Saturday, February 22, 2014

Muster Roll of the Whitby Company

     I have decided to come back and use the blog again since someone appears to be attempting to hijack the account. Rather than delete all of my articles, which I am sure someone out there is enjoying, I am going to also write about Canadian history. I have been spending a large amount of time sifting through various archival collections and I have found many gems that would be great to share with people. So, this is my first 'share': a muster list that will likely be a gift for anyone researching their family history in Southern Ontario.

     Ely Playter was a United Empire Loyalist and a resident of Toronto, then called York, during the War of 1812-1814. He kept a diary for most of his life. Unfortunately, he stopped writing for sometimes a year and a half around the time of the war, often when things got most interesting. He was a Lieutenant in the 3rd Regiment of the York Militia and in August 1812, he took a count of the men in his unit who showed up for muster. This is not on any conventional list, like the microfilms at the Library and Archives Canada because he wrote it in his diary. All spelling is as in his diary.

Here it is, transcribed

Muster Roll of the Whitby Company - Commanded by Lieutenant Playter, 3rd Regiment of York Militia on the (blank) day of August 1812-
                                                                                     arms, nature of
number   names                                            rank           musket/ Fusil/ rifle     remarks
1            Ely Playter                                Lieutenant    
2            Donold McAuther                    Ensign
1            Eleazer Lockwood      drafted   Sargt.
2            James Cole                              2nd Sargt.
3            Moody Tarewell                      3rd Sargt.
1            Jabes Lynde x                           Private                             2
2             Enoch Davis x drafted              3rd
3             John Still Gund            ditto        3rd                                   1
4             Henry Crawford             ditto         3
5             Caleb Crawford x           ditto         3
6             John Clawson x                               3                                1
7             William Groat                 ditto          3
8              Stephen Smith                                 3                                             nearsighted
9             Abel Crane                     ditto           3                                1
10           William Annice x                           1st                               1
11           John Stephens x                              3                         1                          sick
12           Jonathan Stephens                           3    
13           Joseph Stephens                              3                                           1
14           Russell Hoag Jones(?)  x                3
15           William Hall                                   1st
16            David Willson                                1st
17            John Dehart                                    2nd
18            Jacob Dehart                                  2nd                              1
19            Joseph Smith                ditto          2nd         
20            Henry McGahan          ditto
21            Thomas McGahan                                                                              delirious
22             Samuel Cole                                  2nd                                          1
23             James Huntington                          3rd  

I don't know whether the 'x' means that the man showed up for muster of was missing. Ely was frustrated at times at how few showed up when they were called so the low number of 'x's' could be the few who actually came. I believe the ditto is for 'drafted'. There appears to have been classes of privates. Playter never did comment further on Thomas McGahan who was 'delirious' although it would have been nice to know more. He wrote these entries for his own use and did not expect they would be so interesting to us 200 years later.
There is a second page which I will transcribe another day.

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