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August 6, 2016

Our Immigrant Ancestors - Jacob Peer Flees in American Revolution

There is a lot of discussion about immigration in America right now. Tempers have flared, and different groups hold various strong opinions. There is also Brexit, where immigration was a large focus of the recent vote which resulted in the U.K. leaving the E.U.

I've been following this for several months and it occurs to me that those of us in Canada, America, and Australia have immigrant ancestors. Have you researched yours? Do you know who they were, why they came to your country and when? Do you know how they fared once settled in their new land? Were they welcomed? Were they shunned? Was their discrimination based on their religion or ethnic origin? These are all questions that are important, and interesting to discover. With that in mind, I'm the dedicating Saturdays (as many as needed) as the day to join me in discussing your immigrant ancestors.

You will be able to read any you are interested in by using the keyword Immigrant Ancestors. I'm going to share each week what I know of my immigrant ancestors to North America (whether that is USA or Canada)

My 4th great-grandfather Jacob Peer, the immigrant ancestor to Ontario, was living in Newton Township, Sussex County, New Jersey in 1774. Jacob was forced to leave New Jersey because of his British sympathies during the American Revolution. He settled near Hamilton Ontario in June 1796.

Jacob and his family lost everything in New Jersey and settled in what was then the wilderness of Upper Canada where they had to make a new life for themselves. Jacob and his 6 sons and 2 daughters had many descendants settling in Ontario, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Illinois.

This is one of the immigrant families I researched and wrote about in a 6-volume set called The Peer Family in North America. The hardships they endured were felt by many in those turbulent times and I wanted their stories told.

1797, 13 July: Declared in his land petition that he came to the province in June 1796 and had a wife and daughter in Barton where he owned a farm.  He was granted 200 acres on 14 July 1797. A statement by Nathaniel Pettit dated 10 July 1797 states that he was acquainted with Jacob Pear [sic] in the State of New Jersey, and that because he was "much attached to the British Constitution" he "suffered greatly both in his person and property in the Late War between Great Britain and America"


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