Brock University Visit….Goss and McDonald’s in the Revolution…

Schmon Tower - Special Collections

Schmon Tower – Special Collections

On my trip to Canada in September 2014, I stopped at Brock University to visit their Special Collections where the Loyalist Collection is housed.

Brock University, Entrance

Brock University, Entrance

Here is a listing of the collection:

I found this list at this website:  Friends of the Loyalist Collection website:  To get to the collections link above just click the collections tab at the top of the website.

There were many sources I was interested in looking at from this collection but the most important one was under the book collection towards the bottom of the page.

Source:  The Butler Papers (4 volumes), William A. Smy, 1994,  FC3154.45 B84 S69 1994.  Volume II is at Google Books but it is not a full copy.

This site gives more information:

I probably could get this set of papers elsewhere but then I would not have gone to see Niagara Falls.

Why am I so interested in the Butler Papers?  It is because I have been trying to see if I could find more information about the involvement of Solomon Goss, his brothers and father, in the Revolutionary War in the Wyoming Valley in 1776 to 1783. Solomon Goss was held prisoner in Forty-Fort but he is said to have escaped according to local history books.  I was hoping that these papers by Butler would tell us about prisoners or other events regarding the Goss family.

Based on what I read and studied during my visit to Brock University, I came to the conclusion that Capt. John Butler or as they call him in Canada Lt. Colonel John Butler was only interested in presenting to his superiors the successes of his mission.  He was not interested in reporting information of a personal nature about the families in the locales he attacked.

There were four volumes of the Butler Papers.

Butler Papers Four Volumes Brock University

Butler Papers Four Volumes Brock University

1.  Part I covers the years 1711 to 1777

2.  Part II covers the years 1778 to 1779 and it is this one that I focused on.  These are published transcriptions of the collection probably the one at the Library and Archives Canada (National Archives).  Mr. Smy included letters and documents from a variety of individuals not just Capt. Butler. I believe he was pretty thorough.  There are several letters that are of particular interest in this book.  It looks like I may have to do some transcribing at some point.  The page numbers were changed.

a.  Major John Butler to Captain Foy 1 February 1778 Niagara – Corps of Rangers to Serve with the Indians, Commanded by Major John Butler page 212.   See the An Annotated Nominal Roll of Butler’s Rangers below.  It is probably the whole story.

b.  Major John Butler to Lieutenant Col. Mason Bolton, Lacawanack 8 July 1778 pg. 243. He describes is arrival and what happened in at Wyoming and gives the Capitulation Articles.

c.  Extract from the Journal of Richard Cartwright, 1778 page 235-236

d. Extract from the Journal of Richard McGinnis, May-July 1778 about the Wyoming expedition, pages 236 to 238

e.  Organization and Distribution of the 24th Connecticut Regiment 1 July 1778, page 238.

f.  Extract from the Quebec Gazette, 2 July, 1778, page 239

g.  Wyoming, 3 July, 1778 Orders Issued by Lt. Colonel Zebulon Butler who was on the US side, page 239.

h.  Account of Captain John Franklin, 24th Connecticut Regiment 3 July 1778 page 239.

i.  Major John Butler to Lt. Elisha Scovell, Westmoreland, 5 July 1778, page 239 – The cattle taken.

j.  From the Annals of Niagara, Wyoming 3 July 1778, Major David Secord, page 239.

k.  Extract from the Journal of Adam Crysler, July 1778, page 239 to 240.

l.  Citizens of Goshen to Governor George Clinton, 5 July, 1778, page 240.

m.  Extract:  Statement of James Armitage, Albany 6 July 1778 page 240.

Note:  At some point I will have to transcribe some of these because they are pretty interesting.

3, Part III covers 1780-1782.  I did look through this for any other information about the Goss family but didn’t find anything that would be of interest.

4.  Part IV covers 1783 to 1977

Here are a couple of titles I looked at while I was there, in addition.  I am always reading about a McDonald and if I find them I like to see who they are.

The Burning of the Valleys, Daring Raids from Canada Against the New York Frontier in the fall of 1780,” by Gavin K. Watt was a nice book, a little late for my Goss family but very interesting.  They seemed to think that the area of the Susquehannah was a disputed land with New York.  My understanding is that it was between Pennsylvania and Connecticut?

An Annotated Nominal Roll of Butler’s Rangers 1777-1784 with Documentary Sources,” compiled and arranged by Lt. Col. William A. Smy, OMM, CD, UE. This listed the soldiers and then gave information about them.  I was particularly interested in McDonell’s.

