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William Bruce Hillman's Blog (19)

The Home Guard - Part 2

From “The London Free Press and Daily Western Advertiser” June 11, 1866.

As was seen in part one of the “Home Guard” the boys are fully trained and ready to go.

Corner of Dundas and Richmond Streets, under a gas lamp, 3 am.

“To the Captain commanding Home Guards - Formed my troops in square of the rendezyous . Told them London expected every man to do his duty. Threw out skirmishers into the back yards and dark doorways. Marched with the main body under my own immediate… Continue

Added by William Bruce Hillman on January 19, 2010 at 8:14am — No Comments

The Home Guard

This excerpt from “The London Free Press and Daily Western Advertiser” June 11, 1866. It reads to a 21st century critic as if it was straight out of Monty Python. It’s ofnone man’s tale of service in the London, Ontario, Home Guard during the Fenian Raids. In fact, just after as the Battle of Ridgeway is over, and at this point, most of the Fenians that fought at Ridgeway are in the custody of the U.S. Army.

“I’ve joined the Home Guard, Sir, Editor, I would have volunteered and gone… Continue

Added by William Bruce Hillman on January 18, 2010 at 9:04pm — No Comments

Veterans Week (Nov 5th to Nov 11th)

The theme of Veteran’s Week this year is “How Will You Remember”.

The Library and Archives Canada has put on their website "Welcome to Canada at War: a Guide to Library and Archives Canada Recalling the Canadian War Experience".

For information on the role that the Canadian military played during the Second World War, please go to the virtual exhibit called Faces of War at a… Continue

Added by William Bruce Hillman on November 9, 2009 at 1:59pm — No Comments

Ontario Genealogical Contest

John D. Reid in his blog “Anglo-Celtic Connections” (Sept.24, 2009) outlined a two new essay competitions by the Ontario Genealogical Society aimed at young people.

The Dr. Don Brearley Genealogical Essay Prize is open to secondary school students in grades 11 and 12. For this, the first year, it is open to Toronto District School Board students only. In future years it will be available to students in other Ontario school boards. Submission deadline is February 26, 2010.

The… Continue

Added by William Bruce Hillman on September 25, 2009 at 7:03am — No Comments

Saturday Night Genealogical Fun

From Randy Seaver’s “Genea-Musings” is Saturday Night Genealogical Fun. Divide your father’s age by four and round off the number. Find the ancestor in your pedigree chart that has been assigned that number.

Father is 89 and still alive. Divide his age by 4 = 22.

22 on pedigree chart(Legacy 7.0) is Hugh Hillman (born sometime in 1844 in Upper Canada to John Hillman and Isabella May. Died 6 Mar. 1894 Rodney, Ontario). He was my grandfather’s uncle. Married Sarah Campbell(9… Continue

Added by William Bruce Hillman on September 20, 2009 at 9:42am — No Comments

Trading Card or Do I Need a Life?

Sheri Fenley's blog (The Educated Genealogist) and Randy Seaver's blog (Genea-Musings) both introduced me to a Trading card challenge. Let it not be said that I am slow when it comes to having fun!

Added by William Bruce Hillman on September 13, 2009 at 7:29am — 1 Comment

Two Hundred Years Ago

Well now this is a challenge. One hundred years ago my ancestors were well established in Ontario. Where were they two hundred years ago. It is hard sometimes to describe Upper Canada as it was two hundred years ago. It was a British colony and utterly dependant on Britain. The majority of the people in Upper Canada were what we call United Empire Loyalists. Population was centered around the Niagara and Kingston. London did not exist. The Talbot Settlement along Lake Erie was just getting… Continue

Added by William Bruce Hillman on September 1, 2009 at 5:57pm — No Comments

One Hundred Years Ago

One hundred years is a long time and when you think about it the changes have been nothing short of amazing. I often hear people criticize the decisions and the actions of people in the past often by using the moral values of today. Yet our ancestors were the ones who built this country. I find that pursuing genealogical research is also a look into our own history. Perhaps also with a better understanding of how they thought.

London, Ontario, is situated roughly half way between… Continue

Added by William Bruce Hillman on August 29, 2009 at 6:11pm — No Comments

Blog Statistics

For some time now I have been using Statcounter( to track statistics for my own blog Its free and easy to insert into the blog by following instructions.

Some of the statistics are useful when deciding what to put into the blog. Some are just for fun. For example, I find that people use Google96.87%,Yahoo!21.53%,Google Blog Search10.76%,AOL UK10.76% ,Bing10.76%, and MSN10.76% as their search engines.

The country… Continue

Added by William Bruce Hillman on August 17, 2009 at 9:06pm — No Comments

Goals - What Me?

Randy Seaver in his Saturday Genea-Musings blog asked some interesting questions.

* What is your UGG - your "Ultimate Genealogy Goal" for the genealogy research that you wish to leave to your heirs, descendants and the genealogy community?

* How long do you think you have have left to fulfill this ultimate goal?

