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American Revolution: United Empire Loyalists (UEL), Mercenary Troops, their Families and Descendants

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American Revolution: United Empire Loyalists (UEL), Mercenary Troops, their Families and Descendants


This project's goal is to list the United Empire Loyalists, their families and descendants.

Along with the U.E.L.'s, fighting for the British side, were Mercenary Troops, this project also includes these men and their families (and descendants).


The American Revolution was a political upheaval that took place between 1765 and 1783 during which colonists in the Thirteen American Colonies rejected the British monarchy and aristocracy, overthrew the authority of Great Britain, and founded the United States of America. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Revolution]

Loyalists Main article: Loyalist (American Revolution) [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Revolution#Loyalists] The consensus of scholars is that about 15–20% of the white population remained loyal to the British Crown.[120] Those who actively supported the king were known at the time as "Loyalists", "Tories", or "King's men". The Loyalists never controlled territory unless the British Army occupied it. Loyalists were typically older, less willing to break with old loyalties, often connected to the Church of England, and included many established merchants with strong business connections across the Empire, as well as royal officials such as Thomas Hutchinson of Boston.[121] There were 500 to 1000 black loyalists who were held as slaves by patriots, escaped to British lines and joined the British army. Most died of disease but Britain took the survivors to Canada as free men.

The revolution could divide families. The most dramatic example was when William Franklin, son of Benjamin Franklin and royal governor of the Province of New Jersey, remained loyal to the Crown throughout the war; they never spoke again.[122] Recent immigrants who had not been fully Americanized were also inclined to support the King, such as recent Scottish settlers in the back country; among the more striking examples of this, see Flora MacDonald.[123]

After the war, the great majority of the 450,000–500,000 Loyalists remained in America and resumed normal lives. Some, such as Samuel Seabury, became prominent American leaders. Estimates vary, but about 62,000 Loyalists relocated to Canada, and others to Britain (7,000) or to Florida or the West Indies (9,000). The exiles represented approximately 2% of the total population of the colonies.[124] Nearly all black loyalists left for Nova Scotia, Florida, or England, where they could remain free.[125] When Loyalists left the South in 1783, they took thousands of their slaves with them to be slaves in the British West Indies.[124]

Ethnic Germans served on both sides of the American Revolutionary War. Many supported the Loyalist cause and served as allies of Great Britain, whose King George III was also the Elector of Hanover. Other Germans came to assist the rebelling American patriots, but most of the Germans who were patriots were colonists. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germans_in_the_American_Revolution]

Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel ("Brunswick") [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germans_in_the_American_Revolution#Brunswick-Wolfenb.C3.BCttel_.28.22Brunswick.22.29] Prince Carl of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel was a brother-in-law of King George III of Great Britain. Braunschweig-Lüneburg, or Brunswick(-Lüneburg), was a duchy divided into sub-districts, one of which was ruled by George III. Duke Charles I of Brunswick-Bevern was Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel; his son and heir, Charles William Ferdinand, was married to Princess Augusta of Great Britain, the sister of George III.[23] The territory, called a "Duchy," was a principality of the Holy Roman Empire.

In 1775 Charles William Ferdinand ("Prince Carl") told King George III that Brunswick had soldiers who could be used to help put down the rebellion in the Americas.[24] Brunswick was the first German-speaking state to sign a treaty supporting Great Britain, on 9 January 1776. It agreed to send 4,000 soldiers: four infantry regiments, one grenadier battalion, one dragoon regiment and one light infantry battalion.[16] The Brunswick treaty provided that all troops would be paid in Imperial Thalers – including two months' advance pay, but required that all troops take an oath of service to King George III.[25] A controversial clause in the agreement stipulated that Duke Charles I would be paid ₤7 and 4s to replace each Brunswick soldier killed in battle- with three wounded men equal to one dead man; Charles, however, would pay to replace any deserters or any soldier who fell sick with anything other than an "uncommon contagious malady."[26]

"General Friedrich Adolf Riedesel" Duke Charles I provided Great Britain with 4,000 foot soldiers and 350 heavy dragoons (dismounted)[Note 2] under Lt-Colonel Friedrich Baum, all commanded by General Friedrich Adolf Riedesel. These soldiers were the majority of the German-speaking regulars under General John Burgoyne in the Saratoga campaign of 1777, and were generally referred to as "Brunswickers."[27] The combined forces from Brunswick and Hesse-Hanau accounted for nearly half of Burgoyne's army,[28] and the Brunswickers were known for being especially well-trained.[29] Riedesel's Brunswick troops made a notable entry into the Battle of Hubbardton, singing a Lutheran hymn while making a bayonet charge against the American right flank, which may have saved the collapsing British line.[30] Riedesel's wife, Friederike, traveled with her husband and kept a journal which remains an important primary account of the Saratoga campaign. After Burgoyne's surrender, 2,431 Brunswickers were detained as part of the Convention Army until the end of the war.[31]

Brunswick sent 5,723 troops to North America, of whom 3,015 did not return home in the autumn of 1783.[14][32] Some losses were to death or desertion, but many Brunswickers became familiar with America during their time with the Convention Army, and when the war ended, they were granted permission to stay by both Congress and their officers.[15] Many had taken the opportunity to desert as the Convention Army was twice marched through Pennsylvania German settlements in eastern Pennsylvania.[33] As the Duke of Brunswick received compensation from the British for every one of his soldiers killed in America, it was in his best interest to report the deserters as dead, whenever possible.[32] The Duke even offered six months' pay to soldiers who remained or returned to America.[34]

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This link is the list of the United Empire Loyalists Association of Canada. Please feel free to copy the names onto this project, so that they may become searchable with families on Geni. [http://www.uelac.org/Loyalist-Info/loyalist_list.php]