The Families of Adam Keith

“Once upon a time ...”, family facts and tales


United Empire Loyalist


Jacob Bessey [1762-before 1851]


Ancestry: Adam Keith1>Maria Catherina [Gieg] m. [John George] Slough2>Elizabeth [Slough] m. [Jacob] Bessey3



... Bassey, Jacob ...


From a short biography of James Wheeland, husband of Jacob Bessey's great-granddaughter Margaret Permelia Bessey.


Her great-grandfather was an officer of the Indian Commissary Department during the war [of 1812].


There are few burial plots in the old historic County of Lincoln, whose gravestones mark the last resting place, of so many of the old pioneers of the Niagara District more interesting than the Homer cemetery, on the Hamilton and Grimsby Stone road, about half a mile east of Victoria Lawn Cemetery, St. Catharines. Here side by side in this quiet little spot sleep many members of Colonel John Butler's Rangers, the Lincoln Militia of 1812 fame, the Loyalists of Mackenzies Rebellion, an the Lincoln Militia of the Fenian Raid.


A row of tall Elms on the west side of the little burial ground stand out as silent Sentinels over the remains of some of Canada's best and bravest. The little Ten Mile Creek along whose bank the old soldiers camped and kept their watch fires in the martial days of long ago, sings its unceasing song on the south side if the little green plot in noble memory of the sacred dead.


Here the eye greets such familiar names of the present and of the past century as: Ball, Secord, Schram, Havens, Bessey, Goring, Parnell, Stull, Read, Grass, Hare and many others whose heroism and devotion to the British flag will never fade or pass away with times. On the dust if such men as these the British Empire has been founded, brilliant battles fought and won, and glorious deeds performed.

A loyalist was a term used for an individual living in America who supported England during the Revolutionary War.  Many of these people were “persona non grata” within the borders of the America following the end of the War in 1783 and many of them immigrated to Canada where land grants were made available to them by the British Crown.


United Empire Loyalist Jacob Bessey who fought in Butler's Rangers during the American Revolution and settled on a Loyalist land grant at what is to-day the city of St. Catharines, Ontario.




During the American Revolution, many people (it is estimated one in three) remained loyal to the British Crown. A large number of men and boys enlisted in both the regular British Army and units raised in the colonies for service during the Revolution. These units were known as Provincial Corps, one of which was raised by John Butler, an American Loyalist, from the Mohawk Valley in New York. That corps became known as Butler's Rangers.