The Land Family

Burlington Gazette - History by Helen Langford

The Land Family
Tues., December 27, 1977

Some time ago, Robert Land was mentioned as a very early settler on the site of Hamilton (1783). Robert originally settled as youth (from Devon) on the Delaware River and soon became influential. He was a wood-turner and a justice of the peace. When war came, his knowledge of the area was used by British - Robert became a dispatch carrier. He was captured only to escape and get to Butler’s Rangers. Meanwhile his sons John and Abel, were also captured - Abel while serving in Joseph Brant’s Company. Phoebe, Robert’s wife and the younger children fled to York (New York) after Indians burned their home.

Robert was re-captured and escaped again, finally catching up with his family early in 1781 in York. That was the last his family heard or saw of him until 1788 or ’89 when word spread to New Brunswick that he was alive and in Niagara District, actually on the bay shore at Hamilton. Following a lengthy trip back to their home on the Delaware, Phoebe and the remaining children, some already married, arrived at Burlington Bay. What a surprise for a lonely settler after 9 years of separation! 

The children of Robert and Phoebe Land had many ties with our area and its inhabitants. Robert Sr., Robert Jr.,and Ephraim were members of Barton Lodge, along with Joseph Brant and George Chisholm. 

Another son, Abel, received a land grant here. Ephraim married George Chisholm’s daughter Mary Christina. They had met first as children in exile in New York City prior to their transport to New Brunswick.

One daughter, named after her mother had married Clement Lucas either in New Brunswick or before - Phoebe Jr. died leaving Clement with 7 children. He joined in-laws on Burlington Bay in 1806, settling in Nelson a year later. 

Another daughter, Abigail, married John McCarter. Abigail received a land grant as a daughter of loyalist Robert Land and she settled as a widow with several children near her sister’s family (Lucas) in Nelson Township.

Source: Langford, Helen. Burlington Gazette [Ontario], 27 Dec. 1977. Microfilm. Burlington Public Library - Central Branch. Reel 50.