Our Family History

Frederick Mabee (1734-1794)
Trek to Turkey Point
Pioneer in the Canadian Wilderness
5th Great-Grandfather of Glenn Cook

The art work for these history pages was inspired by the story of Frederick Mabee and the "Mabee Party's" trek into the wilderness of Canada. I see the picture on the index page as Fred Mabee and his cousin Peter Secord, (a hunter and explorer) that told Fred about Turkey Point, looking across a little stream at the first cabin at Turkey Point being erected.

I think it took unusual courage to gather his family around him and start off into the wilderness without any help from any group or organization, not even knowing they would be able to keep the land once they settled it, as they would be squatters, to make their home in the wilderness of Canada miles from any other settelments or settelers. I know there were many an other family that set out to settle areas they had never seen, but most of them traveled in groups helping one another.

My 10th Great-Grandfather and 10th Great-Grandmother Isaac Allerton and Mary Norris set out on the Mayflower to settle a place they had never seen also, but they had an organization behind them, supplies and a promise of a another ship the next summer..Even as organized as they were half of them died the first winter including Mary and her new child. The Mabee Party had no promise of anything coming. They were on their own.

I found several very short histories of the "Mabee Party" on the "Maybee Society". web pages. I am copying them here for convenience of reading.

Frederick Mabee was a United Empire Loyalist, whose home had at the British evacuation of New York, been confiscated, and himself and family subjected to indignity by many of his former neighbors because he declined to swear allegiance to the "New Republic", holding as he no doubt conscientiously did, that the grievances of the colonists should be settled by constitutional means rather than by the sword. Having heard of the wonderful fertility and natural advantage of the Long Point (or as it was first called, the Turkey Point) country in Upper Canada from his cousin. Peter Secord, a U.E. Loyalist who had accompanied him to Saint John from New York and who, being an old hunter, had already penetrated the wilds of Upper Canada with one George Ramsay, and Englishman, on a hunting and exploring trip, he resolved to form a small colonization party to open a permanent party at Turkey Point. Gathering many of his relatives together, including his son-in-law, Capt. Teeple, the"Mabee Party" as they were afterwards called, set out in the fall of 1792, but they wintered at Quebec and did not reach Turkey Point until some time in 1793. They brought some household goods, drove several cows, rode horses and employed an Indian guide to pilot the way through the wilderness. The men drove the animals along the shore, the women came in boats, going ashore at night to camp. During the journey through the wilds they sustained themselves largely on cornmeal and milk from the cows.

The party consisted of Frederick Mabee and Lavinia (nee Pelham or Pellum), Oliver Mabee, their eldest son, aged about 19; Simon, the second son, aged 17; Pollum, the youngest son, aged about 5; three single daughters, Polly, Betsy and Sally, and two married daughters, Nancy, with her husband, John Stone and Lydia, with her husband, Capt. Peter Teeple, and their four children. His cousin, Peter Secord and Thomas Welch, also came with the Mabee party.

Frederick Mabee at once erected the first log cabin ever built at the new settlement, at the foot of the hill overlooking Turkey Point. Their corn was pounded in the stump of a walnut tree, the beetle being attached to a "sweep"like the "Old Oaken Bucket".

One year after the arrival of the party he died of apoplexy, and was buried in a hollowed-out walnut log coffin. He was the first white man buried in the new settlement, and a large boulder marks his tomb near Turkey Point. His widow subsequently married Lieut. William B. Hilton, a New York Loyalist of the Kings American Dragoons, but he died three years after the marriage. Large numbers of other Loyalists poured into the settlement shortly after, but the "Mabee Party" came in advance of the rest and became "squatters" until the lands were apportioned by the Crown to all the Loyalists.

Polly and Sally Mabee, two daughters who came to Turkey Point single, married respectively Capt. David Secord, of Butler's Rangers, and Silas Montross, both U.E. Loyalists. The former was a miller at Niagara, but later settled on Catfish creek, west of Orwell; the latter lived at Turkey Point.

The Mabee, Teeple, Secord, Montross and Stone families became prominent factors in the early days of settlement, but now their descendants are very widely scattered. More than a hundred years have come and gone since Frederick Mabee and his sons and sons-in-law made the acquaintance of the wild, painted and befeathered savages of the north shore of Lake Erie, and where they were surprised and startled by the bedlam of discordant sounds, which daily rent the air, from the throats of the myriads of wild turkeys, geese and duck, as these sturdy pioneers staked out their new homes at Turkey Point. Today their great grandsons are found in the ranks of busy men, scattered all over the American continent, and their great-great grandchildren occupy seats in nearly every school house in the land. In fact, these descendants have become so numerous, and so widely dispersed, that they meet as strangers, never dreaming that the old pioneer mother who pounded corn in the hollow of a walnut stump more than a hundred years ago, was their common maternal ancestor.

Title: Emails from Barbara Millar,
Compiler Address: millarbje@sympatico.ca
Author: Barbara Miller
Page: A sketch by W.B. Waterbury, published in the Southern Counties Journal, St. Thomas, in 1899,

Frederick Mabee and Lavinia Pelam. Immigrated BETWEEN 1781 AND 1782 Saint John,, New Brunswick, Canada. He was a loyalist during the American rev. after the war ended he fled to New York City and with his family took a ship to New Brunswick Canada in 1783. His cousin Peter Secord came with the Mabee party.
Title: Pioneer Sketches of Long Point Settlement,
Author: E. A. Owen
Publication: William Briggs, Toronto, 1986, Original Date, 1898
Note: from Helen Bingleman, bingleman@sympatico.ca

Event: Land 02 JUN 1793 Saint John River, Island Rights, York County, New Brunswick, Canada. Granted one lot containing 4 Acres & 3 Roods
Title: Emails from Barbara Millar,
Compiler Address: millarbje@sympatico.ca
Author: Barbara Miller
Page: Microfilm: F16301, New Brunswick Land Grants, Volume: IV Grant: 27

The Mabee party, it is said, started for Upper Canada in the fall of 1792, but they wintered in Quebec and did not reach Turkey Point until some time in 1793. They drove twelve cows, rode horses, and employed an Indian guide to pilot the way through the wilderness.

Some members of the family claim that the settlement was made as early as 1791, while others say it was not made before 1794; but Mrs. Mabee and her family were living there in a comfortable log-house at the time of Governor Simcoe's visit in 1795. The grave of Frederick Mabee was there also, and a piece of ground known as the "Indian fields" had been cleared of its light growth of timber and cropped; all of which makes it appear quite reasonable that the family may have settled there, at least as early as 1793.

The Mabee party consisted of Frederick Mabee and wife; Oliver Mabee, their eldest son, aged about nineteen; Simeon, the second son, aged about seventeen; Pellum, the youngest son, aged about twelve - at least, these were the ages of the sons at the time of the Governor's visit; two single daughters - Polly and Sally; and two married daughters - Nancy and Lydia, with their respective husbands - John Stone and Peter Teeple. It is said that Peter Secord, also, came with the Mabee family

Title: Pioneer Sketches of Long Point Settlement
Author: E. A. Owen
Publication: William Briggs, Toronto, 1986, Original Date, 1898
Note: from Helen Bingleman, bingleman@sympatico.ca


From the Maybee Society files.