Abraham J. Truax
and the Loyalist Connection
Abraham J. Truax was born in Schenectady, New York, and apparently served as a private in the Albany County Militia, 2nd. Regiment, during the American Revolutionary War (although this person may have actually been Abraham Jellis Truax, a cousin). He and his wife Elizabeth Van Antwerp had 8 children. The eldest (Jacob) fought for the Americans during the war, and the youngest (Abraham Jr.) would have been born soon after it had ended.
It seems that around 1795, Abraham moved most of his family north into the Dunham / Farnham area of the Eastern Townships in Quebec (Lower Canada), an area already heavily populated with United Empire Loyalists. He would have been about 58 years old by then, and most of his children (except for Abraham Jr.) would have been adults.
The burning question in all this is why the move to Lower Canada? Had Abraham J. Truax become a Loyalist himself, or was he simply taking advantage of the free land being offered north of the new border? We do know that several of Abraham's sons and daughters married into Loyalist families, most before the move to Quebec, and one of his brothers (at least) was a bone fide Loyalist. Some of the loyalist connections in Abraham J.'s family:
It was not uncommon for families to find themselves split on opposite sides of the Revolutionary War, and while it would have been quite unusual for someone to serve a while in the American militia and then switch sides, it was not unheard of either.
- Gillis (Elias) Truax (brother, b.1727)
- descendents registered U.E.L. with the Sir John Johnson Branch, Quebec
- Isaac Jacob Truax (brother, b. 1726)
- suspected of harbouring Tory sympathizers at his tavern on the old Albany Road.
- Isaac Truax (son, b. 1765)
- may have been the Isaac who served in the King's Royal Regiment of New York, 2nd Battalion, Canniff Settlement of Upper Canada.
- patent issued to an Isaac Trueax or Truax on 3-23-1798 for 114 acres, northeast ½ of Lot 35 in 1st concession of Elizabethton by special order of Governor Haldimand between 1785-1789.
- Harmanus Truax (son, b.1764)
- married Dorothea Larroway, the daughter of Jonas Larroway (United Empire Loyalist with Butler's Rangers), in 1785.
- made his mark on an "Oath of Loyalty to the British Crown" in 1793.
- Neeltje Truax (daughter, b.1769)
- married Nicholas Larroway, son of Jonas Larroway (U.E.L.), in 1786
- Abraham (son, b. 1782)
- married Jane Scott, granddaughter of Walter Scott (jailed in 1776 for loyalty to the British), abt. 1806. Jane's mother's family, the Freemans, were also Loyalists.
- served in the Lower Canada Militia during the War of 1812.
We may never know what Abraham's personal motivations were in moving to Quebec and founding one of the largest branches of the Truax family in Canada. If he did prefer British rule, there is no record that he actually fought for them, and since he moved after the war was over he may not have been entitled to compensation for any losses. Was he or wasn't he? The mystery may forever go unsolved.
Truax / Jaques / Holding Family Album