Cooper, William Bernard

Identity area

Type of entity


Authorized form of name

Cooper, William Bernard

Parallel form(s) of name

  • W.B. Cooper
  • Barney Cooper

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence



William Bernard (Barney) Cooper was born on 9 March 1891 in Simla, Punjab, India to British parents, and lived there until he was 12. He made his way to Canada before the First World War and enlisted in the Royal Winnipeg Rifles in 1915, earning the Military Cross in January 1918. On 28 April 1916, he married Eva Irene Herron (1890-1976) in Winnipeg. After the war, the couple returned to Canada and lived in Lethbridge, Alberta and Regina, Saskatchewan before moving to Winnipeg in 1926 or earlier. They adopted a daughter, Phyllis Mairi Cooper, who was born in Edmonton in 1926, and Barney worked for an insurance company.
Beginning in 1926, Barney and Eva Cooper participated in psychical research experiments at the home of Dr. T. Glen Hamilton (1873-1935) and Lillian May Hamilton (1880-1956). He was one of three auxiliary mediums (along with H.A.V. Green) in the Hamilton séances, known in the records as “Victor”. When the Winnipeg Society for Psychical Research was formed in June 1931, Barney Cooper was elected as its Vice-President. The Coopers also held a series of séances at their Winnipeg home in late 1931; the majority of purported spirit communicators were also present in the Hamilton experiments. The group’s participants were Eva Cooper, Barney Cooper (referred to as Victor in the proceedings), Eva's mother Catharine Herron (d. 1936), Wilfrid Ernest (Bill) Hobbs (1887-1982), and, occasionally, their young daughter, Phyllis Cooper. The Coopers continued to attend the Hamilton sittings until about 1933, after which they moved to Toronto for employment. After moving to Toronto, Barney Cooper was still involved in psychical research, but only within the family. The Coopers maintained ties with the Hamilton family, periodically meeting Dr. Hamilton’s daughter, Margaret Hamilton Bach (1909-1986). Barney Cooper died in Toronto in 1968.


Winnipeg, Manitoba; Toronto, Ontario

Legal status

Functions, occupations and activities

Mandates/sources of authority

Internal structures/genealogy

General context

Relationships area

Access points area

Subject access points

Place access points


Control area

Authority record identifier


Institution identifier


Rules and/or conventions used

Rules for Archival Description (RAD)



Level of detail


Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Created by Samantha Booth, July 2015


  • English



Walter Meyer zu Erpen, research documents

Maintenance notes

  • Clipboard

  • Export

  • EAC

Related subjects

Related places