The History and Master Roll of the King's Royal Regiment of New York

by Ernest A. Cruikshank and Gavin K. Watt


The American Revolution was an epic struggle that split families, oftentimes with brothers, fathers and sons supporting different sides. The King's Royal Regiment of New York played no small role in both the conflict and later by providing men and their families to help establish and expand British settlement in Canada.

Gavin Watt's first book on this topic, The King's Royal Regiment of New York [1982] has been significantly revised in this new edition. This new volume [2006] provides much new content, including corrections, additions and newly discovered sources that have come to light during the 22 years of research since the earlier book.

The 1984 edition was received extremely well. Readers of the 2006 version benefit from the work in the 1984 volume plus a many very important enhancements in the new edition.

Some of the enhancements in this 2006 edition include:

  1. Every piece of information in the Master Roll about veterans of the original regiment Roll has a coded source attributed to it.
  2. All the coded sources (145 primary, 120 primary transcripts, 117 secondary) are listed in a descriptive bibliography.
  3. A Surname Concordance provides a simple method of navigating through spelling variations.
  4. With some trepidation, the names of many of the men's wives not found in military sources have been provided.
  5. Because of a great deal of conflicting information about the original regiment's uniforms has been uncovered since 1984, there are no longer any images of re enactors. This edition is substantially enhanced with many more pictures of original artifacts of the regiment.
  6. The same comprehensive, cross-referenced index that was so popular in the 1984 edition is repeated.

The history of the regiment and of the men of The King's Royal Regiment has great significance to those with an interest in the American Revolutionary War and the subsequent resettlement of United Empire Loyalists and others, many of whom migrated to Canada.
Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Biography of Ernest A. Cruikshank
  • The Cruikshank history, The King's Royal Regiment of New York
  • Introduction In the Valley of the Mohawk
  • Chapter I The Flight to Canada
  • Chapter II The Winter of 1776-77
  • Chapter III The Expedition Against Fort Stanwix
  • Chapter IV Service on the Frontier in 1778
  • Chapter V Scouting and Recruiting
  • Chapter VI A Blow in the Air
  • Chapter VII The Raid to Johnson Hall
  • Chapter VIII The Second Raid Into the Valley
  • Chapter IX Alarums and Excursions
  • Chapter X The Third Raid Into the Valley
  • Chapter XI The Occupation of Oswego
  • Chapter XII The Last Foray
  • Chapter XIII Guarding the Gates
  • Chapter XIV The Occupation of Cataraqui
  • Chapter XV Disbandment and Settlement
  • Chapter XVI The Settlement at Catarqui
  • Appendix A Return of the Officers of the 1st Battalion, KRR NY. Return of the Officers of the 2nd Battalion, KRR NY
  • Appendix B General Abstract of Men, Women and Children in the New Townships
  • Appendix I End notes to Cruikshank's Text
  • Appendix II King's Royal Yorkers' Artifacts
  • Appendix III Revised Master Roll
    • Introduction
    • Explanations for Key Abbreviations and Terms
    • Other Regiments and Departments in Canada
    • General Return of the Men of the 1KRR NY, 1783
    • The Roll
    • Miscellaneous abbreviations
  • Surname Concordance
  • Reference Sources
  • Index to text and appendices

Illustrations [7 colour, remainder in b & w]

  • Sir John Johnson, 1772 frontispiece
  • The Powder Horn of Captain Richard Duncan reverse of frontispiece
  • Front view: Regimental jacket of Lieutenant Jeremiah French, 2KRR NY
  • Rear view of same
  • Details of the French uniform, epaulette and jacket vent buttons
  • Regimental Waistcoats of Lieutenant Jeremiah French
  • Second Clothing Period KRR NY buttons, Officers' & Other Ranks
  • The Sword Belt-Plate of Captain John McKenzie, 2KRR NY
  • Bugle of John Serviss, 1KRR NY; Gravestone of George Fikes, 2KRR NY
  • Commission of Ensign Malcolm McMartin
  • Commission of Lieutenant Henry Young, 2KRR NY
  • Discharge Certificate of Private Peter Ferguson, 1KRR NY
  • Discharge Certificate of Private Thomas Wagar, 2KRR NY
  • Discharge Receipts of Private John Duer, 1KRR NY and Corporal James McTaggart, 2KRR NY
  • Portraits of Surgeon Robert Kerr, 2KRR NY; Ensign Miles McDonell, 1KRR NY and Ensign Samuel or Stephen McKay, 2KRR NY
  • The Blockhouse and Barracks at Coteau-du-Lac, ca. 1780
  • Sketch of the works of Fort Haldimand, Carleton Island
  • An modern aerial view of the ruins of Fort Haldimand, Carleton Island
  • A painting of the Settlement at New Johnstown in 1784


