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From: "Lorine McGinnis Schulze" <>
Subject: [ROOTS-L] Re Settling Canada - my 2 cents worth
Date: Mon, 28 Oct 2002 12:20:34 -0500

>>Got to disagree with both of the previous writers, one who
>>thought that the French
>>settled Canada and the other who thought that American
>>refugees settled what is now known as Ontario.

In case your comments completely confuse those who are
unfamiliar with Ontario's history, I'd like to make a few

American "refugees" aka Loyalists both during and after the
American Revolution *did* settle Ontario. They were the *first*
to settle in large numbers, and the *first* to open up to
family settlement what was then wilderness with nothing more
than a few trading posts scattered about.

The only earlier settlements (if one can call them that) were
tiny, scattered and few. There were French fur traders, but
they didn't form pockets of settlements as the Loyalists did.

>>Many American refugees from the later 1700's since known as
>>United Empire Loyalists
>>did settle in Upper Canada now known as Ontario.

This not quite accurate. There was no such place as Upper
Canada or Ontario in 1782. In 1782 when the Revolution ended,
Canada had two colonies: Quebec and Nova Scotia. Although no
precise number is known, about 10,000 Loyalists went to Quebec
(not the present day province of Quebec, but one of 2 colonies
in Canada), the rest to Nova Scotia.

Before December 26, 1791 Ontario was officially known as the
Western part of the Montreal District of the Colony of Quebec
(what a long name, no wonder it was later changed!)

The colony of Quebec was divided into Upper and Lower Canada in
1791. More Loyalists arrived, coming overland to the Niagara
Peninsula in this new area of Upper Canada.

See for an

>>They were not the only presence
>>in Ontario and what was to become the western provinces of

Ontario is indeed a multi cultural land - but the first
settlers was the topic of the message you disagreed with, not
settlement in the 19th century.

It was not until later in the 1800s that other ethnic groups
began arriving. By the time the War of 1812 broke out,
approximately 2/3 of all those settled in what is now Ontario,
were non-Loyalists. However that doesn't negate the fact that
the first settlers were of Loyalist stock.

See for a
brief overview of first settlements in what is now Ontario

Here are some exact years and ethnic groups who settled what is
now Ontario:

1815 saw large immigration from Scotland to Lanark County.

1820-1850 saw large numbers of immigrants from Great Britain

1833 saw over 66,000 British immigrants arrive, many via the
Erie Canal from the port of New York

To be historically accurate we would have to mention the very
first European 'settlement' in what is now Ontario - that being
the Jesuit community established at St. Marie Among The Hurons,
in 1639. This community was built as a wilderness mission for
the Wendat (Huron) Indians on the banks of the Wye River near
present day Midland Ontario.

However, since it was never settled by families, and was burned
in 1649 to prevent it's being taken by the Iroquois, it really
can't be
considered as the first settlement (for families and for



>>So, we need to bear in mind that not just one ethnic group or
>>another was the sole
>>provider of early settlers in any given area of Canada.

You have used the words "early settlers" and so your statement
is corectc. However the point was "who were the FIRST

"First" is an absolute term, there is no gray area. In a race,
someone is first, others come later. In terms of settlement,
someone, or some group arrives first. All others arrive
'later'. So we have first settlers, and we have later (or
early) settlers. Loyalists still hold the designation of "first
settlers" of the land we now call Ontario.

My Canadian 2 cents worth (today worth only .1 cent American)

Lorine McGinnis Schulze
* The Olive Tree Genealogy
* Past Voices:Letters Home
* USA Genealogy
* My Family Branches


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