Sunday, June 8, 2014

6) Researching the Life of a British Loyalist: Abner Wolcott, Loyalty to the Crown

Abner's Loyalty to the Crown

Exactly what Abner Wolcott did as a Loyalist, isn't documented with sources. The Wolcott Society states he hauled provisions for the British:
Abner Wolcott, b. 1749, d. 1833 Sorrel, Quebec. He purchased 150 acres of land at New Haven VT in 1775, was a Loyalist, and hauled provisions for the British. He was taken prisoner in 1777 and his property declared forfeited in 1778. In 1778 he escaped to Canada where he was given compensation for his losses by the British government in 1783 at Sorel, Quebec. By 1787 he had settled on Isle St. Bouchard in the St. Lawrence River, in Vercheres parish. He and son, John, returned to Vergennes, Vermont, about 1800, and soon after he returned to Canada where they took the Oath of Allegiance to the Crown in 1803. During this visit to Vermont he is said to have visited a Charlotte Wolcott, b. c.1773, who married Hosea Bridges 1797 at Western MA, the marriage also recorded at Brookfield MA; m. (1) Catherine Griffen 1772 Oxford, CT, m. (2) Mrs. Dorothy Redman 1821. NOTE: Members of this family usually spelled their name Wilcott or Willcott in Canada, but some later changed to Wolcott when they returned to the United States.
Source: The Wolcott Family Web Pages accessed 6 June 2014.  

Another story states Abner was at the Battle of Saratoga, fled after the battle to a refugee camp in Sorel, Quebec. The Battles at Saratoga were fought on September 19th and October 7th, 1777.  When reading the following documents in the Vermont Archives,  Abner appears to still be in the present day vicinity of Vermont and Skenesborough (present day Whitehall) in the following months.  Not only was he present in January 1778, he appears to be still useful in the service of the continental forces which is very strange because the week before the Council and President Thomas Chittenden authorized a Mr. Eli Roberts to dispose of the property of DAVID REMMINGTON and ABNER WOLCOTT.  Perhaps for the well being of his wife and children he cooperated with the Continentals until he could safely bring his family to Sorel, Quebec

If there is guilt by association, Abner Wolcott has that too. His father in law, Charles Griffin is documented on the United Empire Loyalist Association of Canada  (UELAC) as a trooper in Jessups's Rangers, the Loyalist band of men who rallied around Ebenezar and Edward Jessup along the upper Hudson River in present day Warren County, New York.  The UELAC site provides a download of a paper by Bill Glidden, a historian associated with the New York State Military Museum in Saratoga and the UELAC, about Jessup's Troops.  I highly recommend checking out his story about the Jessup Brothers.

So there you have it.  For Mylott Family members who check out this blog, you are descended from two Tories or Loyalists. Take your pick.  Abner Wolcott (174 -1833) was the great grandfather of Robert Mylott (Robert Milot) born in Vercheres in 1832, immigrated to Whitehall, married, raised a family, farmed and died there in 1907.  Charles Griffin (1720-   ), Abner's father in law,  trooper in the Jessup Corps, was Robert Mylott's great great grandfather.

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