I took a bit of a break from my close relatives because I found another interesting leaf hint and decided to follow it. I saw this one before, but, I felt I would have to do a lot of research so I passed. Then I came across something else on the same person and decided to go with it … it might be interesting — and it was.
For this story, you’ll have to put on your history caps and go with me all the way back to the American Revolution. Now, I am Canadian – I haven’t studied American history in depth but we did certainly cover it in grade 11 world history.
The American Revolution (1775-83) which is also referred to as the American Revolutionary War OR the U.S. War of Independence was essentially a civil war based on who would rule in the Thirteen Colonies. France entered the American Revolution on the side of the colonists in 1778, turning what had essentially been a civil war into an international conflict. After French assistance helped the Continental Army force the British surrender at Yorktown, Virginia, in 1781, the Americans had effectively won their independence, though fighting would not formally end until 1783.
My Connection to The Loyalist and The Spy
Edward Hicks Sr. + Elvina Cornell (Gen 6)
See below for story of Edward Hicks – The Loyalist
Joseph Hicks + Elizabeth Loose (Gen 1)
( Joseph Hicks was born in 1767 in Albany, NY, and died in 1815 in Marysburgh, Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada).
Daughter of Joseph Hicks
Daughter of Sarah Hicks
Son of Olive Moore
Son of George Howard Richards
Son of Ambrose Richards
Son of Benjamin George Richards
You are the daughter of Patrick James Richards
More About Edward Hicks Sr. My 6x Great Grand Father – The Loyalist
Edward Hicks was born on May 2, 1736, in Suffolk, New York, USA.
Edward married Elizabeth Elvina Levina Cornell in 1758 at the age of 22 in New York. Elizabeth is the daughter of Samuel Mott Cornell and Hannah Cornwall.
Children of Edward and Elvina:
1 – 1759 his son Benjamin Hicks was born in Long Island, NY, died in 1835 in Marysburgh, Prince Edward, Ontario, Canada.
2 – 1760 his son Edward (The Spy) Hicks was born in Albany, NY, died in 1832 in Marysburgh, Prince Edward, Ontario, Canada.
3 – 1762 his daughter Mary Hicks was born in Albany, New York, died in 1804 in Athens, Leeds, Ontario, Canada
4 – 1765 his son David Hicks was born in Albany New York.
5 – 1767 his son Joseph Hicks was born in Albany, NY, and died in 1815 in Marysburgh, Prince Edwards, Ontario, Canada.
6 – 1769 his son Daniel Hicks was born in Albany, NY. and died in 1821 in Hallowell, Ontario, Canada.
7 -1771 his daughter Elizabeth Hicks was born in Albany, NY. her death was in 1807.
8 -1774 his son Joshua Hicks was born in Sugar Run, Bradford Cty, PA., died in 1838 in Marysburgh, Prince Edwards, Ontario, Canada.
He was a member of the Society of Friends. He was a Quaker.
Location: Wyoming County, Pennsylvania
Description: George Kentnor, Edward Hicks, Jacob Bowman, John Secord Retrieved From: Ancestry.ca History of Bradford County, Pennsylvania: with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers Chapter III. Settlements in Bradford County previous to the Battle of Wyoming, July 8, 1778 pages 67-68
Edward Hicks was an entrepeneur who not only settled on the frontier, but was also actively involved in organizing settlements in the frontier. The Hicks’ had 600 acres of frontier lands on the Susquehannah. He was one of the principle organizers, becoming in the process the first white settler in Wilmot Township, Bradbury County PA.
—–There is also evidence that Edward developed land in New York, especially with George Hicks in that part of New York which ultimately became part of New Hampshire. He may have done this also around Dutchess County. The Susquehannah lands were part of the Connecticut and Pennsylvania lands settlement. The indications are that those enterprises in which Edward Hicks was involved were on a very large scale.
—-There is much debate on who Edward’s parents are. The one I’ve seen online from a John Hicks – is that he is a descendant of Thomas Hicks. How does an ordinary farm boy learn to do this all of this development? From whence the inspiration? It would certainly help if your grandfather were Thomas Hicks, land developer and Judge, whose activities in developing vast acreages of land are well documented. Thomas of course was Isaac’s father and this activity of Edward, so resembles that of Thomas Hicks.
—- We do know that he took his entire family including his wife Levina and eight children into the Pennsylvania wilderness in 1775, built a home and cleared land, and fed and clothed them and all of them survived.
—–In about March of 1777, before the breakup of the ice in the Susquehannah he and his two oldest sons joined with other loyalists along the river to travel from their homestead at the mouth of the Sugar Run (across from present day Wyalusing PA) with horses to Fort Niagara (Near present day Lewiston NY).