Loyalists & Early Settler on the Niagara River Parkway,” by Gail Woodruff U.E., 1968.  This book was well done and I really liked the sources which can give you ideas for research.  Here is a brief list:  Crown land papers, books about the subject and specific locations, Haldimand Collection, 17th report of the report of the Dept. of Public Records Archives of Ontario, The Niagara Gleaner (newspapers), wills, Heir and Devisee Commission etc.

The U.E.L. Association also has a page listing sources and that is a good place to start:

For those researching the very early years of the Glengarry area (Eastern or Lunenburg districts).  The McNiff Map is a must see.  This is an index on CD Rom about that map.

McNiff Index CD

Index to the 1786 McNiff Maps of the Townships of Lancaster, Charlottenburgh, Cornwall, Osnabruck, Williamsburgh and Matilda (The Loyalist Maps),”  This is a CD and it is very good and it also includes information from the book  “Lunenburgh or the Old Eastern District Its Settlement and Early Progress.”  This last book is at Internet Archive.

There is so much more that one could research in this Loyalist collection.  I did find in my travels that libraries, genealogical societies and archives would also have a collection of Loyalist titles and a compilation of local Loyalists if done.  I saw a very nice one at the London-Middlesex Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society.  So make sure you check the archive you plan to visit before you go.

The other part of this interest in Loyalists has to do with my father’s MacDonald side as you can tell from the above comments.  Yeah, I know the McD’s probably fought against the Goss’ at one time. HA!

I did ask about the submission papers that an applicant would prepare and give to a Loyalist organization.  I wanted to know where they keep these applications and how do you access them?  The special collections attendants didn’t know but I have seen books that abstract these applications and I assume that there may be privacy issues.  I also assume you may have to be a member to access them?  I do know that some Loyalist were just given the letters as an honor to them whether papers where submitted later I do not know? If I figure it out I will post about it.

I found this book:  Loyalist Lineages 1984, Volume I and 2, with index and additions and corrections of Vol. 1 in Vol. 2, by the United Empire Loyalist’s Association of Canada, Toronto Branch.

There is a CD review at the UEL of Canada website titled: Biographical Sketches of Loyalists of the American Revolution with an Historical Essay, by Lorenzo Sabine, 1864, Dated 2006, Archive DC Books USA that looks very interesting, it looks like this was a two volume book at one time.

Of course this is just a beginning regarding the Loyalist area of research.

If you would like to read the post that I prepared while on my trip go to my The Man Who Lived Airplanes blog about my visit to Brock University here is the post:  Ontario Musings: Brock University and the Loyalist Collection, September 16, 2014.

You can use the Search box on the right or scroll to the Archives listing box by date.

Before I visited Brock University, I stopped to view the statue of Capt. John Butler and his grave site. These posts would be at The Man Who Lived Airplanes under Ontario Wanderings: Loyalists and the Niagara Area Part I and II, dated September 12 and 13, 2014.

My obsession with Capt. Butler has been going on a while and I posted about visiting his statute in Ottawa on this blog on my last trip there in 2012.  Revolution, Canada and the new United States!, June 12, 2012.  Remember one country’s hero is another’s villain.

During my class on Scottish Research in Salt Lake City, my teacher made the statement that when the British left at the end of the Revolutionary War they left their records in Canada at the Library and Archives in Ottawa.  So if I was to do more digging on this idea of trying to find out more about the Goss family’s involvement it looks like I will have to revisit that archive.

About BJ MacDonald

Interested in travel, really into genealogy and researching my family history, classic novels and movies, fantasy and science fiction, photography, history and more... Here is a tip. Make sure you are commenting on the blog you were visiting and the post you were interested in. My blogs are listed by hovering over my pictures and clicking. Clicking one of them will take you back to the correct blog. You can try me here:
This entry was posted in AMERICAN REVOLUTION & Other Conflicts, Ontario, Canada, Solomon Goss and Olive (Scott) Goss (Son of Philip & Mary (Kendall) Goss, Trip to Ontario & Quebec in 2014, Wyoming Massacre and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Brock University Visit….Goss and McDonald’s in the Revolution…

  1. Jan Daniel says:

    Hi, Bonnie
    On my mother’s side, I have a Loyalist family that transported to Canada (Nova Scotia), receiving bounty land there, part of which remains in the family. One branch went on to New Brunswick, a member became Premier, and a library wing is named for them.

    • bonmac says:

      Jan, how are you cousin. I hope you are well. Thanks for keeping track of me and reading my posts. Someone just contacted me about my autosomal DNA at FTDNA and she is taking the Maritimes? I have pondered that on my McD side. My Boardman’s, McMurrays and Jacksons settled in New Brunswick around the 1850’s to 1860’s and I am thinking of going there next Spring. I have no Premiers in my family although I did visit the grave of Sir John MacDonald in 2012 while touring and visiting Kingston. No library wings and no land left in our family. I am glad you have these events in your family.

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