Joshua Thomas, Loyalist, and Some of His Descendants
Pennsylvania Loyalists to New Brunswick
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Loyalists arrive with Spring Fleet
1783 | St John, NB
JOSHUA3 THOMAS (RICHARD2, EVAN1) was born Abt. 1742 in Pennsylvania (Hilltown or Lower Dublin), and died 1814 in New Brunswick (Burton). He married MARTHA CUSTER 1762 in Towmaneey Township, Northampton, PA, daughter of GEORGE CUSTER and MARY RHODES. She was born 1755 in Pennsylvania, and died 1814 in Burton, NB.
Early New Brunswick documents confuse Joshua Thomas with his son Joseph. It was Joshua who was one of the first settlers on the Oromocto. He arrived with the loyalists and settled in Burton.
Marriage records of miscellaneous public records of Northampton County, Pennsylvania.
" Marriage contract between Joshua THOMES and Cath-n Custer, 20 October 1762: with consent of parents, Joshua Thomes " Towmmaney" Township, and Martha Catherin, daugther of George Custer, deceased, of same, were married before Henry Geiger , Justice of the Peace signed: Joshua Thomas, Martha Thomas
Witness: William Thomas, John Custard, Levi Lewis, John Holdar, Samuel Custard, Hannes Beer, John Rhods, William Gable"
Gwynned MM 30-3-1773: Joshua and Josiah Thomas, sons of Richard Thomas, removed beyond the Mountain a considerable distance and have since married out.
He appears on the Towmmaney tax list 1767-1769. Penn Township tax list 1770-1773.
Along with his brothers Evan and William he sided with the crown during the Revolutionary War. He was with the Queens Rangers and the Buck's County Volunteers. He was accused of high treason in 1778 for refusing to take the oath of allegiance to Pennsylvania. His lands were confiscated. His name appears on same BLACK LIST as Benedict Arnold's. He left his family behind when his land was taken and fled to NY in 1779. When NY fell to the British the family fled to NB Spring 1783. They settled in Burton, Sunbury County. He applied with others for several land grants within Sunbury County, as did sons Richard, Joshua and Joseph.
August 18, 1779
The Pennsylvania Gazette
WHEREAS the estates of Andrew Allen, John Young, William Thomas, Joshua Thomas, Samuel Custard, and John Holder, jun. late of the county of Northampton, having been in due course of Law forfeited and seized to the use of this State, we, the Agents for said county, do hereby give NOTICE, that the estates of the said Andrew Allen, John Young, William Thomas, Joshua Thomas, Samuel Custard, and John Holder, junior, consisting of the following, Andrew Allen, 203 acres and 177 and 3 qrs. ditto, being two lots of an 1800 acre tract on Monakesy creek, about five miles from Bethlehem; three plantations, containing about 223 acres each, on a branch of said creek. John Young, the one half an undivided tract on said creek, containing 116 acres; the one half of ditto on Bushkill creek, about three miles from Easton. William Thomas, a plantation in Penntownship, containing about 300 acres, a large stone house, and log barn, &c. thereon; another plantation in said township, containing 150 acres, log house and barn thereon; three other tracts in said township, containing about 200 acres each. Joshua Thomas, a plantation in said township, containing about 300 acres, log house and barn thereon. Samuel Custard, a plantation, containing 150 acres, log house and barn thereon. John Holder, a tract of land in said township, containing about 200 acres. All which will be sold by Public Vendue, at the Courthouse, at Easton, on the 23d day of September next; the sales will continue from day to day, till the whole be disposed of.
The terms of Sale will be according to Law, as follows, to wit, One fourth part of the purchase money to be paid in ten days after sale, or the premises again to revert to the State, and bidder liable to forfeit the said one fourth part of the purchase money. The remainder thereof to be paid in one month; and on a certificate being produced from the Agents, or either of them, of full payment of the purchase money, a deed will be given, as by Law directed.
