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Capt. John W. Meyers UE, 1745 - 1821

Sidney and Thurlow Townships

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Children of John W. Meyers and Polly Kruger
Meyers Family by Mildred Sussell
1787 John W Meyers Loyalist claim for losses
1790 Capt Meyers Account Book
1798 Three petitions for Meyers mill - 115 names
1800 Consecon Mill petition - 34 names
1803 John Maschesky debt to John W Meyers
War 1812, Capt J. W. Meyers, disloyal conduct
1822 The Captain's Inventory and Will
1849 Edmond Mott Land Petition
Secondary Sources about Capt Meyers


WHY I AM INTERESTED IN THIS FAMILY:

Capt Meyers, an ancestor of mine, is a local legend and he is found throughout the early record. Much has been written so it is a challenge to add material that is worthy of your time. I will continue to add records found in primary documents that catch my eye.  Mildred Sussell's extensive research on the family is not to be missed and can form the basis for anyones work on this family.


Use these links to jump up and down this page
  1. Overview
  2. Loyalist records of John W. Meyers
  3. Land Petitions of John W. Meyers
  4. William Canniff Papers excerpts about J.W. Meyers.



1. OVERVIEW
What kind of man was Capt John Meyers?
It is natural to get a feel for the man having read his personal petitions and petitions of others on his behalf for his mill, his account book as a merchant, his claims for losses as a Loyalist, his trouble with the McNabbs over disloyalty during the War of 1812, his chasing John Maschesky for a bad debt, his inventory and will and lastly the comments made by a later generation in interviews with William Canniff in 1864.

sign John Meyers was a very wealthy man when he died in 1821 with an inventory worth several thousand pounds at a time when a good farm cost less than 100. Wealth accumulation is never the whole story, but when added to the fact that he was made a Captain, probably based on merit and not birth right, that he invested and persisted in building his mill into a solid business - all this indicates a leader who could put the rubber on the road.

His well developed handwriting as seen in his 1790 account book shows that he had a good education as a child, something that would give him a leg up in the world. In his petitions, his sentences are to the point and quite free of excessive pandering to the Executive Council. He sounds like a clear headed man focussed on what he wants.

It is well documented that Meyers had his enemies such as the McNabbs. The village name of Meyers Creek was changed to Belleville and this may well have been a slight by those who opposed him. It is no surprise that his success may have trampled a few toes.

Perhaps William Canniff deserves the last word, "Capt Myers [Meyers] was a man of great hospitality and served his friends always with an excellent board. At the old brick house has many distinguished travelers between Montreal & Toronto stayed among whom many he mentioned - Bishop Strachan etc. The settlers, who had come for many many miles by boat or sleigh to get grinding done at his Mill were freely entertained perhaps for days. His short German wife would give her attentions all alike."


Where in Sidney Township did the Captain live?

In 1787 Meyers states in a petition that he drew Lots 8 & 9, on Con 1, Sidney. It appears from Canniff interviews that he settled on lot  7, Con 1, opposite an island that is mentioned in Canniff's interviews as both Myers Island and Smith's Island. Today this lot is the core of the RCAF property in Trenton and the island [Bakers Island] still exists now attached by a causeway to the airbase. See this image from Google Maps. Interestingly, the patent in 1797 for lot 7 was to sons George and Tobias W. Meyers suggesting that John somehow had the land board assign the lot to them. 


In 1788 Meyers petitions for lots 1 to 13, Con 3 in Sidney and amazingly he is granted this whole section of land. See this chart of the original grantees in Sidney and you will see the extent of his grants.


When and why did the Captain move from Sidney to Thurlow?
MillAs early as 1788 Meyers is casting his eye on the Moira River as a mill site. In that year, in a different petition, Meyers asks for a grant on the east side of the Moira River for a Saw and Grist Mill. Meyers selected the Moira because it was narrow and shallow enough to build a dam and banks to sustain a mill pond.

The Captain bought the north half of lot 5, Con 1, Thurlow from John Taylor around 1790 thinking that his mill and dam would be on this lot. In a petition dated July 1792 John states that he has built a Grist Mill on his land purchased from John Taylor. When it was surveyed more carefully he discovered that his dam encroached on Lot 4, an Indian Reserve. This was the subject of many petitions and was not resolved till the town plan of 1816 and 2 acres of lot 4 were granted to Meyers. Part of the mill still survives - photo.

These dates match the account book that Meyers used for his merchant activity in Sidney starting in 1790 and stopping in Feb 1792. Probably Meyers built his mill in the spring and summer of 1792. We can conclude that after Feb 1792, Meyers lives in Thurlow at Belleville. His next use of the account book starts in 1795 in Thurlow.

It is worth analyzing Canniff's interview with John Way Maybee and his wife, Martha Maybee who knew John Meyers quite well.

