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of the Bay of Quinte
Peter VanAlstine is a well known figure in the settlement of Adolphustown and much has been written about him. Being an interested descendant, I have collected records below that support the more accurate story of the man.
Use these links to jump up and down this page
A number of books make extensive reference to Major Peter Van Alstine. He is best known for being a loyalist who lost considerable land in New York and led a group of settlers to overwinter in Quebec in 1783 and then on to Adolphustown in the spring of 1784. He also was granted the site of the Glenora Stone Mills and probably began the development of the site. He was elected twice to the Upper Canada Assembly. He died in 1800, not 1811, as most widely stated.
His story has been in print for over 150 years. Below are snippets from well known secondary sources presented in chronological order as each new book could benefit from the previous one. There are errors in them and it is interesting to see how parts of one book are copied to another and how over time new facts come to light. A corrected summary is presented at the bottom of this overview that is based on contemporary sources.
Lorenzo Sabine's famous book, from 1864, mentions that Peter Van Alstine was born at Kinderhook, NY. "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." Note that this matches pretty well with the Loyalist Claims that Peter made in 1788 which are transcribed below.
Source: Biographical Sketches of Loyalists of the American Revolution, Lorenzo Sabine, 1864, online at Archive.org; revised Gregory Palmer, 1984, Meckler Pub.; page 881
William Canniff in 1869 wrote about the Stone Mills and stated that "about the year 1796, the third flouring mill was erected by Van Alstine, to whom had been granted a large tract of land." He went on to add,, "that the Kingston Gazette, of the 16th of April, 1811, contains an advertisement, signed by the executors of the deceased Major Van Alstime's will, namely George Meyers, Cornelius Van Alstine and Thomas Dorland, in which it is stated that the mill contains two run of stone, one superfine and two common bolts." Canniff writes a short bio on Van Alstine, mainly about his hospitable character. The newspaper clipping from 1811 may be the source of the often repeated error that Peter Van Alstine died in 1811.
Source: The Settlement of Upper Canada, William Canniff, 1869, 209/10, 662
Canniff interviewed many people and his interview notes have survived. Below are some excerpts regarding Van Alstine.
Source: Mr. T.W. Casey of Napanee, 61 Victoria Sessional Papers (No. 32) A.1898, Personal Notes (pgs 55-69), Bill Martin's web site, Dec 2004
The very well known Pioneer Life in the Bay of Quinte, 1904, named some of the settlers who came with Vanalstine in 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, Farley, Allison, Bongard, Barker, Clapp, Fraleigh, Garrison, Huyck, Hagerman, Roblin, Ruttan, Spafford, Valleau, Dorland."
Source: Pioneer Life on the Bay of Quinte, 1904
The respected Royal Society of Canada published this in 1902. "The county of Prince Edward was of the same extent as it is to-day. It was divided into three townships-Marysburgh (No. 5), Sophiasburgh (No. 6) and Ameliasburgh (No. 7). These townships contained the overflow from across the bay of Sir John Johnson's soldiers. Here also (in Marysburgh) were located the little band of Hessians, and in these townships some of the officers drew large areas of land. Among others may be mentioned Major James Bogers, Major Peter Vanalstine and Captain Archibald McDonell. To make the representation fair, Adolphustown was detached from Lennox and added to Prince Edward. Though separated by the Bay, it should be remembered that the main road to York passed through Adolphustown and crossed at the point by ferry to Prince Edward County shore, whence it ran on to the Carrying Place.
"Adolphustown was one of the most important townships of the Bay district. Though small and divided into two parts by Hay Bay, it possessed an importance beyond its size or population. It was here that the Loyalists landed and from it the settlement spread to adjoining townships. In it was a band of Quakers or Friends from Dutchess County, New York, many of whom had been fighters on the British side. Major Peter Vanalstine was the leader of the soldier settlers, and Philip Dorland was the leading Quaker. The selection of Philip Dorland as member took place, and in September he started for the meeting in Newark. But there was a difficulty in the way. To take his seat he must first take the prescribed oath. This he could not do as a Quaker. This matter came up for consideration immediately after Colonel Macdonell had been elected speaker. A statement of the case, signed by Dorland, was presented, and the House at once decided that the seat be declared vacant, and a new election held. When the people met once more to consider the situation they selected Major Peter Vanalstine as their representative, and he appeared and took his seat at the second session.
