John Button
1st Regiment York Militia

John Button according to his Upper Canada Land Petition dated 22 May 1798, “having been prevailed upon by his Relations” came to the Province on 6 Feb 1798. It is not known why he did not apply for UEL status but his loyalty to the crown was later proven. He did at this time request 200 acres of farm land in York. This was approved on 17 Nov 1801 having met the criteria “remains in the Province for 12 months or brings his family in”

Within the bounds of the Militia Act of 1793, he joined the York Militia, year not known. He attained the rank of Captain. See below that he was receiving orders as Captain before receiving his actual Commission Orders.

Sometime before 1810, John Button applied for the right to raise the first Calvary Troop in Canada. The 1st York Light Dragoons (Button’s Troop) came into being in 1810.

In July of 1812, John received his Commission of “Captain of a Troop of York Militia” by General Isaac Brock. I have copies of at least eight different orders sent to Captain Button between 5 Feb 1812 to July 1814. (Source: William Marr Button fonts, Archives of Ontario).

The order dated 5 Feb 1812 from LC Foster states that:

“The particular service to be required of them will be to escort the Carrier of the Exerts Bag on part of the road between York and Kingston.”

They were active throughout the War of 1812.

On 27 April 1813 John and his Troop were involved in The Battle of York. He was taken prisoner and subsequently released.
After the War of 1812, John continued to lead his Troop. In September of 1831, he received his Commission to “Major and Commandant of the Troop of Calvary attached to North York Regiment Militia” by Sir John Colborne. (Source: Archives of Ontario).

John Button’s heirs continued in his footsteps. His son Frances Button according to his Upper Canada Land Petition 1763-1865 written in 1819 states that he was involved in “the late war with the United States.”

He received his Commission orders of “Coronet of the Dragoons in the First Regiment of York Militia in the Home District” in July of 1818 by Samuel Smith.

In 1831, “Captain in the Troop of Calvary attached to the 1st Regiment of North York Militia” by Sir John Colborne. William Marr Button, his son became Lieut-Col of the 1st York Light Dragoons in 1868  (Source: Archives of Ontario).

Button’s Troop continues today. It has evolved over the years to become, The Governor General’s Horse Guard Calvary Squadron.

In recognition of his and his heir’s continued service to the Community a portion of York/Markham was named “Buttonville” which continues today.

Commanding Officer: Lieutenant Colonel Batterly

Veteran Summary

John Button
Major and Commandant of the Troops and Calvary, 1st Regiment York Millitia
Place of Birth
New London, CT, USA
Place of Death
Buttonville, ON, CAN
Died on: 09 NOV 1861
Reason: Likely Old Age
Location of Grave
Buttonville Cemetery, 9171 Woodbine Ave
Buttonville, ON, CAN
Latitude: 43.86578N Longitude: -79.36156