.E., Treasurer; and Marie Gordon U.E., Genealogist.
The Loyalists were North Americans living in the Thirteen Colonies who chose to support the British during the American Revolution. Following the American Revolutionary War, Lieutenant Colonel William Caldwell obtained by treaty with the Indians 97 lots along the north shore of Lake Erie as settlement lots for Loyalists. Most of the members of the Bicentennial Branch are descendants of the numerous refugees who arrived in the Detroit to Amherstburg area from the states of Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland and New York between 1783 and 1790. They are dedicated to researching the history of their Loyalist ancestors and to promoting an understanding of their contribution to the early history of Canada.
In order to qualify for full membership in the organization one must prove that one’s ancestor was indeed a Loyalist, having borne arms for King George III, the head of the British Empire at the time of the American Revolution, or provided service in some way to support the British cause. One must also prove one’s direct blood descent from a Loyalist ancestor through various primary and secondary sources. Once this is done, descendants may use the initials ‘U.E.’ after their names. This signifies ‘Unity of the Empire’ and it is the only hereditary title in Canada.
The organization promotes good citizenship, pride in the diverse origins and an understanding of the impact which the UELs had in settling Canada. Guest speakers talk about important historical events and how to conduct genealogical research. Since receiving its charter in 1984, the Branch has actively participated in a variety of community endeavours including manning a display at Kingsville’s Victorian Days, planting Loyalist roses at the former Kingsville Town Hall (now Kingsville O.P.P. detachment) as well as creating and maintaining, in Kingsville Town Hall, a display case filled with Loyalist memorabilia. A beautiful wall hanging, depicting the local 1790 UEL settlement, was created by Branch members Lorraine Baldock U.E. and Dianne Noble U.E. and hung at Leamington’s Sun Parlour Home. The Branch also published Loyalists of the New Settlement - A Study in Multiculturalism. A plaque to honour Simon Girty, a colourful pioneer Loyalist and Indian agent was erected on his crown land south of Amherstburg thanks to the efforts of the local UEL Branch and Dominion Headquarters. The Branch meets occasionally with the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR), an American organization comprised of descendants of those who fought for the ‘other’ side during the revolutionary war.
|About the Loyalists who settled in Essex & Kent Counties|
Following is a list of the Loyalist ancestors proven by the Bicentennial Branch UELAC. If you are descended from any of these Loyalists, you may apply for a United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada certificate with the help of our branch genealogists.
|Loyalist Ancestors of Essex & Kent Counties|
Jacob Arner I
Leonhard Kratz (Scratch)
Thomas McCrae Sr.
John Charles Munger
John Snyder (Snider)
Elisha Wilcox Sr.
Elisha Wilcox Jr.
John Wendel Wigle
|Loyalist Ancestors of Other Parts of Canada|
Proven by Members of Bicentennial Branch UELAC
John Ault Sr.
David Dulmage (Dulmadge)
Capt. John Haviland
John Helmer Sr.
John Philip Helmer
Henry Magee Sr.
Col. Isaac Man
Wm. Henry Nelles