Philip was was a NY farmer and lived near Stone Arabia. He was in Capt. Soffrines Deychert's Co. in March 1757. He was a private in the KRRNY, Battalion 1 and inlisted on May 22, 1780. In 1781-3 he was in Captain Patrick Daly's Company. In 1784 he had drawn lots for land in Royal Township #2 (Cornwall).
They were married about 1747, probably at Stone Arabia, in New York State. They had 8 sons and 3 daughters. Six of their sons served in the KRRNY. Maria was beaten by the colonists in August 1777 and died at Schenectady in 1779. She is buried at Trinity Lutheran Church, Stone Arabia. Philip had property confiscated in the Stone Arabia district of Tryon County as per judgment signed 14-7-83 (1783). Philip died at Cornwall, Ontario.
We obtain information on Philip's hardships during the Revolution from his petition to Frederick Haldimand, General and Commander in Chief of His Majesty's Forces in the Province of Quebec, dated March 1, 1781 at Montreal. This petition was resubmitted on December 6, 1782.
The humble Petition of Philip Empey, lately an Inhabitant of Stoneraby near the Mohake River.
That your Excellency's Petitioner received many Insults and Abuses from the Rebels, prior to his being confined in Jail in Spring 1777, till he would swear Allegiances to the Congress, but on Refusal was put in the Dungeon, where he was continued till he expected nothing but Death, by the severity of his Confinement. Wherefore, to save his Life, he submitted to swear whatever they desired him. That when the King's Forces were before Fort Stanwix, he and three of his Sons were made Prisoner s as well as many other Tories, in order to bring them to Battle against the said Forces; he made his Escape on which they imprisoned his Wife and Children, in Johnstown Jail except for four sons. Viz. One who had joined Sir John in Canada, and the aforesaid three, whom by his Order, went and joined him at Fort Stanwix. That after Pet'rs Escape, they advertised fifty Pounds Reward for taking him dead or alive, and at the same Time took Possession of his Estate, real and personal, which they have disposed of and converted to their own use.
That Pet'rs Wife and Children were set at Liberty, on the Rebels' Reinforcement being beat and dispersed near Fort Stanwix. Then She returned to her own House, expecting to live in it again, but they beat and abused her in such a Manner, that she was carried out by four men and left on the high Road. As soon as she recovered a little, she procured Friends to bring her to Schenectady where she continued till she died.
That after your Pet'rs Wife's Death, his Friends procured Permission for him, from the Rebel Commissioners of Albany, to live with his Children in Schenectady, under many particular Restrictions. That in a Short Time after, one of Col. Butler's Rangers, who had been Prisoner, and made his Escape, came to Petitioner in Schenectady; he concealed him till after Cherry Valley was cut off; then he sent him off to join his Corps. That after said Ranger was gone, it was found out that he was concealed, and conveyed off by Petitioner, for which he was again confined in Prison, where he was kept thirteen Weeks, before he got bail for his future good Behaviour. That soon after Pet'r was bailed, he paid his Bail the Forfeiture, which was all he could command in the World, and then went to Sir John's Settlement, where he continued concealed till Sir John arrived there last Spring (1780), when he and three more of his Sons, and a Son-in-law, came here with Sir John.
Your Petitioners Children consist of eight Sons and three Daughters. Viz.
1. Son who joined Sir John in Canada before he went to Fort Stanwix.
3. ds who joined him while he was before -do-
2. ds who joined him last May when he was at Johnstown.
1. ds uder 14 yrs, having got but little learning these troublesome times, is now at School in Montreal, otherwise should have joined him ere now.
1. ds under 13, and three Daughters are in Mehake Country also his son-in-law has joined Sir John, and your Petitioner likewaise; but being far advanced in years, and having been always used to plenty of every Necessary of Life finds it very hard to subsist on the bare Pay of a private Soldier, not being capable of adding anything to it by Labour, or any other Assistance, as his Sons have enough to do to provide for themselves, and to keep their Brother to School & provide him Clothing etc.
Wherefore your Petitioner humbly prays that your excellency would take his Age and Situation into Consideration, and to allow him such subsistence as will enable him to live more comfortably than he can possible do in his present Situation. And your Petitioner as in Duty bound, will ever Pray.
The petition was certified by Sir John Johnson.
On the petition which was resubmitted at Montreal on December 6, 1782, we find additional information. Now only one daughter and his youngest son still remained in the Rebel Country. That Pet'r, while the Shipping were discharging their Loading here last Fall, was endevouring to earn something to assist him in his necessities Wants, but was so unfortunate as to fall under a large Bale, which dislocated his Knee, and so bruised his Limbs and Body, that he is rendered incapable of doing any Thing to help to support himself. That your Pet'r gratefully acknowledges the Receipt of five Pounds, by the Hands of Mr. Ducame, the 24th of February last. That your Petitioner humbly prays, that your Excellence will please to consider his Age and Decrepit Condition, and if it seems meet to your Excellency to allow him some subsistence.
Philip had also made his Petition know to Abraham Crysler, Inspector of Loyalists etc.
Philip made a claim to the British Government, dated March 2, 1786, for £1255.1.5 for losses he suffered during the Revolution. These losses included horses, cows, oxen, sheep, hogs, wheat, peas, oats, hay, household furniture, sleighs, iron bound waggon, harness, large chain, fanning mill, 3 female slaves, and 5 firelocks. As well he claimed on 600 acres of land in lot 12 about 32 miles from Johnstown in the Glens Patent, including 30 acres of cleared land and materials to build a grist mill. He also had 62 acres of land 12 miles from Johnstown at Stone Arabia, all cleared and under good improvement, with 2 houses, a barn, and a large orchard. The claim was initially rejected, but he persisted in his claim, and by December 14, 1787, the Government had agreed he was a Loyalist and was offering £615. He resided at New Johnstown. We have no record of whether he actually received this amount.
His will was dated August 17, 1795 at Chipaway. It was probated February 27, 1796 before Richard
Wilkinson Esquire, Judge of the Surrogate Court of the Eastern District of the Province of Upper
Canada by the appointed administrator, Samuel Anderson. His children had refused to act as
executors of the will "... actuated from many motives to relinquish their Right of administrating to
the said Testators Estate, and he having died unmarried, .."
His will bequeathed as follows:
"To son Christopher and wife my iron stove, and my bedding and all the rest of my household furniture .."
"To my grandson Philip Empey, the son of Christopher Empey 200 acres of Land lying in the said Caldwell Town (Cornwall) being lot number eleven in the 13th concession .."
"I give all the rest of my Estate and Effects to my Children (viz.), John Empey, Philip Empey Junr, Jacob Empey, Christofull Empey, Peter Empey, Henry Empey, Eve Van Koughenor the wife of Michael Van Koughenor, Mary Link the wife of John Link, Barbary Venance the wife of Michael Venance to be equally divided among them, but the share belonging to Barbary Venance she shall not receive, till such time as she shall come into this Province to settle or her children may receive it, if any of them shall come and settle in this Province."
Updated May 29, 2009