PostHeaderIconThe Shavers of Ancaster and the War of 1812, Part 10

Submitted by admin on Mon, 2014-08-04 09:30

Guest blog post by Fred Blair

More Veteran Resources

The Shavers, Kellys, Lees, and William Rymal were not found in these resources but I am including them here to let you know what has already been searched and for those of you interested in finding records for other militia veterans. I know that there are more resources out there that I have not found yet. I have not looked at Upper Canada Sundries, probate records, and land records yet. If you know of any I have missed, please let me know.

On May 9, 1819, William Blagrove published a list of British prisoners of war that he compiled from prisoner records in Washington DC for the Office of the Commissary General of Prisoners. The document was coded as ADM 103/466. I do not know where this document is archived but I have a copy. This register is of particular interest as it also recorded the names of militia men who signed paroles in order to avoid being imprisoned in the US. This register usually recorded the captives name, rank, regiment, who captured them, when and where they were captured, where they were held, and when and how they were released. The details for most of the militia men captured were left blank. Private William Rymal, captured on July 12, 1813, and other prisoners were not recorded in this register!?

The Ontario Archives has some interesting Upper Canadian documents. There is a list of orphaned children whose fathers were killed during the war, a list of wounded men who received pensions, a list of traitors, and the diary of Benjamin Smith of Ancaster Township. I have only seen a few pages from Benjamin’s diary and would like to have a copy of his entries for the war years. The diary is not in the online catalogue!? The 1816 township assessments give some idea of who may have been living in particular townships during the war years. These are on microfilm and can be borrowed through interlibrary loan. I have transcribed a few of these.

I recently received a list of Upper Canadian Militia men who received a General Service Medal for their service at the Capture of Detroit in 1812 or at the Battle of Chrysler’s Farm in 1814.

At you can search for and read local history books and books on the war. Alexander Ernest Cruikshank and the Wentworth Historical Society published a number of books about the war that are in this collection. There are other digital books and resources available at other websites such as and I found Capt. W.H. Merritt, Journal of Events, Principally on the Detroit and Niagara Frontiers, during the War of 1812, The Historical Society, B.N.A., St. Catharines, C.W., 1863, in Google Books. This was William Merritt’s diary from the war. He made reference to a number of families and events, but unfortunately did not always identify people by their first names.

David F. Hemmings, published War of 1812, Lincoln Militia, 2012, for the Niagara Historical Society Museum and the Lincoln and Welland Regiment Museum. This was a list of militia men, their ranks, and regiments. However his lists were far from being complete because he did not look at the LAC payrolls.

Olive Tree Genealogy has some unique transcripts at

I have compiled muster rolls of about 700 men for each of the 2nd York and 5th Lincoln Militias which are available upon request. You can find my 2nd York Militia payroll transcripts at

I also make new discoveries in libraries, in used book shops, and in museums and other archives. After several years of research, I now have a network with historical organizations and family historians. I usually learn more by helping others. Enquiries are welcome. Please use “War of 1812” in the Subject line. I do charge for some look-ups.

Wishing you good luck with your searches,

Fred Blair

Fred, thank you for the interesting and informative blog posts. These posts have provided our members and researchers a new set of records that provide a new perspective on our ancestors.

Craig Sturgeon