Collection ID75 - George Hilyard

Title proper

George Hilyard

General material designation

  • Textual record

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on contents.

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  • 1796-1948 (Creation)
    Hilhard, George Arthur

Physical description

90 cm of textual records

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Biographical history

George Arthur Hilyard (1879-1958) was born in Saint John, New Brunswick, the son of Henry Hilyard and Theresa McDonald, both members of shipbuilding families. He married Mary Hammond Roberts, the granddaughter of shipbuilders on both sides of the family. As a result of his interest and family connections, George Hilyard accumulated and inherited a large number of records of ship building businesses and the families who ran them.

A large part of the collection relates to Hilyard Brothers. Thomas Hilyard (1810-1872), the son of a ship builder, served an apprenticeship at the ship carpenter's trade and then journeyman prior to engaging in business for himself. He purchased a saw mill in 1853 and carried on an extensive lumber manufacturing and ship building business. He and his wife Matilda Dyer (1821-1896) had 16 children including Henry (1848-1909) and Thomas, who inherited their father's business, which became Hilyard Bros. in 1873. They manufactured lumber, laths, herring boxes, nail kegs, staves etc. Henry was mayor of the city for a year and belonged to St. Luke's Church.

Henry Hilyard married Theresa McDonald (1850-1931), daughter of Arthur McDonald, a shipbuilder in Saint John. Their son, George Arthur, continued with the business until 1915.

The business records of Alexander McLachlan Seely (1812-1881) are also included in the collection. Seely married for his second wife, Lillian Hammond, who was related by marriage to George Hilyard's wife. Seely was a lumber surveyor, then became a merchant. He also carried on ship building, was involved with the Spring Dale Paper Company and ran a saw mill on Chesley St. He was a member of the Legislative Council, president of the Council, president of the Commercial Bank of Saint John and a trustee and secretary of Leinster St. Baptist Church.

New Brunswick Biographical Review, 1900;
The City of Saint John, 1908;
Hilyard and McLachlan fonds

Custodial history

Information about the custody of these records prior to acquisition is incomplete.

Scope and content

This collection consists of family and business records belonging to the Hilyards and related families. The business records of Thomas Hilyard and, after 1873, Hilyard Brothers include lumbering agreements, invoices, accounts, mortgages, deeds, shipbuilding agreements and a volume with shipping accounts, lists of vessels built and voyages made. There are also journals, day books and other accounting records of Thomas Hilyard and Hilyard Bros, a record of lumber sawn at Hilyard Bros., payroll and time books Material belonging to the Seeley family includes records about the ship "Australasian", bonds, agreements, deeds, invoices and receipts to Alexander McLachlan Seely from Saint John businesses, insurance documents, accounts and personal correspondence. There is also information about the Acadia College Endowment Fund and Leinster Street Baptist Church and an account book of Spring Dale Paper Mill, 1877.

There are also records relating to the Saint John harbour issue, 1885-1914, and documents about the ship "Magna Charta", 1865-1884. Invoices, accounts, workmen's accounts and other material belonging to the related McDonald and Roberts families are also included. There is an abstract book of surveyors' summaries of lumber transported by scow, 1897-1900, and a letter book of F.W. Holt (Saint John civil engineer), 1909-1913.

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Acquired from George A. Hilyard, 1956, 1958; Hilyard estate, 1968


Language of material

  • English

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No restrictions

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Detailed inventory available.

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