Belleville was known as Myers creek. Built the stone foundation for Miers frame mill, thinks in the year 1803 (Mrs. Maybe says 1805.) The brick house was then building (Mrs. Maybee says the house was built in 1801.) Inhabitants of Belleville at that time, Mrs. Simpson, Captain Meyers and an Indian trader who had a log shanty, where now stands the brick house in which Dr. Walton lived, belonging to Henderson. ... Thinks Miers came in 1785 or six, had been living near Trent, he and Capt Marsh lived near together, both cantankerous and were always quarrelling, so Miers came to Belleville and bought of Tailor thinks 100 acres out of the 200 Tailor had drawn. Thinks Tailor had lived here 7 or 8 years before Captain Meyers.

The truth is probably that Meyers was in Sidney very early, perhaps 1785. Capt George Singleton owned on lot 5, con 1, Thurlow at the mouth of the Moira at the same early time. John Taylor was up the Moira on lot 12, con 4 on land he was granted. Taylor bought lot 5, Con 1, Thurlow, from the estate of George Singleton who died in 1789 and moved to the mouth of the Moira. We know that Meyers was scouting the Moira as a mill site by 1788 and built his mill by 1792. So one could say that Meyers came to Thurlow from Sidney a few years after Taylor, but in reality Meyers had his nose in the area right from the beginning years. Essentially Maybee has the story correct. Singleton was first at the mouth of the Moira, followed by Taylor and later by Meyers. An aside is that Anne McArthur was the wife of George Singleton and John Taylor's mother was Christine McArthur. Any family relationship is still a mystery.

In conclusion then, Meyers settles very early in Sidney on lot 7, looks around for a mill site while also being a merchant in Sidney, buys the north half of lot 5 in Thurlow from Taylor and built his grist mill by 1792 while continuing to be a merchant in Thurlow by 1795. In 1792, Meyers actively petitions for part of lot 4 because his dam encroaches on this lot. By 1798 the dam and dwelling house are built on the mill site as well. Meyers got the local inhabitants in 1798 to sign three petitions supporting his wish to gain part of lot 4. This is not granted till the town plan is developed in 1816. He builds his brick house on the nearby hill sometime circa 1801 to 1805 according to the Maybees.

Mills at Stirling, Consecon, off the Trent River and elsewhere
In 1797, John Bleecker and Caleb Gilbert are granted Lot 11, Con 1 in Rawdon Township for 2 years to build a mill. Then in 1811 lot 11 is "patented to John W Meyers and John Richard Bleecker [son of John Bleecker]." This today is at the dam site at Stirling, ON.

In 1800 the inhabitants near Carrying Place petition to make a mill seat of the stream that today enters Wellers Bay at Consecon. They state that "Captain John W. Meyers says he will obligate himself to build a grist mill thereon in eighteen months." Consecon is made a mill seat and Matthias Marsh builds a saw mill in 1804.

Also, about a mile up the Trent on the west side, a stream had been dammed and a mill built inland a bit. In 1808 Adam Henry Meyers, no relation to the Captain, purchased the mill and improved it and it was an active mill.

In the Canniff interviews, Col Wilkins says that, "With regard to Flour mills when he came [1792] Myers had a mill at Belleville.  The Son had one at Kingston.  Cartwright had one at Napanee.  Above there was no mill till reached Port Hope.  The mill at Consecon was built in 1804.  There was first built a saw mill. Vanalstine built a mill at Stone Mills in 1802."

The above statement that "the son had one in Kingston" is likely refers to son George Meyers who married Alida Vanalstine, daughter of Maj Peter Vanalstine. When Major Vanalstine died in 1800, George took over the Stone Mills site at the Glenora Ferry as we know it today. He sold it around 1811.

Lastly, Mrs Wonnocutt, a granddaughter of the Captains says that Meyers had a mill in Sidney before moving to the Moira. What do we make of this? In a 1798 petition Meyers mentions the island in front of lot 7 and says he has improved it and asks for a grant. No mill pond or dam is shown on Lot 7 in the Belden Atlas of 1878.  No evidence has been found for a mill that Meyers might have had, if any, in the early days in Sidney.

Daming small streams was done by others. Anne McArthur, widow of Capt Singleton, married Cyrus Marsh and they lived on lot 34, Con A in Murray Tp and dammed a stream and made a mill that may have served some local needs. The mill pond is on the 1878 Belden map and today is a suburb called Mill Pond Woods in Brighton.

Batteaux, Schooner, store in Belleville

Canniff summarizes what he had heard and wrote that, "Capt. Myers of Belleville used to keep a batteaux to carry not only his own freight, but for the accommodation of others. He frequently went to Kingston and now and then to Montreal. He would charge for freight down and give the person a free passage back. This was followed for many years with profit. The Capt treated his passengers and crew well. He always kept his grog in his 'Cabin' and would deal it out to all. Mr Maybee says that Jacob Stevens ran the batteaux for Capt Myers."


The Yeomans said that Meyers "had a schooner" and John Maybee added that, "Captain Meyers owned a batteaux, which was run by Jacob Steiners and down the bay to Montreal, carried produce at one time. Captain Meyers had quite a store in Belleville."


