An American Family History

The Church Family

On February 7, 1813, the American army raided Elizabethtown (present day Brockville, Leeds County, Ontario). The Americans crossed the frozen St. Lawrence River and seized equipment, freed American prisoners, and captured Canadian men.

Jonathan Church was born about 1760 in Brattleboro, Windham County, Vermont. He was the son of Malachi Church.

During the American Revolution, he remained loyal to the crown.

His first wife was Jerusha Johns.

Susannah Church (1787, married Samuel Brooker),
Hannah Church (1790, married Abel Newman),
Daniel John Church (1791, married Claramanda DeWolfe),
Jonathan Mills Church, Jr. (1794).

He married his second wife, Mary Munsell, on May 11, 1797.

Sarah Church (1799, married William Booth),
Jerusha Church (1798, married Selah Hawk),
Basil R. Church (1801, married Emily Lawrence, Jerusha, and Mary Ann Hayden),
Hiram Turner Munsell(1804, died as an infant),
Peter Howard Church (1805, married Sylvia Comstock Collar),
Benjamin Ruggles Munsell (1807), and
Horatio Nelson Church (1810).

The family settled near Brockville in Leeds County, Ontario.


On a complaint being made upon Oath by William T. Slater against Elkany Billings. The Court ordered that the said Elkany Billings should be bound by Recognizance in the sum of one hundred pounds together with his two Surities], William Buell and Jonathn Mills Church, each to be bound in Recognizance in the sum of fifty pounds that the said Elkany Billings shall appear at the next Assizes to be holden in this District to answer to the complaint exhibited against him. The Court also orders that the Complainant William T. Slater should be bound over to appear and prosecute his complaint at the next District Assizes.. in the sum of one hundred pounds.

Nathaniel Brown of Elizabethtown Innkeeper acknowledges to owe to Our Sovereign Lord the King the sum of ten pounds and Billa Flint and Jonathan Mills Church both of the same Yeomen each acknowledge to owe to Our Sovereign Lord the King the sum of five pounds upon condition that the said Nathaniel Brown shall suffer no unlawful games, drunkeness, or any other disorder to be used or committed in his House for and during the term of one year from the fifth day of January last, but shall keep good order and rule within the same during the said term according to law, then this recognizance to be void, otherwise to remain in full force.

Mary died on December 3, 1812.

During the War of 1812, Jonathan, Jr. and Daniel were privates in the 1st Leeds Militia.

He married Ursula Rowe on January 14, 1814.

Hiram Turner Church (1815 died as an infant).
Emily Church (1820).

Jonathan died on May 31, 1846.

United Empire Loyalists were Americans who remained loyal to King George III and the British Empire. They moved to Canada after the American Revolution.



The French and Indian War lasted from 1754 to 1763 and was the North American phase of the Seven Years' War.

from A Cyclopedia of Canadian Biography: Being Chiefly Men of the Time ..., Volume 1 edited by George Maclean Rose

. . .Colonel Benjamin Church, distinguished himself in the French and Indian wars in which the New England colonists were engaged, having commanded the volunteer army, which, in a protracted kind of guerilla warfare, defeated and afterwards killed the celebrated Indian King, Philip, who had given so much trouble and alarm to the early settlers.

At the breaking out of the revolutionary war, the Church family, respectable both in numbers and position, being Whigs, espoused the Republican cause, except two, who took up arms to defend the royal prerogative. One of these was killed in battle, and the other, Jonathan Mills Church, was taken prisoner in 1777, by the American army, from whose custody he escaped and came to Canada, and ultimately settled in the neighborhood of Brockville.

He took an active part in defending Canada during the war of 1812-13-14. and died at a very advanced age in 1846


from Annals of Battleboro

The militia of Cumberland County formed a brigade, subsequently divided by the Legislature of New York into the northern regiment and the southern regiment. The officers of the southern regiment, who received their commissions from the Council of Appointment of that state, August 18, 1778, were, in Brattleboro,
Timothy Church, Captain;
James Blakslee, First Lieutenant;
Jonathan Church, Second Lieutenant;
Samuel Root, Ensign.

In 1784 Nathaniel Church’s house was the most northeastern dwelling in the town;
Captain Nathaniel Bliss was living on Bliss Farm in 1790
John Thomas located in 1793 upon the farm afterwards owned by his grandson.
Jonathan Church built, before 1787, a sawmill above Joseph Clark’s fulling mill....


from Minutes of the Commissioners for Detecting and Defeating ..., Volume 2 By New York (State) Commission for Detecting and Defeating Conspiracies

October 30, 1780

Capt Blackley appeared before the Board and informed us that agreeable to a warrant from this Board (transmitted to Col Patterson on the 17th Instant) he had apprehended Capt Timothy Church and Jonathan Mills Church resolved that they be [brought] before [the] Board and severally Examined —

Capt Timothy Church and Jonathan Mills Church being examined say as follows (see their Examinations on File)

Lieut Jonathan Church who was cited to appear this Day before us as a Witness against the said Timothy Church & Jonathan Mills Church appeared and was examined (see his Examination on file) —

Resolved on Consideration of the above Examinations that Jonathan Mills Church be discharged and that Timothy Church be discharged on entering into a Recognizance for his Appearance before any three of the Commissioners for Conspiracies when called upon and for his good Behaviour and doing his duty during the continuance of the present war with Great Britain —

Timothy Church of Brattleborough in the County of Cumberland Farmer in £300

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©Roberta Tuller 2023
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