I am adopted and only recently found out my paternal lineage thanks to my 23andme DNA test that linked me to my half-brothers (John and Gavin Anger) and my paternal relatives!
My maternal relatives are in the UK, (Rees, Lyons) (in Pontypridd/Wales & Hampstead/ London) as my birth mother was born and raised in London until her mother came to Canada after marrying a Canadian Soldier.
I have not met my birth parents but I now have more information about them and with that – more understanding of ‘me’.
From having no ancestral connection in this world to finding out I had roots both in the UK and in the establishing of the Canada we know today, has given me not only roots but renewed pride in being a Canadian!
The United Empire Loyalists were generally those who had been settled in the thirteen colonies at the outbreak of the American Revolution, who remained loyal to and took up the Royal Standard, and who settled in what is now Canada at the end of the war.
United Empire Loyalists (or just Loyalists) is an honorific given in 1799 by Lord Dorchester, the governor of Quebec and Governor-general of British North America, to American Loyalists who resettled in British North America during or after the American Revolution.
Loyalists During the American Revolution
Americans today think of the War for Independence as a revolution, but in important respects it was also a civil war. American Loyalists, or “Tories” as their opponents called them, opposed the Revolution, and many took up arms against the rebels. Estimates of the number of Loyalists range as high as 500,000, or 20 percent of the white population of the colonies.
What motivated the Loyalists? Most educated Americans, whether Loyalist or Revolutionary, accepted John Locke’s theory of natural rights and limited government. Thus, the Loyalists, like the rebels, criticized such British actions as the Stamp Act and the Coercive Acts. Loyalists wanted to pursue peaceful forms of protest because they believed that violence would give rise to mob rule or tyranny. They also believed that independence would mean the loss of economic benefits derived from membership in the British mercantile system.
Loyalists came from all walks of life. The majority were small farmers, artisans and shopkeepers. Not surprisingly, most British officials remained loyal to the Crown. Wealthy merchants tended to remain loyal, as did Anglican ministers, especially in Puritan New England. Loyalists also included some blacks (to whom the British promised freedom), Indians, indentured servants and some German immigrants, who supported the Crown mainly because George III was of German origin.
Patriot authorities punished Loyalists who spoke their views too loudly by stripping them of their property and goods and banishing them on pain of death should they ever return. They coerced others into silence with threats. Throughout the Thirteen Colonies that were under Patriot control, Loyalists could not vote, sell land, sue debtors, or work as lawyers, doctors, or schoolteachers. To be fair, in Loyalist controlled areas, supporters of the Revolution met with similar treatment at the hands of British authorities.
Approximately 70,000 Loyalists fled the Thirteen Colonies. Of these, roughly 50,000 went to the British North American Colonies of Quebec and Nova Scotia. For some, exile began as early as 1775 when “committees of safety” throughout the Thirteen Colonies began to harass British sympathizers. Other responded by forming Loyalist regiments: The King’s Royal Regiment of New York, Skinner’s New Jersey Volunteers, The Pennsylvania and Maryland Loyalists, Butler’s Rangers, Rogers’ Rangers and Jessup’s Corps were the best known of some 50 Loyalist regiments that campaigned actively during the war.
The signing of the Treaty of Paris (1783), which recognized the independence of the United States, was the final blow for the Loyalists. Faced with further mistreatment and the hostility of their countrymen, and wishing to live as British subjects, Loyalists who had remained in the Thirteen Colonies during the war now were faced with exile. Those who wished to in North America had two choices; Nova Scotia (Maritimes) or Quebec (Ontario-Quebec).
EXODUS TO AN UNKNOWN LAND
Fleeing in panic and confusion, forced to leave behind most of their possessions and burdened with the prospect of building a new life in a new land, the Loyalists faced unpromising beginnings. The lands they were to settle were isolated, forbidding and wild.
In addition to the anguish of defeat and the trauma of exile, Loyalists had to face isolation and feelings of helplessness. Shortages, harsh living conditions, and worry plagued the Loyalists in the hastily erected refugee camps. Many had to live in tents during the first winter. Many didn’t live through the first winter; many left with the relief fleets when they set sail the next spring. Those who did survive had to deal with delays in completing land surveys and shortages of tools and provision. But the Loyalists’ determination and resourcefulness assured the ultimate success of many of the new settlements.
