Gerolamy service with the Glengary Light Ifantry Fencibles
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Author:  taffy1944 [ Wed Apr 28, 2010 6:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Gerolamy service with the Glengary Light Ifantry Fencibles

Greetings, I'm the new guy on the block.

For a number of years I've been doing historical research on my UEL ancestor James Gerolamy .
Throughout this work I've had in the back of my mind a paragraph I read in Wm. Canniff's history about the settlement of the Bay of Quinte. The paragraph stated that... "James Gerolamy, and his two sons, James and John, served through the war of 1812, under General Provost, Brock and Drummond. The old man holding the rank of Orderly, and his son James that of Lieutenant. The latter received a grant of 1000 acres of land for services as a "spy", he was one of the number who planned the successful attempts upon Oswego, Black Rock and Buffalo, and at the battle of Niagara, generally known as"Lundy's Lane".

As an historian I've always been suspicious about these claims especially since the source was one J.B. Ashley, James' great grandson. I dismissed it as just so much family "lore". Besides how could James Jr be a Lieutenant when he was only 18 years at the outbreak of the War of 1812?

In any case, I've continued to research the various land grants to the family and recently found 2 Petitions to Lt. Governor Gore that specifically state that James Sr., James Jr., and John did indeed enlist in The Glengary Light Infantry Fencibles in early 1812 and served until they were discharged by Lt. Col. Battersby in April 1815. Based on their service they were granted location tickets for 100 acres each since, as stated in the documents, they were PRIVATES in the Glengary Lt. Infantry along with other privates of the Regiment...William Hoyt, Christopher O'Brian(sic) and Philip Criller. (So much for the 1000 acre grant to "Lt". James Jr for his service as a SPY) :roll:

One of these petitions has an attachment from Lt. Col. Battersby certifying that James Sr., James Jr., and John... "served in the Glengary Light Infantry during the whole of the late war with United States of America & were discharged having served the full period for which they enlisted"

Later land grants to James Sr and James Jr under Order in Council, dated 23 June, 1828, also list them as privates in the "Gleny Fencibles". Anyhow, I'm very happy to find that they did serve in the War of 1812-1814.

As an aside, the difficulty in all this is that the Gerolamy surname has presented a lot of difficulty throughout my research. For example, the petitions have their name correctly spelled while the land grants in some cases are spelled Jerollamy or Jerolomy and in land grants based upon UEL or DUE and SUE have the name correctly spelled...somtimes. I have learned that The Gerolamys are listed in Mr. Johnston's book as Gerolonig. PLEASE NOTE I'M NOT CRITICIZING THE AUTHOR.

It has recently occurred to me that the problem is probably a result that the surname is both unusual and uncommon and therefore not a name that has much if any familiarity. Therefore, when one is reading faded original documents all they can do is make a "best guess". I have spent years reading original documents and microfilm and I can only imagine the accuracy of some of my best guesses. The UEL Association of Canada, for example, has James Gerolamy listed as Durolemy'

Finally I would be more than happy to share all documentation I have with anyone and have more microfilm on the way from the National Archives and would gladly make anything I find available. I would also be happy to offer any assistance I can, without charge, for anyone looking for early land grants in Upper Canada. (My background is that of an historian...B.A., M.A. specializing in Pre- Confederation history)

Sorry for the length of my first post.


Author:  taffy1944 [ Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gerolamy service with the Glengary Light Ifantry Fencibl

I have been continuing my research on my ancestors, the Gerolamys, service in the the Glens and found that Upper Canada Land Petitions contain a wealth of information. The last petition I found absolutely confirms their 3 year service in particular James Gerolamy Jr. One of the documents is his discharge papers. The following is a verbatim transcription of the original document.

"His Majesty's Glengary Light Infantry Fencibles, whereof Major General Edward Baynes is Colonel'

These are to Certify that James Gerolamy Junior,
Third Company in the Regiment aforesaid,
born in the parish of Marysburgh in or near
the Town of Kingston in the County of
Bath, served for the space of Three Years,
but in consequence of having completed his
term of Service

Is hereby discharged, having
first received all just demands of pay, clothing,
etc from his entry into the said Regiment,
to the date of his discharge, as appears by
the receipt on the back hereof.

And to prevent any improper
use being made of this discharge, by its
falling into other hands, the following is a
description of the said James Gerolamy Jr. He is
about nineteen Years of Age, is Six feet 1
Inches in Height, Brown Hair, Brown Eyes, Sallow
complexion & by trade a Labourer.

