David Dinsmore, Ulster-Scots Loyalist in South Carolina and Nova Scotia Exile: Every Life Worth a Novel (7)

Hants Co 1787 Crown Land warrant 14 Dec Bk4 pp326-7
Hants Co., Nova Scotia, Crown Land warrant 597, 14 Dec. 1787, Bk. 4, p. 326.
Hants Co 1787 Crown Land warrant 14 Dec Bk4 pp326-7 (2)
Hants Co., Nova Scotia, Crown Land warrant 597, 14 Dec. 1787, Bk. 4, p. 327.

And now an “aftermath” posting about the story of David Dinsmore. As the following account indicates (I’ve previously posted it elsewhere online), in May-June 2016, I took a trip to Nova Scotia to see if I could find any trace of what became of David Dinsmore after he sold his Nova Scotia land in January 1787. On that trip, I scoured all the documents I could locate that might conceivably have information about David at the Nova Scotia Archives, the provincial land office, and the Crown Lands Office. I located the tract of land David was granted as a Loyalist in the brushy hills of Rawdon township and drove to look at it, I scoured the tombstones in the Old Burying Ground in Halifax and corresponded with the archivist overseeing that historic site. I attended a meet-and-greet event of the Nova Scotia Genealogical Society and talked to the very informed folks who came to that event, including a descendant of the Densmore family from whom David bought land in August 1786. I found no trace at all of David after he sold his Nova Scotia land in 1787. Here’s my account of that search from my previous posting about it, slightly edited for republication here: Continue reading “David Dinsmore, Ulster-Scots Loyalist in South Carolina and Nova Scotia Exile: Every Life Worth a Novel (7)”

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 (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)”