My maternal grandfather, John Rogers Haberman, was born in New Brunswick, Canada, and I have always known that he was descended from Revolutionary War Loyalists- Colonists who remained loyal to the British Crown and fled to Canada during and after the American Revolution. There may be more than one Loyalist in Grandpa’s ancestry, but the one I know the most about is Anthony Rogers.
Anthony Rogers had been married to Zilpah Holcombe (my 5th great grandmother) of Simsbury, Connecticut. In 1783, Anthony Rogers and his son Edward (my 4th great grandfather) left New York with tens of thousands of other Loyalists, and went to Canada. Zilpah was not with him, nor was his oldest son James. Once in Canada, Anthony petitioned the crown for compensation for his Loyalty and service, claiming that he was from Simsbury, Ct., and that he had fought for Britain. Those are the only facts about which I am fairly certain.
I do not know whether Anthony was, in fact, from Simsbury. I have not been able to find any records of his birth or parentage, nor have any other descendants to my knowledge. It is as if he just appeared in Simsbury out of nowhere. There are plenty of records of Zilpah’s family, the Holcombes. They have deep New England roots.
Most everything I know about Anthony Rogers and his family comes from Canada, as they are very proud of their loyalist heritage up there. But in the US, they seemingly kicked the Loyalists out and then took their erasers and wiped out any memory of them. There is virtually nothing. It is understandable. But what we are left with is no answers. I am skeptical of biographical information in Canada since it is not based on documentation but is based on word-of-mouth and conjecture. The information I get from Canada sources is that Zilpha died in 1776 (along with Britian’s relationship with its colonies in the New World, apparently.) I have also seen information stating that Zilpha was ill and James had to stay behind to care for her, and I have seen information stating that James swore allegiance to the US and claimed that he was not a Loyalist like his father. I have not been able to find any further records in the US pertaining to James. According to descendants of Anthony’s two youngest children, Anthony Jr. and John, those two youngest boys traveled to Canada with Anthony and Edward.
See related Blog entry: Anthony Rogers: A Tory from the Kingdom of the Original Tories?