What do we know about John Meyer's second wife, Sophia [Huffnel] Davy?
John Langhorn's Register records the marriage of John Davy, widower, of Ernestown and Sophy Huffnel, spinster, of Adolphustown in Oct on 22 Nov 1787. [Anglican Archives, register 4B1, Kingston, personal file 317]

Herman Witthoft in his work states that John Meyers married, "Sopha A Hoffnel, widow of John Davey, an old friend of John's. They had several happy years together before John's death."

In Canniff's interviews we have two statements about this second marriage. Mr and Mrs Asa Yeomans state that they "Knew Capt Myers well. He was an ignorant man but a daring one. When he went to court his last wife, a Davey, he carried his oats on his horses back."[20]  And then from Mrs Dame, "I learn that Benjamin Davy’s mother was married to Capt Meyers, and that when he died she was turned off without anything." [14]

John Meyers leaves farms to two of Sophia's sons in his will. "8th - I will and bequeath to my wifes two Sons George Davey and William H. Wetzel 100 acres of land each, which land is composed of Lot number Eighteen in the fourth concession of the Township of Rawdon in the County County of Hastings in the Midland District and Province aforesaid and likewise one good horse  Saddle and bridle Each, and two good suits of clothes each and a horse, saddle and bridle and forty Dollars in money each that is to say if they remain with me or with my wife or continue on the premises which I now occupy until they are twenty one years of age and behave themselves as becometh." It is not known why one of Sophia's sons has the surname Wetzel. Could he be a grandson?



 
2. LOYALIST RECORDS of JOHN W. MEYERS

1780 MASONIC LODGE

John Walten Meyers was entered  into the Ancient and Hon Society of Free etc Masons in St Andrews Lodge No 2 Quebec - passed and raised etc this 28th day of Feb 1780, and of Masonry 5780.

Copied in part from his certificate.

Source: Wm Canniff Papers, AO, F1390, MU492, G6 (8), 12


1782 APPOINTED CAPTAIN

To John Walter Meyers Esq

By virtue of the power and authority in me rested I do hereby Constitute and appoint you to be Captain in the Corps of Loyal Rangers whereof Edward Jessup Esq is Major Commandant. You are therefore carefully and diligently to discharge the duty of Captain by exercising and well disciplining both the inferior Officers and soldiers of the Corps and I do hereby command them to obey you as their Captain and you are to observe and follow such orders and directions as you shall from time to time receive from me, your Major Commandant or any other [of] your superior officer according to the rules and discipline of War. In pursuance of the trust hereby reposed in you. Given under my hand and seal at Arms at the Castle of St Louis at Quebec this thirtieth day of May One thousand Seven hundred and Eighty two [13 May 1782] and in the Twenty second year of the Reign of Our Sovereign Lord George the Third by the Grace of God of Great Britain France and Ireland King Defender of the Faith & so forth

signed

Frederick Haldimand

by His Excellency’s Command

R Mathews

Source: Wm Canniff Papers, AO, F1390, MU492, G6 (8), 12


1784 LOYAL RANGER DISCHARGE
Cpt John W Meyers, born NY Province, He was a farmer in New York, served 6 1/2 years.
Source: Return of the Officers of the Loyal Rangers, PAC Haldimand Papers, MSS, B167, 398

1787 LOYALIST CLAIMS
See the web page on this site for a full presentation of the claims made by John W. Meyers.



3. LAND PETITIONS of JOHN W. MEYERS

1787
At Bay de Quinte, on 6 Sept 1787, Capt John Meyers wife and Five children -  being entitled to 1000 acres and has drawn lots 8 and 9 in the 1st and 2nd Concession, Seigneurie No 8 [became Sidney], comprising 800 acres.
Source: Township Papers, Hastings, AO, MS 658, reel 442, #371, copy Meyers file

c1788 PETITION
[undated] to Lord Dorchester, Quebec, the memorial of John Walter Meyers, late Captain in the Provincial Corps of Loyal Rangers ... finding by minutes of Council dated 22 Oct 1788 that your Lordship has been pleased to allow to Officers who served in the Loyal Rangers the same proportion of lands as Officers of Equal rank in the late 84th Regt are Intitled to, Your Memorialist being intitled to six hundred acres of land or his family land which together with his Lordships Bounty is three thousand Eight hundred acres of which he has drawn one thousand five hundred acres may be assigned him in Sidney beginning at Lot No 1 in the 3rd Concession & running on that line easterly as far as half of lot No 13.
[fold]
Source: UCLP, RG1 L3, LAC on line, 1792, V377, M2 Misc 1788-1798 / 117, C-2192, starts at image120

1788 PETITION
Bay of Cantae, Jany 2, 1788, petition of Capt John Walter Meyers of the Right Foot, called the Loyal Rangers. Lately commanded by Major Edward Jessup and now an inhabitant of the eight township [Sidney] of the Cattaraqui settlements ... begs ... that he may have leave to build Saw & Grist mills on that stream called by the Indians Sogudywitoheum ... 10 or 15 acres of land at the first convenient place on the east side of the said stream may be allowed him for the above purpose ....
[fold] recd 14 March 1788, referred to the committee on land by order of Lord Dorchester, read in committee 2 May, entered on the minutes of the day
Source: UCLP, RG1 L3, LAC on line, 1792, V377, M2 Misc 1788-1798 / 200, C-2192, starts at image 305

