Loyalists in the Maritimes — Ward Chipman Muster Master's Office, 1777–1785

The coming of the Loyalists, 1783
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The Records

Ward Chipman, a prominent lawyer, judge and Loyalist, was born on July 30, 1754, in Marblehead, Massachusetts and died on February 9, 1824, in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

In July 1783, Chipman settled in Nova Scotia. With the creation of New Brunswick in 1784, he was appointed Solicitor General of the province. In 1806, he was appointed to the Legislative Council and in 1809 to the bench of the New Brunswick Supreme Court. He resigned from the latter position to become administrator of the province in April 1823.

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) holds the Ward Chipman fonds (MG 23 D1). Covering the years 1751–1844, the 7.3 m of textual records and 3 microfilm reels contain business records and papers relating to the Loyalists and to the boundary commissions.

These records refer mostly to Loyalists who eventually settled in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia or Prince Edward Island. They include references to wives and children of Loyalists, some soldiers of British regiments and black members (slaves or free individuals) of Loyalist regiments and consist of the following types of documents:

  • Abstract
  • Account
  • Casualty return
  • Correspondence
  • Land grant
  • Muster roll
  • Provision list
  • Receipt
  • Return of prisoners
  • Return of settlers

The Database

This database provides access to over 19,000 references to the Muster Master's office sub-series (1777–1785), contained in volumes 24 to 27 of the Ward Chipman fonds held at LAC.

Staff members had originally created a nominal card index to the volumes. Information from the cards was input into this database. The volumes were consulted to verify the original indexing.

The content of the database entries reflects the original language used in the documents. This information was not translated.

Important note: Given that some of the original documents are very difficult to read, some information in the database may be incorrect and/or incomplete.

Search Screen

The search screen allows you to search by:

  • Surname
  • Given Name(s)
  • Place
  • Group/Regiment

Note that some entries include only an initial for the given names. Try searching by surname only.

Black people can be identified by entering the words "black pioneers", "black servant" or "Negro" in the group box. Try searching only by given name. Note than an individual may be identified only by given name in some documents and then by given name and surname in another document (e.g., "Fortune" and "Fortune Sterling").

When you have entered your search terms, click on "Submit". The number of hits found will be shown at the top of the results screen.

How to Interpret the Results

Your search results will be posted as a results summary list from which you will be able to obtain an item description.

Search Results Page

The search results page displays the following fields:

  • Item Number
  • Surname
  • Given Name(s)
  • Place
  • Group/Regiment

Click on the underlined Item Number of a record to access the Item page, which contains additional information specific to that record.

Item Page

The item page has digitized images of the original records available in JPG format and contains the following fields:

  • Given Name(s)
  • Surname
  • Year
  • Place
  • Group/Regiment
  • Type of Records
  • Records Title
  • Reference
  • Item Number

To suggest a correction, click on the Suggest a Correction link to access an electronic form.

To return to the Search Results page, click on the Back button of your browser in the upper left corner of your screen

How to Obtain Copies

You can print the images or save the images on your own computer. To print a copy of a scanned image, right click on the image, select copy, then paste to your word processing software, using the Edit: Paste Special Feature: Device Independent Bitmap.

How to Access Library and Archives Canada Records.

Other Resources

Other archival Loyalist records exist. Consult Loyalists for more information about these records.