  • The Military Activities and Settlement Areas of the KRR NY
  • The Crawford Purchase from the Mississaugas, 1783
  • Fort Haldimand and the harbours of Carleton Island
  • Fort Frontenac and the Town Plot of Cataraqui
  • The Royal and Cataraqui Townships, settled in 1784

409 pages; 6.5 X 9.25"; hardcover in scarlet Buckram; 7 colour plates; maps; illustrations; photos; published 2006 (CD in 2010); index; source-list; ISBN 1-897210-83-3 (bound)



Jpkenned, 20 March 2014 (From Amazon)

Invaluable tool for those whose ancestry is linked to the RRNY. Having the individual officers' names listed was key to my find. I found my x3 great grandpa in it.

Of the 2006 edition
Kathie Orr U.E., Past President of Toronto Branch, United Empire Loyalists Association of Canada. (2007)
This book proves the point of why we must continue to research and not accept earlier works as the definitive sources. Gavin is well known for the quality of his research in his early books and he has outdone himself with this new volume.

Paul J. Bunnell, FACG, UE, Publisher, The Loyalist Quarterly (2007)
The extra effort put into this book places the quality and desire to purchase it at the top of my list. A lot of research was done here and the author must be recognized as the number one authority on The King's Royal Regiment of New York. I would make this book a must item for your Loyalist library. Great job!

Cornelia W. Bush, CG, National Genealogical Society Quarterly (2007)
This book will interest researchers of Loyalists in New York and those tracing English-American, English-Canadian, Scottish-American, Scottish-Canadian, Dutch-American, and Native-American heritage. This detailed history of the Revolutionary War era in New York is written by a Brigadier General with considerable insight into period military matters.
Watt’s painstaking index adds a useful surname concordance identifying the service of thousands of individuals in Cruikshank’s [sic] “Master Roll.” The book provides surname, given name, birth and death dates, enlistment date, battalion, highest rank held, details of service, domicile, trade, where settled, and with what family.
Watt has created an essential book for researchers studying the identity, whereabouts, and fate of Loyalists actively engaged in the Revolutionary War in New York.

Paul Milner, Forum magazine, Federation of Genealogical Societies (2007)
I found the [Master Roll] very helpful and clear to read. I tip my hat to the authors.
There is a very helpful “Surname Concordance” on page 339. You do not see this very often. The source reference section is designed in an excellent manner.

The extra effort put into this book places the quality and desire to purchase it at the top of my list. A lot of research was done here and the authors must be recognized as the number on authority on the King’s Royal Regiment of New York. I would make this book a must item for your Loyalist library. Great Job!

Susan M.S. Gastle, Librarian, Canadian History Department, Metropolitan Toronto Library Boards. (1985)
The additions you have made to the original edition [1931] will be most valuable to both historians and genealogists. Your publication is an excellent contribution to the Loyalist bicentennial, and we are pleased to receive a copy for our collection.

Of the 1984 edition

Canadian Genealogist (1984)
Absolutely at the top of my list.

The muster roll is probably of greatest interest to family researchers, since the KRRNY played such a pivotal role in the early settlement of Upper Canada.

Anyone who knows Gavin Watt can testify to the thoroughness with which this research has been done, and we believe the book will remain the standard work on the corps for decades to come.

Brigadier Cruikshank’s history is itself an outstanding piece of Ontario historical research. The additions… only make it better. Well done! As Dominion Genealogist of the United Empire Loyalists Association of Canada I salute Gavin K. Watt and the St. Lawrence Branch for a major contribution to Loyalist literature.

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