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Major Peter Vanalstine of Adolphustown Tp.

1743 - 1800

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Pioneers of the Bay of Quinte
1800 Will of Peter Vanalstine

Peter VanAlstine is a well known figure in the settlement of Adolphustown and much has been written about him. Being a descendant, I have collected some data from both primary and secondary sources.

Major Peter VanAlstine, U.E.  (Sander (Alexander)4 Van Alstyne, Abraham Janse3, Janse Martense2, Martin Janse1)  was born Bef. June 05, 1743, and died between 10 May and 15 Nov of 1800.  He married Alida Van Alen, Date of Import: Jan 25, 1999.) September 24, 1769, daughter of Cornelius Van Alen and Alida Pruyn.  She was born Bef. February 03, 1747/48, and died Abt. August 03, 1784 in Sorrel, Quebec, Canada.

Their children are:
i.      Alexander6 VanAlstine, born Abt. November 11, 1770 in PLBQ p. 827; date WFT; died Abt. 1870.  He married Ursula Allen June 26, 1798.
ii.    Alaida VanAlstine, born Abt. March 02, 1772 in Kinderhook, NY: PLBQ p. 827; date & place  WFT; died Abt. 1872.  She married George W. Meyers, U.E. May 05, 1789; born September 24, 1765 in Wurtenburg, Rhinebeck, Dutchess Co., NY.
iii.    Cornelius VanAlstine (Source: corn8.FTW, Date of Import: Jan 26, 1999.), born Abt. June 12, 1774 in PLBQ p. 828; died 1862.  He married Rachel Dunham, December 29, 1801.
iv.    Elbertje VanAlstine, born Abt. February 02, 1777 in Kinderhook, NY; Not mentioned in PLBQ.
v.    Abram VanAlstine, born Abt. 1779; died in Died young, PLBQ, p. 828.

See my World Connect Family File for lineages.


The best book on Major Peter Vanalstine is Larry Turner's, Voyage of a Different Kind, Mika Pub, 1979. Copies are hard to find as it is a desirable work on Peter Vanalstine, Michael Grass and Capt John Meyers. Turner made an effort to write only what is supported by the early record and has great notes.


Major Vanalstine, Loyalsit, granted 400 acres, Lots 7 and 8, North West of West Lake, dated 21 Sept 1785 at Cataraqui.
Source: Township Papers, Hallowell, AO MS658, reel178, #289, copy Meyers file

Peter Vanalstine granted 400 acres in Lots 7 and 8, 2nd Conc North West of West Lake, Hallowell.dated 23 Oct 1787, at Kingston.
Source: Township Papers, Hallowell, AO MS658, reel178, #370, copy Meyers file

Peter Vanalstine obtained 200 acres from the Crown, 4 mar 1796, Lots 26 and 27, Con 1, Adolphustown, and also 200 acres on 4 Jun 1796 at Lot 16, Con 3 and at the same date, 200 acres, Lot 15, Con 4, Adolphustown.
Source: Adolphustown Abstract Land Books, Lennox and Addington, AO, GS 4614.

HAY BAY June 17, 1784
A number of family histories in PLBQ state that their founding ancestor came with Van Alstine to Hay Bay on June 16, 1784. They are: Van Dusen (57 & 806), Farley (88), Allison (109), Bongard (141), Barker (150), Clapp (192), Fraleigh (304), Garrison (362), Huyck (275), Hagerman (431), Roblin (698), Ruttan (716), Spafford (763), Valleau (822), Dorland (967).
Source: Pioneer Life on the Bay of Quinte, 1904 

Source of marriage date: Van Alstine Family History, Vol. 1, Lester Van Alstine, 1974, p. 43.

VAN ALSTINE, PETER: of New York. Born at Kinderhook, Van Alstine was still living there in 1775. A blacksmith by trade, in 1776 he was chosen by some loyalists to serve as a member of a committee at Albany; however, he found his opinions to be in the minority, and ultimately he and sixteen others were made prisoners and he was held for 16 days. Van Alstine left home in 1777 and joined General Burgoyne in September of that year, bringing in 30 men. He went to Canada at the convention of Saratoga, and later acted as Captain of bateaux and Major of the Loyalists in New York. Van Alstine received half pay as a captain . He asked compensation for 600 acres at Kinderhook (200 cleared). He estimated his loss at 892 pounds sterling and was awarded 466 pounds sterling.
Source: Biographical Sketches of Loyalists of the American Revolution, Sabine; revised Gregory Palmer, 1984, Meckler Pub.; page 881

Peter Vanalstine - "Capt. Associated Loyalists, 1777 - 84 (Half Pay 1784); Justice of the Peace, Montreal District, 18 Apr. 1785; Mecklenburg Dist., 24 July 1788; Midland Dist., 1 Jan. 1800; Lieutenant, Prince Edwrad County, 2 Nov. 1792, Member House of Assembly, Prince Edward and Aldolphustown, 1793 -96."
Sources: PAC, RG 1, L3, Vol. 513, U - V Misc./24; Vol. 514, U - V 1/22; RG 68, General Index to Commissions; MG 14, AO 12, vol. 54; AO 13, bundle 16; T.W. Casey, "The Casey Scrapbboks, Part II," Lennox and Addington Historical Society, Papers and Records 4 (1912); W.D. Reid, The Loyalists of Ontario (Lambertville, NJ, 1973), 322"
Becoming Prominent, J.K. Johnson, McGill Queens Univ. Press, 1989, p. 232

Member of the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada, 1793-6.

Many references have already been made in these pages to Major Peter Vanalstine. He was of Dutch descent and declared it in his build, complexion, and speech, for he was in every respect a typical Dutchman. He was the leader of the first company of Loyalists who landed in Adolphustown, and might properly be denominated the pioneer of the pioneers. He brought with him a number of negro slaves; and, so far as life in the wilderness offered the opportunity, he lived in grand style, and was never happier than when entertaining his friends to a sumptuous dinner. He was a rollicking good-natured companion, a striking contrast to his sedate neighbour, Phillip Dorland, who declined to take the oath of office as a member of the Legislative Assembly.

When the new election was held the major was returned as the first member to sit in the Assembly for Adolphustown and Prince Edward. He was a justice of the peace, and his name frequently appears in the records of the sessions as one of the members of that administrative and judicial body. He lived on the peninsula west of Adolphustown village and built on the opposite shore at Glenora the first grist-mill in Prince Edward county. He died in 1811 [Note: This is an error as he died in 1800, see his will ] and was buried in the U. E. L. burying-ground at Adolphustown.
Source: History of the County of Lennox and Addington, 1913, W.S. Herrington, K.C.

Major Van Alstine's party of Loyalists settled on Tp. No. 4, Cataraqui; 92 men, 46 women, 103 children, 17 servants, 253 total.
Source: PAC Haldimand papers MSS, B168, p 42