—–At the end of the summer’s campaign the Susquehannah men in Butler’s Rangers received permission to return to the Susquehannah to evacuate their families. Edward Hicks was among these and was captured by the Westmoreland militia as he was nearing home in late December 1777 or early January 1778. He remained in custody until his death in 1778 or 1779. There are accounts of both years. I am inclined to accept 1778 as it appears that Levina remarried in September of 1779.
—–Before the War, Edward Hicks’s home was known to be a safe house for loyalists to King George (Tories) as they made their way from Philadelphia into the interior, even to the Ohio valley. George Washington was not very pleased about this.
—–When in 1779 General Sullivan was ordered to take an army of 10,000 men up the Susquehannah to destroy the Indian villages and any remants of the Tories and their homesteads he is said to have stopped outside of Wyalusing in mid September. There is no doubt that the Hicks homestead received a special inspection and treatment at that time.
I was able to locate an extract of their companies.
Per the Revolutionary War Records Edwd Hicks Senr, was listed as a Private paid £ 30.8 at the rate of 2 shillings per day for 204 days of service from Dec 25 1777 to October 24 1778 (Pay Rolls of Butler’s Rangers 1777-1778).
Benjamin Hicks was listed as a Private in Captain William Caldwell’s Company of Butler’s Rangers paid £30.8 at the rate of 2 shillings per day for 304 days of service from 25 Dec 1777 to 24 Oct 1778. (Pay Rolls of Butler’s Rangers 1777-1778)
Edwd Hicks Junr, Private, taken on the Susquehana Jany 1778, named in “A List of Persons in the hands of the Congress belonging to the Corps of Rangers, Royalists & their Families”. He was listed in Private Captain William Caldwell’s Coy of Butler’s Rangers and paid at the rate of 2 shillings per day for 304 days of service from December 25 1777 to 1778 (Pay Rolls of Butler’s Rangers 1777-1778). He was taken prisoner 3rd of January 1778, returned and present at Muster 5th November 1779 £377.3 (Pay to Rangers taken prisoner and casualties).
Butler’s Rangers – Walter Butler’s Coy.
We the undermentioned Commissioned & non Commissioned Officers & Privates of Captain Walter BUTLER’s Company of Rangers do acknowledge to have received from John BUTLER Esqr. Major Commandant of the Corps of Rangers the full amount of our Pay from 24th December 1777 to 24th October 1778 inclusive.
Great Britain, British Library, Additional Manuscripts, No. 21765, folios 44-45.
Butler’s Rangers – Caldwell’s Coy.
We the undermentioned Commissioned & non Commissioned Officers & Privates of Captain William CALDWELL’s Company of Rangers do acknowledge to have received from John BUTLER Esqr. Major Commandant of a Corps of Rangers the full amount of our Pay from 24th December 1777 to 24th October 1778 inclusive.
He was was captured along with his son, Edward Jr, who were both sentenced to death. Edward Sr was hung in 1778 in Minisink (a town located in southwest Orange County, New York) as a traitor, but his widow and sons escaped to Canada. Details of his death cannot be proved conclusively – nor that I have found to date. I can’t find much that they “escaped” to Canada, but it stands to reason.
Edward was later officially recognized as a U.E. Loyalist, so his widow and children were compensated for their losses with extensive land grants in Marysburg, Prince Edward Co, Ontario —- thus originating an extensive Ontario Hicks line.
Possible verification of Edward Jr’s arrest is as follows: (Hist of Kuykendall Fam, by G B Kuykendall, Kilham Stan & Prnt Co, Portland, OR, 1919, p 331 & 332) Wilhelmus Kuykendall – The next pension claim found was that of Wilhelmus Kuykendall. His application was made October 9, 1832. In his “statement” he said that he “Entered the service of the United States under the following named officers and served as herein stated; he resided in the town of Minisink, Orange county, and state of New York, and in 1778 went into service under Lieutenant Martyn Decker; went in pursuit of Robert Land and Edward Hix, who were sent from New York to carry dispatches to the Indians at Niagara, and captured said Land and Hix and delivered them over to Lieut. Bull, belonging to Spencer’s regiment, afterwards to General Pulaski, in New Jersey state, making the time in the last mentioned service one half month.
Rebel Court Martial of Robert Land & Edward Hicks Jr.
|At a General Court Martial held at Minisink the 17th and continued by adjournment till the 19th day of March 1779 by order of Brigadier General Hand.
