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The United Empire Loyalist Settlement at Long Point, Lake Erie
Chapter XXXII. Austin

Solomon Austin was originally from North Carolina. He was a private in the Queen’s Rangers, and served all through the Revolutionary war. On one occasion, at least, he exhibited conspicuous bravery. This was at the battle of the Horseshoe. The standard-bearer was killed and the flag fell to the ground and was in danger of being lost. Solomon Austin leaped forward, and grasping the standard bore it bravely till the close of the action. After the battle Major-General Simcoe inquired his name, praised him in public before the marshalled company, and gave him to understand that if he could ever be of service to him afterwards his bravery would not be forgotten.

After the war North Carolina passed a Confiscation Act, which embraced sixty-five specified individuals, the terms applied not only to the lands of these persons, but their negroes and other personal property as well. Some of these continued to live in their native state, although the majority immediately proceeded to Canada. Solomon Austin, however, remained in Carolina till 1794, but in that year determined to remove his family to Upper Canada, where General Simcoe, his old friend, was Governor. In June, 1794, he appeared at Newark with his wife and family of nine children (four sons and five daughters). He met with a very flattering reception, the Governor offering him a home in his own house until he should make a selection of land. He was also offered six hundred acres in any unselected part of the province. The Governor directed him to inspect the country and choose for himself. Accordingly he made a trip through the western district on foot with his eldest son, going as far as Detroit. Finally he chose a home on Patterson’s Creek, now called the River Lynn, about three miles south-east of Simcoe, in the County of Norfolk. This proved to be a very pleasant and fertile district. It is now known as Lynn Valley.

To this spot he removed with his family in the early spring of 1795, and by the end of the summer had a log-cabin erected and almost an acre of land cleared and fall wheat planted.

In the war of 1812, true to their principles of loyalty, the father and four sons shouldered their muskets and marched under Brock to fight the hated “Yankees” once more. They fought at Malcolm’s Mills (Oakland), Malden, and Lundy’s Lane. In the Norfolk militia two of the sons soon obtained the rank of captain. The descendants of this family are the most numerous of any of the families of the settlement.

Solomon, the eldest son, married Miss Sarah Slaght, and became the father of ten children. Two of their sons were the proprietors of the largest carriage works in the county, and continued their business for over twenty-five years. Another son is a Baptist minister.

Jonathan, the second son, married Miss Hannah Potts, and had seven children. He and his son John built Austin’s mills in the Lynn Valley.

Philip, the third son, married Mary Slaght, a sister of his eldest brother’s wife, and had a family of sixteen children.

Moses, the youngest son, married Mary Wisner, of Townsend, and had seven children.

Of the daughters, Mary, the eldest, married Henry Walker, who is said to have been the second white child born in Norfolk County.

Amy married a man named Styles, and had fifteen children.

Esther married Raymond Potts, a U. E. Loyalist.

Elizabeth married John Pegg, who had accompanied the party from Carolina.

Anna married David Marr, and had nine children.

The last one of the original family to die was Philip (October 17th, 1876), in his 87th year, having lived to a greater age than any of his brothers or sisters.

For many years previous to Philip’s death an annual gathering of children and connections was held at the old homestead on the anniversary of his birthday. On the last gathering his direct descendants numbered 137, while the direct descendants of the original founder, Solomon, numbered 734.

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