Benjamin Bullock: Caldwell & Christie Manors

After the start of the American Revolution, loyalists from the thirteen colonies, primarily New York state, began moving north along Lake Champlain and the down the Richelieu River and settled in Christie Manor. The seigneurial system of land tenure in Christie Manor was carried over from the French regime. Loyalists who settled in this area became tenants i,e, censitaires and paid fees to the seigneure, Colonel Gabriel Christie and subsequently his heirs. The first record of our ancestor, Benjamin Bullock, shows up on a lease agreement between Benjamin and Napier Christie Burton, the seigneur at that time.

Loyalist were those leaving the American colonies following the American revolution sometime in the 1780s and 1790s. Benjamin’s arrival in Noyan sometime in 1819 or following is too late for him to be considered a loyalist. However, it is possible that he was following either a family member of family friend who had migrated here as a loyalist.

As Herb Derick states in his article The Loyalists of the Eastern Townships of Quebec:

It appears that strained patriotic relations between relatives and former friends did not last for many years, as within a very short time, non-loyalists were coming forward to take up crown lands east of the seigniories and also to purchase titles on conceded lands in the seigniories. Many references may be found to this effect, in particular, the list of persons who took the oath of allegiance at “Missiskoui Bay” in 1795. Also, agents travelled to the colonies to encourage people to come northward. Nevertheless, perhaps the settled loyalists themselves were the greatest propagandists for the development of the new country. Relatives of various degrees came to the manor and settled likely due to the good reports from the loyalists.

This may be another clue as to the origins of our Benjamin Bullock

The settlers of British origin were dissatisfied with the seigneurial system of land tenure. Petitions were made over the years to have it changed. After many attempts to modify it, the seigneurial system was abolished in 1854. Seigneurs were compensated. Censitaires were given free and clear ownership of the land they were leasing.

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