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Lewis Frazee

Lewis Frazee was born on November 6, 1763 at Woodbridge, Middlesex County, New Jersey. He was the son of Timothy Frazee and Hannah Freeman. The Frazee Family had lived in New Jersey since the 1660’s when Joseph Frazee, Lewis’ great grandfather took the oath of allegiance at the founding of Elizabethtown, New Jersey on February 19,1666.

Life went on as it should until the outbreak of the American Revolution. Timothy Frazee was a wealthy blacksmith by trade. Having served as a captain in his king’s troops in the French and Indian Wars he refused to take up arms against the king in the revolution. He claimed as many others did to be neutral and took the king’s protection against all losses of property which was to be paid to him after the war.

When the war began, the world of Timothy Frazee began to be destroyed. Timothy owned half of a ship, a freighter worth 15,000 to 21,000 British pounds. After the ship left for the West Indies, it and its cargo were never seen again. It was either lost at sea or taken by rebel privateers.

On June 28,1778, the British lost the Battle of Monmouth and as a result the British began their retreat to New York. While on this retreat 7,000 members of the British Army camped out on the Frazee farm. Even though Timothy showed his protection papers, the Hessian Infantry and Calvary took possession of his house and barn taking all the beds, bedding and clothing. The troops took 2 of his horses, killed 12 head of cattle, 25 or 30 sheep and hogs, most of the geese and chickens, removed everything eatable in the house, took hay and grain from the barn and burned all the fences and some of the out buildings.

Timothy and Hannah Frazee to save their sons Lewis, aged 15, Oliver and William from possible death, sent them to New York where they might receive protection from the ravages of war. Timothy and Hannah had one other son, Morris, who was disowned when he joined up with the Rebels.

Now in the safety of New York, Lewis Frazee and brother, Oliver joined the 2nd Battalion New Jersey Volunteers. Oliver fought in the southern campaign but it is not known where Lewis Frazee served. In New York, Lewis Frazee met and married Catherine Thorn on February 14, 1782 at the Brethren Congregation Church on Staten Island.

At the close of the war, Lewis and Catherine Frazee left New York aboard the Duke of Richmond and landed at Saint John, New Brunswick in the fall of 1783 or came to Saint John, New Brunswick as part of the summer fleets in July 1783.

Back in New Jersey, Morris Frazee, the dispossessed Rebel son, took in his now poor father Timothy Frazee, and looked after him the rest of his days.

During the winter of 1783 and the following year 1784, Lewis and Catherine Frazee and their first son Timothy waited at Saint John for a Land Grant. It was a hard life, living in tents or rough log cabins, many died. On January 12,1785, Lewis Frazee and many other ‘Sundry Loyalist Residents of Carleton of Manawaganish’ petitioned for 10 acre town lots to grow vegetables, etc. This might make their lives better until land was granted for settlement. Finally on December 1, 1785, Lewis Frazee received a 50 acre land grant just north of today’s Saint John on Kenebecasis Island, Kings County, New Brunswick. Lewis was not happy with this grant of only 50 acres; some of these lots flooded out in the spring. Lewis and family did not stay long here on Kenebecasis Island and Lewis continued to petition for his 200 acres of land. From 1793 to 1798, Lewis lived near Norton, Kings County, New Brunswick on land he purchased from his brother William. William Frazee sold his land grant and returned to New Jersey in 1796 where he hoped life would be better. There he married and moved to Indiana where he raised a family and lived out the rest of his life.

The word was out that in about 1798, there would be land available just north of Sussex Vale, Kings County, on the Millstream, a tributary of the Kenebecasis River. It is believed that Lewis Frazee with his brother Oliver went to the Millstream area and started to settle in about 1798. We know that Lewis was living in the Sussex area in 1800 along with his brother Oliver as they are both found in the 1800 Assessment Roles of the Parish of Sussex Vale. Life was still hard here as on December 8,1804, the settlers of Studholm Parish, Millstream, Sussex Vale, Kings County including Lewis Frazee, petitioned that they could not pay their taxes due to the fact they were settlers low in circumstances and were visited by an untimely frost. It stated that many have lost nearly some quite all their dependence for bread from the product of their farms.

On December 12,1809, after nearly 26 years Lewis Frazee finally received a land grant where he could raise his family. Lewis Frazee received Lot 28, 400 acres on the Millstream. Oliver also received land on the same date.

Here on the Millstream, Lewis and Catherine Frazee lived out the rest of their lives. During the marriage of Lewis and Catherine Frazee they produced the following children: Timothy, Abigail, Joseph, Hannah, Esther, Martha, Morris, William and Thomas.

Lewis Frazee died on November 15,1835 and is buried near his home in the Fenwick Cemetery near Berwick, Kings County, New Brunswick. Catherine Thorn Frazee died February 12, 1836 and is likely buried in the same place as Lewis.

Submitted by Douglas Coppins UE