Prisoner: Robert LAND brought before the Court charged with being a Spy and carrying Intelligence to the Enemy, Pleads not Guilty.
Evidence: James Vanokee Esqr. being Sworn saith, that at the beginning of the present War, the Prisoner was suspected of being a Tory, and examined before the Northamton County Committee. That in consequence of his swearing Allegiance to the United States he was set at Liberty.
Arthur Vantoil being sworn saith that on Thursday evening the 11th Inst. he went to Daniel Courtwrites a Neighbour of his suspecting that a number of Tories were at his House, and to see if he could get any Intelligence of them.
That when he went to the Door, he saw the Prisoner (LAND) eating Supper, as soon as LAND saw him he seized his Musket which was by his side with a Bayonet fixed. At which he, the Deponent, left the door.
He further says that Courtwright came out of the House, and he asked him if there was any news, or any Tories in his House, that he told him there was no need, neither was there any Tories in the House.
Lt. Decker being Sworn saith that the 14th Inst. he went towards Coshithton with a party of men, after a number of Tories that were on their way from New York to Niagara.
That about three OClock P.M. he fell in with them and took LAND and HICKS, he further says that LAND told him after he was made prisoner that he was going to the Enemy at Niagara.
— Adjourned till tomorrow ten O’Clock.—-
18th March – The Court met According to Adjournment.
Captn. Tyler (formerly an Inhabitant of Coshithton) being sworn saith that at the Commencement of the present war, he heard the prisoner say that he never would take up arms against the King of Britain.
That sometimes afterwards he was carried before the Committee at Peenpack and found Guilty of being an Enemy to these States, and from thence sent to a Committee in Pennsylvania to which state he belonged, for tryall, and upon his taking the Oath of Allegiance to the United States he was set at Liberty.
That immediately after that he went to the Indians; in a short time after that Returned and went to the Enemy at New York.
Captn. Tyler further says that he was sent to the Indians in a few days after Land left them, on Business to try to make peace, with them.
That the Indians told him that Land had been there and made a great complaint concerning the usage he had received from the Committee.
Captn. Tyler farther declares that a few days ago he heard LANDs Wife say that when he was searched for Letters in 1777 that he outwitted those who searched him by having a Letter concealed in his Ink Stand that was sent from General HOWE to the Commanding Officer at Niagara.
That he then told her she was as bad as her Husband and in his Opinion she had Letters from New York concealed, she declared that as God was her Judge she had not, that her Husband had him them for fear they would be found with him as he expected every Minute to be taken prisoner.
Defence: The prisoner says in his Defence that a certain Hugh JONES, John LORD and an Indian, came to his House in the Evening in April 1777.
That Jones told him that he was going to join BUTLER and BRANDT and that he intended to get the Indians to distroy the Frontiers, upon which he went with them to try to prevent their distroying the Country, on his way he met BRANDT who told him he had no Orders to distroy the Country and murder the Inhabitants except they were in arms against him, and although he was an Indian he Intended to convince the world that he was possessed with Humanity.
After that he returned Home to Coshithton where he remained, till the 21st February following and then being informed that the Indians were coming to distroy Coshithton, he went to New York to try to put a stop to their Depredations, after being there a few days was informed that the Inhabitants would kill him if he returned.
Upon which he concluded to stay in York, and immediately entered into the Kings Yard a Carpenter where he continued working till the last day February 1779.
He then left New York to go to see his Family which was about Twenty Miles west of Coshithton, and move them to Niagara.
That Genl. CLINTON who Commands the British Troops in New York desired him to carry a Letter to the commanding Officer at Niagara, which he refused.
The Genl. then desired him to inform the Commandant at Niagara, that it was his desire that the Indians should not be permitted to continue to ravage and distroy the Frontiers.
Sentence: The Court considering the Case of the prisoner, the Evidence against him, and his Defence are unanimously of Opinion, that he is Guilty of the Charges Exhibited against him, and do therefore Sentence him to suffer Death.
[signed] Eleazr. Lindsley Pres.
*** The Court Adjourn till tomorrow ten Oclock ***
19th March – The Court met according to adjournment.
Prisoner : Edward HICKS Brought before the Court charged with being a Spy, and carrying Intelligence to the Enemy Pleads not Guilty.
Evidence: Lieut. Bennet being sworn saith that about two years ago he heard the prisoner say that he would as willingly kill a Man that fought against the British Troops as kill a Dog.
Captain Spalding being Sworn saith at the Commencement of the present War he was acquainted with the prisoner, and that he had a Mind to engage in the Service of the United States, which he thinks he would have done, had he not been persuaded to the Reverse by his Father, and some other evil minded People.
