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January 3, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Isaac Vollick the Loyalist

Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Isaac Vollick the Loyalist
Land Petition of Isaac Vollick as Loyalist
Amy Johnson Crow has a new challenge for geneabloggers called Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. Amy challenges genealogists to write about one ancestor once a week. I've accepted the challenge and am starting today with the story of my Loyalist ancestor Isaac Vollick. 

Several years ago I discovered Isaac was born a Van Valkenburg in 1732 in Schoharie, New York. He was the illegitimate son of Isaac Van Valkenburg and Maria Bradt. The name change from Van Valkenburg to Vollick fascinated me, and researching further back in time to the immigrant Van Valkenburg ancestor in America led me on a new path in my research – the fascinating and complex story of the Dutch in New Netherland (present day New York state) in the 1620s. 

In the turbulent years preceding the American Revolution  Isaac was arrested three times by Americans in New York because of his British sympathies. On 15 June 1777 his name is found in the Indian Department of Butler's Rangers at half-pay. [From The Mark of Honour by Hazel C. Mathews, University of Toronto Press 1965]. 

 On page 176, Appendix B: A List of Persons Employed as Rangers in The Indian Department, June 15, 1777*, Pay New York Currency lists  67 men paid at 4/per day and then: "at 2/ per day,  [#]68: Isaac Van Valken Burg " [* Source: P.A.C., Colonial Office Records, M.G. 11, "Q" ser., vol. 13, p.331]

Isaac  is found on the pay list of Captain William Caldwell's Company of Butler's Rangers 24 Dec. 1777 to 24 Oct. 1778. He is listed as Private Isaac Volkenberg, receiving 2/day [Source: Great Britain, British Library, Additional Manuscripts, No. 21765, folios 64-65.]

Many Loyalists and their families were forced to flee the USA for Canada.  With minimal British aid, they suffered the privation of starting all over, facing late plantings, starvation, and a pristine wilderness.

Isaac's wife Mary continued to aid the British, and in 1779 she and the children were taken from their home at North River by American patriots. Their home was burned, Mary and the children were marched 80 miles north through the forest and left in destitute circumstances. WIth the help of Mohawk Indians, Mary and family made their way to Canada and reached Montreal by July of 1779. In July of this year Isaac and his family were in Montreal, Quebec. 

He is with others on a list of "Loyalists receiving Provisions and not paying for same, in the District of Montreal from 25 July 1779 to 20 August following". The family is recorded as one male, one female, one male over 10 and 3 females over 10, receiving 3 1/2 rations daily. On 25 Sept. 1779 they are found in St. Claire, Quebec as impoverished Loyalist Isaac Von Volkenberg [sic]. Isaac and his family received 3 1/2 rations daily, at no cost.

In July 1784 a list was taken of "Persons who have inscribed their names in order to settle and cultivate the Crown Transfer of -- to Niagara" Included were Isaac Volick [sic] with 1 female, 5 children over 10, 1 child under 10 receiving a total of 7 1/2 rations daily.

By 8 April 1784 Isaac had accepted this opportunity to settle elsewhere, and is found with his family in the brand new settlement on the west Side River Niagara, Niagara-on-Lake Ontario. An official survey of the new settlement of Niagara lists "Return of Rise and Progress of a Settlement of Loyalists on the West side of the River Niagara, 18 April 1784" and shows Isaac Vollick with 11 acres and a house 18' x 15'. By 14 Dec. 1786  they were living near what is now St. Catharine's, Ontario.  They also appear on a Victualing List for rations for Loyalists.
The Loyalists suffered but survived and because of their endurance, the province of Ontario was settled. 

You can read more about my Vollick Loyalist ancestors at any of the blog posts below:

What's In a Name?

Ancestor Name Changes

What a Story I Have to Share!

Update: If you are interested in the Vollick family I also wrote three books on the Vollick and Follick descendants of Lambert Van Valkenburg. They are: 

From Van Valkenburg to Vollick: The Loyalist Isaac Van Valkenburg aka Vollick and his Vollick & Follick Children (Volume 1) 

From Van Valkenburg to Vollick: V. 2 Cornelius Vollick and his Follick and Vollick Descendants to 3 Generations 

From Van Valkenburg to Vollick: V. 3: The Loyalist Storm Follick and his Follick and Vollick descendants in North America




Diana Ritchie said...

Hi Lorine ~ I'm glad you started with this one. It's pulled me back toward my brother-in-laws family. They ended up in Thorold Canada but I know they were in the US very early. I've often wondered if they were loyalist but I've yet to pursue that family line. Maybe this is the year!!!

Write Way Communications said...

Very interesting article and well written! Thanks for shating the history of our family. Cheers, Melanie.