"In Br[other] Canniff's Settlement of Upper Canada, it is stated that Peter Vanalstine was major only by courtesy and that he came as a non-combatant at the head of a party of non-combatant farmer Loyalists to settle this beautiful little township. This statement has been repeated again and again, but it is incorrect. Through the courtesy of Rev. W. O. Raymond of St. John,,N.B., I have been permitted to examine a muster roll of batteau men organized and directed by Captain Peter Vanalstine, and in his evidence before the Claims Commission, Vanalstine refers to his military service. Major Vanalstine was of Dutch ancestry, he came from near Albany, New York, and spoke English with quite a foreign accent. After living for some years in Adolphustown he moved across the bay to Prince Edward,, where he had large holdings of land and started the mill at the most picturesque spot of the Bay district, the lake on the mountain. He returned to Adolphustown and died at his old home in 1811. He was succeeded in 1796, by David McGregor Rogers, the son of Major James Rogers, and the nephew of the celebrated ranger, Robert Rogers. David McGregor Rogers was at the time living on a large military land grant at West Lake. David McGregor Rogers sat in the Legislature' of Upper Canada from this time until his death in 1824, with the. exception of one Parliament. His record, therefore, was for 24 years, the longest of any member of the Upper Canada House of Assembly. Reference to the Rogers family may be found in a paper printed in the transactions of the Royal Society of Canada, 1900. "Rogers, Ranger and Loyalist," by Walter Rogers.
Source: The First legislators of Upper Canada, C.C. James, Royal Society of Canada, Proceedings and Transactions, 1902, sec 2, 106/7, Robarts Libray
Then in 1913, W.S. Herrington had this to say. "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.
In 1974, Lester Van Alstine published an extensive multi generation genealogy on the family. Below is Lester's version on Peter Van Alstine. "Peter Van Alstyne, baptized June 5, 1743, married September 24, 1769 Alida Van Alen, baptized February 10, 1749, daughter of Cornelis Van Alen and Alida Pruyn. She died about 1784 and he died 1811.
"Peter Van Alstyne went to Canada, later served as a Captain in the British Army, with a Captain Dorland immediately under his command. Both of these families were dropped from membership by the Quakers. Many of the New England and some New York Loyalists were leaving and going to the maritime part of Canada. A neighbor of the Van Alstynes had been a prisoner of War at Fort Frontenac (now Kingston) during the French Wars, and he recommended that part of the world to the others. So in the spring of 1783 about 189 people under the leadership of Captain Peter Van Alstyne (he was usually referred to as Maj or from here on) started out in wide flat bottomed boats up the Hudson River, up Lake Champlain via the Richelieu River to Sorrel in Quebec. The severe winter overtook them at this point and they stayed in Sorrel all winter. In the spring they went up the St. Lawrence as far as Adolphustown on the Bay of Quinte. The fact that they chose boats and a water route makes it sure that they were sea traders. It must have been a journey of incredible hardship. Certainly not to be contemplated by man who had young children or frail wives. Mrs. Peter Van Alstyne became ill after the Loyalists reached Sorrel, Quebec. Major Peter Van Alstyne had to leave his wife and family at Sorrel to bring his group of Loyalists to Kingston where he received the area in which they were to settle. Then they moved on to Adolphustown Township~ which had been assigned them. This was in the surmmer of 1784. His wife died in Sorrelll and was buried there on August 3, 1784. Major Peter Van Alstyne was the representative from Adolphustown to the first legislative meeting of the new five settlements (of United Empire Loyalists on the Bay of Quinte). At Adolphustown there is a restored cemetery in a very beautiful setting along the water, on the one side there is a bronze plaque to the memory of Major Peter Van Alstyne and on the other side is a plaque to the memory of his loyal and courageous followers. This is the reading on the plaque in the park at Adolphustown.
"The Loyalists Landing Place 1784
"On June 16, 1784, a party of some 250 United Empire Loyalists landed from bateaux near this site and established the first permanent settlement in Adolphustown Township. They had sailed from New York in the fall of 1783 under the leadership of Major Peter Van Alstyne (1747-1811) a loyalist of Dutch ancestry and passed the winter in Sorrel, Van Alstyne was later appointed a justice of the peace, represented this area in the first Legislative assembly of Upper Canada, and built at Glenora, the earliest grist mill in Prince Edward County."
Source: Van Alstyne - Van Alstine, Family History, V1, Lester Van Alstine, pub. J. Grant Stevenson, Utah, 1974, 43-5. The book does not provide any source notes.
