953. Ensign Nathaniel LEONARD1141,1142 was born about 1766 in Middleborough, Plymouth Co, MA.2 He died about 1828 at the age of 62 in Ontario, Canada. He was buried in Cataraqui United Church Cemetery, 965 Sydenham Road, Kingston, Ontario, Canada K7M 3L8.1143 He was referred to as Nathaniel Leonard 2nd and Nathaniel Leonard, Jr., in Middleborough VR's (e.g. at birth of son Nathaniel and son Simeon). There was another Nathaniel Leonard in Middleborough (his uncle), which would have made him the younger of the two and hence "jr." or 2nd.
He was an Ensign in the Mass. Militia by the time of the birth of son Simeon in 1803, according to Middleboro VR's. He was also referred to as Ensign Nathaniel Leonard in the Middleboro Gazette of 2/26/1859:2 for the purchase of the herring privilege at Assawaset Brook in 1797.
In the 1790 Census, there is no Nathaniel Leonard listed in Middleborough. He would have been married by then and had a daughter. There is a Nathaniel Leonard, household of 3, one male 16+ and 2 female, listed just over the border in nearby Raynham near Zephaniah Leonard and others who were involved with the ironworks there. This leads to the conjecture that Nathaniel was working as a journeyman at the ironworks there, refining his knowledge of their construction and operation from that experience.
In the 1800 Census, Nathaniel Leonard 2nd is listed with a number of other Leonards in Middleborough. Nathaniel 2nd must have been born between 1756 and 1774, as he is listed in the "males 26-44" column. The family consisted of 2 males under 10 (Nathaniel and Abraham), 1 female 10-15 (Betsy), and one female 26-44 (Betsy). There is a Nathaniel Leonard with a family of 8 also living in Middleborough in the 1800 Census, but gone by the 1810 Census (died or moved?).
There are several Nathaniel Leonards who served in the Revolutionary War. Several were definitely not this Nathaniel, viz. Nathaniel of Plymouth who served as a seaman, Nathaniel of Raynham who served as a private and a corporal, Nathaniel of Taunton who served as a major and lt. colonel. He was possibly the Nathaniel Leonard, private, who served in Capt. Elisha Barney's company and Capt. Benjamin Rider's company in alarms at Rhode Island in 1776, but he was probably too young to serve at the time.
ECL: "He got into trouble over a horse and skipped off to Canada," according to genealogist Elisha Clark Leonard in his manuscript (p. 172) tracking 7 generations of Leonards. GML: ECL notes "Nat. got into some trouble about a horse, some deviltry, and ran to Canada. Whether father or son do not know. GML." ECL has sparse information on Nathaniel, including birth date, leaving it as 176-. Same is true for other children of Joseph. GML's charts include essentially the same information as ECL's, but trace the descendants further.
There is in the Court of Common Pleas 1796 to 1807 the following cases: "25. Nathaniel Leonard, II, Gentleman (Middleborough) v. Josiah Leonard (Westport Forgeman). Case, that on 13 September 1798 pltf. casually lost 'a brown stallion horse to the value of forty dollars,' which the deft. found and 'converted to his own use,' to pltf's damage of $50. Default by deft. Judgment for $40 and $6.99 costs. Fully satisfied." Nathaniel was the plaintiff and the victim of the pilfered horse. He was not a "horse thief," and the incident does not appear, contrary to Elisha Clark Leonard's description, to have been the cause of his "skipping off to Canada." His son, Nathaniel, would have been 6 years old, so confusion between the two is unlikely. Josiah is listed as a Middleboro and Wareham forgeman in other court cases of the time. Both Nathaniel and Josiah were defendants in cases before the Court of Common Pleas in the 1790 - 1805 time frame, mostly over unpaid debts. Land records indicate Nathaniel's property was attached in 1802, with the threat to send him to debtors prison if he didn't pay up. It seems more likely that he "skipped off to Canada" because of his debts. Josiah went to western New York about 1813, perhaps for the same reason and the potential for economic betterment.