And we the Agents, do also, pursuant to Law, hereby notify all the claimants of the said premises, or either of them, and creditors of the said Andrew Allen, John Young, William Thomas, Joshua Thomas, Samuel Custard, and John Holder, junior, to exhibit their claims and demands to the Justices of the Supreme Court, within the time limited by Law, or they will be for ever barred from the recovery thereof. STEPHEN BALLIET, August 10, 1779.WILLIAM McNAIR, Agents, &c.
May 13, 1778
The Pennsylvania Packet
By the SUPREME EXECUTIVE COUNCIL of the Common Wealth of Pennsylvania.
WHEREAS the following named persons, late and heretofore inhabitants of this State - That is to say - Enoch Story, late merchant; Samuel Garrigues, the elder, late clerk of the market and trader; James Stevenson, late baker; Abraham Carlisle, house carpenter; Peter Deshong, miller; Alexander Bartram, trader; Christian Hook, attorney at law; Peter Miller, scrivener; Lodowick Kerker, butcher; Philip Marchinton, trader; Edward Hanlon, cooper and vintner; Alfred Cliffton, gentleman; and Arthur Thomas, breeches maker; all now, or late of the city of Philadelphia: And Thomas Livizley, late of the township of Roxborough, miller; John Roberts, late of the township of Lower Merion, miller; Robert Iredale, the younger, and Thomas Iredale, both late of the township of Horsham, labourers; Joshua Knight, late of the township of Abingdon, blacksmith; John Knight, tanner, Isaac Knight, husbandman; Albinson Walton, late of the township of Biberry, husbandman; John Smith, late gauger of the port of Philadelphia; and Henry Hugh Ferguson, commissary of prisoners for General Howe, all late of the county of Philadelphia; and Samuel Biles, Esquire, late sheriff of the county of Bucks; Walter Willey, late of the township of Southampton, husbandman; Richard Hevenden, late of the township of Newtown, trader; and William Moland, late of the township of Warminster, husbandman; all late of the county of Bucks: And Henry Skyles, Thomas Bull, and David Dawson, husbandmen; Jacob James, late of the township of Goshen, inn keeper; Joseph Thomas, (heretofore sub sheriff) yeoman; Nathaniel Vernon, junior, labourer; and John Swanwick, late of the custom house, Philadelphia; all late of the county of Chester: And John Rankin, and Evan Griffith, husbandmen; William Love, late of the township of York; John Wilson, late of the township of Huntingdon; and James Braken, late of the township of Tyrone; all late of the county of York: And William Thomas, James Pugh, Samuel Koster, John Koster, Joshua Thomas,..... have severally adhered to, and knowingly and willingly aided and assisted the enemies of the State, and of the United States of America, by having joined their armies at Philadelphia, in the County of Philadelphia, within this State; WE the Supreme Executive Council aforesaid, by virtue of certain powers and authorities to us given by an Act of General Assembly, entitled, "An Act for the attainder of divers Traitors, if they render not themselves by a certain day, and for vesting their estates in this Common Wealth; and for more effectually discovering the same; and for a certaining and satisfying the lawful debts and claims thereupon,"do hereby strictly charge and require the said Enoch Story, Samuel Garrigues, James Stevenson, Abraham Carlisle, Peter Deshong, Alexander Bartram, Christian Hook, Peter Miller, Lodowick Kerker, Philip Marchinton, Edward Hanlon, Alfred Cliffton, Arthur Thomas, Thomas Livezley, John Roberts, Robert Iredale, Thomas Iredale, Joshua Knight, John Knight, Isaac Knight, Albinson Walton, John Smith, Henry Hugh Ferguson, Samuel Biles, Walter Willet, Richard Hovendon, William Moland, Henry Skyles, Thomas Bulla, David Dawson, Jacob James, Joseph Thomas, Nathaniel Vernon, junior, John Swanwick, John Rankin, Evan Griffith, William Love, John Wilson, James Brakin, William Thomas, James ugh, Samuel Koster, John Koster, Joshua Thomas,.... to