In 1980 Jane B. Goddard published a large book on John Meyers and below are a few excerpts about VanAlstine. Unfortunatley source notes were not part of the book.
There is no biography of Peter Vanalstine in the well respected Dictionary of Canadian Biography. There is a not too detailed Wikipedia page that repeats some errors and sould be updated - seen 18 Oct 2015.
|2. CORRECTED SUMMARY
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 and Michael Grass. Turner made an effort to write only what is supported by the early record and has scholarly source notes. Turner writes extensively on Vanalstine and it is left to the reader to find a copy to enjoy.
Larry Turner deserves full credit for clarifying much of the conflicting information of Peter Vanalstine. Turner's scholarly work found the records that state his activity and punishment during the American Revolution as well as the years 1783 and 1784 when the Loyalists were on the move from NY to Quebec to Upper Canada. Now that a number of sources are on line it is useful to present some of these records for researchers to actually see the record itself.
Below is my short summary of many of the now known facts with links to jump to some of the records that are described below. However, it is worth saying again, that the best source is Larry's book.
Birth and marriage
Peter Vanalstine was born in Kinderhook to parents Alexander Van Alstyne and Elbertje Van Alen. Their children were baptized variously at Claverack, Albany, Kinderhook and in Peter's case in Coxackie on 5 Jun 1743 which was across the Hudson from old Kinderhook Landing. Peter shared the Kinderhook Patent with brothers John and Abraham after their father died. Peter married Alida Van Alen on 24 Sept 1769. Peter had married well and inherited property, was a blacksmith, appointed Magistrate and was a Captain in the NY militia. [Turner, Ch 1; Marriage date from Lester Van Alstine's book, 43]
Lester Van Alstine states that Peter Van Alstine and Thomas Dorland were Quakers and "both of these families were dropped from membership by the Quakers." The Dorland family were Quakers and Philip Dorand was disowned but no Van Alstines are named in the minutes of the Nine Partners Minute books that have been transcribed so far and are available at the Canadian Friends Historical Society. Peter was baptized in a non Quaker church so his parents were not Quakers. It is very doubtful that Peter was a Quaker given his serving in the NY militia.
Revolutionary war activity
In 1776 Peter built a new house that still stands to this day. Peter served on the Albany County Committee of Correspondence starting in 1775 and argued for neutrality and conciliation. In mid June 1776 Peter Vanalstine and 16 others were jailed for being Tories and held for 17 days. Peter gathered a group of Loyalists and they may have been involved in an attack that killed a man and the group went underground. Peter and thirty of his associates made their way north in 1777 and joined Burgoyne in Sept 1777. They became in charge of moving supplies down the Hudson in batteaux. After defeat and the signing of the Convention of Saratoga, Peter and some of his men were allowed to make their way to Quebec and were banished from New York. On 10 Dec 1777 Peter Vanalstine is listed as a Captain.
In the summer of 1778, Peter and his men sailed from Quebec to New York on the Mary; New York being under British control. He was inducted into the Southern Army of Sir Henry Clinton a day after arriving and Peter formed his men into a Company of batteaux men. In 1780 they were dismissed from Clinton and reformed under Abraham Cuyler's Corps on Long island. During this time in Oct 1779 Peter's estate was confiscated and Alida and the children were allowed to join Peter in Dec 1779 on Long Island. Peter served as a Major in Cuyler's Corps at Smithtown, Long Island. [Turner, Ch. 1, citations at end of chapter]
The term Associated Loyalists had been used as early as 1775 when British supporters were asked to associate themselves into groups of Associated Loyalists and serve under a British commander. After a few transformations they were set down. The idea was revived to facilitate the removal of loyalists from New York in an orderly manner. Companies of Associated Loyalists were formed to embark for Nova Scotia and Quebec. Recruitng was intense and competitive. Turner determined that of the 61 men who settled with Vanalstine: 8 had followed him to Quebec in 1777; 4 served with him under Cuyler; 30 could be traced to support services with the British Army in NY and 25 could be linked to other regiments or corps. [Turner, Ch. 4; see also 1788 Loyalist Claim]
Vanalstine's ship list for embarkation from NY dated 8 Sep  lists 57 men, 35 women, 62 children and 38 servants for a total of 183 people. Only 41 of the men moved on to Sorel from Quebec and of those only 13 settled with him in Adolphustown the next spring. Most of those who settled in Adolphustown joined Vanalstine at Sorel. [Turner, Ch. 5]
The winter at Sorel was very difficult and Alida Vanalstine died there. "Mrs Vanalstine, wife of Major Vanalstine" was buried 3 Aug 1784. [Christ Church, William Henry, Sorel by Rev John Doty; Burleigh Papers, download Vanalstine pdf under V, 20; Turner, Ch. 6]
In April 1784 Vanalstine petitions from Sorel for town lots in Cataraqui and also for land beyond to settle the families that have signed up with him. Eighty signatures are on this petition.
