Saturday, September 6, 2008

Thomas Lake b. 1734 New Jersey d. 1813 Wolford Grenville Ontario Canada

Thomas Lake, my 5X Great Grandfather. He was born in Middlesex NJ son of Nicholas Lake and Mary Janzen.  He married Mayke or Michal Williamson 16 Aug 1757 and started his family among the children born to them while they live in NJ was my 4thX Great Grandfather James or as the dutch called him "Kobus" Lake.  By 1761 Thomas and his family along with at-least 2 brothers had relocated to White Creek New York, in what is now Washington County. They began farming a plot of land, a small farm of about 5000 acres on what was known as the Arent Van Corlear grant, he and the Lake families split this land grant to create these farms.

When the American Revolutionary War began most of the Lake family were loyalist and took up the cause of King and Country.  Thomas participated in the Battle of Bennington which was primarily fought on his farm land, he joined a unit known as the Queens Loyal Rangers under the command of a former Green Mountain boy by the name of Peters who had received a commission as a LT Colonel in the British Army and was order to form a Loyalist fighting unit. 

This unit, a small force of British regulars, along with a group of German Soldiers known as Brunswickers was detailed to capture the Colonial Militia supplies stored at Bennington in what is now Vermont.  About 5 miles from Bennington the British Force engaged what they thought was going to be a small Colonial Militia Unit, not understanding what was happening they ran into a very large force that had been mustered to prevent there taking Bennington.  The result of this battle was the British, German and Loyalist force was stopped and forced to surrender, the German Commander was killed and many casualties were sustained.

Thomas Lake survived the Battle and was taken prisoner, he and the rest of his comrades were held at Cambridge NY until after the Battle of Saratoga NY they were ultimately released.  The loyalists were forced to leave the colonies many fled to Canada some the West Indies, everything they owned had been confiscated so they had to start again. 

Thomas took his family to Wolford, Grenville Co., Ontario where he remained until his death in 1813 at the age of 70 years old.  His son James was the first to return to the US when he refused to sign a loyalty oath in Canada around 1814.  James lost his property in Canada and was also forced to start from scratch.  James settled with his son Jesse Lake in Gouverneur St. Lawrence NY and is buried in Wayside Cemetery with several members of the family.

Much of the solid information about Thomas still must be proven and sourced there has been some research but there are credibility issues with it. So more work is necessary to complete the picture but I am finding solid information on a regular basis.


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