1790 PETITION
Kingston, 16 July 1790, memorial of Alada Meyers, alias Van Alstine, daughter of Major Van Alstine .. being married to George W Meyers ... prays for 200 acres of land ... as a daughter of a Loyalist in the sixth Township. [signed] George W Meyers
[fold] Report page 15, certificate granted, 17 July 1790
Source: UCLP, RG1 L3, LAC on line, 1792, V377, M2 Misc 1788-1798 / 201, C-2192, starts at image 308

1793 PETITION
13 July 1792, Kingston, that your petitioner hath improved and Built a Grist Mill on a lot of land, number 5, 1st Con of Thurlow adjoining a to a vacant lot number 4, in front of which there is a plain of about 50 acres unfit for cultivation.
That as the rear of the said vacant lot lies convenient for your petitioners family to improve, and there being two of your petitioners sons, to wit, Tobias and Leonard, who are mow entitled to receive land: Your petitioner therefore prays that lot No 4, or the rear part of it, may be granted to ether of them, or should the said lot be not granted for improvement, your petitioner prays that the privilege of having a Road through the same be allowed. [signed] John W Meyers

[202a - letter to unknown official] 23 Aug 1792, Sir, I did when His Excellency was in Kingston present to him a memorial from Leonard W Meyers for a lot of land known by the name of No 4, 1st Con, Thurlow, His Excellencys answer to which was, that nothing could be done in matter of that nature, until the Executive Council should meet at Niagara ... do me the favor to inquire of the clerk of the Council whether such memorial has been layed before His Excellency in Council .... [signed] John W Meyers
[Note: this letter may be in the hand of John W Meyers]
[Note: There are several petitions that follow this petition from John Meyer's children. One from George dated 16 Jul 1790. The remaining four, all dated 16 Apr 1793, are from Mary, Leonard, Nancy and Tobias. They are all praying for 200 acres as children of a Loyalist.]
Source: UCLP, RG1 L3, LAC on line, 1792, V377, M2 Misc 1788-1798 / 202, C-2192, starts at image 311

1796 PETITION
[undated] The petition of Tobias W Meyers, Margaret Ackerman and Leonard W Meyers - that they have each received a land Board certificate, as annexed, prays .... order your petitioners to be confirmed in their certificates for two hundred acres.... [signed] John W Meyers
[Note: Thanks to Peter Johnson for noticing that this page is very likely in the handwriting of John W. Meyers. See the analysis of the 1790 Account Book where this page is used for handwriting comparison.]

[fold] John W Meyers on behalf of his relations, Recd 21 June 1796, Read July 14, Referred to D Surveyor of Midland Dist for location.

There follow 2 petitions; one for Tobias W Meyers, another for Margaret Ackerman, dau of Abraham Maybee UE and second wife of Leonard W. Meyers.
Source: UCLP, RG1 L3, LAC on line, 1795-6, V328, M 2 / 128, C-2191,  starts at image 676

1796 PETITION
York, June 20, 1796, The petition of John W Meyers, that your petitioner is desirous to obtain Lot No 4 in the 1st Concession of the Township of Thurlow, adjoining to your petitioners Dwelling House & Mill - the said lot yr Petitioner understood is secured for the Indians - with whom your petitioner has agreed for a lease of said lot for 999 years, paying annually one Galon of Rum and Fifty weight of Flower. Yr Petitioner prays that Yr Excellency will please to confirm the lease so that he may have a part of said lot & if Your Excellency think it proper, Yr Petitioner has no objection to have inserted in the Lease or Patent, the Indians rights to encamp and make every other use that they have ever done on the sd lot - and Yr Petitioner as in duty bound with ever pray
[Note: This page is in the same handwriting as the other petition in 1796, both of which were recd the same day.]

[fold] The Committee cannot recommend the prayer of the petitioner, Recd 22 June 1796, Read July 14.
Source: UCLP, RG1 L3, LAC on line, 1795-6, V328, M 2 / 67, C-2191, indexed under Myers, starts at image 498

1797 PETITION
Sydney, 21st Sept 1797, the petition of Capt John Walden Meyers, late of the Loyal Rangers ... had a wife and seven children in the province before the year 1789 and has not drawn any family lands  .... prays to be granted the usual allowance of lands for his family in the Township of Murray [signed] JW Meyers
[fold] recd 9 Nov 97 of Mr Ridout. Read 13 Nov 97. Recommend 400 acres family lands. Confirmed PR [Peter Russell] . Warrant same day.
Source: UCLP, RG1 L3, LAC on line, 1797, V329, M3/80, C-2192, starts at image 436

1798 LEASE
29 June 1798, Thurlow, John Walten Meyers ... is settled in the Township of Thurlow ... near number 4 in the first concession which is reserved. That your petitioner applied to Governor Simcoe for a grant or lease of the said lot but was refused as no reserve could be then leased.

