Friday, July 12, 2019

52 Ancestors - Week 286: #242 Abraham Dafoe (1755-1815) of New York and Upper Canada

Abraham Dafoe (1755-1815) is #242 on my Ahnentafel List, my 5th great-grandfather, who married  #243 Katreen --?-- (1755-1792) in 1775, probably in Albany, New York.

I am descended through:

*  their daughter #121 Mary Dafoe (1776-1832) who married #120 John Kemp (1768-1864) in 1795.
*  their son #60 Abraham Kemp (1795-1881) married #61 Sarah Fletcher (1802-before 1850) in 1818.
*  their son #30 James Abraham Kemp (1831-1902) married #31 Mary Jane Sovereen (18401874) in 1861.
*  their daughter #15 Georgianna Kemp (1868-1952)  married  #14 Charles Auble (1849-1916) in 1898.
*  their daughter #7 Emily Kemp Auble (1899-1977), married #6 Lyle Lawrence Carringer (1891-1976) in 1918.
*  their daughter #3 Betty Virginia Carringer (1919-2002) who married #2 Frederick Walton Seaver (1911-1983) in 1942.
*  their son #1 Randall Jeffrey Seaver (1943-living)


1)  PERSON (with source citations as indicated in brackets):
*  Name:                        Abraham Dafoe [1–5]    
*  Alternate Name:        Abraham Tevoe[6-7]  

*  Sex:                           Male    

*  Father:                      Johann Ernst Dafoe (1726-1784)    
*  Mother:                    Marytjen "Maria" Keller (1729-1789)  

2)  INDIVIDUAL EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):

*  Birth:                        before 11 May 1755, Albany, Albany, New York, United States[1,6–7]    
*  Baptism:                  11 May 1755 (after age 0), Albany, Albany, New York, United States[1,6-7]    

*  Military                   1777-1782 (after about age 22), Bennington, Vermont, United States[1–2]    

*  Petition:                  9 March 1790 (after age 35), Kingston, Frontenac, Ontario, Canada[4]    
*  Petition:                  10 November 1797 (after age 42), Fredericksburgh, Lennox and Addington, Ontario, Canada[5]    

*  Death:                    about 1815 (after about age 60), Fredericksburgh, Lennox and Addington, Ontario, Canada[1]    

3)  SHARED EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):

*  Spouse 1:               Katreen --?--  (1755-1792)    
*  Marriage 1:            about 1775 (after about age 20), New York, United States[1,3]    

*  Child 1:                 Mary Dafoe (1776-1832)    
*  Child 2:                 female Dafoe (1780-1784)    
*  Child 3:                 Jacob Dafoe (1784-1872)    
*  Child 4:                 Elizabeth Dafoe (1786-1861)    
*  Child 5:                 George Dafoe (1788-1873)    
*  Child 6:                 Lucy Dafoe (1791-????)  

4)  NOTES (with source citations as indicated in brackets):  

Cheryl Kemp Taber researched and collected a wealth of information about the family of Abraham Dafoe and allied families, and posted it in her WorldConnect database on Rootsweb ( titled "Kemps and Kin" updated 27 December 2017. Her notes for this person are incorporated below.

Abraham "Tevoe" was baptised on 11 May 1755 in the Albany, New York Reformed Dutch church[1,6-7], with parents Johan Ernst and Maria (Keller) "Tevoe," with witnesses Joh. Van de Werken and Maria Tevoe.  

Abraham married Katreen --?-- in about 1775, probably in Albany, New York[1].  The United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada (UELAC) website directory for Abraham Dafoe says[3]:

"Wife's name:  Katreen Diamond b.1755 m. 1775 d. before 1792 daughter of John Diamond & Christianna Loyst."

They had six children[1,3]:

*  Mary Dafoe (1776-1832), married John Kemp (1768-1864) in 1795.
*  female Dafoe (1780-1780)
*  Jacob Dafoe (1784-1872), married Anne Phillips (1786-1871) in 1804.
*  Elizabeth Dafoe (1786-1861), married Henry Sharp (1782-1853) in 1809.
*  George Dafoe (1788-1883), married Elizabeth Sills (1791-1860).
*  Lucy Dafoe (1791-????)

