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Loyalist Genealogy

Loyalist Muster Rolls
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How to Find your Loyalist Ancestor

Find Your Loyalist Ancestor

by Lorine McGinnis Schulze

List of Loyalist resources (books, microfilm etc) can be found at Olive Tree Genealogy Loyalist Resource List

Find a Military Ancestor in Canada - titles of microfilms, numbers and how to order from the National Archive of Canada can be found at The Canadian Heritage Military Project
http://www.rootsweb.com/~canmil/ancestor.htm

Lorine's Tips for Finding a Loyalist Ancestor

  • Check the index to Upper Canada Land Petitions (UCLP) filed by Loyalists and their sons and daughters by ordering the following:
    • Finding Aid 1802, a nominal card index known as the Upper Canada Land Index serves both the Land Books (Minutes of the Land Committee) in RG 1, L 1 and the Land Petitions in RG 1, L 3, for the provinces of Upper Canada, 1791-1841, and Canada, 1841-1867. The index was microfilmed in 1981 on reels C-10810 to C-10836; supplementary entries were microfilmed in 1991, on reels H-1976 to H-1978. After you copy down ALL occurences of the name you are seeking from the Indexes, convert the codes into the microfilm reel numbers for the full land petition(s)
    • Upper Canada Land Petitions (UCLP) and Land Books 1793-1826 [NA RG 1, L3 and RG1, E1] or indexes on C- 10810 to C10836 on microfilm at the Ontario Archives or NAC.
    • Order the correct reel for the full petition(s). Why order the land petitions? They often contain invaluable genealogical information including children's or father's names, spouse's names, places of origin, reports of the hardships they endured as Loyalists, Loyalist unit served in, and sometimes ages.
  • Check Loyalist Claims and Conversion List [NA MG14] 1790-1837 - Audit Office 12 and 13 compensation cliams for land and goods lost during the American Revolution - 178 reels of microfilm. Not all Loyalists filed claims. Many did and if your ancestor is among those who did, you won't want to overlook this.
  • Check the The Old United Empire Loyalists List - available in book form; and as microfilm -- United Empire Loyalist Lists [NA RG 1, L7 Vol 52a] on C-2222 from the Ontario Archives
  • Check District Loyalist Rolls - transcript on MS803 at the Ontario Archives
  • Check United Empire Loyalist Lists [NA RG 1, L7 vol 52a] on C-2222 from the Ontario Archives
  • An often overlooked source of information is The Haldimand Papers - papers and correspondence of Haldimand, Sir Frederick from 1758-1784. Available as 115 reels of microfilm from the NAC or as selected records on 50 reels of microfilm from the Ontario Archives. Muster rolls can be found on the H.P. in the National Archives of Canada as MG 21 These Loyalist volumes, and the nominal index to them, are available on microfilm reel C-1475. Avaiable on ILL (InterLibraryLoan)
American Revolution - Loyalists 1775-1783
Type of Record Location of Record Ordering Information Comments
British Military and Naval Records Collection National Archives of Canada RG 8, "C" Series References located in the index provide a brief description of the document, date, "C" series volume number and a page number. To consult the actual document, locate the volume number on the separate list of microfilm reel numbers. The nominal/subject card index and the series itself are available through the inter-institutional loan arrangement. Includes references to the British army in Canada and the Canadian Militia Available on ILL
Crown Lands Department Loyalist List Online MG 9 D4, vol. 9, microfilm reel C-1476 It was published in 1885 as Appendix B in The Centennial of the settlement of Upper Canada by the United Empire Loyalist, 1784-1884
Land Petitions for Quebec and Lower Canada, 1764-1841 National Archives of Canada & Online RG 1 L 3L Finding Aid 1801, a nominal card index, serves as a means of access to the Land Petitions in RG 1, L 3 L for Quebec and Lower Canada, c. 1764-1841, and the Gaspé Land Commission records in RG 1, L 7, volumes 79-80. For records of the Province of Canada, 1841-1867, see the Upper Canada Land Index (Finding Aid 1802). Search Lower Canada Land Petitions
Land Petitions for Upper Canada (Ontario) and the United Province of Canada 1791-1867 National Archives of Canada RG 1 L 3 Finding Aid 1802, a nominal card index known as the Upper Canada Land Index serves both the Land Books (Minutes of the Land Committee) in RG 1, L 1 and the Land Petitions in RG 1, L 3, for the provinces of Upper Canada, 1791-1841, and Canada, 1841-1867. The index was microfilmed in 1981 on reels C-10810 to C-10836; supplementary entries were microfilmed in 1991, on reels H-1976 to H-1978.
Land Petitions Nova Scotia and New Brunswick Provincial Archives NS and NB   The provincial archives in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick hold collections of land petitions for those provinces.
Petitions for land National Archives of Canada microfilm reels C-2222 & C-1476. Many Loyalists and their descendants submitted petitions for land, especially those who settled in Upper Canada (Ontario)
Ward Chipman, Muster Master's Office (1777-1785) Online MG 23 D1. Volumes 24 to 27 (microfilm reel C-9818) contain some muster rolls of Loyalists and their families pertaining to regiments that were disbanded and settled in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Those volumes have been digitized and are available online. The use of this digitized database is facilitated by a name index. Search Ward Chipman, Muster Master's Office (1777-1785)
Claims for losses to the British government National Archives of Canada MG 14, Audit Office 12 and 13 The claims contain details about former place of residence, income, property, details of military service, etc.A nominal index is available on microfilm reel C-9821. Available on ILL
Provision lists and muster rolls National Archives of Canada MG 21 These Loyalist volumes, and the nominal index to them, are available on microfilm reel C-1475. papers of Sir Frederick Haldimand Available on ILL
Muster rolls of Loyalist regiments National Archives of Canada collection of British Military and Naval Records (RG 8, "C" Series) Available on ILL
Applications for Pensions for Widows and Children of Loyalist Officers, 1755-1908 Family History Library W.O. 42), arranged alphabetically on eight rolls of microfilm (FHL film nos. 857997—858000 and 866501—866504). Available at local FHC
Haldimand, Sir Frederick : The Haldimand Papers - his papers and correspondence from 1758-1784. Available as 115 reels of microfilm from Library & Archives Canada or as selected records on 50 reels of diffusion microfilm from the Ontario Archives [NA MG 21, G2]
United Empire Loyalist Lists [NA RG 1, L7 Vol 52a] on C-2222 from the Ontario Archives
District Loyalist Rolls [NA RG 1, L7 Vol 52b] - transcript on MS803 at the Ontario Archives
First Heir & Devisee Commission 1797 - 1804 [NA RG 1, L5] Available at the Ontario Archives. The H & D Commission adjudicated disputed land claims and titles. Submitted documentation from heirs of original locatees can include location tickets, copies of wills, mortgages, affidavits, and testimonial letters.
Township Papers [RG Series C-IV] - These are arranged by concession and lot and deal mostly with the original locatees. They sometimes contain other Crown Land records and can include location tickets, assignments, certificate of settlement duties and correspondence. Available at the Ontario Archives
Orders in Council [RG 1, Series C-1-2] If the original Land Petition is missing, it may be found in this series which is arranged alphabetically by grantee or place
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