Hamilton, Lillian

Identity area

Type of entity

Person

Authorized form of name

Hamilton, Lillian

Parallel form(s) of name

  • Hamilton, Lillian May; Hamilton, Lillian Forrester; Forrester, Lillian; Forrester, Lillian May

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence

1880-1956

History

Lillian May Forrester was born in 1880 to Samantha Rixon and John MacFarlane Forrester in Melrose, a tiny farming community in Tyendinaga Township, Hastings County, Ontario, near Belleville. The family moved to southern Manitoba in 1881, settling on a farm in the Aux Marais district, near the town of Emerson and the U.S. border. She served for a while as a school teacher, and in 1905 graduated from the Winnipeg General Hospital School of Nursing (now the School of Nursing of the University of Manitoba). She was an active member of King Memorial United Church for many years and was a life member and past president of the Women's Missionary Society. Mrs. Hamilton was also a past president of the Medical Faculty Women's Club, University of Manitoba, and was a member of the Women's Musical Club.
In 1906, she married Dr. Thomas Glendenning (T.G.) Hamilton in Elmwood. In 1909, their daughter Margaret Lillian was born; in 1911, their son Glen Forrester; and in 1915, their twin sons Arthur Lamont and James Drummond. The loss of Arthur in 1919 to the influenza epidemic encouraged the Hamiltons to engage with questions of life after death, and eventually establish the well-known Hamilton experiments in psychic phenomena, including the holding and recording of séances at their home, and other psychical research. Starting in the 1920s, Lillian not only helped organize and participated in the séances, but also carried out a large part of the secretarial work of researching, filing and analyzing the records; she also helped to prepare many of Dr. Hamilton's papers and articles. After T.G. Hamilton’s death in 1935, she carried on the séances and psychical research. From 1939-1940, she conducted two series of experiments with Hugh Reed, including several previous members of the Hamilton group, notably the medium Mary Marshall (aka “Dawn”). Lillian Hamilton brought the Hamilton investigations to a close in 1944, by which time the group had largely dispersed.
With her youngest son James D. Hamilton, Lillian completed the manuscript about the T.G. Hamilton research which was published as Intention and Survival in 1942. Until Lillian's health began to fail in 1955, she continued study of psychic matters and undertook the indexing and care of the Hamilton records. In the early 1950s, she and her daughter Margaret Hamilton Bach began collaborating on the work that was eventually published by Margaret as Is Survival A Fact? in 1969. Lillian died on 18 September 1956 in Concordia Hospital in Winnipeg.

Places

Winnipeg, Manitoba

Legal status

Functions, occupations and activities

Mandates/sources of authority

Internal structures/genealogy

General context

Relationships area

Related entity

Hamilton, Thomas Glendenning (1873-1935)

Identifier of the related entity

Category of the relationship

family

Dates of the relationship

Description of relationship

husband

Related entity

Hamilton Family (1873-)

Identifier of the related entity

hamiltonfamily

Category of the relationship

family

Dates of the relationship

Description of relationship

Access points area

Occupations

Control area

Authority record identifier

hamilton_l

Institution identifier

UMASC

Rules and/or conventions used

Rules for Archival Description (RAD)

Status

Final

Level of detail

Full

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Revised by Samantha Booth, January 2016

Language(s)

  • English

Script(s)

Sources

Walter Meyer zu Erpen
James B. Nickels. "Psychic Research in a Winnipeg Family: Reminiscences of Dr. Glen F. Hamilton" in Manitoba History 55 (2007) (http://www.mhs.mb.ca/docs/mb_history/55/psychicresearch.shtml)
Magda Fahrni and Esyllt W. Jones, eds. "Epidemic Encounters: Influenza, Society, and Culture in Canada, 1918-20" (UBC Press, 2012)

Maintenance notes

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