render themselves respectively to some or one of the Justices of the Supreme Court, or of the Justices of the Peace of one of the Counties within this State, on or before Thursday, the twenty fifth day of June next ensuing, and also abide their legal trial for such their treasons, on pain that every of them the said Enoch Story, Samuel Garrigues, James Stevenson, Abraham Carlisle, Peter Deshong, Alexander Bartram, Christian Hook, Peter Miller, Lodowick Kerker, Philip Marchinton, Edward Hanlon, Alfred Clifton, Arthur Thomas, Thomas Livezley, John Roberts, Robert Iredale, Thomas Iredale, Joshua Knight, John Knight, Isaac Knight, Albinson Walton, John Smith, Henry Hugh Ferguson, Samuel Biles, Walter Willet, Richard Hovendon, William Moland, Henry Skyles, Thomas Bulla, David Dawson, Jacob James, Joseph Thomas, Nathaniel Vernon, John Swanwick, John Rankin, Evan Griffith, William Love, John Wilson, James Brakin, William Thomas, James Pugh, Samuel Kostr, John Koster, Joshua Thomas, Hugh Pugh, Joseph Sutton, John Holder, Henry Oswalt, Jacob Holder, George Holder, Owen Roberts, Michael Witman, Matthew M. Hugh, George Reine, John Reine, Ingleholt Holtzinger, and Francis Sanderson, not rendering himself as aforesaid, and abiding the trial aforesaid, shall, from and after the said twenty fifth day of June next, stand and be attainted of High Treason to all intents and purposes, and shall suffer such pains and penalties, and undergo all such forfeitures as persons attainted of High Treason ought to do. And all the faithful subjects of this State are to take notice of this Proclamation, and govern themselves accordingly.
GIVEN, by order of the Council, under the Hand of His Excellency the President and the Seal of the State, at Lancaster, this eighth day of May, in the year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and seventy eight.
By order of Council, THOMAS WHARTON, Junior, President.
GOD SAVE THE COMMONWEALTH. Attested by order of Council.
T. MATLACK, Secretary.
A copy of his request: "St. John's 8th February 1787
Evidence on the claim of Josh. Thomas, late of Pensilvania.Claimt sworn:
Says he came from New York in May 1783. Soon after his arrival he went up to Burton where he has resided ever since. He sent a claim to England by Capt. Vandeburgh. He is a native of Pensilvania. When the War broke out he lived in Northampton County Pen. Township. Says he never took any part with the rebels. He joined the British Army at Philadelphia. He was then required to sign Associations to take oaths &c., but he never did anything of the sort, for some time before he escaped he was obliged to live in the Woods. After he joined the B. Army he served in the Bucks County Volunteers. He served with that Comp attached to the Queens rangers during the war and he never received any pay. At the peace he came to this Province & now resides at Burton.
Produces Certificate from R. Armstrong, Major, John MacKay, Capt., A. Allen & Richd Holland, Lts. Queens rangers, to Claimants having served 3 years as a brave & Loyal Soldier. Frederickton 30th July 1787.
160 acres in Northampton County. His Father left it to him by Will. In the distribution of his Father's Property he had then allowed to him (lb)130 Cury., 40 acres were improved. He had a good house & Barn on it. He built these after his Father gave it to him. Says he could have sold this for (lb.)3 Cury. pr. acre. It was valuable on acct. of a Lime Kiln & quarry.He had been often asked to sell, (lb.)480 Cury.
He had 100 acres adjoining, but his Daughter married a rebel Capt. & saved it for herself. The 160 acres was sold in 1779 to one Kidd who is now in Possession. His Wife remained there until drove off. All his Stock & some furniture was sold at Vendue. What of the furniture which was not sold was plundered from him. He had a yoke of oxen, 2 Horses, 4 Cows, 3 Heofers, 12 Sheep, all sold at Vendue. Furniture, Farming Utensils. Some of this was plundered."
