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Welcome to the Hamilton Branch

United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada

The United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada (UELAC) is an organization dedicated to enriching the lives of Canadians through knowledge of the past, in particular the history of the United Empire Loyalists and their contribution to the development of Canada.

We are the Hamilton, Ontario branch of that association.

Monthly Meetings

WHEREAll Hamilton Branch monthly meetings are held at
St. Matthew on-the-Plains Anglican Church
126 Plains Rd. E.
WHENThe third Thursday of February, March, April, October, and November

Monthly meetings start at 7:30 p.m.
All are welcome!
HOWWe conduct meetings in-person and hybrid for remote attendance.
SPEAKERSSee the complete list of upcoming speakers
For more information, email Pat Blackburn

Upcoming Meetings

Monthly Meeting — Thursday, October 17, 2024 at 7:30 pm

Speaker: Jean Rae Baxter

Topic: Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic — Early Schools

Portrait of Jean Rae Baxter

Jean Rae Baxter was born in Toronto and grew up in Hamilton, but “down home” was the region of Essex and Kent Counties on the north shore of Lake Erie where her ancestors had settled. There were many family stories to awaken her interest in Canada’s past, and frequently, in these stories, the lives of settlers were interwoven with those of First Nations people.

After earning her B.A. and M.A. from the University of Toronto and a B.Ed degree from Queen’s, she lived for many years in the Kingston area, where her interest in Loyalist history led her to find out more about such figures as the Rev’d John Stuart, Sir William Johnson, and Molly Brant. Her career as a teacher began in Lennox & Addington County, Loyalist country twenty miles west of Kingston. While teaching at Napanee District Secondary School, she helped to develop Language Arts Curriculum in liaison with the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (O.I.S.E.).

Following her career in education, she returned to Hamilton and became a full-time author. As well as writing novels and short stories, she was a member of the committee that organizes Hamilton’s Lit Live Reading Series and also served as Co-chair of the Literary Advisory Committee, Hamilton Arts Council. In 2016 she returned to Kingston, where she now lives and writes.

Bio credit:
Photo credit:

Past Meetings

United Empire Loyalist Day — Wednesday, June 19, 2024 at 11:00 am

Speaker: Robin McKee

Topic: The Debate — Who was first to the area, the Beasleys, the Lands or the Mills?

Robin McKee is passionate about Canadian history, and especially Hamilton’s history. He is a graduate of both McMaster University, with a BA in History, and Mohawk College, with a certificate in Broadcast Television. He has also completed the Ontario Museum Association certificate courses and is a qualified museum worker. Robin has lived in Hamilton since 1971 and has worked at CHCH-TV as an on-air audio man.

Robin began his active journey in history at Ruthven Park, Cayuga. In 1992, he was a founding member of the Lower Grand River Land Trust, Inc., which was successful in acquiring the property. He set up the archives, researched the Thompson family, and sat on the board for 7 years. He was Haldimand’s LACAC Chairman for 6 years and serves on Hamilton’s LACAC (the Municipal Heritage Committee). He is also President of the Hamilton Mountain Heritage Society. Robin is a member of the Head of the Lake Historical Society, the Mountain Heritage Society, the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario (ACO-Hamilton), and the Beach Lighthouse Group. He also serves on the Hamilton Historical Board, Doors Open Hamilton, and Community Heritage Ontario (CHO).

Bio and photo credit:

Monthly Meeting — Thursday, April 18, 2024 at 7:30 pm

Photo credit: Simcoe Reformer

Speaker: Mike McDonnell

Topic: Canadians in the American Civil War

Mike McDonnell, a retired police officer and published historian, was born and raised in Burlington but has lived in Norfolk County most of his life. His interest in the American Civil War goes back to the age of ten or twelve when he read an article in National Geographic magazine about the Battle of Gettysburg. After seeing the classic fold-out maps accompanying that article, Mike was hooked. He still has that same magazine.

Besides being a member of the Toronto Civil War Round Table, he belongs to the Friends of Gettysburg (a group dedicated to preserving that battlefield) and does volunteer work there with the National Park Service.

Monthly Meeting — Thursday, March 21, 2024 at 7:30 pm

Speaker: Nathan Tidridge MSM FRCGS

Topic: Canada’s King — Charles III and Reconciliation

Nathan Tidridge is a teacher at Waterdown District High School teaching Civics, Treaty Studies, as well as Canadian and World History. 

Nathan has authored six books, chapters, and many articles exploring the Crown in Canada, including its relationships with Indigenous Peoples, as well as Canadian identity and local history. He has been published in The Globe and MailToronto StarMaclean’s MagazineThe Public Policy & Governance Review and appeared on a number of television and radio programs.

Nathan is vice president of the Institute for the Study of the Crown in Canada, advisor to the Prince’s Charities Canada/Prince’s Trust Canada and a Keeper of the Chapel Royal Tobacco Beds. You can learn more here.

Annual General Meeting — Tuesday, February 27, 2024 at 7:30 pm

Speaker: Paul Warner UE

Topic: The Life of a Loyalist in Vermont

Did you know that Vermont was a self-declared independent republic from 1777 to 1791, that it was not part of the so-called United States of America? Did you know that there were negotiations that, had they been successful, would have made Vermont our eleventh province?

The life of a Loyalist in Vermont was unlike that of a Loyalist anywhere else in the colonies. We’re going to hear the story of Colonel Samuel Wells and his family, as a starting point for understanding what it was like to be a Loyalist in the Vermont Republic.

In an earlier life, Paul was a mining company executive and consultant whose career took him to live in seven countries and to work in many more. Now, in retirement, much of his work is as a family historian, and he’s been blessed with some interesting history to work with. His paternal ancestors played a central role in building what is now the Beaches district of Toronto. His maternal ancestors include both Loyalists and so-called “Patriots,” and he’s related by marriage to the famous feuding Hatfields and McCoys.

Please join us in person or by the Zoom link that will be sent out closer to the date of our meeting. Please contact Pat Blackburn if you don’t receive it.

Christmas Luncheon — December 9, 2023

WHERE:Millgrove United Church Hall
Millgrove, Ontario
WHEN:December 9, 2023 12:30 p.m.
MENU:Full roast beef dinner with squares for dessert
COST OF TICKET:$35 per plate for adults
$15 per plate for children 14 and under

Send cheque, “Hamilton Branch UELAC” or money order to:
Gloria Howard, Treasurer
409 – 908 Mohawk Rd. E
Hamilton ON L8T 2R8

Monthly Meeting — November 16, 2023

Speaker: Ed Keenleyside

Mr. Ed Keenleyside, a retired seemingly master of everything, with interest in the Burlington Historical Society and Freeman Train Station, will be our speaker for November.

Remembrance Day will be his main focus using his research/work relating to the Burlington Cenotaph and the identification of the 82 local fatalities from WW1 and WW2 listed on the monument.

We have a very appropriate topic for November and now we need a good audience to appreciate the subject. Hope to see you out or on the screen for ZOOM if you are unable to attend in person.