This free database of Black Loyalist Refugees who fled from the United States to Canada during and after the American Revolutionary War is provided by Library and Archives Canada and can be helpful in family history and genealogy research.

“During the American Revolution, the British and Loyalist forces evacuated New York in 1783. Hundreds of Loyalist refugees joined as the Port Roseway Associates with the intention of finding new homes and creating a new settlement together in Nova Scotia. These Loyalists, with their families, servants and slaves, founded the community of Port Roseway, shortly renamed Shelburne. The free Blacks amongst the Loyalists formed a separate enclave known as Birchtown. Library and Archives Canada holds the Shelburne historical records collection (MG 9 B9-14). The collection consists of records relating to the community of Shelburne including the minute book of the Port Roseway Associates, 1782-1783; several muster rolls of Loyalists, 1783-1784; proceedings of the Court of Quarter Sessions, 1784-1860; and a register of writs, 1787-1807.”

“This database provides access to 1,498 references to the Muster Book of Free Blacks who settled in Birchtown held at Library and Archives Canada. Information from the muster book was input into this database and the muster book was digitized. The content of the database entries reflects the original language used in the documents. This information was not translated.”

Searches can be made by surnames and given names.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.