Index to French Canadian Revolutionary War Patriots

American schoolchildren all learn about our glorious ancestors who fought for American independence in 1776 and for a few years following the Declaration of Independence. However, the history books published in the U.S. rarely mention that the desire for independence was not unanimous. Many Americans and Canadians wanted to remain loyal to the King of England they are generally referred to as Loyalists. While discredited in the U.S., these same Loyalists are considered to be heros by the Canadians. In fact, Canadian history books generally devote more pages to the Loyalists than to those who fought for independence. Likewise, many Canadians supported the Patriot cause even though they lived north of what is now the U.S.-Canadian border.

Not all combatants were from the 13 original colonies. Many were from what is now known as Canada and more than a few were of French-Canadian ancestry. Debbie Duay of Fort Lauderdale, Florida has compiled an index to French Canadian Revolutionary War patriots from Quebec that appear in the Baby, Taschereau, and Williams journal and/or Virginia Easley DeMarce’s “Canadian Participants in the American Revolution – An Index.” Her index appears at http://www.learnwebskills.com/patriot/frenchcanadianpatriots.htm. The index lists the names of French-Canadian Patriots and their wives.

11 Comments

I am pleased to see my ancestor Pierre Simon Lafond (1753-1796) included. His widow received a pension from the U.S. government. Got me into SAR :o)

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There is an excellent book detailing the experience of many of the French Canadians who fought in Washington’s army throughout the American Revolution without a state to support them:
Moses Hazen and the Canadian Refugees in the American Revolution, by Allan Seymour Everest (1977), Syracuse University Press. ISBN 978-0-8156-0129-6.

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Peter Bridge (and a proud Lanky) July 14, 2015 at 4:31 am

There is lesson here that is worth repeating – most history is written from the view of the victor, not the vanquished. Say it loud enough, tell it often enough, or worse still write it down and it gradually becomes THE TRUTH. The other side of a story often make uncomfortable reading.

Peter Bridge, UK

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    This is not a forum for political discussion.

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    In this case the history was written by both sides and has been taught completely different to the children of each of the three nations (US, UK, Canada). For example, my mother’s English friends were surprised to learn about the actual extent of the fighting that took place. They had been taught that both the US and Canada achieved their independence because the UK magnanimously wanted to see them become self-governing and stand on their own two feet.

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    Peter, please explain your comment. It is unintelligible with regard to the content of this article.

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Missing Joshua Crapo (Crapeaux). b 28 June 1746 m Jane Haskins. Born in Rochester MA but lived in Northern ME. Was a transplanted French Canadian.

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Another excellent book dealing with divided loyalties among the New Englanders, Yorkshire immigrants and others in the Canadian maritimes is:
The Siege of Fort Cumberland, 1776: An Episode in the American Revolution, by Ernest Clarke (1995) McGill-Queen’s University Press ISBN-13: 978-0773513235

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It was wonderful to see Guillaume Couture’s crew from Lauzon show up on the list. His grandchildren are a sea of humanity. The Coutures fought for the King against the American revolutionaries, but over time, as Wisconsin and Michigan became U.S. territory, and as the Industrial Revolution drew them down into the United States, they show up in every facet of the U.S. military. The Coutures fought on both sides of the U.S. Civil war. WWI and WWII, they were in both the Royal and U.S. Navies and Armies simultaneously. History Rocks.

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The 1775-1776 critical period in the St. Lawrence Valley — including the death of Montgomery in besieged Québec — is largely forgotten in the teaching of history in both the US and Canada. The participation of people from the 14th colony to the War of American Independence is something that doesn’t fit the standard narrative, even though France’s decisive role in this war is well known. One so easily adopts an anachronistic viewpoint and forgets that “Canadiens” of fighting age in 1775-1783 were born French subjects, and perceived the French support to American Rebels as a liberation call. For instance, The French Genealogy Blog is an excellent source of information, but made the same mistake others did in omitting ” Canadiens” from the “2112 French deaths” in the war. Rochambeau, D’Estaing and La Fayette all addressed their “Canadien” brothers and promised to return them their French subject status if they took up arms in support of the war. Many did — only to be denied regarding the promise made. An ancestor of mine who sided with “the Rebels” was described as a” full-blooded Frenchman” by a grandchild of his. This description speaks for itself. Still, his participation is nowhere to be found, neither in France nor in the U.S. It is up to descendants to shed light on such cases — lucky he didn’t die before generating an offspring! SAR is now informed about this “Peter V. Mayhew”, born Pierre Vincent Mailloux in 1753 at Québec City. I bet this case is not a unique exception and that several others still haven’t been identified. De Marce and Duay are only a beginning.

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    S Novell (Mayhew descendants from Jefferson Co. NY) April 6, 2017 at 9:58 am

    Peter V Mayhew, American Revolutionary War Records and Pensions are available at 3fold.com. New Hampshire Colonial Militia. As to whether he served as Aide De Camp to Rochambeau? His headstone is “Captain” Peter V Mayhew, Orange Vermont.

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