An American Family History

The Ayers Family of Leeds County, Ontario

  Also spelled Eayres, Eyers  
The united counties of Leeds and Grenville are in southern Ontario, Canada on the border with the United States.The county seat is Brockville.

The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783) was between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the 13 colonies which became the newly formed United States.


Ephraim Ayers was born on June 13, 1733 in Brookfield, Worcester County Massachusetts. His parents were Edward Ayres and Jemima Davis.

He served during the French and Indian War. In 1757, he was on the payroll for the Ware River Parish expedition under Lord Loudon.

In 1762 he was on the payroll of Captain Thomas Cowden (1720-1792).

Pay Roll of Capt. Thomas Cowden's Co. Mar. to Dec. 1762.
Lt. Daniel Walker, Ens. David Getchell, Stephen Ayres, Ephraim Ayres, Solomon Cummings, Daniel Dodge, Charles Dorothy, Jacob Getchell, Henry Gilbert, Jesse Gilbert, Moses Gilbert, Jonas Hayward, William Mace, Samuel Palmer, Daniel Rolfe, Caleb Thayer, Nathaniel Wait, Richard Wait, Solomon Walker, Zebulon Walker, Samuel Whiston, Samuel White, all of Brookfield.

In 1772 the family was in Skenesboro, New York.

In 1775, Ephraim was in Captain John Stevens' company.

To the Honourable His Majesty' s Council and House of Representatives of the Colony of the Massachusetts Bay, in General Court assembled, July, 1775:

Most humbly sheweth that he, John Stevens, served as a Captain under Colonel Benedict Arnold,at the taking of the Fortresses of Ticonderoga, &c, at the westward; that lately the said Colonel Arnold has disbanded his Regiment, and directed your petitioner to present the Roll of his Company to this honourable Court ....

John Stevens, Captain, enlisted May 1st;
Peter Castle, Lieutenant, 
Eliphalet Castle and Nathaniel Stevens, Sergeants,
John Metlenge and Jonas Putnam, Corporals,
 Efferon Putnam, Edmund Frost, Samuel Morrison, Nathaniel Burr, William Clark, Peter Griffin, David Towsey, Hugh Morrison, Ephraim Eayres, James Wells, James Bolton, and Peleg Hart, enlisted May 10th;

Gershom Flagg, Amos Cook, Alexander Kidd, John Walker, John Bolton, Ebenezer Newell, Daniel Beman, John Cowm, Andrew English, John McDonald, William Sutherland, Asaph Putnam, John Varnum, and Robert Shannon, enlisted May 17th.

Between December, 1775 and August, 1777, Ephraim was with the Loyalist group, under Jessup.

I do hereby certify that Ephraim Eyers joined the Royal Standard previous to the year 1783 and that he was employed as a confidential man on Secret Service in the late American war, given at Augusta the 19th day of Feb. 1807.

He was captured by Arnold on Lake Champlain in 1775.

Ephraim escaped from the Albany jail in 1782 and went to Canada.

His children may have included:
Phebe Ayers Mallory (1783, married Israel Mallory), and
Classen (Clossen) Ayers (1791, married Catherine Mallory).

He married John Comstock's widow, Lydia.

On July 27, 1785 the west half of lot 21 and the east half of lot 22 on the Broken Front in Yonge Township was granted to the Ephraim Eyers family. Ephraim Eyers transfered the property to Lemuel Mallory.

An affidavit signed by Ephraim Eyers' stepson, Aaron Comstock, said that half of lots 20 and 21 were sold to Jeremiah Mallory on March 2, 1798.  This property is located at Mallorytown landing.

He died at Elizabethtown (now Brockville), Ontario Canada in 1802 at age 69.

William Ayers, Catherine Malory Ayers, John Ayers, and Zeno Ayers appeared on the census lists of Yonge Township, Leeds County Ontario in the 1840s.

Brockville, Ontario was called Elizabethtown. The area was first settled by English speakers in 1785, when Americans who had remained loyal to the crown fled to Canada after the American Revolution.



United Empire Loyalists were Americans who remained loyal to King George III and the British Empire. They moved to Canada after the American Revolution.

The French and Indian War lasted from 1754 to 1763 and was the North American phase of the Seven Years' War.


Closson (or Classen) Ayers was born about 1791 and was the son of Ephraim Eyers.

He married Catherine Mallory.

Clossen and Catherine's children probably included:

Lyman Ayers (1814),
Lydia Ayers (1816, married Alfred Munro),
Zeno Ayers (1817, married Jane Eastman),
Mary Ann Ayers (1824), and
Ephraim Ayers (1828).

In 1811 Clossen was a single man in Yonge Township.

In 1811 Clossen petitioned the township of Yonge for a grant of 200 acres as the son of a loyalist.

On February 20, 1824, Memorial No. 162 from George Purvis and Lydia, his wife, and George Purvis, and Lavinia, his wife, for 30 acres of the west half of Lot 17 was made to Closson Ayers. Israel Mallory, husband of Phoebe Ayers, witnessed the document.

Clossen died in Mallorytown in 1840.


William Eyers

1830 Brockville census: 8 males and 2 females


The Battle of the Windmill was in November, 1838. Loyalists defeated an invasion attempt by Hunter Patriots, led by  Nils von Schoultz, who were attempting to overthrow British rule. The battle was at a windmill two miles east of Prescott.







from A Record of the Descendants of Captain John Ayres of Brookfield, Mass by William Henry Whitmore, John Ayres (Captain.)

Edwards Ayres of Brookfield, m. Jemima Davis there, 19 Nov. 1718, and had
William b. 16 Dec. 1719; d. 20 Oct. 1721.
John b. 10 Jan. 1721-2.
Abigail b. 13 Feb. 1723-4.
Hannah b. 2 May, 1726; d. 25 Oct. 1738.
Samuel b. 25 Feb. 1727-8 ; d. 24 Oct. 1730.
Jedediah b. 7 Sept. 1729.
Ephraim b. 13 June, 1733.
Edward b. 31 Jan. 1734-5.