Hillier Family - F44

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Hillier Family
William Smith and Jane - F44
Name William Smith Hillier
Name Jane Hillier
Voyage to Adelaide in 1864
Under command of Captain David Bruce
Departure port London
Departure date 6th August 1864
Arrival port Port Adelaide
Arrival date 7th November 1864
Voyage duration 93 days
Port of Call
Port of call Plymouth
Arrival 12th Aug 1864
Departure 12th Aug 1864

Eliza, Fanny and Frederick Letchford

When the Letchford children, Eliza 14, Fanny 6 and (probably) Frederick 4, boarded the City of Adelaide in London in August 1864, they were returning to rejoin their father in Adelaide. It would appear that their mother had died in London early in 1863. Their father had certainly remarried in Adelaide in September 1863, and a new brother had been born there in June 1864.

William Martin Letchford (1824-1880) was born to Charles and Jane Letchford in the London borough of Hammersmith where his father was a grocer on King Street, the main shopping strip. In the mid 1840s young William migrated to South Australia. In November 1848 he married 19 years old Fanny Hillier in the Gawler Place Chapel, Adelaide, and their first three children, Eliza 1849, William 1851 and Thomas 1853, were all born in Adelaide.

Following the death of his first wife, William Letchford married Anne Hillier 27 in his Lower Mitcham residence in September 1963. Here Anne Letchford gave birth to a son Frank in the following June.

William Smith and Jane Hillier

We have been unable to find any connection between William M Letchford’s two wives Fanny and Anne Hillier and William Smith Hillier and his wife Jane Hillier.

Following the death of his first wife, William Letchford married Anne Hillier 27 in his Lower Mitcham residence in September 1963. Whilst it may just have been a coincidence, but considering the speed that William remarried after learning that his first wife died and to another woman with the surname HILLIER, then there is a likelihood that Fanny and Anne Hillier were related - perhaps sisters.

Thus it may be that on that 1864 maiden voyage William and Jane Hillier were accompanying their nieces and nephew back to live with their father who had possibly now married another aunt.

We have been unable to find a reference to the Hillier couple in any South Australian Births, Deaths and Marriages records, before or after their 1864 voyage. They may have just been escorting their nieces and nephew, or the surnames are purely coincidental and they were ‘in transit’ to another colony. Fanny, Anne, William, Jane and Hillier are such common names in Britain that a search there becomes a major project. We don’t have enough jigsaw pieces and have not been able to link them together, nor confirm they are unrelated.

If you have any information regarding the mystery of William and Jane Hillier please Contact Us.



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Researched by Ron Roberts, Adelaide, SA. 2008