I have included these families because of the interesting history in the family. The McClelland connection is through my great grandmother Mary Elizabeth Hurburt, wife of great grandfather James McClelland. James was born in Ontario and came west, first in 1882, to scout out homesteads. In 1883, he returned with his family and settled near Caron, Saskatchewan. He was accompanied by two of his brother’s-in-law, Asahel and Heman Hurlburt and brother William.
Mary Elizabeth Hurlburt was the daughter of John Hurlburt and Sarah Hurd. Our roots can be traced back to Thomas Hurlburt from Connecticut, USA, who is my 9th great grandfather.
The Hurlburt’s and Hurd’s were originally from England. Thomas Hurlburt and his wife Sarah Ney are the first known ancestors. The first record of them is in 1646 when their son Joseph was born in Connecticut. John Hurd was born about 1673, probably in England. However, it is possible he was born in Connecticut as well. Both families were devout Christians and as can be seen from their names, most are named after biblical characters. They were known as the United Empire Loyalists, and swore allegiance to the King of England. The families were caught up in the American Revolution and this created many problems.
The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also referred to as the American War of Independence, was an armed conflict between Great Britain and those thirteen of its North American colonies which, after the onset of the war, declared independence as the United States of America.
From about 1765 the American Revolution had led to increasing philosophical and political differences between Great Britain and its American colonies. The war represented a culmination of these differences in armed conflict between Patriots and the royal authority which they increasingly resisted. Twelve colonies formed a Continental Congress to coordinate their resistance, and established committees and conventions that effectively seized power. One of these was the Committee of Public Safety. This committe had no legal standing and acted more like vigilantes with no regard for public safety.
The American Revolution started in April 1775. Tensions between the American colonies and the British government had reached the breaking point, especially in Massachusetts. England sent British troops to quell the uprising and thus started the American Revolution. It would not end until 1882, when the independent United States of America was born.
The Hurlburt and Hurd families were caught up in the war and because they were loyal to the King of England, they were considered to be enemies as they would not embrace independence and republicanism. The American revolutionaries set up local Committee’s of Public Safety and they seized the properties and assets of the loyalists. Some of them were driven from their homes, publicly humiliated, tarred and feathered and ridden out of town on a rail or worse, murdered.
It was at this point that thousands of the United Empire loyalists fled to Canada. Some of the Hurd’s and Hurlburt’s joined the militia in Canada and fought against the American’s.