The family resided in Albany and Little Hoosick, New York before the American Revolution.

Information on the United Empire Loyalist' Association of Canada (UELAC) website includes this information for Abraham Dafoe's military experience[2]:

"Abraham, along with his father, John Ernst Defoe, and his brothers George, Conrad, John Jr. and Jacob, fought in the Battle of Bennington in Colonel John Peter's Queen's Loyal Rangers. Brother George was killed by a musket ball, while the rest of the Dafoe men were captured on August 16, 1777.

"Having taken the Oath of Fidelity, to remain quietly at home without taking further part in the rebellion, the Dafoe men were released back to their families. However it wasn't long until skirmishes broke out again and Abraham, with brothers John and Jacob, arrived in Fort St. John's in southern Quebec to join their father, John Ernst Defoe, where they joined Captain Henry Ruiter's Co. of King's Rangers.  Along with Abraham was his wife, Katreen, and three and a half year-old daughter, Mary. 

"January 1, 1782 Abraham, John Jr and Jacob were still on the muster roll of Captain Henry Ruiter's Company.  Later, upon discharge on June 27, 1784, Abraham was listed on a muster roll of Captain William Fraser"s Company, and settled in Fredericksburgh Twp., known then as Cataraqui Twp. #3, along with others of the King's Rangers."

The book, Rolls of the Provincial (Loyalist) Corps Canadians Command American Revolutionary Period by Mary B. Fryer, the muster roll of the King's Rangers, St. John Quebec, Jan. 27, 1784 noted[1]

"Abraham Dafoe, Corporal, 3rd Company of Captain Henry Ruiter's unit, B 160, pp 153-6."

Alexander Fraser's Second report of the Bureau of Archives for the Province of Ontario (Toronto,  1905), v21, p1011 reported the claim of Abraham Dafoe concerning the land taken from him during and after the war[1]

"Claim of Abraham Defoe late of Albany County. Claim't says he resided at St. John in 1783. Is a native of America. Lived in Albany County. Joined Gen. Burgoyne, was taken in Bennington fight. Got in to Canada in '80. Served in Major Rogers Rangers till they were discharged. Had a farm in Little Hoosick. It was a lease of 100 acres granted by Abraham Tinbrook 14 years ago to Claim'ts father who gave it to his son immediately. Had cleared 15 acres. Built a house, was to have it ten years free then pay (?) produce. Val's ye improvements at 400 dollars. Lost one yoke oxen, 3 cows, 2 hogs, grain of various kinds, most of it in the ground, furniture, utensils. Left these things when he went with Burgoyne. The rebels had them. Peter Young Wit's knew claim't. He joining Burg. was afterwards in Roger's Rangers. Knew his place. 14 or 15 acres cleared, 3 cows, 1 yoke oxen. They were taken away when he joined Burg[oyne]. All of his other things were taken."

A roll of the United Empire Loyalists, Crown Lands Dept. indicates[1]:

"Abraham Defoe, Fredericksburg, Corporal King's Rangers, Land Board Mecklenburg 1790, 500 acres. LBM 1792, 100 acres in the right of his late brother, Jacob."

Joan Lucas wrote this on the UELAC website[3]:

"Can you imagine a little girl, Mary, of 3 yrs trudging through the bush to Skenesborough and then in an open boat up Lake Champlain and the Richelieu River to Ft. St. John's? Then at age 7 on the move again to the gathering place at Lachine before taking the batteaux up the St. Lawrence River and along Lake Ontario to Dutch Town (Bath)... and all the time helping her mother with her new brother, baby Jacob.?