Although there was some Loyalist migration into what is today the Province of Quebec, by far the greatest numbers came to present-day Ontario. The disbanded Loyalist regiments provided the majority of settlers. Colonel John Butler, a powerful landowner in the Mohawk Valley of New York, organized Butler’s Rangers and fought along with Native Loyalists. He led his followers to the west bank of the Niagara River when the regiment disbanded in 1784.
Disbanded Loyalist Regiments also settled along the St.Lawrence River upstream from Montreal and along the North shore of Lake Ontario. At their request they were settled according to nationality and religion. The majority of the settlers had been frontier farmers before the revolution and they were used to wilderness conditions, but they had lost almost everything they owned when they fled from their homes. The government gave them a limited amount of support with the most extensive reward being in the form of free land. They granted land to the heads of households according to their military rank and extended grants to wives and children born and unborn.
The Loyalists brought with them the tradition of freehold land tenure, British Laws and representative government. They did not want to give up these rights by living under the Quebec Act which guaranteed the seigneurial system of landholding and denied an elected assembly to the people of that colony. Shortly after their arrival, Loyalist representatives petitioned the government to alter the system of holding land in Quebec to freehold tenure similar to that of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
In 1791, the British Parliament passed the Canada Act, usually known as the Constitutional Act, which provided for the division of Quebec into Upper and Lower Canada. Both colonies were granted an elected assembly and the freehold system of land tenure went into effect in Upper Canada (later Ontario). These laws clearly show the influence of the Loyalists.
THE LOYALIST HERITAGE
Of less practical value than land and supplies, but of more lasting significance to the Loyalists and their descendants, was the government’s recognition of the stand that they had taken. Realizing the importance of some type of consideration, on November 9, 1789, Lord Dorchester, the governor of Quebec, declared “that it was his Wish to put the mark of Honour upon the Families who had adhered to the Unity of the Empire…”. As a result of Dorchester’s statement, the printed militia rolls carried the notation:
N.B. Those Loyalists who have adhered to the Unity of the Empire, and joined the Royal Standard before the Treaty of Separation in the year 1783, and all their Children and their Descendants by either sex, are to be distinguished by the following Capitals, affixed to their names: U.E. Alluding to their great principle The Unity of the Empire.
The initials “U.E.” are rarely seen today, but the influence of the Loyalists on the evolution of Canada remains. Their ties with Britain and their antipathy to the United States provided the strength needed to keep Canada independent and distinct in North America.
In the two centuries since the Loyalists’ arrival, the myths and realities of their heritage have intertwined to have a powerful influence on how we, as Canadians, see ourselves. Truly, the arrival of the United Empire Loyalists not only changed the Course of Canadian history by prompting the British government to establish the provinces of New Brunswick and Ontario, but is also gave them special characteristics which can be seen today. Perhaps the most striking of these is the motto on the Ontario coat of arms: Ut incept sic permanet fidelis that is, “As she began, so she remains, Loyal”.
Excerpt from Poem: I CHOOSE TO BE A WOMAN OF CONSEQUENCE AND DISTINCTION. Rebelle Society “I’d rather be a loud example of a strong female than a woman who compromised because the world suggested it as her best option. I’d rather write and paint and read books that give people hope than make no ripples. I’d rather live and walk authentically than crawl in the shadow of someone’s expectations.”
I am taking the time to look back and forward on this special day:
August 21, 2017
What do you really want to change:
I want to change my relationship with value.
I want to omit the feeling that my storytelling makes no difference in the world and therefore why do it?
Again – change my ‘value’
I want to finish my novel – take the time to write and not judge whether it has the capability to reach people.
Omit – the ‘not going to be recognized’ mentality that has persisted in my filmmaker career.
Is it ego? Or is it a drive for my art to be ‘seen’?
I want to challenge myself to take the next leap to explore living in Europe.
I want to change my relationship with the world, work, lifestyle.
I want to feel valued both professionally and personally.
I feel limited in Canada from exploring who I am as a creative, experienced professional as well as an adult.
Based on Experience … but that doesn’t have to be so elsewhere… right?
How do you really want your life to be?
In a perfect world I would live in different places in the world as a writer of novels and have friends come stay and create in their own right. I would love to have a partner who is a creative and we could travel and live and create.
