In 1763 the British Empire acquired the former French colony of Quebec by conquest. Its western portion became Ontario in 1791. Between those years Americans had many contacts with Upper Canada. In 1783 ten thousand Loyalist refugees arrived. The term Loyalist designated a resident of one of the colonies in rebellion by the 19th of April of 1775 who joined the Royal Standard before the treaty of peace in 1783. An ancestor could have served in a Loyalist regiment or could have demonstrated loyalty to Crown. He or she also had to opt to resettle in another British-held territory. Besides Quebec and Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island were other Loyalist destinations in Canada.
Even though the Loyalists were on the losing side in the American Revolution, they are a significant part of the American genealogical fabric. In early 1780 there were 8,000 Loyalists bearing arms for King George III. At that time George Washington’s Continental Army numbered only 9,000.
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