Turner argues that the loyalists would have arrived at Adolphustown later than the traditional 16 June 1784 due to all the delays and also that Vanalstine probably arrived much later yet due in part to his wife being ill. Peter was still trying to get a settlement of £810 for his expenses while with Burgoyne and an unsettled account with Clinton. All he got was sympathy. [Turner, Ch 8]
The men were victualled in Cataraqui [Kingston] before moving on to Adolphustown where suppies were short and the season too late for planting. See HALD. Due to the slow surveying of the lots, Vanalstine's group could not be placed on lots in Adolphustown till September. Vanalstine petitioned 6 Oct 1784 for much needed supplies. see Hald B217, p. 485, [Turner, Ch 9]
In Feb 1788, Peter meets with the Claims Commission in Montreal and makes his plea for
THIS SECTION STILL BEING WRITTEN - OCT 2015
Major Peter Van Alstine, the famous United Empire Loyalist leader of the Fourth Town (Adolphustown) company of settlers to the Bay of Quinte in 1784, was the first owner of the Glenora ferry and builder of the mills comprising the community of Van Alstine's Mills, now Glenora. Major Van Alstine petitioned for land, water and mill rights around Lake on the Mountain in 1793 and the subsequent development of a grist mill made it an important enterprise in the local pioneer economy as one of the earliest flour mills on the Bay of Quinte.
A number of sources estimate the mills being built around 1796, Canniff, op. cit., p.209.
The best article on the Glenora Ferry is by Larry Turner and available on line at the Archives and Collection Society, Picton, ON.
|2. CHILDREN OF PETER VANALSTINE and ALIDA VAN ALEN
MAJOR PETER VANALSTINE , U.E. was born before 05 Jun 1743. He died between 10 May-15 Nov 1800 in Adolphustown, Lennox Co. He married Alida Van Alen, daughter of Cornelius Van Alen and Alida Pruyn on 24 Sep 1769. She was born before 03 Feb 1748. She died about 03 Aug 1784 in Sorrel, Quebec, Canada.
Major Peter VanAlstine , U.E. and Alida Van Alen had the following children:
2. ALEXANDER VANALSTINE (Major Peter1 , U.E.) was born about 11 Nov 1770 in PLBQ p. 827; date WFT. He died about 1870. He married Ursula Allen on 26 Jun 1798.
Alexander VanAlstine and Ursula Allen had the following children:
George W. Meyers U.E. and Alaida VanAlstine had the following children:
Cornelius VanAlstine and Rachel Dunham had the following children:
|4. HALDIMAND PAPERS
1784 at Cataraqui
Major Van Alstine's party of Loyalists settled on Tp. No. 4, Cataraqui; 92 men, 46 women, 103 children, 17 servants, 253 total.
Source: Haldimand Papers, British Library, Disbanded Troops and Loyalists, No 4 Cataraqui [Adolphustown], 5 Oct 1784, Add Mss 21828, H-1655, on line Heritage Canadiana image 142
Loyalist, Major Vanalstine, 1 man, 0 woman, children 2 male above 10, 1 male under 10, 1 female above 10, 3 servants, 7.5 rations per day, 5 acres cleared, woman dead since last muster, servant negro slaves
Source: Haldimand Papers, British Library, Disbanded Troops and Loyalists, No 4 Cataraqui [Adolphustown], 5 Oct 1784, Add Mss 21828, H-1655, on line Heritage Canadiana image 179
|5. LOYALIST CLAIMS
Montreal, 27th February 1788
393. Evidence on the Claim of Peter Van Alstine, late of Kinderhook, Albany County, N. York Province.
Says he was born in Kinderhook and lived there in 1775. Says That from the earliest period he had determined to support the British Government. Early in 1776 he was chosen by the friends of Gt. Britain to be a Member of the Committee of Albany.
He found himself of a Minority in the Committee and by order of the Majority he and 16 more were made Prisoners as friends of the King of Great Britain, and kept in Gaol (Jail) for 17 days, and other persons chose in the room of those confined. He never belonged to any other meeting.