That your petitioner formerly lived in the Township of Sydeny in the Midland District and improved a small island opposite his farm.

Your petitioner prays that Lot number four in the first concession of Thurlow and a small island opposite Lot No 7 in first concession Sydney in the Bay of Quinty be leased to him on such terms & conditions as to your Honour may seem meet .... for John W Meyers [signed] DMG Rogers

[fold] Recd 2 July 1798, Lot No 4, 1 Con Thurlow and small island. This island has not been applied as part of the  2/7ths & therefore not within the scope of reference made to the Survr General. Lot No 4, 1 Con of Thurlow is reserved for the Indian Burying Ground. D Smith
Source: UCLP, RG1 L3, LAC on line, 1798, V556, M Leases and Lic of Occup, 1798-2839 / 82, , C-2983,  starts at image 735

1798 PETITION
York, 12 Nov 1798, petition of Capt John Walton Meyers, that your petitioner having made a considerable improvement which unfortunately for him a great part of which falls out side of his bounds - such as part of his mill dam & pond, part of the orchard etc which is included in lot No 4, 1st Concession of Thurlow. As this is much to the injury of your petitioner and threatened the loss of the most valuable part of his improvements, should the above mentioned lot be granted to any other person. He therefore prays ... to take his situation into consideration and order that the said lot No 4 be granted to him, or that he might have a lease  for a length of time , so that his labour might be secured to him ... further prays that if he cannot obtain a lease at this time, he begs the promise of it, and that it may be entered on the Council records as such.
[fold] 13 Nov 1798, referred to the consideration of the Council, Peter Russell, Recd 15 Nov 1798
Source: UCLP, RG1 L3, LAC on line, 1798, V325, M Misc 1792-1816 / 51, C-2189, starts at image 400

1811 RAWDON
Lot 11, Con 1, Rawdon was patented by the Crown to John W Meyers and John Richard Bleecker on Mar 16, 1811
Source: Hastings Co, Rawdon, Abstract Index, AO, GSU 197866

1816 PETITION #276
[undated], That your petitioner was one of the first settlers in the Wilderness part of the bay of Quinty then about thirty miles from any inhabitants; after being there a few years others were encouraged to settle also; and we formed a small neighbourhood.

Your petitioner then thought it would be requisite to build  Mills which would more generally induce people to settle in a new country having no mill seat of his own. Your petitioner purchased one hundred acres of Mr John Taylor, a part of lot 5 in the first concession of Thurlow. But the mill seat being in part on lot number 4 he applied to Government for the same; which could not be granted as was an Indian reserve and no mills could be erected thereon without leave & approbriation of the Indians.

Your petitioner then applied to them for said lot and obtained a lease for nine hundred and ninety nine years on annual rent, which has been regularly paid every year it has fallen due.

And your Honour, Petitioner has cleared between 30 and 40 acres of Land thereon, purchased and paid for several Houses which were erected by others on said lot.

Now your petitioner humbly requests that your Honour will take his particular cause into your favourable consideration; not forgetting his faithful services and Loyalty to our gracious sovereign, from the commencement and thro out the American revolution to the present time, Hon, now his great expenses and indefatigable executions at all times in promoting nd accelerating the growth and prosperity of the Township and especially this Village, from its infantile state, progressively towards its present flourishing prospect, and grant to your Honours Petitioner those lots in the new Village whereon the Houses which he formerly purchased stand; on such favourable terms and conditions as your Honours will please. [signed] John W Meyers

[276b]
York, 8th August 1816,
Thereby certify that I knew John Walter Myers, as a Captain in the Loyal Rangers or Jessups Corps (now on half pay) during the greater part of the former American War, or Rebellion, when i was attached to the Paymaster Generals Department at St Johns, near to lake Champlain, and that he was continually employed on scouting Parties, or on Scout Service, until the reduction at the Peace in 1783. [signed] W Chewett
To all to whom it may concern

[fold notes]
Recd from petitioner 6 Aug 1816

Referred to Surveyor General to Report by order: John Beikie
Entered in Land Book J
6 Aug 1816; The mills here in mentioned are situated within the two acres lately surveyed for the petitioner on the north side of the river opposite the Town Plot. The buildings reported to have been erected by Mr Meyers in the Town are designated by the following  numbers;
No 6 in Front Street opposite the lot applied for by Mrs McIntosh
No 44 & 45 on Lot No 40 on the East side of Church Street.
Mr Myers also claims the building (No 32) erected on Lot No 31 on Front Street & returned on the Plan  as Richard Groom's house. {signed] T Ridout, Survyr Genl

The mills are not within the public Reservation, nor any of the buildings in the town.
The buildings in the Town are reported as follows:
- A frame House in the Highway called Front Street & opposite Town Lots No 8&( applied for by Mrs Martha McIntosh.
- A Log house and distillery on Town Lot No 40 east side Church Street - part o the log house stands in the Highway.
- A House on Lot No 31 Front Street which is opposite Richard groom's.