Defence: The prisoner says in his Defence, that he was formerly an Inhabitant of Susquehannah.
That in April 1777 he left his Fathers House and went to Niagara in Company with about Sixty Tories where he continued about two months, then entered into the Batteaux Service to carry Provisions from Niagara to Oswego where he continued about six weeks, & upon hearing that General Washington had Issued a Proclamation Offering pardon to all those who had joined the Indians if they would Return to their Homes, he imediately set of[f] to return home, but coming in too late to receive the Benefit of the Proclamation was taken by some of the Militia and carried to Hartford in the state of Connecticut and there kept confined till Septr. 78, from thence sent to New York as a prisoner of War and Exchanged, entered into the service of the Enemy in the Commissaries Department till the last day of February 79, when he made his Escape from New York and that on his way to Niagara he was taken by a party of Militia near Coshithton the 24th Inst.
Sentence: The Court considering the Case of the Prisoner, the Evidence for and against him, and his Defence, are unanimously of Opinion that he is Guilty of being a Spy and do Sentence him to be kept in Close Confinement during the War.
Eleazr. Lindsley Pres.
Library of Congress, George Washington Papers, Series 4, Reel 56, 10 February 1779 — 25 March 1779.
From the Quinte Branch of the UEL Assn, Newsletter for Spring 1995 (Vol.6 No.4) a page of undocumented Hicks information. The contributor was “Ealaine Lawlor”. She stated that in 1779 father Edward Hicks, and his son Edward, were captured by the Westmoreland Militia, and held at the Minisink Prison. Father was hanged outside his son’s cell, so the son plotted his escape. Feigning a stomach ailment he was let outside for some fresh air, and there he overpowered his guard, and went on an adventure to escape his captors. Eventually he made it back to British lines. Settlement
American colonists who remained loyal to the British Crown during the American Revolutionary War were consdiered to be Loyalists. At the time they were often called Tories, Royalists, or King’s Men. When their cause was defeated, about 15% of the Loyalists (65,000–70,000 people) fled to other parts of the British Empire, to Britain itself, or to British North America (now Canada). Northern Loyalists largely migrated to Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. They called themselves United Empire Loyalists. Most were compensated with Canadian land or British cash distributed through formal claims procedures. Edward Hicks took advantage of the UEL land grant and settled in Marysburg, Prince Edward County, Ontario.
In 1789, Lord Dorchester, governor-in-chief of British North America, proclaimed that the Loyalists and their children should be allowed to add “UE” to their names, “alluding to their great principle, the Unity of Empire.” As a result, the phrase “United Empire Loyalist,” or UEL, was applied to Loyalists who migrated to Upper and Lower Canada.
In determining who among its subjects was eligible for compensation for war losses, Britain used a fairly precise definition: Loyalists were those born or living in the American colonies at the outbreak of the Revolution who rendered substantial service to the royal cause during the war, and who left the United States by the end of the war or soon after.
We see that Edward Hicks Jr and (the rest of the family) removed to Upper Canada – Ontario. Edward Jr is noted in the “History of the Settlement of Upper Canada (Ontario)” by Wm. Caniff, M.D., Toronto: Dudley & Burns Printers, Victoria Hall, 1869 (pgs 104 and 105).
What We Know About Edward The Spy
Husband: Edward HICKS Jr. (My 6x Great Uncle)
Born: ABT 1761 at: Dutchess Co, New York. Married: ABT 1793 at: North Marysburgh, Prince Edward County, Ont Died: 11 Nov 1832 at: N. Marysburgh Twp, Prince Edward Co, Ontario. Father: Edward “The Loyalist” HICKS. Mother: Elvina (Levina).
Wife: Deborah PRINGLE
Born: 28 Aug 1772 at: Skenesborough, Whitehall, New York. Died: at: Father: Sgt. Timothy PRINGLE, SR (Loyalist). Mother: Huldah WELDON.
Name: John HICKS Born: ABT 1794 at: N. Marysburgh Twp, Prince Edward Co, Ontario. Married: 1828 at: Mulmur Twp, Dufferin Co, Ont. Died: ABT 1870 at: Mulmar Twp, Dufferin Co, Ontario. Spouses: Hannah Elizabeth HYNAMAN.
Name: Edward HICKS Born: 1796 at: Ontario. Married: at: Died: at: Spouses: Lucretia MILLER TAYLOR.