After this he was considered a marked friend to Great Britain, And early in 1777 he was obliged to live (away) from home & in September 1777 he joined Gen. Burgoyne. After the Convention he came to Canada. He brought 30 men to the King’s Army. In 1778 he went to New York and served as Captain of Batteaux men. He afterwards did duty as Major of Associated Loyalist and did duty at Smith Town, Long Island.
He now enjoys half pay of Captain.
Produces Certificate from Peter Van Schaack to Claimant ‘s early and Uniform Loyalty, & his being obliged to remain concealed until he joined Gen. Burgoyne in 1777. Dated London, 16th February 1784.
600 acres of Land in Kinderhook.
No 1: Produces Deed dated 13th April, 1771 whereby Andries Kettler conveys to Peter and John Van Alstine in consideration of £432 N.Y. currency, one third of an undivided tract in common with Isaac and Martin Van Alstine, containing in all 665 acres.
Says there was a mistake in the quantity for the whole. Was about 1900 acres. He imagines that the quantity in the deed Was the quantity purchased by himself and brother.
Soon after there was a verbal agreement and a share given to his brother and Him, equal to one third part. He thinks that they cleared 70 acres of this.
He thinks that The cleared land was worth £4 N.Y. currency per acre. Of this he claims One half.
His brother John Van Alstine is dead. His Uncles were in Possession last Summer. But he was informed by the Commissioner of forfeitures that they meant to sell it this year .
No 2: Produces Deed dated March, 1768, whereby John Van Alstine, of Kinderhook Conveyed to Peter, John and Alexander Van Alstine in consideration of £500 N.Y. Currency, a farm formerly belonging to Christ.Brosie and Amie Lagransie. It contained about 200 acres. He purchased one third which he now claims. It was a gift from their Uncle.
These lands were cultivated, but the Property was disputed. It was in the possession of Innis Van Slaak who remains in possession. 50 acres are cleared and are well worth £5 currency per acre.
No 3: Produces Deed dated 6th June 1767, whereby John Borgaert Conveys to claimant in consideration of £23 currency a certain quantity of land, but the quantity is not mentioned. Claimant says 4 acres, and four morgans or 8 acres meadow.
Says that it was much increased in value by improvements. Thinks The 4 acres were worth £5 per acre, and the Meadows at £4 Per acre. This remains unsold.
No 4: Produces the last Will of his Father Alexander Van Alstine, dated in 1752. Whereby he bequeaths unto his three sons, Abraham, Peter, and John Van Alstine, to each of them an equal share of his right in the Patent of Kinderhook.
Says this Property remains undivided, but the proprietors took possession of what part they had occasion.
Says that he and his brother, John occupied part, about 30 or 40 acres Were improved and fenced by them, and his brother’s children are now in Possession. Says that no part of the above is in his possession, or for his interests.
Produces Copy of Judgment passed against Peter S. Van Alstine for joining the enemies of the State. Signed 14th July, 1783. He indicted November 1779, and Certificate from Hy. Oathardt & Jas. V. Rensselar, Commissioner of Forfeitures, that the estate or P. Van Alstine is forfeited. And that they have received information of 4 acres Low Land , 8 acres of Meadow near Kinderhook, and undivided half of 600 acres & 1-3 of a proprietary share of the Patent of Kinderhook, 11th June 1787.
Certificate of sale required.
He had built a Brick House on the part he possessed under his Father’s Will, i.e., on the undivided Lands of Kinderhook. He built this in 1776. Thinks it cost him what he has charged £400 currency.
His brothers children are in possession. His Brother was at half expense.
All his stock was seized and sold.
He left 20 Head Horned Cattle, 6 Horses, 20 Sheep, a Sled, 3 Negroes, farming Utensils, at £65 each (the Negroes), Grain in Stack and Barn, 10 Hogs.
Claimant says that there is no mortgage or incumbrance due from His estate.
Witness Guysbert Sharp, Sworn:
Says he knew Claimant at Kinderhook. He was always friendly to Great Britain from the first of his troubles. Remembers his being chosen a member of the Committee on account of his Loyal Principals, He accepted to serve The friends of Great Britain.
He joined the British Army at Saratoga. Remembers his purchase No 1. Cannot speak to the value. No 3 was good Land. No 4 was a joint property with his brother, John. When he joined the Army he left a considerable stock on his Lands. He was a Blacksmith by trade and made money by his Trade.
