The inscription reads:
Maj. Peter Hare Jun
Of the 5th
Ae 62 yrs 1 mo. 22 dys.
I did some google searches and very quickly came up with information about Colonel Peter Hare, who commanded the 5th Lincoln Regiment. (1)
Captain Hare was a loyalist and member of the Butler's Rangers, who participated in the Wyoming Valley Massacre and Cherry Valley Massacre during the American Revolution. (2)
This man according to the Wiki page for Peter Hare, had a son named Peter on Feb 13, 1794 with his second wife Catherine Greenwalt. (3) Unfortunately a source is not cited.
The earliest record I find of Peter Jr is from the 1787 census of Niagara settlers where he reported singly as a head of household in the Return of Disbanded Troops and Loyalists settled in No1 Township of Niagara, which was prepared by Robert Hamilton on September 17, 1787. Another Peter Hare is listed in the same section as a single man, head of the household to 3 women. This Peter had 50 acres of cleared land and produced 15 bushels of winter grain in 1786. (4)
On May 7, 1792, Peter "Junior" was granted lot numbers 1 and 27 (200 acres in 20 chains by fifty) in the 1st Concession in the Township of No. 7 in the district of Nassau (present day Niagara). (5)
All this information points to a Peter Hare junior, who was born before the date inscribed on the tombstone. At this point, it seems like the tombstone is incorrect or perhaps there are three generations of Peters that are being referenced as only 2 men.
To try to weed through all of this, I decided to look at bit more into Captain Peter Hare.
Captain Peter Hare
It's well documented that Captain Peter was born in New York and participated with the Butler's Rangers in the American Revolution.
From what I can see and what seems to be corroborated by his Wiki page, Peter Hare enlisted initially with the 2nd Battalion of the New York Militia under Colonel Wempell in Captain Mynder's company. (6) At some point however he became a turncoat.
In the revolutionary war records, he was appointed lieutenant by Captain Fraser, the assistant superintendent of Canada, as was John Hare Junior, who seems to be his brother. Peter served from May 1 1777 to Dec 24, 1777 and was payed 8 shillings on each of the 238 days that he served. (7)
From Dec 25, 1777 to October 24, 1778, Peter served as Second Lieutenant in Captain William Caldwell's company in the Butler's Rangers and continued to earn 8 shillings per day. (8) He became a Captain of the Butler's Rangers on February 8, 1779. (9)
In the winter of 1780, he lead his company to Detroit to act as scouts for the garrison and they took up positions in some Shawnee villages close to the Ohio River. These villages had seen surprise attacks by the Americans and Shawnee appreciated Hare's presence. At one point he and the company withdrew as far as the Miami River (so they were west of present day Cincinnati) where they built a blockhouse but continued to have scouts in the villages until the Americans withdrew to Fort Pitt. (18)
In the Return of Person under the Description of Loyalists specifying the number, age and sex of each family, we can see that Peter was 30 years old, married and had two daughters Polly, 2 and Catherine 6 months. This record shows hat he his is the captain of a company in the Corps of Rangers Niagara and is dated November 30, 1783 (10) As a side note, a second Peter Hare is recorded in the same return under Captain Lewis Genevys Company in the Corps of Rangers Niagara!!
Peter petitioned for land on a number of occasions for both himself and his children.
- On July 6, 1795 it states that he has drawn no land for his services or family except for 200 acres, which he has accepted as part of the family of lands due to him as per General Haldimand's instructions in 1783, but would now like assigned to him 3000 acres of waste lands of the crown.(11)
- On Oct 12, 1796, it states that he has only taken up 150 acres and has a wife and one child, who was born before Feb 1789. He requested that the judge make up the quota of military lands and 100 hundred for his wife and child, and it appears that it was granted in addition to the 3000 acres that he previously requested. (12)
- On Jan 7, 1797 he petitioned on behalf of his daughters Mary, aged 18 and Catherine, aged 16, as they have not received any land. On April 7, the order was deferred until his daughters reached 21 years of age or were married. (13)
- On July 5, 1798 he was named in a schedule of lands (800 acres in Wyndham) that were transferred to Samuel Street. (14)
On Dec 24 of the same year, his wife Margaret filed for a widows pension. In the application it is stated that she and Peter married on March 2, 1809. (16)
I spent a considerable amount of time trying to find any transcriptions or records for Peter Hare, specifically BMD records but I'm not having any luck yet... There is lots of information referenced on the internet but I'm struggling to find named sources. I found a small biography on him which stated that he was the paymaster for Indian affairs (17), but according to some of the research that I came across, I believe that the paymaster was in fact his brother John.
Peter Hare junior
I recently acquired a collection of books published by the Grimsby Historical Society, entitled "Annals of the Forty" Volume 5 chronicles the loyalists and pioneer families of West Lincoln and contains a couple of pages of information about the Hare family. This seems to be one of the main source of information about the Hares on the internet, and it's source appears to be family history provided by Mrs Donald Clark. Peter Hare Junior was born in Jordan, Ontario on Feb 13, 1797. He married Magdalena Secord, who died June 15, 1846. He married a second time to Jane McGaw and they both died in 1856. The book states that Peter was buried in Jordan and Jane was buried in the Baptist churchyard in Beamsville. I visited the cemetery myself a couple of weeks ago and Peter is buried beside Magdalena, in the Hare family plot. Magdalena and Peter had 10 children, many of which are buried along side of them in Jordan. The one difference I see between the Annals of the Forty and the stone however is that the Annals states that Peter was Captain of the 4th Lincoln Regiment, while his stone states he was a major in the 5th regiment...
(2) (3) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Hare
(5) (11)(12)(13)(14) https://sites.google.com/site/niagarasettlers/petitions-hare-to
(6) Revolutionary War Records - https://www.fold3.com/image/19275530
(7)(8) (9) (10) https://sites.google.com/site/niagarasettlers/soldiers-h
(18) King's men: The Soldier Founders of Ontario - https://books.google.ca/books?id=NDije3s3oeEC&pg=PA163&lpg=PA163&dq=Peter+Hare+Mohawk+valley&source=bl&ots=HdZcjYSY2Q&sig=_XhBMaom2YLQx4rPDyuG-D9cjIk&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjZhJmXj-_WAhWE8YMKHWsbBikQ6AEIOjAE#v=onepage&q=Peter%20Hare%20Mohawk%20valley&f=false