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I am trying to establish an approximate date of birth for an ancestor John Pencil, Jr of Fredericksburg. This is what I have: An extra male child appears on the provisions list in Crowder's Early Ontario Settlers in 1786 for the family of John Pencil, Sr. who is allotted land in Fredericksburg for his service with Butler's Rangers.

I assumed that this additional male child was John Pencil, Jr. (His parents had no other children between them - other children on the list were from a previous marriage).

John Jr, however, does not petition for land as an SUE until 1810. Some military records also show John Jr's approximate date of birth to be 1789 instead of 1786.

Sticking with the possible 1786 birth year he would have been 24 when he petitioned and not the usual age 21.

I have adjusted my thinking to this possible scenario: the child born in 1786 may have died and John Jr was actually born 1789. Problem here is that his baptism does not appear in the Rev Langhorn records where the rest of his step-siblings are getting married and having kids baptized.

Another scenario would be that John Jr was delayed in applying for his SUE petition for some unknown reason. John Jr. does mention that he is from Fredericksburg and his father has died in the 1810 petition.

My question: when was the law permitting sons and daughters of Loyalists to receive land grants passed? could it have been after 1807? If the law wasn't passed yet, maybe this is why John Jr waited until 1810.

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Replies to This Discussion

Petitions were being made into the 1850s by children of Loyalists. You had to be a son or dau. of someone who did serve in the British military during the war. Many failed due to lack of proof and by then much of the prime land was taken so if someone was successful in getting a grant they may have not taken it up.

I only found the surname PENCIL once in my library resources but spelling could be an issue.
Minutes of the Court Quarter Sessions of the Peace for Mecklenburg/Midland district, Vol. 1 1789 to 1816 – Persons nominated constables for the ensuring year, p. 186, John Pencil, Richmond.

Two books by Brenda Dougall Merriman, United Empire Loyalists. A Guide to tracing Loyalist Ancestors in Upper Canada and Genealogy in Ontario, I great books to help in research.

Good luck in your search.

Paul R. Caverly UE, PLCGS
Hi Paul, I live in New Jersey and don't have access to any of the sources you've mentioned. Inter-library loan is near impossible. Can you possible scan the material you found on John Pencil of Richmond? This is most likely John Pencil, Jr. SUE who married Fanny Jackson DUE of Richmond. I'd also like to correspond with you about the north Fredericksburg district. John father's, John Pencil, Sr was allotted his land grant there because his wife's relatives were also there (Dingmans and Woodcocks). Would like to compare notes. In tracing John Pencil Sr's history, I've come across Jacob Bowman (also from the Susquehanna River in PA) as well as Richard McGinniss another Butler's Ranger who recruited from the Mohawk River and wrote an invaluable diary of his experiences. Please contact me at:





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