James Sproat Esq. (Taunton) and William and Zachariah Porter (Both Middleborough Traders) attached Nathaniel Leonard (Middleborough Millwright). Case, on note dated 10 January 1794 for £10.2s.5 1/2d. payable on demand to pltfs. "by the Name of William Porter and Co." with interest till paid. This establishes Nathaniel's profession -- a millwright -- which would have classified him as a "gentleman."
There are no cases after 1806. His last mention in the Plymouth County court records was 6 May 1804, when he and Leonard Sears were tasked with a coroners inquest. Was this about the time when he "skipped off to Canada?"
In Canada he married Jennet (Jennette, Janet, Mary Jane) McDonell (McDonald?). Her father was a Loyalist of Edwardsburg Township, Grenville Co. Earliest record in Canada is an application for land from Jennet Leonard, his wife, dated 21 January 1809, requesting 200 acres of land, apparently promised to those who were of age (21) and would settle there. Nathaniel and Jennette had 8 children, of which Joseph was the oldest. The 1812 records for Edwardsburg mentions Nathaniel Leonard with 50 acres of uncleared land. He served as a private soldier in a troop of Provincial Light Dragoons from June to December 1812 and possibly longer. He applied to keep an inn in Edwardsburg. Nathaniel and family appear in the 1821 Census and tax rolls, having 25 uncultivated acres and one cow. They rented a place near Spencerville. The family appears again in the 1825 Census. They were at Lot 25, 7th Concession, and after 1828, Lot 20, 9th Concession. That's about the time Nathaniel died.
Apparently, Nathaniel died at a fairly early age (winter of 1828-29), and Joseph at age 18 took over providing for the family. A deposition from a neighbor in 1850 says that he died intestate and that Joseph Helmer Leonard was his eldest son and heir at law.
An obituary appearing in the Canadian Christian Advocate, Hamilton, Ontario, dated July 4, 1877, about Nathaniel's son, Rev. Joseph Helmer Leonard, says: "His father was a citizen of Massachusetts and went to Canada to erect large mills, being a very skillful builder of such machinery. Joseph pursued this occupation up to the age of 18, when his father died and left him and his widowed mother in charge of seven younger children." It is possible Nathaniel Leonard visited Canada in the years before he "skipped off."
In Massachusetts, Nathaniel was listed as a millwright, as was his brother Joseph. His father was listed in several court suits as a carpenter or joiner. His father worked as a carpenter/joiner for the Oliver complex of mills and ironslitting forge on the Nemasket River in the village of Muttock in Middleborough in the late 1700's until he died in 1783. It seems likely that Nathaniel and his brother learned their trade from their father and also worked for the Oliver mills. Land records indicate they lived in Muttock. Jesse Bryant, Jr., father of Nathaniel's wife Betsey, was foreman of the Oliver complex during that period. That period was also the start of a century of mill construction along New England's streams, the Slater mill built in 1790 in Pawtucket, RI, celebrated as being the first cotton/woolen mill in the US.
During the War of 1812, Nathaniel served as a private in a troop of provincial light dragoons from June to December 1812 and possibly longer. He may have been a part of Lt. Col. "Red George" Mcdonnell's troops who captured Ogdensburg in 1813 (in retaliation for the American attack on Gananoque in 1812?). His friend, Joseph Helmer, after whom it is postulated his son was named, died during that attack. He died before claiming his entitlement of land for military service; and his son Joseph, as his heir, made that claim in 1850 (Ont. Archives RG 1, C13, vol. 133, p. 88). The War of 1812 must have cut into Nathaniel's mill business, as in 1812, 1816, and 1817 he applied for and was granted a license to keep an inn at his home in Edwardsburgh, the 10 pounds for his license being his tax for the year.
His borrowing of money and being sued for nonpayment continued in Canada. A sample of court cases: From Archives of Ontario, Johnstown District Court Case Files. RG22-416-0-1296 Year of 1825 Trueman Raymond sues Nathaniel Leonard for non-payment of promissory note dated 6 April 1821 to the amount of £9-11-3. This debt is settled by court order on 11 Feb 1826 in the amount of £10-0-6.