Read in Committee not sufficiently explicit 30 Nov 1816
Read 1 July 1818
Water Lot granted
Order issued to Survr Genl 15 May [18]19
Source: UCLP, RG1 L3, LAC on line, 1816, V338, M 11 / 276, C-2200, starts at image 79

1816 PETITION #311
21 Feb 1816, York, Petition of Captain John Walden Meyers of Township of Thurlow .... that about 23 years ago your petitioner purchased 100 acres of land of John Taylor for the purpose of Erecting a mill on a stream thereon which your petitioner accordingly did perform and has kept the same in repair ever since at a great expense. The said lands being part of Lot No 5 in the 1st Con of Thurlow. Your Petitioner on having the line run between Lots No 5 and Lot No 4 finds the same to crop his mill dam near the north end of the same which ?? the north end of your petitioners mill dam together with his Fulling Mill, Dwelling House for the clothier Tanter Burs on Lot No 4 which lot is commonly known to be on the Indian Reserve. Which places your petitioner in a very  precarious situation, as without the dam of the river, your petitioner is unable to have the whole use of his mills which has cost him a large sum of money. .... pleased to grant him 2 acres on Lot No 4 at the north end of his mill dam so as he may have the free use of the waters thereon lying [signed] John W Meyers

[311f]
19 Feb 1816, York, I certify that there is no buildings or improvements on lot No 4, Thurlow at the north end of the mill dam of Capt John W Meyers, excepting those belonging to Capt Meyers, which is a Fulling mill & dwelling house [signed] James Young J.P.

[311 d & e]
23 Feb 1816, York, .... to report upon the petition of John Walden Meyers ... that the 2 acres he applied for ... are part of the lot No 4, 1 Con, Thurlow heretofore an Indian Reservation, but now about to be ceded by them to His Majesty ... that the said 2 acres will not interfere with the Town plot under projection on the south easterly side of the River... that a survey of the aforesaid 2 acres should be made ... [signed] Thos Ridout, Surveyor Genl

[311c]
In Council, Ordered that John Walden Meyers shall receive a grant of two acres , Lot No 4, 1 Con, Thurlow on the northerly side of the River Moira [signed] John Biekie

[311b]
7 Aug 1816, received the land granting fees on 2 acres of land being part of Lot No 4, Thurlow on the northerly side of the River Moira, ordered to John Walden Meyers in Council 18 July 1816  [paid] 5.11.0 [signed] Saml Ridout
Source: UCLP, RG1 L3, LAC on line, 1816, V336a, M 10 / 311, C-2198,  starts at image 709

DEATH
John Myers Esq, Captain in His Majesty's Corps of Royal Rangers, aged seventy six years and two months died on the 22nd & was buried on the 24th day of November in 1821. Thos Campbell, Rector. Witnesses Leonard W Meyers Senr, Tobias Bleecker
Source: St Thomas Church, Belleville, Register, Anglican archives, Kingston, Ontario, 7-B-1, marriage 201, personal files AA Belleville, 5379



4. WILLIAM CANNIFF PAPERS EXCERPTS
These excerpts below are all comments made about Capt Meyers by those intervewed.

Grape Island and 3 Biographical Sketches
Mrs Peterson, daughter of John Flemhan? [Dunham] says that Capt Myers Dutch name was Hanner Gerry Waldon

22 Interviews

next - David Simmons, next Abram Simmons, next Timothy Porter, Hagerman and Porter sold to Lott, Simmons sold to White. The next lot 11 was vacant. The next John Lott. Next was old Capt Meyers 300, next his son George 200, Next Paul Gruber, next Mathias Marsh, next Leonard Soper. Thinks the next settled by Young. Among the very first who settled along here were Meyers, Chrysler, Ostrum, Gilbert.


George Bleecker [4]

Capt Myers when he first came to this part squatted on Lot 7 in Thurlow stayed there perhaps a year before he was up the bay, built a log hut. Always understood that River Moira so called from its resemblance to [torn away]

the proper noun of the old Captain. The indians called the premises of Capt Myers where the first dam was built Cals Junk? signifying first-stoppage in the river. Smiths island took its name in the same way. Also Capt Myers island. The Capt for a time paid rent to the indians for it; at last he did not. Smiths island took its name in the same way. Also Capt Myers island. The Capt for a time paid rent to the indians for it; at last he did not.


Mrs Wonnocott [7]

Capt Myers had a flour mill near Trenton which was brought to Belleville after the war. Her father was Jacob the youngest son of Capt Myers. Father was Capt of a company raised in Sidney in 1818. Was altogether in Kingston 2 years.


During the Rev war Capt Myers went with 10 men to take Schuler. On entering they saw him through the window but when entered could not find him. Searched everywhere. In the garret were a number of puncheons [large cask] turned upside down. Turned some of them over but he was not there so left the house without finding him. After the war the son told Myers that he was under one of the puncheons he did not happen to turn. A negro wench hid him there.

