From Manitoba 2012 back to Scotland 1600s

Compiled by William G. Hillman
Work in Progress ~ Please send revisions to

For Family Histories go to:
To follow the ancestral line back to the Orkneys in Scotland, go to:
For the Documents Section go to

(Click on the title you wish to visit ~ Use your browser "Back" button to return to menu)
1. The James & Magdalene Campbell Story
2. The James and Annie McKay Story
3. The John & Katherine Campbell Story
4. From Nannie's Scrapbook
5. The Ballad of John Campbell - Pioneer
6. Gerald & Louise Hillman and Family Story
7.. Link to a Bill & Sue-On Hillman Feature in the Vancouver Sun - April 1, 2000
8. Link to Strathclair: A Prairie Town with a Past, Present & Future by Bill Hillman
9. Campbell Homestead Map & Link to Enlargement
10. Homestead Grant to James Campbell
11. Newspaper Clipping: Campbell-McKay Wedding 1912
12. Excerpts from the Diary of John Folsetter on a Visit to Strathclair in 1915
James and Magdaline Campbell, spurred on by the western landrush fever which was spreading through Ontario, left Paris, Ayr County in 1878. They travelled by train to Winnipeg and then transferred their settler's effects and three children to a wagon for the long trek to the homestead on W 1/2 24-16-22. The first shelter had to be a hurriedly constructed log house with a dirt floor, but later, stones from the fields were used to construct a large stone hose and barn. Magdaline died in 1892, James later remarried and move to Strathclair to live in the house more recently owned by  Kerry Morris and later by Dale and Roberta Watson.

Elder son, William moved to a homestead at SW 22-16-22 near Salt Lake and married Belle Morrison. They produced six children: Magdaline, Rose, Vera, Jim (Bud), Gordon, and Harold. Will eventually sold the farm to start an IHC Implement Dealership. Following a disastrous fire in 1940, the property was sold to Charlie Austin, and the Campbell family moved to B.C.

Daughter, Margaret (Maggie), who was only three at the time of her arrival in Manitoba, married William Weatherstone in 1899. They farmed in the Salt Lake area until 1915 when William Weatherstone took a job as grain buyer in Rivers. He passed away in 1931. Margaret took up missionary work, trained as a deaconess and later obtained her R.N. After working in the States for several years she returned to Ontario and married George Black in 1953. Mr. Black died in January 1958 and Margaret a few years later.

John Magnus Kingsburgh, a baby when the family arrived, attended Little Salt Lake School and stayed with the original homestead. In 1912 he married Katherine McKay, daughter of James and Ann of Green Buff.

James McKayAnnie McKay
James and Anne McKay had moved from Ontario to a farm near Cottonwood, Minnesota, USA -- a close-knit community of Scottish, Swedish and German settlers. There were eight children in the McKay family: Angus, William, Eleanor, John, Katherine, Walter, Mamie and Ernest. In 1898 the demands of a large family, lack of expansion room in Minnesota, and a promise of cheap available land in Manitoba, prompted thoughts of immigration. That fall, James and the eldest son, Angus, went north and purchased a section of land near Green Bluff, as well as cattle and some buildings. Angus stayed with the stock while James returned to Minnesota for the family. In February, 1899, James returned, bringing son, John, and a boxcar of settler's effects (livestock, furniture, equipment, etc.)  The remainder of the McKay family followed via passenger car. They wintered with the Angus McKay family near Salt Lake (this farm is now owned by the Rothnies) and constructed a house and farm buildings on the Green Bluff section the following summer. The McKay sons eventually moved on to homestead and ventures in Montana, Alberta and California. Eleanor married Angus McKay in 1904 and raised five children (Hazel, Isobel, Jean, Eva and Lawrence) on the Angus McKay farm. Mamie married Byford Jensen (childre: Phyllis, Lois and Tommy) and eventually moved to Modesto, California where Byford worked for many years as a mailman.

