The Black-footed Yellow Frog…

“He ain’t nothing but a yellow-bellied sap sucking coward.”
— Magnificent Seven

IMG_3328This cute frog has been a part of our lives for years, sitting on our bed, played with by our children as the grew and luckily, never chewed by any of our dogs. This frog was crocheted by Ted’s mother, Theodora Wilma Harvey Burlock (1935 – 2001) sometime in the 1970s.

The reason the frog was made in these colors was due to family lore.  The black feet represented the Blackfoot Indian ancestry on Theodora’s mother’s side.  The yellow “frog” represented the Burlock side that “ran to Canada” during the French and Indian War. This lore was told over and over again and no one in the family could prove if any of this information was really true. Of course, this little frog was definitely not politically correct!

This stuffed frog was actually the catalyst for me to get into genealogy.  I set out to find the mysteries behind this yellow frog with black feet.  Was there Blackfoot Indian in the Harvey ancestry?  What were the conditions and reasons why the Burlock family went  “running to Canada”?  Was it during the French and Indian War? Were they French Canadian as the “frog” implied?

mark murphy article
Murphy, Mark, “Job Burlock: Infamous Tory”, Wilton Bulletin, March 7, 1900, pg. 1.

The first part of my research discovered that the Burlock family did “run to Canada” but not when the lore assumed. Job Stillwell Burlock (1735 – 1783), Ted’s 5th Great Grandfather, was a loyalist to King George III of England during the Revolutionary War.  He emigrated from Yorkshire England to the Colonies sometime in the 1750s. According to the article by Mark Murphy from a Wilton Bulletin article published on March 7, 1990, Job Burlock was a well known Tory in the town of Wilton, Connecticut, where the family lived.  He had harbored British soldiers in his home as they escaped from Danbury back to the British stronghold on Long Island. Job was arrested, jailed and lost his home under the confiscation acts during the war.  After the war in 1783, he returned back to his home in Wilton where he was shot and killed on his door step.[3][6]

The “run to Canada” involved his widow, Hester DeForest Burlock (1732 – ?) who is listed on the ship the Union that left Huntington Bay in New York for New Brunswick and Nova Scotia as part of the 1783 Spring Fleet. The ship left the Huntington on April 11, 1783 and landed in New Brunswick, which at the time was part of Nova Scotia, on April 26, 1783. She is listed on the ships passenger manifest as “Widow Hester Burlock” and shows that she had two children with her, one over ten and one under ten.[2]  Those children were David William Burlock (1757 – 1820) and Samuel Burlock (1770 – 1831). [1] Samuel did not stay in New Brunswick but eventually settled back in New York where his brother Thomas Burlock (1759 – 1827) lived.

According to documents from the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick, Hester was granted 200 acres of land by King George III in Sunbury County, New Brunswick in Oromocto, which is part of Fredericton in 1785.  David William and Samuel Burlock were granted 200 acres jointly in Queens County in Grand Lake in 1785.  Hester disappeared from my research and the one of references I have of her is from the Hickok Genealogy on page 306 that she was remarried to a British Officer named Barker [4]:

It is quite difficult to place Hester in her proper place in this family, but in as much as she is said to have married a second time to a British Officer named Barker and to have had two charming daughters by him, after the death of her husband, Job Burlock, who was shot on his doorstep for refusing to lower the British Flag, during the Revolution. I believe that she was one of the younger children, but she could have been born as early as 1734.

Ref.: Bruce Cartwright of Honolulu, Hawaii 

It was Ted’s great grandfather, Lewis Burlock (1846 – 1920) who emigrated back to the United States in 1888 settling in New Hampshire and then Vermont. This brought the family back full circle to the United States. [5]

I would not say that any of the Loyalist ancestors were cowards or “yellow-bellied” as the family lore implied.  Job and Hester lost everything including his life for standing up to their beliefs. Hester and her sons endured a journey to New Brunswick to a future was very uncertain and probably quite scary.  However, their legacy lives on in their descendants and are a testament to how brave they were. So the answer is yes, the family did “run to Canada” and the Loyalist history is rich and I am sure it is full of many other stories to tell.

As to the black feet of the frog, I cannot find any Blackfoot Indian ancestor after six years of researching in the Harvey line.  We just recently did a DNA test through and that did not reveal any American Indian ancestry.  DNA isn’t proof positive that there isn’t any Blackfoot Indian as it can only confirm ancestors a few generations back. So just maybe, there is another story waiting to be told…

Until the next Journey…

Here’s how Ted is related to Job and Hester:

Job Burlock Relationship

Archives, Nova Scotia. “Nova Scotia Land Papers 1765-1800.” Government of Nova Scotia, Canada, 4 Feb. 2011,“Loyalist Ships.” org - Loyalist Ships - Union, UELAC,
Hubbard, G Evans. “Wilton Village: A History.” Wilton Bulletin, 12 June 1941, p. 6. Retrieved online from
Hickok, Charles Nelson,. The Hickok genealogy : descendants of William Hickoks of Farmington, Connecticut : with ancestry of Charles Nelson Hickok. Rutland, Vt.: Tuttle Pub. Co., 1938., 1900 United States Federal Census (Name: Operations Inc; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date: 2004;),;, Year: 1900; Census Place: Lunenburg, Essex, Vermont; Roll: 1691; Page:9A; Enumeration District: 0099; FHL microfilm: 1241691.Record for Lewis Burlock. and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1861 Census of Canada (Provo, UT, USA, Operations Inc, 2009),, Library and Archives Canada; Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; Census Returns For 1861; Roll: C-999-1000. Record for David Burlock.
Provincial Archives of New Brunswick,
Murphy, Mark, "Job Burlock: Infamous Tory", Wilton Bulletin, March 7, 1900, pg. 1.

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