Source: The Second Report of The Bureau of Archives For the Province of Ontario, Subtitle: United Empire Loyalists, Enquiry into the Losses and Services in Consequence of Their Loyalty, Evidence in the Canadian Claims, 1904, Alexander Fraser, Part I, Page 445-447, On line at Archive.org
|6. PETITIONS and LAND RECORDS
Petitions and land records are presented in chronological order.
5 Apr 1784, Sorel [Quebec], the Memorial of Peter Vanalstine Esq with his Associated Loyalists subscribed. Humbly sheweth, That whereas it is your Excellencys pleasure that a settlement should be made at Cataracway, in full compliance therewith, the subscribed Memorialists humbly beg ... to grant each of us a town lot in y[ou]r intended town. Then any Township beyond the second, with so much land as may be necessary for settling the whole body in one township. And such utensils as may be requisite for farming & building with other such emoluments as others of our fellow sufferers may receive.
We would beg leave to represent to your Excellency that we fully assured by his Excellencys Sir Guy Carelton, when we left New York, that on our arrival at Quebec, clothing, arms & ammunition should be distributed to us. The first of which not one sixth of us have recd, being able till now to dispense with what we had, & we are very sorry to acquaint your Excellency, that we in general are really in need of that Bounty.
As yet we have needed neith arms not ammunition, but we sincerely hope ... we should be provided with such very necessary implements of Defence, both for the preservation of our lives & the security of the Settlement. ...
[fold note] No 32, reported 289, Recd 25th April 1784, Read 15 Feb 1788 in Committee, settled
Source: UCLP, RG1 L3, LAC, V513, U-V bundle Misc/24, 1784-1794, C-2842, image 752, 80 men are named.
Major Vanalstine, Loyalist, granted 400 acres, Lots 7 and 8, North West of West Lake, dated 21 Sept 1785 at Cataraqui.
Source: Township Papers, Hallowell, AO MS658, reel 178, #289, copy Meyers file
Commissions - starting in 1785
Justice of the Peace, Montreal District, 18 Apr. 1785; Mecklenburg Dist., 24 July 1788; Midland Dist., 1 Jan. 1800; Lieutenant, Prince Edward County, 2 Nov. 1792,
Source: General Index to Commissions, LAC, RG 68; MG 14, AO 12, vol. 54; AO 13, bundle 16 - as cited in Becoming Prominent, J.K. Johnson, McGill Queens Press, 1989, 232
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, reel 178, #370, copy Meyers file
23 Feb 1790, Kingston, the memorial of Major Peter Van Altine [sic], Captain Barret Dyer, Lt John Huyck, Lt Paul Huff, Lt Philip Dorland in Col Abraham C Cuylers Regimt & Paul Trumpour Ensign in Col Delanceys Corps of Loyalists. That your Memorialists have very early evinced their loyalty and attachment to his majestys person and Government & having served faithfully & zealously and shared equally in the dangers & fatigues from the commencment to the the conclusion of the late unhappy war ... being informed that an additional allowance of land has been granted to officers of the late 84th regiment .. that additional quanity of lands may be assigned to each of them [us] ... viz Major peter Vanalstine 4000 acres, Huff, Dorland and thrumpour 1500 acres each.
[fold note] No 188, examined, folio 25
Source: UCLP, RG1 L3, LAC, V513, U-V bundle Misc/23, 1784-1794, C-2842, image 747
Feb 24 [1790?], "Peter Van Alstine, John Huyck, Paul Huff, Philip Dorland & Paul Trumpour of Adolphus Town & Barret Dyre of Sophiasburgh petition for a quantity of lands equal to what has been granted to Officers of the late 84th Regiment - It appears that Peter Van Alstine was commissioned & acted as Major, Barret Dyre as Captain, and John Huyck, Paul Huff & Philip Dorland as Lieutenants in the Corps of associated Loyalists commanded by Colonel Abraham Cuyler, and Paul Trumpour as Ensign in one of the Corps belonging to General Delancys Brigade, in which capacity he actually receives a Pension of £25 ?cy p Ann. Peter Van Alstine also receives half pay as Captain; and the whole of them under the instructions of 1783 have been considered entitled to have received Lands in the same proportion as other Officers.
Source: Upper Canada Land Board Minutes and Records, 1765-1804, RG1 L4, LAC, Vol 7, Mecklenburg District, 81-82 and information repeated on 188, C-14027 (copy of film at AO), index is on line here at LAC. Source: UCLP, RG1 L3, LAC, V514, U-V 1/22, 1792-6, 1796 LAND DEAL
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.
