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  1. #1

    Default William Willis 1816 Trowbridge

    Hi I am looking for information regarding William Willis more importantly his background and family.
    What I do know for any certainity is that he was born on November 21 1816 give or take a year or two on that. His father's name was George and his mothers was Mary. He was transported to Australia in 1832 at the age of 16I would love to gain some insight to his family that he left behind. IF anyone can help this would be greatly appreciated.
    Cheers
    Colleen

  2. #2
    A fountain of knowledge.
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    Colleen
    How sure are you that William was born in Trowbridge, and what evidence do you have for his date of birth and parents names?

    The reason I ask is that the 1821 census of Trowbridge, which names the head of the household and lists the total numbers of males and females in the household, only includes three Williss families, as follows:
    Williss Ann, 2m, 1f, Studley and Little Trowle.
    Williss John, 4m, 3f, Studley and Little Trowle.
    Williss Chas., 4m, 5f, Staverton tything.
    No George or Mary as head of household.

    Also no sign of George or Mary in the 1841 census of Trowbridge. I realise that William was transported nine years earlier, but might have expected his parents to still be there. However the only Mary who is old enough (born c.1791) appears to be married to John, age 35.

  3. #3

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    Hi yes all the details are correct, except he was 19 instead of 16. You had Williss as a surname where mine is WILLIS I have absolutely no idea if that would make any difference but just in case. Also on his death certificate it only states as MARY so I am thinking that maybe his father died before he was transported. Another relative who I just checked with does say that his parents were GEORGE and MARY, which also fits in with the naming patters as his first two children are MARY and GEORGE.

    What I am hoping is to locate more of the family so hopefully your census may reveal this. If you can fill in this picture it would be wonderful.
    Cheers

  4. #4
    A fountain of knowledge.
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    The spelling Willis or Williss makes no difference. Spelling was far less standardised in those days, and it is not unusual to find different spellings of the same family name depending on who wrote it down. For example spellings in parish registers often changed when a new minister took over. One of my family names has over 30 recorded variations in about 200 years.

    Next, there is no more information to be gained from the 1821 census. In fact it's quite unusual to find a census at all before 1841. As I said in my reply, the census "names the head of the household and lists the total numbers of males and females in the household". and that's the information that I gave you.

    I understand that William's mother's name is given as Mary on his death certificate. There's no way of knowing why his father isn't named on the same certificate. There could be several reasons, and the one person who would (or should) have known, William himself, was dead so unable to say.

    You do not say what evidence you have for where William was born, his date of birth, and his father's name. Is this information from written sources, and if so, what are they?

    The IGI suggests that the only Willis couple with a wife named Mary having children in Trowbridge c.1813 when you now say William was born was John Williss and Mary (Norman) who married 19 December 1810. And the only Willis couple with a husband named George who were around at that time appears to be George Willis and Hannah (Hudd) who married 3 November 1796.

    The Bell Book of St.James Church, Trowbridge, a list of "all burials in the Town of Trowbridge and other Parishes, including non-conformists" 1797-1843, has the following Willis entries:
    1801 - Williss John, Oct.11.
    1805 - Williss George, Apr.1
    1809 - Williss George's child, not bap., Jan.11.
    1810 - Williss Ann wid. of Joseph, Aug.12.
    1813 - Williss James son of George & Hannah, Dec.8.
    1819 - Williss Grace wid. of George, Nov.28, parish
    1823 - Williss Mary wife of John, Jan.7; parish.
    1840 - Willis Hannah wid. of George, May 23; parish.
    Unfortunately, again no sign of a George and Mary.

  5. #5
    Newcomer to Brit-Gen
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    Hello Colleen - I am currently living in Cambodia with a lot of time on my hands so have been adding to my family tree on MyHeritage.com which is called Willis Bauernfeind. You probably by now have the information you were seeking in 2008 but, in any case, we may be able to help each other. I am aware of the "bananaschool" site - many of my ancestors went to the Banana School. William Willis is my great-great-great Grandfather. My father was Ronald Willis - deceased 2008 at age 93. Look forward to hearing from you. Dianne Colless (nee Willis) - Dianne_collessAThotmailDOTcom
    Quote Originally Posted by bananaschool View Post
    Hi I am looking for information regarding William Willis more importantly his background and family.
    What I do know for any certainity is that he was born on November 21 1816 give or take a year or two on that. His father's name was George and his mothers was Mary. He was transported to Australia in 1832 at the age of 16I would love to gain some insight to his family that he left behind. IF anyone can help this would be greatly appreciated.
    Cheers
    Colleen
    Last edited by christanel; 07-07-2016 at 3:36 AM. Reason: email address disguised to deter spam

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