After Angus's death in 1955 and his that of his only son, Lawrence, in 1958, the home farm was sold to Sandy Rothnie. Another quarter section was sold to Gordon Harvey. Hazel, the eldest, married Eric Blackburn and moved to Regina (son Jim, M.Sc. Pharmacy, became a professor at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon. He has two children, Ross and Laurie). Eva married John Endicott and spent the last years of her life in Calgary (son Jack works in truck sales). Isobel married John McDonald and passed away in 1933. Lawrence, the only son passed away in 1958. Jean Married Tom Bertram and lives in Erickson (children: Bob, a pharmacist, lives with his wife in Minnedosa - they have two children, Michael and Sharri ~ Laurence works for the Royal Bank in Winnipeg ~ Eleanor graduated from Red River College in Winnipeg.

Wedding Picture: John and Katie Campbell
John Campbell married Katherine McKay in 1912 and they lived in the stone house ont he original Campbell homestead until 1920, when the brick house, which is still on the site, was built. This house was designed  by Katie and built by Alf Sparks, an English builder who constructed a number of other houses in the area at that time. One of the hired men, Bill Smollet and family moved into the adjacent old stone house but it burned down shortly after. The stones from the structure were used to construct the stone fence which is still standing on the property.

First son, Donald James Munroe, was born in 1914. In 1917 the family along with James McKay, wintered in Long Beach, California, visiting Katie's brother Bill. Daughter Louise Marie was born in 1918 and son William Gavin arrived in 1921.

The Jack Campbell family produced and delivered dairy products through most of the '20s and '30s. The three kids, along with the neighbouring Christie family, formed and played in the popular Campbell-Christie orchestra through the '30s. Jack was very active in the community and church work -- serving on many boards and being involved in numerous community projects. An avid sportsman, he was very involved with baseball, curling, etc. until his health began to fail. Jack was also a long-time active Forester.

Jack and Katie moved to Strathclair to a house they built east of the United Church. When John died on January 24, 1955, Katie moved back to the farm, sold her house to Cameron Robertson and donated her lot to the United Church. She lived with her daughter, Louise and family, the Hillmans, until her death on Christmas Day, 1971.

In 1941, Don married Shirly Jones and eventually moved to the Campbell property (Dixie) 2 1/2 miles south of town, a farm previously worked by long-time family friend and hired man, Bill Shearer. Bill Shearer later bought a house in Strathclair, the building which is currently the office headquarters at the Strathclair Airport. Don and Shirley farmed until 1965 when Don took a job at Camp Shilo and moved to Brandon. They have three children: Margaret Ellynn, Alexander John, and Elizabeth Louise.
Don died in 1992 and Shirley passed away in 1998.

William joined the RCAF in 1941 and served overseas as a Lancaster pilot until 1945 when he was killed in action. Flight Lieutenant William Campbell was commended by King George VI in 1945. He and his crew are buried at the Blacon RCAF cemetery near Chester, England.

Don Campbell March 8, 1914
Louise Campbell (Hillman) August 30, 1918
Billie Campbell ~ January 31, 1922
Billie Hillman ~ January 11, 1943
Bonnie Hillman (Schneider) ~ December 24, 1946
Margie Campbell ~ May 19, 1946
Alex Campbell ~ May 18, 1947
Betty Cambell ~ September 26, 1949

by Bill Hillman

My great grandfather came west in 1878 with his family and possessions to homestead a tract of land south of the Little Saskatchewan River Bend settlement - near the present location of Strathclair.
We still maintain a home on this homestead site.
This song was written as a tribute to those early pioneers.
Besides trying to express our love for this area where my ancestors
sank roots so long ago, I was also trying to show how much I feel we owe to our heritage.


Westward bound the year was '78
John Campbell - Pioneer
Steamin' by train and rolling by wagon
To Manitoba's wild frontier

His daddy built a house of sod just for the winter
Come summer built a house of stone
Cleared the virgin land and they did it by hand
Workin' aching fingers to the bone

He met my Nanny in a country school house
Where they danced the night away
Bought a gold band and asked for the hand
Of pretty little Katie McKay

Green Bluff girl then moved into Maple Grove
Just a little south of town
Helping in the fields and cooking all the meals
And watching little babies run around

Now I walk the same fields and the forests
But it's not as it once used to be
And I realize with tears in my eyes
Time fades their memory

