Saturday, August 24, 2013

Surname Saturday ~ Lyons, Loyalists from Connecticut to Nova Scotia?

Isabella Lyons (1806 - 1872)
unknown date

Isabella Lyons (1806 - 1872)
wife of Rev. I. E. Bill


This is another brickwall line, and I was reluctant to post it as a Surname Saturday name until I realized that someone out there in cyber space may have the answer to my lineage problems.  So here is the story…

My line begins with David Lyons.   He appears in Nova Scotia records for the first time when he purchased land from Thomas M. Beckwith near the Pereau River on 6 April 1803.   He appears in the 1790 Federal Census of Stratford, Connecticut.   According to an article in Connecticut Ancestry “Connecticut Loyalists Who Went to Canada” 1974, Volume 17, No. 2, a “Daniel Lyon” was granted land in Canning, Nova Scotia.  Is this the same man?

On 25 May 1779 in Cornwallis, Kings County, Nova Scotia David Lyons married Elizabeth Ratchford, the daughter of Thomas Ratchford and Desire Gore, other new Nova Scotia planters from New England.  I know little else about Thomas and Elizabeth. David Lyons and his family are listed in the Cornwallis Township book, which gives the names and some dates for the twelve children’s births.

My line continues through their son, Thomas Ratchford Lyons, who married twice. His first wife, and my 4th great grandmother, was Ann Skinner.  She gave him seven children.  I only know a little about this generation from vital records in the Cornwallis Township Book and from a journal written by a son-in-law.  Their daughter, Isabella Lyons, married the Reverend Ingraham Ebenezer Bill, who wrote extensively about his life, his family and his conversion to the Baptist faith.  There is also some information about the Lyons family in the family sketches chapters of The History of King’s County, Nova Scotia by Arthur Wentworth Hamilton Eaton, 1910 (available to read online at at this link ).

Other LYONS researchers have uncovered information about a Patrick Lyons in Nova Scotia.  This Patrick Lyons lived previously in Connecticut, where he witnessed a will.  Patrick Lyons left a will mentioning his father’s burial in County Monaghan, Ireland, and a brother Edmund in Castleblaney.  Could he be the father, brother or kinsman of David Lyons? Was the family of Irish descent?  Were they Loyalists?

My LYONS lineage:

Generation 1:  Patrick Lyons?

Generation 2: David Lyons, born about 1759 in Connecticut? Died May 1812 in Cornwallis, Nova Scotia; married on 25 May 1779 in Cornwallis to Elizabeth Ratchford, daughter of Thomas Ratchford and Desire Gore.  She was born about 1764 and died on 18 March 1845 in Nova Scotia.

Generation 3: Thomas Ratchford Lyons, born 3 March 1780 in Cornwallis, died 1859 in Sackville, Nova Scotia; married first on 30 September 1802 in Cornwallis to Ann Skinner, daughter of Charles Skinner and Sarah Osborn.  She was born 9 March 1786 in Cornwallis and died 19 October 1815 in Cornwallis.  He married second to Anne Griffin.

Generation 3: Isabella Lyons, born 28 January 1806 in Cornwallis, died April 1872 in Carleton, New Brunswick; she married on 20 April 1826 in Cornwallis to Reverend Ingraham Ebenezer Bill, son of Asahel Bill and Mary Rand.  He was born on 19 February 1805 in Billtown, Cornwallis and died 4 August 1891 in St. Martin’s, New Brunswick.

Generation 4: Caleb Rand Bill m. Ann Margaret Bollman
Generation 5: Isabella Lyons Bill m. Albert Munroe Wilkinson
Generation 6: Donald Munroe Wilkinson m. Bertha Louise Roberts (my grandparents)


Copyright 2013, Heather Wilkinson Rojo


  1. I can't help you with this line, but I will commiserate with you in that I have a Loyalist line that went through Nova Scotia, but I don't know whether to post it as a Surname Saturday because I don't know where the family was before appearing on a list in Nova Scotia.

  2. I am beginning my research for UEL membership for my Bustin lineage. They settled in Saint John New Brunswick.

  3. I can's help either. I do have a Roswell Lyons, said to be born in Connecticut Oct 1770. He moved to Vermont, married a Lydia Roberts there, had 9 children between 1796 and 1813, then died in 1814. If you happen to see his birth in Connecticut, I would be quite delighted and very grateful.

    David Adams,

  4. Hi, All,

    I no longer believe that the David Lyon born 1759 to Jonathan Lyon and Anna Miller in Greenwich, Fairfield, CT was the same David Lyons who later married Elizabeth "Betsy" Ratchford 1779 in Cornwallis, Nova Scotia. My g-g-g grandfather was Robert Jones Lyons, David and Betsy Lyons fourth son. My father always claimed that our Lyons family was descended from United Empire Loyalists and the Greenwich, Fairfield CT Lyon family were definitely not Loyalists but instead Rebels/Patriots who ended up in North Castle, (near Bedford) New York. Please read the online account in North Castle History Vol 13. The North Castle Historical Society. 1986 Bedford Rd., Armonk NY "The Lyon Family, Moving a Schoolhouse". On page 17 of this history you will find the the Genealogy of the Jonathan Lyon family of Greenwich, FF, CT. My candidate for our Lyons progenitor is the David Lyons who fought with the Loyalist DeLancey's Second Brigade in 1777 in New York. He is listed as Wounded in 1777. See: Ward Chipman Muster Master' Office 1777-1785 Lists available online at the Libraries and Archives Canada website : I have a 4 page Windows document which gives my rational for the above argument. I have shared this document with other searching descendants of David Lyons, circa 1779 Cornwallis, NS Regards, Sharon Lyons BC Canada.

  5. Everyone in Cornwallis was a loyalist. My 4th GGF James Lyons settled there after acquiring a land grant through the crown. The Acadians were driven out and the crown settled loyalists in the area. They enticed New Englanders to come up, especially those from Connecticut.My 4th GGF eventually acquired a hotel and ran a stage-coach in Kentville but I believe he stayed with relatives in Monctoun, NS after he arrived and he came from Monaghan Ireland.

  6. My 4th great grandfather, Thomas Ratchford Lyons (1780 - 1859) had seven children and one was a boy named James. Is this your ancestor? This James was not born in Ireland though.

  7. My Grandmother was a Sarsfield and was born in Nova Scotia in Kings County(1881). Her brother Joseph married Julia Lyons. The family lived in Canning and Kentfield and Sheffield Mills. I'll see if I can find anything useful for you. I also live near Stratford, CT and will see if I find anything here and in CSL.

    1. Thanks so much, Ruth! And thanks for visiting my blog.