Would an American Patriot have settled in Glen Garry Ontario, Canada after the American Revolution?

+5 votes
Mary Thornton married Charles Westley in 1778 in the Dutch Reformed Church in Schenectady, NY. Most of her brothers were American Patriots, one brother Matthew was tried as a traitor when caught behind enemy lines. He later moved his family to New Brunswick. Mary's Uncle, Matthew Thornton was a signer of the Declaration of Independence for New Hampshire. After the war the Charles Westley moved his family to Glen Garry in Ontario. This new township was settled by Scots Loyalists who fought for the Brits. Charles name appears on the roll of the 15th Company Albany County Militia land bounty rights, which seems to confirm he was a patriot. Why did he end up in a loyalist township in Canada? Any ideas?
WikiTree profile: Mary Westley
asked in Genealogy Help by Jeanie Roberts G2G6 Pilot (117k points)

7 Answers

+4 votes
Best answer
Thanks to Fred Blair, I can confirm that Charles Westley was indeed a Loyalist.  He has supplied me with some amazing documents in which Charles applied for land grants based on his status as a Loyalist.
answered by Jeanie Roberts G2G6 Pilot (117k points)
selected by Mags Gaulden
I just awarded Fred the Generous Genealogist award. I'm always impressed by the documents he finds and his generosity in sharing them with members.
+8 votes
Was Glen Garry near where the "traitor" settled?  Maybe he just saw opportunity there and it had nothing to do with being a patriot or a loyalist.  He could have, over time, changed his leanings.  Have you seen his Revolutionary records?  I have seen a few that were annotated with "deserted."  I know where I live many people signed loyalty oaths to the King, but went on to fight with the patriots, could he have been caught up in something opposite.  Maybe most of his neighbors were patriots and he feared admitting to loyalism.
answered by Lucy Selvaggio-Diaz G2G6 Pilot (256k points)
The two 'traitors' if that was what Charles Westley was, were several hundred miles apart. Charles served in the local militia and not on the Continental Line, so the records are slim. I could not find any on Fold3. It's hard to imagine how conflicted these people must have felt when forced to chose sides.
+6 votes
Just in a General way...Canada was a part of the Land and Settlements Schemes of the period before and after the US Revolution. It is not uncommon to find American Patriots sprinkled in with the Loyalists they fought against.

It was open land and industry at the time.

answered by Mags Gaulden G2G6 Pilot (454k points)
Mags, thanks, wondered about that, I had an ancestor who fought on the American side during the Revolution but moved to Canada shortly thereafter.
+1 vote
Yes, many Americans settled in Ontario in the 19th Century whether Loyalist or not.
answered by
+3 votes
We Americans over the Age 40 have been propagandized that the Revolution was "good" versus "evil".  In reality it was a complex class warfare between wealthy merchants and commoners versus middle class and royalists.   Many were persecuted simply for their class origin.  However, over time things change and it was more about economic interest and friends and family already settled in an area more than anything else.
answered by
+3 votes
Hi Mary,

You imply that Charles Westley moved to Glengarry Township shortly after the war.  Do you know when?  Do you know if he settled on a specific lot number?  How did he obtain his land?  I might be able to help you if you are looking for documentation in Upper Canada.  The answer to your question would be easier if we knew whether Charles moved before or after 1804.  Also Charles may have been fleeing problems in the US and/or looking for new opportunities in Canada.  My Loyalist ancestors came from the area of Albany, NY as well.

answered by Fred Blair G2G6 Mach 1 (10.3k points)
Charles was there by 1790, I found a mention of him in the notorial records. Any help you can give would be great.
0 votes
United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada (UELAC) was founded in 1914, by a federal statute.  It has several branches that can help in your research.


The catchment area of the St. Lawrence Branch covers the Ontario counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry, which border the St. Lawrence River. This region overlaps with part of the Loyalist homeland: The first six Royal Townships settled by disbanded Loyalist soldiers and their families starting in 1784.


The Kingston, Ontario branch is also an active one, and centred on an area of early Loyalist settlements.

answered by Santino Rocca G2G6 Mach 2 (27.9k points)

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