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What's a Loyalist?
A Loyalist is any person who is loyal to their allegiance (especially in times of revolt). During the American Revolution in what was to become the United States of America, a Loyalist (also called UEL - United Empire Loyalist) was anyone who remained loyal to the King of England. They were called Tories in their own country but Loyalists elsewhere. Most fled to Canada and helped settle that country, particularly Ontario and Nova Scotia
Loyalists were British North American colonists who remained loyal subjects of the British crown during the American Revolutionary War. They were also called Tories or "King's Men". Those Loyalists settling in what would become Canada are often called United Empire Loyalists. Their colonial opponents, who supported the Revolution, were called Patriots, Whigs, or just Americans. [Source: Wikipedia]
Other Loyalist genealogy records you will want to consult are Loyalist Muster Rolls for Butler's Rangers;
Sir John Johnston's [Johnstone's] Brigade; King's Royal Regiment of New York (KRRNY); Men From the Turloch Militia who Joined KRRNY or Butler's Rangers; 1778 List of Men From Pennsylvania who joined the British Army & British Regiments who served in North America during the French and Indian Wars.
To find Loyalist ancestors, start with Loyalist History. This will help you understand what a Loyalist was, who they were, what Military Loyalist Regiments for British and Loyalist troops during the American Revolution, and where they settled. Butler's Rangers, mustered by Col. John Butler in New York and consisting of Mohawk Indians and men from New York is one of the Regiments featured.
Having both Loyalist and Patriot ancestors, this section is near and dear to my heart! I also have a son who is a soldier in the Canadian Army -- 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry -- the only Canadian Batallion in history to receive the U.S.A. Presidential Unit Citation (for its role in the battle of Kapyong in Korea).
There is also a wonderful list of Loyalist Genealogy Resources available for researchers
What's Available in Loyalist Military Records includes the following Loyalist databases
- United Empire Loyalists, Part I
- Loyalists of the American Revolution, 2 Vols.
- Old United Empire Loyalists List
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