Text Box: Ketcheson

William Ketcheson was born in 1759, Yorkshire, England son of William & Sally (Ayr). His father died when he was only four years old and his mother remarried.  In June of 1773 William set sail for America along with his aunt and uncle (sister & brother-Thomas & Nancy Orders). 

 At seventeen years of age he enlisted in the British Legion to fight the Revolutionary War in America.  He served as a dragoon in the Queen’s Rangers under both Colonel Tarleton and Lord Cornwallis until he was wounded. 

While in New York City (1779), William met & married Mary Rull, daughter of Loyalist John Rull & Phoebe Sniffen.  After the war and the evacuation of NYC (1783), William, Mary and their son, William III set sail aboard a ship bound for Nova Scotia.  They were granted 200 acres of land in Nova Scotia however a bush fire swept through the area on May 19th, 1784.  Settlers were rescued in boats and transported to different areas in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.  William sent his son & wife back to Bedford, NY for awhile while he made a living as a fisherman.  William eventually moved westward to Upper Canada finally finding employment (working for shares) with area landowners. He brought his wife and son back to Canada where six more sons and three daughters were born.

William was granted 600 acres of land in Sidney Twp. My husband descends from William’s daughter Elizabeth who married Matthew Fraser.
Text Box: Dafoe

Johan Ernst Defoe & Mary J. Keller were married Feb. 1, 1748/9 in the Germantown Reformed Church, Loonenurgh, New York. Johan was a U.E.L. who served in King`s Rangers as a courier between Quebec and New York City. Johann & Mary had 8 children: George, Conradt, Abraham, John, Jacob, Mary and Daniel. The family eventually moved to Quebec then many of them traveled further down river to Upper Canada and settled in Fredericksburg, Ontario.

At least two of their sons, Michael and Abraham were members of the King’s Rangers after coming to Canada.  Their daughter, Mary, married Andrew Rikley in Quebec.

The Dafoe children married individuals with the following surnames (most her were also descendants of Loyalists): Empey, Phillips, Diamond, Wright, Ross and Pringle et al.

Throughout the years the Dafoe name has had many different forms.  Those in my family eventually settled on the spelling Dafoe but I have found it spelled Defoe, DeFoy, Devoe and others.

My husband also descends from the Dafoe’s; his grandmother was Matilda May Dafoe (Abraham Dafoe was her ggg-grandfather).



Text Box: Thompson

William Thompson was a member of the King’s Rangers and his name is recorded on the Muster Roll, October 6th, 1784.  In 1784 there was no mention of his wife or any children so it is assumed that he was not married at that time but their children were all born in New York.  William applied for a land grant in Ontario on November 18, 1797.  He was recommended for an extra 200 acres (because he was a soldier) in addition to what he had already been given.

He and his wife, Lanya (Lydia), had eleven children several who were born in New York but others baptized in Ontario.  One son named Levi petitioned for land on behalf of his siblings (Andrew, Christian, John, William, Alexander, Elizabeth, Nancy, Catharine and Jane) and himself.    Most of William’s children remained in the immediate area, however Andrew and Christian received land in Orillia Township and Samuel received his land grant in Mara Township.  

Elizabeth Thompson and Joel Meeks were married in New York before coming to Canada however their nine children were all born in Ontario.  After Elizabeth died (1862), her husband Joel Meeks inherited the farm that they lived on.
Their children were: Pythagoris, Rosannah, Susannah, Levi, Lycurgus, Andrew, Elizabeth, Joel Wm. and Jemima.

Other names of Loyalist children who married some of William’s descendants were Ackerman, Hawley, Asselstine and Storey.


Text Box: Rikley

Johann George Christophe Reichle was born in Germany and immigrated to the United States in October, 1751 aboard the ship “Duke of Wuertenberg”.  He worked in NYC as a tailor for awhile and he and his wife, Agnes Rosina had several children one of which was named Andrew who was born in 1760 (some family  accounts say 1764 Philadelphia but Immigrant Postings dispute this).  From information that has been gathered the family did move to Philadelphia and were members of the High Dutch Lutheran Church there in the late 1700’s. Johann signed a public petition repudiating the Declaration of Independence on October 16, 1776.

Andrew eventually anglicized his surname to Rickley and when he was 22 years old and only 5’6” tall, he joined and served (for 2 yrs) with the King’s Regiment of New York.  Like many of the Loyalists he emigrated to Canada.  In Canada, he was a Sergeant in the King’s Rangers.

While in Quebec (1783), Andrew met and married Mary Defoe (Dafoe,DeFoy) then traveled further down the St. Lawrence to Upper Canada.  Andrew applied for a land grant in Fredericksburg and was granted 500 acres.

Andrew and Mary had a family of nine children: Mary, Elizabeth, Rosannah, John, Andrew, George, Jacob, Elisha and Katreen.  I am a descendant of Andrew Jr who was a Private in the 1st Lennox Militia Flank Company for the War of 1812.  He married twice: 1st to Margaret Lloyd and then to Eliza Arkles.

Andrew Jr. and Eliza’s son, Andrew was born (1814) in Camden Township (were he again applied for another 200 acres) and he eventually married Mary Ann Bird.  One of their daughter’s Elizabeth married William Frizzell; they were my great-grandparents.





Text Box: Meeks

Edward & Joel Meeks were both born in Dutchess County New York, the sons of Richard & Jemima (Nelson) Meeks.  They were Revolutionary War soldiers and their names can be found in the Papers of George Washington, The Revolutionary War Series (Volume 11, August 1777-October 1777).  It is said that the Meeks men were excellent coopers and member of the High Dutch Lutheran Church in New York. 

One account of Joel states that it is possible that Joel came to Canada for two reasons: by marrying a daughter of a Loyalist (Elizabeth Thompson) he would be entitled to a grant of land (Joel was generous but did not work hard), or that he refused to “swear” allegiance to an independent nation because of his religious beliefs.

 Leaving behind many members of their family, the men came to Canada and worked on the survey party when the townships in Upper Canada was being settled.  Joel also taught school at one time in Marysburgh then eventually moved to Camden Township where he and his family farmed.  Edward farmed in the Cloyne (Hungerford Township) area where he raised his children.

The Loyalist families in Canada intermarried often so I am descended from both Joel and Edward.  Joel’s granddaughter, Pearl (DeShane) married Edward’s grandson, Alfred Merritt Meeks.