"The somewhat contracted Dafoe family of 11 persons with Abraham, now the head of the family at age 29, faced a virgin forest that came down to the edge of the water.They drew their land, cleared it for farming and built their homes... to become a part of the founders of the Province of Ontario, in the country of Canada. (See also Capt. John Ernst Defoe)

"Abraham with his mother, Mary Defoe, his wife Katreen and daughter Mary, infant son Jacob , brothers Jacob, John Jr, Michael and Daniel, his sister Mary and her husband Andrew Rikely UE arrived in Fredericksburgh Twp (Cataraqui Twp #3) where Abraham and brother-in-law Andrew Rikely drew lot 10, con 1.

"Abraham eventually was granted 650 acres of land."

On 29 March 1790, Abraham Dafoe, a Sergeant in the King's Rangers,  petitioned the Right Honorable Guy Lord Dorchester, Captain General, Governor and Commander in Chief of the Colonies of Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and their Dependencies, saying[4]:

"That your Lordship's Memorialist have received one hundred acres, humbly prays that one hundred acres more, together with his Lordship's Bounty of two hundred acres may be assigned him in the Seventh Township."

A certificate for 100 acres was granted 21 March 1792.

On 23 February 1791, Abraham Dafoe, late a Corporal in the King's Rangers, petitioned Guy Lord Dorchester for 100 acres of land in the Tenth Township in right of his brother, Jacob Dafoe who died at St. John's in 1784 and served as a private in the Kings's Rangers[4].  

This petition was granted on 25 March 1792.

On 10 October 1797, Abraham, John and Daniel Dafoe petitioned Peter Russell Esquire, the President administering the Government of Upper Canada, saying[5]:

"Humbly sheweth that their Father the late John Dafoe served during the American Rebellion as a Captain in a Corps of Rangers Commanded by Col. Robert Rogers and 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. johns in lower Canada where he died in the year 1784.  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."

Abraham's wife, Katreen, died in about 1792 after the birth of their last child, Lucy Dafoe who was baptized 11 December 1791 in Fredericksburgh.

Abraham Dafoe died in 1815 in Fredericksburgh, Lennox and Addington County, Upper Canada[1].  There is no death record, burial record or probate record for him or his wife.

1. Cheryl Kemp Taber, "Kemps and Kin," online database, RootsWeb WorldConnect Project (, updated 27 December 2017, Abraham Dafoe sketch (

2. "Information on the Loyalists," database, United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada (, accessed 10 July 2019, Military Info for Loyalist Abraham Dafoe.

3. "Information on the Loyalists," website, United Empire Loyalists Association of Canada (, accessed 10 July 2019, Children of Loyalist Abraham Dafoe.

4. Upper Canada, "Upper Canada Land Petitions, 1763-1865," digital image, Library and Archives Canada ( : accessed 11 August 2014), Abraham Dafoe, 1790, Microfilm C-1885, Volume 171, "D" Bundle Micellaneous 1788-1795, (DA-DEY), Petition 1 (images 551-554, 556  of 925); citing RG 1, L 3.

5. "Upper Canada Land Petitions, 1763-1865," Library and Archives Canada, digital image, John, Abraham and Daniel Defoe, 1797, Microfilm C-1743, Volume 150, "D" Bundle 3, 1796-1797, Petition 12 (images 4 and 5 of 1294).

6. D. Pane-Joyce, Records of the Reformed Dutch Church of Albany, New York, 1683–1809, website, original records excerpted from Year Books of the Holland Society of New York, Abraham Tevoe entry.

7. "U.S. Dutch Reformed Church Records from Selected States, 1639-1989," digital images, (, accessed 10 July 2019), New York > Albany > "Albany, Vol III, Book 3," page 87 (stamped) (image 91 of 506), Abraham Tevoe baptism entry.


NOTE:  In 2014, Amy Johnson Crow suggested a weekly blog theme of "52 Ancestors" in her blog post  52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks on the No Story Too Small blog.  I have extended this theme in 2019 to 312 Ancestors in 312 Weeks.

NOTE:  This biography is out of order.  I skipped over it in 2017 and did his father instead in week 169.  

Copyright (c) 2019, Randall J. Seaver

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