New Claim: To the commissioners appointed by the Act of Parliament for enquiring into the losses and services of the American Loyalists.
The memorial of Joshua Thomas, late of Northampton County in the province of Pennsylvania, now of the county of Sunbury, New Brunswick, Honorably sheweth that at the commencement of the late unhappy defections in America. Your memorials was possessed of an independent property in the county above mentioned, but on his opposition to the American proceedings and his steady attachment to His Majesty's Government, he was obliged to fly for his life and joined the Buck County Volunteers and after that continued to serve in the Queens Rangers for three years without demanding or receiving any pay.
That in consequences of the premiss aforesaid his effects were confiscated and sold and his family left destitute od the common necessities of life and entirely dependent on their friends for support.
5 February 23, 1788
That your memoralist can bring certificates of his character, his services to Government and the losses he sustained in consequences thereof( together with the distresses of his family) by the evidences of William Thomas, John Bradbury and others which will amount to the sum of L 500, Pennsylvania currency and upwards.
That your memoralist from the time of the evacuation of the British Troops from New York has resided in New Brunswick and endeavored to avail himself of his Majesty's gracious and benevolent intentions (signified in his Proclamation) by transmitting a memorial in writing committed to the care of Capt. Richard Vanderburghm but from his unfortunate detention, your memoralist lost the benefit of the application and in consequences of the various misfortunes to which he has been exposed has been precluded from mailing a personal application in long hand, he however hopes that his claim will be admitted and that he may be allowed to prove the fact before your Honor when you arrive in the Province of New Brunwick and he as in duty bound will ever pray.
(signed) Joshua Thomas
Saint John, N.B.
Joshua and Martha's children were: Richard, Rebecca, Joshua, Joseph, Martha, Elizabeth and possibly Hannah who married Orlow Smith. Information about Joshua's children contained in the John Tracy manuscript has many errors. Rebecca didn't marry Samuel Bunker and she was born about 1776 in Pennsylvania not 1798. It is confirmed NB Genealogical Society that she married Ekzekiel Seeley in 1792 in Maugerville. The Rebecca who married Bunker is probably Joshua's granddaughter, daughter of Joseph and Rebecca Hoyt Thomas.
Richard was not Richie who settled in St. George but rather he settled in Carleton county after many years in Burton. Unfortunately this misinformation has been repeated so many times it appears credible.
Richard Thomas, son of Joshua
1783-1828 | New Brunswick
RICHARD4 THOMAS (JOSHUA3, RICHARD2, EVAN1) was born Bet. 1765 - 1770 in Pennsylvania (Hilltown) and died Aft. 1826 in Rockland, Carleton, New Brunswick. He married HANNAH GLASIER, daughter of BENJAMIN GLASIER and MARCY/MERCY DOWNS. She was born Abt. 1771 in New Brunswick, and died 1854 in New Brunswick (Carleton County).
RICHARD THOMAS is most certainly the father of Benjamin Thomas who married Mary Ann Hayward. This confirmed by UE application of Benjamin's great niece. Benjamin had a grandson named Hayward Glazier Thomas—Hayward for his grandmother; Glazier for his great grandmother.
According to land grant petitions, he is single in 1785 and has a family in 1802. He appears on the Burton Poll list in 1795. His name is on land grant records for 1788, 1785, 1802, and 1809. He also is assigned road work as a means of taxation in 1812 in Burton.
In addition to Benjamin, their children were Rebecca was born 1800 in Lincoln and married Nicholas Sewell and removed to Maine. Daughter Sarah, born 1794, married first a Robinson and then John Duncan Dickinson. Elizabeth Thomas, born 1804, married Darius Dickinson, and Ann b. 1799 who married William Sewell. Another son was Stephen, b 1805, who in 1826 was living on the Becagumic River with Richard and Hannah Thomas, parents, and two of their children—James born in 1810 and Hannah b.1813. Hannah married Stillman Stone and Removed to Maine. Stephen married Elizabeth Clarke and James, Jane Kermott.
