A digital mapping project created by librarians and students at the University of New Brunswick lets you follow the lives of Loyalist men and women, revealing the fascinating journeys of some of New Brunswick’s earliest settlers.
New Brunswick Loyalist Journeys is the result of two years of research using historical documents in the Harriet Irving Library.
Using geographic information system (GIS) mapping technology with archival material, the site tells the stories of ordinary Loyalists who settled in York County after the American Revolution.
Leah Grandy, a library assistant in the microforms department, spearheaded the project. She said it started off as a biographical project.
As the research progressed, it became clear there was a significant geographic component to each Loyalist’s story because they’d been all over the world, she said.
“We thought using maps would be a great way to show how wide-ranging they were and the variety of their experience,” said Grandy.
Each Loyalist’s biography has its own map and is divided into sections depending on where they were at the time.
“It really shows that life journey that they went through, first through American colonies throughout the war, and then resettlement in York County,” Grandy said.
The project showcases Loyalists from a variety of backgrounds, including Moses Simpson, a black man who escaped slavery and earned his freedom after enlisting in the British army.