'20s brought good times, '30s took them back
'40s called the second son away
Winter '55 took and old man's life
And a woman's will to live another day

But the house still stands to the memory of a man
Who settled on this prairie land
Trees a-blowing in the wind are still growing
Planted by a woman's loving hand

From the CD Recording:
Recorded On Tour in England, USA and Canada

In 1941, Louise Campbell married Robert Gerald Hillman, son of Robert and Jane Robinson Hillman of Elrose, Saskatchewan. The Hillman family had the distinction of having six sons (Jerry, Donald, Gordon, Rupert, Lorne and Art) plus one son-in-law (Alan), all serving in the Canadian Armed Forces during WWII. Two of them, Donald and Gordon, died in aerial combat over Europe. Louise had two brothers, Donald and William. Bill joined the RCAF in 1941 and served as a Lancaster pilot until his death a few days before the end of the war. Jerry served for six years in the Royal Canadian Navy in St. John’s, Halifax, Victoria and San Francisco. He saw active duty in the Pacific on the HMCS Prince Robert. In 1945 he participated in the freeing and transporting of Canadian POWs from Japanese occupied Hong Kong. After the war, Jerry left the navy with the rank of Chief Petty Officer and he and Louise returned to the home place in Strathclair in 1946 -- to farm and to operate a poultry business. After being hailed out in 1957 he took on a position as manager of Barradell’s Hardware. In 1961, he and Louise bought their own business – Hillmans’ Marshall Wells Store in Newdale which they ran until his retirement due to ill health in 1980. Jerry passed away in 1983. Louise now lives in Ellice Lodge, Strathclair.

Daughter Bonnie, who spent her most of her teen-age years in Newdale, married Dr. Michael Schneider and they now reside in Saudi Arabia where Michael serves as a medical specialist and advisor to Saudi hospitals. The Schneiders have four children: Mark, Lee Noelle, Ian and Michelle – all of whom are pursuing careers in medicine.

Son Bill is retired from teaching after teaching high school in Strathclair for 30 years. He married Sue-On Choy, daughter of Soo and Jade (Paris Café, Newdale) in 1966. Since their marriage they have performed in countless venues across North America and England and have recorded 12 albums of original music. They now own and manage SOO’S Restaurant and Show Hall in downtown Brandon. The Hillmans have three children: Ja-On, Robin and China-Li – all three of whom are actively involved in music, the restaurant and academic pursuits.

Ja-On - Bill - Robin - Sue-On - China-Li : The Hillmans

See a feature article on Bill & Sue-On and their restaurant Soo's
which appeared in the
VANCOUVER SUN ~ Front Page B-Section ~ Saturday, April 1, 2000

8. For the some of the Strathclair Story visit:
Strathclair: A Prairie Town with a Past, Present &Future
William G. Hillman, B.Sc.(Hons), B.Ed., M.Ed.

Geography of Manitoba: Its Land and Its People

For Enlargements of the Documents Below see:

9. Campbell Homesteads

10. Homestead Grant to James Campbell

Department of the Interior
File No. 284191                        No. 48545
Patentee's P.O. address: Strathclair
Return No.
Agency: Little Saskatn.
Homestead Recommendation, List No4**83
Patent Form: Short
Patent engrossed and dated: 4th March, 1892
No. of Grant: 8539
Grant to: James Campbell of township
Sixteen, range Twenty-Two west of 
the pirncipal meridian, in the
province of Manitoba, Farmer
Being on the: Sixteenth ________________ Township in the
Twenty-second _______________________ Range west 
of the Principal ___________________Meridian, in the
province of Manitoba
Composed of The North West quarter of 
Section Twenty-four
[SEAL STAMP DATED] Feb 24, 1892

An interesting event took place at James McKay's residence, Strathclair, on Wednesday, Dec. 11th, at nine 0'clock, when John Magnus Campbell (youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. James Campbell) took himself a wife and that young lady was Miss Catherine Elizabeth McKay, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James McKay. A large number of relatives and friends were present to witness the Rev. J. H. Martin perform the ceremony, and after an excellent wedding feast, the merry party (with sleigh-bells joyfully ringing) further enjoyed a trip to the station to ssee thehappy couple off on the commencement of their honeymoon trip. They received many valuable presents, and, also, large showeres of blessing (rice) before and on the departure of the Eastbound.