Richard and Hannah and their children, Stephen, James and Hannah moved to this area that was to become Rockland in 1822. It was two land parcels from Benjamin. In 1837 Benjamin sold his original land to Samuel Estabrooks who was married to his wife's sister. In 1851 William Sewell lives on this land and Benjamin is living on the land where Stephen, his parents and their family lived in 1826.
HANNAH GLASIER died at the home of her daughter, Elizabeth Dickerson/Dickinson.
February 11, 1854 Woodstock Carleton Sentinel d. Wakefield (Carleton Co.) 30th Dec., at residence of her son in law, Darius DICKINSON, Hannah THOMAS widow of Richard THOMAS, age 84. She saw her descendants to the fourth gener ation
Rebecca Thomas Descendants
1783-1951 | New Brunswick to British Columbia
While many of the loyalist descendants eventually return to the US, many remain in Canada to become important instruments in her development and history. If it is possible, it seems as though many loyalist descendants are even prouder of their ancestor loyalists than most descendants of American patriots are of theirs. This could be because those loyalist ancestors were forced to face incredibly difficult circumstances leaving all behind when forced to flee and finding nothing much beyond uncleared land when they arrived in New Brunswick. Below is the story of one courageous descendant who obviously carried the lessons learned from 1783 onward in New Brunswick in her genes.
From email from descendant, Donna van Eeghen: Bertha Jane Seeley born 1855 was a descendant of Ezekiel Seeley, Daniel Smith, Joshua Thomas and George Hayward. (Smith and Seeley were CT loyalists and Hayward was a preloyalist). She married William Clifton Kimball at Jacksontown, Carleton County, N.B. She died at Powell River, B.C. in 1951 when she was 96 yrs. Bertha was a lacemaker,35 years old, a widow with 3 children living on a farm by 1890 near Jacksontown. She sold her lace all over the county by horse and carriage, kids in tow and managed to eke out a living until her son was old enough to provide for her. She lived with him and his family almost their married life dying only 6 years before them.
Bertha's descent from Daniel Smith is from his daughter Mary Smith who married George Hayward, their daughter Lydia Ann Hayward married David Mitchell, their daughter Ruth Amelia Mitchell married James Oran Seeley and they had Bertha. Bertha's descent from Joshua Thomas is from his daughter Rebecca Thomas married Ezekiel Seeley Jr., their son Linus married Elizabeth Mersereau, their son James Oran Seeley married 1st Nancy Hoyt and 2nd Ruth Amelia Mitchell. Bertha was a child amputee, she had her left leg removed in 1863 after it became infected with gangrene, one hates to think of what she must have endured during that proceedure! I have included a photo of her daughters I am fairly sure Bertha would have made the lace collars they are wearing as well as their outfits as they would not have been in a position to buy store bought clothes.
Note on the Blissville Map, Seeley land is located between that of Joshua and Richard Thomas, just a little East of Daniel Smith's land.
Joseph Thomas, son of Joshua, loyalist
1800's | New Brunswick and Ontario, Canada
Joseph was the youngest son of Joshua and Martha Thomas, born c 1780. He married Rebecca Hoyt, daughter of Joseph and Mary Ann Hayward Hoyt. His one child known to me was Rebecca, born 1798. She married Samuel Bunker. Joshua Howard Thomas, 1817, is very likely another child. He married Polly Green probably in the Hamilton, Ontario area. His middle name would be based on Mary Ann Hayward's maiden name. Howard and Hayward were used interchangeably in early records and by the family. Mary Ann is the daughter of George and Ann Hayward, who arrived in NB in 1763. (See information in page about Benjamin Thomas).
Joseph and Rebecca removed to Ontario, around 1824. The date is based on attached land records.