I have always believed I am meant to be with a professional music person, a producer? A writer of music? Not a musician per say… who performs.
Music has always been a driving force for me – not in its own right – but as a muse for my creativity. Perhaps I will find my creative partner to share adventures with?
” Henry Miller wrote in reflecting on the art of living, “depends the failure or fruitfulness of it.”
Indeed, this act of orienting ourselves – to the moment, to the world, to our own selves – is perhaps the most elusive art of all, and our attempts to master it often leave us fumbling, frustrated, discombobulated. And yet therein lies our greatest capacity for growth and self-transcendence.
Leave the door open for the unknown, the door into the dark. That’s where the most important things come from, where you yourself came from, and where you will go.
“How will you go about finding that thing the nature of which is totally unknown to you?”
The things we want are transformative, and we don’t know or only think we know what is on the other side of that transformation. Love, wisdom, grace, inspiration – how do you go about finding these things that are in some ways about extending the boundaries of the self into unknown territory.
The inquiry itself carries undertones of acknowledging the self illusion, or at the very least brushing up against the question of how we know who “we” are if we’re perpetually changing.
That uncertainty is not an obstacle to living but a wellspring of life – of creative life, most of all. Bridging the essence of art with the notion that not-knowing is what drives science, in the act of embracing the unknown a gateway to self-transcendence:
Certainly for artists of all stripes, the unknown, the idea or the form or the tale that has not yet arrived, is what must be found. It is the job of artists to open doors and invite in prophesies, the unknown, the unfamiliar; it’s where their work comes from, although its arrival signals the beginning of the long disciplined process of making it their own.
Scientists too, as J. Robert Oppenheimer once remarked, “live always at the ‘edge of mystery’ – the boundary of the unknown.” But they transform the unknown into the known, haul it in like fishermen; artists get you out into that dark sea.
But unlike the dark sea, which obscures the depths of what is, of what could be seen in the present moment, the unknown spills into the unforeseen.
Edgar Allan Poe, who argued that “in matters of philosophical discovery … it is the unforeseen upon which we must calculate most largely,” and considers the deliberate juxtaposition of the rational, methodical act of calculation with the ineffable, intangible nature of the unforeseen:
How do you calculate upon the unforeseen? It seems to be an art of recognizing the role of the unforeseen, of keeping your balance amid surprises, of collaborating with chance, of recognizing that there are some essential mysteries in the world and thereby a limit to calculation, to plan, to control. To calculate on the unforeseen is perhaps exactly the paradoxical operation that life most requires of us.
The poet John Keats captured this paradoxical operation elegantly in his notion of “negative capability,” and Walter Benjamin, who memorably considered the difference between not finding your way and losing yourself – something he called “the art of straying.”
To lose yourself: a voluptuous surrender, lost in your arms, lost to the world, utterly immersed in what is present so that its surroundings fade away.
In Benjamin’s terms, to be lost is to be fully present, and to be fully present is to be capable of being in uncertainty and mystery. And one does not get lost but loses oneself, with the implication that it is a conscious choice, a chosen surrender, a psychic state achievable through geography.
That thing the nature of which is totally unknown to you is usually what you need to find, and finding it is a matter of getting lost.
Even the word itself endured an unforeseen transformation, its original meaning itself lost amidst our present cult of productivity and perilous goal-orientedness:
The word “lost” comes from the Old Norse los, meaning the disbanding of an army, and this origin suggests soldiers falling out of formation to go home, a truce with the wide world.
I worry now that many people never disband their armies, never go beyond what they know. Advertising, alarmist news, technology, incessant busyness, and the design of public and private space conspire to make it so.
Taking back the meaning of lost seems almost a political act, a matter of existential agency that we ought to reclaim in order to feel at home in ourselves.
There’s another art of being at home in the unknown, so that being in its midst isn’t cause for panic or suffering, of being at home with being lost. . . .
Lost [is] mostly a state of mind, and this applies as much to all the metaphysical and metaphorical states of being lost as to blundering around in the backcountry. The question then is how to get lost.
Never to get lost is not to live, not to know how to get lost brings you to destruction, and somewhere in the terra incognita in between lies a life of discovery.
I am proud to be one of 220 Female Directors listed in this Directory.