The first iron smelting in this part of Canada occurred at an ironworks at Lyndhurst in 1801. It is unclear whether Nathaniel had any part in its operation. It started under Wallis Sunderlin of VT and later operated by James Schofield, who apparently left to return to New York. It operated until 1811, when it was destroyed by fire. Nathaniel is listed as a gentleman and millwright in a court suit in MA; his father was a carpenter/joiner and possibly a refiner of iron.
Nathaniel was a Presbyterian, his wife Jennet was raised a Roman Catholic, and their children were left free to pick their own religious affiliation. They were buried in a United Church cemetery.
Information on this branch of the family courtesy of Lisa Leonard and Eric Bowler via the Internet April 4 to 8, 2002. Eric says the information about the Leonards came to him from Molly Leonard, who was living on Taiwan in 1999. Eric also supplied documentation concerning Nathaniel. In particular, the annual local census and tax assessment rolls for Edwardsburgh provide detail as to the family from 1810 to 1832, when the family disappears from the Edwardsburgh rolls. It would appear that Nathaniel was travelling a large part of the time, one would guess due to his work, and that the family rented a house near town while retaining most of the acreage granted to Janet/Jane.
Check Russ Waller, Frontenac Co. Loyalist Families, Kingston, ON December 1996, p. 158.
Ensign Nathaniel LEONARD and Betsey BRYANT were married on 20 March 1788 in Middleborough, Plymouth Co, MA.2,1144 Betsey BRYANT, daughter of Jesse BRYANT and Mercy SHAW, was born on 24 March 1770 in Middleborough, Plymouth Co, MA.1145 She died on 28 February 1858 at the age of 87 in Cazenovia, New York.1146 There were four Elisabeth or Betsy Bryants born in Middleborough about the right time to have been Nathaniel's wife:
- Betsy Bryant, daughter of Jesse Bryant and Mercy Shaw, born March 24, 1770 (Middleborough VR, CD# 203, p. 297)
- Elisabeth Bryant, daughter of Amos and Margaret Bryant, born October 31, 1770. Elizabeth Bryant, "pauper 8 yrs," died October 15, 1843, in Middleborough, age 73 (born 1770), daughter of Amos.
- Elisabeth Bryant, daughter of Seth and Sarah Bryant, born July 13, 1772
- Betsy Bryant, daughter of Micah Bryant and Margaret Paddock, born January 26, 1773 (Middleborough VR, CD #203, p. 271)
Various genealogists have various Betsy Bryants marrying Nathaniel Leonard. A Bryant genealogy by Albert Scott Bryant lists Betsy, daughter of Micah and Margaret, as marrying Nathaniel. A. S. Foley has Elizabeth, daughter of Amos and Margaret, as marrying Nathaniel. Hadaway on his web site has either Betsy by Jesse and Mercy or by Micah and Margaret as marrying Nathaniel. Two Betsy Bryants are in Middleboro VR's, Jesse and Mercy's, born 3-24-1770, and Micah and Margaret's, b. 1-26-1773. Elizabeth Bryant, dau. of Amos and Margaret, b. 10-31-1770, is also there (She died 15 Oct 1843 in the Middleborough Alms House). In none of the cases is the husband shown, although it is for some women in the records.
A Betsy Bryant of Freetown and William Howland of Middleborough married December 9, 1790 (bans published November 14). Elisabeth Bryant married Nathaniel Leonard, Jr., March 20, 1788 (bans February 29), but the Middleboro VR's don't list her parents. An Elisabeth Bryant married Josiah Manley of Middleborough August 16, 1744 in Brockton. And an Elisabeth Bryant married Israel Cook October 15, 1795, in Boston. None of these records list the parents of the bride.
"Hard copy" (as opposed to the CD versions) of the Middleborough VR lists the intentions and the marriage of Nathaniel Leonard, Jr., and Elizabeth Bryant as February 29 and March 20, 1788, respectively (Middleborough VR, Vol II, Book 2, Part 2, p. 111, p. 150).