The Capt had given orders to his men to take nothing out of the house. When got away from the house found that one of his men had a silver cup. He sent it back to the son.


Capt Myers in L Canada 3 years 1st mill in Belleville was a grist mill

[on the right margin overwritten]

Capt Myers used to pick those who came to get grist ground at his house. And his house was the one of note between Kingston and Toronto. Officers used to stay there


Mr and Mrs Asa Yeomans [20]
Knew Capt Myers well. He was an ignorant man but a daring one. When he went to court his last wife, a Davey, he carried his oats on his horses back. Had a schooner

William Ketcheson [21]

John W. Myers, C. P. [Commissioner of the Peace]

Related an anecdote about Capt Meyers who while acting as spy for the British, had a faithful dog which accompanied him. On one occasion, he was for a long time in the woods without food for himself or dog. The dog was (sick or) starved, the Capt carried him on his back for days, probably with the idea of killing him if necessary to save life. They escaped. Afterwards: the Capt was called only his General Schuyler. The joke was[,] the Capt said to the General this is the dog etc. To those present it seemed like a formal introduction of the dog to the General and the Capt was afterward rallied for it.


10 Interviews

Cornelius Bogart [6]

Capt. Myers had a little store in the red building by the mill. Wallbridge had a few goods & Wm Zurck [Zwick].


Mrs Martha [McArthur] Maybee [7]

Mrs Maybee remembers meeting Capt Myers. The scaffold was still up but the family was living there.

The widow of Capt. Ferguson married Cronk in 95 or about a year after she visited Belleville. Mrs Maybee was then at Capt Myers.


Capt Myers had a black slave and called her Black Bet. Died with him.


George Taylor [8]
John Taylor then settled in the 4th concession on the homestead farm which he drew land here several years. He then bought 200 acres of Capt Singleton lot no 5. Don’t remember how much he paid for it but sold the rear half for $1000 to Capt Myers.

Joseph Canniff [9]

Prior to that Myers had a mill and also Reed in conjunction with a Yeomans.


Patty Dorland [10]

Ate a piece of the first beef that was killed in Upper Canada. One of the neighbours lost an Ox by the falling of a tree, her father bought the odd one and made beef of it. Gave a party to eat roast meat. It was a great treat.

Among those present was Mrs Capt. Myers, the Capt may have been present


17 Interviews
John Way Maybee [28 - 29]
Belleville was known as Myers creek. Built the stone foundation for Miers frame mill, thinks in the year 1803 (Mrs. Maybe says 1805.) The brick house was then building (Mrs. Maybee says the house was built in 1801.) Inhabitants of Belleville at that time, Mrs. Simpson, Captain Meyers and an Indian trader who had a log shanty, where now stands the brick house in which Dr. Walton lived, belonging to Henderson. ... Thinks Miers came in 1785 or six, had been living near Trent, he and Capt Marsh lived near together, both cantankerous and were always quarrelling, so Miers came to Belleville and bought of Tailor thinks 100 acres out of the 200 Tailor had drawn

Thinks Tailor had lived here 7 or 8 years before Captain Meyers. Captain Meyers owned a batteaux, which was run by Jacob Steiners and down the bay to Montreal, carried produce at one time. Captain Meyers had quite a store in Belleville.

71 Page Manuscript

[25 William Cannff summation

Capt Myers [Meyers] was a man of great hospitality and served his friends always with an excellent board. At the old brick house has many distinguished travellers between Montreal & Toronto stayed among whom many he mentioned - Bishop Strachan etc.

The settlers, who had come for many many miles by boat or sleigh to get grinding done at his Mill were freely entertained perhaps for days. His short German wife would give her attentions all alike.


Capt Myers removed his grist Mill from near Trenton to Belleville. It was the first grist Mill.

Capt. Meyer’s house was only the house of note between Kingston & Toronto.

He often had visitors there, who came to get grist ground & would wait at his house until the grist was ground.

(Men often used to calculate to stop there.)


[29]
When the 1st dam was built by Capt. Myers, the Indians called the place Cobo-junk, signifying first-stoppage in the river.


[34]

Capt. Myers of Belleville used to keep a batteaux to carry not only his own freight, but for the accommodation of others. He frequently went to Kingston and now and then to Montreal. He would charge for freight down and give the person a free passage back. This was followed for many years with profit.

The Capt treated his passengers and crew well. He always kept his grog in his “Cabin” and would deal it out to all.

Mr Maybee says that Jacob Stevens ran the batteaux for Capt Myers.

(When Mr M [Meyers] first came into Canada there was a schooner on the Lake commanded by Capt Steadman. It was this schooner that was lost with all on board- /99


[53]
Mr Solmes says that the people of 7
th town went to Napanee until Cartwright’s Mill was built. Once in a while would go to Consecon. (Bleeker says that Myers Mill was the first this way after Cartwright; but he must have forgotten the one at Consecon, But Consecon is before the Bay)

[65]
After the war Gen Schuyler called on Capt Myers. The Capt pointing to the de… said to him that is the day etc. Those present recognized a formal introduction by the Capt of the? General to this day. And for many a day the Capt was rollied? on his so doing.


