Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Abner B. Hillman

There has always been a strong link between Southwestern Ontario and the State of Michigan. During the American Civil War many from Southwestern Ontario fought largely in the Union Army. There was reported to exist a Confederate recruiting office in London, Ontario(then Canada West), and a number of deserters from both armies lived in the London area. The J.J. Tallman Collection at the University of Western Ontario has a list of known members of the London branch of the Grand Army of the Republic from October 1891 to December 1911.

What caught my interest is the name Abner B. Hillman. Is he in anyway connected to my ancestors?  Abner Hillman appears in the 1850 and 1860 U.S. Census’s.  He puts his birth as 1836 in Canada. Since both census’s find him in Napoleon, Michigan I will make a wild stab and say that he was born somewhere in Southwestern Ontario. Unfortunately Ancestry does not give me any birth information prior to the 1850’s, and that is sporadic. No proof of any relationship there. Also, with my family I have found certain favourite Christian names , ie. John, George, William. The name Abner does not appear in my family tree. Not conclusive proof but a hint perhaps.

Abner Hillman is found at age 14 on a farm with the Hanley family in Napoleon, Michigan probably as a farm labourer. In the 1860 Census he is still in Napoleon with the Smith family as a farm labourer. I will need to look into both those families to see if there is a connection.

Abner B. Hillman enlisted as a Private on 17 August 1861 with the 7th Michigan Infantry, and drowned while on march on 19th  August, 1862. He is buried in the Cyprus Hills National Cemetery, New York State.

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