The History of the Town of Middleborough, Massachusetts, 1669-1905 by Thomas Weston (Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, 1906) includes an appendix with the membership of the First Church of Middleborough. On page 673, record dated August 23, 1807, the date she became a member of the Congregation, member no. 686, Betsey Leonard, w. Nathan'l, m. 1788, o. Bryant, fa. 637, d." Betsy Bryant Leonard, who married Nathaniel in 1788, was member #686, and her father, Jesse, was member #637.
Until I find evidence otherwise, I believe Betsy Bryant, the daughter of Jesse Bryant and Mercy Shaw, was the wife of Nathaniel Leonard.
This Betsy had a brother, Abraham Bryant, son of Jesse and Mercy, who was born July 22, 1786 (Middleborough VR, CD 203, p. 298), and died September 30, 1796 (Records from the Nemasket Cemetery, Middleborough, CD 203, p. 2; Middleborough VR, CD 203, p. 271). It may be just a coincidence that Betsy and Nathaniel named a son Abraham Bryant Leonard in December 1796.
A Betsey Leonard is listed in the 1820 Census in Middleborough as head of household of two, both women.
There was a Betsy Leonard, 80, living in the household of Rev. Lewis Leonard, husband of the late Betsey Leonard, in Cazenovia, NY, in the 1850 Census. Could it be that Betsy Bryant Leonard didn't die in 1807 before/after Nathaniel skipped off to Canada? The Rev. Lewis Leonard maintained ties with the Middleboro area, with his arrival noted in the Middleboro Gazette 10/21/52:3 and his death 12/05/1856:2. The death of a Betsey Leonard, former Middleboro woman at age 88, is noted in the Gazette 3/13/58:3. This appears to have been our Betsy, who was born in 1770. "In Cazenovia, N.Y., on the 28th of February 1858, Mrs. Betsey Leonard, aged 88 years. Her native place was Middleboro. In 1827 she came to this place with her son-in-law, the late Rev. Dr. Lewis Leonard, in whose family she found a home soon after the early death of her husband. Having outlived all her children, she spent the last nine years of her life in the family or Mr. H. J. Weed, with her grand-daughter, and was kindly cared for to the last. Mrs. Leonard was distinguised for quietness, industry, and good will. She was a blessing to those with whom she lived, and a blessing to the Baptist Church, of which she was a member. A firm believer in Christ, the fruits of righteousness were apparent to the last. Pleasant are the memories of this aged disciple." (Cazenovia Republican).
Ensign Nathaniel LEONARD and Betsey BRYANT had the following children:
Ensign Nathaniel LEONARD and Jane Jennett MCDONELL were married about 1808 in Edwardsburgh, Ontario, Canada. Jane Jennett MCDONELL, daughter of John MCDONELL, was born in 1787 in Edwardsburgh, Ontario, Canada. She died on 6 July 1858 at the age of 71 in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.1149 She was buried in Cataraqui United Church Cemetery, 965 Sydenham Road, Kingston, Ontario, Canada K7M 3L8.1143 Variations on the name: Jennet McDonell, Jane McDonald. Jennett is in documents related to land grants; Jane is name on her tombstone.
From Upper Canada Land Grants RG1, C14, Volume 3, page 37: Lot 17, concession 3, Township of Osgood, was granted to Jennet Leonard as the daughter of a United Empire Loyalist. Acording to Ontaio Archives land recrods GS3714, reel 576 (Osgood Township), she sold it on 15 March 1832. This was just weeks before son Joseph's marriage, so it may have financed her move to Kingston and perhaps helped Joseph and his bride.
The Osgood land records show the following grants to children of John McDonell of Edwardsburg: Lot 17, Jennet Leonard, lot 21 Ann McDonell, lot 25, Catherine McDonell, Lot 30-32 Allan McDonell.
Ensign Nathaniel LEONARD and Jane Jennett MCDONELL had the following children: