Tag Archives: Butler’s Rangers


Peter Bowman 5th Regiment Lincoln Militia

Captain Peter Bowman

Peter BowmanHe was a Private in Butler’s Rangers from Susquehanna River. Enlisted at the age of 15 at Niagara July 1784. Took the oath of allegiance at Niagara sometime between Nov 1784 and Jun 1785. Listed as a settler “at the Mountain and near Fort Erie, 1785”. Land entitlement in the District of Nassau in 1792 totalled 350 acres. Captain in the 4th Regiment of the Lincoln Militia in 1811. Settled in Ancaster Township, Upper Canada. Died 28 Oct 1847 at the residence of his only surviving child, Mrs. P. Spohn, in Ancaster in An Annotated Nominal Roll of Butler’s Rangers 1777 – 1784, pg 50.

Peter married in 1787, Magdalena “Lena” Lampman (1766-1847) d/o Loyalist Frederick Lampman (1722-1789).

They are buried beside each other in the Bowman Churchyard.

memory of
of the 5 Link
Sept 21st 1849
in the 88th year
of his age.

memory of
wife of Peter Bowman
who died
Oct 28, 1847
AE 81 Y’rs and 9 d’s.

As a boy, Peter lived on a farm on the Susquehanna River-land which was awarded to his father for his participation with the British Army during the French War. Late one night in November 1775 a party of rebels robbed the home, taking virtually all of the family’s possessions, cattle, and farm implements. They also took Peter’s father, Jacob and Jacob’s oldest son as prisoners. Peter was left to look after his mother and siblings and the family likely would have starved if not for the assistance of some friendly Indians who not only provided them with sustenance but also brought their desperate plight to the attention of the British forces at Niagara.

Peter arrived at Fort Niagara with his family on 3 Nov 1776, penniless as were most of the refugees, and entirely dependent on the charity of the fort Commandant. The story goes that the family travelled to Niagara with only one pair of shoes between them.

The earliest known written record of any settler penetrating as far as Ancaster to squat on land here can be found in a land petition dated 1793 in which 22 men, often called James Wilson & Associates, stated “that having made the settlements on which they live adjoining the west line of Township No 8, near the road lately laid out from the head of Lake Ontario to the River La Tranche that they were encouraged by the Land Board and the Acting Surveyor to settle upon those lands four years before they were surveyed which proves now to be reserved lands, your petitioners pray that the same may be confirmed to them.” The 22 men included both Peter Bowman and John Smith.

In 1810 Peter Bowman and Henry Hagle each donated a corner of their property to build a small log church and graveyard. The property line runs through the middle of the church building.

Peter remained on his Ancaster land for the rest of his life until he died in 1849.

Peter and Magdalena had only one son, John Wesley, who died at the age of  nine. They had a daughter, Elizabeth who inherited the homestead and married Philip Spohn. All of the Peter Bowman family is buried in this Churchyard.

Zachariah Hainer UE
1st Regiment Lincoln Militia

In 1812 Zachariah Hainer joined the 1st Regiment Lincoln Militia.  At age fifty-one, he was a seasoned soldier, a veteran of the American Revolution, one of Butler’s Rangers.  His second military experience, in the War of 1812, was much shorter than his first fight.  On 24 Oct 1812, Zachariah Hainer was “declared unfit for service” and entered on the Pension  List.  By December he was very ill.  On 2 Feb 1813,  Zachariah Hainer died of disease.

Zachariah Hainer was born on 22 Jul 1761 in Rhinebeck, New York at Livingstone Manor.  The Hainer (or Haner or Heiner or Hoener) family had been living here ever since they left the Palatine area of Germany in 1710.  Zachariah was a third generation North  American.  When some of the American colonists rebelled against Britain, he remained loyal.  At age nineteen, he was one of Butler’s Rangers, serving in Captain O’Hare’s Company as a sergeant.

When the Revolution ended, Zachariah emigrated to the Niagara Peninsula, as did so many of Butler’s Rangers.  As a reward for his loyal service, he was granted , in 1796, three hundred acres of land in Wainfleet Township, parts of Lot 6 & 7 Conc 6 & 7 (UCLP H1/18).  He did not settle on his Wainfleet property.  He chose instead to live in Grantham,  now part of St. Catharines.

On 19 Mar 1796 or 1797 (accounts vary) Zachariah married Sophia, neé Brown or Braun, widow of Jacob Lutz.  She had a daughter, Magdalena, from her first marriage.  It may have been a second marriage for Zachariah as well.  Together Zachariah and Sophia had these children:

  • Eve Hainer, 1797-
  • Catherine Hainer, 1799-
  • John Brown Hainer, 1802-1884
  • James Hainer, 1806-1870
  • Mary Ann  Hainer, 1810-1877

When war was declared in June of 1812, Zachariah’s youngest child was not yet two years old.  After his death, Zachariah’s widow Sophia made a claim for losses suffered during the War “taken month December 1813 during War — oats, hay, blankets and nails.” (NAC MfmT1128)

The burial place of Zachariah Hainer is unknown.  He probably lies somewhere in Grantham Township where he lived.  Years later his widow moved to Esquesing Township where she died in 1845 and is buried in Limehouse Cemetery.  Although it is very unlikely that he is buried with her,  her headstone remembers him in the wording,

“Sophia Hainer  wife of Zachariah Hainer”



Walter B Dittrick UE
Flank Company
4th Regiment Lincoln Militia

Walter Dittrick was born on the 31 May 1793 on the family farmstead, 12 Mile Creek St. Catharines, Upper Canada as recorded in the family bible (St. Catharines Public Library, Special Collections). He was the fourth son of Sergeant Jacob Dittrick, former Butler’s Ranger, and Margaret Pickard. She was the daughter of William Pickard who along with two of his sons were also members of Captain Bernard Frey’s Company of Butler’s Rangers.

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Flank Company
4th Regiment Lincoln Militia

James Dittrick UE
Flank Company
4th Regiment Lincoln Militia.

Captain James Dittrick, commanded the Flank Company in Colonel Robert Nellis’s 4th Regiment Lincoln Militia. Of all five brothers who served in the flank companies of the Lincoln Militia during the War, James’s career is the most thoroughly documented. His “Reminisces of the early years of settlement in Niagara and St. Catharines” was published in the “Loyalist Narratives” compiled by British author George Coventry in 1860 and reprinted many times since; most recently by the Champlain Society. He was also interviewed by Benson Lossing who reported this meeting in the Pictorial Field Book of the War of 1812 published in 1869. Being a contemporary, and neighbour of William Hamilton Merritt, he is mentioned several times (often competitively) in the Biography of the Honouable William Hamilton Merritt, authored by Merritt’s younger son. James is also recorded in the ”Merritt Papers” preserved by the Archives of Ontario.

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Flank Company
4th Regiment Lincoln Militia.

Jacob Dittrick UE
Flank Company
1st Regiment Lincoln Militia

Jacob Dittrick was born on the 12 Mile Creek at the family’s farmstead on the 12 Feb 1791 in St. Catharines. He was the son of Sergeant Jacob Dittrick of Captain Walter Butler’s Company (and later Captain Peter Hare’s Company) Butlers Rangers. Before the Revolutionary War Jacob senior was a Ranger in John Butler’s Colonial Indian Department, living along the Mohawk River in New York where their farm of several generations was located. Writing in the Loyalist Reminisces published in 1861 brother James reported the farm was situated 30 miles east of Utica New York.

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Flank Company
1st Regiment Lincoln Militia

William Wintermute
Niagara Light Dragoons

William Wintermute, (1795-1871) was born in Bertie Township, Ontario  and served in the Niagara Light Dragoons during the War of 1812. His father, Peter Wintermute, was a corporal in Mckinnon’s Company, Butler’s Rangers. The Wintermutes made a hasty retreat to Canada with Colonel John Butler after the Wyoming Massacre which was fought in front of their stockade (Fort Wintermoot) in July, 1779. The Union flag which flew over their fort on that fateful day (225 rebels were killed with only slight Ranger losses) was brought back to Niagara and eventually stored in the Butler residence in Newark.

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Niagara Light Dragoons

Daniel Young
5th Regiment Lincoln Militia

Captain Daniel Young, 5th Lincoln Militia Regiment
By William (Bill) Young, UE (January 20 2015)

Captain Daniel Young was my 4th great-grandfather.

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5th Regiment Lincoln Militia

Peter Young
Flank Company
1st Regiment Essex Militia

Peter Young Biography by Bill Young UE (3rd great grandson of Peter), October 2014

Young, Peter
Reverend Daniel MacLean of Grace United Church, Caledonia and Major Mark Douglas of the Essex and Kent Scottish regiment (This regiment had its beginnings with the 1st Essex Flank Company that Peter served with during the War of 1812.

Peter Young was born 1784 in Waterloo Ferry (Fort Erie) and died on 21 October 1846 in Seneca Township, Haldimand County, Ontario.  He was the second child of Daniel Young (1749 Canajoharie, New York, 09 May 1835 Barton twp. Ont.) and Elizabeth (Windecker) Young (1763 Schoharie, New York, 08 Mar 1830 Barton twp. Ont.).

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James Vrooman
Glengarry Light Infantry

James Vrooman was the son of Adam, a Captain in Butler’s Rangers who was granted crown land in Queenston. He was the second youngest of seven children and youngest of five sons. His eldest brother was Solomon Secord Vrooman who was in the Lincoln Militia & who inherited his father’s land. He was born on 22 Apr 1794.

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Glengarry Light Infantry