The Scotia That's Nova
One of the cities is Halifax, populated by (no kidding) Haligonians. (From the Chronicle Herald, on Michael Falk’s research): “In every other Halifax around the world, residents are known as Halifaxians. That’s not so in the Nova Scotia capital, which is full of proud Haligonians. British Lt. Henry Napier, recorded the term in his diary on April 24, 1814.
“Napier said, ‘On the whole the Haligonians (as they call themselves)…’ Falk believes it was already an accepted term among the locals. He speculates that Halifaxian, which was used as late as 1785, gave way to Haligonian to rid the town of a bad reputation that it earned in the U.K. and, much closer to home, in Massachusetts.
The British town, Halifax, was synonymous with hell. The town’s image was no rosier in the United States. Pamphleteer James Otis, Jr., was a man who saw Halifax ‘as the most damaging epithet he could use.’ and Halifaxian as ‘a term of abuse.’ There was a lot of propaganda, with Halifax viewed very negatively. It started before the Revolution.
The origin of the ’g’ in Haligonian remains something of a mystery. Falk suggested it might come from "halig", the Saxon word for holy, and was perhaps a deliberate attempt to distance Halifax from its reputation as a place synonymous with the more undesirable side of salvation."