Monday, August 25, 2014

Amanuensis Monday - Post 232: 1797 Upper Canada Land Petition of John, Abraham and Daniel Defoe

Genea-blogger John Newmark (who writes the excellent TransylvanianDutch blog) started a Monday blog theme years ago called "Amanuensis Monday."  John offers this definition for "amanuensis:" 

"A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another."

The subject today is a 1797 land petition filed by Abraham, John and Daniel Defoe with the Government of Upper Canada on their father's service during the American Rebellion (two images):

The transcription of the petition is:

To His Honor Peter Russell Esq^re
President Administration of the Government
of Upper Canada &c. &c. &c.
                                         In Council
The Petition of John, Abraham and
Daniel Defoe --
                                Humbly Sheweth
That their Father the late John Defoe served
during the American Rebellion as a Cap-
tain in a Corps of Rangers Commanded
by Col. Robert Rogers & that after the peace
he left New York with his Family with an
intention of Settling in this Province and
was taken Ill at St. John's in lower Canada
where he died in the year 1794 ~
                 your Petitioners therefore Humbly
request that your Honor will be pleased to
grant them the land their Father was or might
have been entitled to.
                                        And they as in duty
Fredericksburg                 bound will ever pray
10th October 1797            John Defoe
                                        Abraham Defoe
                                        Daniel Defoe

The transcription of the card is:

UE  No. 12
The Petition of  }
John Defoe       }
Rec^d 8 Nov 97    C R.
Recd  18 Nov 97
Mr Defoe having
died in Lower Canada
His Heirs cannot
have claim on this
Province praying
lands he formerly
might have been
considered entitled to.

??      ??

The source citation for this document is:

Upper Canada, "Upper Canada Land Petitions, 1763-1865," digital image, Library and Archives Canada ( : accessed 11 August 2014), John, Abraham and Daniel Defoe, 1797, Microfilm C-1743, "D" Bundle 3, 1796-1797, Petition 12 (images 4 and 5 of 1294); citing RG 1, L 3, Volume 150.

Abraham Dafoe (1755-1815) is my 5th great-grandfather.  His daughter, Mary Dafoe (1776-before 1851) married John Kemp (1768-after 1861).  

Apparently, John, Abraham and Daniel Dafoe, three sons of John Ernst Dafoe (1723-1795) petitioned for land in Upper Canada on account of their father's service in the Roger's Rangers on the British side in the American Revolution.  This petition was denied because John Dafoe died in Lower Canada (i.e., Quebec) rather than Upper Canada (i.e. Ontario).  

The value of the petition is that it names three sons of John Defoe, provides John Dafoe's death year and place, and his service with Roger's Rangers.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

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