An American Family History

Augustus Seeley


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.

  also spelled Cely, Scellie, Seley, Seeley, Seelye, Zieley  

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

Augustus Seeley was born about 1739 in Massachusetts. His parents were Obadiah Seeley and Mary Angle Miller. He was a hatter.

He married Mary Brisbin. Mary was born in 1740 in Ireland.

Margaret Seeley (1761, married Philip Lebbeus Wickware and Benjamin Salts),
Carrie Seeley (1763),
James Seeley (1765, married Elizabeth Manhard),
Ruth Seeley (1768, married Samuel Judson),
Jane Seeley (1771, married John Elliot),
Mary Seeley (1774, married Joseph Falkner),
Elizabeth Seeley (1776, married Samuel Nichol),
Annie Seeley (1779, married David Lakin),
Sarah Seeley (1780, married Hazard Wilcox), and
Joseph Seeley (1781).

They lived in Albany County, New York,

In 1760, during the French and Indian War, Augustus joined the New York Provincial Troops in Queen's County, New York.

In 1772 was listed as a loyalist living in Saratoga.

In 1775 he was listed among the first men to join the Loyalist leader, Sir John Johnson.

September 14, 1777 James and Augustus were hired to herd General Burgoyne's cattle during the Battle of Saratoga.

On October 14, 1777, Burgoyne realized that the loyalist troops were surrounded and advised them to escape to Canada. Augustus and James did not escape and were confined for several weeks until they escaped.

He was in Captain James Campbell's unit during the American Revolution.

In 1783, Sir John Johnson organized an evacuation to Canada with 800 United Empire Loyalists. The families made their way through the wilderness. They used canoes to ford the streams and carried their possessions on their backs. When they got to Montreal they took bateaux up the St. Lawrence River. The Government land office was located at New Johnstown near Cornwall, Ontario. The Loyalists showed their military records and received land grants for their service.

In 1784 Augustus and his son James signed the Land Petition. "That your Petitioners were amongst the first settled on His Majesty's Lands, the year 1784."

In 1792 Augustus Cely, John Ceas, and James Selely signed "The Petition of the Inhabitants of Lancaster Township."

That your petitioners have always been loyal Subjects, and were the first who joined Sir John Johnson, Baronet, the year 1775 and followed him to Canada the year 1776 and served in his Regiment all the time of the late Rebellion, that your Petitioners were amongst the first who settled on His Majesty's Lands, the year 1784, …

They settled in Elizabethtown, Leeds County, Ontario. He was listed on the Elizabethtown census 1796, 1801, and 1802.

In 1804 Augustus sold Lots 20and 21 in Lancaster to Jacob Snyder and Josef Snyder.

Augustus died in 1811 in Elizabethtown.

Leeds County, Ontario, Canada was first surveyed in 1792 in preparation for the United Empire Loyalists settlers. In 1850, Leeds County merged with Grenville to create the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville.



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©Roberta Tuller 2020
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