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The United Empire Loyalist Settlement at Long Point, Lake Erie
Chapter XLII. Tisdale

The Tisdales are one of the most noted families of Norfolk County. They are the descendants of an old Welsh family of considerable prominence in Britain in the seventeenth century. About 1700 a branch of the family came to America, and settled in Freetown, Massachusetts. For some time before the war Ephraim Tisdale was the owner and captain of a vessel engaged in trade to the West Indies.

When the colonies declared war against Britain, Captain Tisdale placed his boat at the service of the king, and he was engaged to distribute supplies at various points on the Atlantic coast. Colonel Sabine in his book on “Loyalists of the American Revolution” (Vol. II., p. 357) has this interesting note: “During the war, while on a voyage to St. Augustine, Ephraim Tisdale abandoned his vessel at sea to avoid capture, and gained the shore in safety. Though nearly destitute of money, he accomplished an overland journey to New York, a distance, by the route that he travelled, of fifteen hundred miles. In 17S3 he embarked at New York for New Brunswick on the * ship Brothers, Captain Walker, and on the passage his wife gave birth to a son, who was named after the master of the ship.”

Mr. Tisdale and his family (eight sons and four daughters) settled on lands allotted to them at Waterburv in New Brunswick. This is on the St. .John River, between St. John and Fredericton. Here tho’ all lived together till 1798, when Lot, the second son, wine to the Long Point settlement, and was assigned land in Charlotteville. He was greatly delighted with his new home, and wrote many letters to New Brunswick urging his father and brothers to come west.

In 1801 Lot paid a visit to New Brunswick, and returned the same year with two brothers, William and Ephraim, and his sister Hannah (Mrs. Perley). In the following year another brother, Joseph, made his way to Long Point, and in 1808 three other brothers and Mr. and Mrs. Ephraim Tisdale, sen. The old gentleman lived for eight years in the new home.

Four of the Tisdale brothers, together with Benjamin Mead, formed in 1810 a business partnership, and built a large store in Vittoria. Their enterprise prospered, and in a short time they were regarded as well-to-do men.

True to his loyalist instincts, Mr. Ephraim Tisdale, jun., fought in the war of 1812, and in this connection the following incident is told: In 1814 a body of American militia, 150 strong, the scum of the troops, came across Lake Erie for the purpose of plundering and burning. They had marched from Dover to the mills of Titus Finch, at the place since known as Cross and Fisher’s Landing, and burned them. Thence they were proceeding to Turkey Point to destroy the district court-house, which was then standing on the bank near where the road now leads down the hill which overlooks Turkey Point. When near Normandale (four miles from Turkey Point) they were attacked by a body of twenty-eight irregular volunteers, armed with fowling pieces and rifles, and driven back to their boats. The volunteers one of whom was the elder Mr. Tisdale, ran through the woods to the bank of the lake to cut off their retreat. They were too late to prevent the enemy from embarking, but killed an officer and fourteen of the men. The enemy immediately set sail for Turkey Point; but when a short distance from shore discovered the redcoats of a party of troops, which had just arrived to reinforce the volunteers, and, not caring to risk an encounter, forthwith put the helm hard around and made away for the end of Long Point and thence across to the place from whence they came.”


In the rebellion of 1837, Ephraim Tisdale, jun., served for two years as sergeant in a troop of cavalry, and during that period was at the Niagara frontier when the steamer Caroline was cut out and burned. He was one of those engaged in that exploit. Subsequently to 1837, he held a captain’s commission in the Militia. He was also a justice of the peace for over twenty-five years.

Among the descendants of Ephraim Tisdale is the well-known ex Minister of Militia, Colonel David Tisdale, M.P. for South Norfolk.

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