Monday, October 13, 2008

The McKay-Shoemaker Connection

When you look at your family tree the first thing that you notice is that there are a lot more names in the tree than your own. Sometimes these families are very interesting. Such is the case with the McKay/Shoemaker connection in the Hillman tree.
John David Hillman(1850-1936) married Hannah McKay(1860-1947) 2 Sept. 1879(her picture is in a previous blog post). Her father was Henry McKay(1833-1908), and Martha Shoemaker(1831-1914). According to the Latter Day Saints data base Henry McKay was born near Berlin(today Kitchener): however, in the 1901 Canada Census he says that he was born in Scotland. Something I need to work out.
The Shoemakers; however:, are a very interesting family for me. They are a German Mennonite family who immigrated from Pennsylvania sometime between 1834 and 1836(one child was born in Pennsylvania in 1834 and the next in Berlin in 1836).
Martha's father was Jacob D. Shoemaker(1799-1902), and her mother Jane Dunbar(1798?-1880). Jacob was one of those in the family tree that made it past 100. Jacob’s father was George Tyson Shoemaker(1778-1864), and Jacob’s grandfather was Jacob Shoemaker(1708-?). Jacob senior was born in Pennsylvania and in all probability his father was the one who immigrated to the U.S. before 1708.
The Shoemaker’s are interesting for me for several reasons. It’s a break from the English/Scottish Baptists. Secondly, it puts one branch of the Hillman family tree in North America over 300 years. It also highlights an immigration phenomena in particularly the Kitchener/Waterloo area of a large Mennonite movement from the U.S. to Ontario. In the Shoemaker’s case it looks as if most of the clan came to Waterloo County. In all the visits I have made to Kitchener/Waterloo in the past I never realized that I probably have distant kin in the area. What a small world.

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