1797 MASONIC LODGE
These Loyalists included many Freemasons who had fought on the British side. Thomas Merritt (1759-1842),"comet of cavalry" in the Queen's Rangers, and eventually Sheriff of Lincoln County, was first Master of St George's, No 27, St Catharines, in 1816. Colonel John Butler (1725-1796), who organized Butler's Rangers during the Revolution, was Provincial Grand Senior Warden in 1795. Major James Rogers (1726?-1792), of Rogers' Rangers, is on record as Master of St James', No 14, at Cataraqui (Kingston) in 1781. Major Edward Jessup Jr (1735-1816), commander of the Loyal Rangers or Jessup's Corps, was first Senior Warden of Lodge No 13, Elizabethtown (near Brockville), in 1799. Major Peter Van Alstine ( 17471811), of Cuyler's Corps, led the refugees who settled at Adolphustown in 1784; he was Master of St James', No 7, Fredericksburg, in 1797
Source: email Bill Van Cleave, Newington, Connecticut, USA
23 May 1798, York, Petition of Peter Van Alstine of Adolphustown Esq, petitions to support the request for a lease of 200 acres by Archibald Campbell. Van Alstine then requests for himself the remaining part of the glebe and also the Island called Wapoose in front of Marysburgh. The fold notes state that the island is not part of the 2/7ths up for lease. Also that the glebe may not have more than 200 acres. Archibald is granted his lease.
Source: UCLP, RG1 L3, LAC, V556, Leases and lic 1798 - 1839/133A, , 1792-6,
Peter Vanalstine - "Capt. Associated Loyalists, 1777 - 84 (Half Pay 1784);
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"
Source: Becoming Prominent, J.K. Johnson, McGill Queens Univ. Press, 1989, p. 232
|7. 1800 WILL & PROBATE
It is widely written that Major Peter Vanalstine died in 1811 however his will and Power of Attorney papers below clearly identify that he died between 10 May 1800 and 15 November 1800. His will is dated 10 May 1800 when he is still obviously alive and a power of attorney dated 15 Nov 1800 states that he "is since dead".
In the name of God Amen, I Peter Vanalstine of Adolphustown Midland District and province of Upper Canada, being in health and calling to mind the uncertainty of time, do make and ordain this my last Will and Testament, in manner, following, that is to say, First I will and positively Order, that all my just debts and Funeral charges be paid and for the accomplishing thereof, I do hereby impower my executors and Executrix herein after named, to sell so much of my Estate as together with my ready cash will be sufficient to discharge the same, I give and bequeath unto my Son, Alexander Vanalstine my best fowling pece for his birth right, It is my Will, and I order, that my Son Cornelius Vanalstine, have as much of my stock as to make him as to make equal to what my Son Alexander, and my Daughter Alley Myres have already had. I give and devise unto my two Nieces Alley Dorland and Scynthe VanDyck and to the heirs of their Bodys?, Four Hundred acres of Land being Lots number seven and eight, in the Second Concession West Side of the West Lake, to be equally divided between them. I give and demise unto my three children, Viz Alexander Vanalstine Alley Myers and Cornelius Vanalstine their heirs and assigns, all my real and personal Estate of what nature? ???? that may be left after paying any just debts, and taking out what ???? before is given, to be eaqually divided amongst them.
It is my Will, and I do constitute my two sons Alexander and Cornelius Vanalstine my Executors , and my Daughter Alley Myres my Executrix of this my last Will and Testament.
In witness thereof I Peter Vanalstine have to this my last Will and Testament, set my hand and seal this tenth day of May 1800.