SOURCES 1) Descendants of Edward, “The Loyalist,” Hicks 2) Beecher Family Genealogy
From “Second Report of the Bureau of Archives for the Province of Ontario”, 1904, which printed many of the investigations made by the government into the claims of the Loyalists. Claim # 441, made at Montreal on 6th March, 1788 (this is a verbatim transcript photocopied by Dale Halliday at the UEL Library in Toronto): (This claim is made by Ed, Jr on behalf of his father Ed. SR)
*** Evidence on the Claim of EDWARD HICKS, late of Susquehana, now of Pensilvania Cataraqui, Bay of Quinty. (note: probably means “late of Susquehana, Pensilvania, now of Catarqui, Bay of Quinty”; Cataraqui was the old name for Kingston ON, the nearest town to Marysburgh. D.H.)
Claimt (son, Edward Jr.) Sworn: Says he was in Butlers Rangers in 1783 & sent a claim to England by Capt. Gummersal. He is a native of America. In 1775 he lived on the Susquehana with his Father. He joined the British Army in 1777 & served the War in Butlers Rangers. He now resides at Bay of Quinty. The Claim is for his Father’s Property. He died 1780 at New York & had served in Butler’s Rangers. There are 5 Boys & 2 Girls alive, all in Canada. His Mother is alive & married to Joseph Wright in the Bay of Quinty. He had 600 Acres on the Susquehana. He bought it of the Pensilvania & Connecticut Claimts. before the War. He had 25 acres cleared. He can not tell who has it now. Lost his Stock, Farming Utensils, Furniture.
Wits. WILLIAM FRANKS Sworn: Remembers Ed. Hicks Lands. He had a farm on the Susquehana. He had considerable Clearance & a pretty large Stock of Cattle. The rebels took greatest part.
Wits. G. KENTNER Sworn: Hicks deceased was always Loyal; on the same title as the others there. He had 20 acres cleared & had a good Stock of Cattle & Horses. Claimt. is a good soldier.
April 25 Edward Hicks produces a paper signed by 2 of his Brs., Danl. & Joseph, agreeing that he shd. receive what is due to them & also answering for the younger Brs. & Sisters.”
I’m sure the Hicks have way more interesting history to offer us … I am going to continue my research down this line for sure!
12 thoughts on “On Genealogy: The Loyalist, The Spy and The American Revolution”
Thank you for your thorough research of Edward Hicks! I am a descendant of different Edward Hicks, who also had a son named Edward Hicks, who was in the British Army. Many people confuse the two families; some consider them the same men. I appreciate your careful regard for the truth.
I gotta favorite this website it seems invaluable very helpful
I have really enjoyed your blog – thank you. I’m a Pringle descendant.
Thanks for reading … genealogy is a passion of mine. I love discovering new things about my family and where I come from 🙂
Thank you for reading … interesting …. I wonder if I have any relation to the Pringle’s as well?
I’m a descendant of Edward Hicks! Not sure where to find a proper family tree but my great grandfather is roger Hicks if that helps any – Jessie Hicks
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See Subterranean Cinema’s comment — it goes back on the lineage pretty far back! Now I have some more awesome digging to do 🙂
Donald Dewayne Hicks – Raymond Leland Hicks – Leland George Hicks – George Washington Hicks – Silas David Hicks – Joseph M Hicks – Edward “The Spy” Hicks – Edward “The Loyalist” Hicks – Isaac Hicks II – Isaac Hicks I (Judge) – Thomas Hicks (Judge) – John Hicks (Settler) – Robert Hicks (Fortune passenger) – James Hicks – Sir Baptist Hicks – Thomas Hicks – John Bennet Hicks of Tortworth – thru Sir Ellis Hicks and Lord Cerdic to the original Hwiccas tribe of the Anglo-Saxons @ Gloucestershire since the 8th century.
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Wow! Really? Thank you so much for sharing! I’ll have to dig further into it now. Much appreciated! Are you also a descendant?
I loved your blog. I am also a decendent of Edward Hicks Sr. (the Loyalist) thru his son Benjamin Hicks. I am currently trying to write a Family tree and sort of a history of our family. I have managed to trace our line from 1170 to present day but I am always looking for info on our long lost generations. I will be sure to check back now and then to see if you have anything new .. Thank you
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If you find anything interesting please share … I wonder how we are connected?
Hi Tina! You’re my 6th cousin 1x removed via Joseph’s brother Joshua Hicks & his wife Margaret Dulmage’s descendants. I’m heading to Niagara on the Lake this June to take a picture of the Butler’s Burying Place plaque. (https://uelac.ca/monuments/butlers-rangers-plaque/) I have a lot of other United Empire Loyalist families in my tree, not just the Hicks. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to chat!