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The Thomas Swords Family

Site administrator's note regarding Mary Swords' "Oath" of 25 June 1795:

Ms. Hoppin in 1976 was working without the benefit of the Internet and its thousands of historic documents now available worldwide. Today we can see images and transcriptions of documents which, while available almost thirty years ago, were then nowhere near as accessible.

Some of these documents indicate as invalid the conclusion reached by Ms. Hoppins, i.e. that the oath to which the document refers was an oath of allegiance to the United States.

It was, in fact, an oath to the Sovereign of England. It was administered at Missisquoi Bay in southern Quebec before four commissioners. Various pages on the Internet now offer lists of persons who swore their allegiance in oaths taken in that vicinity in that period. Those pages include


Canada Archives No. C-2569, Vol. 205, Petitions "Wilcox - Wilson"
Latter Day Saints US/CAN 1631065
"RETURN of Persons who have taken the Oaths & subscribed the Declaration required by Law; before the Commifsioners at Missiskouie Bay from 26th July to 25th October 1795."

The oath was probably the one illustrated in Canada in the Making: Constitutional History - The Quebec Act 1774. (

image of oath from Quebec Act

Unfortunately, Mrs. Swords' oath was among those recorded on a page not yet transcribed and available on the Internet. Perhaps that page covering the dates around June 25th is lost. All of the commissioners whose names appear on the illustrated certificate, though, are well-known and documented Loyalists:

Henry Ruiter of Pittstown, N.Y., had been hiding in the woods for three months before the battle, while the rebels "abused his wife greatly," and finally joined Pfister's corps on August 1 with 40 men. His brother, John Ruiter of Hoosick, joined Baum's force at Walloomsac with about 60 more.
("The Symposium on the Battle of Bennington"

On a LIST OF LANDS GRANTED BY THE CROWN IN THE PROVINCE OF QUEBEC FROM 1763 TO 31st DECEMBER 1890 appears one Henry Ruiter who on 27 July 1803 was granted 27,680 acres.

Halifax contained 700 houses and 4,000 people.
Col. Philip Luke, a United Empire Loyalist, arrived in Quebec with his entourage of slaves.
(QUEBEC HISTORY 1775 - 1799 )
To the west of Abercorn, beyond Pinnacle Mountain lies the former Seigniory of St Armand and the site of the mill at the mouth of Pike River on Missisquoi Bay, where the first Abercorn settlers took their grain. Black slaves who were imported after the American Revolution by an Englishman, Philip Luke, worked the land of the former seigniory, a large plantation, until 1833 when slavery was abolished.
("Looking for Abercorn" by Joe Palmer
Humphrey "Toalman" was granted Lot #23 in the Third Range of lots situated in the Township of Sutton on 31 August 1802 by "His Majesty". On 17 August 1801 he went before Leon Lalanne, notary, and said that as one of the applicantsfor land in Sutton, he had previously promised to convey any land granted him to Patrick Conroy, Esquire. This document passed before Peter Lukin and Louis Chaboillez, notaries, 12 April 1796 by which Humphrey promised this land in return for Conroy's payment of money to which Tolman was bound as an Associate and and an additional 7 pounds 10 shillings. On 6 July 1804, Mr. Conroy arranged that Humphrey go before a notary and give a deed over to Guy Mills, with his expenses paid by Mr. Mills. This was done 9 July 1804. On 23 July 1807, Patrick Conroy discharged "Humphrey Toalman of Sutton" from all claims he had against him for a bond or obligation he had given him for his Associate's Rights in Sutton ( )
Albercorn, St. Armand, and Sutton are all near the northernmost extremity of Lake Champlain, the part of that lake extending into Quebec and known as Missisquoi Bay.

This raises the question whether the Mrs. Mary Swords who "took the oaths, and subscribed the declaration" at Missisquoi Bay in 1795 was Mary widow of Thomas Swords, Loyalist of Saratoga County, or another Mrs. Mary Swords who was wife (or widow) of another loyalist named Swords.

Interestingly, during this research the name of a lease-holder was found for a property granted during the "Double Concession of 1854" in Edwardstown, a region in the southern area of the Seigniory of Beauharnois. It was bounded on the north and northeast by the Norton Creek and Williamstown region, on the west and south by the English River. It included the Village of St-Chrysostome, Quebec. Again, this is an area not far from Missisquoi Bay. The leaseholder was one James Swords.

Lynn Calvin
Site Coordinator, Saratoga County NYGenWeb
January 25, 2004

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