drawing by C.W. JEFFERYS
The United Empire Loyalists are American colonists who stayed loyal to the British Crown during the American Revolution (1775 - 1783) and came to settle n Canada. I have a relative who has been searching for the Loyalist in our tree ever since she read mention of one in my great-grand aunt's papers.
QUOTE from Wikipedia: Realising the importance of some type of recognition, on November 9, 1789, Lord Dorchester, the governor of Quebec and Governor General of British North America, declared "that it was his Wish to put the mark of Honour upon the Families who had adhered to the Unity of the Empire". As a result of Dorchester's statement, the printed militia rolls carried the notation:
"Those Loyalists who have adhered to the Unity of the Empire, and joined the Royal Standard before the Treaty of Separation in the year 1783, and all their Children and their Descendants by either sex, are to be distinguished by the following Capitals, affixed to their names: U.E. Alluding to their great principle The Unity of the Empire."
That means that if you are descended from a Loyalist you can use the letters U.E. after your name, just as a doctor uses M.D. It is said to be the only honorific in Canada that is hereditary. Also you can use the Loyalist coronet in your coat of arms.
Military Coronet Civil Coronet
Lorine McGinnis Schulze at Olive Tree Genealogy Blog was the inspiration for this article, giving you tips on finding a Loyalist ancestor in your tree. She reminds us that if you don't find your ancestor on one list, look on others.
Ontarian Families: Genealogies of United-empire-loyalists and others 1898
Kingston and the Loyalists of the "Spring Fleet" of 1783 : with reminiscenses of early days in Connecticut; a narrative to which is appended a diary written by Sarah Frost on her voyage to St. John, NB with the Loyalists of 1783