This is the latest list of Ferris family members that appear to have supported the King during the American Revolution. Most went to Canada with the evacuation of United Empire Loyalists in the early 1780s, and most returned to the United States.
The largest group of Ferrises in Canada, however, cannot be linked to any lineage at this point. There is a great deal of confusion in the “unofficial” records of the era and some outright errors. The John / George Ferris issues will be discussed later in this post.
This private website lists a number of Ferris Loyalists. Here is that list and my best guess as to who those men are.
- Caleb: No suspect
- George: A George Ferris (1767-1839), who married Jemima Travis and Sarah Carpenter, is this best candidate. Spent some time in Canada but returned to New York.
- Joshua: No clear candidate but I suspect Joshua Ferris, born 1735, and married Hannah Bowne. The Old United Empire Loyalist List. A Joshua is said to be the son of Caleb in this piece, Joshua Ferris had an excuse – forgot about the Revolution
- Joseph: Joseph Ferris (1746-1836). The easiest of all to trace. An officer with Butler’s Rangers. He spent a short time in Maine during the War of 1812, when the British held the area, but for the most part lived in Canada after the Revolution.
- Peter: None of the many Peter Ferrises leap out as a Tory. I am, very tentatively, naming Peter Ferris, son of Joshua Ferris and Hannah Bowne. This is based on my suspicion that his father is the Joshua above.
John / George Ferris
The records are confused about this (these) individuals. I believe that early chroniclers may have confused two separate men into one. As I note in the list, at least one George Ferris returned to the United States. John Ferris did not.
It is reported that John Ferris’s will named the following children:
Joseph, William, George, John, Margaret, Mary, Rebecca, Jane, Elizabeth, Catherine and Sally.
This individual married Mary Perkins in Canada. A marriage on Staten Island before the UEL exodus, to a Mary Stillwell, is often assigned to this man, as well. It is “possible” that the two women are one and the same, however no clear evidence exists.
The Old United Empire Loyalist List
This John Ferris has no link to any lineage at this time.