David Dinsmore, Ulster-Scots Loyalist in South Carolina and Nova Scotia Exile: Every Life Worth a Novel (6)

Dinsmore, David, SC Royal Grants 17, p. 257
South Carolina Royal Grants 17, #257.

If David Dinsmore did return to his wife Margaret and their five children after he sold his Nova Scotia land grant in January 1787, then it seems strange that Margaret is listed as head of her household in Spartanburg Co., South Carolina, on the 1790 federal census. A 19 November 1799 deed of Jane McClurkin to Paul Castelberry, both of Spartanburg County, also says that the land bordered on the east on Margaret Dunmore’s land, indicating that  by 1799, Margaret was regarded as the owner of the land her husband had acquired in South Carolina (Spartanburg DB G, pp. 159-161). Continue reading “David Dinsmore, Ulster-Scots Loyalist in South Carolina and Nova Scotia Exile: Every Life Worth a Novel (6)”

David Dinsmore, Ulster-Scots Loyalist in South Carolina and Nova Scotia Exile: Every Life Worth a Novel (5)

1787 D. Densmore et al. 100 acres Nova Scotia
1787 Plat of Loyalist Land Grants, Rawdon, Hants Co., Nova Scotia, from Nova Scotia Land Registry Office

1787 D. Densmore et al. 100 acres Nova Scotia

4. Exile to Nova Scotia

David Dinsmore’s 1786 Loyalist land claim in Nova Scotia states, “At the Evacuation of C. Town he came to this Province, and is now settled in Rawdon.”[1]  After the fort at Ninety Six fell and the South Carolina Loyalists retreated first to Orangeburg and then eventually to Charleston in the latter part of 1781, they began making arrangements to leave the colony.  According to Lambert, by mid-August 1782, 4,200 Loyalists had registered to leave South Carolina, including nearly 2,500 women and children with 7,200 enslaved Africans and African-Americans.[2]  Prior to their departure, on 18 April, Zachariah Gibbs and other South Carolina Loyalists prepared a petition to the Crown indicating that a large number of Tories—perhaps as many as 300, they claimed—had been murdered by the Whigs in the colony, with the majority of these in Ninety Six District. Continue reading “David Dinsmore, Ulster-Scots Loyalist in South Carolina and Nova Scotia Exile: Every Life Worth a Novel (5)”

David Dinsmore, Ulster-Scots Loyalist in South Carolina and Nova Scotia Exile: Every Life Worth a Novel (4)

Dunsmore, David Coldham Book
Peter Wilson Coldham, American Migrations 1765-1799: The Lives, Times, and Families of Colonial Americans Who Remained Loyal to the British Crown before, during and after the Revolutionary War, as Related in Their Own Words and through Their Correspondence (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2000), p. 679.

3. The Revolution

A number of sources document David Dinsmore’s service under British military commanders during the Revolution.   On 19 April 1786 at Halifax, Nova Scotia, Dinsmore filed a land claim for his Loyalist military service.[1]  The claim states that in 1775, he had taken up arms under General Cunningham, joining Campbell in Georgia.  Cunningham is apparently William Cunningham, the British commander tagged as “Bloody Bill” by many Whigs, due to his role in atrocities committed against South Carolina rebels—though in 1775, he was not yet a general and in fact had begun his service in that year on the Whig side.[2]  His origins are not entirely clear, though it’s apparent he was a cousin of several influential Tory Cunninghams of Scotch-Irish descent, all brothers, who came to South Carolina from Pennsylvania in 1769 and who settled in Ninety Six District.  These included Robert Cunningham, the first magistrate of Ninety Six District, and Patrick Cunningham, deputy surveyor of the province of South Carolina. Continue reading “David Dinsmore, Ulster-Scots Loyalist in South Carolina and Nova Scotia Exile: Every Life Worth a Novel (4)”

David Dinsmore, Ulster-Scots Loyalist in South Carolina and Nova Scotia Exile: Every Life Worth a Novel (3)

Belfast Newsletter, 4 Sept 1767 Earl Announcement
Belfast Newsletter, 4 Sept. 1767

2. From Immigration to the Revolution

David Dinsmore and his wife Margaret left Ireland from Belfast on 7 October 1767.[1]  After their arrival in Charleston on 10 December 1767, they received their bounty land grant on the same day (22 December) on which, as noted previously, the South Carolina Council Journal documented the names and ages of the settlers arriving aboard the Earl of Donegal.  The grant of 150 acres—100 for David and 50 for Margaret—is recorded in the Council Journal immediately after the list of new settlers was entered into the Journal.[2] Continue reading “David Dinsmore, Ulster-Scots Loyalist in South Carolina and Nova Scotia Exile: Every Life Worth a Novel (3)”

David Dinsmore, Ulster-Scots Loyalist in South Carolina and Nova Scotia Exile: Every Life Worth a Novel (2)

Belfast Newsletter 2 Feb 1768 Earl Arrival
Belfast Newsletter, 2 February 1768
  1. The David Dinsmore Family: Ulster Origins

If the one document we have providing a precise age for David Dinsmore is accurate, he would have been born in or close to 1750.  The document in question is the list of passengers aboard the ship the Earl of Donegal when it arrived in Charleston from Belfast on 10 December 1767.[1]  On 22 December, the South Carolina Council Journal recorded a tally of the ship’s passengers, noting their ages.  This document lists Dinsmore’s age as 17 in December 1767, his wife Margaret’s as 20.[2] Continue reading “David Dinsmore, Ulster-Scots Loyalist in South Carolina and Nova Scotia Exile: Every Life Worth a Novel (2)”

David Dinsmore, Ulster-Scots Loyalist in South Carolina and Nova Scotia Exile: Every Life Worth a Novel (1)

Dinsmore, David, Signature to Loyalist Affidavit
David Dunsmore’s signature to his affidavit as he filed his Loyalist land clam in Halifax, Nova Scota, 19 April 1786 — see Alexander Fraser, Second Report of the Bureau of Archives (Toronto, 1904), pp. 171-2 (#100). The claim was filed again on 19 July the same year.

Psychologist Erving Polster thinks every person’s life is worth a novel.[1]  For those of us curious to learn about our family history, Polster’s insight accounts at least in part for what compels us to keep learning.  Beyond the bare facts we accumulate in the pursuit of information about our ancestors lie stories that can in some cases be downright fascinating, with their alternate hues of joy and tragedy, ill fate and astonishing good fortune.  It’s often the stories themselves, in fact, that keep us going when the trails of facts begin to taper off. Continue reading “David Dinsmore, Ulster-Scots Loyalist in South Carolina and Nova Scotia Exile: Every Life Worth a Novel (1)”