* Are you prioritizing your time adequately in order to achieve this goal?

* If not, what should you do to achieve the goal?

* Will you do what you need to… Continue

Added by William Bruce Hillman on August 16, 2009 at 11:02am — No Comments

Canadian Copyright Laws

The Canadian Government has begun hearings on changing the copyright laws in this country. It is of great interest to those genealogists who are thinking of writing their research into book form. For example, Douglas Fevens found that his “Fevens- A Family History” was digitized by Google books without his permission. He writes in a letter to the editor to the University of Wisconsin:

“I wrote a book in 2004. It was not created to become a bestseller; only 200 were printed. But it… Continue

Added by William Bruce Hillman on July 28, 2009 at 9:08am — No Comments

Blogs-People Finders

So far my blog "The Hillman's of Elgin County" has repayed the time and effort I have put into it for the last two years. Last year a first cousin on my mother's side got in touch with me through the blog. I had not seen her since the early 1960's. My memory of her was of a little girl and it was quite gratifying to see and her from her and to find out about the rest of my uncle's family.

Just this morning a second comment on my blog was from a daughter of my uncle Bruce's widow. Uncle… Continue

Added by William Bruce Hillman on July 22, 2009 at 7:22am — No Comments

Saturday Night Genealogical Fun

While reading through Randy Seaver’s blog “Genea-Musings” I decided that I would try the Saturday Night Genealogical Fun challenge and google myself. A little ego boosting here.

Well what a novel experience. My face book page appears- no surprise there. Also my blog posts on Genealogy Wise - that was quick. Posts from my own blog “The Hillman’s of Elgin County”- again no big surprise.

Googling William Bruce Hillman comes up with 56,600 matches while googling just William Hillman… Continue

Added by William Bruce Hillman on July 19, 2009 at 8:13am — 1 Comment

Ancestry In Ontario Libraries

From the Ontario Ministry of Culture press release:

“We have completed negotiations for a two year license for Micromedia ProQuest’s Ancestry Library Edition. Ancestry is a genealogy research tool with data from census, military records, court, land, probate, vital and church records, passenger lists, etc. It covers Canada, the US, UK, and some European countries. The license covers Authorized Users of public libraries (i.e., library cardholders, walk-in patrons while they are on-site and… Continue

Added by William Bruce Hillman on July 15, 2009 at 7:07am — No Comments

Two Ways To Independence

Up here in the frozen north we take great pains to point out the differences in how Canadians and Americans approach things. No better example is in how each country gained independence from Great Britain.

In the United States the people grabbed their muskets and shot at the British. In Canada we grabbed our lawyers and threw them at the British. Through the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the British were quite use to people grabbing muskets , guns, spears , or whatever was laying… Continue

Added by William Bruce Hillman on July 14, 2009 at 6:59am — No Comments

Newspapers Of Middlesex and Elgin Counties

For genealogists one of the primary sources for research is the local newspaper. Increasingly many of the major dailies are finding themselves online. Lots of luck for the newspapers of Middlesex and Elgin Counties. How are you with 20th century technology?

For Elgin County the Elgin County Library has microfilms of the St. Thomas times Journal, the Dutton Advance, and the West Lorne Mercury Sun.

For Middlesex County the London Public Library has microfilms of the London Free Press,… Continue

Added by William Bruce Hillman on July 13, 2009 at 10:08am — No Comments

Border What Border?

One thing that you begin to notice as you research you ancestors is that they seem to view the border as not there at all. Searching the border crossings at is a good way to track some of these elusive people. Not only that, if you look at the document closely it may also give you a bit of an insight as to what they looked like (I found that my maternal grandfather whom I never knew as he died in 1935 was 5’8” with blue eyes and brown hair). Since I have never been able to find… Continue

Added by William Bruce Hillman on July 11, 2009 at 7:29am — 1 Comment

Sorry Grandpa That’s Not The Way It Was

Many times I and others have bemoaned the fact that we did not pay more attention to family stories our grandparents told. Nuggets of information went missing that would have saved us hours of tedious research. But then again maybe not.

Grandpa used to love to tell me of his grandfather’s trek from southern England(on foot of course)to Glascow on his way to Upper Canada(Ontario). On the way he met a Scottish lass(his grandmother). A great tale worthy of a dime novel.

Unfortunately, it… Continue

Added by William Bruce Hillman on July 10, 2009 at 11:36am — No Comments

Ten Reasons For Coming To Canada

Taking a page out of Chris Dunham's blog or book (is there a difference?).

Top Ten Reasons for coming to Canada.

10. British cannon was very persuasive.

9. Escape the noose for sheep steeling, cattle steeling, and what ever wasn’t tied down.

8. With a city named London the weather should be about the same - right!!!

7. The streets were paved with gold or at the very least good oak.

6. Improvement in standard of living. The outhouses here were of top… Continue

Added by William Bruce Hillman on July 10, 2009 at 11:00am — 3 Comments




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