Tuesday, June 10, 2014

7) Researching the Life of British Loyalist, Abner Wolcoot

And now back to Abner Wolcott and his family who made their way from the Hudson-Champlain Valley up the Richelieu River to the refugee camp in Sorel, Quebec.  The Wikipedia entry on Sorel states:
"The purchase was eventually made in 1781 and Sorel became a clearing house for the steady stream of Loyalist refugees from the south. A certain number of them settled in Sorel, forming the nucleus of the English population. Another addition was Sorel being selected as one of the stations for "Military Invalids", or “Outside Chelsea Pensioners" as they were also called. These old soldiers and their dependents, numbering several hundreds, were sent to Sorel under the medical care of Dr. Christopher Carter.
The earliest efforts for the propagation of the Protestant religion in Canada were made in Sorel. The continued influx of Loyalists during the year 1783 into the Seigniory prompted the population to search out a permanent Minister, and so at the end of the year, a petition was sent to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, begging them to send a Minister of the Gospel to reside in the Seigniory.
Following the request, the Reverend John Doty embarked during the month of April 1784 at Gravesend, England, and arrived at Quebec in June, and at Sorel on the 4th July 1784, where he celebrated Divine Service and preached his first sermon. This is the date of the foundation of the Anglican parish in Sorel and the firstAnglican mission in Canada.
The chapel where the faithful united was a wooden building located at the end of King Street, a few steps from the Richelieu market. This building had already served as a military storehouse."

Abner Wolcott lost no time acquiring property in the region. Thanks to Wolcott cousins in Quebec and especially the research of Roger Wolcott, I can post the chronology of Abner's land transactions beginning with lands he purchased 65 kilometers southwest of Sorel on the island known as 
"Ile de Bouchard".

Many of the records listed below were transcribed from the notarial records of
Barthelemy Joliette

If you read the entries you will soon see that the lands Abner purchased were primarily on the Ile de Bouchard in the Saint Lawrence.  On Google maps, the island is still there between Vercheres and Saint Sulpice.

Photo from Lanaudiere Tourism

It looks like it is possible via the Lanaudiere Tourist web page, to book a boat tour of the island along with L'Ile de Ronde.  Check It Out Here.

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