12. Excerpts from the Diary of John Folsetter*
(*married to Annie Flett d/o Magnus & Annie Flett)
on a 1915 trip to Strathclair, Manitoba.

James Campbell would appear to be retired in the village, by 1915, when John Folsetter and daughter, Ethel visited.

Thursday, July 15, 1915
“Mrs. Flett, Mrs. Weatherstone, Ethel and myself drove over to George Black’s for supper. The country is more open than at Fletts. Crossed ½ sections of virgin prairie. We went over in the buggy. The road was too dirty and too greasy for the car.”

Monday, July 19, 1915
“The Studebaker auto... had a race with a jack rabbit. He was game and kept it up about 1-11/2 miles. He was going between 35 and 40 miles. We eventually won with the car. We were both going some.” "The roads here are splendid for cars when they are dry but after a rain they are so greasy the car slips all over the road and if you put on chains they fill up with the black dirt and throws all over."

Wednesday, July 21, 1915:
“Early call this morning to go to Brandon Fair... About 4 miles south of Newdale the car upset over a new embankment in passing a buggy. We were all thrown out and the car turned turtle pinning Mrs. Weatherstone and myself under the car. Mrs. W. Got off with a broken rib while I got cut about the ankles with the broken wind shield. In a few minutes there were about a dozen around. We turned the car over on its feet and steadied it till we ran it down on the level, picked up the contents of the car, got in, ran it out of the dry slough and started again for Brandon after about an hour’s delay.” The return trip involved a blow out “6 or 7 miles from Brandon”.

Friday, July 23, 1915:
John Campbell commenced haying today.

Saturday, August 7, 1915
Reference is made to a “fishing party composed of G. Flett, Mrs. Flett, Mrs. Weatherstone, John Campbell, Jas. Campbell, Mrs. J.C., Mrs. Volume, D. Campbell, G. Black, Mrs. Black, 3 children, Bessie Marshal, Bell Hall, Ethel and myself.”

Wednesday, August 11, 1915:
"John Campbell took Ethel (Folsetter) for a drive and to give her a lesson in driving a Studebaker."

From archives research,  taped interviews with my grandmother Katherine Campbell
and from the remarkable research done by Margaret Stockton for "Grannie's Album"

For the F/L W.G. Campbell Tribute Site

(Many Campbell family photos)
Part I: The Home Front

Staging Area - Contents - Dedication
William G. Campbell Tribute Site
Wonders of the Internet: Sandon/Strathclair
Two Villages Meet
A Hometown Story:
Strathclair, Manitoba, Canada
Campbell Family Album: Early Years
Campbell Family Album: 1920s
Campbell Family Album: 1930s
Campbell Family Album: 1940s
Hope... and Despair
Lancaster Story & Links
RCAF Pilot's Flying Log Book
Greetings & Mementos from Canada I
Greetings & Mementos from Canada II
Brandon Sun FP Story: WWW.HEROES
MY FRIEND BILL by Mick Spack
Sandon Memorial & Fly-Past Photos:
Phill Barratt Photo Gallery

Part II: Overseas

Day 1: Arrival Day 2: The Grand Tour ~ Sandon Church & Hall
Day 2: Sandon House Day 2: Sod Turning for the Stone
Day 3: Stone Village Tour I Day 3: Stone Village Tour II
Day 4: Blacon Cemetery I Day 4: Blacon Cemetery II - Memorials
Day 4: BBC Radio Interview Day 5: Chatsworth
Day 5: Banquet at the Crown Day 6: Memorial Dedication I
Day 6: Memorial Dedication II Day 6: Lancaster Fly Past
Day 6: Greyhound Inn Reception Day 6: F/S Graham Ward
Day 7: Goodbyes: Memorial Site
Burston & Purl Cottage & Sandon
Day 8: Return ~ Home Again

Copyright 2000/2006/2012

e-Mail: hillmans@westman.wave.ca