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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

What's the Difference Between a Loyalist and a Tory?

Sheri asked "What's the difference between a Loyalist and a Tory? My ggggrandpa was called a Tory in New York but recently someone told me that meant he was a Loyalist in Canada. is that true?"
Olive Tree Answer: Hi Sheri. In the strictest sense, a Loyalist is someone who is loyal to their allegiance, especially during troubled times. If your ancestor was on the British side (that is, loyal to the King of England) during the American Revolution, he was a Loyalist. Tory was another name used in the Colonies for a Loyalist. They were only referred to as Loyalists in Canada.

See Loyalist Genealogy & History for more information


  1. My history textbook doesn't say this way, my history text book says that the colonists calls the people who supports the British Tory and that they called them Loyalists too. One of my questions on my study guide was "what is the difference between a Loyalists and a Tory?" And I am confused.

  2. You don't say where you live - but I'm guessing USA. That would be why your history text book uses the word "Tory" to describe those from the colonies who fought on the British side. Here in Canada we call them Loyalists, NEVER Tories.