Thos Dorland P V Alstine
Power of Attorney –
Know All Men by these presents That whereas Peter Van Alstine of Adolphustown Midland District County of Lennox and province of Upper Canada, by his last Will and Testament bearing Date the Tenth day of May and in the year of Our Lord one thousand Eight hundred. Did give and bequeath to Alexander Van Alstine, Alada Meyres and Cornelius Van Alstin, each of them third of his Estate after paying his just debts Funeral charges and four hundred acres of land to his Two Neices Alley Dorland, Synthia Van Dyck and of his said Will made and Constituted the aforesaid Alexander Van Alstine Cornelius Van Alstine & Alada Meyres Executrs and Executrix. And wereas the same Peter Van Alstine is since dead. Now know ye That We the said Cornelius Van Alstine & Alada Meyres have made ordained constituted and appointed and by these Presents do make ordain constitute and appoint Our loving Brother Alexander Van Alstine of Marysburgh. Midland District County Prince Edward and Province aforesaid our true and lawfull Attorney for us and in our names and for our Use to ask demand sue for recover and receive of William Weeks Esq of the town of york Home District and province of Upper Canada and from all other persons who are indebted to us by the last Will and Testament of Peter Van Alstine aforesaid all such sum and sums of Money. Debts and Duties whatsoeverto have these and take all Lawfull means and ways in our Name or otherwise for Recovery thereof by Attachment? Arrest, Distress or otherwise and to agree and compound for the same and acquittment? or other sufficient Discharges for the same for Us and in our names to make seal and Deliver and to do all other Lawfull Acts and things whatsoever concerning the Promises as fully in every ???? as if we were personally present , and Attorneys one or more under him for the Purpose aforesaid to make and at his Pleasure to work, ratifying and allowing and whatsoever our said Attorney shall in our Names Lawfully do or cause to be done in and about the premises by Nature of these Presents.
in Witness we have present to set our Names and Seals this fifteenth day of November and in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred.
Signed sealed and delivered in the presence of us –
Alada W Meyers
Personally appear before me Thomas Dorland Esq the above signed and sealed and acknowledged within power of Attorney to be their Voluntary act and for the purpose therein mentioned the day and year above written
[signed] Thos Dorland
Proof of will -
Before one David Burns, Official Principal of the Court of Probate ….
Personally … appeared Thomas Dorland … witness to the foregoing Will of Peter Vanalstine …. he was present and did see the said Peter Vanalstine sign and seal the said Will ….was of sound mind and memory and understanding … in the presence of Thomas Dorland Robert McDowall and Abraham Maybe …. 24th day of November in the Year of our Lord one Thousand Eight Hundred.
Signed D Burns, Off P T Ridout, Register
Source: Court of Probate estate files, RG 22-155, AO, MS638, reel 69
|8. BROTHERS AND SISTERS of Peter Van Alstine
SANDER (ALEXANDER) VAN ALSTYNE was born about 05 Jan 1701. He died on 11 Nov 1756. He married Elbertje Van Alen, daughter of Pieter Van Alen and Josina Dingman on 02 Nov 1733. She was born on 17 Feb 1712. She died about 1812.
Sander (Alexander) Van Alstyne and Elbertje Van Alen had the following children:
|9. OTHER VAN ALSTINES
There are other Van Alstines in the Quinte area and they may be related, even siblings, of Peter Van Alstine. One clue is that two nieces are named in his will. Possibly someone has worked all this out but I am not aware of this.
Two nieces - a puzzle
Peter Van Alstine states in his will that, "I give and devise unto my two Nieces Alley Dorland and Scynthe VanDyck and to the heirs of their Bodys?, Four Hundred acres of Land being Lots number seven and eight, in the Second Concession West Side of the West Lake, to be equally divided between them."
Cari D. brought this to my attention and she writes, "I was wondering if you happened to know who the two nieces mentioned in Major Peter Van Alstine's will are? There names are Alley Dorland and Scynthe VanDyck. It turns out there were a few VanAlstines (of various spellings) in the Bay of Quinte and I am trying to sort through them. I did find a pair of brothers, Peter and John Asselstein (various spellings) from NY state and their descendents seem to have mistakenly claimed their ancestor is Major Peter VanAlstine. I also found a Lambert VanAlstine (1765 - 1824) and an Isaac VanAlstine (1773 - 1838). They are both from NY state and probably brothers or at least cousins. They were the only other VanAlstine's I found. Isaac Van Alstine (probably the one mentioned above) is listed as a witness in the wedding of my ancestors, Daniel Reynolds and Nancy Waite. I also know Major Peter Van Alstine drew most of the land surrounding Daniel Reynold's property in Wellington. There is very little known about Nancy Waite, so I was hoping some of the witnesses would somehow be connected to her family."
Source: email Cari D., Sept 2015
1790 Isaac Van Alstine
17 Nov 1790, Kingston, the memorial of Isaac Van Altine [sic], son of James Van Altine [sic] late private in the Royal Yorkers. That your memorialist being of lawful age, ... wishes that 200 acres of land may be assigned as the son of a loyalist in Ameliasburgh. [signed] Isaac V Allstine [sic]
[fold note] Dist Mecklenburgh, 1790, No 429, Report page 7. Rejected.
Source: UCLP, RG1 L3, LAC, V513, U-V bundle Misc/22, 1784-1794, C-2842, image 744