Given under my hand
and Seal of the Regiment at Adolphustown
this fifth day of April 1815

Fras. Battersby Lt Colonel
Comdr Glengary Regiment."

I would be happy to post the original of the above should there be any interest.

Author:  taffy1944 [ Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gerolamy service with the Glengary Light Ifantry Fencibl

Based on the latest petition I received from which I copied the document in my latest post above I have also found proof that James Jr was involved in spying for the military as alluded to in Mr. Johnston's book. One document by Lt. Colonel Battersby states:

"I Certifying that the above named James Gerolamy
Junior, has served the full period for which
he enlisted as a Brave & faithful soldier,
& has been frequently employed by me in
Secret (sic) services of trust & danger while
before the Enemy, & is entitled to a free
Grant of Hundred acres of Crown land
in either Upper or Lower Canada.

Fras Battersby Lt. Colonel
Comdr Glengary regiment"

Another document confirms that not only James Jr but also James Sr was involved in similar missions.

" York 23rd March 1819

I do hereby certify that James
Gerolamy and his two sons served in
The Grenadier Company of of the Glengary
Regiment during the late War,
and that I have frequently heard Lt. Colonel
Battersby and their Captain (Cochrane)
speak in high terms of their intelligence
and bravery as soldiers, and it is
within my own knowledge that they
have been sent more than once to
escort officers on secret service, in canoes.

James FitzGibbon
Capt. late Glengary Regt."

All of the documents which this and the above post have been transcribed have come from Upper Canada Land Petitions found in RG1, L3 National Archives of Canada. In this particular instance RG 1, L3, Vol. 206, Bundle G12/20 on reel C - 2030. I would urge anyone who has an ancestor who was a member of the Regiment to check out The Upper Canada Land Petitions.

Finally does anyone know if Mr. Johnston is considering issuing a second edition of his excellent book? The book is now only available through interlibrary loan and I haven't as yet been able to find a copy for myself in used book stores or on line.


Author:  Glengarry Fencible [ Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gerolamy service with the Glengary Light Ifantry Fencibl

That's interesting about the grenadier company.

I'll see if we have any books left, and try to find Winston's contact information.

Author:  taffy1944 [ Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gerolamy service with the Glengary Light Ifantry Fencibl

Yes I was a bit surprised by that reference although I have seen mention of various companies of the Regiment being deployed along side Grenadiers. For example in the attack on Sacketts Harbour, a company of the Glens were part of a detachment consisting of .."the Grenadier Company of the 100th with one Section of the Royal Scots - 2 Companies of the 8th (or Kings), 4 of the 104th & 2 of the Canadian Voltigeurs...and a Company of the Glengary Light Infantry..". There were also of few instances of the Glens operating with the Grenadiers in the Niagara campaigns'

I found this information in a 3 volume work entitled Select British Documents of The Canadian War of 1812 by William Wood published by the Champlain Society between 1920 & 1928. This work consists of nothing but official dispatches , orders and memorandums. There is no narrative or interpretation just the actual documents. They make great reading.

For example there is a dispatch to Lt. Colonel Fischer outlining in minute detail how the Right Column was to carry out the night attack on Fort Erie, right down to .."In order to ensure success, the Lieut. General most strongly recommends that the flints are taken out of the flintlocks with the exception of a Reserve of select and steady men who may be permitted to retain flints...not exceeding one third of your force"
Fortunately the books are available to be read online at:


Once you get to the site select author in the drop down box , in the second box type in William Wood and hit find and voila a list of the volumes appears and you are free to read and print whatever you like.

If you can find a copy of Mr. Johnston"s book I would really appreciate it. I e-mailed the author about the possibility of a second edition but no response so far.


Author:  Glengarry Fencible [ Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gerolamy service with the Glengary Light Ifantry Fencibl

That's an amazing resource! Thanks! :D

Author:  taffy1944 [ Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gerolamy service with the Glengary Light Ifantry Fencibl

My pleasure :) Enjoy

Author:  taffy1944 [ Thu Jun 10, 2010 3:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gerolamy service with the Glengary Light Ifantry Fencibl

I have recently come across a website by Randy Saylor that has a fair bit of information relating to land grants to about 80 discharged soldiers of the Glen.

http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.anc ... index.html

Once there click on Militia Records the scroll down to Military Settlements 1816. Great work by the owner of the website!

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