189 Page Manuscript
[6] Abram Diamond

Capt Myers used to stop at his fathers in Fredericksburgh. He and his father used to carry despatches through the enemies country. His mother also did it often. Her friends were living on the Mohawk river. When Sir John Johnson came that way her two brothers joined him. They then got lost and came out at Hungry bay, so called from their nearly starving here. They returned when gone to Oswego. They had to work “touch wood”. Finally got relief from Oswego. His mother stayed a little longer on the Mohawk and then escaped into Canada, the Yankees having taken everything she had.


[11] Capt Myers [Meyers] and his uncle used to carry dispatches together from New York. Heard Capt Myers tell about once being nearly caught by the Rebs. He was in the house. They came up before he knew it enlved[?] the front door, knowing that if they caught him they would would make short work of him, he jumped out the back window and started for the woods a little off. They saw him and ran after him. He reached the woods ahead of them; but out of breath. He justed[sic] entered and lay down behind a fallen tree. His pursuers came to the woods first; but had to tie their horses to pursue him. They rushed on past him, whereupon he got up selected the best horse and started off, and reached New York --


Capt Myers says he buried gold in New York; but never dared go after it after the war closed.


Capt Myers went once from Canada with some men to a Rebel Colonel. The Col had a large gun up stairs which he fired to alarm the neighbourhood. So the Capt had to run, but he took all his plate off to Canada; but the Capt was compelled to return by the British officers.


[14] Mrs Dame
I learn that Benjamin Davy’s mother was married to Capt Meyers, and that when he died she was turned off without anything.

Has heard Capt Myers tell about his exploits. His brothers were Rebs, and would have shot him if they could. At first Capt Myers was with the Reb; but became displeased because he was not promoted; and so he deserted to the British, who at once gave him a Captaincy (This is no doubt a Yankee story by papers I know Capt M[eyers] was in Quebec in 1780, and was commissioned in 1782. W.C.) The Rangers to which he belonged were a hard set[.] Ketcheson and others who settled hereabout were with him.

[23] Wm Canniff trip to Carrying Place
Before the ?? of the ground among the older graves I see the initials and name of the Meyers. No doubt here rest the old man. As well in adjacent spots his older acquaintances and friends and enemies. They are gone with the primeval woods that covered the slopes to the bay - are gone with the hopes and aspirations and prospects and realizations that crowned their eventful and wearisome life. Gone so that their ashes can no longer be gathered, like the old batteaux that transported them thither - gone like their old log houses whose foundation has been plowed up - gone like their rude implements of agriculture - gone like the slow times which necessarily belong to the pioneer life.

[26]
Col Wilkins came to the place 1792. Before him there were a few settlers along the 8th town as Myers, Gilbert.

Knew Capt Myers was a man of limited education had been a farmer until the Rev War.  Capt Singleton was dead before he came, but knew him to be an educated gentleman -


With regard to Flour mills when he came Myers had a mill at Belleville.  The Son had one at Kingston.  Cartwright had one at Napanee.  Above there was no mill till reached Port Hope.  The mill at Consecon was built in 1804.  There was first built a saw mill. Vanalstine built a mill at Stone Mills in 1802.


[64]

Kingston Gazette Aug 24 1816

The Leuit Governor in Council, has been pbosed? to give the New Town (formerly distinguished by the name of “Myers Creek”) at the River Moria, the name of “Belleville” by the request and petition of a great number of the inhabitants of that town and the township of Thurlow.


[78]
A Vol[ume] by S Rolph[,]  Dundas, U.C. 1836
Statistical Account of U. Canada
Belleville called by the Mississauga "Saganasheocan". The late J. W. Meyers claimed the Reserve (conferred to the Indians as a landing place) "under a 99 year lease said to have been granted by the Indians." Hence the name by which the place was known Meyers Creek. Described in a grant to one Singleton as 'Singletons River'. Since the town is laid out it has assumed the new and more appropriate name of Belleville River Moira. The number of inhabitants 1800 in Belleville, 6000 in Kingston.


[152] Mrs Harris

Born near Saratoga, McLean, came to Canada in 1802 to Myer’s Creek. Her husband had been living there six years. Capt Myer’s house on the hill was all new not been in it long. Mrs Myers had been to Albany to get furniture. His flour mill was up but not going. She came in Sept and it was started the same fall.

Also the first bridge was partially built. This was carried away next spring by the ice which broke over the dam.




1834, V358, M18/297, C-2214
1825, V348, M14/359, C-2207
1800, V376, M1 Misc 1789-1803/55, C-2233 - mill at Consecon
1792, V448A, S1, 1792-96/169, C-2806 - group from Saratoga and Stillwater
1792, V448A, S1, 1792-96/187, C-2806 - group petition, not John W Meyers
1803, V332, Myers, M6/50, C-2194
1794, York, V329, M3/68, C-2192 - not John W Meyers

Do Canniff papers

Haldimand Papers