Fonds MSS 323 - Janice C. Hamilton fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Janice C. Hamilton fonds

General material designation

  • Textual record
  • Graphic material

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Fonds

Reference code

CA UMASC MSS 323

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Dates of creation area

Date(s)

  • [ca. 1978], 2016 (Creation)
    Creator
    Hamilton, Janice
  • 1771, 1902-1959 (Creation)
    Creator
    Hamilton, Lillian

Physical description area

Physical description

0.19 m of textual records and 123 photographs

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(1880-1956)

Biographical 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.

Name of creator

(1948-)

Biographical history

Janice Hamilton is the daughter of James Drummond Hamilton and the granddaughter of Lillian May and Thomas Glendenning Hamilton. She was born in London, Ontario in 1948, and moved to Montreal with her family in 1957. After graduating from Carleton University in Ottawa, she lived in Whitehorse, Yukon for four years, where she held various jobs in government and the media. She edited the Yukon Indian News for a year and worked as a reporter for the Whitehorse Star. She returned to Montreal in 1977 and spent six years as a reporter/editor for The Canadian Press.

As a freelance writer from 1984 to 2012, she wrote numerous articles and several books, including non-fiction books for children and a biography of the St. Lawrence River. She has been researching and writing about her family in Canada, the United States and the U.K. since 2008, including her family history blog, http://writinguptheancestors.blogspot.ca, and is part of a collaborative blog, www.genealogyensemble.com. Janice is married to Harold Rosenberg, a former freelance magazine photographer and civilian photographer for the Montreal police department. They have two sons.

Custodial history

This fonds was donated in three accessions in 2010, 2013 and 2016 to the University of Manitoba Archives and Special Collections by Janice Catherine Hamilton, daughter of James Drummond Hamilton and granddaughter of Thomas Glendenning and Lillian May Hamilton.

Scope and content

The fonds is comprised of three accessions. The first contains a photograph album with photos, newspaper clippings, programs from school events in the 1930s and other documents, as well as loose photographs and baby books for T.G. and Lillian Hamilton's twins, Arthur Lamont (1915-1918) and James Drummond (1915-1980). It also includes the Forrester family prayer book (printed in 1771). The second accession derives from Lillian Hamilton and James D. Hamilton’s personal records, including psychical research publications, photographs and files pertaining to some of T.G. Hamilton’s psychic experiments. The third accession consists of a final draft of an article meant to be published in the Winter 2016 issue of the Paranormal Review.

Notes area

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Script of material

Language and script note

English

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There are no restrictions on access to this material.

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There are no restrictions on use of this material.

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Associated materials

This collection is closely related to and supplies complementary information for the Hamilton family fonds.

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Accruals

Past accruals include: A2010-01, A2013-43, and A2016-119
No further accruals are expected.

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Revised

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Created by Samantha Booth, July 2015
Revised by Samantha Booth, January 2016
Modified by Andrea Martin, January 2016
Modified by Samantha Booth, March 2017
Quality checked by Mary Grace Golfo-Barcelona on 09 June 2017.

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