Ancestral Notes

My Family History blog

Historic Honeymoon Destination


When my husband and I were married in 2oo1, the only place we even thought about going was Niagara Falls. We had no idea why, maybe because it is traditional, or close, but we were drawn to the area.

We went to all the usual historical tourist attractions in the area,

Laura Secord’s monument

General Sir Isaac Brock’s monument,

scene of the Battle of Queenston Heights,


Fort George in Niagara-on-the-lake,

and the locks at the Welland Canal.

I started researching my family history four years later, and to my surprise, both of our families lived at Niagara for generations after the Revolutionary war before coming to Essex County. After I discovered this, we planned an extended camping trip, with a side-trip to the Niagara region on the way home. We looked at things with fresh eyes.
We visited Doan’s Ridge Cemetery in Welland County and found my 3rd great-grandmothers’ gravestone,

most of the family stones were too illegible to read, but I knew from talking with the caretaker that those were thier gravestones.

We looked for Butler’s baracks, stopped at a small church and asked someone for directions, and she lived there all her life and didn’t know where it was. The church was right behind the barracks, it used to be part of the barracks!

We toured the Butler’s Barracks and saw where our ancestors hung their hats. The Lincoln Militia use some of the buildings for storage and restoration of different vehicles.

there is a display area with mememtos from the history of the unit.

We went to the Col. John Butler Family burying ground wich had been restored by the
Niagara Hitorical Society.

No trip to Niagara Falls would be complete without a visit to Drummond Hill Cemetery, the scene of the battle for Lundy’s Lane.

Here is a hand-carved pioneer headstone.

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Filed under: Brat/Bradt, Family Files, Genealogy, Haines/Hines, Special Events, , , , , , , , , ,

We Met For The First Time …… Again

My husband in front of Butler’s Barracks,
Niagara-on-the-lake, Ontario

I met my husband for the first time in April of 1998, but something about him seemed so familiar, like we’ve known each other all our lives. As I started researching my family history, I researched his family, the Bradts. I discovered that several of his ancestors were Loyalists, and they served in John Butler’s Corp of Rangers. As a matter of fact, John Butler was married to Catherine Bradt.

I soon was reading all about the Butler’s Rangers and even bought a few books so that I could learn more about them, Ontario People 1796-1803 transcribed and annotated by E. Keith Fitzgerald, Butler’s Rangers, The Revolutionary Period by E. Cruikshank, and a few months ago, An Annotated Nominal Roll of the Butler’s Rangers 1777 – 1784 With Documentary Sources compiled and arranged by Lt.-Col. William A. Smy, OMM, CD, UE.

I learned a lot about where his family came from and where they ended up. Before the Revolutionary war, they lived in Tryon County, New York in the Mohawk Valley. They joined Butler’s Rangers and after the war, they were granted land in the Home District (Niagara region).

When I started reading my latest book, I discovered that my loyalist Haines ancestors came from the Mohawk Valley before the war. They came from Germany about 1760, in all likelyhood, at the request of Sir William Johnson, who wanted to create a town by inviting Scottish and German families to immigrate and lease land from him. According to the book, Joseph Haines, Sr. leased 100 acres from Sir Wiliam Johnson, and raised his family of seven there until the revolutionary war broke out. He and his sons served in the Butler’s Rangers, alongside the Bradts. They went to Lachine, Quebec with the Rangers at the end of the war and were granted land in the Home District.

My great-grandfather was born and raised in Niagara Twp., and moved to Elgin County in the 1880’s and to Essex County in the 1890’s. My husband’s family came from the Niagara area to Haldimand County in the 1870’s and then to Essex County in the 1890’s.

So, it seems like our ancestors were neighbours and possibly friends, so I like to think that it was with some help from both fo our ancestors that we met, and now, five generations later, the Bradt and Haines families are reunited.

Filed under: Brat/Bradt, Family Files, Genealogy, Haines/Hines, Loyalists, , , , , , , ,

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