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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Searching Upper Canada Sundries & Land Records

Neil asked:
My 3rd great-grandfather John Percy (Piercy) was born in 1753 according to a muster roll of the Loyal rangers, a Loyalist regiment. This roll was dated at Vercheres, Quebec, January 1, 1782, and states John was 28 years of age, born in Ireland, and five feet nine inches in height. He had previously served in Col. Hazen's Regiment in 1778.He was at the two blockhouses on the Yamaska River, Quebec, in January 1783 to April 1784. He ascended the St. Lawrence River to become one of the first settlers of Ernesttown Township in the summer of 1784 on the property described as the West Half of Lot 3. 2nd Concession, and was given a Crown Deed to Lot 10, 7th Concession about 1802. He lived in Camden at Lot 29, 3rd Concession when he died in 1811. I have been trying to find when and how he came from Ireland and if he went to America or Canada. Any information about him would be gratefully accepted.

Olive Tree Answer: Neil, you have done a lot of research and found some very good information on your great great grandfather. What I don't see is any mention of land petitions for him. Since he was a Loyalist there should be land petitions, perhaps in both the Upper Canada Land Petitions and the Lower Canada Land Petitions (the index is searchable online). Land petitions often contain a great deal of genealogical information such as where an individual lived, the hardships he endured, time in prison for his Loyalist sympathies and so on. Also look for land petitions for any of his children for they were entitled to free grants on the basis of being SUE (Son of a United Empire Loyalist) or DUE (Daughter of a United Empire Loyalist)

Have you checked the Township Papers to see what is filed for the precise locations where your ancestor lived? These are a miscellaneous collection of documents relating to early transactions and correspondence about specific lots of land.

How about the Upper Canada Sundries? These are miscellaneous genealogy documents about individuals in Upper Canada (present day Ontario). They may contain absolutely nothing or they may hold a valuable genealogical clue. A quick peek at the online index shows John Piercy listed.

1 comment:

  1. Hello, I love this blog. It's been great to look at other people's questions!

    Is there anyway to get in touch with the person who wrote the query? I've been searching for Catherine PERCY who married George Graves date and place unknown, but I wondered about the Camden PIERCY's as a connection to her because it's a reasonable distance to Kingston (they had to meet somewhere, right?). Is this a little like grasping at straws? Probably :)

    George and Catherine lived in Pittsburgh Township, Frontenanc east of Kingston and were having children between 1822 to 1846. Her birth year from the 1852 & 1861 census is between 1799 to 1806 in Upper Canada. They were Methodists so as far as I can tell, there's no church records for that time period. He died before the 1852 census, so he's not much help, but on the 1891 census his son said he was born in the USA.

    my email address is jillsfamilyhistory[at]shaw[dot]ca if it isn't against your policy to pass that type of information along. Thanks for maintaining this blog!

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