A Quaker in the militia? Pacificism is one of the basic tenets of the Quakers. Moreover, during the War of 1812 Quakers, Mennonites and Tunkers could be exempt from the usually compulsory military duty thanks to Sir John Graves Simcoe and the Militia Act of 1808. Yet Ira Bearss, 1789-1874, a Quaker, served with the 3rd Regiment Lincoln Militia during the War of 1812. Ira’s brother Daniel Bearss, 1788-1850, served in the same regiment as did a third brother, Josiah Bearss, 1791-1879. Josiah’s grave in Zion Cemetery, Ridgeway, Ontario, has already been commemorated with a War of 1812 veterans marker.
The Van Every’s were early pioneers in the Mohawk Valley of Upper New York. During the American Revolution, the Van Every’s remained true to the British Crown and fought alongside the British Army. Suffering persecution from their neighbours following the end of the war, they sought land grants in Upper Canada and Andrew Van Every, who was the second eldest son of MacGregory Van Every, was granted 200 acres consisting of Lots 12-13, Concession 1, West Flamboro.
John Ward was born in England in 1771 and joined the British Army. He is mentioned in John Gray’s novel, Soldiers of the King on page 156 as being a Private in the Flank Company 1st Regiment Kent Militia. Ward returned to England after the War of 1812 having left his wife and small child there. Ward applied for a land grant in Canada West and settled in the Burford area. He outlived his wife and son and died at the age of 83 in 1855. He is buried in the Congregational Cemetery in Burford.
Recently the Historical Military Establishment of Upper Canada, home of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment re-enactors, held it’s 25th Anniversary.
The Midland Mirror ran a short article on the gathering that can be read here.
Among the many presentations, Lyn Downer and Seaghan Hancocks prepared this video review of the success of the Graveside Project honouring the War of 1812 veterans.
The music heard throughout is an original composition by Richard Rodwell who has kindly contributed his time and skills in support of this project. It may be downloaded from his website at www.RichardRodwell.com
We hope you enjoy it.
Sincerely, Graveside Project Team.
In 1812 Zachariah Hainer joined the 1st Regiment Lincoln Militia. At age fifty-one, he was a seasoned soldier, a veteran of the American Revolution, one of Butler’s Rangers. His second military experience, in the War of 1812, was much shorter than his first fight. On 24 Oct 1812, Zachariah Hainer was “declared unfit for service” and entered on the Pension List. By December he was very ill. On 2 Feb 1813, Zachariah Hainer died of disease.
Zachariah Hainer was born on 22 Jul 1761 in Rhinebeck, New York at Livingstone Manor. The Hainer (or Haner or Heiner or Hoener) family had been living here ever since they left the Palatine area of Germany in 1710. Zachariah was a third generation North American. When some of the American colonists rebelled against Britain, he remained loyal. At age nineteen, he was one of Butler’s Rangers, serving in Captain O’Hare’s Company as a sergeant.
When the Revolution ended, Zachariah emigrated to the Niagara Peninsula, as did so many of Butler’s Rangers. As a reward for his loyal service, he was granted , in 1796, three hundred acres of land in Wainfleet Township, parts of Lot 6 & 7 Conc 6 & 7 (UCLP H1/18). He did not settle on his Wainfleet property. He chose instead to live in Grantham, now part of St. Catharines.
On 19 Mar 1796 or 1797 (accounts vary) Zachariah married Sophia, neé Brown or Braun, widow of Jacob Lutz. She had a daughter, Magdalena, from her first marriage. It may have been a second marriage for Zachariah as well. Together Zachariah and Sophia had these children:
- Eve Hainer, 1797-
- Catherine Hainer, 1799-
- John Brown Hainer, 1802-1884
- James Hainer, 1806-1870
- Mary Ann Hainer, 1810-1877
When war was declared in June of 1812, Zachariah’s youngest child was not yet two years old. After his death, Zachariah’s widow Sophia made a claim for losses suffered during the War “taken month December 1813 during War — oats, hay, blankets and nails.” (NAC MfmT1128)
The burial place of Zachariah Hainer is unknown. He probably lies somewhere in Grantham Township where he lived. Years later his widow moved to Esquesing Township where she died in 1845 and is buried in Limehouse Cemetery. Although it is very unlikely that he is buried with her, her headstone remembers him in the wording,
“Sophia Hainer wife of Zachariah Hainer”
John Grace¹ was born in Ireland on March 23, 1779. He joined the Royal Newfoundland Regiment of Fencible Infantry on December 14, 1804 and during the War of 1812 he was present at the Battle of York on April 27, 1813. He was in the 2nd Company under the command of Captain William Morris from 1811 to 1814 and was discharged on June 24, 1816 when the regiment was disbanded.
Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Clement UE, 1st Regiment Lincoln Militia (1790-1867)
Joseph Clement was born in Niagara Township on the 24 Aug 1790. He was the son of United Empire Loyalists, James Clement and Catherine (neé) Crysler, daughter of Loyalist, Adam Chrysler. James appeared on the muster of the Lincoln militia as early as 1797 according to A Holden papers at the Mayholme Library. The History of that Branch of the Crysler Family who Settled in the Township of Niagara by John M Crysler indicates that James was a despatch carrier and held the rank of Lieutenant during the War of 1812.
Walter Dittrick was born on the 31 May 1793 on the family farmstead, 12 Mile Creek St. Catharines, Upper Canada as recorded in the family bible (St. Catharines Public Library, Special Collections). He was the fourth son of Sergeant Jacob Dittrick, former Butler’s Ranger, and Margaret Pickard. She was the daughter of William Pickard who along with two of his sons were also members of Captain Bernard Frey’s Company of Butler’s Rangers.
Captain James Dittrick, commanded the Flank Company in Colonel Robert Nellis’s 4th Regiment Lincoln Militia. Of all five brothers who served in the flank companies of the Lincoln Militia during the War, James’s career is the most thoroughly documented. His “Reminisces of the early years of settlement in Niagara and St. Catharines” was published in the “Loyalist Narratives” compiled by British author George Coventry in 1860 and reprinted many times since; most recently by the Champlain Society. He was also interviewed by Benson Lossing who reported this meeting in the Pictorial Field Book of the War of 1812 published in 1869. Being a contemporary, and neighbour of William Hamilton Merritt, he is mentioned several times (often competitively) in the Biography of the Honouable William Hamilton Merritt, authored by Merritt’s younger son. James is also recorded in the ”Merritt Papers” preserved by the Archives of Ontario.
Jacob Dittrick was born on the 12 Mile Creek at the family’s farmstead on the 12 Feb 1791 in St. Catharines. He was the son of Sergeant Jacob Dittrick of Captain Walter Butler’s Company (and later Captain Peter Hare’s Company) Butlers Rangers. Before the Revolutionary War Jacob senior was a Ranger in John Butler’s Colonial Indian Department, living along the Mohawk River in New York where their farm of several generations was located. Writing in the Loyalist Reminisces published in 1861 brother James reported the farm was situated 30 miles east of Utica New York.