My apologies to any descendants who might read Cara's comments and feel insulted.
Comments in (...) are my additions in an attempt to clarify her references. Cara was the one child of John Shill and Ellen Mary Bartholomew who stayed in England after the rest of the family came to Canada. We have copies of letters she wrote to her cousin and sisters telling what she knew about the ancestry of the Shill, Bartholomew, and Strugnell families.
"The Shill's came of old Yeoman farmer stock of Lincolnshire - rather go-ahead at one time, I believe. One or two disgraced themselves by getting maids into trouble and so on. An uncle of Father's (John Shill, b. 1857), a William Shill, went to Australia and came over here (England) during the war and I heard afterwards neither he nor his family were anything special. I don't know whether there were descendants."
"Some ancestor of Grandmother Shill's was connected with old Dean Swift, you must have read of him. I can't get Aunt Fanny Shill (John's sister) to talk about the family much. Grandfather's second wife told me about Dean Swift (30 November 1667 – 19 October 1745) and when I mentioned it to Aunty Fanny, she said, 'that's the sort of thing Mrs. Shill would hunt up'.
The connection is very distant, but strangely enough, I was going around the Bodleian Library at Oxford with Leslie Swayne and saw some Swift letters and said I was supposed to have some connection with Dean Swift and the next thing I saw in the glass case was a letter of Dean Swift's given to the library by William Shiel (?) so at one time the name was spelt that way and Aunt Fanny said that the original name was "Shilcock". Why it was altered I don't suppose we'll ever know."
"Father had two brothers, Fred and Joe, and one sister Aunt Fanny. Fred had three children. I believe there were two boys and a girl. No one knows what happened to them. Uncle Joe had either two or three by his first wife, Mary. Those have also been lost sight of.
Some of the Shills were anything but straight, I gather. So we should always be careful about claiming relationship.
This branch, mixed with the Bartholomew blood (I flatter myself and ourselves) are so straight, I cannot conceive of any of us doing anything underhand."
-Taken from letters written by Cara Shill
The following family group is pieced together from English Censuses from 1841 to 1901 found on Ancestry and FreeBMD. The John Shill who immigrated to Canada is the second child of John and Hannah. Both his father's and grandfather's names are John as well.
Notice that immigrant John Shill's grandmother's maiden name is Swift. Her father's name was Benjamin Swift. At the age of 81, he was a parish clerk, living with the family in Colsterworth, Lincolnshire on the 1851 Census. There may indeed be a distant connection to Jonathan Swift, "Dean Swift", the author of "Gulliver's Travels" but to my knowledge it has not been substantiated.
|Born:||1829||in:||Colsterworth, Lincolnshire, Eng.|
|Married:||Abt. Mar. 1850||in:||Clerkenwell, London, Eng.|
|Father:||John Shill||Mother:||Mary Swift|
|Born:||Abt. 1827||in:||Lincolnshire, Eng.|
|The above photo is labeled "Mrs. Shill". It is not clear whether it is Hannah or John Shill's second wife.|
|Born:||Abt. 1851||in:||Clerkenwell, London, Eng.|
|Born:||May 13, 1857||in:||Bagnige Wells Rd., Clerkenwell, London, Eng.|
|Married:||May 25, 1878||in:||Portsea, Hampshire, Eng.|
|Died:||May 4, 1924||in:||Montreal, Quebec, CA|
|Spouse: Ellen Mary Bartholomew|
|3. Son||Frederick William||Shill|
|Born:||Abt. March, 1859||in:||Colsterworth, Lincolnshire, Eng.|
|Married:||Abt. September, 1883||in:||Pancras, London, Eng.|
|Died:||Abt. December, 1895||in:||Hampstead, London, Eng.|
|Spouse: Gertrude Veary|
|Born:||Abt. June, 1861||in:||Colsterworth, Lincolnshire, Eng.|
|Spouse 1: Mary ? Spouse 2: Ellen ?|
|5. Dau||Frances Mary||Shill|
|Born:||Abt. June, 1863||in:||Colsterworth, Lincolnshire, Eng.|